Fanaticism In Missouri

Let’s start today’s adventure into the strange world of fanatical belief with Pat Robertson of 700 Club fame. As Daily Kos reported, Robertson, who is 84 years old, took a question on his program from a woman who, along with her husband, is also in her eighties. She said the couple had an old car that had just broken down and they had to borrow the money to fix it. Plus, they “both need dental work, but can’t afford it.” Add to that the claim that they have to use their “credit card to pay for medical needs.” They wonder what they could be doing wrong, since they have demonstrated their faith by declaring “that this is our time of prosperity”—a confessional requirement in the so-called “prosperity gospel” business movement. She said they also “have no unforgiveness” in their lives, which answers an excuse prosperity gospel preachers offer to their followers who don’t experience any promised prosperity.

Oh, and most important, she says she and her husband “give willingly and our tithe is over 10 percent.”

Got it? These older folks love Jesus, give a helluva lot of their income to God, and have a junky car and no money of their own to pay for their health needs. So, naturally, Robertson, who specializes in giving wise Godly counsel, gave these desperate folks some wise Godly counsel:

Ask God to show you some ways of making money. There are many ways of making money, even at 80 years old. You know, you can get on the telephone, people are hiring.

Words fail me.

Our next adventure in fanaticism, though, deserves many words. It is happening here in Missouri.

Mother Jones published an article today (“Missouri Republicans Are About to Pass One of the Harshest Abortion Laws in the Country“) that reports on the fact that next week Missouri legislators, most of them fanatical Republicans, will meet in a special session to attempt, among other outrageous things, to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of their fanatical legislation that would essentially rob Missouri women of their right to exercise what reproductive rights they have left in this state. As MJ notes, that legislation “would force women seeking an abortion—including victims of rape and incest—to wait 72 hours between their first visit to a clinic and the procedure itself.”

Yes, even victims of rape or incest would have to wait three days—currently they are forced to wait 24 hours—to avail themselves of their fading constitutional right to not be further violated by having to bear the offspring of rapists or relatives. But that is only the latest restriction on reproductive rights here in this state:

Missouri lawmakers proposed more than two dozen abortion restrictions this year, all of them targeted at the St. Louis clinic. Missouri already has more abortion-related restrictions on the book than almost any other state in the country. Abortion providers must offer women the opportunity to view an ultrasound of the fetus, and abortion clinics in Missouri must meet the requirements of an ambulatory surgical center; these requirements are expensive to meet and they are not medically necessary for most abortions. These laws have resulted in the closure of all but one of the state’s clinics.

The sponsor of the bill in the House, a man—I repeat: a man—from nearby Nixa, Missouri, said,

Taking it from one day to three days? I don’t think it’s creating an extra obstacle for the mothers.

I wonder if this man, whose name is Kevin Elmer and who was elected in 2010, the year that just keeps giving and giving, would want to wait for three days if he had been raped and impregnated? Oh, sorry. Not applicable. And that is the point. But it doesn’t stop Mr. Elmer, and apparently nearly every Republican man (and woman) in the legislature, from taking it upon themselves to force their fanaticism on Missouri women.

Elmer says:

I believe that life begins at conception. And I’m not to discriminate against any life because of how it was conceived. I don’t disregard the significance of the tragic events that those women suffer from. But we’re still weighing that against the right of the unborn child to live…We’re asking all mothers just to give it another 48 hours to think about what is it they’re doing when they kill their unborn child.

First of all, Republicans aren’t “asking” the “mothers” to do anything. They are forcing them. Forcing them to “think.” Forcing them to think about killing “their unborn child.” Now, it seems to me that if you really believe in your bones that zygotes or embryos or fetuses are unborn children, then allowing women—”mothers” in Elmer’s certainty-plagued eyes—one day or three days or thirty days is too many days. They simply shouldn’t be allowed to kill their kids at any time, for any reason. It is absurd to say that mothers have permission to kill their children—if they take sufficient time to think about it. But that is what these confused zealots are actually saying.

Let’s be clear. What Republicans are doing, all over the country, is using the power of government, through various restrictions on female reproductive rights, to essentially force women, even women who have been impregnated by rapists, to become mothers.

Oddly, when Mr. Elmer was running for office, he said the following:

I believe in smaller government that is limited in its taxes, regulation of businesses and controls of local communities…People know what is best for their families and businesses not the collective thought of a government. 

Okay. Now, again, words fail me.



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  1. Troy

     /  September 5, 2014

    What an idiot! You’re right. The 2010 election: the gift that just keeps on giving. America please don’t let this happen again! Get rid of these regressives!


  2. Pat Robertson, glibly advises the penurious elderly, confident in his personal hotline to God. I wonder if he might have suggested toward the end that the old lady send the 700 club a little gift, you know, just to tip the scales of beneficence? And then there’s Mr. Elmer who cannot see that he’s forcing women to be mothers and bear unwanted children. There is a commonality at the core of these two problems, I submit. In both cases there is an implicit meme at work, the notion that people are not actually in charge of their own lives but rather something like the Holy Spirit is. This is akin to the old notion that if someone got seriously sick, say with TB or ebola or leprosy or whatever, then it must be because they weren’t sufficiently pious or because they had ungodly thoughts.

    Advice to the elderly lady: try setting up a charity website. You can skim off “administrative expenses” to pay your medical bills and then give the rest to your church. Tell people the money’s for God. Works for Pat Robertson.


  3. ansonburlingame

     /  September 6, 2014

    And just what caused the voter reaction in 2010? Did one extreme, in 2008 cause a similar but opposite extreme in 2010?

    Let the woman, or family choose in terms of abortion makes sense to me. But allowing a lesser qualified kid into college only because of his skin color is an example of big government telling college admission’s boards what to do as well.

    One role that big government routinely tries to do, and I agree it should do it, is protect and defend America. Yet this current big government has reduced the size of our military to the point that a “lilly pad” defense is our only option and the number of lilly pads (carrier battlegroups) is now down to the point where we will be hard pressed to engage in a real fight with ISIS, something this blog promotes.

    One other observation, not yet addressed in this blog is the “militarization” of domestic police forces. The left now calls for removing military equipment from police forces that could be used to face a molotov throwing and fanatical mob. At least the military has not done that, yet, remove equipment to win on a battle field. Nope, all we have done so far is implement rules of engagement on how to use such equipment to avoid the unnecessary loss of life on the part of “civilians”.

    Is a man (or woman) holding a burning fused molotov cocktail a “civilian”? How about the people around him or her, yelling “throw it”. How do you surgically remove such individuals to prevent them from “causing grave harm”? We ask our soldiers to do it all the time and have not won a war yet by doing so!!

    Funny thing about force. If it is used against people one does not like, it is called for. But use force of any sort against people or causes one supports, well have at it, right or left.



    • King Beauregard

       /  September 6, 2014

      “And just what caused the voter reaction in 2010? Did one extreme, in 2008 cause a similar but opposite extreme in 2010?”

      If you mean a black man was elected and the Right flipped its shit, then yes, that’s what happened.


  4. The only way I know of to change the way people behave, whether you’re talking about throwing Molotov cocktails or denying control over reproductive rights, is to change the way people think about those activities.

    Force, which almost always involves violence or implied violence, is historically not effective in changing the way people think. There are, of course, times when one must defend oneself against violence so that you can survive to effect change in those using violence against you. WW II is a classic case of that; the Allies responded with organized violence (war) against the Axis powers, and today Germany and Japan think very differently about war (violence) than they did in the 1930’s.

    It is clear to me that the different outcome post WW II contrasted with the outcome post WW I is the way the WW II Allies behaved after the war. We assisted our former enemies, we had a dialogue with their governments. We talked about how we could prevent another war (we had to; we had the ability to destroy the world with nuclear weapons), and most of the world changed the way we thought about war and violence. The major two exceptions to that changed way of thinking then were North Korea and the middle east.

    Nothing much has changed in the ensuing 70 years.

    Military power makes the proponent of violence (war) doubt that he can accomplish his goals with violence, although a reasoned and thoughtful approach is lacking in many proponents of violence. I agree that we need a military strong enough to create that doubt in proponents of violence, and agreeing on just how strong that military must be is what Anson is talking about, I think.

    We must also have a component of our approach that uses, models, the kind of behavior we used after WW II. This one is diplomatic, uses reason and persuasion, treats other nation-states with some dignity and respect, and changes the way they think about achieving their goals. This approach is very difficult and requires patience and consistency, two things that our political system is very short on, in my opinion.

    Summary: Violence (war) is a stopgap measure to allow the long-term approach, diplomacy and dialogue, to take place to change how a people (or some people in charge) think. If you don’t have both, and have them in proper balance for the given situation, I believe you will fail. Clearly we cannot afford to fail; we still have those nuclear weapons, as Vladimir has reminded us.


  5. ansonburlingame

     /  September 6, 2014

    Very thoughtful, Micheal,

    “How do we control the way people think”? Well it all starts at home and is further expanded in public schools. At least that is the model long used in America. Coincidentally and before I read your comment, I posted a blog along those lines “What to do about kids”.

    Force or the threat of force was part of my education, at home and in school(s), all the schools that I attended. No, physical force was never employed. I never was “spanked” for a bad grade. But I sure as hell was held accountable from lack of progress in my own education, by both the schools and also my parents.

    There is a key word in that last sentence and the word is “I”, meaning ME. I, me, was held accountable for lack of progress in MY education and I learned over time how to accept that responsibility and do a better job. I could complain about “bad teachers” or “bad” anything else, but in the end it was MY grade shown on a record, a record kept for a lifetime.

    I did not come out of the womb ready and williing to pull my own load. I was TAUGHT to do so. Every failure in my life, and there have been many, was a result of my own choices and/or inability to met standards set by others.

    Sure, post WWII we did much better with our former enemies. But we demanded unconditional surrender before we began to help them as well.

    And sure enough, within about a month of the end of conflict in Germany, well here came another enemy, a former ally. And like it or not we fought a 50 year war, a Cold one, with that new enemy. Force was used aplenty in that new conflict as well and we finally prevailed in that one as well.

    A cop kills an unarmed black man and MAYBE he made a bad choice, his “thinking” was wrong. Then a mob “thinks” it is just fine to throw “stuff” at other cops.

    In the referenced blog I am sure some parent “thinks” it is OK for an eight year old child to sleep in a “tool shed” and a DFS agent “thought” no DFS action was warranted.

    Hmmm, how do we control how people think? More important however is the question of what to do ABOUT “bad thinking”. Some kind of force is needed to control how people think.

    I couldn’t offer a better example than the “King’s” comment above. I suppose he really THINKS that because Obama was half black the election of 2010 was the result. No way I can control that kind of “thinking”.



    • Ben Field

       /  September 7, 2014

      I read your referenced blog on the DFS and the eight year old boy and suggest someone is “controlling” your thinking. No rational human can accept your assertions and would encourage all here to judge for themselves. It is time to put on the tin foil hats to block these mind altering intrusions into the psyche. Unbelievable!


    • Anson,

      As for your scrum with Ben, wouldn’t it have been better to admit from the start that that 50% number was an error, a fairly egregious one? I once attended a Bright Futures seminar and learned a lot about how some kids, kids who are on track to fail in school, are deprived of essential things at home, like adult conversation, that contributes to such failure. It was an eye-opening experience for sure. And a depressing one. But believing that half of Joplin’s school-age kids are living in the conditions you described in your blog is so far out there that it calls into question the rest of your analysis, including the one expressed here. Sometimes it is best to say, “I mucked up.”



  6. Tina

     /  September 6, 2014

    I’m disgusted with you Missourians- you don’t have the balls to defeat the highly dangerous Agenda 21; but you can pick on a little girl who needs to end her pregnancy.



      • Tina

         /  September 10, 2014

        Our ‘leaders’ are allowing Agenda 21 (from the U.N.) to run rampant here. Their goal is to run everyone off their land and into mega-cities. They use the EPA to do it. They have put out of business about 27% of the family farms in this country.

        YOUR legislature tried to get rid of it too, but somebody shut it down. Alabama alone has a law against it. I moved from CA to AL to take advantage of its protection.

        This country is based on private property rights. They are trying to eviscerate that.

        Look it up and fight it.


  7. We selected our new enemy before the ink was dry on the WW2 surrender papers. We worked that scheme as long as we could, then ran the price of petroleum product sales down to a level low enough to put the USSR into bankruptcy.
    Lost without an appropriate enemy, our next selection of foes were deemed terrorists, an absurd reminder that America invented the term “terrorism” to begin with, for the Dresden, Germany raid .
    Now the Russians are again being used as a useful distraction, while the military-industrial establishment continues to consolidate it’s power.


    • gmalan2012, “Terrorism” comes from the French word terrorisme, and originally referred to state terrorism as practiced by the French government during the 1793–1794 “Reign of terror.” The French word terrorisme in turn derives from the Latin verb terreō meaning “I frighten”. The terror cimbricus was a panic and state of emergency in Rome in response to the approach of warriors of the Cimbri tribe in 105 BC. The Jacobins cited this precedent when imposing a Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.

      So, the term “terrorism” did not come from America in 1943. (And It was the RAF that fire bombed Dresden into a cinder.) The term came from France during the French Revolution.


  8. Herb: I would have sworn that in more modern use it was from Jimmy Mitchel’s raid. I stand corrected.


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