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Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2008, 04:59 PM
Number of posts: 5,018

Journal Archives

On the prevalence and "normalcy" of indoctrinating children in religion

A nice summary of the common defenses I see to religious indoctrination of children, a practice so widespread that many see it as completely normal.

If it's a "privilege" to vote for...

a candidate you respect, trust, and most agree with on the issues, if it's a sign you live in relative luxury to be able to vote in such a way, guess what, it's not you who is privileged, it's the system that is fucked up.

Imagine a parliamentary democracy with proportional representation and multiple parties. Sanders and Clinton could form a coalition in such a hypothetical. People could vote for more than two choices! Is this hedonism possible? Would the privilege levels be too high?

I'm going to vote for Clinton in the general even though I think she's a moderate conservative who has thrown various demographics under the bus when it suited her because I'm a pragmatist, not because I'm underprivileged. I'm not forgoing a privilege by voting this way, I'm reinforcing it by voting for someone that will maintain the status quo very well.

Having only two choices in a democracy is a lack of privilege, IMHO, and for the principled that just won't vote, I'm not going to blame them, I'm going to blame the fucked up system we're in, one I'm endorsing by voting for Clinton and the Democratic establishment, who, as far as I can tell, would never want to see a multi party system and who are thrilled at the idea of supporters of a moderately conservative, status quo, infinitely privileged candidate lecturing others on their "privilege" for not voting the lesser of two evils.

Seriously? It's bad enough I feel like this is my best choice in this system, by to lay down this "privilege" gauntlet just seems like the ultimate irony in how to defend privilege and the status quo.

Why the War on Drugs is a Huge Failure

You want a more liberal Democratic candidate?

Well here's a reminder we are a pretty conservative country to this day, and that spills over into the Democratic Party.


Most Democrats don't describe themselves as "liberal", though it has been shifting that way for a while. Most of the party describes themselves as moderates or conservatives.

No liberal candidate is going to win a primary for a party with that ideological make up.

Part of the battle going forward, besides promoting liberal ideas, is just making liberal ideas seem normal and not whacky, and eventually people will think they're quite "moderate". The idea to mandate insurance to cover people with pre-existing conditions is seeming more and more "moderate" all the time for example (and yes, there are yet even better more liberal policies such as single payer that would eliminate the need, but it is getting people to think of healthcare as a right, a liberal idea). I think Sanders campaign is helping do that by simply bringing up major liberal policy goals in a country that hardly ever even hears them. But don't get your hopes up much more than that, or more positively, don't take for granted the positive aspects of this primary even if Sanders cannot win it.

And hold Hillary's feet to the fire, it won't lose her votes, and it will drive liberal ideas if we are consistent across candidates.

Progressives, we have a problem...

The party that most aligns to your views, the Democratic Party, isn't all that progressive, and a significant chunk of self-identified Democrats are bigots, homophobes, racists, sexists, and conservative.

This isn't from a collection of twitter posts. This is from polling. Feel free to dispute it, buy I think it represents a fairly accurate view.

First, keep in mind that only 32% of Americans describe themselves as Democrats. (2015)


8% of Democrats are not willing to vote for a Jewish president. (2015)


11% of Democrats oppose interracial marriage (from 2011, the latest survey that split out by party affiliation).


15% of Democrats oppose universal healthcare (2015)


19% of Democrats identify as conservative. (2014)


32% of Democrats don't identify as "pro-choice". (2015)


36% of Democrats are not willing to vote for an atheist. (2015)


36% of Democrats identify as moderate. (2014)


41% of Democrats are not willing to vote for a socialist. (2015)


41% of Democrats are classified as "young Earth creationists". (2012)


44% of Democrats oppose gay marriage. (2015)


A large portion of Democrats have views that are ban-worthy on DU. The way our electoral system works, progressives must work for a fairly conservative party. Only 44% of Democrats identify as "liberal".

It's hard to get excited working for a moderately conservative party. It's hard to have enthusiasm working with bigots, racists, sexists, homophobes and conservatives towards a watered down common goal. Without any political party that represents their interests, and no chance of one happening anytime soon (see corporate donations and lobbyist control), I think many progressives are disillusioned and apathetic, and may become more so, with the only motivation being fear of the far right.

Saying Islam has nothing to do with the Paris attacks...

Or that the terrorists that carried out the attacks are not "true" Muslims, is like saying that institutional racism doesn't exist, or that white privilege isn't real. And it should be treated as such, but it's not, even on DU, because it turns out something called religious privilege exists.

Quite like how right wing conservatives will equate any criticism of our societal structures or real problems as "reverse racism", many on here and certainly around the world equate criticism of Islam automatically with an ethnic or racial attack. Both are deflections from even aknowledging a problem exists.

And both are fed by privilege. The vast majority of the world is religious. No one wants to be associated with people who do bad things they disagree with in the name of their same religion. And, because the vast majority of people want to have their privilege without confronting troublesome issues within their own belief system, the idea that religions are by definition good, and any bad act is by definition not religious, is a wildly popular and accepted idea embraced most everywhere, as it is a great boon to anyone religious, as the vast majority of the world is.

This privilege is so widespread that liberals seem to exhibit almost as much as conservatives, if not more so. Especially as liberals want to believe in a world where everyone gets along, the idea of any "true" religion being inherently good is a tempting one. Religion has such a powerful and protected status, it's much easier to go along with the status quo and not challenge religious ideas, but instead simply redefine religion to fit whatever worldview a person holds.

This idea ignores fundamental problems in religious ideas.

Islam, as described in the Koran and Hadiths, says a lot of things which most here would fervently disagree. Many people define all the bad parts of these books out of their definition of Islam. But that's not how religion works. The bad ideas of Islam must be addressed, because many people do in fact take them to be true, and a lot of these ideas are very mainstream in the world as a result, with no challenge to their foundations, but instead efforts by liberals to redefine the religion rather than challenge the ideas, because of religion's power and privilege.

Few seem willing to question these bad parts because it ultimately leads to questioning the whole thing. And so many people are so scared at the idea of a religion not being true they will jump through as many mental hoops as needed to maintain their belief while discarding all the parts they disagree with. This is where the privilege of religion most stands out.

Religious privilege means being able to identify with a belief system that has a holy text which endorses bigotry, homophobia, genocide, misogyny, etc. and not expect anyone to think you actually subscribe to said beliefs, in fact, to be offended by anyone who would associate your relief system with the horrible proclamations made within your own holy texts. It means being able to flat out state that anyone of your same belief system who acts badly is simply not a "true" whatever.

This is where moderate believers uphold and support religious power and privilege, which only helps religious radicals like ISIS remain relevant elsewhere. After all, ISIS also believes quite a few Muslims aren't true Muslims, as anyone can use that idea to work to their advantage.

If you identify with a religion whose official dogma or text supports bigotry, homophobia, etc., think about why you continue to identify that way. Chances are, the power and privilege of religion will have a lot to do with it. Maybe you like the community or the opportunities provided to help their people. But again, if you continue to identify or even indirectly support a system that you fundamentally disagree with, question whether the privilege you are helping uphold is good for the world. Because I don't think it is.

To close racial gaps, the economic status quo must change...

It's not the only part of the solution, but a necessary part of any solution. We've had a moderately conservative Democratic Party for decades, and the leaders still by and large support the status quo of an economic system that protects and shelters white privilege, and racial gaps still remain as gaping as ever.

Clinton is not only the status quo Democratic nominee, a direct result of privilege and status as an insider for years, but her policies are all more of the same.

If we want greater equality, we can do so much better than Clinton. She will keep the status quo, and she has been very explicit about that. Her big donors are among the greatest benefactors of the privilege this system brings, and we see who they are.

The epitome of religious privilege?

Definitely getting there.

It's just so HARD to be a bigot in today's world! Why doesn't an increasing portion of the U.S. understand religion makes being an asshole OK? I can't help it I worship a homophobic psychopath! If I don't he'll torture me for eternity! Gees, I could use some appreciation here!

Novelist admits she was wrong to oppose Charlie Hebdo award


And an excellent summary of the whole debacle:


American writers misunderstanding French satire. At least one had the courage to own up to the mistake, hopefully more will?

Imagine the Colbert show being attaked, and French artists blaming Colbert because of his racist and bigoted show.

Ex-Muslim calls for more critique of Islam from the left


A bit of a long video, but mirrors a lot of my thoughts on some of the victim blaming and genuflecting on the left when it comes to Islam.
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