Menu Close

Tag: Republican Party

Is Florida the Most Fu*ked Up State in the United States?

ron desantis
Cartoon by Andy Marlette

By Craig Pittman, Florida Phoenix

January 5, 2027

Dear Gov. DeSantis,

Congratulations! You made it to the end of your second term as governor of Florida. I think I speak for everyone when I say, “Phew!”

I know you didn’t want to hang around Tallahassee this long. But it turns out that saying “woke” 29 times in a 40-word sentence is not much of a national platform. Once your presidential campaign nosedived to oblivion the way every other Florida governor has (Askew, Graham, Bush, even Claude Kirk), you had to come back here and stick it out.

I know the last three years haven’t been easy for you. Once all the other Florida politicians figured out you weren’t going to the White House, they stopped bending over backward for you.

That was especially true for the folks whose priorities you’d vetoed. Still, I thought it was rude of them to slip that line into the budget that allows Disney to garnish your wages to pay off that million-dollar judgment against the state.

Meanwhile, the voters have been in an open revolt, to the point of circulating petitions to change the state constitution to allow a recall vote of elected officials. The drive really picked up steam when the organizers dubbed it the “Ditch DeSastrous” measure, but by then you’d nearly completed this second term.

There was even an abortive attempt to mount an insurrection at the Governor’s Mansion, led by members of your own Florida State Guard who were upset that you’d failed to pay them. They were unhappy to learn you’d spent their salary money on the high-priced attorneys you’d hired to defend all your unconstitutional laws.

I’m sure you’re wondering where everything went wrong. How did you fall from being reelected in 2022 by a 19-point margin to being less popular than Sen. Rick Scott, once labeled the least popular man in Washington.

Looking back, I think I‘ve spotted the turning point. It happened on June 29, 2023. Do you remember? About six months into your second term. That was the day when you, with no fanfare whatsoever, signed into law SB 718.

Here was the headline on the website: “Gov. DeSantis signs measure banning local voter referendums on land development.”

“Voters will soon have little say in how the areas around them change through construction large and small, due to legislation Gov. Ron DeSantis just approved,” the story reported.

You probably didn’t think much about this bill before you “quietly signed the measure just before 6 p.m.” It was just another favor for your pals in the development industry, long your strongest financial supporters.

You must have figured it was no different than that $92 million I-95 interchange to help your buddy Mosi Hosseini’s development near Daytona Beach. (By the way, have you figured out yet how to take Hosseini’s golf simulator with you when you leave office?)

But this favor was much, much bigger. It turned out to be a major tipping point for Florida — and thus, for you.

You may be wondering why I zeroed in on this bill. You certainly signed other dopey legislation that year.

There was the bill approving “radioactive roads” to benefit the phosphate industry, for instance. And there was the one pausing for a year any new bans on summer fertilizer use even as toxic algae blooms spread in waterways around the state.

Your approval of the so-called “sprawl bill” got the most attention from the environmental community. Remember that one? The one about how big developers could collect attorneys’ fees from any citizens who dared to challenge their projects? Friends of the Everglades called it “the worst environmental bill passed by the Florida Legislature during the 2023 session” and “a death knell for smart growth in Florida.”

Some of your vetoes sure seemed like the opposite of smart, too, such as the one that rejected a bipartisan bill for buying electric vehicles for the state’s fleet. The veto only made sense in the context of your repeated advocacy of the fossil fuel industry, thanks to its well-known penchant for major campaign contributions.

But this bill, SB 718, had such a troubled history that your staff should have warned you to treat it like those Portuguese men o’war that wash up on the beach from time to time: Look but don’t touch!

Originally it was filed by Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, who just happens to be senior vice president for government affairs for the Miami Association of Realtors, the nation’s largest Realtors’ association. In other words, she’s as close to the development industry as Darth Vader was to Emperor Palpatine.

So, it was Sen. Rodriguez, R-Dark Side — er, excuse me, Doral — who first proposed ending the voters’ ability to change land-use regulations in a bill labeled SB 856. When she filed that bill, it was referred to three different committees: Community Affairs, Judiciary, and Rules.

Her bill never made it out of its first committee — thanks to Sen. Rodriguez.

“Bill banning public votes on local land use yanked amid lack of support,” reported.

Yes, it’s ironic that a bill to ban voting didn’t make it to a vote. Why did the sponsor pull the bill? Because the committee’s chair was absent. Without that one vote, “it wasn’t going to pass,” Rodriguez said.

That should tell you a lot about this measure that critics were calling the “protect developers from citizens” bill.

Another indicator: One of its loudest supporters was Ocala Sen. Dennis Baxley. He counts among his accomplishments sponsoring both the “Stand Your Ground” law and the “Don’t Say Gay” law, two of the most dysfunctional measures in Florida history.

Baxley also wants to keep Confederate memorials and blocked the construction of a slavery memorial, which gives you an idea of which side of history he’s on. I bet as a kid, when he watched Bugs Bunny cartoons, he rooted for Yosemite Sam.

Baxley called the Rodriguez bill “perfectly appropriate,” because, he said, it “takes people out of a situation (where they’re voting) on something they have no idea what they are voting on half the time, when you throw something that massive on the ballot.”

In other words, Baxley contended that Florida voters are much too stupid to be trusted with anything important. Perhaps he was thinking that that’s how someone like him was elected.

Rodriguez said then that she’d probably bring her bill back at the next committee meeting, but she didn’t. The bill she’d sponsored died, but its provisions moved on. She’d implanted them in a different bill, not unlike the alien in the movie “Alien.”

She slid it into a bill sponsored by Sen. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville. You may recall he also sponsored that idiotic anti-drag show bill you signed that was almost immediately struck down by a federal judge as unconstitutional after a challenge by Hamburger Mary’s.

The Yarborough version of the Rodriguez bill is what finally passed, and that’s what you very quietly signed. Which you should deeply regret.

These land-use referendums weren’t common before you signed that bill, but they sure were important.

A few small communities, like Key Biscayne, had the referendum requirement written into their charters, which meant they had to adapt to state law altering what they were accustomed to. In other communities, though, they were optional — and crucial.

In 2006, for instance, a referendum in Ormond Beach limited building heights to 75 feet, with no exceptions. The referendum drive came from a group called Citizens and Neighbors Devoted to Ormond, or CAN DO for short.

In the runup to the vote, CAN DO was outspent 25-to-1 by an anti-referendum alliance between the city and developers. But CAN DO’s name was like a prophecy. The height limit passed by a margin of nearly 60 percent to 40 percent.

From a land-use planning standpoint, those referendums are, in the words of Jane West of the smart-growth organization 1000 Friends of Florida, “the option of last resort.”

In other words, they were sort of like dropping the atomic bomb. Just knowing it was possible could be a deterrent.

Take what happened in Venice, for instance.

In 2022, the Venice City Council passed 600 pages of new land-development regulations that made developers happy and a lot of the citizens mad.

Five people calling themselves Venice United organized a petition drive to vote on repealing the new regs. The five did this, one of them told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, because “city council pushed this through without listening to the voters.”

Within six months, Venice United had rounded up the necessary 2,228 signatures from registered voters to put the matter on the ballot.

By then, n-n-nervous city officials were ready to work out a compromise. The council did NOT want Venice United to drop that bomb on them.

By May 2023, the council had approved a settlement with Venice United without ever scheduling that referendum vote. The threat had done its work.

“Your voters are passionate about preserving what makes Venice special,” the leader of Venice United, Frank Wright, said then.

That’s what this bill you signed in 2023 killed. In effect, you approved the nuclear disarmament of Florida’s citizens.

Well, you know what happened after that.

Local governments around the state were already inclined to say yes to most anything developers demanded to avoid facing a Bert Harris Act lawsuit. Once they no longer had to fear a voter revolt like the ones in Ormond Beach and Venice, they became even more eager to please the big-money boys.

And there was nothing that upset citizens could do about it. You’d robbed them of their last defense.

The result was easy for West to predict when we talked a week after you signed the bill:

“It was one more step where the Legislature was taking away from the citizens having any control over their communities,” she told me in July 2023

But Florida has a finite amount of developable land and a finite amount of clean water, she pointed out. As a result, she said, “basic market forces are going to start driving the conversation.”

With no one able to say no to development, or to at least hold it to acceptable limits or steer it to acceptable areas, “the whole thing’s going to snowball into one big mess,” she said back then.

Thus, as development ran amok, we wound up with crisis after crisis over the past three years.

We’ve seen maddening traffic gridlock on even smaller roads. The frequency of road rage incidents exploded, including several involving colliding golf carts in The Villages.

School campuses are now full of portable classrooms trying to handle the overflow of students, even at the voucher-fueled charters and religious schools.

Sewer plants started breaking down more frequently. Their repeated spills fueled more and worse algae blooms and fish kills which then drove away tourists who wanted to go fishing or boating. Disney and the other theme parks have continued attracting visitors, but a lot of the other places that depended on tourist money are struggling.

Meanwhile, facing unprecedented demand, a lot of water systems ran out. That’s the point at which the developers revived that 20-year-old Council of 100 idea of transferring water from places where it’s abundant to places where it’s not.

You went along with them, as usual. But the folks in North Florida fought back by forming volunteer militias to guard their springs against anyone stealing the water.

And that’s when people started burning you in effigy, sabotaging construction equipment, and using your campaign merchandise as projectiles to throw at public hearings. Those gubernatorial golf balls really did some damage, too!

You tried distracting everyone with more of your culture war “Ya Got Trouble in River City” song-and-dance routines, but it didn’t work anymore. Everybody was too mad. You ended up hiding in the mansion like you were on a one-man COVID lockdown.

Meanwhile, as resources started to run short, that’s when your push to make guns easier for everyone to carry turned out to be a really bad idea. The crime rate skyrocketed. And with no training requirement anymore, everyone’s aim was really bad!

You dispatched your underpaid Florida State Guard to help out several cities in chaos (only the ones with Republican mayors, of course). But the first time someone took a shot at them, they retreated faster than the Arctic ice sheet facing climate change.

On the plus side, though, Carl Hiaasen had a lot of material for his 2025 Florida novel, “Apocalypse Wow!” People really love the climax where Skink kicks your butt. I hear he’s already working on a sequel.

Anyway, that’s my analysis of where your administration took its most crucial wrong turn. As any student of government could tell you, you can’t close off EVERY avenue of legal protest, or people will turn to illegal means to fight back.

That’s what happened here, and if you hadn’t been distracted by your ill-fated presidential campaign, you might have spotted the danger.

Maybe next week, when you start your new gig hosting “The Anti-Woke Hour with Ron DeSantis” on Fox News, you can warn other politicians not to make the same mistake and underestimate the need for letting citizens have their say.

I mean, assuming anyone’s awake and watching you at 3 a.m.

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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.

Do You Know the Words Pedophile and Democrat are Synonymous?

democrats are pedophiles
Meme provided by Jesus-loving Evangelical, Kyle Phoenix

Several days ago, a local Evangelical woman named Gracie Mae posted on a Defiance, Ohio Facebook group page a post calling on libraries to ban the book Drama by Raina Telgemeir. This post led to a flurry of comments. Surprisingly, most commenters were against banning books.

Kyle Phoenix, an Evangelical man and a Trump supporter, frequents the group, ever ready and willing to dispense to all who will listen hateful, bigoted, homophobic nonsense. But, hey, he loves Jesus. You know, that Prince of Peace guy; the man who said:

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Jesus commanded his followers to love their neighbors as themselves. Either Phoenix loathes himself, or he doesn’t care about Jesus’ commands.

Phoenix, as does most of his ilk, uses a fake name to protect himself from personal accountability for what he says. He demands all sorts of responsibility from others, but none for himself. Even Jesus can’t make him act as a good Christian should.

What follows is a brief interaction I had with Phoenix. All spelling and grammar in the original.

Phoenix: It’s amazing. Seems the 30% of perverts and paedophiles in Defiance County all inhabit this Fascistbook group based on the overwhelming support for pushing pornography and perversion onto kids. Oh but that’s right, it’s only “porn” if Adam and Eve are shown screwing one another, not Adam and Steve.

Well with a cult like St John United Church of Christ pushing heresy and blasphemy, and now the largest school system in the county, what else do you expect? So how soon until the Defiance Public Library System begins hosting drag queen story hour for kids so that grown men dressed in lingerie can twerk and teabag infants, toddlers and teens?

Bruce: Kyle Phoenix, 30 percent of the pedophiles and perverts in Defiance County? What evidence do you have for this claim?

Check out this series on my blog: Black Collar Crime Series.

1,000 stories, and adding more almost every day.

It seems churches are one of the most dangerous places for children.

As far as St John’s is concerned, Pastor Jim Brehler is a kind, compassionate man; a man who genuinely loves and cares for others. I’m proud to call him my friend. I’m an atheist, but I’d take Jim’s Christianity over yours 102 times out of 100.

What, exactly, have you done to help others, Kyle? Constantly haranguing people you disagree with puts a bad face on Christianity. Is it any wonder that Evangelicals are the most hated sect in America? Not for their beliefs, as much as their behavior.

Phoenix: Voting records, Bruce. 30% of the county votes for progressives and/or Demonrats. You are what you vote for. Don’t like the truth; change it. But I don’t expect someone to change who supports the party of murder and mutilation from conception to adulthood.

Phoenix: Oh by the way Bruce, I don’t read from biased sources on anything for the same reason I don’t read from the Satanic Bible. But you keep “blogging.”

Bruce: Kyle Phoenix , such a small, little, vacuous world you live in. BTW, I’m not a Democrat.

And that was that. I have had several dustups with Phoenix before, so I knew how this one would go. He has delusionally convinced himself that three out of ten people he passes on Defiance County streets are demon-possessed pedophiles and perverts. He is not interested in any evidence that challenges his false narrative. In his mind, Polly and I, along with several of our children, are murderers, perverts, and pedophiles.

There are local Republicans who are anti-forced birthers, and there are Democrats who say they are pro-life. Phoenix has a linear, black-and-white view of the local political scene; one that does not exist in the real world. For example, I told Phoenix that I was not a Democrat. I may vote Democratic, but I am not a Democrat. I am a liberal, a progressive, a socialist, and a pacifist. More than a few local Democrats hate my politics. Centrist, right-leaning Clintonian Democrats are common around here. We band together on election day because we know that Trumpism and right-wing Republicans are an existential threat to our Republic.

I am willing to work with people who are not like me; who hold different political values. Progress requires pragmaticism. However, for the Phoenixes and Gracie Maes of the world, politics is a religion-infused zero-sum game. If they can’t get their way, they are willing to burn our democracy to the ground.

Did you know Kyle Phoenix and his fellow arsonists appeared in the 1996 classic hit, Mars Attacks?

Video Link


Phoenix: Gee Bruce, how long did it take you to look up “vacuous” at … 20 minutes? 45? Or did someone else direct you to it? But nice try on the ad hominem though. Shows real effort to try to big words over the usual leftist idiocy of emotes and initialisms.

So let’s say I believe you’re not a Demonrat. I really don’t know too many other political affiliations that side with baby killers and paedophiles other than them and Marxists. But I suppose you could just be unaffiliated, but vote for evil time and again.

Bruce: Kyle Phoenix, no, I’m an educated man. I know words. You know, I read books and know how to use a dictionary. Unlike you, I know the difference between pedophile and Democrat.

I vote Democrat—two party system— but I am not one. Joe Biden was my fourth choice during the 2020 primary. Ditto for Clinton in 2016. Unlike you, I understand politics require pragmatism. My mother taught me well, and she was a raging right-wing, racist, George Wallace, Barry Goldwater supporting Republican.

You are featured on my blog today. Enjoy. 🤣 I’m sure all the perverts and pedophiles who read my blog will love my post.

Phoenix: Bruce is your asinine petulant “blog” some sort of a threat? Oooohhh … I featured you on my blog … oooohhhhh. Gee what’s next, threaten to shoot me with your Super Soaker if you see me in public? Write a sternly worded letter to the editor of the local rag about “raging right-wing racist Republicans” and lump me in with that rabble because you assume anyone not in support of your demonic filth of slaughtering babies and mutilating children MUST be part of the Low-T GOP?

Educated? Doubtful. Indoctrinated? Absolutely. Your “two party” mantra says it all. But that fits right along side over 97% of Ohioans – the same rabble who didn’t blink when tyrants like DeWine locked us up, muffled us, called blue collar workers “non-essential” … and the Demonrats applauded it all and cheered for more.

But hey I am glad you feel so empowered by taking truth and distorting it into lies. The great prophet Isaiah must have seen your blog when he wrote: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Hopefully the WaPo sees your stunning brilliance and offers you a job soon. As a correspondent to “fly over country – midwest division,” I am sure your brilliant piece of prose, ripe with immature emotes and fictional pablum, is just the sort of birdcage liner they’d love to have work with Taylor Lorenz, the Queen of Fiction and Doxxing.

God bless your efforts. I really hope this little petulant tirade piece helps with your therapy.

Bruce: Your response speaks for itself. I typically notify people when I mention them in my blog. Nothing nefarious going on here.

I will make you the same offer I’ve made to other locals who have similar political, religious, and social beliefs as yours. I will gladly, in person, publicly debate you on these issues; a good faith discussion about our disagreements. All I ask is that you use your real name.

Let me know. ❤️ So far, no one has had the courage to take me up on my sincere offer.

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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.

God Gave the Earth to Me and I Can Do With It Whatever I Want

rick santorum quote dominion earth

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26-28)

Generations of Evangelicals have taken these verses and others to mean that the Christian God gave the earth and everything living upon it to them for their use; that they are to have dominion over the earth; that everything on earth is given to them by God for their use and benefit; that human need, want, and use come before anything else. Don’t like this human-centric view of the world? Blame God, Evangelicals say.

Want to understand why millions of Evangelicals have zero concern over global climate change/warming, endangered species, or immoral capitalism? You can trace their indifference back to the belief that mankind is the ruler of planet Earth and that they are free to use it anyway they want. There are Evangelicals who have embraced a more nuanced view, believing that God gave the earth to us to be stewards over, and not to exploit it for our own needs, but for the most part, God’s chosen ones believe that the earth is theirs to use, abuse, and misuse.

Ask Evangelicals what will happen when this world is all used up and they will likely tell you that such a scenario will never happen or that God is planning to make a new Heaven and a New Earth, so there’s no need to worry.  2 Peter 3:10-13 says:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

See? Don’t sweat it. Someday, Jesus is going to return to earth and make all things new. Until then, consume, consume, consume! More than a few Evangelicals believe global warming is a myth, burning coal is okay, and there is plenty of Jed’s black gold in the ground to fuel the world’s ravenous crude-oil-driven economy. These same Evangelicals put a man in office who is the epitome of their humans-first, it-all-belongs-to-us, Praise-Jesus, worldview. Donald Trump and his cabinet saw the earth as a resource to be raped and pillaged by Wall Street and hedge fund managers. Just look at what Trump and Co. did to the EPA and other regulatory bodies. Left to their own devices, these cretins will return us to the early days of the Industrial Revolution. Is it surprising that some Republicans want to bring child labor back? You know, children working in factories and other dangerous jobs? The problem, of course, is that the Industrial Revolution unleashed a ravenous monster that envisions earth’s resources as things to be used and exploited — including people. Praise be to the Christian God who gave us these things, right? Where will this God be when wells run dry and the oceans are vast lifeless landfills? Where will this God be when global climate change causes coastal flooding and crop failures? Where will this God be when our air becomes toxic and gas pumps run dry? Look at how the earth is presently ravaged by war, violence, disease, famine, and drought. Look at how the United States increasingly uses military intervention to maintain the American way of life. Listen to the rumblings of war all across the globe. Does anyone really think that the Christian God is going to take care of things; that as long as we believe in Jesus and the Republican God, all will be well?

Evangelicalism is not a harmless religion. Some of its beliefs have real-life implications. Believing that the earth is theirs to exploit leads to all sorts of dangerous behaviors and government policies. Most Evangelicals are Republicans and call themselves conservatives. Are Evangelicals really conservatives? What exactly are they conserving besides their peculiar religious beliefs and the so-called American Dream? Mainline Christians, progressives, and other socially conscious Americans are the forces behind conserving our planet, not Evangelicals (with few exceptions). Where are the Evangelicals who think war is a bad idea? Where are the Evangelicals who put the environment and the future of the human race first? Where are the Evangelicals who think that life after birth is just as important as human zygotes? Everywhere I look, I see Evangelicals promoting violent, perverse American capitalism. Their churches are often mini-businesses operated just like corporations. These same Evangelicals, when faced with owning the bloodshed caused by their rabid support of the NRA and the gun lobby, blame everything but the means of violence (guns, ammunition) for the carnage and death played out daily in American schools and communities.

anne coulter quote rape the earth

Contrary to what Evangelicals think the Bible says, the earth is not ours to use, misuse, and exploit. It is a finite resource that must be managed and cared for, lest we cause our own extinction. Frankly, it may be too late. We may have set things into motion that cannot be undone. That said, we don’t know this for certain, so we need to do all we can to combat global warming. We need to stop giving corporations the unrestrained right to exploit our planet. Most importantly, we need to turn out of office politicians — Republicans and Democrats alike — who put the needs of their donors and corporations before the needs of the planet. Our future depends on us, in the present, doing the things necessary to ensure our survival. Believing the earth is big playground given to us by God will only hasten our demise. This is why Evangelical zealots must be driven out of office.

Bruce, are you saying Evangelicals should be banned from serving in government? Of course not. What I am saying is that their religious beliefs and theocratic tendencies must be checked at the door. People running for office should be asked about their religious beliefs. A candidate who believes the earth is 6,025 years old and was given to humans to do what they want with it is unfit for office. That such a person was once the head of the EPA is almost beyond belief. Several years ago, I read a story about a new coal mine opening in Southeast Ohio. I thought, are you fucking kidding me? It’s 2023. No worries, Americans. This dirty coal will be shipped overseas. It won’t pollute our air! Sure, it won’t. Evidently, in the minds of coal lovers, the United States is a self-contained world, not affected by what happens outside of its borders. They are right as long as the wind doesn’t blow. Since the wind does, most assuredly, blow, Asian coal burning will affect the United States. (A good example of the drift effect is raised levels of radiation in the eastern Pacific after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.)

Many Evangelical beliefs are harmless. If they want to believe Jesus is a God who was born of a virgin, died, and came back to life three days later, I don’t care one way or the other. If they want to believe prayer changes things and the Bible is God’s rule book, who cares? However, other beliefs of theirs cause real, material harm to our planet. We must not continue to let these beliefs infect our government and its agencies. The best way to keep their beliefs from causing harm is to keep them out of office. The only way to do that is to expose harmful beliefs and vote. Evangelicals are in the minority in the United States. Their undue influence on the political process and government policy will come to an end when voters use the ballot box to send them home (regardless of party affiliation). Religious beliefs belong in the church house, not the White House. Again, I am not suggesting that religious people be barred from office. Such thinking is unconstitutional and un-American.  That said, the United States is a secular country, and we expect our leaders to put the people before anything else, including God and the church.

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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.

Letter to the Editor: Fear, the Tool Used by Republicans to Advance Their Political, Religious, and Cultural Agenda

letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor of the Defiance Crescent-News

Dear Editor,

What drives the Republican Party? What is the singular tool used by Republican politicians to raise money and drive voters to the polls? One word: fear. Spend time listening to Donald Trump, Fox News, ONN, and NewsMax, and you will quickly learn that fear is the fuel that drives the right-wing engine.

Fear the Mexicans. Fear the Blacks. Fear LGBTQ people. Fear the atheists. Fear the secularists. Fear the Democrats. Fear the socialists. Fear Black Lives Matter. Fear ANTIFA. Fear China. Every night, right-wing media serves up that day’s boogeyman that must be feared; that must be slain by voting for the “right” kind of people; right meaning white, libertarian, heterosexual Christian politicians.

Republicans are not stupid. They know that their days are numbered. The United States is becoming browner and less religious by the day. It won’t be long before Whites are a minority race. It won’t be long before the nonreligious outnumber the largest American sect, evangelicalism. There’s coming a day when the eighty million people who don’t vote — many of whom are younger adults with progressive values — realize that they can effect immediate change by voting; that they have the power to put an end to the rule of anti-democratic, misogynistic, racist, and bigoted politicians.

Until that day comes, we must continue to combat Republican fearmongering with facts, passionate protests, and political activism. Unlike Republicans, we must not turn to violence to advance our cause. This battle is one that will be won with words and votes. We must not give in to fear, even when it seems there is no hope in sight.

Ohioans will have an opportunity in November to put an end to the immoral Republican war on women’s reproductive rights. Right now, signatures are being gathered to put this issue on the ballot. If you care about reproductive rights, access to abortion, and birth control, please sign one of the petitions that are circulating in our area. Don’t leave it for someone else to do.

I realize the Ohio Democratic Party has largely been ineffective and out of touch with Ohio voters. On the local level, I know the Party is dominated by old people; people who are often out of touch with younger voters. As an aged Democrat, I know we must do better to attract and engage younger voters, many of whom have progressive ideals. If we don’t, Republicans win.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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.

Matthew 25: Will There Be Any Evangelicals in Heaven?


Warning: I paint with a broad brush in this post. If you are not the type of Evangelical mentioned in this post, no need to whine, complain, moan, and object to my unfair characterization of your tribe. Perhaps you should ponder why you are still an Evangelical instead of feeling butt-hurt over being unfairly characterized. When Donald Trump was elected, that was your cue to run, run, run. Unless you have no legs or are in a wheelchair, I can’t think of one reason for thoughtful, decent, socially aware Christians to remain Evangelical. Note that this was initially written in 2018 and has been updated.

Many critics believe that Evangelicalism is imploding; that the baby birthed by the Moral Majority decades ago has now turned into a full-grown, power-hungry monster. Drunk with political success, many Evangelicals have abandoned all pretense of being followers of Jesus. Eighty-two percent of voting white Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in 2016 — arguably the most unqualified, most vile man to ever sit in the Oval Office. In 2020, Evangelicals lined up and voted for Trump again. Trump made and continues to make a mockery of virtually everything Evangelicals supposedly hold dear, yet the former president continues to have widespread support in the Evangelical community. Trump is a pathological liar, capable of repeatedly contradicting himself in a matter of minutes. He is also guilty of trying to overthrow the Federal government. Showing all the marks of being a sociopath, the former president has no regard for women, children, the disabled, or, quite frankly, the human race. Trump is a one-man band, and all that matters to him is the fawning love he receives at campaign rallies and from positive news coverage. Trump continues to attack the very foundation of our democracy. He daily lashes out at the media — calling them fake, threatening them with punitive action. It is clear to all who are paying attention that Trump is in bed domestically and internationally with people out to destroy our country. Winning at all costs is what matters to Trump. Despite all these things, Evangelicals still overwhelmingly support porn-star-loving, pussy-grabber-in-chief, Donald Trump. It seems the disgraced ex-president was right when he said that he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and people would still vote for him. It leaves me to wonder if there’s anything Trump could do that would cause Evangelicals to turn on him and demand an end to his reign. (And, no, Ron De Santis isn’t any better.) I have come to the conclusion that, for the most part, the pathological need for a return to the mythical days when America was white, Christian, and heterosexual precludes most Evangelicals from ever seriously asking themselves the question, what would Jesus do?

The current state of affairs has me wondering if there will be any Evangelicals in Heaven? I have my doubts. Consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46:

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

According to this passage of Scripture — and yes, I am well aware of all the ways Evangelicals use to get around the clear intent and implication of this passage — there is coming a day when Jesus will return to earth with his angels and sit upon the throne of his glory. At that time, he will gather humanity together and judge them, dividing them into two categories: sheep and goats. The sheep will be rewarded with eternal life, whereas the goats will receive everlasting punishment as their reward. How will Jesus determine who is in what category? Will it be, as Evangelicals contend, right beliefs that put them in the sheep pen, and wrong beliefs that land most of the human race — past and present — in the goat pen? Is right belief the true gospel Evangelicals preach? Or is there some other standard by which Jesus will judge the dead and the living on judgment day? The aforementioned passage of Scripture is clear; it is good works and not right beliefs that determine our eternal destiny. I have long argued that one must ignore much of the Gospels to conclude that good works have nothing to do with salvation. Note carefully what Jesus said would be his standard of judgment:

  • Feeding the hungry
  • Giving drink to the thirsty
  • Taking in strangers and caring for them
  • Clothing the naked
  • Caring for the sick
  • Caring for those in prison

Considering the current state of affairs and Evangelicals’ continued support of the Republican Party and Donald Trump, it’s fair to ask if there will be any Evangelicals in Heaven. In fact, I wonder if the largest section in Hell will be reserved for American Evangelicals. Using Jesus’ standard of judgment, there will be few Evangelicals in God’s eternal sheep pen. And it’s just not their support of Republican policy and President Trump that will land them in Hell. For decades now, Evangelicals have increasingly found themselves on the opposite side of the teachings of Christ. While Evangelicals revel in their love for zygotes, many of them show little interest in life after birth. Once born, children are left to the wolves, expected to pull themselves up by their bootstraps before they even own a pair of boots. Evangelicals overwhelmingly support government-sponsored violence. Ever the flag wavers, Evangelicals continue to support the murderous actions of the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and countless other countries. Drones rain violence and death from the sky, and Evangelicals say nothing, believing that part of making America great again is fighting them [Muslims] over there [Middle East] so we don’t have to fight them here. Evangelicals seem indifferent toward the maiming and killing of hundreds of thousands of children, women, unborn babies, and innocent bystanders. I wonder what Jesus, the Prince of Peace, would say about Evangelical support of these things? Something tells me that, much like asylum-seekers on our southern border, Evangelicals will be turned away at St. Peter’s gate. You see, it’s behavior that matters, not beliefs. Don’t tell me what you believe, show me!

Evangelicals not only support the American war machine, but they are staunch supporters of unbridled capitalism and its immoral destruction of our planet. Jesus had a lot to say about money, and something tells me that if Jesus were alive today, he and Bernie Sanders might be best friends. Greed rules virtually every aspect of American life, yet most Evangelical preachers never say a word. How can they, with their fancy churches, stained-glass windows, and multi-million-dollar church budgets? Something tells me that these modern moneychangers would find themselves at the end of Jesus’ whip as he overturned their media tables and soundboards. Think of all the good that could be done with the money Evangelicals spend on buildings, staff, and incestuous programs that do little more than entertain fat sheep — or fat goats. Evangelicals support the rich getting richer at the expense of working-class people. I wonder who Jesus would hang out with if he came back to earth today? The ruling class? The rich? The powerful? Big name preachers? I suspect, as the Joshua series of books — written by Catholic priest Joseph Girzone — so aptly showed, that Jesus would be found hanging out at the local pub and caring for the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, and the imprisoned — the very people Evangelicals have no time for. But Jesus, some Evangelical might say, we are having a worship service in your name tonight. Surely you will want to spend your time with us. Why, we even pray for the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, and the imprisoned. And you know Lord, once a year our church has what we call Serve Day (a local church does just that). For five hours, we do good stuff for people. Don’t you want to join us, Lord, as we take five hours out of our busy masturbatory Jesus-worship schedule to give back to our community? I suspect that Jesus might inquire as to where all their money went; the money he gave them to do good works; the money he gave them to, you know, care for the weak, the poor, the disadvantaged, and marginalized.

Thanks to widespread ignorance concerning matters of science, many Evangelicals are also global climate-change deniers. Believing that the earth is six thousand twenty-six years old, created in six literal twenty-four-hour days, will ruin the best of minds. Besides, why worry about increasing sea levels, increasing temperatures, and wildlife habitat loss when the return of Jesus is imminent? To heck with the world, Evangelicals say, God is in charge of the weather, and if he wants increasing sea levels and increased temperatures, who are we to object?

Everything that I’ve written above will likely just piss off Evangelicals. I’m an atheist, humanist, pacifist, and a socialist, so Evangelicals will likely ignore what I have to say. I’m just a guy with an axe to grind. I hate God (just kidding — I don’t in any god), so it’s no wonder that I have it out for God’s chosen ones. However, Evangelicals might consider that perhaps I am right, and that their continued support of Republican politics, Donald Trump, capitalism, and a host of other anti-Christian behaviors might earn them a bunk in Hell. Perhaps Evangelicals need to consider Pascal’s Wager — you know, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, caring for strangers, and all the other things that Jesus said are the markers of a man or woman who follows after him, just in case Jesus really meant what he said. Yes, I am an atheist. The miracle-working Jesus of the Bible is a myth, but the human Jesus who walked the streets of Jerusalem and the shores of Galilee said some good things that Evangelicals might want to put into practice if they expect to be singing four-part harmony with the angels in the sweet by-and-by. And even if there is no Heaven or Hell, no afterlife, no judgment — don’t you want to be kind, thoughtful, and helpful to others? I know I do.

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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.

Why Evangelical Culture Warriors Don’t Really Believe in Freedom of Religion

the bible rock of gibraltar

Uncritically listen to Evangelical culture warriors and you will wrongly think they are strong supporters of religious freedom. They talk a good line when it comes to the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. They may grudgingly admit that Article VI of the U.S. Constitution: no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States, forbids a religious test for political office. However, they also say that the United States is a Christian Nation; that its laws are based on the Bible. Their theological and political beliefs put them in direct opposition to the Constitution. Their goal is nothing short of anarchy; the overthrow of the established political and social order. Abandoning evangelization and piety as the means of social transformation, these culture warriors have turned to politics to “save” America, and in the twice-impeached Donald Trump, they found the Lord and Savior. In 2016 and 2020, the overwhelming majority of white Evangelical voters voted for Trump. And if he runs in 2024, they will most certainly vote for him again.

On January 6, 2021, a violent mob tried to overthrow the U.S. government. Many of these treasonous “patriots” were Evangelical Christians. Their failed attempt does not mean Evangelicals have stopped trying to bring down the government and establish Jesus as King and Ruler and the Bible as the law of the land. Trump has become a useful idiot. If he is indicted and imprisoned — and he most certainly should be — other MAGA candidates such as Ron DeSantis and Ted Cruz will arise as antichrists, hoping to reclaim America for the glory of God, and destroy what’s left of our democracy. Once they gain a firm grip on federal, state, and local governments, they will use their newfound power to advance their theocratic agenda. Once this happens, freedoms will be lost and people will die.

Reversing Roe v. Wade was never the end game. Next up is banning birth control and in vitro fertilization (IVF), abolishing same-sex marriage, criminalizing homosexuality, and legalizing teacher-led prayer and Bible reading in public schools. One need only to look at what’s going on in Texas with the allowing of donated “In God We Trust” posters to be hung in school classrooms to see what Evangelical culture warriors have in mind. Next it will be posters of the Ten Commandments. And then the Gideons will be let back in the doors to hand out Christian propaganda. From there, creationism will be taught in science classrooms, Biblical morality taught in health classes, and Christian rules of conduct required of all students. Currently, local schools here in rural northwest Ohio have given Lifewise Academy — an Evangelical “ministry” — unfettered access to elementary-aged students so they can indoctrinate them. Someone affiliated with Defiance City Schools said only seven students refused to attend the “voluntary” release-time classes.

Culture warriors are making noise about Critical Race Theory (CRT) being taught in schools — a bald-faced lie. They are calling for LGBTQ-friendly books to be removed from school libraries. Transgender people are also in their sights. No longer content to homeschool their children or send them to private schools, Evangelicals want to reclaim public schools for their God. How do they plan to do this? By electing like-minded candidates to school boards; by becoming missionary teachers and aides; by infecting every aspect of school life with their pernicious beliefs.

If people don’t wake up to their agenda, it will be too late. One need only look at the reversal of Roe v. Wade to see what can happen when Evangelical culture warriors get their way. Or look at what is going on in Florida where Governor Ron DeSantis is requiring teachers to teach alternative American History and civics. What’s next, a real-life portrayal of the Man in the High Castle or The Handmaid’s Tale?

The next time an Evangelical culture warrior tells you that they believe in “religious freedom,” don’t believe them. Their version of “freedom” is much like their idea of “love”; one rooted in the belief that the United States is a Christian nation; that Jesus is the sovereign Lord of all things; that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God and is the moral, ethical standard for everyone; that the world would be a better place if everyone worshipped their peculiar version of God.

Evangelical culture warriors may smile at you and be the friendliest people in town, but behind their “I Love Jesus” facade lurk dangerous fascist beliefs. Atheists, agnostics, liberal Christians, pagans, and other non-religious people are enemies of God. LGBTQ people are deviants, as are fornicators and adulterers. For the love of reason and freedom, read the Bible! Evangelical culture warriors really believe what it teaches. We should treat them as the threats they really are.

Unlike Evangelicals, I happen to actually believe in religious freedom. I also believe in a strict separation of church and state. People are free to worship whomsoever they want. Personally, I worship reason, skepticism, and Polly. However, when it comes to government, God and the Bible have no place. Certainly, people are free to have religious beliefs and hold political offices, but what they “believe” theologically and morally should play no part in governance. I mean none. I live in a small town of 356 people. The local council and mayor hold strong religious beliefs. I went to church with some of them back in the day. A medical marijuana dispensary enquired about establishing a business in town. The council and mayor quickly said no. Why? While no official statement was issued, I have no doubt their personal religious and moral beliefs played a big part in them saying no thanks. All that should have mattered is whether it was a legal business and how much tax revenue it would provide. Instead, the business was tentatively established down the road in a different community.

My eyes are wide open to what Evangelical culture warriors are doing. Are yours? They are hiding in plain sight, and I fear that many liberals and progressives are not paying attention or think Evangelical culture warriors are just a nuisance that will soon pass. They are not, they will not and our future depends on us identifying our enemy and fighting back.

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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.

The Future of America: What I Learned at the Ohio License Bureau Troubles Me


Today, we drove to the Ohio License Bureau in Defiance to renew the plates for our SUV. When we arrived, the place was crowded. We watched others come to the counter to do their business with the state as we waited our turn. During our time at the bureau, four young adults heard their number called and came to the counter to get their driver’s license or plates. Each of them was asked, “are you registered to vote?” and all said no. When asked if they would like to register to vote, these young adults said no. I saw in these young people the future of America. The oldest was twenty-nine, the youngest eighteen. Yet, they had already checked out of the political process. Why is that?

We know that young Americans are generally more liberal, more tolerant, and less religious than their parents and grandparents. They are the key to defeating Trumpism and fascism in this country. Yet, many of them have no interest in participating in the political process. Polly and I have six children. Mom and Dad have voted in every election since they were eighteen (1976 and 1975). We modeled to our children the importance of voting. Yet, two of our children have never voted. This distresses me to no end, especially when they bitch, moan, and complain when politicians do things they don’t like. Both of them tell me that they think the system is broken; that there’s no difference between the two parties; that nothing changes.

While it would be easy to rebuke these young adults for not doing their civic duty, perhaps we should spend our time listening to their reasons for not voting. Perhaps the system IS broken. Perhaps both parties ARE the same. It’s easy and convenient to look at the Republican Party — the party of fascism and Trump — and self-righteously list all the ways the Democratic Party is different from the Republicans. Different how? Both parties are in bed with corporate America. Both parties are warmongers. Both parties are out of touch with working-class people and people of color. I am not suggesting that the two parties are equivalent, but I refuse to buy the notion that the Democrats are the party of the people.

Joe Biden was elected for one reason: he wasn’t Donald Trump. He wasn’t my first choice, my second choice, nor was he my third choice. When I hear that Biden plans to run in 2024, I say, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Biden and the Democrats have bungled their way through the first two years of his term. Most galling are the unforced errors such as Biden’s indifference towards the effect of inflation, rising gasoline prices, and higher rent on working-class and poor people. Brittney Griner, a women’s professional basketball player, is being held in Russia. She was supposed to have a phone call recently with her spouse, a call that never happened. The state department fucked up this call, so it had to be rescheduled. Last week, the Biden administration threatened public schools with withholding money for school lunch programs if they didn’t comply with its interpretation of Title IX guidelines for LGBTQ students. Nice look. Submit or we will take away funding for providing free and reduced lunches. From the border problems in the south, to its mishandling of refugees, to the withdrawal from Afghanistan, to the war in Ukraine, all I see is incompetence. We liberals and progressives like to hang on to the morsels the Democratic Party throws our way, ignoring the decay, dysfunction, and rot.

Granted, there are structural issues that are strangling the life out of our Republic: the filibuster, the conservative Supreme Court, the military-industrial complex, global warming, and laissez-faire capitalism. Maybe these young adults see what we lifelong voters can’t or won’t see. We keep thinking the next vote will change things; that the next president and next congress will usher in a better tomorrow. And when that doesn’t happen, we repeat the same worn-out process over and over again. Maybe it is time for us to get off the merry-go-round.

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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.

Why I Could Never Be a Republican

just say no republicans

I am politically progressive and liberal. I make no attempt to hide my democratic socialistic tendencies. I am a registered Democrat and a supporter of Bernie Sanders. I am an inconsistent pacifist. I am of the opinion that the United States has not fought a just war since the two world wars. And even with these wars, the United States, with its immoral nuclear bombings of Japan and its firebombings of Germany, has shown itself to be as violently ruthless as its enemies. The same goes for the United States’ use of napalm during the Vietnam War. (Please read Napalm: An American Biography by Robert Neer.)  Americans love to think of themselves as kind, goodhearted people who only resort to violence when backed into a corner, when in fact the United States, thanks to its colonialist, imperialistic, and nationalistic tendencies, is a nation whose history is steeped in the blood of innocents. (Please read The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America 1500-2000 by Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton.)

Prior to the turn of the 21st century, I was a registered Republican — the party of my tribe and religion. The reasons I am no longer a Republican are many. Let me list a few of them. These statements reflect my understanding of the Republican Party at the national level.  I realize that not all Republicans believe/support the positions that follow.

The Republican Party is and I am not:

  • Pro-life
  • Pro-Christian
  • Pro-gun
  • Pro-NRA
  • Pro-war
  • Pro-Israel
  • Pro-big business
  • Pro-Chamber of Commerce
  • Pro-dark money political contributions
  • Pro-unrestricted campaign contributions
  • Pro-charter schools
  • Pro-unregulated religious schools
  • Pro-Pledge of Allegiance
  • Pro-Christian nationalism
  • Pro-American expansionism
  • Pro-American imperialism and colonialism
  • Pro-military as the world’s policeman
  • Pro-Patriot Act(s) and other government intrusions into privacy
  • Anti-welfare
  • Anti-Environmental Protection Agency
  • Anti-Department of Education
  • Anti-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Anti-affordable college
  • Anti-separation of church and state
  • Anti-LGBTQ
  • Anti-affordable healthcare
  • Anti-single payer option health insurance
  • Anti-immigrant
  • Anti-undocumented worker
  • Anti-Palestinian/Iranian/Afghan/Iraqi/Muslim/Russian
  • Anti-regulation
  • Anti-abortion
  • Anti-euthanasia
  • Anti-global warming/climate change
  • Anti-science
  • Anti-evolution
  • Anti-minimum wage
  • Anti-Black Lives Matter
  • Anti-atheism

And Best Hits of the Republican Party keep on playing.

And if these things aren’t enough, Republicans committed the biggest political crime of the modern era — electing Donald Trump president. And . . . four years later, knowing that Trump was a criminal who caused the deaths of thousands of people from COVID-19, and was unfit for office, Republicans tried to elect him again.

From 2016 to today, what have we learned about the Republican Party? With lips dripping with the blood of injustice, unfairness, and unequal protection under the law, the Republican Party has waged an all-out war against LGBTQ people, people of color, and anyone else who doesn’t fit in their narrow, defined ideological box. Whatever moderate, centrist politicians that once existed in the Republican Party no longer exist. Republicans are now the party of Trump, the fomenters of insurrection, culture warriors intent on turning the United States into a violent theocratic state.

It is for these reasons, and others, that I could NEVER, EVER be a Republican. They are the antithesis of everything I believe and stand for.

Readers should not assume from this post that I am pro-Democrat. I am not. I held my nose and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020 for one simple reason: they weren’t Donald Trump. Neither Clinton nor Biden was my first, second, or third choice. (I voted for Bernie Sanders both times in the primaries.) Currently, I am considering leaving the Democratic Party, registering as an independent voter. I’m done with voting for the “lesser of two evils.” The Democratic Party is weak, feckless, and cowardly, given over to extremism instead of getting things done for the American people. Is there no whack-a-doodle position too extreme for Democrats? Evidently not. In many ways, extremists in the Democratic Party are not much different from right-wing extremists in the Republican Party. The two-party system is irreparably broken, controlled by corporate money and career politicians. The “house” needs to be razed so a just, equitable system can be built. The upcoming midterm elections will go a long way in helping me decide whether I am finally done with the Democratic Party. Here in Ohio, both at the state and local level, the Democratic Party is as dead and missing as Jimmy Hoffa.

Maybe none of this will matter. If warmongers in the Republican and Democratic Parties have their way, we could be living in a nuclear wasteland by Christmas. Thinking a war with Russia is “winnable,” and the use of tactical nuclear weapons will show the world we are still the only true superpower, our political leaders are leading us down a path that leads to heartache and devastation. Coming soon will be a push to expand funding for the military and security industrial complexes. To some degree, this already happened before the war in Ukraine. I can only imagine how much money the people who allegedly “keep us safe” and “fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here” will be clamoring for now that we are sending billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine and NATO. Nothing like a military conflict — and make no mistake about it, we are waging war against Russia and Belarus — for the bottom line.

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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.

If You Could Only Vote for a Conservative Atheist or a Liberal Christian, Who Would You Choose?


Jack who blogs at Atheist Revolution, recently asked the following question:

If I had to vote for one of two hypothetical candidates, would I be more likely to vote for a liberal Christian or a conservative atheist?

Jack answered:

The liberal Christian would almost certainly be a better fit with my stance on most political issues than the conservative atheist. That would be a compelling reason to select them. But of course, the conservative atheist would not be a victim of the sort of superstition afflicting the liberal Christian. That would be appealing, especially considering how rare this is. So who would I choose if I had to pick one?

My answer to this question reveals something about my priorities. Were I to say that I’d pick the conservative atheist, it might mean that atheism was more important to me than most political issues. And picking the liberal Christian might mean that atheism was a lesser priority for me than these political issues. I suppose there could be other explanations for these decisions that wouldn’t necessarily support either of these interpretations.

So which candidate would I pick? I’d pick the liberal Christian. It might not be an easy decision, especially if this was someone who seemed to be actively promoting Christianity during the campaign. But I think I’d be much more likely to pick the liberal Christian because I’d be a lot more interested in how the person would govern than what they believed about gods.

I’m with Jack on this one. As a liberal/progressive/socialist/pacifist, I am always going to vote for the liberal or progressive candidate. Currently, I am a registered Democrat, having voted for Democratic candidates since 2000. From 1976 to 2000 I always voted Republican, except in 1976 when I voted for born-again Democrat Jimmy Carter.

These days, I am what I call a disaffected Democrat. It remains to be seen how I will vote in 2022 and 2024 — if I am still alive, that is. If I am dead, I will leave it to Polly to cast my vote. 🙂 I am somewhat of a reactionary voter. I voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020 for one simple reason: they weren’t Donald Trump. Neither were my first, second, or third choice. I voted both times in the primary election for Bernie Sanders.

I am a dues-paying member of the Democratic Socialists of America. It is with this group my affections lie. That said, I am a pragmatist. Until we overthrow our broken, dysfunctional two-party system, there’s no chance we will elect a socialist. (And no, neither Joe Biden nor Barack Obama is a socialist. If you say they are, you are a fucking idiot who has zero understanding of socialism.)

How would you answer the question posed by Jack? Please leave your answer in the comment section.

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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.

Do You Have Electile Dysfunction?

Do you have electile dysfunction (ED)? Watch the short two-minute video below to find out. 🙂

Video Link

This video was produced by RepresentUS, a group dedicated to passing “powerful state and local laws that fix our broken elections and stop political bribery. Our strategy is central to dismantling the root causes of inequities in our democracy, and ending political corruption, extremism, and gridlock.”

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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.

Bruce Gerencser