Tag Archive: Evangelicalism

Follow the Money: The American Family Association and their Support of the Gay Agenda

american family association

This post will reveal that the American Family Association supports homosexuality and same-sex marriage. It took a bit of digging and following the ever-winding Evangelical money trail, but I ended up with proof that AFA money has gone to support pro-homosexual causes. Not directly, of course, but if you follow the story I tell below, you will see that money from the homophobic AFA trickled down to two gay-friendly United Methodist churches. If you follow through to the end, you will also find out that One Million Dad’s and Mom’s are anything but, and the American Family Association is little more than a chihuahua with the bark of a doberman. By the end of this post, you also will be schooled in how Evangelical groups do business, all on the taxpayer’s dime.

The American Family Association (AFA) was started in 1976 by United Methodist pastor Don Wildmon. His son Tim currently runs the operation. AFA  is a fundamentalist parachurch organization, one of the many Evangelical groups at the heart of the American culture war. One Million Moms and One Million Dads are part of the grassroots outrage wing of the AFA. People often assume that One Million Moms and One Million Dads actually each have at least one million members. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is important to understand this because their group names give the illusion that they represent a large number of Americans. They don’t, as the following graphics will clearly show:

One Million Moms Facebook

one million moms facebook

Facebook Followers for One Million Moms April 25, 2015

One Million Moms Twitter

one million moms twitter

Twitter Followers One Million Moms  April 25, 2015

One Million Dads Facebook

one million dads facebook

Facebook Followers One Million Dads  April 25, 2015

One Million Dads Twitter

one million dads twitter

Twitter Followers One Million Dads April 25, 2015

American Family Association Facebook

afa facebook

Facebook Followers American Family Association April 25, 2015

In jest, I had to show that my friend Vyckie Garrison is the ONLY one of my Facebook friends who “like” the American Family Association. 🙂

American Family Association Twitter

afa twitter

Twitter Followers American Family Association April 25, 2015

As you can see, One Million Moms, One Million Dads, and the American Family Association are anything but what their names suggest.

In 2012, the American Family Association had $20,235,585 in income. They spent $958,609 on fundraising. They paid out $8,350,108 on salaries and compensation. They paid out $2,021,882 in office expenses.  Here’s some of their other expenses:

  • Radio Network $6,919,651
  • TV Network $586,960
  • President Tim Wildmon salary $175,063
  • Executive Vice President Casey Smith salary $106,989
  • Chief Financial Officer Keith Gann salary $70,742
  • Vice President Human Resources William Hayden Salary $70,738
  • Chairman Emeritus Don Wildmon salary $136,296
  • Director Dan Celia salary $64,083
  • Pension Contributions $297,599
  • Employee Benefits $1,426,538 (note: to keep reported salaries down, compensation is hidden by calling it a benefit)
  • Advertising $647,658
  • Legal Fees $160,383
  • Products and Premiums $1,855,975 (note:giveaways and stuff for sale)
  • Public Education $1,855,975
  • Utilities $1,039,103
  • Miscellaneous Expenses $3,948,827 (note: this is also known as the ministry slush fund)

According to current Federal law, the American Family Association is considered a public charity, a 501c3 non-profit.  The following chart shows the amount of money spent on lobbying from 2009 through 2012:

afa lobbying expenses

American Family Association Lobbying Expenses from 2012 Form 990

These numbers reflect what I call the Oh My God, there’s a Kenyan born socialist nigger in the White House, also known as Barack Obama, effect. Notice the huge bump in lobbying expenditures in 2011 and 2012.

All statistics taken from 2012 American Family Association 990 Form  (link no longer active)

The American Family Association publishes a monthly magazine titled The AFA Journal. Total expenditures claimed for this endeavor? $7,273,028. Here’s where we can get a true number of how many people support the hysteria, I mean the work, of AFA. Total average subscribers for 2012? 175,000. Now you understand why the social media numbers of One Million Moms and One Million Dads is so pathetic,

As can be seen by what I have presented here, most of AFA’s money goes for salaries/benefits and radio/TV/magazine. Should U.S. taxpayers be supporting a “charitable” institution like the American Family Association? Because, that is EXACTLY what we are doing. Excluding payroll taxes, AFA, in 2012, paid $154,237 in taxes and licenses and $33,441 in use tax. That’s it. On over $20,000,000 in income, AFA paid a grand total $187,678 in taxes. Since they are a “charity”, almost all of their income is tax exempt.

Since several of the AFA staff are ordained ministers, they are eligible for the clergy housing allowance. In 2012, AFA paid out $84,710 in income tax exempt housing allowance. If the recipients are exempt from Social Security, as many clergy are, they didn’t have to pay social security taxes either.

This post reflects why I think all religious institutions should be required to pay the same taxes as businesses do. As it stands now, U.S taxpayers are funding the AFA  and every other American religious sect and parachurch organization. What is especially egregious about the American Family Association is that almost all of their money goes to promote and advance their bigoted anti-abortion, anti-homosexual, anti-same-sex marriage, anti-secular agenda. Lest you doubt their objective, here’s their Mission Statement: (link no longer active)

The mission of the American Family Association is to inform, equip, and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture, and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission.

PHILOSOPHICAL STATEMENT
The American Family Association believes that God has communicated absolute truth to mankind, and that all people are subject to the authority of God’s Word at all times. Therefore AFA believes that a culture based on biblical truth best serves the well-being of our nation and our families, in accordance with the vision of our founding documents; and that personal transformation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest agent of biblical change in any culture.

ACTION STATEMENT
The American Family Association acts to:

  • restrain evil by exposing the works of darkness
  • promote virtue by upholding in culture that which is right, true and good according to Scripture
  • convince individuals of sin and challenge them to seek Christ’s grace and forgiveness
  • motivate people to take a stand on cultural and moral issues at the local, state and national level
  • encourage Christians to bear witness to the love of Jesus Christ as they live their lives before the world

To that end, AFA spurs activism directed to:

  • Preservation of Marriage and the Family
  • Decency and Morality
  • Sanctity of Human Life
  • Stewardship
  • Media Integrity

We believe in holding accountable companies that sponsor programs attacking traditional family values. We also believe in commending those companies that act responsibly regarding programs they support.

And last, but not least, the American Family Association sells coffee beans. Yes sir, “When you purchase Thomas Street Coffee, you’re supporting efforts to proclaim the gospel of Christ in countries where 40% of unreached people groups live, including Ethiopia, Uganda, Honduras, Indonesia, and other coffee growing regions. ” (AFA reference)

In 2012, the American Family Association took in over $20,000,000. On their Thomas Street Coffee page, this is what Tim Wildmon and AFA want you to know; by buying their super-duper, God blessed coffee:

You’re also contributing to efforts to build schools, libraries, medical facilities, and clean water wells; as well as underwriting women’s literacy, agricultural education, and micro-finance programs.

Finally, your support of Thomas Street Coffee supports our parent organization, American Family Association, whose goal is to restore a strong sense of biblical values to American public life.

Based on AFA’s 2012 990 form, I couldn’t find any money going for “schools, libraries, medical facilities, and clean water wells; as well as underwriting women’s literacy, agricultural education, and micro-finance programs.” Imagine if the Wildmon’s and AFA stopped being bigots and actually used their income to help the least of these? You know, like Jesus taught?

AFA sells coffee procured from a group called Dominion Trading, an Evangelical coffee business started by Mike Stemm & Craig Meredith. Dominion was started to “help” Evangelical Ethiopian farmers:

In 2001, two Christian, American businessmen, & Craig Meredith, were asked by the Kale Heywot Church, the largest evangelical denomination in Ethiopia with nearly 7.5 million members, to come to Ethiopia to assess and make recommendations how their people could become self-sufficient and independent of foreign aid.  During that trip, God changed the hearts and priorities of these two men, and the genesis for Dominion Trading, LLC. and a unique model for missions was realized.

Dominion Trading began developing extensive relationships with the Ethiopian coffee farmers to establish trust and mutual understanding.  From that came collaboration, a focus on coffee quality, and the process to provide direct trade specialty coffee to the United States on a consistent basis.  This commitment has created long-term sustainability for many Ethiopian coffee farmers.  Additionally, a unique “relational bridge” has been built between the American coffee consumer, who enjoys some of the world’s finest coffee, and the Ethiopian farmer who produces the coffee.

Net profits from Dominion Trading’s coffee sales go to fund New Covenant Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation. According to the Thomas Street Coffee website (website no longer active):

Net income from Dominion Trading’s green and roasted coffee sales in the United States is donated to their ministry partner, New Covenant Foundation (NCF).  NCF is a registered 501c3, whose mission is to 1) proclaim Jesus Christ through indigenous people, 2) to break the bonds of dependency on foreign aid by empowering individuals and communities to be self-supportive and 3) to create mutual partnerships with people that enables long-term transformation of their economy, their environment and their community.

New Covenant’s primary strategy and focus in Ethiopia is 1) supporting indigenous church planters who to-date have lead more than 15,000 people to Christ and planted more than 120 new churches and 2) providing community health education (physical, mental and spiritual)  in rural areas.  To-date, nearly 800,000 people in 500 communities, in the coffee growing regions of Sidamo and Yirgacheffe, have received the training resulting in nearly a 50% reduction in infant mortality and malnutrition.   Additional programs for people with disabilities and women are being implemented.   Another similar project is underway in Western Ethiopia to reach 2.5 million people in 1,500 communities with this life saving and transforming training.

This statement would lead most people to think that the net proceeds from Dominion Trading’s coffee is going to do many wonderful things for poor, needy Ethiopians.  However, their 2011-2013 Federal Form 990 filings tell a different story.

New Covenant Foundation 2011 990 Form

New Covenant Foundation 2012 990 Form

New Covenant Foundation 2013 990 Form

(You will have to sign up for a FREE Guidestar account in order to look at these forms. If you do any writing or research on Evangelical “ministries”, it is well worth having an account.)

Based on the 990 filings of New Covenant Foundation, the overwhelming majority of the money that was spent went to people and religious organizations in the United States!  I say, “that was spent” because at the 2013 filing deadline, New Covenant Foundation had:

  • no cash on hand
  • $707,745 savings, short term investments
  • $1,807,950 investments (up from $1,044,896 at the start of 2013)

Does all of this shock you? It shouldn’t. All the above is standard operating procedure for American Evangelical churches, institutions, and parachurch organizations. Here’s the kicker, one that should cause every reader to be rolling on the floor laughing. Let me set the background for this joke.

You’d agree that the American Family Association, One Million Moms, and One Million Dads are vehemently against homosexuality and same-sex marriage? Of course you would.

You’d agree that these groups spend a significant amount of time going after corporations, businesses, and media outlets that support the “evil” gay agenda? Of course you would.

Based on what I shared above, you’d agree that AFA buys the coffee they sell under the Thomas Street Coffee brand name from Dominion Trading who then donates its net profits to New Covenant Foundation? Of course you would.

Then please, oh please, explain to me New Covenant Foundation giving money to Osterville United Methodist Church in Osterville, Massachusetts, a church, drum roll please, that:

Reconciling congregations are United Methodist Churches that publicly welcome all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, to participate fully in the life of the community. Our statement of reconciliation says, “All persons are recipients of God’s love and grace. We share a faith in Jesus Christ and a commitment in Christianity, and this is our bond. In the spirit of God’s love and witnessing Jesus Christ’s life in action, our church welcomes all people.  We acknowledge the diversity of God’s universe and open our hearts as Christ loved His children.  Whatever your sexual orientation is, we hope you will visit us and experience the warmth of our welcoming community.

That’s right, the American Family Association buys coffee from Covenant Trading who gives its net profits to New Covenant Foundation who gives funding or makes some sort of payment to Osterville United Methodist Church, a church that considers gay people Christian.

From 2011 through 2013, New Covenant Foundation gave gay-loving Osterville United Methodist Church almost $15,000.

Oh, it gets better. New Covenant Foundation gave $200,000 to the Floris United Methodist Church, Herndon, Virginia building fund. This was the largest single expenditure in 2011 and 2012. Here’s what Floris United Methodist pastor Tom Berlin had to say about homosexuality and the angst it is causing within the United Methodist denomination:

…I am a moderate on this issue. Dead center. I represent those delegates who will vote to maintain the historic stance of the church related to GLBT issues. This is a source of great frustration to many who would like to see change. Our reading of the Bible, especially passages that we cannot translate into positive or neutral statements about homosexual practices, leads to our traditional views. I am also a pragmatist. I cannot help but see the unintended consequences of the change. Right now, in my community in Virginia, there are three formerly Episcopal churches who are being evicted from their facilities by their denomination over these issues. When this happens in the UMC, it will be the poor who will suffer because our mission and outreach budget will go unfunded. It will be the poorest of the poor who suffer the most when the UMC is no longer able to build churches, schools, clinics or have the funds to engage in disaster response around the globe in the wake of a split.

I wanted to speak on this issue because I am a father of four daughters from a generation that by and large doesn’t get what all the fuss is about. They can respect and be gracious about my opinion on human sexuality, but not the church’s silence on disagreement. But the main reason that I wanted to speak is that I serve a church that has a broad range of ideology, with tea party Republicans on one end and liberal Democrats on the other. In my work to keep our loose confederation together in the unity of Christ, I have found truth-telling and candor to be essential qualities. If you want community that includes diversity of opinion, you must have a commitment to being candid with each other. We disagree.

There are gay men and women in my church. There are many who have family members in the GLBT community. There are an abundance of people who just don’t get what all the fuss is about. I wanted to be able to tell them that their beliefs and opinions were honored in their denomination along with those who disagree. I have found that when a gay person or someone with a gay family member comes to my office, and we discuss the matter openly, honestly, and lovingly, we emerge with deeper community and less division. As a gay man said to me after one of these conversations, we don’t agree on everything, but given what you have said, I can come to church here. And I don’t want a church that is defined by my views on sexuality. I want a church where I can feel included. And based on this conversation, I can do that here…

I wonder if Tim Wildmon and the American Family Association are open and affirming towards Pastor Berlin’s statement?  (that’s a rhetorical question, BTW)

Let me conclude by saying this, as you can see from the various data above, a lot of people are profiting off of “Jesus.” Does some of the money trickle down to the “least of these”? I am sure it does. But, its actually a very small amount compared to the total amount of income received. In the case of the American Family Association, they are an advocacy group for the homophobic wing of American Evangelicalism. They spend zero dollars on true charity work. While the Federal government considers them a charity, that doesn’t mean they actually do charitable work.

In the case of Mike Stemm  and Craig Meredith and Covenant Trading/New Covenant Foundation, it appears that most of the net profits benefit churches and parachurch groups in the United States. While I’m sure some of this money filters down to Ethiopia and other African countries, it is hard to take seriously New Covenant Foundation’s mission when they were, at the end of 2013, sitting on almost $2,000,000 in cash and securities. Perhaps things look differently for 2014, but something tells me it is more of the same.

Notes

Dominion Trading Facebook page

Dominion Trading Twitter

Thomas Street Coffee sells for over $16.00 a pound  for which the poor Ethiopian farmer gets $2.50

From the FAQ of Thomas Street Coffee (Site no longer active)

How much of the profits from your coffee actually goes to the growing regions? And how do your standards compare to organizations such as Fair Trade?

The profits from our roasted coffee sales go back to purchase more green coffee and to support the work of AFA. We purchase the green coffee directly through growers and importers working with the farmers. The farmers are receiving a substantial amount of money for their green, far above any amount that the Fair Trade organization has set. In other words, we pay a premium for our green coffee. Our importers and coffee farmers work with the growers to help them increase the quality and yield on their coffee. Our growers are Christian growers and importers, therefore our purchase of their coffee helps support their work. The dollar amount varies from each region. We are helping people economically. Other items such as water wells, medical clinics, birthing centers, and schools for children come through the profits made from the sale of green coffee. These benefits come directly through the growers and the importers, giving them a practical way to share the gospel. The farmers average income for their green coffee is around $2.50 a pound, compared to Fair Trade at $1.25 per pound Some of our growers such as Kabum in Uganda have worked with the locals to set up banks and educate them about personal savings accounts. Church plants are taking place and people are being taught the importance of tithing. We at TSC are giving a hand up rather than a hand out.

 

Rebecca Davis Worried About Her Lustful Four Year Old  Ogling A Woman Wearing a Bikini

hannah davis sports illustrated

Hannah Davis, 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model

Rebecca Davis works for the American Family Association (AFA). She is the assistant editor of The Stand, the official whine and outrage newsletter of the AFA. Recently, she wrote an eye opening article about her 4 year old’s propensity to lust after women in bathing suits and lingerie. While she denies that she is saying her little boy lusts, her article suggests otherwise (link no longer active):

It is almost swimsuit season. There are a number of adjectives I could use to describe my disdain for this time of year. Itsy-bitsy and teeny-weeny are two of them.

No, I’m not a prude, and no, I’m not bitter because I don’t have the perfect figure. I have never been Ms. Skinny Mini, and after having two babies and holding on to an extra 10 pounds each time, I probably never will be. But that’s not really the reason I dread swimsuit season.

Actually, summer is one of my favorite times of year. I enjoy taking our son to the pool. He begs year-round to go the beach.

But the older he gets, the more difficult it becomes to take him to the beach … to the grocery story, to the mall, even to church at times. His eyes are constantly surveying his surroundings, and many times he sees entirely too much.

Although he is only four years old, his little mind is wired to be visual. The dominant perceptual sense in men is vision. God made males that way for a reason, and I’m thankful he did.

There are a number of studies and findings that conclude male brains are more visually stimulated than the female brain. It’s a fact that my son’s actions prove true, even at such a young age.

For example, from the time he was about two years old, if we were in a store and simply walked past the lingerie section, he would point and say “Mama.” Now, it’s all I can do to keep his eyes from innocently zoning in on the window displays when we walk rather hurriedly past Victoria’s Secret.

For several months now, I have been receiving issues of Glamour magazine in the mail. I have no idea why. Somehow I became a subscriber to the magazine. (I have tried to cancel my unwanted subscription but that’s another story.) An issue came in the mail; I accidently left it facedown on the counter before putting it in the garbage can. I was in the kitchen cooking and noticed my son sitting at the counter staring at a scantily clad woman on the back cover. My heart sank.

Then it wasn’t long after that he was with me in a beauty-supply store. I was down on my knees examining some shampoo (for color-treated hair, I admit) when my son picked up a small promotional card off the nearby shelf, handed it to me, and said, “Mama, look!” The card pictured an outstretched woman in a seductive pose wearing a skimpy swimsuit. Again, my heart sank.

Let me make a very clear disclaimer at this point. My son is only four years old. In no way am I implying that his observations are sexual in nature. They are not. His reactions are natural – not lustful – responses to the way his brain is wired.

I use the above examples to show just how powerful a female’s attire can be over males of all ages.

When my son sees a woman wearing clothes that barely cover her body, be it in a picture or in person, he always asks, “Mama, why are they dressed that way?”

I’m thankful for his questions; they make for good teachable moments. I’m thankful that seeing women dressed immodestly is not the norm for him right now. I want it to stay that way, but the reality is it won’t.

So, as his mother, how can I protect him? How can I teach him to channel the wirings of his little brain through a biblical worldview? How can I keep his mind, heart and body pure for his future wife, if the Lord wills him to marry one day? More than that, how can I encourage him to live a daily life of purity out of love and honor for God?

Honestly, I don’t have the answers to all these questions. I am learning that parenting is a day-by-day journey. Some days I do it right; some days I do it wrong. But thankfully God is a God of grace and mercy.

One thing I do know is that, with my husband, we can make an extra effort to keep our son’s eyes from seeing the immodest pattern of this world by monitoring what he watches, changing the channel if need be, diverting his attention elsewhere when in public, and having open and honest dialogue with him when he does have questions about what he sees. Our aim is to always do so out of honor, never out of shame.

We can also show him the importance of modesty by the way I dress and by the way we dress his little sister.

And I can encourage you, ladies, to be intentional about what you wear (or don’t wear) to the beach or pool this summer.

If nothing else, be mindful of your appearance for the sake of my son … your son or someone else’s son.  Actually, keep all men in mind! You may have no idea what you do to them – and to yourself – when you wear a bikini or expose yourself in other ways…

Earlier today, I detailed how women in the IFB church are blamed for the lustful thoughts of teenage boys. Rebecca Davis, an Evangelical, does the same. Her poor little boy already has a wandering eye and it up to the women of the world to keep him from lusting. He can’t help himself, Davis says, because his mind is wired for the visual. It’s just how males are. (of course, she refuses to accept this exact same argument when it comes to homosexuality)

I suspect most readers will think Davis’s article is ignorant and silly. And it is, but millions of Christians think like this. Taught that their sexuality must be repressed and their flesh covered, is it any surprise that 4-year-old Evangelical boys grow into sexually dysfunctional 20-year-old toddlers? Years ago, I was the co-pastor of Community Baptist Church in Elmendorf, Texas. One church night, a woman came up to us and scolded us for letting our girls sleep on the church floor with their panties exposed. That’s right, little girls sleeping with their panties exposed were a problem. I think she expected me to immediately get the girls off the floor. Instead I curtly told her, don’t look. Were there pedophiles in the church I didn’t know about? Was she afraid that teenage boys would see the panties and lust?  I suppose if some teenage boy lusted, it would be our four and two-year old daughters fault, right?

While Evangelicals want to point to the “world”  and blame them for sexualizing everything, it is those who adhere to the sexual mores of the Bible that have done so. They are the ones who have turned a woman’s breast into a sex object that must be covered up at all times. They are the ones who focus on cleavage, legs, asses, and the female shape in general. Cover up, women are told. Hide your feminine figure. If left to them, the human race would perish. Sexual attraction and desire is n-o-r-m-a-l and healthy. It’s the Bible that is out of step with what it means to be human. From Genesis to Revelation, God demands that humans deny their sexuality. I thought God made us sexual beings? It seems strange that he would create us with sexual desires and then say it is a sin if we act on them. Well, maybe not. This is the same God, after all, who created some of us just so he could damn us and torture us in the Lake of Fire for eternity.

So, what do you think? Will Rebecca Davis’s four-year old son turn into a horn dog Evangelical teenager a decade from now? If he finds himself uncontrollably lusting after women, who will be blamed? Perhaps, thanks to being taught Just Say No, he gets the deacon’s daughter pregnant. Whose fault will this be? Again, the Bible is not the answer. Children and teenagers need to be taught the facts of life. As they get older, they need to be taught sexual responsibility. Since most church teenagers engage in some sort of sexual activity before marriage, isn’t it in their best interest to make sure they know how to use birth control?  Instead of telling them THE BIBLE SAYS, how about common sense and honest instruction about sex? Instead of teaching them masturbation is a sin, how about teaching them that self-pleasuring is a way to release sexual tension. Better to spank the monkey than get the deacon’s daughter pregnant.

We should pity Evangelical teen boys and men who must go through life with blinders on lest they ravage the first woman they see in tight shorts. Instead of enjoying the beauty of God’s creation, they are taught the human body is shameful and should only be uncovered in darkness after marriage. While I am not suggesting we all turn into naturalists, surely a man can be in the same room with women he might be attracted to and not turn into the First Baptist Rapist.

Physical attraction is normal and healthy. I am a married man, happily so for almost 37 years. I love my wife and she is my one and only. Until death do us part, I am hers and she is mine. That’s the commitment we made to one another one hot July day in 1978. Does this commitment mean we can no longer walk down the store aisle and check out the goods? Is Polly being unfaithful if she says Sean Connery or Daniel Craig is attractive? Am I being unfaithful when I admire another woman’s beauty? Of course not. We are confident in our ability to control our sexual desires.

When I was a fifteen year old boy, I was standing outside Trinity Baptist Church in Findlay, Ohio  with a group of  Baptist Bible Fellowship preachers. I was in heaven just being around these men of God. Well, preacher men are just like factory men, and when they are around their own they will let down their guard and talk like one of the boys. One preacher made a joke about Jesus’s command, “but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”  He said, the first look is not a sin, the second one is. Just make sure the first look is a long one.  Great advice for a sexually aware 15-year-old preacher boy.

Forget the Bible and religion for a moment and think about this issue from a scientific perspective. Where would the human race be if males and females were not attracted to one another? This attraction is vital to the propagation and future of our species. We can talk about inner beauty and loving someone for their mind, but the fact is, for those of us in a relationship with another, it was sexual attraction that first brought us together. There were plenty of women I could have dated while a student at Midwestern Baptist College. Why did I decide to ask 17-year-old Polly Shope out on a date? She was and is a beautiful woman, but there were other beautiful women at the college. Why was she the one? Biology? Chemistry? Fate?

Here’s what I know, every relationship begins with a look. Hmm, that’s a nice look man or woman. Have you ever seen couples that you wonder how they were attracted to one another? You know, the drop dead gorgeous woman with the guy who looks like he just spent the last month homeless, living on the street. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that sexual attraction is key to our relationship with our significant other. Yes, given time, the relationship becomes far more than sexual attraction, but few relationship start without it. (I speak broadly, knowing that people can and do enter relationships for reasons other than sexual attraction)

Instead of asking everyone to cover up for the sake of her son, perhaps Davis should focus on helping him grow into a sexually responsible man. At age four, I wouldn’t be worrying about the things Davis seems preoccupied with. I’d be more worried about a four year old plugging up the toilet with army men or Legos than I would a woman in a bikini causing him to have inappropriate thoughts. If Davis is concerned about the bikini effect, perhaps she should pay attention to her husbands eyes.

Pastor Bob Gray Sr. Pines for the 1950s

woman wearing jeans

Last year, Bob Gray Sr., retired pastor of Longview Baptist Temple in Longview, Texas, took to his blog pulpit to whine and complain about church women no longer obeying Deuteronomy 22:5:

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

That’s right, Brother Bob is upset about Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church women wearing pants. Of all the things a pastor could or should be worried about, Gray is concerned about women wearing what he perceives to be men’s clothing. Gray writes:

… Did we somehow become lost and confused as to what the issue was really about? Does it really not matter if men dress differently than women and women than men? Is it really important that there be a distinctiveness between masculinity and femininity? The issue wasn’t as much about pants as it was principle. He was looking at a much bigger picture than most. Perhaps we saw the issue to vaguely. Perhaps we missed the point entirely.

Many men who once agreed on the issue of pants have now changed their position. Perhaps the position was too small or too narrow in the first place. Perhaps pants in and of themselves was not the issue. Perhaps the real issue was the matter of the distinctiveness between the attire of men and women. Pants gave us a focal point for the real issue, which was that men ought to dress like men and women like women.

Has that changed? Does it matter? Should we care if boys dress like girls? Should it matter to us if girls dress like boys? Is it really relevant? There has always been a focal issue that rallied us behind a principle. Long hair on men rallied us against rebellion, which was the bigger issue. Pants was the focal point for the principle of women not dressing like men. Yet when it comes to the issue of women wearing pants we seem to have missed the point. What is the point? The point is the Bible principle.

What is the Bible principle? The principle is that men should dress like men and women should dress like women. Has that changed or is the Bible still true? Should men wear clothing that pertains to a woman? Should women wear clothing that pertains to a man?…

… Distinction was brought to a higher level in the New Testament. (I Timothy 2:9) Deuteronomy 22:5 has been elevated to “modest” clothing.  No skinny jeans here! The Bible principle is for today.

So, if the principle is still true why are we criticizing those who took a stand regarding women wearing pants? I for one must allow others to disagree on the issue, but I’m concerned when they ignore the importance of the Bible principle upon which we built that position. If we lose the principle then we lose the purity of the Scripture.

If we begin to criticize those who took a stand then we should be explaining how we then are carrying out that principle. What should women wear that which a man shouldn’t? What should men wear that women shouldn’t? Does it matter? It has to because it is covered in his word…

… What is the distinction? If you tell me my position is wrong then simply explain to me what the distinction is that you are making between the attire of men and the attire of women. I’ll be satisfied with that.

If you’re going to criticize me because I have put some kind of distinction into the principle then tell me what your distinction is based upon that same principle. Whether Deuteronomy 22:5 means pants on women or not it must mean something? What does it mean? Explain it…

…Let’s face it the breaking down between the sexes has taken place. We no longer have the distinctions we once had between men and women including the way they dress. Dr. Hyles and others warned us of this danger more than they warned us of women wearing pants. He warned us of the danger of losing the distinction between the sexes. Pants was a symptom of the issue, but many have turned this against those who warned of the true danger….

…Tell me pastor what should women wear, or does it matter? What should men wear? Does it matter? This is not legalism. This is applying principles to our lives. There’s a legitimate reason that we took the positions we took. I’m saddened by the condition of our country, but I am not surprised. Same sex marriage is a result of the casual way we have dealt with issues in our country and even in many churches…

… So, now I put the responsibility back on your shoulders. Tell us what to do? If there’s no problem then there’s nothing to worry about, but I think we all know there is a problem. Dr. Hyles was right. The unisex movement is a satanic pursuit to blur the lines between the roles and identity of men and women. How do we fix it? What’s the standard going to be? Is there going to be no standard? I think it’s time to give it a second thought.

If the pastor’s wife has no distinction in her dress, then no wonder the pastor has lock-jaw and is like the Ant-Artica and frozen at the mouth.  This makes it difficult to lead a local church let alone a movement…

That’s right, women wearing pants is a “satanic pursuit to blur the lines between the roles and identity of men and women.” Perhaps these slutty, pants wearing Baptist women need to channel Flip Wilson and say, The devil made me do it.

Gray considers himself an old-fashioned IFB preacher.  Old-fashioned for Brother Bob is the 1950’s:

 Then I go into some of our churches and find myself wondering who is standing for the Bible principle of distinction in God’s house.  The decline of American morality is reflected in our distinction.  The decline of our churches is also reflected in our dress distinction.  50 years ago it was not so in public and for sure it was not so in our churches.

The Mrs. Cleaver look was in almost every home in 1950’s.   Not so in either the home or the house of God, in a lot of cases, in this new Millennium.  If God wanted a distinction in the Old Testament how much more does He desire it in the New Testament.

You see, preachers like Gray pine for the 1950s; the time before the free love and rock & roll generation. He yearns for the days when women were housewives, homosexuals stayed in the closet, and birth control was illegal. He yearns for the days before the Civil Rights Act, Gun Control Act, and the EPA. He yearns for the racist days of his youth, a time when there was order and everyone knew their place.

I feel sad for preachers like Gray. They have spent a lifetime preaching on frivolous issues like pants on women, short skirts, long hair, rock & roll, contemporary Christian music, and premarital sex. (see An Independent Baptist Hate List)  The narrowness of their preaching makes it impossible for them to back up. To do so would be considered compromise, a sure career killer in the IFB church. So, they remain in their little box, unable to join the world that past them by decades ago,

Gray, without realizing it, revealed what the REAL reason is for all the preaching against pants and short skirts on women:

If you are an honest person you will have to admit that females in public have taken the half off sale seriously. Hip hugging skinny jeans revealing mid riffs. I travel every week of the world around this great nation of ours. It is embarrassing for a man who is doing the best he can to keep his heart right with all of the female flesh on display.

Thanks to four generations of Puritanical preaching and rules, IFB men have been turned into pathetic weaklings unable to handle their own sexuality. They’ve been told their entire life that women are Jezebel’s, seductresses out to lure them into the bed of fornication.  They’ve been taught that the reason they give into their weakness and have lustful thoughts is because women refuse to cover up their flesh. If only women would stop wearing pants, short skirts, and halter tops, and stop wearing clothing that accentuates the female shape, why horn dog IFB teenagers and men would not have a problem with lust. As any woman knows, having attended an IFB church, women are the gatekeeper. If they fail in their job and men lust after them, it is the woman’s fault.

This kind of thinking is as old as Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis. When God confronted Adam about eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam replied:

The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

Adam, like countless IFB preachers, blamed the woman.

What Bob Gray and other IFB preachers have done is turn out generations of men unable to handle their own sexuality. The slightest bit of female flesh brings a rise in their pants and soon their thoughts turn to banging Sister Sue in the church pew. When Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond , Indiana,  was arrested and convicted for having sex with a minor in his church, many IFB preachers blamed the girl. In the post The IFB River Called Denial, I wrote about what one IFB loving woman had to say about the slut that took down Jack Schaap. Here’s what she said:

So…what about the teenage girl? How hot was she? How hard did she pursue him? We all know young girls flaunt everything these days to get what they want. a rise from any man they can. especially one in the limelight (our a uniform!) They don’t care if he’s married our not, or if he’s her best friends dad. it’s really sad.young girls are a whoring in our churches.

You men and women be careful. She is closer than we think. the world is full of young sluts stealing our husbands and sons! Praying for Cindy!

You see, even the women in IFB churches make excuses for the lustful behavior of men and teenage boys. These church-going, Jesus loving sluts are out to steal their husbands and sons. It’s their fault, right? If they just dressed like the women on Little House on the Prairie, all would be well.

It should come as no surprise that the IFB church has a big problem with sexual abuse and misconduct. These poor men can’t help themselves. Instead of teaching them how to responsibly handle their sexuality, they are taught that lustful, carnal thoughts and behaviors are not their fault. If the pastor ends up having sex with his secretary on his office floor, it is the secretaries fault. I knew of one pastor who would, for years, send out the bus workers on visitation, and then he and his secretary would use that time to have sex in his office. When the truth came out, you know who was to blame? The secretary.

Every man must be accountable for his own sexuality. Teenage boys should be taught sexual responsibility. They should also be taught that it is OK to have physical contact with the opposite sex. (see Thou Shalt Not Touch: The Six Inch Rule)  They need to be taught that desiring a woman is normal, as is sexual arousal.  Exposure to normal heterosexual feelings and desires will do wonders for the teenage boys of the church. Instead of repressing these feelings and desires, they should learn to act on them ethically and responsibly.

IFB preachers like Gray  take viral teenage boys and turn them into eunuchs. Don’t look, don’t touch, don’t masturbate, don’t look at scantily clad women on the TV or internet. These boys are treated like toddlers and they grow up to be infantile men.

By his own admission, Gray has a problem keeping his thoughts pure. Whose to blame for this? Women. Instead of accepting responsibility for his lustful thoughts, he blames scantily clad women. Gray’s an old man now, surely he can contain himself when he see an attractive young woman? Evidently not.

Once I left Evangelicalism and its Puritanical, oppressive, against human nature, sexuality, I no longer feared what looking at an attractive woman might do to me. I can now enjoy the beauty without turning into the beast. As my wife has told me many times, you can look, but don’t touch. I am confident that I can handle my sexuality and I know many of the men who read this blog would say the same. Once freed from the infantile, emasculating rules of the IFB church, we are now free to be the sexual beings we are meant to me.

Church Dinners: I’ll Have a Side of Botulism with my Chicken

church potluck

The First Church of Poo Potluck Dinner

Having spent 50 years in the Christian church, it is safe to say that I have eaten at a lot of church dinners and potlucks. Hundreds of them, I suppose. Churches are notorious for poor food handling practices at church dinners. A recent botulism outbreak at Cross Pointe Freewill Baptist Church in Lancaster, Ohio provides a good example of this. According to WCPO: (link no longer active)

 Heath officials said Wednesday they are working to determine which food from a church potluck might have caused a suspected botulism outbreak that left one person dead and 23 others sick.

Doctors and officials said at a news conference Wednesday that health workers are interviewing those who attended the Sunday potluck at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster to determine what might have caused the outbreak. Lancaster is about two hours east of Cincinnati.

Fairfield Medical Center announced Tuesday that one woman had died of the suspected illness and at least 18 were sickened. The number of ill rose to 23 Wednesday.

Dr. Mark Aebi with Fairfield County Health said health officials are collecting samples from the church’s trash bin for leads. They’re also going into homes to test samples of homemade canned items that were used for some of the dishes at the potluck…

…Doctors are also confident the illness is specific to those who attended the potluck, not a communitywide outbreak.

“Every person that we’ve seen was at this potluck,” Murry said.

About 50 to 60 people attended the potluck. Doctors said those who attended the event but have not displayed symptoms should be watched closely for the next 10 days…

One dead and twenty-three sick. Since God is the giver and taker of life, he must be upset over Sister Maybelle bringing a new casserole instead of God’s favorite green bean, mushroom soup, fake onion rings on top casserole. I am not making light of this tragedy, but its irony is not lost one me. A sovereign God kills a faithful, church going women, using poison as the means of death.

I learned early on, thanks to a background in restaurant management, to avoid most of the food at a church dinner. Since I visited in the homes of every church member, I knew how sanitary their home was. I’ve known some real pigs in my time. I wouldn’t eat food cooked by them even if I hadn’t eaten in a week.

One woman, by far the grossest church member I ever pastored, would bring dishes to church dinners that no one would eat. Finally, she started bring unopened processed goods like potato chips and cookies. One time, this woman gave a traveling Evangelist a 10# bag of potatoes. A few days later, the Evangelist spotted several cockroaches in their pristine travel trailer. When they told me who gave them the potatoes, I laughed, knowing exactly where the roaches came from. This particular family lived in squalor. The house was infested with roaches. You could literally see them crawling on the walls, furniture, and kitchen counter. From stem to stern, the house was littered with unwashed clothing and trash. The wringer washer, which they never used to wash clothing,  was filled with dirty dishes. When they needed something to wear, they would just grab something off the floor and put it on.

As a young, naïve pastor, I had a sincere desire to help this family improve their living standard. I talked a group of church women into cleaning up their home. I think seven women volunteered to help. In one day, they hauled dozens of large trash bags out of the home, stacking the bags in the back yard. After they were done for the day, they gave me a full report of what they had seen. As bad as I thought the house was, it was even worse. After the women were done for the day, I drove by the house. I was curious to see Mount TrashMore. As I slowly drove by the home, I noticed the couple was going through the bags and carrying stuff back into the house. When one church woman pleaded with me, please preacher, don’t make us go back to that house, I told her that no one had to go back. (not that I think I could have successfully made them go back)

In 2005, I was the guest speaker for a Valentines Banquet at a pastor friend’s church. Church members had made various dishes and desserts for the meal that followed my sermon. I noticed that the food had sat out for a long time, cooling well below a safe temperature. I carefully chose foods I knew wouldn’t make me sick. A few days later, this pastor called to let me know that many of people who attended the banquet came down with the flu. He wanted to know if I was was sick. Of course not. I have enough sense not to eat lukewarm food and rood temperatures dishes that should have been refrigerated.The flu they were experiencing was actually a visitation from the food poisoning God.

Our family, for a short time, attended a Southern Baptist church in Michigan. This church was quite dysfunctional. The aged pastor refused to make any decision that the church did not first vote to approve. When Polly and I offered to give the church a new refrigerator, the pastor refused to say YES until the church had voted on it. Fortunately, the church accepted our donation, replacing an antiquated, unsafe refrigerator with a newer one.

The church building had a horrific smell in the kitchen. No one seemed to care about the smell, so I decided I would track down the causel. I determined that the smell was emanating from the stove. Every time I turned on the stove the smell got worse. I tore the stove apart and found that a mouse had been electrocuted and was slowly decomposing. Every time someone turned on the stove they were re-cooking the mouse carcass. I scraped the mouse off the electrical connection and threw away some of the stove’s insulation. Bingo, no more smell.

This was the same church where I saw the pastor’s wife use her homemade grape juice for communion. The first time I took a sip, I realized that her home canned juice had fermented. I later threw out the grape juice and replaced it with the grape juice approved by Baptists everywhere, Welch’s grape juice. This church had a fellowship dinner once a month. I noticed that the pastor’s wife always brought a ham. She would use a particular knife to carve the ham and, I kid you not, wrap the knife in foil and put it in the fridge for later use. I am not talking later use as in an hour later. She used the same dirty knife month after month.

In one church, we had a women who loved to “bless” us with home canned goods. She’d bring us canned goods, including canned deer meat, that had been in her cellar for years. While we always graciously accepted the food, once she left our home we threw the food away. As avid canners, Polly and I know the importance of following strict food safety procedures. We also know that it is a bad idea to eat food that was canned five years ago. Often, when people gave us food from their cellar, it wasn’t so much  hey let’s help out the preacher and his big family  as it was getting rid of excess canned goods. I can’t begin to tell you how many times a church member gave our family food with an expired use by date. They wouldn’t eat it, but it should be good enough for the preacher’s kids, right?

I have a lot of stories I could tell, but these I have told should go a long way in helping readers understand my aversion to church dinners. I passed this aversion on to my children. Whether it is a church dinner, family dinner, or a community supper, unless the food is hot I won’t touch it. I’ve taken too many food safety classes, knowing that lukewarm food can be deadly. I also want to know who made the dish. If Polly, my mother in law, or one of my children made the dish, I am comfortable with eating it. Hundreds of church dinners and viewing poor food safety has turned me into a food snob. I don’t outwardly show my snobbery. Usually, I make an excuse for why I can’t eat this or that. This excuse making has served me well and kept me out the bathroom.

I am sure my children will laugh as they read this post. They fondly remember their father walking along the dinner line with their mother and me asking with a whispered voice, who made this? I have one son that will eat anything put in front of him. The rest of my children have, to some degree, their father’s food phobia. My next to oldest son is a great cook, often rivaling his mother’s gourmet cooking. Years ago, he worked for Burger King. Like me, he has taken food safety classes. He is very picky about what he will eat.

Food that is properly cooked to the correct temperature and served hot will rarely cause food poisoning. The same goes for refrigerated food. Both our freezer and refrigerator have thermometers. I make sure our food is kept at a safe temperature. My kids know that after a family dinner is over  Dad is the first one to the kitchen, quickly putting away the food. Call it a phobia or just being cautious, I will not eat food that has not been handled properly. More than once I have called the heath department and reported restaurants who were engaging in improper food safety practices.

I could write another post on the gross, sickening things I’ve seen in the restaurants I managed, but I will save that for another day. Well, let me give you one. Bruce asks, Hey Bob, how long has the chicken been sitting in an uncovered pan in the walk-in?  Bob replies, oh about three weeks. Yeah…this restaurant was so dirty that I quit the job after one day. Good paying job, but I told the area supervisor that the store would have to be closed down for several days so I could properly clean it. They weren’t going to do that…there’s money to be made, even if it puts the customer at risk.

Should a Christian Attend a Same-Sex Wedding?

same sex marriage 3

As the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage looms on the horizon, Evangelicals have taken to asking and answering the question, should a Christian attend a same-sex marriage?   Here’s what  Bryan Fischer, chief shit-stirrer for the American Family Association (AFA), had to say:

Should Christians Go to a Gay Wedding?

The short answer is “No.”

…Why should a Christian politely decline to attend a homosexual wedding? For exactly the same reason a Christian baker should politely decline to bake a gay wedding cake. It sends a message of affirmation for something God has plainly condemned.

A wedding is a celebration. Guests are there to rejoice with and congratulate the couple. Their presence represents approval.

Approving of homosexual “marriage” in any way, shape or form is one thing no sincerely devoted follower of Christ can do. This is simply because a homosexual “marriage” is based on a sex act the Bible uniformly condemns from beginning to end as immoral, unnatural and unhealthy.

Homosexual “marriage” is a sham and a counterfeit. In reality, there is no such thing as a homosexual “marriage,” since God has defined marriage from the dawn of time as the union of one man and one woman. Jesus reaffirmed God’s definition of marriage with words that came from his own lips during his incarnation.

You can call a homosexual union a “marriage” if you choose, you can even write it into law, the Supreme Court can even tyrannically impose it on an entire nation, but calling it a “marriage” doesn’t make it one…

…The research done by the CDC – not a part of the vast, right-wing conspiracy – has plainly shown that homosexual behavior among men is a greater risk to human health even than intravenous drug abuse. (Roughly 65% of all males who have even been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS contracted it through having sex with other men, while 25% contracted through IV drug use.)

To use a stark but appropriate parallel, ask yourself this question: if a friend decided to open up a shooter’s shop, a drug den where folks could go and inject themselves in a warm, inviting atmosphere, could you attend the open house and celebrate the grand opening?

(One can understand that a parent might attend a same-sex ceremony in an effort to retain some relational connection with a much-loved but wayward child. But a parent should only do that after first communicating that attendance should not be read as approval.)

Is a refusal to attend a same-sex wedding of a friend or family member an act of hate? No, on the contrary it is an act of love. Genuine compassion says, “I love you too much to give my approval to behavior that will damage you in body, soul and spirit. It is because I love you that I cannot come.”

Sometimes love means we must say “No.” And saying “No” to attending a gay “wedding” is one of those times.

First it was wedding cake, now it is the ceremony. Evangelicals continue to find various ways to frame their objection to homosexuality and same-sex marriage, hiding the fact that the real issue is their hypocrisy, bigotry, and homophobia.

Consider that most of the heterosexual couples who walk down the aisle of an Evangelical church are not virgins. The Bible has a lot to say about fornication, yet I don’t see Evangelicals boycotting heterosexual marriage ceremonies. Divorced church members, having met a wonderful Christian person, have marriage ceremonies at the local Evangelical church, yet I don’t see Evangelicals boycotting these marriage ceremonies. Surely, they know what the Bible says about divorce? Many of these remarrying divorcees, according to the Bible anyway, are adulterers. Not only are they living in sin, the Bible says such people will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The truth is, there is one sin above all sins in the Evangelical church and that is the sin of homosexuality. In the eyes of people like Bryan Fischer, homosexuals are unsaved, vile sinners who, according to Romans 1, have been given over to a reprobate mind. There is, in their mind, no such thing as a Christian homosexual.

What is it that makes homosexuality a sin? Surely it can’t be same-sex attraction? I think the Bible is clear that God judges us on our actions not our desires and thoughts. If the homosexual is judged a sinner just because they admit they are attracted to the same-sex, wouldn’t any Evangelical who has a weakness for donuts be considered a glutton because they walk down the snack and pastry aisle and long to feast on pastries? Even though they refrain from actually giving in to their donut desire, are they a glutton just because they admit they have a love for pastries? I know, silly, but this is the logic being used by those Evangelicals who, because of a person’s admitted desire, determine the homosexual is a sinner.

What makes one a fornicator or an adulterer? Most Evangelicals would say, the illicit sex act. And I think that this is THE issue for many Evangelicals; the very thought of a same-sex couple having sex disgusts them. Generally, the disgust is greater for same-sex male couples than it is for same-sex female couples. Why is this?

Heterosexual Evangelical men have a hard time understanding two men having sex, whereas two or more women having sex is their secret fantasy. This reflects the hypocrisy of the Christian culture when it comes to sex in general. Let a male school teacher have sex with a sixteen year old student and the teacher is charged with statutory rape. Yet, when a 16-year-old boy has sex with a female school teacher, it is often considered every teenage boy’s dream.  I know it was mine years ago when I had a hot student teacher. When she taught, she had every boys attention.

Male homosexuals tend to have sex one of two ways: orally or anally. If the Evangelical says that it is the sex act that makes one a reprobate homosexual, then they have a real problem on their hands. Heterosexual couples also have oral and anal sex. Are they sinning against God? Some churches and pastors, seeing this as a glaring contradiction, consider anal and oral sex a sin. According to them, God gave man a penis and woman a vagina; one meant to be inserted in the other.

Bryan Fischer, like many of his ilk, argues that homosexual sex puts a person a greater risk health-wise. However, couldn’t that be said of most any human behavior? I don’t see Fischer decrying overeating at church picnics. Surely, he knows that overeating can result in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, right?  Far more Evangelicals die of these diseases than homosexuals with HIV. The same goes for sexually transmitted diseases. Far more Evangelicals get STD’s than do homosexuals or same-sex couples. Why no outrage about the Christian church’s STD crisis?

An Evangelicals refusal to attend a gay friend or family members same-sex marriage has nothing to do with standing firm on the Word of God. As I have shown in this post, Evangelicals routinely ignore sinful behaviors among their own. The are the textbook definition of a hypocrite. The only reason an Evangelical refuses to attend a same-sex marriage is because they are a hateful bigot. Going to the wedding is not going to cause God to strike the Evangelical dead. Western civilization will not collapse if they attend a same-sex wedding. The Evangelical doesn’t have to change their beliefs in order to attend. Outside of the ceremonial kiss, there is nothing in a same-sex marriage that is different from a heterosexual wedding.

The Evangelical church has a huge PR problem on its hands. Their opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion, and birth control have presented the American public with a picture of hate. Ask the non-Evangelical what they think of Evangelicalism and they will likely say that Evangelicals are judgmental and hateful. If the goal is to win people to Jesus and increase their numbers, Evangelicals are failing miserably. As our culture continues to evolve on issues like homosexuality, Evangelicals are relegated to the fringe, a place usually reserved for nut jobs and cults. Is this really how Evangelicals want to be perceived? If not, then quit with all the whining about same-sex marriage. Yes, the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, but Evangelicals are capable of looking past a variety of sins in order to show love and support to their non-Christian family and friends.

One Million Moms Offended Over Old Woman Flashing Her Husband in Taco Bell Commercial

taco bell

Have you seen the new Taco Bell commercial featuring an old couple sitting in a car eating Taco Bell’s newest addition to their menu, the Chipolte Chickstar? If not: (video no longer available)

As a man who has been married almost 37 years, I found the commercial to be quite funny. Unfortunately, sexually frustrated Monica Cole and her One Millon Moms (OMM) horde did not. In today’s OMM newsletter, Cole wrote:

Taco Bell is following a trend in crude commercials. While a few fast food restaurants are cleaning up their ads, Taco Bell decided to air a new ad named “Flash” to advertise Chickstars.

The ad shows an elderly couple eating Chickstars in their car when the woman lifts up her shirt, implying she is showing her bare chest to the man. Showing a female flashing a man during a television commercial is completely inappropriate. This act has nothing to do with the food product.

Even if the couple is supposed to be married, this ad is in poor taste. It would be something children would duplicate. Everyone knows children repeat what they see. This disgusting advertisement is airing during prime time when children are likely watching.

Ah yes, coming soon to a neighborhood near you, an outbreak of young girls flashing boys. Does Cole really think that a thirty-second Taco Bell commercial will cause young girls to lift up their shirt and expose themselves? I thought girls had to have a cellphone to do that?  Doesn’t she know that girls usually wait to Mardi Gras to do act in such a decadent, immoral way. Why, if this commercial isn’t immediately taken off the air, soon America will be flooded with Girls Gone Wild videos of young children running around half-naked. In my generation these were called home movies.

As always, Monica Cole and One Million Moms has provided free advertising for a major corporation. OMM members will dutifully express their outrage in letters to Taco Bell and in a few weeks there will be some other offense to wage war against. And the rest of us will continue to mock and ridicule their petty, puritanical look at the world.

As a normal heterosexual male, I’d love for my wife to flash me in a Taco Bell parking lot. Or a McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Arby’s, Jack in the Box, or Carl Jr, parking lot. As Jon Stewart would say, DAMN YOU Taco Bell. Thanks to your commercial, all I can think of is my wife flashing me.

Jesus Loves the Little Children, All the Children of the World

jesus loves the little children

Snark and humor ahead

For those of us who grew up in the Evangelical church, we likely sang Jesus Loves the Little Children in Sunday school or junior church. The song goes something like this:

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red & yellow,black & white
they’re precious in his sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Jesus cares for all the children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They’re all precious in His sight
Jesus cares for the children of the world

Jesus came to save the children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They’re all precious in His sight
Jesus came to save the children of the world

Jesus came to save the children of the world

Did you start singing along?  Can’t get it out of your head? Sorry.

According to the Share Faith website, the original lyrics were somewhat different:

Refrain:
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Alternate Refrain:
Jesus died for all the children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus died for all the children of the world.

Jesus calls the children dear,
Come to me and never fear,
For I love the little children of the world;
I will take you by the hand,
Lead you to the better land,
For I love the little children of the world.

Refrain

Jesus is the Shepherd true,
And He’ll always stand by you,
For He loves the little children of the world;
He’s a Savior great and strong,
And He’ll shield you from the wrong,
For He loves the little children of the world.

Refrain

I am coming, Lord, to Thee,
And Your soldier I will be,
For You love the little children of the world;
And Your cross I’ll always bear,
And for You I’ll do and dare,
For You love the little children of the world.

Refrain

Written in the late 1800’s by Christian pastor C Herbert Woolston and put to music by George F. Root, the song is one of the most popular songs in American Christianity. Conspicuously absent from the song is any mention of people with brown skin color. In the late 1800’s, the brown horde from the south had not yet invaded the United States and I suspect Woolston considered brown-skinned people a tan version of white. According to Wikipedia, Jesus Loves the Little Children is sung to Root’s 1864 Civil War tune Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! Here’s the original lyrics for Root’s tune:

First Verse:

In the prison cell I sit,
Thinking Mother dear, of you,
And our bright and happy home so far away,
And the tears they fill my eyes
Spite of all that I can do,
Tho’ I try to cheer my comrades and be gay.

Chorus:

Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are marching,
Cheer up comrades they will come,
And beneath the starry flag
We shall breathe the air again,
Of the freeland in our own beloved home

I suspect if this song was written today it would not include the last line of the verse ‘Tho’ I try to cheer my comrades and be gay.’ But then again, Evangelicals might want to leave the line as is. After all, since it says “be gay” it reinforces their belief that gays choose to be homosexuals.

I’ve heard a rendition of Jesus Loves the Little Children that includes brown in the race jingle, but I found that adding brown to the song made the lyrics clunky.

Calvinists can’t sing Jesus Loves the Little Children due to its heretical Arminian theology.  Perhaps they could change the song to:

Jesus died for all the elect children,
All the elect children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All the elect are precious in His sight,
Jesus died for all the elect children of the world.

To make the song more inclusive, some churches and songbooks replace the ‘Red and yellow, black and white line’ with ‘Ev’ry colour, ev’ry race, all are cover’d by His grace’. Another modern adaptation has a verse that goes like this:

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Fat and skinny, short and tall,
Jesus loves them one and all,

When I was the co-pastor of Community Baptist Church in Elmendorf, Texas, the church and Pat Horner had actually gone through the Baptist Hymnal and corrected the words that were at odds with their Calvinistic theology.  ‘Rescue the perishing’ became “rescued when perishing’. We can’t have Calvinistic Christians rescuing sinners, that’s God’s job.

While Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World is sung regularly in thousands of American Evangelical and Independent Baptist churches, most of the people singing the song are white. Jesus might love red, yellow, black, brown, and white children, but Evangelicals prefer they go elsewhere to church. This is especially so in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church movement.

Originally, this post was meant to be about the whiteness of the Family Research Council (FRC). It morphed into something completely different, but let me finish this posts with a couple of screen shots from FRC’s staff/leadership/team page. These screenshots will visually show what the average Evangelical church looks like:

frc staff

frc leadership team

frc experts

frc team

frc team 2

Walk into the average Evangelical church and this is what you will see. If Evangelicals want to point the finger at one reason for their decline, they should point to the subtle and not so subtle racism that flourishes in its churches. While they pride themselves in being past the days of racist Bob Jones University, their churches still reflect that they are a whites-only club. Missionaries are sent overseas to evangelize the red, yellow, brown, and black, while the most segregated place in America is the local Jesus loving Evangelical, IFB, and Southern Baptist church.

Notes

The funniest music related thing that happened at Community Baptist is when a song leader who was raised on the eastern seaboard decided to sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Some church members refused to stand up and sing the song. Ah yes, the Confederacy lives on!

Yes, I am painting with broad strokes in this post. I am aware of Evangelicals attempts, in some corners of America, to become more racially inclusive. However, most churches and pastors find this hard to do since they know history clearly shows that Jesus was a white man.

Family Research Council Bulletin Insert Promoting Christian One man-One Woman Marriage

The Family Research Council (FRC), part of the hysteria wing of the Republican Party, has published a church bulletin insert (link no longer active) Evangelical churches can use this Sunday to promote Christian heterosexual, one man-one woman marriage. Tony Perkins is the president of FRC and Jerry Boykin is vice president. Need I say more?

family research council

family research council 2

 

What if Right Wingers Win the Same-Sex Marriage Battle?

 

american jesus

Evangelical, Mormon, and Catholic leaders and parachurch groups are in full-blown panic mode as the day the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on same-sex marriage draws near. They rightly understand that if the Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage the culture war at the federal level is over. While there might be state and local battles to be won, on the federal level, the war is over.

Once gays are afforded the same civil rights and constitutional protections as the rest of us, Evangelicals will likely begin telling the faithful that we now live in a post-Christian world. Evangelicals, along with their fellow culture warriors in Catholicism and Mormonism, have lost their favored seat at the cultural table. No longer will appeals to God, the Christian Bible, the Law of God, etc. work. This is lost on those who are running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. From Ted Cruz to John Kasich to Rick Perry to Marco Rubio to well, whoever else is in the clown car, they seem oblivious to the fact that it is not 1950. Waving the U.S. flag and shouting I LOVE JESUS will not garner enough votes to put a Republican in the White House. The same white crackers, Tea Party lunatics, Patriots, and fundamentalist Christians will vote for the Republican nominee, but their ranks are literally dying, unable to attract young adults. Not only are they dying, but they remain a bastion of bigotry and racism. As the United States becomes browner,  the Republican party becomes less relevant. In time, there either will be a huge party split, with the rednecks and the Christian nation crowd starting there own party, or the current Republican Party will be forced to banish the wing nuts and broaden their tent.

Winning the same-sex battle at the federal level would be a big boon to the Republican Party. It will also embolden culture warriors, a reminder to them that God is still on their side. While it will certainly be a huge blow to liberals and supporters of same-sex marriage like myself if we lose, we will live on to fight another day. We know that we are in a generational battle for the future of the United States. Unlike the culture warrior with their five item menu, the liberal knows war must be waged on many fronts. Same-sex marriage is just one of those fronts. We must also work to:

  • Overturn Citizens-United
  • Reform voting and end gerrymandering
  • Turn back state abortion laws that are harmful to women
  • Neuter the military-industrial complex
  • Reign in the security-industrial complex
  • Provide a living wage for all
  • End the assault on evidence-based science
  • Shore up the wall of separation and church
  • Drastically reduce our global environmental footprint
  • Provide young adults with educational opportunities that do not saddle them with decades of debt
  • Rebuild infrastructure before the United States turns into one big pothole
  • End the war on drugs
  • Decriminalize and legalize marijuana use
  • Reestablish law enforcement as peacemakers
  • Empty the prisons of nonviolent offenders, especially those convicted of petty drug crimes
  • End capital punishment
  • Strip corporations of their power and influence over local, state, and federal government

The culture warriors, who overwhelmingly vote Republican, seem to have little interest in the things I’ve mentioned above. Guided by their literalistic interpretation of the Bible and the Constitution, they work to undo the social progress of the last 100 years. In their world, if women returned to the kitchen, gays to the closet, undocumented workers to the country they came from, all would be well. What they want is 1950. They want to return to the era of  McCarthy, a period of time when fundamentalist patriotism and Christianity ruled the roost. They want to return women to the days when they feared pregnancy and feared their husband. They want to return to the days when the hegemony of whites had no challenge. They want to return to the days when the United States had no equal and used its military and economic power to advance an imperialistic agenda.

For these reasons, and many others, I rarely can find common ground to work with Republicans. Their Party is overrun by nuts, cranks, corporate CEO’s, lobbyists and conspiracy theorists. While sane voices can be found on the left fringe of the Republican Party, their numbers are few and they seem unable to make their voice heard. When Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Jon Huntsman are your party’s voice of reason, you have a big problem on your hands. While I am willing to compromise and work towards a common good, I find it impossible to work with people who think that every social and political change is a threat to America, Christianity, and the American way of life. When the discussions starts with abortion is murder or America is nation chosen by God, it’s hard to find common ground. Truth is, I’d probably find more common ground in an insane asylum than I would some corners of the Republican Party.

The issues I have mentioned in this post provide readers with a glimpse into my politics and how I view the world. The aforementioned positions are not a complete list, but it does show readers the issues that I think are most important.

This post should not be taken as an endorsement of the Democratic Party. I am increasingly unhappy with Party and President Obama. Some days, I think both political parties are the same, especially when it comes to how corporations and money influence their decisions.

Same-Sex Marriage: Will God Answer the Prayers of the American Family Association?

protecting the sanctity of marriage

 Warning! You may feel nauseous after reading this.

The American Family Association (AFA) sent out a newsletter today reminding pastors and church members of the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court deliberations on same sex marriage. Here’s an excerpt from the newsletter:

As hard as it is to believe, nine people will decide if our nation will honor God and obey Him, or turn its back on the most fundamental building block of society and on God himself.

This will be the most important decision in the history of America.

I don’t have to tell you, the consequences this decision could have on people of faith is staggering. As you know, private business owners have already come under great pressure to surrender their religious liberty and provide services to same-sex marriages. It would only be a matter of time before pastors and churches would be coerced to do the same.

As Christians, we know that prayer has changed the hearts of leaders and the course of nations. Never before has the need to pray been so critical to the future of our country.

Sign the I Will Pray pledge right now and let us know you will be praying with us.

Join me and millions of others in prayer, starting today.

I thought the Supreme Court’s job was to determine the constitutionality of our laws? Evidently, AFA sees the Court as the legal wing of the Evangelical party.

same sex marriage

The AFA newsletter includes a sermon for pastors to preach this Sunday:

TWO Becoming ONE:  What a Journey!
Genesis 2:19-25

Introduction: Adrian Rogers– “Man is far superior than woman, at being a man.  Woman is far superior than man, at being a woman.”  The differences are amazing and natural.

  • Adam didn’t find a mate suitable for him when he named all the animals.
  • Beastiality (sp) is not God’s Design
  • God made a woman for Adam, not another man.
  • Homosexuality is not God’s design.
  • God made one woman for Adam, not two women.
  • Polygamy is not God’s design.

I.  The Position of Two Ephesians 5:23 “….the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the Church…”

A.  Physically (I Peter 3:7) “Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor….

  1. Men are the provider and the protector (Physically stronger)
  2. Women are the nurturers (Physically softer)

B.  Forcefulness

  1. He has more energy.  (Hare)  “Pointman” “Trailblazer”
  2. She has more durability.  (Tortoise)  “Support”  “Supply”

II.  The Disposition of the TWO Song of Solomon (3:1-4, 4:1-5)

A.  In the Relationship

  1. The man is the gardener.
  2. The woman is the nurturer.
  3. Men respond to physical sight.
  4. Women respond to romance.

B. In the Reception (of information)

  1. Men primarily use the left hemisphere of the brain, Which controls logic, reasoning, and calculation. Women use both hemispheres (right side deals with Feeling, emotion, sympathy, love, intuition.)
  2. Women are spider-web thinkers–thinking like a Radar.  Men are step-by-step thinkers–thinking like a computer.

III. The Communication of the TWO

A.  With Information

  1. Women speak in code.  (I Peter 3:7)  “understanding”
  2. Men speak in reports.

B. With Passion Eph. 5:33–“To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as Himself, and the wife is to respect her husband”

  1. The deepest need of the woman is romance. “cherished” (to be loved)
  2. The deepest need of a man is admiration. (respect)

Conclusion:

  • God made us different that He might makes us one.
  • God made both man and woman in need of a Saviour.  We are not only husband and wife, but because of the blood of Christ we can be forgiven and spiritually cleansed and because of that we can also be brother and sister in Christ.

same sex marriage 2

The newsletter also includes four prayers for churches to use. Here’s two of the prayers:

PRAYER ONE

Heavenly Father, we know that you designed marriage. You created it and you defined it as the union of one man and one woman. You are the one who said, “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” As our Supreme Court deliberates over the issue of marriage, we pray that you will cause your truth about marriage to resonate in their hearts and minds. We pray that you, by your Spirit, will remind them of your truth, guide them in their thinking, and warn them of the danger of turning their backs on your eternal word.We pray that you, by your Spirit, will remind every elected official and every man, woman and child in our land of your standard for marriage. Cause us all to tremble at the thought that we might reject you and your word to our own harm. Please prompt the justices of our Supreme Court to reflect on your word and to align their ruling with your abiding truth. This we pray in the name of Jesus, amen.

PRAYER TWO

Heavenly Father, we are reminded of what your Son taught us about marriage, when he said,“He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said,‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’” We pray together that as the justices of the Supreme Court consider the issue of marriage, your Spirit will be at work to cause the words of your Son to penetrate deeply into their hearts and minds, so that their deliberations will be guided  not just by the Constitution and the law but by your abiding standards of right and wrong. Grant them a deep awareness that you and you alone are God.Our Founders sought to conform our public policy as a nation to the “laws of nature and nature’s God.” We know, Father, that man-woman marriage is prescribed by the laws of nature and even more importantly is prescribed by your eternal law. Please guide the deliberations of our Supreme Court so that they will be prompted by your Spirit to conform the law of our land to your law as our God. In the name of Jesus, amen.

As you can see, the AFA sermon and prayers are laced with fundamentalist and theocratic verbiage. It will be interesting to see how the U.S. Supreme Court decides the issue of same-sex marriage. It will even be more interesting to see how Evangelicals and Catholics respond if the Court rejects their demands for biblical law and instead affirms that same-sex couples have the right to marry. Think of all the sermons that will be preached and prayers that will be prayed. If God doesn’t come through, groups like the AFA will blame the liberals on the Court, atheists, secularists, and Satan. Surely their God is bigger than all of these, yes?  Here’s what they’ll never do; they will never look inward and consider that maybe God didn’t answer their prayers because they are bigoted, hateful people who want to deny gays the same civil rights they have.

Songs of Sacrilege: I Am Going to Hell for This One by NOFX

This is the twentieth 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 I Am Going to Hell for This One by NOFX, “an American punk rock band from Berkeley, California.”

Video Link

Lyrics

Jesus Christ will resurrect
He’s got his BMI royalty to collect
He’s not the white
Fragile hippie
He looks and acts more like
an indignant Ice-T

Jesus Christ is coming back
He wants to kick Mel Gibsons ass
Superstar, The Passion of
He wants his money not your love

He’s been kickin 2000 years
He’s fixed a lot sports
And drank a million beers

Some x-tasy, A thin white line
He says designer drugs
Beat the hell out of wine

Jesus Christ on vacation
Spreading massive religion
“Sex and drugs, we abstain”

He thinks Christians are insane
They don’t know love,
they know fear and moral hauteur
Scare tactics I never taught
“If you’re gonna look to me,
better get rose coloured shades,
Cuz what you see is what you get”

Songs of Sacrilege: First Baptist Bar and Grill by Tim Wilson

This is the nineteenth 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 First Baptist Bar and Grill  by the late Tim Wilson, “an American stand-up comedian and country music artist, whose act combined stand-up comedy and original songs.

Video Link

Lyrics

what Pentecost Baptist was gonna do
the Sunday brimstone got so dadgum hot
it burned up a church bus in the parkin’ lot

In a panic the reverend Dr. White
called up an ex-member that hadn’t lived right
he owned Joe’s beer joint right across the fence
it’s the same Joe’s he’d preached against…

He said, “I don’t really want to be a hypocrite,
but I got a Sunday school class about to have fits.
We’re all excited about revival week,
and moved by the spirit, so to speak.

With all the souls we saved and money we spent,
we thought God told us to sell that tent…
I got a famous evangelist supposed to come
and done run out of chairs, will you loan us some?”

Joe says, “Well you can just use the whole dang place…
A-9 on the jukebox is “Amazing Grace”
I ain’t supposed to open because of them ‘blue laws’
but I’ll open tonight if it’s alright with y’all.”

Preacher said, “Well, I reckon it’d be OK,
the good Lord works in mysterious ways.
I was gonna talk about Joshua, Judges and Ruth
and I reckon I could do it from the DJ booth.”

At the First Baptist Bar and Grill
it’s the only church in the bible belt
that smells like a whiskey still…
when the sinners finish one more round,
we’ll have dinner on the ground,
then go inside and pray we don’t get killed.

The evangelist came with a well-dressed choir,
they showed up around happy hour,
looked around the joint and didn’t take it real well…
said, “The White ministry has gone to hell”

Ms. Mills that taught youth Sunday school
and two deacons in the back room shootin’ pool
were sharin’ the Lord with a Jim Beam rep
who was teachin’ Ms. Mills some line dance steps…

Reverend White was readin’ from the book of Luke
to a tall, drunk trucker about to puke
he had John 3:16 memorized
tryin’ to dry him out to get him baptized…

The evangelist yelled about the lights and the beer
said, “White, you can’t save any souls in here…
this place ain’t nothin’ but a den of sin…
ain’t the kind of place Baptists ought to be in!”

Preacher said, “Well we don’t really need y’all here
You didn’t do a very good job last year,
you only saved one sinner, that’s Todd McGuire,
the little SOB that set my church on fire!”

“Joe’s beer joint has done been revived,
only been here an hour, and I done saved five.
Sure, it’s got mirrors and a big dance floor,
but I finally found the flock God called me for.”

They’re at the First Baptist Bar and Grill
it’s the only church in the bible belt that smells like a whisky still not a stained glass window anywhere in site,
just a blood-stained floor and neon lights,
and the communion wine in here is always chilled.

We’re here every Sunday; we’re livin’ large;
We’re the only church with a cover charge.
And if you don’t like our doctrine and think we ain’t devout,
we’ll have our bouncer throw your butt out …
of the First Baptist Bar and Grill

(amen sister!)

%d bloggers like this: