Tag Archives: values voters

The (Necessary) Death of Christianity as We Know It

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A majority of Americans large enough to win any election celebrates Christmas primarily as a religious holiday. Similar polling revealed that two-thirds of Evangelical Americans believe Christian nativity scenes and other specifically Christian ephemera have a right to be displayed on government-owned property.

Numbers like these reveal that there definitely is a long-sought wall between Church and State in America — it just happens to have been built to keep out all of humanity’s several thousand gods except one.

On the campaign trail, Candidate Donald Trump was asked in front of a live audience, at the “Family Leadership Summit 2015” a question which self-identifying Christians are supposed to dwell on regularly: “Have you asked God for forgiveness?” Candidate Trump tried fruitlessly for entire minutes to assemble a coherent answer. He failed a second time when the interviewer repeated the question.

Candidate Trump also claimed on the campaign trail that the Christian Bible is his favorite book and brags to this day of being a devout and humble Presbyterian-brand® Christian.

Many Christian believers insist their religion provides blueprints and instructions for how to live lives worthy of God’s favor. Those of us on the outside are supposed to believe that Christianity owns the one-and-only moral high ground and that the Bible’s instructions help us become better versions of ourselves. God is supposed to be a tool by which we revisit our failures and endeavor to do better in the future.

Even Trump says so. But when confronted with that simple question — As a self-identifying Christian, have you asked your god for forgiveness lately? — he replied, “That’s a difficult question.”

Is it really that difficult, though? It can be answered with either a “yes” or a “no.” And if we are supposed to believe that Donald Trump is a practicing Presbyterian Christian, there’s only one correct answer he can give. The second half of Trump’s non-answer, and his alternative to specifically asking his God for forgiveness and/or guidance, is to “try to do better” when he “does wrong things.”

Where Do “Values” Come From, Anyway?

But the Christian God is also supposed to be a “personal god” — even most Christians say so. So what does a word like “wrong” or “sin” actually mean to a man like Trump, whose idea of an ideal and worthy god does not at all seem to resemble the version worshipped by our grandparents?

In other words, how are we supposed to construct a functioning political and world civilization upon such a flimsy and subjective ideological foundation? Donald Trump has spent time bragging in public about sexually assaulting women and yet is the chosen exemplar for the “Party of Family Values.” No religion or any other type of ideology can hope to achieve a worldwide unity of purpose when its values are practiced with such wild inconsistency. Christianity in America walks arm-in-arm with a latter-day gestapo, all while hollering that sitting in that pew for an hour every Sunday makes you a more perfect being.

It is almost certainly true that a majority of American Christians are not fanatical enough about their faith to resemble Nazis and fascists to the degree that the “Alt-Right” movement does. All of the polling quoted above which reveals Christianity’s dominance in America also reveals an ever-smaller number of people who self-identify as both “religious” and “spiritual.” Most folks these days display an interest in becoming a better person without the preposterous baggage of predetermination, virgin births, resurrections and other physical impossibilities and supernatural mumbo-jumbo.

However, it is also true that entire generations of Conservatives who both vote and attend Sunday worship services have not bothered themselves with constructing or contributing to a new kind of politics which does not require them to vote for Nazis, fascists and child molesters. They gather in their congregations every Sunday to wait for God’s Kingdom to arrive on Earth — but we’ve seen those staff members, and the rest of us want no part of that type of government.

More than 80 percent of American evangelicals voted for Donald Trump — a man who had already been on the record for years as a proudly entitled “pu**y grabber.” It’s not like there haven’t been warning signs that their faith had outlived its usefulness — or had plumb gone off the rails.

Yes — the God of American Christians is as personal a god as any. Belief in Him, consequently, frequently results in unselfconscious walking contradictions like Donald J. Trump. But the Christian God also owes its existence to myths far older than itself — stories designed to explain why certain mysterious processes happen the way they do, such as:

  • Why does the sun appear to “rise” every morning?
  • Why does childbirth hurt?

The answers, according to traditional religious dogma, are: Because a god lifts it into the sky each morning and because a god is still punishing us for original sin, respectively.

As you can see, “God” can only live in the gaps in our knowledge. And because we collectively have fewer and fewer of those gaps, we need smaller and smaller gods to satisfy that particular psychological urge. The rise of the so-called “Alt-Right” in America resembles the death throes of an ethos that has finally recognized its own pointlessness but doesn’t want to go quietly.

Meanwhile, those same folks — the folks who somehow believe Christians are a “persecuted people” in a country that prints the name of their god on our money and who ran to Trump’s side because he promised deliverance from the unwashed infidel hordes — appear to be perfectly comfortable with watching their “values” bastardized and weaponized in the name of hanging onto congressional seats.

That’s how paltry a magic trick religion has become in a world that is still marching, slowly and fitfully, toward democratization and secularization. It’s political weaponry. By failing to recognize this, Christians are actively contributing to the destruction of their own religion.

A Time for New Gods

To a certain degree, the survival of our race now depends on a significant portion of the American electorate discovering for the first time that some earthly evils are far more urgent than the ones described in the Bible — and they require us to assemble a collection of humanistic values that is free once and for all from traditional, religious and political ideologies as we understand them today.

The Family Research Council & Paul Ryan: Christian Extremists

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image of FRC logo with Hate Group written on itI’ve written before about the Values Voters Summit, which is sponsored by the hate group Family Research Council (FRC). I really don’t want to waste energy on their hate but I feel an informed voter is a defender of democracy and hate groups like FRC shouldn’t be allowed to fly under the radar. FRC isn’t just a group with different ideas, their ideas are the polar opposite of this country’s values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I don’t like to write these strong words but the Family Research Council’s goals are no different than the goals of the Taliban in Afghanistan. People need to know the truth and need to know about the people who consort with the kind of sedition the FRC calls for in their words and deeds. Voters need to know that people like Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan believes that one’s Christian religious beliefs should trump the US Constitution.
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Dangerous Right Wing Republican Stupidity At The Value Voters Summit

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Values Voter logo with fine printThis weekend was the annual meeting of the religious right wing of the Republican party at the so-called Value Voters Summit. The name of the event is similar to other ironic names associated with cheap-labor conservatives like “Defense of Marriage Act” and “Clear Skies Act of 2003“. Being it’s election season, the current crop of GOP candidates show up to kiss the ring of the Family Research Council and they say some really stupid crap.
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SPLC names Family Research Council hate group

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The Southern Poverty Law Center added our “friends” the Family Research Council to their list of hate groups for their stance and comments concerning gay rights. What took them so long to do it? The comments are just plain ignorant and hateful.

For the Family Research Council, which hosts the annual Values Voter Summit in Washington — an event which this year drew presidential hopefuls like Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee — the designation comes thanks to the group’s standing at the forefront of opposition to gay marriage and open gay and lesbian service in the military.

The main offender in the eyes of the SPLC is Peter Sprigg, the FRC’s senior researcher and vocal opponent of the gay rights movement. In May, Sprigg told me that an end to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would lead to more American servicemen receiving unwelcome same-sex fellatio in their sleep, part of a long line of reasoning from Sprigg suggesting that gay men are more likely to be sex offenders than anyone else.

The SPLC pointed to several other Sprigg comments when deciding to list the FRC as a hate group.

For instance, this:

[I]n March 2008, Sprigg, responding to a question about uniting gay partners during the immigration process, said: “I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them.” He later apologized, but then went on, last February, to tell MSNBC host Chris Matthews, “I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior.” “So we should outlaw gay behavior?” Matthews asked. “Yes,” Sprigg replied.

Family Research Council Labeled ‘Hate Group’ By SPLC Over Anti-Gay Rhetoric

So now I will wait for the “You’re not helping” claims from the soft side of our side. Personally I agree with SPLC just as I want to see more of the crazy right wing groups referred to as terrorist groups.

Groups that advocate the treatment of any other group as other than full members of this country should be labeled as a hate group. Any group that advocates or supports by silence, violence should be on a terrorism list of some kind.

Rod Parsley Election Spectacular

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The People for the American Way reports that one our favorite TV preachers, Columbus’ own, Rev. Rod Parsley turned a recent edition of his program “Breakthrough” over to two right wing zelots.

If you thought that Rod Parsley was going to drop out of politics after being humiliated by John McCain, think again. Earlier this week, Parsley aired a special “election edition” of his program “Breakthrough” with special guests Janet Parshall and Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America.

For her part, Wright urged Parsley’s viewers to elect candidates who will “follow the Biblical principles of how a nation should be governed.” And, of course, the primary principle was abortion, which Wright compared to the Holocaust, as well as the future of the Supreme Court.

Parsley concluded the program by telling his viewers that it is their votes that will determine if this country will continue to allow the “unconscionable murder of unborn babies, whether it will “stand up for marriage as God intended and his Word declares,” and whether it will continue to drift toward “silencing the voice of every single Christian.”

The Rod Parsley Election Spectacular

Their report includes video of the program.

Religious Right Grasping at Straws

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On October 4th, Dr James Dobson wrote in an op/ed article in the New York Times that “if neither of the two major political parties nominates an individual who pledges himself or herself to the sanctity of human life, we will join others in voting for a minor-party candidate.”

This was a shot across the bow of the GOP because the current front runner – Rudi Giuliani – failed the so-called “value voters” litmus test.

But why not support one of the other GOP candidates. One who seems up their religious alley is Mike Huckabee. He agrees with their views on abortion and gay marriage and he was one of the few GOP’ers who said he didn’t believe in Evolution.

Evolution is a complex issue. It’s a complex issue to discuss the origins of life. And that’s really the question as I interpreted it and understood it. What are the origins of life? Do you believe that life is the result of some metaphysical accident that happened eons ago and there has been this ongoing process of mutation and random selection that has resulted in life as we now know it? And if so, then it’s probably going to keep changing, and who knows where, how and when. And that’s fine, people can certainly believe that.

There are others of us whose basic premise of the origins of life is that there is a God and that he is the dynamic behind it – that there is a prime mover, as some of the ancient philosophers used to speak. I subscribe to that. And as I said last night, for me, it’s as simple as “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.”

A science book that I read today is dramatically different from the science book I would have found in the school classroom 50 years ago or 100 years ago. But the origin of life as it is expressed in the Scripture is consistent and has been now for several thousand years. I can embrace that, and to me it is not a conflict with science; it can be compatible with science.

Whither Social Conservatives? A Conversation with GOP Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee

So why don’t people like Dobson get behind Huckabee?

Because in one recent poll Huckabee is 6th among GOP contenders.

Would the religious right want to hitch their wagons to someone who probably won’t win the nomination? If the guy lost then their supposed “power” would be suspect.

However if they could get a front runner to change their attitude and court them and then they end up losing to the Democrat then the right can say they caused that person to lose because they were being taken for granted. They can spin how powerless they really are.

See how politics works.

See also For a Trusty Voting Bloc, a Faith Shaken