Showing posts with label Evangelicals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Evangelicals. Show all posts

September 17, 2023

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe, Would God go with GOP or Joe?


By Hal Brown

Here's a personal note about my own religious background and beliefs.

This blog is really meant to be an addenudum to what I wrote yesterday, here:

I initially thought of the title of today's blog after reading this article about Evangelicals supposedly losing their grip on the GOP on Raw Story.
Click to read in Raw Story

I tried to make an illustration with this image:

It was taking too long to position the pointing finger properly on something like a stone tablet so I went with the easier to make image you see on the top of the page.

Click to enlarge
The hypocritical irony of beliving that  God gave the 10 Commandments to Moses as the basic rules for mankind to abide by  and how Republicans flout as many as half of them is beyond the scope of what I want to write about today.  Suffice to share the new 10  GOP Commandments (Slate 2021) by Liz Cheney and take note of the failed efforts in Texas to require that public schools to display them. Texas, of course, is the state where its governor, Greg Abbott, is putting barbed wire on floats acrtoss the Rio Grand to stop deperate immigrants from crossing.  

So much has been written about the abject hypocrisy of Evangelicals who support Trump and the other GOP candidates for president who either not only don't have any semblance of so-called the Christian values like those described on this Christian website (and like Trump probably don't believe in God). Then there's the most devout candidate, Pence, who managed to worship the false god Trump as he again and again did things that proved he was as cruel as the Devil. (More about Pence here: CNN's Tapper corners Mike Pence over accusations he used his faith to run cover for Trump)

The question I pose for Evangelicals is who would God choose to be president? 

A great deal has been written about Einstein's quote about quantum mechanics, God does not play dice with the universe, and what he meant by it (here for example). 

I doubt too many Evangelicals consider how quantum mechanics fits into God's plan, but I think they'd endorse the idea that God has a plan and everything He does is for a reason.

In other words, this goes back to my title, God does not play Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe when making decisions that effect life on Earth.

Which presidential candidate actually walks the walk? While Biden doen't talk the talk of the Evangelicals can anyone who thinks clearly about what he believes and what he has done and is trying to do for people is walking the walk that a kind, loving, and compassionate God would approve of?

You don't need to read these 100 quotes from the Bible about the poor, for example, to ask the question.

Click images to enlarge them

There's nothing more I can add to this.

September 16, 2023

"Listen up GOP candidates and your pious flock, according to me and my son, woke is good." God*

By Hal Brown

* Disclaimer: I do not profess to know God actually said "listen up GOP candidates and your pious flock, according to me and my son, woke is good." I think that the Bible's deity probably would say this. There's more about my faith history on bottom of the page.

I read the following in Raw Story:

Click above for article

This was my comment in Raw Story in response:

 If there was a capital G god, the most real tradtional all powerful diety decision maker ruling over Earth and all points in every direction to the end of the Universe and perhaps beyond, you know, the capital G god who looks like one of the images below, why would capital H he have had a son he sent to Earth who preached a message to mankind that in its essence was what the GOP is calling woke. Read (Newsweek) "Evangelicals Are Now Rejecting 'Liberal' Teachings of Jesus" here.


The Newsweek article has as its central premise that Trump, other GOP presidential candidates, as well as many members of the party who are pandering to Evangelicals  have "transformed the political landscape in the U.S. to the point where some Christian conservatives are openly denouncing a central doctrine of their religion as being too weak and liberal for their liking."

I didn't read the Daily Beast article cited in Raw Story since I don't have a subscription but I did look at the other article. It was from The Christian Post (below) describing the speech Ron DeSantis gave which concluded with this sentence: He told the audience, “As president, we are going to leave the woke mind virus in the dustbin of history, where it belongs, once and for all.” 

Click above 

Here are two other Raw Story comments with illustrations (click to enlarge):

A commenter who goes by SailorRet posted many more images here.

Below are a few of the other comments in Raw Story which I think make excellent points:

“I don't know how you could be a leader without having faith in God," DeSantis said. 

The only member of the Founding Fathers who had beliefs similar to Evangelicals was John Adams, and get this, he was also the only member of that group who was an abolitionist.

(Yeah, maybe that was a big reason he and Thomas Jefferson hated each other. But the point is clear.)

Yeah. Woke is why young people are putting off getting married and having kids. Not because they can't fucking AFFORD to have kids thanks to 40 years of union busting and trickle down pushed by their own party. 🙄

Too bad for them, the young people aren't buying their line of bullshit the way boomers and a chunk of my generation (X) did.

No lie. My 20 year old asked me what they could do to avoid struggling with bills and stuff the way I sometimes do. I looked them straight in the face and said "Don't have kids unless you have a great job and you're living with someone who also has a great job. I love you and your sister, but kids are expensive and you need two solid incomes to raise them" (my ex, their mother, was stay at home and ran off with her affair partner just as she was supposed to go back to work, but that's a different story). My 20 year old is LGBT and doesn't want kids anyway. My 20 year old also votes. And NOT for RepubliQans.

So thank 40 years of GQP union busting and trickle down. Not woke (whatever the fuck that is).

"And it’s the faith in God that gives you the strength to stand firm against the lies, against the deceit, against the opposition."'s having a strong moral compass and a desire to do the right thing (for others as well as yourself) that keeps people unwavering.

It's very weak, and irresponsible, to act as if some invisible being is directing and supporting you, because it's a lie and you know it. You do what you want, giving into your hate and fear, because then you can take it out on others - and blame the outcome on your deity.

As for "COVID-ism", Vivek? We all know every single one of you candidates is vaccinated. So you can fk off with that bs.

And you'll never eradicate "wokism", because that's just respect for others and not trying to control who people are. Us telling y'all to stop banning books is not the same as you telling us which gender we are. You're just so convinced you're right, when you're very, very wrong!

Ex-Vice President Mike Pence told the audience, "The facts speak for themselves. Today more young people are delaying having a family altogether. The share of never-married adults has tripled since 1980. People are getting married later, having children later in life; declining U.S. birth rates" — all the "hallmarks of decline."

Phvck YOU Q-Tip! That's called freedom to decide when or what to do in ones life. What is declining is American's showing up on Sunday mornings for sermons, which now a days at many churches are white Christian nationalist propaganda.

These. Christofascists. Are. Insane. I've posted this quite a few times over the past several years on quite a few threads, but it bears repeating: When you mix religious fanaticism with political fervor, you have big trouble. Wasn't it Barry Goldwater who said, "when fascism comes to the United States, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a Bible"?

...""protect children from 'indoctrination' in public schools.""...
Now THERE is projection on steroids... Religious schools of ANY religion are breeding grounds for extremism and bastions of indoctrination. Manipulation at its finest.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" ... OOPS forgot about that, did you? If we all followed the dictate of keeping government out of religion and vise-versa, and ENFORCE that, we'd be much better off.
But NOOO, they claim to be pure and god-fearing, but then reality bites ... right, Kristi Noem and Corey Lewandowski? Donald Trump and (..MANY..)? Ken Paxton and his side piece?

As it is, there are millions running around proclaiming that they "live by" the demands in their religious texts, but they fail to even provide a modicum of proof that their god exists.
Should that not be STEP #1 before committing to your chosen cult? ... I.E. Prove there is a basis for your beliefs in magic? Asking too much, I know...

A personal note:

I was raised a secular Jew.

I suppose I am so un-Jewish that I just had to be reminded what today was, so I am adding this to the blog:

My town of Mt. Vernon, NY at the time I lived there had a very large Jewish population and I barely knew any Christians. There was one Christian family on my block. 

As a adult I was amazed to learn that three of the major players in the failed illegal attempt in 1947 (when I was three) to buy the soon to become a sovereign country of Israel a surplus aircraft carrier named the Attu for $125,000 (described in article here) were my neighbors. They lived literally next to my house or one house away. I discovered that the men I knew, the fathers of my best toddler friends, were being investigated by the FBI and there were agents prowling the treelined streets of my  tranquil neighborhood.  I am still in frequent touch with two of these friends.

My great-grandfather was one of the founders of a major synagogue tthere.

Click above to enlarge

Most of my male friends and all of my boy relatives went to Hebrew school and went through the   bar mitzvah ceremony with the attendent big party afterwards. My parents couldn't afford this and didn't believe it was important anyway. 

They taught me that God was simply a force for good.  I used to say the "now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to God my soul to keep, God bless Mommy and Daddy etc." prayer every night when I went to bed. I stopped believing in God when I pretty young after one experience. I had terrible stomach cramps and was sitting on the toilet. I was already doubting that there could be an actual God but was in such pain I said out loud "God I promise that if you stop the pain I will believe in you." The pain persisted for a long time. I figured nobody with the power to stop it existed because after all I knew I was a good kid and didn't do anything which I needed to be punished for.

Now if I had to describe my position on matters of faith I would call myself an ethical atheist.

August 21, 2023

Is Trump the greatest man whoever lived, even greater than Jesus, or just the brand new Jesus?


If you want to save yourself the ordeal of listening to this decidely untalented excuse for a country singer just check out the lyrics to this song. They call Trump the greatest man who ever lived which I suppose means the writer either doesn't think Jesus was a man or that he thinks Trump is greater than Jesus. 

The singer/songwriter says Trump is the brand new Jesus. It you believe that Jesus was fully a man, as many religious scholars do (see reference) and Trump is the greatest man who ever lived, it stands to reason (that pesky word, reason, again) that Trump is greater than Jesus.

Here's the first verse:

Here comes Donald, 

The greatest man who ever lived. 

Here comes Donald, 

The most important man on the planet. 

I vote for him and I'm not afraid to show it. 

He's changed my life and he doesn't even know it. 

God Bless Donald, 

The greatest man who ever lived. 

and when I praise the Lord, 

I'm thinking 'bout the President x 3 

Donald Trump is the Brand New Jesus Christ

I was prompted to write this after reading this on Raw Story:

Click above to read
The article above rferences this interview in The Bulwark

I found the Trump is the Brand New Jesus song when I read the article about Trump and the evangelicals and thought of writing a blog about it so I looked for a picture to use as an illustration searching Google Images for "Trump as Jesus" and the found the image on the second row far right linked to the webbage with the song.

Obviously there's a contradiction between the Rambo warrior Trump thinks he is and wants other people to see him as and a beatifically smiling Jesus figure holding a lamb.

Here's another similar illustration from a Who, What, Where article titled Trump the Secong Coming (here).

I haven't found any record of Trump ever having a pet and I doubt he'd acutally be comfotable even holding a lamb. There is a new digital Trump card showing him with a dog however:
Since he's made money off of these so-called trading cards (which aren't even on cardboard) I wonder if we'll see more of them only now they may be depicting him as a muscle bound Jesus like in these:
This is quite the contrast with Jesus as imagined by Renaissance artists:


September 20, 2022

God, Guns, Evangelicals, Trumpers, and the Supreme Court

Comment on stories are on the bottom of this page, or you can male them on Facebook here, or re-Tweet or reply on Twitter here

If you do a Google Image search for God, guns, and Trump this is what you see:

Click images above to enlarge

This story leaped out at me through the pain of a waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in after dental surgery:

"On the eve of the first game, which the Knights won, Kennedy was in Milwaukee being presented with an engraved .22-caliber rifle at an American Legion convention.' 

Skip this section if you have no interest in guns.

I couldn't find a report whether the rifle was the kind usually used for target shooting and hunting small game or a tricked out version made to look and function like an assault rifle only with smaller and less lethal anti-person bullets. (Click images to enlarge)

The other some friend and I were discussing the cache of silver coins one had stored in a safe that her late husband collected. She said that they might come in useful for trading should society fall totally apart. I said in fact the better item to hoard would be .22 caliber bullets since they are cheap ($40 for 500). They would be used for hunting small game for food rather than against people (unless it was a last resort). Lord knows, the country is awash in weapons designed just to kill people efficiently.

Back to the article, and the gun quote above...

It is is buried in this article:

Here's yet another example of the Supreme Court predetermining a politically decision and ignoring arguments which would undermine the correctness of their ruling. An excerpt from the article:

The district's lawyers tried to correct the record, to no avail.

"You can't sue them for failing to rehire you if you didn't apply," one lawyer, Mercer Island's Michael Tierney, argued during a lower court session. "The District didn't get an application from him, had four positions to fill and filled them with people who had applied. It didn't fail to rehire him."

The Supreme Court simply ignored this inconvenient fact — along with a host of others. At one point during oral arguments, as a different school district attorney was saying the narrative that had been spun didn't fit with the facts — that the coach's prayers were neither silent nor solitary, nor was he fired — Justice Samuel Alito interrupted him, saying "I know that you want to make this very complicated."

Alito persisted in asking about the coach being fired — six times he said it, to the point that the lawyer finally corrected him. Which is a touchy thing to do with a Supreme Court justice.

The article concludes with these wise word from Justice Elana Kagan showering Chief Justice John Roberts for his defense of the legitimacy of the court.

This past week the Supreme Court justices were hand-wringing in public about why so many people seem to dislike them. The way Chief Justice John Roberts phrased it is that the public is questioning the "legitimacy of the court." He said people shouldn't base their views on whether the court's decisions are popular.

That's fair enough. The rule of law isn't supposed to bend with the winds. But Justice Elena Kagan got much closer to the mark.

"I think judges ... undermine their legitimacy when they don't act so much like courts," she pointedly said this past week. "And when they don't do things that are recognizably law, and when they instead stray into places where it looks like they're an extension of the political process, or where they're imposing their own personal preferences."

Your honors, I submit for the record, the Coach Kennedy case. Exhibit A.

As I look for references to God and guns I found this relevant article from The Trace:

As Midterms Loom, Right Wingers Are Revving Up the Faithful with Talk of Religion and Guns

Extremism experts warn that a new crop of ideologues using voter fraud conspiracy theories and religious appeals are pushing their followers toward armed rebellion.

The Trace which published this article describes itself as the only newsroom devoted to covering web violence.

Michael Voris, the president and founder of St. Michael’s media, Church Militant’s mother company, who moderated the convention described in the article reported on in this story. Here are some of his words:

Voris also hosts a web talk show in which he presents monologues for viewers. In one episode about guns, Voris begins by claiming that Democrats misrepresent religion and gender, and lack a “belief in God,” then transitions to a four-minute rant about how “Democrats and Marxist socialists” are eager to take guns away. 

“Whoever has the guns, rules the country,” Voris says. “The forces of the so-called Great Reset have gathered, conspired, and laid out their plan.” The Great Reset was the World Economic Forum’s 2020 response to the global economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. It quickly morphed into a viral conspiracy theory that held that “global elites” would use the health crisis to destroy American influence and wealth.

At the end of his message, Voris asserts: “The bad guys hate God, and they hate you having guns for the exact same reason. It’s all about destroying your human dignity.” 

But Empsall vehemently rejects that guns and Christianity are tied. “America is awash in guns and individualism, and that’s certainly not in the Bible or the gospel,” he said. “They started with the guns and they brought in the religion, not the other way around.”

I am not an anti-gun liberal snowflake. While I consider hunting as a sport which people justify because they eat the game they shoot I still consider it a needless taking of life where you personally watch the animal die rather than the abstract denial of a typical omnivore who enjoys a good filet mignon. I just can't envision myself having a deer in might sights and deciding to end its life. 

I can also see target shooting and working to develop in this as a benign activity that people enjoy, but I draw the line at non-soldiers practicing shooting so they hone their skill at killing people

People like the brothers Trump shooting large game sheerly for the pleasure and watching a tiger, water buffalo, or other majestic creature die, and then posing happily with photos of their kills, I consider to be an exercise of blood lust arising out of psychopathology. 

In the interest of self-discloure: I have also carried a handgun as a part of my role as a reserve police officer for 20 years and believe in using firearms for true self-defense. In fact it was writing about this that got me permanently banned from posting on Daily Kos. I  didn't save that article so since they took it off-line I re-created it here with a justification for writing it.

The twisted belief of these evangelicals and violence threatening Trump supporters is that in their warped perspective they are convinced that if they use firearms it will be in defense of some perverted idea of liberty.

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