Sunday, October 10, 2004

A Sunday sermon

Good Sunday, my flock at Not Righteth About Anything of Lafayette Parish. This week we've got a killer sermon for you, so let's all get on our knees...oh wait, that's after the service. Never mind. Sit in the pews and buckle up, because this ride's about to roll! Here are the latest dispatches from Fundie Land, courtesy of Grab your passport and let's travel!

What follows is the message that heads the thread. Not content with claiming that a vote for Kerry is a vote for terrorism, the religious right also warns that it's also a vote for SATAN!

In my opinion, those of us who are genuine Christians must let our faith help us decide who to vote for. The democratic party [sic] has given away nearly every issue that once held my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents as democrats [sic] for as far back as any can remember. The democrats [sic] now stand against anything and everything related to being a Christian. Let me summarize what a Christian has to give away in order to vote against Bush and for Kerry...

1. They have to give away the issue of abortion- that's about 5,000 innocent lives per day. Kerry will abort them at 40 weeks if he can get away with it.

2. They have to give away anything related to protecting God's definition of marriage. (What?!!) Kerry will sign ANYTHING that will make him look open minded and progressive. (Oh no! Not that!! Must be one of those famous right-wing non-insults.)

3. You have to give away strategic defense issues. If Kerry had his way, most weapons systems we use today would not be available. He would have had a nuclear freeze. (AAH!!) He is anti-war, period. I don't care what he says. (Well, I kind of like the fact that he's not a hawk like Bush.)

4. You have to give away authority to send troops as a last resort. That will be a decision left to the UN. (Um, sure, why not?)

5. You have to give up morality in general. I was reading an ESPN the magazine [sic] article the other day where he used the "f" word out of the blue, for no apparent reason. He is the OPPPOSITE of the kind of role model we want for our kids. (As opposed to Dick Cheney? Or his warmongering and bloodthirsty running mate?)

6. You have to give up on tax cuts. Kerry WILL ROLL BACK the tax cuts (GOOD!) and that will just be the beginning. Don't believe the hype, folks.

And last but certainly not least, I beg you, if you actually claim Christ, consider what Kerry stands for and what President Bush stands for, then ask yourself which man stands for anything even NEAR what the Bible tells us is important. (Amen, brother. Who knew this person was a Kerry voter?)

Stop listening to the pundits. Stop listening to the liberals on CNN, CBS, ABC, and NBC. Listen to (me! Er, I mean,) your heart and look your kids in the eye and vote for the man that is right for the job. (And you're voting for BUSH?)

Please consider this also: why would the hatred be so strong against this President? The answer is that the forces of evil hate him and want him gone. I'm not saying that all of you are evil or that every person who votes for Kerry is evil. (Um, yeah, that is what you're saying!) I'm just saying that the deception is very strong and difficult to resist. Personally, I can see past the partisan lies and see that he is the man who should be our President. (Great! Oh, you mean Bush.)

After all these years, I'm still waiting for a volunteer from the religious right (Carl P, perhaps?) to explain to me just exactly what tenets of Christianity can be found in George W. Bush. As far as I can tell, Bush openly advocates killing (his wars, constant use of the death penalty), ignores the needs of the poorest of our citizens (cutting social programs, cutting taxes for the top percentiles while doing nothing about high payroll taxes) his apparent hatred for peace (too many examples to count) and his obnoxiously public displays of faith (a major violation of Jesus' words in Matthew 6:5-6). Will one of you theocrats PLEASE explain that for all time?

But if spirituality lacks in the Bush administration, religious dogma is plentiful. Count on the Bushies to exercise control of the masses through fear, intimidation and the peril of non-conformity. And don't forget the manipulation of revered manuscripts and documents to justify the unjustifiable. In short, all of the worst traits of religion. I do see that. That's definitely there.

Our next entry explains indisputably why the ultimate paragon of peace, Jesus, would be all for our little global conquest:

I don't have to make up what Jesus would say about war- it is written in black and white in Romans. I have posted that passage in another answer in this thread. I'll tell you. God has given the responsibility of protection and law to our government.

You see? God has blessed our government! It can do no wrong! Except, of course, for welfare.

At this point I must ask all of you who are in the process of consuming food, drink or medicine to put it down before you read the next sentence; this will save you from spewing it all over your computer as well as avert a potential choking hazard:

If the President and those in authority have said that they believe war is necessary, that is their call.

Yeah, just like the way you guys worshipped Bill Clinton, right? When God told him to bomb Kosovo, you guys said that he was just diverting attention from Monica Lewinsky's semen-stained dress. Why didn't you trust God then? Did you really want to look at Clinton's semen that badly? On second thought, don't answer that...

I'm not saying it's wrong to question them on it. Please do- they need accountability. However, the lies and hatred about the war that are spewed by many have no place in my opinion.

In other words, feel free to express your opinion, as long as it is MINE. But let's give these commentators the credit they deserve; whether or not they were consistent with Clinton and Bush, they certainly seem to be on the right track with Bush and Kerry as agents of God:

I'll submit to the authority that God has put into place. If Kerry gets elected, it will be because God has placed him here. I will pay my higher taxes and I will respect him as my President. I may not agree with what he stands for or what he does, but he'll be my President.

Either we've found the most consistent Christian wingnut ever, or the most braindead one. Probably both. I get the feeling that, if this person decides to stay home on election day, they'll feel it's because God wants them to be apathetic. And if a gas main happens to explode from neglect while they're at home, then obviously God wanted them to die. Must be nice never to have to think for yourself...

And speaking of thinking...if the Christian Right is good at one thing, it's thinking through the complicated issues. And quickly at that! Take note of this stand-alone comment, appearing halfway through the thread (and right in the thick of a heated debate):

By the way, I think this debate has been settled.

I find that this is how most Christian debates in which I've been involved end--with the holy-roller suddenly declaring victory and citing the Bible as the reason. At the very least, it gets them off your case if you start making sense.

He does happen to be the only God. He's also the only one who has ever made that claim. Jesus Christ is the only man who actually claimed to be one with God. [Aside from Sun Myung Moon, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Charles Manson, every Baptist and Pentecostal minister alive and everyone who claims to be saved.] What do most world religions say about Christ? They say he was a prophet, a good man, or a teacher. What's the problem with this? It's impossible for him to merely be a good man when he claimed to be one with God. [Indeed, most men who claim to be God are not good people at all.] He even claimed to BE God. Then He gave His life for the world in order that we might be saved. No other "deity" has EVER even come close. [To YOU, anyway.] No other has ever even claimed to be the only god. None. Why? Because all other gods are spawned from satan [sic] himself and he needs them all to believe the lie that there are many gods. [All together now: How conveeeeeenient!] Yes, those who never trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior will go to hell. It's a fact that is written throughout the Scripture.

Jesus! Is this an Internet thread or a Chick tract?

I have included the section about paying taxes to let you know that I realize the Bible commands me to pay taxes if the government tells me to.

I swear, it's hard to tell if these people worship God or the Bible. Wouldn't Bible worship be considered idolatry? At least that what the BIBLE says...

Please consider this also: why would the hatred be so strong against this President? [See the rest of the this blog.] The answer is that the forces of evil hate him and want him gone. [Oh. I thought it was because Bush is an inarticulate, selfish, warmongering, elitist, smug and irrational prick. But it's just because I'm evil. My bad.] I'm not saying that all of you are evil or that every person who votes for Kerry is evil. I'm just saying that the deception is very strong and difficult to resist. [So Bush is really a swell guy in spite of his words, deeds, beliefs and actions?] Personally, I can see past the partisan lies and see that he is the man who should be our President. In addition the election of Kerry and his ilk is an affront to all people who believe the Bible is the Word of God. [So a vote for Kerry is not evil, yet it is heretical? Talk about a flip-flop!] There is a diabolical attempt the preachers in this country from teaching from the Bible from the pulpit of the nations churches. [Um, what?] Pending legislation in Congress is designed to muzzle the pastors, preachers, rabbis et cetera from preaching the Word of God. [I believe they're referring to to H.R. 666, the God Sucks Act of 2004. Is there no end to the heretical antics of this, uh, Republican Congress?] This country must be taken back from the insurrectionists intent upon dismantling our freedom in this country. [The country must be seized in the name of freedom? Now THAT's witty!]




He's George W. Bush, and he approves this message.

Before we part this morning, let us join in one final prayer: "O deity, if there is one, please be benevolent in your blessings to our nation and all the nations in the world. And while we aware that you interfere not in the affairs of the world, such as NFL games, we please ask you to exert divine will over those who need you the most. Those would be the people who claim to know your ways most yet follow them the least, the religious right. Please bestow upon them the good judgment that so eludes them in astonishing capacity. We know, we know, the Big Bang was easier, but can you at least give it a shot? Please? I swear we'll pray to you more often! Knock some goddamn sense into them before they kill us all in your name so that they can go to heaven and spend the rest of eternity on their knees praying in hard pews. Thank you. Amen. Play ball."

Now where's that damn collection plate?


Shannon said...

I like the implication that Jesus is pro-nuke and anti-UN. He sure was ahead of his time, wasn't he?

Michael said...

You have to admire the consistent inconsistency of the, um, "author" of that little screed. (And I see no reason to believe that it couldn't be both a web posting and a Chick tract.)

According to our "leader," Kerry is a spawn of the Adversary and everything he touches turns to evil. But if he's elected president, that's what God wants and our little sheeple will meekly follow along behind, because that's what the Bible says to do.

For my money, the very idea that Jesus was (or ever could be) a "fearsome enemy" is this/close to blasphemous. As is the sort of "Whom Would Jesus Nuke?" ideology espoused by this eejit, whom I strongly suspect would not recognize Jesus Christ if he came up to him and gave him the kiss of peace. He'd probably interpret it as an attempt at gay seduction and beat his Saviour to death with a baseball bat.

Ian McGibboney said...

I should clarify that these comments are actually a composite of about four or five posts. Still, they're in order and separated by my commentary. And the flip-flop you noted about Kerry being the spawn of Satan yet someone he'll accept if God wants him in I believe is the same person. Even if they are different people, I know people personally with the same position. Some people are just hopeless...

Amd I definitely agree with you, Michael, that if Jesus were to walk this earth again in 2004 he'd be killed like it was a Mel Gibson documentary.

gambitch said...

Hi Ian,

Courtesies first. Thanks for visiting my site, even though I don't write quite nearly as deeply as you do. And thanks for the compliments too.

Hope you don't mind a foreigner gatecrashing on your party without really knowing all the facts. Foreigners... But in the words of Sam Seaborn from The West Wing, let's forget about the fact that I'm coming a little late to the party and embrace the idea that I showed up at all.

A couple of takes:

1. I come from a place that is religiously diverse, and my homeland was founded on the principles of multiracialism, multiculturalism and religious harmony in diversity. I have no religion myself, and have been steadfastly resistant to conversion by any religion, especially by the modern Protestant community in the area where I live (it hasn't suffered for it - many other people below 30 where I live have converted to Christianity in the last 20 years or so).

My abhorrence of organized religion as it stands today stems from the realization that, were I to become a religious devotee, I would be suckered into subscribing into a dogma that essentially divides people into two categories, "us" and "the rest". I'd be led to think that the path I believe in would be The True Path (tm) and all else is heresy. The thread you linked us to gives ample illustration of this.

I don't like the fact that there seems to be this confusion between church and state. I frankly thought we've started moving away from this sort of medieval stuff for more than a century, and suddenly this is being rolled back. John Kerry made me nod my head in approval back at the tail end of the second presidential debate when someone asked about abortion and what he would say to someone who didn't want his tax dollars to go towards funding an abortion program. Here's what's he said:

"I'm a Catholic, raised a Catholic... But I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can't do that. I can counsel people... but as a president, I have to represent all the people in the nation. ... Now, I believe that you can take that position and not be pro-abortion, but you have to afford people their constitutional rights."

A great throwback to what I heard back in the first season of The West Wing, when the President (Martin Sheen), who is Catholic and anti-execution, had to decide on whether to commute someone on death row. "I commute this guy, for no particular reason other than I don’t like the death penalty... And the next President sees it in a different way. I’ve laid track to all kinds of... The next guy is gonna have eighth amendment problems up the ass. We cannot execute some people and not execute others depending on the mood of the Oval Office." Makes mighty big sense to me.

My point is that I don't like seeing religion coming in and polarizing people, and I definitely don't like religion having such an overwhelming influence in politics, when people try to command fellow believers to vote for one candidate or the other only because "it's the religiously right thing to do". One of the biggest churches over where I live is rumoured to have a pretty big involvement in the unusual rise of a local pop star whose husband happens to be a pastor with the church. I think it sucks if people buy music albums from a particular singer just because she's affiliated to "their church". It's even worse if people voted for a presidential candidate just because he's religiously "with us".

2. Not entirely to do with this thread, but I personally don't like seeing assertions going around designed to make their opponents look bad without providing adequate backup evidence. When Bush said that Kerry will roll back the tax cuts for everybody and go on to tax people even more, I really struggled to understand why Kerry would do that. It's not because I believe Kerry won't, it's just that Bush gave no evidence and he showed no logic.

Somewhere along the line, he crossed my personal threshold as far as how much I would buy his arguments on his word without evidence. When Bush said Kerry had a dismal attendance record as a senator, and when Cheney levelled a similar accusation against Edwards in the VP debate (I remember something about Edwards being missing from 33 out of 36 meetings for something), I was thinking "Right, can someone show me the Congress attendance book just so I'd make sure this wasn't made up?". But after a while I dropped that and couldn't even be bothered to believe Bush and Dick. Thereafter everything Bush said just became some wild, probably unbelievable assertion to me.

But the only reason I was so sharp on something like this was because I used to be schooled in competitive debate and adjudication. As part of that training, I've been told (and have since been telling others) that one of the big rules of the game was not to make assertions without backing them up. The only problem is that people who are taught properly about debate and argumentation form a really small minority, and even after we add those people who understand debate and argumentation without formal schooling, there's only so many of us. Too many others will just buy whatever we hear at face value, because too many people are just too ignorant, lazy or self-interested to be cynical. It's the same story around the world, and I'd hazard a guess that America is no exception.

I'm a little detached from the presidential race - I'm a foreigner after all - but I'm pessimistic about the election. Cold logic says that Kerry is the clearly preferable candidate over Bush (although if Kerry does win and screws up in the Oval Office he'd still be damned by history), but cold logic doesn't work all the time. In fact it doesn't work too often either - remember 2000?

They say democracy gives the best chance to choose the best leaders, and even if they're all crap we'd still end up with the best pick of a rotten bunch somehow. I'm not so sure; the better man losing defies logic, but the conclusion that we'd pick the best man for the job is predicated upon some assumptions that, let us say, can very easily be false, because not everyone operates on logic alone.

In closing, I like to read the stuff here and I think you're doing a pretty persuasive job here (in my book anyway). If I had a vote that would count in Ameirca I'd pick Kerry over Bush, no questions asked, and hope that he staffs his offices with reasonable people who spend more time getting things done than politicking like idiots. I'm even enjoying laughing at some of the more ridiculous comments Bush makes in his campaign (somewhere in the second debate he said "I'm a good steward of the land"; ha ha ha).

But it's one thing for me to hope. How things turn out is quite another matter. I don't like Bush, but hey, I'm not American, so why should I matter?

Phillip said...

"Either we've found the most consistent Christian wingnut ever, or the most braindead one."

Ian, you think there is no overlap???

Houston said...

I get those emails from my cousins in Louisiana and Texas on a pretty regular basis. I always click "Reply to All" and then give them my point of view. I have promised never to let a lie come across my screen that I do not respond to. The distance between my cousis and me becomes greater each day. I worry for our country, I really do.

Ian McGibboney said...

gambitch, feel free to gatecrash anytime. We're not xenophobic here at The Blog. Thanks for the inspired commentary.

Phizz, there's nothing BUT overlap. And by the way, I forgot to give you credit for helping me locate that thread. Thanks a lot.

Houston, I used to reply-all quite a bit myself. But I'd never get a response, except for the occasional person who'd say, "I think you meant to give this to [name of person who sent original message]." Half the time, those people didn't seem to agree with the message either.

ThomasMcCay said...

I never cease to be amazed at the arrogant blatantly self serving BS that these quasi-Christian politicos are willing to dress their God in.

In spite of the ancient pretense that 'man is made in the image of god', these people have created a weak right wing, republican god that can't function without rank and file Repbulicans to help him keep the world together. Their mighty god lives in fear of Democrats yet.

When a religious poser tells you 'Vote my way or God will punish you,' this is pure ugly politics with nothing what so ever to do with spirit. This is lying in the name of your deity.

I think these militant spiritual slanderers better hope there is no God or hell waiting at the end of the road.

To give credit where credit is due, the American Christian-Right has done a remarkable job of dragging god down to their level.

I would pray for them, if I weren't an atheist.

Kyle said...

I never mentioned or proposed that GWB has followed any Christian tenets. I "feel" (liberal justification for exclaiming any lie they wish to express) that W has the right ideas when it comes to taxes, war and abortion. I don't want MY tax dollars to fund abortion. I don't MY money distributed to those who are unwilling to get up off their lazy asses and get to work. I think class warfare is wrong and forces people to "feel" that they are entitled to something. I don't want to wait around for another nuisance terrorist attack before we act again.

What amazes me is the spittle-laced frenzy you go into for Christians trying to campaign against a particular candidate. LOL, you are funny!

Bruce said...

Unbelievable! You Yanks are truly beyond words! Are you writing this concatenation of religion and politics with straight faces? Are you seriously attempting to argue the validity of one man's claim to power against another's with the help of a fantastical jury?

Look. Seriously. You need help.

Ian McGibboney said...

"I never mentioned or proposed that GWB has followed any Christian tenets."

You know, I'm hearing this more and more these days from the same people that used to praise the man's religiosity all the time. If you are a Christian, as I believe you said you were (?), and you say Bush is not a Christian and does not follow its tenets, then why do you still support him?

I 'feel'...that W has the right ideas when it comes to taxes, war and abortion."

1)Taxes: to like Bush's tax structure you must be either a millionaire or an idiot.

2)War: tell me, are YOU willing to put your ass where your heart is and go into Iraq? Today?

3)Abortion: a president has no control over abortion, even if he does appoint three right-wing Supreme Court justices. In order for abortion to be reconsidered, the Court would have to hear a case that 1) had already gone through the required series of circuit and appellate courts; 2) offered a compelling challenge and justification for the Supreme Court to hear it; and 3) the SC overturned Roe v. Wade as a result of the case. If this SC will not hear one, I dout any court ever would.

"I don't want MY tax dollars to fund abortion. I don't MY money distributed to those who are unwilling to get up off their lazy asses and get to work."

Well, I don't want MY tax dollars to fund nuclear weapons. I don't want MY tax dollars to fund corporate kickbacks. I don't my tax money going into the already bloated trust funds of billionaires who will use it to hire exactly zero new workers. Life sucks, huh?

"I think class warfare is wrong and forces people to 'feel' that they are entitled to something."

Class warfare is real. In today's unchecked economic climate, the idea of working hard and reaping the results has never been further from the truth. CEOs and similar types make more money in the stock market than they do actually working. Meanwhile, people often work three or four jobs just to feed their kids. That's crap--not to mention, real. So yeah, I will not apologize for class warfare. And guess what! I GUARANTEE you that YOU are being screwed just as badly as the rest of us by the same fat cats that you support and think are your friends. How do I know this? Because how likely is it that a guy in the top percentile of U.S. wage-earners bothers with a free Blogspot page? Or even has time for the Internet at all?

"I don't want to wait around for another nuisance terrorist attack before we act again."

I see we agree on something. But, with all due respect, the only way we could ever stop terrorism is to kill everyone in the world, which (sorry, dude) isn't going to happen.

"What amazes me is the spittle-laced frenzy you go into for Christians trying to campaign against a particular candidate. LOL, you are funny!"

I'm sick of religious people (Bush, bin Laden) destroying the world in the name of unverifiable beliefs. It's ignorant, wrong and evil. It's not about campaigning; it's about hypocrisy, deception and lunacy. I will not stand for it.

Bruce, I don't speak for those who claim that religion and politics belong together. I am merely a conduit for the goofy words of the religious right, distilled through my commentary filter. To be honest, I can't tell if you're criticizing me or the people I quoted, but I'm glad you weighed in and hope you will continue to do so.

Kyle said...

What a double standard. Your boy Kerry stumps at Christian churches on a continuing basis, handing out Kerry/Edwards placards and stickers and denounced Bush from the pulpit. I guess if Bush did that he would be that crazy freep you libs bitch about. Like the good Lord Jesus said, "How can you point to a splinter in your friend's eye when you have a log stuck in yours."

I thought you moonbats were all about "separation of church and state"?

Michael said...

Gee, Carl, and I was just beginning to think you might have developed intelligence or something. Good to see I was off-track on that.

Kerry can talk at churches all he wants, as long as those churches allow Bush the same privilege if he asks for it. A church can ask whomever it wants to address them on politics or on any subject, and the First Amendment is not troubled in the least.

But when the pastor (priest, bishop, rabbi, imam, whatever) steps up to the pulpit and tells his/her congregation that they must vote for Candidate X, that is crossing the First Amendment bright line. No religion has any business telling any of its adherents how they should vote--and as tax-exempt entities, they are prohibited from doing explicit politicking.

I guess that's just one of those government functions you wingnuts want to drown in Grover Northquist's bathtub.

Kyle said...

Does that include reverends like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?

Kyle said...

Also, handing out campaign placards is a strict violation of this