Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chuck Norris is not good at linking to things.

Or, I should say, whoever writes this claptrap to which Chuck Norris affixes his name is not good at linking to things.

Case in point: Chuck's most recent steaming pile of words for the American Family Association.

Chuck Norris: U.S. Dept. of Defense and their war on religion, Part I

In which Chuck purports to link to a "dozen-plus examples reported by the FRC, Rep. Forbes office, and a few of my own I found, which document how religious freedom and Christian liberty in particular have been limited, quarantined, omitted, or outright obliterated"

Let's check a few of Chuck's references:

The Pentagon releases new regulations, forcing chaplains to perform same-sex "weddings" despite their religious objections (September 2011).

Which sounds super-scary, except that it links to a Washington Post article headlined:

Gay weddings can be performed by military chaplains, Pentagon says


Yes, it says "CAN," not "MUST."  Well, maybe Chuck skipped the headline. Let's see what the actual body of the article says about chaplains being forced to perform same-sex weddings against their will:

The Pentagon will permit military chaplains to perform same-sex marriage as long as such ceremonies are not prohibited in the states where they reside, it said Friday.
Defense Department guidance issued to military chaplains said they may participate in ceremonies on or off military bases in states that recognize gay unions. Chaplains are not required to officiate at same-sex weddings if doing so is counter to their religious or personal beliefs, the guidance said.
 [emphasis added by me]

The article explicitly says the opposite of what Chuck is saying. And this is the article to which Chuck links to bolster his point.

Here's another example:

The Air Force is building an $80,000 Stonehenge-like worship site for "earth based" religions, including "pagans, Wiccans, druids, witches, and followers of Native American faiths" (November 2011). 

Okay, so spending money to accomodate "Earth-based" religions is an example of religious freedom being obliterated? Even if, by "religious freedom" you mean "religious freedom of right-wing Christians," which you probably do, this is still way off the mark.  And the article to which you link contradicts your claim in a couple of ways. First with this quote about religious freedom not exactly being limited or "quarantined" or whatever:

This is not about religious tolerance — a phrase Duncan, a Christian, rejects as implying that the majority religion is simply putting up with the minority. He calls it a 1st Amendment issue. If the military is to defend the Constitution, it should also be upholding its guarantee of religious freedom. "We think we are setting the standard," Duncan says.

And second, with this picture of the new structure which really looks nothing like Stonehenge:

Cadets gather for the dedication ceremony of the Air Force Academy's Cadet Chapel Falcon Circle worship center this spring. The center serves cadets whose religions fall under the broad category of Earth-based. (Jerilee Bennett / The Gazette)

Chuck's next reference reads:

Which actually links to nothing.
 Then this:
Department of Veterans Affairs censors references to God and Jesus during prayers at Houston National Cemetery (June 2011). 

which links to an article headlined:

Houston Veterans Claim Censorship of Prayers, Including Ban on 'God' and 'Jesus'

but includes this little paragraph:

The Department of Veterans Affairs said in a statement that it "respects every veteran and their family's right to burial service that honors their faith tradition." The department employs nearly 1,000 chaplains who preside over religious burials, according to the statement.
[emphasis added]
And this:

Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate has passed the $662 billion 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a repeal of Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that states: "Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy" (December 2011). 
Hmm, so they forgot to include a clause likening consensual same-sex relations with dog-raping? Now that's an infringement! How exactly does this trample on anyone's freedom? Chuck doesn't bother to explain.

Ruining Christmas

This Santa toy might be the inspiration for the expression "Hell's Bells."