Class Warfare Blog

July 25, 2018

Why Are We Still Discussing Contraception? (Hint: Religion)

Contraception has still been around for a very long time, and yet we are still debating the topic and are passing laws regulating it. Of course the reason for this is religion.

In the Muslim world, they are still in a phase in which, as a religion, they are trying to out populate the other religions it competes with. This was a phase for Christianity, too, a phase we haven’t entirely left.

Now, realize that if the radical religionists get their way, they will use state power to regulate contraception, as well as other sex-related topics and, I suspect there are reasons to believe you will not like it. As just an example of what to expect, should the most recent Antonin Scalia clone gets hoisted to the US Supreme Court, Louisiana has already passed a law that takes effect when Roe v. Wade is overturned in the SCOTUS. That law makes abortion a crime, sending everyone involved to jail with large fines attached, e.g. if a daughter is raped and her mother or father helps her get an abortion, the parent, the child, and the doctor are all heading for the slammer.

You may have noticed that states like Louisiana have coerced abortion clinics out of existence in their states, making the operation almost unavailable if you are poor and can’t travel out of state already. (As an aside, I wonder if the promoters of these laws have compared the birth rates of their state’s populations. The “white” birth rate is the lowest, hence they are speeding along the path to becoming a “white-minority” state.

Okay, back to the original topic. where did these anti-contraception ideas come from? The answer, of course, is Christianity (in the U.S.). So where did the Christians get their ideas? well, it wasn’t from scripture. Their scripture states that a baby becomes a “person” when they inhale the breath of life just after they are born. This hasn’t stopped the Christians from trying to pass a bogus law declaring the baby is a person at conception. (Once the pregnancy test shows blue, register the child for a Social Security number and claim then as a dependent on your tax returns. With the savings, go to another state for an abortion and you will have a “State funded abortion” whether they want it or not. Just sayin’.)

I have been paying more attention to church history of late and that history clearly shows the evolution of the churches stance toward sex and contraception. These ideas, not to be found in scripture, were created by Church Fathers like Paul and Augustine and, well, the usual crowd. Most of these people make clear that they believed that the most desirable state for Christians was celibacy. Augustine’s battles over his sexual nature make an interesting study of self-inflicted psychological wounds.

These people were, of course, unmarried for which fact they made self-serving excuses. Imagine these “holy men,” not at all likely to be much fun. They are overly serious, overly religious, and obsessed … not exactly marriage material. If they ever did have sex, each occurrence was probably the equivalent of a teenaged boy’s first sexual experience, that is to say explosive and overwhelming. They never got to the stage where sex with a committed partner becomes a gentle, affirmation of their relationship. So, they equated sex with lust, a cardinal sin. So, they started making rules about a subject they knew almost nothing about and which they mischaracterized from the beginning. At least the Quakers had the grace to die out, but the early Christians were playing the political dominance game, where the church with the most followers “wins,” just as Muslims are doing now.

The rather stern Protestant inheritors of these positions have accepted them, even though they are based in Catholic theology, and run with the ball. This is hardly surprising as the conservative Protestants are responsible for the Catholic majority on the Supreme Court. (Shush, don’t tell anyone, you’ll let the cat out of the bag.)

How we continue to let celibate clergymen dictate to us is beyond me. But then the church is hardly democratic. The only appeals they make to democracy is asking to be let to vote upon whether the U.S. should be declared a Christian nation.

This ridiculous demand can be quashed by a simple ballot. The first question is: “Should the U.S. be declared a Christian Nation (yes or no)? The second question is “Which denomination (Mormon, Scientologist, Catholic, Baptist, Southern Baptist, Charismatic, Quaker, Episcopalian, Seventh Day Adventist, and 10,000 more)? (check one).

The whole idea of the separation of church and state is to keep items of religion off of the ballot! The evangelical churches around the time of the adoption of the Constitution knew this as they were in a small minority at the time and would have been voted into obscurity. Better a level playing field for all than to give the currently popular churches the state power to collect tithes, etc.  Now that they are ascendant in conservative political circles, now they want to vote.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

If you want to see how states with endorsed religions behave, just look at history. It isn’t pretty. Why would they want this? I guess it is because they are still following tradition … traditions that were invented by lustful celibates thousands of years ago.

And, as I have been saying over and over: a religion will not continue to exist unless it coerces the labor of the masses to the benefit of the secular and religious elites. In the realm of sex, those being coerced are women. Rules made by men who did not and do not understand women or sex are still being used to control women. Women are to be “used” as vessels for men’s seed, and as caregivers to children, and then as a support system for their girl children’s children. That’s it. Oh, and clean the house and cook dinner and don’t forget to pick up my dry cleaning.

Disgusting.

Oh, and they are winning right now. If they break down the wall between church and state, get ready for religious wars.

February 10, 2018

How to Solve the Abortion Contretemps

Filed under: Culture,The Law — Steve Ruis @ 9:49 am
Tags: , ,

All over the world, the issue of abortion is contentious. On one side are women who want to control their own bodies. On the other side are people who think “life is sacred” (and there are probably 42 other sides as well). Please do not buy the argument that “life is sacred” as it is not a valid argument. The behaviors of those who claim life is sacred do not exhibit a commitment to that idea. So, the argument is a smokescreen for their real reasoning, which is suspect is based upon a millennia old fear of the power of women.

In any case, I can solve this difficulty with little political fuss. Currently through artificial birth control suppression and abortion suppression, women are being forced to have babies they do not want to have. If they do have a baby and abandon it, they are subject to child abandonment laws. If they do have a baby and do not raise their children to a level acceptable to society they face social punishments up to and including legal punishments. This forced baby having is a punishment that takes 15-18 years to play out, sometimes longer. (Please, no “how can you not love a baby” comments. If you do not know, just grab the nearest male and ask them.)

To solve the abortion and even the artificial contraception issue, simply make fathers 100% responsible for their progeny. If a father abandons a mate and child, the law finds him and makes him pay. If a mother does not care adequately for a child, it is the father’s fault and his will be the punishment of not providing for his children.

Were this to be implemented, you would soon find no legal prohibitions of artificial birth control methods or abortion. And rape would be a crime punishable by death or at least a slot in a cell as some large person’s bunk muffin.

Simple, easy, effective.

This is also a route to solving the hijab/burkha issue also. Men need to be masters of their sexual urges. If the visual stimulation of an attractive female incites a male to attack her, it is not her fault and the entire burden falls upon the male. How it is that the control of the male libido was transfer to women is beyond me. Any male who cannot control his own urges is clearly a danger to society and needs to be locked up.

 

January 31, 2018

What Religion … Trying to Control Us?

I continue to insist that no matter why a religion was created in the first (or second, third, etc.) place, it continues to exist because it controls the great masses of a society to the benefit of the religious and secular elites. The easiest example is Christianity. If Christianity had not supported slavery, it would never have become the state religion of Rome and would have remained an obscure Jewish sect.

Fast forward to today and Ireland is having a referendum on the legality of abortions. In the U.S. there has been a massive anti-abortion campaign being waged for the last thirty years (at least). A primary source of the energy for the “opposed” position on abortion has come from the Catholic Church.

So, what do you think the scriptural basis for this opposition is? For some, the important distinction was of “ensoulment,” the exact moment in time a fetus receives its soul. So, what does the OT have to say about this? While the Hebrew Bible only requires a fine for the loss of a fetus through the actions of another, whatever its stage of development, the Greek Septuagint (LXX) translation of the Hebrew text (a pre-Christian translation that the early Christians used and quoted extensively in the NT) introduced a distinction between an Aristotelian “formed” and an “unformed” fetus and treated destruction of the former as murder. The debate was over when the fetus became “formed.” So, the scriptures were distorted to include Greek philosophical distinctions by Greek translators. (The NT is rampant with such things, both segments having their science based upon Aristotle or superstition.)

The “debate” was not settled quickly (nor has it been settled now). In 1679, Pope Innocent XI publicly condemned sixty-five propositions taken chiefly from the writings of Escobar, Suarez and other casuists as “at least scandalous and in practice dangerous.” He forbade anyone to teach them under penalty of excommunication. The condemned propositions included:

  1. It is lawful to procure abortion before ensoulment of the fetus lest a girl, detected as pregnant, be killed or defamed.
  2. It seems probable that the fetus (as long as it is in the uterus) lacks a rational soul and begins to first have one when it is born and consequently it must be said that no abortion is homicide.

That these teachings that were being condemned were of Jesuit Catholics, it can hardly be claimed that scripture is crystal clear on the topic.

Of late, the idea of ensoulment at the moment of conception has become popular, but not because it is supported by scripture, just by the Catholic hierarchy, which means it is political.

Now, why would Christianity in the form of the Catholic Church and many Protestant sects (allies in the anti-abortion movement), have its position “evolve” in this manner? For one, each religion has seen itself involved in a war of attrition. People in general did not tend to lose their faith (it wasn’t healthy) but to dominate, more “believers” were needed, consequently more and more children were favored. The Catholic Church didn’t just oppose abortion, it has opposed all artificial birth control methods. More Catholics means more power and that is the name of the game they are playing.

It is a bit of fun watching the Catholic Church squirm as it is rapidly approaching “majority minority” status. The highest birth rates in Catholicism are in Latin America, Latino Americans, and Africa, etc. Pope Francis may come from Argentina but his parents were Italian and of Italian-extraction, so he is far from being a South American, just another overseas Italian and the church does love them some Italian (aka white) popes. How well that will continue to go down as Catholics become more and more brown and black skinned is what will be interesting to watch.

Still, the name of the religion game is to control the behavior of the masses to the benefit of the religious and secular elites. Since, for example, 96% of Catholic American women have used artificial birth control at some point in their lives, that control seems to be slipping. Ireland has approved gay marriage and may decriminalize abortion.

But the Catholic Church and other churches will continue to have opinions, backed with political muscle in these debates. Be sure, however, that there is no clear guidance from scripture on these and many other issues. (The Catholic Church also extols “tradition” as a basis for their opinions which equates to “the way we have always done things” which, surprise!, puts them in control of their opinions.)

And what do you call someone whose political stance is to preserve the status quo and all its institutions? Answer: a conservative. More and more the “opinions” of churches (for example, on the fitness of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States) is determined by their conservatism rather than their professed faith.

The game is all about power … over us. Are you surprised?

February 27, 2017

What Are Your Views on Abortion?

A recent piece in the N.Y. Times pointed out that in a recent survey of views on abortion, just over half of all American women want to see further restrictions on abortion. The piece also chastised “feminists” for ignoring this fact.

As far as I am concerned, both parties and their opinions can go take a flying leap.

In my opinion, having an abortion … or not …. is an intensely personal decision and the opinions of the rest of society just do not matter. In order for them to matter, the issue would have to involve one in which there was a profound societal interest. We are talking about birthing new citizens here. If we had a profound worker shortage or a severe lack of people available to serve in the military, I would recognize a significant societal interest. But we are up to our assess in people and no such interest exists. The only reason there is an abortion issue is that there is a morality issue.

There is an axiom that “you cannot legislate morals,” but we keep trying, idiots that we are. The danger here is if we do insist that there is a profound societal interest, we open a box of snakes. The only form that interest could take would be a population based one (morals aren’t addressed in the Constitution). If we take “action” in the form of policy, say an anti-abortion policy, we are essentially saying we have the right to force women to bear children. A short step away are laws restricting the uses of contraception. Neither of these kinds of policies touch the American experiment where it lives. These are totalitarian policies and are supported only by totalitarian religions.

If a pregnant woman is considering an abortion, the decision is a very emotional, personal decision. She is not deciding to “never have children.” She is not deciding to restrict the number she will have. But if we collectively were to force her to have this baby after she decided she did not want it, the emotional scars from that action may affect those possibilities and how would that serve the societal interest? And who wants there to be more unwanted children in the world? The impact on the child is rarely mentioned by the anti-abortion zealots, other than to describe an abortion as a murder. Once the child is brought to term it can go fuck itself for all of the anti crowd cares.

Much of the anti-abortion fever, I believe, is fueled by people wanting “others” to be responsible for their actions. The punishment for a young girl exploring sex and getting pregnant (made unsafe by the same politics as the antis espouse) is to be forced to bear that child and raise it, possibly forestalling any hopes she had for her own life and possibly truncating any positive future for that child. “That will teach her not to be promiscuous.” (Is there any evidence that this form of “discipline” works?)

If a woman is contemplating an abortion, the best thing we can do is get out of the way. If we are close to her, offer support, share your opinion if that is requested, but get out of the way. And stop recommending laws to restrict peoples actions in these personal decisions.

How would you like it if you are told you have heart disease, but the procedure that could cure you and save your life has been condemned as immoral and made illegal. (It involves the use of stem cells.) How would you feel if laws were passed that operations were immoral as they denied the healing powers of God? Do not let totalitarian religions determine our social policies. Only when there is a demonstrated significant societal interest should we intervene. Child abuse, spousal abuse, poverty, hunger, homelessness: there are so many problems of this sort that have societal interests and citizens involved that deserve our attention. In the absence of such an interest, as in the case of the “legality” of abortions, we should get out of the way and reinforce our belief in individual action. To do otherwise is to extend the totalitarian aspects of these religions to our collective agreements with one another.

PS Pop Quiz Can you tell from the graph what year abortion was made legal in the US? (If not legal abortions do not affect population growth and there can not be a societal interest in them.)

united-states-population

(Answer to Pop Quiz: It was 1973.)

May 15, 2014

The World According to Rubio . . .

According to Senator Marco Rubio (R Florida) there is a 100% scientific consensus that life begins at conception.

This is a fascinating claim from a scientific ignoramus. Consider if this were true. You could immediately claim an extra deduction on your income taxes. You could ask your fetus to get a job, support him- or herself, and maybe charge for room and board. (Talk about a taker!) I know of no agreed upon scientific definition of “life” so a 100% consensus on it beginning in a long train of human reproductory events (injection of sperm, egg fertilization, zygote development,  … , birth, suckling, … , etc.) in any particular place is beyond comprehension. We have a “legal” definition (or rather definitions) of when life “begins” to avoid the potential absurdities associated with the birth of a child. When a child is born, it is either dead or alive. If it is alive, it is accorded privileges (but not full privileges) as a citizen. A definition of life beginning at conception would be a legal nightmare. What rights would the little beastie be accorded? I believe the Senator would insist upon the right not to be aborted. For anything else he cares not.

He also cares not about truth or reality and is willing to lie, cheat, and steal to become President. Interesting process we have here, the one where we ask our political candidates to prove their worthiness to lead . . . by not understanding important science topics like climate change, conception and birth, etc. yet still having “firm” and often bizarre beliefs on those topics.

March 20, 2013

And I Thought Rand Paul was a Libertarian

Rand Paul, junior Senator from Kentucky, recently submitted a bill for Senate consideration that would define life as beginning at conception, a so-called “personhood” bill. Now, as I understand it, libertarians are staunch advocates for personal liberty and against government interference in citizen’s lives. I guess we can scratch Rand Paul’s name off of that list.

I do believe in personal liberty and freedom of (and from) religion. That leads me to the idea that government should have no position on abortion other than whether to expend public funds for the medical procedures involved for those who cannot afford them. Having an abortion is an immensely personal issue and should be left to those directly involved to decide. Counsel from doctors and, yes, even clergy (although I can’t understand how they would have any personal or even scriptural experience bearing on the topic), and immediate family members are all that is required. I don’t see why I, through my government, should have any say whatsoever in the matter.

In this I am more of a libertarian than Rand Paul. He, like so many other “small government” hypocrites only believe in small government on other people’s issues. On their own pet theories, they want the government 100% involved.

January 27, 2013

Roe v Wade Nonsense

Filed under: Education,History,Politics,The Law — Steve Ruis @ 9:38 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Part of Bill Moyers Program tonight (1-27-13) was devoted to the fact that the Supreme Court decision “Roe v. Wade” had been in effect for going on forty years. In addition, abortions, the legalization of which for the whole country was the point of that decision, were currently harder to get than any other time in the previous forty years. One of Mr. Moyer’s presenters pointed out that the original laws banning abortions were not based on religion or morals but a power grab by doctors (mostly male, mostly white) trying to put midwives and nurses (mostly female) out of business.

That aside, it is the common impression in this country that as soon as the ink was dry on Roe v. Wade, babies were being killed by the hundreds, thousands, millions further eroding white population supremacy.

So, I made a graph showing the U.S. Birthrate by year for the last 100 years or so. If “Roe” had had such an effect, we should see plummeting birthrates immediately thereafter, no? Here’s the graph—can you pick out when Roe became the law of the land?

US Birth Rates Graph #1

Did you find it?

The next graph has the same data but with the year labels replaced and two lines added. The red line shows the year that Roe became law, 1974. The blue line shows the trend in birth rate just prior to its passage. From 1905, the birth rate in this country has been declining (it recovered somewhat after the Great depression but then continued to decline). This is normal and almost always occurs as people in general become more affluent and women in specific become better educated and acquire more political power. Remember the “Population Bomb?” We were heading to sheer disaster due to over population according to some in the 1970’s. The United Nations had studies and dire predictions; it wasn’t just disaster mongers claiming this. But the Population Bomb didn’t pop. The reason? Education of women and political rights won by women around the world. Birth rates tumbled and the “bomb” was defused.

US Birth Rates Graph #2

You can see from this second graph that right after Roe was made law, the decline in birth rate virtually stopped. It certainly didn’t follow the blue line from that point onward. Now this is a complicated subject and Roe is not the only factor involved, but certainly the numbers of abortions did not sky rocket (it would have shown up) nor did women turn away from motherhood. What Roe allowed was safe, medical abortions rather than the unsafe “back alley” ones that were available before. If there was any other effect, it wasn’t negative.

Repealing Roe or doing the myriad things Republicans and other Conservatives are doing to effectively “outlaw” abortion will not reduce the number of abortions. It will just result in more dead women from unsafe abortions and the last time I checked, dead women don’t have any more children.

Some argue that this is a moral issue. I say, if it is a moral issue, don’t legislate it for Pete’s sake. Do we want our morality legislated? What they “give” us, they can “take” away. If you believe abortion to be immoral, no one should force you to have one. But if you do not, should you be forced not to have one? Some “moral” issues such as murder are easy to legislate to the betterment of all. Others not so much. We should keep to our own moralities and keep religion and the rest out of our state houses.

September 12, 2012

The Goose, The Golden Eggs, and the Republican Party

Filed under: Politics,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 2:08 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Regular readers of this blog will probably note that irrationality is one of my favorite themes to write on. I continue. . . .

When I was growing up, all school kids seemed to know the fable of “The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs.” This was one of Aesop’s fables (5th C. Greek maybe) which had more than one version. In each the goose gets killed: in one out of foolish curiosity and another out of greed. Motive is not important here.

The point here is: which is more important, the goose or a single egg?

Ah, now you can see where I am going. The connection is with the topic of the legality and the morality of abortion. As far as the Republicans are concerned, an unlaid egg is worth more than the goose. I am going to make a practical argument about why abortion needs to be available and freely so. And I shall not mention the arguments about raising unwanted children, or women having abortions on a whim, or any of the arguments already made; those just don’t add to the debate. This is strictly practical. Okay, buckle your seat belt; here I go.

Children just aren’t worth much.

What?! How can I say such a heinous thing? I can say it because it is true. Now I fully acknowledge that your children are precious to you (as mine is to me). But other people’s kids, not so much: we find them irritating, obnoxious, spoiled, ill-mannered, . . . , need I go on? Just listen to any conversation about kids at a family gathering and, well, “our kids” are sweet and nice or maybe even “a handful,” but when the topic rolls around to “their kids,” the knives come out. So, I don’t think the “children are precious” line holds any water.

It fact, it wasn’t that long ago in this country that women of no particular means had six, eight, ten, or more children. And it wasn’t a shock to anyone that fewer than half survived. (This is still the case in poorer countries now.) Where were the Republicans then (or now), wringing their hands about how life was sacred and we needed to protect the little children? You couldn’t even get them to donate to “poor houses” and orphanages then. You can get them to care about starving children in Somalia now. So, I don’t think the “life is sacred” line holds any water either.

In reality (a place far, far away from Republicanland) women are a far more precious resource than children because, well, women can lay golden eggs, many of them if they wish. Heck, the Spartans left less than perfect children out in the wilderness and went home to make better ones.

Republicans are even siding with rapists and incestuous fornicators on this issue. I don’t think these are their Christian morals popping up, because they show no pity, disrespect the poor, call the jobless lazy, and favor greed over all other attributes. They wouldn’t cherry-pick the Bible, now would they?

Maybe they are just pandering to people who think like they do, you know, the irrational.

August 15, 2012

New Republicanism and Social Darwinism

Now, I know a title including references to Republicans and Charles Darwin is combustible, but hear me out. Those Republicans of a very conservative stripe are also often conservative Christians who equate Darwin with evolution and evolution with “atheist plot to undermine the ‘Word of God.’” I know this and I do not tackle this topic lightly.

My point here is that Republicans have painted themselves as “fiscal conservatives” when they are clearly not. The past three Republican presidents have outspent the last three Democratic presidents by far (in relative terms, that is adjusted for inflation, etc.). They are definitely “social conservatives” but most certainly not fiscal conservatives.

The “New Republicans” are, in fact, Social Darwinists. Social Darwinists have nothing to do with Charles Darwin; these are people who took simplest forms of evolution theory (“survival of the fittest,” etc.) and applied it to our social order. New Republicans think “riches” equates to “success.” Consequently rich people are “more evolved” and more fit to make decisions for the rest of us. Since “money = success,” they want to keep more of their money, money they do not need, as an indicator of their success and right to rule. (Mitt Romney made more money in two months in 2011, than I have in my entire life and he did it without lifting a finger. (He was unemployed.) I have a hard time believing that he “needed” that money: wanted, yes, needed, no.)

Some New Republicans are even advocates of novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand who wrote, somewhat notoriously, that the rich were not like you and me . . . they were better and should be heeded.

Unfortunately for them, real Darwinism is based on reproductive success. And the Masters of Money are making some real mistakes. They not only want control, they want recognition; they want to flaunt their power so that people will take notice. So, they back social issues like abortion prevention and denial of reproductive care, including contraception. The real Darwinian consequence of this is that the proportion of black and brown people in our society will increase and the proportion of white people will decrease (based simply on current birth rates). Since most of the Money Masters are white, this is a loss of power, not a gain. But in their arrogance, they think they can pull the wool over our eyes so we do not rise up and retaliate against their rule.

Are they right?

Republicans De-emphasize Social Issues? WTF?

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 9:47 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to talk only about issues of substance. Most other Republicans standing for federal offices are backpedaling on social issues, too. This is a big, big change for a party wedded to “wedge issues” as much as the Republicans are.

But here they are: they want to talk about the budget, about the economy, about “substantive” issues and they don’t want to talk about “social” issues, like the fate of Planned Parenthood, or insurance company paid for contraception, or the “life begins at conception” issue, contraception, birth control, abortion; they want to talk about none of these.

But I have to ask: who brought these things up in the first place?

The Republicans won a major victory in 2010 by running on “Where are the jobs?” and “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” and then, when they took control of the House of Representatives, what did we receive? Jobs bills?

Nope, we got bills on abortion and forced ultrasounds, then more bills on abortion, even a “life begins at conception” bill!

So, I ask again, who brought these things up in the first place?

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