Tag Archives: religion

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:




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


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

Who Is Joshua Feuerstein?

Is there nothing funnier than a bunch of Fundiegelicals getting all butthurt over the absence of a snowflake on their coffee cup? I think not! What I really love is that these useless idiots think they have “pranked” Starbucks by forcing baristas to write Merry Christmas on their cups, while they continue to pay $8 for a latte. Hilarious.

All of this fauxtrage has been ginned up by one Joshua Feuerstein, who posted a coffee cup rant on Facebook. But who is Joshua Feuerstein? Let’s ask the Great Gazoogle:

Former evangelical pastor proposes fighting LGBT rights with assault weapons
Talking head Joshua Feuerstein implies the Second Amendment is the best way to combat homosexuality

Taking a note from the disgraced California attorney who recently proposed a measure to shoot all the gays, a former evangelical pastor has recommended using guns to fight ever-expanding LGBTQ civil rights across the country. Joshua Feuerstein, a Facebook personality known for his vitriolic talk radio-style tirades, implied earlier this month that the Second Amendment is the best protection from “bigoted” anti-discrimination measures and legalized same-sex marriage.

“They are coming after our First Amendment constitutional rights,” Feuerstein said. “This is one pastor that will not bow. Why? Because my First Amendment right is guaranteed by my Second Amendment right. Think about that, ladies and gentlemen.”

The closely zoomed video backs up at the mention of the Second Amendment, so that Feuerstein can reveal he’s holding what appears to be an assault rifle, which he brandishes close to his face. He then urged his viewers to “stand up and say ‘no more.’”

Good thing Starbucks is a “gun-free zone”!

Feuerstein is referred to as a “former” evangelical pastor. On YouTube there’s an absolutely priceless clip featuring a pastor named Brother Wayne (“live, from my bedroom!”) whose guest is someone claiming Feuerstein was inappropriate with the members of his church’s youth group:

He gave an altar call, and the altar call he gave Brother Wayne? it was ridiculous. I ain’t never heard nothing about it in my life. He was talking about girls looking for daddies, and girls never experiencing the daddy figure in their life. And he had a whole altar call, Brother Wayne, just for teenage girls. I couldn’t imagine it. He was walking around praying for these girls, touching ’em and feeling ‘em and everything else and I just couldn’t believe it, Brother Wayne, and I checked it in my spirit. I checked it and I felt it in my spirit that this was not of God.

That night I came to Brother Wayne, did I not? I sure did, and I said I just feel like God is not in this. You know, every time I see his big fat head on Facebook I just feel like, it’s not of God! Christians if you’re out there, if you’re listening, you need to jump on this bandwagon. Because this bandwagon is going straight to heaven, and the bandwagon of Josh Feuerstein? Well, you know where that’s going.

All of this needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt — we don’t know anything about these people except that they say at the outset that their aim is to run Feuerstein out of town. Still, I think it’s just hilarious that even other church people despise this guy.

Even more disturbing are allegations that Feuerstein mishandled donations from a GoFundMe page that were supposed to go towards camera equipment.

There appears to be a lot hinky about this guy. He certainly likes the spotlight and our mainstream media seems happy to give him the attention he craves while saying nothing about the more sketchy elements in his background. So, thanks for playing along, liberal media! This is how the fringe gets mainstreamed.


Filed under conservatives, right-wing hate, War On Christmas

Straight & Narrow Minded

Blount County, Tennessee, punted on its “please, God, go smite someone else” resolution: after crowds showed up to protest the item, the commission did the cowardly thing by not approving the meeting’s agenda and adjourning. That’s a principled action!

This is the part I love:

The resolution, sponsored by County Commissioner Karen Miller, has gained national attention. The resolution focuses on recognizing and protecting ‘natural marriage,’ or marriage between a man and woman.

‘I had no idea this was going to take place. I was totally in the dark. It’s a total surprise,’ said Miller.

Nobody could have anticipated. Nobody could have seen this coming. Nobody could have foreseen that a resolution that is…

…petitioning for God’s mercy and asks God ‘not to destroy our county as he did Sodom and Gomorrah’ …

… would turn tiny Blount County, Tennessee into a national laughingstock. Truly it’s a mystery to Commissioner Miller that this has generated any attention at all, forcing the commission to pull the plug on the entire meeting and scurry into their holes. Hoocodanode?

This is what I love about fundiegelicals. Putting aside for a moment the whole church/state thing, and the fact that not every person is a believer, and not every believer is a Christian, I think one of the most annoying things about the fundiegelical wing of Christianity is that they always think they’re the only Christians in the room.

They always think they speak for everyone else. In a religion with literally hundreds of different denominations and splinter groups, why do they always assume that their version of Christianity is the “agreed-upon” version?

Or maybe they aren’t assuming that, maybe they’re just asserting it. “Our version is the right version and everyone else has to live by our rules!” I mean, how rude is that? To just barge into the faith and tell dozens of other denominations that they’re wrong, we’re right, and shut up.

Look, there are plenty of Christian denominations out there which don’t buy into any of that anti-gay bullshit. And I’m not even talking about “fringe” wings of Christianity like the New Thought churches (Unity, Christian Science, Religious Science) or even those pesky Unitarian Universalists. Mainstream denominations (Presbyterian Church-USA, United Church of Christ, Anglican, Lutheran, Christian Church-DoC) not to mention splinters within the more conservative denominations (there is, believe it or not, a Baptist church down the street from me with an openly lesbian pastor).

So, you know, the fundiegelicals don’t speak for everybody, yet here they come marching in, acting as if they own the joint. No, you don’t own the joint. Shut up. Go away. Practice your faith your way and let others practice their faith their way, and let those who don’t subscribe to any faith also be allowed to live as they please. You’re not the boss of PCUSA or Disciples of Christ or anybody else. So rude. So ignorant.

And that goes for those people wanting to post the 10 Commandments everywhere, blithely unaware that there isn’t just one version. Or teaching Creationism in school: which Biblical version of the Creation are you wanting to teach? There are three in the Old and New Testaments. What arrogance to assume that your version is the one everyone else will agree with!

Get thee behind me, you useless idiots.


Filed under Christianity, gay equality, GLBT, religion, religious right, Tennessee

WTF Ron Ramsey

Tennesee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey just posted this on his Facebook page. It’s positively chilling:


Holy holy war, Batman! What the hell is wrong with this man? “It’s time to prepare”? “Our enemies are armed. We must do likewise”? Are you fucking insane? How’s that been working for us, buddy? Everyone is already armed to the teeth! Amazingly, we’ve had more mass shootings! More, not fewer! What’s that they say about insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

This is some irresponsible BS. Shame. On. You. SHAME. ON. YOU.


Oregon is one of 7 states allowing CCW holders to carry on campus. And apparently there were at least two CCW holders on campus when the shooting happened. They opted not to intervene, out of fear they’d become targets themselves. This was, by the way, absolutely the right call: most of the time, the “good guy with a gun” ends up either getting in the way of law enforcement, getting shot, or hurting an innocent bystander. I just point it out by way of illustrating to Ron Ramsey and the rest of the gun loons that arming all the “good guys” clearly isn’t working. We’ve been doing that for over a decade now and all we have to show for it is more gun violence, more shootings, and a rise in the murder rate.

Watch the interview:


Filed under Guns, religion, Tennessee

Kim Davis Again? Ugh


But wait, there’s more:

Vatican says private ‘audience’ in D.C. was with gay ex-student, not Kim Davis

week after Pope Francis met Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk jailed for her refusal to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples, the Vatican on Friday suggested that she exploited the meeting to promote her views, denied that the pope fully supports her and cast doubt on her account of the encounter.

The Vatican later noted that Francis did have a private “audience” in Washington with a former student of the pope, Yayo Grassi, an openly gay Argentine who along with his longtime partner and some friends met with Francis.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement that Grassi, “who had already met other times in the past with the pope, asked to present several friends to the pope during the pope’s stay in Washington, D.C.”

A video posted online shows Grassi embracing the pope and introducing him to his partner, as well as an Argentine woman and some Asian friends.

The statements together seemed intended to distance the pope from Davis.

I think that should put a stop to this Kim Davis bullshit. Back into obscurity with you, idiots.


I told ya so:

In a formal statement, the Vatican said Friday that Pope Francis’s meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis “should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.”

The statement, issued by the Rev. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, said it was not a “real audience,” suggesting that she was among a group that gathered to greet him and send him off.

I said it was a PR ploy by Liberty Counsel, a pathetic attempt to find some influential cultural figure to endorse their position. And even that was a fail. And the entire U.S. media got pwned. Again.

Well, at least it wasn’t WMDs this time.


Since we have to keep talking about Kim Davis because she will not go away, people! let me explain to my liberal friends why I’m not concerned at all that she met with Pope Francis last week.

When I first heard this story I immediately thought it was a hoax. Then I thought it was just sad. To see Davis and Liberty Counsel shamelessly milk this event for all it’s worth reminded me of when the National Review released its lists of the top 25 conservative movies and songs. The poor dears! So desperate for some kind of cultural relevance! Pope Francis is a transformative cultural figure, and his U.S. visit was historic. It inspired people of all faiths from coast to coast. Of course this group would try to latch on to that, just like a flea tries to jump on a big dog. Gotta grab a little of this reflected admiration (and media attention), after all!

It’s a pathetic thing to watch. Liberty Counsel’s adolescent “see, I told you so!” moment falls apart when you remember that Pope Francis said nothing about gay marriage while visiting the U.S. But he did talk a lot about climate change, Christians’ responsibility to care for the earth, ending the death penalty, welcoming immigrants, and empowering the poor. So yeah, I’ll believe Liberty Counsel and U.S. fundiegelicals give a crap about Pope Francis when they take up those issues.


I mean, seriously. Remember when conservatives were all like “shut up, Pope Francis!” And now they’re all like, “we love Pope Francis!” Puh-leeze.This whole bit of political theater has evolved in a completely predictable manner. And it will be forgotten tomorrow as we move on to the next shiny-sparkly thing.

Meanwhile, the culture marches on toward inclusiveness while conservatives find themselves ever more marginalized.


Filed under GLBT, religion, religious right

Never Forget

Not The Onion:


Apparently there is no event in American history that won’t be cheapened by conservative intolerance, rampant consumerism and cheap beer. I really hope some Muslims take Florida Gun Supply up on this offer. I would love to see a family of Muslims show up and say “Yes, I’m a Muslim, and I would like to save $25 on this AR-15. So would my brother Hussein and my other brother Mohammad.” Hilarity would no doubt ensue.

Happy 9/11. I remember this as the last time any Republican president dared push for a “Star Wars” missile defense program. Remember, if you will, that right before 9/11 W had unilaterally withdrawn the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, all by hisownself, without the blessing of Congress. Remind me again how Obama can’t sign a peace treaty with Iran without Congress’ blessing but W could remove us from one?

Fellow Republican idiots like Sen. John Kyl of Arizona cheered W’s action. From the memory hole:

Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) also termed the move historic, but for a different reason, enthusiastically declaring June 13 that the United States “is no longer handcuffed to a policy that intentionally leaves its own people defenseless to missile attack.” Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and James Inhofe (R-OK) also released statements supporting Bush’s act.

That’s all I remember from the news that summer: Republicans pushing for a bazillion dollar space missile shield, as if it was still the 1970s and our biggest threat was Russian nukes. That, and the news media distracting us with shiny-sparkly “shark attack!” news. That was the summer of 2001.

Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island was the only Senator of either party to speak about the ABM Treaty on the Senate floor. Ominously:

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) said the U.S. pullout was unwarranted because missile defense technologies that would have violated the treaty “are mere concepts that are years away.” He also said that terrorists are more likely to use means other than long-range ballistic missiles, such as planes and ships, to attack the United States.

Give that man a fucking medal. On 9/11 terrorists armed only with boxcutters attacked the U.S., thereby rendering the missile defense shield idea irrelevant and useless.

But the defense industry more than made up for that loss with our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military buildup that followed 9/11 is still largely in place. We have more bases in more places than ever. And now we get to milk 9/11 to sell guns, Islamophobia, and beer, too.



Filed under Guns, religion

Brilliant War On Terror Idea!

Here’s some stupidity straight out of — where else? — Florida:

A Florida gun maker is marketing an AR-15 carbine that he says will be “Islamic-free” because of the Bible verse he etches on each rifle. It’s aptly named “the Crusader.”

Each Crusader coming out of Spike’s Tactical in Apopka, Florida, is laser-etched on the right side of the rifle’s lower receiver with Psalm 144:1: “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.”

On the left side, a cross and shield are etched.

Ben “Mookie” Thomas, spokesman for Spike’s Tactical, told Tampa Bay CBS-TV affiliate WTSP 10 News what led to the development of the Crusader:

“Right now, and as it has been for quite some time, one of the biggest threats in the world is and remains Islamic terrorism,” Thomas, who is a former Navy SEAL and former Blackwater security contractor, told the station. “We wanted to make sure we built a weapon that would never be able to be used by Muslim terrorists to kill innocent people or advance their radical agenda.”

This idiot might do better to inscribe his guns with an incantation I mean Bible verse keeping them away from toddlers, wife abusers, and garden-variety criminals.



Filed under Christianity, Guns, Islam, religion, religious right

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.


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

TN Legislature Grandstanding Over Nonexistent Threat

Apparently Tennessee legislators are unfamiliar with the First Amendment of our Constitution because they have been crafting a “Pastor Protection Act” to make sure no pastors are forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies:

A new bill in Tennessee seeks to “protect” churches and clergy from performing same-sex marriages. But is it necessary?

The move comes after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage on Friday. State Reps. Bryan Terry and Andy Holt anticipated the Supreme Court ruling and have been working on the bill for several months, reports Nashville’s CBS affiliate.

Both representatives reject the validity of yesterday’s decision. “God is the ultimate Supreme Court and he has spoken. Marriage is between one man, and one woman,” Representative Holt said in a press release.

The proposed law would reiterate protections already in place. As Representative Terry noted, “The First Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.” He also cited Article 1 Section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution and said “personal freedom of religion is protected and no human authority can interfere in the rights of conscience.”

Oh. So they know this law is unncessary but they want to “reiterate” protections already in place because Tennessee politicians can never pass up an opportunity to grandstand on the culture wars. Which they are always losing, I might add.

Hey, if you guys want to write in stone how you’re yet again on the wrong side of history, be my guest.

What this really comes down to, of course, is religious conservatives wanting to be protected from criticism for being on the wrong side of history. Sure as day follows night, there will be a case where a same-sex couple wants to use a pavilion or building owned by a religious non-profit and they will be denied — legally. And it will hit social media, and they will be mocked for their recidivist stance, and there will be pearls to be clutched and couches on which to faint, and once again conservatives will confuse free speech with the free hand.

This will happen because this always happens. Hell, churches around the South still have a problem with interracial couples.

So why don’t we dispense with the bullshit and remind everyone that nobody is forcing anyone to perform a ceremony they don’t want to perform — hell, religious groups have been refusing to officiate ceremonies between divorced couples, interfaith couples, etc. since forever. None of that is changing. Lots of churches already refuse to rent out their buildings for weddings to couples who are not church members. Why? Because weddings are a huge pain in the ass for church staff.

So nothing is going to change. And every time you idiots grandstand about how God doesn’t wants gays to get married and God Hates Fags and all that crap we’re going to mock you and tell you you’re wrong and call you names. And that noise is just going to get louder and louder.

[ALSO, let me repeat: Tennessee Republicans are really off the mark when they grandstand on the homophobic crap but can’t be bothered to grandstand with a vote of disapproval when the goddamn Ku Klux Klan holds their annual meeting at one our state parks.]


Filed under culture wars, gay equality, GLBT, religious right, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Was Discovery Communications Complicit In Covering Up A Crime? Inquiring Minds ….

I first wrote about the Quiverfull movement waaay back in 2009. I called it a cult, and it is a cult, a creepy pedophilia cult (if you aren’t familiar with this group or its beliefs, Gawker has a handy dandy rundown under the headline “Quiverfull of Shit.”)

I’m not the least bit surprised to learn that Josh Duggar has admitted to sexually molesting children as they slept — some of them his own sisters. I’m not the least bit surprised to learn that one of the leaders of this movement, Bill Gothard, has himself been accused of sex-based offenses.

What I do find interesting is that it’s become increasingly clear that The Learning Channel/Discovery Communications knew of Josh Duggar’s sex offenses years before the first show of the reality series aired, while the Duggars were starring in specials on sister network Discovery Health. And, despite knowing this information, they still signed the family to star in their own reality show, falsely promoted the family as some kind of wholesome Christian novelty, misrepresented the family to the public, and profited from it. They lied to their advertisers and they lied to their viewers. How is this not fraud?

According to the police report published by InTouch, the investigation was sparked when someone tipped off an Oprah Winfrey staffer in 2006, in advance of a taping by the family on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Here’s how it all went down:

The Duggars told police that at the time Josh was accused of, and admitting to, these sexual acts, “a family friend aware of what had happened had written down in a letter what he knew of [redacted, Josh’s] actions…That letter had been placed in a book and had subsequently been forgotten about. Just recently [in 2006] the book had been loaned to someone else with the letter in it and another person discovered the letter.

The Duggars refused to tell police who wrote the letter and who found it.

When the family was scheduled to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show in 2006, an email was sent to the show warning them about the alleged molestation. The email was written by a 61-year-old female who is not identified.

Harpo Studios faxed the letter to the Department of Human Services hotline. The report was then opened for investigation, leading to the investigation by Springdale police.

When police asked Jim Bob to bring Josh in for an interview in 2006, he attempted to hire a lawyer and refused to produce his son for questioning. At least two lawyers refused to take his case. “Det. Hignite received a voice mail from Mr. Duggar stating that [redacted] had hired an attorney and would not be coming in for an interview.”

Oprah Winfrey has been very open about her own history of being a survivor of child sexual abuse. So good for her and her staffers for starting this whole ball rolling. And shame on everyone who subsequently covered it up: the Arkansas state trooper who let Josh Duggar off the hook and two years later was himself jailed for child pornography, and most especially Discovery Communications. Because it defies belief that TLC and Discovery didn’t know about this — indeed, after the Oprah cancellation, the internet was on fire with rumors about Josh Duggar’s sexual offenses. At the very least, Discovery Health would have wanted to know about the abrupt and last-minute Oprah cancellation.

This needs to be investigated. The FCC needs to look into this. If a basic-cable network is covering up crimes against children and then promoting a pedophilia cult into the popular culture, they are not acting in the public interest. This is far worse than Bono saying an award is “fucking awesome” or Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. These are real crimes, and it appears the network not only knew about it, but ignored it so they could promote this creepy, far-from-wholesome family for their own financial gain.



Filed under cults, culture wars, media, religion