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Jul 18 2012

Tennessee’s embarrassing tea party

Tennessee’s governor, Bill Haslam, recently appointed a well-qualified resident of the state to be the new international director of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Her name is Samar Ali. And you can guess where this is going.

The state tea-partiers and Republicans are hysterical. SHE’S A MOOOSLIIIIM!

They bought ads in the newspaper decrying the hiring of Ali because she’s Muslim. Various county leaders are outraged and are passing resolutions condemning Haslam because he hired a Muslim. Oh, and as long as the bigots are emboldened, they’re also tossing in complaints about the fact that Haslam hasn’t fired enough homosexuals.

You know, this is why government is supposed to be secular. As long as the people doing the work of administration keep their religion out of their work, as long as they are responsible to everyone in their state, as long as they are competent, I don’t care whether they’re Christian or Muslim or atheist. Unfortunately, our privileged, selfish Christian conservatives have this mistaken notion that the purpose of government is to act as an arm of the Christian church, and that evangelical fervor is an adequate substitute for competence, and that is doing us great harm.

51 comments

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  1. 1
    Anthony K

    What a bunch of fucking dipshits.

    Hiring people because they happen to belong to the same team, Jesus-wise, is the very antithesis of meritocracy.

    Tea partners are the dumbest fucking people in the world. They should be served for dinner in finer establishments. It’s what we do with herd animals.

  2. 2
    conway

    I’m so glad I’m from Memphis and not from Tennessee.

  3. 3
    IncredulousMark

    I’m so glad I’m from Canada…

  4. 4
    d cwilson

    Just swap out “Muslim” with the N-word and their rhetoric would fit right in the Jim Crow era.

  5. 5
    kassad

    But apart from that, calling the Tea Party a bunch of racist nativist bigots is a slander. Here is just an amazing group of patriots. Disgusting asshats. Freedom and the principles of the Constitution my ass.
    The invention of a time machine is necessary, so you can bring Jefferson to slap them until the stupid comes out.

  6. 6
    earlycuyler

    Ha Ha –points to Tennessee.

    Wait, I am in Louisiana.

    Nevermind.

  7. 7
    Gaebolga

    But you just don’t get it, PZ…all these poor American Christians are being persecuted by having to confront the fact that stuff they don’t like actually exists.

    Think of the poor Christians’ feelings, PZ!

    They’re martyrs!

  8. 8
    krgrace

    Well, when a governor named “Ha-Islam” is elected, what should one expect?

  9. 9
    Gnumann+, out&proud cultural marxist (just don't ask me about Gramsci)

    Tea Party a bunch of racist nativist bigots is a slander a pretty accurate description

    I fixed it for you.

  10. 10
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Tennessee. What a bunch of idiots. I’m from Pennsylvania which gave the world Santorum. And my representative is Lou Barletta. And, well, never mind.

    The Tea Party movement is still not a coherent political philosophy. It is the political equivalent of a three-year-old’s temper tantrum — “I don’ wanna!” repeated endlessly is not politics.

  11. 11
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Ewww, she got mooooslim cooties all over the state economy.

  12. 12
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    @Brownian
    But you see, to these dipshits, merit consists of yelling about Jesus a lot, waving Bibles around, and an unswerving devotion to conservative ideology.

  13. 13
    radpumpkin

    Well, yes, but aside from the misogyny, discrimination against religious beliefs, sexuality, or race, general hostility towards dissenting viewpoints, rampant hypocrisy, lack of any coherent message and evidence based claims, and an overwhelming sense of entitlement, the tea party folk ain’t so bad.

  14. 14
    Dick the Damned

    …I don’t care whether they’re Christian or Muslim or atheist.

    I do. I want to know if a candidate believes crazy stuff. Okay, i know a lot of them, (the faithful), behave as if they don’t believe it. So, I also want to know if a candidate is intellectually dishonest.

  15. 15
    w00dview

    The Tea Party movement is still not a coherent political philosophy. It is the political equivalent of a three-year-old’s temper tantrum — “I don’ wanna!” repeated endlessly is not politics.

    Don’t let ludicrous see you say that, you will be accused of oppressing children. Mind you, most children I have met have more nuanced views of the world than tea partiers.

  16. 16
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Well, yes, but aside from the misogyny, discrimination against religious beliefs, sexuality, or race, general hostility towards dissenting viewpoints, rampant hypocrisy, lack of any coherent message and evidence based claims, and an overwhelming sense of entitlement

    What else do they have?

    Don’t let ludicrous see you say that, you will be accused of oppressing children. Mind you, most children I have met have more nuanced views of the world than tea partiers.

    Yup. There I go, viciously silencing children. What can I say? I’m just evil.

  17. 17
    bodach

    Somebody show me a puppy or pretty squid; I am getting so fucking depressed by this shit.

  18. 18
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    I got your back, Bodach:

    Puppy!!

  19. 19
    Gnumann+, out&proud cultural marxist (just don't ask me about Gramsci)

    Somebody show me a puppy or pretty squid; I am getting so fucking depressed by this shit.

    I got something better: Piglet!

  20. 20
    feedmybrain

    How is it that these people can still be so brazenly racist!
    Am I in the wrong eon?

  21. 21
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @feedmybrain:

    Sometimes I think we took a wrong turn around Dallas and ended up in Colonial times.

    Of course the Tea Partiers wouldn’t call it racist. Nor would anyone who objects to being (properly) labeled an Islamophobe. They’re only protecting this country from people who want to… I dunno… install a form of government that would never fly in this country because a) we have laws against it and b) to change said laws would require consensus of the majority in most cases and 2/3rds majority with 35 state ratification in others.

  22. 22
    sundiver

    Kassad: The down side to trying to slap the stupid out of them is that the shit tends to splatter. The upside is, to steal a line from Hitchens, if you do right before they die, you can bury them in a matchbox.

  23. 23
    sundiver

    That is, if you do SO right before they die. Stupid computer of mine always does what I type, not what I mean.

  24. 24
    feedmybrain

    @Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort:

    Point taken on the label.

    I think it rises from fear of change and an arrogance in their belief that their demographic is the correct one.
    It’s the way I interpret it when similar, though more subtle, ideas come out over here (UK).

  25. 25
    Gnumann+, out&proud cultural marxist (just don't ask me about Gramsci)

    I even heard thugs wear jeans. So shooting anybody wearing jeans is just self-defence? Amirite?

  26. 26
    Gnumann+, out&proud cultural marxist (just don't ask me about Gramsci)

    Whops, wrong tab :( Ignore the idiot in the corner, that one was destined for another tread in another blog :(

  27. 27
    'Tis Himself

    The Teabaggers claim to interpret the Constitution most strictly. So why are they ignoring Article VI?

    no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

  28. 28
    RFW

    @ #17 bodach says:

    Somebody show me a puppy or pretty squid

    Kittehs!

  29. 29
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    The Teabaggers claim to interpret the Constitution most strictly. So why are they ignoring Article VI?

    Only counts for Christians. And the occasional Jew.

  30. 30
    truthspeaker

    feedmybrain
    18 July 2012 at 10:21 am

    How is it that these people can still be so brazenly racist!

    Remember how when you were a kid you learned both at home and in school that racism was bad, a practice of the past that was no longer socially acceptable?

    Some kids heard that school, but heard the opposite from their parents at home.

    Some kids didn’t even hear it in school.

    Those people who, back in the 50s, walked behind the first black kids going to newly integrated schools calling them the n word? They had kids and tried to pass their views onto their kids.

  31. 31
    truthspeaker

    ‘Tis Himself
    18 July 2012 at 11:16 am

    The Teabaggers claim to interpret the Constitution most strictly. So why are they ignoring Article VI?

    They’re about as familiar with the Constitution as most biblical literalists are with the Bible.

  32. 32
    anuran

    The Teabaggers claim to interpret the Constitution most strictly. So why are they ignoring Article VI?

    That’s because only Christianity is a Real Religion. The Constitution was only meant to apply to property-owning Protestant men.

  33. 33
    anuran

    Sorry, “property-owning White Protestant men.”

  34. 34
    anuran

    Hope I didn’t forget to close my tags on that last post.

  35. 35
    dailydouq

    Is Michelle on the case? One more example of the takeover of government by the shadow mooslem conspiracy.

  36. 36
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    Is Michelle on the case? One more example of the takeover of government by the shadow mooslem conspiracy.

    Which Michelle? Because the one in the White House is clearly a lackey of that conspiracy. (Have you ever noticed how she never encourages kids to eat pork or drink alcohol?)

  37. 37
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    (Have you ever noticed how she never encourages kids to eat pork or drink alcohol?)

    In fact, now that I think about it this may be the root cause of rabid Islamophobia in the US. Can you imagine an America without ribs or whisky? It’s not a place I’d want to live in.

  38. 38
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    But speaking of the other Michelle (Bachmann): modern-day McCarthyism.

    At least there’s one Republican Senator who hasn’t completely lost his mind.

  39. 39
    mikefrancis

    @ #13 radpumpkin:

    “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”

  40. 40
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”

    I was thinking it more as a sort of photographic negative of Reg’s speech about the Romans in Life of Brian:

    “All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”

  41. 41
    thisisaturingtest

    @#27, ‘Tis Himself:

    The Teabaggers claim to interpret the Constitution most strictly. So why are they ignoring Article VI?

    I’ve had wingnuts explain to me that that only applies to federal officeholders. Of course, that’s not only simple-minded and just plain wrong, but irrelevant, since Tennessee’s own Constitution says, in Article 1, Section 4:

    That no political or religious test, other than an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and of this State, shall never be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State.

    What’s interesting here is this, in Article 9:

    2. Atheists holding office-
    No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.

    You can be a Muslim and hold office; you can’t be an atheist (which seems to contradict Article 1, Section 4, quoted above). I look for some bigot to claim that a Muslim is an atheist, since they’re not a Christian, therefore…

  42. 42
    daniellavine

    @thisisaturingtest:

    I’ve had wingnuts explain to me that that only applies to federal officeholders. Of course, that’s not only simple-minded and just plain wrong, but irrelevant,

    It is indeed irrelevant, per your quote from the Tennessee state constitution. But the wingnuts are indeed correct that this article only applies to federal officeholders.

    This should be obvious because many if not most states had religious tests for state office during the ratification of the constitution and for several decades afterwards.

  43. 43
    grumpypathdoc

    kassad@5

    I see a movie possibility:

    “Thomas Jefferson-Tea Party Hunter”

  44. 44
    thisisaturingtest

    daniellavine, @#42:
    IANAL, but…it seems iffy to me. I understand what you’re saying, but the entire clause reads:

    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

    My bolds.
    The semicolon dividing the two clauses could be seen as separating them as to intent to apply the proscription (and probably has been seen as doing so in case law- as I said, IANAL, and could be reading it wrong); but I think a case could be made that state offices are covered as well as federal by the prohibition for religious tests.

  45. 45
    grumpypathdoc

    w00dview@15

    Indeed no need to cast aspersions on the children. Children, generally, just want an answer as to the why of things. Temper tantrums or not. Except when they get highjacked later in life.

    Ahhh, human nature, so easily seduced by the mythos, whatever form it takes. My son the chiropractor (and anti-vaccinator), my two daughter, one studying “traditional Chinese medicine” (after receiving a BFA in furniture design from RIT) and the other a graphic designer turned massage therapist. At least my daughters are “soft” atheists. My son, an evangelical christian (or so he purports, I suspect he goes to church to get business). I tried to teach them the logical ways but you can’t control external influences.

    Hell, I didn’t wake up to my true “beliefs” till I was in my 50′s, Thanks to PZ and the rest of you. But I’ve always been a leftist libertarian (-6.62;-6.15). Peter Kropotkin anyone?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Kropotkin

  46. 46
    daniellavine

    @aturingtest:

    Ah, yes…actually, I think you’re being kind to me. That’s less ambiguous than I would have guessed. You’ve convinced me.

    I should have known better than to think it wasn’t the law just because it wasn’t enforced.

  47. 47
    kingoftoasty

    @ daniellavine, #42

    Actually, if I’m not mistaken, the due process clause of the 14th amendment is used to apply the bill of rights to the states

  48. 48
    microraptor

    I look for some bigot to claim that a Muslim is an atheist, since they’re not a Christian, therefore…

    Didn’t Toad Newt already do that last year?

  49. 49
    Ing

    It is indeed irrelevant, per your quote from the Tennessee state constitution. But the wingnuts are indeed correct that this article only applies to federal officeholders.

    Not since before the civil war.

  50. 50
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    Peter Kropotkin anyone?

    Never heard of him.

  51. 51
    shadow

    They should be served for dinner in finer establishments.

    Wouldn’t there be a danger of prions transmitting TPD (Tea Party Disfunction) like other mental aberrations (like CJD)?

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