Religion

Does Anyone Have God-Given Talent?

without me ye can do nothing

A boy dreams of being a major league baseball player some day. His parents were both athletes in their younger years, having some success at the high school and college level,

As a youth, he grew quickly, seemingly always a head taller than everyone else. He seemed more agile than others his age. He was fast on his feet, quick with his mind, and excelled at the game of baseball.

Tee-Ball. Little League. Pony League. High School Baseball. College Baseball.

At every level, he excelled.

Finally, his big day came.

A Major League baseball team makes him their number one draft pick.

It’s not long before he works his way through the minor leagues, and two years after being drafted he makes his Major League début.

He is an instant sensation, quickly showing everyone that he is an all-star in the making.

One night, during a game where he went 4-4, hit a home run, drove in 3 runs, and stole a base, the TV broadcaster explains the greatness of this talented baseball player.

He has a God-given talent to play like he does.

Nary a person will question such an utterance.

It seems if people excel in life it is because God has blessed them or God has given them a special dose of talent.

Few are the people who excel in life. Most of us have a few things we are good at and we try to nurture those things the best we can. We know we will not be remembered for any great feat, nor will the record book make any mention of us. We live, we love, we die, and then we are forgotten.

It would seem that God doesn’t want most of us to be stand outs or superstars. Evidently God only has a chosen few he blesses with God-given talent.

How does the nontheist explain the baseball player mentioned above? If it is not God-given talent what is it?

Genetics.

Home environment.

Passion.

Hard work.

Training.

Coaches.

Scouts.

Luck.

All of these are a better explanation than God-given talent.

We demean people when we reduce their hard work to something God gives them. The few things I am good at in life are the result of my diligence, commitment, and hard work. Granted, these things come easy for me, BUT I still work hard to cultivate and improve the talents I have. I suspect it is the same for you too.

I am all for giving credit to whom credit is due.

The all-star baseball player helps propel the home team to the World Series.  They handily win the series and the little boy, now a grown-up all-star player is voted the series most valuable player.

As he is interviewed after the last game of the series, he says “I want to thank God____________________.”

And I say to myself or the TV, No I want to thank YOU. Thank you for playing hard. Thank you for hustling on every play. Thank you for working hard every day to be the very best player you could be.

Video Link

This subject reminds me of my all time favorite TV prayer. Jimmy Stewart, in the movie Shenandoah, uttered the following prayer at the dinner table:

Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvested. We cooked the harvest. It wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be eatin’ it, if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked Dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel. But we thank you just the same anyway, Lord, for this food were about to eat. Amen.

And all the atheists said AMEN.

all things made by god

Many Christians have been taught that without God/Jesus they can do nothing. Their very breath and motor skills come from God. God feeds them, clothes them, gives them a job, gives them a spouse, gives them children, and gives them, well gives them everything. Jesus said in John 15:5, without me ye can do nothing. Many Christian take this verse to mean that without Jesus they can do absolutely NOTHING. Technically, they don’t really believe this. After all, they do sin. Does God gives them the power and ability to sin? Well, that’s different, Bruce. Sin comes from Satan or the flesh. God, who created everything and gives us the breath of life and the ability to exist, gets the credit for the good but not the bad, right? Good=God, Bad=Satan and the Flesh. But, if God is sovereign, if he is the creator of everything, isn’t he also responsible for sin and the bad things that happen? I thought God has the whole world in his hands and the universe exists because of him?

I am all for giving credit to whom credit is due. If someone can show me God did this or that or God gave so and so talent, then I will gladly give God the credit. One question. Which God? How do we know it is the Christian God handing out the talent?  Does the Christian God put a Made by Jesus label on those he gives talent to? So many questions…

Songs of Sacrilege: Religion Evolves by Baba Brinkman

This is the seventeenth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please leave the name the song in the comment section or send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is Religion Evolves by Baba Brinkman, a rap artist from Canada.

Video Link

Video Link

Lyrics

I don’t know what heaven is, I just know what heaven isn’t
It isn’t a position in the VIP section
Where you sit forever, flicking your pleasure switches
It isn’t just an incentive to pick the best religion
Like a raffle ticket – forget the metaphysics
Anyone who threatens you with invisible gimmicks
Is just trying to sell you some gibberish
So what about a heaven that we actually get to live in?
One that’s not just a place in the clouds, please
I’m not stupid, this ain’t Jesus Walks music
And if you really believe Jesus talks to you
Then you should read The God Delusion
Schizophrenia’s obviously got you losin’ it
So relax and move in to a new paradigm
A place where you’re no longer aware of time
It’s called the present, and it’s a true paradise
Plus it’s right there in front of your eyes
What a surprise

Some float away on a dream
They can’t wait to believe in
Some find their heaven right here
In a place they can dream into being

Imagine this isn’t a dress rehearsal, imagine
There’s one life to live, and yes, it’s terminal
And religion isn’t really the source of our personal
Morals, it’s just how we make them feel more personal
And less like a vicious circle, but the purpose
Is more horizontal and less vertical
More about co-existence than a test of virtue
And heaven is just a world less hurtful
Where respect is universal, instead of seasonal
International instead of inter-regional
A real pessimist would say “inconceivable”
But I see it as a symbol of the best in people
A utopian dream, but not just a metaphor
An image of a world where there isn’t war
Not a hidden reward behind a mystery door
But a principle that’s really worth living for
And if you think it’s the afterlife, you’re misinformed
It’s time to wake up and shake off the melatonin
Go ahead and live in the moment and smell the roses
And experience the infinite present unfolding
Just direct some of your efforts and mental focus
Into the collective magnum opus of helping the hopeless
And then just watch as the entrance to heaven opens
So slowly that we hardly even notice it

Some float away on a dream
They can’t wait to believe in
Some find their heaven right here
In a place they can dream into being

If this is all we get
It’s not a test for what comes next
And in this moment
We can get our heaven on and
Make a joyful sound
With everyone around
And leave this place just a little better
Than we found it
As soon as we stop waiting for the
End to just descend and take us
Where we’ve always been we’ll find our
Heaven in this present tense
If you’re waiting to be born
Again my friend
Why pretend it’s not within
We’ll find our heaven in this present tense

 

Songs of Sacrilege: Ballad of the Non-Believer by Tombstone Da Deadman

This is the sixteenth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please leave the name the song in the comment section or send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is Ballad of the Non-Believer by Tombstone Da Deadman, an atheist rapper from Baltimore, Maryland

Video Link

Lyrics

1st verse
Like most of you I was indoctrinated with religion
At a time when I was much too young to make decisions

Dragged by the hand without permission
Lacked the cognitive ability to see the contradictions and the superstitions

I know my mother really thought that she was doing right
Cause after all this wasn’t a war that she was taught to fight

Buried under layers of prayers emotional attachments
And every other programming attached with

A sense of common unity involvement
No actual incentive to questions all of the sermons from the pulpit

This is how they introduce the idea, firmly rooted in the fear
Don’t question validity just adhere

It’s not innocent is sets a bad precedent
Internalized credulity for things that lack evidence

Some people keep this way of thinking for their whole lives
The need for critical thinking is never realized

Chorus
I don’t want to hear about the books that you have read
Explain to me the way you see the thoughts inside your head

Not filtered with the garbage you regurgitate instead
Your thoughts are just a program with which you are embed

All I really want to do is show you there is freedom
Eliminate those primitive myths you don’t need them

The clergy’s only trolling for power

So don’t feed them
And since they can’t prove it remove it and don’t believe them

2nd verse
Ponder the logic of learning science from shamans
Excuse the laughter if you please I’m trying to keep it all in

But this is how you look when you go and consult your preachers
To gain an understanding of evolutionary features

In fact I finding it despicable how you characterize scientific principles
Dismiss the indispensable

So don’t believe these guys that say it’s science they despise
When they standing in the line for the iphone 5

You’re benefiting from the method then you go and step on it
Defaming the very thing that your life has been effected with

Our lifespan enhancement comes directly from advancements
By people in lab coats not biblical enchantments

Take a look at these comedians cause something smells funky
“if we came from monkeys than why there’re still monkeys”

See that’s the type of dumb shit that needs to be responded to
Your obvious accomplishment was dropping out of high school

Chorus
I don’t want to hear about the books that you have read
Explain to me the way you see the thoughts inside your head

Not filtered with the garbage you regurgitate instead
Your thoughts are just a program with which you are embed

All I really want to do is show you there is freedom
Eliminate those primitive myths you don’t need them

The clergy’s only trolling for power so don’t feed them
And since they can’t prove it remove it and don’t believe them

3rd verse
You’re not mentally fit to be talking shit to me
When you believe those primitive books are reflecting history

In it’s purest form like it really has no discrepancy
You want to go to war and you’re choosing this as your weaponry

Now how’s that even sound at all and is this even logic when
You’re claiming that a book of faith can prove your stupid argument

Way to much to bargain with not much fact to stake it on
It’s just like thinking if you dance you can really make it storm

Oh yeah but I forgot your book is the truthful one
And all those other ancient myths are something that is really dumb

It couldn’t possibly be that you all have been deceived
It couldn’t possibly be that you got a false belief

That’s why I question your sermon should be sequestered
Now leave from off my porch you’re starting to really pester

You’re one of many thousands that’s claiming a revelation
Too wrapped up in all of your ego to see your indoctrination

Chorus
I don’t want to hear about the books that you have read
Explain to me the way you see the thoughts inside your head

Not filtered with the garbage you regurgitate instead
Your thoughts are just a program with which you are embed

All I really want to do is show you there is freedom
Eliminate those primitive myths you don’t need them

The clergy’s only trolling for power so don’t feed them
And since they can’t prove it remove it and don’t believe them

If Christianity Doesn’t Matter, Why Do You Bother With It?

leonard the atheist

Bruce, if Christianity doesn’t matter, why do you bother with it?

Good question.

On one hand, Christianity doesn’t matter. The Bible doesn’t matter. Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God, the Church, none of it matters.

If Christians want to worship their God, I have no objection.  I subscribe to the “live and let live” school of thought. Each to his own. May Jesus be with you. May the force be with you. May nothing be with you. I don’t care.

However…

I do care about the influence Christianity has on our culture and government. I do care about the damage done to society in the name of the Christian God. I do care when people are hurt, maimed, and killed in the name of the Christian God.

When Christians want to turn the United States into a theocracy…It matters.

When Christians want their religion to have preference over any and all others…It matters.

When Christians demand atheists and agnostics be treated as the spawn of Satan…It matters.

When Christians attempt to teach religious dogma as scientific fact in our public schools…It matters.

When Christians attempt to force their religious moral code on everyone…It matters.

When Christians attempt to stand in the way of my pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness…It matters.

When Christians abuse and molest children in the name of their God…It matters.

When Christians wage wars thousands of miles away in the name of their God…It matters.

When Christians mentally and emotionally abuse people…It matters.

When Christian expect preferential treatment because of who they worship…It matters.

As long as Christians continue to force themselves on others, and as long as they attack and demean anyone who is not a Christian…It matters.

As long as pastors and churches get preferential tax code treatment…It matters.

That said…

As to who you worship and where? It doesn’t matter.

As to what sacred text you use? It doesn’t matter.

I want all Christians to have the absolute freedom to worship their God.

And…

I want that same freedom to NOT worship any God or another God…

And as long as that courtesy is not extended to me and to every human being on the earth…

It matters.

012816

 

Is Christianity a Religion?

christianity a relationship

I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Man gives us religion. Jesus gives us life. True Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship. Religion kills. Jesus gives life. According to this line of thinking, religion is bad and Jesus is good. I have often been told that my reactions and objections to Christianity are really reactions and objections toward religion. In fact, I’ve been told, more than a few times, that I never had a real relationship with Jesus at all. I had religion, but not Jesus.

There is the assumption that if somehow, some way, we can get back to a pristine version of Christianity, first century Christianity, a Christianity that is pure and free from the trappings of 2,000 years of history, we will end up with the  Christianity of Jesus. I am of the opinion that Christianity is actually the Apostle Paul’s baby, and I doubt most of those trying to find authentic Jesus Christianity would really want it if they found it. In Matthew 5-7, Jesus makes it clear what it means to be his follower. Modern day Christians ought to contemplate these verses a bit before they say, I am a follower of Jesus.

Is there any such thing as pristine Christianity? Even if we go back to the time of Christ we find division and controversy among those who call themselves Christian. They weren’t unified and shortly after the death of Christ we find a controversy between Peter and Paul over whether a person had to be circumcised to be saved. The early church was made up mostly of Jews and many of them thought it proper to expect new converts to adhere to the teachings of Judaism. As history shows, the followers of Jesus were considered a subset of Judaism for many years.

From day one, Christianity was a religion. Christianity was not something that was new. It was a culmination, completion, or extension of something that was old. Jesus was the fulfillment of all the Old Testament types and shadows. The church, the elect, became the covenant people of God. Without understanding Judaism it is impossible to understand Christianity. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say Judaism was not a religion it was a relationship. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say religion kills but Judaism gives life. Yet, one would be right to suggest that without Judaism there would be no Christianity.

Judaism is a religion and so is Christianity. I realize that some people want to distance themselves from the modern Christian church The church is a monolithic behemoth full of corruption and there is little within the church that is worthy of emulation. But, just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it is not what it says it is.

Who is it that gave us the Bible? Man. Who is it, then, that told us about Jesus? Man. Who is it that tells us everything we know about  the teachings of the Bible? Man. It is clear that men gave us Christianity. Using the logic set forth in the first paragraph, Christianity is indeed a religion. After all, Man gives us religion. How could it be otherwise? If true Christianity is this mystical, I feel it and I know, belief, how could anyone know for sure that they had the real thing? “Well, the Bible says___________,” yes, and that brings us right back to man.

For those who believe in the distinction between religion and Christianity, I would ask for them to describe the difference between the two. I would ask them to tell me what this pure Christianity looks like and where I can experience it. I would ask them to explain to me how they can square the teachings of the Bible with their belief that one can have Christianity without the church.

This kind of thinking primarily exists in the United States. We are a nation of individualists and that’s why we are attracted to individualistic forms of religion. If the Bible teaches anything, it teaches that Christianity is a communal religion with every Christian being a part of the whole. The Bible speaks of the church as a body and that every part is vitally important to the rest of the body.

I think it impossible for a person to claim Christianity and reject the church. Without the church, without the Bible, there is no such thing as Christianity. Since the church wrote the Bible, it is the church that gave us Christianity. To be a Christian requires a communal connection with a visible body of believers. It has always been this way, and it is up to the Christianity is not a religion crowd to show why it shouldn’t continue to be this way.

Feelings and personal opinions don’t matter here. What does the Bible say? I maintain there is no Christianity without the Bible.It us up to those who disagree to prove otherwise. Show me how it is possible to have Christianity without the church or Christianity without the Bible. From my seat in the atheist pew, the church and the Bible are joined at the hip and each need the other to survive.

I’m sure someone is going to ask why this matters to me. After all, I’m not a Christian, so why I do I care? This issue matters to me because I write a good bit about Christianity and religion. Whenever my writing gets too uncomfortable for Christians, they like to suggest that I am not writing about their brand or their version of Christianity. They like to suggest that I have confused religion with Christianity. When family members do bad things they like to divorce themselves from their relatives and pretend there is no familial connection. But, like it or not, every Christian is connected to other Christians and the crazy uncles and aunts are part of the family.

I will tell my Christian readers once again, it is your church, live with it. When you attempt to have a Christianity without the church, you are in effect starting your own religion, the Church of the Churchless  Christ followers. You are simply doing what Christians have done for 2,000 years, spawning tens of thousands of sects.  If you don’t like what you see start something new. But no matter how much you try, and no matter how often you reinvent yourself, Christianity will always be a religion.

Wikipedia states it succinctly:

Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or in general a set of beliefs explaining the existence of and giving meaning to the universe, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Christianity was, is, and always will be a religion.

Is President Obama Anti-Christian?

obama antichrist 3

According to the hysteria wing of the Republican party, also known as Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christianity, President Obama is anti-Christian. Some go so far as to say that he is actually a Muslim, even though he has publicly identified as Christian numerous times.  President Obama spoke at the February 2015 National Prayer Breakfast. He stated:

And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ, In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.

So it is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith…

…I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others. That God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others. That somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.

At the recent White House Easter breakfast, the President stated:

On Easter I do reflect on the fact that, as a Christian, I am supposed to love. And I have to say that sometimes when I listen to less-than-loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned.

obama antichrist 2

The rabid religious right thinks these statements prove that the President is anti-Christian.  As I read these statements, all I see is a man pointing out the obvious; that Christianity has a violent, bloody past and that many Christians don’t know the first thing about love. What is also obvious is that no matter what the President says or does , the religious right is going to twist his words and use them to make political hay. No matter what he says or how he tries to explain himself, he will be, in the eyes of many on the religious right, the Kenyan born nigger socialist Muslim who hates America, hates Christianity, and is secretly plotting to establish an Islamic caliphate in the United States.

Here are some of the comments left by Christians on the aforementioned  One News Now articles:

You BHO are such a liar. You use every opportunity to twist the truth. Actually, you wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped you in the face. Jesus said,”I am the way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father BUT by me.” Can I be adamant about what truth is? You bethcha buster. I repeat, you wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped you in the face, and from Darryl said, I would say that it did slap you in the face, but you still went on reading your prepared, twisted script. You being at the National Prayer Breakfast is like the devil sitting at the last supper. IMHO

Obama’s comments trying to paint Islam and Christianity as morally equivalent in their teachings are infuriating. I am outraged by his efforts to downplay the utter horror of what ISIS is doing right now in the world– beheading, torturing, crucifying, burying alive small children in scores, and selling those who live into sex slavery for the depraved appetites of sick, demon-possessed Muslim jihadists– by drawing attention to crimes committed in the name of Christ many centuries ago. Nothing that is happening in the world today in the name of Christ can begin to be compared for cruelty and brutality to what the demonic savages in Iraq are doing to children in the name of Allah. Mr. President– where is your outrage? They are burying children alive! Professing Christians who committed acts of violence in the name of Christ centuries ago to advance Christ’s kingdom were violating Christ’s teachings; Muslim jihadis who commit acts of violence in the name Allah to promote the Islamic caliphate are fulfilling Mohammed’s teaching. Someone needs to tell our president that the “medieval” problem with Christianity was set right a long time ago; he needs to open his eyes and deal with atrocities happening today in the 21st century, and get off his high horse from which he would scold American Christians for criticizing Islam.

It seems Obama is determined to play down the religious aspect of the Islamic State by stating they are not unique. Bringing up subjects that many people do not have enough information about except for the rhetoric is dangerous, inflammatory and downright wrong. What does he hope to accomplish? Acceptance of his indifference and ineffectual strategy of what to do as our “leader”?

Wow! Are you serious Mr. President? Did you really just go back over 700 years to find an example of how Christianity is as bad as ISIS? Jim Crow? For real? A simple, brief look into Islam and the teachings of Jesus Christ will reveal to any honest seeker of truth that there are vast differences. Mohammed taught “I have the truth of God, convert or die.” Jesus taught, “I am the way the truth and the life, and no man can come unto the Father but by me. ” And to prov God’s love for man Jesus laid down His life for us! Big difference Mr. President!

Our nation is being led by a very confused and deluded individual.

That man…..he really rubs me the wrong way because of his deceitfulness and attempting with all his might to destroy America and lift up Islam. Obama is NOT a Christian! He could go and live in a garage but that doesn’t make him a car!

Jesus said a tree is known by its fruits. President Obama’s fruits are quite evident. He is condescending in his remarks to Christians but always lauds Muslims and the Islamic faith and refuses to link Islam with Islamic terrorists. The President is a Christian in name only.

President Obama’s inconsistency is as disturbing as his overt dishonesty and misrepresentation concerning many other things…. Obamacare, IRS targeting, “Climate Change”, Keystone pipeline, Iran negotiations, arbitrary accusations of racism, etc. His behavior seems, at least, “disturbed”, and unstable. There IS a pattern of anti-Christian rhetoric, as well as a larger pattern of vindictive behavior in reaction to all dissent, opposition, or criticism.

I be glad when black nword is gone.

If any of the eternal optimists out there think things are going to get better anytime soon, just remember this: On any given day, Obama’s approval numbers always remain at the 45-50% level, and he was elected not once, but twice by your fellow “Americans”. I’m no math genius, but that tells me that at least half the country is perfectly fine with the Anointed One’s policies and his performance. And THAT simple fact, my friends, is why the country is doomed.

The country is not doomed if we hold to our 2nd amendment rights and arm ourselves. The Obama government is afraid of us because we are capable of armed resistance in a meaningful way. When we disarm or allow ourselves to be disarmed then the government will cease to be afraid of us and all hell will break loose. Keep buying the equivalent of the 18th century rifled musket, aka the modern high capacity magazine AR-15 or AR-10.

Obama is the walking epitome of an anti-Christian bigot posing as a “Christian”. He hates God, His Chosen People, and the followers of Yeshua Messiah. He NEVER sides with Christians, ALWAYS sides with anti-Christ Islamic teachings, never sides with white folks, always sides with NON-white folks.

He has nothing between the ears , unless a barely disguised hatred against Christians . And the leftist politicians, has a pet hate for Christians . For example , gays and lesbians , persecute Christians , because of their religious values. Are of a very great evil .

The president has lied to us since day one. If he wasn’t a Muslim, then why did he say that the cross had to be cover before he could make a speech at the cathedral? Why did the have Franklin Graham pulled from speaking at the Prayer Breakfast? Why is he giving aid to the Muslim Brotherhood?

Clearly this POTUS is a foreshadowing of the anti-Christ, not the anti-Christ himself you understand, but a shadow of things to come. If he was truly of Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and full of understanding given by the Holy Spirit, he would not say the things he says or do the things he does. He is what the Godless deserve and just may be a tool of God’s judgement of an increasingly and deliberately Godless America.

I cannot believe that any POTUS would take such opportunities to disparage Christianity at every chance he gets. His disdain for the Christian faith is incomprehensible. I have never seen, in my 70 years of living, a president who insists on undermining the very force that has been the backbone of our country’s social and moral fabric since 1776. Please, Mr. Obama, get out of the White House and out of our lives.

Mr. Obama was raised as a Muslim. His father was a Muslim. According to the Qumran a Muslim who leaves the faith is to be killed. Since there have been no attempts on the President;s life I must assume he is still a Muslim. Perhaps that is why he does not care about Christians and likes to criticize Christianity.

Barrack Hussein is an anti-Christian bigot and a dispicable traitor to the country. Sadly this person is what the American people voted for…twice. I watched him deceive the nation as he spoke with John McCain at Saddleback Church and said marriage is between one man and one woman, then turned to become the first homosexual president. So is Hussein Obama the deceiver to blame or the depraved American society that lives with luxuries that the rest of the world could not even imagine. Do Americans love the darkness and depravity more than the light and goodness? I would have to answer yes. There is no turning back now, this is what America wants. Time for us to stand firm and be the light and lampstand while times and events continue to degrade, as prophesied.

It’s strange that for someone who claims to be a Christian, Barack Obama is the most virulently anti-Christian leader this country has ever had.

obama antichrist 4

And there are a hundred more comments just like these. It is quite evident that many right-wing Christians hate the President. It is also quite evident that many of them are paranoid as hell and think they are being persecuted. I recently wrote about this in The Paranoia and Persecution Complex of the Religious Right.

Is President Obama really doing nothing to combat Muslim extremism? Of course not. We have boots on the ground in the Middle East, drones and bombers in the air, and are spending billions of dollars to combat terrorism.

Right wing Christians should spend some time learning the history of Christianity. Are the bloodletting years of Christianity ancient history? Consider how President George W Bush framed the two wars he started in the Middle East. He called them a crusade. President Bush saw these wars as not only a clash of civilizations, but a clash of religions.  President Bush’s public comments were frequently littered with words meant to remind people of the superiority of Christianity and the United States. Perhaps President Obama doesn’t buy the American myth, that we are a chosen people, an exceptional people. If so, this is progress.

The United States is arguably one of  most religious countries in the world. Is it any wonder the Muslim world views our war against “terrorism” as a religious war? ISIS, Boko Haram, and other such terrorist groups, should be hunted down and killed. While I am a pacifist, I am also a realist. ISIS is not going to stop until they have exerted their will on the entire Middle East. The President knows this and I think he is doing what he can to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians, regardless of their religious affiliation.

And let me be clear, the United States, through its decade and a half war on terrorism, has slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom were innocent civilians. In fact, the United States is one of the most violent, bloody sovereign states in modern history. I will soon be fifty-eight years old and the United States has been at war for most of my life. We’ve not fought a just war in seventy years.

obama antichrist

It’s time we be honest about our past and stop thinking that the United States is in any way exceptional or favored by the gods. While we might have good intentions, it is evident that our imperialistic, colonialist tendencies still drive the government and public discourse. As President Obama works hard to broker a nuclear deal with Iran, right-wing Christians and Republicans go out of their way to scuttle the deal, even suggesting that we bomb Iran.  Somehow, they envision us bombing Iran and there not being any consequences for doing so. What I see is nuclear weapons being fired and the world being plunged into global conflict. Are those on the right so ignorant of history that they can not see the danger of their rhetoric? Will it take a nuclear bomb landing on Washington DC before they will wake up to the irresponsibility of their words and actions? By then, of course, they will have been vaporized.

As the above comments show, a large number of Christians are buying what Fox News, World Net Daily, and the various right-wing news organizations are selling. I fear that some of them will become so enraged that they really will exercise their so called second amendment rights. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage, it is possible that some on the extreme right will go after gays, killing them, or take to the streets in violent protest. Why? Because many right-wing Christian really believe they are being persecuted. They really believe THEIR country has been stolen from them. Their passions are inflamed by war mongering pastors, TV preachers, and right-wing talk show hosts. Once inflamed, reason, responsibility, and tolerance go out the window.

Notes

Graphics found on Christian websites.

Anyone who uses the President’s middle name in a comment, article, or news show is revealing that they are a racist bigot.

 

 

Songs of Sacrilege: Sin City by Genitorturers

This is the fifteenth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please leave the name the song in the comment section or send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is Sin City by the Genitorturers, an industrial metal band from the United States.

Video Link

Lyrics

When the tracks are leading home to the limits of hell
We’ll yell, life sure is swell! In Sin City
In the streets where the servants of silence dwell
The visions of the wicked are sure to sell! In Sin City
On the quickest strip goin’, cum holy high rollin’ with me
Get you cash cup flowin’, cum holy high rollin” with me
Let your holy mother blow your fears away
Get on your knees and play!
In the heat where the Savior of Sodom dwells
Join hands with the women who squirm in hell, In Sin City
Because the lord has mercy on the women who sell
Their pussies to the preachers who burn in hell, In Sin City
The Devil’s home for the depraved
Where the souls are never saved
That’s why the holy rollers say
Get on you knees and pray
To breathe in Sin City
To lie in Sin City
Get high in Sin City
Let your holy water wash away your shame
Cause the judgment day is just another game
On your knees and pray!

Satan is Behind the Push in Ohio to Legalize Marijuana

jesus

According to Bryan, Ohio resident L. Jay Nafziger, Satan, the head toker himself, is behind efforts to legalize marijuana in Ohio. Nafziger had this to say in a letter to the editor of the Defiance Crescent-News:

Did legalizing alcohol in the USA make our world a better place to live in? Why not ask one of the thousands  who have had a loved one tragically killed by a drunk driver.

Did legalizing abortion make the world a better place to live in? Definitely not for the millions of unborn children who never had the chance to live outside the womb.

Has legalized tobacco smoking made the world a better place to live in? Long before medical science “proved” that cigarette smoke is not good for the smoker or anyone else, good, old-fashioned, outdated, uncommon, common sense could tell a person that drawing smoke of any kind into your lungs over a period of time will probably cause problems.

So who is to say that legalizing pot will make the world a better place to live in? Time and time again, many FDA  approved “safe” prescription drugs have been pulled off the market because they were found to be “not so safe” after all.

I will admit that I think it is hypocritical for any government, society or culture to accept and allow alcohol, abortion and tobacco while not allowing marijuana. But then, on the other hand, how about this gateway drug thing? If marijuana is legalized, why not heroin and methamphetamine, and why limit prescription drugs?

Why not get rid of all hypocrisy and judgement and let anyone do anything they want to at anytime as long as they are not “hurting” someone else? And it could all be so good for the economy! Did you just detect my sarcasm?

The greatest evil of all is not alcohol, abortion, tobacco or marijuana, but Satan himself, the father of lies. One of his biggest lies is that we (human beings created in the image of God) can/should disregard the laws (ten commandments) of God (creator of the universe and everything in it) and instead, find happiness and fulfillment in life by “doing our own thing if it feels good, do it.” Then, when we get into trouble and aren’t feeling so good, he (Satan) offers us a short term solution or “fix” like alcohol, abortion, tobacco or marijuana, which can ultimately cause us more pain and dissolution than we had in the beginning.

My  new,  progressive,  updated,  upgraded,  evolved  mindset of 2015 says, “No, do not legalize pot.” Any outdated mindset that keeps another “evil” from being legalized is far better than any updated mindset that says “smoking marijuana is good for you.” How can a person know for sure that they are not being lied to, not by just another human being but by Satan himself?

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. John 3. 17.

Jesus is the way, not cannibas. Jesus is the truth, not cannibas. Jesus is the light, not cannibas.

I think Nofziger’s letter speaks for itself. He asks “did you just detect my sarcasm?” No, but I did detect the signs of a fundamentalist lobotomy.

I have several questions for Nofziger. If God is the creator of everything, who created marijuana? And tobacco? And alcohol? If drinking alcohol is a sin, was Jesus sinning when he drank wine and turned the water into wine? What about the verses in the Bible that suggest giving a sick and dying man alcohol to ease his suffering? If marijuana can ease the suffering of someone, shouldn’t they be permitted to use it?

I did like the last sentence of his letter: Jesus is the way, not cannibas. Jesus is the truth, not cannibas. Jesus is the light, not cannibas. Ignoring the fact that Nofziger misspelled cannabis, I think Christians churches should start an evangelistic campaign that touts the superiority of Jesus to being high on marijuana. Get High on Jesus!

reefer madness

Reefer Madness

Songs of Sacrilege: We’re All Going to Hell by The Bastard Fairies

This is the fourteenth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please leave the name the song in the comment section or send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is We’re All Going to Hell  by The Bastard Fairies, an American music group from Los Angeles.

Video Link

Lyrics

All you Mormons who like cussing, you are going to hell
All you preachers who like fucking, you are going to hell
Little boys that choke the chicken, you are going to hell
It’s the nature of evolution, the dinosaurs went to hell

-CHORUS-
Hell hell hell it’s a wonderful place
It’s a place of fire and brimstone

All you Christian politicians, you are going to hell
Magic Jesus apparitions send you to hell
Buddhist monks without god you are going to hell
Those of you dissecting frogs, you are going to hell

CHORUS

(talking)
I need a beer
-Can opening-
Ha-ha that was pretty good
Ahh. Okay

All you Catholics wearing condoms, you are going to hell
All us fatties eating bonbons, we are going to hell
Unbaptized babies learn to limbo, purgatory is hell
And your religion is a gamble and you are going to hell

CHORUS

Check this shit out x 2
It’s gunna change your life x2

There once was a man who thought that if he ate all the pages in the bible he could kill most anything
In 1913 he died of a stroke when he tried to eat the book of kings

Eat the book of kings x2

Songs of Sacrilege: Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones

This is the thirteenth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please leave the name the song in the comment section or send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is  Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones.

Video Link

Lyrics

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul to waste

And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the Tsar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a general’s rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah
(Woo woo, woo woo)

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made
(Woo woo, woo woo)

I shouted out,
Who killed the Kennedys?
When after all
It was you and me
(Who who, who who)

Let me please introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay
(Woo woo, who who)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
(Who who)
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby
(Who who, who who)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what’s confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
(Woo woo, who who)

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
‘Cause I’m in need of some restraint
(Who who, who who)

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
(Woo woo)
Use all your well-learned politnesse
Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, mm yeah
(Woo woo, woo woo)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, mm yeah
(Who who)
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, mm mean it, get down
(Woo woo, woo woo)

Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah!
(Woo woo)

Tell me baby, what’s my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what’s my name
I tell you one time, you’re to blame

Oh, who
Woo, woo
Woo, who
Woo, woo
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Oh, yeah

What’s my name
Tell me, baby, what’s my name
Tell me, sweetie, what’s my name my name is rick I say

Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who rick
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Oh, yeah
Woo woo
Woo woo

 

Luck, Fate, or Providence?

god is in control

As a Christian, I believed that God was the sovereign ruler of the universe. I believed God held my life in his hands. I believed God controlled every aspect of my life and that life and death were determined by God alone. I believed I wouldn’t die one moment before it was my time to go, that God penciled a death date next to the name of every person ever born. I believed that God had a purpose and plan for my life. I thought this way for almost 50 years.

I have faced numerous circumstances where I could have easily been killed. Accidents, stupid mistakes,exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals,  bad decisions by myself or others, serious sickness, and being at the wrong place at the wrong time…I could have and should have died long before today.

But, here I am, and until 2008 I gave the Christian God all the credit for my continued existence. God wasn’t finished with me, I told myself, wiping my brow after surviving a near brush with death. As disease and pain continued to ravage my body, I lived with the calm assurance that God still had plans for me. In some ways, this is a great way to live. No worries…God’s on the job and nothing will happen unless God wills it.  The Apostle Paul had the same view:

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39

I willingly subjected myself to a life of poverty because I thought if God wanted me to have more money or a better house and car he would give it to me. When I began to have health problems in the early 1990’s, I saw them as a test from God. God wanted to make me more holy or stronger. God wanted to root out the deep and secret sins that no one but him could see. And no matter how painful the process was, I knew that God loved me and was in charge of everything.

God’s providence, the belief that God knows what’s best for us and doesn’t give us more than we can bear, is actually fatalism. While the Christian convinces themselves that they are a free moral agent, their belief system says differently. Proverbs 16:9 states:

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

Proverbs 20:24 states:

Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?

Consider these verses:

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. Psalm 115:3

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:20

that bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Isaiah 40:23

This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6

O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. II Chronicles 20:6

Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. I Chronicles 29:11,12

I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Job 42:2

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Isaiah 46:9,10

Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?  Romans 9:21

Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? Lamentations 3:37

Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. Psalm 135:6

But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. Job 23:13

See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. Deuteronomy 32:39

For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back? Isaiah 14:27

The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: Isaiah 14:24

And these verses are but a small sampling of the verses that declare that God is the boss. He is in control of everything. Of course, this opens up a huge problem for Christians. If God is in control of everything, if nothing happens that God does not decree, purpose, and plan, what about sin and evil? At this point, most Christians run from their beliefs, denying that God has anything to do with evil and sin. However, the Bible says:

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. Isaiah 45:7

That’s right, the Bible says God creates evil.  No matter how a Christian might object, if they believe in a God who is in control, then they must also believe that he is to blame for evil and sin. Dance any theological or philosophical jig one might, there is no escaping God being the creator of evil. But, but, but…no buts. Either God is the CEO of the universe or he is not. Either he is the first cause, the beginning and the end, or he is not. Either is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords or he is not.

Believing this way had a profound effect on my life. Instead of realizing that much of what happens in a person’s life is due to good or bad luck, I saw God behind every action, event, and circumstance. Like King David, I said:

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. Psalm 139:11,12

God was omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. For those not schooled in the omn’s, God was all-powerful, all-knowing, and present everywhere.

In 2008, God lost control of my life as I began to reclaim my life and the personal responsibility that came with it. No more trusting God’s providence or letting go and letting God. No more puppet strings or “trusting” God to work out everything in my life according to his purpose and plan. As I began to reorient my life according to fact and reason, I was forced to reinvestigate past claims of miracles, moments when God reached down and supernaturally kept me from harm or death. I concluded that every God sighting in my life but one could be explained through natural means. All the supposed answered prayers were really Bruce or someone other Christian answering the prayer.

None of us know how our life will be beyond the next breath. For all I know, this could be the last blog post I write. The Bible is right when it says:

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1

No one knows what tomorrow will be like. We can plan for the future, but we have no promise that things will work out for us. Life is crap shoot. Live to your 50’s and you will realize you are lucky to have made it old age. The best any of us can do is make responsible decisions based on reason and probabilities and hope things work out for us.

Yesterday, Polly and I took a road trip to Ottoville, Fort Jennings, and Delphos. Like most of our trips, I took my camera equipment with me. As we were wandering around Delphos, we stumbled upon a lock from the era of the Miami and Erie canal. Getting down to the lock was a bit treacherous for me. I wanted to get as close as possible, so I gingerly walked down the concrete abutment to the lock. I didn’t fall, slip, or trip. Lucky me, I thought.

After ten minutes or so, I was ready to return to the car. I had two paths I could take. I could retrace my steps or make a big step and little jump to ground level, Polly said she would give me a hand, so I chose the latter. Polly reached down, took my hand, and began to help me up. And then, our world went crazy. Polly couldn’t pull me up completely and I violently fell forward, knocking both of us to the ground. If my weight had been balanced slightly the other way, I would have no doubt went careening down the concrete abutment into the canal. The fall would have likely killed me.

The good news? My cameras escaped damage, though one of them does have a slight scrape. The hood on the lens kept it from being smashed. Polly ended up with bruised knees and I ended up with a twisted ankle and hip and a nasty, bloody contusion on my left leg. It is still oozing slightly today.

I know I was lucky. I should have retraced my steps. This was the safe and prudent choice. However, Polly was standing right there and she said she would help. Why not, right? She helps me out of the recliner and car all the time. What neither of us counted on was how difficult it is to pull up a 350# man. When Polly pulls me out of the car or the recliner I help her. This time? I was dead weight and I almost literally became so.

Lesson learned.

As we were eating lunch today, our daughter with Down Syndrome began choking. Due to her disability, she has a thick tongue and can easily choke. Today was different. For the first time, she couldn’t clear her throat. Polly administered the Heimlich maneuver three times before the food was dislodged. I was one second away from calling 911.

This scary circumstance reminded us that we need to pay careful attention to how our daughter eats her food. I talked to her about chewing her food, taking small bites, and not eating hurriedly. She was scared, we were scared, but we all live to face another day. Our daughter could just as easily died on our living room floor. Living in the rural area we do, sometimes it is impossible to get quick emergency help.  We were lucky, and we know it.

Every brush with death should cause us to reflect on why it happened. Were we culpable? Could we have made a better or different decision? Sometimes, shit happens. A satellite could fall out of the sky and flatten me. I could be on a plane piloted by a man who intends to commit suicide at 25,000 feet.  While others might be culpable for my death, I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Living is dangerous proposition. Smart is the person who understands this and acts accordingly. Thinking that God has the whole world in his hands only leads to delusion and discouragement. God isn’t coming to save the day. Just last week, a German airline pilot flew a plane into the ground killing everyone on board. I am sure, mixed in with the screams, were pleas to God to stop the plane from hitting the ground. Prayer lost out to physics and everyone died.

How about you? How do you live your life? How do you determine risk? Have you every escaped death after making a decision that should have ended your life? If you once believed in the sovereignty of God, how does a world without a God affect your decision-making process? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Polite Evangelicals and What They Really Believe

politeness

Most Evangelicals are polite, kind, decent people. Most Evangelicals are nothing like hate mongers Bryan Fischer, Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, or the local street preacher. Most Evangelicals try to get along with others and do their best to integrate into society. When I go to the store to shop, buy groceries, get my car repaired, etc. I know that the most of the people waiting on me are Christian. And here in God’s country, most of them are Evangelical.

But, here’s the thing. Behind the polite, kind, decent, loving faces are hateful, judgmental beliefs. As I stated awhile back, there is little difference between the beliefs of the late Fred Phelps and Baptist seminary president and preacher Al Mohler. The beliefs of the Phelps clan and Westboro Baptist Church are not much different from the beliefs of the Duggars. Some may smile and be polite and others might angrily scream, but both believe that every non-Christian who dies will go to hell and be tortured by God for eternity. I recently wrote about this in a post titled What Kind of Christian Are You?

Ana Marie Cox, a writer for the The Daily Beast, wrote an article that exposes polite Evangelicalism for what it is:

The fight over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act has pulled back the curtain on the Polite Right.

Beltway-centric but not moderate, these cautious spokesmen for civility do not practice your drunk uncle’s bigotry. They endorse a more soft-spoken and socially acceptable kind of prejudice. This prejudice comes clothed in talk of tolerance and piety, appeals to fairness and freedom. 

They talk about faith and religious rights but what defenders of the pre-“fix” RFRA really wanted was the privilege of condoning bigotry without actually being associated with it. It’s more than a rhetorical sleight of hand to turn denial of service into an “infringement upon religious practice.” It’s Solomon sawing Lady Justice in half. Such an argument insists that theologically-condoned discrimination is somehow less hurtful than the normal, not-God-approved form. “You can still get married!” and “You can continue to deny service to those you see as morally unfit!” do not cancel each other out.

Indeed, many of those who supported Indiana’s original law recognized this—that denying service to gay couples is an impediment to their gaining full civil rights. The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, for one. Fischer is a nationally-syndicated radio host, not simply a lone fruitcake, even though the next exit down from his particular brand of crazy is the Westboro Baptist Church: His Twitter feed is full of references to “the Church of the Rainbow Jihad,” “same-sex cakes,” the “Gay Gestapo,” and several warnings that “Big Gay is not about ‘marriage equality’ but ‘homosexual supremacy.’”

It’s easy to mock the idea of “Big Gay” (what a size queen!), but Fischer’s logic is the perfect mirror to the argument of the law’s critics. All you have to do is scale down the hyperbole, and read “full civil rights” where Fischer fears “gay rule.” Indiana’s RFRA was intended to hamper the progress of “Big Gay and the Homosexual Supremacy” (my favorite Motown band). If the original RFRA had been implemented, the civil rights for LGTB individuals would have been diminished…

…The Polite Right wants nothing to do with Fischer. When I drew attention to his Twitter timeline, the proudly reasonable conservatives that populate the Acela Corridor were offended. They demanded that I acknowledge that Fischer is not representative of all conservatives, or even all defenders of the law—and that’s true, in the sense that Polite Right would never sully themselves with such obvious homophobia…

But while it’s Bryan Fischer’s rhetoric that makes him so amusingly offensive, it’s his logic and his goals that demand an answer from those who are aligned with him as far as the RFRA goes. In other words: I believe my friends on the Polite Right when they say they don’t hate gay people; but when it comes to the RFRA, I am not convinced that emotional or theological context is less important than acts of discrimination itself. 

Put another way: Two different Christian bakery owners both refuse to bake a cake for two different gay weddings. One bakery owner says that’s because he believes gay people are sinful sodomites that regularly recruit and molest children. The other says she loves and respects gay people but “just can’t participate in a ceremony that goes against my faith.” The Indiana RFRA was written to protect both bakers, not just the nice one.

Of course, both sides of the debate have their drunk uncles. On the left, it was a bunch of randy Yelpers and rageful Twitterers that embarrassed the more selectively outraged RFRA critics. The Memories Pizza owners turned out to be the nice, presentable sort of discriminators, and some of their online critics went overboard in expressing their upset…

…I’m proud to live in a society where being accused of bigotry is itself offensive. I like it that decent people don’t want to be associated with obvious homophobes. But the polite solution to an association with an obvious homophobe isn’t to simply deny the relationship—it’s to ask yourself what you have in common.

The problem is that Bryan Fischer and the Polite Right want the same thing, for the same reasons, even if they use very different language to make their case. They’re activist allies, joined at the hip whether they like it or not. You might even say they’re married.

Let’s not pretend that smiling, polite Evangelicals don’t have reprehensible beliefs. Behind their façade are beliefs that promote hate, bigotry, and discrimination. But, Bruce I am an Evangelical and I support the gay community in their quest for equal protection under the law. I think global warming is real, hell is a myth, and I hate how many of my fellow Evangelicals behave. Fine, let me ask you this: why do you remain in the Evangelical church? Why do you continue to support beliefs and practices you object to? Perhaps it is time for you to exit stage left and move on to religious confines where love, equality, and respect for all are the rule. Are we not judged by those we keep company with?  Silence is consent. If you truly love others and desire equality for all, how can you remain silent or support sects, churches, and pastors who preach hate, bigotry, and discrimination?