Monday, April 27, 2015

Truth Abides

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
- Arthur Schopenhauer

The hypocrisy of patriots knows no bounds.

But then again, that’s really nothing new, is it?

“Congress has the ability to remove appellate jurisdiction. What that means is, we can actually take from them their right to rule on marriage before they even rule on marriage.”

It seems religious leaders have demanded certain members of the Supreme Court recuse themselves from hearing a landmark same-sex marriage case which begins today.

Religious leaders are afraid they can’t win with just a simple conservative majority on the bench, they want at least two of the liberals removed completely.

They know what’s likely coming. We all do.

Nothing is certain, of course, not with this court, but history is a river and we can look upstream to see the oncoming flood.

Sooner or later, the only qualification for two people who want to get married in the United States of America will be that they are consenting adults, all else will be irrelevant.

Marriage is a civil right, a human right, it is a relationship and a legal contract between two people and anybody who isn’t one of those two people should not get a vote. Period. End of discussion.

And sooner or later, inch by painful inch, just like every other civil right in this country, we’re going to get there. And that, that right there, is what frightens the bigots more than anything else – just as the end of segregation frightened their parents, just as women’s suffrage frightened their grandparents.

They're scared, these little haters. 

Just as they’ve always been.

They’re terrified of the future, just as small men are always afraid when they know in their heart of hearts they are on the wrong side of history.

"Standing on the steps of the Supreme Court, Scott Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, told reporters he’s filing a motion with the Supreme Court calling for the recusal of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan."

Abiding Truth Ministries.

Abiding Truth.

The Truth, no less. The Truth. 


Listen, when religious leaders like Scott Lively speak of Truth, especially when it's capitalized, you can be absolutely certain whatever comes next will be anything but – and it’ll usually be accompanied by a big pile of firewood and a stake, because their form of truth cannot abide honest scrutiny.

Not content with just stacking the court, Christian conservatives are now attempting to remove its constitutional jurisdiction altogether.

Last week in the House, Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced the Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act of 2015.

In the Senate, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced The Protect Marriage from the Courts Act.

Both of these bills, should they become law, would prevent federal courts, and in particular the Supreme Court, from ruling on marriage in any form.

If such a law had been in place a few decades back it would still be illegal in certain states for people of different races to marry – not that rich white Christian men just exactly like Ted Cruz and Steve King didn’t try then to pass similar laws.

They failed then, they will fail now.

They were on the wrong side of history then and they are on the wrong side of history again.

That’s the one thing you can always count on when it comes to these people.

They are so certain of the Godly "truth" of their bigotry, so proudly righteous in their smug hate and conceited bias, so positive they can turn aside the onrushing tide of history, so filled with love for the American system of law, they know they will carry their cause...

... if they can only stack the court.

Or get rid of it altogether.

Oh, sure, we're right.  We are. We are. We've even got God on our side, God. That’s right, we do. Sure. See, um, but, ur, well, the Supreme Almighty King of Kings and Lord of All Creation just can't prove it in a court of law. God is all powerful, His Truth is Truthful and his mojo is terrible, oh you betcha, but He can't win in court because, you know, sissy liberals and sparkly gay people. So anyway, you'll just have to take our word for what Angry Sky Man wants, okay? Great, so everybody has to do what we say now, that's what freedom of religion means.

It's ironic, isn't it? That their "Truth" can't stand up to the scrutiny of the court?

It’s ironic, isn’t it? That their “Truth” can’t carry the day on its own merits. Funny, isn’t it, that an abiding self-evident Truth can’t sway those who see things differently solely because it is an abiding self-evident truth.  Must not be very powerful, this great Truth.

Unless, you know, it’s not. The Truth, I mean.

But, oh how they love America, these Patriots.

They do, their blood runs red, white, and blue with the love of Jesus. Like Ted Nugent, they clutch tight their guns and weep tears of blood for America, because they love it so much.

They just don't like that part where they have to share America with everybody else.

See, that’s the problem, right there.

For them, for people like Ted Cruz and Steve King and Scott Lively, America is an exclusive country club for Christian white people who look and act and think and hate just like they do.

It’s Heaven in that regard.

And the only people in their heaven who aren't just like them? Those would be the servants, the waiters and the valets and the lawn jockeys. 

Listen to me: If you have to throw out half the court in order to win your case – even though you already have the majority –  if you have to alter our form of government so that you can just bypass the court altogether, solely in order to impose your religious beliefs on all the rest of us, then your truth is a lie.

You are not just.

You are not righteous.

You're not a patriot.

You are the enemy of justice, of liberty, of freedom, and of the onrushing future.

You are the very absolutists, the very religious fanatics, this country was designed to protect its citizens from.

You are, in point of fact, the small men your own prophet spoke so forcefully against and in that story? You’re not the ones who carried the cross, you’re the ones who pounded in the nails.

As such, I fully expect you to try and cheat because those like you cannot win any other way.

But know this: you will not succeed.

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: not going all the way, and not starting
- Buddha


  1. "They" always say we have the best system of government in the world right before they want to change it.

    And, of course, if their side doesn't win in an election, why it must have been rigged or the other side must have somehow gotten a lot of people to vote who should not have voted. The fact that they voted against their side means that they should not have voted, right?

    1. I'm the 20th and I have no punctuation or grammatical corrections!

  2. In many jurisdictions, such as Hawaii, in the 50s and 60s Ted Cruz would not be considered white, because he is descended from the Iberian Peninsula

  3. I envy your confidence that these bastards WILL LOSE, because I see so much idiocy around me.... [sigh] really, it does me good to read your essays, and your commenters, Jim!

  4. Once again, thank you for saying so well.

  5. It is ironic that this is coming before the court now and not say ten years ago when Republicans had a majority in Congress AND a Republican President. If they had they might have tried what FDR considered doing to protect the New Deal legislation. FDR had considered raising the number of justices on the court to 15, but Congress wouldn't go for it AND as it stands one or two conservative leaning justices opted to retire (one also died).

    One hopes that the actions taken recently by King and Cruz will come back to haunt them later on the campaign trail and they will be shown the exit by voters.

    1. I don't know about King, but sadly, the same idiots here in Texas who voted Cruz in will most likely keep him there.

    2. King is the representative for Iowa's 4th district, essentially the NW quadrant of the state, which is solidly Republican and populated by an extraordinary number of far right-wing religious conservatives and wackadoodles. They adore Steve King, even as embarrassing as he is to the rest of us Iowans, and they will continue to elect him as long as he runs.

  6. For the record I wouldn't care if someone wanted to marry a dung beetle, just don't try to convince me that rolling a ball of shit around my yard to the right path to salvation.

  7. Yes, try as they may these small minded bigots will be drowned in the onrushing flood of equality. I wish there heads would explode when all their hateful religious ideas are found to be nothing but air.

  8. Great article, Jim. I too look forward to watching all the conservative heads explode like the climax of Kingsman.

    I've been gone awhile. What's the latest and greatest for submitting corrections?
    Short version: The Schopenhauer quote is legit, but the Buddha quote is mis-attributed.


    1. Not a Buddha quote but possibly just as true,

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.
      Dalai Lama

      Thanks again for your sanity, Mr Wright

    2. Maybe misattributed or maybe not from my reading of the link you provided. To say something is misattributed, one should be able to correctly attribute it elsewhere.

      Old Navy Communications Officer

  9. Great post. As I see it, any law restricting the Supreme Court from ruling on the constitutionality of another law is itself unconstitutional. There are many cases where the Supreme Court has chimed in specifically because Congress failed to act on an issue, and the Court was happy when Congress finally got around to clarifying things. But this is not what these two ignorant men are trying to do right now. They are not trying to fill a void in the law, they are trying to restrict any court oversight of an area of law that has significant impact on the civil rights of a fairly large group of citizens.

    The only thing that can restrict reviews of constitutionality would be an amendment to our Constitution.

    1. Completely correct. These buffoons are on a hiding to nowhere. They even know it, they just want to pretend they are standing up to the godless heathens, and to create another reason to stoke their outrage with the President (who will of course veto any attempt to pass such an obviously flawed, not to mention retrograde, law.

    2. Steve King and Tail-gunner Ted don't expect to actually influence the Court: they're just going through the motions in order to pile up political capital. "We fought the good fight against those Godless, liberal, etc., etc., etc."

  10. Just. . . Beautifully elucidated. A profound pleasure to read, thank you.

  11. Scott Lively is going to protect the truth for me, after he consulted for the Ugandan government on a set of laws that make it possible for that government to imprison and execute gays for who they are. I might as well have trusted Adolf Eichmann to watch my belongings, bank account and dental work while I did hard labor at Auschwitz.

  12. The other thing is that they have the arrogance to claim they speak for religion. They don't, of course. PRRI polls show that a strong majority of American Christians support marriage equality. E.g., "More than six in ten (62 percent) white mainline Protestants support
    same-sex marriage. ...And while the Catholic Church officially opposes the legalization of
    same-sex marriage, about six in ten white (61 percent), Hispanic (60
    percent), and other non-white Catholics (60 percent) support allowing
    gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. A majority of orthodox
    Christians (56 percent) also support same-sex marriage."

    But today that presumptuous windbag Ted Cruz claimed that Christians couldn't be Democrats and vv. Thus arrogating unto himself the ability to see into other men's souls, so to speak...


  13. Several months ago our pastor gave a sermon on judgement letting us know that we didn't need to carry the burden of judging others....God would carry it for us....All we had to do was love one another. "Isn't that wonderful?", she said. I was born and raised in the Episcopal religion, although mom had us visiting other churches as well. I went through a spiritual quest in my early 20s exploring all sorts of religious beliefs. At the end I went back to the Episcopal beliefs....primarily because they do not judge others....they just love them and let the Creator take care of the rest. I hate it when religious beliefs get entangled with civil law. Thanks for communicating how deadly such a "marriage" would propagate.

  14. As always, Jim, you said it far better than I could. Oddly, as soon as I read your first sentence, my brain insisted on putting quotation marks around "patriot." I can't help but think those so-called patriots have a different definition of the word than the rest of us do.


  15. In the UK we have had 'Civil Partnerships' for over 10 years (same-sex marriage in all but name). We now (rightly) have same-sex Marriages.

    Did the world end, did the ground open up and swallow us all?

    Of COURSE not, what actually happened is a part of Society who were routinely discriminated against now have EXACTLY THE SAME RIGHTS AS EVERYONE ELSE.

    How else could you have an equitable society?

    I was under the impression that the U*S Constitution talked about 'all men being created equal'. I gues that only holds true if you are white, rich, hetero and male!

    1. And Christian... you can't forget about Jesus

    2. Being from the UK you can be forgiven for not knowing our national documents but most US citizens don't either.
      Actually it's the Declaration of Independence that states all men were created equal. Our rights based document.
      The Constitution is a legal based document that spells out how things are to be run and who runs them, not a peep about rights in the whole thing. Folks at the time wouldn't let that kite fly so The Bill of Rights were attached at the tail to make every thing seem OK.
      To listen to the Tea Party you'd think the Revolutionary War was fought for the Constitution. Nobody fought the Revolution for the Constitution. The War ended in 1782 and the Constitutional Convention wasn't even called until February 21, 1787.

  16. Alas, pity the poor bigots and apostles of hate. For lo! One by one their bogeymen have been wrested from their shaking hands: the darkies, the little women, they've thrown off their proper obedience to the rightful masters and dared to demand a share of power and respect. And now those horrible sodomites, they refuse to stay closeted as God meant them to, no, not only do they thrust their sinfulness into public, but the public refuses to shove them back where they belong! What's a poor upright man of God supposed to do when all his traditional whipping boys and doormats refuse to accept their divinely appointed roles?

    Ah, well, at least they still have those evil Muslims to raise the hue and cry over. And I suppose illegal immigrants are still useful for rallying the haters. But gosh, it's getting harder and harder to find a good target for some godly wrath. Who else can they find to demonize? Who else can they look down upon and despise like the good Christians they are? How can they sleep soundly in their superiority when their inferiors refuse to accept their subordinate role?

    Maybe that's why these Christianist bleaters whine so stridently about how persecuted they are these days -- nobody's letting them persecute others like they did in the good old days.

    1. Never Ben Better, you turn a pretty good phrase.

    2. Atheists, my friend. Because they are truly Godless and therefore have no protection. They can be looked down upon with impunity and, indeed, with righteous and holy wrath. They're not as much fun to persecute because you can't tell them on sight, but it's something.

      Beautiful prose, Never Ben Better!

  17. Religious edicts from bigots with overreaching agendas is precisely why I no longer care to follow formal religions tied to the 'holy' bible.
    Thanks for continuing to cast the bald light of fact on these dipshits.

  18. When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.....Sinclair Lewis 1935.

  19. "The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." -- Louis Brandeis.

    In my view, the bigots are not well-meaning. In particular, the men leading the charge are doing so for their own political gain. But assuming that a handful of those who oppose equal marriage may be characterized as well-meaning, it is still important that their attempt to impose their views on everyone else be resisted at every turn. As Jim points out, they are on the wrong side of history. They are also on the wrong side of the Constitution -- we all have the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." If that doesn't mean the right to establish a household and build a family with the person of one's choice, I don't know what does.

  20. The thing is, I'm not for or against gay marriage, or for or against christian marriage. I belong to the "it's none of my damn business" party. If it's two consenting adults, if there's no direct harm to anyone else, then... it's none of my damn business.

  21. By trying to prevent the Court from ruling on same-sex marriage because their version of Christianity opposes it and they fear the Court might say that it is a civil right, these lovers of the Constitution are promoting breach of the First Amendment, the part that says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...". Isn't that what a religiously-mandated directive about who may marry would be? -- an establishment of religion, the enshrinement of a religious doctrine in the law, or even in the Constitution.

  22. Thank you Jim for your common sense way of explaining the stupidity in this Country. I have sent many friends to your blog, and they have all thanked me for introducing your blog to them. I get so depressed some days with all the hate and fear mongering going on in this Country. I then remember I just need to go to your site and read and re-read your words for an hour or two and then I feel much more positive. I appreciate your wisdom and perspective in these trying times we are going through in our Country.

  23. It isn't Sharia Law if it's based on the Bible, right? Same goes with those "Religious Liberty" laws that various states are playing around with. As long as it is based on their interpretation of the Holy Bible, and not the Qur'an, it does not cross the line separating church and state, amirite?

  24. Yeah! And we have our own Jerry Prevo busy trying to get his little sycophant and Koch puppet Amy Dembowski elected as Anchorage's Mayor so they can continue to keep Anchorage in the good 'ol dark ages.

  25. Thank you again for your eloquence. I really get tired of these sick folk claiming to speak for me, and was relieved to see many churches signing on amicus briefs supporting marraige equality. History will prove them wrong, and likely their heads won't explode and sadly, they will move on to another focus of their bigotry. I sincerely hope the rest of us can survive whatever whacko thing they come up with next.

  26. "You are, in point of fact, the small men your own prophet spoke so forcefully against and in that story. You’re not the ones who carried the cross, you’re the ones who pounded in the nails." This is the best two lines pretty much ever. Can I use this when I get frustrated with my more conservative friends?

  27. "'There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation", said Pierre Elliott Trudeau, back in 1967. He was right then, and he's right now.

    Barbara Kwasniewski

  28. Thank you. From the bottom of my happily married lesbian heart, thank you.

  29. I just enjoyed this post immensely. That is all I have.

  30. Beautifully written, as always. Thank you. Barbara Schneider

  31. OMG! Right when I read "We've even got God on our side ..." my phone rang -- and IT WAS GOD!!

    He was calling to tell me my Chinese food had arrived and to ask what was my apartment number!!!

    Finally -- PROOF that I'm 100% right about absolutely EVERYthing plus I'm a MUCH better person than everyone else!

    Fuck, am I stoked!!!

  32. The party and mindset of "smaller government" except when they want their way to be your way. Tiresome. Great post.

  33. Scott Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, told reporters he’s filing a motion with the Supreme Court calling for the recusal of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan." And in addition to what you have so concisely pointed out, the 2 justices that they wish to remove, are of course, women. No surprises there.

  34. Brilliant. Just plain brilliant. Thank you Jim. Think it's time to make another contribution to keep you supported.

  35. "You are, in point of fact, the small men your own prophet spoke so forcefully against and in that story? You’re not the ones who carried the cross, you’re the ones who pounded in the nails."... Blammo!

    I've been saying the same thing, in various way, for many years. As usual, the very ones who need to hear that the most, refuse to listen or consider. The insistance of and obsession with wallowing in miseries, some being self inflicted, and with spreading those miseries is just too powerful for a small and narrow mind to resist.

    Sad. So very sad.

  36. Once again, "Thank you!!'
    Elaine in Canada

  37. Great article as always, Jim. You should really publish your writings! Can I say, though, I was a tad disappointed that the title had nothing to do with "The Dude Abides" from the Big Lebowski? ~ Yellowgirl

  38. Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience. Adam Smith

  39. These same creeps had no problem whatsoever with Scalia not recusing himself in the GITMO cases – AFTER his hunting and dinner dates with Cheney. Or when Clarence Thomas did not step away from the ObamaCare cases despite a clear conflict of interest with his wife.

    Cruz, King, et al are disgusting - nothing more than lying, cheating hypocrites. They are the ones who had better fear their god – I’ve read where he and his son don’t look too kindly on people like them.

    Chris in S. Jersey

  40. Gott mit uns
    Never trust anyone who capitalizes the word "truth" anywhere but the beginning of a sentence.

  41. I'm quite sure as well that marriage eqaulity will be upheld, but this seems to be the wrong question. At some point, the majority conservative Christian married lawmakers passed laws to let people like themselves benefit at the expense of gay and single straight people through a tax code and entitlement survivor benefits system. Straight marriave was held up as for the good of society, so it was subsidized, and singles bore the cost. What marriage equality does is move a subset of gays from victims to benefactors, but the system will still be unfair to gay and straight singles.

  42. Another one of your posts I wish I'd written. So I wrote a variation on the theme; http://ranthonysteele.blogspot.com/2015/04/partnership-by-any-other-name.html

  43. Are you assuming that the opponents actually believe any of what they are saying? My assumption is that while they may have some honest reservations (or just elemental disgust) around marriage equality, they're really playing to the people who will give them money and votes. The sad thing is that there are people who really do believe what the pols and the preachers and the institutions are pushing. For them it's just business, but their followers are our fellow-citizens, with whom our destinies are linked.


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