Archive for January, 2010

No Weed for Jesus!!

26/01/2010

Religion and Support for Marijuana Legalization: 2008 GSS

Several states are considering legalizing Marijuana to end the nonsensical “war on drugs” (aka the war on blacks, hispanics, and hippies), and to generate enormous tax revenue while decreasing law enforcement and incarceration costs. It’ll be a huge uphill battle, since the Feds ain’t ready to give up their welfare-for-fascists program–after all, we need to spend those billions of tax dollars supporting the livelihoods of narcs and prison guards. In an earlier post, I tracked the trend in support for legalization, and showed the huge period effects in support for legalization–with the nadir in the Raygun-Bush regime, and an upward trend since. I was wondering whether religious factors might play a role in the issue, and how.

To my surprise, what I find is that ALL Christians in the US express similar levels of opposition to legalization. Mainline Protestants, Catholics, and Sectarian Protestants have roughly the same level of approval. Sectarians are, as expected, on the low side with only 1/3rd supporting legalization, but Catholics and Mainliners are both well under 40% (which is the mean for the nation). In constrast, the majority of all types of non-Christians support legalization. Jews lead the way with 70% in support, while about 57% of those with no religious affiliation want legal weed. I’m pretty sure that if Jesus existed, he was a stoner. So, I really can’t explain these results. Well, except maybe that Jesus was also a Jew….

Majority Rule, anyone?

20/01/2010

One of the greatest minds in the history of sociology, Theda Skocpol, has a wonderful take on what went wrong in Mass, and what needs to be done.  Sociologists often associate Skocpol with her long-term stint at Chicago, but she’s been living in Massachusetts since at least the early 1990s (I think she spent the first few years at Harvard commuting from down Jersey-way, as her spouse was working at Bell Labs with my father-in-law).  Skocpol has even become a Patriots fan! And, she’s an activist in the Democratic party at the national and local level.  Frankly, instead of having dickhead politicians and socialites call the shots, people like Theda Skocpol should be telling socialites and politicians which way to go and with whom.

Land of the Warmonger, Home of the Pussy

16/01/2010

Rush Limbaugh on Haiti, even easier than those boys in the Dominican Republic

It is no accident that the wackjob conservatives all shit themselves anytime something remotely threatening happens. Recent psychological studies show that conservatives are pantwetting cowards, and their behavior is quite consistent on that. As a consequence, we’ve been bombing countries that might have some remote chance of harboring someone who might harm their lily white skin, and using robots to do it.  And, because the perceived threat for these pussies is from the remote regions of the Middle East, we have several TRILLION dollars worth of equipment and manpower sitting around in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in military bases FAR, FAR, FAR from these United States of America. And, for good measure (and to increase profits for some Mormon owned companies in the defense industry), we’re stepping up the drone bombing of civilians in Pakistan and elsewhere….great. Idiots.

So, since all of our shit is “over there” we don’t have any shit over here! Damn good thing California wasn’t hit with the big one….As for Haiti, do you know who was the first major responder with shit on the ground, technical personnel with experience and dogs and ultrasound and shit like that? Turkey. Yes, Turkey. An Islamahomocommie country. Fucking Turkey is pulling out survivors while the Americans are cowering at the airport afraid of the black people. Well, actually, the Americans don’t have any trucks, excavators, or security personnel to escort the convoys—because they are all in fucking Iraq and Afghanistan! And, we’re pussies. I bet the Turks don’t have security. They ARE secure. That’s the way it is when you aren’t a pussy.

Jesus Hates Haiti

14/01/2010

Yes, it was the pact with Satan to remove the godly white people from Haiti which doomed those evil voodoo worshiping dark skinned people to devastation, so saith Jesus’ personal spokesperson, Pat Robertson. Jesus fucking shit. Can we please get those reeducation camps rolling and get Pat and his people into some intensive therapy?

And, of course, since most of the mobile infrastructure of our great nation is being used to blow people up in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’re not even very well equipped to help people in need. Our trucks, mobile hospitals, doctors, soldiers, engineers, excavators, search dogs, you name it, they ain’t around. Important shit we need to help people in our own country and in our own backyard is being wasted hurting people elsewhere.  Doctors without borders is getting some money from me.

The New Negro

12/01/2010

The answer is in here, we just need a 9' guy

Gee, in the classic doublestandard, the party of racism  and Dick Cheney’s demon spawn are now calling for Majority Leader Oldfucker Reid to resign for saying “Negro dialect” in a private conversation two years ago. He did not, importantly, refer to any particular person as a “Negro”. Yet, at the same time, the head of the Republican party is calling for Reid’s resignation, and yet the little head of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh and his buddies, are decrying the identifier “African American” as simply a bogus, politically correct term.

As a sociologist, I’m amused on both points. First, racial identities are highly fluid, and in the course of my lifetime I’ve seen Colored, Negro, Afro American, Black, and now African American become the preferred identifiers for people in the US with some African heritage. Given that most of these people are former slaves, and that the slave trade ground to a halt in the early 19th century, the vast majority of  “African” Americans are WAY more American (whatever the fuck Amerigo Vespucci has to do with anything) than are most Cracker Ass Whiteys. Most of the “Africans” have been in the United States longer than the vast majority of Irish, and longer than almost any of the Germans, Poles, Hungarians, Russians, Italians, Swedes, Dutch, etc.

People get to call themselves what they want, I suppose. But I have to admit I was bummed when “black” went down sometime between 1989 and 1995 (I judge that based on editorial suggestions on my publications during that period). Frankly, I didn’t see anything wrong with “colored” (nor did the NAACP or the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church) since that more accurately reflects their varied heritage (and their color)–the PC moniker “people of color” reflects this reality. And, the real reason I hate “African American”  (unlike Glenn Beck and Rush, who just hate Africans), is that we finally have African Americans!!! In 1965 we lifted the old exclusion acts, and low and behold, there were actually some people from Africa who wanted to come to the US and make it their home (Crazy Shit!!!–those people obviously never consulted with any of the “Africans” already living in the US). Now, we have pretty substantial populations of Americans who immigrated from Africa. So, now, what are we supposed to call them? African African Americans?

Bowie Birthday Bash…..

09/01/2010

He’s afraid of Americans…and rightly so….Zappa never forgave him for stealing Adrian Belew, and you can see why in this. Wow.

Phil Hammond, 1931-2009

07/01/2010

One of the good guys is gone. Phil Hammond, one of the most prolific and influential sociologists of religion in the late 20th century, died Christmas eve. I wasn’t close to Phil, but we had several wonderful talks, and he had a strong impact on my view of editorial decisionmaking. I was envious that Phil got a chance to do a thorough and novel study of the Nichiren Shoshu/Soka Gakkai Buddhists in the US. It was late in his career, and probably didn’t mean much to a guy of his stature. But it was a project that Julian Groves and I had dreamed about in graduate school, and Phil executed it to perfection, while we were denied access (being the loser graduate students that we were). On top of his many influential works on American religion, Soka Gakkai in America is the premiere study of the largest Buddhist movement in the US.

When Chris Ellison and I became editors of Review of Religious Research, Phil provided some quite cogent advice, and it wasn’t something I was prepared to hear. He said that sometimes you can’t listen to the reviewers. That you have to think about the importance of a study on its own merits. Really good stuff is often dismissed by run-of-the-mill reviewers. Don’t be afraid to make your own decisions, Phil said. I was a bit taken aback. I was still relatively naive, and thought that people would give an honest effort when reviewing a scholarly work. I was wrong. Phil was right. I’ll miss him.

Tiger’s New Religion

05/01/2010

Rates of Self Reported Marital Infidelity by Gender: 2000-2008 GSS

Some Teee Veee Jesus freak supposedly named “Brit Hume” has weighed in on the all-important issue of Tiger Woods’ penis. It’s not like we’re conducting two wars or have 12% unemployment or anything, let’s talk about some athlete’s infidelity on the supposedly “serious” news. Among the many problems with “Brit” is that he seems to have no understanding of the relationship between religion and sexuality. Taking a look at the behavior of the C-Street hypocrites may help–and you have to know, that they’re forgiven because of Jesus H. Christ, which means that they can do it again!!!! And, it’s ok!! For Calvinist types and Moslems, infidelity is the fault of the temptations posed by women (blame it on the women….). In contrast, for Hindus and Buddhists, sex is a frivolous attachment to the material world. It’s something you’re supposed to get over once you grow up and become more enlightened.

And, even in the United States, rates of infidelity play out according to that script. Buddhist men are less likely to stray when compared to Protestants, Catholics or other “christians.” Of course, if we really want to cure Tiger of his straying penis, he needs to get a sex change and convert to Hindu or Islam! No Hindu or Moslem women reported marital infidelity between 2000-2008 in the General Social Surveys.

Update: For anyone who thinks that Hume’s comments are perfectly ok, just insert “Jewish” for “Buddhist” in any of his statements and then think about how you might expect public reaction to fall. Of course, nobody gives a flying fuck about Buddhists, those slant-eyed asian fuckers, eh?

And, for the record, Buddhists are the largest non-Christian group in the US after Jews, and they ain’t far behind (especially in the younger cohorts). About 1% of Americans are Buddhist, more than identify with Islam, Hindu, or Sikh. Given current trends, there should be more Buddhists than Jews in the US in the next 2o years.

Rick Warren’s $900,000 Jesus

03/01/2010

I saw a $900,000 Jesus....

Well, gee, just like his old buddy Oral Roberts, Dick Warren managed to get his rubes to cough up the cash “needed” to continue his ‘ministry.”   Yeah. Gotta fund some Christianist militias in Africa, and some anti-homo legislation, and maybe some Republican candidates to help prevent socialist, communist, islamic, homosexuality from taking over our great God Fearing Nation. Oh, and some good white Christians may be facing foreclosure on their homes and Hummers, and Big Dickie will surely save a few of those fat ugly Christianist bastards from his church (and put it on Teee Veee).  And, like his Christianist predecessor, Warren’s pleading for cash was rewarded by the Christian fundamentalists who fuel sectarian Christianity worldwide. They want a Christian America, a Christian World, and they’ll pay to make it happen!

That’s great!!! And, it’s a wonderful exemplification of why the religion industry should be taxed, just like the music industry, sports, or any other cultural commodity. These people desire a cultural collective good which they find valuable. I find their product noxious, and the spillover of Christian activism into many realms of life has real consequences for my well being. Not only are Warren and his ilk funding political movements opposing civil rights, education, and health care in the United States, they’re also the backers of US aggression in foreign policy, and are quite successful in their efforts to help Christian converts in lesser developed nations triumph over other religions–generally through the time-honored technique of genocide. It is no wonder that our latest would-be suicide bomber was a Nigerian Muslim, hailing from a country where Christians have killed tens of thousands of his co-religionists. It’s time to make Christian activists compete on an even playing field with other cultural institutions which suffer from their activism. Tax the income, property, and assets of religious organizations the same way one would if they were pornography producers, record companies, or breweries.