Bringing Back Eradicated Diseases in the Name of God

The late Christopher Hitchens <a href=”http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2011/12/the-20-best-christopher-
s-quotes/”>condemned religious leaders for the antiquated practice of “faith healing. ” These people are hostile to medicine because it undermines their position of power and naturally they deny the effectiveness of vaccines. The fact anyone would dispute the medically PROVEN practice of administering vaccines in 2013 is preposterous and unfathomable. Yet, the Lone Star State has once again found a way to shirk logical thought and scientific progress thankseeeeff to this North Texas mega church. Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Newark Texas is the culprit of a Measles outbreak in Tarrant County. Officials in neighboring Oklahoma were on high alert for cases of this rarely seen disease since the mid 1970’s. The Christian homeschool movement has been a primary supporter of boycotting essential vaccines

As of today, there have been twenty confirmed cases of a disease which has been largely eradicated in the United States. In order to combat the outbreak, church officials have promised to thoroughly disinfect the church using a professional cleaning company. They have offered a vaccination opportunity, but unfortunately two months after the fact. Sadly, the church has been the most vocal proponent of the discredited theory that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine causes autism, but, between his (Copeland’s) advocacy of faith healing and his promotion of the vaccine-autism link on his online talk show, he’s not exactly urging his flock to get their recommended shots.

Looking into this ministry a bit further, I learned it was anything but a humble house of worship. Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) is an EMPIRE whose wealth is generated by tax-free donations diverted to finance a multitude of for-profit industries.

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The assets, as reported by a CBS News investigation include: An 18,000 square foot lake-front home in Texas worth $6 million, a fleet of planes and a $20 million jet with a private runway strip just to name a few. The industries this Mega-Church controls are stunningly profitable as well. They include mining, oil drilling, real estate, ranching, livestock and an aviation company that includes Copeland Airport.

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The aviation branch allows the family of preachers to spread their mistrust of science and bigotry worldwide. This also enables these vaccination opponents to bring back diseases from foreign lands and spread them among the faithful, who actually believe god can heal with just the right amount of financial contribution to the coffers of these charlatans.

Twenty cases is precisely twenty cases too many in this age of science and progress. When a Republican Senator like Chuck Grassley finds the tax-free machinations of this religiously-based empire unsavory, it should set a precedent for the eventual demise of any religious organization who dares to steal and dupe their members. The sheer number of investigations stemming from the misuse of donations should raise more red flags. The American public seems far too willing to grant tax exempt status to these church-empires without following the money.

The depths of depravity of most, if not all of these mega churches should be exposed more often than the Right Wing can conjure up their brand of IRS scandals. Simply overlooking this willful malevolence could easily create a pandemic in a nation that should leave this Stone Age thinking back where it belongs. Shunning science (vaccines) affects everyone, especially those of us who want no part of their brand of stupid. We have too many modern day problems to revitalize diseases of the past. The least KCM could do is pay their damned taxes and stay the hell away from practicing medicine.

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If You Are A Republican, You Cannot Be Pro-Life

There will always be a strong anti-abortion movement amongst those who view themselves as god-fearing, Jesus-loving Americans. In fact, the Republican/TeaParty-led House has proposed 41 abortion-prohibitive bills as they view abortion as an affront to the sanctity of life principles they hold so dear; or so they’d like us to think. Being Pro-Life means one must advocate for ALL life, not just unborn fetuses. Most fundamentalist Christians and followers of the teachings of Jesus have forgotten the Golden Rule. Their morals are shaped by a deity that serves corporations and the wealthy who would have a harder time entering the Kingdom of Heaven than a camel passing through the eye of a needle. Narrowing down the ways the GOP violates the teachings of Jesus and the rights of humanity to a simple article is nearly impossible. I will briefly list what I feel are the most obvious contradictions of the Republican Party Platform.

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You cannot be pro-life and support the death penalty or support, advocate for, or participate in war. In summary, killing is wrong if you are PRO life. Period. You cannot be a man of god like Mike Huckabee and advocate for the hunting of Democrats. A successful hunt means something has to be killed, and a Democrat is a human being and fellow American. Nugent-Huckabee are not only misanthropic but very unpatriotic. Southern states especially have more people who identify themselves as Christians. Coincidentally, these states, like Texas, execute a disproportionate number of minorities. Being a proponent of numerous executions like Governor Perry negates a pro-life agenda and violates the teachings of Jesus.

You cannot oppose gender equality. Women cannot be treated like sinful beings with less value than men. Violence against women should not be overlooked, as if often is. Norfolk, Virginia recently overturned a long time policy where it was assumed the victim is lying. With matters of sexual assault, only 6% of cases are proven false. No woman wants that degree of scrutiny and shame without provocation. Women have also suffered income inequality, been downplayed to subservient status by religion, and continue to be “slut-shamed” by the GOP plutocracy. Without full gender equality, pro-life only means pro-male life.

You cannot oppose the idea of healthcare for all while advocating for loosely controlled gun laws that endanger American lives every day. America is quite uncharacteristic for a Western nation where a vocal portion of our citizens feel guns are a right and healthcare is a privilege. Most industrialized nations have effective, strict gun control legislation and provide their citizenry with essential healthcare while the USA ranks 38th worldwide. Ron Paul’s supporters cheered when he failed to denounce the idea of letting people die if they can’t afford healthcare at a GOP debate. Only permitting the fortunate to access healthcare seems awfully antithetical to a pro-life agenda. Proving they are against helping the poor, the GOP voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act forty times! The GOP has also vetoed veterans benefits and first responders’ compensation, showing no compassion for those who have sacrificed for their country.

You cannot oppose a livable, minimum wage. Federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour, or only $15,080 a year for a full-time worker. That’s more than $8,000 below the federal poverty line for a family of four. The minimum wage for tipped workers currently stands at only $2.13 an hour — the same as it was over 20 years ago. After Republican-led state governments slash funding for the victims of these insulting wages by cutting SNAP and other welfare programs, they ask these struggling Americans to pull themselves up by their bootstraps while defunding public education thus making that whole concept non-utilitarian and unachievable. Economist and talk show host, Thom Hartmann brilliantly advocates for the benefits of raising the minimum wage to a livable level.

Lastly, you cannot advocate, support, or passively tolerate economic policies which oppress the poor, minorities, or any other marginalized group. Hateful policies like those of conservative dinosaur Phyllis Schlafly only serve to portray the GOP as an unbelievably callous, inhumane group of monsters with no compassion for those escaping a life of dire poverty to settle here in the USA. When the GOP 2012 debate candidates mentioned ways of making the border as treacherous as possible and treating undocumented immigrants with cruelty, the crowd cheered in a very disturbing manner. The GOP has proven and continues to prove how truly misanthropic they are. If one is for the life of the unborn, they should also advocate for the life of every living being as well. Jesus preached forgiveness, tolerance and love. The current Republican party fails to include these principles in their legislation and modus operandi.

Liberal Ideologues Embrace a Russian Double Standard

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Protesting Old Testament Intolerance in Russia

Once again, the social strata of our world is regressing to an unacceptable level of sophomoric intolerance. Russia is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi amid turmoil caused by the nation’s egregious policies against LGBT people or as the government says, homosexual propaganda. The IOC halfheartedly assures athletes Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws will not be an issue during the games, but they do not insist Russia suspend their intolerant policy. Olympic boycotts destroyed the dreams of so many hard-working athletes back in the 1980’s and a repeat of this form of protest only penalizes those undeserving. Unfortunately, much of America is focused on the Ed Snowden drama virtually unaware of this egregious assault on human rights.

Vladimir Putin decided to grant asylum to dissident Ed Snowden, a transitory information-thieving patsy meant to irk the US Government, for one year. Obviously displeased, the Obama Administration cancelled the Moscow get-together between the two leaders following the G20 Summit set to take place the 5th and 6th of September. While many LGBT leaders worldwide express disdain over the homophobic, Orthodox-Christian policies of Russia, we are plagued by this canard of spy shenanigans distracting Americans once again thanks to the investigative journalism of emoprogs like Glenn Greenwald.

Greenwald, an early Obama dissenter because of the president’s refusal to investigate the Bush administration for war crimes, has actively campaigned against our president since making Bradley Manning the divisive issue that kept liberals home in 2010 ushering in the worst Congress in US history. This adherence to far-left ideology only spited the American people by unleashing the worst case of stupid to infest our Legislative Branch. Consequently, the victims of his petulant, ideologue temper-tantrum are the poor and elderly who have been ravaged by the inhumane policies of the 112th and 113th Congress.

Greenwald and Salon.com actually defended the Koch-funded Teaparty in 2010, practically labeling it a grassroots faction of the GOP. Other than the fact that (1) it is driven (at least in part) by genuine citizen passion and engagement, and (2) represents a justifiable rebellion against the Washington and GOP establishments. This has obviously been proven false as the Teaparty is anything but organic. By asserting the legitimacy of candidates like Christine O’Donnell, the emoprogs created significant apathy which led to extremely low voter turnout. The lower the turnout, the better the chance for Republican/TeaParty victories. The seeds for such a divisive movement have been planted and 2014 may look very similar.

Greenwald misrepresented the scorn leveled upon Christine “I am not a witch” O’Donnell and her utter disregard for science and reason as an attack on her lack of financial wealth. His circuitous defense of her character as inherently moral (based on her monetary troubles) completely detracts from the real issue: The Teaparty and its fringe lunatic candidates have absolutely no business anywhere near positions of legislative authority. In order for us to forget O’Donnell’s utter incompetence, Greenwald created a canard of her poverty being attacked rather than her disregard of evolution as fact. Like-minded emo-progressives are so blinded by their hatred for Obama, they’ll go to any lengths to make their ideological points, even if that means most Americans will pay dearly.

As far as the fate of Greenwald’s latest fame-whoring meal ticket, Ed Snowden will most likely end up a victim of his petty revenge-seeking against our President. Russia’s history of treating used up asylum seekers isn’t always as propitious as Snowden would hope. The hypocrisy of choosing China originally and Russia subsequently to escape prosecution negates the alleged sacrifice Greenwald claims Snowden has made. He regularly compares Ed to Daniel Ellsberg who stayed in the US to face the music of his leaking of classified data. Ironically, this nation of Russia tolerates zero dissent and encourages violence against gays.

Greenwald left the United States and became a resident of Brazil to be with his husband. It seems awfully ironic to condone Snowden’s asylum in a frightfully homophobic nation, while abandoning the USA for the very same reason. By harping on the NSA’s collection of metadata while non-oathtaking corporations like Yahoo, Google and Facebook have limitless resources to pry into our lives, he detracts from the much graver threat of violence against our homosexual brothers and sisters. Once again, the use of distraction for personal gain is ultimately detrimental for all parties involved. Progressives need to unite against this latest shiny object to maintain a sound perspective on what’s important.