The Cliff’s Edge: My Weekly Progressive Rant Recapping Last Week’s Idiocy – October 8, 2014

pirro-fox-newsI’ve decided to try out a new weekly feature and see how all of you fine folks like it. The premise of this article is pretty simple. It’s just a weekly “rant” recapping the idiocy from the previous week. Though being that this is a “first edition,” it may cover stories that happened a little more than seven days ago. But let’s get started.

I think the thing that’s bothered me the most here recently is Fox News’ ridiculous Ebola coverage. Their fear-mongering has been so blatant it’s actually more comical than infuriating. Stephen Colbert brilliantly hammered the way many Fox News personalities have seemingly been competing for an Oscar nomination to see who can act the most irrationally outraged over our nation’s first case of Ebola.


And for the record, it’s been nearly two weeks and not a single person “under observation” for being in contact with this man has shown signs of having the virus. And while we’re not “out of the woods” yet, I think it’s pretty safe to say that this “Ebola panic” Fox News continues to push is nothing more than blatant fear-mongering for the sake of ratings. Then again, that’s pretty much all that network does in the first place.

Another thing that really ticked me off this week was when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that it’s “Constitutional” for religion to rule over secularism.

Really? 

Can someone please explain to me how “freedom of religion” translates into “the right for religious people to enforce their beliefs onto those who don’t follow them”? Because I’ve still yet to have a single conservative who’s against same-sex marriage explain to me how two homosexuals marrying has any impact on their life. Or how forcing someone else to follow laws based on a religion they don’t follow equates to “religious freedoms.”

But what really got me gong was the fact that this is a Supreme Court Justice who’s advocating that theocratic rule is acceptable in the United States. Which is, without question, a direct violation of our First Amendment. How the hell is this man on the bench?

Then there was Speaker of the House John Boehner who responded to an overwhelmingly positive September jobs report – by ignoring the report entirely to continue to push blatant right-wing lies about job creation. I can’t help but notice nowhere in his tweets that day was any mention that our economy has created over 200k jobs per month for seven out of the nine months in 2014. But then again, why would he? That doesn’t support his right-wing bullshit on job creation.

And we can’t forget about the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, which was busted in North Carolina sending out fake voter registration information. Because there’s nothing at all shady about a radical right-wing group getting caught sending out misinformation about voting that listed the wrong deadlines to register and the locations citizens should send that registration information to, right?


While you’re thinking about that little tidbit of corruption from a Koch-backed group, don’t forget that facts overwhelmingly show that the lower the voter turnout, the better it is for the Republican party. But I’m sure that’s not at all linked to a seemingly blatant attempt to lower voter turnout by AFP.

Then there’s the Texas state senator who compared the separation of church and state with the Holocaust. The freaking Holocaust! I guess this idiot isn’t aware that Hitler actually often used Christianity to justify his horrific actions. And can we just make it a rule that until around 6 million people are brutally tortured and slain through horrific genocide, nothing is “like the Holocaust”?

Oh, and liberals, you’re not exempt from this either. Many of you seemed to have quite the issue with Bill Maher for calling some liberals out for being hypocrites when it comes to criticizing Islam. A point I happen to agree with.

Most liberals seem to have no issues calling out Israel or Christians for their ignorant behavior. But, wow, if anyone dares to criticize Muslims – many of them throw an absolute fit.

It seems many aren’t aware that Islam is an organized religion, not a race. While there are definitely many people who hate Muslims “because they’re not Christians,” Maher’s criticism isn’t based on bigotry or racism. His comments stem from the fact that Islam as a whole (outside of just the small percentages that support radical Islamic jihadists) still harbors horrific (and outdated) beliefs against homosexuals and women. And he’s right. Because you can’t tell me if we replaced all the right-wing conservative Christians in this country with Muslims of the same type of “fundamentalist beliefs” that they would be pro-choice, pro-gay rights and strong advocates for equality for women. They would be every bit as anti-contraception, anti-gay marriage and anti-women as many of these right-wing Christians – if not more so.

I view Islam as I do every organized religion. It’s nothing more than a human-made mechanism to control large groups of people through their fear of what happens to us after we die. And it’s entirely possible to criticize the religion without being a racist or a bigot. Because Islam isn’t a race. So if you’re not going to be “outraged” when someone like Maher slams right-wing Christians, then you shouldn’t be outraged when he does the same thing with Muslims.

Alright, I’ll wrap it up there. I hope you enjoyed this new weekly feature. Hit me up on Twitter and let me know what you think.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Kenneth Browning

    “It’s just a weekly article to “rant.”” So besides the fact it covers a full week, how will it be any different than mostly any other article here

  • Jim Valley

    Many good points here. Thanks for the article.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    Allen, didn’t you make the point a while back that it’s OK to bash Christianity but not Christians? I could be wrong but I thought it was you.

    If so, then how can it be OK to bash Muslims – followers of Islam? Yes, you can make all the points you want about Islam as a counterpoint to Christianity but Maher, in his “point you happen to agree with” began that whole segment by stating that we needed to be allowed to criticize “the Muslim world”. There is no “Muslim world” any more than there is a “Christian world”. Not all Christians follow the same beliefs nor do all Muslims.

    It is true that Islam espouses some doctrine that many in the western world find offensive. I dare say that many Muslims find those principles offensive as well but still choose to identify themselves as followers of Islam and the teachings of Muhammed. So, when you say that you find it unacceptable to criticize Christians but that it is OK to criticize Muslims (or “the Muslim world” per your agreement with Bill Maher’s point), it certainly seems hypocritical.

    Sure, if you want to criticize Islam, go for it. Just like you would if you want to criticize Christianity. But, if you’re not willing to lump all Christians as a group, then you should also tread lightly when lumping all Muslims as a group.

    • Cat Marcuri

      Good point. I was thinking much the same thing on that topic.

  • Cat Marcuri

    “And it’s entirely possible to criticize the religion without being a racist or a bigot. Because Islam isn’t a race. So if you’re not going to be “outraged” when someone like Maher slams right-wing Christians, then you shouldn’t be outraged when he does the same thing with Muslims.”

    THANK YOU! I’m so tired of hearing people (mostly liberals, but also conservatives) whine about racism. Are they unaware that most followers of Islam are NOT from the Middle East?? Really???