How Would Evangelicals Respond if Atheists Acted Like David Grisham?

david-grisham

Recently, David Grisham, an Evangelical preacher affiliated with Repent Amarillo and Last Frontier Evangelism, went to the Westgate Mall in Amarillo so he could let children standing in line to see Santa Claus know that Santa is a myth and Jesus is not. Here’s a video of Grisham’s verbal assault:

Video Link

This video was previously published here.

Grisham has been roundly criticized for his behavior, but some Evangelicals are lauding him as a bold warrior for Jesus who told the children and their parents the T-R-U-T-H! Never mind the fact that Grisham went on private property to do what he did. He should have been arrested for disturbing the peace. The parent who took matters into his own hands is to be commended for attempting to stop Grisham’s preaching. Defenders of Grisham are saying that this man assaulted him and that this is a clear case of a Christian being persecuted for his faith. Bullshit. Grisham went on private property and, without permission, attempted to evangelize a captive group of people. While it is always best to let security or law enforcement handle the Grisham’s of the world, the father in question was certainly within his rights in his attempt to quell the verbal diarrhea coming from the Grisham’s mouth.

The law is clear. Evangelicals can preach and evangelize on public property (though this right is not absolute). As long as they don’t harass people or impede their movement, Grisham and his mighty band of assholes are free to expose the damning heresy of believing Santa is real. Once Christian zealots come on to private property they no longer have a constitutional right (freedom of speech) to say whatever they want. Most businesses wouldn’t want someone shouting and preaching at their customers, and they have every right to ask the offender to leave. And anyone who refuses to do so can be arrested for disturbing the peace or trespassing. Grisham evidently doesn’t understand that businesses have the right to prohibit everything from handing out tracts to preaching. Most business owners realize that allowing Evangelicals to evangelize their customers is bad for business. That said, if a business wants to infuse its operation with religion — say with track stands, book racks, Christian muzak, and religious kitsch —  and attempt to verbally witness to customers it is free to do so. Customers are also free to take their business elsewhere. Customers voting with their feet is not persecution. It’s merely customers saying to evangelizing businesses that they don’t like being targets for religious recruitment.

I have been asked by several people if I knew what could possibly be Grisham’s motives for doing what he did. While I can’t know for sure, I did spend a number of years street preaching and evangelizing passersby. I did these things because I believed God was telling me to do so; that I was a prophet of God; that I had a duty to tell sinners the truth. I suspect Grisham’s motives are similar.

Looking back on my street preaching years, I now know that my “preaching” was actually verbal assault, and that my call from God was really just my need to be right. I had the T-R-U-T-H, truth that had eluded 99.9% of Christians, and telling others this truth validated my rightness. I was above the fray, better than every other preacher. If they were right with God, these preachers would have joined with me, forming a Godly band of truth-tellers. That they didn’t meant they were cowards — deniers of Jesus.

This kind of thinking can lead to psychosis. Spending years believing you are like Elijah — the only prophet who did not bow a knee to Baal — will certainly lead to mental imbalance. I suspect that Grisham and other Evangelicals who have spent years and years harassing people likely have a screw loose. I realized the error of my way and stopped street preaching and using heavy-handed evangelistic methods. If I hadn’t done so, I have no doubt that I would have ended up just like David Grisham.

As most readers do, I find Grisham’s behavior offensive. That said, I feel sorry for the man. He has lost touch with reality. His brain is so besotted with Jesus, he can no longer act like a decent, thoughtful human being. Remove religion from the equation, and Grisham’s behavior might have landed him in a pysch ward or jail cell. Grisham is no different from a drunken, mentally ill homeless man who spends his days talking to himself. But because Grisham’s behavior is religiously driven, we dare not say he is mentally imbalanced. Such is the deference granted to Evangelical Christianity.

For those who think Grisham’s behavior is that of a prophet of God, consider how you might respond if an atheist came into your church on Sunday and started saying that Jesus was a myth and that there is more evidence for the existence of Santa Claus than there is for Christ. Imagine this atheist going to the children’s church meeting and preaching to them the True Word of Hitch® — that Jesus was not God’s son, not virgin born, and never resurrected from the dead. Why, I have no doubt that the atheist would be physically restrained and the police called to take him away. I am sure church members would say later, that man was crazy!

If atheists, or any other group for that matter, have to respect house rules, shouldn’t Evangelicals do the same? If Grisham was an atheist and did what he did at a church, I would criticize him just as I have the Evangelical version of Grisham. Public spaces are a different matter. Sidewalks are the freest real estate in America. Atheist and Evangelical alike can preach, hand out tracts, and attempt to engage passersby in discussion. Those who don’t want to be evangelized are free to tell zealots to go fornicate with themselves and keep on walking. When I come in contact with street preachers and sidewalk evangelizers, I tend to give them a bit of their own medicine. I snuggle up close to them and start doing some preaching of my own. I love preaching the gospel of reason! Using public preaching skills honed decades before, I can often drown out the Evangelicals. Sometimes, they will ask me to leave. Leave?, I ask. I have just as much right to this sidewalk as you do. Don’t like my message? Go somewhere else! Fun times, even if Polly is standing at the back of the crowd shaking her head and thinking, that crazy husband of mine, what will he do next?

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52 Comments

  1. Sam

    Oh Bruce please please ask Polly to video you doing that and post it for us to see. *insert begging and grovelling* we don’t have street preachers in Australia not that I’ve ever seen anyway.

    Reply
    1. Lynn 123

      I second that!

      Reply
      1. Sarah

        Agreed.

        Reply
  2. JR

    Persecution is not what happens when you act like an arse hole. He was aggressive and alarming to children. If he wanted to engage people he could have given out tracts or asked people if he could have a conversation with them about their thoughts on Santa.

    Check out Street Epistemology on youtube – an athiest politely approaches believers with productive dialogue ensuing.

    Reply
  3. Steve

    Great post, my friend; excellent insight as always

    Reply
  4. Lynn 123

    I, too, don’t think these guys are normal people-or maybe they were once normal, but then immersed themselves so much that a screw came loose. Then they lose all dignity and common sense and politeness, because they come to think their message is so important that all else doesn’t matter.

    But the main thing is if they truly believe that these methods are effective for the cause of Christ-they are truly delusional.

    Please, Bruce, we need a video of you doing some competitive preaching on the street. Are there any street preachers within driving distance?

    Reply
    1. Sarah

      We could sell tickets!!!

      Reply
    2. Chris

      We could form a band of traveling Christian faith breakers to deal with assholes like that Texas preacher.

      Reply
      1. Sam

        With an Australian chapter… Make it world wide.

        Reply
  5. Sarah

    Where I live, there is this place called the Arb, which is an arboretum. Until some idiots took it over, there was a stone table where anyone could leave anything-Atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, Ba’Hai, Christian, whatever, but you also had to take something from someone else. For example, if you left a rosary, you might pick up a copy of the Tao. It was so beautiful because instead of people arguing or condemning each other (mostly Christians), people could share their ideas or seek out knowledge without other people having to know about. The tradition was to leave something and take something, and it made a lot of people more open minded. It saddens me that someone took it down.

    Reply
  6. Chris

    Let’s all get together and send this fool a copy of the Krampus movie. For those of you who don’t know, the Krampus is the dark version of Santa. Originally, Santa gave out toys to good children and Krampus either gave out the coal or took the bad children, depending on the region of the story.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: How Would Evangelicals Respond if Atheists Acted Like David Grisham? – FairAndUNbalanced.com

  8. Karen Pryor

    Why is everyone treating this awful situation as though this is something Christians agree with? There can’t be more than a few percent of Christians who believe the way this guy does. Even they would never tell someone else’s child this! “Prophet of God”? This man is crazy and as close to a true Christian as a bag of rocks! I guarantee I speak for 98% of the Christians in this country!

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Even at 1 percent, that would mean several million people. I follow and read numerous Evangelical blogs, and not one of them has publicly condemned Grisham.

      Just remember, 81% of Evangelicals voted for a pussy-grabbing man named Donald Trump.

      The underlying factor here is that the Bible can be used to justify almost any behavior. In Grisham’s mind, he was simply and boldly telling people the truth– that Santa is a myth, and Jesus is real. If lying is a sin, shouldn’t Christian parents who lie about Santa be called out for their sinful behavior? Surely, this is the ” loving” thing to do, right?

      Reply
      1. Randy

        I like you and respect you Bruce, despite us being on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to our spiritual beliefs. I think you normally do a fair job with your posts and your responses. However, I have several issues with what you’ve said here.

        First is the ad hominem attack on Evangelicals who voted for Trump. Do you honestly think that people who voted for Trump condone this man’s behavior or behave like him? If so, then Christianity is in much worse shape than we think. Why have his actions not been condemned on Evangelical blogs? I think for one thing this guy has flown under the radar and many have not noticed. Just check out his Facebook pages. He only has a few hundred followers. I think that speaks greatly to the number of Evangelicals that support his methods. I believe others do not want to give him any more attention than he is already receiving for his ignorant actions in the media.

        Secondly I fail to understand why people in liberal circles feel it’s okay to judge all Evangelical Christians by the actions of a fractional minority yet insist that Islam should not be judged by the actions of a small group of radical fundamentalists. Let’s be honest, people like Grisham, as disgusting as they are, are only doing things like protesting Santa, soldiers funerals or LGBT events. Compared to flying airplanes into buildings, chopping off peoples heads and destroying historic works of art and architecture it’s not hard to see who poses the greater danger. However, I’m not sure I’ve seen you one time denounce or address the danger of the other big monotheistic system in the world: Islam. I greatly respect atheists like Sam Harris who dare to challenge Islam, but he is one of only a handful who do.

        Third I question the validity of your statement that the Bible can be used to justify almost any behavior. Certainly people throughout history have used it to promote or defend their own dismal behavior but they have done so by ignoring or twisting the core tenants of Jesus’ teaching. Again, the seeming hypocrisy in liberal circles on this versus Islam and the Koran stand in stark contrast. In the case of radical Islam it is said that a marginal group is twisting the meaning of the Koran’s teachings and because of that all other Muslims are exonerated of any guilt for these terroristic actions. However, statements like yours are used to vilify all Christians. Let’s play fair or at least admit a personal vendetta against Christianity may be at work here.

        Ultimately David Grisham is a far cry from the mainstream Evangelical. I think his actions are inexcusable. If I had been in line with my children and he pulled a stunt like that, I would have reacted much quicker and more harshly than these parents did. He is lucky that the only “assault” he experienced was someone simply touching him. I’m just asking for fairness in how you judge Evangelicals, or at least some equal time looking at other faith systems making inroads in America such as Islam.

        Reply
        1. Sam

          “In reality, ad hominem is unrelated to sarcasm or personal abuse. Argumentum ad hominem is the logical fallacy of attempting to undermine a speaker’s argument by attacking the speaker instead of addressing the argument. The mere presence of a personal attack does not indicate ad hominem: the attack must be used for the purpose of undermining the argument, or otherwise the logical fallacy isn’t there. It is not a logical fallacy to attack someone; the fallacy comes from assuming that a personal attack is also necessarily an attack on that person’s arguments.” – from http://laurencetennant.com/bonds/adhominem.html
          Atheists denounce Islam all the time but since we are living in either the US like you or Australia like me the religious group that is the biggest threat to our rights are Christians, so why would we focus on one that is a lesser threat? Atheists reject all religions and gods, equally.
          Seriously this playing the poor victimised Christian thing is getting old. Bruce was a Christian, he has dealings with Christians and is attacked by Christians but if a Muslim was to confront him or write to the newspaper about how evil he is etc I’m pretty sure Bruce would have something to say about that.

          Reply
          1. Randy

            I’m sorry Sam, I don’t see anywhere that I claimed to be a victim. In fact, I would say that Grisham was victimizing others through his (albeit twisted) expression of Christianity. Personally, I’m tired of all the attacks from the liberal camp on people who voted for Trump. I have quite a few liberal friends but I do not judge them on their vote cast for Clinton. I believe they voted on a system of values they adhere to and not on some of the less than ethical behavior that Clinton has exhibited. Hillary Clinton has clearly told numerous lies, but I do not assume if somebody voted for her that they are a liar. My point is this, we can have a reasonable dialogue without constantly denigrating each other. I think Bruce is a pretty cool dude despite being diametrically opposed to him in the area of Evangelicalism. I try not to paint folks like you and Bruce with a broad brush, and I just ask for the same treatment. Just like you assuming I am playing the Christian victim card. Once we devolve into name calling and such, the conversation cannot progress in a way that is conducive to anybody changing their views or stances.

        2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          Evangelicals who voted for Trump betrayed their beliefs and values. They are, in my opinion, hypocrites. Don’t come to me preaching Christ and moral superiority and then vote for the Devil. Evangelicals knew what Donald Trump was when they voted for him. He did not fly under the radar, he rolled over the top of America with a tank. That Evangelical blogs and websites were silent during the election (Unless they were condemning Clinton or explaining how Trump was a baby Christian) is proof that they desire political and social power more than they do righteousness. By electing Trump, Evangelicals have forever ceded their place of moral and cultural influence

          I stand by my statement concerning the Bible. Thousands and thousands of Christian sects are all the evidence I need to prove my contention. Each appeal to the Bible as justification for their beliefs and behaviors. I’ve heard scores of people use the Bible to justify their behavior — you know, like voting for misogynistic, pussy-grabbing, immigrant hating, war-mongering Donald Trump.

          Your comment does come off as passive-aggressive. You’ve presented yourself in the past as some sort of Christian moderate, but today you are a defender of Evangelical honor.

          Everyone who reads this blog knows that when I use the word Evangelical I don’t mean all Evangelicals, everywhere. To expect me to use a modifier every time I use the word is silly. If the shoe fits wear it, if not….I wasn’t talking about you.

          If you think Grisham is some sort of aberration, you need to get out more. Go to any moderate to large city and you’ll find people preaching on the streets and attempting to evangelize passersby. These zealots for Jesus all have one thing in common– they are Evangelicals. I get it, you want to pretend that your crazy uncles aren’t really related to you. They are, so deal with it. I’m not the problem here, they are, as are those who tacitly support them by not publicly condemning their behavior. Over the years I have had numerous pastors write to tell me than they appreciate my honest assessment of Evangelicalism. They are embarrassed by the crazy uncles. When I ask them to take a public stand against extremism, they refuse, saying that taking such a stand would cause a church split or loss of job.

          I’ve given you a lot of space, Randy, but it now sounds like you have had your fill of Bruce Gerencser. Go in peace.

          Reply
          1. JR

            Bruce, I think it is fair to say that Evangelicals who praise Trump have betrayed their beliefs

            But what about those people, christian or athiest, who are staunch republicans? Can you really expect them to vote democrat and betray their political principles?

            An old relative of mine was a hard line socialist. Even if the leader of the Labour party was a bad character he would still vote Labour as he believed the alternative – a conservative government – was worse. I assume it is the same for many republican voters.

            I am not American so may have things wrong.

        3. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          And as far as other faiths, I write about American Christianity, particularly Evangelicalism. It is silly for you to expect me to write about Islam when they are not my focus. There are plenty of writers who focus on Islam, so there’s no need for me to do so. Besides, the greatest threat to America is not Islam, it’s Evangelicalism. Again, who is it that put Trump in the White House? Who is it that just passed an law in Ohio that outlawed abortions after six weeks? Who is it that wants to put God, prayer, and the Bible back in the public schools? Who is it that supports capital punishment and supports the American war effort? Who is it that wants to criminalize certain sexual behaviors? Who is it that denies the existence of the separation of church and state? Who is it that clamors for theocratic governance? Evangelicals.

          Reply
          1. Becky Wiren

            Good news: Kasich vetoed heartbeat bill. Bad news: Kasich passed 20 week abortion ban bill.

          2. Randy

            I’ll respect your invitation to leave and not trouble you anymore in your personal corner of the blogosphere after this.

            You say you have changed much since your days of IFB Fundamentalism. What I see is you have merely traded jerseys. You’ve adapted the same attitudes, tropes and tactics from your IFB / conservative days and simply clothed them in atheism / liberalism. You are still an extremist with little tolerance for those who do not believe the same way you do. We’ve had some good conversations but apparently I’ve crossed the line. I honestly did not expect such a virulent response from you.

            Since I left atheism and went through my own zealous phase of Evangelicalism I’ve tried to walk a more moderate path. Unfortunately what I’ve found is that on both the Evangelical and Atheism fronts, people are equally dogmatic, rigid, intolerant and close minded. That’s unfortunate.

            I wish you and Polly the best and Happy Holidays.

          3. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Ah, now the true Randy comes out. I have zero problem with rational, thoughtful disagreement. We’ve had plenty of them on this blog over the past eight years. So far, Ive yet to meet an Evangelical who is capable of such discussion. No matter how much line I let out for them to run, sooner or later they will do exactly what you have done with your latest comments. It’s in the nature of Evangelicals to behave this way. Until you get away from Evangelicalism you will not see this. That you cannot see the Evangelicals voting for Donald Trump is a denial of EVERYTHING Evangelicals SAY they hold dear, is case in point.

            I wish you well.

            Bruce

          4. Lynn 123

            “Bruce, I think it is fair to say that Evangelicals who praise Trump have betrayed their beliefs

            But what about those people, christian or athiest, who are staunch republicans? Can you really expect them to vote democrat and betray their political principles?

            An old relative of mine was a hard line socialist. Even if the leader of the Labour party was a bad character he would still vote Labour as he believed the alternative – a conservative government – was worse. I assume it is the same for many republican voters.

            I am not American so may have things wrong.”

            JR, you’re exactly right. People pretty much stay true to their politics and consider their preferred side to be a lesser evil than the other side. THEN, they make their chosen religion fit into that. They do not START with their religion, in my humble opinion which may be wrong.

          5. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            I have yet to hear a thoughtful, rational argument made for voting for Donald Trump. Further, the Republican platform is a primer on returning America to the 1950s. This is not my “gut” talking. I can read, and it clear that the Republican Party wants to undo the social progress of the past 60 years. Whatever credibility the Republican Party had was lost the moment they voted into office the most unqualified President in American history. It is not at all certain that our democracy will survive a Trump presidency. You see, I believe what Trump says, and his cabinet picks scare the living hell out of me.

        4. Chris

          I have been kicked out of various churches five times simply for asking questions. Usually, it goes something like this, we love your wife, but either stop asking questions and stop sending emails, or stop coming. This has lead to my poor wife leaving the church with me.
          Just to point something out: Zoroastrianism and Judaism are also monotheistic
          Where I live, the Christian population is so rabid, that I genuinely am concerned about what will happen to my wife while I am at work if she were to accept that she is no longer Christian.
          I have been forced to attend church against my will. Everything was stolen from me by good Christians. Someone I know, who is a victim of child rape, has been told that it is her fault and that she is demon possessed. My father, who basically ran a shelter out of house, was not allowed to die in peace. A good Christian prevented him from being buried. I have had sermons preached against me. I have been prevented from seeing my family by good Christians. The most innocent person I know was treated with total disrespect at his funeral. My wife has been shunned for my actions, even when she has disagreed with me. She is very ill and has had a miscarriage that she was told was the result of my lack of faith and her sins. I can’t think of one good thing Christianity has done for me. So the burden of proof is on you.

          Reply
          1. Chris

            I am not trying to say the majority of Christians are like that, but those that I know, have been.

          2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Thanks for sharing your experiences, Chris. While your experiences are anecdotal…gathering up enough of them can lead us to make reasoned conclusions about Evangelicalism as a whole. How many stories about Evangelical pastors sexually molesting children and taking sexual advantage of women do we need before we can safely conclude that Evangelicalism provides a safe haven for predators? The Catholics have nothing over on Evangelicals when it comes to sexual scandal.

          3. Chris

            Bruce,
            Thank you for your kind reply. I agree completely about the Catholic Church and Evangelicalism, but most of my negative experiences come from the IFB. Plus a pastor who does not know the meaning of the words Pastoral confidence since I was telling the truth about one of his friends, my uncle. I am still scared for my wife because she is losing her Christianity because of the way they treat people, and I worry that she will fall apart if she says anything because I know that most of the people we know will just flat out reject her. Even though, she is always taking care of someone else. And I also worry for the little kids raised in churches, especially around Christmas time. I also worry for teenagers who are in the same situation as my wife. She is bi, never acted with on it, because when she was a child, the church taught her that it was better to be dead than bi.

          4. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            I have no problem saying certain corners of the Evangelical world are cultic. Many IFB churches are cults. These churches do incalculable psychological damage to those who dare to darken their doors. To this day, it is hard for me to admit that some of my behavior as a pastor was cultic. I didn’t know any better. I simply practiced what had been modeled to me by my pastors, peers, and professors. I look back on my life and I can’t help but lament the (well-intentioned) psychological harm my preaching and behavior caused.

        5. Matilda

          Randy, …re ‘islam is making inroads…’I’m old enough to remember the 50s and 60s when communism was ‘making inroads’ in the USA and UK where I am. Then we protestants were told catholicism was about to ‘make inroads’ as eucumenism was the sinful thing, then we had free love, rock music, new age-ism, equality for all races, then fair treatment for LGBTQTG people ‘making inroads’ into your beliefs. I thought the christian god is always ‘in control’ so you all don’t need to worry, just pray and he will sweep all those nasty, rather imaginary things away and be triumphant.

          Reply
          1. JR

            Agreed that paranoia often masks reality. But where I live in the UK Islam is indeed eroding British values for some sections of society. 2 years ago there was a successful ploy by a muslim community to oust a Sikh head teacher and introduce muslim values in a state school. The victims were not white British christians but Indian sihks/Hindus who have the right to attend a non religious state school. The council let it happen as were too scared to get involved.

            Google Birmingham Trojan horse.

      2. Lynn 123

        Bruce, I agree this guy thinks he’s doing what’s right, calling for truth about Santa. The problem with him and others like him-the IFB, for example-ultimately, people get tired of being against everything in their society. It gets old. People want to have an enjoyable life. It’s simply fun to pretend to believe in Santa Claus. For kids and also some adults, it simply makes Christmas fun. These IFB-types -I guess it’s their personalities that demand that we must all worry about the truth non-stop, 24/7. We can’t pretend, we can’t enjoy, we can never relax.

        I, many years ago, was fascinated with Christians who didn’t do the whole Santa thing with their children. But, the more I thought about it-I felt sorry for their children. And if this guy has children of his own-wow! It must be loads of fun having him for a father. Why are there people like him who take it all so very seriously? I think it’s mainly their personality which then gets infused with whatever cause-extreme Christianity, etc.

        Oh, another thing some of these extremists lack? Charm, charisma. There’s nothing attractive about their message for the great majority of people. Do they look like they have a sense of humor? Don’t they instead look like they have no ability to laugh at themselves? It’s simply not attractive.

        Reply
  9. Sam

    You say you’re not playing the victim yet your comment is about how Christians are always judged and vilified, all the while you do the exact thing to Muslims. The comment was passive aggressive and hypocritical. Bruce never said all Christians he said 81% so why did that upset you?

    Reply
    1. Randy

      Well Sam, I can see this is not really going to progress in a meaningful way. I bet if we could sit down face to face and have a nice chat we’d come out of it with a mutual respect even though we disagree with each other. I’m afraid you’ve drawn the wrong conclusions from my intent. I was defending what I believe is the bulk of Evangelical Christianity from what I perceived as a poor portrayal of how they typically conduct themselves. I’ve done the same thing for atheists when I’ve seen my Christian cohorts vilify them in broad sweeping statements and call them silly things like “pawns of Satan.” I was an atheist before I converted to Christianity. I’ve tried to retain respect for those espousing atheism because I adhered to it for so long. America can be a tough place for atheists because of the default cultural setting of Christianity. My goal is to bring us all to a greater respect for each other despite our differences.

      Reply
      1. Sam

        Randy I understand what your saying but the thing is the bulk of evangelical Christians voted for trump, 81% and they want to be able to force their beliefs on everyone the plans are being made to change laws and strip non Christians, LGBTI’s, minorities and women of their freedoms and rights. It wasn’t just a few fundamentalist crazies who voted him in it was 81% of evangelistic Christians. It’s great you defend atheists from being stereotyped, and we most probably would agree on something’s but Bruce wasn’t judging all Christians on the actions of a few he was stating a fact about what the majority had done. There was nothing that you had to defend there was no persecution or maligning.
        Anyway let bygones be bygones coz it’s 1:30am here and I’m going to bed so I don’t look like a female version of Donald Trump in the morning… 😉

        Reply
    2. Matilda

      JR, I’m in the UK too so am familiar with what you wrote. Today on BBCR4 I heard that the government wants to impose a spoken-out-loud oath of allegiance to british values on all its workers, from volunteer school governors to NHS staff. There are extremists everywhere but I suggest that british values include freedom of expression, inclusion and diversity and that if ‘push came to shove’, we would fight hard to retain them.

      Reply
      1. Lynn 123

        The British value freedom of expression, inclusion and diversity, but they also value and are proud of their culture and traditions and contributions to the world, no? Is it that they want to be fair but not suicidal?

        Reply
  10. Geoff

    “Becky Wiren

    Good news: Kasich vetoed heartbeat bill. Bad news: Kasich passed 20 week abortion ban bill.”

    Hey Becky (or Bruce) that sounds at least partly good news.

    I’m not sure I understand how a state can appear to override federal law in Roe v Wade. I’m UK based and I’d be very interested for some clarification.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      The goal of these unconstitutional laws is to force a re-hearing of the issues surrounding Roe v. Wade. They want to force the Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of these laws, hoping for a different outcome. This is why Supreme Court picks are so important. If Trump and the Republicans can stack the court with right-wing ideologues, they have a good chance of undoing much of the social progress of the past fifty years. What they really want is for the states to decide, not the Federal government. Since most states are now Republican controlled, returning the cultural hot button issues to the states so they can decide will prove to be disastrous to social progress.

      I don’t think Donald Trump is pro-life. What he wants us for states to decide, not Congress.

      Reply
      1. Sam

        What I don’t understand is how they can call themselves pro life then support the death penalty, bombing innocent people and murder of dr’s and abortion provider staff. A bunch of cells or even a fetous that is unrecognisable as human unable to sustain life independently and has little to no actually brain function etc is considered more worth of life then actual people. They are not pro life they are pro controlling women.

        Reply
      2. Brian

        Randy said, ” Once we devolve into name calling and such…”
        Randy, when human beings are informed/ misled into knowing that they are worms, their hearts are evil, the basic stuff of your Christianity, to me that is far beyond the harm of name-calling. There is finally no way out of the such a stance when what you believe is based on demeaning humankind so that they need a magic man to be worthwhile. You call that love because you have been abused sufficiently to believe that a father actually giving his son to be tortured and die is an ultimate act of love. This is a sickness, Randy and there is help for it. Atheism is my ‘No’. It informs me that I am okay not believing in things that do not seem real to me, that I am merely human and not just plain bad and beholden to a ‘maker’ who insists on my child being given over. There is no such thing as a balanced evangelicalism as far as I can see, just decent people who try to go along with woo because it triggers them to do so. People somewhat like you, perhaps.
        Please tell your Woo-God he cannot have my children and that I detest what ‘he’ did to his own. Speak to Abraham too if you please and tell your viral evangelical bunch that certain commentaries of the Jewish faith say that their God would never have done what deluded Abraham says God demanded. Go tie up your son. Bind him well and lay him out on a rock to be gutted. Thus sayeth ultimate love. What a load of shit, Randy. Are you seriously there?

        Reply
  11. Ian

    I love how this guy is so self-assured, that he is able to nail down that Jesus was born 2016 years ago, in December. Those are two basic things every Christian should know are false. Also, the winter festival had nothing to do with Jesus.

    This guy needs to do some homework before he goes out and embarrasses himself like that again. Next, he will
    Be kicking over mangers that have the three wise men AND their entourage. Because the Bible specifically says three wise men. I know it’s true, you can’t tell me any different.

    Now, he gets to show his congregation that he was suffering for Jesus. He’s lucky that he didn’t get his teeth knocked out. That’s not something I would do, but I know plenty of people who would.

    So, where would he stand in the War on Christmas? Should Starbucks put Santa on the cup or just candy canes? Merry Christmas or Blessed Holiday?

    He probably believes Jesus came back to life on Easter Sunday.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      The mall is somewhat culpable. Security should have immediately remove Grisham, taking out, if necessary, a restraining order to keep him from entering the mall. Same goes for the idiots who were preaching in Target over transgender bathroom use.

      Reply
  12. khughes1963

    David Grisham is well known for his insane antics in Amarillo, although I left there long before he started his insane crusades. Grisham was leader of a group called Repent Amarillo and was well known for his Koran burning and “spiritual mapping” antics. Grisham ran as an unsuccessful mayoral candidate in Amarillo and his tirades against Islam cost him his job as a security guard at the Pantex plant.

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Security guard! Now that is funny… Ask a bully creep to be a protector, someone interested in caring for others! That is really funny! Lost his job, you say? How could that ever be! Such a loving, Jesus gentle man…

      Reply
  13. Lynn 123

    Re Christians voting for Trump-I just see it as politics always trumps religion. I think you start with politics; you then look at your religion, the Bible, etc. and see them through your political lens. Whatever your gut wants to do, you do and then use your brain to justify it all in your mind. I think this characteristic of humanity makes all Christians and probably every other human on earth hypocritical. One of the most interesting things about this is how we have the ability to compartmentalize our thinking so that in our eyes, it all fits-whereas outsiders can so plainly see how it does not fit. But as the Italians say, “What are you gonna do?”

    I also think there are nuts and weirdos and messed-up people and extreme people in all groups.

    Reply
    1. Brian

      “Whatever your gut wants to do, you do and then use your brain to justify it all in your mind. I think this characteristic of humanity makes all Christians and probably every other human on earth hypocritical.”
      Hey Lynn 123! I think we reflect our experience, our ‘family’ experience, whether that family is more nurturing and freeing or whether it is a gulag of worship and woo belief. If that is what you mean by saying we do what our guts want us to do, then I get it but I think politics hardly held any sway in my religious upbringing. My preacher dad had little interest in the affairs of man unless they began with belief in the one and only thing that mattered, Jesus Christ Almighty! His politics was informed by his helief and his belief was informed by his own family experience, his own past.
      I might be missing your point about hypocrisy: I know that we are not perfect, that we make mistakes in making one step or another but does that mean we are doing such things with pretense, with evil intent? Or is a certain ‘selfish’ intent necessary for survival of the species… And if it is, can you then classify that as a weakness, a glitch aspect of humanity?

      Reply
      1. Lynn 123

        Hi Brian-It might be interesting to think about your father’s personality-was he kinda law-and-order, conservative, impressed by authority or did he dislike authority figures, like to be different, more liberal? I think we have one bent or the other which then informs our political choices.

        I think we’re hypocritical if we espouse to be or believe stuff, when in actuality we’re governed by our gut feelings, our need for survival, approval, connection to others. It’s not with evil intent-I think a lot of it is ignorance of why humans do what they do. I think we’re all selfish in that we want to survive and be comfortable, etc. It’s not a weakness, sin, etc.-it’s being human.

        I guess I’m trying to say I find it fascinating to study why we do what we do. For example, why are some of us conservatives and some of us liberals? Why are some people attracted to fire-and-brimstone preaching and others absolutely hate that? I don’t know, it’s complicated, but interesting. I realize our experiences influence us also.

        Reply
    2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      While I agree with some of what you say here, I do not think that all ideas are equal. Some ideas are better than others. Some political ideas are harmful, others are not. Universal healthcare is a good idea, any of the ideas Republicans have about healthcare is not. I am a liberal (Democratic socialist) not because of my “gut”, but because I am a rational creature who has determined that liberal views best reflect the kind of world I want to live in — a world in which all people are valued and treated with respect. To reduce life to following our “gut” leads to a brutal world where power, might, and wealth control everything. Such a world goes against the humanist ideal and is patently unChristian.

      Reply
      1. Brian

        We are informed by our own efforts and the efforts made to inform us, society, media and so on but we are first and foremost founded in the reality of our beginnings. The mother, the father or lack of one or both, the home we knew as youngsters and the reality defined and confirmed by the adults in our lives. As little kids we take ownership of all that happens in that time and it becomes the basis for our ‘maturing’. I hear Lynn 123 expressing an interest in why we choose one way or another and I see that as a valid peeling of the onion, a valid way-in, so to speak. There is no question that some ideas are more harmful than others but I did not see her making the claim that they were not, just that she finds them interesting. When you express disdain for the gut feelings of humanity, perhaps you betray your legacy of Christian Judgement, the evil, carnal self but I think that the gut feelings are just human and often lead us in the most healthy and supportive fashion. The Christian would express disdain for the gut feelings as base and part of what Jesus must purge from us but I disagree. We are our guts and our informed selves too. My gut feeling is to treat people with respect and to to value them. I vehemently disagree with our statement that the gut leads to all hell breaking loose. Gut reactions need to be handled and understood for what they are, feelings erupting, human life. I have no idea what the hell you mean by patently unChristian. Do you mean that the gut response is neither a humanist ideal or a Christian one?

        Reply
      2. Lynn 123

        Maybe “intuition” is a better word than “gut.” I think we go by our intuition and trust it more pretty much 24/7. People have to make judgments about others and ideas and problems every day. I don’t think they are like Spock, leaving out all emotion-not that you said all emotion is left out. For example, if you’re interviewing two people for a job-they have similar qualifications, etc. but yet you don’t have a good feeling about one of them. Or when young people are told that if they don’t feel comfortable around a certain person, they should trust that feeling. Aren’t we many times told to “trust your gut”?

        Reply

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