Saturday, March 10, 2012

Forward... or Back... to the Dark Ages!

During the debate in the Senate this week on the Blunt amendment, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) stretched the bounds of reason with the following hyperbolic riff:
“The Republicans want to take us forward to the Dark Ages again … when women were property that you could easily control, even trade if you wanted to,” Lautenberg said. “It’s appalling we are having this debate in the 21st century.”
And today, James Taranto in his column at the Wall Street Journal noted another voice chiming in with similar rhetorical overkill.  The Orwellian-named Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) ran an ad in the New York Times that was noted by Catholic League president Bill Donohue:

Never has there been a more vicious anti-Catholic advertisement in a prominent American newspaper than the one in today’s New York Times by Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) ... Here is how the ad begins: “It’s time to quit the Roman Catholic Church. Will it be reproductive freedom, or back to the Dark Ages?”
 Leaving aside the embarrassing lack of harmony in their diatribes (is it "forward to" or "back to" the Dark Ages?), is this kind of over-the-top polemic actually intended to change minds?  Is this what President Obama had in mind when he said at his Tuesday press conference:

We want to send a message to all our young people that being part of a democracy involves argument and disagreements and debate... [a]nd we want you to be engaged, and there's a way to do it in a way that doesn't involve you being demeaned and insulted.
Reading the entire FFRF ad does nothing to restore one's faith in the legendary "civility" for which the president continues to call.  It appeared this week that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. missed the civility memo as I noted earlier this week.  But if you can endure to the end of FFRF's ad, you will be rewarded with some delightful irony.  For those wishing to donate to the cause, a membership application with a listing of dues is provided at the bottom.

There are various levels available starting with $25 for a student.  A lifetime membership will set you back $1,000.  But if you really want to make a stand against religion, plunk down $5,000 and the "After Life" membership is yours.  Is it just me, or does that smack of the Catholic innovation during the Dark Ages of selling indulgences?  Apparently what the FFRF lacks in civility they make up for in nerve.

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