Cities To Avoid Like The Plague: Glenn Beck’s Guide To Godless America

If you’re looking for someplace new to live, or to pack up the kids for a family vacation, you won’t find a better list of potential destinations than the one that Glenn Beck is promoting. On his radio program this morning (video below) he ranked what he called “cities to avoid like the plague,” saying that “These are the cities that you do not want to live anywhere around as things get worse and worse.”

Glenn Beck Messiah

It is a perpetual oddity that people who profess to be patriots with a worshipful regard for America’s exceptionalism (aka American Supremacy) are so ready to condemn large swaths of the nation they pretend to love. The lucky locales that made this list are…

  1. St. Louis
  2. Washington, DC
  3. Minneapolis-St. Paul
  4. Las Vegas
  5. Milwaukee
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Boston
  8. Detroit
  9. Columbus, Ohio
  10. St. Petersburg, Florida
  11. Phoenix
  12. Denver
  13. Seattle
  14. San Francisco
  15. Portland, Oregon

The criteria Beck used came from a study by the Public Religion Research Institute that ranked the top three “religious traditions” (which includes religiously unaffiliated) in major metropolitan areas. Naturally, Beck’s ranking consists of the cities with the highest percentage of unaffiliated residents. It is Beck’s opinion that these dens of iniquity will suffer disproportionately when God unleashes his wrath upon the sinners of the world, which is due any day now.

The lunacy of this outburst (setting aside the imminent terrorism of an angry God) is that many of those same cities are also bastions of devout religiosity. In most of them the believers far outnumber the alleged heathens. And Beck doesn’t take into account that the unaffiliated group is not comprised exclusively of atheists. It also includes believers who simply do not associate themselves with a particular flavor of faith.

What’s more, Beck limited his list to fifteen cities, ending with St. Louis whose percentage of unaffiliated is twenty-two. That also happens to be the percentage for the nation as a whole. So if St. Louis is doomed, so are the rest of us. And Beck conveniently left out that his own home in Dallas is 18% unaffiliated, only a few points lower than St. Louis. In fact, if Beck had not arbitrarily stopped with fifteen cities, Dallas would have shown up at #24, easily within the range of doom.

Also not on the list is the imaginary holy city Beck proposed to build, Independence, USA. From his description it sounds more like Jonestown than Valhalla. Nevertheless, he promised it would be a haven for the righteous devotees of God. Well, that is, his version of God. And we know that, in addition to warning people off of certain sinful cities, he has also warned people to steer clear of churches that don’t meet his standards of divinity. Specifically he told his listeners to run as fast as you can from any church that uses the words “social or economic justice.”

The good news is that if Beck’s deranged travel guide serves any purpose it is that the cities in it will be blessedly free of apocalyptic evangelists frightening away visitors and residents. The fewer followers of Glenn Beck that are in any city, the better off that city will be. So hopefully his disciples will take heed of his warning and stay from the listed cities. And that will certainly be cause for those cities to celebrate. Here’s hoping your city is on the list.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Immaculate Birther: Donald Trump Says He Doesn’t Have To Ask God For Forgiveness

The world-class ego, narcissism, and arrogance of Donald Trump have been on public display for decades. He can hardly complete a sentence without exalting himself as the richest, smartest, biggest, and bestest at whatever he attempts or proposes. There is absolutely no trace of humility in the non-stop parade of vainglorious self-promotion that he exudes.

This annoying character flaw would be bad enough if it was constrained to his business exploits and personal self-appraisal. However, Trump has recently enlarged his bubble of pride to encompass his faith as it relates to his presidential candidacy. When asked by Republican “Word Doctor” Frank Luntz if he had ever asked God for forgiveness, Trump said “I am not sure that I have […] I don’t think in terms of that.” While that answer fits perfectly with Trump’s signature pompousness, it also reveals why he is so reluctant to apologize for anything, including his blatantly offensive remarks about immigrants and Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero. If he won’t ask God for forgiveness, why the hell would he ask anyone else?

Donald Trump Immaculate Birther

Yesterday Trump expanded on his spiritual principles during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. He was asked to revisit his previous comments and given an opportunity to refine them. He rejected that opportunity and, as usual, he doubled down on his immunity from needing to seek God’s grace.

Trump: Well, I like to work where I don’t really have to ask for it. I like to do the right thing where I don’t actually have to ask for forgiveness. Does that make sense to you? You know, where you don’t make such bad things that you don’t have to ask for forgiveness. I mean, I’m trying to lead a life where I don’t have to ask God for forgiveness. […] Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?

Talk about your Original Spin. Trump is effectively saying that a good Christian can avoid having to seek forgiveness from God by simply never making any mistakes. Who knew it was that easy? Of course, to do that would require a level of perfection not seen in about two thousand years from the perspective of believers. And yet he argues that he has achieved this pinnacle of purity. But if you ask the Presbyterian Church, of which Trump claims to be a member, they have a completely different interpretation:

“Presbyterians believe the Bible when it says that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). Unlike crime, which involves the breaking of human law, sin is a condition of the heart or an expression of that condition where we are estranged from God and fail to trust in God.” […]

“Presbyterians believe God has offered us salvation because of God’s loving nature. It is not a right or a privilege to be earned by being ‘good enough.’ No one of us is good enough on our own — we are all dependent upon God’s goodness and mercy. From the kindest, most devoted churchgoer to the most blatant sinner, we are all saved solely by the grace of God.” […]

“Presbyterians believe it is through the action of God working in us that we become aware of our sinfulness and our need for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Just as a parent is quick to welcome a wayward child who has repented of rebellion, God is willing to forgive our sins if we but confess them and ask for forgiveness in the name of Christ.”

Trump seems to think that forgiveness is something that you request when you have told a lie, cut someone off in traffic, or cheated in golf. His understanding of religion is on the level of a four year old (no offense to four year olds). He has no concept of the tenets of his faith that regards all men and women as sinners. And setting aside the scriptural rendering, Trump doesn’t seem to think that his own mistakes (of which he has none) rise to the level of sins. That means his three marriages are wholly virtuous in God’s eyes. His four bankruptcies that left thousands of creditors in the lurch were just divine accounting. His fraudulent Trump University that ripped off hundreds of “students” actually taught them a valuable lesson in dealing with charlatans. And these say nothing of his sins of greed, lust, and pride.

To make matters worse, Trump has assumed the posture of a beleaguered victim of the dark forces of Hell (aka the media). He believes he is being crucified by his enemies in the press and the Republican Party. This persecution may lead to his self-excommunication and a holy war via a third party candidacy for the White House. Oh God please, we pray.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

If there’s one thing that has been made clear, it’s that The Donald doesn’t need the forgiveness of God or anyone else. That’s because he is his own deity with omnipotent powers to solve every problem bigger and better than any mere mortals. And just as he remains certain that he will win the votes of the Latinos he has insulted, and the veterans he has demeaned, he is equally certain that evangelicals and other faith-based voters will flock to his holiness despite his heresy, profanity, and obvious Messiah complex. By the way, these are the same people who have been calling President Obama the Anti-Christ for seven years.

God Didn’t Destroy America For Slavery. But Married Gays On ObamaCare?

The Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriage must be recognized as legal in all fifty states has set off a right-wing, evangelical hysteria complete with warnings of civil war, natural disasters, and a general descent into the End Times. Anti-gay extremists have declared what amounts to a Teabagger Apocalypse.

Gay Marriage/Slavery

Republican presidential candidates are vowing to ignore the Court’s ruling. They insist that it is unconstitutional, proving that they have no idea what “constitutional” means. They continue to press their religious argument that the United States should adhere to the principles of faith that they hold, rather than honoring America’s religious freedom. They are convinced that this decision will result in their arrest and incarceration, which the decision explicitly forbids.

Christianist activists go even further to assert that America has now gone past the point of no return. They say that God will smite our nation and its people for permitting the freedom to love one another in the way that nature made them. They believe that Christians will be subject to a horror worse than the Holocaust.

The question that none of them can answer is: Why is God so upset about marriage equality when he seems to have let other atrocities go by unpunished? If God were going to destroy America why didn’t he do it when we enslaved, brutalized, and murdered thousands of his children shipped over from Africa? Why didn’t he smite our young nation as it marched westward slaughtering the native inhabitants along the way? Why didn’t God get mad when we murdered hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians with nuclear bombs? Even from the Christianist perspective, how could God let America survive after legalizing abortion, which they believe is child murder? Apparently their God is tolerant of dead babies, but the thought of two consenting adults committing themselves to one another for life is deserving of total annihilation. (Or maybe God just has a more rational view with regard to when life begins).

In addition, God has also given immunity to Germany, which continues to thrive despite their abhorrent past; and Russia, the nation led by Stalin whose regime killed millions; and Mao’s China. And today he lets ISIS march through the Middle East leaving untold corpses and misery it its path. If God is judging us humans, and punishing us when we do wrong, what the hell is he waiting for?

The Christian extremists can’t answer that question. They can’t explain why God is itching to turn America to dust, but doesn’t seem to care much about Syria. They just continue to spew their foreboding messages of doom based on nothing but their imaginary fears and whatever they believe will fill the collection plate. That’s why they are now settling on marriage equality as history’s greatest abomination when there is no logic or reason to support such a claim.

In the conservative media there is a rush to idiocy, as Fox News wonders whether people will now be allowed to marry in groups, or to marry their pets, or to engage in pedophilia or incest. Glenn Beck is worried that this decision will result in him being thrown off of radio by Feds who he thinks can now regulate speech. Others vow to defy the law and, if necessary, resort to revolution.

Reminder: We’re talking about the legal status of a state of cohabitation, not killing babies, gassing Jews, or owning human beings. What kind of God do these people believe in who regards the definition of marriage as worthy of eternal damnation, but not those other atrocities? And what are they so worried about anyway? Isn’t Armageddon the final stage of man’s tribulations on Earth, after which the righteous rise to Heaven to sit at God’s side in paradise for eternity? Don’t they want that to happen, the sooner the better?

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Given the absurdity of their thought processes, you have to wonder why anyone is taking them seriously. They can’t justify their outrage. They can’t even make sense of their own beliefs. If there is a judgmental God who values intelligence and reason, then the human race may actually have something to worry about.

[Addendum:] Much of the discourse that has developed in comments is focused on the question of whether the Bible or Jesus condemns, or even mentions homosexuality. That’s an interesting question, but it is not the one posed in this article. Near the beginning of the article the question is asked: “Why is God so upset about marriage equality when he seems to have let other atrocities go by unpunished?” And none of those posting their interpretations of scripture regarding the Bible’s stance on being gay answers that. Even if we were to accept the position that being gay is a sin, it still doesn’t explain why God would destroy America and its 360 million residents because a law honoring religious freedom (which is a founding principle of the country) is upheld by the high court to protect a minority of the population, when far worse atrocities went unpunished. Clearly the ultra-pious among us are feverishly struggling to find an argument that makes them feel comfortable holding a position that is patently irrational, even if it’s an argument that has nothing to do with topic at hand.

The Pope Francis Encyclical On Climate Change Makes Apostates Of Fox News Catholics

This week the Catholic church dived head first into one of the thorniest issues facing modern society. It came in the form of an Encyclical authored by Pope Francis that detailed the Church’s position on Climate Change. The official document, titled “On Care For Our Common Home,” is a surprisingly in-depth analysis of the environmental crisis that includes science-based observations on ecosystems, biodiversity, marine health, waste management, renewable energy, recycling, deforestation, GMO’s, and the social and political obstacles to reform.

The response by most of the conservatives who would generally be seen as allies of religious institutions like the Catholic church was an immediate knee-jerk opposition that went to extreme lengths to dispute the Pope’s spiritual guidance. It was more than a difference of opinion, it was vitriolic denouncement and defamation. They characterized the once-infallible Holy See as an anti-capitalist subversive and a Marxist. Additionally, they discounted his credentials to address the subject of Climate Change because he was not a scientist.

First of all, not being a scientist has never stopped politicians from bloviating on Climate Change. Secondly, the Pope’s position on the matter is in sync with 97% of the scientists who have studied it. And the icing on the cake is that Pope Francis actually did study chemistry and worked as a chemist before joining the seminary. What’s more, the charges of Marxist leanings pale after reading the whole Encyclical in which the Pope quotes three previous popes who share his views, including the right’s favorite pontiff, John Paul II. In fact. contrary to the assertion that care for the environment is outside of the Pope’s jurisdiction, the document is full of scriptural arguments demanding that good Christians be stewards of God’s creation, not destroyers.

Leading the crusade against Pope Francis is Fox News, of course. The anchors and contributors on the network condemned him to varying degrees. Perhaps the most offensive was Greg Gutfeld who called the Pope “the most dangerous person on the planet,” and said that “All he needs is dreadlocks and a dog with a bandana and he could be on Occupy Wall Street.” But what makes these venomous onslaughts all the more peculiar is that Fox News is virtually a Catholic Enclave on the Air, as News Corpse has noted previously.

Fox News Catholics

Fox News is the closest thing in media to a Vatican PR office, with a roster that is heavily weighted with Roman-Catholics. They include: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, Brian Kilmeade, Andrew Napolitano, Jeanine Pirro, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Kucinich, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Father Morris. Rupert Murdoch, was himself inducted into the “Knights of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great” by Pope John Paul II. And if that isn’t enough, the current Senior Communications Adviser in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, Greg Burke, was previously the Fox News correspondent covering the Vatican, a position he held for ten years.

By steadfastly refusing to adhere to Catholic church doctrine, the Fox News Catholics have made themselves apostates who would rather sin against their Lord than acknowledge the common sense and scientific reasoning that the Pope has validated from a religious perspective. They would rather side with the moneylenders and pharisees (banks, corporations, oil and mining companies, politicians, etc.), than their own faith leaders. And this isn’t the first time, either. A couple of years ago the Pope published an Encyclical expressing the church’s disapproval of income inequality. He specifically called out trickle-down economics as having “never been confirmed by the facts.”

It is in this environment that that the Fox News Catholics are entirely willing to ignore the clear case for loving and protecting the Earth for themselves, their heirs, and their God, as laid out by Pope Francis. Here are some key excerpts that they might want to ponder:

5) Every effort to protect and improve our world entails profound changes in lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern societies.

20) Exposure to atmospheric pollutants produces a broad spectrum of health hazards, especially for the poor, and causes millions of premature deaths.

21) The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.

23) A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.

26) Many of those who possess more resources and economic or political power seem mostly to be concerned with masking the problems or concealing their symptoms.

47) Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail, now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature.

47) When media and the digital world become omnipresent, their influence can stop people from learning how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously. In this context, the great sages of the past run the risk of going unheard amid the noise and distractions of an information overload. Efforts need to be made to help these media become sources of new cultural progress for humanity and not a threat to our deepest riches.

54) It is remarkable how weak international political responses have been. The failure of global summits on the environment makes it plain that our politics are subject to technology and finance. There are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected.

59) Such evasiveness serves as a license to carrying on with our present lifestyles and models of production and consumption. This is the way human beings contrive to feed their self-destructive vices: trying not to see them, trying not to acknowledge them, delaying the important decisions and pretending that nothing will happen.

68) The Bible has no place for a tyrannical anthropocentrism.

114) Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made, but also to recover the values and the great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur.

169) Those who will have to suffer the consequences of what we are trying to hide will not forget this failure of conscience and responsibility.

175) The same mindset which stands in the way of making radical decisions to reverse the trend of global warming also stands in the way of achieving the goal of eliminating poverty.

190) We need to reject a magical conception of the market, which would suggest that the problems can be solved simply by an increase in the profits of companies or individuals. Is it realistic to hope that those who are obsessed with maximizing profits will stop to reflect on the environmental damage which they will leave behind for future generations? Where profits alone count, there can be no thinking about the rhythms of nature, its phases of decay and regeneration, or the complexity of ecosystems which may be gravely upset by human intervention.

Given the clarity with which the Pope expresses himself, it is rather startling that so many of his disciples in the media are so eager to abandon him. Although he, himself, may not be surprised as he addresses what he calls “mental pollution” (see #47 above) in this encyclical along with environmental pollution. That mental variation may have been best demonstrated last year when Republicans in the U.S. Congress declined to vote for a resolution honoring Pope Francis because he was “sounding like [President] Obama.” That’s how friggin crazy they are.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Pope Francis Koch Brothers

Ignored By Fox News: Christian Terrorist Pleads Guilty In Plot To Massacre American Muslims

Whenever there is an act of terrorism that conservatives can attribute to Muslims, they jump at the chance to condemn the entire Islamic faith as inherently violent. And at the same time, they advance their ingrained superiority by asserting that only Muslims would ever engage in such behavior. They insist that Christians would never resort to violence in response to a perceived insult or political disagreement.

Never mind the ample evidence of Christian attacks on those with whom they disagree, including the murder of Dr. Tiller, the Atlanta Olympic bombing, the extremist in Norway who murdered dozens of children, or the tragedy in Oklahoma City that killed 168 innocent people. The Christian defenders simply don’t see what they don’t want to see. Although, to some extent they also don’t see what is deliberately kept from them. That’s because Fox needs to reinforce the racist theme that all terrorists are dark-skinned foreigners.

Fox News Terrorist Color Chart

The media often fails to publicize acts of Christian terrorism in the manner they do with Muslims. An example of that occurred this week when court records were revealed describing Robert Doggert, an ordained minister in the Christian National Church, who pleaded guilty to plotting a massacre of the citizens of an upstate New York community of Muslims known as Islamberg. The records showed a detailed plan to kill people and destroy buildings, churches and schools. Doggert was quoted as saying “We will offer [our] lives as collateral to prove our commitment to our God.” In other words, it was a suicide mission not unlike those committed by Islamic extremists, and for the same reason.

In keeping with the right-wing media determination to insure that their audience remains biased and ignorant, the Fox News Channel failed to report the story. This failure is all the more egregious considering the complicity that Fox News has in Doggert’s scheme.

Doggert, who was working with right-wing militias that share his view that President Obama was guilty of treason, told the FBI in his confession that he “justified his attack on lslamberg by claiming that the residents of Islamberg were planning a terrorist attack.” And where did he get this groundless notion? In January Bill O’Reilly hosted, Ryan Mauro, a “national security analyst” who claimed that Muslims were forming “no-go zones” in the United States where they would train and launch domestic attacks. These claims were never substantiated by credible sources in law enforcement, and the organizations to which Mauro belonged were well known anti-Islamic propagandists.

That didn’t stop Fox News from inviting Mauro back numerous times to spread his false and inflammatory smears. It is that sort of disinformation that gives Doggert, and so many other Fox News viewers, the wrong impression of Islam along with an unwarranted fear of peaceful fellow citizens. It is the same sort of dishonest “journalism” that prevents Fox News, and other conservative media outlets, from reporting the other side of the terrorism story that reveals the criminal activities of Christian extremists like Doggert.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News has a long history of fear mongering about Muslims while neglecting news stories involving right-wing extremists. A couple of years ago another Christian terrorist was arrested – and ignored by Fox. Earlier this year Fox became hysterical about a study produced by the Department of Homeland Security that warned of right-wing domestic terrorists. They believed that this demonstrated the government’s anti-conservative bias. What they never told their viewers was that a similar study had also been produced previously that addressed the same sort of threats from radical left-wingers.

That’s the sort of deceptive biases that Fox engages in routinely. And it’s why people like Doggert become radicalized on behalf of insane conspiracy theories. Should any of the crackpots who buy into this nonsense succeed in carrying out one of their plots, Fox News should share in the responsibility for the damage done.

Free Speech At Fox News: Offensive To Muslims OK – Critical Of Police No Way

A few weeks ago a well known Islamophobe and professional instigator, Pamela Geller, held what she pretended was a contest to “Draw the Prophet Muhammad.” In reality the affair had nothing to do with art or free expression, but was a deliberate attempt to incite violence.

Geller’s hate-fest was praised as a courageous expression of liberty by sympathetic bigots at Fox News. They regarded her repugnant message as patriotic and celebrated the death of the two idiots that Geller was successful in provoking into senseless violence. But if you want to know what the same Fox News blowhards who revere Geller really think about free speech, just keep watching and they will reveal their true disgust for the First Amendment when it protects speech that they don’t like.

Fox News Free Speech

Last week Eric Bolling delivered a commentary about an art exhibit by students at a New Jersey high school. The exhibit was called “Law Enforcement – Police Brutality.” It was a subject chosen by the students and was open to, and included, opinions from all sides of the debate. Bolling, of course, focused solely on the work that was critical of the police, and he was not shy about expressing his desire for censorship.

Bolling: OK, I get the idea of free speech but … hey, teachers at Westfield would you put up an art exhibit showing teachers abusing students? I don’t think you’d do it. Nor should you have done this. I’d like to see that thing taken down.

Judging by this comment it is not particularly clear that Bolling really does “get the idea of free speech.” These students have every right to express their own opinions of significant current events that affect their communities. Suppressing the artwork they produce is a clear breach of those rights. But hypocrites like Bolling continue to expose themselves as having variable principles that permit freedom only to those with whom they agree. This is illustrated best by what Bolling himself said a couple of weeks prior in defense of Geller and her hate exhibit.

Bolling: Free speech is protected no matter how inciting it may be. We’re becoming too politically correct. We worry that offending Muslims somehow overrides our won Constitutional rights.

It should surprise no one that Bolling never suggested that Geller’s exhibit should be “taken down,” nor that he never stood up for the students’ free speech “no matter how inciting it may be.” To Bolling and his Fox News cohorts, Geller’s anti-Muslim bigotry makes her a standard bearer of American virtue, but the students’ concerns about abuse of power by law enforcement makes them snotty little delinquents who should be neither seen nor heard.

On a side note, why is Fox News so obsessed with demeaning high school students? Check out this previous attack on students in Vermont after they defended their state from disparaging remarks by a Bill O’Reilly producer.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Icing on the flake: The following day, Bolling responded to criticism he received for his overt hypocrisy. In his whiny, self-defense he insisted that he is a stalwart proponent of free speech and all that he meant to convey was that he also had the right to say that he didn’t approve of the student art show. However, there a couple problems with that “clarification.” First, he didn’t say that he didn’t approve, he said that he would like to see it taken down. Second, he never acknowledged that critics of Geller’s phony exhibit also have a right to disapprove. He still regards them as anti-free speech, once again proving that his rights are legitimate and everyone else should shut up.

Good News: No Boobs On Fox News

When I first heard that Fox News was taking steps to insure that there would be no boobs on their network, I was excited at the possibility that Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Steve Doocy, etc., would soon be fired. To my disappointment, I later learned what the real story was that Fox News Blurs the Boobs on a Picasso Painting.”

Fox News Picasso

It turns out that it was the Fox News affiliate station in New York that so virtuously protected viewers from the sinful display of geometric breasts. But that doesn’t let Fox News off the hook entirely because the same man, Roger Ailes, runs both the cable news channel and the affiliate group. To its credit, the morning show on Fox5NY did their own bit of ridiculing the night crew that went too heavy on the blurring.

This is not the first time that overzealous conservatives took it upon themselves to sanitize the smutty, or otherwise inappropriate and dirty world, from decent Americans. Back in 2011 News Corpse documented a series of occurrences wherein free expression was not permitted by right-wingers:

A few years ago, Secretary of State Colin Powell was scheduled to give a speech at the United Nations to make the case by the Bush administration for going to war against Iraq. Prior to the speech he had aides cover up a tapestry depicting Picasso’s painting, Guernica. Powell was not going to make an argument for war in front of such a powerful and iconic anti-war statement.

Bush’s Attorney General, John Ashcroft, held press conferences in the Justice Department in a hall where the statue “Spirit of Justice” had stood for decades. In 2002 he ordered that the statue, a female representation of justice with one bare breast exposed, be covered by a drape. It’s not clear whether he was worried more about this being embarrassing or arousing.

Earlier this year, Paul LePage, the governor of Maine, had a mural removed from the Maine Department of Labor. The mural depicted scenes of Maine’s working citizens and the history of labor in the state. Obviously it has no business taking up space in the Labor Department.

And just this week, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin removed a painting from the governor’s residence. The painting was of children from diverse backgrounds and was meant to remind the residents of that home, which belongs to the people of Wisconsin, of the impact their work has real families. Now Walker won’t have to be concerned with that unless he runs into some in person, in which case he’ll have much more to be concerned about.

As you can see, this is a recurring theme among the sanctimonious wingnuts who believe that their morality trumps yours. And while conservatives went out of their way to defend the free speech rights of hate mongering Islamophobes they aren’t the least bit hesitant to deny those rights to rap artists, the Dixie Chicks, Michael Moore, or even Picasso.

All things considered, I would prefer that boobs like Hannity were subject to censorship rather than those in the great paintings of history. But sadly, some boobs are more equal than others.

Muhammad Cartoon Contest In Garland, Texas Had Nothing To Do With Free Speech

First things first: Freedom of speech is a cherished liberty among all Americans and most citizens of the rest of the world. It is the bedrock upon which all other freedoms rest. Preserving it is critical for civilized societies to exist. And it must be honored for all speech, especially that which is regarded as unpopular or offensive.

That said, in the practice of defending free speech we must be able to distinguish between actual expressions of genuine thoughts and beliefs, as opposed to cynical exploitation aimed at inflaming emotions and inciting violence. Just as shouting “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire is not protected speech, staging events meant to cause harm is not an excusable act under the First Amendment.

Hypocrites who pervert the notion of free expression need to be called out. They are often easy to spot. They complain bitterly when they are not allowed to malign and insult others with impunity. And while they insist that any derogatory speech directed at their heroes be condemned and suppressed, they outright lust for words and pictures that offend those whom they don’t particularly like. That’s how they can justify support for blatantly repulsive speech against Muslims or other enemies of right-wingers, but the slightest perceived slur aimed at Christians or other conservatives is an abomination. [Just ask the Dixie Chicks and the casualties in the War on Christmas]

Cletus Free Speech

The affair in Garland, Texas was advertised as “The Inaugural Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest.” But lest anyone mistake it for a legitimate exercise in free speech, the facts about its organizers and purpose must be known.

The event was a project of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a virulent anti-Islamic operation that has been been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. It is run by notorious Islamophobes, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Geller & Co. have often produced media-centric events to promote an overtly bigoted agenda, of which the event in Garland is just the latest example.

To underscore the evil intentions behind this gathering, note that the venue chosen was the very same venue where Muslims held a conference in January of this year with the stated mission of making it clear that terrorists like ISIS and Al Qaeda are “enemies of Islam who are hurting Muslims and neighborly relations toward the world.” That event was heckled by right-wing protesters who apparently object to peaceful Muslims who repudiate terrorism.

Geller admitted that she picked this site as a response to the previous, pro-peace event put on by area Muslims. Which also raises the significance of the fact that the Garland community has a growing Muslim population. Consequently, holding an openly hateful event in such a community is purposefully provocative.

So can this rightly be called a “free speech” event when the primary activity is an alleged “art” contest that the producers know will be inflammatory; the site was chosen as a deliberate poke in the eye; the community is home to those the organizers wish to offend; the guests include international anti-Islam activist Geert Wilders; and the participants are professional hate mongers? Wouldn’t it more more correct to call this a deliberate provocation intended to incite violence?

There was obviously no intent on the part of Geller and her hate brigade to engage in a sincere public discourse. It is far more likely that she got exactly what she wanted when a couple of would-be terrorists showed up with guns blazing. Sadly, what isn’t being reported in the media is that the leaders of the broader Muslim community at large condemned the shooting and expressed unreserved support for the free speech rights of Geller et al. They also counseled other Muslims in the area to refrain from even showing up to protest the event, in order to preserve the peace. In that effort they were successful as there was no onsite protest. The only alleged Muslims who showed up were, unfortunately, the gunmen.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It’s really too bad that there are people like Geller whose sole purpose in life is to create chaos and disharmony. And it makes it all the worse that they twist cherished principles like freedom of speech to incite violence. It is also too bad that there are idiots who will take the bait and give the hate mongers what they yearn for. Yes, Geller is just as entitled to free speech as anyone else. But she is coming awfully close to that line where she is shouting “fire” and hoping that innocent people get trampled.

Breaking News: Gay Marriage Caused 9/11, Global Warming, Ebola, And Benghazi

The religiously inspired opponents of marriage equality have blamed society’s gradual acceptance of more expansive civil liberties as the trigger for innumerable catastrophes and natural disasters. The range of horrors that they claim are the result of granting more freedom to Americans to live their lives as they chose run from hurricanes to wars to epidemics. These are the lengths that crazy people obsessed with pseudo-religious fervor will go to demonize the objects of their hateful crusade.

Gay Marriage Fire

So what about the people who are not crazy? On last night’s Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore (video below), the host cited a report that claimed that same-sex marriage would produce 900,000 more abortions in the next thirty years. That must be because of all the unwanted pregnancies among gay couples. Wilmore explained that this inane theory was what happens when “people who don’t believe in science try to do math.” However, the important thing to note about this claim is that it was not made by the Westboro Baptist Church (aka the “God Hates Fags” tabernacle), but by a group of a hundred conservative attorneys and academics who filed their opinion in a brief to the Supreme Court. In addressing the absurdity of these claims, Wilmore entered into this exchange with former press secretary to George W. Bush and current Fox News host, Dana Perino:

Wilmore: These are things that people actually blamed the gay marriage on. These are true: Hurricane Sandy, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Northridge earthquake, mass animal deaths, and September 11th was also blamed on gay marriage.
Perino: All the things you mentioned that people are absurdly saying that gay marriage has caused, people have also said that global warming is causing. They’re almost interchangeable at this point.
Wilmore: Global warming caused 9/11?
Perino: Oh yeah, there are people who say that. Because of the unrest in the Middle East. And then you have the drought. Yes, believe me.

Perino is no Glenn Beck (who said this week that gay marriage will also cause church attendance to decline by 50% in the next five years), but she has managed, in that brief exchange, to dismiss the gay bashing nut cases by suggesting that everybody does it, while simultaneously associating Climate Change with the same coterie of crackpots who think God is punishing America for its descent into sin. Note that the gay marriage doomsayers are faith-based purveyors of myth, but those warning of the harmful effects of Climate Change are scientists. In the contest of credibility, who would you trust: Rush Limbaugh or Prof. Neil deGrasse Tyson?

As the time nears for the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, the religious right is convinced that it also represents the nearing of the End Times. Conservative wingnut Alan Keyes called a decision upholding the right of all Americans to marry “a just cause for war.” Likewise, Rev. E.W. Jackson, a frequent guest on Fox News, declared that Christians “must enlist in this war” and be prepared to “give our lives.” But all of that may be unnecessary if Rick Wiles is right:

“America will be brought to its knees, there will be pain and suffering at a level we’ve never seen in this country. The word that I hear in my spirit is ‘fire.’ I do not know if it refers to riots or looting or war on American soil or a fireball from space.”

A fireball from space? Now THAT sounds like global warming.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Not News On Fox News: Pope Francis Calls Male/Female Pay Disparity A ‘Pure Scandal’

The bias in journalism is as much evident in what news editors chose to report as it is in what they chose not to report or in how they slant stories that make it to the air. Therefore, by recognizing the omissions of news enterprises you can identify their biases.

This is particularly true when a media outlet fails to cover a story that would ordinarily be of interest to it. For instance, Fox News is a devoutly religious news organization. They are not shy about expressing their faith personally or in relation to a news item they are covering. Most of their anchors are avowed Catholics, and the inclusion of Christian themes in their reporting is routine. They have a Catholic priest on the payroll as a regular contributor (Father Jonathan Morris), and their Todd Starnes is an aggressive advocate for evangelical causes and a critic of perceived, imagined, and fabricated slights.

So it should come as no surprise that Fox News has failed to report on the views expressed today by Pope Francis. In his regular “catechetical reflection,” the Pope came out squarely in favor of equal pay for equal work, a social reform that has long been a goal of the feminist movement. This is not, however, a reform that is favored by business interests, Republicans, and consequently, Fox News. As a result, they shut out of the news cycle the Pope’s message that…

“…as Christians, we must become more demanding in this regard […] supporting with decision the right to equal retribution for equal work; disparity is a pure scandal.”

The last thing that Fox News and other right-wing media outlets want is to advertise that the head of the Catholic Church agrees with feminists and Democrats on the issue of fair pay. That would only extend the list of issues on which the Pope has taken sides with liberals, including the judgement of gays, Climate Change, economic inequality, and health care, to name a few.

The fact is that many right-wingers have already given up on this Pope calling him ignorant, delusional, leftist, Marxist, etc. Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, are among those who have explicitly denounced him. And in an act of utter absurdity, the Republican House balked at honoring the Pope because he “sound[s] like Obama.”

Pope Francis

No really, it’s true. GOP House Speaker John Boehner refused to even bring up the resolution for a vote, so it died in committee. That’s how severe the epidemic of Obama Derangement Syndrome is. And it isn’t getting better any time soon. After Obama leaves the White House its next occupant could be Hillary Clinton. Should that occur, look for the Republican Party to cut the salary of the President by thirteen percent.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.