Monday, May 25, 2015

Josh Duggar and Osama Bin Laden: One Family Man's Saint Is Another Family Man's Terrorist




And like Osama Bin Laden, we may never know the whole story about the Duggar Family.

One family had 19 children, the other had 20. Both were extremely religious. Both had loving, doting parents. One parent was a professional father, showing America how one large Christian family copes. The other was a professional terrorist, showing the world how Al Queda copes.

(CNN) In his final years hiding in a compound in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden was a man who at once showed great love and interest in his own family while he coldly drew up quixotic plans for mass casualty attacks on Americans, according to documents seized by Navy SEALs the night he was killed.
(ReligionNews)The Duggars, the reality TV family famous for its progeny (19 Kids and Counting) and its conservatism, is reeling now that oldest son, Josh, has been forced to acknowledge he was investigated for molesting underage girls when he was a teenager in Arkansas.

The week of May 18th was a week frought with family values disclosures - going in opposition directions: Osama Bin Laden's image got a slight re-adjustment while the Duggar family's image got trashed. And while not in the terrorist league, the Duggar family is suffering a fall from the Righteous Right pedestal that would certainly amuse Bin Laden.

And while Osama Bin Laden's family values were given short shrift by the media, it was Josh Duggars past exploits that dominated the headlines. It was as if the fall of the Christian Right's poster family was more important to America than the analysis of Bin Laden. Such are the ways of America and its hunger for scandal.

Josh Duggar, Rhetorical Terrorist

Everyone jumped into the fray, from Montel Williams, who called Duggar a "scumbag" and a rhetorical terrorist" to Mike Huckabee who came to the Duggars' defense. Analysis of Duggar values and ideologies came to the fore:

Sarah Posner (Religion Dispatches):
This week, a recap of their television show on their blog discussed how Jim Bob and Michelle “encourage their kids to take a chaperone along on all their dates so they have someone to keep them accountable and ensure that they stick to their courtship standards.” In their family, they police sex outside of marriage. In politics they police sex between consenting adults, sex between people of the same sex; they are “pure” and “godly” because they police and condemn other people’s sexual lives. But now the public knows that this family which enforces “purity” has covered up the sexual predations—against children, even their own children— of their star son.
Posner points out that the "Purity" of the Duggar family never really existed, something that die hard supporters like Mike Huckabee find hard to believe.

In Stumbles Huckabee

The fallout from the scandal is incredibly far-reaching: not only has TLC pulled 19 and Counting, but Mike Huckbee's support of the Duggars has enraged his most ardent fans:·

Karla Jensen As President you will support incestuous child molesters but not gay people. Good information to have prior to the elections
Kristen Blair Bowman What about accountability for Jim Bob and Michelle? They weren't minors and they didn't report this to protect even their own daughters. I have a way bigger problem with that action (or, inaction).
Aimee Bruckner NO NO NO, This family has done tremendous damage not only to their own family, but to an entire group of people in this country. You do NOT get to lobby discriminatory legislation and claim that gay/transgender people are immoral and harmful to children when the WHOLE time, this "religious/traditional" family is doing DIRT and covering it up while profiting from it. That is deplorable and inexcusable Mike Huckabee get a clue!!
Marie Kelichner McCormack My question would be how do we know he's STOPPED??? My biggest worry is that he now has at least one daughter. Hopefully someone is protecting HER!! Pedophiles don't become miraculously "cured"

Perhaps the most hypocritical statement from Huckabee was:
"He [Josh Duggar] and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities."
Coming from someone who has secreted ten years of sermons for fear of what they might divulge concerning PWAs (People With AIDS) and complicity in evicting them from their homes, it's an egregious statement at best: Mike Huckabee's credibility is shattered. Even Duggar's own Family Research Council is remaining mum, stating only that it accepts his resignation and prays for "everyone involved." This is a far cry from the praise Duggar received when first coming into the FRC fold:
Drawing from his unique experiences in family, entertainment, politics and business, Josh seeks to use his God-given platform to encourage others to be engaged in the political process.
Where's The Focus?

Knowledge (given to him by God, of course) of the "political process" certainly marks Duggar as THE poster boy of a Christian Right lobbying firm. And the focus of the scandal has been on the fall of that poster boy. But what of the victims? Not only those siblings whom he molested, but the LGBT community he steadily attacked and the American public he duped. Where are they in this mess? They are left waiting in the wings, depending upon voices like Montel Williams and disgusted social media.

They are also insulted by the "political process" of the Duggar family:

(Hollywod Life)The record regarding the almost decade-old investigation into Josh Duggar, 27, has been expunged. The news of the destroyed record comes just one day after Josh broke his silence about the allegations that he molested five young girls when he was 14 years old and resigned from his position at the Family Research Council.Judge Stacey Zimmerman ordered the 2006 offense report regarding the case involving Josh to be destroyed on May 21, according to the Associated Press.“The judge ordered us yesterday to expunge that record,” Springdale Police spokesman Scott Lewis said on May 22. “As far as the Springdale Police Department is concerned this report doesn’t exist.”
But scandals involving the unlicensed "treatment center" (for which the Duggars were regular volunteers) may have started to shift focus on Jim Bo's b and Michelle Duggar's roles in all of it:
(Raw Story) The founder of a chain of Christian “treatment” centers Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar sent their eldest son to for molesting five girls — including his sisters — resigned in 2014 under a cloud of accusations that he had “sexually groomed” and harassed young women and teens in his ministry.
Dr. Gail Stalz had an inciteful take on Duggar's "treatment" (or lack of it) and what it meant for the victims (see below). In many ways, Josh Duggar is taking the blame for what the Duggar family failed to do. 

Manipulation

It seems clear that even in the wake of the scandal, the Duggars are manipulating the American public: having records expunged, distracting people away from victims and cover ups, while Josh Duggar is crying mea culpa. It all adds up to a contempt for America owned by terrorists - rhetorical or otherwise. 



Lost Huckabee And The LGBT Community: Did Huckabee's Pastoral Sermons Pack San Francisco With Disowned PWAs?





He was a Southern Baptist Preacher for God's sake!

10 years of Mike Huckabee's sermons have either been destroyed or have been spirited away to some unknown planet.


Mother Jones, December 10, 2007
Is Mike Huckabee the presidential candidate shunning Mike Huckabee the preacher? Before entering politics, he was a pastor at two Baptist churches. Now his campaign tells Mother Jones it won't make his sermons available to the media and the public.


In 1992, when Mike Huckabee was running for the U.S. Senate:
[CNN, 2007)] responding to an Associated Press questionnaire, Huckabee said steps should be taken to "isolate the carriers of this plague" during his failed run for a U.S. Senate seat from Arkansas 15 years ago.
"Now, would I say things a little differently in 2007? Probably so," Huckabee told Fox News. "But I'm not going to recant or retract from the statement that I did make because, again, the point was not saying we ought to lock people up who have HIV/AIDS."

Huckabee did not explain how individuals with HIV would have been isolated. 

Hmmm... Isolation IS a form of 'lock up" isn't it? The lepers of Molokai were not exactly "locked up." Neither was Father Damien, but he certainly could have told us about the problems of such "isolation". Where would PWAs go? A Manzanar-like reservation would need to be funded by the government, and Huckabee opposed federal funding of even the basic HIV medications. One can envision a HIV Trail of Tears leading to a patch in Death Valley, with hopes of gays dying out "because they can't reproduce" as one pastor put it. 

Since the CDC had long since declared that you couldn't get AIDS from a toilet seat, the determination with which Huckabee was willing to "isolate" other human beings may be a clue as to what was in those sermons that have yet to see light since 1992. 

Today, Huckabee goes into a "that-was-then-this-is-now" mode when addressing his stance on AIDS. He has even seemed to soften his attitude towards gays. Today, he asks for tolerance and forgiveness of the Christian Right's sins, even blaming the media for fanning the flames of discontent, as in the recent scandal involving the Duggar family. 

There will be more to come on this subject, since Presidential hopeful Huckabee cannot escape the investigation into his former policies, his coverup of sermons and his statement that the Duggar family were at the start transparent:

"He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities."

WTF?!?

Jim Bob Duggar waited more than a year after his son, Josh, confessed to sexually molesting several female minors before contacting police, In Touch Magazine is reporting exclusively, based on information contained in the official police report.

What’s more, Jim Bob informed the elders of his church about Joshua’s actions and they waited three months before contacting authorities. The explosive new information is contained in a Springdale, Ark., police report obtained by
In Touch magazine.
 The Duggars hid the scandal from the media since 2006, even when the family knew they were going to be featured in a reality show.

Transparency. Huckabee. Right.





Monday, April 27, 2015

Rubio, Rubio, Wherefore Art Thou Rubio? The Non-Romance Of LGBT Equality In The Last Week




Marco Rubio is neither for nor against the LGBT community. But he's definitely for the Christian Right.

Now take deep swig of bottled water and explain all of that to us again, Marco.


Actually, Marco has a problem 'splainin himself to everyone. If ever there was a candidate who looks confused while being "certain", it's Rubio:


With Bob Schieffer:


"I don't believe courts should be making that decision, and I don't believe marriage is a constitutional right," he added. "I also don't believe your sexual preferences are a choice for the vast and enormous majority of people. In fact, the bottom line is that I believe that sexual preference is something that people are born with."
By saying that being gay is not a choice is Rubio giving a hand the the lgbt community?  But yet be says that marriage in itself is not a constitutional right. WTF ? Don't discriminate, but don't give people rights, either.

Oh, but he DID say that he would attend a gay wedding. BFD.
But you can't talk nicey-nice to gays while courting the likes of Tony Perkins.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, which lobbies against same-sex marriage, said socially conservative candidates in 2016 will face the challenge of "distinguishing themselves in a crowded field, so there are those who are going to try to solidify support early. Sen. Rubio has hit a stride where he's comfortable talking about these issues, even though some people in his party are not."

So ... in Iowa:
Rubio drew loud applause when he said the institution of marriage consists of one man and one woman.
Scheiffer To The Rescue:
In his appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, anchor Bob Schieffer introduced Perkins by saying “we have been inundated by people who say we should not even let you appear because they, in their view — quote — you don’t speak for Christians.”
The Cordileone Conundrum:

CBS SF reports:


In a written statement, the Archdiocese of San Francisco said other Catholic bishops from around the country will attend the March for Marriage, saying it allows Cordileone to “remain home and attend to the pastoral needs of the Church here at this time.”
Attend to the backlash from parishioners and prominent Catholics, that is. On more than three fronts, Cordileone has shown himself to be the anti-Francis: being divisive, moralizing, and hypocritical. 
“I suspect just because things have heated up so much that he has changed his mind,” said Brian Cahill, a former director of Catholic Charities, who was among about 100 local parishioners signing an ad in The Chronicle last week calling on Pope Francis to replace Cordileone. “Everywhere I go — even at a Catholic Charities fundraiser the other day — I run into people who say, 'How can I sign something like the ad in The Chronicle?’”
The ad Cahill is referring to was an open letter to Pope Francis asking him to remove the Archbishop because his policies were so divisive. That letter - and the resignation of Bishop Finn may have made Cordileone nervous and uncertain about  his own tenure. 

Yet Francis has made no move to censure Cordileone in any way, perhaps because he is afraid of losing the strongest link to America's Christian Right, pro-family sector.


Hate March 2015
"The outpouring of support from the faith and pro-family communities has been amazing, and is a reflection of how important we see this opportunity to demand of the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court that they respect our values and our votes in support of preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman," NOM President Brian Brown said in a statement before Saturday's march.


Amazing support? Do pictures lie? The group below included pro-same-sex marriage advocates. The estimate for the entire crowd: 10,000. Several thousand (mostly bused in for Rueben Diaz) is not terribly "amazing." And while NOM (National Organization for Marriage) has photo-shopped its gatherings to look bigger, this one doesn't seem to fill the Supreme Court mall.



Iowa

WAUKEE, Iowa —Several Republican presidential hopefuls are in the metro for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Spring Kick-Off event. The GOP contenders will offer their views on abortion, gay marriage and other social issues important to the Christian-Conservative constituency.
Gary Chidester, 65, of Lakesburg, said he had talked to most candidates even before the event, but remained undecided. He was most interested in hearing support for traditional marriage and opposition to abortion rights, adding: “As a Christian, when I’m holding my Bible and the words change in it, I’ll change.”
The people whole clung to their bibles as well were: Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, and Bobby Jindal. Strong supporters of RFRAs, these presidential hopefuls courted the Christian Right.

Marco Rubio was in good (if not entirely supportive) company.



Monday, March 16, 2015

How Many Souls Can $65m buy? Just One: Prosperity Preacher Creflo Dollar's



Maybe it's not such a great deal!
(image by Rev. Dan Vojir)


On second thought, we'll just take the jet.

Remember Pastor Creflo Dollar of daughter-choking Mommie Dearest fame? Back in June of 2012, the prosperity gospel preacher made headlines by being arrested for child abuse (he denied it). This was after he publicly preached that he would willingly shoot non-tithers (June 15, 2011).

Well, the violent preacher of bling is in the news again, but this time, for his unabashed righteous arrogance: asking $65 million for a new jet.
You read that right. And so did a lot of other people.
Though Jesus is, as always, the most likely culprit, it is possible that the good reverend himself took down the funding page today after reports of its existence in the secular media prompted many of ye with little faith to insinuate that this Man of God had done something wrong by appealing for $300 donations from 200,000 of his humble followers so that he could replace the old private jet he was using with a new private jet--a Gulfstream G650, billed as"the best private jet money can buy."



Money beg removed

(image by Rev. Dan Vojir)


But He NEEDS This Toy, ahem, Jet!


In flight movie: 'Jesus Christ Super Star!'
(image by Rev. Dan Vojir)


Juda Engelmayer of World Changers Church International: "The work they do is important," Engelmayer said Friday. "It's feeding, clothing, educating people, as well as passing on the word of God." Engelmayer also stated that the jet would be carrying 100,000 pounds of food on some trips.

In a statement posted by the Christian Post, David Graham, a Global Express aircraft captain said:

"The G650 MAX RAMP WEIGHT is 99,600# then add 4,000# for the G650ER. IT CANNOT CARRY 12 PEOPLE AND 1000,000 # OF FOOD AND SUPPLIES LIKE THE COMMENTER SAYS!!!! CREFLO IS A CROOK AND SCAMMIN (sic) HIS CHURCH IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!!!" wrote an incensed Graham.
But Pastor Dollar really, really NEEDS it!

To say you NEED a jet like that is the height of righteous arrogance. GOD doesn't NEED it. Nor does he WANT you to have one because you so richly deserve it, Creflo. He WANTS you to help people and spread the gospel efficiently NOT luxuriously. NEEDing an jet sets you above the poor - and above GOD.

Creflo, here is what $65 million can get you:

13 million articles of clothing for the poor with Pope Francis thrown in for free to hand them out.

500,000 paperback bibles.
50 million bible tracts.
65+ liver/kidney transplants
Shelter for 8 million homeless for one night
20 million Happy Meals
... or 10 million of these:


Yes, Francis would hand them out!
(image by Rev. Dan Vojir)


Dollar, Thy Name Is NOT Transparency

In the world of prosperity preachers no transparency means no good. Creflo Dollar Ministries is placed on Donor Alert by Ministrywatch.com because of its lack of transparency and unwillingness to give Ministrywatch.com sufficient information about the ministries. That means that the "millions of miles" flown and the thousands of people helped through "food, clothing and education" are unverifiable (see the actual website-deleted money beg below). Yes, the satellite churches are plenty, but they have to foot part of the bill of Dollar's appearances (usually half of the jet's gas and maintenance - up to $8000 per flight).


So without transparency and without reasonable cause to beg for such an extravagance, the reaction against Creflo Dollar has been scathing, even from the black community (see below).

So, Creflo Dollar, be careful flying that jet in a geed-free zone while you're thumbing your nose at poor people from 10,000 feet.



And here is what DJ Akademics says about it all (NSFW)
Creflo said that he would shoot non-thithers:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Q: Why Can't Right-Wing Christians Police Their (Embarrassing) Own? A: Because They're Policing Everyone Else!




Idaho Lady Tries To Beat, Choke Jewish Woman Into Personal Relationship With Jesus

Yes, it's OK to distance yourself from the crazies, but sometimes distancing is not enough. So many Christians cry "we're not like that" while silently condoning the actions of the embarrassing few. Every day we see people who embarrass Christianity by using it to the extreme, l
ike the case of the homeschoolers who tried to sell their daughter in marriage
International Cops For Christ 
You have the right at any time to stop this preaching to repent of your sins and to confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Attorney – Romans 10:9-10. If you do not confess Christ, you will be convicted of sin before the Divine Court of Law and face an eternal sentence in Hell – Revelation 20:12-15. Do You Understand?

In a political landscape that has religious freedom as its mantra and "religious persecution" as its great social concern, the force of evangelism goes unnoticed: International Cops for Christ is just one of the organizations that promotes what some people might consider forced conversions.

Project ROSE is a Phoenix city program that arrests sex workers in the name of saving them. In five two-day stings, more than 100 police officers targeted alleged sex workers on the street and online. They brought them in handcuffs to the Bethany Bible Church. There, the sex workers were forced to meet with prosecutors, detectives, and representatives of Project ROSE, who offered a diversion program to those who qualified. Those who did not may face months or years in jail.
In the Bethany Bible Church, those arrested were not allowed to speak to lawyers. Despite the handcuffs, they were not officially “arrested” at all.

In Montgomery, Alabama, a similar program, called Operation Good Shepherd, is explicitly designed to bring young women under the power of local Christian leaders. “What we want to do is combine the religious community and the Mont­gomery Police Department, and we want to unite those as one,” explained police corporal David Hicks. No non-Christian religious groups are allowed to participate in the program.

Grass roots conversion conspiracy? Perhaps. But policing souls is what many evangelicals see as a calling, forgetting such things as separation of church and state and the individual's right not to be coerced into any form of religion. 

NALT

"Not All Like That" is a project that affirms the Christianity of gays and lesbians. That's fine, but does NALT have any actual power in policing the ones they are distancing themselves from? No. "Not All Like That" is a nice group - in other words, a group of nice people who are scorned by most Evangelicals. They are also exclusively associated with the gay community. So how about Jews? How about prostitutes? How about atheists? Do they have any Christian groups accepting of them? NALT may be a step in the right direction, but it is a baby step, not the kind of forceful leap needed to shake up the "Christians" embarrassing the rest of Christianity.

Would that a non-denominational Christian tribunal existed to strip embarrassing "Christians" of their Christianity, or at least their association with Christianity. An excommunication of sorts - one enforced through social media - might seem vengeful and drastic, but embarrassing people who are in themselves embarrassments would be fitting. Their websites, publications and rallies would be declared "no-go zones" for Christians. 

A Christian tribunal. We can dream, can't we?

Of course, a problem presents itself in the fact that anyone can declare themselves "Christian" and get away with most anything non-Christian. Such is a society with freedom of religion: people are free to use religion in any way they want. And according to Evangelicals, they are free to use people any way they want in the name of religion. 




The Embarrassing Criminals:

Everyday, we experience people who, in professing their love of Christianity, unmask themselves by being un-Christian.

Benny Hinn - The domino (Let the Bodies Hit The Floor) healing of Benny Hinn is certainly entertaining, but it's also embarrassing to serious, reasoning Christians. Hinn's lavish lifestyle is also a testament to greed resulting from the gullibility of desperate people. His shills are never ashamed to look as if they are wired together with high voltage cable. 

Cindy Jacobs - Jacobs cannot be cast as a charlatan simply because people are dumbfounded that anyone believes her. But some people do, since her "ministry" rakes in cash enough to keep her in ridiculous outfits. 

Ann Coulter - "Christianity drives everything in my life." However, her eschatology ("love thy neighbor" is a minor, incidental tenet) and self-admitted mean-spiritedness undermines all her claims to Christianity. In fact, the only reason that the gold cross she wears hasn't burned a hole in her chest is because her righteous arrogance oozes out of every pore, forming a force-field through which Jesus Christ's teaching could never get through. 

Victoria Jackson - To associate with Victoria Jackson (who recently claimed that Obama is most certainly a Muslim) is to have your I.Q. syphoned out of you by a black hole of reason. The only guest on her show to make her look intelligent was E.W. Jackson and that's saying quite a lot. 

Bryan Fischer - Changing positions for Bryan Fischer at the American Family Association has done nothing to undo the hatred he continues to spew. The man seems to thrive on ostracism, since he wasn't a featured speaker at the Values Voter Summit last year. 

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone - In his latest skirmish with his unhappy parishioners, Cordileone was forced to "reconsider" wording in his now-infamous morals clause for teacher contracts. Considered the "anti-Francis" in his obsession with morals and opposition to gay rights, the archbishop was chastised by California lawmakers who threatened to probe schools for civil rights violations. 

His case brought up a significant point: must embarrassing clergy be policed by the state in order to draw attention to their un-Christian attitudes? 

Scott Lively - In yet another case of clergy being called to task for un-Christian activities, Lively has been hit with a "crimes against humanity" lawsuit concerning his involvement in Uganda. He continues to crow about his associations with Russia and Uganda and their acceptance of his rhetoric. 

Off Bounds

The crazies, the charlatans, the mean-spirited pundits should be exposed and declared off-bounds to a reasoning, loving Christian community. In affect, they have been time and time again, but people still contribute, still believe, still read and support them. They manage to survive scandals and congressional investigations. They manage to amass fortunes and (in the case of Cordileone) authority. 

Maybe their followers should be policed for being embarrassing to Christianity as well.