BEEP! BEEP! IT'S ME.

"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

CHEAP GRACE - The Bible Belt Gets It Wrong

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Far from being filled with the Holy Spirit, it appears as if some religious leaders and their authoritarian followers are filled with what John Dean refers to as "cheap grace."

It is as as if these individuals had worn down their consciences with cheap grace--a remarkable and frightening process. "One of the things a conscience is supposed to do is make us act better, but when you have a means of eliminating guilt there is not much incentive to clean up your act. You see how conscience gets short circuited," (Robert) Altmeyer noted. He added. "bad behavior may produce guilt, but it is easily washed away.

So then more bad behavior can result again and again, getting removed very easily through religion. There is a terrible closing to this reality. The lack of guilt over things he has done in the past can actually contribute to the self-righteousness of the authoritarian. And this self-righteousness has proven, in experiments, to be the main factor that unleashes the right wing authoritarian's aggressive impulses."

He concluded, "I have called them 'God's designated hitters.' We end up with the irony that the people who think they are so very good end up doing so very much evil, and more remarkably, they are probably the last people in the world who will ever realize the connection between the two." There is no better explanation for the behavior of many Christian conservatives, for it accounts for their license to do ill, Christian beliefs notwithstanding." -From Conservatives Without Conscience (page 64) -by John Dean

Consider the following:

THE 10 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST OVER ALL INCARCERATION RATES: Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Arizona , Delaware. In short, nine out of ten were Red States. [Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners, 2003 (November 2004)]

THE 10 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST RATE OF FEMALE INCARCERATION IN 2003: Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, Alabama, Nevada, Colorado. Ten out of ten were Red States. [Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners 2003 (November 2004)]

THE TEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF EXECUTIONS IN 2004 WERE ALL RED STATES: Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Nevada . [Bureau of Justice Statistics. Capital Punishment, 2004 (November 2005)]

The 15 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST RATES OF DEATH BY FIREARMS IN 2003 WERE ALL RED STATES: Alaska , Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky. [Deaths. Final Date for 2003 National Center For Health Statistics Volume 54, No 13, 2006 ]

OF THE 15 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST RATES OF SUICIDE, 14 OUT OF 15 WERE RED STATES: Wyoming, Alaska, Nevada, Montana, New Mexico, Idaho , Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, South Dakota, Kentucky. [Deaths. Final Date for 2003, National Center for health statistics. Volume 54. No 13, 2006]

TEN OF THE TOP TEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST DIVORCE RATES ARE RED STATES: Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Idaho, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Florida. [Division of Vital Statistics. National Center for Health Statistics CDC. 2005 among 45 reported.]

NINE OF THE TEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST ILLEGITIMACY RATES ARE RED STATES: New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Delaware, Arizona, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Georgia, Arizona. [Births. Final Data for 2003. National Center for Health, Statistics. Volume 54, Nov 2, 2005 ]

14 OF THE 15 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST OBESITY RATES ARE RED STATES: Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee,Louisiana, Arizona, Kentucky, Texas, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia. [Behavioral Risk Surveillance System. Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2004 ]

EIGHT OF THE ELEVEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST GROSSING MARKETS FOR GAMBLING ARE RED STATES: Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, Indiana, Louisiana, Illinois. Montana, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, South Dakota. [United States Gaming Bulletin. Ernst Young 2005. Includes Native American gambling. ]

EIGHT OF THE TEN SMARTEST STATES ARE BLUE STATES: Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maine, Minnesota, Virginia, Wisconsin, Montana, New York. (On the other hand, the 10 states with the worst paid teachers are all red states. Out of the bottom states, eight out of ten are red states, a situation that might be explained by the fact that blue states place a higher premium on both education and a willingness to pay for education. [From Morgan Quinto Press. Based on 21 factors from its reference book Education State Rankings 2005-2006]
Read the rest here.

Perhaps the Bible Belt is too busy concentrating on the "evil" it imagines in others to notice that the problems it complains about most, are in the highest evidence in their own backyard.

Methinks they have forgotten a biblical passage that as believers, they should be aware of, and reminded of often:

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" - Matthew 7:3

In other words, they should clean up their own act before they try blaming the world's problems on everyone else excluding themselves.


"no short haired-yellow bellied son of tricky dicky is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me with just a pocketful of hope" - John Lennon

"Don't It Make Your Red State Blue"



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24 Comments:

Blogger pissed off patricia said...

How does anyone avoid dealing with their conscience? Mine works overtime keeping me on the straight and narrow. I have only to answer to myself and myself won't let me get away with anything.

I guess I could say something like, well I was a poor child so anything I do bad can be written off to that childhood problem. I could try, but my conscience wouldn't let me get away with it. It would smack me upside the head and tell me that until I got my act together it would be hounding me night and day.

As for religion, I have always thought it was little more than an excuse and a crutch. Not all people use it that way, but too many do. There is nothing superior about being religious, they just want you to feel that there is in some way.

Those stats you provided are amazing but not a total surprise.

29/11/06 2:11 am  
Blogger Deacon Barry said...

When did red change from signifying communism to signifying right wing republicanism? Here in the UK, red and blue have the complete opposite meaning to what they have in the USA. Here, red is traditionally the colour of the Labour Party who are left wing, and blue is the colour of the Conservative Party who are right wing. The Liberal Democrat Party, who used to occupy the centre ground between Mrs Thatcher's Tories, and Neil Kinnock's Labour, co-opted the colour yellow. Of course, with Labour moving rightwards under Tony Blair, the Liberals are probably the more left wing party now.
I presume that the Red states are so-named after the 'rednecks' who are supposed to be populating them, or am I way off course here?

29/11/06 3:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GREAT list.

29/11/06 5:09 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of what was written up to right here.

‘THE 10 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST OVER ALL INCARCERATION RATES … THE 10 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST RATE OF FEMALE INCARCERATION IN 2003’

Could it be that the ‘red states’ are tougher on crime than the ‘blue states’?

‘THE TEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF EXECUTIONS IN 2004 WERE ALL RED STATES’

The death penalty works, so use it! If you are a murder, rapist, or something along those lines, than you deserve to die. Not to mention, the death penalty is illegal in a lot of the ‘blue states’.

‘The 15 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST RATES OF DEATH BY FIREARMS IN 2003 WERE ALL RED STATES’

And almost all those states are comparatively unpopulated, so that helps that rate up a little bit.

‘OF THE 15 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST RATES OF SUICIDE, 14 OUT OF 15 WERE RED STATES’

What should be done about it?

‘TEN OF THE TOP TEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST DIVORCE RATES ARE RED STATES’

Divorce is high everywhere. Maybe if people followed the Bible, there would be less of it.

‘NINE OF THE TEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST ILLEGITIMACY RATES ARE RED STATES’

Southern states. Stinking illegals.

‘14 OF THE 15 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST OBESITY RATES ARE RED STATES’

Americans are fat, what’s new?

‘EIGHT OF THE ELEVEN STATES WITH THE HIGHEST GROSSING MARKETS FOR GAMBLING ARE RED STATES’

Native Americans live pronominally in those states.

‘EIGHT OF THE TEN SMARTEST STATES ARE BLUE STATES’

Yea! I’m in the top 10!

By the way, you do realize ‘red states’ and ‘blue states’ do change hands? And what makes ‘red states’ Christian states?

Perhaps the Bible Belt is too busy concentrating on the "evil" it imagines in others to notice that the problems it complains about most, are in the highest evidence in their own backyard.

The church has greatly backslidden, I don’t deny it. The United States is headed down the path of judgement, and it is at least partially the churches’ fault.

‘In other words, they should clean up their own act before they try blaming the world's problems on everyone else excluding themselves.’

Yes they should.

Daniel

29/11/06 5:28 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Deacon:

It is difficult to compare parties from country to country, I agree. But the MORE conservative party seems to stand out. Our conservative party here is the Liberal Party, which is as rightwing as the republicans in america.

We don't get the propoganda against "liberals" though, as that is the name of the conservative party! lol

The only way they can defame the word "liberal" is if they change the name of the party.

29/11/06 10:29 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

I see that daniel got bored with reading about genetics and his origins and is back to spread his "knowledge" about gawd.

29/11/06 10:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to why obesity got lumped in with these statistics?

29/11/06 11:09 am  
Blogger Greg said...

I wish these stats could be held up to Fundies as a testament (get it!!) to the failure of their war on modernity to provide a better life. Unfortunately the likely response from the bible thumpers who see these stats will be calls for more not less religion. Sobering.

29/11/06 11:51 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would never, ever mother hubbard soft soap anyone with just a pocketful of hope. Anyone.

29/11/06 2:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that xians are the most adamantine individuals one is likley to meet when it comes to the death penalty? Everything is black and white for the conservative mind. Nuance does not exist.
Our conservative government (Canada)is about to pass an American-style mandatory sentencing bill.:(
remy

29/11/06 2:26 pm  
Blogger Arthur_Vandelay said...

The erudite talk radio host Dennis Prager has a simple answer for you--all those sinners weren't being Christians when they sinned!

29/11/06 3:30 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE remy:

I dunno. Living zombies maybe? ;)

29/11/06 3:32 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE parge: I am not sure.

Perhaps people equate obesity with a lack of control, and as the bible belt is always talking about how the rest fo the nation needs to control their impulses ...

Which reminds me - (puts down chocolate coated almond..)

29/11/06 3:35 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

<< eats apple

29/11/06 4:03 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE arthur:

Yeah, apparently being christian is like turning a tap (faucet) on and off.

1.Off to the tittie bar (turn off being a christian)

2.Back home shagging the wife into a religious stupor (turn on being a christian)

3. Cheating on my income tax (turns off being a christian)

4. Giving some of the money I saved by cheating on my income tax to the church (turns on being a christian)

5. A clandestine meeting with my gay boyfriend where we share a bit of meth and man ass (tuens off being a christian)

6. Back home with the wifey watching TV (turns on being a christian)

Someone should tell them that the faucet is leaking all over their feet.

29/11/06 4:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beep,

You may (or may not) be interested in my magnum opus on atheism.

Enjoy (or not)!

29/11/06 7:59 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE pj: thanks for the link :)

29/11/06 10:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beepbeep

‘I see that daniel got bored with reading about genetics and his origins and is back to spread his "knowledge" about gawd.’

I was busy for the past week ok? Or is it illegal to take a break from posting on your site?

Daniel

30/11/06 3:19 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE anonymous daniel:

Of course it is illegal to take a break from visiting my site. Now go to your room and transcribe my blog onto handmade paper, and commit to to memory in punishment. :)

30/11/06 9:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 2c - I think that what stats like these shows us is that there are people out there who use religion as an excuse to justify their own personal prejudices.

Great example is the death penalty - idiots who condone this on the basis of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" then go on and totally ignore the bit about "thou shalt not kill."

Sadly, I don't think that religion has a monopoly on this kind of doublethink.

Let's just ignore the Bush administration's blatant xenophobia when it comes to the Arab world (and not just Islam as we saw when Israel went berzerk in Lebanon) just for a moment.

The fact that terrorists attacked inside the USA was seized upon pretty darn quick as an excuse by the Bush admin as a basis to completely nobble people's basic constitutional rights.

The Howard government in Australia very quickly seized upon terrorism as an excuse to spy on vast swathes of the Australian community. Not to mention ride roughshod over due process when it came to arrests, interrogations, etc.

I would suggest that there are, sadly, people out there who will just use any excuse they can find, religion, terrorism, money-laundering, copyright etc to get their way in controlling how others think or behave.

It's a DISGRACE!!! and I really wish people would stand up and object more.

30/11/06 12:51 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

Funny how the worst stats seem to come from the most religious places.

What's even more amazing is that the more stats there are that show this sort of trend, the more stats there are that are ignored.

I have to agree with you Dikkii, it is indeed a disgrace.

30/11/06 5:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh no! Oh please oh please anything but that! Wahhhhhhh!

Daniel

P.S. I like your sense of humor( at least most of the time).

1/12/06 3:33 am  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

beepbeep:

The stats you cite could be related by correlation, not causation.

This Christianity Today article, The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience makes your point much better.

Although I somehow doubt that was their intent.

5/12/06 11:13 am  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

Great stats! You could do the same comparing Europe and the US. Funny thing, these right-whiner types will never look at the statistical reality of their authoritarian ideas.

5/12/06 1:36 pm  

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