Category Archives: God

Making Jesus Great Again

Now, that’s my kind of savior!

Since we elected Donald Trump to make America great again, I think we need to take some steps to make Christianity great, too. Now, most of you probably believe that Christianity is already great. I mean, God did answer the prayers of hundreds of thousands of Christians in giving the election to Donald Trump and all, but you have to admit, there are areas of Christianity that could use some work. Like all that non-violence talk and the stuff about money that libtards yammer on about. But, the starting point for all this has to be giving Jesus a makeover. And, boy, does he need it.

What, you don’t think we need a new Jesus? Boy, have you got your head in the sand. I mean seriously, turn the other cheek and love your neighbor? What a cuck. No, if we’re going to make this religion (and this country) great again, we need to follow a real manly man, a jacked Jesus, if you will. I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to follow some little pussy who won’t even fight back.

To accomplish this makeover, we’re going to have tip over a few sacred cows. Like, for instance, the Bible. That will probably be the biggest obstacle in branding our new and improved alt-savior. Yes, I know the Bible is the pure, unadulterated Word of God and every syllable is literally true and needs no interpretation. But, seriously, we’ve been furtively working the Good Book to our benefit for centuries, what with all the proof-texting and cherry picking. All I’m saying is we stop sneaking and come out in the open.

Our most common weapon should be to just ignore the verses we don’t like and focus hard on the ones we do. Like, we just omit all those inconvenient calls to non-violence that Jesus issued and concentrate on the one that goes, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Easy peasy, right? Like I said, we’ve been doing this shit for years. And, the ones we can’t ignore just need a little tweaking; you know, sort of like Andy Schlafly did with his Conservative Bible project.

Take that “turn the other cheek” bullshit. In Matthew 5:38-39, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” With just a little work, it becomes “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But, I tell you do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, pop that motherfucker in the face.” Now, that’s a guy I can respect!

I’m telling you, this won’t be that difficult. I mean, we already elected a thrice-divorced casino owner who has committed adultery on numerous occasions, made multiple semi-incestuous comments about his daughter and appeared on the cover of Playboy, and cited our faith for doing so. All this new movement will require is selling what’s left of our souls and giving up the few principles we have left. How hard can that be?

__________________________

Special thanks to Alaina Cobb for the inspiration and revised Bible verse. I couldn’t have done it without you, friend!

The Biblical And Moral Case For Trump?

This is the man that evangelical Christians are lining up behind. Take a minute to get your head around that thought.
Is there a moral or biblical imperative to vote for this man?

Like a lot of folks this election season, evangelicals are struggling with the “lesser of two evils” argument. Interestingly, many of them are reacting the same way as progressives: contemplating either a third-party vote or not voting at all. Today, I want to address a couple of  articles advising evangelical and fundamentalist Christians on how they should vote by laying out a biblical or moral case for Donald Trump.

The first is from Wayne Grudem, titled “Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice“. The second is “To The “Never Trumper”- A Biblical Case For Trump” (no author credited). Perhaps the most interesting thing about these two articles is that neither present anything particularly biblical or moral about Trump. I wondered why that might be and began comparing some of Trump’s actions and words with scripture and found that much of what The Donald has said, done or proposed flies in the face of almost everything Chirstians stand for. Here are a few examples:

  • “I love the old days, you know? You know what I hate? There’s a guy totally disruptive, throwing punches, we’re not allowed punch back anymore. … I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell ya.”_  “But I say to you that you must not oppose those who want to hurt you. If people slap you on your right cheek, you must turn the left cheek to them as well.” Matthew 5:39
  • “It’s a horrible thing. They’re using them as shields. But we’re fighting a very politically correct war. And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families.” _ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you, so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:44-45
  • “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,”_ “I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:36 (Not a direct quote, but a policy position)
  • “(Cruz’s) father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald being, you know, shot. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right, prior to his being shot? And nobody even brings it up…, What was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.” _ “The Lord detests false lips; he favors those who do what is true.” Proverbs 12:22 (So many Trump statements have been proven false, it is not feasible to list them all here. I chose this one as a representative sample because it’s one of the most outrageous.)
  • “I think apologizing’s a great thing, but you have to be wrong. I will absolutely apologize, sometime in the hopefully distant future, if I’m ever wrong.” _ “Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
  • “My entire life, I’ve watched politicians bragging about how poor they are, how they came from nothing, how poor their parents and grandparents were. And I said to myself, if they can stay so poor for so many generations, maybe this isn’t the kind of person we want to be electing to higher office. How smart can they be? They’re morons.” _ “But if a person has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need and that person doesn’t care—how can the love of God remain in him?” 1 John 3:17

These are just a few of the things that I found and I believe that they, along with the scripture references provided, conclusively debunk the idea that there is a biblical or moral context to vote for Donald Trump. You can vote for the man if you want, but you probably shouldn’t use the Bible to justify it. Because it just doesn’t hold up.

DNC 2016: Hey, At Least We Aren’t Insane

     Well, the Democratic National Convention wound up last night and I have to say, from a comedy standpoint, it was boring as fuck. To be fair, though, it did have a hard act to follow. But then, next to the shitstorm that blew through Cleveland last week, “Blazing Saddles” (widely acknowledged as one of the funniest movies of all time) would seem like a big yawn. Of course, comedy isn’t everything and from a “save the damn country” outlook,  DNC 2016 was awesome.
     That’s not to say, however, that the event was devoid of whimsy. From Corey Booker’s address being totally overshadowed by the First Lady, to Hillary’s thorough lambasting of The Donald last night, there were some decent moments. As I did with the Republican’s soirée earlier this week, I’d like to offer a few observations on Hillary’s coming out party.
     As I mentioned just a minute ago, Corey Booker gave the speech of his life Monday night. It should have been his moment in the sun, his “Obama in ’04” moment. Unfortunately, he was completely upstaged by Michelle Obama. To be fair, he wasn’t the only one; no one seems to remember what came before or after Michelle’s address. Diana pointed out the Republicans didn’t offer any young, up and coming voices a chance to shine on the national stage. I said that’s because Trump didn’t want share the spotlight with anyone. It may be a moot point, though. I mean, if Trump wins, there may be another election for any young, up and coming voices to take part in.
     A recurring theme throughout the convention was that Hillary is first female nominee for president. Yeah, about that.., Hillary is the first woman to nominated by a major party. You see, the actual “First Woman Presidential Nominee” was Victoria Woodhull who was nominated by the Equal Rights Party in 1872. I’m not trying to take away from Hillary’s accomplishment, but Woodhull was nominated for the highest office in the land 52 years before women were even granted the right to vote. You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty damn impressive.
     The DNC wasn’t without its drama, either. Monday night was punctuated by a goodly amount of booing. It seems that some Sanders supporters who were singularly unhappy with the outcome of the Democratic primaries. They were even more unhappy when Sarah Silverman told them they were being ridiculous.  Several Bernie or Bust folks took to Twitter, renaming her “Sarah Sellout”. Why, that’s not ridiculous at all!
     But, the drama didn’t end there. When Bernie took the stage in an attempt to heal the rift between the factions, his full-throated endorsement of Clinton reduced many of his supporters to tears. And then, on Tuesday, when Sanders himself moved to nominate Clinton by acclamation and turned all his delegates over to her, many of those delegates walked out. Well, that’s mature.
I’m thinking all of the upset over Clinton’s nomination is best summed up by Seth Meyers: “We don’t have time for this. Donald Trump is ahead in the polls. The house is on fire, stop crying because we’re not putting it out with your hose!”
     Just as Clinton was a frequent target of speakers at the RNC, Trump wasmentioned frequently this week in Philadelphia. And, Hillary in particular didn’t spare his feelings. She questioned his temperament, intelligence, ego and general ability to lead in her address. At one point, she shared this direct quote from the short-fingered vulgarian: I know more about ISIS than the generals do”, replying “No, Donald, you don’t.” The criticism he had already received during the convention had driven Trump to the brink of violence. I can’t wait to see how he reacts to this.
     Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of the convention is the reaction of some Republicans. Basically, Republicans are stunned and appalled that Democrats have seized the ground that their party abandoned this election cycle. Sorry folks, but that’s what happens when you nominate a narcissistic troll for President.
     Another unhappy Republican said that they heard “a lot more about God and faith at the DNC than the RNC”. Yeah, the RNC didn’t exactly set a high bar for “God and faith”. Other than an overtly partisan speech and prayer by a prosperity gospel preacher, I’m not sure God got mentioned there at all. At the DNC, however, the Almighty was mentioned numerous times.  Most notably by North Carolina’s own Rev. William Barber, called “one of the nation’s most powerful voices” by the Huffington Post. I could write pages on Rev. Barber, but it’d be better if you watched the speech.
     So, both parties have had their big “Look at us!” moments and the slate is set. This time around, we get to choose between a Terminator disguised as a grandmother and opening the seventh seal and ushering the apocalypse. All I can say is “Go Cyberdyne Systems”.

Christians For Trump Pt…, Oh, Who Cares

This is the man that evangelical Christians are lining up behind. Take a minute to get your head around that thought.
Evangelical Christians are enthusiastically supporting this man. Take a minute to get your head around that thought.

Since the beginning of the year, I have written several pieces about the tangerine-hued hairball the Republican Party has hacked up on our political rug, aka Donald Trump. Most of them have focused on my bewilderment at evangelical Christians support of Trump and the fact that, no matter what he says or does, the man’s popularity continues to grow.

According to a report from the Pew Research Center, Seventy-eight percent of evangelical Christians support a thrice-divorced casino owner who has committed adultery on numerous occasions, made multiple semi-incestuous comments about his daughter and appeared on the cover Playboy. Wait, what? Isn’t this stuff on their laundry list of mortal sins? I am so confused.

In part, this groundswell of support may be due to the fact that evangelical leaders absolutely love them some Trump. (Is it just me or that sound vaguely sexual?) From Jerry Falwell Jr. to Pat Robertson to James Dobson and more, the big names on the Religious Right are falling all over themselves to endorse this baby-handed fucktrumpet. You have no idea how much I wish I was making this up, but I…Am…Not.

First up there’s Liberty University president and first-born son of Jerry Falwell, religious right icon and founder of the Moral Majority. Falwell has endorsed Trump offered up his university as a forum for this unhinged Oompa Loompa. Trump may have appeared on a Playboy cover, but he was never in a gay cartoon. And, isn’t that what really matters?

Then there’s James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, who has personally vouched for Trump’s evangelical bona fides. Recently, at a meeting with Trump and evangelical leaders, Dobson said that Donald had “found” Jesus. (He was hiding behind the couch the whole time.) Obviously, Dobson and I have very different ideas about what it means to be a Christian.

Finally, there’s Pat Robertson, the televangelist’s televangelist. Pat is famous for his gaffes and crazy talk and his interview with The Donald was no exception. At one point, he tells Trump “You inspire us all”. Inspire us all? To do what? Shit on immigrants? Dump on veterans? Relentlessly attack anyone who is remotely critical of anything you say or do? If you’re a Christian and Donald Trump inspires you to do anything other than vomit, I’m pretty sure you’re doing Christianity wrong.

This love is filtering down to the masses, too. Check out this report from Full Frontal with Samantha Bee:

Did you get that? If not, starting at the 1:17 mark, an evangelical Trump supporter says, “I believe, truly, that Trump is appointed by God to lead this nation back in the direction it needs to go.” Another states that “Donald Trump is the answer to our prayers.” But, perhaps most chillingly, is this remark from a young (possibly pre-teen) man: “We know that he is a godly man.” Holy Shitballs, you guys!

Someone, somewhere, may read this and think, “Yeah, but what about Hillary? She’s no paragon of Christian virtue.” Yes, you are correct. Clinton’s embrace of Wall Street and support of the use of force overseas should cause any Christian worth their salt no small amount of distress. But, there are two “yooge” differences: 1) Clinton hasn’t attempted to make her faith part of her brand the way Trump has and 2) she isn’t receiving the same, hypocritical praise that is falling on the Donald.

In a recent Facebook discussion with some of my friends who support Trump, one said that “we do not have a true Christian option for president.” I responded that, given all the compromises one has to make to even run for President, I’m not sure a true Christian option is possible and he agreed. So, why don’t we drop all the bullshit about a candidate’s faith and judge this solely on the basis of who will do the best job? Yeah, don’t bother responding; I already know the answer.

In Praise of the Anti-hero

I think this the logo for a skateboard company. But it's so cool, I just have to use it.
I think this the logo for a skateboard company. But it’s so cool, I just have to use it.

Regular readers here at the Progressive Redneck are probably aware that I’m a bit of a nerd. Not necessarily a classical nerd; I was never a member of the Pocket Protector Alliance and the endless arguments over the best gaming system don’t interest me in the least. If I had to categorize myself, I’d have to say I’m a book nerd. I love the written word; every bit of it, from Shakespeare to the most ridiculous science fiction novel. And, that includes comic books

When I was a kid, after every doctor visit, my mom would stop at the drug store in Pleasant Garden, NC to fill whatever prescription the doctor had written. Every time we walked in the door, I would make a beeline for the comic books and spent the entire visit perusing the selection. This inspection was crucial because, as a reward for not being too much of a pain in the ass, Mama would allow me to pick out one book. I haven’t been in that store for 40 years or more, but this memory is just as vivid as if it happened yesterday.

Comic books have changed since I was kid; they’re darker and more complex. But, a lot of the heroes I remember from those days are still around: Batman, Superman, Captain American, Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, etc. Growing up, Batman was probably my favorite, something about a guy who dressed like a bat to operate as a vigilante appealed to me. I’ve never cared much for Superman; he’s too perfect. Even with all that teen angst bullshit, Spiderman was way more interesting to me.

You may have figured this out already, but I like my heroes just a little…, broken. I guess that’s why I’ve always preferred Marvel over DC, Batman over Superman. In fact, I believe one of the best comic book series ever published is Vertigo’s Hellblazer featuring John Constantine. A sorcerer with a smart mouth and a rather ambiguous moral code, Constantine is the essential anti-hero. And, one of the most interesting characters put to ink in a long time.

I feel the same way about biblical heroes, too. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus and all that, but I can’t really relate to the guy. With all the bullshit he had to contend with, he only got mad twice. TWICE. If I had to put up with all the bullshit he did, I’d have been in a constant homocidal rage. Fortunately, there are other characters that are more on my level. Like David, for instance.

David is one of the most human characters in the Bible. He constantly fucks up, from allying with his people’s most implacable enemy, the Philistines, to raping Bathsheba and murdering her husband; we’re talking about one fucked up dude. But, it’s that brokenness makes him so relatable. Every time I read David’s story, I think, “Hey, if this guy can stay in God’s good graces, maybe there’s hope for me.”

Then, there’s Jacob, who could’ve been the model for Deadpool. The guy is an aggravating smart ass with an over developed sense of self-worth and a very flexible morality. He cheated his brother out of his inheritance and skipped town hours ahead of a monumental ass-kicking. Then, he cheated his father-in-law, Laban, on several deals over livestock (to be fair, Laban was just as crooked). But, for some reason, God chose him as patriarch of God’s Chosen People.

Lest you think all the screw ups are in the Old Testament, allow me to present Peter, the disciple who, in the words of my friend, Michael Usey, “starts fast and finishes last”. Peter went from believing that he could walk on water because his rabbi said he could, to denying that he even knew Jesus when the chips were down. But, eventually, he came around. And, it only took his head catching on fire for it to happen.

Iconic heroes are boring. I mean, you always know that Superman is going to do the right thing and save the day. And, guys like Tony Stark/Ironman and Deadpool will, too…, eventually. But, their path won’t be anywhere near as straight as Superman’s. And, it will probably fuck a lot of stuff up. But, I guarantee you, it will be much, much more interesting. And, if we have to go there anyway, why not be entertained along the way?

Looking For The Bright Side Of NC House Bill 2

Or, in this case, an odious, discriminatory law.
Or, in this case, an odious, discriminatory law.

I’ve written quite few posts about NC House Bill 2 of late and they’ve been…, let’s say, “less than complimentary”. As a young man growing up in the South, one of the lessons that was beaten into me that I learned was if I couldn’t say something nice, I shouldn’t say anything at all. Sadly, the ship concerning the latter part of that adage sailed a long time ago. So today, in an attempt to live up to my raisin’, I thought I’d take a shot at finding something nice to say about a law that I have referred to as a steaming pie of discriminatory shit. Something tells me this may not be so easy.

First up, we have to address the fact that HB 2 has rekindled conservatives’ love of laws. I mean, they’ve spent years telling us how laws (of the gun control variety) don’t stop criminals. Now, however, they’re convinced this new one will prevent the awful (and non-existent) threat posed by bathroom predators. It really makes me happy to see my conservative friends embracing law and order once again.
Next up, there’s the way HB 2 has revealed the bigotry that abounds when it comes to LGBT folks, especially the “T’s”. Okay, the fact that folks don’t seem to have a single fucking qualm about shitting on people who are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and the rest of the alphabet soup that makes up that acronym wasn’t exactly what you’d call a huge  secret. But, every so often, we seem to need reminders that people like to discriminate against those they don’t understand. And, more importantly, that doing so is wrong.
We can’t forget how House Bill 2 has helped shine a light on Republican hypocrisy when it comes to the best way to govern. For years, the GOP has championed small government and local control. But, since they took control in Raleigh 4 years ago, they’ve attempted to take over the operation of Charlotte-Douglas Airport, they did take over Ashville’s water system and changed the make-up of Greensboro’s city council, all without these cities consent or public referendum. Even if you disagree with their methods, you’ve got to admire their chutzpah. Or not. I mean, it is pretty shitty.
Finally, there’s the fact that our esteemed legislators didn’t say anything about religion, freedom or anything else along these lines. This is good because, for once, bigoted assholes aren’t hiding behind their faith while they treat people like shit; they’re hiding behind their wives and children. Is that just as much of a dick move as saying Jesus told you to discriminate? Well, yeah; if anything, it’s an even bigger one. But, at least the J-man is catching a break this time. God knows, he could use one.

Well, would you look at that? Turns out finding the bright side(s) of HB 2 wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I mean, all I had to do was turn my already jaundiced eye on the fetid swamp that is North Carolina politics and look beyond all the bullshit the GOP-dominated General Assembly is spewing to find the actual benefits(?) of House Bill 2. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to take multiple showers in what is probably a futile attempt to feel clean again.

The Bible Is Literally True?

Bible literalismOne of my most fertile fields for developing blog posts is in the car. Driving requires just enough concentration to quell the manic mental activity brought on by my ADHD and allows me to spend enough time on one subject to put together a coherent thought. Recently, while tooling around town, I thought about all the truly weird shit that’s in the Bible. Then, I thought, “Why would any thinking person believe these insane things actually happened?” (See “Biblical literalism”) My next thought was that maybe these “thinking people” hadn’t actually done a lot of…, well, thinking on this subject. So, I decided to toss out a few nuggets for them to mull over.

  • When you say you believe the Bible is literally true, you’re saying you believe a donkey actually talked to Balaam. That’s right, a talking donkey. Like in Shrek, although not as funny.  And, what did Balaam do when his donkey spoke to him? Why, he had a conversation with it. Like it was the most normal thing in the world. Which, I suppose, could be true if you’re drugs are good enough.
  • When you say you believe the Bible is literally true, you’re saying you believe God sent bears to maul 42 kids for making fun of ElishaYes, you read that right: the God that Christians continually refer to as a “loving father” sent a couple of bears to maul some kids after Elisha “cursed them in the Lord’s name” for calling him “Baldy”. Well, that’s a little embarassing.
  • When you say you believe the Bible is literally true, you’re saying you believe we should stone smart-alecky kidsThat’s right, beloved, the “Good Book” says that if your child is consistently stubborn and rebellious, they should be stoned. And, not in the good way, either. To be fair, though, after raising a couple of teenagers, I can see where this one was coming from.
  • When you say you believe the Bible is literally true, you’re saying you believe Moses actually saw God’s assYep, Moses got a look at God’s butt. Oh sure, it says “back parts”. But, where I come from, that’s “ass” all day long.
  • When you say you believe the Bible is literally true, you’re saying you believe that sheep looking at striped sticks while mating will give birth to striped, speckled, and spotted  babies. . Who knew you could genetically engineer livestock with a few sticks? I’ll bet all those egghead scientists feel pretty stupid when they read this one.
  • When you say you believe the Bible is literally true, you’re saying you believe that God gave the Philistines hemorrhoids for taking the Ark of the Covenant. That’s right, bitches, fuck with God (or even God’s people) and you get hemorrhoids. Been there, done that and, frankly, I’d rather be mauled by bears.

So, do I think this will sway any biblical literalists from their belief that not only can we take the Bible literally, we must take it literally? Sadly, no, I do not. But, it was fun to write and, I hope, fun for you to read. And, who knows, maybe there’s a lone fundamentalist out there, on the verge of breaking through to a new way of looking at the Bible. If so, this will probably drive them right back into the fold. Oh well.

What Keeps Me Awake At Night

staying-up-at-nightIn a recent sermon at College Park Baptist Church, pastor Michael Usey asked “What keeps you awake at night?” Then, he had us write those thoughts down on Post it notes and stick them on the wall. Afterwards, the notes were gathered and compiled for a word cloud that showed up on the following Sunday’s bulletin. I participated, scribbling down something about “poverty”, “homelessness” or some other socially acceptable topic. And, while those things are on my mind, they aren’t the only things. Hell, sometimes, they aren’t even the most pressing things (In case you didn’t know, I’m nowhere as deep as I make out). Most of time, what goes in my head is…, well, a little weird. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about:

  • When Noah got hammered.  After the flood was over and things were settling down, Noah planted a vineyard and made some wine. Then, he got drunk and passed out naked in his tent.  While he was sleeping it off, Ham walked in, “saw his father’s nakedness” and went told his brothers about it.  Shem and Japheth took a robe, walked in backward and covered Noah up.  When he woke up and found what had happened, Noah cursed Ham and set his brothers over him.  All that for seeing him naked? Seems a little harsh to me. I’ve gotta think something else was going on here.
  •  Did Moses drop the F-bomb when he found out he wasn’t getting into the Promised Land?   Think about that one for a minute.  The guy busts his ass for over 40 years, leading a bunch whiny complainers who were never satisfied with anything he did and then, just because he screwed up once (at Meribah), all he gets to do is look at the Promised Land from Mount Nebo.  And, that’s after he gave the Israelites some parting directions and pronounced a blessing on them.  Seriously? I’d have kicked dirt all over God’s shoes and told everyone else to kiss my ass.
  • The story of Elisha and the smart-alecky kids  One day, the prophet Elisha was walking along, minding his own business when a bunch of kids came along and started making fun of his bald head.  Elisha cursed them and they ran off.  As they did, a couple of bears came along and mauled all 42 of the little assholes.  Okay, there’s nothing I’m wondering about here, I just wanted a reason to include this picture:

elishabears

  • Why were the disciples so thick-headed?  These dudes spent almost every waking moment with Jesus for 3 years and they didn’t get what he was talking about until Pentecost? Really? There’s also a follow-up question, here: How did Jesus keep from smacking shit out of them?
  • What happened after Jesus raised Lazarus?  The Bible says that when Jesus got to Bethany, Lazarus had been dead for days.  Four days. In the Middle East.  You know he was rank by then.  Did Jesus have to put in any extra work to make Lazarus presentable?  I think he must have, because you can’t take enough showers to fix that kind of stink.
  • Would Paul have mellowed out if he’d gotten some action?  And, if he did, what would that have done to Christianity?  Think about this for a minute: if Paul was getting it on the regular, would he have had the drive to spread the faith the way he did?  I suppose it’s possible, but in my experience, once you crack the seal on sex, it pretty much takes over. Which means Christianity might not be as big a deal as it is now, but we would be able to knock boots without so much guilt. And, would that be such a bad thing?

So, there you go; just a few of the things that keep me awake at night.

Watching Deadpool is a One-way Ticket to Hell

deadpool-movie-posterThat’s the word on the evangelical street, y’all. You will not pass Go and you will not collect $200. You will, however, spend eternity in the bottomless pit and being tormented at Satan’s pleasure.  Now, you may be wondering why is watching “Deadpool” a one-way ticket to Hell? Because, people are nekkid in it, that’s why. I guess it’s okay to be violent as fuck, but you’re gonna burn if you so much as glance at naked boobies.

I stumbled onto this super-important bit of information last night when I was wasting time on Facebook researching a paper for my English class and found a link on the Stuff Christian Culture Likes page to an article from John Piper’s Desiring God website. While I don’t always agree with Stephanie (as in, “Drury”, the person behind SCCL), she does have a real knack for finding crazy Christian stuff; especially when it comes to “sexual purity”. And, this was no exception.

Apparently, “Christians” are wrestling with whether or not they should see “Deadpool”. I say, “apparently”, because I know a lot of Christians and not one of them has voiced any uncertainty in this matter; they cannot wait to see the movie (some already have and gave it rave reviews). Granted, the majority of my friends are huge nerds and would likely be considered apostates by Piper and his crowd, so they may not the best indicator of what’s going on in the evangelical/fundamentalist world. But, the author didn’t specify a certain group, so I’m rolling with it.

I’m not doing a point-by-point refutation of the article, today. Or ever, really. I mean, why bother? I’m pretty sure no one who reads this blog is all that torn up about a little nudity in a movie or puts much stock in what the nation’s premier Calvinist website has to say about it. So, why am I writing about this? Two reasons: 1) I am fascinated by their obsession with sex and 2) posts about sex and “purity” usually pull in pretty good numbers. Combine that with a topic that has the buzz of “Deadpool” and I’m thinking this post might just land in my top ten list. Yes, I’m a numbers whore. If you didn’t already know that, you obviously haven’t been around here very long. But, I digress.

I don’t get it. There are so many things in this movie that drive hardcore evangafundies over the edge and by focusing on the nudity, they’re missing out on so much outrage. There’s the film’s irreverence, its anti-establishment attitude and the profanity. It’s a trifecta of sin and they’re missing out! (I was going to mention “the lack of upstanding, virtuous plotline”, but that would violate the comedy “Rule of Three“, so…)

To be fair, Desiring God isn’t the only Christian website with a problem about “Deadpool”, they’re just the biggest. A Google search of “Deadpool and Christians” returns pages and pages of results and every one I looked at was…, let’s say, “less than complimentary”. Of the ones I read,  the recurring theme was “DON’T LOOK. NEKKID PEOPLE!!!” A couple did mention violence as a concern; one said there “should be a limit on how many decapitations there are in a movie that’s not called Highlander.” But, another thought the studio should’ve forgone the “raunchy” stuff and focused on the violence. That’s interesting when you consider Christians follow a man who forswore violence in everything he taught.

The most shocking thing of all is that One Million Moms has not yet called for a boycott of this film. How can that be??? It has almost everything they love to hate: sex and cussing and…, well, that’s about it, because the Moms don’t seem to get bent out of shape over gratuitous violence. It seems that frogs without pants, gay superheroes or a likable Satan are imminent dangers to the moral fabric of the country, but blood, gore and guts are cool.

So, as a Christian, do I think it’s okay to watch “Deadpool”? Hell, yes I do. In fact, I plan on seeing it myself as soon as possible. What’s that, aren’t I worried about going to Hell because I saw nude lady bits? According to the folks who believe that way, I’m already going there and I figure, “in for a penny, in for pound”. Might as well get my money’s worth.

Franklin Graham Does It Again.

Evidently, this is what keeps Franklin Graham awake at night.
Evidently, this is what keeps Franklin Graham awake at night.

In the past, I’ve referred to Franklin Graham and his colleagues as the gift that keeps on giving. But, honestly, this is one gift I could do without. So, what has uber-knob political activist Reverend Franklin Graham done to warrant my attention this time? Well, he’s on his soapbox about Charlotte’s proposed non-discrimination ordinance.  Again (he did this same shit, last year).

That’s right, beloved, a man who calls himself a Christian pastor has his panties in a wad over a law that would prevent people from being discriminated against. I repeat: a Christian pastor has his panties in a wad over a law that would prevent people from being discriminated against. I’ll pause for minute to let that sink in.

Why is Graham so upset about this ordinance? Because it adds protection for people who are LGBTQ, that’s why. Now, you’d think someone who claims to follow the way of Jesus, a man who stood up for the marginalized and oppressed to the point of dying on a cross, would embrace a law that protects a group of people who are the current poster children for being marginalized and oppressed in America. If you do, you’re probably from outer space, because that almost never happens. Or, at least not anywhere near as often as it should.

Graham is riled up because “the proposed ordinance has wording to include ‘gender identity’”, which would allow any man to say “they feel like a woman that day and enter the women’s restroom at any public facility or the showers at public gyms by mandate of law” because “Gender identity is what an individual “feels” their gender is regardless of the biological reality.” I’m not making any of this up. What you see here are direct quotes from Graham’s Facebook status on matter.

Normally, we’re told that bathroom laws like this one open the door to predators looking for sweet, innocent girls to snatch up (a “moral panic” that has about as much basis in reality as the Satanic child abduction epidemic of the 80’s). But, Graham’s main concern is, get this: Christian persecution.

Yes, friends, this “man of God” opposes an ordinance that guarantees protections for people on the margins of society who are actually persecuted and oppressed because of some imaginary persecution and oppression that might be inflicted on people who have persecuted and oppressed the people this ordinance will help because it will prevent them from, well, persecuting and oppressing people. If that seems hard to follow, it should. Graham’s whole argument is just ridiculous.

Graham also says, “LGBT activists are trying to hook their caboose to the ‘freedom train’ and drag their immoral agenda into our communities by claiming that this is a civil rights issue. Civil rights issues are very real and important — but don’t be fooled, this isn’t one of them. I heard one African-American minister say recently that ‘the freedom train doesn’t stop at Sodom and Gomorrah.'” And, that is certainly true, Unfortunately, neither Graham nor his colleague seem to understand what the sin of Sodom actually was.

You see, in the book of Ezekiel, the prophet said:

This is the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were proud, had plenty to eat, and enjoyed peace and prosperity; but she didn’t help the poor and the needy.

Now, I’m not a biblical scholar (neither is Graham, as he never went to seminary), but from what I can see, the “Sodom and Gomorrah” reference is more applicable to Graham’s words than a law meant to help people in need.

If I could sit down and have a little chat with Franklin, I’d tell him, “Look, if you want to say ugly things about folks, or even promote morally bankrupt ideas like the one that says non-discrimination ordinances oppress Christians by not allowing them to persecute people who are LGBTQ, I can’t stop you. But, I really, really wish you wouldn’t say you’re doing it in the name of God. because God doesn’t have a damn thing to do with that kind of crap. Frankly, God’s getting as tired of your bullshit as the rest of us and wishes you’d just shut the hell up.”