Voter ID laws and judges supposedly ‘legislating’ from the bench

My sister posted on facebook today about Texas’ Voter ID law, one of many pushed through in the wake of SCOTUS gutting the Voting Rights Act, getting thrown out by a federal judge, commenting the usual ‘you have to show ID for X and X, why not to vote? That is judges legislating, right there.’ I sighed, and pinched the bridge of my nose, and we debated for about five minutes whether to say anything at all. Whether to simply post a link to Hillary’s speech about making voting easier in all states in general – which would be ignored, probably without comment.

This is one of the few sisters that I don’t have a strained relationship with, partly because we avoid talking about our politics, and social justice, like the plague around my family – they are all hardcore right wing, to a greater or lesser degree, my dad the most so, but all pretty much in tea party land and I…we are pretty damn far left. Much further left than Obama, or most of the Democrats to be honest. So we do not talk about politics to my family. Regardless of whether their reaction is anger or contempt, ridicule or lecturing on how we are wrong and they are right, it’s pretty much just useless.

However. For some things, sometimes, you just have to stand up and be counted. As it has been said, my feminism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit. Here is my reply, copied as is, though I may add more to it later when I am not half dead from sleep deprivation.

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beliefs as a collective

I had been meaning to do a post for awhile here to follow up the other one, on what specifically each of us believes, because all our spiritual/religious beliefs are as different as everything else about us – the only thing we really think the same on is sociopolitical issues. However, I (Kagi) ended up writing a very long comment here on an atheist blog which attempted to summarise our collective beliefs, that is, roughly what we believe as the All, the Tiramorn Narmacil Isilanta collective.

So I will repost that comment here, and do a followup later with more detail about each of us individually. Having come from a fundamentalist background, and having expressed ourself on the blog in the past as ‘Christian’, I just want to emphasise that our beliefs have been growing and changing as we also grow and change, and having given up on trying to find any common ground with our family, there’s no point in using conciliatory language anymore. We no longer consider ourself Christian, partly because we feel triggered by sharing the label with people who hate us, and partly because it just isn’t true.

We’re universalist, really, and retain some xtian beliefs as part of that, but I’m pretty sure most ‘Christians’, including our science-denying, queer-unaffirming family, would consider us heretics. We don’t care. All we seek is truth.

So, here is the comment:
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just a quick notice

I have been ‘coming out’ recently to my friends and family as a functioning multiple, meaning I have a number of alternate personalities, non of which are dysfunctional or dangerous; there are six of us, in fact. I’ve also updated my profile and About page to reflect this. In coming out, we have needed to change not only the way we refer to ourself, but the way that we refer to our sexuality and gender identity, because all six of us are different on these matters. We also have different views on religion, but generally agree about social issues. As the All, the collective, we are trans non-binary and effectively bisexual, preferring (along with Kagi and Ilka) the ze/zem/zyr pronouns, though Kagi is used to being taken for female and doesn’t mind she/her, and Ilka has recently, for various reasons, allowed the use of he/him for zemself.

First there is me, Kagi, I am the ‘front’, the face and the voice, and I am the one who usually speaks for the All, when we want to express ourself collectively, not as individuals. I tend to switch pronouns between I/me and we/us when what I am saying overlaps with the All (we all do this, I think), and switch completely to multiple pronouns when I am speaking for the All. Continue reading

reblog: The clobber verses of slavery and the slavery of clobber verses

The clobber verses of slavery & the slavery of clobber verses.

This seems particularly apt, in the wake of the shooting, and in the general unrest between white America and those desperate to demand it recognise that #BlackLivesMatter, where each clash of police and protestors seems almost to sound a call to arms, where on twitter now there is a reminder #WeWillShootBack, to remember that the last time racism drove us to arms, it was over defense of theology. A theology that held that scripture condoned and even commanded slavery – and thus biblical literalism was born. All of evangelicalism has followed in its wake, and since there never has been a definitive argument won between the literalists and those who take a broader, more nuanced look at all of scripture and interpret it’s principles as unilaterally leading to justice, mercy, grace, and peace. Equality, freedom, and hope for all. Literalism denies all this. It must, for those are the roots of it, the very basis of it’s existence. If we are to come to terms with racism in this country, white america, religious right america, must turn it’s back on the theology of slavery, and reach for the freedom, hope, and grace that the theology of equality offers. Only then can we admit, how wrong our forefathers were, and how shamefully their racist legacy lingers in the institutions, the very foundations of our society.

see also: Three strikes against white evangelical theology & Slavery segregation and biblical literalism contd

reblog: Jurassic Church World: The Nearing Extinction of Dinosaur Christians

Kagi:

I’ve been saying for years that Evangelical Christianity is built on and made of fear, fear and more fear, with power and control a close second. Fundamentalism becomes God, the Bible an object of worship instead of a guide. Legalism becomes a necessity. They must control everything, or the fear takes over. And the fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering….that is truth. It is true – and it is not Christian. Perfect love casts out fear. Evangelicals left that behind a long time ago, when they betrayed themselves and their communities for the promise of power and money. And they got it, and it corrupted everything they profess to believe in. Megachurches, rich celebrity ‘pastors’, and the wedding of religion and politics…none of this follows the things that Jesus taught were most important. You have lost your heart, evangelicals, and you are very near to losing your soul as well, if it is not already lost. But you will not hear this message, or take heed of it, until it is too late.

Originally posted on john pavlovitz:

DinoEye

Dinosaurs still walk among us; those loud, lumbering, living relics of the distant past.

They spring from the shadows every once in a while, in furious, blustery fits meant to inspire fear in the hearts all those within earshot, but instead they only yield pity. These, after all are not the confident displays of strength from a vital, dominant life force, but the last, desperate gasps of a scared, dying animal.

Evangelical Christianity in America is facing certain extinction.

Not Jesus of course, and not the beautiful, peacemaking, power-checking, justice-seeking, bigotry-busting, healing heart of the Gospel that he carried and delivered by hand to a hurting world. That endures, it persists, it has no shelf life, no expiration date. It is meteor-proof.

What is going away is the oversized, cumbersome, angry religion that has had the run of the landscape for far too long. It’s a bloated theology of fear…

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on atheism, and whether or not God is mute

This is from a comment I posted on a discussion here, an article discussing Victoria Osteen’s recent controversy. I’ve little to no interest in that in itself; I clicked mainly to see what kind of reactions supposed Christians were having. Morbid curiosity, I suppose. Predictably, there were in the comments apparent Christians both supportive (few) and (mostly) critical, most of them attempting to enforce their views with scripture, as if that made any difference to the people they were arguing with, often the predictable other people decrying the idea of religion as a whole and declaring there is no God, disgusted with the people who claim to represent it. I can sympathise. One of these exchanges caught my eye, because it touched on something very personal to me; the question of why God seems silent, or even not there, nonexistent, and how others seem to find him speaking in everything they see.

I was the former, and became the latter, by a long, rough road; being LGBT and a liberal feminist, I was of the opinion that there was nothing in religion for me, only judgement and pain. I rejected Christianity, and in fact, faith of any kind at the beginning of my journey. I do not judge anyone at any stage on that road, whether they ever proceed upon it or not. Belief or non-belief is a very personal thing, often informed by painful or harsh experience with those who say they are religious, which is what I expanded on in my comment. The link above goes to the comments I replied to, I will quote them here for those who may not wish to follow unwieldy links, to an irrelevant article.

I saw only the top visible comments, and did not expand the thread, only replying to the third person directly.  Continue reading