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Bruce’s Ten Hot Takes for November 21, 2023

hot takes

Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh is a control freak. Suggesting that Harbaugh didn’t know anything about sign stealing by his staff is ludicrous. He knew, and that’s why he will be in the NFL next year at this time.

Joe Biden continues to remind me of why I didn’t want to vote for him in 2020 and don’t want to vote for him in 2024. His handling of the war between Israel and Palestine leaves a lot to be desired. His speeches border on incoherence, especially his recent speech after meeting with China’s president, Xi Jinping.

Is it a given that I will vote for Biden in 2024? No. I am hoping other credible candidates will challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination.

In 2016 and 2020, over 80 percent of voting white Evangelicals voted for fascist Donald Trump. Eight years of evidence that he is unfit to hold office has changed nothing. Most white Evangelicals plan to vote for Trump again in 2024. This should tell you everything you need to know about Evangelical Christianity.

Evangelicalism is now a hotbed of white nationalism and fascism. I say now, but truth be told, these “isms” have always been a part of Evangelical Christianity. The difference today is that the “cute” baby is now a full-grown monster.

Just remember, if you are a progressive, liberal, socialist, communist, atheist, agnostic, or liberal Christian, your Evangelical neighbors and friends support politicians who want to either throw you in jail or remove your U.S. citizenship. Some of them even want to put you in mental hospitals or kill you.

Polly and I, in our Luddite, environmentalist, back-to-nature days, thought about moving with our family to a Bruderhof — an Anabaptist movement where communities hold everything in common. We loved the “world” too much to do so, but there are days when I wish we had done so.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was injured on Sunday and is done for the year. And all the Gerencsers wept, wondering why God hates them. 🙂

I have concluded that Evangelical leaders are incapable of being honest about why people are deconstructing (or deconverting) and leaving Evangelicalism.

I am preparing for six weeks of being asked if I am Santa Claus. Of course, I am, but then I say, “would Santa really live in Ohio?”

Bonus: Recently, I was diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) — a rare disease that affects food digestion. My pancreas does not produce the necessary enzymes to digest food and absorb minerals and vitamins. This has led to malabsorption and malnutrition. This is different from gastroparesis, another rare disease I have that affects how food is processed in my stomach and travels through my digestive tract. It is commonly called stomach paralysis. Neither of these diseases is curable. Left untreated, they will be the death of me (that is, if Polly doesn’t hit me with a Lodge cast iron skillet first). I am currently on Creon for EPI — a $ 3,000-a-month enzyme replacement therapy. I will have to take this drug for the rest of my life. I am hoping to have a surgical procedure (as soon as I can find a surgeon to do it) that will lessen my nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. It is a specialized procedure, so few surgeons can do it.

How do I feel about this? After my gastroenterologist gave me the diagnosis of EPI, I turned to Polly and said, “It sucks to be me.” Over the weekend, I had dinner with several friends of mine. I told them about my latest diagnosis, and then I said, “Just another fucking thing to deal with.” That’s all I know to do — deal with it.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen 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.

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    EPI? That sucks. Nothing like piling on. Deal with it is not fun but sometimes that’s literally all you can do.

    And yes, I thought about you when I saw the Cincinnati QB news. I knew there would be sackcloth and weeping and nashing of teeth. And a few choice words.

    I do believe Evangelicals are out to get people like me and am completely certain that if trump wins my very existence will be threatened. I am certain they will target others, as you mentioned, very quickly.

    Santa… I am making no comments on Santa. Everyone knows my feelings about Santa and knows I have a great, great bitterness which I will not let go because Santa teases poor, innocent, people like me by finding our weaknesses, toying with our fantasies and leaving us wanting. 🤬


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        Well, that Santa rant is tongue in cheek because, at least in this case, Santa is a great guy who just happens to not give in to me and my desires. I admit there are a good reasons but I still don’t get my way, so meh.

        But I have my fantasies……😈😈😈

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    Sorry to hear about your EPI diagnosis, and sorry about the Cincinnati Burrow situation – I actually thought, “Bruce will be upset about that”.

    I am concerned about Biden. I am terrified of a 2nd Trump presidency. I don’t beluga our country will survive with much freedom intact if we have a 2nd term, and I fear his lot will find a way to subvert the Constitution to keep him in office, or to get one of his cronies in office after. The days of fair elections will be over.

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    MJ Lisbeth

    Bruce, I am sorry to hear about your EPI. As if you don’t suffer enough….

    A second term of Trump may turn me into a refugee–if I survive. I also fear, however, that a second term of Biden will cause some “red” or “purple” districts to elect their own versions of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Bobert or Mike Johnson. Plus, I don’t think that the three Supreme Court judges Trump appointed are going anywhere any time soon. Our only hope for the Court is that Clarence Thomas decides to retire while Biden (or some Democrat) is in office and that Roberts re-asserts his institutionalist principles. (He won’t become Sonia Sotomayor, but some of his opinions have gone towards her side because of his Constitutionalist leanings.)

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    I suspect Biden will pull off a win in 2024. There won’t be a credible challenge to his candidacy unless he dies. It would be interesting to see a second nonconsecutive Trump administration with a Trump that knows where all the buttons are and won’t appoint anyone to keep them from using them. You can see already that Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller are filling Trump’s teleprompter with fascist rhetoric. As far as Scotus justices go, I doubt Trump 47 would get any appointments, though Thomas might step down if the GOP had both the Senate and Trump 47. (On the other hand Thomas’ fat cat life is dependent on his SCOTUS seat so he’ll probably NOT retire based on that) I’d expect Aileen Cannon to join the court if there is a vacancy. Trump 47 would be a lame duck immediately, but even so his entire term would be like the interregnum period after he lost. Some think that since he doesn’t adhere at all to the constitution he’ll try to just become “President for life”, I know he’d try but doubt that he’d be able to pull it off but I would be curious to see what happens.

    Bruderhof… interesting. That’s a new one for me. Looked it up, nice web site looks utopian, then looked up Bruderhof horror stories. That’s where you get the skinny on it. Naturally, much worse for women. I like that they have a disclaimer that if you leave you don’t get anything you produced but usually they help you transition back to the real world.

    Thanks for the update on your potential surgery. Pulling for you!

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    (Bruce) “I have concluded that Evangelical leaders are incapable of being honest about why people are deconstructing (or deconverting) and leaving Evangelicalism.”

    Yep. You’d think ministers would be more honest, but it’s hard for some people to see something when their paycheck depends on their not seeing it.

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    Bruce et al. This is off topic, sorry about that. I found this video interesting as it very concisely illustrates how fundamentalists and evangelicals merged. It essentially proves Bruce’s thesis that evangelicals are fundamentalists are indistinguishable. (Note the channel is a religious channel)

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    Football is dead to me now. At least for the rest of this season.

    Sorry to hear of your new diagnosis (though having a diagnosis is better than not having one but still feeling like shit, I’d imagine.) Fingers crossed for your surgical option to come through.

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    Michael B Smith Jr

    I can understand why you aren’t a big Biden fan…even Democrats aren’t that fond of him. Would Robert Kennedy be acceptable to you?

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    I’ll join the chorus here saying sorry about your health issues. My family has been going through ongoing health problems that never end and like you said, it just sucks.

    I’m a 49er fan and Harbaugh resurrected us and gave us a solid Super Bowl run. I’m not a Big-10 fan or a traditional fan of Michigan but my brother was a post-doc there, and when Harbaugh became their coach I carried over some minor fandom (like maybe my fifth or six favorite college team). I HOPE he didn’t know anything about it . . . but I don’t really believe that.

    Regarding deconstructing: I sometimes hang in Christian forums of different stripes. There was an article posted to a reformed subreddit regarding young people leaving the faith, along with a discussion from the community. The consensus was that young people see that the older generation don’t really live their faith. They hear one thing on Sunday, and see everyone act differently during the week, and don’t want to be involved in that community. I only observe these communities and don’t participate as I don’t feel like that would be done in good faith, but I was pulling my hair out that nobody was brave enough or honest enough to even suggest the reality. Those young people who grow up in the church and leave the faith SIMPLY DON’T BELIEVE ANYMORE. And why? Because they are exposed to reality. Facts. Education. The internet where religion went to die. It’s really not complicated.

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