Category Archives: Christian Right

Why Now? Because Journalism Happened

UPDATE:

And now the locals come out to say yes, everyone knew:

“These stories have been going around this town for 30 years,” said Blake Usry, who grew up in the area and lives in Gadsden. “Nobody could believe they hadn’t come out yet.”

And …

“Him liking and dating young girls was never a secret in Gadsden when we were all in high school,” said Sheryl Porter. “In our neighborhoods up by Noccalula Falls we heard it all the time. Even people at the courthouse know it was a well-known secret.

Everyone ALWAYS knows…

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Oh, the delicious irony in learning that the Bible-banging wannabe Senator from Alabama with a 10 Commandments fetish is a gigantic creepazoid perv. I mean, who saw that coming? (Note: everyone saw that coming).

Now that we can add Roy Moore’s name to the ginormous dungheap of shit heel evangelical hypocrites (Ted Haggard, Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Paul Crouch, George Rekers, Ralph Reed, Mark Sanford, Lou Beres, etc. etc. etc.), let’s address those excuses wingnuts are throwing out. Oh, they’re so desperate to convince themselves this story is no big deal or, worse, a “Democrat plot.” But, nope. Sorry folks.

The most compelling is the “why now?” defense, as in, Why are we only hearing about this now, a few weeks before a major election? That’s actually a damn good question, because timing is everything and I can see how it would look suspicious. And yes, we all know the myriad reasons why victims don’t come forward, the fear of retaliation, the shame, the not wanting to relive the incident, etc. I’m not talking about that.

The real answer to the “why now” question can be summed up in one word: journalism.

It took a journalist from a national newspaper following the Moore for Senate campaign to hear the rumors that had been swirling around Alabama politics for decades. And this journalist followed up on them, something no Alabama reporter had done. The current post-Harvey Weinstein climate I’m sure had something to do with it; outing creepazoid pervs and sexual predators seems to be all the rage these days. But make no mistake: the victims didn’t come forward to break this story. Two journalists sought them out:

Neither Corfman nor any of the other women sought out The Post. While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls. Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women. All were initially reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews, saying they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore. The women say they don’t know one another.

[…]

This account is based on interviews with more than 30 people who said they knew Moore between 1977 and 1982, when he served as an assistant district attorney for Etowah County in northern Alabama, where he grew up.

Note the emphasis: more than 30 people were interviewed. Moore’s thing for young girls was nearly as much of an open secret as Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behavior.

Teresa Jones, who worked with Moore as Deputy District Attorney in Gadsden, AL, told CNN:

[…] Moore often went to high school events and to other local hangouts. “It was common knowledge that Roy dated high school girls, everyone we knew thought it was weird…We wondered why someone his age would hang out at high school football games and the mall…”

She also told the network that co-workers thought the situation was odd, but no one confronted him about it. “You really wouldn’t say anything to someone like that,” she said. 

When asked on Twitter why she did not bring charges against Moore, she posted: “At that time, in that atmosphere unless the girls came forward with specifics, then no, no charges could have been brought. The Weinstein, Hoffman, etc. revelations have made it far more palatable for women to come forward.” 

“Why now?” is a question Alabama voters should be asking their local political media, not Twitter, CNN, and The Washington Post. Roy Moore was a known perv and pedophile, and nobody did anything about it. Alabama voters should rightfully be angry that someone who was elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2001, twice ran for governor, and again was elected Chief Justice in 2013 had this known history, and nobody said a thing about it. I’d be pissed. But sometimes it takes an outsider to do what those too close to the situation can’t. Sometimes it takes a change of circumstances, such as the one that we’re experiencing now, to make it “palatable” for the predators among us to be outted.

There’s a Bible verse that Roy Moore and the rest of the shit heel conservative evangelical caucus might want to remember, and it comes from Luke:

“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”

You want to know why? Because journalism. Because the Bible said so. Take your pick.

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Filed under Christian Right, Media, religious right

They Can Shut Up About Religious Freedom Now

Everything you need to know about the conservative views of religious freedom, summed up in one chiron:

 

 

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Ummm ….. yeaaaaah. Y’all can just shut up now.

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Filed under Christian Right, Christianity, FOX NEWS, Housekeeping, Islamophobia, religion

Conservatism Will Never Run Out Of Martyrs

I’m really tired of talking about/hearing about Kim Davis. This useful idiot has raised a lot of money for the religious right’s sad attempt to copy the ACLU, Liberty Counsel. And a lot of my liberal friends have taken to Facebook to point out how theologically incorrect Liberty Counsel and Kim Davis are, that nowhere does the Bible state that marriage is between one man and one woman (in fact, during the marriage equality debate several Biblical scholars pointed out that “Biblical marriage” is anything but what religious conservatives want it to be), and that Davis is a hypocrite herself. Yada yada, blah blah.

None of that matters, people. All of that is just silly yammering. Once again, liberals are arguing a point of logic and fact, while conservatives are arguing hurt fee fees about losing another battle in the culture wars. Look: the fight over gay marriage and the subsequent martyrdom of Kim Davis has zero to do with the Bible. It’s not about religion or theology. Like all culture war issues, it’s about conservatives’ lack of cultural relevance. It’s about how they’ve lost the culture wars and the poor dears just can’t deal with it.

Boo fucking hoo.

What we on the left really should do, every time a Kim Davis or Josh Duggar or Cliven Bundy pops up on the radar, is ignore them. Show them how irrelevant they truly are by not giving a shit about their martyrdom because they are irrelevant losing losers who lost.

Oh, I know it will never happen, right wing martyrs are like oxygen to social media. But not everything on Facebook or Twitter matters. In fact, most of it is as lasting as a fart on the breeze. So while Kim Davis may be a trending topic now, I guarantee you that by this time next year we’ll have forgotten all about her. Does anyone remember Crystal and Kevin O’Connor? Raise your hand if you had to Google the name.

Conservatism will never run out of martyrs because conservatives are perpetually oppressed. That’s what happens when you’ve lost cultural relevance: everything is always against you because you’re on the wrong side of everything. You lost and that sucks, but the right-wing machine thrives on martyrs, so we will continue to hear their tales of woe. They will continue to appear on Fox News and hatriot radio, they will raise money for groups like Liberty Counsel and the Alliance Defense Fund, and they will continue to proclaim their martyrdom because the woe-is-me attention is the only sense of relevance they’ll ever have.

Bless their hearts. I just wish we didn’t have to pay attention.

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Filed under Christian Right, Christianity, gay equality, GLBT, religion, religious right

American Morans, Creationist Edition

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”?

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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).

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Filed under American Morans, Christian Right, evolution, science

Leaving Arizona … again

Remember these guys? The family which had to escape “Christian persecution,” abortion and gays, and got lost on their way to climate change-ravaged Kiribati and had to get rescued?

Yeah, they’re leaving again. Apparently completely lacking in irony, Sean Gastonguay, patriarch of the hopeful emigrants, fearmongered about immigration reform.

Classic.

Good riddance.

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Filed under Christian Right, immigration

Williamson County You Still Suck A Thousand Ways

God, I am so over the good, white Republican Christian folk of Williamson County. You people suck:

original

A waitress at a Red Lobster in Tennessee posted this photograph of a receipt left from her customers with a special, racist note written in the total portion.

This was, as the photo shows, at the Red Lobster in Franklin, just south of Nashville. To be more specific: it’s the Red Lobster in Cool Springs, a very prosperous shopping community dominated by a gigantic mall, dozens of strip malls, and every restaurant chain ending in apostrophe-S you can think of. Cool Springs used to be farmland but decades ago it got developed and now it’s a shining ode to Consumer America. It is severely conservative, hard-right Republican, sanitized, cookie-cutter, mega-church, soccer mom suburbia: the kind of place people move to because “it’s a good place to raise a family.”

Yes, because racism is such a great family value. /sarcasm

It’s the kind of place where both the chair and first vice chair of the county Republican Party can openly and vocally speak out against a school breakfast program for poor kids, and feel no shame whatsoever.

There are places like it all across America, but I daresay Williamson County is both petri dish and microphone for the conservative worldview. Its Congressmonster Rep. Marsha Blackburn is a regular on Fox News. It’s the home of the Christian music industry, the Gospel Music Assn., and Thomas Nelson Publishers. Dave Ramsey is headquartered here. TCOT got founded here. Hell, Victoria Jackson lives here. ’nuff said.

So let’s not fein surprise that it’s racist as hell, too. Racism, intolerance and contempt for the poor are not Christian values but they sure do seem to be widespread in the modern conservative movement.

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Filed under Christian Right, Christianity, racism, religion, religious right, Tennessee

God Pwns Christians, Has Last Laugh

Okay, Christians: God’s just fucking with you now.

Exhibit A:

Staffer shocked by lightning on Creation Museum attraction
Worker injured while clearing guests from zip line

PETERSBURG, Ky. — A staff member was injured Wednesday while clearing guests from a zip line at the Creation Museum.

Staffers had cleared the lines before 1:20 p.m. as storms moved into Boone County.

Museum officials said a male staffer touched an object that had been energized by lightning and was injured.

Images: Staffer hurt when lightning hits zip line

He was taken to an area hospital as a precaution, but his injuries were not considered to be serious.

The zip line attraction opened this spring to help the religion-themed museum attract a wider audience.

Which is worse: that a staffer at the Creation Museum was struck by lightning, or that they had to open a zip line “to attract a wider audience”?

Exhibit B:

So, it seems that in their exuberance about America, the brainiacs at ORU decided to release a bald eagle inside chapel this week. Also, the chapel has glass walls. Guess what happens next…

Video at the link.

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Filed under Christian Right, religion, religious right

Today In Church v State

So, this caught my eye: three days after a plaque proclaiming “In God We Trust” was placed over the doors to the Anderson County, TN courthouse (not the 10 Commandments? Give them points for creativity), a Native American criminal defendant has filed a motion to have all charges against him dismissed. His grounds? The courthouse is now a “temple of fundamentalist Christianity.”

Well, well, nobody saw that coming! /sarcasm

Here’s the low-down:

The day after Tuesday’s dedication of the placement of the motto over one doorway that featured remarks by Baptist pastors, a criminal defendant filed a motion in Anderson County Criminal Court seeking to have his attempted first-degree murder charge dismissed.

Kenneth Darrin Fisher argues that the dedication ceremony effectively converted the courthouse into a “temple of fundamentalist Christianity.” He contends his constitutional right to freedom of worship has been violated, and the government has endorsed a “fundamentalist view of Christianity.”

Fisher is of Cherokee descent and follows the “Red Road” path of American Indian spirituality, according to the motion.

Shortly before the dedication ceremony, Anderson County Law Director Jay Yeager warned in a memo to commissioners that any dedication event that offered only Christian prayers could “produce unwarranted legal challenges at the expense of our taxpayers.”

Woopsies, someone forgot to be “interfaith”! Looks like it was on purpose, too.

Now, I kind of remember this story from back in the spring, and at the time I found it strange that they chose “In God We Trust” not the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments have passed judicial muster, as long as other religious beliefs are allowed, too. I know that sticks in the Fundies’ craw, seeing as how they don’t recognize any other religion — even other Christian religions — as having validity. And then there’s that courthouse down in Florida which had to accept a monument to atheism.

Quelle horreur!

So yes, of course this was a way of getting around having to “share,” and then I remembered this 2011 vote in the House of Representatives reaffirming the national motto and encouraging its public display.

So, y’know, don’t ever say House Republicans haven’t accomplished anything. They got you this neat plaque that says “In God We Trust” over the county courthouse door, y’all! While that might not make up for the gridlock on every other issue of national importance, you can get the warm fuzzies when you go to your bankruptcy hearing. Of course, you could have just pulled a nickel out of your pocket and read the motto there, but maybe you don’t have one of those — nickel, not pocket, I mean.

What’s funny is the “I told you so’s” coming from certain quarters on the commission who had said the In God We Trust thing was just asking for lawsuits they can’t really afford to tackle.

And yes, it seems pretty clear this was all about religion:

Creasey said he backed a compromise to put the national motto over one courthouse doorway and other familiar sayings over the other three entrances.

Iwanski suggested that bid to find a middle ground by placing the state’s motto, “Agriculture and Commerce,” along with “E pluribus unum” (Out of Many, One), and “Liberty and Justice for All” over the other three doorways.

Iwanski’s compromise suggestion was defeated in March in an 8-7 vote. A nine-vote majority was needed for passage.

See, they just really really do not want to share. (Um, Jesus wasn’t into sharing?) I mean, my goodness: what the hell are you people afraid of? That someone will see “Agriculture and Commerce” and decide they don’t need this religion stuff, they’re gonna be pagan farmers or something? So, so stupid.

This is the kind of stuff which is driving people away from fundiegelical religion. These battles have nothing to do with the message of Jesus or Christianity. They have everything to do with certain groups’ deep-seated insecurity and weak faith. If they had any faith at all they wouldn’t be so intimidated by other ideas. But, change is scary. Instead of relying on the faith they profess to have, they try to cling to the past. That, too, is not what Jesus was about. But, whatever.

Anyway, this case might be worth watching. I find it interesting that the guy complaining is of Cherokee heritage, which kind of chucks all of those “this nation was founded on Christian principles” stuff out the window. The Cherokee were here long before the Christians arrived.

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Filed under Christian Right, church and state, Tennessee

My How Times Have Changed

From the memory hole, John F. Kennedy on Sept. 12, 1960:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

[…]

But let me stress again that these are my views. For contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.

Whatever issue may come before me as president — on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject — I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

Kennedy gave this speech during the 1960 campaign because conservatives were fearmongering about his Catholic faith. They tried to tell voters that a President Kennedy would answer to the Pope instead of the American people and the United States Congress.

My how times have changed. Now we have a bunch of Catholic bishops trying to tell the president what to do, and a bunch of Republicans foamy-mouthed because he won’t obey them.

Good thing we banned that Sharia Law stuff, amiright? Can’t imagine what our Muslim president would do if something pissed off an ayatolla or two. And I’m sure our Republicans would be totally okay with that, right?

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Filed under birth control, Christian Right, culture wars

No One Cares About Your Religion Anymore

[UPDATE]:

Stock market dropped more than 600 points today. Perhaps now would be a good time for Rick Perry to stop praying.

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Sorry, Dude. You Will Never Live Down This Image


Someone joked that Rick Perry’s much-hyped prayer-a-thon yesterday was really about him reminding everyone that he’s not Mormon.

LOL.

This painfully slanted, factually challenged Politico article about the event tells us a lot:

The setting here said everything: More than 33,000 people packed into Reliant Stadium, a 71,000-seat arena that also hosts rock bands.

Yes, packed, I tell you! That’s one person for every 2.15 seats! However did they cram them all in?

Indeed, that does say absolutely everything.

/snark.

Writer Kasie Hunt tells us Perry gave a “smooth, emotional 12-minute speech,” and that he “preached an anti-politics message that, paradoxically, is a central force driving conservative voters.”

Um, no. Anyone who follows religion and politics closely knows that the new breed of evangelicals are plenty sick of politics warping their religion and religion warping their politics. The days of the Moral Majority and Focus On The Family are over. Too many fundie preachers have made headlines doing very un-Christ-like things like burning Korans and hating on gays and contrary to what you might think, most churchgoing people don’t like being lumped in with these crazies.

Not only that, but religion is dying across America, everyone knows it except clueless media types desperate for a tidy box in which to place their narrative. So Kasie Hunt unthinkingly prints this quote from Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention:

Land, the former Southern Baptist Convention president, insists that’s a trend that most are overlooking. “The country is getting more religious, not less religious, and the nature of that religion is conservative,” he said. “The talking heads and the pundits are way behind the curve — they need to spend more time out there in the real country, and they would understand. This is not exotic behavior for most Americans. And they consider it odd that anyone would consider it exotic.”

First of all, honey, Richard Land is not a past president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is the current president of the denomination’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, which is the convention’s public policy arm. He’s held this post for well over 20 years. But I digress.

Richard Land’s “we’re a Christian nation and we’re getting Christianer” quote is simply not true, as plummeting numbers at his own denomination attest. From June 2011:

NASHVILLE — Baptisms fell to their lowest number in 60 years among Southern Baptists, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

The new numbers are a sign that the denomination is in trouble, Baptist leaders say.

“This is not a blip,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay. “This is a trend. And the trend is one of decline.”

In 2010, Southern Baptists baptized 332,321 people, or 17,416 fewer than in 2009, according to a report released by Nashville-based LifeWay Research. This marks the eighth time in 10 years that baptisms have declined and the lowest number of baptisms since the 1950s.

Land, of course, knows this, but he also knows that gullible “reporters” who eagerly gobble up every bit of spin they’re handed won’t bother to check anything they’re told — least of all the title of the person they’re quoting.

The idea that we can somehow bring back the glorious Bush years (for political journalists, at least), where the players were easily cast and the narrative was pre-scripted is ludicrous. Casting Rick Perry in the role of George W. Bush may make the media’s job easier, but it doesn’t reflect reality in any way. For one thing, people still hate George W. Bush, in case you haven’t noticed.

I just fail to see any national hunger for a Rick Perry to take the national stage, outside our lazy punditry desperate for a familiar narrative in these uncertain times. Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time the media forced an unwanted entity on the American people — there’s the Original George W. Bush, the Iraq War, the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump … oh I could go on — but I’ll be shocked if Rick Perry actually a) runs for president, and b) actually wins the nomination.

Addendum: I don’t know why this post got labeled “Housekeeping.” In fact, I don’t understand WordPress “tags” and “categories” at all. Another thing I think Blogger does a thousand gazillion times better.

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Filed under Christian Right, Media, religion