Feb 12

Zealotry is Poisonous

In Brief— An examination of two aspects of society, Politics and Religion, and how the mixing of the two creates a destructive force.

A Deadly Recipe—

Mix one part Politics with one part Religion, add a human society made up of differing views and watch it boil until it spills out in turmoil. This is a recipe for disaster that now threatens America as it has other societies throughout history.

pence-zealotOn November 8, 2016, ignorant, frightened, xenophobic and racist voters put the profoundly ignorant and crude groper, Donald Trump, and his slick, handsome, Christian Sovereignty running mate, Mike Pence, in charge of arguably the most powerful nation in history.

Politics has been around for good or ill since our ancestors gathered into clans in pre-history. Politics is defined simply as organized control over a human community, particularly a state. Looked at carefully, it’s about the power to exercise control over the people. As I have said, that power can be good or it can be bad. Depends on the individuals exercising that power. The key word is ”power.”

Now, let’s look at religion. It’s been around at least as long as politics. Religious belief can range from relatively benign belief confined to the believer to, at the other end of the spectrum, zealous belief that the believer imparts to other credulous members of family or society. It’s at this extreme end of the spectrum that religious belief blends with politics. That’s what America has in vice president Mike Pence and his zealous fellow Christians.

A Look at Mike Pence—

Putting aside the crude groper in chief, Trump, take a look at the anti-female laws supported by Pence when he was the governor of Indiana as well as his zealous Christian beliefs.

  • Pence actively sought to ban Planned Parenthood in Indiana disregarding the organization’s positive record of contributing to women’s health, particularly their reproductive health. Before that, he opposed Planned Parenthood in congress.
  • Pence has stated that he wants to overturn the Supreme Court case of Roe versus Wade that guarantees women the right to an abortion. That would return America to the halcyon days of back alley coat hanger abortions.
  • As governor, Pence signed every anti-abortion bill that crossed his desk.
  • Pence opposes gay marriage and would overturn the Supreme Court ruling. He has said that equal marriage rights for gay couples will lead to societal collapse. Furthermore, he supports a constitutional amendment that would ban such marriages.
  • Pence signed a bill that would have required all fetuses, whether through miscarriage or abortion, be given a funeral. This law, greatly increasing reproductive health costs to women, was so extreme that it was blocked by a federal judge because it violated a woman’s right to choose.
  • Pence opposed a bill that would prevent discrimination against LGBTs in the workplace. And the list goes on and on.
  • What about Mike Pence’s religious beliefs? He has said that he is a Christian first, then a conservative and lastly a Republican. Pence is a Christian Supremacist, that is, he places his religion ahead of everything else. This is a blending of politics with religion on steroids, the very definition of a zealot.
  • Finally, what power will Mike Pence represent? After John Kasich reportedly turned down Trump’s offer to make him ”the most powerful vice president in history,” several sources including the reliable Truthout believe that Trump offered Pence the same power to handle domestic and foreign policy while Trump would handle ”making America great again.” According to reports in the New York Times, this is exactly what we see happening. Put clearly, Mike Pence is now the de facto president of the United States.

At the beginning of this piece, I wrote about the danger of combining politics and religion. The title of this blog post is ”Zealotry is Poisonous.” Mike Pence is both the vice president and extremely religious. Are you scared yet?

The Weekly Sampler—

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Go to the Archives on the right side. Click on December 2013



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    • Susan on February 12, 2017 at 18:02

    I think many of us are frightened.
    Your predictions years ago about the U.S. becoming a police state are rapidly approaching.
    Most Americans are seeing Bannon as having the biggest influence and pulling Trumps strings,
    You’ve probably already heard that children of immigrants are being followed to their homes after school? People are being arrested because they have tatoo’s and parking tickets. Fathers been sent back to Mexico while children ,stricken with fear, cling to their mother’s.
    People want to know where the lawyers are.
    I know you follow Paul Krugman, and I just read yesterday his piece in The NY Times about what we have to fear.
    It doesn’t appear that Pence is as close to Trump as
    is Bannon. Madeleine Albright just agreed.
    If LGBT and women’s rights are messed with, there will be a tidal wave of people out in the streets.
    Are you preparing your postcards for the ides of Trump, March 15th? Have you had a chance to read about that?

      • Don Bay on February 12, 2017 at 21:47

      Although I read the Times, WaPo and other sources, I have read only part of what you report. There’s no doubt that what is happening now is due to Trump, Bannon, Pence and the spineless Republicans (am I being redundant here?), but there are signs that the populace has become aroused and are demonstrating against the destroyers in high places. I recommend you read Dave’s comment and that you put aside your despair and become active in the fight. It’s too easy for America to slip into autocracy. We mustn’t allow that to happen.

      I’m not familiar with the postcards you refer to, but postcards are just one tiny part of what needs to be done. Contributions to the ACLU, the Lawyers Guild, Planned Parenthood, NARAL and door-to-door canvassing are just the tip of the iceberg that needs to be done to stop the destroyers who are attempting to take over the U.S.

      Thanks for sharing your concerns. Now get active!

        • Susan on February 12, 2017 at 23:43

        Very active in the resistance here , Don.
        I’ve been a supporter of P.P. and ACLU even before this all began.
        I’m loyal to the cause.
        We had such great attendance in the Women’s march.
        It was so crowded that we didn’t even get to march in L.A. I’ve
        Never seen or been a part of anything that yuuuuge.
        The girls marched in D.C.
        Signing almost every petition that comes this way as making phone calls.
        The thing that freaked me out the most was reading Krugman’s letter
        of what’s to come.
        For the long run, I’m optimistic. For the short term, not so much.

          • Don Bay on February 13, 2017 at 04:06

          Good for you! The more people who care about saving America from autocracy, the better.

    • Dave Meyers on February 12, 2017 at 18:37

    OK…so what do you really think about Pence?

    I my be wallowing in self delusion here, but I firmly believe that democracy will win out in the matter of Trump/Pence. The ground swell of resistance is greater than anything I’ve ever seen……………Honestly the public protesting and efforts to reign in politicians is far greater than the efforts put forth during the Vietnam War and we’ve just begun! For it may be worth, I’ve signed 20 petitions and written to several politicians in the last three weeks.

    We have to remember that Trump LOST the popular vote…there are many more people again’ him than fur’ him. And there is an ever growing number how reluctantly voted for him who now see the error of their action.

    Whether I’m being foolish or not, I prefer to believe that truth will win the day and Trump and his style of ‘ruling’ will be defeated. And, RULING is the way he’s approaching his position….I really believe he see’s himself as KING……and that will be his down-fall.

      • Don Bay on February 12, 2017 at 21:13

      Did I forget “oleaginous” in my love note to Pence? Let’s not forget the congressional Republicans who have developed a supple spine and calloused knees genuflecting at the shrine of “The Great Donald.”

      I sincerely hope your eternal optimism is on the mark, but we have miles to go yet before we’re out of the woods of growing autocracy. Keep doing what you’re doing. Fingers crossed lots of others are doing the same thing.

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      • Don Bay on March 26, 2017 at 09:51

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