In denying born babies the right to medical care and survival, Democrats have crosses a line that we knew they had the determination and moral bankruptcy to cross for decades. No doubt they are a delusional group of demon-influenced or possessed individuals, inhuman across the spectrum of their shredded and deficient moral systems. They have strained at the thinning membrane of common decency and finally broke through to commit the greatest outrage for all time. It is classic Saul Alinsky stratagem that models the Hegelian Dialect—create outrage after outrage until society implodes from the stress-overload to their sensibilities. They are prepared to jump into the chaotic aftermath and offer diabolical solutions to the great problem they created.
This is bizarre and unacceptable in a civilized nation. One does not fall lower in character and become more despicable than one who murders a baby. These Democrats have sanctioned the premeditated murder of helpless babies struggling and crying out for the security and love of a mother’s arms. It also violates their oath of office and the Constitution that guarantees every human the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If allowed to stand, this barbarous moral failure—no doubt inspired by Satan himself and inserted into the eager conduit of the Democrat Party—will remove the final barrier to cold-hearted, brutal persecution of Christians and political Conservatives when the Dems get back in power. If someone thinks that a bit farfetched, he or she is ignorant of history.
Today, Chairman Nadler opened up a disgraceful and abusive investigation into tired, false allegations already investigated by the Special Counsel and committees in both Chambers of Congress. Chairman Nadler and his fellow Democrats have embarked on this fishing expedition because they are terrified that their two-year false narrative of ‘Russia collusion’ is crumbling. Their intimidation and abuse of American citizens is shameful. Democrats are harassing the President to distract from their radical agenda of making America a socialist country, killing babies after they’re born, and pushing a ‘green new deal’ that would destroy jobs and bankrupt America. The American people deserve a Congress that works with the President to address serious issues like immigration, healthcare, and infrastructure. The Democrats are more interested in pathetic political games and catering to a radical, leftist base than on producing results for our citizens. The Democrats are not after the truth, they are after the President.
This is what the Democrat Party believes in. This is what they are about. They are murderers. They are evil. They are racist. They want to open our borders to illegal aliens. They want to raise our taxes. I’ll tell you what, they are a scary, frightening party and as the righteous people of God, we must stand against them.
If you went out there and you voted Democrat this last time, you need to take a hard, long look in the mirror. The Democrats are the party of evil. They’re the party of death and open borders. Look at all the crime and the disease and the drugs these illegals are bringing across the border, look at how they’re driving down wages for hard-working Americans. And yet you’re voting for that. You’ve lost your minds. If you’re a Democrat and you’re voting Democrat, you’ve lost your mind and you’d better check your soul too, because you are voting for stuff that God is not for.
That ladies and gentlemen is what we’re up against. It’s no longer a party. It’s some kind of religion that is basically God-less and as long as America, and this is represented by every Democrat I know, does not believe in the sacredness of the life in the mother’s womb God will not bless America or make us a great nation. [is it my imagination, or does every Evangelical political argument begin and end with abortion?]
Democrats are Atheists. They may claim a religion, but in their souls they hate God, and they love murder. They are absolutely terrified that Roe and Wade will be revisited, and the conservative leaning Supreme Court will come to the rescue of unborn babies and rule against abortion. Democrats virtually live to see babies killed, and they crave news every day that another man has been emotionally and professionally destroyed by a feminazi making sex abuse accusations.
It is time for Americans to see that The Democratic Party, and the Atheist Evolutionists of America are one and the same animal. They hate God.
This is why Hillary, Obama, and all the Liberal Democrat leaders are all talking about “Freedom of worship” instead of freedom of religion. You see, religion is something that defines your zeal, and religion is found in the soul of man. Worship is something you do in a piece or real estate which is licensed by the IRS to do business. Once religious freedom is vested in a worship place, under the auspicious of the IRS, religious zeal can be outlawed in public life.
Thus, Liberal Progressive Democrats, and Atheist Evolutionists, are raging mad and belching hate non-stop. They live for one thing….. to kill God.
For over two years now people have been asking me why I supported Donald Trump as a candidate for president of the United States and why I continue to support him now in his role as the chief executive of our great nation. After all, I was one of the only people from the evangelical camp who endorsed Mr. Trump even before the Iowa caucuses. I determined early on that what ailed the United States would require more than a PR and policy bandage. And if Trump were to get elected, he would need more than bandwagon support.
But to answer the question about my support, much of my motivation came from my background in business. My father came from a family of businesspeople who were not Christians, including my grandfather. But a series of personal tragedies resulted in his early death at the age of 55. My dad was only 15 at the time, and he became a Christian because of those sorrowful events. I think he might have gone into the family business if those things hadn’t happened. The point is that though the world knows the Falwell name chiefly in the context of my famous clergyman father, most Falwells have been successful entrepreneurs—businessmen and businesswomen.
Even in the context of a nonprofit organization such as Liberty University, I have seen firsthand what applying business principles can do to save an organization. In the late 1980s and 1990s, when donations dried up, we had to create a business model that would keep Liberty alive. In the end not only did we eliminate the debt; we also prospered enough that we’ve now fulfilled many of the original visions my father had for this university. But Liberty’s success didn’t come through hazy or lazy leadership.
So that’s why I supported Donald Trump early, because the United States is drowning in $21 trillion of debt. Trump is a businessman. We haven’t had many businessmen who have become president. Instead, we get career politicians who are short on transformative thinking and long on political career preservation. Even though Trump hadn’t even decided what all his political views were at that time, I knew that a pragmatic businessman with common sense would come down on the right side of issues. Trump wanted to do what was best for the country. And if you start with that desire—to do what’s best for the country and for the common man—then you have no choice but to be a conservative. It’s that simple.
I’m proud I supported Donald Trump. And since he’s entered the White House, I’ve stayed in close touch with him, talking to him about once a month. It has become a close friendship. I’m so pleased with how he’s kept his promises. He’s appointed justices to the lower courts and the Supreme Court who I believe will uphold the Constitution. On matters related to religious liberty, the president has been a godsend. And his deregulation strategies have brought about prosperity for businesses and the American worker. He’s done all the things he said he was going to do—even with all the attempts to thwart his administration by fake Republicans in the Senate and all the folks on the left who will stop at nothing to overthrow a duly elected president.
You see, we needed somebody with resolve and backbone. Republicans and Democrats—the parties had become so much alike that you really couldn’t tell the difference. Many of them were—and still are—so scared of their shadow and criticism from the press that they waffle on every issue. They put their finger up and see which way the wind is blowing.
But Trump just marches ahead. He doesn’t care how much criticism comes his way. And the people don’t care either. The people don’t care what the press say anymore because they’ve lost all credibility. That’s what Americans have longed to see in their president—somebody who will stand up for the country, stand up for what’s right and not back down in the face of adversity.
Like Stephen Strang does in this book, I compare Trump to Winston Churchill during World War II. Everything looked lost in the face of the onslaught of Hitler’s military might. Churchill had to resolve to move ahead anyhow and to never quit. That’s what I see in Donald Trump, and I think that’s why people support him in spite of all the negatives that get thrown at him.
In this new book by my friend Stephen Strang, you will come to a great understanding of all that has been happening since election night. Strang shows how President Trump has exceeded the expectations of his supporters. And Strang reveals how the left, instead of acknowledging the genuine successes of the Trump administration, are growing in their animus toward the president. Refusing to acknowledge the roaring economy and a renewed sense of optimism and national pride, some on the left (and some on the right) are succumbing to “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” And so the rift between the left and the right has grown deep, and our national politics are more polarized than ever.
But Strang’s book strikes a chord of hopefulness because he believes (as do I) that these days are some of the most extraordinary times in the life of our nation. You’ll enjoy Trump Aftershock. But even more, it will prompt you to pray and work in your own community to “make America great again.”
For years Republicans have not got it about the Democrat Party: They are just plain evil, along with a reprobate mind. The violent protests are perpetrated by the Democrat Party, and until these people start going to jail, it will only get worse.
The Democrat Party has a history of lawlessness – they own the KKK and started this organization to hinder the advancement of black Americans. The Democrat Party promoted the idea of single moms raising children without a dad.
Here are some people that should be in jail – Barack Hussein Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder. Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, George Soros.
President Trump and the First Lady are the most transparent people I’ve seen in my lifetime. President Obama claimed the same thing, yet told the press what they could and could not ask.
I believe Americans are waking up, and I hope the Democrat Party becomes extinct. If not, the United States of America as we know it will be destroyed internally. Without America in the picture, other nations will fall like dominos into the Social-Communist hellhole. Ultimately, what started in the Middle East will end in the Middle East. God and His people will be victorious.
Beginning with the election of President Trump, we are all perhaps witnessing one of the historic turning points in American history. If they were able to destroy Judge Kavanaugh, it would have been a big step toward perhaps destroying America, for it could have set a precedent. Does that sound overdramatic? Please hear me out.
This is not politics as usual. We are not wrestling against flesh and blood. This is the work of principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph. 6:12). This is all related to the death of a nation and a constitution founded on godly principles. The two things the radical leftists fear the most are the Bible and our national Constitution.
When you witness yet another senior Democratic senator, Diane Feinstein, deliberately conspiring in a Senate deliberation involving hiding a letter for months and the witness for weeks, and doing it totally against Senate rules—and then to complicate the matter, apparently allowing one of her staff to leak the letter to create a media firestorm, it is not politics as usual. It is the basest form of corruption and lawless manipulation.
As I stated, this all began building momentum after the election of President Donald Trump on that fateful day for all Democrats in November 2016. The defeat of Hillary Clinton loosened the grip on socialism and atheistic communism and the complete remaking of Barack Obama’s America.
This is the reason the day after the inauguration you heard influential celebrities like Madonna saying she has dreams of the White House burning down and being destroyed. It’s the reason other popular figures use such derogatory language and profanities against our president. Remember the image, still so clear in my mind, of the woman holding a model of the bloody head of Donald Trump in her hand?
This is not normal. It is a murderous Satanic spirit. Never in my lifetime or perhaps the entire history of our nation have we seen this kind of disrespect and dishonor for the highest office in the land. It is demonic filth and hatred.
This irrational and senseless attitude, which borders on insanity, is the prevailing spirit in our nation. It’s like a virus. The ungodly media is shaping the minds of multitudes and spreading this virus. That’s why you had the desperation to find collusion with the Russians, which, one Washington reporter, after two years of investigation, says turned up no evidence at all. Zero. Zilch. Nada. But just as with the Kavanaugh hearings, it’s never been about evidence. It’s about smearing, undermining, distorting the facts and character defamation of the truly upright.
Thou shalt have no other gods but human power. Winning elections is the Democrat raison d’être because power is their god; the party is their church; and its manifestation is large, centralized government.
Thou shalt worship under the direction of these priests: Darwin, Alinsky, Spock, Marx, Dewey, and Sanger – to say nothing of Baal. Child sacrifice is their sacrament. All ideas counter to the thinking of these apostles must be mocked, blocked, and twisted.
Thou shalt bow down to nothing wholesome or productive. Kindness, genuine caring, duty, and honor are attributes to fake in order to win elections – see the First Commandment – but are never indulged with sincerity.
Thou shalt demonstrate no respect for the universe as God’s creation. Good Democrats must see the Earth as fragile, purposeless, and a god itself.
Thou shalt destroy all vestiges of family. Democrats believe in taxing citizens so intensely that both parents have to earn a wage. Their public school curricula train children to revere government rather than parents. Democrats champion sexual deviance and prepare children to indulge their sexuality from a young age.
Thou shalt attack, provoke, ridicule, and kill whoever gets in your way. Even when they don’t physically kill their political opponents, they kill their livelihoods, their reputations, their families. This commandment gives modern Democrats an excuse to run conservatives out of restaurants, out of theaters, out of their homes.
Thou shalt have any kind of sex with whomever, whenever, and wherever. Refer back to the fifth commandment. Societal chaos and desperation open the door to government control – i.e., power.
Thou shalt legalize theft by authorizing the government to steal. Big government requires big money to bribe voters, to keep them dependent, to be able to import new voters.
Thou shalt bear false witness against thine enemies. They make up elaborate stories of sexual deviance and financial malfeasance, of drunken orgies and high school shenanigans.
Thou shalt envy, covet, and indulge all jealous attitudes, hating anyone who has accumulated more wealth, more power, or more fame than you have. This is the engine the runs the whole thing. Without envy, there is no discontent.
What follows was started by a woman named Lori Gallagher Witt. The brilliance is hers; the rest has been edited to best express similar, though not identical, opinions of those passing the main ideas on. I didn’t write this from scratch, but edited and added to a similar post to reflect my personal beliefs. I found this particular post on my editor’s Facebook page and have edited it to reflect my personal beliefs.
I’m a liberal. I wasn’t always a liberal. There was a day when I was a conservative. For many years I was a Fundamentalist Christian, a supporter and foot soldier in the Evangelical culture war. Today, I am a liberal, though I suspect many readers don’t know or understand what the word means.
Some of you suspected. Some of you were shocked. Many of you have known me for years, even the majority of my life. We either steadfastly avoided political topics, or I carefully steered conversations away from the more incendiary subjects in the name of keeping the peace. “I’m a liberal” isn’t really something you broadcast in social circles where “the liberals” can’t be said without wrinkling one’s nose. I live in a community where seven out of ten voters are Republican and even the Democrats tend to be religious conservatives.
While most of the readers of this blog skew towards the left, a fair number of you are Republican and voted for Donald Trump (or Jill Stein). You love my critique of Evangelicalism and you love my atheism, but you despise by liberal politics. I hope what follows will give you a better understanding of my political beliefs.
Then the 2016 election happened, and staying quiet wasn’t an option anymore. Since then, I’ve received no shortage of emails and comments from people who were shocked, horrified, disappointed, disgusted, or otherwise displeased to realize I am a liberal. Yep. I’m one of those bleeding-heart commies who hates anyone who’s white, straight, or conservative, and who wants the government to dictate everything you do while taking your money and giving it to people who don’t work.
Or am I?
Let’s break it down, shall we? Because quite frankly, I’m getting a little tired of being told what I believe and what I stand for. Spoiler alert: Not every liberal is the same, though the majority of liberals I know think along roughly these same lines.
I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected.
I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that’s interpreted as “I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all.” This is not the case. I’m fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it’s impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes “let people die because they can’t afford healthcare” a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I’m not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen.
I believe education should be affordable and accessible to everyone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I’m mystified as to why it can’t work in the U.S.), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt.
I don’t believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don’t want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow believing that makes me a communist.
I don’t throw around “I’m willing to pay higher taxes” lightly. I’m self-employed, so I already pay a shitload of taxes. If I’m suggesting something that involves paying more, that means increasing my already eye-watering tax bill. I’m fine with paying my share as long as it’s actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare.
I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that people should not have to work two full-time jobs and a part-time weekend job just to keep their heads above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multi-billion-dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn’t have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work forty hours and live.
I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. (BTW, prayer in school is NOTillegal; *compulsory* prayer in school is — and should be — illegal) All I ask is that Christians recognize *my* right to live according to *my* beliefs. When I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law, I’m not “offended by Christianity” — I’m offended that you’re trying to force me to live by your religion’s rules. You know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia on you? That’s how I feel about Christians trying to impose Sharia-like biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don’t force it on me or mine.
I don’t believe LGBTQ people should have more rights than you. I just believe they should have the *same* rights as you and I — justice and equal protection under the law.
I don’t believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN’T WHAT THEY DO(spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they’re supposed to be abusing, and if they’re “stealing” your job it’s because your employer is hiring illegally). I’m not opposed to deporting people who are here illegally, but I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc.).
I believe we should take in refugees, or at the very least not turn them away without due consideration. Turning thousands of people away because a terrorist might slip through is inhumane, especially when we consider what has happened historically to refugees who were turned away. If we’re so opposed to taking in refugees, maybe we should consider not causing them to become refugees in the first place. Because we’re fooling ourselves if we think that somewhere in the chain of events leading to these people becoming refugees, there isn’t a line describing something the U.S. did (like dropping bombs on civilians and fomenting civil war).
I don’t believe the government should regulate everything, but since capitalistic greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cut corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It’s not that I want the government’s hands in everything — I just don’t trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products/practices, etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they’re harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. Just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation.
I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I’m butthurt over an election, but because I’ve spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past.
I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed. Which means those with privilege — white, straight, male, economic, etc. — need to start listening, even if you don’t like what you’re hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that’s causing people to be marginalized.
I believe in so-called political correctness. I prefer to think of it as social politeness. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because, as Maya Angelou put it, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you’re using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person? Your refusal to adjust your vocabulary in the name of not being an asshole kind of makes YOU the snowflake.
I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else.
I’m not interested in coming after your guns, nor is anyone serving in government. What I am interested in is sensible policies, including background checks, that MIGHT save one person’s life by the hand of someone who should not have a gun. I am also in favor of removing from the market military grade firearms. No one needs a clip that hold thirty bullets.
I believe that women should not be treated as a separate class of human. They should be paid the same as men who do the same work, should have the same rights as men, and should be free from abuse. Why on earth shouldn’t they be?
I believe that life begins at viability — at the point where a baby can survive outside the mother’s womb. But that’s my own belief. I do not have the right to impose my belief on anyone else. Nor do you. Abortions have happened since the dawn of history, for a variety of reasons — some good, some bad. They are not going to go away. Government has no business legislating morality. It does have a responsibility to create and educate people on possible alternatives. But neither the government, nor you, nor, I, can make that choice for another.
I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I’m a liberal (and a humanist) because I think we should take care of each other. That doesn’t mean you should work eighty hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don’t believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved.
So, I’m a liberal.
About Bruce Gerencser
Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 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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I have spent most of my sixty years of life living in rural Ohio. I was born in Bryan, Ohio — a small community in Northwest Ohio. My dad’s parents immigrated to the United States from Hungary in the 1920s and settled down on a hundred acre farm a few miles south of Bryan. Dad and his siblings attended schools in the very district my wife and I now call home. We live in a small spot along State Highway 15. Ney, population 345, has two bars/restaurants and a convenience store/fast station. Dad graduated from Ney High School in 1954. I attended elementary school for several years west of here in the flashing-light, spot-in-the-road town called Farmer. Dad frequently moved us from town to town, unable, for some inexplicable reason, to pay the rent. It wasn’t until junior high that I got a taste of “big” city life. For three and a half years, we lived in Findlay, the home of Marathon Oil. This allowed me to attend the same school for three straight years. I actually had the same friends from one school year to the next!
Divorce and Dad moving us to Arizona turned my happy world upside down. At age sixteen, I returned to Findlay for my eleventh-grade year. I then returned to Bryan to live with my mother. Lots of drama, including Mom being locked up in Toledo State Hospital, resulted in my siblings and me being uprooted and moved once again to Arizona. By then, I had dropped out of high school. In the fall of 1975, I moved back to Bryan and took a job working at a local grocery store. A year later, I left Bryan to attend classes at Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan. I returned to Bryan three years later, pregnant wife in tow.
Polly and I spent much of our married life living in small, rural communities. The churches I pastored were, for the most part, attended by white, working-class people. In 1995, we moved back to the flatland of rural Northwest Ohio. I pastored two nearby churches, moving away from the area to pastor a church in rural Michigan, along with a move to Yuma, Arizona. In the end, like the proverbial bad penny, I seem to always make my way back to Northwest Ohio. In 2007, we bought our house in Ney. Our six children and eleven grandchildren (soon to be twelve) all live within twenty minutes of our home.
There are times when Polly and I yearn for the big city; for the anonymity that living in such places provide. But, we love our family, and when we bought our home, we committed ourselves to living here until death do us part. This is the place and people we call home. We love the slowness of life, and when we need a big city fix, Fort Wayne and Toledo are but an hour away.
I write all this to say that my roots run deep into the soil of rural Ohio. No matter how often I fled the scene, looking for excitement and diversity, I always seemed to come right back to where life started for me. Polly was a city girl, but forty years of country living have turned her into a small-town girl who has embraced the rural way of life. Would we live where we do if it weren’t for our children and grandchildren? Probably not. And the reason for this is simple. While both of us feel quite at home in rural Ohio, our beliefs have changed greatly over the past two decades. This change of thinking puts us at odds with most of our neighbors — politically, religiously, and socially.
Rural northwest Ohio is the land of God, Guns, and the Republican Party. Hundreds of conservative churches dot the landscape, and virtually every public office is held by a Republican. In Defiance County where I live, the Democratic Party has fielded two winners in the last decade, neither of whom is currently in office. Living here means that I must accept the monoculture of my surroundings, a society where it is assumed that everyone thinks and believes the same way. Someone like me, a socialist/pacifist/atheist, is a rare bird. While I have met more than a few people with similar views (particularly young adults), there are no liberal/humanist/atheist/secular groups or meet-ups in rural Northwest Ohio. People who don’t fit the rural Ohio political and religious mold exist, but few are vocal about their liberalness and unbelief. Why? Doing so would be socially suicidal.
One of my sons and I were talking about this tonight — about how being an out-of-the closet unbeliever or liberal leads to social suicide. While I am often lauded for my outspokenness about local politics and religion, my position has come at a high cost socially. I have in the past pondered whether, if I had it to do all over again, I would have been so vocal early on about my atheistic beliefs. I know that my outspokenness (and my age and disability) has made me unemployable. I own a photography business. When locals are given a choice between an Evangelical photographer and me, guess what? They usually choose the God-fearing one (regardless of the quality of work).
Over the past fifteen months, I have made a concerted effort to, outside of this blog, to tone down my public pronouncements. At times, I feel guilty for doing so; feeling as if I am a sell-out or a hypocrite. Everyone should be able to be who and what they are, right? Sure, but small-town life demands at least some modicum of outward conformity to tribal political, religious, and social beliefs. Disobey and you will pay the price. And for my family in particular, I don’t want them being socially and economically punished for who their father is. Some of my children may agree with me, but their futures depend on them not committing social suicide. Rarely does a week or two go by without one of my children telling me that someone at work — a boss, fellow employee, or customer — was inquiring about whether they were related to me. My children have become experts at fielding such interrogations, knowing that they are always free to say, Hmm, Bruce Gerencser? Don’t know the guy.
Ney Village Limit Sign, Slightly Altered.
I plan to live the remaining days and years of my life in Ney, Ohio. As a committed liberal and atheist — who also wants to get along and be accepted by his neighbors — I have to find ways to be true to self while at the same time not being ostracized by locals. Everything, unfortunately, comes down to money. My wife and I need to earn money to live. Earning money requires acceptance by local employers/customers. While it would be wonderful to be a street-corner atheist (and some locals think I am way too outspoken, even at presently muted levels), I have to live here, and being one would be social suicide. The violations of separation of church and state are so common is this area that the Freedom From Religion Foundation could spend the next year or so filing lawsuits against local government agencies, schools, and businesses. Yes, I find these violations of the law egregious, and the street-corner atheist in me wants to call out and condemn their sins. But, I can’t, for in doing so I would cause great social harm not only to myself but to my wife, children, and grandchildren. If I made $40,000 a year blogging, things would be different, but as things now stand, I must swim in waters infested with Evangelical/right-wing Republican sharks, and being a lone fish is sure to turn me into a snack.
I have much hope in the belief that things are slowly changing here in rural Northwest Ohio. Local millennials are not as religious as their parents, and they most certainly don’t hold to the moral and religious values of their grandparents. It is in these young adults that I see promise. It is unlikely that this area will ever be as liberal as the West or East coasts, but I am hoping that there is coming a day when it won’t be social suicide to say that I am a liberal, a socialist, and non-Christian.
For now, I must choose my battles carefully, hoping that I can safely navigate the dangerous waters of rural Ohio. I have seen progress on this front thanks to my high school basketball photography. I have talked to more locals in the past few months than in the last ten years combined. I want them to see me as a family man, as a decent, kind curmudgeon who also happens to take really good pictures. I know that Google is not my friend, but there nothing I can do about the stories she might tell if someone asks her about Bruce Gerencser. Just last week, one my children ran into several people their age who were once members of a local church I pastored. These young adults have heard the gossip about me and read up on me, thanks to the Internet, but they still can’t understand how it is possible that the man they once called pastor is now a heathen. What happened? they asked, desperately trying to figure out how I ended up where I am today. Lost on such people is the fact that I am, in many ways, the same man I was when I was their pastor. Sure, I am a political liberal and an atheist. But, personality-wise I am pretty much the same guy. I am still a down-home friendly man with a wry sense of humor. I am…Bruce. [My editor commented, Your closing raises some interesting questions. Are you the same guy? I think it is hard for you to claim that you are. Sure, you are still a decent, hard-working man, but you have done an about-face in regard to many of your core beliefs of your prior life.]
I would love to hear from readers who find it difficult to navigate the waters of their communities. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.
This is the one hundred and sixty-third installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
“The left has become anti-Christ. I’m convinced, if we would have elected the other candidate, we would be, right now, probably packing boxes to move out of our buildings and Christian television would begin to be a part of the end of era of the freedom of Christian television. They don’t want us, we’re one voice that speaks biblically and they don’t like the fact that God’s word differs with what they teach. If we change positions in this country and the other team takes over, you better get ready because all hell is going to break loose and America will not be a religious nation any longer.”