Tuesday, June 14, 2016
[Jesus and the rich young man: "You've got to leave it all and follow me!"]
The New Testament character known as Jesus is an enigma. He preaches and teaches and heals and acts like a biblical prophet. He's not always consistent which is to be expected for his story was created and then recreated by at least four different people.
For example, he heals some folks, and then simply refuses to heal others with no good reason for doing so. His curses a fig tree because it is barren and declares it will never bear fruit; but it wasn't the season for figs.
Most of the time he is non-violent, but then he attacks the money lenders in the temple courtyard, which makes no sense for they were doing nothing wrong; they were simply making it easier for people to make sacrifices. In the Gospel of Matthew he says his ministry is specific to the Jews and the gentiles can go to Hades. Later in that same gospel he sends his disciples out to the ends of the earth of preach his message to all people.
But some things stand out. He has no use for hypocrites! He hates religious phonies who wear their religion on their sleeves (or on the bumper of their cars).
Those who love to stand on the street corner and pray so that they can be seen and applauded by their peers are hypocrites. They have had their reward and what the afterlife holds for them is not going to be pretty.
Jesus said nothing about sex. His teaching as regards homosexuality is nil. He recognized government as necessary and useful and thought his followers should support it while realizing they had a different ministry. He had no intention of changing the world by taking control of the government and bending it to his will or God's will, which in this case, amounts to the same thing for Jesus the man is really God the god.
What he did teach was that those who follow him must give up their luxuries and reach out to the sick, to the poor, to those in prison, and to all who have been beaten down by their own failings or by circumstance. His followers were not to judge but serve. Those who can be called by his name will be known, not by what they claim to believe, or what they confess in public, but by their devotion to helping the sick, the poor, the lame, and those who have landed in dungeons of despair.
If there is anything that defines present day Republican politicians, it is their blatant hypocrisy. They, almost to a man (or woman), profess to love Jesus, to believe in Jesus, to follow Jesus, but it's all a pretense. In actuality, they couldn't care less!
They parade around the country in their suits of piety spewing their non-biblical views as being God's views and condemning to hell all those who disagree with them. And they are gleeful about it. To those they determine are sinners, they cry out happily, "God is going to get you!"
These people are not Christians by any definition of the word. Pat Robertson is not a Christian. He is a pagan pervert. Donald Trump is not a Christian. Not even close. Paul Ryan may be a Catholic but he's not a Christian. You could say the same about almost every single Republican congressman, senator, governor, mayor, school board member, etc.
Pat Robertson, in the wake of the Orlando tragedy, wants gays to kill themselves. Donald Trump wants to ban all Muslims from entering the country. The moron who is governor of Texas tweets that the gays in Orlando had it coming to them. And little pious pompous asses all over the political landscape mimic such nonsense. In the name of Jesus, of course.
There's a horrendous human being who claims to be a Christian pastor by the name of Kevin Swanson. Mr. Swanson is from the midwest which is a politically important area for poobahs wanting to be president.
Many Republican politicians believe that in order for them to win political office they have to make nice with Swanson. That isn't hard, for they share most of his views re religion and society and politics.
Let's look at three of them: Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal. All three are self-proclaimed Jesus lovers, Christians extraordinaire, and all three want to "bring our country back to Jesus" so God will bless it once again, which generally means the poor will get poorer, the rich will get richer, the minorities will get lost and fundamentalist Christians will get the power.
Cruz is a fundy, a crazy fundy who has been anointed by self-appointed "apostles" to somehow help these true believers take over not only the government but all major areas of life. He had been anointed to become president but evidently his god didn't get the word in time. Huckabee is a hack of a Baptist preacher who exemplifies all the really bad things about Southern Baptists; he also has sold his soul at the altar of money. Jindal is a Roman Catholic. Actually, he's more of a fundamentalist than a Catholic, but he also believes it is his duty to make the government into a Christian power to force his version of religion upon all people.
In the wake of the recent horror in Orlando, all three of them used the social media to express their concern for the survivors and their families. Oh, you should read such sad sorrow and gnashing of teeth.
Don't believe a word of it.
Just a few months ago, these three phony Christians attended a rally led by the self-appointed pastor, Kevin Swanson. It was called the National Religious Liberties Conference and was basically a Republican presidential candidate rally.
Pastor Swanson stood before the attendees and spewed his usual message of hate which he claims he must do because that's what his god requires. Part of that message of hate was to call for gays to be put to death.
He said god wants gays to be put to death.
Then he introduced and shook hands with the three would-be presidents. Their silence in the midst of this horror was palpable. None of them said a word.
So, when you read they sent heartfelt condolences to the families and survivors of the Orlando massacre, remember the bitter root of hypocrisy that grows the tree that these and most other Republican politicians hide behind. Their claim to be Christian should fall on deaf ears for if there is one thing they are not, is Christian.
Finally, they, along with all the other right-wing fundies who have preached hatred of gays, must assume some responsibility for what happened in Orlando. For they have sowed the wind and we have reaped the whirlwind.
Monday, June 13, 2016
Ken Burns Warns Stanford Graduates To Make Donald's Defeat Their Top Priority
Filmmaker and historian Ken Burns took to the podium at Stanford University's commencement this weekend to warn graduates of the impending threat Donald Trump poses to the American experiment, and he did not mince words. Rather than try and excerpt it, I'm going to simply put the entire transcript here, courtesy of Media Matters. For 216…
I am enraged as should be every other person who cares about the United States of America.
In 2008, Congressional Republicans, took the position that they would bring down these United States rather than treat President Obama as if he were the real, actual, elected president of the country.
Republican leaders publicly declared they would rather see the United States default on a variety of issues rather than to work with the president on solving the problems faced by the country.
Now, we have a Supreme Court nominee waiting in the wings for the Republicans in Congress to do their sworn duty. They refuse to do so.
The following is from Shakesville:
"How unusual is the Republican blockade of the nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland, President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court? After a comprehensive look at every past Supreme Court vacancy, two law professors have concluded that it is an unprecedented development. ...In every one of the 103 earlier Supreme Court vacancies, the professors wrote, the president was able to both nominate and appoint a replacement with the Senate's advice and consent."
Based upon the evidence before us, we can only conclude that these Republicans are, in fact, traitors. They have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and defend the country. Their continued failure to do these things constitutes treason!