Right now, it’s pretty hard to decide who to give our Douche-bat of the Day Award. There are just so many people vying for the honor, with lots of pastors leading the pack. Some awful things have been said in “Jesus’ name,” and we’ll get to those, but I decided to pull out Franklin Graham from that deck first.
I spend too much time on Facebook following a conservative United Methodist page. I often post articles which I know will elicit strong responses, and I have to laugh at some of the mental gymnastics some of these people (many clergy) go through to justify their “Bible-believing” positions. A recent exchange serves as a good example of why we can’t take the Bible literal, and why discernment is critical when you try to use the Bible to support a position.
So, by now everyone knows that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died over the weekend. As is usual, everyone is rushing to the airwaves to talk about what a nice and brilliant person he was. Of course I don’t know him personally, but certainly his public personae were not so nice, and I don’t think his legal reasoning, considered by many to be smart and original (pun intended), was all that brilliant. It was merely partisan and theocratic. Scalia was not really interested in the original intent of the framers. He was interested in creating a facade of intellectualism around his rulings. His genius was not in a new form of thought around the Constitution, but in a way to package his rulings so that people thought they had a grand origin.
Recently, a person posted on a conservative Methodist Facebook page about the words used at a Communion Service he had recently attended. Apparently, this set him into a real tizzy, because the Officiant didn’t follow the exact words of the Liturgy from the Hymnal. And you wouldn’t believe the discussion that followed. I don’t think, in all my 50+ years as a Methodist I can ever remember a Communion service where, amongst all the words said, the Officiant didn’t stumble over, mispronounce or add to or leave out some words. But to hear some of the people on the Facebook page, you’d think he’d committed heresy for a slight change.
I’m starting a new series of short posts just to call out of the xtian craziness that I see. I’ll try to avoid stupid stuff from ill-informed and people poorly taught by their religious leaders, but I will make it a special point to call out those who are religious leaders. And probably happy to have the distinction of being the first post in the series is Pastor Dave.
So, Rafael “Ted” Cruz wants to be President of the United States. That should scare the crap out of any sane person. Ted and his supposed pastor father (I say “supposed” because there is scant evidence of his ever pastoring a church) subscribe to a very dark end-times religious doctrine referred to as Dominionism, and the two of them have decreed that Ted is ordained by God to lead the Government. There is a reason none of the people like him who know him, and there is a very good reason people who find themselves in his presence get a sense of creepiness. But he’s way more than just an unattractive, vindictive demagogue…he’s a downright scary person with a set of religious beliefs that make the most radical Muslim clerics look tame.
In the western world, churches, in particular Christian churches, are showing a general decline in attendance and membership. There’s much hand wringing within those denominations most affected; reports are being prepared, and great plans are being made to try to stem the tide, but I am not yet convinced the people in these organizations have the self-awareness to overcome the trend. The Facebook response to a recent article I posted in a conservative United Methodist discussion group really brought this home for me, and helped me congeal my thoughts on this subject.
Suddenly, everyone’s a warrior in the war against terror. That is of course only the terrorists attacks that 1. Don’t involve white male American terrorists, and/or 2. Aren’t likely to actually happen in the first place. Take inspiration for the protection of the homeland from some Facebook posts from early this morning. Here you’ll see the batshittery we’ve devolved into in this country. It started with this fairly incoherent post, which I mostly just ignored after assuming the person who wrote it was either high, drunk, or both.
By now you’ve likely heard the craziness of some conservatives about Starbuck’s holiday cup design. You’ve probably heard about it because of one idiotic attention whore, who claims to be a pastor, Josh Feurerstein. He apparently managed to finally have a video go viral (trust me, he’s produced some doozies in his efforts to get attention), where he raises a stink about Starbucks, because of their holiday cup design…plain red with their green logo.
Unless you live under a rock, you know the Pope visited the US last week. There was much hope that this Pope might further soften the exclusive tone of Catholic doctrine as espoused by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and while never moving to change doctrine, he did give several speeches indicating that he believed the Church’s emphasis needs to move away from culture war issues to caring for the poor and taking care of our planet. This, of course, set the hair on fire of many of America’s evangelical wing. When Ratzinger was Pope, they had a friend in Rome, but now the two branches of Christianity seem to be, once again, going their separate ways.