The United States Has an Evangelical Problem

evangelist don hardman

Evangelist Don and Laura Hardman, Somerset Baptist Church, Mt. Perry, Ohio, Late 1980s. Notice the huge flag. That should tell you all you need to know about my political and social agenda at the time.

In the late 1970s, Jerry Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, birthed a Christian political action group called the Moral Majority. Falwell, a graduate of Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, started Thomas Road Baptist — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) institution — in 1956. The church quickly became one of the largest churches in the United States. Today, the church claims it has almost 25,000 members. In 1971, Falwell founded Lynchburg Baptist College, now known as Liberty University. Liberty, an accredited university, is the largest Evangelical college in the United States. Most Evangelicals of my age likely remember Falwell’s weekly television program, The Old Time Gospel Hour. It was through his educational and media empire that Falwell pushed the Moral Majority’s agenda: to take back America for God.

In 1979, my wife and I attended a Moral Majority-sponsored outdoor “I Love America” rally at the Ohio State House. We later went to a pep rally of sorts held at a downtown Columbus location. All Polly remembers is discreetly breastfeeding our infant son during the rally. I, however, remember the thrilling speeches about returning the United States to its Christian roots. Dripping with manifest destiny and American exceptionalism, these speeches stirred my heart, and for many years, I devoted myself to waging what become known as the “culture war.”

In 1989, after successfully helping elect Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan to two terms as president, the Moral Majority disbanded. Falwell said at the time, “Our goal has been achieved…The religious right is solidly in place and … religious conservatives in America are now in for the duration.” Today, Evangelicals, having sold their souls for bowls of pottage, rabidly support Donald Trump, the most unqualified man to ever be president. Eighty-one percent of voting white Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump. If the presidential election were held today, Evangelicals would, yet again, overwhelmingly vote for Trump. Even if Trump was thrown out of office, Evangelicals are satisfied that Christian America will be safe in the “godly” hands of Evangelical and True Believer® Mike Pence.

It is clear to anyone who is paying attention that Evangelicals have taken over not only the federal government but many state governments. Here in Ohio, Evangelicals (and conservative Catholics) rule the political roost. Now having a super-majority, Evangelicals — who are overwhelmingly Republicans — are able to enact their agenda at will, with only the courts standing in the way of them turning Ohio into a theocratic state. And now that Trump is packing the federal courts with conservative Christian jurists, the only recourse we have to beat back Evangelical sharia law may soon be gone.

Secularists love to point to studies showing that Evangelicalism is in numerical decline. While this is certainly true, that doesn’t mean the political power amassed by Evangelicals is in decline. It’s not, and as things now stand, it could take decades to undo all the damage done to our Republic by primarily white Evangelicals and their Mormon and Catholic cohorts.

I live in rural northwest Ohio. Donald Trump and the Republican Party dominate local and state politics. Local Democratic groups are largely ineffective or lifeless. And even among these groups, you will find that the conservative political beliefs espoused decades ago by Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority have deeply influenced their thinking. I can tell you this much: true liberals around here are almost as rare as ivory-billed woodpeckers. Fearing social or economic retribution, what few liberals there are maintain a low profile. Of late, local Democratic operatives have taken to writing letters to the Defiance Crescent-News. While I appreciate their efforts — having been a regular writer of letters to local newspaper editors for almost 40 years — I fear that they operate under the delusion that their letters will change the minds of local Trump supporters. They won’t. At best, their letters to the newspaper remind other Democrats/progressives/liberals that they are not alone. Changing hearts and minds? Not a chance.

Due to the local sports photography work I do, I am connected with numerous locals on social media. Many of them are like me, using social media to share photos and cat videos. Others, however, regularly post things in support of Donald Trump. One woman, a relative of mine, went off on a rant over Trump’s impeachment, calling Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton all sorts of vile names. People such as I are routinely pilloried. I say nothing, having learned that talking politics on social media is a waste of time. Oh, it feels good to rip a right-winger a new one now and again, but to what end? Instead, I quietly unfriend such people. And it’s not just locals either. I am “friends” with several family members who routinely post all sorts of right-wing nonsense. No lie is too absurd to post, and no action by President Trump is so vile, extreme, or un-Christian that they won’t find a way to defend him.

Trump knows that the key to maintaining political power is convincing Evangelicals that he is a defender of Christian orthodoxy and a warrior in the battle against libtards, atheists, and socialists. So far, Evangelicals think that Trump is some sort of manifestation of God’s plan for Christian America. In the end, the joke will be on them, but by then the United States will lie in ruin.

The only way to beat back the Evangelical horde is for people of good will and reason to understand that Evangelical power and control is an illusion. As things stand today, atheists, agnostics, and nones are as large a demographic as Evangelicals. Hillary Clinton, a polarizing and weak presidential candidate if there ever was one, defeated Donald Trump by three million votes. Unfortunately, it is the arcane, outdated Electoral College that decides presidential elections, and not the popular vote. To keep Trump from being re-elected in 2020, millions and millions of new voters must be mobilized, and countless lazy Americans must be dragged from their beds to vote on election day. So far, nothing I have heard from the 3,023 people running for the Democratic nomination says to me that Democrats truly understand how to unseat Trump and take back congress. Maybe someone will rise to the top of the pile and mount an effective defense of American republicanism and secularism, but as of today, I have my doubts. If Democrats don’t figure it out soon, we are looking at four more years of Trump. Imagine the depths of the damage that will be done by Trump and his henchmen if they are given another term in office.

Democrats wrongly assume that our democracy can withstand whatever Trump and Company might do. While I thought this very thing at one time, I no longer believe it to be true. The United States is teetering on the edge of ruin and collapse. And this, remember, is exactly what Evangelicals want. Progressivism, secularism, pluralism, and socialism must be destroyed in order for the Evangelical Jesus to be enthroned as the king and ruler of the United States. Don’t believe it for one moment when Evangelicals “say” they don’t have theocratic ambitions. They do, as Evangelicals made clear in their racist attacks on Barack Obama, their unending attacks on LGBTQ people, their support of anti-immigrant, anti-poor policies, and their criminalization of abortion. Now that conservatives control the U.S. Supreme Court and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is living on borrowed time, Evangelicals know the time is ripe to roll back the social progress of the last sixty years. Want to know what a Christian America might look like? Take a look at countries ruled by Sharia law. Look at what’s going on in India today. Once a proud secular state, India now faces the establishment of a theocratic state by Fundamentalist Hindus — India’s version of Evangelicals.

Part of me wants to say, “Fuck it, I give up. I am going to die soon, and if death doesn’t get me, global climate change will.” Quite frankly, I am worn out. But then, I think of my children and grandchildren. What will they say about me if I give up now?

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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37 Comments

  1. Brunetto Latini

    I am determined to continue voting in primary elections, but I just waste time voting in general elections in Tennessee. I’m considering NOT voting in November 2020, if I dislike the Democrat on the ballot. The Electoral College has outlived its usefulness.

    Reply
    1. prsmith

      The Electoral College keeps us a Republic and not a Democracy. Without it we lose everything.

      Reply
      1. Brunetto Latini

        I took American Government in high school, too. I don’ t know what you would lose, I would just lose my vote being stolen every election by the Republican, evangelical majority in rural Tennessee counties.

        The sky wouldn’t fall, chicken little. We would still have a representative democracy in the United States.

        Reply
        1. prsmith

          Maybe you need to retake civics and relearn why the Electoral College is critical to the operation of the Constitution. It clearly didn’t take the first time.

          Reply
    2. ringer53

      We are stuck with voting for parties. Just how far do you think a candidate can move from the platform? If you agree with the article you need to vote democrat.

      Reply
  2. Brunetto Latini

    I do have one rule I decided on just this year. I will never again vote for any candidate of either party who will be 75+ years old while in office.

    Reply
  3. Paul

    Judeo-christian tradition? Really? More like a judeo-christian-greco-roman-pagan-medieval-enlightenment tradition.

    BTW I wish you all a joyous winter solstice. ‘Tis the real reason for the season!

    Reply
  4. prsmith

    If there was/is a better candidate than Trump, I might agree with you but there wasn’t/isn’t. I would love a more conservative candidate, somebody who would reduce both the deficit and the debt, somebody who would return the primacy of the Constitution and eliminate the socialist programs that sap both the will and the strength of the country. Somebody who is an atheist and would push back against religious tendrils that are drilling into the heart of our society/government. Someone who would stand for our republic and stand against democracy in all of its evil.

    If America is teetering on the brink of doom as you suggest, I would argue that it is because of the dissention in and fracturing of the government along party lines, not because of Donald Trump.

    I watched a town hall where a bunch of Democrats were asked what was wrong with Republicans; their answer boiled down to two words – stupid and ignorant. Their answers were stupid and ignorant. They are wrong, the issue is not the relative intelligence, education or experience of either side, it is our differing world views. Going back to the start, we had differing world views, Federalists who wanted strong government making major, life altering decisions and Anti-Federalists who wanted a small, relatively weak central government where the sovereign states who were closer to the people and thus were, theoretically, more tightly controlled by We The People to govern their citizens. The Federalists won out and continue to win to such an extent that they are fundamentally transfiguring the country. That has created a gulf that eventually must be filled either through peaceful dissolution or civil war. It’s unlikely that you or I will be here to see it; I wish our respective grandchildren well.

    Reply
    1. Becky Wiren

      Socialist programs. You mean Social Security and Medicare? Because every time the GOP talks about cutting socialist programs, these are among the first. Never mind that you literally have to work in the US to earn credits for these programs.

      Democrats aren’t “socialists” at all, true socialism is far above our country. But people like you parrot buzz words like communism and socialism, and don’t even know what you are talking about.

      Also, it is the Republicans in office who are trying to install a broader government, as it GROWS every time the GOP controls the federal government. And ask women who want the privacy to make decisions about our own bodies, and we get people like you telling us we can’t.

      Finally, you summarized broadly what you think the Democratic candidates were saying, but again, you just used buzz words. You don’t actually know, because as soon as they began speaking you closed your mind. Oh, and I used to be a conservative 20 years ago, and I’ve watched them lose their minds over people who aren’t conservative, over a black man as president, and wanting to run people’s private morality and condemn them. Now I’m firmly in the liberal camp, albeit a practical liberal, willing to work towards goals to help this country. The GOP is really only truly interested in cutting taxes for the rich. True conservatives aren’t running the government anyway, it’s Trumpism and it’s Dominionist, white nationalist goals. That is not what our founding fathers wanted, but you all are working hard to make it happen.

      Reply
      1. Brian Vanderlip

        “And now that Trump is packing the federal courts with conservative Christian jurists, the only recourse we have to beat back Evangelical sharia law may soon be gone.”
        Though these words will fall on deaf ears and/or ears who do not see the similarity between sharia and christian ‘law’, they speak the truth for this time in history.
        I work here in Canada with an American man who is Republican and he has registered to vote again as a Republican. Who are you interested in supporting, I asked him. He answered: “Anyone but Trump.”
        Christianity Today, the milktoast of the mainline belief, has turned on Trump too so there may be a way to reclaim the office of the President. And the fact that Trump has successfully, outstandingly ruined the historical fantasy figure known as the commander in chief, might assist us all in the future to live in a world more attached to Reason than Fantasy leaders. Have we not hit rock bottom with Donald Trump?

        Reply
      2. prsmith

        I do mean SS and Medicare. Do you think that they are any less socialist because they’re separate line items on your pay stub rather than being included in the income tax line? Do you think that there is an account with a sum of money in it and your name on it?

        American families (et. al.) have lost their cohesiveness because of SS. SS is destroying us. Medicare has its place but it should be limited, remember widows and orphans?

        Socialism (leading to Communism) is destroying us. Actually, a glance at the debt clock would convince most that it has already accomplished that goal. You will rue the day that you were indoctrinated into socialism.

        Reply
        1. Becky Wiren

          Except that the tax is TAKEN OUT OF OUR PAY, and then we receive credit for that at retirement. Also, if you don’t pay at least 16 quarters of SS tax you can’t receive it. Just because the US takes the SS money and borrows it doesn’t mean it isn’t supposed to be used for us.

          By the way, dude, you talk about the debt clock destroying us and conveniently ignore how Trump’s tax bill has dramatically made it worse. Also, I grew up in the 21st century, where the rich and corporations were still rich, but taxed more highly and we literally had good water to drink, good infrastructure. Your Republican party has destroyed all that, pretty much, by cutting taxes on the rich. But maybe you’re a libertarian and you think everyone should pay for their own roads in front of their house. The government doing things for the public good benefits all of us.

          You must be one of those big talkers that never had health issues, or never got turned down for health insurance, or could completely ignore your fellow humans and ignore any of their suffering. Can’t imagine that’s a good way to look at life, especially if you’re some kind of Christian. Seems like Jesus was always talking about taking care of the least of these. You sound more like one of the people Jesus condemned because he never knew you. Toodles! (As in, not responding to you anymore, as I have to save my energy for what really matters: my family.)

          Reply
          1. prsmith

            ALL taxes are taken out of your pay (if you allow it).

            Trump is driving the nation back from the brink of socialist demise and that takes money. Obama spent 8 years decimating the military and strengthening our enemies. Recovering from that takes lots of money. I don’t know if we can recover but the military has to come first. I just wish the money to do it had come from BS social services but there’s no what he could be reelected had he done that.

          2. prsmith

            I have no clue where to go with you, Becky. You’re a good, little indoctrinated socialist. Go save a tree.

          3. JW

            Is prsmith supposed to stand for Public Relationsmith or something? You one of those bought tools who just barks “socialism” at any attempt to point out problems and try to fix them? Actually, you’re really starting to sound like some sort of defense contractor who’s just out to get more “socialism” of another variety. Oink for us, little piggy.

            You know prsmith, if you aren’t willing to treat other people like human beings, then don’t expect anyone else to treat you like one. It’s not like you’ve got anything honest or of value to say, anyway.

  5. thatotherjean

    “Democrats wrongly assume that our democracy can withstand whatever Trump and Company might do. ”

    Considering the incredible amount of damage that Trump’s administration has done to the US in just under three years, I wonder how anyone can continue to believe that. Another four years of dismantling the country’s laws, institutions, and the traditions and precedents by which our government used to be run, will push the country well down the road to either theocracy or dictatorship. VOTE BLUE, NO MATTER WHO. Any Democrat running is better than four more years of Donald Trump.

    Reply
    1. Mary

      Agree….we must vote for any democrat or you will have trump and the end of our democracy and the beginnings of theocratic authoritarianism. It will not end well.

      Reply
    2. prsmith

      What damage? Damage to Democrat plans maybe but not damage to the country.

      Reply
  6. ObstacleChick

    I live in one of the most progressive and diverse states in the US, and the last thing I need is for my rights and the rights of my neighbors who hail from all over the world tobe rolled back be a bunch of binary-thinking, untraveled, bigoted, misogynistic fearful evangelicals who are instructed to be in the world but not of the world so they want to reconstruct the world in their own image.

    Reply
    1. prsmith

      Yeah, no doubt you want to hang onto all those freebies that are taking down the nation. You do realize that you’re the problem?

      Reply
  7. dale m.

    I have to agree on “letter writing” as unproductive. People R rarely swayed by one’s ability to write letters. They vote 4 those who have an impact on the economy. One huge problem in the U.S.A. It made the terrible mistake of allowing freedom of religion in their constitution. How is it that a monstrous scam like religion is above the Law?? The Democrats will always be weak. They will NEVER tackle religion. They cannot restore America. It would require a 3rd Party to rise and rewrite the American Constitution FOR secularism. When Americans finally realize that they have been taken for a ride, they will ban religion from the nation. That isn’t going to be done by weak kneed Democrats. Such a new Party MUST HAVE A LEADER to first stand up and declare him/ herself an atheist first. No matter the consequences, everyone WILL TAKE THAT LEADER seriously. No Democrat will do that. If by chance, the Dems take back the country, they won’t hold it for very long. They R and will forever be, like the Republicans, the WRONG PARTY for the U.S.A.

    Reply
  8. Brunetto Latini

    Some people might be better off being Christians. I mean, if you can’t find a way to be a compassionate atheist, maybe you need religion.

    Reply
    1. prsmith

      Why would any atheist wish to be compassionate toward a religion and its followers that has butchered so many people over the course of its history and done such incalculable harm to every government it has touched? I say no, it’s time to play hard ball and put that whimpering religion out of its misery.

      Reply
  9. dale m.

    Brunetto … so you consider religion a way to learn compassion? Perhaps a better way to go to learn morals as well? Or maybe if I talk about evolution, you might persuade me to get some religion and learn the real truth? You’re not very secular are you?!? Compassion, morals and truth do not belong to religion. Never have. But you may have defined Democrats … those who can see a scam but go along with it because it just wouldn’t feel right to outlaw a criminal enterprise because people in it are just trying to make a living. The weakness of Democrats ……

    Reply
  10. Bruce Gerencser

    Excerpt:

    Two years ago Friday, Republicans in Congress passed a sweeping tax cut. It was supposed to be a gift-wrapped present to taxpayers and the economy. But in hindsight, it looks more like a costly lump of coal.

    Passed on a party-line vote, the tax cut is the signature legislative accomplishment of President Trump’s first term. He had campaigned hard for the measure, promising it would boost paychecks for working people.

    “Our focus is on helping the folks who work in the mailrooms and the machine shops of America,” he told supporters in the fall of 2017. “The plumbers, the carpenters, the cops, the teachers, the truck drivers, the pipe-fitters, the people that like me best.”

    In fact, more than 60% of the tax savings went to people in the top 20% of the income ladder, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. The measure also slashed the corporate tax rate by 40%.

    “It will be rocket fuel for our economy,” Trump promised.

    Boosters of the tax cut insisted the economy would grow so fast, it would more than make up for the revenue lost to lower rates.

    “The tax plan will pay for itself with economic growth,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

    It hasn’t worked out that way.

    “It was unbelievable at the time, and it’s proven to be absolutely untrue,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “The tax cuts were never going to — and have not — come anywhere close to paying for themselves.”

    Corporate tax revenues fell 31% in the first year after the cut was passed. Overall tax revenues have declined as a share of the economy in each of the two years since the tax cut took effect.

    here.

    “Not surprising, if you cut taxes, you get less in revenues,” MacGuineas said. “And what we’ve been doing at the same time is we’ve been increasing spending. And no surprise, our deficit has exploded.”

    The federal deficit this year was $984 billion — an extraordinary figure at a time when the country is not mired in recession or widespread war.

    The tax cut also failed to produce a permanent boost in economic growth, despite promises from Republican supporters.

    “After eight straight years of slow growth and underperformance, America is ready to take off,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said when the tax cut passed two years ago.

    In fact, the economy grew 2.9% last year — exactly the same as in 2015.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/12/20/789540931/2-years-later-trump-tax-cuts-have-failed-to-deliver-on-gops-promises

    Reply
  11. Brunetto Latini

    Dale, yes religion is the traditional vehicle for communicating ethics. If it makes people good while making them superstitious, that’s an acceptable trade. And no, I’m not very secular. I was devout until 40 years of age. Being secular is not an endpoint that interests me. Being good and being happy is the endpoint.

    Reply
  12. ObstacleChick

    Prsmith, honey,I am one of the ones PAYING higher taxes and my kids graduated (one will soon graduate) from an excellent public school district and one is in a top 15 university that I PAY FOR because I was fortunate enough to be able to get a job so I could save. I get no “freebies”, and I am glad to see that people who are not at fortune are able to get more help in order to raise the living and educational standards of the entire system. Don’t you dare accuse me of getting freebies, you don’t even know ms.

    (Bruce, pardon me for my outburst at your commenter but F them for falsely accusing me.)

    I am talking about how women’s rights, LBGTQ rights, freedom from oppressive religious groups, freedom to plan one’s end of life, those rights are protected in the State of New Jersey. It’s one of the reasons we are planning to stay here linger after our kids go to college and we would have freedom to relocate. No way am I ready to move to a state where my rights and the rights of my neighbors are curbed by religious fanatics.

    Reply
    1. Becky Wiren

      OC, I’m not talking to the idiot anymore. But my husband and I have also made decent money, and have paid plenty in taxes. Turns out that some of these people who bark “socialism” and expect others to curl and die (OH NOES THE EVUL SOCULISM) are either totally misinformed, wealthy, totally lacking in empathy, or any combo of the above.

      (I do regret that I made comments to idjit assuming said idjit was a Christian. At least it’s slightly possible to mention “do unto others” to a Christian and one would theoretically at least, think helping their fellow man to be a good thing, albeit after defining “those not like us” as not human.)

      Reply
    2. Caroline

      And sometimes ‘freebies’ help society. Back in 1976 I would have had a very difficult time affording college if it hadn’t been for some very generous government grants that got me through along with loans, work-study, summer jobs, etc. I graduated from college four years later with honors and was able to get into a grad program (tuition paid by the university in exchange for me teaching an undergrad course per year). The result: I’ve been a public school teacher since 1982, contributing much more to the society I grew up in than I was given. I too support helping the underprivileged.
      I know I should be responding to Mr/Ms prsmith, but I’ve had my fill of idiots today. Some people just have to know everything.

      Reply
  13. dale m

    Brunetto ….. I understand where you’re coming from. I agree. But what you’re really asking me is whether it’s all that important to take a stand against religion. Now, I will say this: Some of my dearest friends R priests, fanatical Catholics, Evangelicals and just downright silly superstitious people and Trump supporters. It’s just the way they are. They mean well …. to a point. One needs and should attack the entire concept of religion, while at the same time genuinely separating it from the CONCEPTS of “God” and the “afterlife”. Atheists can easily accept these concepts BUT religion keeps getting in the way. Secularists should introduce the science behind these concepts into the school system. Because, let me tell you, if we don’t, religion will. And religion is extremely partisan in its views. As an atheist, I go out of my way NOT to denigrate these concepts. Neither Darwin, Kardeshev nor Roddenberry denigrated these concepts personally. Nor did Hitchins. Dawkins has been extremely vocal and brave on this front. I have seen him waver on this in a sit down chat with a creationist of some ill repute. The creationist simply didn’t understand the concept. “I never learned THAT in school”. And this is what I am saying.

    Reply
  14. Caroline

    I remember arguing endlessly about the dangers of the Moral Majority infiltrating the government way back in the early 80’s with a friend who had recently been saved. She had no idea what was going on in our government or in the world at that time (We were both in our mid-20’s).
    It shocked me that she was so ignorant. I assumed extreme religion just does that to people or does extreme religion just attract people who don’t care about what’s going on in the world? She had likely voted for Reagan too, and I remember being horrified when he became president. Reagan looks pretty good compared to Trump – but I never thought I’d ever say that!

    Reply
  15. dale m.

    prsmith …. I think SS is something U invest into. It is after all, your money. There R ways to employ people to pay them to do and be the best at whatever they do. Too many people R employed in dead end jobs. I’m retired. My SS has allowed me to take up Art full time, write a novel and develop it into a series. It has also allowed me the leisure time to redesign museums to make them profitable. I also enjoy taking care of a 22-suite apartment complex. I now have an international Art exhibition to be placed on the museum circuit of travelling exhibits in 2021. I also have a passion 4 ballroom dancing and hit the clubs 1-2 times a week. I have had many dead-end jobs but never regretted the experience. What I am really good at in life, I am just now beginning but with far less energy when it really counts. All this on my SS. There will be those who produce nothing. They may have been like that ALL their lives anyway, BUT, that money in their pocket still gets spent back into the economy. Nothing in Nature is left to waste. If you have 10% of your people with no money, you have just made a major contribution to an enormous tax hike because of a very sharp spike in the crime rate. No SS ? No problem. The Mob will step in to become your new partner. It’s not about SS. It’s about people having $$$ to spend on your business. So what!?! A tax hike! You and your business R still going to rake it all back!

    Reply
    1. prsmith

      If you are just getting started, you are screwed. Good luck, you’re going to need it…and start saving now, SS doesn’t hack it.

      Reply
    2. Dave O

      Dale M … I’m a few years from retiring. I’ve been exploring taking up Art full time when I do. So cool to hear that it can be done!

      Thanks,
      Dave

      Reply
  16. dale m

    prsmith …. Ummmm …. I think U missed my point. There’s no such thing as retirement. I simply dropped my dead end jobs, that’s it. U and your savings can be destroyed in an instant.
    It has little to do with your savings. Yes. I am starting brand new enterprises and SS does in fact … cut it. Outside of SS, my rent is taken care of (among other concerns). I’m a Capitalist. Not a socialist. I will use whatever means R at my disposal. I create as well as consume. Everything is temporary. Life is in continuous flux 4 me. I enjoy being on the edge. If U can’t leap into something new and exciting at 70, U probably were incapable of it at 20. Or simply have no accumulative experience in the world around U. I understand. No big deal. Change isn’t 4 everybody. For that, it requires a free enterprise spirit!! And I am always game! If U R afraid ? Save your money!

    Reply
  17. dale m

    Dave O …. Good 4 U. I have been painting now 4 at least 2-3 years. I have sold a small painting that I did overnight to the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. It was just a colour sketch. No background. No foreground. Just the animal itself and I threw some shade under it. It took about 5-6 hours. I got just under $500. for it. I do not sell my paintings. I have turned into a wildlife painter. I specialize in dinosaurs. I then chose a theme. I decided to sub-specialize in tyrannosaurs. I’m currently doing all 60-70 species world wide. This requires a lot of paintings. To do an international exhibition, DO NOT sell your paintings individually. Too many artists try to live off their paintings. Same with writing. U have to pick a theme. Find an outlet where millions of people congregate for that theme (museums for me). Then let the institute talk to their corporate or billionaire sponsors to buy your entire exhibition. U will B swept aside. The exhibit becomes theirs. Their family name goes onto your paintings. It goes around the world. That family then donates it back to the institute of their choice. Tax right-off. In the end, it costs them absolutely nothing. The institute grabs ALL your work and owns it lock, stock and barrel. It costs them nothing as well. I worked in gov’t museums for 10 years. I began to think. Why not me? One thing leads to another. You don’t have to be the very best. U just have to have another way of looking at these creatures. If people like it, you’re away. The same with any product. SS buys U the time. Take advantage of it. But U do have 2 have the discipline 2 stay with it. If successful, I will give up both writing and painting. I will move on to my next enterprise. But stay healthy. All the savings in the world won’t save U if U lose your health.

    Reply
  18. Kevin

    Bruce, you are a fine young man as you have the courage to say about the evangelical church that it is all just a bunch of BS and walk away.

    I see here on your blog that you have a republican evangelical village idiot posting comments?

    What do we do when the village has become over run and taken over by the idiots?

    Questions I have no answers for however, not only do I unfriend idiots on social media I also unfriend them in real life also.

    Family I must see whom are idiotic but friends? Those breaks are necessary as evangelicals are impossible to reason with and I have given up trying to do so.

    In time, when the destruction fully hits America the blame will be laid at their feet.

    In the mean time me thinks we need to disarm them, for the public good….

    Kevin

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