Bill O’Reilly Opposes Theocracy – Except For America And Christians

The dean of Fox News hypocrites has once again demonstrated why he is so revered for his ability to be oblivious to his own self-contradictions. Bill O’Reilly is notorious for his blustery argumentativeness and shallow grasp of substance. But he truly excels at making ludicrous statements that are often at odds with his previous remarks.

Bill O'Reilly

The latest example of this aberrant behavior occurred during a discussion about religion with Fox’s resident atheist, John Stossel (video below). The topic was spun from Ben Carson’s recent admission that he wouldn’t support a Muslim for president and doesn’t think that Islam is consistent with the Constitution. O’Reilly defended Carson’s bigotry in the following exchange with Stossel.

O’Reilly: If you look at Islam, the politics and the religion are always intertwined. In every single Muslim nation their laws are based on the Koran. You know that. Every one.
Stossel: That’s true, but you all week have been on a million TV programs saying “Judeo-Christian country,” philosophy. What do you mean by that?
O’Reilly: I mean that the founders of the Constitution – the people who forged the country – believed in the 10 Commandments, and that’s what they based the law on. There’s no doubt about that. […] They believed in the 10 Commandments as the litmus test of what is right, what is wrong.

Did you catch it? In one comment O’Reilly condemns nations that inject religion into the legal foundations of the state. And in his very next comment he praises the U.S. for injecting religion into the legal foundations of the state. It would be bad enough if the evident hypocrisy of these diametrically opposed comments occurred on different nights, or even in different segments of the same program. But the fact that they occurred literally one sentence following the other illustrates how religious bigots are blind to their own prejudices. They believe that theocracy is evil elsewhere but mandatory in America so long as it is based on Christianity.

Later, when asked if he would vote for a Muslim president, O’Reilly answered “If the guy was a super problem solver – a secular Muslim – I might consider it. I probably wouldn’t, but I might consider it.” So he probably wouldn’t vote for a Muslim, but if he did it would have to be one that didn’t actually practice his faith. How open-minded of him.

To top off O’Reilly’s twisted view and biased presentation, Stossel actually called him out for distorting a man-on-the-street segment that Stossel did. The video was shown earlier in the segment, but toward the end Stossel interjected to complain saying that…

“I just wanted to add, I asked 25 people [if they would vote for a Muslim president]. I thought most would have an objection. And your editor split it 50/50. But almost everyone just said no, no problem, without hesitation.”

Fox News using deliberately deceptive editing to leave viewers with false impressions is nothing new. However, it may be unprecedented that one of Fox’s hosts openly scolded a fellow host on the air for doing so. And it is just as much a testament to Stossel’s commitment to his principles as it is to O’Reilly’s lack of them.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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Ben Carson Tells The Jesus Praisathon Network (aka Fox News) That ‘Atheism Is A Religion’

Republican presidential guilt suppressant and all-purpose sedative, Ben Carson, appeared today on Fox News MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz (video below). The conversation covered a gamut of critical issues facing the nation, such as his dust up with Donald Trump, the irrelevancy of race in party politics, and why he is trying to stop saying stupid things on the campaign trail (i.e. ObamaCare is just like slavery and being gay is choice that people make when they go to prison). It’s good to see the media forcing candidates to address the real problems our society has to deal with.

Ben Carson

In addition to those examples of national crises, Kurtz asked Carson about his views on faith in public life. For a few minutes Fox turned into the Jesus Praisathon Network, even posting graphics that asked whether voters would “heed the call” of Carson’s “faith-based run.”. Like every other Republican candidate, Carson believes in a form of Christian Sharia Law wherein everybody has to be subject to the biblical dogma of the majority. To emphasize his point, Carson told Kurtz about how fond he is of the First Amendment and then went on to say that anyone who doesn’t practice a religious faith is an idiot:

Carson: People who say that religion has nothing to do with their life probably don’t know exactly what religion is. Just because you don’t necessarily believe in God or Jesus doesn’t mean that you don’t have a religion. Even atheism is a religion. You have something that you believe in without complete evidence that it exists.

Carson is demonstrating his reverence for the Constitution by demeaning everyone who holds different beliefs than he does. Obviously they can’t possibly understand religion if they don’t follow his. What’s more, the notion that someone who doesn’t accept the existence of a supernatural nanny, is still following a religion, defies reason. Atheism is the absence of a belief in religion. It’s like saying that someone who doesn’t believe in the fairy tale of Santa Claus still believes in the fairy tale of a world without Santa Claus. Come on people, where’s the evidence that Santa doesn’t exist?

This is consistent with Carson’s previous assaults on religious freedom. In the recent case involving Kim Davis, the Kentucky County Clerk who was found in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to legal applicants who happened to gay, Carson took the absurd position that requiring her to do her job without discriminating was an infringement of her civil rights.

Carson told Megyn Kelly of Fox News that Davis should be entitled to deny marriage licenses to people who do not adhere to the laws of her faith. When Kelly asked if that might be slippery slope wherein Catholics could refuse licenses to people who had divorced (which Davis had done three times), or Muslims could deny licenses to Christian couples, Carson’s response was that it was OK for Christians to discriminate because America is a Judeo-Christian majority nation.

So take that, Freedom of Religion. I guess it’s also OK for whites to discriminate against blacks because we are a white majority nation. Clearly Carson’s interpretation of the Constitution is a perverse mutilation of reality and the principles for which our country stands. He would take America further along the path of theocracy were he to have any role in governing. And what’s worse is that his is not a fringe opinion in the GOP. Every Republican candidate holds the very same views. It’s the old story about the party that pretends to want government off your back, but still wants it in your bedroom and in your deepest, most personal thoughts.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Dumbest Kim Davis Comparison Yet

The Kentucky County Clerk and anti-gay wannabe martyr, Kim Davis, is deservedly rotting in jail for violating a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Her incarceration came after a Supreme Court ruling that the right to marry is constitutionally protected for gays and a federal district court finding her in contempt of court for continuing to defy the law.

Conservative advocates of Christian sharia law rallied around Davis, arguing that her religious freedom was being violated. However, there is no protection under the law for religious extremists in government offices to impose their beliefs on the people they have sworn to serve. To the contrary, as the court said, they are required to obey the law regardless of their personal preferences. These simple concepts, however, were profoundly misunderstood by Fox News who posted an article on their Fox Nation website about a separate case of religious faith in the workplace.

Fox Nation

The circumstances of Charee Stanley’s dispute with her employer Express Jet are similar to those of Kim Davis only up to a point. Stanley took a job at Express Jet and a year or so later converted to Islam. She then told her employer that her faith forbids her from serving alcohol. It was that refusal to perform the duties required of her that led to her suspension. And this is where the two women’s cases diverge.

Davis is a public servant. She was elected to her position as County Clerk and swore to uphold the law, which includes all federal laws and the provisions of the Constitution. Upon failing to do that she was ordered by the court to comply, which she likewise refused. That refusal was unarguably in defiance of a valid court order, so she was found to be in contempt of court and taken into custody by the state marshal.

Stanley is a private citizen working for a private sector business. By asserting her religious beliefs as an excuse to decline her duties she was only violating the terms of her employment, not any law. Therefore, she could reasonably be punished by her employer, but the state has no jurisdiction to arrest or incarcerate her.

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For the Fox Nationalists to suggest that there is some hypocrisy in jailing Davis but not Stanley is only evidence of the idiocy and utter absence of logic by those at Fox. There is no legal justification for jailing Stanley, but Davis is an unabashed outlaw. And in Fox’s world the innocent should be imprisoned and the guilty should go free.

[Update 9/8/2015:] The judge who jailed Davis has now ordered her released because the plaintiffs in the case have received their marriage licenses from deputies in the County Clerk’s office. The release is contingent on her not interfering with her deputies who will continue to issue licenses to all legal applicants.

Now what will the grandstanding pols (Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, etc.) who were planning on attending a protest and visiting the now-former prisoner do when they get to the Kentucky jail and Davis isn’t there? Not to worry. They are so full of bs-infused hot air that they won’t have any trouble finding something to bitch mindlessly about.

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.