Saturday, August 9, 2008

On The Midnight Train to Georgia: Religious Tension As Thick As The Tanks!

Typical Orthodox Church in South Ossetia

As A Religious Stew, It May Be TOO Spicy!

Oh boy, the Christian Right has a conundrum on its hands: evil, secularist Russia is fighting for the separatist South Ossetians of Georgia. Why? Because 90% of South Ossetians are Russian (i.e. citizens with Russian passports) Got that? O.K. Now, the religious mix of Georgians is so pluralistic as to border on the bizarre: besides Georgian Orthodox there are Armenian Christians, Jews, Protestants, Catholics and Muslims (!!) And in the recent past, some of the violence in Georgia has been religion-based.


According to the Constitution of Georgia, religious institutions are separate from government and every citizen has the right of religion. However, most of the population of Georgia (82%) practices Orthodox Christianity and Georgian Orthodox Church is an influential institution in the country.

Religious minorities of Georgia include Russian Orthodox (2%), Armenian Christians (3.9%), Muslims (9.9%), Roman Catholics (0.8%), as well as sizeable Jewish Communities and various Protestant minorities.

Despite the long history of religious harmony in Georgia, there have been several instances of religious discrimination in the past decade, such as the Vasil Mkalavishvili Case.*

So, here we have a break-away country - South Ossetia - being supported by traditionally areligious Russia (the religious majority of which is Russian Orthodox), against Georgia which has 10% Muslims, and an amalgam of Christian communities which, of late, have been discriminated against.

Oh my! What's a Right Wing Christofascist to do?


John McCain wants to scream at Russia and Obama cautions restraint.

Ben Smith of pegged it right:

This conflict is an echo of the Cold War, and the two are in postures familiar from that era: McCain thinks the Russians will respond only to strength and threats; Obama puts more stock in diplomacy and nuance.

"Duh, what's a 'nuance'? Sounds kinda foreign to me!" says your friendly local Right Wingnut. I have prayed that Obama would have an opportunity to show us that he is more of a diplomat than McCain and here it is, kids. The difference is clear: McCain believes in "cowboy diplomacy" and Obama puts stock in real diplomacy. The approach to foreign policy: McCain will take an aggressive posture and in the case of Iraq, will want us to stay in Iraq, even if the Iraqi government doesn't want us there.

*Human Rights Watch Memorandum to the U.S. Government on Religious Violence in the Republic of Georgia August 29, 2001

The victims are primarily Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentacostalists, Baptists, and members of the Assembly of God, also known in Georgia as "non-traditional" worshippers. The evidence indicates that many of the attacks have been led or organized by Vasili Mkalavishvili, a priest from Tbilisi who has been deposed by the Georgian Orthodox Church, and his followers. Religious violence is now also perpetrated by people who have no apparent connection with Mkalavishvili, including members of nationalist organizations, church clergy, and those who are simply neighbors of so-called non-traditional congregants.

The War on Tabloid Trash Escalates!

It's One Thing To Read Them,
But Another Thing to Actually Believe Them!

My favorite tabloid headline:

Bigfoot's Baby Found Abandoned On The Grounds Of Neverland Ranch!

Yes, I bought it just for the endless amusement it would engender, but today I saw another one of those "Brave Last Days" headline (this one about Annette Funicello) and became angry: what kind of person photographs someone against their will and in terrible circumstances and sells it to a weekly publication? And what kind of publication would print it?

Years ago, comedienne Carol Burnett sued The National Enquirer for falsely stating that she was drunk at a particular party. She won the suit and donated the damages to charity. That's class. Burnett took a stand and, to my knowledge, was never mentioned in The National Enquirer again.

Today, Elizabeth Edwards also took a stand against the tabloids. Again, the offending tabloid was The National Enquirer. Implying that her husband John Edwards could be having an affair would be one thing, but publishing blurry photographs and stating that he fathered a "love child" without actual evidence is another.
If possible, I wish that a fund would be collected to help Elizabeth Edwards sue The National Enquirer - and ruin them in the process.

Yes, that's a completely bad-assed tone coming from me, but I can no longer stand in line at the supermarket and see those ridiculous headlines. All I can think of is that the people who purchase them and believe them in any way don't have lives of their own to live.

I know
, paparazzi and second-rate editors have to eat. I just wish they didn't have to do it based on the misery of celebrities. Remember who led Princess Diana to her death. Just a thought.

They are BOTH tabloid victims!

Obama and the Strange Backlash of White Supremacists

"He'd Be A Visual Aid"

(Pearl, Miss.) They’re not exactly rooting for Barack Obama, but prominent white supremacists anticipate a boost to their cause if he becomes the first black president. His election, they say, would trigger a backlash - whites rising up, a revolution of sorts - that they think is long overdue.

He’d be a “visual aid,” says former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, in trying to bring others around to their view that whites have lost control of America. Obama’s election, says another, would jar whites into action, writing letters, handing out pamphlets rather than sitting around complaining.

And already people are lining up for assassination attempts:

(Miami, Fla.) A man who authorities said was keeping weapons and military-style gear in his hotel room and car appeared in court Thursday on charges he threatened to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Raymond Hunter Geisel, 22, was arrested by the Secret Service on Saturday in Miami and was ordered held at Miami’s downtown detention center without bail.

A Secret Service affidavit charges that Geisel made the threat during a training class for bail bondsmen in Miami in late July. According to someone else in the 48-member class, Geisel allegedly referred to Obama with a racial epithet and continued, “If he gets elected, I’ll assassinate him myself.”

So the reasoning for Obama so you can assassinate him. Kinda makes you wish George Bush was black.

Sorry, I got carried away with the sentiment.

The article from AP continues to state that White Supremacists aren't really considered a threat to the nation because there are, at most, 200,000 of them. But 200,000 people with guns could mean a LOT of VERY dead people.

Just a thought.

When I saw this, I shook my head in agreement so much, it nearly fell off!