Little Bongo

This is from Matt Groening 30 years ago [partial transcript]:

My name is Little Bongo
I’m known as a ding-dong-go.

What got me to thinking about that is this:

By now everybody knows that Vice President Mike Pence does not have a dog. More explicitly, there is no Mike Pence family dog. Full disclosure: I do not have a dog. Anyhow, the family does have a pet rabbit, and his name is Marlon Bundo. [Any implication of the late movie actor Marlon Brando is spurious.] And a cute bunny he is, as well.

There is more. Mike Pence’s daughter Charlotte wrote a children’s book featuring the rabbit, and it was released this week, soaring on the Amazon charts. See the cover above. The title is Marlon Bundo’s a Day in the Life of the Vice President. You need to accept my apology, because I Photo-shopped the image to make it easier to read.

But that’s not all. Owing to the Vice President’s historic opposition to all things homosexual, transgender, or otherwise deviant, some decided to have a bit of fun and to troll the VP. Particularly, the creative staff of John Oliver’s TV show Last Week Tonight created produced their own book. Follow the link and watch the video.

 

Playing the game of One-Up, the Oliver team put their book, by Jill Twiss, on the market a day in advance of the Pence book, and I purchased a copy (Kindle Edition). Here it is:

Again, I souped up the image, because the cover is Hell’s version of pastel on white and barely shows up on my monitor.

But wait! There’s more. In the Twiss book, Marlon Bundo is gay. Queer, if you will. The VP’s anti-queer notions are mocked throughout. Here are some choice pages (it’s a short book):

Marlon meets Wesley, another boy rabbit. The attraction is mutual.

The two play together, romping among the feet of important politicians.

They enjoy being together so much, they decide to be together forever. They decide to get married. But the authoritarian Stink Bug, of all the animals, decides he is in charge, and he insists they must not be allowed to marry, because that kind of thing is not done.

But all the animals rise up and defy the Stink Bug, and Marlon and Wesley are married in a beautiful ceremony.

THE END

And here is the score so far: The Jill Twiss book is outselling the Pence book handily, posting as number 2 in paid Kindle sales.

Number one (today) is Melinda Leigh’s Say You’re Sorry. The Pence Book (Kindle) is further down:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #853 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

I’m guessing the popularity of the Jill Twiss book is due to the VP’s deep undeliverability among those who read. John Oliver cites a significant connection. A book tour for the Pence book includes a 26 March stop at Focus in the Family in Colorado Springs. That’s significant, as FotF is the premier American institution (a church since 2015) seeking to relegate homosexuals and other sexual deviants to second class status:

Focus on the Family (FOTF or FotF) is an American Christian conservative organization founded in 1977 in Southern California by psychologist James Dobson, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is active in promoting an interdenominational effort toward its socially conservative views on public policy. Focus on the Family is one of a number of evangelical parachurch organizations that rose to prominence in the 1980s. As of the 2015 tax filing year, Focus on the Family declared itself to be a church.

Focus on the Family’s stated mission is “nurturing and defending the God-ordained institution of the family and promoting biblical truths worldwide”.It promotes abstinence-only sexual educationcreationism; adoption by married, opposite-sex parents; school prayer; and traditional gender roles. It opposes abortion; divorce; gambling; LGBT rights, particularly LGBT adoption and same-sex marriage; pornography; pre-marital sex; and substance abuse. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and social scientists have criticized Focus on the Family for trying to misrepresent their research to bolster FOTF’s fundamentalist political agenda and ideology.

All said, nobody doubts the Pence book is a worthy children’s book, and I would purchase a copy ($9.99 for the Kindle) except for three things:

  • My youngest child is 46.
  • My grandson is 16.
  • Such a purchase could implicate me in the promotion of the Pence mindset.

 

People are voting with their pocketbooks, highlighting a groundswell of unpopularity for the Vice President. Such is the level of disdain that whenever talk among friends comes up concerning whether the current President should be impeached, the conclusion always boils down to “no,” Mike Pence being the reason. My personal view: we must continue to endure Donald Trump and to make him the poster child of what has become of American conservatism. If anybody can kill this wrong-headed mindset it will be those two dust bunnies at the top of the ticket.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

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Buyer’s Remorse

Number 13 in a series

It’s six months in now, and some people have got to be feeling a little bit burned. After gallantly waving the flag of inclusiveness on the campaign trail—and supposedly garnering a half basket full of adherents—President Donald Trump has now dropped the other shoe:

After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow……

….Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming…..

….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you

Yes, thank you, too, Mr. Trump. And watch that door on your way out.

This latest also gives us deeper insight into how the country’s leadership does business—very straight forward and to the point. No mincing words, no dancing around the issue. Just consult with generals and some experts, work through the details, and execute the plan.

All except the part about consulting with generals and experts, apparently:

Pentagon caught flat-footed on Trump’s transsexual ban

 July 27 at 7:33 AM

Trump wrote that he had consulted with “my generals and military experts,” but he did not mention Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the retired Marine general who less than one month ago told the military service chiefs to spend another six months weighing the costs and benefits of allowing transgender individuals to enlist. At the time, Mattis said this “does not presuppose the outcome of the review,” but Trump’s tweets appeared to have done just that.

I am not personally acquainted with any transsexuals, but at least one homosexual acquaintance has consistently come across as a strident Trump enthusiast—despising anything with a whiff of liberalism. A check this morning of David’s Facebook time line reveals he has yet to make a response regarding this latest. Of course, “transsexual” does not equal “homosexual,” but the two share a common movement. Note the ‘LGBT” on the flag our leader was holding at the Republican Party convention last year.

One high-profile transsexual is Olympic star Caitlyn Jenner, who famously endorsed Trump:

President Donald Trump struggled to court the vote in Hollywood mostly because entertainers and celebrities were turned off by his politics and his crusade against political correctness. But one megastar did offer a vote of confidence, and it came from an unlikely person. Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympic star and, perhaps, the most globally recognized transgender woman, was candid in her show of support in the run up to the election.

On Tuesday, Jenner was a guest on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and she revealed that she has no regrets with her vote.

“I know. I am not stupid,” Jenner said after Seth Meyers brought up the fact that she had voted for Trump in the election. “The Republican Party does not do a good job when it comes to equality and the entire LGBTQ community. The Democrats are better there. But, for me, I have been around a long time. I am probably more conservative.”

I am guessing that anything resembling buyer’s remorse in this case has been smothered by Donald Trump’s famous wit and charm. I’m being sarcastic here.

My news feeds this morning are alive with the story, including the conservative push behind the ban. Is it possible the President misread the signal on this play?

(CNN) — Republicans on Capitol Hill are scrambling to respond to President Donald Trump’s announcement Wednesday to reinstitute a ban on transgender people serving in the military after conservatives who lobbied the White House say they were pushing only to prevent the Pentagon from paying for medical costs associated with gender confirmation — not an outright ban.

Trump’s decision, announced Wednesday on Twitter and sparking bipartisan outrage on Capitol Hill, comes after the White House was lobbied by conservatives on the issue, including Rep. Vicky Hartzler, who proposed an amendment on the defense authorization bill to ban the Pentagon from paying what Hartzler called “transition surgeries,” as well as hormone therapy. The Missouri Republican lobbied the White House in recent weeks to do something on the issue, a GOP congressional aide familiar with the situation told CNN.

Additionally, some who are serving or who previously served have come out vocally. From Air Force Times:

After President Trump’s surprise announcement Wednesday barring transgender people from serving “in any capacity“ in the military, one prominent transgender airman said he’s more determined than ever to continue serving in the Air Force.

“I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military,” Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland said in an interview with Air Force Times. “You are not going to deny me my right to serve my country when I am fully qualified and able and willing to give my life.”

Other transgender service members expressed the same determination to stay in uniform in interviews with Military Times.

These individuals did not mention whether they voted for Donald Trump, but I’m guessing there are many who did. Buyer’s remorse is going to be on the table for months to come.

Friday Funny

One of a series

Here’s a new twist:

A Dallas evangelist told his followers that an “anointed cake” baked by “hookers” turned a gay man straight.

The evangelist, Lance Wallnau, bills himself as a Christian consultant whose website says he helped get President Donald Trump elected with his book God’s Chaos Candidate.

Who would have thought? People who know me consider me to be a really straight guy. But, you know, cake.

And that is funny.

Friday Funny

One of a series

religion-cultsleaderdead

It’s Friday again. Surely there must be something funny in  the world today. How about checking in on the Catholic Church?

‘If homosexual relationships are intrinsically disordered, which indeed they are … then what would it mean to grandchildren to have present at a family gathering a family member who is living [in] a disordered relationship with another person?

‘If it were another kind of relationship – something that was profoundly disordered and harmful – we wouldn’t expose our children to that relationship, to the direct experience of it.

‘And neither should we do it in the context of a family member who not only suffers from same-sex attraction, but who has chosen to live out that attraction, to act upon it, committing acts which are always and everywhere wrong, evil.’

Those are the words of Cardinal Raymond Burke, speaking at a Synod of the Family in Rome. Senior Catholic figures gathered there to discuss family issues.

Cardinal Burke is not, himself, married and likely never has he ever been. It is also unlikely the cardinal has ever been engaged in a heterosexual relationship. He wears a dress and lives with a bunch of other men.

Now that is funny.

Friday Funny

One of a series

Politics-GayLeviticusChart

Since this is Friday, here’s something funny from about 50 years ago:

A quaint story from colonial India. Two members of His Majesty’s officer corps were discussing a third:
Have you heard about Greer?
Greer?
Yes, Greer.
What about Greer?
It’s been said Greer has been having sexual intercourse with a baboon.
A baboon? Really! Male or female?
Why, female, of course. There’s nothing queer about Greer.

Here is something more up to date:

The leader of an anti-LGBT group who has joined with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to ban same-sex marriage had his own marriage end after his wife began a romantic relationship with another woman.

According to court documents obtained by Lone Star Q, Corrine Morris Rodriguez Saenz was dating another woman when she filed for divorce from Jonathan Saenz in 2011. Less than six months later, Jonathan Saenz took over as the president of the state’s top anti-gay group, Texas Values.

Corrine Saenz told the court that she wanted to end her marriage on the grounds that it was “insupportable due to discord or conflict of personalities … that destroys the legitimate ends of marriage and prevents reasonable expectations of reconciliation.”

Any way you dice this, it is funny. It’s true, besides.

The Golden Divide

Politics-TrumpPenceConversion

There is a divide in American politics. It’s one I’ve seen building the past 50 years. It supersedes one that opened up in the late 1940s. In those days the Republican Party had been out of the White House for going on 16 years, and they needed desperately to get in the game. They found their hitch in communism. The Democratic administration was riddled with communists, not an unfair claim, since there was still work to be done making communism unpopular again. Many government employees were, indeed communists, or at least communist sympathizers—comsymps for short.

That grew tiring after nearly two decades of congressional and legislative abuse, and after it dawned on people that political affiliation is not a crime under United States law. While matters of national loyalty were still worthy of a salute, some slack remained. It was found to be necessary to widen the rift.

Then it was noticed that Democrats tended to be liberal, and liberal meant a lot of things:

  • Coddling criminals (e.g., Miranda)
  • Support for welfare spending
  • Absence of religiosity (much exaggerated, although freethinkers tend toward liberalism)
  • Anti gun (although some of the most liberal souls I have known were gun enthusiasts, even NRA members)
  • Anti military (liberals would not rather not spend the national treasure on WMD)

I can list more, but the line becomes blurry. The Golden Divide is today’s topic, and I will develop it further. Where to start?

First, backtrack to the matter of religiosity. Homosexuality is mentioned or inferred several places in the Bible. Islam, derived from Judaism, carries the tradition forward. Slackness on religion and a penchant for inclusiveness gets liberals, and in turn the Democratic Party, tagged with tolerance for homosexuality. Some would even say liberals embrace homosexuality on the same footing with the other kind. And there it stands.

There are degrees within the divide:

And more.

For those unclear whether a political divide exists, ask yourself some questions: If you need the legal right to deny equal service to homosexuals, which political party do you gravitate to? And on up the line.

I will be asked, “But what about the Log Cabin Republicans?” I ask that question, myself. The answer that comes to me naively is that other considerations of political conservatism (e.g., gun rights, disgusted with welfare moochers) outweigh the otherwise cold shoulder homosexuals can expect to find in the Republican ranks.

Let’s examine a recent Facebook dialog:

Politics-TrumpPenceAntiGay

For the record, and to enable search engines to find the pictured text, here is a transcription:

Dave Chandler

Hillary and Bill Clinton, and the Clinton Foundation, support this barbaric behavior because they accept millions of dollars from Islamic/Muslim countries who subjugate women and kill gays. Blood on the Clinton’s hands. They disgust me. This is graphic. Sharia has no place in America. And sheeple, this could be you just for being a Christian. So don’t think you would be immune from this type of treatment.

100PERCENTFEDUP.COM|BY 100% FED UP
James Bryan Dave.. I simply don’t underdstand how anyone– let alone the gay community– can support the Clintons. If Sharia law is ever implemented in this country, we will all be introuble, but some groups more than others… if you know what I mean…
John Blanton They are pure evil.
https://skeptic78240.wordpress.com/…/17/american-sharia/

Sharia law is an Islamic melding of church and state. American conservatives (Republicans) fail to notice a…
SKEPTIC78240.WORDPRESS.COM

Dave Chandler Yes John, I believe they are evil. Yes, the old guard Republican establishment has a hard time separating church and state. But the difference is they and Christians don’t go around publicly killing those that believe or live differently than they do. Those on the fringe that do suffer the consequences.

John Blanton What you are saying is that these conservative Christian extremists who have been advocating the killing of homosexuals have failed to live up to their own preaching. We can only hope they go back on their other promises.

Martha Pace Can’t even describe how I feel about this

Ignore the preamble. If somebody wants to come at me over “Hillary and Bill Clinton, and the Clinton Foundation, support this barbaric behavior because they accept millions of dollars from Islamic/Muslim countries…,” I will be happy to discuss it and put it where it fits. In the meantime it just gets us to the bottom three posts:

  • I likened sharia law to American Christian extremism. See my previous five bullet points.
  • Dave came back, pointing out that American Christian extremists don’t kill people. (Actually they do, but they tend to get prosecuted for it.)
  • I responded that not killing people just means they are not following through what they publicly advocate. Left implied is they don’t follow through because American law does not let people get away with this kind of stuff.

Anybody who disagrees the Golden Divide exists is invited to follow up. Use the comment section below.

Politics-TrumpMikePenceSignLGBTBill

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

American Sharia

HomosexualityIsASin-512

American Conservative Icon

Sharia law is an Islamic melding of church and state. American conservatives (Republicans) fail to notice a certain connection:

House Republicans at a conference meeting heard a Bible verse that calls for death for homosexuals shortly before the chamber voted on the morning of May 26 to reject a spending bill that included an amendment barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Whether the freshman member who gave the prayer intended to condemn members of the LGBT community has left Republicans and Democrats deeply divided. What’s certain is that the Energy-Water appropriations bill that came to the floor later in the morning was defeated on a resounding 112-305 vote, with a majority of the GOP caucus in opposition.

Georgia Rep. Rick W. Allen led the opening prayer by reading from Romans 1:18-32, and Revelations 22:18-19. An aide to Allen told CQ that Allen did not mention the upcoming vote on the Energy-Water spending bill or an amendment that would reinforce a presidential directive prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees.

For those not familiar with American sharia, here are some excerpts from BibleGateway.com:

Romans 1:18-32 King James Version (KJV)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Revelation 22:18-19 King James Version (KJV)

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

For some reason, as yet unexplained by groups such as the Log Cabin Republicans, people like Phil Robertson never show up in support of liberal (Democratic Party) candidates. Conservative readers are invited to post comments. Explain this odd phenomenon.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

Curious Meme

Could become a continuing series

Politics-BlameMuslims

This bounced onto my Facebook feed early today, and I cannot resist. It was posted by a “friend” I know to not be right wing, so I am sure he sees the same humor I do. Please note the language. I have duplicated the interesting use of capitalization and grammar:

A Muslim can murder 50 homosexuals, and Liberals still defend the religion, but a Christian who refuses to bake a homosexual’s wedding cake endures nationwide shaming on behalf of their religion…. This is how ridiculous liberals look to everybody these days.

We are encouraged to “Like & Share.” Attribution is given to RightAlerts.com, “Breaking headlines without The Liberal Bias.”

The irony is hard to escape. What the creator imagines he is doing is exposing liberal bias. What has happened, instead, is that some curious conservative thinking has been exposed. I will point out:

  • A Christian who murdered 168 people in Oklahoma City was, himself, condemned. And executed. This person was inspired by such organizations as The Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord, not quite a Muslim country club. Christianity was not condemned.
  • A Christian who refuses to do business with homosexuals is ridiculed personally for acting contrary to supposedly Christian principles. Christianity, as a religion, escapes. Note Fred Rogers.
  • I am a liberal, and I condemn the Muslim religion. These people cling to absurd notions such as the Earth being created 6000 years ago and people ascending into Heaven. Come to think of it, so do Christians. It turns out I condemn all religions.

And this is a very curious meme.

Friday Funny

One of a series

So, why am I showing this image of a brown (?) Probe? Maybe it has to do with today’s funny headline:

Kenyan Judge Says Anal Probes Are a Legal Way to Determine if Someone is Gay

In Kenya, a nation where sodomy is a criminal offense, a judge just ruled that anal probes are a legal way to determine someone’s sexual orientation.

And that’s funny.

Friday Funny

One of a series

Religion-CharlesWorley

From YouTube

From Newslo, again. Their stuff is so funny:

“Pastor Charles Worley of Maiden, N.C.’s Providence Road Baptist Church recently told his congregation that lesbians and “queers” should be rounded up, placed in camps with electrified fencing and left to die.

Wait. I haven’t got to the funny part yet. In the middle of an interview he answered a call on his cell phone:

“Hey Chris, how are you doing? How’s everything in New Jersey?” the pastor inquired, leading Newslo’s interviewer to the obvious conclusion that the person on the other side of the line was, in fact, the Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. “Say, how’s that women’s Viagra pill deal working out? Uh-huh? That good? And any news on the anti-lesbian vaccine? Great, great. Listen, Chris, I just got a killer idea – have you ever thought about an anti-gay vaccine? I know, sounds epic, right? Look, set the wheels in motion and I’ve got the market and guinea pigs already set up on my end, don’t worry about it. Keep me posted. Talk later.”

Now, that’ funny.

The People

This post quotes extensively from Georgia HB 757, available on the Internet. In the event the source is ever moved or deleted, I have retained a copy on this site.

I am so very sorry

I am so very sorry

A political fantasy has swept the country and is beginning to run head on against reality:

(CNN)Under increasing pressure from major corporations that do business in Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday he will veto a bill that critics say would have curtailed the rights of Georgia’s LGBT community.

House Bill 757 would have given faith-based organizations in Georgia the option to deny services and jobs to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Supporters said the measure was meant to protect religious freedom, while opponents have described it as “anti-LGBT” and “appalling.”

Let me spell that out in case you missed it: “deny services and jobs to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.” In place of “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people,” read “the people.” The people who pay taxes. The people who vote for you. The people who pay your salary. The people you are supposed to work for. Yes, politicians, your job is not to look out for the interests of only straight, white, Christian fundamentalists with an aversion to all others. Your job is to look out for the rights of all the people.

It is interesting to see the legislation in question. What is it about this bill that was so favored by some? The wording is, in part:

HB 757

Domestic relations; religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right; provide

Official Summary: A BILL to be entitled an Act to protect religious freedoms; to amend Chapter 3 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to marriage generally, so as to provide that religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion; to amend Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to selling and other trade practices, so as to change certain provisions relating to days of rest for employees of business and industry; to protect property owners which are religious institutions against infringement of religious freedom; to define a term; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

This is only a summary. The details are in the full text. A quick read reveals a number of interesting points, including the following:

To protect religious freedoms; to provide for defenses and relief related thereto; to amend Chapter 3 of Title 19 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to marriage generally, so as to provide that religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies, perform rites, or administer sacraments in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion; to provide that no individual shall be required to attend the solemnization of a marriage, performance of rites, or administration of sacraments in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion; to amend Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to selling and other trade practices, so as to change certain provisions relating to days of rest for employees of business and industry; to protect property owners which are faith based organizations against infringement of religious freedom; to protect certain providers of services against infringement of religious freedom…

[HB 757; 1-11, emphasis added]

This part spells out the intent of HB 757, and part of that intent is “to protect property owners which are faith based organizations.” Later the meaning of “faith based organization” is delineated:

‘Faith based organization’ means a church, a religious school, an association or convention of churches, a convention mission agency, or an integrated auxiliary of a church or convention or association of churches, when such entity is qualified as an exempt religious organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

[HB 757; 80-84]

This may be a side point, but it’s worth noting. As defined, “faith based organizations” already have protection under the First Amendment of the Constitution. Specifically, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” It is a puzzlement as to why state legislators thought to include this unneeded protection.

As it turns out, the real matter is not faith based organizations, it’s government officials. It’s those who work for the people, all of the people. Significantly, HB 757 provides protection to public officials who do not do their jobs:

(4) Afford any protection or relief to a public officer or employee who fails or refuses to perform his or her official duties; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not prohibit any person from holding any public office or trust on account of religious opinions, in accordance with Paragraph IV of Section I of Article I of the Constitution.

[HB 757; 217-220]

Is even this wording needed? Don’t public officials always do their jobs, the jobs which require an oath of office, which oath typically includes wording to the effect the officials promise to uphold the law as part of their duties? What elected or appointed official would ever take it upon himself (or herself) to set aside the rule of law in favor of some personal preference? I’m glad you asked:

Let me get this straight. Hood County Clerk Katie Lang took it upon herself to defy the law and to expose tax payers of Hood County to hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, on a personal whim? How many ways are there to spell breathtaking inanity? And it played out two blocks from where I grew up.

Yes, sorry to say, this little drama touches on the place I called home in my formative years. Where did I go astray?

There were people, people in Georgia, who wanted this bill  passed and signed into law, and their intentions were not pure. The persons proposing this legislation had the motivation to protect those like themselves, those with an aversion to homosexuals. Most seek to conceal this intent. They hide it. They seek refuge in ancient religious texts. They claim to be commanded by a higher power, a power beyond their control:

Leviticus 18:22 King James Version (KJV)

22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

This is but a sample. There are others, more stringent. And people of faith must not contravene these proscriptions. To do so would betray their faith and would incur the wrath of a higher power, a power higher than any law of the land. These words out of Leviticus (and others) are strict and guide the lives of the righteous and the faithful. There are no exceptions:

Deuteronomy 22:11 King James Version (KJV)

11 Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.

No exceptions:

Leviticus 19:28 King James Version (KJV)

28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.

No Exceptions:

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 King James Version (KJV)

18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:

19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

No exceptions:

Exodus 21:7 King James Version (KJV)

And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.

No exceptions:

Exodus 21:1-6 King James Version (KJV)

21 Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them.

If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.

If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.

And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:

Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.

That seems to be straight forward. I can’t find any ambiguity in these instructions. People of faith must adhere strictly to these rules for living, with no exceptions. No exceptions when the rules relate to something the person already had in mind. Something such as disdain for homosexuals. All those others may be forsworn. Dishing dirt on queers requires strict observance. It is the word of the Lord.

So disappointing to mention, there are others who agree:

ALTOONA, Wis. – Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz criticized Georgia Republican Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday for vetoing a controversial religious liberties bill that came under heavy criticism from opponents who argued that it would discriminate against gay and transgender individuals.

“I thought that was very disappointing to see Governor Deal in Georgia side with leftist activists,” Cruz told reporters outside a restaurant here where he met with voters ahead of Wisconsin’s April 5 primary.

Of course, I am shocked. Shocked that a Texas senator from Calgary would take such a stand. Not really. We all saw this coming, even before the governor could find his veto stamp:

No question, the contestants for the Republican presidential nomination are a very conservative bunch, but there is something that sets Texas Sen. Ted Cruz apart from the pack: his endorsements from some of the religious right’s kookiest voices. Where the 2008 GOP nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, distanced himself from militants on the evangelical fringe, Cruz proudly embraces them.

Among the most notable — or notorious — of these Cruz endorsers is Mike Bickle, the pastor who runs the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo. Bickle has preached that in the “End Times” God will raise up someone to hunt down Jews who fail to accept Christ — someone, he imagines, in the mold of the most famous Jew hunter of them all, Adolf Hitler. Among Bickle’s other end-of-the-world teachings is that Oprah Winfrey is unwittingly part of a “Harlot movement” that is paving the way for the Antichrist. He also predicts that the gay agenda, which he says is “rooted in the depths of hell,” will lead to the elimination of marriage as an institution.

Most recently, Bickle opined that January’s big blizzard on the East Coast was a punishment from God for the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear an appeal of a North Dakota abortion rights ruling that went against the anti-abortion side.

Another Cruz fan is Bob Vander Plaats, leader of an Iowa-based group called the Family Leader. Of Cruz, Vander Plaats says he is “the most consistent and principled conservative” in the nomination race.

One of the principles Vander Plaats espouses is that the fight against same-sex marriage is equivalent to the 19th century struggle against slavery. Same-sex marriage, he has said, is a “Satanic plot” that will lead to parents marrying their own children. Vander Plaats has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for his anti-gay policies. He has proposed the Putin-like idea that students should be taught homosexuality is a public threat on par with smoking.

There are either of two ways to spell this: “Guilt by association” or “The company you keep.”

As it turns out, those in Georgia who pushed for HB 757 in the first place are correct. There is a higher power. It’s a power they will ignore at their peril. It’s the power of the pocketbook. HB 757 earned a veto under pressure from the people in Georgia who sign the checks. Business leaders, the base of conservative America, saw HB 757 as bad for business. It’s hard to get business to invest in a place that has “jake leg” stamped all over it.

I have touched on “jake leg” before. It translates into something I mentioned a number of times, often in conjunction with breathtaking inanity. This may be one of those cases.

Not Now, Jody

One of a continuing series

A postcard showing the 1920 Duluth, Minnesota lynchings

A postcard showing the 1920 Duluth, Minnesota lynchings

Chapter Four

As mentioned, I’m spending some time reviewing  It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America by Georgia Congressman Jody Hice. Go back to the initial post to get my overview of the book and the lowdown on the front matter. I’m reviewing the book a chapter at a time. These reviews involve taking quotations from the book and providing appropriate comment. This is Chapter Four, titled “The Truth About Hate Crimes” Here’s how it starts:

For instance, there is much talk these days about “hate crimes” legislation and various related bills, such as ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act). The outcome of these bills will have horrible consequences if they become law. So bizarre has the conflict become, that elected representatives in Washington, D.C. actually attached a hate crime bill to the Defense Authorization spending bill. By so doing, they associated ‘hate crimes’ with terrorism. This was nothing but a politically correct way of saying, “those who disagree with the liberal, radical, left-wing agenda have

the same mentality of terrorists, and need to be dealt with accordingly.”

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (pp. 82-83). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

I’m going to say this just about dispenses with Congressman Jody Hice’s thinking there is no such thing as a hate crime.

Surprise, surprise! Bleeding heart liberal that I am, I have one agreement with Congressman Hice. The concept of hate crimes is redundant. Then-governor George Bush of Texas famously spoke in a debate with presidential opponent Al Gore back in 2000. This was concerning a particularly gruesome murder of a black man in Texas. With as little adroit as could possibly be mustered, our governor stated there was no need for a hate crime. These murderers were going, themselves, to be murdered by the state of Texas. And he gave a little chuckle.

The problems I have with legislating hate crimes are:

  • This places an extra burden on the prosecution. The prosecution needs to prove something more than the facts of the case. Proof is needed of what was in the mind of the accused.
  • It’s superfluous. The act itself is a crime without the added charge.
  • People will be prosecuted for something that is likely protected under the Constitution. We do not require that people like each other. We just require they get along.

Fortunately for this writer, Congressman Hice has few bounds when he arranges to set his thoughts to hard copy. For example:

Unfortunately, there is an eerie silence from Washington about the real nature and purpose of hate crime legislation. It is not about protecting a discriminated class of Americans, in particular, homosexuals. Truthfully, there is no significant national problem of unfairness or harm against the gay and lesbian community. In fact, in many ways they already enjoy more rights and freedoms than other Americans. Take, for example, the partially taxpayer funded Hedonistic Folsom Street Fair held in San Francisco during September. Over 400,000 people attended the despicable event. Matt Barber, currently with Liberty Counsel but previously, Policy Director for Cultural Issues for Concerned Women for America (CWA) said, “we have photographic evidence that the San Francisco government suspends indecency and child abuse laws for a day allowing fair goers to parade the streets of San Francisco, fully nude, engaging in illegal public sex while tax-payer funded police stand-by and do nothing. Children are allowed to-and do-attend this event and are exposed to this activity which is illegal child abuse.”[78] What other group could get away with such unlawful behavior and enjoy police protection for so doing? They have become “untouchable” from a political or public point of view.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 83). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

I have to say, I went to the site, and I viewed the photos. There definitely are some people with an overwrought obsession for things leather. Little doubt is left there are people doing things in public that would best be left for the privacy of one’s home. Some of these people really ought to be ashamed of themselves. I am sure if Congressman Hice were made king for a day he would put an end to all of this.

And there, as one might say, is the rub. There is a lot here to do with Congressman Hice’s personal preference and not as much about what may really be wrong with this country.

Beyond that, the congressman rightly points out that the incidence of hate crime is minuscule in relation to the total crime problem. Then—and this is why I enjoyed so much reviewing this book—the congressman takes that extra step:

Based on these facts, where is the justification for “hate crime” legislation? Why is no one in Congress proclaiming the truth about these people and their horrible “woes?” All we hear about is their persecution, the discrimination they face and the desperate need they have for police and law enforcement protection. We are told that millions of tax dollars should be spent for this legislation in order equip and hire the adequate law enforcement needed to stop the bloodshed.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 85). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

Did he say “millions of tax dollars?” Does he really mean extra police officers will be needed? In all fairness, Pastor Hice wrote this before he was actually elected to public office with the aim toward making our country’s laws. His job as pastor of a Bethlehem, Georgia, church was not sufficient preparation in the ways of the world. In all fairness, the people of Georgia District 10 may not have been aware of this when they voted for Pastor Hice, sending him to Washington to make law.

Again, Congressman Hice points out the paucity of actual hate crime prosecutions. Again he goes a little hyperbolic:

We are entering an era in American history where people are going to be criminalized for a particular belief system they embrace. The outcry for protecting homosexuals and gender-confused people is manufactured. You must look beyond the “politically correct” hullabaloo. If there is no statistical problem, then why are millions of dollars being offered to “protect” 151 people? Again, protecting 151 people is not the concern. The real effort is to criminalize millions of Americans who do not accept the lifestyle or worldview of that these 151 represent. The goal is to create fear through threat of punishment and thereby, silence opponents. By so doing, the influence of those who hold to traditional moral values will be squelched, and the liberal, sexually twisted agenda of the Left will march forward, unchallenged. That is what “hate crime” legislation is about; it is not about protecting 151 people!

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 86). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

“The real effort is to criminalize millions of Americans who do not accept the lifestyle or worldview of that these 151 represent.” Millions of Americans are going to perpetrate crimes against 151 people? Surely Congressman Hice did not mean to say exactly that. We can only hope. We can only hope that millions of Americans are right now not preparing to attack, brutalize, murder homosexual and transgender individuals in any number.

“By so doing, the influence of those who hold to traditional moral values will be squelched, and the liberal, sexually twisted agenda of the Left will march forward, unchallenged.” Hate crime legislation is meant to keep people from challenging the “sexually twisted agenda of the Left?” Congressman Hice omits any description of how hate crime legislation is going to keep himself, as well as millions of others, from speaking out against anything to which they object. Assaulting, brutalizing, murdering maybe. A look at actual hate crime legislation hints that nobody is convicted of a hate crime unless an otherwise unlawful act is also involved. Does Congressman Hice miss this point? Does he hope his readers do?

The congressman advances into a discussion of employment discrimination:

Not only are we fighting hate crime legislation, but also a host of other related bills are pending, such as ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Just as hate crime legislation is not about crimes, ENDA is not about stopping discrimination in the workplace. The evidence of sexual-oriented discrimination is horribly lacking. Nonetheless, if ENDA goes through and we protect this ‘special’ group of people by claiming them to be disadvantaged and discriminated against in the workplace; then private businesses will be forced by law to accommodate homosexual and transgender activity, thus legitimizing their lifestyle. Why not do the same with other classes of people, Christians for instance?

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 87). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

His reasoning is not clear. At one point he notes that employment discrimination hardly exists. Then he says employers will no longer be able to do what they are hardly doing already. Further, such legislation will work to make the lifestyles of homosexuals and transgenders acceptable. Sort of like making interracial marriage acceptable (adding my own translation).

Contrary to all the hullabaloo regarding homosexuals and transgenders, it’s really Christians who are receiving the brunt of anti-discrimination legislation. To be sure, Congressman Hice cites the case of Christian minister Mark Holick:

Discrimination cases against Christians have become too numerous to count. Pastor Mark Holick went to a homosexual event in Wichita, Kansas in July 2007. He wanted to give away Christian literature and to silently pray while the event was taking place. There was a small fee for entrance into the event park. Holick did not enter. Instead, he intended to stay outside the park on a public sidewalk. Several days prior to the event, he went to the Police Department and informed them of his plans. He obtained official permission to proceed with his objective. One high-ranking officer assured him that he would encounter no problems, saying, “the sidewalk is your friend.” What he experienced was alarming. Within three minutes of his arrival on the morning of the event, Mark Holick was arrested for “trespassing” on a public sidewalk, while hundreds of other people on the same sidewalk were allowed to “trespass.” An obvious question is, “How can you trespass on a public sidewalk?” but off to jail he went! This situation comes much closer to an authentic “hate crime” than does the fabricated accusations touted by the media in defense of homosexuality.[83] In this case, Mark Holick’s Constitutional rights were clearly violated.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (pp. 87-88). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

The Wichita Eagle provides some background:

A judge ordered a Wichita pastor to stay away from the Islamic Society of Wichita, as part of a sentence for loitering and disrupting business.

Sedgwick County District Judge Phil Journey this morning sentenced Mark Holick to serve 12 months unsupervised probation, pay $300 in fines and stay at least 1,000 feet from the Islamic Center, where he was arrested in August 2010.

Holick, pastor of Spirit One Christian Ministry, and more than a dozen followers had gone to the Islamic Center as members there were trying to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. Holick said they were there to hand out Bibles. Police said he was causing a disturbance and blocking access to the center.

Police had said they asked Holick to move to a public sidewalk. In one instance, cited by Journey, Holick marched in place in response to police orders to move.

“The only reason you were the one arrested is because you were the only one who disobeyed the police orders,” Journey told Holick.

It would appear a lot of what Congressman Hice says is contrary to known facts. Are we surprised? We shouldn’t be. If all suspicions are correct, the congressman also believes a magical person in the sky sent himself, disguised has his own son, to this planet in order that his son (himself) could be tortured and killed to redeem the sin committed by two imaginary people about 6000 years ago. Once you get past that you can believe all kinds of stuff.

Congressman Hice recounts a case that highlights a number of interesting points: Here is a lengthy quote:

A case of attempted robbery has revealed that hate-crimes laws are not about “hate” but about enshrining homosexual behavior into law. Anthone Fortunato lured 28-year-old Michael Sandy to a New York City beach to rob him. Fortunato and some other men chased Sandy into a street, where he was struck by a car and killed. Fortunato said that he had selected Sandy because he thought a gay man would be an easier target. As a result, he was charged with murder as a hate crime. Interestingly enough, Fortunato testified in court that he too, is gay.

Nonetheless, prosecutors argue that Fortunato’s sexual preference is irrelevant because New York law can convict defendants of hate crimes even if they bear no actual hatred for their victim.[84] Did you get that? A person can be convicted of a hate crime, even if there is no hate involved! The law merely requires “that they singled out a person for a violent act because of some belief or stereotype about that person’s ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation.”[85] The judge agreed with that interpretation!

Bruce Hausknecht, a judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said this case proves hate-crimes laws are not about hate. “If you can be prosecuted for a hate crime without demonstrating any hate for the victim, and you even belong to the same protected class as the victim, then all of the publicly touted reasons advanced by liberals for the necessity of these types of laws are pure fabrications designed to cover up their political motivations.”[86] This case demonstrates that “hate” is not the issue. The point of hate-crime laws is to normalize a certain lifestyle; it is about forcing the American public into acceptance of humanistic ideology. The attempt is to force all public aspects: politics, business, education and religious organizations, to accept something that might not otherwise, be accepted.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 89). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

Now, that’s interesting. Fortunato sought to rob Sandy. Sandy got killed in the process. A crime was committed. Fortunato was charged with that crime. Then he was charged with an additional crime. Congressman Hice has a point here. No hate may have been involved. Maybe Fortunato did not hate Sandy. Maybe Fortunato actually liked Sandy. That’s why he robbed him. Because Fortunato liked him. That’s what people do when they like somebody. They rob (and kill) them.

Of course I’m being facetious. Hate crimes may be a silly idea, but Hice has some silly ideas of his own. The American Justice system is being used to force people to do something—accept people the way they are—that would not otherwise do. That’s not the job of the American justice system. That’s the job of people such as Pastor Hice, leader of a Christian congregation in Bethlehem, Georgia. Whatever happened to the principle of Christian love and acceptance? Is it a myth on the same order as hate crimes?

Coming up next: Chapter Four, “Religious Liberties Under Siege ” It’s going to be interesting.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

Not Now, Jody

One of a continuing series

HomosexualityIsASin-512

Chapter Three

I’m spending some time reviewing  It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America by Georgia Congressman Jody Hice. Go back to the original post to get my overview of the book and the lowdown on the front matter. This is Chapter Three, titled “Marriage: It’s Not About Love.”

As always, I’m going to review this chapter by posting selected quotes from the book and adding my own comments. Here’s for starters:

The battle over marriage will determine the future survival of America.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 59). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

Absolutely correct, Congressman Hice. The economy, threats of thermonuclear war, these are nothing compared to the threat of the battle over marriage.

No, wait. That can’t be true. There must more more to what the congressman from Georgia is saying. Let’s read further:

Those who oppose a traditional view of marriage would like us to believe that it is a modern debate with no historical backing other than tradition. Well, it is certainly true that marriage is steeped in tradition throughout the entire world, both from the perspective of religious teaching and from the manifest natural function of male and female. No scientific study or research is necessary in order to realize that even from the most simplistic understanding, none of us would exist without the natural and biological role of a marriage-like union.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 60). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

No scientific study or research is necessary? I’m glad to hear that, because I was preparing to launch into a lengthy and expensive program to scientifically research the role of marriage-like unions have played in our origins. Politics and religion, combined, work wonders toward resolving crucial issues facing today’s society. Why we ever fooled around with science in the first place I will never know.

The commentary somehow morphs into a discussion of homosexuality:

Upon being accidentally ‘discovered’ in a sexual act, he was convicted by the state and in return, Michael Hardwick filed a lawsuit and actually won his case in federal court. The state of Georgia appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and there, Hardwick’s challenge was rejected. The Court concluded that there is no substantive due process right when it comes to acts of sodomy (478 U.S. 186).[52] The Court, by a 5-4 decision, held that the Georgia statute was constitutional and that the U.S. Constitution does not protect the right of homosexual adults to engage in private, consensual sodomy.[53] No doubt, the ruling was a blow to the homosexual agenda, but it also was a landmark challenge because it marked the beginning of homosexuals publicly ‘coming out of the closet’ and the beginning of organized attempts to dethrone the traditional view of marriage.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 61). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

Yes, there was a time when the government could control things people did that concerned only their personal lives. Today we are hearing voices for a return to those times.

What has Congressman Hice so concerned is the more recent loss in government power over our lives. Imagine that! Here is a lengthy quote from the book:

The year 2003 will be remembered as a devastating year for marriage. It was then that a couple of cases rocked America’s cultural world. The first ‘shocker’ was a major judicial decision that reversed and confused a legal understanding of marriage. Further, it marked the beginning of a rapid departure from the heretofore, uncompromised legal commitment to protect America’s family unit. Highly recognized as a breakthrough case, Lawrence v. Texas produced a moral earthquake created by Supreme Court Justices who, out of thin air, contrived a constitutional basis for homosexual behavior and laid the groundwork for reshaping marriage, and for criminalizing those who support its traditional meaning. The case involved two men who were convicted of violating the sodomy laws of Texas. They appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and this time, the Bowers v. Hardwick ruling was overturned and the High Court held that the Texas statute violated the liberty interests of the 14th Amendment pertaining to substantive due process (123 S.Ct. 2472).[54] In other words, with no previous precedent whatsoever and with an attitude set on vacating the Bowers decision, the Court determined that homosexual sodomy is a fundamental right with full protection under the U.S. Constitution. There is no doubt this was a massive departure from American jurisprudence and it transmitted indescribable damage to marriage as well as the culture as a whole. Homosexual advocates were now emboldened and constitutionally empowered to redefine marriage and American morality.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (pp. 61-62). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

It is obvious to all who will see that government should not interfere with people’s daily lives, unless those people are doing something we find disgusting. I was momentarily confused on that point.

What else has Congressman Hice to tell and amaze us? How about the limits of government:

In other words, with no previous precedent whatsoever and with an attitude set on vacating the Bowers decision, the Court determined that homosexual sodomy is a fundamental right with full protection under the U.S. Constitution.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 62). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

Yes, the Constitution contains no language similar to, “People will have the right to engage in homosexual behavior.” The Constitution does not have language allowing us to purchase apples, but we get by with it anyhow. Congressman Hice has missed the point that the Constitution allows people to do much of what they want unless there is a law restricting those actions, and the law needs to have a real reason for being. Disliking a particular activity does not amount to a legitimate reason for legal proscription. This should be a foundation conservative principle.

Eventually Congressman Hice gets around to what is really eating at him:

As is so evident by the facts, the people of America want marriage between one man and one woman to be protected. Largely, the onslaught that is taking place is derived through judicial activism and by so doing; they have been able to bypass the voice of the people.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (pp. 66-67). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

Yes, it’s traditional marriage that is threatened by the homosexual agenda. And the mechanism is evident for all to see. Look, if two guys get married, and nobody objects, and they are not thrown in jail and prepped for hanging, then bad things are just down the road. Bill and Martha, happily (they think) married for 10 years are going to look at each other and start thinking. Bill is going to say, “Look at Fred and Ernie. They’re happily married. Is it possible we’ve been missing something all these years?” Divorce court is just a few steps away. Be warned, America.

The congressman points out the true danger and the intent of the homosexual agenda:

The Gay Rights Agenda: Destroying America

In 1987, Michael Swift wrote and [sic] article known as the ‘Gay Revolutionary.’ The article was submitted to the Gay Community News (GCN), an important magazine within the gay community. Although the views expressed by Swift may not represent everyone in the gay lifestyle, it certainly represents a significant number. These shocking words by Michael Swift have been considered part of the ‘gay manifesto’ by many, and reveal the radical agenda that is currently threatening our nation.

“We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all-male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us.

The family unit—spawning ground of lies, betrayals, mediocrity, hypocrisy, and violence—will be abolished. The family unit, which only dampens imagination and curbs free will, must be eliminated.

All churches who condemn us will be closed. Our only gods are handsome young men.”[60] (Italics added for emphasis)

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (pp. 69-70). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

What a horrific indictment. And in the very words of homosexual activist Michael Swift. Is it possible Congressman Hice failed to notice this was a bit of 28-year-old satire?

Ironically, or maybe not ironically, this is the very text that caught my attention last May and motivated me to purchase Congressman Hice’s fabulous book:

That’s well and good, but what has the politician from Georgia said recently? For one, it’s not all that recent, and for another it’s not what the congressman said. It’s what he wrote. In 2012 the congressman published a book, It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America. That’s an interesting title, and it appears to speak to a worthwhile cause. Reclaim America. Like, America was pawned. I always suspected that, and Congressman Hice seems to be on the same page with me. In particular, Congressman Hice is terribly concerned, as we all are, about the gay rights agenda. Gay rights agenda, indeed! Gay, indeed! Rights, indeed! We can all concur there are just too many rights floating around.

Here is what the congressman had to say about the gay rights agenda:

There followed the above book quote, and the rest is history.

Hice points to the case of Julea Ward as an example of the homosexual agenda in action, although the connection is never made to any organized homosexual movement:

Through harassment and attempts to silence any opposing viewpoint, it is safe to say that the homosexual movement wants to eliminate free speech. Julea Ward’s case is but one of many yet, it represents dozens of similar attempts to silence opposing opinions. She was a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University’s (EMU) School of Counseling. Julea is a Christian and the counseling department at EMU, in contrast to Julea’s beliefs, required students to affirm homosexual behavior when counseling. For instance, the school forbids students from suggesting to gay clients that they can refrain from such conduct. When Julea enrolled in a counseling practicum class in January of 2009, the conflict came to a head.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 71). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

The Huffington Post relates how the case was settled with a monetary award to Julea Ward:

The Eastern Michigan University (EMU) student who was reportedly expelled from a counseling program because of her views on gay and lesbian lifestyles has resolved her legal battle.

As the Detroit Free Press is reporting, EMU announced it had settled a 2009 lawsuit filed by Julea Ward, a former student who had been enrolled in a masters’ counseling program when she asked her superiors to refer a gay client to someone else.

“EMU has made the decision that is in the best interest of its students and the taxpayers of the state of Michigan to resolve the litigation rather than continue to spend money on a costly trial,” Walter Kraft, EMU’s vice president for communications, said in a written statement.

Ward will reportedly be given a $75,000 settlement from the university.

The congressman exhibits an amount of disconnect with established law. He cites additional cases that purport to show insult to religious liberty:

Other examples are abundant. Take for example Elaine Huguenin, a Christian photographer from New Mexico. Because of her religious convictions, she declined a request to photograph a lesbian ‘commitment’ ceremony. A complaint was filed with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission and Mrs. Huguenin was found guilty of ‘sexual orientation discrimination.’ She had to pay nearly $7,000.00 in fees. I suppose we are to conclude that a private company no longer has the right to decide the type of business they choose to do! This is like forcing a vegetarian to attend a ‘beef slaughtering convention’ or forcing an African American to participate in a KKK meeting! We would never think of making someone do something against his or her will, or in opposition to deeply held convictions. Apparently this is not true when it comes to the homosexual movement versus Christians. It now appears that gay rights ‘trump’ the constitutional right of religious liberty.[62]

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 72). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

The New Mexico company was doing business publicly, and as such was subject to that state’s extension of the national public accommodations act of 1964. Please follow the link and read the text of the act. The 1964 federal law did not specify sexual orientation as one of the protected classes. Apparently the New Mexico law did. Being open for business to the public in New Mexico incurred the requirement not to discriminate. For example, this law could be used to force black people to participate in KKK meetings.

No, wait again.

The logic of Congressman Jody Hice of the Georgia 10th District is a wonder to behold. Allow me to pause for a moment until my breath comes back to me.

Congressman Hice, as I have noted before and will surely note many times in the future, has a curious view of our legal system:

One need look no further than Proposition 8 in California to see the frightening trend of judges overruling the people, even after they have followed the painstaking process to submit an Amendment to their state constitution.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 73). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

No. What has happened here, in the eyes of the law, is that the people of California, in their infinite wisdom, have passed a law (by means of a proposition) that is in violation of a superseding law. The courts have ruled correctly. They must rule over which laws take precedence in case of a conflict. Else we would not need judges.

The congressman from Georgia next launches into an assessment of the homosexual life style, which assessment you will need to read for yourself by purchasing the book or checking it out from a library. Short of that I will email you the pertinent text on request.

Traditional marriage must be defended states Congressman Hice:

Why Marriage Must be Defended

The three key institutions of any healthy society include the family, the church and government. These three are ordained by God and have been recognized as the building blocks for the American experiment. Of the three, family is the basic building block. It is the foundation for society and if the family fails, the other two will collapse also. Taking this truth further, at the heart of ‘family’ is marriage; and if marriage is destroyed, the family is likewise ruined. Yet, for the past five or six decades a relentless attempt to weaken the family has ensued and we are now reaping the shocking results. In 1960 only 5% of babies born were to single mothers; today the figure is about 40%! The most recent figures from the CDC are from 2007. Births to single mothers in 2007 were 26% higher than in 2002; 2.5 times the number reported in 1980; and 19 times the estimate for 1940!

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 78). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

I may agree with the congressman’s three points, except for the part about needing the church. I understand the congressman is also pastor of a church and has devoted a lot of his life to that enterprise. However, this in no way voids the fact that society can get along very well without having people like Pastor Hice, with no superior knowledge in such matters, telling other people how to live their lives. Putting the word Pastor in front of your name does not instill in you with a magical resistance to human vice. I have known of too many such people who have committed murder and any number of lesser offenses. A person’s worth is what he can demonstrate, not what he pretends to be.

“[I]f marriage is destroyed, the family is likewise ruined.” [page 77] The premise is that marriage will be destroyed. Nobody has demonstrated how this mechanism works. A strong family absent marriage: this is an arguable point.

Congressman Hice cites the NARTH Institute:

Conversely, children reared in gay homes indicate that girls become more masculine and boys become more feminized behaviorally. They were also more likely to experiment with homosexuality than those reared in heterosexual households. Further, other significant physical and emotional health risks of gays including reduced lifespan, suicidal tendencies, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, and domestic violence, makes for a potentially unsafe environment for children. He concluded by saying, “Regarding gender complementarity and child-rearing, tradition and science agree: mothers and fathers provide optimal development for children.”[74]

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (pp. 78-79). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

The reference cited (74) is to an item from the NARTH Institute. The congressman picks as a reference an organization with dubious qualifications related to matters of sexual research:

The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), also known as the NARTH Institute, is an organization that offers conversion therapy and other regimens that purport to change the sexual orientation of individuals who experience unwanted same-sex attraction. NARTH has been described by a Christian ministry group as a ministry partner that is “a multi-disciplinary professional and scientific organization dedicated to the service of persons who experience unwanted homosexual (same-sex) attractions (SSA)”.[1] NARTH was founded in 1992 by Joseph Nicolosi, Benjamin Kaufman, and Charles Socarides. Its headquarters are in Encino, California, at the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic. Julie Hamilton is the current president of NARTH.[2] NARTH’s leaders disagree with the holding of the world’s major mental health organizations that homosexuality is not a disorder.

The congressman does a lot of stuff like this throughout his book. His book is not to be taken as a reference source but rather as 229 pages (plus notes) of the author’s innermost wishes.

His opinions continually run afoul of the facts:

Marriage is defined as the uniting of a man and woman in the holy state of matrimony because that is in the best interest of society.

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 79). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

No, it is not. Marriage under United States law and under the law of most nations is a personal contract between people, said contract in recent history being recognized by civil government. Even in Bible stories people were not married in the church. Church involvement in Western civilization is less than 1000 years old. Especially in England, the place of my ancestors, the Catholic church got involved in marriage only after deciding there was some action going on there (marriage contracts) that could benefit church control and church coffers. Regardless of what Pastor Hice may think, “holy matrimony” is a recent invention and does not have a lot of history in the Christian or Jewish church.

After repeating that redefining marriage will produce disastrous results, Pastor Hice concludes Chapter Three with this:

Marriage is God-ordained and God-made; it is not a man-made creation but an ‘inalienable ordinance.’

Dr. Jody Hice (2012-01-13). It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America (p. 81). WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

Again wrong. Absent God (a demonstrable truth) marriage cannot possibly be god-ordained. Something else demonstrable is that marriage is man-made. Marriage existed before God and still exists in places that never heard of the God of Abraham. And all the rest is bullshit.

Coming next, Chapter Four, “The Truth About Hate Crimes.” This should be interesting. Of course I already know, because I read the book.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

Wacko Right Wing Religious Fanatics Say The Darndest Things

ReligionEntertainStupid

Part of a continuing series

What do we have today? Good question. What we have is Scott Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries. So what’s he been up to? Let’s see:

In an interview with The Dove TV on Friday, anti-gay activist Scott Lively insisted that Christians are being denied their First Amendment rights because of gay rights, while simultaneously asserting that the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom applies only to Christians.

In fact, Lively explained, it is because the United States has grown to accept “religious pluralism” that God is now punishing us with abortion rights and LGBT equality.

God is punishing us? How? With abortion rights and LGBT equality? Really?  Is this what is meant by God’s punishment? No fire from the heavens? No floods? No nation-wide pestilence? Is this it? To inflict injury on the memory of William Shakespeare I must say, “God’s punishment should be made of sterner stuff.” However, I am willing to take what God deems fit to dish out. Abortion rights, LGBT equality, whatever. What next? Being given the right to mix stripes and plaid? We are so royally screwed.

PinkSwastika

We can hope this is not the least of Lively’s venture into self delusion. We can hope in vain:

Along with Kevin E. Abrams, Lively co-authored the book The Pink Swastika. Abrams and Lively state in the preface that “homosexuals [are] the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities.”

The premise of Lively and Abrams’ book has been criticized as a “pernicious myth”, “utterly false” and “a flat-out lie”, and several historians have questioned Abrams and Lively’s claims and selective use of research.

Of course that got me interested, so I acquired a Kindle edition, and will be reviewing it later this year. Referring to the authors I will mention only Lively unless there is reason to name his co-author. In the mean time I looked at some additional commentary. Here is an excerpt from a review by Jon David Wyneken, Associate Professor of History at Grove City College:

… Lively’s book is simply not good history and is, in fact, not really history at all. Instead, in my view, it is a book that uses history as a weapon in a contemporary political battle, completely outside the historical context of Nazi Germany.

That’s a brief summary of Professor Wyneken’s assessment. Wyneken has a “PhD in Modern German history with a focus on the period 1933-1955.” That pretty much covers the period and the locale of interest. Wyneken concedes that others have done deeper research into homosexuality in Nazi Germany. Even so, it would appear he has a leg up on the likes of Scott Lively.

Here’s what Lively has to say:

When Kevin Abrams and I published the first edition of this book in 1995, we knew that it would cause controversy, contradicting as it does the common portrayal of homosexuals as exclusively victims of the Nazi regime. For this reason we were scrupulous in our documentation of homosexuals as the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities. We purposefully drew heavily upon homosexual writers and historians for our source material and used direct quotations from their writings whenever possible. The remainder of our sources are primarily mainstream historians of the Nazi era. We chose to place our citations in the text rather than in endnotes to emphasize the reliability of our sources.

Lively, Scott; Abrams, Kevin (2015-07-26). THE PINK SWASTIKA (Kindle Locations 67-72). . Kindle Edition.

There is, perhaps, a new definition for “reliable sources.”

Historian Arlene Stein has weighed in with an analysis of Scott Lively’s Nazi-homosexual partnership:

 Some years ago, I wrote a book about a Christian right campaign against homosexuality in a small Oregon town, part of the Oregon Citizens Alliance’s effort against gay/lesbian civil rights. I interviewed conservative activists in a bitterly polarized rural community, and found, too, that they participated in the campaign for different reasons: some wished to feel powerful, and to renew their place in the community; others were religiously motivated; many were simply bored.

During the course of my research, I encountered at least one leader whose homophobia verged on fanatical: Scott Lively. Lively, a leader of the Oregon Citizens Alliance, penned a vicious little screed called The Pink Swastika,which argued that homosexuals were behind the Nazi movement. I’ve written about that book as an example of how social movements on the right and the left deploy the Holocaust frame.

She provides a link to a relevant chapter containing the following:

Increasingly, stories about the Holocaust are told by those with little or no direct relationship to the historical events in question. Sectors of the far right in the United States and Europe are engaging in Holocaust denial, attempting to erase memories altogether.3 But far more commonplace than outright denial are acts of appropriation by social movement activists on the right and the left. Consider the following images: antiabortion activists call abortion mills “death camps” and refer to abortion as a contemporary holocaust; a feminist compares a survivor of rape to a survivor of Birkenau, the Nazi death camp; an exhibit in Atlanta describes the period of slavery as “The Black Holocaust”; members of an Oregon Christian right organization suggest that homosexuals were the backbone of the Nazi party in Germany during World War II; gay activists suggest that the AIDS crisis is tantamount to a holocaust, faulting government bureaucrats for “Nazi-like” actions.4 As these images suggest, fifty years after the end of World War II, the Holocaust has become a recurring theme and reference point for U.S. social movements, on both the right and the left. It has emerged as a “frame” through which identity-based movements construct reality and claim moral authority.

A review of Hidden Holocaust?: Gay and Lesbian Persecution in Germany, 1933-45 provides another assessment. I have left the typographical errors in place:

The persecution of lesbians and gay men by the Nazis is a subject that has been constantly debated during the last decade, providing a theme for books, articles, and plays. Until recently the discussion has remained speculative: most of the relevant documents were stored in closed East German archives, and access was denied to scholars and researchers.

As a result of the unification of East and West Germany, these archives are now open. Hidden Holocaust, by the German scholars Gunter Grau and Claudia Shoppmann of Humboldt Uinversity, Berlin, demonstrates that the eradication of homosexuals was a declared gol of the Nazis even before they took power in 1933, and provide proof of the systematic anti-gay campaigns, the methods used tjo justify discrimination, and the incarceration mutilation and murder of gay men and women in Nazi concentration camps.

There seems to be universal consensus that the Nazi’s persecuted homosexuals, but Lively’s assertions expand to include a homosexual foundation for Nazism. First of all Lively reminds us that early party leader Ernst Rhoehm was homosexual—something that is well known. However he goes on to assert more significant homosexual influence:

In fact, like Roehm, Hitler preferred homosexual companions and co-workers. In addition to Roehm and Hess, two of his closest friends, Hitler apparently chose homosexuals and other sexual deviants to fill key positions nearest to himself. Heiden reports that in fact Hitler intentionally “surrounded himself with men of… [homosexual] tendencies” (Heiden, 1935: 417).

Lively, Scott; Abrams, Kevin (2015-07-26). THE PINK SWASTIKA (Kindle Locations 1554-1556). . Kindle Edition.

Lively cites “Heiden, Konrad, History of National Socialism, New York, A.A. Knopf, 1935.”

Kevin Abrams quotes from Heiden:

Konrad Heiden, author of A History of National Socialism, writes: homosexuality was widespread in the secret murderers’ army and its devotees denied that it was a perversion. They were proud, regarding themselves as `different from the others,’ meaning better. They boasted about their superiority.(14) Roehm exclaimed that the misfortune of the age was domination by women; he praised the epochs that had been dominated by figures like Alexander the Great, Caesar, Charles Xll Sweden, Prince Eugene of Savoy and Frederick the Great, five great warriors and five homosexuals.(15)

The citations are

14. Heiden, Konrad, Der Fuehrer, Hitler’s Rise to Power. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1944, pp. 294-295.

15. Ibid.

Lively is much too loose with his allegations, as in the following:

Reportedly, Hitler Youth leader, Baldur von Schirach was bisexual; Hitler’s private attorney, Reich Legal Director, Minister of Justice, butcher Governor-General of Poland, and public gayhater Hans Frank was said to be a homosexual; Hitler’s adjutant Wilhelm Bruckner was said to be bisexual;… Walther Funk, Reich Minister of Economics [and Hitler’s personal financial advisor] has frequently been called a “notorious” homosexual… or as a jealous predecessor in Funk’s post, Hjalmar Schacht, contemptuously claimed, Funk was a “harmless homosexual and alcoholic;”…[ Hitler’s second in command] Hermann Goering liked to dress up in drag and wear campy make-up; and so on and so forth (Rector: 57).

Lively, Scott; Abrams, Kevin (2015-07-26). THE PINK SWASTIKA (Kindle Locations 1557-1562). . Kindle Edition.

He cites “Rector, Frank. The Nazi Extermination of Homosexuals. New York, Stein and Day, 1981.” The mention of Hans Frank appears to be on page 57. Despite the assertions in Pink Swastika, no serious historian mentions Frank’s homosexuality. An examination of his biography reveals a heterosexual lifestyle.

We are left wondering what motivates Lively and Abrams to pursue claims of a homosexual basis for Nazism. Motives can be sifted from a number of their comments:

There is an epidemic form of homosexuality, which is more than the usual incidence, which generally occurs in social crises or in declining cultures when license and boundless permissiveness dulls the pain of ceaseless anxiety, universal hostility and divisiveness… Supporting the claims of homosexuals and regarding homosexuality as a normal variant of sexual activity is to deny the social significance of homosexuality… Above all it militates against the family and destroys the function of the latter as the last place in our society where affectivity can be cultivated… Homosexuality operates against the cohesive elements in society in the name of fictitious freedom. It drives the opposite sex in a similar direction. And no society can long endure when either the child is neglected or when the sexes war upon each other.

Lively, Scott; Abrams, Kevin (2015-07-26). THE PINK SWASTIKA (Kindle Locations 180-185). . Kindle Edition.

Lively’s interest in Nazis and homosexuality falls short of scholarly. References throughout allude to the gay agenda and militant homosexual activists. A Nazi connection would be a powerful tool in this face off. More useful a tool it would be were it not so shopworn. Historian Arlene Stein has noted the usefulness of making the Nazi and Holocaust link. Lively has made this link with considerably less finesse than others.

Lively’s message comes across with a block of American readers. I have met them. Book sales tell the story. Look, I bought a copy. A review will come out later this year.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

All You Need Is Love

beatles-all-you-need-is-love-650-430

It’s a song:

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

No, love is not all you need. If this were all about love we would not be having this discussion. Regrettably that’s not how it’s being sold. Full disclosure—I’ve been giving money to the Democratic Party. I know. I’ll go to Hell, but I can’t help myself. Unfortunately, when you give money to a political party, which the Democrats resemble, you will never again be lonely. I get emails. Did I mention I get emails? Here is a sample:

Love won.

To

John Blanton

Followed by a link to a page that asks me to donate more money.

OK, love won.

No, it did not. What won was equal treatment under the law. Fortunately for all of us, the United States Constitution does not recognize love. You think otherwise, then consider the consequences. The Constitution would also be energized to recognize hate. Let’s leave that stuff where it belongs.

Not having reviewed the arguments in this case, my take is the 14th Amendment applies, specifically the first section:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Somewhere in there is the idea that all persons need to be treated equally under the law. This now includes laws, state laws, regarding marriage. States from the get-go decided they needed to get involved in people’s marriages. There were issues of who is financially responsible for children issuing from sexual unions, who gets what when somebody dies, and finally some quirks of the 20th century.

Came Social Security, and people earning money taxable with a W-2 form needed to pay into the system. They received the benefits. Then it was decided the women married to the men earning this money should share in the benefits. This was a time when men worked, and women did not. A little chuckle here. And it was decided that men who did not work should share in the benefits earned by the woman. You can see this was getting complicated.

Anyhow, none of these benefits accrued unless there was a marriage. Get it. It now becomes important to be married. Couples living together, even producing babies, do not accrue these Social Security benefits.

There are other benefits obtained by marriage, including the ability to adopt children, insurance coverage, visitation rights in a medical facility, the right to refuse to testify in court. Some couples did not receive these rights. Some couples were denied the legal advantages offered by marriage. These were couples of the same sex.

I had fun with this seven years ago when it began to bubble up, particularly with respect to the famous Proposition 8 in California. I challenged some of the obviously silly arguments. One was “Homosexuals are not allowed to get married.” Not true, of course. Homosexuals were allowed to marry, provided they married somebody of the opposite sex. And love had nothing to do with it.

We come back to whether love is all you need. It isn’t. People have always been able to obtain the legal benefits of marriage in the absence of love. People who didn’t like each other have been getting married for thousands of years:

Charlemagne wished one of his sons to marry one of Offa’s daughters. Here we have an important proof of the esteem in which the Englishman was held. Offa stipulated that his son must simultaneously marry a daughter of Charlemagne. The founder of the Holy Roman Empire appeared at first incensed at this assumption of equality, but after a while he found it expedient to renew his friendship with Offa.

Churchill, Winston S. (2013-04-29). A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Vol. 1: The Birth of Britain (Kindle Locations 1290-1293). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Yes, tell me again that love is all you need.

No, what you need is financial security, plus equal treatment under the law. And that is what a segment of the population has obtained this week. That said, this is not the limit of my joy. Happy as I am for these newly-entitled couples, my greatest joy is the look on Ted Cruz’s face. That is priceless.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

Politicians Say The Darndest Things

SamsonTemple

I think I’m beginning to find my stride. Not only am I never going to run out of the darndest things politicians say, I’m never going to run out of politicians. They must be breeding somewhere off in the dark:

It may be only a sad fact for Governor Huckabee, but it’s another side of this that bears attention. That other side would be the Governor’s fact-deficient statements regarding archeology and the Bible. Contrary to what Governor Huckabee believes, contrary to what Governor Huckabee wants us to believe, archeology does not support the Bible. Nor does history. Where to start?

But that was only former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. What about the other presidential contenders? What about Senator Marco Rubio of Florida?

“We are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech, because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater,” the Florida senator said. “So what’s the next step after that? After they’re done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech. And that’s a real and present danger.”

I grant this is a strong statement. How about a little Skeptical Analysis? How about starting with “[I]f you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.” Let’s refine that. Translating it I get “If you don’t carry an LGBT banner down the street, then you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.” I hope that’s not what the senator meant to say, because I don’t carry the flag, and you would be hard put to label me as such. How about this translation: “If you denounce homosexuals as sinners and second class citizens, undeserving of equal treatment, then you are a homophobe and a hater.” That’s closer to reality. But it’s not exactly what the senator said. What’s next?

How about, “[T]he next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech.” There could be some truth there, depending on how you define the teachings of mainstream Christianity. If you define the teachings of mainstream Christianity as something like, “Jesus teaches us that we are all God’s children, equally deserving of our kindness and consideration,” then you would be hard put to argue “[T]he teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech.” On the other hand, if you define the teachings of mainstream Christianity to be, “God hates fags,” then you’re going to be dead on concluding this would be considered hate speech.

Finally, regarding “a real and present danger,” Senator Rubio should look to the decadence within. The Bible recounts the tale of a temple that needed to be brought down:

Judges 16:25-30 King James Version (KJV)

25 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.

26 And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.

27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.

28 And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.

30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

Politicians Say The Darndest Things

BenCarsonGetIn

I’m never going to run out of these. I swear to God. Politicians are an inexhaustible source of merriment for the rest of us. There’s something about running for public office that makes otherwise intelligent people stand up and say the darndest things. Some kneecap themselves even before signing up for the big push. For example:

“No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA [the North American Man/Boy Love Association], be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are, they don’t get to change the definition. So it’s not something that’s against gays, it’s against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society. It has signifcant ramifications.”

Readers, this is conservatism at its most basic. “We’ve always done it this way. This must be the right way to do it. Let’s not change it.” Politician Ben Carson is saying that messing with the legal structure associated with marriage will have “significant ramifications.” Would that he had elaborated on that point.

Carson is also noted for some basic misconceptions about the biological roots of homosexuality:

Some of our brightest minds have looked at this debate, and up until this point there have been no definitive studies that people are born into a specific sexuality.

He previously pointed out that people go into our prisons straight and come out homosexual, but he later recognized the mistake in that thinking. One would think with that behind him Ben Carson would have obtained some sense of reality. Apparently not:

In his book “The Big Picture,” Carson went even further than his recent remarks, calling homosexuality a sin comparable to murder and cheating. The book decries the “obsession with politically correct speech,” saying it has “reduced the quality of meaningful dialogue” and that it “discourages honesty.”

Ben Carson has somewhere along the line gotten his priorities straight. Murder is a capital offense, often punishable by death. I’m guessing that once he takes office as President the first job of his new Attorney General is going to be to round up all those murderers and see they get what’s coming to them.

We should not be too flip in assessing Ben Carson’s views. They come from a reliable source:

My response wasn’t nearly that politically correct. “Excuse me, but I beg to differ,” I said. “How I feel and what I think isn’t just my opinion. God in his Word says very clearly that he considers homosexual acts to be an ‘abomination.’” Whenever I point out that God calls homosexual behavior a sin, I am usually quick to add that the Bible just as clearly calls a lot of other things wrong — lying, cheating, adultery, murder, gluttony — and I am not going to try to justify any those things in order to be politically correct either.

See. A mythical, magical being in the sky has handed down the final word, and there is no disputing it. On that bright January day when Ben Carson is sworn in, we can only pray to Jesus that God does not tell him it’s time to start a nuclear war.

If Dr. Ben Carson is elected President he will become one of the best educated people to hold that position. This brings the assurance of at least four straight years of straight talk from the presidential podium:

You know, as a Christian, you know, I have a duty to love all people and that includes people who have other sexual orientations, and I certainly do, and never had any intention of offending anyone. What I was basically saying, and if anybody was offended, I apologize to you. But what I was basically saying is that there is no group. I wasn’t equating those things, I don’t think they’re equal. Just, you know, if you ask me for apple and I give you an orange you would say, well that’s not an orange. And then I say, that’s a banana, that’s not an apple either. And there’s a peach, that’s not an apple, either. But it doesn’t mean that I’m equating the banana and the orange and the peach. And in the same way I’m not equating those things.

And enough said about that. With Carson as president we can look forward to a clear perspective on critical issues:

“What I have a problem with is when people try to force people to act against their beliefs because they say, ‘they’re discriminating against me,'” Carson told reporters. “So they can go right down the street and buy a cake, but no, let’s bring a suit against this person because I want them to make my cake even though they don’t believe in it. Which is really not all that smart because they might put poison in that cake,” he added.

It is so refreshing to hear this from Dr. Ben Carson. I was starting to think I was the only one who imagined real Christians could have little regard for the Sixth Commandment. Rather, I mean the Fifth. No, maybe the Seventh. To hear this from a professed devout Christian is welcome to my ears, because I have been drawing up my own list and just waiting until it became legal.

It’s difficult to get past the notion that Carson believes religious belief trumps the American legal process:

“I would like to see as much emphasis on the rights of Christians and people who are members of the faith community as there is to some of the other groups,” said Carson, who two weeks ago called the Indiana “religious freedom” law “absolutely vital.”

Asked, “Who gets more protection? Christians? Or LGBT people under the law?

“I would like to see a much greater conservation about Christians and their rights,” Carson responded. …

We can only hope that the honorable Dr. Carson does not plan to extend this idea to allowing Christian parents to withhold medical treatment from their children, which is a logical extension of his thinking.

He has provided additional insight into a vast scheme to repudiate the Bible:

Conservative neurosurgeon Ben Carson said last week that supporters of equal marriage rights for LGBT people were “directly attacking the relationship between God and his people” and could endanger “everything else in the Bible.”

Speaking to the anti-LGBT group Illinois Family Institute (IFI) on Friday, Carson explained that the Bible compares the relationship between Jesus Christ and his followers to a marriage.

“Think about the implications of that,” he said. “When people come along and try to change the definition of marriage, they are directly attacking the relationship between God and his people.”

“And that’s the reason it’s so important for them to change the definition, because if you can get rid of that, you can get rid of everything else in the Bible too,” Carson warned.

Such statements reflect powerful insight into the thinking of Dr. Carson. Who would have thought that giving legal recognition to same-sex marriages was part of a grand scheme to gut the Bible of all its meaning. More surprised than I at this would be the millions of homosexuals in this country who are devout Christians. It’s likely that Carson knows best.

Of course, it would hardly be possible to probe the mind of a Tea Party favorite without eventually encountering Marxism. Carson does not disappoint:

“If you look at a lot of the writings of the neo-Marxists when they talk about the New World Order, they say there’s only one stick-in-the-mud, the United States,” claimed Dr. Carson. “How do you get them out of the way or how do you change them? And they said there were two fundamental things: the Judeo-Christian faith and their strong families.”

“Those things have been systematically attacked over decades,” said Dr. Carson. “There’s a book calledThe Naked Communist by Cleon Skousen. He lays out the whole agenda on how to attack the family and the Judeo-Christian values.”

Dr. Carson didn’t mention that Skousen’s book was written in 1958 and contains some bizarre Cold War rhetoric that was an attack on the Soviet Union. The book had several warnings about how communists would take over the world, which included encouraging “promiscuity, masturbation and easy divorce.”

According to Mother Jones, Skousen was a Mormon who “believed that the Founding Fathers were directly direct descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel, whom he said had migrated to the British Isles—and that by extension, the Constitution was the direct descendant of the ruling system of the ancient Israelites.”

I feel comfortable we are not done with the witticism of Dr. Ben Carson. The season is just getting under way.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

Politicians Say The Darndest Things

House GOP Meeting

From Politico

 

I’m never going to run out of these. I swear to God. Here’s not the latest, but just one of the latest:

Congressman links Baltimore crisis to same-sex marriage

Republican Bill Flores blames the breakdown of the traditional family.

4/29/15 8:36 PM EDT

Updated 4/30/15 1:53 PM EDT

Texas Rep. Bill Flores said this week that ongoing unrest in Baltimore could be related to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States and “the breakdown of the family.”

Surprise, surprise! Tony Perkins, who is head of the very strange Family Research Council, is at the base of this:

Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins hosted Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, to discuss the anti-marriage-equality rally outside of the Supreme Court that both had attended that morning.

The clip from Right Wing Watch provides some details of the conversation:

Let’s talk about poverty, for instance. The single best indicator of whether or not a child is going to be in poverty or not is whether or not they were raised by a two-parent household or a single parent household, so the breakdown of the family has contributed to poverty. Look at what is going on in Baltimore today, you see the issues that are raised there. Healthy marriages are the ones between a man and a woman because they can have a healthy family and they can raise children in a way that’s best for their future, not only socially but psychologically, economically, from a health perspective. There is nothing like traditional marriage that does that for a child. Each of us have a mother and a father and there is no way to get around that.

That was Congressman Flores speaking. He represents Texas District 17, which soaks up a large part of eastern Central Texas. It may come as a surprise to my readers, but I am also in support of “traditional marriage.” I’ve done that a couple of times myself, and my fondest memories include growing up in a small town with a brother and two bothersome sisters and a mother and a father, who liked to take me fishing, which I didn’t care for at all. Anyhow, what does all of this have to do with same-sex marriage?

A close listening of the Flores-Perkins interview reveals that the reference to same-sex marriage came from Perkins. Here is my transcript from the interview posted on Right Wing Watch:

Perkins: A lot of these problems are created by the breakdown of the family, which the redefinition of the family would only accelerate.

Flores: You’re exactly right, Tony.

So what we have is Tony Perkins putting words into the mouth of Congressman Bill Flores, who then proceeds to swallow them. If that can fit within the definition of politicians saying the darndest things, then that’s Congressman Bill Flores of Texas District 17. He continues to emphasize that traditional marriage is the best environment for raising children.

So, what does this have to do with same-sex marriage? We can only guess.

My own sources give me to conclude that families consisting of a single mother, a bunch of children, and no man around working to support the family—that’s a recipe for poverty.

So, what does this have to do with same-sex marriage? We can only guess.

I would expect that a same-sex marriage would have:

  • No children
  • Children from a prior heterosexual marriage
  • Children from a prior, and brief, heterosexual encounter
  • Adopted children

In the case of no children there is not much of a route to poverty. Get over it. In the other cases the children would hopefully be raised by two adults, one or both gainfully employed. Where is the route to poverty here?

While we’re on routes to poverty, let’s take some cases from “healthy” marriages. Man and woman married. Man is a drunk and cannot hold a job. Woman has to work to support the man and the children. Little parental supervision at home. Appears to be a route to poverty. And the notion of traditional marriage is upheld. Apparently traditional marriage is not the panacea.

Same-sex marriage is going to accelerate the breakdown of the traditional marriage? That is so frightening. Let’s see how this is going to work:

Alice: Oh look, Ralph. Fred and Bill are getting married. Maybe we should try that.

Ralph: One of these days, Alice…

Yes, that’s the way it’s going to work. Straight couples are going to see the enormous benefits of same-sex marriage, and they are going to abandon their heterosexual bliss, and their children, and go off to find somebody, anybody, of like sex who is willing to marry them. Yes, that’s the way it’s going to work.

In conclusion, I noticed that in their many years of marriage Ralph and Alice never had any children.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

ReligionSubstituteThinking

It was the best of times, it was the end of times

LightWins-01

People, this is one of those times. And now we have Janet Porter:

According to the Babylonian Talmud, a book of rabbinical interpretation of the scriptures, written a thousand years before Christ, there was only one other time in history where homosexual marriage was practiced. It wasn’t Babylon, Rome or even Sodom and Gomorrah. According to the Babylonian Talmud, the only other time in history were homosexual marriage was practiced was … during the days of Noah.

Matthew 24:17 says, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of man.” If this is true, we are uniquely positioned for the return of Christ like no other time in history. Marriage matters, because it matters to God.

Find out more at lightwinsthemovie.com.

Of course that was interesting. Janet Porter even agrees these may be the best of times. Before I get too deep, here’s some clarification:

That “Matthew 24:17” is a bit of Janet’s bad memory. The closest Matthew is 24:37. And my copy of the Bible has it differently:

Matthew 24:37 King James Version (KJV)

37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

But I’m not one to quibble.

Light Wins, the movie is something else:

Like a tank in Tienanmen Square, the homosexual agenda has been running over people since Anita Bryant’s courageous stand in the 1970s.

And there’s more. Watch the trailer.

For those who didn’t have a TV set or a newspaper in the 1970s:

Anita Jane Bryant (born March 25, 1940) is an American singer, former Miss Oklahoma beauty pageant winner, former spokeswoman (brand ambassador) for the Florida Citrus Commission (marketing orange juice), and outspoken opponent of homosexuality. She scored four Top 40 hits in the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including “Paper Roses“, which reached #5. She later became known for her strong opposition to homosexuality and for her 1977 “Save Our Children” campaign to repeal a local ordinance in Dade County, Florida, that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, an involvement that significantly affected her popularity and career in show business.

Yes, the Florida Citrus Commission dropped her sparkling endorsement campaign after she began making public comments that turned off the customer base.

So back to Janet Porter.

“According to the Babylonian Talmud…” How about, “According to the November 1968 issue of Archie Comics…” When you start off quoting fictional works, why go to half measures?

Porter digs deeper: “If this is true, we are uniquely positioned for the return of Christ like no other time in history.” Let’s state this another way. “If this is true, then your grandmother is a television set.” That’s known as a syllogism. In a syllogism, if the premise is false, then it does not matter what the conclusion is. The entire syllogism is true.

And Porter does not shy from having her name attached to such puff? To each his own.

Finally, regarding the movie and the reference to tanks in Tienanmen Square. Tanks in Tienanmen Square killed people. There’s a difference. Would that Porter recognized this.

This may be the end of times, but it’s not the end of these tales. Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.