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Tag: Evangelicalism

The Tullian and Kim Tchividjian Sex Scandal, A Reminder That Pastors are Just like the Rest of Us

tullian and kim tchividjian
Tullian and Kim Tchividjian

Another big name Evangelical pastor has resigned over having a sexual affair. Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin), grandson of Billy Graham and pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, resigned after his affair became public. Tchividjian released the following statement to The Washington Post:

“I resigned from my position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church today due to ongoing marital issues. As many of you know, I returned from a trip a few months back and discovered that my wife was having an affair. Heartbroken and devastated, I informed our church leadership and requested a sabbatical to focus exclusively on my marriage and family. As her affair continued, we separated. Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself. Last week I was approached by our church leaders and they asked me about my own affair. I admitted to it and it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to resign. Both my wife and I are heartbroken over our actions and we ask you to pray for us and our family that God would give us the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm. We are amazingly grateful for the team of men and women who are committed to walking this difficult path with us. Please pray for the healing of deep wounds and we kindly ask that you respect our privacy.”

After the release of her husband’s statement, Kim Tchividjian sent the following message to The Post:

“The statement reflected my husband’s opinions but not my own. Please respect the privacy of my family at this time, thank you. I do thank everyone for the outpouring of love for my family as well during this difficult time and we appreciate all the prayers and support we are receiving.”

In 2009, Tullian Tchividjian  assumed the pastorate of Coral Ridge, a church pastored for decades by culture warrior D. James Kennedy. At the time, Christianity Today published a feature story about the strange appointment of Tchividjian to replace Kennedy:

…For decades, another Presbyterian church in South Florida pressed to win the culture for Christ. Coral Ridge, once led by D. James Kennedy, is 12 miles away from New City in Fort Lauderdale. Once visited by as many as 7,000 on Sunday mornings, Coral Ridge shrunk to 1,400–1,500 regular attendees as Kennedy’s attention turned to national politics. Kennedy last preached on Christmas Eve 2006, and suffered cardiac arrest four days later. He died September 5, 2007, and the church’s leaders searched far and wide for a new senior pastor.

No culture warrior himself, Tchividjian seemed like an unnatural replacement for Kennedy. Yet in January 2009, Coral Ridge and New City proposed a dramatic plan: If the two churches could agree to merge, Tchividjian would become the senior pastor. If not, he would happily remain the pastor of New City. As the churches completed their merger March 15, Tchividjian inherited a high-profile opportunity to work out his vision for an unfashionable church.

Though Tchividjian had never preached at Coral Ridge before March, he was no stranger to its congregation. He hosts a monthly radio program on its radio station, has spoken on numerous occasions at the Kennedy-founded Knox Theological Seminary, and attended Coral Ridge’s private school, Westminster Academy, when his family moved to South Florida in the late 1970s. For a time they even worshiped at Coral Ridge. Once the fastest growing Presbyterian church in the country, Coral Ridge welcomed Billy Graham to dedicate its gorgeous campus in 1974…

…But unlike many others who emphasize this universal dimension, Tchividjian cares little for political life. Millions of dollars dumped into Florida during the past three presidential campaigns have numbed him to politics. Like other young evangelicals, he’s reacting against the overemphasis of the Religious Right, which has precious little to show for extraordinary efforts. Yet Tchividjian does expect that his weekly scriptural expositions will help Christians understand their cultural, social, and political obligations, including how they will vote. And he does not shy away from speaking directly about social issues clearly addressed by Scripture, such as abortion, which he called the “Holocaust of our generation.” Nevertheless, he believes politics reflects, and does not direct, cultural trends.

“For a long time now, I’ve been convinced that what happens in New York (finance), Hollywood (entertainment), Silicon Valley (technology), and Miami (fashion) has a far greater impact on how our culture thinks about reality than what happens in Washington, D.C. (politics),” he writes in Unfashionable. “It’s super important for us to understand that politics are reflective, not directive. That is, the political arena is the place where policies are made which reflect the values of our culture—the habits of heart and mind—that are being shaped by these other, more strategic arenas.”

Unlike the Religious Right’s founders, Tchividjian preaches little about winning the culture wars. Like his grandfather, he believes that focusing on the gospel will reap the reward of faithful church practice, an appealing apologetic in a skeptical age. Now as senior minister of Coral Ridge, he takes this message into one of America’s most prestigious pulpits.

According to Washington Post, a significant number of Coral Ridge members did not like Tchividjian’s approach to the Evangelical culture war and tried to unseat him:

Before he became senior pastor of the Fort Lauderdale congregation, Tchividjian’s church plant, New City, merged with the larger Coral Ridge. Seven months in, a group of church members, headed by Kennedy’s daughter, circulated a petition calling for his removal. Church members voted 69 percent to 31 percent to keep him, but a group of congregants formed a new church in response.

I know, nothing new here.

You have a one time famous Evangelical church that is in serious numerical decline. They bring in a big name preacher to fix what ails them. When some members don’t like the cure they attempt to remove the pastor, and when this fails they abandon the church and start a new one. And all of this is done because God is leading and directing.

Behind closed doors, the famous grandson of Billy Graham is having marital problems. His wife seeks out the comfort and support of another man and he does the same. How many times have we seen this movie? Same plot, different actors. What remains to be seen is whether the Phoenix will rise again. My money is on Tchividjian surviving putting his penis in a non-approved receptacle. The same goes for Kim Tchividjian. The heart wants what the heart wants, and only in the alternate universe of Evangelicalism do people fail to understand this.

I pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years. Men of God seeking out the comfort of a woman not their wife is common. Less common is a pastor’s wife doing the same. Usually, the pastor’s wife is left to endure the indignities heaped upon her by her skirt-chasing husband. It’s somewhat refreshing to see a pastor’s wife doing what has long been the provenance of God’s chosen ones. Progress? Equal opportunity philandering?

Evangelical pastors, Tullian Tchividjian included, have spent the last five decades riding a high horse on the range of moral superiority. Before the internet, clergy sex scandals rarely made the news. Sure there were whispers, but most vow-breaking Evangelical clergymen survived the scandal and continued to pretend they met the ministerial qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3. Thanks to the internet and smartphones, this is no longer the case. It is not IF a pastor will be found out but WHEN. (and I know of NO pastor who meets the qualifications set forth by the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 3 and the book of Titus)

shane and morgan idleman
Shane and Morgan Idleman

It’s time for Evangelical pastors to admit that there is no difference between them and any other man. Not that every man has an affair, but every man (and woman) can, in the right circumstance, break their marital vows. Why is it that Evangelical pastors refuse to admit this? Take Shane Idleman, pastor of WestSide Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California. Idleman thinks Tullian Tchividjian’s run from grace is due to:

Within weeks, two of my heroes have fallen from grace, and some of my friends in pastoral ministry have taken detours in their destiny as well. Moral failings among leaders are becoming an epidemic. No one is beyond the reach of Satan’s grasp. Although I’m disappointed, my faith is not shaken because only Christ should be placed on a pedestal.

Why do they fall? They fall for the same reason that all Christians fall. Each of us are drawn away by our own evil desires and enticed. When these desires are acted upon, they lead to sin (cf. James 1:14-15)…

Consider the following ways that sin gains entrance:

1. “It will never happen to me.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 reminds us that if we think that we are standing firm, we should be careful that we don’t fall. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Pride says, “I’ve never committed adultery. It will never happen to me.”…

2. I’m “too busy.” We are all susceptible to putting God second and ministry first. If we’re too busy to cultivate a prayer life that places God first—we’re too busy. Men would live better if they prayed better…

3. Holiness is compromised. The enemy attempts to draw us away from God’s holy standard… Of all the attributes of God described in the Bible, holiness is seen most often. Holiness is a vital weapon of defense against the enemies attack (cf. Ephesians 6:14). But holiness must come from brokenness and humility not legalism. A low view of holiness always damages morality…we rationalize instead of repent. I’m convinced that today’s media plays a significant role in the decline of holiness. Sadly, hollywood, not the Holy Spirit, influences many. We cannot fill our mind with darkness all week and expect the light of Christ to shine in our lives.

4. Many build unhealthy relationships with the opposite sex. We must be on high alert in this area and have tremendous steps of accountability in place. The devil doesn’t show those involved in counseling appointments, inner office meetings, and private “fellowship” the pain and anguish and the years of regret that moral failure brings; he deceives them with a false sense of freedom in ministry…that we are simply “helping” the other person. If you are married and attracted to another person, or if the potential is there, take steps now and remove yourself from the environment. Adultery begins with small compromises. We’re often too smart to take deliberate plunges, but we’re easily enticed to take one step at a time, one compromise at a time, one bad choice at a time until we’re at the bottom. Don’t fight sexual desires; don’t entertain them…flee (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18).

5. We fail to strengthen weak areas. The demands of life often tempt us to seek gratification in alcohol and other things. We must be on high alert. The enemy uses “opportune times” to draw us away from God. (cf. Luke 4:13.) The line is so thin that it is often hard to determine when we cross over. Weak areas such as drugs, alcohol, pain meds, sex, anger, marriage issues, and so on are “opportune times” for the enemy to strike. We must expose these areas through repentance, and install safeguards and accountability. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. (As a sidenote, depression and anxiety can work against us as well. Much can be done to safeguards these areas too…

6. Accountability is often breached or minimized. Accountability is a safeguard, but its not bullet-proof. Accountability, by itself, doesn’t work—it’s not realistic to ask others to hold you accountable. Your heart must be focused on honoring God’s Word. Accountability simply adds another level of security in the battle against sin…

I also have accountability software that sends all websites visited to my wife’s email every week. This is a major deterrent and it makes me very conscious of even seemingly innocent sites. To some, this may seem extreme, but we need to be armed for the enemy who steals, kills, and destroys. The greater our influence, the greater the need for accountability: spiritually, financially, and relationally.

7. Loneliness becomes an excuse. Ministry is hard and can easily take it’s toll. Feeling a sense of entitlement if often the beginning of justifying wrong choices. We can easily become jealous and judgmental of those who seem to have “all the fun.”…

In closing, if you are on the cliff or have already fallen, take time now and repent…

Seven points and poem from Idleman only confuse and obfuscate what the real issue is. Forty years ago, a crusty old preacher-professor told the preacher boys at Midwestern Baptist College, the college my wife and I attended in the 1970’s, that a “stiff prick has no conscience.” No need to slather Tullian Tchividjian’s affair with hyper-spiritual blather.  The sexual want, need, and stirring that arose in Tchividjian’s body gave him sufficient warning. Danger Tullian Danger, you want this woman. He chose to act on his desire, as did his wife. While there are certainly contributing factors that led to the affairs, the base reason is the need for sexual fulfillment

Idleman’s article is little more than an attempt to justify the moral failure of his hero.  It’s time for Evangelical pastors and churches to come clean about sexual infidelity in their ranks. ( please see my post Is Clergy Sexual Infidelity Rare?) It’s time to admit that there is no difference between the Evangelical Christian and the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of the world. The moral high ground is a fiction used to prop up House Evangelical. As the light of day continues to shine on the dark secrets of Holy Spirit filled men of God, we should expect to hear of  more and more stories like this one.

Note

I focused on just one aspect of Shane Idleman’s article. There was just too much bullshit to shovel in one post.

Am I the only one who notices that most of these big name Evangelical preachers have hot wives?

I’ve Always Wondered What Bruce Gerencser Looked Like

Yes, this is what it has come to in rural Ohio. *sigh*

Recently, I attended a grandchild’s sporting event and someone asked my son how our last name was pronounced and if he was related to the Gerencser who wrote in the newspaper.

Yes, he’s my Dad.

He sure is opinionated…

All of my children know that they are free to disown me. So far, when put in situations that requires establishing paternity, they have been willing to say the DNA is a match.

The inquisitor in question proceeded to ask if I was at the ballgame and my son said, Yes, he’s over there with the red hat on.

I always wondered what he looked like…

I think local Christians are shocked when they see or meet me. They expect to see

satan
What many local Christians think Bruce Gerencser looks like
Imagine their surprise when they see

bruce gerencser 2015
What Bruce Gerencser really looks likes
Shocking, I know. A political liberal and an atheist that looks like Santa Claus and roots for the Cincinnati Bengals. Little do locals know that under my hat are small, growing horn buds. Just biding my time until Team Satan takes on Team Jesus at the Battle of Armageddon. Until then, what time is the baseball game on?

Overheard in the Break Room: How Some Local Evangelicals View the Josh Duggar Story

josh duggar
Josh, I Barely Touched My Sisters Genitals, Duggar

Overheard at work by Polly, two God fearing Christians discussing Nineteen and Counting and the Josh Duggar scandal:

  1. Josh Duggar was set up
  2. Someone is out to destroy this w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l Christian family
  3. The cops leaked the story
  4. He was ONLY fourteen

Yep, pretty well sums things up. *sigh*

Medical Marijuana and Relieving Pain and Suffering

letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor of the Defiance Crescent-News, submitted on June 14, 2015

Dear Editor,

Rarely a week goes by when there is not a letter to the Editor from a fundamentalist Christian demanding their moral code and peculiar interpretation of the Bible be accepted by all.  Even when they aren’t quoting the Bible or reminding local unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of their impending doom, their letters reflect an addled worldview, one shaped by an ancient book they think offers them unchanging truth. If their beliefs were kept in the church house, non-Christians would care little and hope that one day they would see the light. However, their beliefs are not kept in the church house, and because of this people of science, reason, and common sense must continue to push back as Christian fundamentalists try by legal and political means to force people to live by a worldview that is better suited for the dustbin of human history.

Take a recent letter writer who vehemently opposes legalizing the use of medical marijuana in Ohio. Even though they didn’t mention one Bible verse, their letter dripped with the fundamentalist presupposition that suffering and pain are in some way noble and good for us. Numerous Bible verses would certainly lead one to conclude that suffering and pain have probative value and makes us closer to God and keeps us from clinging too closely to this life. If we buy into this kind of thinking and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, a life after death that is free of suffering and pain awaits us.

Sounds sublime, right? But, what if there is no life after death, no divine payoff for trudging through life suffering for Jesus and enduring pain because it will make us stronger?  What if the only life we have is this one? Well, that changes everything. If this life is it, and I think it is, then we should try to relieve not only our own pain and suffering, but that of others. As a committed humanist, I would never want to withhold from anyone that which would relieve or end their suffering and pain. Whether it is narcotic pain medications, medical marijuana, or physician assisted suicide, I want every human to have at their disposal the means to lessen their suffering and pain.

Any religion that values suffering and pain is one that should be roundly criticized and rejected. And if Jesus were alive today, I suspect he’d agree with me.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio

Yes, I Know Almost Everything

know it all

Yes, I know almost everything about . . .

Christianity

Protestantism

Catholicism, West and East

Western Christianity

American Christianity

Evangelical Christianity

Calvinism

Arminianism

Soteriology

Eschatology

Ecclesiology

Pneumatology

Hermeneutics

Inspiration

Infallibility

Inerrancy

Errors

Contradictions

Variants

How many times do I need to read a book until I know its contents?

I know the Bible from cover to cover

Fifty years in the Christian church

Twenty-five years as a pastor

4,000 sermons

20,000 hours spent reading and studying the Bible

What are you going to tell me that I do not already know?

I am not an atheist because of ignorance, I am an atheist because of knowledge

You believe

I don’t

You have faith

I don’t

Call me a fool

An apostate

A false prophet

But don’t insult me by suggesting that there is something I don’t know about Christianity, God, Jesus, or the Bible, and if I just had THIS knowledge or read THIS book I would then see the light, repent, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Will you “hear” what I have written here?

Of course not

I wish I could test out of this class you think I need to take

Then maybe you will stop . . .

Forget it

You will never stop

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

One Millions Moms Upset Over FOX Making the Devil Likeable and Human

lucifer morningstar
Actor Tom Ellis will portray Lucifer Morningstar on FOX’s TV Show Lucifer

Snark and sarcasm

Another day, another faux outrage by Monica Cole and the sexually frustrated, batteries in the vibrator are dead, women of One Million Moms. Later this year, FOX plans on debuting a TV show titled Lucifer. FOX describes the show this way:

The Devil has come to Los Angeles…

Based upon the characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg for DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint, LUCIFER is the story of the original fallen angel. Bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, LUCIFER MORNINGSTAR (Tom Ellis, “Merlin”) has abandoned his throne and retired to L.A., where he owns Lux, an upscale nightclub.

Charming, charismatic and devilishly handsome, Lucifer is enjoying his retirement, indulging in a few of his favorite things – wine, women and song – when a beautiful pop star is brutally murdered outside of Lux. For the first time in roughly 10 billion years, he feels something awaken deep within him as a result of this murder. Compassion? Sympathy? The very thought disturbs him – as well as his best friend and confidante, MAZIKEEN aka MAZE (Lesley-Ann Brandt, “The Librarians”), a fierce demon in the form of a beautiful young woman.

The murder attracts the attention of LAPD homicide detective CHLOE DANCER (Lauren German, “Chicago Fire”), who initially is dismissive of Lucifer. But she becomes intrigued by his talent for drawing out people’s secrets and his desire to dispense justice, doling out punishment to those who deserve it. As they work together to solve the pop star’s murder, Lucifer is struck by Chloe’s inherent goodness. Accustomed to dealing with the absolute worst of humanity, Lucifer is intrigued by Chloe’s apparent purity and begins to wonder if there’s hope for his own soul yet.

At the same time, God’s emissary, the angel AMENADIEL (DB Woodside, “Suits,” “24”), has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to return to the underworld…can the Devil incarnate be tempted toward the side of Good, or will his original calling pull him back toward Evil?

One Million Moms is outraged over FOX’s unbiblical, humanizing presentation of Lucifer. In a May 2015 post urging Mommies to sign a petition demanding FOX drop the program, Cole wrote:

FOX has plans in 2016 to air “Lucifer,” a new series which will glorify Satan as a caring, likable person in human flesh.

The series will focus on Lucifer portrayed as a good guy, “who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell.” He resigns his throne, abandons his kingdom and retires to Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals.

At the same time, God’s emissary, the angel Amenadiel, has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to return to the underworld.

Previews of the pilot episode depict graphic acts of violence, a nightclub featuring scantily-clad women and a demon…

Today, I got an email from Monica Cole and One Million Moms with the subject line “We are missing your name on the ‘Lucifer’ petition.” I thought, I bet you are. Here’s what Cole had to say in her email:

Very soon, One Million Moms will deliver a petition to FOX television network, urging them to cancel plans to air a new series which will glorify Satan as a caring, likable person in human flesh.

We want to include your name, letting FOX know that Christians are standing together!

The previews for “Lucifer” misrepresent Satan, depart from true biblical teachings about him, and inaccurately portray the beliefs of the Christian faith. In airing this show, FOX will be disrespecting Christianity and mocking the Bible.

Add your signature today! 1MM and our children are counting on you!

It’s a pretty slow news day when the biggest thing on your outrage radar is a TV program that “misrepresents Satan.”

Cole whines that FOX’s show disrespects Christianity and mocks the Bible. Aww…so sorry.

Here’s my take. Tom Ellis is an attractive actor and we can’t have fundamentalist Christian women getting all hot and bothered over an attractive Lucifer. If this happened, fundamentalist women would be forced be dig deep into their underwear drawer and find their vibrator so they can satisfy their “need.” But, Bruce, they have a husband who will dutifully perform the missionary service. What  self-respecting fundamentalist Christian woman would want to have sex with Billy Bob when they can fantasize about having sex with Lucifer and turn their Passion Rabbit or Ladygasm vibrator on H-I-G-H.

Proving my point, as of today, the Lucifer petition has 19,048 signatures. If you want to add your name, or better yet a fake name, please go here.

lucifer petition

Here’s my petition submission. I encourage you to be creative and let Monica Cole know you support her attempt to defend Lucifer.

petition submission

I have written about One Million Moms before: One Million Moms Offended Over Old Woman Flashing Her Husband in Taco Bell Commercial, One Million Moms Outraged Over Women Not Wearing Underwear, One Millions Moms Says a Boy is a Boy Even if She is a Girl, The Bankruptcy of the Evangelical Gospel, and Follow the Money: The American Family Association and their Support of the Gay Agenda.

Dear Peter LaBarbara, If Gays Aren’t Born That Way Neither are Heterosexuals

peter labarbera
Peter LaBarbera

One of Dennis Hastert’s alleged victims was a gay man who died of AIDS in 1995.  Peter La Barbara, the homophobic director of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, wrote a post about this man, suggesting that Hastert “made” the man into a homosexual. Here’s what LaBarbara had to say:

“The is a gripping aspect to this story that most media would dare not cover or investigate: the sad reality that there are many “gay” “Steve Reinboldts” out there: victims of adult homosexual predators–victims whose “gayness” was effectively chosen for them by alleged abusers like Hastert. The media and the powerful LGBT Lobby want us to believe that men and women are “born gay,” or at least that this is a “natural” sexual identity. Yet the many testimonies of homosexual men and women who recall being sexual abused as a child–they might not call it ‘abuse’–by an adult or an an older teen or a sibling, suggests otherwise. Common sense tells us that such predatory abuse scars and confuses the victim and influences his choice to embrace a deviant and immoral sexual lifestyle. And common sense also tells us that homosexuals who acknowledge childhood sexual abuse in their past yet assert that it has nothing to do with their out-and-proud “gay” identity are in deep, deep denial.”

Now, let me change a few words:

“The is a gripping aspect to this story that most media would dare not cover or investigate: the sad reality that there are many “heterosexual ” “Steve Reinboldts” out there: victims of adult heterosexual predators–victims whose “heterosexuality ” was effectively chosen for them by alleged abusers like Hastert. The media and the powerful Heterosexual Lobby want us to believe that men and women are “born heterosexual ,” or at least that this is a “natural” sexual identity. Yet the many testimonies of heterosexual men and women who recall being sexual abused as a child–they might not call it ‘abuse’–by an adult or an an older teen or a sibling, suggests otherwise. Common sense tells us that such predatory abuse scars and confuses the victim and influences his choice to embrace a deviant and immoral sexual lifestyle. And common sense also tells us that heterosexuals who acknowledge childhood sexual abuse in their past yet assert that it has nothing to do with their out-and-proud “heterosexual ” identity are in deep, deep denial.”

See how easy that was, Peter LaBarbera?

The Homophobia of Focus on the Family, Samaritan’s Purse, and Franklin Graham

wells fargo

When Wells Fargo hosed and took advantage of the poor by giving them sub prime mortgages they couldn’t afford, Focus on the Family, Samaritan’s Purse, and Franklin Graham said nothing. When a judge fined Wells Fargo for overdraft practices and charges that gouged and took advantage of poor customers, Focus on the Family, Samaritan’s Purse, and Franklin Graham said nothing. When Wells Fargo was fined for repeated mortgage irregularities and fraud, Focus on the Family, Samaritan’s Purse, and Franklin Graham said nothing. When Wells Fargo:

…settled a suit with 24,000 Florida homeowners alongside insurer QBE, in which they were accused of inflating premiums on forced-place insurance. In May 2013, Wells Fargo paid $203 million to settle class-action litigation accusing the bank of imposing excessive overdraft fees on checking-account customers. Also in May, the New York attorney-general, Eric Scheidermann, announced a lawsuit against Wells Fargo over alleged violations of the national mortgage settlement, a $25 billion deal struck between 49 state attorneys and the five-largest mortgage servicers in the US. Schneidermann claimed Wells Fargo had violated rules over giving fair and timely serving…

Focus on the Family, Samaritan’s Purse, and Franklin Graham said nothing.

No matter how  Wells Fargo treated poor and minority customers, Focus on the Family, Samaritan’s Purse, and Franklin Graham said nothing. Yet, when Wells Fargo runs a one minute ad featuring a lesbian couple, THEN Focus on the Family, Samaritan’s Purse, and Franklin Graham decided to say something.  Here’s the ad:

Video Link

Outside of the fact that the couple is two women, is there anything in this video that is remotely offensive?

Here’s what is offensive; the homophobia and bigotry of Focus on the Family, James Dobson, Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin Graham, Tim Wildmon, and the American Family Association.

According to Buddy Smith, vice president of the American Family Association:

Wells Fargo’s history follows a pattern from which it has not wavered. Over the past few years, Wells Fargo has marched in scores of “Gay Pride Parades,” advertised monthly in gay magazines and websites, and has endorsed “Gay Pride Month.”

Wells Fargo has earned Human Rights Campaign’s highest “gay” award 13 years in a row, including paying for employee sex-change operations and associated mental therapy.

Again, where’s the offense? All I see is a major banking concern treating their employees fairly and providing for them necessary medical care. As far as Wells Fargo courting gay money, last I knew gay money spends and earns interest just like heterosexual and fundamentalist Christian money.

Who would you want to do business with?

Franklin Graham:

“This is one way we as Christians can speak out – we have the power of choice. Let’s just stop doing business with those who promote sin and stand against Almighty God’s laws and His standards. Maybe if enough of us do this, it will get their attention.”

…“that use shareholders’ advertising dollars to promote homosexuality. … It’s promoting a godless lifestyle. … A bank should be promoting the best interest rates they’re going to give me and what they can do for me as a business. But they should not be trying to get into a moral debate and take sides.”…

Wells Fargo:

“At Wells Fargo, serving every customer is core to our vision and values. Diversity and inclusion are foundational to who we are as a company. Our advertising content reflects our company’s values and represents the diversity of the communities we serve.”

Graham, knowing that his actions make him look like a homophobic bigot, let it be known that he was not targeting companies that hire or serve gay and lesbian customers. Sure, Franklin, sure. This is exactly what you are doing.

I expect more Evangelical temper tantrums once the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage. On the day this is announced, if you listen closely you will hear the air being sucked out of Focus on the Family, James Dobson, Samaritan’s Purse, Franklin Graham, Tim Wildmon, the American Family Association, and other extremist fundamentalist Christian groups. WE can only hope so much air is sucked out that these groups die, never to be heard from again.

Perhaps it is time for Christians who value justice and fairness to stop supporting Franklin Graham. Perhaps it is time for Christians of good will to stop putting shoe boxes together for Samaritan’s Purse.  Perhaps it is time for Christians to ask why Franklin Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Samaritan’s Purse is sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars? Shouldn’t the money be going out as fast as it comes in? Surely, there are still plenty of the “right” kind of disenfranchised, homeless, and poor people to help?

Here’s what I think of Franklin Graham. He is an educated Fred Phelps and Steven Anderson. He represents everything that is reprehensible and wrong with Evangelical Christianity. Here’s the good news and the bad news:

franklin graham

On Monday June 5th Graham took to Facebook to express his outrage over Wells Fargo’s offense against almighty God. Since then, his screed has attracted 98,235 likes and 44,517 shares. Bad news? There are 98,325 people who think like Franklin Graham. Good news? There are ONLY 98,325 who clicked LIKE on his childish tantrum.  Graham is getting a lot of press now, but remember that his media presence is much larger than his actual influence. He is just another Evangelical hack demanding everyone live by his interpretations of an ancient, outdated, contradictory, and, at times offensive, religious text. Justice and fairness continue to march forward, trampling over the dead corpses of people like James Dobson, Tim Wildmon, and Franklin Graham. Perhaps, one day, justice will prevail.

Notes

I am starting to wonder if Franklin Graham is a closeted gay. He sure spends a lot of time talking about things being rammed/crammed down his throat.

Beecher Proch Blames Girls for Boys Being Visually Attracted to Girls

beecher proch
Beecher Proch

Snark ahead. Girl and woman used interchangeably.

The shaming of the fairer sex by a Christian fundamentalist is on public display at Girl Defined: Getting Back to God’s Design. Today’s shaman is Beecher Proch.  Part of a family singing group, 4 Proches, Proch has a blog and is part of Broch Productions, a Christian film company. You can also find Proch on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. He is a 2014 graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regents University and has written articles for several websites that cater to primarily a young female Evangelical Christian clientele, including Lies Young Women Believe and  A Lovely Calling.  I could find no articles by Proust on male focused sites, so it makes me wonder, with all the writing on female focused sites,  if Proch is trolling for a covered up, hot Christian woman. Or, perhaps he is, oh, I don’t dare go there.

Proch views American culture this way:

In today’s culture modesty is totally out of style. The phrase that I’d say best describes the current trend would be “less is more – show your skin.” Skin is everywhere: billboards, magazines, social media – everyone everywhere seems to be attempting to show off as much skin as possible and draw as much attention to themselves as they can.

The American culture is constantly putting the *wrong* message into girls’ heads. “If you don’t flaunt what you’ve got, guys are going to pass you over and move on to the skin-revealing, midriff-baring, hottie.”

Right away, Proch uses the word “modesty, a word he never defines other than to suggest immodest is showing too much flesh. How much flesh showing is too much? A little leg, a little cleavage, a little shapely form?

Proch assumes to know why women dress the way they do. In his mind, any woman who exceeds his modesty standard is trying to attract attention to themselves or is out to get a man. I will leave it to the women who read this blog to educate the young, unmarried, and I assume virginal Master Proch.

Proch buys into the notion that men are visual and women are not. While men certainly demonstrate their desire through a gaze, a look, or a creepy look, women are also visually attracted to men and other women. After Polly and I deconverted, we talked about this subject many times. I wanted to know what type of men, beside the stud muffin she is married to, Polly was attracted to. At first, fearing it would offend me, she didn’t want to say. Now, she freely gives her opinion on the male form. She really liked the movie Magic Mike, a psychological  thriller about a man who does magic shows for children. I am always surprised at the type and look of men she likes. I’ll see an attractive actor on TV and I’ll ask, do you find him attractive? The man I think she will think is hot is rarely right.

Each of us process the visual world differently. Do men view the world differently from women? Sure. But, is this a genetic difference or the result of social conditioning, parental training, religious influence, education, and personal likes and dislikes? Again, I will leave it to female readers to educate Proch.

Before Proch launches into his version of slut shaming, he makes it clear that:

…men are 100% accountable for where they put their eyes, and what they do with what they see once it enters their mind…

And then he says BUT,

…But I also know this: it sure is a blessing and encouragement when a woman makes the effort to dress modestly.

A woman who doesn’t reveal as much skin as she can shows love and consideration for the men around her striving to pursue godliness…

In other words, if women really love and care for weak, pathetic, helpless, sex-crazed, vagina seeking Evangelical men, they will make sure they watch Little House on the Prairie and Little Women to learn how to dress.  Either that or let Proch educate them on exactly what the Bible says about modesty. According to Prouch:

Modesty is Biblical! It shows that a woman understands who she is in Christ and that she knows she’s valued by God. A woman’s body is beautiful and amazing. There’s no embarrassment in how different the shape of a woman’s body is from a man’s.

Modesty doesn’t hide the difference, it clearly acknowledges it with the correct attitude and focus on God’s creative differences in body shape. Immodesty focuses on the body with the wrong attitudes of lust, pride, and self-focus.

Proch demands that Evangelical women and women everywhere adhere to his understanding of modesty. He even gives some rules he wishes women would abide by. Remember, these rules are derived from his interpretation of the Bible, so this means that these rules were given to Proch by God on Mount Sinai:

  • Dress modestly! Cover up the cleavage, ditch the short shorts, and go for some fashionable, but modest, clothing. Convictions in this area will differ, but I think we can all agree that clothing which blatantly draws attention to certain parts of your body isn’t modest. Do the mirror check before heading out the door.
  • Think twice before posting that photo to social media. Are you holding your photos on Facebook and Instagram to the same standards you yourself hold in real life? Could the photos you post cause others to stumble? Here’s a great post by Kristen about seductive selfies that will challenge your posting standards.
  • Ask yourself this catchy little phrase: “Is it too high at the bottom, too low at the top, or too tight around the curves?” Then respond appropriately.

Proch goes even further by suggesting that a woman can cover herself up and still have an immodest spirit and attitude. This spirit and attitude is shown in how the woman carries herself, whatever that means. I suppose he can look in a woman’s eyes or watch her walk and discern that she has an immodest spirit and attitude?

Here’s the bottom line for Proch; women need to get right with God. According to him, immodest dress is a sign of a heart problem:

I Corinthians 6:20 tells us to “…glorify God in your body.” The next time you go to put on those shorts with the 2 inch inseam, or the shirt that reveals cleavage, ask yourself, “Is this really glorifying to God? Will it direct people’s thoughts towards God, or will it lead them somewhere else with their thoughts (and eyes)?” Remember your ultimate end is to honor God with every single thing you do.

I know, nothing new here. Just another screed by an Evangelical man who blames women for the moral (using the word moral as Evangelicals do) failing of weak, pathetic, sex-crazed, visually stimulated Evangelical men. Out here in the evil world of unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines, men are generally required to own their sexuality. It is up to me to choose how I sexually respond to others. I am a married man in a committed, monogamous relationship. This fact determines the parameters of my sexuality. That said, my wife doesn’t scold or chide me when I enjoy female beauty or comment on the female shape. She gives me a boys will be boys look and is quite glad I still look at her the same way.  Beecher Proch needs to grow up and spend some time in a world that is not dominated by Christian fundamentalism. Perhaps then he can learn to not blame women for the sexual ills of males. His post is little more than another example of the slut shaming that is all too common in Evangelicalism. (please see my recent post Dear Kristen Welch, How to Make Sure Your Teen Age Son Can’t Handle His Sexuality and Rebecca Davis Worried About Her Lustful Four Year Old Ogling A Woman Wearing a Bikini and other post on human sexuality)

 

World Renowned Clothing Designer Zsuzsanna Anderson Brings to Market King James Virgin Bathing Suit

World renowned Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) clothing designer Zsuzsanna Anderson has brought to market a new line of bathing suits that is sure to strike fear in the heart of bikini designers everywhere. As a lifelong observer of the female body, I predict that Anderson’s new line of bathing suits will result in 17th century women everywhere groveling before their husbands, begging them to buy them a 100% Lycra/Spandex King James Virgin bathing suit.

I know God-fearing culotte wearing Jesus loving women are peeing their white full-bodied underwear in anticipation of seeing what the King James Virgin bathing suit looks like, so without further snark I give you:

I know you want to own a King James Virgin bathing suit, so, before these $80 testaments to sexual repression and shame are sold out, go to Cute and Covered and buy yours today.

In 2016, Anderson plans to design and release what she is calling her greatest work yet, Faithful Word Chastity Belts. Embroidered with  verses from the 1611 King James Version of the Bible, these belts are sure to keep frisky, sexually repressed unmarried Baptist men from impregnating you. Get one now because we know there was only one virgin birth.

Zsuzanna Anderson did not compensate me in any way for writing this glowing, heartfelt review of her latest designs. Personally, I can’t wait to buy Polly a King James Virgin bathing suit. I am sure she’ll be excited to own one.

Bruce Gerencser