Gays, Goats, And God

Michael Reagan, son of Ronaldus Magnus, is being pummeled by liberals for his attack, via an editorial, on gay marriage.

I, on the other hand, am happy that the truth is finally out there. No more hiding behind legal arguments or arguments about procreation. Reagan said plainly what most of those opposed to same-sex marriage are trying to hide:

This fight over Proposition 8 isn’t just about saying it should be legal in the eyes of government for two people of the same sex to get married in California.

It’s ultimately about changing the culture of the entire country; it inevitably will lead to teaching our public school kids that gay marriage is a perfectly fine alternative and no different than traditional marriage.

There is also a very slippery slope leading to other alternative relationships and the unconstitutionality of any law based on morality. Think about polygamy, bestiality, and perhaps even murder.

Yep, he said all that. The son of President Reagan said that if we allow homosexuals to get married, it will alter the culture such that folks will soon be able to marry as many goats as they want and then legally kill anyone who doesn’t like people marrying goats.

The intensity of the fight against same-sex marriage is a direct result of the cultural angst that religious zealots are experiencing, much like the angst that many whites are feeling about the browning of America.  The zealots believe it is a matter of immorality versus righteousness and the forces of righteousness must rise up or else.

Right Wing Watch reported on a weird conversation between a Christian talk show host, Rick Wiles, and Fred Luter, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention—the largest Baptist denomination in the world and the largest Protestant body in the United States, according to Wikipedia.

The conversation began this way:

WILES: I have to admit I’m at a loss to understand the complacency and apathy of tens of millions of American Christians who are standing by, twiddling their thumbs while their nation is transformed into a socialist, homosexual, anti-God, anti-biblical morality cesspool. I fear that the moral decay has accelerated and worsened to such a degree that it is now impossible to halt the decline without a major catastrophe crippling the nation. […]

The Bible is full of examples to what happens to a nation that goes into idolatry and witchcraft and sexual sin, it always ends in disaster, always. So why aren’t we telling the American people that if you allow the Supreme Court to rule that homosexuals can marry, you have just committed national suicide. Why isn’t anybody standing up?

Right Wing Watch reported that Luter, the Baptist pope, “told Wiles that he agreed with his analysis that the US may end up being ‘destroyed’ like Sodom and Gomorrah over same-sex marriage.”

And just who might be the destroyer in that Sodom scenario? How about that crazy little dictator in North Korea? Yep:

WILES: You know at precisely the same time the Supreme Court is hearing these arguments on same-sex marriage in Asia a crazy man in possession of nuclear weapons, Kim Jong-un, is openly saying: I have ordered our military to position our rockets on US targets in Hawaii, Japan, Guam and the mainland of the United States. He has gone into a full state of war this week. I don’t know, Pastor Luter, I don’t know if anybody is — I know they’re not — they’re just not putting this together. You got this happening over here and you got this happening over here: could the two be connected? Could our slide into immorality be what is unleashing this mad man over here in Asia to punish us?

LUTER: It could be a possibility, I’m not that strong in prophecy but I would not be surprised that there’s not a connection there simply because of the fact we’ve seen it happen in scripture before. I would not be surprised that at the time when we are debating same-sex marriage, at a time when we are debating whether or not we should have gays leading the Boy Scout movement, I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that we have a mad man in Asia who is saying some of the things that he’s saying.

I remind you that Luter represents at least 16 million Baptists in the United States. And I submit to you that fundamentalist religion is the only thing capable of poisoning a human mind to the point that it would construct and utter such absurdities. And I further submit to you that those whose minds are poisoned by Christian fundamentalism in America make up a significant chunk of the Republican Party.

As I have said many times before, this is the same kind of thinking at the root of Quran-inspired terrorism, the difference being that these days our jihadists expect God to do the dirty work for them using an instrument like that wacky, and dangerous, dictator in North Korea.


My Country, America and/or Israel, ‘Tis of Thee

If you have a stubborn doubt that God is a Republican, I suggest you go to C-SPAN and watch any part of the recently completed Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference and Strategy Briefing, an event inspired not only by GOP Jesus, but by the disgraced and disgraceful Ralph Reed.*

Naturally, the conference featured the usual demonization of Barack Obama; I mean, what is a gathering of pious American Christians without a wholesale bearing of false witness against our Christian President?  I particularly enjoyed the moment when Tim Pawlenty was recalling how unfaithful Mr. Obama has been and some God-fearing member of the audience shouted, “He lied!

Praise God!

In any case, the event started innocently enough:

Lord, we thank you for this land. We thank you for a nation that was founded for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith.

That utterly dishonest prayer was uttered by a Georgia pastor, Benny Tate, who also opened a legislative day in the House of Representatives in 2009 with this heavenly gem:

We acknowledge freedom is not free and the trees of every generation are watered with the blood of its sons and daughters.

Praise God for our sons and daughters and the blood-nourished trees!

In all seriousness, though, one of the most troubling themes of the FFC conference was expressed best by Richard Land, who heads a public policy agency for the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention and who was appointed to his current federal government post by George W. Bush. 

Mr. Land clearly laid out what many people outside the evangelical community fail to understand about evangelicals: They have a dual national allegiance, to both America and Israel, and it’s not always clear which allegiance comes first.

If you want to understand the evangelical mind, and if you want to understand just how dangerous the thinking is that motivates these Christian folks, and if you want to understand how perilous is the mixture of fundamentalist faith and politics, I urge you to read the following lengthy quote from Richard Land’s appearance at the Faith and Freedom conference this past weekend:

God prophesied that he would bring his chosen people, the Jews, back into the land, and we have seen in many of our lifetimes the fulfillment of that prophecy, as they have come back into the land and they have succeeded against fearsome odds…

My mother, who taught me to love Jesus and who taught me to love God’s Word—I remember my mother saying to me, “Richard, God blesses those who bless the Jews; God curses those who curse the Jews.”  And she said, “Remember last week we were watching that special on television and the airplane was flying across Germany in June of 1945 and all you saw were bombed-out buildings and flattened cities?  That’s what happens when you curse the Jews.”

If we want God to bless America, then we have to bless the Jews. God gave that land to his chosen people forever.  That issue is settled by God Almighty.

Now, I support Israel because Israel is more like America than any other country because we’re founded on the same basis: The Word of God.  But I also believe that we must bless America because I’m an American and I love America and I want God to bless America and God blesses us when we obey him and he doesn’t bless us when we disobey him.  And he has made it very clear that Israel has an ally far more powerful than the United States of America. It’s called the Lion of Judah [Jesus, in the Christian tradition].

Now, we can say many things about President Obama, but one thing we can’t say about him is that he’s stupid.  He’s a bright man—he’s a foolish man, but a very bright man.  He knows what he’s doing and he knows what he says…the worst president of the United States Israel has ever had is Barack Obama [thunderous applause].

There is no question that he is pro-Palestinian and his policies are pro-Palestinian.  Well, I have a word of encouragement for our friends in Israel, who must be feeling a little abandoned and a little abused and a little used right now: My dear friends, help is on the way! [Applause.]

With absolute confidence I can tell you that social conservatives in this country are with one voice saying, “Israel today, Israel tomorrow, and Israel forever!  We are with you because God is with you and we understand that we are going to defend your right to live in the land that God gave to you and to your children.  Rest assured, help is on the way!  You are not alone!”

Evangelical voters, particularly in the primary process, are the backbone of the Republican Party. Without evangelical support, Republicans couldn’t win many elections.  So it is important to understand that dynamic, as scary as it is.

And we must understand, too, that evangelicals have a hard time differentiating between loyalty to America and loyalty to Israel, as well as differentiating between truth and falsehood regarding Obama’s position on Israel, a position that is almost identical to George W. Bush’s.

If you are tempted to think that such nonsense like the nonsense Richard Land spouted is confined only to crazy evangelical Christian pastors or their followers, or to silly politicians like Michele Bachmann (who during the weekend conference said Obama’s speech on Israel was a “shocking display of betraying our greatest friend and ally“), read the following, spoken by Republican presidential candidate and Catholic-turned-evangelical Tim Pawlenty—who gets credit for being an “adult” candidate—at the Faith and Freedom conference:

We need to be a nation that turns toward God, not away from God…We need a President of the United States who stands shoulder to shoulder with our great friend Israel and make sure there is no daylight between the United States and Israel [standing ovation].

No daylight, Mr. Pawlenty? 


* Reed was involved in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.  He took millions of “In God We Trust” bucks from Abramoff and proceeded to use his influence among Christian voters in Alabama to stop Indian casinos and state lotteries that were competitors of Abramoff’s clients.  Praise God!

Jesus Loves The Children—Except The Sick Ones

Beginning tomorrow, among other things health insurance companies won’t be able to tell the parents of sick children that they can’t get insurance for their ailing kids.

So, naturally, the response of profit-motivated insurance companies is to simply end insurance coverage for all children not covered under their parent’s policies.  Anthem, Aetna, Cigna, Humana, WellPoint, CoventryOne are the first to do so, but surely others will follow.  There apparently isn’t a profit to be made in insuring children without discriminating against the sick ones, and as we all know, profits come before children.

Now, if we are going to have an insurance system that, despite the health care reform law passed by Democrats this year, is still a for-profit system, then I suppose we have to expect profit-hungry companies to put profits ahead of people.  That’s just the way it works.  Someday, that behavior will lead to an elimination of the for-profit system, but as long as Tea Party folks can scare the devil out of politicians, that day is a long way off.

In the mean time, there’s Mike Huckabee.  The former governor of Arkansas, who currently hosts his own show on the Republican “News” Channel, is an ordained Southern Baptist minister.

Get that?  The man is an ordained minister in one of the most conservative Christian church groups in America.  The Southern Baptists.  You know, the ones from the South who split with other Baptists because they thought black folks made good slaves.  You know, the ones who produced Bible verses that proved slavery was okay with God.  You know, the ones who fought civil rights for black folks all the way to the end.  You know, the ones who didn’t beg for forgiveness from those black folks until 1995.

Those guys.  The Southern Baptists.  Huckabee is one of those guys.

Last Friday, at the Values Voters Summit, where Southern Baptist-like people got together and demonstrated the love of Christ for all to see, Huckabee decided to unveil his Christ-like defense of the for-profit insurance industry as it relates to people with pre-existing conditions:

It sounds so good, and it’s such a warm message to say we’re not gonna deny anyone from a pre-existing condition. Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle [to] our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, ‘I’d like to buy some insurance for my house.’ He’d say, ‘Tell me about your house.’ ‘Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I’d like to insure it today.’ And he’ll say ‘I’m sorry, but we can’t insure it after it’s already burned.’ Well, no pre-existing conditions.

I have studied the New Testament pretty thoroughly over the years.  And I can’t seem to recall the verse or verses in which Jesus compared sick children to houses that have burned down or to cars that have been totaled (another Huckabee analogy).   Maybe those verses were next to the ones that condoned slavery and I just missed them.

But with apologists like Huckabee giving them cover, is it any wonder that the insurance industry has little fear of using sick kids as an excuse for not selling insurance policies that cover individual children?

Thanks, Mike.  You are a true Southern Baptist.

Southern Baptist Socialists

You know times are changing when the Southern Baptists are starting to sound like wild-eyed liberals.  Regarding their convention in Orlando last week, it was reported:

Noting that the Bible teaches that those who harm the vulnerable should be held accountable, the convention called on “governing authorities to act determinatively and with undeterred resolve to end this crisis; to fortify our coastal defenses; to ensure full corporate accountability for damages, cleanup, and restoration; to ensure that government and private industry are not again caught without planning for such possibilities; and to promote future energy policies based on prudence, conservation, accountability, and safety.”

I, for one, welcome these born-again socialists to the Obama team.

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