Now that the abortion limitations bill has cleared the bicameral Texas legislature, it is a foregone conclusion that the delusional governor of the state, a man who hobnobs with such lunatics as the Reverends John Hagee, Rick Scarborough, and Robert Jeffress (all on various human rights hate lists), will sign it into law, it might be instructive to see just how far the state has gone to dissolve the barrier between church and state. Bear in mind, evangelicals have preached for years that church-state separation is a "myth," and they've even gone so far as to trot out a "historian" to prove the point: David Barton, whose last book was so riddled with error the Christian publishing company that printed it withdrew it from the market. (Barton, also from Texas, holds one college degree, in Christian education, from that lofty institution of higher learning, Oral Roberts University.) I know Henry Ford is famous/notorious for claiming that "history is bunk," but the discipline in Barton's hands produced, in his book, The Jefferson Lies, what has been called "the least credible history book in print." He is a regular on Huckabee and Beck.
Given that the far right wingnut base of the Republican Party supports their position on abortion with nothing but paternalistic dogma grounded in scriptural presentism, it might seem a little silly, nonsensical really, to hear the pols in Austin claiming that their vote for a post-20-week ban on abortion, along with measures reducing the number of facilities performing the service from 42 to 6 and requiring expensive hospital privileges of the remaining clinics, is not a "political" one. Yet, here we have Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston), author of The Second Most Important Book You Will Ever Read: A Personal Challenge to Read the Bible and right wing radio talk show host, addressing the legislative body and saying, "This isn't about poltics. This is about life." His speech was well larded with claims that the United States is "a nation based on Judeo-Christian values."
Oh? Again (and I apologize to those readers who are all too familiar with such quotations), here is Jefferson on the matter:
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."
What is the Republican War on Women but roguery? What is Dan Patrick, a fool or a hypocrite? Or both.
"An alliance or coalition between Government and religion cannot be too carefully guarded against......Every new and successful example therefore of a PERFECT SEPARATION between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance........religion and government will exist in greater purity, without (rather) than with the aid of government."
If curtailing abortion in any manner offensive to the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade is not "political," it is difficult to see what could be. For people who regularly rant about the need to curtail "big government," these louts are both foolish and hypocritical: foolish because their actions will end up costing the taxpayers in their states megabucks in defending their measures in the courts of the land, and hypocritical in exercising governmental interference in citizens rights to privacy and, should the coat hangers be brought out anew, the most important of the Constitutional guarantees of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.Texas Sen. Dan Patrick
How about a haggis pie?
Oh dear! That would be an excellent choice. Add Great Highland Bagpipes, drums and penny whistles. Scotland the Brave.
Here's the recipe
1 lamb’s paunch (stomach)
Lights of a lamb (lungs, separated from the windpipe)
1 lamb’s heart (cleaned and trimmed)
1 lamb’s liver (cleaned and trimmed)
350g coarse oatmeal
350g beef suet, shredded (fresh or packet)
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
850ml of lamb or beef stock
2 tsp grated nutmeg
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp mace
2 tsp fresh parsley (leaves only chopped fine)
2 tsp fresh thyme (leaves only chopped fine)
2 tsp fresh sage (leaves only chopped fine)
The day before:
1. Prepare the lamb’s paunch (stomach) by washing it out under clean running water, then stirring 3 tablespoons of salt into 2.5 litres of cold water in a clean plastic bucket and soaking the paunch in it overnight.
2. Prepare the lamb lights (lungs) and heart. Wash the lungs and heart under clean running water and place them in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and a tablespoon of sea salt, bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes drain the lights and heart well and place into a bowl, when cool put them in the fridge to be used the next day.
The next Day:
Turn the soaked paunch inside out and rinse under cold running water for at least ten minutes, to wash all the salt water off it. Then set aside to drain as you make the filling.
If you are using fresh beef suet shred it very small, almost to breadcrumbs (it should shred easily) and reserve in a very large mixing bowl – if using packet suet add it into the bowl.
Cut half the liver into 1.5 cm cubes while the other half should be cut up very fine or coarsely minced. Add this to the suet in the large mixing bowl.
Cut the lights and heart up very small or coarsely mince. Add this to the large mixing bowl with everything else.
Into the bowl add and thoroughly mix each ingredient in – the fine chopped onions, the oatmeal, the herbs and spices and then finally stir in the stock.
Make sure everything in the bowl is mixed thoroughly and no one ingredient is clumping together.
Using a spoon put the Haggis filling into the prepared lamb’s paunch (turned back the right way out). Once put in sew up the opening with linen thread or thin butchers string. Note: The paunch must not be too tightly packed or it will burst as the oatmeal swells during cooking after absorbing the stock.
Put the Haggis in a large saucepan of boiling water and simmer gently for 3 to 4 hours. Using a sharp needle prick the paunch once or twice in the first hour to allow steam to escape and prevent the Haggis from bursting.
After 3 or 4 hours serve the Haggis turned out of the paunch on to a large dish and serve with
Neeps (mashed potatoes with a little nutmeg) and
Mashed Swede (turnip with a little ginger).
Pat, me too! Haggis tastes terrible. The mashed potatoes (Neeps) and turnips (Swede) were OK, and the Glenmorangie 18 Years Old single-malt scotch was splendid. Bagpipers in full regalia only added to the adventure. The host provided penny-whistles and a good time was had by all.
I hope they fed you afterwards . . . .