Hello, brothers and sisters. I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, but I’ve been a little busy. And, by “a little busy”, I mean “working my butt off to get some really mediocre grades this semester”. But, recently, something so big happened that I just had to carve out some time and write about it.
What could possibly pull me out of my self-imposed exile and back into the blogosphere? President Trump’s budget proposal (I throw up in my mouth a little, every time I say that), that’s what. And, let me you, it is a doozy. It increases defense spending by 54% and slashes funding for almost every other part of the federal government, including all funding for arts and cultural agencies and the block grants that support Meals on Wheels and Head Start. Naturally, a few folks have their panties in a wad over this turn of events.
The real brouhaha started when, at a press conference yesterday, a reporter asked White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney if the budget wasn’t “hard-hearted”. Mulvaney replied, “No, I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s one of the most compassionate things we can do.” That’s right, beloved; a budget that cuts funding to programs that feed the elderly and underprivileged kids is “compassionate”.
Now, before we lose our collective mind over this, let’s look at Mulvaney’s reasoning. He told the press, who didn’t take his pronouncement very charitably, “You’re only focusing on half of the equation, you’re only focusing on recipients of the money. We’re trying to focus both on the recipients of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place. And I think it’s fairly compassionate to go to them and say, ‘Look, we’re not going to ask you for your hard-earned money any more.’ ‘Single mom of two in Detroit, OK, give us your money.’ We’re not going to do that anymore … unless we can guarantee to you that that money is actually being used in a proper function, and I think that is about as compassionate as you can get.” And, believe or not, I get where he’s coming from.
This budget is remarkably compassionate. I mean, sure, Trump’s budget will impose an 82% tax hike on a single parent making $34,000 a year. But, imagine how it will relieve the burden on the long-suffering and over-taxed 1% in this country. Seriously, who deserves a break more than the ultra-wealthy?
And, yes, this budget will eliminate programs that the single mom he mention probably relies on, like Head Start, PBS, and other silly, socialist fluff. But, come on, folks. Lord Dampnut has to get the money to build The Wall™ from somewhere. Especially, since Mexico can’t stop laughing at his claim that they’ll pay for it.
Besides he’s got to come up with that extra $54 billion he needs to beef up the world’s largest military. Yeah, I hear you, “We already spend more on the military than the next 8 countries combined.” Maybe. But, don’t we need to be ready in case shit pops off with the Russians? Okay, not the Russians; Uncle Vlad wouldn’t be happy about that. But, it is necessary. If only because he needs to make sure the military is equipped to protect him when the mob of screwed-over supporters arrives in D.C. with the pitchforks and torches.
Look, I know a lot of you are still pretty pissed about this budget. I get that. But, maybe you should take Mulvaney’s advice and look at both sides of the equation. There’s the “decent human being who wants to take care the least of these” side…, and, then there’s Trump’s. I’m sure you’ll see the light eventually.
So, the Golden Globe awards show happened. As a general rule, I wouldn’t hit a hog in the ass for an awards show. Basically, I think they’re nothing but a bunch of attention whores getting together to shout, “Look how super-cool we are! Don’t you plebes all wish you could be like us?” Every now and then, however, something amusing comes out of these publicly televised circle jerks. Sunday night was one of those times.
Meryl Streep received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement and gave an acceptance speech that people are still talking about. It was a bit long and addressed several issues, but the most interesting part was when she took the tiny-handed toddler who is about to be leader of the free world (aka Donald Trump) to task for making fun of a disabled reporter during his campaign, saying, “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
Of course, the Tangerine Nightmare couldn’t let this slide and took to his favorite platform (Twitter) to respond. At 6:27 on Monday morning, he unleashed a brief and, in his mind, devastating, Tweetstorm on Streep:
There are some intriguing aspects this semi-sentient tire fire’s response: Like, it doesn’t make any sense (Streep is “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood”???), it’s bullshit (he did indeed mock Serge Kovaleski and Kovaleski did not change his story), and, yet again, he disparaged the press for reporting what he said. But, perhaps the most intriguing part of it all (and by “intriguing”, I mean “utterly fucking scary”) is that the man(child) that will soon be commander-in-chief of the most potent and powerful military machine the world has ever seen has such a thin skin he can’t let anything go.
Think about it for a minute, Trump is just 12 days out from taking on what is arguably the most difficult job in the world and what’s he doing this close to his first day at work? Tweeting insults at an actress. This isn’t a one time thing, either. Hell, just a few days ago, he was on Twitter gloating about how he got better ratings on “The Apprentice” than Arnold Schwarzenegger. And, let’s not forget his feuds with Saturday Night Live and the cast of “Hamilton”. How presidential.
But, hey, he’s just telling it like it is, right? I mean, who do these people think they are? Citizens in a country with an fundamental right to criticize the government and the politicians that run it? But, even if they are, doesn’t Trump have a right to defend himself from that criticism? So what if he’s putting up that defense instead of taking intelligence briefings, conducting press conferences, put together a cabinet; you know, the job he was elected to do?
Damn. This is going to be a long, long four years.
Well, beloved, we’ve come to the end of another year, which means we’re about to be inundated with “Year in Review” posts/articles/programs. And, yes, I’m doing one, too. “Year in Review” posts aren’t what you’d call a regular feature here. Unlike my annual Thanksgiving posts, I haven’t written one of these since 2012. I’m not exactly sure why, it’s not like the past four years have been uneventful or anything. In fact, I’m not sure why I’m writing this one. Probably because I figure a post about 2016 will get some views and, like all writers, I’m a bit of an attention whore.
The consensus view seems to be that 2016 has been a rather shitty year. After all, it’s seen:
An orange-hued shit demon take advantage of the pain and fear of a large swath of the country to become President of the United States,
A bunch of idiotic yahoos in my home state of North Carolina pass an obviously discriminatory law and then commit political suicide by standing behind it in the face of overwhelming opposition both in the state and abroad,
The most deadly mass shooting in U. S. history, in which 49 people were killed because of their sexual orientation and/or gender expression.
Unarmed black men shot down by the police, mostly for the crime of just being black (that’s not new, but it was a big part of this past year).
An election that may have hacked by the Russians. At the very least, they influenced the voting toward the candidate they preferred.
And the death of a beloved celebrity every time we turned around.
Not exactly the best year on record, huh?
Still, it hasn’t been all bad. 2016 has also seen:
Working class people find a new (unlikely) champion in a 78 year old Jewish socialist. Now, if the Democratic Party (who likes to think of itself as “the party of the people”) would just get on board.
An announcement that Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman would be replacing former president (and slaveholder) Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. This is good because not only was Jackson was a slave owner, he was an asshole.
Jabba the Hut stunt double, Roger Ailes, resign as chairman and CEO of FoxNews. Ailes did so amidst a hail of accusations that he has a proclivity for making lewd remarks and/or advances to his female employees. And, punishing them when they reject him.
Pat McCrory lose his job as Governor of North Carolina to Roy Cooper. The best part is that McCrory engineered his own downfall with the hated HB 2, which was actually supposed to hurt his opponent, Cooper. Ain’t karma a bitch?
Samantha Bee debut her most excellent show, Full Frontal, on TBS. Bee, smart woman that she is, blew off the industry standard live interview portion of the news parody format and stuck with her strength, scathing, intelligent satire. And, the television world is better for it.
A new Star Wars movie come out. It’s called “Rogue One” if you’ve been living under a rock. I’m going to see this weekend and I can’t think of a better way to ring out this year.
Do these things offset losing David Bowie and Carrie Fisher in the same year? Probably not, but you’ve got to accentuate the positive. Even when the positive is not all that great.
It’s been said that 2016 has been the worst year ever. But, the truth is, it hasn’t. Not by a long shot. We’re not engaged in a global conflagration, an entire race isn’t in the process of being exterminated, there isn’t a plague killing off a significant portion of humanity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s been fun and I’d like to do it again. Just that it’s not been that bad. Hey, most of us even survived it. I’m not giving odds on 2017, though. I have a feeling it’s going to be a motherfucker.
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.
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!
If you’re thinking “What the fuck?” right about now, I don’t blame you. When I heard that shit, I was stunned myself. But, it’s true; Donald Trump is the messiah…, or, more likely, the harbinger of the messiah, a la John the Baptist. Well, according to end times nut case author and lecturer, Thomas Horn, he is.
Horn bases most of his claims about Trump on the words of some Orthodox Zionist rabbis who have reconstituted the Sanhedrin and are pushing to rebuild the Temple. I’m guessing these rabbis view Horn and compatriots as useful idiots who will help them reach that end. Which probably is okay with Horn and his end times believing pals because they think the rabbis are all dirty Jews who will be cast into the lake of fire when Jesus comes back. It’s what you might call a weird evangelical/Orthodox mutual contempt society.
This insanity is way to convoluted to get into with any depth here. Basically, it sounds a lot like this clip of Cartman explaining the 9/11 attacks from South Park’s “Mystery of the Urinal Deuce” episode:
Like I said, a bit much for a blog post. But, here are a few highlights:
The End of Days will come sometime next year. This goes back to Daniel’s “time, times, and a half a time” comment. According to an obscure 17th century interpretation of that passage, the messiah will appear and the end times will begin before September 30, 2017 (the end of the year 5777 in the Jewish calendar). Guess Jesus was just kidding with all that “thief in the night” business. What a joker.
Horn even goes so far as to say that, in gematria (Jewish numerology), Trump’s name actually means “messiah”. And, I guess it does, if you go down a rabbit hole that makes Alex Jones’ wildest conspiracy theories seem positively sane. If you’re a glutton for punishment and want to read the actual article, here’s a link.
He presents 3 bullet points that he feels point to Donald Trump, not as the messiah himself, but as John the Baptist. But, he does say that there is an ongoing effort to research Trump’s genealogy and show that he is a descendant of David. No joke on this point. I don’t think it needs one.
Of course, Horn tells us that this messiah the rabbis are saying is about to appear is a false messiah, the Anti-Christ. And, that he believes that Trump isn’t the Anti-Christ. Why? I’m assuming because he thinks a white, American man can’t be the Anti-Christ.
Trump is “God’s messenger”. What the hell kind of message God would send through an asshole like Trump, I don’t know. And, what kind of God would choose a semi-sentient hairball for their messenger doesn’t bear contemplation in my opinion.
All things considered, Horn’s pronouncements are not bad. It’s all bullshit, of course, but still not bad; for entertainment value, that is. Horn has some game in this arena, but even with all his “Trump is the messiah” talk, he’s still no William Tapley, the self-proclaimed Third Eagle of the Apocalypse and Co-prophet of the End Times. But then, who is, beloved? Who…, is.
As many of you probably know, I am not a fan of our Dear Leader-to-be, Donald J. Trump. The reasons for my antipathy are many and varied, from his choice of the most anti-LGBTQ governor in America as his vice-president to his relationship with the alt-right, a group of racist trolls whose taint was mostly contained to the internet until the Tangerine Nightmare drew them out from under their bridges. And, of course, there are the temper tantrums he regularly throws on Twitter; all of which would embarrass the brattiest of three year olds.
One of more troubling actions of President-elect Trump’s (I throw up in my mouth a little every time I say that) is his refusal to reject the hateful ideology of the alt-right. Not only has he been silent on the matter, he has appointed their top propagandist, Breitbart’s Steve Bannon, as his chief adviser. And, yes, I realize referring to this as “troubling” is a lot like World War I “a little dust up”.
But, there is a break in these awful black clouds of doom, beloved. Last week, everyone’s favorite “short-fingered vulgarian” finally spoke to the country on this issue. In what only be described as “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” Trump “disavowed” the alt-right.
Last Tuesday, during an interview with New York Times staffers, the PEOTUS was asked about the group and he said “I disavow and condemn them”. Sounds good, right? Well, I wouldn’t get too excited because he also said “It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.” It appears our president-elect is the only person in the country who is unaware of how his candidacy and election has breathed new life into what we all hoped was a dying movement. Great, just frickin’ great.
What’s that? You think I shouldn’t criticize Mr. Trump’s remarks out of hand like that? Oh, don’t worry, Sparky, I have given careful consideration to what President-elect BabyHands said. But, the fact that you feel that way makes me think you haven’t. So, let’s take a look at how his statement last week lines up with with what he’s done so far:
During his campaign, David Duke, former Imperial Wizard of Ku Klux Klan, was very vocal about his support of Trump. When CNN’s Jake Tapper asked if he would repudiate the support of an avowed racist, the future leader of the free world said, “I don’t know anything about David Duke. Okay? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.” (He was lying) But wait, there’s more!
After going through campaign operatives like a pothead goes through a bag of tacos, Trump hired Steve Bannon. Yes,beloved, the same Steve Bannon who bragged that Breitbart.com, the website of which he was CEO, was “the platform for the alt-right”. After he won the election and began putting together his cabinet, Trump’s first act was to appoint Bannon as his chief adviser.
His pick for Attorney-General, the cabinet official charged with enforcing civil and voting rights is Sen, Jeff Sessions (R) of Alabama. This is significant because in 1986, a Republican Senate committee denied Sessions a federal judgeship after former colleagues testified that he “used the n-word and joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying he thought they were ‘okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana.’”
So, on one hand we have Trump’s statement that he is not allied with the racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, Neo-Nazi internet trolls who, after his election to the highest office in the land, are now slithering out from under the digital rocks to which they had been relegated. On the other, we have specific actions on his part which indicate that he may have actively courted the support of the alt-right; at the very least, he had no problem with them.Sure, Donald, you “disavow and condemn them” in the same way I “disavow and condemn” my mother’s chocolate cake while shoveling another bite into my mouth.
We live in a frightening world these days. Radical Islam hates our freedom and wants to convert and/or kill us all, the threat of Chinese economic hegemony continues unabated and the Russian bear is waking up from a long hibernation. All I can say is thank God we elected a strong, tough-guy type to lead us through these trying times. And, you need look no further than President-elect Trump’s Twitter feed to that strength and toughness on full display.
Why, just the other day, he stood up to some bullies who treated his vice president, Mike Pence in a very rude mannner. It seems that over the weekend, Pence – a man noted for his anti-LGBTQ views and policies – attended a showing of “Hamilton” – a show that is noted for its support of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Things went awry almost immediately: as Pence entered the theater, the audience began to boo him. Then, to make matters worse, a cast member had the audacity to ask Pence to represent all Americans, even the gay ones. Are you kidding me?!?
But never fear, America, our Dear Leader was on the case and, Sunday morning tweeted:
That mean, old bully, Brandon Victor Dixon (the cast member who spoke to Pence), had the audacity to tell Mr. Trump:
But, it didn’t stop there, beloved. Our fearless leader also took on what may be the most dangerous show in America today: Saturday Night Live. While Mr. Trump has a long-standing relationship with NBC, the network that airs the unfunny sketch show, he has only recently come into the cross hairs of the hacks who write for the obviously communistic producer/creator, Lorne Michaels. The show has consistently denigrated a man who has vowed to “Make America Great Again” in the most awful ways. Why, they’ve even stooped so low as to let him host the show! That is wrong on so many levels.
What? Television shows are free to mock the president and we’re supposed to be okay with that? Before anyone starts quoting the First Amendment at me, I’m pretty sure that criticizing elected officials isn’twhat the Founding Fathers wanted to protect.
Yes, friends, our new president certainly has the right stuff to protect and defend our nation from all the threats arrayed against it. I don’t know about you, but I feel better already.
During the campaign, Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez warned that his culture was a very strong one and, if we didn’t do something about it, we’d have taco trucks on every corner. So, with the election of Donald Trump, who vowed to fix the immigration system, is that wondrous (possible) reality now just a fantasy? Shit. If there’s one thing we don’t need right now, it’s something else to worry about under the regime of the Tiny-handed Terror.
I don’t get it. Why would anyone vote against the availability of tacos on every corner? Tacos are crunchy, little folders of awesomeness, filled with all kinds of ambrosia-like substances. There is a taco for everyone, from the most hardcore vegan to the dyed-in-the-wool meat eater hell-bent on destroying the environment through livestock-produced methane. And, Americans actually said “no” to that. What the hell, white people?
Understand that when you voted for Trump, you stomped on a dream that everyone could get behind: readily available tacos no further than one city block in any direction. And, for what? Do you honestly think Donald Trump is going to be the champion of the working people like he promised? Right, the guy with a very long, very well-documented history of stiffing people who worked for him has your back. Whatwere you thinking?
I mean, I get it: you’re still out of work, you’re worried that your kids aren’t going to do better than you did. And, let’s be honest: brown people freak you the fuck out. But, wouldn’t a tasty, warm taco take a little of the sting out of that situation? FYI, those “brown people” you’re so worried about? They’re the ones who came up with those tasty bits of heaven in a tortilla.
Hell, even Trump loves tacos. See, here he is enjoying one from the Trump Tower Grill:
Okay, so it’s not really a taco. It’s a taco bowl (aka “a taco with a big, beautiful wall around it.”). And, being prepared in the grill at Trump Tower, it’s probably about as authentic as something from Taco Bell. But, it’s the sentiment that counts, right. Besides, he loves Hispanics!
Over the weekend, I offered space here on “The Progressive Redneck” to anyone who is a member of the groups worried about their future under a Donald Trump presidency. The first person to take me up on that offer is my friend, Joshua Allen. I first met Josh when I was volunteering at Love Wins Ministries and he was a intern from the Campbell Divinity School. So you’ll know where he’s coming from, I share this bio he sent me:
Joshua Allen is a graduate of Campbell University Divinity School that spends his days playing with Japanese kids and teaching Japanese teenagers, and his nights musing about life while in the Japanese countryside of Aomori Prefecture. When he isn’t begging his students to try to speak English during class, he is jogging, exercising, or youtubing to pass the time. He spends his weekends doing disaster relief volunteer work.
He was born and raised in the sleepy town of Dunn, North Carolina and spent most of his life somewhere in North Carolina. Because of his mixed heritage, his father is a Salvadoran immigrant, he was often bullied by white kids as a “half-breed.” He channeled that anger into a college education and fight for those marginalized by society. He hopes to continue that fight, even in the countryside of rural Japan.
He was once a hard-line fundamentalist, but after college and subsequently graduate school, he now rails against the dangers of fundamentalism from the perspective of one that used to be in the thick of things.
As you can see, he offers a unique perspective on what’s happening in the U. S. these days. His contribution is a little long, but well worth the time it will take to read it:
There is no hiding it. This election cycle and the results have been devastating. Not only for many Latinos, LGBT, African-Americans, and Muslims but for me especially as the son of a Salvadoran immigrant and as an American who believes that without reservation the words of our forefathers that all men were created equal. Because I’m in the Japanese countryside I won’t experience much of the hate that my fellow Americans are experiencing now (even as I write this, Trump has had to tell his followers to stop harassing minorities). But I still feel afraid. Both for all the marginalized groups in America and my family.
I have a lot to say to my fellow Americans about what has transpired but I first want to address the Evangelicals and the Christians that voted for Trump. If you aren’t or if you are but you voted for Trump for non-religious reasons, this is not for you. You can scroll past. To those left I say this:
If you honestly believe that you are doing ‘God’s work’ and ‘God is in control,’ or you thought that Trump was the Christian candidate, you have sold your souls to the devil. Only this time, the demon didn’t take the form of red imp with a pitchfork. He is manifested as a red spray tanned white man with bobby pinned hair and tiny hands. Your hypocrisy has never been on more fully on display. How so? I’m glad you asked:
You all have embraced a man that called for a shutdown of refugees entering the USA when your own Bible says that we should welcome the alien into our homes and treat them as a native
You have embraced a man that proposed building a wall to keep out ‘rapists’ (even though evidence indicates that immigrants are less likely to commit crime than their native-born counterparts) when your own Bible calls for you to be welcoming of the outsider.
You have embraced a man that has demeaned women all throughout his life, bragged vociferously about his sexual accomplishments and that has been married three times, and if that weren’t enough, has been featured in Playboy when your own Bible, the supposed “Word of God,” demands sexual purity.
You have embraced a man that boasted that he never asked God for forgiveness and bragged on twitter about how he believed that he was perfect when your religion commands that we seek repentance and that we are most certainly not perfect
You have embraced a man that has lied about so many things: his lack of support for the Iraq War, his donations, his tax returns, his feud with John Oliver, about meeting Vladimir Putin, and many others, the list goes on and on when your religion stresses truth telling.
Do you understand your hypocrisy? Not yet?! Okay I’ll continue
You all have actually embraced as your representative and as the man that you want as your leader of a “Christian Nation” a man who has proposed racial profiling when your religion says that ALL are one in Christ
You all have embraced a man as your righteous one, a man that has suggested that there be ideological certifications for immigrants when not only is that what radical Islam does in other countries, but the history of your own religion is rife with stories about how well that worked out for you all.
You have actually embraced a man that has claimed to love the Bible, but couldn’t even name a single damn verse when pressed and couldn’t even pronounce the name of a book correctly (And before you even ask, mine are Ecclesiastes 1:1, Matthew 5:43, and Luke 9:25) when your freaking Bible says that the Word of God is supposed to be in our hearts and in our minds!!!
You all have embraced a man that ran a scam/bogus university with a manual that contained directions to its staff on what to do if the attorney general shows up, and who plagiarized portions of that university’s manual when one of the founding tenants of your faith is “Thou shalt not steal”
DO I EVEN NEED TO CITE THAT….
You all have embraced a man who stiffed foreign workers on his worksites, when your religious text says, plainly and without any need for contextual explanation, that a worker deserves his wages
You all have sold your religion, your characters, your ideals, your beliefs, your history, your churches, and your souls to a pompous, bombastic, malevolent, puerile, bacchanalian, acrimonious, pedantic, disputatious bully!
Congratulations! You all have lost every last bit of propriety to say that you represent Christianity in the political realm. You all have been exposed for the lying, hypocritical, living political satire that you all became years ago when you sold your souls to the Republican Party and while doing so have further alienated and marginalized the very citizens that you share the country with and those that Jesus demands we identify with.
A certain popular progressive Christian blogger has made a name for himself with a series of posts titled “10 Things You Can’t _________”. These lists make some really good points, but I have a slight problem with them: they’re all directed at conservative, evangelical and/or fundamentalist Christians. That’s a problem for me because it smacks of the “Not all Christians” thing. God knows progressive Christians aren’t saints, however much we’d like to think otherwise. So, I came up with my own list. And, I’ll go ahead and say you probably aren’t going to like it.
You can’t call Trump supporters “deplorables”. Or “racists”, or “ignorant”, or any of the other epithets that get thrown at them. It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. Jesus told us to love our neighbors and I’m pretty sure telling someone that they’re “deplorable” isn’t what he’d consider “loving”.
You can’t tell everyone “I can’t vote for him/her. I’m voting my conscience.” Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying you can’t vote your conscience, just that you can’t be a condescending ass about it. Because, no matter what you think you think, that’s the way you come across when you say this. The same goes for “Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”
You can’t call people out for taking advantage of “white privilege” while doing the same thing yourself. See #2 above.
You can’t pontificate on what you’d do if ________. What I’m talking about here is something I wrote about last week. I’ve seen several progressive bloggers write about what they’d do if one of their kids turned out to LGBTQ. It’s the “if” that’s the problem here. If you don’t have a gay kid (or have any kids at all), shut the fuck up and let people who actually live this reality talk about it.
You can’t put words in people’s mouths. Or thoughts, or ideas, or pretty much anything else. It’s wrong. Don’t think progressives do this? Tell you what, google “progressive Christian memes” and then we’ll talk.
You can’t marginalize people because of they lack the “proper” educational credentials. Don’t think this is happening? Take a look at the roster of speakers at any progressive Christian event. I can almost guarantee you won’t find anyone who doesn’t at least have a masters degree. And,don’t get me wrong, I’m not against education. Hell, I’m going into some serious debt right now because I believe in it so much. But, progressive Christianity has to open it’s eyes and see that there are people out here who have important things to say that are being ignored because they don’t have any letters after their name.
You can’t attack everything a person believes in. This is less about the message than the way you present it. Granted, some of the things Christians believe need to be challenged because they are, to put bluntly, fucked up. But, going all “scorched earth” on a conservative Christian’s belief that “the homosexual lifestyle” is a sin won’t get you where you want to go. Unless where you want to go is making yourself feel superior to “those people”. If that’s the case, you are definitely on the right track.
You can’t block people on social media because you don’t like what they say. It goes back to that “love your neighbor” bit. Is it hard? God damn right it is. But, I think that’s what Jesus was talking about when he said “Take up your cross and follow me.”
You can’t be a condescending douche. If you’re thinking most of the items on this list are covered in this point, you’re right. This attitude of theological and moral superiority (that borders on arrogance) may be progressive Christianity’s greatest sin. Don’t you think it’s about time we started working on it.
And, last, you can’t make lists telling people what they can and can’t do as a Christian. This pretty much negates everything I’ve said up to now and that’s the point. I don’t think we get to be the arbiter of what is “Christian” and what isn’t. It really gets on my nerves when some hard-core conservative tells me that I’m not a Christian because I believe in full inclusion, reject the idea of Hell, that I’m “pro-life”, etc. Doing the same thing to them seems kind of shitty.