Sunday in Outer Blogness: Parade of Patriotism Edition!

Now, let’s just dispense with the esoteric discussions on the true dirty definition of “tea-bagging” since the tea-baggers are just patriotic Americans who don’t like taxation without representation, and if your favorite candidate fails to get elected one time, then the patriotic thing to do is, well, secede from the U.S. of A., right? Or not.

Then, for fun, guess who this patriotic quote belongs to:

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.

It’s none other than Orson Scott Card, the new Mormon on the straight-only-marriage NOM board (not to be confused with the real NOMs), replacing an apostle’s son.

The weirdest disconnect in the whole right-wing-anti-government movement is their relative silence on the torture issue. This is just me, but I would think that if your issue is to supposed to be protecting freedom against tyranny (from your own government), then preventing your government from being authorized to torture people at will, without trial woud be a very big issue. But since we don’t want to paint all conservatives with the same brush (cluelessness), kuri points out a Fox News guy who gets it. Times & Seasons is also discussing the possibility of impeachment for Jay Bybee, the Mormon who signed the torture memo. At the very least, it’s a little disturbing that he hasn’t been excommunicated — given that someone else got ex’d for the (worse???) offense of making a calendar with pictures of shirtless guys. Well, if Bybee’s church and country won’t scrutinize his actions, there’s always the Spanish inquisition, er investigation.

Jesus’ General gives us a few remarks about rule of law:

The most obvious problem in all this is the fact that Barack Obama is using as an excuse the idea that his administration needs to “assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution.” Exactly the opposite needs to be the case: people who act on behalf of the government must be assured that unless they exercise some basic moral and legal common sense reasoning, then they will be held accountable for their actions and prosecuted for violating any laws — most especially obvious laws which any half-conscious adult should have noticed they were breaking.

And Atheist Revolution provides a very thorough and comprehensive list of articles and resources to help people who want to take a stand against war crimes and pressure the Obama administration appoint a special prosecutor.

Whew, on to more cheerful topics! Earth Day!

Even the bad boys of LDS Inc. are greening up their act with the 1st LDS Green Building! On a smaller scale, my sister was motivated by her Green Thumb church class to get her kids to get their hands in the dirt and do some gardening for Earth Day. The Mormon folk have put me to shame since I didn’t do anything for Earth Day — I kinds forgot about it since I was busy tooling around some lake in Italy. Now, of course I can point out that I used exclusively public (and foot) transportation for my entire trip (+ one tour group excursion), so all of those boats would have run anyway even if I hadn’t been on them. Still, it’s not clear that pleasure touring in internal-combustion-engine boats is really in keeping with the spirit of Earth Day. *Sigh*, I’ll do better next time.

Here’s what the others of Outer Blogness have done:

Sabayon counters commercial environmentmentalism with waste-less tips. She also talks about the value of cutting back on meat consumption (echoed by Mr. FOB), and here’s a book report with practical green-eating tips. To appreciate the Earth, Journey Gal posts some beautiful nature-vacation pics, and LET posts a classic from Carl Sagan.


C. L. Hanson is the friendly Swiss-French-American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! Follow me on mastadon at or see "letters from a broad" for further adventures!!

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8 Responses

  1. kuri says:

    I didn’t know that Bybee is a Mormon. I did know that the two psychologists who reverse-engineered the military’s SERE program to develop the CIA’s torture program are though. And presumably in good standing also.

    Is it premature to say that something weird is going on here? We have six people — four lawyers and two psychologists — known to be heavily involved in setting up a probable war-crime regime, and three of them are devout Mormons.

    At the least, it seems to disprove the idea that Mormonism arms people with some sort of superior moral compass. And certainly it suggests the opposite, since being involved in torture and probable war crimes apparently is just fine as far as the Church is concerned.

  2. Craig says:

    I don’t expect the church to take any action. They are, of course, loyal patriotic church republicans. The church only excommunicates liberals and intellectuals who want more expansive, fairer human rights, not fewer, more limited.

    Ironic, isn’t it?

    Oh, and OSC’s insane desires for revolutionary hetero-Christian mob-rule makes NOM and by association the entire anti-gay rights movement even less credible and even more ridiculous and laughable.

    It’s too bad that he’s such a giant bigot, because I used to like his books, but now will never read or purchase one again.

  3. chanson says:

    Kuri — I concur. Given the proportion of Mormons in the general population compared to the proportion of Mormons implicated in the highest levels of war crimes, the stats are highly disturbing, to say the least…

    Craig — So true. And the most perverse irony of Card’s position is that he’s almost surely one of the people decrying “the nanny state” in other contexts. Yet he wants the government helping him teach his kids the “true definition of marriage”? Jesus, what a maroon.

  4. For those who find the behavior of OSC and LDS Inc. perplexing, I highly recommend you find some time to read The Authoritarians, a free online book that examines the psychology of the followers of authoritarian leaders. It’s written by a psychologist whose been studying this subject for decades.

  5. Craig says:

    Here is a link to a Times Op-Ed piece that has several quotes from Bybee and some of the results of Bybee’s amoral dealings.

  6. kuri says:

    Contrary evidence? A female LDS soldier in Iraq killed herself a couple days after refusing to participate in the brutal treatment of prisoners.

  7. kuri says:

    Church attendance correlates with support for torture.

  8. chanson says:

    Thanks for all of the additional links! It’s interesting to note the connections among religion, authoritarianism, and acceptance of stuff like torture (when authorities claim it’s necessary/justified). Actually, I’m reading The Authoritarians right now.

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