Christianist ignorance in Virginia

Well, what’s old JJ got for you tonight?  A despicable doubleheader from Virginia, the state for lovers (???), that’s what.

First up is Republican Bob Marshall, who told the press last week that he was opposed to state funding of Planned Parenthood (or Planned “Barrenhood” as those funky Christofascists like to call it).  Marshall drove his point home with a tirade about how kids born with disabilities are “God’s punishment” for women who have abortions.  With that elegant little two-fer, Marshall insults women who have abortions and people with disabilities in one fell swoop.   Take it away, Bobolink:

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

“A special punishment Christians would suggest” — I can just imagine.  Or maybe not.   But Marshall didn’t explain why God often lays this same vengeance upon women who haven’t had abortions — *cough*SarahPalin*cough* —  or why most women who have had abortions go on to have non-disabled kids.  Such questions probably call for that cover-yer-ass expression “God works in mysterious ways”.  What’s really mysterious is the fact that, as stageleft points out, the people of Virginia have kept this demented nazi freak in office since 1992.

But wait — there’s more.  Not to be outdone, no sooner was he was sworn into office last month than newly-minted Republican governor Bob McDonnell, another Christoid, got right to work on the state’s most urgent business: removing GLBTs from anti-discrimination legislation protecting state workers.  Priorities!:

Gay and lesbian state workers in Virginia are no longer specifically protected against discrimination, thanks to a little-noticed change made by new Gov. Bob McDonnell.

McDonnell (R) on Feb. 5 signed an executive order that prohibits discrimination “on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities,” as well as veterans.

It rescinds the order that Gov. Tim Kaine signed Jan. 14, 2006 as one of his first actions. After promising a “fair and inclusive” administration in his inaugural address, Kaine (D) added veterans to the non-discrimination policy – and sexual orientation.

But hey, it’s not like anyone living in a state that’s run by brainless Christofascist dingbats would have to worry about being discriminated against because they’re gay, right?

Rachel Maddow had more to say about these issues on tonight’s show:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

And apparently Bob Marshall was watching, because tonight he’s claiming that his remarks were taken “out of context”.

Marshall said his broader point on Thursday was that he had collected a substantial amount of published medical research suggesting that abortions raise the risk of miscarriage and birth defects in subsequent pregnancies and that those findings echoed the Bible’s teaching that abortion is wrong.

“The point is, there are profound consequences to the act of abortion,” Marshall said.

Translation:  I didn’t mean it, but I meant it, but I didn’t mean it, but I meant it.  And shut up!

26 Responses to “Christianist ignorance in Virginia”


  1. 1 Cornelius T.Zen Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Good morrow, all!
    One of the great unanswered questions of all time:
    Why are Christians, who have rejected the teachings of Judaism, to embrace The New Testament of Our Lord And Savior Jesus Christ, still referring to that discredited document of the Jewish religion, Ye Olde Testament? It’s the Book of the Jews, and since God does not listen to the prayers of a Jew, why are Christians relying on their Book?
    Why, why, why, why, is it that we never, never, never never hear these people ever, ever, ever, ever, ever quote Jesus? Are they ashamed of what He had to say? Do they not believe what He had to say? Is “love thy neighbor” just too gay for these folks? Is “he among you who is without sin” just too liberal a concept?
    Is “judge not, lest ye be judged” just too tolerant, too accepting, too progressive?
    If they MUST live by the Old Testament, then, BY GOD, let them live it fully…and give up eating pork. And give up blended fabrics in their clothing. And go to Temple on Friday night. And keep the correct Sabbath, sundown to sundown.
    You know, if they made better chicken soup, they’d be…Jewish.
    Oy vey! – CTZen

  2. 2 Bruce Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Ah yes, I bet McDonnell uses the right wing homophobe argument that if gays want true equality, they shouldn’t expect “special” protection. So clever, doesn’t work that way, he can kiss my shiny gay ass and tell me he likes it.

  3. 3 Calgal Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I get so tired of these people who seem to know what their god is up to all the time. If they would just think it through for a moment before they open their mouths. Yesterday, someone on the ship that capsized with all the students off the coast of Brazil, stated that “god was protecting them”. Why didn’t their god stop the boat from capsizing? Why didn’t their god rescue them sooner? Seems like their god was just messing with them. They should be pissed.

  4. 4 Scary Fundamentalist Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Okay, so the Virginia “christofascist” wants to reduce the state’s role in protecting particular designated groups. Isn’t that the exact opposite of fascism?

  5. 5 JJ Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Scary – Hoho, very tricky 😉

    The persecution of minorities has always featured prominently in fascism, and the removal of a minority from anti-discrimination legislation opens that door (however slightly).

    The McDonnells of the world are opposed to government intrusion when it means protecting a class of people they despise. But left to their own devices they’d enthusiastically endorse the use of state power to dictate many aspects of personal behaviour that are none of the state’s (or anyone else’s) business.

    FWIW, there are all kinds of religious fascists, and in some parts of the world, Christians are a persecuted minority.

  6. 6 toujoursdan Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Ummmm… no. Fascists want to discriminate (and do worse) against vulnerable minority groups. Protecting them is the opposite of fascism. Read some history.

    Not being fired because you’re gay is a no-brainer. Those protections are found throughout most of the developed world.

  7. 7 JJ Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Bruce – Actually, I read that he did say something to that effect a few months ago — that he was against “special rights” for anyone.

    The problem with that overly-simplistic way of thinking is that it doesn’t consider the reality that anti-discrimination laws aren’t made in anticipation of what *might* happen, they’re made in response to what’s *already* happening. So nobody’s getting anything “special”, they’re just being assured of being treated like everyone else.

  8. 8 JJ Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Calgal

    I get so tired of these people who seem to know what their god is up to all the time.

    I enjoy the way they jump from Old Testament to New Testament. The OT must be hard to resist, it’s so full of vicious punishment and the Lord’s Wrath.

  9. 9 JJ Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    toujoursdan – Exactly, discrimination/persecution of minorities is one of the primary attributes of a fascist state. All personal liberty is severely curtailed under fascism.

  10. 10 JJ Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    CTZen – Did you ever see this billboard campaign in Texas last year?

  11. 11 Scary Fundamentalist Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 9:00 am

    All personal liberty is severely curtailed under fascism.

    It’s laughable to think that anti-discrimination legislation enhances personal liberties – far from it. Its object is always equality, the antithesis of liberty.

    Protecting [vulnerable minority groups] is the opposite of fascism.

    It is those very mechanisms whereby the state is able to “protect” particular groups that allowed fascism to enact its atrocities. Wiemar Germany had some of the best anti-discrimination legislation of its time, guaranteeing a “dignified existence” to all in its constitution. Hitler didn’t worry about that; he only had to remove the same personal freedoms that are being compromised by anti-discrimination legislation, such as freedom of speech, freedom of association, and property rights. (see article 1 of his “For protection of People and State” decree)

  12. 12 JJ Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Scary – How are property rights, freedom of association and freedom of speech compromised by workplace anti-discrimination laws? Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t get it.

  13. 13 Scary Fundamentalist Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Anti-discrimination laws are continually being characterized by the Supreme Court as infringing on our fundamental liberties as described in Section 2 of our charter, but saved only by the “greater good” exemption in Section 1 – that greater good being equality. Of course, Trudeau didn’t include property rights in the Charter for reasons that will be the subject of another discussion, but let’s fantasize for a moment that they are actually recognized in Canada.

    Freedom of speech: Besides the obvious victims of Section 13 (Stephen Boissoin), there are many other cases in which state action is taken against those who utter discriminatory speech, including in the workplace (look up Lynn Tompkins).

    Freedom of association: An employer’s right to freely choose his or her employees is curtailed by workplace anti-discrimination laws.

    Property rights: An employer’s right to do what he wants with his own money, including setting such pay as his/her employees agree to, is curtailed by workplace anti-discrimination laws.

    Just to clarify, I don’t see a problem if a particular workplace mandates anti-discrimination policy on its own (though I also don’t see the necessity). In fact, this is exactly what McDonnell and his predecessor are doing with these executive orders – they only apply to the state service. He’s not enacting law like our Human Rights Codes.

  14. 14 Bleatmop Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Openly advocating for the ability of employers to fire someone on the basis of race, colour, creed, gender, sexual orientation or identity or expression. Advocating for the right of employers to terminate employment (or to actively choose not to employ someone) simply for existing and being different from the other person across the interview table.

    Ya. Those things sound like freedom and liberty to me.

    In opposite world.

  15. 15 Cornelius T.Zen Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Good morrow, all!
    As someone once pointed out:
    There are 6 admonitions in the Bible regarding homosexual people. There are 365 admonitions in the Bible regarding heterosexual people. It’s not that God does not like heterosexuals; it’s just that they require so much more supervision.
    Why are white straight men so damned scared of everyone else? Don’t they believe that their God will protect them?
    O ye of little faith – CTZen

  16. 16 Scary Fundamentalist Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Bleat:

    It seems to me that you define “freedom” and “liberty” as certain groups of people freely taking liberties with other peoples’ stuff.

    The “ability” to fire someone at all, nevertheless on such grounds, cannot be “granted” like a right, it is rather a liberty that can be restricted by the state.

    People are naturally endowed with the freedom to be bigots and assholes.

  17. 17 Bleatmop Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Scary – It sounds like you are freely taking liberty with the words that I am saying.

  18. 18 JJ Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Scary – Well, exactly – this story is just about government of Virginia workplaces, not all workplaces in the state. But whether one favours anti-discrimination legislation in the workplace or not, something stands out about this particular story. It would be one thing if McDonnell just rescinded anti-discrimination laws altogether, for everyone. But re-writing the legislation to specifically remove a minority that was previously included seems to send a fairly overt message, IMO: either that minority is no longer vulnerable to discrimination, or in McDonnell’s view they don’t deserve protection from it.

    Canada’s Human Rights Commissions are a whole different debate. I’m not a fan of HRCs, or any easily-abused quasi-judicial bodies. HRCs used to do good work, but lately they’re being so abused that they’ve become a joke (see the Macleans/Levant cases). We have hate speech laws, but HRCs have started being used by people who are offended by something that doesn’t make the hate speech cut. Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately) there’s no right to *not* be offended. I see/hear/read things every day that offend me, and I’m sure I offend people as well. (I make a point of it, ha.) So what?

    That said, I don’t have much sympathy for the likes of Boissoin either. While he has a right to make insane rants that sound like they should be coming out of some wild-eyed whacko standing on a street corner in a greasy 2nd hand trench coat, he also sounds like he needs a hobby other than obsessing about other peoples’ sex lives. (A lot of these problems could be solved if people would mind their own business.)

    I haven’t heard of Lynn Tompkins but I’ll see what the mighty google says.

  19. 19 JJ Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Bleatmop – I don’t think SF is advocating these things, but there’s a valid point to be made about whether freedom (in this case, the freedom to be an asshole) is curtailed by laws against such things. I guess the debate is at what point does it become acceptable — if ever — for the state to step in, ie., how much of an asshole is too much? I’d guess that when the freedoms of others are being adversely affected (ie. by discrimination).

  20. 20 JJ Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 9:59 am

    CTZen – And there’s also that thing about not wearing different kinds of fabrics together, etc, etc. Dan Savage was on Olbermann last night talking about this old testament hypocrisy 😆

  21. 21 toujoursdan Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Sorry, but I don’t think that people the freedom to be arseholes in a civilized society. If someone wants to be an arsehole, feel free, but be ready to accept the consequences. Your freedom ends when it starts to interfere with someone else’s freedom, just like the freedom to swing your fist around ends when it hits something else’s face.

    This particular case is of a governor targeting one vulnerable minority group for different treatment for an attribute that has nothing to do with their job performance. That IS fascism. It’s fascism if a state agency does it. It’s fascism if a private company that markets to the general public that does it.

    Democracies balance the collective will with the protection of minorities. If minorities can’t trust that government is going to protect them, than no one can trust the democratic process at all.

  22. 22 JJ Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 10:24 am

    toujoursdan

    Your freedom ends when it starts to interfere with someone else’s freedom, just like the freedom to swing your fist around ends when it hits something else’s face.

    Exactly, your freedom to swing your arms around ends where my nose begins. I can live with that.

    This particular case is of a governor targeting one vulnerable minority group for different treatment for an attribute that has nothing to do with their job performance.

    This is what’s striking about re-writing this legislation as opposed to rescinding it entirely, the clear targeting of one minority. Red meat for the base, IMO.

  23. 23 Bleatmop Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 11:20 am

    JJ – I think she does mean it that way (obviously). But perhaps she could clarify. Is it ok to fire a person because they are black? Chinese? Arab? Muslim? Irish? Transgendered? Gay? Queer? And if the answer is no, then how does abolishing anti-discrimination laws prevent this type of behaviour?

    I believe that we are only as free as the least of us is and that liberty cannot be divided amongst us. To tolerate “the freedom to be an asshole” as you put it, or open and overt discrimination as I put it, is not actually tolerance. It’s the opposite, imo. Then again, I consider the idea of absolute freedom to be absurd. Thus being an asshole is not actually a freedom.

  24. 24 Scary Fundamentalist Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    JJ – point taken. I would rather have all of those specific “protections” removed and instead keep to a blanket prohibition of assholery in the state workforce, which doesn’t need any executive order to enforce. Specifically mentioning any form of discrimination is, well, discriminatory. Which allows games to be played over who gets special mention and who does not, as you note.

  25. 25 Scary Fundamentalist Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Tojours:

    If someone wants to be an arsehole, feel free, but be ready to accept the consequences.

    Couldn’t agree with you more. But the state should not be inventing additional artificial consequences unless such assholery does indeed infringe upon the rights of others. Nobody has a right not to be offended. And nobody has a right to a job provided by the innovation and/or capital (property) of another.

    Democracies balance the collective will with the protection of minorities.

    Wrong. A lynch mob is very democratic. The Fascist party of Italy was democratic. The only thing that protects minorities from democracies is a constitution or bill of rights and freedoms which restricts the government.

    This particular case is of a governor targeting one vulnerable minority group for different treatment for an attribute that has nothing to do with their job performance. That IS fascism.

    I agree, provided you remove the subjective term “vulnerable”. The state should not target any minority (or majority) for different treatment, positive or negative. Which is why our laws shouldn’t be specifically identifying any of them in the first place. Saying something like, “You kids can split up the ice cream, but make sure Johnny gets his fair share OR ELSE!” is still giving Johnny different treatment.

  26. 26 Scary Fundamentalist Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Bleat:

    Aside from your assorted contradictions, contortions, and redefinitions, let me spell it out for you:

    Whether I think it’s okay to do something or not is irrelevant. Ethical positions do not, in and of themselves, authorize the state to enforce them.

    …we are only as free as the least of us

    Once again, you’re talking about equality, not freedom. Freedoms are inherent to every human being, so even the “least of us” have all the same freedoms as the “most of us”. All of us, from the least to the greatest, inherently have the freedom of speech. That doesn’t mean that some of us won’t be better speakers than others (some of us will even be mute), nor does it mean we have any entitlements to a platform to speak from.


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