Lord Have Mercy

Anne Martens

I'm scared straight by the bearers of the bible and the followers of one peculiar version of God.  This, I might add, as a lifelong (non-practicing) Catholic.  My upbringing was well-balanced: I went to Sunday school and made little lambs out of construction paper and cotton balls, but I was also the kid who refused to stand or say the pledge of allegiance because I knew that I could - the Constitution protected my right to do that, and I thought the principle was so neat that I just had to practice it.

When I was growing up, God didn't appear to be so very against the rule of law.  I was under the impression that the two could coexist, God in personal space, law in public space, very little conflict between the two.  But, it turns out, I was wrong.  God hates law.  God hates judges who follow law.  God disapproves mightily of a society of equality under laws and would much prefer that those who have self-declared their righteousness in his name impose their own form of personal justice. 

God forgot to tell that to the framers of the Constitution.  Republicans should probably intervene.

And so we have the Terri Schiavo show, we have pharmacists who refuse to fill legal prescriptions, we have judges who need bodyguards, glorification of those who kill doctors, creationism in the classroom, science systematically disregarded, and a body politic where the so-called soul is strangling both the head and the heart (but looking good while doing it).  Religious extremists, oblivious to their own hypocrisy, clamoring for the extermination of everyone who disagrees with them, delighted and drunk on the power handed to them by Republicans like keys to the kingdom, will not rest until they have coerced and converted everything that used to be legal and secular and democratic and fair into their very own theocracy. 

God forbid we dare now to do something that the Constitution allows – any test, any exercise of rights would only incite the wrath of the right, and under the right those rights might just go away.  Back when we lived under laws, we used to call that a "chilling effect."  I think we're up to an ice age. 

Tyranny of the majority.  One nation, under God.

  • Steve (unverified)

    OK, call me ignorant, but I am totally confused by your tirade as far as having a point.

    Explain - God forbid we dare now to do something that the Constitution allows – any test, any exercise of rights would only incite the wrath of the right, and under the right those rights might just go away.

    If by this you mean some people disagree with your positions, realize they too may be in the minority and don't enjoy suffering from "tyranny of the majority."

    As a favor, recognize there are the religious and the extremists and there is a difference also. For example, I don't confuse all environmentalists with EarthFirsters.

  • Trey (unverified)

    Anne, You wrote, "God hates law. God hates judges who follow law."

    It's just not true! ;>) God LOVES law -- God's law. He LOVES judges who follow God's law. He LOVES pharmacists who follow God's law.

    It's just that most of us are unwitting idiots and we need the Tom Delays and George Bushes of the world to TELL us what IS God's law.

    It's all sooo simple. So simple, in fact, that it explains why I'm a Taoist!

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    All I want to know is what God thinks of cute butts.

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    Hey Anne - are you writing about the United States of America or the Islamic Republic of Iran? Because it's getting really hard for me to tell the difference.

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    Annie, My sweet, your sarcasm is often lost it appears.

    Everyone knows God is love and God is good.

    I had my doubts. I had many doubts but those were dispelled in a blinding flash on Sunday. Like Paul I found Jesus not on the road to Damascus but on the road to the FINAL FOUR.

    AHHHHH YEAH My Spartans are going to St. Louis. We BEAT Duke and Kentucky. God is good and God loves Michigan State.

    Joe Baessler

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    For b!X - God loves a great ass, and in his infinite wisdom, has blessed me with one.

    For Steve - the point, I think, is that we should be concerned when a religious extremist sect claims a majority and starts to enforce its beliefs on all of us. In this environment, I would be a little scared to stay seated during the pledge of allegiance, because God's children might beat me up. That these people are extremists and adhere to a peculiar version of God doesn't make them any less powerful or frightening. It does make me more concerned.

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    For those who are struggling with Anne's sarcasm, you can read similar sentiments in today's New York Times op-ed by Paul Krugman.

  • Nick (unverified)

    Why are we so caught up on butts?

    And Anne...if yours is really that good why don't you post a photo and we can all sit in judgement. The way God and right wing Christians would.

  • Steve (unverified)

    Anne - I think I get your point, but this is a two way street. I am not crazy about religious extremists circumventing the democratic process, but by your own admission (I think) these are a minority group trying to move the majority. Again, just because someone is religious, they are not nuts.

    If you look at opinion polls on something like gay marriage, then Multnomah County doing an end-around on everyone (including one of their own commissioners) is the exact same thing, whether their cause is just or not.

    Since when did getting these values shoved down our throats like this represent democracy?

    By the way, if you know of someone who got beat up for sitting thru the Pledge of Allegiance, let us know. I know of Jehovah's Witnesses friends who do this and haven't gotten beaten up by religious or secular types - at least not yet.

  • afs (unverified)

    Joe Baessler - Blasphemy! Your lies are a desecration of the faith! You are a servant of SATAN!

    Only the foulest of minds would mention God in relationship to basketball in the state of Oregon this year.

    This year, we've gotten to watch the Jail Blazers cut an NBA first-round draft pick for raising pit bulls for gambling on dog fighting, and then watch the Jail Blazers get mauled for the rest of the season. We're looking up at the Clippers and Warriors?!? We've watched one of the greatest college recruiting classes in the history of the state turn into Duck sewage. And as a capper, after winning the Big Sky regular season title and capturing the home-court advantage for the Big Sky Tournament, we had to go downtown to watch Portland State not hit a jump-shot for the ENTIRE 2ND HALF in their choke against Weber State.

    You will burn in hell for this heresy, Joe! ;-D

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    Regarding the article you link to above about the pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions, here's how to send letters to the Washington Post.

    [email protected]

    by the way, the nation's largest pharmacy is, you guessed it, Walmart. And guess what, they don't sell emergency contraception at all. They call it a business decision. So, if you're out there in the middle of rural Amerika, and you'd like some emergency contraception, forget it.

    Here's an article from NOW's website http://www.now.org/issues/wfw/wal-mart.html

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    Why are we so caught up on butts?

    Because it's Spring and they are a nice distraction from my work. And now that I know they are Godly as well, I will leave you all in peace.

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    Why are we so caught up on butts?

    Oh, how I wish I knew the answer to this question, for it plagues me endlessly. Why ... why?

    Deviating not the least from Anne's topic, allow me to pile on with Joe in delight at the Big Ten's dominance this past weekend. Yes, it relates; I'm not-off topic. Gimme a second, I'll bring it around. Three Big Ten teams into the elite eight, two into the final four. ACC who? Go home, Carolinians, go home.

    And one of these fine Big Ten teams, one whose plight we must consider with some amazement. Down by 15 with four minutes left, not a reasonable secular humanist among the group believing Illinois had a shot. But wait, who's that with the scripture on his sneakers? Who's that digging out a rebound at crunch time? Why, it is the Roger Powell Jr., an ordained Pentacostal minister. He had the faith!

    You infidel dogs may stick with your beloved secular humanism, but when the team's down 15 with four to go, who do you turn to? Your beloved Marx? Ha! You want a miracle, you read the Preachers shoes and pray!

    (See, it all fits together somehow, my own personal trifecta of butts, hoops, and God.)

  • CitizenGregg (unverified)

    My thoughts exactly! I wish I could write better but I'm probably better off quoting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who was the founder of the Turkish republic. This is from the leader of an Islamic country if you can believe it.

    "I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap. My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him act against the liberty of his fellow men."

    Hey, I think I met you a few weeks ago but you went off somewhere. I hope my ass didn't have anything to do with it.

  • Todd Birch (unverified)

    God forbid we dare now to do something that the Constitution allows – any test, any exercise of rights would only incite the wrath of the right, and under the right those rights might just go away.

    Gimme a freakin’ break. I’ll grant you that conservatives in this country are little better than fascists who’d just as soon wipe their asses with the Bill of Rights as read it, but if anything they’ve been taking their cues from “progressives” over the last century.

    Like what's the general consensus on the Left these days for the 2nd Amendment? Last I checked, they hated it and wanted it repealed.

    And I'd hardly describe Democrats as being particularly tolerant of minority religious attitudes. Anybody recall what happened at Waco in 1993?

    And speaking of Greatest Liberal Hits of the Nineties, the whole lefty “political correctness” movement is an affront to the very notion of free thought and free speech. Nevertheless, government money across the country has been used to uphold “speech codes” that ban things like "inconsiderate jokes," "stereotyping" or "inappropriately directed laughter." (And what was the deal with the 2004 Democratic National Convention and their special little concentration camp for protesters who were pissed that the Dem’s pro-war stooge was going to get his ass kicked by the GOP’s pro-war stooge?)

    And what about that part in the 5th Amendment that protects against uncompensated government "takings" of private property? Wasn't Measure 37 simply an elaboration of that principle by an overwhelming democratic majority? Weren’t Oregon voters just “daring...to do something that the Constitution allows?”

    The dominant political outlooks in Oregon and America can be boiled down thusly:

    Conservatism holds that government can take whatever action it deems fit provided the action isn't specifically prohibited by the Constitution, or unless said actions are taken in the name of Fighting the War on Drugs, Combatting the Global Threat of Terrorism or otherwise Ridding the World of Evil.

    Liberalism holds that government can do anything it wants at any time it wants so long as its actions are favored by a fashionable coalition of political and social scientists, bureaucrats and state propagandists (like Anne). The United States Constitution is a “living document,” and as such has been determined by higher intellectual authorities over time to be meaningless. The one and perhaps only permanent limit on the scope of the modern state’s otherwise universal power to coerce, subjugate and dictate the terms of the individual’s existence is that under most circumstance the state posses no legitimate authority to restrict the harvest and/or disposal of a human fetus.

    Got it? Great. Now chant along with me: This is what Democracy looks like! This is what Democracy looks like! This is what Democracy looks like! This is what...

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