Skepticism

Perry: Not Ashamed, For Some Reason

Have you seen Rick Perry’s latest ad? For those outside the US and those hiding their heads in the sand, Perry is running for President of the United States of America, and this is the sort of shit he’s putting out there:

Here’s the transcript:

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.

As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.

Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.

I’m Rick Perry and I approve this message.

Forget that Christians represent the largest religious group in the US, at around 70% of the population. Forget that homosexual men and women are daily giving their lives for this country. Forget that separation of church and state protects the citizenry’s right to practice whatever religion they want. Forget that Rick Perry is wearing the same jacket Heath Ledger wore in Brokeback Mountain (found via Reddit):

Brokeback

Forget all that, because Rick Perry has, in 30 seconds, let us all know that Christians are an oppressed minority who are beaten with their Bibles for wearing Christmas sweaters to school and then forced at gunpoint to shower naked with horny homos in Afghanistan.

Thankfully, he’ll be ending that war on religion you didn’t know was happening. Remember when Obama authorized troops to storm into churches, kill all worshippers, and board up the doors? It happened about a year ago, I think, right after Obama approved about $140 million to be given to faith-based initiatives:

“It kind of fell from the sky, and it was unbelievable that we had this much extra money,” said Jackie Rucker, executive director of the church-sponsored nonprofit in Pennsylvania’s capital.

It definitely happened after Obama publicly identified as a “Christian by Choice,” saying that “I think my public service is part of that effort to express my Christian faith.”

I’m pretty sure it came some time during those two years that Obama dragged his feet and ignored gay rights groups who called on him to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. But it was definitely before that well-documented string of suicides from gay students who were bullied, often by their Christian peers who tell them they’re going to hell.

Yep, that’s probably when the war on religion [Christianity] started. Let’s hope Perry wins the election! It’ll be nice to have a President who is anti-war.

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Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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56 Comments

  1. These homophobes are fucked and they know it. They are running scared. It’s quite obvious.

    Also, Perry isn’t going to be the Republican nominee. Romney will be. And Romney wears magical underwear. Not that that’s any weirder than what Christians believe, imo, but America as a whole won’t see it that way.

    Obama will be President again. Guarantee it.

    1. I hope you’re right about Obama being president again. I know he’s let a lot of people down, but I still think that he was the best option in the previous elections. What I don’t get is people who are disappointed in Obama and have now turned to the republicans/tea party. That’ll just take them further away from what they initially hoped for.

      1. Sadly most will stop voting instead of flipping. And given that Obama managed to inspire traditionally disenfranchised or under voting groups it’s unlikely they will come back to voting in future elections… which is very depressing…

        and now I’ve made myself depressed. I’m just going to go sit in the corner now.

      2. Why do you want Obama to be president again?

        He is the darling of the big banks, ya know, the people who are destroying this country. We can talk about how terrible it is for the conservative christian homophobes, but at the end of the day, they are getting fucked just as bad as the rest of us as corporatism and police states take over america.

        Sure, have your gay rights, but lets sacrifice all our civil librities and things that actually matter in a functioning society. Obama failed us in every aspect. He failed us on health care, he failed us on wrangling in the banks, he failed us on medical marijuana. But you know who he didn’t fail? The rich and wealthy. These republicans are all clowns and the only person with integrity there is Ron Paul, but the media will continue to ignore him and give these false ideas that gengrich or romney are leading. Its a joke, and Obama is just going to do more to favor the banks and wealthy once he is in office again.

          1. What is so awful?

            What would you rather have in a hypothetical situation. 1. Martial law, consolidation of power across the US, SOPA, Protect IP and the continuation of Patriot Act which has only stopped 1 terrorist attack, but has invaded the privacy of many americans just to wrangle up a few tax cases and drug arrests.

            2. Have a president who actually tries to stand up against everything listed @ 1 with taking the risks of letting states decide matters like gay marriage and abortion.

            Situation 1 effects every american, situation 2 effects only a small amount. I hope you have your priorities straight Rebecca.

          2. Also that bit about the gay rights was concerning people who would want to choose Obama over someone else like Ron Paul.

            Are you actually in favor of gaining minor ground in the rights of LBGT and the likes while allowing corporatocracy to make huge leaps and bounds in controlling our law making process. You may want to call marijuana a petty issue, but its tightly connected to how corporations and patent laws have a strangle hold on what is and isn’t allowed to be researched. Its also connect to our over burdened and corporately run prison system which sucks up ridiculous amounts of money.

            What about the likes of Bradley Manning and Julian Assange? Are their likes not as important as the LBGT comminity in your eyes? Like how Bradley Manning has been indefinintely held without trial this ENTIRE time.

            If Obama doesn’t Veto the upcoming indefinite detention act that is making its rounds through congress, then all of your civil liberties and the bill of rights will become technically meaningless.

            Oh yes, I guess I’m just awful.

        1. schwarzwald, do you remember who Obama ran against? Do you seriously believe that would have been better?

          Sorry, but it is true that you have to vote for the lesser of two evils. You don’t have to like it but you are kind of forced to do it.

          Meanwhile, if you want better choices, go help make them happen. There is a process. These candidates don’t spring fully formed out of a primary contest. Influence who your state reps are, because they are often where the congresscritters and gubinors come from. And those are the presidential candidates, by and large.

  2. Glad to see we are taking a stand against this kind of nonsense. I’ve been away from Skepchick for a while, but I’m very happy to be back.

    The American electorate will always do the right thing. At least after they’ve done something stupid fifty times in a row.

    Videos like this are the last gasp of a breed. Listen to Perry closely, you can hear the death rattle.

  3. Shame on you Rick Perry for going after people serving in the military because they don’t observe your religious beliefs! If I was going to ride my moral high-horse and take on moral issues that are actually weakening America, it would the be government and corporate corruption.

  4. Oh hey, Rick Perry? Um… you don’t live in a country where gays can openly serve but children can’t celebrate Christmas or pray in school. You live in a country where gays can serve in the military AND children CAN celebrate Christmas AND pray in school. They can. They really can. They can pray all they want. They can sit at their desks and pay all day long. They can pray while they do math. They can pray while they decorate their desks, cubbies and lockers with Christmasy, crossy, mangery goodness. They can read their Bibles during study hall. They can express their religious beliefs pretty much any way they want to as long as it’s not disruptive.

    I understand how offensive it is that bad gay people are allowed to sacrifice their lives and freedoms to kill bad guys in order to protect your right to use your religion to hate them for serving you. But the thing is, you still have that right… so… yeah.

    1. No, actually a lot of what you’re saying is fallacious. Kids may be able to sometimes get away with it, but no, they can’t actually pray in school or express their beliefs. And it’s because, leftists/liberals, whatever you collectivist people allign with, champion or whatever, do not, in fact, want everyone to have freedom to live and be. You want people to sing and dance to your tunes.

      Same as on the right. I don’t know what he means to do, this Ron Paul guy. But I understood his sentiment as: wow…now the pendulum swung the other way? WTF.

      And you’ll all laugh sadistically to yourselves (or make comments like you just did), not admitting you’re glad it’s happening, essentially. Because in actuality you all hate fundamentalists and forget it’s really the behaviour a portion of them exhibit, especially those that are involved in our government.

  5. If I was a Christian, I’d say “amen” to Rebecca’s post and all the great comments. But I’m not a Christian, so I’ll just, say to Rick Perry, “Fuck you, you homophobic, wearing-your-religion-on-your-sleeve (of that nice jacket) asshole.”

  6. “The State Department is infested with communists. I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.”
    Sen. Joseph McCarthy

    *—*
    Pres. Richard Nixon durring 18½ gap in Watergate tapes

    “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity”
    Ann Coulter

    “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”
    Gov. Rick Perry

    That’s some fine company you are keeping my friend.

  7. If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences.
    H. P. Lovecraft

  8. ROTFLOL. The current ad at the bottom of this page is for Rick Perry for President. I had gotten logged out for some reason and had to log back in to comment. Before that, the ad was for online degrees from Liberty University. Glad they don’t know what their advertising dollars are funding :-)

    BTW, that was pretty clever of Obama to get mandatory public school prayer banned in 1962, when he was less than 11 months old. I’d call that precocious.

  9. As a generally conservative Texan (but waaaay to the left of Perry and not a believer), I say relax, he won`t be the nominee.

    Or should I say, start worrying, he won`t be the nominee. Although Perry is fading, and Gingrich is this week`s flavor, Romney is the most likely.

  10. A friend of mine made this recommendation:

    Here’s what you do: (1) Click the link to open up this Rick Perry ad. (2) Click the little flag button below the picture. (3) Choose “Hateful or Abusive Content” from the pop-out menu, then choose “Promotes hatred or violence.” (4) When it asks to indicate what the hate speech was about, click “Sexual Orientation.”

    I think everyone should do this.

  11. Translated:

    I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know this isn’t a Christian nation when gays don’t have to stay closeted in the military while they still protect our freedoms, but our kids can celebrate Christmas or pray in school as long as we don’t tell them they have to.

    As president, I’ll end Obama’s giving all religion a free pass and concentrate on giving Christianity special priviledge. And I’ll fight against people correctly pointing out that not everyone in this country is Christian.

    Faith has made America’s students atrociously dumb in math and science and if I’m elected I’ll do my best to put us back into the dark ages.

    I’m Rick Perry’s translator and this is how I interpret the insanity and lies he said.

    What really scares me is that he may probably get more support if he actually said it that way.

  12. Every time I see one of these posts by Rebecca I shake my head and the same sentence comes to me: this is why skepticism and politics don’t mix.

    Politics/public policy is about making value judgements, some informed by science, some not. Exactly what skeptical point are you trying to make Rebecca? That politicians bend the truth in order to target specific constituencies? Or is it that only Republican politicians do this? Because I’ve been listening to SGU for a while and reading this blog for a comparatively shorter period, but have yet to see you bash a Democrat in this way…

    Where was the bashing of Obama when he not only held on to but expanded the Bush era faith based initiatives program? Or when he failed to change their hiring practices? Just searched through a couple years of archives on this site and haven’t seen any…

    I have no problem with liberal skeptics or politically active skeptics from either side of the isle. What I take issue with is people – I’m looking at you Rebecca – using the imprimatur of skepticism to make blatantly partisan political/public policy arguments.

    You’re a liberal, I got it. Change the name of the website to “Liberal Skepchick” and you’ll never hear me bitch about this again. Start bashing Obama and/or liberals in the same way for some of the unskeptical shit they pull and I’ll shut up. But you can’t claim the mantle of objectivity when talking about science and turn around and throw that objectivity out the window when you talk about politics.

    1. Start you own blog to talk about what you want to talk about, it’s that simple. If Rebecca’s liberal politics bother you so much, and the really seem to despite your protestations, then skip over those posts because she has zero reason to stop posting them.

      But really, stop stating your opinions and I’ll stop complaining? Really?

      It’s ok, complain away. You can be ignored.

      Rebecca does not pretend to be the arbiter of all that is good and skeptical, and she is simply pointing out that Perry is making factually incorrect statements about children not being unable to celebrate Christmas or pray in school and is setting those ridiculous statements against the ability of gays to be able to, finally, openly fight for their country. In other words a lie wrapped in homophobic patriotism.

      Obama was taken to task for extending the faith based initiatives, just because you can’t find them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. And don’t ask me to hunt them down for you because, quite frankly, you are the one that is all hot and bothered over this, not me. Besides, it would probably bug the hell out of you that during that criticism it was pointed out that he also stopped discriminative hiring practices by those who get the money. Can’t go giving something back while criticizing can we?

      I will give Perry this, his hair looks well groomed. There, I can say something good about him.

    2. I could just ban you – then I wouldn’t have to hear you bitch AND I wouldn’t have to change the name of my own fucking site. Dear lord you are pathetic.

      Also, you get an F in reading comprehension, since I actually do criticize Obama in this very post. “F”s have been grounds for bannings in the past but somehow I just like keeping you here so others can bat you around like a toy for my amusement.

      1. Actually in a little over a month I’ll be in Afghanistan so I won’t be around for your amusement – nor will you be around for mine as I have a different perspective on who is batting who around…

        I do find it interesting that your first instinct is to ban me. For what exactly? Saying you’re a liberal? Daring to criticize you? Are either of those not allowed on Skepchick? I’ve never attacked you personally or made a point without backing it up with evidence.

        It can’t be reading comprehension – unless I’ve missed your blog post “Democrat Presidential Candidates: Don’t Vote For Us”, or the post where you’ve written something similar to this: “Have you seen Barack Obama’s latest ad? For those outside the US and those hiding their heads in the sand, Obama is President of the United States of America, and this is the sort of shit he’s putting out there.”

        From your ABOUT tab: “Skepchick is a group of women (and one deserving guy) who write about science, skepticism, and pseudoscience. With intelligence, curiosity, and occasional snark, the group tackles diverse topics from astronomy to astrology, psychics to psychology.”

        From your Author Bio: “Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org and appears on the weekly Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it.”

        Neither of those describe the partisan liberal politics which is the focus of a good number of your posts. I started reading this blog because I love SGU, and wanted more skepticism. I kept reading this blog because you frustrated me with your left-wing political focus.

        Maybe you don’t have to change the name of the blog – perhaps a simple admission would suffice: Hi, my name is Rebecca. When I’m not talking about science I’m promoting liberal public policies and bashing Republicans every chance I get.

        Look – this is your blog, I respect that and what you’ve done to promote skepticism around the world. In the grand scheme of things my point is minor, but still important. When you talk about science, you tell your audience what you’re bringing to the table: evidence based analysis. When you talk about politics, you do not give the audience the same courtesy. You don’t say I’m a liberal and I’m going to talk about politics from that perspective.

        Are there things right-wing politicians do which raise the ire of skeptics? Absolutely. Are there things left-wing politicians do which raise the ire of skeptics? Absolutely. But on your blog we hear one side of that story with a megaphone, and the other side – if it’s heard at all – is a whisper. Someone whose skepticism extends to politics would give each side roughly equal time.

        So – again – I disagree with anyone (from the right or from the left) who uses the imprimatur of skepticism to advance their preferred policy goals/political candidates. And I think it’s pretty clear that’s what you’re doing.

        1. I wish you well in Afghanistan.

          While I believe your ideas of what are “allowed” in the skeptical movement, if it could even be defined, are strange to say the least but I thank you for your service. (I am assuming with majortom as a screen name that your time in Afghanistan will be on duty.)

          I just want to address one more of your points though. You say, “But you can’t claim the mantle of objectivity when talking about science and turn around and throw that objectivity out the window when you talk about politics. well yes actually she can.

          First, you are assuming what she is saying is not skeptical and I think that’s up for debate, but second and more importantly, she isn’t claiming that it is skeptical in any way. What she is saying is that it is an attack on some people and things she holds dear, by definition an emotional thing. He is basing his overall beliefs on a poorly-written ancient tome and those who wield it to further their own ends. Next to that anything this side of Ayn Rand would be more skeptical.

        2. Maybe you missed this, but Skepchick is also known for tackling feminist issues. One of the most common ones is women vs the religious right. The religious right is predominantly represented in our politics by Republicans. There simply are not as many Democrats making batshit crazy statements that are homophobic, sexist, racist, and privileging religion compared to Republicans. Are there some Democrats who do some of that? Yes. And they get called out. But overall Democrats try to pander to their base which includes a larger number of women, POC, gays, and not-crazy-religious-fucks, while many Republicans aim specifically for super religious, homophobic, racist, sexist voters.

          That’s not even addressing the fact that Republicans are far more anti-science, and vocal about trying to do shit like, say, teach creationism in schools. However it may bother you, this is a site for people who are both skeptical (pro-science) and feminists (which could be called humanist, since we deal with race and sexuality as well as other issues). You’re on a website that promotes skepticism of both science-based issues AND social issues, because you can be just as skeptical about religion and pseudoscience as you can about “If we let gays serve in the military it will hurt our troops.”

          As someone who likes SGU, it’s great that you enjoy skepticism. Yay! But please understand that, as Elevatorgate and thingspeoplecallme.com have showed us, women in the skepticism movement are often dismissed, ignored, or silenced. That means many issues that are important to women (and POC, and GLBTQ people) do not get the vigorous discussion that they do here, on a website that is a safe space for those issues to be aired.

          Whether you like it or not, the reality is that right now Republicans are the loudest in speaking out against atheists, science, gender equality, gay rights, classism, and race issues. Without skepticism about “the way things are” Jim Crow would never have been overturned. It is a mistake to limit sketicism solely to the realm of STEM.

        3. excuse me? Where did Rebecca drop the mantle of objectivity or skepticsm?

          Perry said that Christians are oppressed, that Obama has a war against religion, that children are unable to pray in school, and that something is wrong when gays can serve in the military.

          Perry provided no support for any of these positions as in actual facts that actually provide actual evidence that actually supports his position. Rebecca merely stated (using sarcasm) that none of Perry’s statements had supporting evidence, which is true and easily verifiable because his positions are baseless. Perry’s positions are not a response to attacks by liberals, they are made up lies.

          Anyone who has access to the internet would know that Perry’s statements didn’t have any facts behind them. Pointing out that someone’s arguments don’t have any facts behind them is always a skeptical position. Period. Pointing out statements and arguments that are not supported by facts and logic is always a skeptical position. That is how good skeptics try to live their lives.

          If you can only apply skepticism selectively, to political positions you don’t agree with, you need a lot more lessons in skepticism. Being unable to apply skepticism in an area of your life is a sign that you are not a real skeptic.

          I agree, that it sucks to have unsupportable beliefs. That is why skeptics try very hard not to have any, and when skepticism shows a belief to be wrong, a skeptic changes that belief and says thank you to the fellow skeptic who showed them they were wrong.

          That is the reason that reality does have a liberal bias. Most conservatives are unable to appreciate that because they are unable to appreciate what reality is. They can’t deal with reality, so they make stuff up, just like Perry did. They pretend that reality is what they want it to be, and then attack people when that reality is questioned, just like you attacked Rebecca. What did you attack her for? For pointing out that Perry’s statements had no basis in fact and were lies? That is why reality has a liberal bias.

  13. Perry makes an attack against non-believers in a campaign add and the skeptical community can’t say anything about it because that would make us political!

    By the way, I love Perry’s jacket! Is that from the Brokeback collection?

  14. For what it’s worth, I enjoy Rebecca’s political posts best of all. The butthurt caused is the best part!

    I love it when they try to tell you the rules for your OWN blog. Course, BA gets this all the time and has a convenient post with his manifesto to point them at – but they just keep on coming back, over and over.

    Great job again, Mr MM! In a similar vein I enjoyed Marilove’s recent work against Romulus. Great stuff, applause!

  15. Lots and lots of Christian voters will reflexively like this ad. It’s very well-written for a very specific audience. He opens with an allusion to Romans 1:16, then touches on a couple of the Church of Perpetual Offendedness’ favorite topics before kicking up the patriotism. Very nice. Plenty of Christians know that prayer is legal at work and school and Rick Perry is a complete tool, but this ad isn’t for them — and even they might pause in agreement for just a moment, the first time they hear the ad, at those first few words. Bravo, Mr. Perry. Love the jacket.

  16. Rebecca, since you seemed to have locked my original discussion I will ask you this.

    Can you please cite where Ron Paul wants to eliminate all forms of gay rights and marriage? Cause the only people I ever seem to hear that argument from are those who havn’t actually done the research and just seem to be some ignorant talking mouthpiece who associates with the left.

    I’m not republican, and I’m more on left in terms of social values, but I absolutely despise those who make absurd polarizing claims just because a guy isn’t PRO-gays. If you actually take the time to look into ron pauls issues, he doesn’t think the federal government should be involved in any form of marriage, and that tax issues wouldn’t be an issue for gay couples either because he wants to eliminate the IRS as well. So again, can you please cite, highlight and underline the sections in which ron paul wants to remove and take away there rights of gay citizens.

    If you cannot do this, then would you be willing to change your mind?

    1. Also, he seems to be the ONLY candidate, on both the left and right, who truly wants to end our foreign conflicts and restore civil liberties in america. What could be more important then saving american lives and using that saved money from the wars to fund social programs?

    2. No one “locked” any discussion. The commenting system only allows so many reply threads.

      And who the hell are you even talking to, here? Where did I say anything at all about Ron Paul? Are you having a discussion with someone not actually on this site?

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