This Youtube video titled “Test of Fire: Election 2012” was forwarded to me multiple times in the last few months.
The content of this religious political propaganda got me to writing and I decided to craft an honest review. This gets a little long but here it goes….
Top Notch Religious Propaganda
This video from Catholics Called to Witness is nothing more than a very well crafted propaganda piece to play on people’s fears and ignorance. The imagery and soundtrack are top notch production quality by the people at Creative Lab. I’ll give them that but nothing else except for a lot of criticism about the actual content and message that this video attempts to draw from the viewer.
You can instantly tell that this video is goddamn serious because of the dramatic soundtrack, the text is in ALL CAPS, and what I’m assuming are the really important bits are in a different color throughout the whole video.
This frame would’ve been accurate if it read:
IN GENERATIONS PAST, THE CHURCH HAS
ALWAYS GOTTEN AWAY WITH TELLING THE
FAITHFUL SHEEP TO SIT DOWN, SHUT UP, AND OBEY
HER SACRED PERCEIVED RIGHTS AND DUTIES WITHOUT QUESTION.
THIS GENERATION OF CATHOLICS
MUST DO THE SAME BECAUSE WE ARE BECOMING IRRELEVENT.
The video then goes on with more floating text:
MANY ISSUES ARE AT STAKE. SOME ISSUES ARE, NOT NEGOTIABLE.
Uh oh.. shit is about to get real in here. ….aaaaand boom.
Ok. So they’re going to start quoting their bible to justify their moral high ground and to persuade viewers. Ok. Let’s take a closer look at the source material.
It is quite disturbing that they so easily pick and choose passages like the one above to justify their views and get others to blindly follow, when passages like the next one are absolutely horrific.
Or this one.
“May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.” (Psalm 109:8) / Kansas House GOP speaker prayed for Obama’s death; calls the First Lady “Mrs. YoMama”. [source]
A few quick Gallop Poll statistics
If the Bible is what these Catholic voters base their faith and firmly believe that it is the literal and unchanging word of an invisible man in the sky, (which one was he again exactly?) then what about the other content of this so called ‘good book’?
MURDER [huge detailed list source]
- Deuteronomy 17:12, Deuteronomy 13:13-19, Deuteronomy 22:20-21, Deuteronomy 13:7-12, Deuteronomy 17:2-5, Deuteronomy 18:20-22, Leviticus 20:13, Leviticus 20:27, Leviticus 21:9, Leviticus 26:21-22, Exodus 21:15, Exodus 22:19, Exodus 31:12-15, Exodus 12:29-30, Exodus 23:23, Exodus 32:26-29, 2 Chronicles 15:12-13, Romans 1:24-32, Numbers 1:48-51, Numbers 25:1-9, 2 Kings 2:23-24, 2 Kings 19:35, 1 Kings 14:9-16, 1 Kings 18:36-40, 1 Samuel 15:2-3, 2 Samuel 6:3-7, Isaiah 14:21, Isaiah 13:15-18, Ezekiel 9:5-7, Ezekiel 35:7-9, Jeremiah 51:20-26, Jeremiah 48:10, Jeremiah 15:1-4, Jeremiah 50:21-22, Judges 15:14-15, Judges 18:6, 18:27-29, Judges 20:48, Acts 5:11, Joshua 8:1-29, Joshua 6:20-21, Joshua 7:19-26, Genesis 34-35:5.
RAPE [detailed list source]
“If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.” – Deuteronomy 22:28-29
- Deuteronomy 22:25-28, Judges 19:24-25, Deuteronomy 20:10-14, Deuteronomy 22:23-24, Deuteronomy 21:10-14, 2 Samuel 12:11-14, Numbers 31:7-18, Judges 21:10-24, Judges 5:30, Exodus 21:7-11, Zechariah 14:1-2
SLAVERY [detailed list source]
“When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be ped. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.” – Exodus 21:20-21 NAB
- Leviticus 25:44-46, Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-2, Luke 12:47-48
SEXISM [detailed list source]
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak”
— 1 Corinthians 14:34
- 1 Timothy 2:10-12, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, 1 Corinthians 11:14, ,Ephesians 5:22-25, Colossians 3:18, Romans 7:2, Titus 2:3-5, 1 Peter 3:1-7, Genesis 3:16, Leviticus 12:2, Leviticus 12:5, Esther 1:22, Job 25:4, Ecclesiastes 7:26, Deuteronomy 22:5
INTOLERANCE [detailed list source]
- You must kill those who worship another god. Exodus 22:20
- Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own. Deuteronomy 13:6-10
- Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you. Deuteronomy 13:12-16
- Kill everyone who has religious views that are different than your own. Deuteronomy 17:2-7
- Kill anyone who refuses to listen to a priest. Deuteronomy 17:12-13
- Kill any false prophets. Deuteronomy 18:20
- Any city that doesn’t receive the followers of Jesus will be destroyed in a manner even more savage than that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Mark 6:11
- Don’t associate with non-Christians. Don’t receive them into your house or even exchange greeting with them. 2 John 1:10
- Shun those who disagree with your religious views. Romans 16:17
- Paul, knowing that their faith would crumble if subjected to free and critical inquiry, tells his followers to avoid philosophy. Colossians 2:8
- Whoever denies “that Jesus is the Christ” is a liar and an anti-Christ. 1 John 2:22
- Christians are “of God;” everyone else is wicked. 1 John 5
- The non-Christian is “a deceiver and an anti-Christ” 2 John 1:7
- Everyone will have to worship Jesus — whether they want to or not. Philippians 2:10
- Bastards can’t enter the Lord’s congregation. (Deuteronomy 23:2)
RITUAL HUMAN SACRIFICE [detailed list source]
Other Ridiculous Passages [large collection here]
- A Christian can not be accused of any wrongdoing. Romans 8:33
- (Jesus speaking) “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household'”. (Matthew 10:34-36 NAB)
- “If any man come to me, and not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sister, yet, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).
There are a staggering number of contradictions throughout the entire book.
Origins of the Bible
As a collective bunch of stories on how the people of the past (bronze age goat herders and dirt farmers) rationalized the world around them, the bible could possibly be viewed as an interesting glimpse at the thoughts and ideas from a time period where the human mind relied on it’s own limited devices to explain the seemingly ‘inexplicable”.
As a book for actually explaining anything about anything, it is complete and utter bullshit.
On to the next frame!
Pope Benedict. The same asshole that continues the Vatican’s long history of protecting child raping pedophile priests, while vilifying the victims and their families? F— that guy and anything the Vatican has to say.
The Vatican’s stance on contraception is outrageous. They haven’t just said it’s a sin to use contraception, they have gone as far as lying and telling Africans that condoms increase the risk of AIDS. It is estimated that 1.6m-2m people die from AIDS in Africa per year. That’s a higher death rate than Jews in Europe during World War II. [source 1][source 2][source 3][source 4]
Natural Death – The reference to assisted suicide. Again, the church has no moral high ground on this or anything. This should be a personal decision for the people and families involved.
The next portion of the video goes by pretty quick:
Marriage should be reinforced… not redefined.
I could probably go for twenty pages on this one topic but I’ll try to rein it in a bit.
Christians try to selectively rationalize marriage but it is clear that a true follower cannot divorce or marry someone who is divorced. Your bible also says that anyone who obtains a divorce and marries another is in adulterer.
Let’s take a look at what “reinforcing” traditional marriage via the bible would look like.
- “Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matthew 5:32, 19:9 & Luke 16:18).
- A man must marry and have relations with his dead brother’s wife (Deuteronomy 25:5-6).
- A seducer must marry an unengaged virgin whom he seduces (Exodus 22:16-17)
- But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)
(click image for full resolution)
Marriage History Fail
The church does not have exclusive rights to marriage. It’s beginnings and practice were around long before christianity ever showed up. Over 5,000 years ago, the Sumerians had made laws which regulated marriage. It was only until the 16th century, that the catholic church passed the Tametsi decree, which declared that no marriage was legitimate unless recognized by the church. In other words, marriage only became religious in nature thanks to the concerted efforts by the church by declaring themselves in charge of it.
The massive amount of hatred against homosexuals is truly frightening. Here is an example: There are religious nut jobs lobbying and funding equally insane people in Uganda to enact a law to not only persecute homosexuals but in some cases have them put to death. Among other things, it proposes the death penalty for gay sex in situations in which drugs are involved. That includes any alcohol. It also calls for life imprisonment–not just for gay sex– but for touching with the intent of initiating gay sex. It also requires that homosexuals be reported, including situations in which parents would need to report their own children. If homosexuality is not reported to the government with 24 hours, anyone aware of it can be sent to jail for up to three years. The legislation is being proposed by a Ugandan politician named David Bahati. He is a member of the Ugandan branch of “The Family”, a tightly knit group of highly-conservative christian lawmakers and lobbyists that includes several US senators and multiple representatives at the state and local level. More on “The Family” [more here] Another item I found while reading on the subject; that bigot preacher Rick Warren refused to condemn the law, which really doesn’t surprise me much.
The consequences for LGBT people in Africa and other parts of the world can be a matter of life and death. These ‘loving’ christians are exporting their bigotry and hatred to other parts of the world. Back at home, we now have a culture of hate and bigotry where an increasing number of teenagers are committing suicide because of constant bullying and harassment.
What The Religious Fear Most
When everyone is free to marry whomever they wish, what is the worst thing imaginable that could happen for a fundamentalist christian?
For decades groups like these have been kicking and screaming that society will fall apart, the seas will boil, and other such nonsense. What they really fear most is that absolutely nothing will change and not one single thing will be different in the lives of most people.
This is in complete contradiction with how religion wants people to believe the world works. They are afraid that they will ultimately be exposed as the liars that they are. Their authority will be completely undermined and more people will realize that they do not need that authority to tell them how to live.
This absolutely terrifies them.
Land of the Free
Religious groups like this cannot pridefully profess to live in the land of the free when they actively try to deny rights and discriminate against selectively targeted members of the population.
And on to the next section of the video.
Cardinal Timothy “Pedophile Protector” Dolan
Cardinal Dolan is nothing more than a pedophile priest apologist and bigot. Nothing he says has value.
“Dolan also explained that he wanted to keep the statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims to one-year, because if the church gets sued, “The perpetrators don’t suffer. There’s no burden on them. What suffers are the services and the ministries of the apostolates that we’re doing now. Because where does the money come from? So the bishops of 30 years ago that allegedly may have reassigned abusers, they don’t suffer. They’re dead. So the people that suffer are those who are being served right now by the church. We feel that’s a terribly unjust burden.” [source]
What about the suffering of the victims? What about the suffering the church continues to create by calling the victims liars? What about the fact that the church has been criminally liable and devoid of morality by reassigning and hiding their child rapists for hundreds of years all over the world?
Dolan has also allegedly paid pedophile priests money to quietly leave the ministry.
Disrespecting the American Flag
In the next frame the blacksmith puts down the bars “marriage, life, and freedom” on a table… on the flag!
Whoa! Bad form there fundies! Any ten year old kid in boy scouts would tell these people that this is a complete disrespect of the American flag. Bad fundie!!
United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 — The Flag
§8. Respect for flag – No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
- The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
- The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
- The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
- The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
- The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
- The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
- The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
- The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
- The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
- No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
- The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning
I do hope they call Sara Palin and let her know about item (d.)!
Values of Fear
Will you vote THE VALUES, that will stand THE TEST OF FIRE?
But seriously… At this stage of reviewing this propaganda video it’s just ridiculous.
Here is a great BBC documentary on the power of nightmares and how our very human fears are exploited and used by politicians and the religious.
If you are going to vote with your values, do it out of compassion, empathy, and reason.
Stop being scared all the time.
If we survive ourselves, humanity will thank you for it.
I haven’t even had a chance to write about your inability to understand the separation of church and state, how the church continues to pervert the founding secular principles of this country and several other topics that come to mind while watching this ignorant and bigoted religious political propaganda.
Oh wait! I can write about it! In separate post! Yay! 😀