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August 30, 2011

The Society of St. Pius X--the Nazi-loving, French, Catholic sect that belives the sun orbits the Earth (Updated!)

UPDATED: A reader from the Society of St. Pius themselves writes in to say, "It is not true that the SSPX says woman may not have authority. The Blessed Virgin Mary has authority, even over the Pope. A queen has authority over her subjects. Mothers have authority over their children. Etc. All authority comes from God, not from the person." So if you're a Queen or the Virgin Mary you can have authority over men. If you're a mother you can have authority over children. But if you are a woman, like 50% of people usually are, you are forbidden from having authority over the other half. The quoted piece below specifically calls them out for banning women from positions of organizational authority over men, which the reader from SSPX does not address. Though I would welcome it! DownWithTyranny!: A Catholic Sect Crazy Enough For The Teabaggers?
. . . The Southern Poverty Law Center considers the Society of St. Pius X a dangerous right-wing group that grew right out of Nazism. Founded by a psychotic French archbishop, Marcel Lefebvre in 1970, the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is one of the most reactionary, anti-democratic elements in French politics, advocating a restoration of an absolute monarchy while condemning the French Revolution and everything it stood for (Liberty, egality, fraternity). Lefebvre himself is a dedicated fascist and pro-Nazi supporter of the Vichy government of Philippe Petain and the neo-Nazi National Front of Jean-Marie le Pen (something like a French version of our own teabaggers). In fact Lefebvre urged his supporters to vote for le Pen based on le Pen's unambiguous opposition to women's Choice. And their disdain for women goes beyond health issues... and, of course, beyond France. (Remember, this is the anti-Semitic cult Mel Gibson finances.) Kansas recently elected an extreme right Catholic Opus Dei governor with SSPX sympathies, Sam Brownback. He was born into a normal Protestant family, moved to extreme evangelicalism and finally discovered something far more reactionary, the Opus Dei/SSPX branch of Catholicism. But in Kansas? You bet! Here's a 2008 report from Topeka on Good Morning America: Just minutes before she was scheduled to referee a boy's varsity basketball game at St. Mary's Academy, Michelle Campbell was told she would not be allowed to work the game because she is a woman. St. Mary's Academy, near Topeka, Kan., is a controversial religious school that follows older Roman Catholic laws, but many argue that religious beliefs does not give the school the right to discriminate. "The policy of the school was that they indeed do not permit female officials to officiate the boys athletic contests at their school," said Gary Musselman, executive director of the Kansas State High School Athletics Association. The school's policy-- straight from the SSPX hymnal-- is to not allow women to have authority over men. Perhaps that's the mentality that was behind the total melting away of Michele Bachmann's Republican Party support within days of Rick Perry entering the GOP presidential race. . . .

August 29, 2011

Christopher Hitchens: Is Rick Perry an idiot or a panderer?

Rick Perry and religion: Does the Texas governor believe his idiotic God talk, or is he just pandering for votes? - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine
. . . As usual, though, there is some built-in wiggle room. In 2006 he said that he believed the Bible to be inerrant. He also said that those who did not accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior would be going to hell. Pressed a little on the sheer wickedness and stupidity of that last claim, the governor did allow that he himself wasn't omniscient enough to be sure on such doctrinal matters. He tells us that he is a "firm believer" in the "intelligent design" formulation that is creationism's latest rhetorical disguise, adding that the "design" could be biblical or could have involved something more complex, but is attributable to the same divine author in any event. Whether he chooses to avail himself of the wiggles or not, Perry can be reasonably sure that the voting base of the theocratic right has picked up his intended message. In this same auction, his chief conservative rivals are somewhat disabled. Mitt Romney is in no position, and shows no inclination, to campaign on matters spiritual. His own bizarre religion is regarded as just that by much of the mainstream and as heretical at best by the evangelical Christian rank and file. Advantage Perry—at least among Republican voters. Rep. Michele Bachmann, if she is still seriously considered as being in the race, can also only lose from the comparison: Her religious positions are so weird, and so weirdly held, that they have already made her look like a crackpot. (Or revealed her as such: the distinction is a negligible one.) And Perry, no matter what his other faults, does not look like a fringe or crackpot character. He has enough chops as a vote-getter and—whatever you think of the Texas "economic miracle"—as a "job-creator," that even his decision to outbid all comers on questions of the sacred and the profane can be made to seem like the action of a rational calculator. . . . Which leads one to slightly rephrase the question above: Is it better to have a candidate who actually believes in biblical inerrancy and the extreme youthfulness and recency of the Grand Canyon, or a candidate who half-affects such convictions in the hope of political gain? Either would be depressing. A mixture of the two—not excluded in Perry's case—would lower the tone nicely.