It's so easy to feel jaded at the American political system. It's become a game of multi-millionaires pouring capital into machines that siphon off half the funds to lobbyists and the other half to commercials claiming their opponent is a big, fat baby rapist. More and more, people feel disenfranchised and disillusioned, believing what's the point, that a single vote isn't going to matter, that the system's broke so why even bother. And if you're reading this, there's a good chance you fit into this category.
The problem is, not everyone feels that way.
The childlike sense of wonder that inhabits most religious believers manifests itself in another horrific way: Believing their vote can actually make a difference. Throughout the election cycle, church leaders pump them up with so much “evidence” they're being wrong, rile them up with tales of an evil liberal force plotting against them, pontificate about the “moral decline” happening in the country, that they walk into those poll booths and believe they can make a change. And, really, they're right. Due to the world-weariness of our non-believing sect—a weariness that is not, mind you, without merit—they can bring about change in their direction. Because no one's playing defense.
If there's been anything in these columns that have drawn your ire and rage, then vote for Obama.
Yes, re-electing him comes with some caveats—the drone strike thing being this column's main point of criticism; more on that below—but if you're one of those sickened at the horrors of organized religion and the advancement of their various agendas into your own personal space—which I'm not going to list here simply because you can just scroll through this column's archives blindly and find a whole heaping helping of them—this year's vote doesn't have to be about feeling passionately about the political process. It can simply be about feeling passionately about defending your life from religious nutbags.
Freedom of religion is an idea that gets name-checked often, but no one ever talks about freedom from religion, the right to not have our lives dictated by the unproven beliefs of others. Make no mistake about it, under a Romney/Ryan presidency, laws created simply from religious doctrine will find their way into your home. There's not enough locks to keep them out.
Which is to say, if all you need is a single good excuse to give up 15 minutes of your time on Tuesday, that's it.
Onto the roundup!
- At this point in my life, I've become pretty desensitized to terrible news. But there's generally one story a month that shakes me to the point where I actually let loose an out loud exclamation of “motherfuckers” or “assholes” or “motherfucking assholes.” This story, of two parents in Pakistan killing their 15-year-old daughter after she was seen talking to a young man, is one of those.
- In Somalia, poet/playwright/songwriter Warsame Shire Awale was killed by a gunman. Police are still looking for his killers, but all signs point to the Islamist militant group al-Shabab.
- Back in 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was legal. To comply with this, the state's Registry of Vital Records and Statistics made the decision to revise their birth certificate form from “father” to “father or second parent.” Mitt Romney, then-Governor of the state, rejected it because it was an unacceptable change in traditional family structure.
- Speaking of Mormons, here's two guys wearing Mormon Missionary clothes, showcasing various sex positions, because why the hell not?
- Slate has a map of every drone strike that's occurred in Pakistan, 284 of which came under Obama. Obviously, this isn't a point of pride the Obama presidency. But it should be known that Romney's position on drones is exactly the same.
- To help keep track of all of the white male Republicans and their various stances on rape, the great Dan Savage put together an easy-to-read GOP Rape Advisory Chart.
- Unfortunately, the above chart came out too soon to take into account comments from Republican candidate John Koster, who doesn't believe abortion should be acceptable for “the rape thing.”
- Porn person Larry Flynt has offered Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock $1 million dollars in cash if he can offer any substantive proof that children made from rape are “something that God intended to happen.”
- There's a ballot measure in Maryland that would legalize same-sex marriage. So, of course, you're going to get crazies coming out of the woodwork to oppose such an idea. This week, it's the pastor of the Colonial Baptist Church saying that those who practice the homosexual lifestyle are “deserving of death.”
- Here's a fun bit of news that will get the Xenu-conspiracists all giddy: The subway stop in New York City right near Katie Holmes's house—hence, the one she uses most often—just got a trio of posters promoting the Church of Scientology.
- One of the reasons Mormonism is placed in this weird cult-like existence—it's more in the realm of Scientology than, say, Catholicism—is because of the secrecy of the ceremonies. Non-Mormons are never allowed to witness these. Until, that is, some enterprising soul shot some secret footage of the goings-on inside the Mormon Temple. It is... well, creepy.
- Reverand Michael P. Orsi, no doubt trying to be controversial, decided the three dirtiest words currently in use today are tolerance, diversity, and welcoming. Why? Because they're being used to “lull us into an amoral complacency.”
- And Our Person of the Week: Reverend Richard T. Lawrence of Baltimore's St. Vincent de Paul Church, who is urging his parishioners to vote no on the Maryland state referendum bill that would make same-sex marriage illegal. His basic argument is a pragmatic one: This change is coming one way or another, so the Church better be ready for it when it does. Also, dude has a great beard.
Previously - Happy JesusWeen, Everyone!