Don’t turn this cheek, Maddy

The boys might get the wrong idea

Seriously, Maddy Blythe, an outstanding middle school defensive tackle can't play for Strong Rock Christian School in Locust Grove, Georgia this year because the school's CEO is afraid the boys will have lustful thoughts about her.

I don't know which is more disturbing, the fact that a school principal calls himself a CEO or that he's worried that the boys in the middle of a pile up with twenty one other boys and one girl, all in full field gear, will have lustful thoughts. Have they trained their young Christian men that poorly that the pre-game prayer and fist-pumping, chest-pounding, head bashing violence will suddenly be undone by their penises?

If that's the case, don't blame the girl.

It's not as though they're throwing Maddy naked into the showers with the boys. She has her own dressing room. And she's not exactly lining up in Fredrick's of Hollywood's latest ensembles. She's dressed just like the boys, in full football regalia, which is to say about as sexy as watching Robert Downey Jr. dress like Iron Man.

Beware Christians, this girl could seduce your son.

I've seen Maddy interview on television with some of the boys from her team. They say they feel about her as though she's their sister. Why doubt them. Especially when they have cheerleaders running up and down the field kicking their legs high up in the air to lust after? I went to middle school and high school. Those little girls throw themselves at football players like locusts after honey. Who needs a defensive tackle dressed in shoulder, hip and knee pads to stir their lust?

If the Strong Rock Christian CEO is so worried about young girls stirring lust in his young Christian ball players, why not get rid of the cheerleading squad?

Come to think of it, doesn't it strike you as strangely Freudian that a Christian school would even allow their young boys to be ball players? And while we're on Freud and transference, why is the CEO so obsessed with young boys obsessing over girl ball players, when no one else seems to see a problem?

See here's the thing about suppressed sexuality in young Christian men: In the Bible Belt, supervisors and CEOs turn a blind eye to covert sexual aggression all the time. Being raised Baptist Preacher's Kid (BPK), I was rather naive sexually. My parents suggested to me every day in every way that any sexual overtures toward women, even holding hands, would make them hate me forever. It took me years of missed opportunities to discover that was the worst kind of Christian nonsense.

But as I did begin to date and become more comfortable with women, my girlfriends told me the many tricks Baptist boys used in church camp and Sunday School to cop a feel for Christ. I won't detail them here, but I was amazed to hear how many of the boys my parents pointed to as the example I should follow (especially when I disappointed them) had managed to squeeze a breast for Jesus and come off appearing perfectly holy in the process. The girls knew, of course, but they also knew it was pointless to say anything because no one would believe them.

So, Maddy, trust me. The footballers don't need you on the field to fuel their desires. Someone (I won't say who) is simply using you as the excuse to cover up desires they wish to hide from the world.

Those of you who wish to support Maddy can like her facebook page at



GOP: 10X more God than bargain-brand Democrats

Plus another of many plugs to come for my book

First of all, I read the DNC 2012 platform after all the hubub about leaving “God” and “Jerusalem” out. I found it on the Internet in .pdf download and the words were there. That's the miracle of the Internet. Bad shit goes away with the click of a mouse.

I've been getting emails from Lucifer now that I published Raising Hell, which is only $1 on Amazon (in Kindle Format) and to be released for iBooks and Nook soon after Thanksgiving.

I tried to block his emails, but being the second most powerful being in the universe (even though it's a distant second) he can assign better hackers to block my blocks.

He was quite pleased with both conventions. Not a single voter changed her mind, but the faithful are plowing their paths to hell with furious hatred and passion. (I myself have posted some witty observations on Facebook, only to be piled on by good Christian Republicans who already believe I'm in Lucifer's pocket.)

No, he's pleased because of the Obama chair. He predicts that by the 2052 elections Americans on both parties will prefer an empty chair to a real person for President. And he will be ready to do the talking for the chair. Besides, by then, they will be warming up to the idea of hell with the rising temperatures on the planet.

Back to the platforms, however.

Clearly the Republicans cornered the market on God in this election with 10 references to God against a single reference from the Democrats. They also win on the references to faith, with a 2:1 ratio (12 to 6). The Democrats only lead the Republicans on references to “church,” which they mention twice and the Republicans, surprisingly, fail to mention at all.

The only explanation I can think of is that “church” is a Democratic code-word for “abortion,” “gay,” or “welcome to the AntiChrist.”

Ironically, the Democrats outscored the Republicans on the use of “family” 26 to 16 (I am excluding references to “family” that are used as tangental phrases, such as “the Castro family” or “family planning”). I'm assuming “family” is really a Democratic code-word for “abortion,” “gay,” or “welcome to the AntiChrist.”

Most of the uses of “God” in both platforms occur in the phrase “God-given.” To the DNC we all have “god-given potential.” The RNC believes Americans have god-given individual rights, right of self-defense, natural resources and talent.

However, this may be Republican sleight-of-hand, considering what the RNC means by these God-given qualities. For instance, the God-given right of self-defense runs directly counter to the Gospels where Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek to, go the extra mile for and forgive those who would do us harm. Jesus believed that defense wasn't a right, but that threatening situations were Christians opportunity to prove their love for others.

I was really intrigued by the RNC position on our God-given natural resources. About these resources, “the Republican Party believes in the moral obligation of the people to be good stewards of the God-given natural beauty and resources of our country and bases environmental policy on several common-sense principles.”

And there's the rub. To the Republicans our most valuable God-given natural resource is people (which slightly undermines the meaning of the words “natural resources”). In other words, we come first. Nature is an also ran resource. This becomes even more apparent when the platform explains those common-sense principles toward our God-given natural resources.

“Economic development and private property must be balanced against environment.” This means, turn over government land and water holdings to ranching, mining and forestry through private ownership. It also means we need to stop politically motivated scientific research (read, global warming studies)

The GOP also believes private ownership has always protected environment, while “worst instances of environmental degradation have occurred under government control.” They probably mean Chernobyl. And of course other government disasters such as the BP Oil Spill, Three Mile Island and the Exxon Valdez.” To sum it up the Platform declares: “people best protect what they own”

Jesus and the apostles agreed. This is exactly what they meant when they told believers to sell everything they have and give it to the poor.

Nor should we forget our God-given individual rights to force people to pray to our God in public, stop Moslems from building prayer centers in our neighborhoods and study Creationism in science classes.

But this is America, and saying God's name as often as possible is the best way to remind God that we're doing his will. Lord knows he doesn't have time to check up on what we're really doing. Like all good Americans, he spends all his time watching FOX News.

And American Idol. God bless American Idol. God loves nothing more than idolatry.

Nine dollars a week

I am in panic mode trying to tie down epub publication of Raising Hell on Kindle and problems with the promotional web site. It is suddenly inaccessible and the server support people can't resolve it. So I will keep this short.

This week I was listening to CNN half heartedly and I heard a Republican pundit, a woman, say that she didn't see why women were so upset about being being denied access to birth control because Catholics oppose federal health care coverage. After all, she said, it's only nine dollars a week.1

I should have rewound to catch her name, but I wasn't thinking because I was busy dealing with problems (for instance, Kindle indents perform differently on every platform I tested so that what was barely noticeable on the Kindle reader leaped halfway across the page on an iPad). It wasn't until later that the implications of her comment soaked in.

To defend such outright discrimination as both Christian and inexpensive seems doubly ironic. The issue is that poor women need access to birth control. You need only refer to Luke 21, where Jesus says that two mites (nine dollars adjusted for inflation) is nothing for the wealthy but a poor woman's entire fortune.

The cost argument seems even more ridiculous considering how much a child will cost a woman who couldn't afford birth control.

1This post would come to the same conclusion even if the cost was nine dollars a month. However, various accounts indicate that the cost is much more than nine dollars a week, without insurance.back

Let them compete

Blame Chick-Fil-A, not me, that gay marriage is a hot button issue again. Many Christians have made it a point to eat at Chick-Fil-A because it's against gay marriage; many others think the company shouldn't be allowed to do business. So I thought it was time to revisit the topic from the angle of crispy chicken goodness.

Is it okay for Christians to eat at Chick-Fil-A? According to Corinthians 8, yes. Even though KFC is clearly better and the colonel has yet to make his opinions public. You see, the Jerusalem's elders had ruled that Gentiles could be Christian as long as they didn't eat meat sacrificed to false gods (Acts 15).

As anyone who has read the Bible all the way through (the real Bible, not the authorized Tea Party version with only select underlined passages included or highlighted in red), God is literally silent on the subject “same sex marriage.”

So the anti-gay marriage god is a false god. However, Paul says its okay to eat meat (and presumably chicken) sacrificed in their honor. So it is perfectly acceptable to eat at Chick-Fil-A. Since the permission is only given to meat, however, fries and Peppermint Chocolate shakes may still be off limits.

Paul does admonish that Christians take the feelings of weaker believers into account, believers who may fall into sin based on our example. So Carol and I will continue to avoid Chick-Fil-A lest we offend some poor young Gay Christian. A boycott we began two Christmases ago when we first found out about the company's donations to stop Gay Marriage.

Well ahead of the rest of you posers, I might add.

But let's get back to the whole divorce question. The Bible, contrary to some misconceptions, is down on homosexuality but not same sex marriage. It is unequivocal on divorce. So why isn't divorce prohibited in the Defense of Marriage act?

I propose a simple solution.

Let same sex couples and straight couples marry for twenty years. After that, see which side has the highest divorce rate. If same sex couples have a higher divorce rate, ban gay marriage. If straight couples have a higher divorce rate, ban straight marriage,

If it's about the same, ban marriage altogether. Then there would be no divorce at all.

Surely even Jesus and Chick-Fil-A could get behind that.

Don’t dance your horses before they leap

Mitt Romney pissed off just about every equestrian in the world when he dissed his own wife's horse Rafalca. The rest of the world forgot because he went on to diss the Olympics and people of color (not to mention dissing poor families wiped out by corrupt bankers by attending a banquet in the bankers' honor). But for equestrians the damage had been done.

Since Carol is an equestrian (albeit a decidedly lower middle class equestrian who rides a horse she was given by a friend and supports the horse with rescue work), I paid attention to Romney's comment. Why? Because Romney's diss of his wife and horse were the equivalent of a diss to Carol and Gabe.

What did Romney say? That dressage was his wife's event, he doesn't know what day it's scheduled (the answer is: several) and he won't be there to see it. He's happy for her, but that's it.

He, after all, ran the Olympics. She just supported two of the athletes, only one of whom is a real American (that would not be the horse, of course).

If I said that about Carol and Gabe (even if I felt that way), I would be sleeping alone, eating alone and calling Carol on the phone at my sister's house because my family took her side.

Many of us think Romney's trip to London was just his ploy to assure die-hard Republicans that he wasn't content to step into Bush's shoes, he's ready to lower the bar even further. But his comments about Ann and her horse concern us here because they should give pause to Christians about his true character.

Democrats have picked on dressage as an elitist sport, comparing it to horse ballet and running ads showing Mitt with dancing horses. Admittedly, Olympic dressage is elitist, but so are all Olympic sports. Olympic athletes are supported by a number of corporate sponsors who pass the cost of sponsorship onto their customers.

It doesn't matter what we think about dressage, his wife Ann is highly invested. Not only has she supported Rafalca to the Olympics, she believes it has helped her Multiple Sclerosis. For Romney to imply that he's too busy to support her team in the Olympics is dismissive and belittling. More so since he claimed almost $80,000 against future earnings for the horse on his taxes.

We have to ask whether or not a man who shows this little regard for his own family will show any more regard for ordinary Americans to whom he has no connection. This could explain why he would be so willing to outsource employees to insure a profit.

Bill Clinton campaigned with the phrase, “I feel your pain.” This is very much in the spirit of Jesus, who put aside his own needs to minister to the needs of others. Even others of no importance, who were too poor or disenfranchised to matter to the empire or Israel.

Mitt Romney's message consistently seems to be, “I feel none of your pain and it doesn't bother me in the least.” Is this a man we would trust with our country?

There is another explanation for Romney's dismissive comments about his wife's olympic efforts. He wants to distance himself from criticism that he is disconnected from average Americans. And how much more disconnected could he be that throwing money after dancing horses?

Sure, he has vacation houses, Swiss bank accounts and a long list of corporate clients. But he has to draw the line at his wife.

This too has Biblical implications. In this, Mitt is not unlike Peter who denied his connection to Jesus three times. And while I certainly don't want to imply that Ann Romney is on the same plane as Jesus, I do want to remind readers that Peter's real sin was to back away from those he loved when they needed his support.

A real family values guy, a real husband, a man who cares would say, “I couldn't be more proud of my wife and you bet I'll be at her side when her team represents America to the world.”

Even if her team does include a dancing horse.

And, as for the Democrats who ran that ad, a dancing horse is far more beautiful than a braying ass.

Kill them. Then let them marry.

So we’re back on the gay marriage thing again.

It’s tough to ignore when Christians across America decide Carrie Underwood albums are no longer fit to sit next to their stereos. Apparently the Holy Spirit can’t bless the songs of gospel singers when enemies of Christ cross the same laser beam.

I’m assuming .mp3s are even worse, because all those secular bytes might get scrambled in RAM with the God-fearing ones.

And, of course, now that she’s fallen so far from the grace of God, her music might well create Satanic ear worms that cause good Christians to want to run out and sin. Or marry a someone gay.

What did Carrie do? If the lead didn’t tip you off, Carrie confessed that she supports the rights of same sex couples to marry, and, even worse, she worships at a gay friendly church. Which means no church at all, by the way, but rather a coven of Satanists disguised as angels of light.

To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of Carrie Underwood. Not because she isn’t a tremendous talent, but because I can’t warm up to contemporary country. And if I did like country, I would listen to Taylor Swift (but I don’t because I don’t like country).

I would also bet Taylor Swift supports same sex marriage too. She did date Jake Gyllenhaal.

Gay marriage took a hit from another front. According to a study by the University of Texas (funded by a conservative think tank and conducted by a marketing research group), gay parents are really bad for kids. According to Mark Regnerus in his Slate Magazine article (which reports the results of—get this—his study), children of gay parents:

were more apt to report being unemployed, less healthy, more depressed, more likely to have cheated on a spouse or partner, smoke more pot, had trouble with the law, report more male and female sex partners, more sexual victimization, and were more likely to reflect negatively on their childhood family life, among other things.

I really love the “among other things” part. As if it could get worse. He went on to say that these children fared almost as poorly as children in single parent homes. This is an important comparison because, in fact, the children of gay parents studied were, in fact, children of divorce. Just children of divorce (or separation) with one gay parent.

I read the study, went through page after page of boring methodological description and even read the entire survey with programming instructions directing respondents to different areas of the survey. The study only focused on children with parents who split up, in other words, children with one gay parent. Not children adopted by gay couples.

Nor does the study, as best I can tell, distinguish between children who lived with the gay parent or the straight parent. The survey confuses the real question. Do children adopted by gay parents in a stable relationship fare worse than children of straight parents in a stable relationship?

Of course, Christians against same sex marriage also confuse politics with the Bible. The Bible makes it very clear that gay men are to be killed (Lev. 20:13). We are also supposed to kill adulterers (20:10) and, get this, kids who curse their parents (20:9).

That’s right. If you kid ever tells you to go to hell or that they hope you die (even if it’s behind your back), you’re required by the Old Testament to kill them. In fact, kids who curse their parents are considered a higher priority on the death list than adulterers who are a higher priority than same sex couples.

The Bible doesn’t say anything about stopping them from getting married.

So there we have it. If we really want to do the Lord’s will we have to kill same sex couples, adulterers and uppity kids. And if we deny same sex couples the right to marry we have to extend the Defense of Marriage Act to adulterers and uppity kids as well.

Or maybe the Christian right is overreacting. I don’t know. What do you think?

In the meantime, if you like Carrie Underwood you might as well keep listening. After all, supporting same sex marriage is better than voting Democrat.

Rejoice in the Lord but don’t be gay

North Carolina joined the ranks of the states willing to secede (or resecede) from the union when it declared same sex marriage and civil unions to be unconstitutional. After all, nothing poses a greater threat to marriage than couples who can’t produce kids.

Cousins can still marry cousins and further narrow the gene pool. But that’s not a threat to marriage at all. Just society in general.

Jesus didn’t speak to me about that. That’s just my opinion. But opinion seems to carry the weight of Gospel these days, so I might as well add mine. Carol was listening to a pundit on CNN while I was in the bathroom this morning so I didn’t get his name (and I didn’t find it worth rewinding), but he argued that gay marriage is a threat to society because homosexuality is picked up from our environments.

His implicit conclusion? Having more gay couples accepted will make more kids gay. He didn’t come out and say this, most likely because the interview would have been posted to YouTube with a laugh track. Facts are facts. Kids grow up in the same communities with the same exposure to gay couples. Most turn out to be straight. So clearly environment isn’t an issue.

Personally, I think the all those Defense of Marriage Acts should be called the Defense of the Definition of Marriage Acts. After all, if we define marriage as “between two people” then same sex marriage isn’t an issue.

So one question we should ask is, does the Bible really define marriage as “between a man and a woman?” The traditional answer is Matthew 19:5 where Jesus said, “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh.” But that verse doesn’t say a wife is a woman. So what’s all the fuss over men marrying men? Maybe we could twist the verse to mean that women can’t marry women. But clearly there’s no prohibition against men marrying men.

I can already anticipate the objection. But Jesus says in the previous verse that God created male and female. So clearly “wife” means “woman.” But I was raised Baptist Preacher’s Kid (BPK) and I know that it’s dangerous to make one verse’s meaning depend on previous verses. (It’s called “context.”) Otherwise we would be forced to acknowledge that homosexuality and gossip are equally distasteful to God (read Romans).

Besides, if we are going to insist on context, Jesus is talking about divorce, not same sex marriage. Based on that verse, the defense of marriage would prohibit marriage between previously married partners.

What amazes me is that the Christian right, who is all about religious freedom, wants government to dictate to churches who they can and cannot marry. Banning same sex marriage not only affects the legal status of gay and lesbian couples, it dictates whether or not churches can perform rites for their parishioners, should they choose.

Think about it. Your church accepts that same sex marriage is unlawful in the eyes of God. Even before the defense of marriage act, no government would force you to marry a gay couple. Nor would you need to. If a gay couple was even brave enough to admit their love to the congregation (assuming they were clueless enough to be members of your church) they would still have to get married in a state that accepted same sex marriage, and they could have a civil ceremony if they couldn’t find a liberal elitist secular church that would marry them.

But you would be furious if the government told your church it had to marry that couple. In fact, I can imagine that if the government included divorced partners in the defense of marriage act, your church would be up in arms.

This may seem inconceivable, but forty years ago many churches (including the Catholic Church) felt the same way about divorced couples that many Christians feel about same sex couples now. Some churches thought it was heresy for a church to sanctify a marriage involving a divorced spouse. I suspect those same churches would insist on first marriages between a man and woman only. This, in fact, was the point I was making about the original intent of Matthew 19:5.

The defense of marriage acts deny churches the right to marry same sex couples if they feel that is the Christian thing to do. This sets a dangerous precedent. By refusing to allow citizens their Constitutional rights, Christians are opening the door to government to curtail their own rights as well. This is not just hypocrisy, it’s stupid.

Jesus did not endorse or approve of this blog. At least not explicitly.

So far as I know.

Mom’s don’t need no stinking benefits

Poor Hillary Rosen. She forgot Jesus’ injunction to judge not lest you be judged. She has not only been judged, but so has every Democrat in America. It’s official, Democrats hate stay at home moms. You can’t get more cynical about that.

Not Rosen or the Democrats. I mean cynical Republicans who beat her into submission with a straw man of gigantic proportions. We’re talking a straw man the size of a Goodyear blimp powered by the inflating gas of Republican rhetoric. Yes, in classic fashion the Republicans took an off-the-cuff remark and transformed it into an attack on motherhood.

“Straw man” is a term used when two people are arguing (usually in public forum or debate) and one substitutes a cuckoo argument for their opponent’s real argument. By “cuckoo” I don’t mean crazy; I’m referring to the real cuckoo who replaces another bird’s eggs with her own. The hatched bird then takes over the nest much the way the republicans substituted “stay at home mothers don’t work” for “Ann Ramsey doesn’t have a clue about the needs of working women and mothers since she never held a job.”

Other examples of straw men might be replacing the suggestion, “we should turn the other cheek” with “they advocate giving the terrorists free reign blow us up at will,” or “Richard Nixon lied about his execution of his oath of office” with “they’re accusing all Republicans of treason.” Or my suggesting that we give Christians room to come to terms with the elements of faith with “he’s denying the resurrection.”

So let’s review what Rosen actually said. Hillary Rosen, who is a commentator and lobbyist, tossed off the comment that Ann Perry has never actually worked a day in her life. I saw the video and it was a tossed off rather than a scripted comment. She was doing an interview with Anderson Cooper at the time. I might point out that Cooper promotes a casual atmosphere with his interviews and does not ask his guests to speak with absolute clarity and precision.

By the days end Rosen had been promoted to a top Democratic strategist who said that women who stay at home to raise children don’t actually do any work.

In Rosen’s defense, her comment did not strike me as an attack on lazy moms lounging around the house while their children ran amok unattended. I heard “Ann Romney never had to work for an employer to earn the money to pay the rent and feed the kids like working mothers do.”

Readers might answer that my hearing was filtered by a liberal agenda. I thought of that, so I looked up the verb “work” in the American Heritage dictionary. 1 The first two definitions read as follows:

  1. To exert oneself physically or mentally in order to do, make or accomplish something.
  2. To be employed; have a job.

Stay at home mom is no doubt included under the first definition, but having a job is the second definition. So when Rosen says Ann Romney never worked a day in her life and we know she raised five kids, it seems clear Rosen was using “work” in the sense of definition two. In fact, you would really have to twist her words to assert Rosen was speaking of Romney’s motherhood.

This reminds me of another verse, in Luke, where Jesus warns people not to point out the mote in other’s eyes when we have a beam in ours. Rosen’s bigger point was that Ann Romney is out of touch with the economic realities of American women. Not only did she never hold a job, she probably had a nanny to help her raise her children, not to mention a maid, social planner and chauffeur.

In fact, one woman has already claimed to have been Romney’s nanny and said her duties even included caring for their horse. This has yet to be verified, but we can hardly imagine Ann Romney understands what is is to raise two or three kids while riding the bus to her cleaning job in order to pay rent on a two room apartment.

More than anything else, Jesus hated hypocrisy. And there is nothing more hypocritical than claiming sympathy for working mothers (not to mention working women in general) when your party’s policies place them in the line of fire.

The apostle James addressed the hypocrisy of holding onto wealth while telling the poor to “be warm and filled.” (2:16) This sounds to me awfully like Ann Romney’s connection to American women. When Hillary Rosen dared to point that out, she found herself judged, sentenced and executed in the partisan frenzy that followed.

1I used the American Heritage rather than my beloved Oxford Dictionary of the American Language because I didn’t want to be accused of using a reference with an Anglican monarchical agenda.back