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Tag: Republican Party

Evangelicals and Their Public Displays of Religion

evangelicalism

My maternal grandfather, John, was a big believer in public praying. Every time we went out to eat with him, everyone within earshot knew we were Christians. John meant for his prayers to some sort of public masturbation — visible to all. I still remember how embarrassed I was when John went about establishing his Christian testimony. Once John was finished praying, permission was granted for us to begin eating. At least once during the meal, John would force our waitress to listen to his testimony and presentation of the Evangelical gospel. John was well-known for these verbal assaults — a man who loved Jesus so much that he just had to share him with everyone. (Please see Dear Ann.)

Tim Tebow, a former NFL player, is known for kneeling and praying during games. His behavior is popularly called tebowing. Evangelicals love the fact that Tebow would, on national TV before millions of people, pray to their God. Evidently, God wasn’t listening. Tebow washed out of the NFL and is now trying to continue his narcissistic dream as a baseball player. Other sports figures imitate Tebow on the field, giving the impression that their God is a former jock himself and a big sports fan.

Republicans are another group who is fond of public praying. Holding prayer rallies and offering up prayers at their convention, these members of the GOP — God’s Only Party — send their prayers to Jesus, asking for the destruction of Hillary Clinton, socialists, atheists, and any other group deemed to be unpatriotic, anti-American, and anti-God. Yet, despite all their prayers, it looks like Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States. Millions of prayers uttered, and the best that God could do is Donald Trump?

Evangelical churches and parachurch groups — who overwhelmingly support the Republican Party — are also fond of public displays of prayer. It is Evangelicals who are behind the National Day of Prayer and See You at Pole, annual events meant to show the numerical significance of conservative Christianity. Many government meetings are opened with prayers to the Christian God, a reminder to everyone that America is a Christian nation.

Untold millions of Evangelical prayers have been uttered to God, asking him to put a Republican in the Oval Office.  Most Evangelicals wanted Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, or Mike Huckabee. These men proudly exposed their Jesus-approved genitals for all to see. Yet, when the primary dust settled, Donald Trump was the winner. Perhaps the Evangelical God has a wicked sense of humor, giving Evangelicals one of most unqualified candidates in American election history. Dear Lord, please help us elect a Christian president, Evangelicals prayed. What God gave them was a narcissistic psychopath who brags about sexually assaulting women and grabbing them by their pussies. Is Trump some sort of sick joke by God?

Perhaps it is time for Evangelicals to actually practice what Jesus said about public praying:

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (Matthew 6:1-8)

Instead of focusing on the external forms of religion, Evangelicalism would be better served if its followers focused on good works. Thanks to Evangelical support of Donald Trump and thirty-five years of warring against American culture, Evangelicals are widely known for vitriol and hate. They love to say, we hate the sin but love the sinner, but it is now abundantly clear for all to see that Evangelicals hate sinners too. Drunk with political power, Evangelicals arrogantly think that their religion and divine text should be enshrined as the one, true American religion. Their arrogance has put them at odds with Christians and non-Christians alike, 

In many ways, my grandfather John was a precursor of what Evangelicalism would one day become — in-your-face, my-God is-the-one-true-God, you-are-going-to-hell, I-have-a-right-to-harass-you-in-Jesus’-name Christianity. To those who only knew John as a devout, aggressive evangelizer, he was the epitome of what every Christian should be. However, many of his family members knew the other John — an angry, violent man who took out his aggression on his children and grandchildren, a man who lived a sordid violent life before Jesus, including sexually assaulting his young daughter (my mother). When confronted about his vile past, John pleaded the miracle sin-washed-away blood of Christ. Any sin before Jesus is forgotten by God, John said, expecting everyone else to forget too.

Most Evangelicals will ignore what I have written here, choosing instead to attack the messenger. In doing so, they show the world that their religion has little to do with the teachings of Jesus and everything to do with political power and cultural control. The moment Evangelicals said they planned to support Donald Trump regardless of his behavior, any hope of saving themselves was lost. Post-election, Evangelicals will lick their wounds, vowing to work harder to put God’s man in the White House in 2020. If Democrats regain control of the Senate and pick up seats in the House, Evangelicals will pray and preach harder, certain that God will hear them and grant their petitions. He won’t, of course, because the Evangelical God is a figment of Christian imaginations. The Evangelical God, as with all Gods, is of human origin. As is often (always?) the case, people craft God in their own images. Evangelicals have crafted a God that bears no resemblance to the Jesus of the Bible. Does anyone seriously think Jesus, if he were alive today, would support the Republican Party and the orange-hair vagina grabber? Does anyone think Jesus would support Republican attacks on immigrants and the poor? Of course not.

It’s time for Evangelicals to reacquaint themselves with the Jesus they say they worship. Until they are willing to apologize for past sins and make restitution by concertedly helping those they previously marginalized, Republican Evangelicals can expect to continue losing elections and their grip on American culture.

An Open Letter to the DNC

dnc
Cartoon by A.F. Branco

Dear Democratic National Committee,

I write to express my outrage over recent revelations detailing how DNC officials attempted to derail Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Presidential campaign. It is evident, based on released internal emails, that Deborah Wasserman Schultz and operatives within the DNC were working behind the scenes to marginalize Bernie Sanders, paving the way for Hillary Clinton to become the Democratic candidate for President. Earlier this year Bernie Sanders complained about attempts by Wasserman Schultz and the DNC to keep him from becoming the nominee. The DNC dismissed Sanders’ claims, categorically stating that both candidates were being treated fairly and equally. Thanks to Wikileaks, we now know better.

I am a diehard Bernie Sanders supporter. As a liberal, democratic socialist, I found Sanders’ policy positions to be the closest to my own. Sanders is the voice of progressivism; Hillary Clinton is the voice of centrist Democratic politics. Sanders is a man of principle; Hillary Clinton is a political opportunist. Bernie Sanders didn’t take a dime from Wall Street; Hillary Clinton made millions off of private Wall Street-sponsored speeches. Bernie Sanders opposes  war in the Middle East; Hillary Clinton will continue the blood-spilling policies of the Barack Obama. It is for these reasons (and others) that I support Bernie Sanders.

I am also an atheist. Offensive revelations that Wasserman Schultz and the DNC considered tarring Bernie Sanders with the atheist label suggests to me that the DNC doesn’t realize that most atheists are political liberals who most often vote Democrat. It is also clear that the DNC doesn’t understand that scores of millennials are non-religious. These millennials generally skew to the left — good news for Democrats. Good news, that is, if the DNC stops treating non-religious people as if they have some sort of communicable disease.

I am pleased that Wasserman Schultz has been removed as the head of the DNC. But that action is not enough. Every DNC operative who thought labeling Bernie Sanders an atheist was a good idea should immediately be fired. A failure to take such action shows that Democratic leaders don’t value fairness. The DNC should also publicly apologize to the atheist community for their shameful use of the word “atheist” as some sort of pejorative term. A full-page apology in the New York Times and personal letters to the major atheists groups will suffice.

I plan to vote for Hillary Clinton come November. I will do so for one reason and one reason alone — Donald Trump. I cannot in good conscience do anything that will increase the likelihood of a Trump presidency. These are perilous times, and I must do what is best for my country. Quite frankly, if a centrist Republican was running for President I would likely cast my vote for Jill Stein. In doing so, I would be telling the Democratic Party that until they value me as a voter, they have lost my vote. I want to do this now, but I can’t. I know that if Donald Trump is elected he will fundamentally and permanently harm our Republic. It’s Hillary Clinton’s lucky day. She will get my vote, not because I think she best represents my views, but because Donald Trump is a real threat to national security and social progress. If Clinton wins the election, the DNC might want to consider how to keep my vote come 2020. If liberal, democratic-socialist atheists aren’t welcome in the Democratic Party, then perhaps it is time to start seriously considering  third-parties that value people such as myself.

Sincerely,

Bruce Gerencser
A Former Right-Wing Evangelical Republican Turned Liberal, Democratic-Socialist Atheist

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 who will drink two or ten shots of whiskey and vote for Hillary Clinton come November. I am an inconsistent pacifist. I am of the opinion that the United States has fought not a just war since the two world wars. And even with these wars, the United States, with its immoral nuclear bombings of Japan and it 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.)  Americans love to think of themselves 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.)

Prior to the turn of the 21st century, I was a registered Republican — the party of my tribe. 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-LGBT
  • Anti-affordable healthcare
  • Anti-single payer option health insurance
  • Anti-immigrant
  • Anti-undocumented worker
  • Anti-Palestinian/Iranian/Muslim
  • Anti-regulation
  • Anti-abortion
  • Anti-euthanasia
  • Anti-global warming/climate change
  • Anti-science
  • Ant-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, the Republican Party has committed the biggest crime of the modern era — presidential nominee Donald Trump.

And finally, with lips dripping with the blood of justice, fairness, and equal protection under the law, the Republican Party has called for an all-out war against the LGBT community. Just today, a Republican National Committee subcommittee — thanks to the work of homophobic bigot Tony Perkins, voted to add a plank to their 2016 platform supporting LGBT conversion therapy.

According to a New Civil Rights Movement article by David Badash:

Republican National Committee subcommittee members Monday voted to approve a plank embracing the use of harmful anti-LGBT conversion therapy, after it was introduced by the head of a certified anti-gay hate group. The plank will be voted on by a committee and then all RNC voting members before becoming an official part of the 2016 platform.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, an RNC delegate, Monday morning met with RNC chair Reince Priebus, reportedly to discuss including the call to support medically dangerous efforts that claim to change a person’s sexual orientation.

Earlier on Monday, according to Badrash, subcommittees of the RNC:

voted for amendments that call for to the Bible being taught in schools, and transgender people to use the restroom of the gender they were assigned at birth, and voted to keep a call for a ban on same-sex marriage in their 2016 national platform.

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.

15 Astounding Predictions for 2016 by Atheist Bruce Gerencser

end of the world

This is the time of year when Evangelical soothsayers, psychics, and Nate Silver (ESPN 538) make predictions for the coming year.  I thought, in keeping with the spirit of the New Year, that I, the atheist version of Carnac the Magnificent, would make a few predictions of my own. Here’s my 15 Astounding Predictions for 2016.

  1. Richard Dawkins will say something stupid.
  2. Neil deGrasse Tyson will say something brilliant.
  3. The Pope will not get laid.
  4. Evangelicals will continue to say the rapture is nigh.
  5. At least three Evangelical preachers will be arrested and charged with molesting children and 25 others will be accused of sexual misconduct.
  6. Evangelicals will continue to say atheists hate God and secretly want to have wanton, immoral sex.
  7. Franklin Graham will be exposed as a cross dressing transvestite.
  8. Evangelical Calvinists will continue to say their critics don’t understand Calvinism.
  9. Bart Ehrman will write another book. It will be titled Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented their Stories of the Savior. I predict it will be released on March 1, 2016
  10. Donald Trump will say bat-shit crazy stuff and his followers will love it.
  11. Evangelicals will continue to think that Christianity is under attack and that secularists are trying to make Christianity illegal.
  12. Tea Party Republicans will continue to think that the lame stream media controls America and that Muslim socialist Barack Hussein Obama is coming to take their guns.
  13. The day after Thanksgiving, Fox News will say that there is a War on Christmas.
  14. One Million Moms will continue to be outraged over nudity, cursing, and gay kissing on TV. This year they will find their lost remote and learn that if they push the channel button it changes the channel.
  15. Democrats will win the presidency, a sure sign that the Antichrist is preparing to usher in the new world order.
Bruce Gerencser