The Weekend Watering Hole, December 17th, 2016: Men of a Lesser God

With so many evangelical “Christians” having supported Trump in the election, I was curious to find out how they’re reacting to the intelligence community’s reports of Russia’s interference in the election on Trump’s behalf.

The Christian Post is totally silent on the topic. They’re still more concerned with: abortion; not being allowed to discriminate against gays; abortion; the “War on Christmas” (Bill O’Reilly says it’s over, “we won”, although Franklin Graham seems to disagree); and abortion – not necessarily in that order.

Raw Story had a recent article about Franklin Graham praying for Trump to succeed in ‘bringing back jobs’ (nobody on the right seems to notice that President Obama managed to create a few million jobs and reduce the unemployment rate to [what should be] a fairly acceptable rate, despite the Republican blockade.) The article briefly mentions Vladimir Putin. Two quick excerpts, each of which earns its own separate (but brief) rant:

“During an interview on Tuesday, Graham praised Trump for finding a way to “work with the thugs” like Russian President Vladimir Putin “so that we can have peace in this world.”

First, I realize that, at the time of the interview, Graham may not have heard – or paid attention to – the stories that were coming out about exactly HOW Trump had been “finding a way to ‘work with the thugs’ like…Putin”, BUT, did/does Graham actually think that a Trump/Putin cooperative (or whatever you want to call it) could possibly bring about “peace in this world”?

Second, in the last few years, bigoted conservatives have re-defined the term “thug” to mean “black man.” I certainly haven’t seen any attempt by any conservatives trying to ‘find a way to work with’ those “thugs” – well, except by killing or imprisoning them, which I don’t consider to be ‘working with.’

“That’s the problem with the politicians in Washington,” he said. “They sit down there and they do nothing. Now we’ve got a man who’s coming into the White House who wants to get things done. And I hope and I pray — we all as Americans, we need to pray for the president-elect and vice president-elect.”

Mr. Graham (I refuse to use the honorific “Reverend”, he’s no more reverent than I am), we’ve HAD a man in the White House for eight years who has wanted to “get things done”, but the Republican-controlled Congress forced our entire federal government to “sit down there and…do nothing.” So go pray for your own soul, god-boy, if you have one, and leave the rest of us out of it. Maybe if you start repenting now, your god might forgive you for not listening to his son.

Graham was interviewed by Christian Today on November 13th on his reaction to Trump’s election victory. Some excerpts:

In an interview with Christian Today, Graham said there was “no question” that God had a hand in the election of Trump as the next President of the United States, and predicted a “huge impact” from his nominations to the Supreme Court.

He revealed that Trump had told him personally that he will repeal the controversial Johnson Amendment of 1954, which prevents church leaders from endorsing or opposing political candidates from the pulpit.

According to polls, white evangelical Christians backed Trump by 81 per cent to 16 per cent – a larger margin of the evangelical vote than was achieved by a Republican candidate in the past three elections.

Graham said Trump is a “changed man” from when he made his notorious lewd comments about women…

“What you see is what you get. Politicians are pretty good at smiling and being one thing in public and then when the doors are closed, they are different people.”

Donald Trump, by contrast, is the same in private as he appears on television, Graham said.

“He’s not polished, like a lot of politicians. He’s a little rough around the edges. But he means what he says. People need to understand that he’s a very powerful person, very strong, he’s got a very good family, great children. He’s going to put together maybe one of the best teams in Washington that we have seen in years.”

Graham said there was no question that God a hand in the election. “The vast majority of the evangelical community supported Donald Trump because he has said he is going to support Christians, not only at home but around the world.

“So when we see Christianity being attacked worldwide, not just by militant Muslims but by secularism, it’s refreshing to have a leader who is willing to defend the Christian faith.”
~~~~~
One aspect of the election result that was truly a surprise to so many was that Trump’s moral character was apparently not a problem for many leading Christians. Some students at Liberty even set up a petition to distance themselves from Trump and the support he received from Falwell. The petition stated: “Associating any politician with Christianity is damaging to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But Donald Trump is not just any politician. He has made his name by maligning others and bragging about his sins. Not only is Donald Trump a bad candidate for president, he is actively promoting the very things that we as Christians ought to oppose.”

According to Graham, the key to assessing Trump’s character is to look at the people in his team.

“Donald Trump has surrounded himself with strong evangelicals and for me as a Christian, I’m very pleased with that,” he said.

Graham did not say whether he considers Trump to be a Christian or not – “Only God really knows a person’s heart” – but, “You can tell a lot about a person by the people that they surround themselves with. Our current president claimed to be a Christian but you don’t see that in the people around him.

“Trump has strong evangelical Christians surrounding him. I’ve known Ben Carson for many years. He is a wonderful man of God. Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas – another fine Christian gentleman. Mike Pence. These are the people that he surrounds himself with.”

Graham also knows Mike Pence and has spent time with him: “He is a man of God, he is a very strong evangelical. Donald Trump has surrounded himself with some strong Christians which is very encouraging.”

Graham said: “He’s [Trump] told me that he’s going to work to have that repealed. It will be huge. I think that the Johnson Amendment was a stupid thing. It was somewhat racial in the sense that Johnson did not want black pastors at that time to speak out against him.”

He and many other evangelicals welcome the prospect of that change which will have a massive impact on the way churches and other religious groups engage in politics.

~~~~~

I can’t even continue reading this hypocritical, delusional, un-American, unconstitutional idealization of an American Theocracy. I glanced further down in the article, and knew I would go ballistic if I continued. As it is, I had to take a 1/2 xanax and lie down for a while before I could finish writing this post.

How can anyone say that “Trump is a changed man”, then say that “what you see is what you get”, when what we see is the same loudmouthed, bigoted, ignorant blowhard that we’ve seen for the past, say, 30 years? How can Graham say that “only god really knows a person’s heart” to gloss over Trump’s obviously un-christian views on the one hand, yet label Obama as not being a christian, without such a caveat?  And the “surprise” “that Trump’s moral character was apparently not a problem for many leading Christians”, that doesn’t trouble these die-hard two-issue – abortion and ‘teh gay’ – “men of god”? Theirs is not a god that our country should go anywhere near, let alone follow.

When this particular interview with Christian Today occurred, it was only a few days after the election. Yet nothing in my searches in the time frame SINCE the election indicates that ANY of the right-wing evangelicals have any public opinion about a foreign government intervening in the U.S. Presidential election on behalf of one candidate. Until Graham or any of these bully-pulpit religious fanatics denounce Trump’s tightly-woven bond with Russia, I can only conclude that they are happy to be associated with any monstrous regime.  As long as they can get their way on those two issues, they’ll bow down to any despot. Fuck them and the four horses of the apocalypse that they rode in on.

This is our very late Open Thread–talk about whatever you want.

Advertisements

The Watering Hole; Th/Fr December 8-9 2016; “Make Christmas Great Again;” HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

This is a photo of a billboard designed and displayed by the “American Atheists”:

As a result, Fox Friends Are Outraged Over Atheists ‘Making Christmas Great Again’. Here’s a sample of their “discussion” on the matter:

STEVE DOOCY: One of the country’s largest atheist organizations is using his slogan to target Christmas!

AINSLEY EARHARDT: The organizers claim that their message is not anti-Christian!

BRIAN KILMEADE: I’m scratching my head right now.

DOOCY: Why is it making America great skipping church?

EARHARDT: Why do you care if people go to church and why are you offended if people go to church? Why are you telling people to skip church?

Why do you care if Christians find hope and love and peace when they go to church? Why do you spend all your time worrying about them?

Meanwhile,

The program director for the group American Atheists, Mr. Nick Fish, did his best to explain the billboard pictured above. He seeks to take the religious aspect out of the Christmas holiday and stress the other positives that a non-religious person can appreciate as well. One of the reasons he ascribes to the billboard is the increase in the number of self-professed atheists. Their numbers have grown in the last few years from 15% to 25% of Americans. Fish estimates that 40% of college-aged Americans are irreligious.

Think of it; Mr. Nick Fish is attempting to bring ALL people, even non-Christers, to have them come forward and celebrate the Holiday regardless of their beliefs or their non-beliefs. One might think that, in the spirit of the birth of their ‘savior’ Jesus Christ, that all Christians everywhere would welcome any and all to participate in their Holiday Season, that they might recall their Savior’s admonition to “Love they neighbor as thyself.” Apparently that’s way too tall of an order for American Christers these days; apparently they’d rather stick to hating and fearing non-Christians, and to take offense at any of ‘them’ attempting to ‘celebrate’ their Happy Holidays. Oh, the horror.

Then there’s this:

Corey Lewandowski: ‘You Can Say Merry Christmas’ Cause ‘Trump Is Now The President’

Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and CNN pundit, jumped on the ‘war on Christmas” nonsense that’s been promoted for over a decade on Fox News and told Sean Hannity, “…which you can say again, ‘Merry Christmas’ because Donald Trump is now the president. You can say it again.”

YeeHaw! Thank all gods for the (s)election of Trump as our next “president”! Now we can say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, or Happy Chanukah, or Happy Kwanzaa, or Happy Saturnalia, or happy-any-other-blasphemous-day! With Trump as our Führer, we no longer have to fear being imprisoned for saying Merry Christmas! The War on Christmas endete (oops) is over, it’s ended! Thank you Donald!

But always remember this: SANTA IS NOT BLACK, HE’S WHITE!!!

Racists Freak Out Over Black Santa At Mall Of America

Oh how awful. How un-Christer. How un-White Supremacist. How un-Neo-Nazi. Thank god for Trump! He can fix it! Cuz he’s gonna

Make Christmas White Again!

Yeah!

I’ll not hold my breath in anticipation of such nonsense ever being imposed, however. Instead I’ll celebrate the idea, the fact, and the reality that each and every day — holiday or not — belongs to EVERYONE! (Even Republicans. blah). No exceptions!

There remains one thing I’ll never understand, though: why are so many of my fellow Amurkkkans so possessed by fear, by hate, by phobias of every imaginable sort? It makes absolutely no sense, no sense at all. Especially now, during the Holiday Season. Myself, I have NEVER felt that Christmas was a time to express and/or practice hate and fear, and when I see evidences all around, everywhere I look, I really have to wonder if National Sanity has finally fallen off the edge, that it’s gone for good. One thing I do know for certain, however, is that Sanity will NOT return just because Trump is president. The opposite will, much to the delight of wingnuts everywhere (and to the pain of functioning gray matter), prevail.

Meanwhile, to any and all regardless of belief, race, color, nationality, etc. etc. —

Happy Holidays!
Happy Chanukah!
Happy Kwanzaa!
Happy Saturnalia!

Oh, and

Merry Christmas!

******

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 23rd, 2015: NatGeo, Take Me Away!

I can’t deal with “Ugly Americans” [of course, “Ugly Americans” = “Republican Presidential Candidates and their Fans/Supporters”] anymore; we keep thinking, “How can these guys sink so low?”, then, the next hour or day or week, one or two or several of them come out with such outrageous shit that we really need a new word to define what circle of hell lies beyond “outrageous” or “horrific” or “despicable” or “abhorrent” or “inhuman” – sorry, I need more words!

And I’ve had it up to HERE with the holidays being turned into meaningless “shop-’til-you-drop” commercialism [how about if “Black Friday” could be turned into “Black Lives Matter Friday” – hell, make every day of the entire Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday shopping season a day of protests]. So I’m going with some beautiful photos from National Geographic to start the week.

Here’s some pretty birds, from “A Flight of Birds”, a section of NatGeo’s Photo Ark, including a photo capturing the iridescent plumage of the Purple Glossy Starling, such as seen below,
purple_glossy_starling
and a more close-up shot of the Javan Rhinoceros Hornbill, like the one seen below:
javan rhinoceros Hornbill

And if you prefer a larger gallery for leisurely viewing, here’s more from NatGeo’s 2015 Photo Contest. The “Week 10” group includes a brooding sunset photo of Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland – here’s a chilly winter shot of the falls, just to start the calming process:
waterfall-godafoss-iceland

This is our daily Open Thread – enjoy the views or rant away – or you can do both!

The Watering Hole, Monday, December 10th, 2012: The “War on Christmas”

Since Faux Noose is doing its annual “War on Christmas” blamefest, I thought that looking at the lighter side of this epic battle would be more fun:

In this clip, Jon Stewart once again battles the Faux outrage over “War on Christmas” (I apologize, I couldn’t manage to embed it, so you’re stuck with the 30-second commercial prelude.)

Personally, I’ve always felt that this South Park clip explains who “took Christ out of Christmas” – it’s all Santa’s fault:

And of course, there’s this hilarious Jesus and Santa duet.

Seeing all of the commercials for “the perfect gift” that most of us can’t afford to buy (who the fuck gives someone a car for Christmas?), I also blame good old Capitalism for helping to destroy the “true meaning of Christmas.” So I’m blaming Santa and Capitalism for making Christmas what it is today: an insane challenge to get exactly the right present for the lowest price, even if one has to elbow a few fellow shoppers out of the way to do so. For those of us who are stressed out over Christmas/holiday preparations, I hope this lightens your mood.

This is our daily open thread — How’s your Christmas spirit holding up?

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, June 20, 2012: Does it really Matter?

Ok, so for the next few months, if you’re in a “swing” State, you’ll be inundated with SuperPAC commercials designed to get you to vote against your own best interests. We will also be systematically bombarded with messages from the Mainstream Media designed to influence our thinking.

IT’S ALL A SHOW. IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER.

If the Powers That Be really want Obama out, all they have to do is raise gas prices to about $5.00/gallon. Instead, gas prices are going down, heading into the summer vacation season. That’s not to say they won’t go up between now and the election – but they are an accurate predictor of where our economy will head. So, pay attention to the pump, not the talking heads.

Ok, that’s my $0.0199 cents. And you?

OPEN THREAD
JUST REMEMBER
EVERYTHING I SAID
DOESN’T REALLY MATTER

 

Litigation-Free Holiday Greetings

Please accept without obligation, explicit or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, politically correct, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious and/or secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions.

Please also accept, under aforesaid waiver of obligation on your part, my best wishes for a financially successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the calendar year 2009 CE (C.E., being an abbreviation for “Common Era” or “Christian Era”, is equivalent to A.D., but is placed after the year, and is preferred by some in secular writing), but with due respect for the calendars of other cultures or sects, and having regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform or dietary preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting you acknowledge that: This greeting is subject to further clarification or withdrawal at the wishor’s discretion.

This greeting is freely transferable provided that no alteration shall be made to the original greeting and that the proprietary rights of the wishor are acknowledged.

This greeting implies no warranty on the part of the wishor to fulfill these wishes, nor any ability of the wishor to do so, merely a beneficent hope on the part of the wishor that they in fact occur.

This greeting may not be enforceable in certain jurisdictions and/or the restrictions herein may not be binding upon certain wishees in certain jurisdictions and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wishor.

This greeting is warranted to perform as reasonably as may be expected within the usual application of good tidings, for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first.

The wishor warrants this greeting only for the limited replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wishor.

Any references in this greeting to “the Lord”, “Father Christmas”, “Our Savior”, or any other festive figures, whether actual or fictitious, dead or alive, shall not imply any endorsement by or from them in respect of this greeting, and all proprietary rights in any referenced third party names and images are hereby acknowledged.

~anon~