The Watering Hole; Friday August 19 2016; ‘Godman and Skeptic’ Revisited in “Light” of Donald Trump

“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus,
by the supreme being as his father, in the womb of a virgin,
will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in
the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason
and freedom of thought in these United States will do away
with this artificial scaffolding . . .”
(Thomas Jefferson)

******

“The Godman And The Skeptic” (A Discourse Dedicated to Creationists everywhere /
And their adversaries) is a tome I wrote damn near thirty years ago, back in the days following the Reagan years that had effectively brought evangelical wingnuts forward — as vocal Republicans — into the Public Square. It didn’t take me long, back then, to get sick of nutcase crooks such as Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts (and his brother Anal?), Jimmy and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart,  et al. et al. But what really puzzled me was how SO MANY ordinary folks bought into their nonsense and wasted so much time and energy in the process, over what basically amounted to little more than criminal peddling of religious horse hockey for something other than an honorable purpose.

Sadly, it still goes on today — amplified and more widespread than ever before. So I thought in view of that, I’d pull up “The Godman and the Skeptic” for another look and compare it with some of today’s headlines, see if anything’s changed over the years.

Here’s how I put the conflict way back then:

A godman and a skeptic met
To promulgate their views,
With godman’s premise, Genesis,
And skeptic’s, more the muse.

“God made the heavens and the Earth,”
The passioned godman says,
“And, furthermore, He did all this,
In only seven days.”

“But whence came God?” the skeptic asked,
With some temerity,
The godman said, “Don’t question that,
For such is blasphemy! “

The skeptic glowered for a time,
Then asked, “How old’ s the Earth?”
“Six thousand years,” the godman said,
“Including day of birth.

“With firmaments united, then,
The Earth was paradise,
Where beasts and fields, and finally men,
Enjoyed all without vice.

“And God made Adam first, then Eve,
Who were, as you shall see,
Progenitors of all mankind,
Kin of humanity.

“For from their loins came many sons,
Who married, then produced,
Our father’s father’s ancestors,
As, biblically, deduced.

“Thus, all the Earth is born of God,
And man’s the child of Eve,
So, lie thee down in prostrate form
And hail the Lord! Believe!”

Then godman smiled, smug, and secure
His theses were correct,
For Genesis came straight from God,
In veritas, direct. (. . .)

Today we have Donald J. Trump running on the Republican ticket in hopes of becoming the next President of the United States. But in spite of the fact that Trump’s evangelical “history” is effectively a non-entity, right wing evangelicals have accepted him as being one of them. I have no idea as to why that might be, but so far so good — for him — as evidenced by this:

Twenty-five Religious Right Justifications For Supporting Donald Trump

1. God is using Trump to pave the way for the Second Coming
2. God is using Trump to get pastors to fight for religious freedom
3. Trump could make America worthy of God’s blessing
4. Trump would make America friendlier to Israel
5. Trump will make Christianity more powerful
6. God likes ‘strongman’ rulers
7. Trump has a ‘mantle of government’ anointing
8. Trump has an ‘Elijah mantle’
9. Trump has a Cyrus anointing
10. Trump has a ‘breaker anointing’
11. Trump is a divine ‘wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness’
12. God has picked Trump to ‘beat down the walls of the New World Order’
13. Trump is fulfilling a 2011 prophecy that he will fight Satan
14. Trump is fulfilling a 2012 prophecy that he will bulldoze the White House
15. Trump is a ‘baby Christian’
16. Trump is like Jesus (and Martin Luther King and Jerry Falwell)
17. Trump is like King David
18. Trump is like Saul/Paul
19. Trump is like Samson
20. Trump is like Churchill and Lincoln
21. Trump is like George Washington
22. Trump is like Oscar Schindler
23. 2016 is a battle between good and evil
24. Hillary Clinton is motivated by the spirit of the Antichrist
25. God doesn’t want a woman president

Yeah, right. OK. Sure. Me, I remain a skeptic . . .

“Oh, I believe,” the skeptic said,
“Though not the way you think,
From what I’ve heard, the Universe
Arrived in just a wink.

“A coalescing, then a flash,
And galaxies were cleaved
From ether, dust, and energy,
If science be believed.

“Five billion years, or ten, or twelve
Had passed, when life arrived,
And finally men, though not like us,
From lower forms derived.

“And, furthermore, a question, sir,
About the sons of Eve,
Whence came the daughters, for her sons,
Mankind, therefrom, conceived?”

The godman cringed and raised his hand
Toward heaven, in disgust,
“If those are your beliefs, my friend,
You’ll burn in hell, please trust. (. . .)

“Burn in hell” — Hmmm. The concept reminds me, for some odd reason, of convicted, jailed, and released Christer Crookster Shylock Jimmy Bakker:

Pro-Trump Televangelist Jim Bakker: America Could ‘Blaspheme God’ In The Presidential Election

Oh heaven forbid! Not THAT!! “Blaspheme”? No way!

“For God, I know, has no rapport
With those who pray to see
The wisdom He withholds from men
For all eternity.”

“Your last remark makes little sense,”
Said skeptic, feigning dread,
“If you are asking we believe
God deems our brains be dead.

“For, if somewhere in endless space
A Creator exists
Who gave us minds to seek out truth,
Then why should we resist?”

The godman’s face showed beads of sweat,
He offered no reply,
He simply stared toward heaven’ s void
As wispy clouds rolled by. (. . .)

Poor godman. So sad. Maybe this will help:

Lance Wallnau: Trump Can Help Stop Satan From Taking Control Of The Seven Mountains

Yep, we gotta get them mountains away from Satan. No doubt. After that, god will really be happy and all us stubborn heathens will be forced to pay the bill!

May heathen burn, the godman prayed,
They’re evil, stubborn men,
And Lord, as why you sent them here?
Well, that’s beyond my ken.

Perhaps to try me, for a time,
Before I’m laid to rest?
Convert some souls to heaven’s song?
Yes, likely that’s my test.

But sure it is now’s not the time
To use the Holy See
As evidence, Your true intent,
Thy Word’s inerrancy.

Then godman turned toward skeptic, sad,
This man, his nemesis,
Would not accept such grand design,
God’ s apotheosis.

“We’ll meet again, my wayward friend,
By then, perhaps, you’ll learn,
That only through the Word of God,
In hell’s fire, you won’t burn.” (. . .)

Three decades ago I was still the eternal optimist, and I actually thought that it wouldn’t/shouldn’t take more than a couple of years, five or ten at the most, for all that nonsensical evangelical crapola to sink, once and for all, back into the muck from which it came.

Turns out I was wrong. For some really weird reason, evangelical nutcases still seem to have a much louder shouting voice than those of us who have evolved mentally to the point where we can actually understand reality.

“Lahk fer example”:

David Barton Explains Why ‘You Just Don’t Find Atheists’ Living Out In The Country

Barton is most typically known, amongst those whose minds have not yet died, as a bogus “Historian.” He even has, according to himself, a PhD in history. But not even that (bogus) claim is apparently enough to stop him from spreading non-historical baloney. Atheists only live in cities? Not in “the country”? I mean hey, Bartoni, I live “in the country,” in a little tiny town in rural Colorado. I admit I’m not a genuine atheist; I’m a step beyond atheism; nontheist. Big difference. Atheists don’t believe in god; nontheists note that there’s not even a god out there to NOT believe in. But cities only? What you been smoking?

In any case, all of us A- Non- theists are, however and in spite of specific labels, “Skeptics,” and for good reason. We’re tired of listening to church-speak, especially when its message is little more than the plot line in a 1960’s Charlton Heston movie. Can we move forward? Please?

“I doubt it, sir,” the skeptic said,
“For you’ve confirmed my choice,
That words beyond the biblical
Can speak with reasoned voice.

“And, too, you see, I have no need
To live in metaphor,
I’d rather seek, expand my mind,
Maintain an open door.

“To blindly mimic premises
Is not what God has deemed;
It seems more likely He mandates
That light, from dark, be gleaned, (. . .)

Speaker Paul Ryan apparently doesn’t buy into common sense either (big surprise, right?):

House Speaker Paul Ryan Reportedly Listens To Hack Historian David Barton ‘All The Time’

Speaker Ryan is an avid fan of historian David Barton. “I listen to him all the time, even in my car while driving,” he said. Because of Barton’s teachings, Speaker Ryan is very knowledgeable . . .

And therein lies the rub. Why the constant and steady downhill slope? Why were our Founders (aka vocal skeptics) so far more advanced 200+ years ago? Is there a solution to all of that, or must we continue to fight the never-ending battle against Dominionists and their bogus notions of government and population control and manipulation? Thirty years ago I thought maybe just looking the other way might be the solution; apparently not.

******

“And so, my friend, while I suggest
That your beliefs you keep,
Recall God sees us all as lambs,
Though not, I think, as sheep.”

Then skeptic turned and walked away,
Face bent as if to smile,
Safe Genesis was put to bed,
If but for just awhile.

Amen.

Or, stated another way,

“Religious institutions that use government power in support
of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths,
or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights.”
(Thomas Jefferson)

******

OPEN THREAD

28 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Friday August 19 2016; ‘Godman and Skeptic’ Revisited in “Light” of Donald Trump

    • Thanks Z. I’ve long wondered why it is that so many find it so difficult to simply respect the beliefs of others, no matter what they might be, and to agree that belief is always personal, not something that needs to be imposed in ‘universal’ style. What’s so hard about that?

  1. Paul Manafort resigns from Trump campaign

    Paul Manafort on Friday resigned as Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, after the Republican nominee earlier this week announced a new leadership structure for his campaign.

    “This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign. I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process. Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success,” Trump said in a statement.

    I heard there was some urgent business he needed to attend to out of the country, just in case an indictment was forthcoming.

  2. one of the best parody accounts on the Tweeter :

    • Richie Blackmore is such a wanker..🙂 Got some good riffs to his name though

  3. You want sick riffs?
    I was second row left of center. You might catch a glimpse of the back of my head.

      • Uli Jon Roth. Lead guitarist for The Scorpions.
        Apparently people in the US don’t know about him.
        The venue was tiny and there were only about 250 people total.
        It was like a private show.

  4. Rant On:

    All of the media attention on Donald Trump is bothersome to me. We know he is an asshole, a blowhard, a misogynist, a racist, a bigot, a megalomaniac, a sociopath, a narcissist and arrogant but Hillary isn’t a saint either.

    I know, I know, we can’t allow Donald to become POTUS ever. But I must say Hillary’s track record isn’t the greatest either. This may piss people off but I think both are horrible candidates for our country. I could care a less about the Republican hyped scandal of Benghazi which was nothing but a political witch hunt but I am concerned about these things regarding Hillary:

    * As the First Lady of Arkansas, she supported Wal-Mart’s business model of low paying, part time, non union, no benefits jobs.

    * Sat on Wal-Mart’s board of directors while Wal-Mart was being subsidized as employees needed welfare assistance in order to survive while working at Wal-Mart.

    * Supported NAFTA as the First Lady.

    * Supported ‘The Financial Services Modernization Act’ and ‘The Commodity Futures Modernization Act’ as the First Lady, both bills are directly related to the 2008 economic collapse.

    * Supported the Crimes Bill as the first lady which led to the mass incarceration of African Americans and the rise of the for profit private prison system in our country.

    * Supported the Welfare Reform Bill as the First Lady which hurt single mothers, especially those who were minorities, and children.

    * Voted for the horrible Bankruptcy Law as a senator when as the First Lady she opposed the bill and helped get the bill killed in congress after being educated on the bill by Elizabeth Warren.

    * Her Iraq vote.

    * Her vote on the Patriot Acts.

    * Her tendency to be a war hawk and supporter of regime change when it comes to foreign policy.

    * Her judgment as Secretary of State with Egypt, Palestine, Libya, Syria and the Ukraine.

    * Her ties with Wall Street, the too big to fail/jail banks and multinational corporations.

    * Her pushing of fracking globally while serving as Secretary of State.

    * Her business dealings abroad via the Clinton Foundation, the foreign donors and the third world dictators who’ve received money and support through the Clintons and their foundations.

    Again, I know Trump must not get elected but sadly it seems too many progressive and Democratic voters are voting out of fear, and selling out their values, morals and beliefs in support of Hillary who has many of the very same traits and connections we once despised about the Republicans.

    Rant Off.

    • Can’t argue with any of that. I’m going to vote for Hillary anyway, for one basic reason: the next POTUS will likely have several Supreme Court appointments — one for sure, maybe three, maybe four. If Trump makes them, the SCOTUS will be wingnut/fascist for maybe three decades, and poof, there goes everything worth saving in this country. If Hillary makes the appointments, it’s a safe bet she’ll choose the opposite types, and maybe they’ll be able to both think while on the job and save what’s worth saving in the process. I know, at my age I won’t be around to see much of either option, thank all gods. But my kids and grandkids will. And that right there is all I need to turn me permanently against both wingnuts and fascists. Republicans, to use another word.

      • I hear you about Supreme Court Justices but whose to say Hillary won’t select/appoint corporatist judges or even conservative judges just to appease the Republicans?

        We know all about and focus on the wingnut/fascist Republicans but sadly too many aren’t seeing or live in denial about the Democratic Party who since the 1990’s have turned their backs on the working class and working poor while representing white collar workers from Wall Street and the Silicon Valley, changing from the party of FDR that once represented the working class to the new Democrats who represent Wall Street, Banks and Multinational corporations.

        Neither corporatism or fascism is good for we the people. But sadly this what we are left to vote for.

        • Yes, I hear you. Still, the problem remains that Trump will definitely NOT appoint anyone liberal by any yardstick. His list of 11 candidates pretty much gave him away. With Hillary, my hope would be that when it goes to the Senate for confirmation that Bernie will act to keep her on the straight and narrow. Hope springs eternal when fascism is the sole alternative.

  5. Just finished watching this week’s McLaughlin Group. According to TVNewser, there will be one final show, and maybe a tribute show later. The show I watched, however, was a repeat of a show taped in 1983. The date was not given, but the topics concerned the 1984 elections, Reagan’s arms limitation negotiations with the Soviet Union, and referenced the US having soldiers in Lebanon, presumably prior to the Marine barracks bombing in October, since that wasn’t mentioned. Robert Novak, Pat Buchanan, Jack Germond, and Mort Kondracke were the panelists. It was interesting how much different they treated each other compared to political talk shows of today.

  6. Hillary Clinton has done and will do things everyone can disagree with but, unlike her opponent, she does not pose an existential threat to the continued existence of this country and/or the ability of the planet to support carbon based life. Trumpy is fully capable of selling state secrets to the highest bidder, provoking attacks from just about any other country on earth, making it impossible for Americans to travel to and do business with just about every country on earth, or invading a sovereign nation because their “assistant secretary of golf courses” makes fun of his hair. One could make the case that he’s the most dangerously unstable person in the entire history of American politics. And, worst of all, We The People, at least sane and smart ones, must outnumber his moronic worshipers at the polls in such numbers that the election isn’t close enough to steal.

    Politics and policy, IMHO, don’t even enter into the discussion of this election. The worst that Hillary can do, even in the extremely unlikely event that the Democrats retake the House and attain a veto-proof 61 seats in the Senate, is funnel more money to the 1%. I don’t even think we can imagine the worst result of a hypothetical Trump Administration and I fear the best we could hope for is that a smart and patriotic general would shoot him in the head rather than carry out an order to kill innocent people at home and/or abroad.

    • Touche and amen. Best description of Trump I’ve run across. He represents the bottom of the deepest pit that’s filled with human integrity’s abject failure.

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