Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Rant by Ben Ditmars: Read at Your Own Risk!

As those of you who haven’t lost their minds under the constant barrage of politics may know: the Republican Nation Convention is in full-swing. It’s quite impossible to avoid, as the media covers every orifice. A few things bother me more than most. The slogan, brutally latched onto where Obama said, business owners did not build their own business is an unfair assessment. We do not live in a bubble and are a society, having certain social duties to one another. If you don’t like that, you’re probably rich enough to buy your own island and run a Lord of the Flies-esque society. I suggest you do it. More unfair however, is what they are using it to propagate. The Republican Platform on the whole is barbaric. I refuse to sugarcoat it. They want complete corporate control. They do not want the individual having a say. They don’t even want women having a say over their own reproductive system. In what world do rapists have parental rights? Isn’t it bad enough to force someone through a rape pregnancy? But, I’ve digressed as rants tend to do. The idea of “we built it” is as a motto to empower their base. Yet, it also has darker connotations. People are on their own. They should not be entitled to healthcare. They should not be helped to afford it. It should be as expensive as hell and we should have to suffer to let the rich pay low tax rates. Nothing should be done about our larger problems. We must sit idly by and watch. The benevolent market will take care of everything as it always had. What’s that commie? We owed the banks bailout money for being so good to America. Any money they want will come from tax payers for the hell of it. They don’t need to run their business well but damn it if you mess up there’s nothing for you. Don’t count on health care or benefits. We gave it all to the rich. Your tax money isn’t yours, it’s Exxon-Mobile’s. They and BP own our oceans and will do with them as they please. Also, they won’t pay taxes. You will pay tribute to them. They are mighty Gods and you are nothing.


  1. I'm not American, but I admit I find the whole notion of the Republican Party as somewhat abhorrent.

    Don't even get me started on things like govt funded healthcare, which we have in Australia and more or less take for granted. It astonishes me that there are people who actually argue this is a bad idea!

    1. Me too, Ciara.

      I think we have an unnatural fear of government in America combined with an unnatural trust of corporations.

    2. I think it was Hemingway that said there wasn't a revolution amongst the poor here because they look at themselves as temporarily embarassed millionaires. And that's a serious problem too. We want to do everything to make millionaires happy and we want to do everything to be millionaires.

    3. Can I take your comment and post it on facebook Ciara?

  2. Ben, bravo! What can I say. Politically, I fear we will go back in time with a far right Republican agenda. Healthcare, women's rights, more tax cuts for the rich... Thanks for the rant.

    4 times so far of trying to break the code below on verification. hate these.

  3. I have mainly lost my mind under the constant barrage of politics. But I'd like to point out something (I can cause you know, I actually LIVE in this country...and I wouldn't exactly go around criticizing other countries...just something others should think about), you say Republicans believe "People are on their own. They should not be entitled to healthcare." I'd like to point out that actually for the religious organizations who are being FORCED to provide birth control (even though they disagree with its use for religious reasons), it actually saves them money to not offer health care at ALL and pay the fine. Sooo, since we (religious folk...I'm talking mainly Christians here) believe it is better to obey God rather than man, it is actually the Democrats who are forcing us to not offer healthcare to workers.

    @She_Writes: Agreed on the verification. I have to try at least a dozen times before I can get it. However, I disagree that we are going to go "back in time." (I also am historically curious about what time you are referring to) The country is clearly becoming far more left and the GOP is dying. I'm not particularly attached to the GOP because I'm not really into politics. I guess if you pushed me, I'd probably say I vote Republican more often. (Though I originally did vote for Obama in 2008)
    So, I'm not upset about the fact that politically we are moving extremely left, but I mean when you speak of women's rights, the current administration is CLEARLY pushing birth control. So if by women's rights you mean our rights to be used as sex objects (because there is no worry that we will be getting pregnant and making a guy actually step up and be a father) and not respected as mothers than I wouldn't worry. That type of right is offered to us on a golden platter.

    1. Heather you like to point out that you follow God's laws...Do you? How many of those laws do you disregard? that is one of the things that gets to me about some of the people in the circles I am in...they claim to be living in "Gods will" and their actions don't match that...the bible says to a man...Don't wast your seed, it does not say to women don't take birth control because it is a sin and against gods law, besides that part of the bible had more to do with that particular man's actions and why his behavior was wrong. The bible as a whole is very can you live by all of Gods rules as they are laid out in the old testament when Jesus contradicts many of them. In a world without 7 billion people no birth control would be ok, actually in a world with only tens of millions of people birth control would be a sin...

      And I think your statement about women being used as sex objects because of birth control...way off base...women are just as capable of using men as sex objects...or are you saying they are forced by society to have sex? that is how that statement came off to me

    2. I don't know if I like to point out that I follow them. I point out that when it comes to obeying God or obeying man, we are supposed to obey God. I don't disregard any of the laws. (You will now ask me about shellfish and differing fabrics, I reckon...but I believe I have already contextualized those at some point...I don't mind doing them again) Just because I don't do the Old Testament ceremonial and civil laws, doesn't mean I disregard them. They are still meaningful, but in a different way. I don't mind outlining what that is, but it just takes a while. :-)

      You are right that the bible doesn't tell a woman not to take birth control, and honestly there are Christians who are divided on this topic. I don't believe it's right, but it's not based on that passage. There are some Christians who believe it is wrong, and because of that they shouldn't have to provide it.

      Jesus doesn't contradict any of them. He expands them and he corrects some of the ways in which the Jewish leaders had taken some of the Old Testament laws, and many of them he personally fulfills. The bible as a whole is not remotely misogynistic.

      Women can use men as sex objects, yes. That is also wrong. But if I were a man who disrespected women and just wanted to sleep around with them with no consequences, I'd totally support birth control. I think it's kind of a male agenda personally. I'm not saying you (being a man) are forcing women to be on birth control. I just think it's a way of getting out of responsibility.

    3. What does Jesus say, he says turn the other cheek...that is a direct contradiction to what the old testament says, an eye for an eye. That is not a clarification, it is a contradiction. The old testament says the wife is subject to the husband...that is misogynistic...not one woman's teaching is in the bible...of all the disciples not one was a woman. Where are the women? the bible is very clear what women's role in society time you read the bible (and I know you are very educated on that subject)look at how many times it talks about men -v- how many times it talks about women. When you have a monotheistic system run by men how could it not be misogynistic and before you use the argument that it is because god is running the show remember that god gave man (again no mention of women, and as far as I know the original Hebrew phrasing doesn't imply mankind) free and I can both look at where the church has used free will to disastrous consequence. I.E. witch burnings, the crusades...ect ect ect.

      Rather than looking at it from such a narrow view (personal responsibility) look at it from a societal and real view...people are going to have sex out of wedlock, it will happen. Those sexual encounters have the potential of creating children, not all of the pregnancies will have responsible people to take care of the children =orphans and that is a drain on society. The city I grew up in had a HUGE teen age birth rate...young teenage...when I was in school even though the area I lived in was hugely religious and conservative they started a sex education campaign that educated about the consequences of sex and educated about birth control. the teen age birth rate went drastically down, and it wasn't because the kids were not having sex. There are 7 billion people on the planet...

      I would say that sexually active people that aren't ready to be parents are being very responsible by using birth control...

      And for some reason you seem to put the birth control issue off on men...Women's rights groups were the ones seeking free birth control...By and Large Heather your views about reproductive rights as far as contraception goes are in the minority.

      As far as the church goes the way to avoid this law would be to not be an employer...the same goes to Christian Business owners...they cant force their employees to follow the dictates of their (the business owner) faith, what makes this any different?

    4. An eye for an eye was a civil law for the nation of Israel. The civil and ceremonial laws were fulfilled in the work of Jesus Christ. Most of orthodox Christianity will tell you this.

      There were several women disciples. There weren't any women that what you were thinking? There were also some female church leaders. Lydia and Priscilla come to mind. There are some theologians/pastors that think Priscilla may have written Hebrews. Also, I don't see how women "being subject to" their husbands is misogynistic, especially how it is defined in the bible. God gave mankind free will. And we have abused it, but the system was designed by God.

      People aren't animals. We have free will. No one HAS to have sex outside of marriage. We choose to do that. And yes, if people are having sex and using birth control...birth rates will go down. Also, oddly enough, abortion rates go up. And even the Guttmacher Institute admits that.

      I would say if people aren't ready to be parents, why are they being sexually active?

      Yes, my views are in the minority. And yes, women's rights groups are frantically trying to have more and more access to birth control. I have NO idea why, and I'm incredibly baffled by it, but yes. You are correct.

      What makes it different is that we have freedom of religion in this country. AND we have freedom to NOT purchase things...well, we DID have that. We are now currently being forced to purchase things, which is...odd to me. You are looking at this strangely. No one is telling these women they can't be on birth control. However, Christian business owners don't want to buy birth control FOR them. At what point does that cease? Will Christian business owners be required to pay for abortions as well?

    5. Heather do you drive a car? are you forced to pay for car insurance? do you get to say what that will cover at a certain level? I for one am pissed that I have to pay for a service that profits a few and that I have never had to use...but I don't get the right in this state to not have car insurance without paying a consequence.

      You want something for god to be pissed at...Christians proclaiming their piety while being judgmental and "sinful" then standing in front of people and explaining away their bad behavior by saying all men are sinful, and god will forgive them blah blah blah it is a sick self justification.

      Maybe women want to have sex and not get pregnant because it feels just as good for them as it does for the man?

      And misogyny as a whole is based on the premise that women are subject to man.

      And you still can as a christian women choose to not buy contraceptives, but you can not make that choice for anyone else. So religious freedom stops at the door of a business in this country, just because the business owner is Christian does not give him or her special privileges over other business owners. our country prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on sex, religion, or lack there of, gender, age, or sexual orientation...this applies to services rendered as well...that is the separation of church and state. Business falls under the jurisdiction of the state, not the church...if the christian business owners don't want to provide for their non christian workers they can go to Iran, Or Israel where their is no separation of church and state...

    6. And as far as there being no female apostles that is not true...there was originally 7 but the meaning got changed in translation...kind of convenient

      Although the apocryphal Gospels of Christ and James enumerate seven women apostles only Junia is called an apostle in the New Testament; Paul says in Romans 16:7, "Greetings to Andronicus and Junia, my relatives, who were in prison with me. They are very important apostles. They were believers in Christ before I was." In the English Standard Version (ESV), however, this is translated as "They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me."[8]

    7. RE: Christians being judgmental and sinful...sometime I would love to talk to you about this, but I fail to see how this is germane to the conversation.

      Yes, there are women (setting aside the question of how sex feels...I think this is fairly universally acknowledged :-) who want to have sex without getting pregnant. I personally think they've sort of been tricked into that mindset, but yes, I agree that they do.

      Actually misogyny is hatred of women by men. Just because you are in some form of authority over a person, does not mean you hate that person. Now, again, there is a fuller understanding of "being subject to" that I'm afraid you are missing here. Would you like me to elaborate?

      I'm afraid that regardless of how much our current president would love to ignore freedom of religion, it most certainly does not "stop at the door of business." I'm talking here about privately owned businesses, and as such the government has no right to force owners to do things that would violate their religion. People may choose to boycott those businesses and they may choose to not work there, but it unconstitutional to compromise someone's religious freedom.

      Ok, I'm a little confused. You told me that the bible was misogynistic because there were no female disciples. Now you tell me that the bible is misogynistic, and yet there is a female apostle. Wouldn't that make it LESS misogynistic to you?

      Now, the question of Junia is a lot less decided than you think it is. Most biblical scholars say that it probably was "Junia" and not "Junius" as some bibles will say. (Though do note some of the oldest codices ALSO say Junius) There is no clear answer as to whether (assuming she was a she) she was an apostle or an Apostle. There is a difference. There also are scholars who believe she was the wife of Andronicus. Also, keep in mind you are citing a rather poorly regarded translation. The ESV is considered by most of orthodox Christianity to be a very faithful translation of the original text, whereas the New Century Version is not. Also, the New Century Version was actually a revision of an original translation for the purpose of teaching children the bible. It's not exactly the go to for most Biblical scholarship.

  4. I turned off word verification.

    But no one is forcing them. They're just given the option. I would argue to the contrary that Republicans have far more power and the weight of corporate America behind them. Democrats have non existant unions crushed mainly by conservatives. Oligarchs or ruling families basically control the government through lobbyists

    1. YAY for no word verification! :-D

      Ehhh, I don't know. Everyone I guess likes to think they are persecuted. I think the Republicans are not in power and America is getting waaay more liberal. Obviously, I'd LOVE it if that wasn't the case. You think Liberals are not in power and America is getting waaay more conservative. Obviously, you'd love it if that wasn't the case. I guess it's just perspective.

    2. Sometimes I make comments and blogger eats them.

      I basically said: Hooray for no word verification!

      And then I may have said something like: Well, I'd be ok if the country were more Conservative, but I don't see that at all. It doesn't surprise me however that if you have a more liberal mindset you'd see the country as more conservative, and vice versa. I think everyone likes to believe that they are the persecuted ones.