Christian group outs Jesus

If they aren't calling him outright gay, then he's guilty of promoting a homosexual agenda. Oh, the American Family Association (AFA) won't come out and say it, but if you follow their latest campaign, it's pretty clear that's what they believe.

No, you think to yourself. How can that be true?

No, the AFA would cry. We would never.

But it's right out there. All you have to do is speak Christian. It was inevitable, really. The Corporate Christian Complex (CCC) has been so busy pushing their anti-liberal agenda they were bound to line Jesus in their sights and Dick Cheney him.

Here's the story. The Southern Poverty Law Center has sponsored Mix It Up day for the last dozen years. The purpose of the event is to bring kids from diverse backgrounds together and encourage mutual understanding. Their cover story is to stop bullying, but the AFA has made it clear that stopping bullying promotes a homosexual agenda.

That's right, stopping bullies makes kids queer.

To show how straight they are, AFA launched a campaign to bully schools into dropping the event. According to the AFA, a campaign against bullying is a campaign to stop young Christians' free speech rights to express their disapproval of homosexual behavior.

Free speech by bullying is a well-established Christian and Constitutional doctrine. It isn't enough for young Christian boys and girls to say, “We think homosexuality is wrong.” They have to be able to torture, humiliate and beat those deviants to a pulp. Christian kids know, more than unenlightened kids, that tolerance is the first stage of homosexual infection.

Of course, if bullied kids turned the tables on Christian kids and tortured, humiliated and beat them to a pulp, Christians would be the first to call it a hate crime. And it would be a hate crime. So those gay kids should just turn the other cheek and take the punishment they deserve.

So where does Jesus come into this? Jesus told his followers to turn the other cheek and take their punishment. Jesus told his followers to do unto others as they would have others do to them. And Jesus loved to have mix it up days where prostitutes and gamblers, tax collectors and the faithful would gather at the same table and share.

In fact, Jesus loved mix it up days so much, he wanted everyone to mix it up all the time. And if you speak Christian, you know those are sure signs of someone who promotes a homosexual agenda. Let's be honest, if someone promotes a homosexual agenda, he's really doing it because deep down inside, he's homosexual himself.

Since groups like the AFA insist that Jesus was a bachelor his entire life, I think it's pretty clear what conclusions they want us to draw.

WWJD? Defy the IRS

Last Sunday 1400 pastors openly defied the IRS by endorsing candidates from the pulpit in spite of rules prohibiting this. The pastors call the event “pulpit freedom Sunday” claiming that the IRS is violating their free speech rights as citizens.

What these pastors forget is that when they speak from the pulpit, they no longer speak as citizens but as the official representatives of tax exempt organizations. This means that the money to pay their salaries and bonuses is not created by making wealth but by syphoning it away from the government.

You can write off your donations to the organizations that pay their salaries, and the organizations (called churches) that sell books and merchandise don't have to pay taxes on that income either. In other words, those very pastors are sucking at the government tit.

If they had to compete with other pastors directly for your income (on which you have to pay taxes), many of those pastors and their organizations would go flat broke. So they owe their livelihoods to the very governments they challenge.

In short, these pastors don't speak as citizens but under government subsidy. And they should not be allowed to endorse candidates any more than other government employees.

This year, those pastors went a step further. They mailed those sermons to the IRS. And they knew they could get away with it because if the Department of Justice went after them, they could play martyrs in Obama's war on faith.1

The act of mailing those sermons is, of course, very Christian. Didn't Jesus tell us in the sermon on the mount that if you think someone offends you, slap them on the cheek publicly?

This Christian war on democracy (funded by the Corporate Christian Complex who, in turn, is subsidized by money written off from taxes that the rest of us would have to pay the federal government) goes back to the sixties. The Supreme Court ruled that citizens could not be coerced into participating in public prayer which, ironically, is something Jesus said Christians shouldn't do to start with (Matt. 6).

From our reaction, you would think the government had burned us at the stake or crucified us in front of the White House.

You see, these same pastors think that not only should they disobey Jesus, they should expect the rest of us to do it with them. They should be allowed to display symbols of their faith whenever and wherever they please (much like marking their own territory).

At the same time, they think the symbols of other faiths should be hidden away so they don't have to be offended by them. They resent Kwanza programs or art projects displaying Moslem or Hindu traditions in schools. They think mosques should be prohibited on sites where they should be allowed to build churches.

In short, they think they should be afforded a different standard of citizenship. Sort of a citizenship premium pass, paid for on our dime. And that is about as unAmerican as you can get.

I remember a song from Bible School, “they'll know we are Christian by our love.” Instead they know we are Christians by our obstinance, hypocrisy and double-standards. Then those same pastors wonder why others hate us.

1It's actually more complicated, but it boils down to the same thing. The IRS lost a court case brought by this same group of pastors raising a technical challenge. The court ruled the IRS had to change how they inspected churches in violation of their rules. Were the IRS to rewrite those rules to comply with the court order and legally go after offending churches, then those churches would claim they were victims of the war on faith. back

Christlike or contradiction?

It's easy to forgive Romney for a complete about face in this week's debate with President Obama. After adopting an extreme tax reduction policy in the primaries, and waiting for Obama to criticize it first, he suddenly announced that he had never proposed such a thing at all.

Of course, he could have told viewers his new tax policy before Obama criticized the old one. But what's the fun of that? And if you can't win a debate without a little sandbagging and a sucker punch or two, then you're giving your opponent an unfair advantage.

When President Obama called Romney on his tectonic policy shift, Romney blithely told the President that “if you repeat something often enough, people will believe it,” but that didn't make it true.

This is, in turn, set the tone for the entire debate. Once he established that he could fluster Obama, all he had to do for the rest of the evening was say, “I never said that. You're misrepresenting me.” And because of the rules of the debate Jim Lehrer couldn't say, “but Governor Romney, didn't you propose exactly that in the primaries?”

Romney's strategy upset a lot of Democrats, especially when everyone who watched the debate decided Romney won. And, clearly, in the court of public opinion, he did. Even I have to admit, Obama looked like he was on the ropes, with his best punches denied him. The question is, did Romney really do anything wrong by completely reversing his opinion?

The strategy also emboldened right wing pastors across America to declare open war on Obama from their pulpits today, but that will have to wait until next week.

Some might argue Romney was merely following the example of Jesus. After all, at one point in his campaign Jesus said, “he who is not with me is against me.” (Matt 12:30) But elsewhere he said, “whoever is not against us is for us.” (Luke 9:50) So it sounds like Romney is only doing what Jesus would do.

Liberals might argue that conflicting aphorisms are not the same thing as lying about a previous policy proposal. But isn't that straining at gnats?

Let's look at Romney's record to see how much he wants to follow Jesus' example. He's reversed himself on abortion, health care, tax codes and just about every other policy. And he certainly certainly shares Jesus' views about the poor and needy.

Oh ye liberals, of little faith. What more could you possibly ask for? Granted there is not return policy on Presidents, and once you elect one you can't repent for four entire years. But if he's good enough to reverse position and win a debate, he's clearly good enough to be President.

Bishops behaving badly

The Catholic Church decided allowing a parish priest to campaign for Romney's election wasn't provocative enough. Those crazy guys had to suggest, first that gay Catholics shouldn't be allowed to take communion, and then that Catholics shouldn't take communion if they support same-sex marriage.

Is this a sign of the Catholic Church stepping openly into the political arena? The Newark archbishop claimed that marriage is a “prepolitical” issue, but that hasn't stopped a number of archbishops from enlisting their parishioners in political campaigns against same sex marriage.

I do find it slightly disturbing, however, that Bishops would tell Catholics they shouldn't take communion for being wrong thinking, when they still allow priests to take communion for wrong-doing. Nor do I think I need to elaborate on the irony (especially since molestation was often same sex as well).

The Church's open political maneuvering has led to renewed calls to remove their tax-exempt status. I think this is what they intended all along. I think the Corporate Christian Complex (CCC) wants the Obama administration to move to challenge the Church's tax exempt status.

What better way to prove that Obama has declared a war on faith? Can you imagine the screaming? No matter that the Church has violated the terms of their tax-exempt status by openly promoting a political campaign, or that they violate separation of church and state in the process.

My advice? Be patient. Sooner or later the Republicans will be back in power. They always convince enough people that Jesus loves them more that sooner or later they have to win. Then they will take away the status of a Unitarian church whose minister unwittingly offends them.

Or, even more likely, the Republicans will overstep their bounds and piss off the Pope, who will decide even they are too liberal for Jesus. The Pope will then learn that once you question the Republicans, they will find a way to make you pay.

Hallelujah Palooza is on

It’s been a busy week in Texas, what with everyone preparing for Hallelujah Palooza, Governor Perry’s call for 40 days of prayer and fasting to save the nation from Democrats. Much like the Philistines, Assyrians and Babylonians of the Old Testament, the Democrats have besieged the gates of the modern Jerusalem (Washington D.C.) and are prepared to dismantle the holy temples.

It seems nothing short of spiritual warfare will drive the Democratic hordes out of our holy land. This news totally drowned out the national news of Catholic priests openly endorsing Mitt Romney for President. Texans couldn’t see the problem because Baptists have been openly endorsing Republicans for years. It’s about time Catholics behaved like Christians.

Among the things Perry wants Christian soldiers to pray for is a new President, looser gun laws, Texas’ dead voters to stop trying to claim that they’re alive and for poor people to stop all the whining about health care. The last was prompted by a protest over Perry’s refusal to extend the Medicaid rolls, claiming that Texans don’t need health care when they have Jesus to heal them.

A large crowd gathered at the capitol to protest, but, taking his cue from the Gospels, Perry addressed the crowd and asked, “Which would you rather I give you, more health care or more guns?” Since this is Texas, guns won the day.

After the protest Governor Perry washed his hands and turned his attention back to Hallelujah Palooza. If enough Christian warriors don’t join the campaign, Perry intends to bring in carnival rides and a concert featuring Hank Williams, Jr. and KISS to draw the crowds. He quipped, “Nothing is too good for Jesus.”

That’s the news from Texas where the the guns are larger, the Bibles bigger and all the verses conservative.

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.

Sacred Constitutional Rites

My sister Aimee asked facebook friends if they could reasonably explain why voters shouldn't be required to present a photo ID when they vote. I took about half an hour to compose a reply and the flood of posts in response made it clear that no one actually read it.

It also confirmed my suspicion that few people actually want informed discussion. They want someone to tell them why they were right to start with.

One of the replies really caught my eye. One commenter posted that “the sanctity of the electoral process is worth the inconvenience to prove your identity and eligibility to vote.” (To be fair, this isn't an exact quote. The poster used an ampersand (&).)

The phrase “sanctity of the electoral process” serves to underscore the wide gap between naivety and understanding of the electoral politics so common in the magical thinking of the Christian right. Nor do I say this lightly.

To listen to the Christian right, there is no divide between faith and electoral politics. In fact. there is no divide between faith and the constitution. Unfortunately for that thinking, there is nothing sanctified about the constitutional or electoral process.

The Bible is absolutely silent on democracy, republicanism or voting. The Apostles were appointed by Jesus, or chosen by casting lots. Sacraments include marriage, baptism and the Eucharist. Not the electoral process. And Christians were not required to produce photo ID to become involved in church decisions, nor were they required to register to participate.

Part of this may have been because photo IDs didn't exist back then, but a much larger part of it was that Christians weren't expected to prove their fellowship in the faith. Nor do they now. Even though they are expected to prove their citizenship. In fact, they don't even have to prove to the IRS that they're Christian to claim deductions for tithing.

Let's look at the government, however. God is only acknowledged in the constitution by the date of signing (“the year of our Lord”). The Declaration of Independence does refer to a “creator” but makes it clear that the only rights the creator grants are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.1

Any rights spelled out in the constitution are secular and not sacred. The declaration also makes it very clear that governments derive their power from the people, not God.

So if we are to merge the political with the sanctified in America it only follows that:

  • Christians should be required to register and provide a photo ID to worship.
  • The government/church should provide counselors and priests at the polls to help voters to help voters divine the will of the Divine Elector.
  • We should be required by the voter laws to bow our heads and pray before we cast our ballot.
  • Voters should be baptized before they can vote.
  • A priest should be made available at the polls to bless the votes of Catholics and Episcopalians.

  • We should propose a Defense of Elections amendment banning same sex couples from voting.

Or maybe we should acknowledge, as the courts did, that Voter ID laws are not an expression of the sacred so much as a modern reboot of poll taxes. Those of us who can afford it will be inconvenienced when proving our eligibility, but the poor will not just be inconvenienced, they will face extraordinary barriers.

Send me your money

Or at least Amazon. That's right, my novel Raising Hell is on sale at Amazon.

Pity poor Lucifer. He rules hell with a vice grip. Demons and damned scatter at the sound of his foot steps. The Supreme Butt In hasn’t pestered him in eons. Lucifer’s future looks perfect, pitch black, until an administrative error sticks him with an innocent soul—an overweight optimist who calls himself Pilgrim and who believes he must be in hell to do good.

Lucifer never considers sending him back. Why waste a second chance to corrupt an innocent soul? He orders his subordinates to torture, degrade and humiliate Pilgrim until he promises to become evil if only it will ease the pain. Unfortunately, Pilgrim makes the best of the worst possible experiences. Always polite and well-mannered, he makes Pollyanna seem like a prophet of doom. Even worse, the damned start catching on, and set about making hell into the most enjoyable place of everlasting torment they can.

Lucifer can’t let Pilgrim continue to wreak happiness, but he can’t send him back untainted, either. When God arrives with a deadline for Pilgrim’s return, he enlists fellow fallen angels Screwtape, Azazel and the gender morphing Mephistopheles in a plot to corrupt Pilgrim’s soul before the deadline expires.

It's only $1, which should make it affordable for almost everyone, and also a great digital stocking stuffer. It will be available for iBook and nook after Thanksgiving.

1Replacing the word “property” in the phrase originally used by John Locke. Now if that doesn't give Republicans cause for concern, I don't know what could. The signers of the declaration considered the general happiness to be more important than the right of property.back

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

Ryan: Jesus and Ayn hand in hand

It's no secret that, at least before his anointing as VP candidate, Paul Ryan was a devotee of Ayn Rand . Lately, he doesn't seem so sure, but this is because knee-jerk reactionary Christians don't like her.

I don't know why. A close look at Ayn Rand's philosophy shows that she and Jesus pretty much saw eye-to-eye. Except for the fact that she didn't believe in him, but that seems like a minor quibble these days. Jesus would rather we be Republican than Episcopalian, after all. Unless you're an Episcopalian Republican.

I read some of Ayn Rand's work, particularly her sermon from the fountainhead, and it seemed to eerily parallel the sermon on the mount. I've listed the key elements for readers below. I'm not bothering to include the sermon on the mount because Christians know that by heart.

The sermon from the fountainhead

  • Blessed are those who earn because theirs is the ability to buy whatever they need.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst if it motivates them to get off their asses and become successful.
  • Blessed are you when men revile you because it gives you a chance to prove how superior you are.
  • The meek will have to inherit if they get anything because they don't have what it takes to get it on their own.
  • Shine your light to the world so that others will want to buy it from you and make you rich.
  • Don't give alms to the poor because they don't deserve them. But if you don't have the strength of character to resist, do it in private so your competitors won't think you're weak.
  • Don't pray in public. No one's listening anyway.
  • No man can serve to masters, so serve yourself well.

So if you're a Tea Party member, you can quit worrying about Paul Ryan. He and Jesus and Ayn are thick as thieves. But, what am I saying? You're a Tea Party member. You probably never gave it a second thought.

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.