Giving Christians a bad name.

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It is sad when the largest religious group in the country attempts to either convince its own that they are under attack, or thinks that by constantly claiming they are, they will convince others that it is true.

Recently on his radio show, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, received a call from a listener who was concerned that someone had posted a picture of two Gay men on their Facebook page.

I get things on my Facebook page all the time that I am not interested in. I have gotten political things from politicians I do not like, requests for donations from politicians and causes that are just not my thing, posts that are a little over the top when it comes to hatred of Muslims, and ads for products that are of no interest to me.

I don’t open the ads, I block the politicians and religious posts, and, if I get tired of friends’ rants that border on hysteria, I unfriend them.

I guess I am adult like that.

But instead of Tony Perkins suggesting to this caller and all his listeners to do the same thing, he saw an opportunity to play the martyr.

While not advising the caller to just unfriend or block the person who had sent the offending picture, Perkins told the caller, “Jesus said that we are to pray for our enemies, for those who persecute us, that would be those who mock and ridicule us, absolutely we should pray for them”.

I have grown a little larger in my retirement as I finally have the time to draw to my heart’s content, which involves a lot of sitting, and not being in the center of continual activity, which in the past involved lots of movement, life has become more sedentary.

But I do not see it as persecution or mockery when people post pictures of fancy meals, both foreign and domestic, or recipes that take little work to put together. Sometimes I look, read and drool; sometimes I quickly move on.

Apparently, according to Perkins, the persons posting these should be considered enemies, just as those who might post a picture of  a Gay couple is the enemy of their “Christian” friend.

“This is being shoved into people’s faces, and if, like you, they say, I don’t want this on my Facebook page, I don’t want this, I don’t want to see this, look, do whatever you want to do but don’t involve me in that – that’s not good enough, there’s this effort of forced acceptance and affirmation, and we just can’t do that.”

Maybe he should have been more adult and rational and have simply told the caller to block, unfriend, or skip over the post he or she does not want to look at.

But, you see, unlike all the posts on Facebook that involve straight people kissing and hugging each other, the Kardashian’s or any straight celebrity showing whatever it is apparently acceptable to show, religious sermons, political screeds, or anything that can be scrolled away from, blocked, or unfriended, pictures of Gay people are like the Roman Coliseum filled with lions. They are the stuff of which the persecution of Christians is made.

I get posts from a religious friend that include many about Christians in certain countries being tortured, imprisoned, and killed for their religion. That to me is persecution.

Getting a post from a friend that isn’t to your liking, not so much.

Perkins claims that such pictures posted by a person’s friend, unlike legislation proposed in many states to deny Gay people their God given rights (We are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, after all), especially those like the recent ones in Oklahoma, show a “lack of tolerance” from gay people, while the others do not comprise any form of intolerance from straight and, too often, Christian people.

If these so called Christians are trying to bring people to Jesus, crying “wolf” like this, and interpreting anything they do not like as willful persecution, just won’t cut it.

As a kid I received the sacrament of Confirmation. It was supposed to give me the strength from the Holy Spirit to be strong in my religion and willing to suffer for it. The bishop was even expected to give each kid getting confirmed a little slap on the face to symbolize persecution and the need to be strong. Depending on the bishop, this could be a light slap, or a good one.

Somehow a face book post does not strike me as the persecution we were being given the strength to endure.

There is one way

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The Senate has voted on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Like any bill that the GOP House played around with last session, this was another “jobs bill”.

It is going to create thousands of jobs, they said, even though anyone who actually looks beyond the financial benefits members of congress and their friends who give them money, knows those thousands of jobs are at best temporary and not that numerous.

Two provisions in the Pipeline bill seem a little less than friendly toward American citizens.

The fist is the one that did not make it a requirement that the steel for the pipe and the pipes themselves must be American made.

The owners of Tar Sands can get their materials anywhere that it is cheapest, with no guarantee that Americans will be employed.

No jobs provision there.

The second provision turns its back on the idea that the oil that flows though the pipeline will be kept in this country for American use. Instead, it all goes to foreign countries.

The only involvement of Americans beyond the temporary employment is that those Americans living along the route, and their water supplies will be negatively affected  by any ruptures in the pipeline.

Oh, my mistake. There is a third interesting provision that has it that people living along the proposed pipeline route will not have to give up their land for eminent domain from this point on.

This doesn’t apply to those whose lands have already been claimed, and the majority of those with land in the way have already had it claimed, or have been given the notification that it was the victim of eminent domain.

This group will have to go to court and fight those notifications.

Good luck to them.

No backsies

But, we should all be happy knowing this is all for the benefit of Americans. Well, certain ones anyway.

 

 

People like this just need to stop

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When I first arrived on Cape Cod, and after enjoying some needed down time after my adventures in Oklahoma City, I went looking for a job that would give me an income, but would not be too challenging. I did not want to become so ensconced in my work that I would become a slave to it, so, looked for jobs that to me, anyway, might be mindless.

One job I found for four hours , three days a week, very early in the morning before the mall opened, was opening boxes of clothing at a local department store and hanging stock according to category and department. It was mindless work, at least my task was.

That job ended when Christmas arrived as it was only seasonal.

I also took a job at a Starbucks that was inside a local grocery chain store.

I didn’t stay there long.

First, the manager was rather manic, always frustrated, complaining about everything, and never relaxed. For her everything was an emergency when a simple remedy was readily available.

You never just needed more cups, but, instead, we were always just about to run out and panic would set in as the manager would issue orders, run to the supply room at the back of the store harrumphing as she went, telling her tale of the latest catastrophe to any employee in the store who would listen, or was just in her path, while I would just walk over to the supply cabinet and get the cups that were needed.

She never seemed happy that I was not as panicky as she was.

The second reason I left was because of the customers’ odd attitude toward coffee. It was a sacrament to them while to me it was a cup of coffee. They acted like it was the reason for their day, and they would rattle off the size, type, and various requirements of each cup as if it had to be exact or planes would fall from the sky, and my manager would make the coffee as rapidly as possible, putting every one behind the counter on edge, and adding to the customers’ pre-caffeine jitters. It was like working at a crack house with a line at the window.

I wasn’t there long enough to learn the various sacramental ingredients to all the fancy drinks, and my manic manager was too busy running around dealing with imagined crises to take the time to instruct me.

The farthest I got into the world of Starbucks was ringing the customers up and learning what all the things were that went into the various types of coffee, just not how.

Most of our ingredients were in powder form, and what was liquid, like whole and reduced milk, soy milk, or juices, was retrieved from the grocery store stock room. There were no strange or mysterious ingredients

So I was rather surprised when I read that James David Manning, pastor of ATLAH Missionary Church in Harlem, New York, and a staunchly homophobic preacher, claims that Starbucks uses semen in its recipes.

But, not just any semen, mind you, but that of “upscale” sodomites.

According to him, that’s how Ebola was being spread in this country.

As he explained it:
“The thing that I was not aware of is that… what Starbucks was doing, is they were taking specimens of male semen, and they were putting it in the blends of their lattes. It’s the absolute truth. They’re using male semen, and putting it into the blends of coffees that they sell. My suspicion is that they’re getting their semen from sodomites. Semen flavors up the coffee, and makes you thinks you’re having a good time.
Starbucks has deduced, in an ingenious way, that since so many people like Semen, while they’re drinking it from one another, why not put it in our coffees?”

Another preacher sounding like a politician, coming out with bizarre truths which turned out to have been contained in a satirical report written after Starbucks had RuPaul in an ad.

After the shooting happened at Charlie Hebdo, and the shooters yelled that they had avenged the prophet, one of the Ayatollah’s answered some Muslims’ concern that the Western World was ruining the image of Islam, by responding that it was not the Western World giving Islam a bad name, it was Muslim extremist who were doing that.

It’s these types of preachers with their need to justify their homophobia who give religion a bad name here.

The candidates are gathering

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The Republicans spend a lot of time telling the American people that the Government is too big.

They speak of it as one of the country’s greatest evils.

Yet, so far, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, and Chris Christie, are trying to get donors to support their desire to run it.

God’s priority

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By now people should be aware of Oklahoma’s State Representative Sally Kern.

No matter what decision she makes, good or bad, beneficial or detrimental, no matter how questionable, her default explanation is that she is doing what God has directed her to do.

Although outwardly religious, and accepted as such by those who claim to be religious themselves, it borders on blasphemy as she takes no responsibility for any actions she takes or decisions she makes, preferring to have people praise or blame God for her choices and actions.

The problem with this approach is that those who do not accept her actions and proposed bills, those who have found facts to object to them, are reminded that these are the things allegedly instituted by God, and in the process she turns people away, as opposed bringing people to what appears to be a more than unreasonable and non-loving deity.

If people oppose her, she claims they oppose God, and those who love God in turn defend her because they assume they are defending Him from an attack by the ungodly.

She banks on winning her arguments not based on their merits, but the faithfuls’ love of their God.

She uses religion and the faith of people for her own ends and in an attempt to remove any opposition to what she wants.

She uses religion as a tool, and the religious as tools.

She is the worst kind of viper.

She is what Jesus, Himself, warned his true believers against in Matthew 7:15:

 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

 

How is this even Christian?

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Conservative politicians who rely on the conservative religious vote and who are using legislatures to promote their religious beliefs as superior to the U.S. Constitution put 10 Commandment monuments wherever they can on pubic land, and then waste public funds fighting those who see this as a violation of the Constitution since it establishes one religion over all others.

Their only defense is that it is actually an historic monument, but how stupid do they think people really are.

The actual order and wording of the 10 Commandments varies depending on your denomination or branch of the Abrahamic tradition as the Hebrew version has a different numbering than the Evangelical Christian version, as does the Roman Catholic version.

So obviously, they are not pushing a universal document when they claim it is an historical one, but, rather, they promote their own evangelical sect, especially when it becomes obvious these monuments are the work of evangelical politicians..

But in their eagerness to push their religious belief on the rest of us, they seem to forget the second of the Commandments,
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments”.

They seem to worship the monument, as they do not keep the commandment in their hearts.

Then there is that Fifth one, the one that says “Thou shalt not kill.”

If these people really believed in the essence of their monument, they would not be so free to boast about their religious convictions while contradicting themselves and betraying their own claimed beliefs.
Fox News contributor and radio host Todd Starnes recently, when defending the claimed killing of so many people both in Iraq and New Orleans by the hero in the movie “American Sniper” and his characterization of the locals as animals, found fault with Michael Moore’s statement that Jesus would not be on roof tops shooting people in the back when he said, “I’m no theologian, but I suspect Jesus would tell that God-fearing, red-blooded American sniper, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant for dispatching another Godless jihadist to the lake of fire.’”

That’s not the Jesus many of my friends have given their lives to. It’s not the Jesus I grew up with either.

It is now Christian to cheer for killing people?

A true pro-life stance.

Then we have Ben Carson, a darling of the Tea Party and a potential Republican candidate for president in 2016.

During his appearance before fans and the press for a question and answer period at this past weekend’s gathering of conservatives in Iowa, when someone asked him about same sex marriage, while he could have said what he thought about that and then moved to the next question, he chose to use the opportunity to expand on his answer and even the content of the question.

He spoke against GLBT demands for equal rights, and complained that a few judges have overthrown the will of the people in 32 states where the majority who voted on people’s rights decided “that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

He condemned the idea that in spite of what people wanted as laws in their states, same sex marriage bans are being overturned by judges who are ruling these laws unconstitutional and invalid.

He did not like the idea that, if people wanted laws that refused people equal rights, these laws were being thrown out.

I guess he was happy with the segregation laws that the South so favored a few years back, and is upset the courts threw them out.

He also complained about people using civil disobedience in an effort to overturn these laws. Clearly he is not a fan of the movie Selma, or Martin Luther King for that matter.

After saying that he had no problem “If two adults want to be together,” he explained that people could establish legal contracts to share property and have visitation rights while experiencing the benefits of marriage without actually being married.

He has a loose grasp of people’s experiences in the real world.

He has a problem with those who go to a baker and, when refused service because the baker has “religious” qualms about serving Gay people, sue the baker for discrimination.

Instead of just explaining why he considered this wrong he said,
“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.’ 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.”

Why, unless he leaned in that direction, or perhaps was sending a suggestion, would he mention the possibility of a baker pretending to have no problem making the cake so he could poison the customer.

He certainly has a low opinion about the intelligence of Gay people and the religious convictions of his fellow Christian.

Is this poisoning thing something he just accepts that a Christian baker would do?

How in any way is this a Christian attitude?

Hoping for the best

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The man now in charge of the senate’s environmental committee, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, had this to say about climate change when promoting his book about it being the greatest hoax and a United Nation conspiracy:

“My favorite is Genesis 8:22 which is ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ you know, God’s still up there. There’s another piece of Scripture I’ll mention which I should’ve mentioned, no one seems to remember this, the smartest thing the activists did in trying to put their program through is try to get the evangelicals on their side, so they hired a guy named Cizik, and he had his picture in front of Vanity magazine dressed like Jesus walking on water. He has been exposed since then to be the liberal that he is. I would say that the other Scripture that I use quite frequently on this subject is Romans 1:25, ‘They give up the truth about God for a lie and they worship God’s creation instead of God, who will be praised forever.’ In other words, they are trying to say we should worship the creation. We were reminded back in Romans that this was going to happen and sure enough it’s happening”.

Two interesting things in this quote are that he feels that because someone is a liberal they cannot be a real Christian and that science is apparently an anti-God lie.

That was two years ago when his book, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, had just come out and he was promoting it and knew he could sell lots of them if he could appeal to the religious people who seem to fear science.

According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading climate scientists believe that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal”, and are at least 95 percent certain “that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

But, according to Inhofe when he spoke on the senate floor just after getting his chairmanship to the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, “Climate is changing, and climate has always changed. There’s archeological evidence of that. There’s biblical evidence of that. There’s historic evidence of that. The hoax is that there are some people who are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful, they can change climate. Man can’t change climate.”

Fart in an elevator, and man’s influence on the climate becomes obvious.

No one is saying that man is the only influence, but, rather, that man needs to acknowledge some influence and figure out to what extent, and, if it turns out to be significant, what we can do to minimize that.

If it’s all up to God, one has to wonder what His plan is, if not to create another Mars.

If He wants to preserve the earth, as Inhofe believes all he has to do is wink an eye, and it’s preserved.

Environmental decisions for the next two years will be controlled by a man who admits he is no scientist, but who ignores those who are, and who believes all answers are in the Bible, and the will of God, not man’s should just be allowed to play its course, while we sit back and accept it and hope we can handle it.