“In a world marked by profound class divisions and social inequality, to talk about ‘democracy’— without talking about the class nature of that democracy and which class it serves—is meaningless, and worse. So long as society is divided into classes, there can be no ‘democracy for all’: one class or another will rule, and it will uphold and promote that kind of democracy which serves its interests and goals. The question is: which class will rule and whether its rule, and its system of democracy, will serve the continuation, or the eventual abolition, of class divisions and the corresponding relations of exploitation, oppression and inequality.”
~ Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:22
“After facing pressure from anti-women’s health political organizations, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has announced that it is ending future funding for lifesaving breast cancer screenings and breast health education at Planned Parenthood health centers.
At immediate risk are low-income women, many located in rural and underserved communities, served by 19 Planned Parenthood programs funded by the Komen Foundation. This funding has enabled designated Planned Parenthood health centers to provide women with breast health education, screenings, and referrals for mammograms — lifesaving care for women where Planned Parenthood is their only source of health care”.
“The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has announced that it will stop supporting lifesaving breast cancer screening for low-income and underserved women at Planned Parenthood health centers.
It’s a deeply disappointing decision — made even more alarming because politically motivated groups and individuals determined to undermine women’s access to care appear to have successfully intimidated the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to withdraw this critical support.
Over the past five years, Komen funds have enabled Planned Parenthood health centers to provide nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and referrals for more than 6,400 mammograms. These cancer detection and prevention programs saved the lives of women who often had nowhere else to turn for care.”
A gay California teenager killed himself after his Christian parents performed an exorcism on him in an attempt to “cure” him, and when that didn’t work they kicked him out of the house.
The Daily Mail reports 19-year-old Eric James Borges killed himself on January 14 following his family issues, as well as the typical years of torment at school.
He revealed the exorcism story in an “It’s Get Better” video that he put on YouTube in the weeks before his suicide, saying “‘I was raised in an extremist Christian household… My mother knew I was gay and performed an exorcism on me in an attempt to cure me. My anxiety, depression, self-loathing and suicidal thoughts spiked.”
CBS News reports that last Sunday Catholic Churches around the country read similar letters from their local bishops condemning the Obama administration’s new rules requiring contraception coverage by most health plans, with exemptions that are too narrow to include most Catholic schools and hospitals. (See prior posting.) A typical letter quoted in full by the CBS report read in part:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception….. In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty…. [W]e Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so)….. We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens.
Unofficial Sharia Court In India Orders Expulsion of Christian Priests
Howard Friedman Professor of Law Emeritus University of Toledo
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
In India’s only Muslim-majority state, Jammu & Kashmir, an unofficial sharia court (which was not created by the government) on Jan.19 issued a fatwa ordering the expulsion of three Christian priests. It also urged the government to take over management of missionary schools, introduce Islamic prayer and Islamic studies classes. In particular, the court demanded that a prayer written by an Urdu poet be recited at morning assemblies in all Christian missionary schools. The Asia Times and Hindustan Times report on developments
The court’s decree came after one of the priests “confessed” to having converted 15 Muslim boys to Christianity. Last October, footage appeared on the Internet showing Pastor Chander Mani Khanna baptizing Kashmiri Muslim youth, and a reaction included calls for killing Khanna. Later an inflammatory article quoted one of the boys who converted as saying that Khanna used a girl to entice him to drink alcohol and eat “swine meat.” Conversion is legal in Jammu & Kashmir. However Khanna was arrested, and then released on bail, charged under Sections 153A of the Ranbir Penal Code that bars “promoting enmity between different groups … and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony,” as well as under Section 295A that prohibits “deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs”. Meanwhile, separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani criticized the court’s decree, saying: “Kashmiris cannot ignore the contributions of Christian missionary schools towards the educational system in the Valley. Unfortunately, Muslims have not been able to build an educational institution like those by the Christian missionary schools despite all available resources.”
“There are over two billion people in the world who self-identify as Christians, but almost all of them know next to nothing about how their faith began. The most amazing thing they don’t know is that Jesus was a fictional character created by the author of the Gospel According to Mark. Peter and Paul, too, are unlikely to have lived. Peter was created as a literary foil for the character of Jesus, and Paul’s epistles may have been forged during the early second-century”.
“There is a semi-official narrative about the history and the “greatness” of America, which says that this greatness of America lies in the freedom and ingenuity of its people, and above all in a system that gives encouragement and reward to these qualities. Now, in opposition to this semi-official narrative about the greatness of America, the reality is that—to return to one fundamental aspect of all this—slavery has been an indispensable part of the foundation for the “freedom and prosperity” of the USA. The combination of freedom and prosperity is, as we know, still today, and in some ways today more than ever, proclaimed as the unique quality and the special destiny and mission of the United States and its role in the world. And this stands in stark contradiction to the fact that without slavery, none of this—not even the bourgeois-democratic freedoms, let alone the prosperity—would have been possible, not only in the southern United States but in the North as well, in the country as a whole and in its development and emergence as a world economic and military power.”
COMMUNISM AND JEFFERSONIAN DEMOCRACY
“Publisher’s Note: The following is based on a talk by Bob Avakian—part of 7 talks given by Avakian in 2006. In editing this for publication here, as a printed text, some passages have been rewritten and some additional material has been added, but an effort has been made to preserve, as much as possible, the style and flavor of the original presentation (including the responses of the audience at various points), as well as its content and substance (and, with regard to the content, references to particular people and events, which may have been more directly relevant at the time this talk was given, have been retained where they are integral to the meaning and to the “flow” of the presentation, while in certain cases footnotes have been added by the author to amplify the point being made with the specific reference, and/or to relate it to what is happening now)”.
Lance Gregorchuk (Author)
“Great Without Religion was written to be the first book which parents can read to their children to help them understand that there are many religions and many gods and in-fact none of them are real. This book helps parents start the conversation and answer questions which small children have about gods and does so on an intellectual level. It helps children understand that facts, evidence, and proof are the most natural ways to understanding what is happening around them and there is no need for a god or gods”.
More on the author: Lance Gregorchuk
Editors’ note: The following article from a reader notes how Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich cited Andrew Jackson as a model, and then delves into the role that Jackson played in America’s bloody history. While we are not able here to analyze the Gingrich phenomenon in any depth, it should be noted that he is playing a particularly vicious role in the Republican presidential primaries and the overall climate of official politics. He has spewed out, on national media, blatant racist talk: declaring that Black people should “demand paychecks and not food stamps,” that Black kids should be put to work as school janitors because “they have no habit of working,” that Palestinians are an “invented” people, and so on. There’s also his arrogant bully posturing that exudes white privilege, and violent rhetoric about killing America’s enemies.
“The Indian Removal is aptly called the Trail of Tears (and I would add of Blood). It’s all part of U.S. history leading up to the civil war. The implications need to be fully confronted where a proven mass murderer like Andrew Jackson is being emulated by Gingrich and sections of U.S. society and ruling circles. Where was the condemnation from Obama? If you think the ruling class of BOTH parties are not FULLY aware of this history and imagery, you are being played for a fool. To paraphrase Malcolm X, the power structure knows what they are doing, given how long they’ve been doing it”.
“The notion of a god, or gods, was created by humanity, in its infancy, out of ignorance. This has been perpetuated by ruling classes, for thousands of years since then, to serve their interests in exploiting and dominating the majority of people and keeping them enslaved to ignorance and irrationality.
Bringing about a new, and far better, world and future for humanity means overthrowing such exploiting classes and breaking free of and leaving behind forever such enslaving ignorance and irrationality”.
~Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA BAsics 4:17
Everything You’ve Been Told About Communism Is Wrong: Capitalism Is a Failure, Revolution Is the Solution
Editors’ Note: Revolution is serializing an important speech given by Raymond Lotta during his national campus speaking tour in 2009-10. This version of the speech given at Harvard University in April 2010 has been slightly edited and footnotes have been added for publication. Parts 1 and 2 have been published to date.
- “We need a different system. Humanity needs “total revolution”: in economy, politics, culture, and morality. And the fact is: we can create a world without exploitation, in which humanity can flourish. But, and this is a cruel irony, exactly at a time when capitalism is in crisis, when all its irrationality and the suffering it inflicts are escalating exponentially—at this very moment, we’re told “you can’t go beyond capitalism; the best you can do is to tinker around its edges.”
- “So what is socialism? Let’s clear away some confusion. Socialism is not just government ownership of some enterprises or some government regulation—all capitalist governments do that. And socialism is not something that Obama is doing—Obama is no socialist.”
- “There is one small problem with this “conventional wisdom” about communism. It is built on the wholesale distortion of the actual history of socialist revolution; it is built on outright lies”.