WH Didn’t Want to Acknowledge Drone Program

After missing “Up With Chris Hayes” Sunday morning, I caught an extremely important tidbit from the show reported by Politico.

First, let me say that I would be a devoted “upper” if it were not for the demands on my time as wife and mother to my toddler and infant. It is a far more important show than “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation,” and “This Week.” The significant content varies, tends to be much more relevant than the headlines the other three stick with and the diversity of guests is more than laudable. Sometimes Chris speaks when he should listen and interrupts when he should stay quiet, but I cannot judge one who must command a two-hour show for the same faults I myself commit routinely.

According to Politico today, Robert Gibbs revealed that, upon becoming White House spokesperson, he was instructed not to acknowledge the existence of the drone program. He gives the matter its necessary weight, saying he thought the practice undermined confidence in the administration.

Many, including Dan Rather, assert Obama has not fulfilled his promise of more transparency. Now, I agree that Obama has not been nearly as transparent as many of us had hoped. Obama’s counter that his has been the most transparent administration in history is no real defense. One’s sin cannot be justified because of others’ greater sins. We are all accountable for own actions.

The fact remains, however, that using unilateral executive authority to order the deaths of anyone, let alone American citizens, is wrong.

Our democracy was constructed under the main guiding principle of checks and balances. Certain executive orders and privileges should and do exist. Assassination, however, should not be among them.

The revelation that the Obama administration did not want their voice to address the drone program illustrates an extreme dereliction of duty. As someone who has cast two votes for Barack Obama as president, I demand my executive give full accounting of the history of this military practice and bring it inline with constitutional, legal and moral foundations.

So must all who voted for Obama.

We cannot impugn the Bush administration gravely for their perpetration of torture and then give our representative a pass on KILLING people. It will be the liberals who change Obama’s procedures and we must demand action. Silence is consent. This is not a gray area. There must be action. Now.

Angry Atheists

Keli Goff posted a blog on The Huffington Post that pretty much said, blah, blah, blah, why are agnostics so angry, blah, blah, blah, they shouldn’t be so angry, blah, blah, blah, I only know four agnostics, blah, blah, annoying worthlessness.

As an atheist, I feel compelled to explain our “anger.”

Preface: 1. I’m sassy, not angry. 2. I skimmed the last 2/3 of her blog because the first third was so annoying. Don’t judge, you’re probably only skimming this blog right now. 3. I’ll be speaking of atheists as though we are a homogeneous group in complete agreement about everything (Which is quite untrue. You wouldn’t believe how many non-believers favor Ron Paul. Blech. And I disagree with Bill Maher all the time, especially on his aversion to meat). 4. I’ll be lumping agnostics in with atheists for the purpose of this blog. I know the debate and nuance regarding the distinction between the two, but please, time is money, people. 5. This blog will be just as annoyingly long, if not more so, than Keli’s.

Keli G. is a prime example of a minority group failing to understand the oppression and experience of another minority group. This is an understandable reality. People shouldn’t expect black people to be in total lockstep with the LGBTQIA community simply because black people have faced extreme oppression. Black women are the most Christian demographic in this country. Oppression does many things to a group of people, but it doesn’t guarantee empathy. Her lack of understanding and attempt to suggest to us an alternative approach to thinking and behavior simply illustrates the age old adage that she should walk a mile in our shoes before declaring judgement.

Now I begin my bulleted, therefore easy-to-understand, list of atheist grievances.

  • I don’t care if you find this self-indulgent conceit; it is true at this day and in this time. Athiests/agnostics are more informed and educated than the average citizen. An overwhelming majority of the scientific community does not believe in a supreme being. Only 2% of prisoners in the U.S. are atheists. An understanding of the history of Christianity and religion itself provides a clear illustration of Christianity as a business/political tool that renders belief in Christian doctrine almost silly and yet it is the basis for so much prejudice and hate. It is difficult to watch over and over Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, John Hagee and all the rest use their position, due to religious fervor, for certainly evil purposes. These men wield powerful influence for ignominious purpose because scores of the population believe the ridiculousness in the Bible is true and divine. This is irritating and frustrating as all get out. It’s not that Christians are on the default stupid list, but you never see news stories about Ponzi schemers targeting a group of atheists.
  • If Christians were Christ-like, we would have no beef with them. Alas, Christians are by far one of the most hateful, exclusive, intolerant, mean, judgmental group of people to grace this planet. Visit Austin for a weekend, where quite a bit of the populace is atheist. You will find warm, friendly welcomes everywhere you turn while you drive a few hundred miles north to Oklahoma and you’ll find some very negative religious vibes. I know. For something awful I done in a past life, baby jesus seen fit to make me live in OKC for almost two years. I only survived by drinking heavily. You want to find a group excepting, understanding, engaged, interesting and friendly peeps – visit your local atheist meetup and the odds are you’ll have a good time and leave with an exhilarating afterglow from the presence of people who welcome your experience, not just your wallet. Maybe I oversold that a bit, but you get the point. Now for the requisite disclaimer that I know a ton of Christians who are loving and friendly and warm and cuddly. I live in Texas for chrissakes.
  • Public perception of atheists is, for not one comprehensible, defensible reason, HORRIBLE. Closet atheists blanket the land of the free and the home of the brave. Visit clergyproject.org. Visit an atheist meetup. You’ll encounter person after person who lost acceptance from all of their families and friends because they don’t believe in a god. The stories posted on Friendlyatheist can be heartbreaking. A 2006 Univ. of Minn. study found atheists to be the least trusted of minority groups, behind Muslims, recent immigrants, and homosexuals. USA today reports of a small study by the Univ. of Oregan found that: “The study, conducted among 350 Americans adults and 420 Canadian college students, asked participants to decide if a fictional driver damaged a parked car and left the scene, then found a wallet and took the money, was the driver more likely to be a teacher, an atheist teacher, or a rapist teacher? The participants, who were from religious and nonreligious backgrounds, most often chose the atheist teacher.”What the fuck is wrong with people?! I’m one of the nicest people I know!
    Think about it. Obama is probably a closet atheist and has to stay that way because his elected office dreams would have been toast were he to be honest and open about this non-belief. And it’s not just the president. Try being an atheist in the South. Mum is the freaking word if you aren’t a churchie of some sort. Revelations of this flavor get people faird (fired) down here in these parts. Teachers are mean to your kids; neighbors won’t let their kids play with yours. Media outlets won’t run your advertisements. If we looked different, we’d face any and every form of discrimination legal and otherwise. Imagine your mom and dad disowning you because you took a look around and said, you know what? The evidence isn’t there. I just don’t believe all this baloney. That would make a person angry, Keli Goff.
  • Much of the terrible, civil rights-limiting legislation passed these days has its foundations in religious doctrine. Atheists think of gay issues as their issues, women’s reproductive rights issues as their issues. You will search long and hard to find an atheist opposed to gay marriage or a woman’s right to choose an abortion. That is due to the fact that these are merely two examples where offensive legislation has its roots in religious doctrine, where believers choose to thrust their prejudice upon the rest of us, defending their repugnant ideals and actions by clinging to the false notion that the U.S.A. is a Christian nation, the “Founding Fathers” ordained it so. While they will remember the Constitution’s tenets well enough to permit those of other religions to legally worship, they continue to foist their “beliefs” on the rest of us, limiting our freedoms to choose to do in our private lives what we will. They would use the government to control others, while screaming foul the second the government forces them to respect the will of others. They eagerly accept government funds and tax exemptions while decrying government control and inserting opinion into the political sphere. Their actions are nothing sort of detestable, hate-fueled hypocrisy of the shadiest sort and they bring shame upon this country – which belongs to ALL OF US. So, why would we be angry, Keli Goff?

You know that bumper sticker: If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention. Well, maybe the question isn’t why are agnostics (and atheists) so angry, it’s why aren’t we angrier. Maybe if we were, Scott Walker would have lost his recall election, Republican billionaires wouldn’t have so much power over our electoral system, religious leaders would be deterred from attempting to determine the direction of the legislative agenda, corruption wouldn’t be so completely entrenched in our state governments, etc., etc.

If you find our anger unpleasant, Keli Goff, than so be it. I would say you are then an obstacle to progress. Our anger will help change this country for the better, whether we are enjoyable to be around or not. Perhaps one should try to understand why a group of millions of people are the way they are before suggesting they should all change.

And, P.S., I’ve only scratched the surface about why we angry.

And can someone set up a meeting between Keli Goff and Jamila Bey??

Which States Ban Atheists from Holding Public Office?