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Archive for the ‘Playing Politics’ Category

Beck’s Third Principle: Not for Newspaper Editors?

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 07/13/2010

Very early in my blogging career, I decided that I wasn’t going to act as a clearing-house for stories covered by national newspapers. The only kinds of readers I was interested in attracting were people who didn’t need me to tell them about the day’s events. I’m not a goddamned anchorman.

And so I won’t bother to comment on the The New York Times’s story that David Berkowitz (the “Son of Sam”) has apparently been “born again.” I’ll only ask: Is that good news for everybody who didn’t get shot during his first life? Anyway, he’s now apparently having conversations with the voice of a god instead of a dog. Does he speak to it backwards?

However, I will tell you about a story covered locally here in Jesus-yucky. I don’t really object to the story being run; it’s a national first, so maybe it is news. What pisses me off is the headline: Liberty School teaches country’s beginnings. That’s a blatant falsehood, and the editors responsible should be fired immediately.

Vacation Liberty School is a money-raising, power-grabbing scheme by Glenn Beck. Naturally, its debut incarnation appeared miraculously here in the BlewGas state. Under the guise of “teaching” about the early days of America, Beck and his minions are stressing nine principles.

  1. America is good.
  2. I believe in God and He is the center of my life.
  3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
  4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
  5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
  6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
  7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
  8. It is not un-American to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
  9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

I happen to agree heartily with a few of those points, particularly numbers 6 and 8. I have no philosophical problem with number 5 — although it should definitely apply to big corporations, too — or number 7 (except for its grammar), even though it’s merely a pose aimed at avoiding societal responsibility. (It should apply when taxpayers fund faith-based initiatives, but, of course, its proponents won’t, or can’t, make that connection.) Number 9 sounds nice, but the government doesn’t actually work for any one person; it works for the collective public. To do so effectively, it might actually have to work against certain specific individuals, like murderers, child molesters, and would-be theocrats.

Number 3 is silly, but not bad, even though it assumes that there are gradations of honesty (there aren’t). The attendees of Liberty School wouldn’t need such a principle unless they’d started off on the lying end of the spectrum, so it doesn’t hurt to ask them to try to be more truthful. Of course, the text is ironic, because Glenn Beck has made a name for himself by misrepresenting everything he discusses. He ought to be forced to read that sentence aloud every waking minute of his day, and it should be piped into his head when he’s sleeping.

The other numbers are pure bullshit. For example: The belief that one’s country is good merely because it’s one’s country is a recipe for disaster. And it contradicts number 8. Of course, the people likely to go to Vacation Liberty School don’t understand self-contradicting principles, or they wouldn’t be so gung-ho about the appropriately ordered “number 2.” The third item is non-historical; except in the case of John Adams, I don’t think there’s any indication that the rest of the Founding Fathers gave a rat’s ass what their spouses thought. (Of course, it is possible that Madison kowtowed to his wife when he had a hankering for ice cream.)

In case you’re wondering, Georgetown’s Vacation Liberty School was held at a – oh, you’ll never guess! – a Baptist church. Surprised?

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Posted in Freedom from Faith, It's History, Playing Politics | 11 Comments »

One Nation, Under the Shrimping God

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 06/16/2010

Sort of like our preacher-in-chief was last night, I’m pretty much speechless. But I have to say: If the government asks me to sacrifice a goat, I’m going to refuse.

[T]ime and again, we have refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom. Instead, what has defined us as a nation since our founding is the capacity to shape our destiny -– our determination to fight for the America we want for our children. Even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we don’t yet know precisely how we’re going to get there. We know we’ll get there.

It’s a faith in the future that sustains us as a people. It is that same faith that sustains our neighbors in the Gulf right now.

Each year, at the beginning of shrimping season, the region’s fishermen take part in a tradition that was brought to America long ago by fishing immigrants from Europe. It’s called “The Blessing of the Fleet,” and today it’s a celebration where clergy from different religions gather to say a prayer for the safety and success of the men and women who will soon head out to sea -– some for weeks at a time.

The ceremony goes on in good times and in bad. It took place after Katrina, and it took place a few weeks ago –- at the beginning of the most difficult season these fishermen have ever faced.

And still, they came and they prayed. For as a priest and former fisherman once said of the tradition, “The blessing is not that God has promised to remove all obstacles and dangers. The blessing is that He is with us always,” a blessing that’s granted “even in the midst of the storm.”

The oil spill is not the last crisis America will face. This nation has known hard times before and we will surely know them again. What sees us through -– what has always seen us through –- is our strength, our resilience, and our unyielding faith that something better awaits us if we summon the courage to reach for it.

Tonight, we pray for that courage. We pray for the people of the Gulf. And we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

After he’s done fixing the mess in the Gulf, perhaps Obama’s deity will help America conquer Jericho, or vanquish the armies of the demon king Ravana, or maybe even get Helen back from the Trojans. Gee, I sure hope he doesn’t decide to turn Michelle into a pillar of salt — although a swan would probably be OK. But, really, if the president’s god is going to do that bird trick, an American brown pelican might be more useful.

[Update – 06/16 at 3:10 p.m.: Instead of reciting a boring ol’ prayer, maybe Obama should have led the nation in song. Please note that the first 21 seconds of the video are silent so that you’ll have time to turn to the appropriate page in your hymnal.]

Posted in Freedom from Faith, Playing Politics | 49 Comments »

You Wash, I’ll Dry

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 05/02/2010

I know that many of my readers are unduly concerned about the huge oil slick spreading along the Gulf Coast. You homosexual, baby-killing, godless commies don’t know that we have a MIRACLE SOLUTION available for any minor environmental incovenience caused by all that goo.

That’s right! If every American family washed just one lovable animal with dishwashing liquid, we wouldn’t have to worry our pretty little “drill, baby, drill” heads any more about the nasty effects of that essentially harmless ooze. What do you think about that, you crazy water-huggers?

Posted in Idiots, Playing Politics | 13 Comments »

Homesite Puzzler #4: Stop the Invasion

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 04/28/2010

Armexizonicana.

Notice the Mexican hiding illegally in Arizona? It’s a damned good thing that the Grand Canyon State passed legislation allowing the police to question anyone who looks like he or she might not belong there. We can never be too careful when it comes to protecting our women and children — and jobs — from those dark-skinned terrorists eager to destroy our way of life. I mean: History shows that only Republican elected officials can prevent (1) our country from being attacked physically and (2) our economic system from collapsing.

Some folks here in Kentucky are, of course, eager to jump on that xenophobic bandwagon. You can probably make up a reasonable facsimile of the story that ran in today’s local rag, but if you must read it, you’ll find it here.

Anyway, apparently there are huge numbers of “undesirable” people from the Americas hiding here in … um … America. So your job today is to stop the invasion by finding the Latin American or Caribbean Islander lurking menacingly somewhere in one of our beautiful, pure states.

Instructions
For each item, list the state and its immigrant. For example: your answer to the sample above should have read: Arizona/Mexican. As usual, send your answers privately to me at elwallberg@gmail.com, so that all readers can play without having to see the solutions in front of them. At the bottom of this page, each participant will receive credit for the total number of correct answers he or she sends. (Do feel free to leave your thoughts on this topic in the comment thread accompanying the post.)

1. Cocunnebacticunt
2. Haihatwaiaini
3. Gaurakatensamalans
4. Dromhiondeisiclandan
5. Venevnezaueldana
6. Ecoukaladohoremana
7. Jamismasisicsipanpi
8. Mitobachigognanian
9. Mairnditinaiquanias
10. Tenanersgesentiene
11. Susourinthacarmolinera
12. Guteayaxnesase
13. Bwayrombinudang
14. Nokrittithtidakoatna
15. Wurisuconguasyinan

Please take part in the hunt; the nation needs you. F’Chrissake, no true patriot would want to live in a place called

16. Nekewntyucakwkeyr

Solvers (with number correct):
Chappy (16)
Linwood (16)
Des (16)
[If you’d like to know the solutions, send me an email and I’ll respond with a list of correct answers.]

Posted in Playing Politics, Puzzles and Games | 17 Comments »

Great Moments in Stupidity #2

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 03/30/2010

The following true story is stupid on so many levels that I can’t even begin to count them.

(Please be aware that the previous sentence is just a figure of speech.  Obviously, I could begin, simply by saying “one.” Or “un,” if I happen to be French. Which, heureusement, I’m not.  But since the levels of idiocy are infinite, I’d have no chance of ever reaching the end. So why start?)

So there was a crucially important measure that the Republican-led Kentucky Senate booted today from an education bill dealing with the selection of public school personnel. The killed measure contained an urgently needed addendum to the proposed law. But now, sadly, it’s no longer under consideration.

The murdered amendment called for the legislature to make a desperate plea for a well-deserved boon. If the additional language had been included in the bill, Kentuckians would have received some much-needed recognition by one of our most cherished national institutions.

That institution is, of course, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (which is unfortunately up North, in Massachusetts of all damn Yankee places). The state’s Democrats apparently felt that an education bill was an appropriate document in which to urge the enshrinement of Joe B. Hall (no relation to the building), a former UK coach. With his 297-100 record, and one national championship, Hall certainly qualifies as one of the greatest academic heroes the world has ever known. So how, in a state that’s so hoopsmanic as Kentucky, could that proposed resolution fail?

Well, it seems that Hall is not a Republican. To be more specific, he’s a Democrat, and he sometimes lends his eminent personage to the cause of raising money for his party’s candidates.

Shockingly, the Kentucky conservatives said, “Screw basketball and the donkey it rode in on!” David Williams, the Republican President of the Senate, carried his anti-socialist animosity beyond acceptable limits. He had the audacity to point out that the Hall measure had nothing to do with the bill in question.

When someone in the news media dared to accuse Williams of playing politics with the state’s religion, the Senate President got rankled. Did party loyalty have anything to do with the Senate’s decision? Williams astutely, and articulately, replied, “With Joe B. Hall, you’ll have to ask him. I don’t know. We try not to dictate entities like the Hall of Fame. If that is so, maybe the Hall of Fame might be telling us how to run the legislature.”

Fortunately for those of us who are not Republicans, the matter won’t end there, because a Concurrent Resolution by the (Democratically controlled) House repeats the request. The House resolution begins:

WHEREAS, Joe B. Hall, a native of Cynthiana, Kentucky, is beloved across the length and breadth of the Commonwealth for his many achievements and contributions to his university, his community, and the sport of basketball, and is known fondly for his warm demeanor and strong character …

A bunch of “whereas”es follow, ending with

… it is the view of this august body that the North American Screening Committee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame should review his nomination in a most favorable light[.]

I don’t see how a group of overgrown goofballs can be referred to as an “august body” —particularly in light of the fact that it’s only March. However, I am comforted to learn that the Democratic “Yes We Can Score” may once more triumph over the Republican “Foul!” I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hall issue is a major factor in the next statewide election, particularly if President Obama visits here to push for the coach’s induction.

In the meantime, excuse me while I dribble into my glass of bourbon.

Posted in Idiots, New to Kentucky, Playing Politics | 13 Comments »

Sometimes “Rational” Isn’t

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 03/17/2010

Can a person be too rational?

In just about every election since 1976, I’ve advocated not voting for any candidate who trots out “God” in his or her campaign literature. Since that year, church and state have become less and less separated in this country. Politicians routinely appeal to religious so-called “leaders” (ha!) not only in matters directly affecting the practice of their particular superstitions, but on many issues that have absolutely nothing to do with religion per se. Elected officials routinely attend “prayer breakfasts,” and frequently mouth “God bless America” as a kind of mantra. We have school systems all over the nation rewriting, or threatening to rewrite, American history to emphasize an imaginary Christian basis for the United States Government, and pushing for public-school bible-study under the deceitful guise of “literature and history.” Religious institutions and their highest level employees enjoy tax exemptions that are not available to others. Worst of all, the full-range of constitutionally guaranteed rights of women, of homosexuals, and of all non-Christian citizens have been slowly but all-too-surely eroded in the last thirty some-odd years by a bible-thumping populace and our god-fearing courts.

So in 2008, I blogged frequently throughout the course of the primaries and the election, urging atheists to refuse to vote for  any candidate who commingled religion and his or her campaign.  That meant not voting for anyone who attended a “Compassion Forum,” or who advertised as a “committed Christian,” or who made obeisances to charlatan mega-preachers like Rick Warren. I said that each of us should withhold our precious votes from those who, clearly, did not fully respect the separation of church and state.

A number of friends took me to task. Some of them insisted that stray, seemingly random, non-votes would be meaningless. We’d need an organized movement if our non-votes were going to have any effect.

Fine. We’ve now pissed away two years since then, and that organized movement has yet to materialize. It’s time to get it going. It’s time for all of us atheists, freethinkers, skeptics, doubters, even “liberal to moderate” theists — everyone in fact, who feels that he or she has any stake in preserving the separation of church and state — to do something practical. It’s time to organize, and empower ourselves. We shouldn’t necessarily look for only those candidates who reflect our own metaphysical philosophies; the pickin’s would be slim. Instead, we just have to refuse to support anyone, that’s anyone, who doesn’t recognize always that there must be a total distinction between religion and government.

So now for the oh-so-rational objections:

(1) Most reasonable people are not one-issue voters. We should select from among the viable candidates and pick the least of evils.
Answer: Separation of church and state is not just one issue; it spills over into every issue. Religion has created a voice for itself in dozens of areas of government: military activity, foreign policy, the economy, the environment, education, and civil liberties. Any elected official who thinks that his or her god is “on our side,” or is “punishing us” for fictional transgressions, is endangering America. I don’t want leaders whose decisions are dictated by imaginary characters, do you? If that makes us “one-issue” voters, so be it.

(2) If we vote against the lesser of two evils just because he or she indulges religionists, then we’ll wind up with the greater of two evils.
Answer: That’s probably true in the short-run. We may have to lose an election, even a few of them, until the political sharks can smell our votes in the water. But anyone who has a concept of recent history knows how quickly the Christian right was able to solidify as a national voting bloc. In the 60s, it was a collection of laughable hicks. In the 70s, it was a frequent target of satire. But by the 80s, it had become a notable force in determining who would be elected.  And its power persists. Only yesterday, in 2008, we had presidential candidates of the right, left, and center who didn’t dare not to pander to those folks on the fringes.

Yet, according to some polls quoted with glee throughout the Atheosphere, about 15% of the population does not believe in, or doubts the existence of, the traditional Yahwistic god. Let’s call that an overestimate by more than half; we’ll say conservatively that only 7% of Americans question religious “truisms.” But then let’s add in all those theists, the Barry Lynn types, who object to having “faith” injected into the national political dialogue. Again, we’ll be ultra-conservative: does 5% of the population sound grossly overinflated for the Madisonian theists among us? If we organized, we’d now have a faction of the electorate that numbered 12%. That’s enough to swing any election.

(3)We’re not organized yet; we’re not ready yet; we need to think about this more prudently.
Answer: Q.E.D. Yep, a person can be too rational. When thought is used as an excuse to avoid doing, it’s time to re-think the inflated glories of thinking. Descartes was happy sitting in his small cell, contemplating his navel, and celebrating his own intellectual existence. We don’t live in a world where that kind of philosophical masturbation is possible any more. As religious zealots throughout the globe have shown time and time again, they desire the annihilation of not only our principles, but of us, too. Soon, the theocrats may be banging on the cell door, eager to drag us to the burning pyre in the town square. It’s time to rise up and say: “I act, therefore I am.”

Consider this post the opening salvo in an Internet organization effort. Now go write your own version. Spread the idea around. Send links to major organizations that should be taking this kind of position themselves. Let’s begin acting.

Posted in First Amendment, Freedom from Faith, Playing Politics | 12 Comments »

Homesite Puzzler #2: Presidents Day Quiz

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 02/11/2010

Nowadays, our elected officials miss no opportunity to spout pieties. It would be a secular miracle, indeed, to find an American politician who had anything negative to say about religion. This situation was not always so, however.

Monday is Presidents Day (and please note that there is no apostrophe anywhere in the holiday’s name). I know I’m four days early with this puzzler, but I want to give you a big head start on your celebrations. I do this as a holiday gift to my readers because you’ll all probably be too busy over the weekend honoring our historic leaders in the traditional American way: by trading pictures of them for sale items at the mall.

Also, you may need a little time to work your way through this quiz on American Presidents and their ideas about religion. Those of you who actually know something about our country’s history may be able to use their knowledge to figure out many of the answers. But I’m confident that, even if you ‘ve seen some of these questions before, you won’t get 100%. Hell, I didn’t — and I created this goddamned quiz.

Give yourself 5 points for every item you get right. [Note: You can find the correct answers appended as the first comment to this post. But no peeking!)

1. Who said:

I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there are many other of the postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe.

A. Grover Cleveland
B. Franklin Pierce
C. William Howard Taft
D. Rutherford B. Hayes

2. Which two presidents are quoted here?

[O]f course like every other man of intelligence and education I do believe in organic evolution. It surprises me that at this late date such questions should be raised.

Well, it’s a theory, it is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science and is not yet believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was believed. But if it was going to be taught in the schools, then I think that also the biblical theory of creation, which is not a theory, but the biblical story of creation, should also be taught.

A. Franklin D. Roosevelt and George W. Bush
B. Woodrow Wilson and Ronald Reagan
C. John F. Kennedy and George H. W. Bush
D. Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter

3. George W. Bush said:

I, in the state of Texas, had heard a lot of discussion about a faith-based initiative eroding the important bridge between church and state.

Two of our previous leaders knew the difference between a bridge and a wall. Which presidents said:

Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.

Whatever one’s religion in his private life may be, for the officeholder, nothing takes precedence over his oath to uphold the Constitution and all its parts — including the First Amendment and the strict separation of church and state.

A. Ulysses S. Grant and John F. Kennedy
B. William McKinley and Bill Clinton
C. Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt
D. James Garfield and Calvin Coolidge

4. Which presidents could have had the following debate?

We should live our lives as though Christ were coming this afternoon.

The Christian god is a three-headed monster; cruel, vengeful, and capricious … One only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.

A. George W. Bush and James Madison
B. Jimmy Carter and Thomas Jefferson
C. George H. W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln
D. Ronald Reagan and John Adams

5. Who said:

I have seldom met an intelligent person whose views were not narrowed and distorted by religion.

A. James Buchanan
B. Franklin Pierce
C. Herbert Hoover
D. Martin Van Buren

6. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and The American Crisis were arguably the most important writings of the Revolutionary War period. Yet, two presidents disagreed about Paine’s heritage. Which presidents referred to him in the following ways:

[He] needs no monument made with hands; he has erected a monument in the hearts of all lovers of liberty.

… that filthy little atheist

A. Thomas Jefferson and Richard Nixon
B. James Monroe and Ronald Reagan
C. James Madison and Harry Truman
D. Andrew Jackson and Theodore Roosevelt

7. What president said the following, and what was the occasion?

In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future.

A. George W. Bush on the funding of faith-based initiatives
B. Abraham Lincoln on the words “In God We Trust” being engraved on coins
C. James K. Polk on the spread of Protestantism as a result of our “manifest destiny”
D. Dwight D. Eisenhower on “Under God” being added to the Pledge of Allegiance

8. Who said:

I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.

A. George W. Bush
B. Franklin D. Roosevelt
C. George H. W. Bush
D. Theodore Roosevelt

9. Which president once told reporters:

I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life.

A. Barack Obama
B. Bill Clinton
C. Jimmy Carter
D. Richard Nixon

10. Which president’s attitude about religion is expressed by:

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.

A. John Quincy Adams
B. James Monroe
C. Warren G. Harding
D. James Madison

11. Who said:

I am tolerant of all creeds. Yet if any sect suffered itself to be used for political objects I would meet it by political opposition. In my view church and state should be separate, not only in form, but fact. Religion and politics should not be mingled.

A. John Quincy Adams
B. Millard Fillmore
C. Franklin Pierce
D. Martin Van Buren

12. Which two presidents might have had this debate about morality:

The truth is, politics and morality are inseparable. And as morality’s foundation is religion, religion and politics are necessarily related. We need religion as a guide. We need it because we are imperfect.

Twenty times in the course of my late reading, I have been upon the point of breaking out: This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!

A. George H. W. Bush and James Madison
B. Herbert Hoover and Thomas Jefferson
C. Ronald Reagan and John Adams
D. Lyndon B. Johnson and Abraham Lincoln

13. Which little-known president is responsible for the following amazing quote?

The United States has adventured upon a great and noble experiment, which is believed to have been hazarded in the absence of all previous precedent — that of total separation of Church and State. No religious establishment by law exists among us. The conscience is left free from all restraint and each is permitted to worship his Maker after his own judgment. The offices of the Government are open alike to all. No tithes are levied to support an established Hierarchy, nor is the fallible judgment of man set up as the sure and infallible creed of faith. The Mohammedan, if he will to come among us would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the Constitution to worship according to the Koran; and the East Indian might erect a shrine to Brahma if it so pleased him. Such is the spirit of toleration inculcated by our political institutions… The Hebrew persecuted and down trodden in other regions takes up his abode among us with none to make him afraid… and the Aegis of the government is over him to defend and protect him. Such is the great experiment which we have tried, and such are the happy fruits which have resulted from it; our system of free government would be imperfect without it.

A. John Tyler
B. Chester Alan Arthur
C. James K. Polk
D. Benjamin Harrison

14. Which two presidents of two different parties could have agreed on these ideas?

No matter what other personal desires or crises we have faced, I’ve never forgotten that this is the time to celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus, and the impact of this event on the history of the world.

It is only when men begin to worship that they begin to grow.

A. George W. Bush and Bill Clinton
B. Warren G. Harding and Woodrow Wilson
C. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover
D. Jimmy Carter and Calvin Coolidge

15. Who said:

Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither justice nor freedom can be permanently maintained. Its interests are intrusted to the States and the voluntary action of the people. Whatever help the nation can justly afford should be generously given to aid the States in supporting common schools; but it would be unjust to our people and dangerous to our institutions to apply any portion of the revenues of the nation or of the States to the support of sectarian schools. The separation of Church and State in everything relating to taxation should be absolute.

A. Andrew Johnson
B. Rutherford B. Hayes
C. William McKinley
D. James A. Garfield

16. Which two presidents could have had this discussion about education?

I believe God did create the world. And I think we’re finding out more and more and more as to how it actually happened.

There is no need to teach that stars can fall out of the sky and land on a flat Earth in order to defend our religious faith.

A. Richard Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson
B. John F. Kennedy and Harry Truman
C. George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter
D. Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan

17. Which two presidents had the following different ideas about religious sensitivity?

The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial, or political, neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the underdog.

If they are good workmen, they may be of Asia, Africa, or Europe. They may be Mohometans, Jews or Christians of any Sect, or they may be Atheists.

A. Harry Truman and George Washington
B. Franklin D. Roosevelt and James Monroe
C. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Grover Cleveland
D. Richard M. Nixon and Theodore Roosevelt

18. These two presidents would be horrified at all the faith talk in the present-day political arena. Who are they?

Voters … make up their minds for many diverse reasons, good and bad. To submit the candidates to a religious test is unfair enough — to apply it to the voters is divisive, degrading and wholly unwarranted.

If there is one thing for which we stand in this country, it is for complete religious freedom, and it is an emphatic negation of this right to cross-examine a man on his religion before being willing to support him for office.

A. William Howard Taft and William McKinley
B. John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt
C. Herbert Hoover and Harry Truman
D. Ulysses S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln

19. The country lucked out when neither of these two religious nuts were elected. What two losing candidates said:

If we have to give up either religion or education, we should give up education.

I believe that the purpose of life is to glorify God.

A. Charles Evans Hughes and Alfred E. Smith
B. Alf Landon and Barry Goldwater
C. William Jennings Bryan and Al Gore
D. Bob Dole and George McGovern

20. Who said:

We have the most religious freedom of any country in the world, including the freedom not to believe.

A. Richard M. Nixon
B. Lyndon B. Johnson
C. Barack Obama
D. Bill Clinton

[For these and many other great quotes, I highly recommend that you read 2000 Years of Disbelief by James A. Haught and The Quotable Atheist by Jack Huberman — or simply visit Positive Atheism.]

Posted in Freedom from Faith, Holidays, It's History, Playing Politics, Puzzles and Games | 16 Comments »

The State of the Union – for Non-Dummies

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 01/28/2010

President Barack Obama: Blah blah blah.
Republican Response: Halb halb halb.

Posted in Playing Politics, Seriously Silly | 4 Comments »