Calling Down The Brimstone

This is probably the most bizarre and ghoulish part of the Christian evangelical culture in the US:  hoping not just for political defeat but for the complete destruction of the country in order to teach a lesson.  Take Franklin Graham, for instance.  His Obama Derangement Syndrome is full-blown:

Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees—to where you just have a complete economic collapse. And maybe at that point, maybe people will again begin to call upon the name of almighty God.

This goes back to what I’ve been saying now is the chief goal of the GOP at this point:  to relentlessly punish the coalition that President Obama built in order to try to split it, to force it to break through applied Stockholm Syndrome.  Graham’s words go right into this.  It serves the GOP’s purpose:  “our kind” will be spared, “those people” will be punished.  From Mitt Romney’s “gifts” comments all the way on down, the GOP is now looking to knock the blocks out from under the Democratic Big Tent platform.  They’re targeting the Voting Rights Act, going after contraception and Planned Parenthood funding, still dragging their feet on immigration and marriage equality.  They know that if the Dems get proper credit for those, the Republicans are done.

Before it was about sabotaging the country to win.  Now it’s about sabotaging the country for revenge.

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156 replies
  1. 1
    Betty Cracker says:

    How is what Graham said any different from Reverend Wright’s “Goddamn America” and “chickens coming home to roost”? Oh right, Graham is WHITE. Silly of me…

  2. 2
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    They know that if the Dems get proper credit for those, the Republicans are done.

    Our Corporate Media will make damn sure that never happens, thus, I’m not sure why the wingnuts are so worried.

  3. 3
    Felinious Wench says:

    We had Firebaggers saying the same thing. Let it all burn to usher in a new utopia. Problem is, it’s our fringe and their New Normal.

  4. 4
    r€nato says:

    Given this kind’s prediliction for using natural disasters to interpret God’s will, I would say that Hurricane Sandy was God’s vote for Obama.

  5. 5
    TD says:

    @wench ^ This. We definitely have our own variety of “destroy the village to save it” types. Both annoying.

  6. 6

    Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees—to where you just have a complete economic collapse. And maybe at that point, maybe people will again begin to call upon the name of almighty God.

    Or maybe His church should focus on loving our neighbors and meeting the needs of human beings like Christ did instead of acting as a branch of the Republican party.

  7. 7
    hueyplong says:

    Graham’s God is quite the sadist. In order to put Fallen America onto the straight path He could have simply willed a Willard Romney victory, but instead, He sent a hurricane, intervened to support court challenges to voter ID laws and otherwise meddled to extend our Muslim overlordship and create a Second Great Depression in 2013 that would have been easily averted by Willard’s magical capitalistic skillz.

    And don’t forget how He willed a stock market crash in 2008 so as to put the Muslim in office to begin with, thereby derailing the Straight Talk Express, which would have lengthened the Cheneyesque Golden Era of True Christian Ministry throughout the world.

    And this slow, pain-heavy path keeps the baby-killing machinery operating in place until Repentant America puts Judge Moore on the Supreme Court in 2017.

  8. 8
    The Red Pen says:

    My wife, who is a theologian and third-order Carmelite nun, frequently shares this observation:

    If God didn’t obliterate this country for slavery or genocide, He isn’t going to smite us for giving rights to gays and women.

    Sorry, Cranklin, but God isn’t on your side.

    If you look at most fundies as if they worship Ares, it all makes way more sense.

  9. 9
    McJulie says:

    His quote does put me in mind of the purity lefties who remain convinced that if we let the right wing make things bad enough the people will have an epiphany and finally elect a true progressive.

  10. 10
    PeakVT says:

    Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees—to where you just have a complete economic collapse. And maybe at that point, maybe people will again begin to call upon the name of almighty God.

    It’s disgusting but not all that bizarre. It’s a lot easier to hope for the Rapture than to care for the poor or deal with present real world in general. The same goes for obsessing over abortion and fetuses.

  11. 11
    Stooleo says:

    Old angry white guy is angry. Been there, done that.

  12. 12
    The Red Pen says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    How is what Graham said any different from Reverend Wright’s “Goddamn America” and “chickens coming home to roost”? Oh right, Graham is WHITE. Silly of me…

    He was also bashing the right (no pun intended) people. To wit:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....plies?c=26

  13. 13
    Schlemizel says:

    In little Frankie’s defense he has a goal. Economic upheaval has always led to an increase in religiosity. That has led to an increase in income for piles of dog shit like him

  14. 14
    NotMax says:

    Franklin, Franklin, Franklin. You’re slipping.

    You left out the guns part.

    You’ve got the ‘people will must cling to their my religion’ part down pat.

  15. 15
    different-church-lady says:

    Wow… they finally figured out they’re losing.

  16. 16
    Schlemizel says:

    @The Red Pen:

    I like the way she thinks! That sentence is a thing of beauty!

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    Zander,

    it was always about revenge.

    revenge for women getting independence.

    revenge for Blacks for forgetting ‘ their place’.

    dude, it was always REVENGE.

  18. 18
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @PeakVT: Exactly. Hoping the rapture comes tomorrow absolves them of any need to take care of the world. Like how waiting for your rich parent to die absolves you of paying rent.

  19. 19
    AA+ Bonds says:

    It would certainly be to the benefit of the world at large if America were utterly annihilated tomorrow.

  20. 20
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Betty Cracker: Wright had a legitimate grievance.

  21. 21
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, so let’s hope he scours this entire death machine of a country from sea to shining sea.

  22. 22
    danimal says:

    I can’t help but believe that F. Graham is upset about something unrelated to the actual topics of discussion. His charity may have had problems in East Griftostan or something like that and he’s playing the anti-Obama card for the rubes as a form of revenge. I’ll bet something comes out that makes his actions crystal clear. Grifters gotta grift.

  23. 23
    aimai says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Beat me to it. “God damn…the other part of America.” Has a nice, traditionalist, ring to it. IF only the media would go 24/7 about how evil that is of FG. But it won’t.

    aimai

  24. 24
    dan says:

    Hey, it’s Franklin!

  25. 25
    McJulie says:

    Oh, and “maybe people will again begin to call upon the name of almighty God” — again? That assumes they ever did. When, exactly, were these halcyon days of universal piety? Fifty years ago? A hundred? Two hundred? A thousand?

    I mean, if he wants us to collapse like Rome and then have a Middle Ages, I imagine he’ll be shocked by the filth and the short life spans. But I imagine he’ll also be shocked by the way people in the Middle Ages still think he’s an asshole.

  26. 26
    Ben Cisco says:

    @dan: What you have achieved has been observed.

  27. 27
    RSA says:

    Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees—to where you just have a complete economic collapse.

    God’s been working this angle for millennia: Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?… And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

    Blessed are the moochers, I guess, for theirs is the economic collapse.

  28. 28
    aimai says:

    The other thing I want to say is that the whole “G-d needs to get his fucking act together and smite my enemies” thing is also as much as to say “G-d needs to do more so I can do less.” Franklin’s whole shtick is to imagine that what g-d wants is for people to turn to him in their misery. But Jesus, at least, did not advocate emmiserating or insulting people in order to turn their minds to the eternal–he advocated doing for others as a way to bring the individual closer to the kingdom of g-d within themselves. That’s incredibly obvious if you read the Gospel. Pretty much all of Jesus’s time was spent admonishing the individual to do more for the community, not advocating that the community suffer more to prove their sincerity or their worth.

    Also, a not unimportant fact is that Jeremiah Wright was, in fact, named for the biblical personage–kickin’ it old testament style–that he ended up most resembling, the eponymous author of the Jeremiad.

  29. 29
    Jay C says:

    This sort of God-will-smite-us stuff has been a staple of religious crankery for a long time: only now, instead of being the province of long-bearded nuts in robes carrying hand-lettered signs on street corners, today we get the message on TV and the Internet from articulate preachers in expensive suits.

    Same-old, same-old, though: we’re still here, and God is still as indifferent as ever….

  30. 30
    Felinious Wench says:

    It’s interesting to me how much misery in the world tracks back to belief in who should be punished and who should be rewarded. Capital punishment is the ultimate expression of that belief.

    My particular belief system is the opposite…it flips that philosophy on its head. Care for the “undeserving” and make people who think they’re the “deserving” damned uncomfortable. Puts me at odds with evangelicals, followers of the prosperity gospel, and the Catholic hierarchy.

    But, I suspect there are many more people like me, religion or none, than like them.

  31. 31
    Sly says:

    Of course God’s fiery wrath will reign down on everyone but the evangelicals. That’s how these things work; whenever a person argues that a situation has to get worse before it gets better, you always know that their own comfortable little perch will remain untouched by the storm while someone else gets to be the martyr. Besides, if God destroyed Franklin Graham along with everyone else, who would be left to collect the offering?

    Did you ever hear a gay person, ten years ago, that we needed more young gay people tied to fence posts and pistol-whipped into an intracerebral hemorrhage in order to better advance the cause of gay rights? Did you ever hear black civil rights advocates in the 1960s say that more children being obliterated in church bombings would hasten the passage of the Civil Rights Act?

    No. And they never said it because it was their own skin on the line.

    Incidentally, this is why you only heard of the necessity of a Romney Administration as a means to generate more political opposition to DRONEZ from well-fed white progressives and first world libertarians.

  32. 32
    plosin says:

    Graham is just revealing what seems to motivates many evangelicals. Look at Pat Robertson’s rhetoric, or Falwell’s. You think they’re motivated by charity? Nope — it’s a revenge fantasy. Unbelievers will be — better be — punished. Nietzsche was right: it’s ressentiment.

  33. 33
    Paul says:

    I used to respect his father. I wonder if Franklin Graham realizes how much damage he is doing to his own father’s reputation by his behavior.

    I am a Christian in spite of hateful people like Franklin Graham.

  34. 34
    Linda Featheringill says:

    In defense of Christianity:

    I’ve always thought that Franklin was a fake. He uses the church as a prop for his act. All the world’s a stage and all that. I think that Billy actually believed what he preached.

    If there really is a Judgment Day, Ol’ Frankie is going to come up saying “I did this and I did that and I’m just pretty darn wonderful.” And the Judge will say “Who the hell are you? I don’t know you. Get outta here.”

    [Yes, I have read the Bible.]

  35. 35
    Cassidy says:

    But I imagine he’ll also be shocked by the way people in the Middle Ages still think he’s an asshole put his head up on a pike.

    This seems more likely.

  36. 36
    Feudalism Now! says:

    It was always revenge. Revenge for losing their war of secession. Revenge for losing the battle to keep the vote in limited hands. Revenge for civil rights. Revenge for winning the cold war. Revenge for the rise of the middle class. Revenge against unions. Revenge for being born in the twilight of white male privilege. There is no other motivation other than revenge against the dying of the white.

  37. 37
    debbie says:

    Ha! I got this guy and his message on a robo-call during the campaign. Pretty entertaining, but I couldn’t figure out why until I read about ORCA. Genius!

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @AA+ Bonds: So your theory is that world wide economic collapse is a good thing?

  39. 39
    Cassidy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: This is the part where everyones imagines themselves a warlord or gruff survivor fueled by way too many episodes of The Walking Dead.

  40. 40
    RP says:

    Anyone watch “Jericho”? Hopefully these people don’t see it as a how-to guide.

  41. 41
    RP says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Are you the biggest idiot ever?

  42. 42
    jibeaux says:

    It’s basically the other side of the coin from the firebaggers….

  43. 43

    These people would rather be right than be happy. They’d rather be right than that their own children be happy. Think about that. They’d happily see their children living in some kind of dystopian hellscape, as long as they could point to it all and say, “See? See? I told you people what would happen, but did you listen to me? Noooooo! You had to go and usher in the apocalypse anyway. Well, now you’re in for it. Now you’re going to get it. I only hope you understand the mistake you’ve made. This is all your fault, so I hope you’ve learned something!”

    And, even worse, they want to be right so badly that they’re willing to fuck everybody over themselves to show us that they should have listened to us. They are willing to do the work themselves to bring about the downfall that they warn us about. They don’t get it that if the doom they endlessly prophesy is one that they themselves bring about to teach us how wrong we were, then maybe we weren’t so wrong to begin with. They’ll never see it, though. They’re like some asshole who beats his wife: “I told you not to do a, b, c, but you did it anyway. Now I have to punish you. This is all your fault. I’m not responsible for beating you up, you are. Maybe next time you’ll learn.”

  44. 44
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @The Red Pen: Abraham Lincoln speculated that the Civil War might actually have been divine retribution against the US for slavery. He wasn’t the only one.

    But he wasn’t hoping for everything to be destroyed; he was doing his best to hold the country together.

  45. 45
    dan says:

    @Ben Cisco: Does that mean, I see what you did there?

    Franklin theme song. Lovely song by a talented Canadian who also wrote If I Had a Rocket Launcher.

  46. 46
    Mandalay says:

    The whole premise of your post is total bullshit.

    Sure Graham’s comments were absurd, but to make the leap that he speaks as the voice of the GOP is false. In fact one of the things his said in his rant was “I don’t have confidence in the Republican Party right now“.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfro.....de=10C0E-1

    So how can you argue that his comment is anything at all to do with the GOP? Can you find anyone in the GOP who had endorsed his comments?

    And to use Mitt Romney’s “gifts” comments as an example of how the GOP is now “looking to knock the blocks out from under the Democratic Big Tent platform” is nonsense. All Republicans have run away from those comments and many prominent GOPers have attacked Romney over the weekend for his words. You won’t find a single one who supported what he said.

    Similarly, you are hard pressed to find any Republican except Graham supporting McCain’s current meltdown, and Politico has an article on how “GOP plots to prevent more Todd Akins” (i.e. to prevent extremists like evangelical Akin getting nominated).

    All the evidence I see since the election is that the GOP establishment is hellbent on distancing itself from their party’s extremists.

    Before it was about sabotaging the country to win. Now it’s about sabotaging the country for revenge.

    Really? Since the election all you see is the GOP “sabotaging the country for revenge”? Get a grip. Your rant is up there with the worst of the wingnut drivel. Being partisan is fine, but your post is not based in reality.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Or maybe His church should focus on loving our neighbors and meeting the needs of human beings like Christ did instead of acting as a branch of the Republican party.

    That will never happen. Graham, like the rest of them, worships Mammon. Which is why they act like a branch of the GOP.

  48. 48

    @Felinious Wench: @Linda Featheringill:

    Yeah, it always amazes me how un-Christian these “Christians” are. It’s like they want to put together their own Jefferson Bibles, only in their Bibles, Jesus never opens his mouth. I don’t understand how these clowns can call themselves Christians. It’s like they never read anything Jesus ever said. What did he say? He said, “If some guy comes along and is freezing, and he needs your cloak, give it to him, and your shirt, too.” “If you help some filthy beggar who has nothing to eat, you’ve fed me. If you while away a little time with some poor soul rotting away in jail, you’ve spent that time helping me.” “If some asshole hits you in the mouth, don’t hit back. Stand up and show him you aren’t scared of him, but that neither will you sink to his level.”

    These fundamentalists don’t understand any of that. It’s like they’ve never heard of Jesus as anything but a name, a totem, a shibboleth, a get-out-of-jail-free card. To them, Jesus is just a means to getting free stuff. I’ve said it before, if Jesus showed up again tomorrow, Graham, Robertson and all these other assholes would be the ones screaming the loudest to string him up.

  49. 49
    graves007 says:

    How is it possible that this person can say stupid-ass shit like this and his organization remains exempt from paying taxes?

  50. 50
    NotMax says:

    Idly wondering if Graham has ever seen Marjoe.

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay:

    Shorter Mandalay: I hates me some Zandar, no matter what my nym.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S.:

    if Jesus showed up again tomorrow, Graham, Robertson and all these other assholes would be the ones screaming the loudest to string him up.

    String up? Hell no. Crucify him!

  53. 53
    jrg says:

    @Mandalay: Bullshit. The GOP establishment needs the extremists, and they know it. They just need a degree of plausible deniability.

  54. 54
    maya says:

    God is angry because too many Americans wear white after Labor Day. And why would God give two shits about America anyway, Franklin? Esplain, pleaze.

  55. 55
    Schlemizel says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    even shorter
    “I need a man to lay”

  56. 56
    D. Mason says:

    When I read that, I too hear ” God bless America? No! God. Damn. America.” but will the right wing media hang this guy around the neck of every Republican? Of course not.

    Fourth estate of fifth column? You decide.

  57. 57
    Schlemizel says:

    @RP: @Omnes Omnibus:

    Guys, I think you need to adjust your sarcasm meters

    At least I hope thats the case.

  58. 58
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Shorter Mandalay: I hates me some Zandar

    Not at all. But Zandar’s rant had no basis in reality so I called bullshit.

    I notice you didn’t refute anything I stated, and went straight for the insult. Keep on being a sheep if that makes you happy.

  59. 59
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @r€nato:

    Given this kind’s prediliction for using natural disasters to interpret God’s will, I would say that Hurricane Sandy was God’s vote for Obama.

    So God has a liberal bias? Somebody better give them the news.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @maya: Why would God care? They presume He/She/It cares because a fundamental misinterpretation of John Winthrop’s Biblical reference to a “shining city on a hill.”

  61. 61

    Remember that coal baron from Murray Energy who forced his workers to stand behind Mitt Romney at a rally or else they’d lose their jobs? After losing the election he read this poignant (sarcasm alert!) prayer to his employees.

    It simply has to be read to be believed.

  62. 62
    Paul says:

    Sure Graham’s comments were absurd, but to make the leap that he speaks as the voice of the GOP is false. In fact one of the things his said in his rant was “I don’t have confidence in the Republican Party right now“. So how can you argue that his comment is anything at all to do with the GOP? Can you find anyone in the GOP who had endorsed his comments?

    Wow! Talk about a double standard.

    Remember when a left leaning person on CNN accused Ann Romney of not working since she was just a mother (or something like that)? And FoxNews (and people like you) just exploded calling this left leaning person a Democratic strategist, Obama surrogate etc etc. This eventhough she was neither.

    And now when the shoe is on the other foot people like you take a complete different stand. It is rather amusing to watch.

    Besides, Franklin criticizing the GOP? Where have you been the last 4 years? There is no organization that has criticized the GOP more than the Tea Party. It is like every right winger hates the GOP establishment. Thus, your statement that Franklin criticized the GOP is meaningless.

  63. 63
    300baud says:

    Personally, I think it’s not quite revenge.

    Their weird version of Jehovah is an abusive asshole. Calling down hurricanes for gayness. Sending earthquakes for atheism. Having rapists attack you just because he thinks you need a baby. Giving AIDS to millions because some people were fucking in unapproved ways.

    Like many victims of abuse, they’ve decided that this is how things should be. They don’t want things to get better. In practice, they’re opposed to things getting better. And if things aren’t going to get better for them, they certainly shouldn’t get better for you.

    Basically, their version of Christianity doesn’t make much sense if you’re well-adjusted, compassionate, and reasonably whole. All they want is for you to agree that they’re perfectly right, and all that takes is for you to be made as miserable as them. If there are no atheists in foxholes, then let’s have trench warfare for everybody.

    It’s sick, of course. One of the most hopeful things to come out of this election for me is other versions of Christianity starting to come forward. The long evangelical fever dream might actually be breaking.

  64. 64
    Schlemizel says:

    A note to those who say they respected Billy.

    CBS did a very nice hour long special on his ministry. The guy could not have been more cynical if he tried.

    You want a “Crusade” in your town? Bill’s people would estimate how much churches in town were pulling in every week and they used a simple formula week 1 after the visit collections would be up x% (I don’t remember the exact number but they had one. Week 2 collections would be down a tiny from 1 but y% more than usual. And so on until 10 weeks after his visit collections would be back to average.

    Those churches would give Billy a percentage of that increase plus first class accommodations and travel.

    When he asked people to come down front and be saved they were directed to salesmen in the back who would take your name, address and phone number along with preferred denomination and provide your contact info to the closest match from those that had paid for the ‘Crusade’.

    At a time when the minimum wage was $1.75/hour Bill was wearing $1000 custom made suits. When asked how he justified that he had a biblical quote all ready:
    “A workman is worthy of his hire”

    He apparently ignored “Pride goeth before a fall”

  65. 65
    J R in WV says:

    An Episcopal pal of mine wound up sitting next to a prosperity minister on a flight. After they discovered they were both ministers, they chatted shop talk.

    My pal was apalled when the prosperity preacher asked, “So, what’s your percentage take?” Evidently fundy ministers are paid some large percentage of the weekly contribution pot, while Episcopal ministers are on a salary from their diocese, like any professional.

    They also know Greek, Hebrew, etc, etc. While fundy ministers know how to make a crowd rowdy and ready to empty their pocketbook.

  66. 66
    Cassidy says:

    Keep on being a sheep …

    Oooooohhhhh. He brought out the sheep comment, because you know, reading something an dagreing with it and understanding the purpose and theme of what was written is just like being a sheep. And writing some contrarian bullshit that acts as if things only exists in a vacuum and cherry picks a line from the link while compeltely disregarding many years of other things being said is the essence of cool kid, political saavy. /facepalm

  67. 67
    Schlemizel says:

    @Mandalay:

    Just as soon as you make a charge worth of being reputed it might be worth trying. But if all you want to do is spread fertilizer perhaps you should wait for a gardening thread

  68. 68
    jheartney says:

    Graham also allows that “God is in control.” So why did his side lose the election?

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S.: Self-serving interpretation of ambiguous ancient texts is Trick #1 in the religious playbook. Trick #2 is writing your own “ancient” text (see Smith, Joseph).

  69. 69
    Schlemizel says:

    @J R in WV:

    This is not a new grift either – that story about Graham was from the 60’s and I doubt he invented it. Aimee Semple McPherson probably didn’t either but did use the new medium of radio to enlarge the flock to be sheared

  70. 70
    Mandalay says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Just as soon as you make a charge worth of being reputed it might be worth trying.

    [1] Zandar explicitly tied Graham’s comments to the GOP, but Graham explicitly criticized the Republicans in his comments. Zandar just saw chum in the water without bothering to read what Graham actually said.
    [2] Zandar tied Romney’s “gift” comments to the GOP, but the GOP establishment has been very vocal in repudiating his comments.

    So the premise of the post is bullshit. Bullshit is bullshit no matter where it is coming from.

    I realize tribal loyalty is a powerful thing, but you got anything except insults?

  71. 71
    feebog says:

    Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees—to where you just have a complete economic collapse.

    Pretty sure c+ Augustus took care of this part back in 2008.

  72. 72
    Mandalay says:

    @Cassidy:

    cherry picks a line from the link

    I was hardly cherry picking. I was showing that Zandar linking Graham to the GOP was bullshit, because Graham was explicitly distancing himself from the GOP.

    Zandar was full of shit. I understand that may offend you and some of your tribe, but life goes on.

  73. 73
    LD50 says:

    @Mandalay:

    Keep on being a sheep if that makes you happy.

    WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

  74. 74
    Paul in KY says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think Rev. Wright was ‘God Damning’ the past America (the one that existed X number of years ago).

    Little Franklin is hoping for future calamities.

  75. 75
    jheartney says:

    @Mandalay:
    [1] As others mentioned, plausible deniability. The GOP is happy to collect the votes and campaign volunteer hours from Graham’s flock. And there won’t be a word of reproach for his sick revenge fantasies.
    [2] They repudiated him after the election, I notice. Back during the earlier 47% dustup, it was all defense. Anyway, Mitt’s main sin (aside from losing) was revealing what they actually think rather than what they claim in public that they think.

  76. 76
    Mandalay says:

    @Cassidy:

    reading something an dagreing with it and understanding the purpose and theme of what was written is just like being a sheep

    You are absolutely correct. It is like being a sheep when you read something that is obviously false and agree with it anyway.

  77. 77
    nancydarling says:

    And Rubio is already doing the Fundie Fandango. After all, that worked so well for Willard, didn’t it?

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....is?ref=fpb

  78. 78
    Paul in KY says:

    @hueyplong: He does have a twisted sense of humour.

  79. 79
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Schlemizel:

    even shorter
    __
    “I need a man to lay”

    [Puts index finge on nose]

    Not It!!!

  80. 80
    scav says:

    wonder when man- delay is going to go full cudlip on us.

  81. 81
    Nickws says:

    @Mandalay:

    Similarly, you are hard pressed to find any Republican except Graham supporting McCain’s current meltdown

    lol Rush Limbaugh and FoxNews aren’t Republicans now.

  82. 82
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    @The Red Pen: Abraham Lincoln speculated that the Civil War might actually have been divine retribution against the US for slavery. He wasn’t the only one.

    But he wasn’t hoping for everything to be destroyed; he was doing his best to hold the country together.

    ‘Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” ‘

    …Abraham Lincoln’s second Inaugural address

  83. 83
    Schlemizel says:

    @Mandalay:

    And Frankie has been a dear dear friend of the goopers throughout this cycle if not before. TO pretend he is not expressing gooper beliefs is to say nobody speaks for them

    That ‘distance’ is simply self-preservation. Just like the rape-friendly comments were not one-offs but just public admissions of deeply held gooper beliefs one cannot distance the party from its core.

    So, yeah, save the BS for a gardening thread

  84. 84
    Paul in KY says:

    @aimai: The Lord helps those who help themselves. Franklin needs to start smiting & stop trying to put that stuff on God.

    If you talk the Talk, walk the Walk.

  85. 85
    Schlemizel says:

    @Tonybrown74:

    Well, to be fair, (why I would want to be fair when Mandaly can’t even attempt such a feat is beside the point) It might not be a MAN, it might be a chicken but I didn’t want to upset Betty and her flock

  86. 86
    El Cid says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    How is what Graham said any different from Reverend Wright’s “Goddamn America” and “chickens coming home to roost”? Oh right, Graham is WHITE.

    Also, Rev. Wright was accused of having said such once, whereas right wing white Talibangelicals have said these things over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, and no one cares, and there was no 24 hour news coverage for however many weeks or months (which later completely vanishes down the memory hole as never having been covered by the lamestream media).

  87. 87
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mandalay: Cause we all know if there’s one party that Franklin Graham historically has NOTHING to do with, it’s the Republican Party.

    Glad you cleared that up for us.

  88. 88
    Ken says:

    After Romney was nominated, there was a wonderful ecumenical spirit in the evangelical and conservative churches. Many leaders, Franklin Graham among them, who had for decades called the LDS a dangerous cult suddenly realized that the Mormons were fellow Christians, and that’s why God chose Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee.

    So part of this might be a quick re-establishment of Franklin’s bona fides (in the literal sense) – though as I said, few of his fellow evangelical leaders are in a good position to call him out on that.

  89. 89
    Schlemizel says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    Also some context – when asked if God was on our side President Lincoln replied: “Rather let us pray that WE are on His side”

    That sort of humility would never be considered or tolerated by people like Frankie Goes To South Carolina

  90. 90
    Mandalay says:

    @jheartney:

    They repudiated him after the election, I notice. Back during the earlier 47% dustup, it was all defense.

    Right, but Zandar’s post was explicitly about the post-election conduct of the GOP, and the fact that prominent Republicans are climbing over each other to repudiate Romney’s gift comments disproves Zandar’s argument that the “GOP is now looking to knock the blocks out from under the Democratic Big Tent platform”.

    On the contrary, if adopting policies of the Democrats will help give the GOP power they will do it in a heartbeat. Policies, principles and beliefs are completely secondary to power for most political parties the world over.

  91. 91
    Paul in KY says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S.: Modern Protestentism worships Paul & the evangelical whackos love the Old Testament so much more than the New (more smiting, dontchaknow).

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Rev. Wright was actually talking about blowback. That the actions of the United States in the past put in motion the events that followed, pretty much classic unintended consequences.

  93. 93
    Paul in KY says:

    @300baud: It is not Christianity. It is some kind of mutant mishmash of psuedo-tribal Judiasm from 3000 years ago (IMO).

  94. 94
    Mandalay says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Cognitive dissonance is an amazing thing. If facts contradict an argument, just ignore them!

  95. 95
    Bulworth says:

    Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees—to where you just have a complete economic collapse. And maybe at that point, maybe people will again begin to call upon the name of almighty God, if you people won’t vote for my preferred candidate.

    Fxd

  96. 96
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Good point. Forgot that part. The stuff (blowback, etc.) he referenced had still occurred pretty much in the past when he gave his speech.

  97. 97
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mandalay: So that’s how you are able to operate.

    Explains alot.

  98. 98
    Mandalay says:

    @Schlemizel:

    That ‘distance’ is simply self-preservation. Just like the rape-friendly comments were not one-offs but just public admissions of deeply held gooper beliefs one cannot distance the party from its core.

    On the contrary, all the evidence since the election is that the GOP is distancing itself from its core, and going for the center, just as Clinton did.

    I think that the GOP has finally worked out that it loses more than it gains by putting up with its wingnuts. It will ditch them in a heartbeat if they can find an alternative path to power, and going hard for the center might be a viable approach.

    While many in the GOP base might have core beliefs (pro-God, anti-abortion, pro-military, anti-union, anti-immigration, anti-gay etc.) the GOP itself has no beliefs at all. It picks what to believe at the appropriate time so that it can have power.

  99. 99
    LanceThruster says:

    When the South lost the Civil War, they were still able to drag their feet on integrating society for around one hundred years (with pockets persisting to this day). I don’t feel the new breed of white xian privilege supremacists will eveolve any faster. The generational dynamic has to die off. I wish those pushing for a more egalitarian society would metaphorically consider the tactics of William Tecumseh Sherman, because otherwise we’ll hear of the defeated but unbowed right continuing to claim, “It’s just a flesh wound.” They have no sense of shame or self-awareness and need to be subjected to (again metaphorically) a scorched earth, salt the fields type approach.

  100. 100
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Right wing “Christians” are desperately trying to squeeze in whatever parts of their dying agenda they can before the end of their era of influence. They are on their way out: they’re the spokesmen for a quickly disappearing age group of voters. It’s scaring the hell out of them that not only are they looking at their own demise, no one will be there to pick up the reigns to carry on their tradition of hate.

    This chart says it all: the people who voted for Obama are the future of Christianity, and they want nothing to do with the Franklin Graham’s of the world:

    http://publicreligion.org/site.....-Final.png

    It’s called death throes, folks–it’s gonna get uglier before it’s finally over.

  101. 101
    LanceThruster says:

    Oh, and Franklin, you POS, your God’s arms are too short to box with me. Nice sell-out by you and your doddering pa to remove all your LDS hate from your website so you could try to ride their coattails back to power. It’s a shame that your hell does not exist because you’ve certainly earned yourself a spot there.

  102. 102
    karen marie says:

    @Mandalay: Saying you don’t trust the GOP means you aren’t speaking for GOP members, despite unyielding and sole support of GOP candidates?

    Interesting.

  103. 103
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Modern Protestentism worships Paul & the evangelical whackos love the Old Testament so much more than the New (more smiting, dontchaknow).

    Modern Fundamentalism. Different than the Mainlines.

    If I ever get bitten by a mutant spider or some other path to be a super hero, I’m going to be Smite Woman.

  104. 104
    Felonius Monk says:

    @danimal:

    I can’t help but believe that F. Graham is upset about something unrelated

    I thought I read something a few days ago about the IRS reviewing his tax exempt status because of his political involvement — or is this just wishful thinking.

  105. 105
    catclub says:

    @Felonius Monk: That is one key part of the Newsmax interview that Mandalay links.

  106. 106
    Mandalay says:

    @Nickws:

    lol Rush Limbaugh and FoxNews aren’t Republicans now.

    A fair point, but while the right wing media are certainly behind McCain (simply because he is attacking the Obama Administration) there is no support for McCain in the GOP establishment. Lindsay Graham is the only Republican politician supporting McCain.

    Despite what Zandar says, post-election we are seeing the start of “kinder, gentler” Republicans.

  107. 107
    scav says:

    basically, they’re well suited to one another. The GOP is fundamentalist explicit when convenient and tacit when they had to go temporarily Mormon. Brand Gooper’s so toxic currently that Evangels are denying that attraction now while cocks are crowing repeatedly. Rather amusing watching them insist to everyone in the gym that in no way did they arrive in a single car and that corsage matching the cumberbund is entirely a coincidence.

  108. 108
    LanceThruster says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    I thought I read something a few days ago about the IRS reviewing his tax exempt status because of his political involvement—- or is this just wishful thinking.

    APPRAISE THE LORD! TAX the churches!

  109. 109
    Paul in KY says:

    @Felinious Wench: It is also that bleeding heart sissy ‘Jesus’ they can’t stand. Following his tenets turns you gay (think it’s in the Old Testament somewhere).

  110. 110
    aimai says:

    @Mandalay:

    No it hasn’t.

    aimai

  111. 111
    LanceThruster says:

    Republican Jeebus cannot fail, He can only be failed.

    Oh America, why hath thou forsaken me?

  112. 112
    coin operated says:

    @LanceThruster: This!!!!

  113. 113
    Felonius Monk says:

    @plosin:

    Graham is just revealing what seems to motivates many evangelicals. Look at Pat Robertson’s rhetoric, or Falwell’s. You think they’re motivated by charity?

    No, I don’t. They are motivated by the two most basic tenets of modern evangelical Christianity — avarice and greed. These guys aren’t in for the God — they’re in it for the $$$. Every one of them is quite wealthy and they want to protect that wealth — that is their sole reason for being politically active. To wield political power, they need the support of the low information believers so they spout all this evangelical bullshit to get the sheep heading in the “right” direction. These are cynical, evil people and since most of them are racists (maybe not all as vocal as Fuckem’ Graham) Bronco is a very convenient target because they too are relying on the perceived racism of their followers.

  114. 114
    blingee says:

    They are just afraid we will have someone to worship like they do Reagan. Of course we don’t really do the whole worship thing. At least not the way they do.

    Unfortunately, no way Republicans are gonna allow any big wins in his last term. No way. So I will be stuck with 4 years of listening to assholes like Bill Maher and Mike Moore whining that he is not progressive enough…when in fact it will be Congress that is not progressive enough.

  115. 115
    ripstop says:

    Nihilism in this life requires a guarantee of redemption in the next

  116. 116
    karen marie says:

    @Felonius Monk: Wishful thinking. I recently read that the IRS has done very little or no review of tax exempt status of religious organizations during the first Obama administration out of fear the “victims” would scream murder, but I can’t find a link.

  117. 117
    Kent says:

    Back in 2000 I remember a bunch of Green/Naderites basically mouthing the same exact sentiment from the far left. Bush and Gore were basically two peas in a pod so better to have Bush completely bring the country down so that a true progressive and green government could arise from the ashes and take its place.

    After two wars and trillions of dollars wasted how did that work out?

  118. 118
    Ruckus says:

    @McJulie:
    He’s past the point of no return in assholeishness.
    If he was to spontaneously burst into flames and melt into a little pile, a marker would still have to read, Here Lies One Big Asshole.

  119. 119
    Kip the Wonder Rat says:

    These grifters are not stupid. They know their history, the history of the melding of the fire and brimstone evangelicals with right wing politics. They know that it all sprang from Oklahoma, where arguably the effects of the dustbowl debacle and the Great Depression had deepest and longest lasting effects. It’s only in that utter destitution that normal people start believing The Crazy. It’s only in that utter destitution that the likes of Graham, Oral Roberts, TL Osborne, Billy James Hargis, and Ted Walker could rise to have followings and even to be taken seriously by non-believers.

    The current grifters know that the worse off people are, the more they will listen to The Crazy.

  120. 120
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    Doubling down on cuts to Social Security and Medicare is the start of the “kinder, gentler” Republicans?

    Seriously, how dumb are you to look at the actual statements of Republican leaders in Congress and say, “Well, sure, they’ve spent the past 30 years trying to kill Social Security and Medicare, but they don’t really mean it this time.”

  121. 121
    Kip the Wonder Rat says:

    BTW, a great piece on the joining of the politicizing of the evangelicals is:

    http://thislandpress.com/11/02.....es-hargis/

    Hargis was the bible-thumper that linked the conservative Christian movement with right wing politics. His partner in crime, General Ted Walker, was even the model for General Jack Ripper of “Dr. Strangelove” (along with Curtis LeMay), was finally drummed out of the Army for sedition, only to have Ronald Reagan reinstate him so that he could get full gov’t bennies.

    Anyhoo, the story is This Land is well-written and informative.

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    Can I please be released from moderation? KTHXBAI.

  123. 123
    Chris says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    How is what Graham said any different from Reverend Wright’s “Goddamn America” and “chickens coming home to roost”? Oh right, Graham is WHITE. Silly of me…

    Wright’s full quote was “God damn America as long as it tries to act like God,” which is actually perfectly sound theology.

  124. 124
    Chris says:

    @plosin:

    Look at Pat Robertson’s rhetoric, or Falwell’s.

    Spending the actual day of 9/11 yucking it up on national television talking about how God had punished the East Coast for having too many faggots and feminists.

    Strange how that didn’t provoke any cries that they were unpatriotic, or any of the “think of the 9/11 victims’ families’ feelings!” concern-trolling you saw during the Park51 “controversy.”

  125. 125

    @Mandalay:

    So who said anything about McCain? Or did I miss that?

    Look, the Republican Party is twined so tightly with the fundamentalists–of all kinds; Grover Norquist is no more than another kind of fundamentalist–that I don’t know whether there’s any way for them to untangle themselves, unless they’re willing to let the party fall to bits.

    We aren’t going to see “kinder, gentler” Republicans. They can’t pull that off, and I think they know that. Even if they did how many people would believe them? The only way these guys are going to have any kind of shot at getting control or keeping it nationally is to let as few people vote as they can get away with. That’s why we’ve seen this desperate work the last few years to knock people off the rolls, cut back on the days and hours polls are open, throw up all these i.d. roadblocks, and then, if they lose, do everything they can to undermine America’s faith in its own institutions by screaming “Voter fraud! ACORN! New Black Panther Party!”

    The leaders of your Republican Party made this abomination, and now they, and you, are stuck with it. Good for you. Good work. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch.

  126. 126
    Chris says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    If there really is a Judgment Day, Ol’ Frankie is going to come up saying “I did this and I did that and I’m just pretty darn wonderful.” And the Judge will say “Who the hell are you? I don’t know you. Get outta here.”

    The whole “that which you do for the least of me” part of the Bible, among other things, should really put to rest the entire theology of “faith not acts,” that your salvation is predicated only on whether you believe in Jesus and not on your actions. I mean, it contradicts the plain text of the Bible just as much as gay marriage and far more than abortion. I suppose you can come up with some sort of allegorical “this is what he REALLY meant to say” rationalization for why it doesn’t really mean what it says, but you sure as hell can’t do that and call yourself a Biblical literalist.

  127. 127
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    “Mandalay’s” touching faith that the GOP hierarchy has any control over their wingnuts would be charming if it weren’t so obviously ingenuously used for trolling.

    As long as they have to have elections, they’re caught by the short hairs.

  128. 128
    Chris says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Yeah, Billy Graham’s not exactly the Reagan coalition’s religious right, but he was still an asshole no matter what his public persona. That part of the Nixon tapes when he and Nixon are agreeing that “the Jews” have a stranglehold on the media and hopefully they can do something about it in his second term should really tell you all you need to know about him.

  129. 129

    @Chris:

    Yes. As a Christian, I never understood how people can say that all you have to do is “believe” in Jesus, and you’re off the hook. Seems to me, if you truly “believe in Jesus”, you might feel some need to help those who are worse off than you are. What good does it do to “believe” in Jesus, if all you use that belief for is to weasel out of feeling any responsibility for others? It’s empty, nothing but words. And I think Jesus had a few pointed things to say about people like that. These are poeple who know all the right words to say, but don’t live the life that a real understanding of or belief in the words compel them to live.

  130. 130
    Chris says:

    @Mandalay:

    While many in the GOP base might have core beliefs (pro-God, anti-abortion, pro-military, anti-union, anti-immigration, anti-gay etc.) the GOP itself has no beliefs at all. It picks what to believe at the appropriate time so that it can have power.

    Insofar as “the GOP” = “Wall Street” (Wall Street’s certainly the majority shareholder), I totally believe that, actually. The moderate phase of the GOP in the fifties and sixties wasn’t a rejection of the capitalist establishment (not with a Rockefeller leading the moderate wing of the party), it was just the establishment deciding, after twenty years of losing to Democrats, that the New Deal state was here to stay and if they couldn’t beat it they should join it.

  131. 131
    Chris says:

    @LanceThruster:

    When the South lost the Civil War, they were still able to drag their feet on integrating society for around one hundred years (with pockets persisting to this day).

    To be fair, they had lots of help from the rest of the country in that respect.

  132. 132
    Chris says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    This chart says it all: the people who voted for Obama are the future of Christianity, and they want nothing to do with the Franklin Graham’s of the world:

    I hope this’ll stick. I’ll be keeping an eye out for it in the (long term) future. I was raised Christian, but I’m on a hiatus from organized religion at the moment and I really can’t say I miss it – too many fucking charlatans, too many power-hungry bigots and psychos, too many whiny little shits complaining that they feel so oppressed because Obama’s not hugging them enough (or allowing them to determine other people’s health care or lives).

    Maybe there’s a God and maybe there isn’t, but I’m completely burned out on all of his fan clubs.

  133. 133
    Chris says:

    @ripstop:

    Nihilism in this life requires a guarantee of redemption in the next

    And say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude…

  134. 134
    karen marie says:

    @Mandalay: In how they describe what they want, not in their goals.

  135. 135
    Cassidy says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S.: You mean you have to act like him too? Fuck this. I’m going with Thor.

  136. 136
    Chris says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S.:

    From what I understand, the logic is that having “found” Jesus will naturally lead you to do these good things for the poor and others, and that of course, you should do these things – and there are fundiegelicals who do take that seriously and act accordingly. But it’s not a vital part of the salvation process, just something you should do. (At least that’s how it was explained to me).

    According to the Bible, though, it seems like it really is a vital part of the salvation process, at least as much as the “I accept Jeebus as my personal Lord and Savior” part.

  137. 137
    LanceThruster says:

    @Chris:

    True, though Jim Crow sought to codify it. Sure, there’s intolerant attitudes anywhere you go, but for example, Loving v. Virginia was meant to reflect what the prevailing mindset deemed right and proper.

    I recently learned how African-Americans were the ones ensuring the Union dead had respectful treatment, burial, and cataloging of the remains at ishubstantial resentment and risk of reprisals in the South.

    It worthwhile to point out that those who had established their bona fides for full membership in society continued to be blocked no matter who created the impetus for such.

  138. 138
    LanceThruster says:

    @Chris:

    Maybe there’s a God and maybe there isn’t, but I’m completely burned out on all of his fan clubs.

    The Atheist’s Prayer – Jesus, protect me from your followers.

  139. 139
    NR says:

    Sounds like it’s time for some more compromise and bipartisanship! I’m sure Obama’s already on the case.

  140. 140
    ruemara says:

    @Mandalay: Ok, I can give the benefit of the doubt, but this exceeds credibility. The GOP is not moving to the center at all. They make noises that sound centrist and in the end, go hard right.

  141. 141
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris:

    IIRC, “faith not works” statements in the Bible were originally part of trying to differentiate Christianity from Judaism, because (again IIRC) in Judaism you don’t actually have to profess your belief in anything as long as you follow all of the rules you’re supposed to follow (keep kosher, etc.) Christianity’s only “rule” is supposed to be “love one another as I have loved you,” and your actions are supposed to flow from that.

    Of course, it also became a way for Protestants to differentiate themselves from Roman Catholics during the Reformation — the whole payment of indulgences to the RCC for forgiveness of sins was rejected in favor of “faith not works,” but of course, human nature being what it is, some a-holes decided to expand that out into belief being the only important thing and that they could ignore the whole “works” part that Jesus spends a lot of time talking about. It’s always fun to hit “faith not works” fundamentalists with James 2:14-17 (aka “faith without works is dead”):

    What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

  142. 142
    Chris says:

    @LanceThruster:

    I was talking less about intolerant attitudes in the rest of the country (though they existed for sure) and more about the fact that after Reconstruction, the Republican/robber-baron establishment in the rest of the country happily allowed the ex-Confederate establishment to come back to power and rule unopposed for the next hundred years or so.

    @LanceThruster:

    LOL, I always heard it as the Jew’s prayer – had a friend who actually had it as a magnet on her fridge. (I’d say it applies even for Christians, though).

  143. 143
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I did know the Protestant vs Catholic history, but not the Christian vs Jewish one.

  144. 144
    Greyjoy says:

    It’s only been a couple weeks since the election. Mitt Romney was the face of the new GOP: a rich white guy who will literally lie repeatedly and openly to your face until he notices that he’s said something you want to hear. The GOP has been more and more open about this tactic for the last 4-5 elections. Next time, they’ll just pick somebody who’ll steal the election. It’s not like democracy is at all in their interest or they wouldn’t work so hard to subvert it.

  145. 145
    Schlemizel says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think you see that great schism again after the reformation. The RCC maintained a complicated system by which people who might appear undeserving could ‘buy’ their way into heaven. Marty objected to that & that lead to Protestantism. Later Johnny Westley felt you needed a ‘method’, really just good works and there came Methodism.

    No idea how what Baptists think is important enough to name themselves for ;)

  146. 146
    Wally Ballou says:

    This is nothing new. I grew up attending an evangelical church and school (Missouri Synod Lutheran), and often remember our pastor expressing the fond hope for some major national calamity to frighten America to faith. He even used the same “to our knees” motif, IIRC.

    And, as others have pointed out, this kind of gleeful apocalypticism is not exclusively a fundagelical or right-wing phenomenon. Go to a lot of climate change or peak oil forums, and I guarantee you’ll find many individuals with a similarly keen desire to see suburban consumer America get punished for any number of ecological, political, economic, and/or aesthetic sins.

  147. 147
    LanceThruster says:

    @Chris:

    I like this one…

    Prayer – It’s the least you can do.

    Also related –

    Nothing fails like prayer.

    Finally, there is no “control group” for the efficacy of prayer. When I used to believe and pray, I felt the whole, “God bless mommy and daddy” litany of names to be recited was too time consuming and wasteful so I amended my prayer request to, “Bless everyone in need of grace, everywhere, in all times past, present, and future.”

    I felt that the supposed grace of God was, if anything, infinite, and that rather than risk leaving someone out by my thoughtless omission, I’d rather petition the creator of the universe to “do the right” thing and spread it generously in the hope that the ‘bad’ might become ‘good’ and the good might become better. That’s why I’ve always hated the concept of “God bless America” as if grace was a finite resource to be hoarded, and that it is blind to the notion that grace and blessings bestowed widely is in our own interest (supposedly) as a more just world benefits us indirectly if not directly as well.

    Heard a radio sermon this weekend (I get very few stations in my area) and was somewhat offended at the prosperity gospel pitch that God will deliver, but you have to ask. The pastor only mentioned goodies for yourself and I thought about all the times I prayed for those whose plight I was not even aware of the get some help since Mr. Peeping Jehovah would know better than me who needed to be cut a break.

    I remember a comic saying, “Sure I believe in God, it’s just that my God is a capricious prick.”

    Now that has a logical consistency that appeals to my godless mindset.

  148. 148
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chris:

    Bart Ehrman is probably the foremost American scholar of the Bible today and he’s got some really fascinating historical books about it. Misquoting Jesus is all about the things that got added and subtracted in the various books of the Bible in the course of making Christianity into a separate religion and not a sect of Judaism. It’s pretty fascinating stuff if you’re interested in history.

    (Most fascinating tidbit — the whole “let he who is without sin throw the first stone” was almost certainly not said by Jesus, but was made up by a European monk in the Middle Ages.)

  149. 149
    Chris says:

    @LanceThruster:

    As far as the “God bless America” stuff, I agree. I’ve always found their mix of God and country to be pretty much idolatrous. According to the Bible, there’s only one nation that’s ever had that special, “chosen” status; it wasn’t America, which wouldn’t even be born for another 2,000+ years. And a huge part of the point of Jesus coming down to Earth was to spread the message beyond that country. The Nazarene DFH delivered his message person to person without regards to things like nationality – and that message had nothing to do with who the state of the international order, either.

    Christianity, and God if he does exist, were around long before we were an ache in Britain’s crotch, and they’ll be around long after the country’s crumbled into dust. Empires rise and fall, and God’s never really seemed to give a shit. It’s the people in them that interest him.

  150. 150
    JoyfulA says:

    @El Cid: And hundreds of hours of Wright’s sermons were downloaded from his church’s website. From that, a few sound bites, taken out of context, were publicized on TV for months.

  151. 151
    JoyfulA says:

    @LanceThruster: I’ll nominate you for guest preacher if you live close enough. I liked that, IOW.

  152. 152
    LanceThruster says:

    @JoyfulA:

    Thank you for that. You are most kind.

    “We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.”
    ― Mark Vonnegut

  153. 153
    Starlit says:

    @Southern Beale: Reduced power consumption is supposed to be a good thing.

    Bigger picture for shorter coal: I strongly suspect God is not a non-voting member of the board of directors.

  154. 154
    Starlit says:

    @Chris: Amen, brother.

  155. 155
    RepubAnon says:

    Hey, when President Obama was re-elected, I fell to my knees and thanked God for his kindness and mercy… does that count?

  156. 156
    chuckieboy says:

    @NotMax: U will never see Marjoe on network TV. NEVER

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