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Bruce’s Hot Takes for January 17, 2024

hot takes

Dear Republicans, learn the difference between free speech and free market. Twitter owner Elon Musk told some advertisers to go fuck themselves. That’s free speech. After hearing Musk loud and clear, scores of companies stopped advertising on Twitter. That’s the free market.

The late Henry Kissinger was a war criminal.

We the American people are culpable for the war crimes being perpetrated in Palestine. Our weapons, our money, our blind and deaf politicians. We can excuse and justify our behavior, but the world at large sees the United States as the money and power behind the Netanyahu government’s murderous war against the Palestinian people.

Dad’s Place, a small Evangelical church in Bryan, Ohio, pastored by Chris Avell, is in the midst of a legal fight with the City over feeding and caring for homeless people. The City filed CRIMINAL charges against Avell for violating zoning laws. The church is right next to the homeless shelter, caring for the overflow crowds the shelter cannot care for. Yes, the church is technically breaking the law, as is EVERY business and church in town. Why was Dad’s Place singled out by Bryan law enforcement? Avell is a friend of mine. I recently told him I have no use for his theology, but I appreciate his concern and care for the “least of these.” Avell has a top-flight church and state law firm representing him. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I will be on the primary ballot this spring. I’m running unopposed for Ney’s Democratic central committee seat. This will allow me to play an active part in the reorganization of the local party. The local Democratic Party is on life support. I hope new life can be breathed into the group.

In 1998, Evangelical preachers railed against President Bill Clinton over his inappropriate sexual behavior with an intern. I remember preaching a whole sermon about Clinton’s debauched behavior. Today, most Evangelical preachers have lost all sense of morals and ethics, resolutely supporting Donald Trump, even calling him a Christian. As long as you support Trump, Evangelicals, spare me your moralizing. You are hypocrites, the lot of you.

It was shameful for the New York Times to run an article questioning Taylor Swift’s sexuality. Who she loves or fucks is NOT news.

According to many Evangelicals, God created Donald Trump for such a time as this. Gag me with a spoon.

I saw a specialist at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor yesterday. I am hoping to have a G-Poem (gastric peroral endoscopic myotomy) procedure done soon. This procedure is relatively new and only one regional surgeon is qualified to perform it. G-Poem cuts the sphincter muscle in the stomach, relaxing it. Hopefully, this will improve my stomach/bowel motility, and reduce my nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately, many insurance companies consider this an experimental procedure and refuse to pay. My surgeon will seek pre-approval, hoping Aetna Blue Cross Blue Shield approves the procedure. We shall see . . .

Granddaughters #2 and #3 graduate from high school this spring. Victoria was accepted for enrollment at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and Karah was accepted at Richmond University in Richmond, Virginia. Forty-eight years ago, I was the first person in our family to go to college. Since then, Polly, and three of my sons, and my youngest daughter have graduated from accredited colleges. Our granddaughters are straight-A students. It does an old man’s heart good to see them do well in life.

Bonus: The Cincinnati Reds have signed a number of new players — especially pitchers. Hope springs eternal. Catchers and pitchers report to training camp in a month. Will this be the year the Reds make some noise in the playoffs? Fingers crossed, prayers uttered to Loki. May a dying old man’s wish be granted.

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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  1. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Bruce, good luck on your surgery .

    Just after HK’s death, I saw this graffito: “Henry Kissinger—Rest In Piss.”

    When I was visiting friends in Paris in 2001, a throng of gendarmes’ vehicles raced down the street. Their target eluded them—all the way to an airstrip.

    Of course he was the Duke of Duplicity. He was in town for some conference. French authorities wanted to use the occasion to arrest him: The nation adopted the Nuremberg Trials’ definition of crimes against humanity into its own law. If a crime is so deemed, its perpetrators can be arrested, whether or not the perpetrators are citizens of, or the offense was committed, in the country making the charge.

    (A few other countries have similar laws or allow arrests and trials for genocide or other crimes against a group of people: That is how Israel could convict and execute Adolf Eichmann.)

    On other hot takes: If a man can be labeled a criminal for following his faith’s command to help “the least of these” while another man who sexually assaults women is celebrated as the American Moses, Evangelical spokespeople have no moral authority.

  2. Avatar

    Wow. Let’s see–I agree with your first three points. I hope your pastor friend wins his battle with the city over zoning laws–he’s doing what pastors are supposed to do. I hope you get to make a lot of “good trouble” for the Democrats in Ney. Yes, today’s Evangelical Trump supporters are a bunch of hypocrites, supporting the least religious man who has ever been president, but should never be again. Taylor Swift has a right to her privacy. I hope your medical procedure is a complete success. Congratulations on the educational prowess of your children and grandchildren–you did good. Lastly, I am not qualified to speak on baseball. I was a football fan, until I learned about the frequency of CTE among players. I haven’t paid attention to baseball since the loss of the Washington Senators. All good wishes to you and yours.

  3. Avatar

    Congratulations to your granddaughters! My 2 kids visited the University of Richmond. It is one of the most beautiful campuses I have visited, and I was a little disappointed that neither kid ended up going there. I hope she enjoys her time there! And I hope your other granddaughter enjoys Miami of Ohio!

    I hope the surgery option works out for you!

    Evangelicals are devoid of morals.

  4. Avatar

    This story about Dad’s Place has appeared on several of my news feeds today. City of Bryan might be getting some attention they really do not want.

    This is the kind of thing that dives me crazy. I always challenge churches to open their doors to people that need a place to sleep, and when a church finally does something good to help their community, the “anti” crowd swoops in to force them to stop.

    If more churches would do this then they might soon learn that the people outside of their church circle are not evil, sinful, lazy, ungodly, disgusting, people living only to indulge in their own Satan influenced desires. They might learn they are actual people just trying to live their life.

    Instead of stepping in to actually help, or offering a real solution, Bryan government is grasping at fire safety laws and other arcane rules to force this church to conform. God forbid that Bryan actually do something to help keep people from sleeping on the street or worse yet, die from exposure.

    Yes, I read a response from the city claiming they have reached out to the shelter and other resources and that the city really wants to help with this problem. But if people still need shelter, then it really seems the city is a lot of talk with little action. While the city spends time talking and sending in people to find violations, this church simply tries to solve a problem.

    Apparently the church even approached the city to get permission, but the city just said no. The city could have responded by working with this church to find a solution, but instead, it’s easier to just say no.

    I did read that the city generously found a place that was for sale that the church could use, or as stated in The Village Recorder, “ For example. the city also contacted individuals in charge of selling a facility in Bryan that, pending zoning approval, could be used by Dad’s Place.”

    How nice of the city. So apparently all this church has to do is buy this property and get it rezoned, and all is fine.

    But the city tries hard. They reached out to other places to see if they can take in these people and they also work with the local shelter to make sure they don’t have issues.

    Talk…this city is nothing but talk. No action. Make it someone else’s problem.

    Even better, just to put a nice bow on this, they released reports to the local paper that one person staying at the church is on a sex offender list. So this rogue church is violating zoning law, fire come AND housing a sex offender who is on the streets.

    Meanwhile, all of this has been happening since November based on the article I read. In the 2 months that have passes, the city of Bryan has apparently done nothing of substance to help their homeless population. It is January, this church is still caring for people, and Bryan still can only talk about solutions. Surely, in 2 months, the city could have found some answer for emergency housing for at least those bitterly cold Ohio days?

    Nah..better to talk and just arrest the preacher.

    Here is my suggestion. It is time for, the church to have all night prayer meetings. I have been to those and I have seen people sleep through them. “What Officer? No, he isn’t sleeping, he was praying and now in in a sleep like trance that is actually a vision from God.”

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