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Sunday, January 03, 2010

In God They Trust. All Others Pay Cash 

There's a prophet in California, Harold Camping, who is teaching that the world will end on May 21, 2011.

He previously predicted that the world would end on Sept. 6, 1994, and he gathered a sizable group of fellow believers in the Veterans Memorial Building in Alameda, California, to celebrate The End.

Maybe you heard? It didn't end.

Camping now says his math was off, but he's got that corrected ... and it goes like this: (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500. "Or put into words: (Atonement x Completeness x Heaven), squared."

Math was not our strong subject in school, though we guess the arbitrariness of that "squared" function makes as much sense as pawing through the innards of doves to divine The End of Times. Camping's wigginess, though, is just plain entertaining:
"Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.," he began. "Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that's 1,978 years."

Camping then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days -- the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year.

Next, Camping noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500....

"Five times 10 times 17 is telling you a story," Camping said. "It's the story from the time Christ made payment for your sins until you're completely saved.

"I tell ya, I just about fell off my chair when I realized that," Camping said.

There's a good chance he actually did fall off that chair. And landed on his head.

People who keep track of these things say there have been at least 220 predictions of The End of the World. Recently, there were two predictions for 2004 and three for 2007. Some prophets, like Jerry Falwell, took the wise dodge of vagueness: "Soon," saith these brethren. "Soon," it turns out, is completely relative. It proved so during the very first prediction of The End in 44 A.D., when a cat named Theudas took 400 people into the desert to await divine transport. Instead, Theudas received transfer via Roman soldiers, who took his head off.

Prophets of The End get so little respect! But among Mr. Camping's followers in the Bay Area of California, along about May 20, 2010, I betcha there'll be some fabulous yard sales.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Who Knew the NC Constitution Was Such a Dick! 

The US Constitution, Amendment 1: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

The NC Constitution, Article 6 Sec. 8: "The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God."

On the basis of the N.C. document (while ignoring the U.S. one), there's a group in Asheville trying to deny recently elected Asheville city councilman Cecil Bothwell his seat on the council because he once wrote a book critical of evangelist Billy Graham.

Plus this, in the Asheville Citizen-Times article: "Bothwell labels himself an atheist on his MySpace page, though he wrote in an online post last week on fellow incoming councilman Gordon Smith's blog, Scrutiny Hooligans, that he prefers the term 'post-theist.' Bothwell added: 'I don't deny the being of Almighty God; I simply consider the question of denial or acceptance irrelevant." (But soooo what?)

Some are threatening a law suit ... but against whom? Sue Cecil Bothwell, because he doesn't toe the theocratic line? Or sue the City of Asheville for swearing in an (okay, let's go for it!) atheist?

Good luck on that prospect! But, really, go ahead and sue and let's get this stupid line stuck down in our state constitution.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Buncombe County Commission "Knocking on the Doors of Hell" 

Citing the Forsyth County case, the Buncombe County Commission will no longer precede its meetings with an official prayer, opting for a moment of silence instead.

The board's attorney said in a statement, "On November 9, 2009 a magistrate judge with the US District Court for the Middle District of NC issued a recommendation of judgment against Forsyth County as the practice violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution .... The Forsyth case is based on facts establishing that out of 33 invocations prior to meetings only 7 did not contain some reference to Jesus, Jesus Christ, Christ, Savior, or the Trinity, and none of those 33 invocations invoked another deity associated with any faith other than Christianity. Such statistics are no doubt common here in the Bible Belt and I believe are also fairly representative of such a sampling before our Board."

To be legal prayers before the opening of a government body must be non-sectarian in nature and not endorse one faith or denomination over another.

Naturally, such a decision, even in Asheville, could be guaranteed to invite the raining down of hellfire, starting with the recently defeated right-wing former town councilman Carl Mumpower and local conservative "activist" Don Yelton, who said, modestly and with hardly any hyperbole, "I am reminded of what some [Jewish] friends told me, they did not know how fast it could happen. Hitler. We are knocking on the doors of hell right now. Please get your pastors to get awake and take a stand."

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Forsyth County, Wasting Money 

Re Forsyth County government's answer to a magistrate's preliminary ruling that praying to Jesus Christ at the beginning of County Commission meetings is blatantly flaunting the constitutional church/state separation ... The continued fighting of this judge's ruling amounts to a misappropriation of taxpayer $$. That is to say, the money it's taking for a lawyer or a team of lawyers to write their justification for why Forsyth County should continue to wrap themselves in Jesus Christ is money better spent on actual citizen services.

Especially when the "fix" is so simple: pray silently to any god you please, preferably the One Who takes an active interest in debt setoff, tax liens, re-vals, and traffic committee reports.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Righteousness Has Gotten More Expensive 

[Franklin] Graham acknowledged last week that his compensation total "looks terrible" and that "people won't understand it."
Charlotte Observer, 8 Oct. 2009

The Charlotte Observer has found that Franklin Graham is getting two CEO salaries, as head of both Samaritan's Purse, headquartered in Boone, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, headquartered in Charlotte. Together, that compensation amounted to $1.2 million last year, which makes Graham the highest paid leader of a US-based international relief agency.

Jesus made such a point about the corruption of riches that his parable of a camel getting through the eye of a needle easier than a rich man getting into heaven made it into three of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). Only the Gospel of John goes easy on rich men (and even throws in that off-hand little hint, "The poor always ye have with you," which has sanctioned a good deal of Christian complacency over the years).

Mr. Graham's reaction (quoted above) to this news coming out in the Charlotte Observer speaks to the political context of today's public Christians. It's all about appearances. The underlying substance does not change, and we wouldn't look for the good reverend to be donning sackcloth any time soon.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Meek Will Inherit Squat 

Just what the world's been waiting for ... "a fully conservative translation of the Bible"! The "Conservative Bible Project" intends to flush all that sissy "Do unto others" and "Blessed are the peace-makers" crap for something a little more in line with a militarized, Republicanated, Limbaugh-esque version of The Prince of Peace (which, it turns out, was a freakin' hippy imposter. The real Jesus was apparently a good deal closer in outline to Chuck Norris, or the Taliban).

There's much to admire in this new agenda, the rules that will be guiding this new translation, but here are our favorite marching orders for cleaning up the New Testament:
2. Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity

Jesus was as much a swinging dick as Brigidier General Jack Ripper, say, or Dick Cheney.

And perhaps the best of all, the stuffed cherry on top of this Holy Sundae:
7. Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning

Turns out that the passage about the odds of rich men getting their complacent asses into heaven was badly mistranslated, and incidentally, God hates unions.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

And a Dumb Blonde Shall Lead Them 

Meet Carrie Prejean, Values Voter Summit headliner and political guru. When the values of American beauty pageant contestants become the values of the iPootValues Voter, we feel like lying in a hammock and taking the next several years off from political activism. These folks seem sufficiently bent on self-destruction that they don't need any nudging from me.

You can't really satirize what is already satirizing itself so thoroughly. The former Moral Majority is packing some serious intellectual heft these days, no? A Barbie doll channeling George W. Bush tells the super righteous at the Values Voters summit:
"As I saw my goals and aspirations flash by me, I knew God had a plan for me .... God chose me for that moment."

All the Christian conventioneers applauded as though an archangel had come down from heaven to hand over The Restored Stone Tablets (or the Satin Sash of Righteousness and Breast Augmentation). Who knew God took such an interest in Vaselined teeth and runway strutting?

Said our good ole boy on the scene, "It wudn't nuttin but wut she said about The Gay that mattered."

The last time the Right Wing used a beauty pageant contestant as their life raft, we believe Anita Bryant took 'em all down with the ship.

The world we live in offers too much brilliant silliness. Dan Brown, the Absolute Worst Writer in the Universe, coins more money with a new thriller. Meanwhile, a serious new film biography about Charles Darwin will likely not be released in the god-blessed United States of America because it might "prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution."

Maybe we're all too dumb to survive as a sub-species. When the end comes, I'll be out back in the hammock.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

John F. Kennedy and the New Anti-Christ 

I was 16-going-on-17 during John F. Kennedy's run for the White House in 1960, a member of a Pentecostal church which militantly viewed "the world" as enemy to the good, while all my high school friends were Southern Baptists. The father of one of those friends passed a printed pamphlet to my father, who gave it to me: "The Catholic Menace." I began to read about the dangers our beloved country was in should the Catholic Kennedy lie his way into the presidency. The hairs were standing up on the back of my neck by the time I finished. I was haunted by images of what Catholics did to Protestants (back when they did things to Protestants, whenever that was, as deliciously detailed in Fox’s Book of Martyrs). I knew that I had to do something to keep the Pope from taking over our government.

What I could do as a teenager was talk, a little wild-eyed, to my classmates, who couldn't vote, and to my extended family, many of whom never bothered to vote. That year, despite all the crazy talk by adults who could and did vote for Richard M. Nixon, Texas went for Kennedy and in January 1961 cast its 24 electoral votes for JFK.

That was the same year, 1961, that Barack Obama was born in Honolulu. Obama is now the target of the 21st century equivalent of nasty little printed pamphlets, that is, The Forwarded E-Mail, the most virulent recent one claiming that the president is actually the antichrist. Some of the more determined promoters of these vicious fictions are going on YouTube, like this guy, who, when he gets tired of misrepresenting Christianity as a paranoid's last resort, could have a great career as a twister of balloons into party animals.

The Republican Party is not only hanging out with these people. These people are the base of the Republican Party, they define it. In the absence of any visible party leadership, they're calling the shots, and it's the rare Republican politician willing to stand up and say "You people are plu-perfect cra-zee and have nothing to do with me."

I raise this connection between the paranoia of the super-religious in the 1960s and the paranoia of the super-religious in 2009 as a melancholy memory, since some lunatic managed to kill Kennedy. Some lunatic, fueled by the evil reverends in our midst today, will puff themselves up with the egotism of their own righteousness and attempt to kill Barack Obama. They're certainly capable of murder, and worse. They shot a doctor in the head in his own church in Omaha.

Beware of the righteous on a mission from God. No group should fear them more than the contemporary Republican Party, whose hands will not easily come clean of that blood.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A "Mafia" That's Holier Than Thou 

The secret fundamentalist cabal, known as "The Family," which runs the secretive C Street townhouse where famous Republican serial adulterers have recently bunked, is discussed by the leading authority on the group, Jeff Sharlet, who wrote the book "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power." Sharlet sums up the secret group and the Washington men who have affiliated with it this way:
...Family men are more than hypocritical. They're followers of a political religion that embraces elitism, disdains democracy, and pursues power for its members the better to "advance the Kingdom." They say they're working for Jesus, but their Christ is a power-hungry, inside-the-Beltway savior not many churchgoers would recognize. Sexual peccadilloes aside, the Family acts today like the most powerful lobby in America that isn't registered as a lobby -- and is thus immune from the scrutiny attending the other powerful organizations like Big Pharma and Big Insurance that exert pressure on public policy.

The Family likes to call itself a "Christian Mafia," but it began 74 years ago as an anti-New Deal coalition of businessmen convinced that organized labor was under the sway of Satan. The Great Depression, they believed, was a punishment from God for what they viewed as FDR's socialism. The Family's goal was the "consecration" of America to God, first through the repeal of New Deal reforms, then through the aggressive expansion of American power during the Cold War. They called this a "Worldwide Spiritual Offensive," but in Washington, it amounted to the nation's first fundamentalist lobby. Early participants included Southern Sens. Strom Thurmond, Herman Talmadge and Absalom Willis Robertson -- Pat Robertson's father. Membership lists stored in the Family's archive at the Billy Graham Center at evangelical Wheaton College in Illinois show active participation at any given time over the years by dozens of congressmen.

Heath Shuler has already been linked to the C Street cabal.

And now ... Mike McIntyre, that other N.C. blue dog, who votes with the Republicans even more than Heath.

Whose interests are they serving, and why do they hide the strings by which they dangle?

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Benefits of the Gospel 

When hearing this tale, one just naturally meditates on the words of Jesus: "Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:23, KJV).

Here's the outline:

Major evangelism industry big-wig builds $100 million per annum broadcasting empire in Charlotte, is subsequently lured to the South Carolina suburbs of Charlotte by $26 million in tax incentives, pays himself over $1.5 million per annum, and is building himself a $4 million playhouse in a gated community on the shores of Lake Keowee -- 9,000 square feet with a 2,000 square-foot screened porch. That's some mortification of the flesh! While this extravagance is still under construction, the big-wig begins trimming his pay-roll, laying people off, cutting salaries ... the mortification of other people's flesh!

Said media evangelism big-wig, when asked: appeals to donors are "based on the Bible" (which we think probably means that appeals to donors quote the Bible without necessarily following it).


The Chosen People 

Here's an example of using your Christian status among The Saved as a trump card to save you from punishment, i.e. in this case, loss of job:

Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), on Friday:
I have been doing a lot of soul-searching on that front. What I find interesting is the story of David, and the way in which he fell mightily, he fell in very very significant ways. But then picked up the pieces and built from there.

Zachery Roth helpfully reminds us of the plot of David&Bathsheba:
As King of Israel and Judea, David saw Bathsheba in the bath (he was walking on the roof at the time, goes the story) and immediately had to have her. After getting her pregnant, he tried to conceal it by ordering her husband Uriah to return from war and sleep with Bathsheba, so that the baby would be thought of as Uriah's.

But Uriah preferred to remain at war. So David gave an order that Uriah should be abandoned in battle, ensuring his death. Then he married Bathsheba.

And he didn't even have to give up his kingship.

According to reporters who were present when Sanford compared himself to King David, the governor's cabinet exhibited "looks of nervousness and incredulity," so that immediately afterward, the Guv's office issued a written statement:
I remain committed to rebuilding the trust that has been committed to me over the next 18 months, and it is my hope that I am able to follow the example set by David in the Bible -- who after his fall from grace humbly refocused on the work at hand. By doing so, I will ultimately better serve in every area of my life, and I am committed to doing so.

Will someone please send this child to camp?

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Blessed Are the Gun-Toters, For Theirs is the Paranoid Fantasy 

A Kentucky Assembly of God Church is hosting a "bring-your-gun-to-Church" Sunday.

We are not making this up.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Down the Primrose Path 

That's George W. Bush in 2005, addressing the delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention, the wholly owned subsidiary of the national Republican Party.

That call & response cheerleading may be a contributing factor to why the Charlotte Observer says this a.m. that the Southern Baptists have awakened to a perceptible decline in their numbers. Writes Yonat Shimron:
Having pushed out moderates and liberals during its decades-long revolution, the convention, which gathers in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday, is finding itself losing members and performing fewer baptisms.

Although the losses are not dramatic -- membership in the SBC fell by 38,482 people, about 0.2 percent, in 2008 -- they are particularly painful for a denomination whose singular reason for being is to make converts.

In other words, if you're a Baptist and not nailing new pelts to the cabin walls, you're certainly a failure if not something of a disgrace. At least that's what they used to tell us kids in Sunday School. (So I'd march right out and try -- unsuccessfully -- to convert my nearest neighbor, who bought her likker from my own bootlegging great-aunt. I never attempted to convert that aunt, given the odds ... and the personal hazard.)

Anyway, reporter Shimron works the margins of the whole big problem of a major American religious organization getting itself so thoroughly associated with a now failed politics, and what the fall-out from that association might end up being.

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Friday, June 12, 2009


No doubt about it: Democrats win the NC House and Senate, but the General Assembly cowers before the Religious Right.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

'GOD GUNS GUTS' ... not necessarily in that order.

The Sermon on the Mount ... on indefinite hiatus in east Tennessee.

Hat tip: LM

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Greening of the Baptists 

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is hosting a one-day environmental seminar tomorrow in Wake Forest, the first such gesture of detente toward tree-huggers in Southern Baptist history (or something).

Lest anyone gets the idea that the officials at the Southern Baptist seminary have gone all gay over environmental sensitivity, Southeastern President Danny Akin quickly said, "We're not jumping on the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Al Gore bandwagon. We're using a more cautious, responsible approach."

"More cautious." We got that. But beware. We hear that Druid impulses are awfully hard to keep a lid on, once they get some air.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Homo Sapiens? 

Apparently, it's our God-given right to beat the crap out of queers, and the N.C. Family Policy Council intends to keep it that way.

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Porn Nation 

An assistant professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School talked one of the top-ten vendors of online "adult entertainment" (a.k.a., porn) into sharing certain anonymous information about where the bucks for paid nakedness were being spent. The porn company shared the zip codes "associated with all credit card subscriptions" for online porn with the researcher. You can guess what's coming here, right?
Subscriptions are slightly more prevalent in states that have enacted conservative legislation on sexuality .... In the 27 states where "defense of marriage" amendments have been adopted (making same-sex marriage, and/or civil unions unconstitutional), subscriptions to this adult entertainment are weakly more prevalent than in other states....

Those who were prone to referring to their own "red-state" areas as "the real America" back during last year's campaign will want to stake a good deal of their current reputations on the researcher's use of that adverb weakly in that last sentence. Otherwise, there's not a lot to be proud of here, O ye of the Bible Belt.
...subscriptions are also more prevalent in states where surveys indicate conservative positions on religion, gender roles, and sexuality. In states where more people agree that "Even today miracles are performed by the power of God" and "I never doubt the existence of God," there are more subscriptions to this service. Subscriptions are also more prevalent in states where more people agree that "I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage" and "AIDS might be God's punishment for immoral sexual behavior."

This adds evidence to our longstanding assumption that the person railing the loudest about other people's sins is very likely more guilty of that sin than the people he's pointing the finger at. And the bigots screaming about gays are themselves signaling some powerfully frightening private urges.

We're particularly amused that Utah, possibly the reddest state in the Union, has the highest precentage of porn subscriptions per thousand people in the whole country. Apparently, Utah's "redness" is more than just a political inclination.

FOOTNOTE: HT: C.D. The full report, "Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?" can be read here (pdf file).

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Life Finds a Way 

News this a.m. about so-called "abstinence pledges" ("I promise God and all His angels that I shall not fornicate until I am successfully and legally married, and then only with my successful and legal spouse...") makes us flash on this moment from "Jurassic Park":
Henry Wu: You're implying that a group composed entirely of female animals will... breed?

Dr. Ian Malcolm: No, I'm simply saying that life, uh... finds a way.

The fantasies of adults that somehow, given enough doses of super-religion, their teenaged children will not sniff out opportunities for unbridled sexuality -- and that, furthermore, to teach them how to protect themselves from disease/unwanted pregnancies is more vile than catching the disease/unwanted pregnancy -- has been dealt a scientific blow by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

A "large study" by the aforenamed group found that teenagers who had promised God they would remain virgins were just as likely to have premarital sex as heathen teenagers, but -- much worse -- they were "significantly less likely" to use condoms once they succumbed to carnal urges.


But because this is scientific research and not divinely inspired wishful thinking, it will be ignored.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Good Riddance to an Infidel 

Bit of a public stoning going on in the National Association of Evangelicals. Result: Richard Cizik (pictured), a vice president of the NAE for 28 years and the man who pushed the organization into recognizing global warming in 2007, has resigned in disgrace. Here's a time-line:

1. The NAE used to be headed up by Ted Haggard until he was caught in 2006 hiring a male prostitute. Since being gay is considered far worse than being drug-addicted, Haggard blamed it all on an uncontrollable taste for methamphetamines.

2. Early in 2007, Cizik was the main leader and spokesman when the NAE adopted a "creation care" stance that acknowledged global warming as a Christian issue. For this new environmentalism among evangelicals, Time magazine named Cizik one of 100 most influential people, while James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and 23 other conservative Republican Christian mullahs condemned Cizik as an agent of Satan.

3. Last week (Dec. 2), during an appearance on NPR's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross, Gross asked him, "A couple of years ago when you were on our show, I asked you if you were changing your mind on [gay marriage]. And two years ago, you said you were still opposed to gay marriage. But now as you identify more with younger voters, would you say you have changed on gay marriage?"

Cizik responded, "I'm shifting, I have to admit. In other words, I would willingly say that I believe in civil unions. I don't officially support redefining marriage from its traditional definition, I don't think."

Cizik also said he had voted for Obama in the primaries. And said he was in favor of the government supplying contraceptives to reduce unintended pregnancies.

4. All hell broke loose. Among others crying "heretic" was Nixon hatchet-man and ex-Watergate felon Chuck Colson, whose Prison Fellowship is a member of the NAE.

5. Cizik dutifully put on sackcloth, poured ashes over his head, and confessed that he never meant that he would/could EVER approve of gay marriage. Or of abortion.

6. This past Wednesday night, having spent days on his knees in the snow, Cizik bowed to the hard hearts in the NAE and submitted his resignation, thus saving his fellow evangelicals from any hint that these pious people might include gays as part of the Body of Christ.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kathleen Parker Hates God 

Oh no she dent!

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, most famous recently for calling on Sarah Palin to step down as John McCain's running mate because she is, you know, dumb as laundry detergent, has ripped the sheet again, this time with the mullahs of the Religious Right. It's one thing for a pinko-commie like WataugaWatch to complain about the Religious Right. It's wholly another thing when the author of "Save the Males" unsheaths her sword against The Righteous.

In the column making the rounds on the InnerTubes today, Parker opines that "the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh."

And this:

"Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party."

"Armband religion." Brilliant turn of phrase that, which pretty much sums up our own feelings about the underlying hypocrisy of most pharisaical displays of religiosity that we've been treated to since The Littlest Angel said God wanted him to be president.

Parker doesn't miss the significance that now Sarah Palin has snatched the anointing oil for herself, promising to plow on through any door that God obligingly opens up. Saith the Parker, "Let's do pray that God shows Alaska's governor the door."

We'd hate to be Parker's InnerTube provider for the next few days.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

First We Check Your Vote and Then We Give Communion 

South Carolina Catholic priest advises parishioners not to take communion if they voted for Obama, because supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Apparently, God turned a little bit blue on Tuesday.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Palin Might Cost McCain Florida 

Ed Koch, the Jewish ex-mayor of New York City, has endorsed Obama, primarily because Sarah Palin "scares the hell out of me." Considering Koch, that's a lotta hell to scare!

Palin's out-of-the-mainstream religion has something to do with the fright, and the fact that she sat in her church in Alaska and listened to David Brickner, the executive director of Jews for Jesus, who described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" on Jews who haven't embraced Christianity. For the record, Sarah Palin didn't get up and walk out of the church when Brickner said those things, nor did she later disavow them.

There's a certain whiff of coercion and subterfuge in Mr. Brickner's campaign to convert the Jews ... that ought to alarm the Jews. Tolerant Christians too. Not to mention that moral equivalency Brickner wants to establish between terrorist attacks and failing to pray to Jesus.

Palin may be winning McCain the rural parts of America, but she's potentially losing him Florida.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Denominational Inexactness 

The Religion Blog at has been trying to determine Sarah Palin's professed religion, with mixed results. (HT: Brother Doc.) Consensus seems to be that she's Pentecostal but possibly just an ecstatic practitioner of non-denominationalism, though the Wall Street Journal, that most establishmentarian of Republican rags, says she's a Lutheran.

Meanwhile, John McCain is supposedly an Episcopalian (according to some sources) and a Baptist (according to others).

And the allegedly "Baptist" Virginia Foxx outs herself (again) in The Hill's Congress Blog as a Catholic, and not just ANY Catholic either, but one ready to call down the wrath of the Pope on fellow Catholic Nancy Pelosi's head for deviating from church doctrine on abortion. Which leads, naturally, to this...

FOOTNOTE: When the Madam ran for the NC Senate in 1994, she ran as pro-choice, which is why the local pro-choice group, 100 Women, contributed to her campaign. She lied. She's a liar. The truth is not in her.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

'Christianity Today' Praises Obama 

...but NOT for what you think. Writer Brad Greenberg praises Obama for NOT "selling his presidential bid as one ordained by God," like a certain notorious W so famously did. Greenberg: "Religion to Obama seems to be something you practice, the way to communicate with God, even if you can't easily explain it to others. And that ... is quite refreshing."

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Younger Evangelicals Turned Off by the Culture Wars 

In this a.m.'s NYTimes appears one of those periodic "trend" articles that can fairly take one's breath away with sweeping generalizations and anecdotal evidence. Fascinating read, but I'm just saying.

If this movement among young believers actually exists, it's marked by some stark differences with their elders:

1. They reject identification with "the religious right" (the goal of the church is not politics, they say)

2. "They are tired of the culture wars"

3. They are focused on service and good works, particularly related to the environment, the poor, immigrant communities, and helping people with H.I.V.

4. Being "evangelical" shouldn't "automatically mean that you are against stem cell research or [will be] voting for McCain"

5. They believe in taking the light of Christ into the world, not retreating from it into "holy huddles" of like-minded people who never challenge the status quo

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