Good riddance to a despicable person.
I know we’ll be hearing the usual, “if you can’t saying anything nice …” mealy-mouthed pablum on hearing that Fred Phelps has finally left this earth, but I say, screw that. He was an evil person. He caused so much pain and suffering, not just to LGBT people but to his fellow Christians, to the families of our soldiers, even to his own family. Using gays as a scapegoat for every tragic event that hit the headlines, from Whitney Houston’s death to plane crashes to 9/11, all these fools ended up doing was uniting the nation against them. Again, good riddance.
He was not a Christian and please, stop calling his organization a “Baptist church.” It wasn’t. He presided over an abusive religious cult that operated as a hate group. His wasn’t the only one, there are plenty similar organizations in this country (here’s one), Westboro was just more adept than others at gathering headlines. Phelps probably had something horrible happen to him when he was a child that made him that way, who knows, but guess what, lots of people suffer similar tragedies and don’t end up like this.
When a cult leader dies the cult tends to dissolve into the breeze. I don’t know if that will happen in this case because it seems a Phelps daughter long ago picked up the protest mantle. But one can hope the day of the hate-headline is over.
From the memory hole:
Good grief, don’t know how I missed this one from last week:
Filmed at the church April 24, the 17-minute video has racked up nearly 40,000 views on YouTube in less than two weeks, and it has some websites asking whether Reagan is the most racist pastor in America.
“My god has nationalities outside the city,” Reagan says in the video, going into the gist of his argument that he doesn’t consider it right to marry white people with black people, continually calling such relationships “hybreeding.”
“Hybreeding, hybreeding, oh, how terrible, hybreeding,“ he says. “What white woman would want her baby to be mulatto, made by a colored man? Let’s stay the way God made us. I believe it’s right.”
This lunacy comes from the pastor of the Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ in, you guessed it, Johnson City, Tennessee.
This gets me:
“I feel terrible,” Reagan said. “I’ve been sick since it came out and haven’t eaten in days.”
As terrible as Reagan feels, he’s not backing off the message. He said he’s seen the hardships those in biracial relationships have felt, and though he admits a lot of it has to do with being in a conservative area, he wouldn’t officiate biracial weddings in other parts of the country either.
Wow. Wonder if it ever occurred to this racist fuckwad that the hardships biracial couples experience are a direct result of the words and actions of people like Brother Donny Reagan?
But ya know, it’s so cool that he reminds us that he’s not racist and even has some black friends. Got it.
Watch the sermon here:
Jamie Coots, the snake-handling Pentecostal preacher I wrote about last October, was bitten by a snake yesterday and has died.
What a charlatan and a scam artist. He abused, starved and dehydrated his reptiles to make them more docile, then pretended it was GOD doing a miracle. And along comes NatGeo to sell ads off the spectacle? Sick.
Buzzfeed did one of its infamous listicles at the Bill Nye/Ken Ham circus sideshow, er I mean “evolution/creation debate” (and no I didn’t watch it — sorry, but we had one of those in Tennessee about 100 years ago and I see no reason to repeat it). You can read the piece here, 22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In Evolution.
Most of the questions are rather silly and pointless, IMHO — yes, Virigina, there is such a thing as a stupid question. As Slate’s Phil Plait, who bothered to answer the questions, pointed out,
[…] the vast majority of them are due to a misunderstanding of how evolution works rather than being pointed barbs striking at the heart of science.
I have a question for creationists: why can’t you tell the difference between “their” and “there”?
Sorry, I know this is a little petty. But I have a hard time taking scientific criticism seriously when it comes from people who don’t know basic grammar.
Also, whopper of the day to the dude who thinks evolutionists/secularists/”huminists”/non-God believing people do believe humans come from aliens and extraterrestrials. What? He probably got that crackpot notion from a book he got at the Grand Canyon bookstore. Seriously, this is what happens when you live in a bubble, folks. You start opening your mouth and a whole mess of stupid falls out.
(Original American Moran here, more American Morans here).
No wonder Jesus said we will always have the poor with us:
Billionaire Home Depot founder Ken Langone has a warning for Pope Francis.
A major Republican donor, Langone told CNBC in a story published online Monday that wealthy people such as himself might stop giving to charity if the Pope continues to make statements criticizing capitalism and income inequality.
Pity the poor billionaires.
If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times: when Republican religion clashes with Republican political ideology, it’s always the religion which is wrong.
No, Mr. Langone. Pope Francis is not alienating the rich. You’re alienating yourselves.
New International Version (NIV)
The Widow’s Offering
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
“We’ve made God angry by allowing abortion! Abortion causes climate change!” claims Barton.
Barton claims that we opened the door to losing God’s protection over our environment by supporting abortion which, he says, will lead to just killing everybody anyway.
Regarding this discussion about exempting churches from ENDA, I have a question:
Until 1978, Mormon church doctrine viewed black people as inferior. Blacks were prevented from joining the priesthood, which is something all male Mormons who’ve been on their mission get to do. If you’re not in the priesthood there’s a bunch of stuff you can’t do, events and rituals you can’t participate in, offices you can’t hold, etc. My question: were the Mormon Church and its institutions (like schools) exempted from the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
Anyone know? Seems like a parallel here.
Last week that smarmy huckster Joel Osteen Tweeted this:
Umm …… no. Just …. aaagh. What an idiot.
I can’t believe this fraud has such a huge following. Then again, yes I can. Look at all the idiots who re-tweeted and favorited this bullshit.
Considering a career change? This may be the “how-to” guide for you!
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Discover the easy, inexpensive ways to get religious credentials (and the tax-free status that goes with them), how to develop your following, how to tailor your message for maximum gain and how to weasel out of trouble when your lavish lifestyle or personal misconduct hits the fan.
Your victims will be the feeble, the old, the poor and the desperate, so this is for people with no conscience whatsoever. Get ready to stare into the hopeful faces of the lame and the terminally ill and lie, convince working people to send you their last five or ten bucks by telling them that God will return the donation a hundredfold and rob nursing home residents of what little they have as they hang on to every word you say. In return, you will give them a good show, a temporary emotional high and a hefty dose of false hope. And you will be one rich SOB!
Whether you’re actually considering a career in televangelism or just studying their methods to protect yourself or a loved one, you’ll find page after page of shocking, amusing and heartbreaking true stories.
Paladin Press publishes a lot of stuff for the home munitions enthusiast and survivalist set, including a notorious “how to be a hit man” title which landed it in court at least once. These folks crossed my radar back when I was doing research for my perpetually-unfinished novel and needed to learn some backyard ballistics. I hate to give them any money because they’re nuttier than a Baby Ruth bar but I just had to pick this title up.
Who knows, it could offer some real tips on how to fleece the Teanuts for fun and profit!
Filed under Books, religion
Yesterday I caught most of this story on NPR . It appears the reason snake-handling Pentecostal preachers are rarely bitten is not because of the holy spirit but because they systematically abuse and neglect their animals:
“The animals that I’ve seen that have come from religious snake handlers were in bad condition,” says Kristen Wiley, curator of the Kentucky Reptile Zoo, a facility in the town of Slade that produces venom and promotes the conservation of snakes. “They did not have water. The cages had been left not cleaned for a pretty long period of time. And the other thing we noticed is there were eight or 10 copperheads in a container that was not very large.”
What’s more, she says there was no fecal material in the container, which indicated the snakes were not being fed. Riley says a snake that may be dehydrated, underweight and sick from close confinement is less likely to strike than a healthy snake. Moreover, the venom it produces is weaker.
She says snake-handling preachers who don’t take care of their snakes are “setting themselves up for a safer encounter during their services when they use a snake that is in bad condition to begin with.”
And then there was this:
In a follow-up call, I asked him how long his snakes usually live.
“Average is probably three to four months,” Coots says.
The Kentucky Reptile Zoo reports that well-cared-for snakes live 10 to 20 years or longer in captivity.
I always thought snake-handling preachers were just egomaniacs trying to call attention to themselves. The snakes — and God — are just props. The fact that they abuse their animals to tilt the odds in their favor doesn’t surprise me a bet.