Please Lord, Save Us From Your Followers

Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital appeals to Evangelical Christian’s death cultists…

 

From Diana Butler Bass

Much chatter on news and online about WHY Trump wants to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. I suspect that most secular commentators do not understand the religious dimensions of this story.

For decades, conservative evangelicals have been longing for this recognition. They believe it is necessary in order to regain control of the Temple mount.

That is important because rebuilding the Temple is the event that will spark the events of the Book of Revelation and the End Times.

Yes, of course, there are all sorts of political and secular motives for Trump’s action. But you can’t discount those evangelical advisors. Almost all of whom take these End Times prophecies literally. Of all the possible theological dog-whistles to his evangelical base, this is the biggest. Trump is reminding them that he is carrying out God’s will to these Last Days.

They’ve been waiting for this, praying for this. They want war in the Middle East. The Battle of Armageddon, at which time Jesus Christ will return to the Earth and vanquish all God’s enemies.

For certain evangelicals, this is the climax of history.

Christianity mentally scarred me as a child…

 

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From Atheism Reddit

How cruel it is, to take a kid whose life has barely even started, and indoctrinate them into believing that they need to spend the rest of it paying penance for a thousand crimes they never committed. To see this young, budding person, and choose to tell them from the moment they are born, that they are broken, they are evil, and they deserve to burn for eternity. No human being should ever have to grow up with that accusation in the back of their mind at all times. It IS child abuse, and I refuse to call it anything else. Because I’ve lived it, and abuse only begins to describe it.

Growing up surrounded with religion seems to affect young children two ways; it resonates with them, because they don’t know any better, and it gives them a sense of purpose. This way is the only way that religious parents want to believe exists. But there’s a second one. They grow up with the same environment, the same indoctrination as the others, but they take it a whole different way. They don’t find “peace” in it, or purpose, or love. They find terror and despair. This was what I found.

I remember when I was 8 years old, I would stay up until 11 or 12 almost every night. Sneaking out of my bed, and hiding right outside my parent’s door, for HOURS. And this for days. And every day for months, and those months for years. And it didn’t stop, for FOUR YEARS. Obviously it didn’t stay the same all those years, I didn’t just spend four years hiding outside my parent’s door every night. The reaction changed, but the stimulus didn’t. I was terrified. And I don’t just mean sorta scared, I was terrified. I was only 8, but I remember I was so scared every night, it physically hurt. I was scared because the rapture was going to happen, and I wasn’t baptized, so I’d be left all alone, with the promise of however-the-fuck many plagues Revelation has, with hellfire and torment at the end of it.

But the terror I had was more than that. See, in the ‘reality’ I had been provided, god WAS real. Period. Because I had never been exposed to other possibilities, wondering whether god was real was like wondering if the sky was really blue. I had no reason to suspect otherwise, so I never did.

I believed in god because it was the only ‘reality’ I knew. But despite all that, despite the fact that god’s existence was as much a fact to me as the sky being blue, I DIDN’T LOVE HIM. And that’s why I was terrified. All around me were these children being indoctrinated, just like me, but there was a difference. It worked on them. They had faith, they loved god, they found beauty and safety in this idea. And I believed god existed just as much as they did, but I COULDN’T LOVE HIM. I wasn’t just terrified because I wasn’t baptized. I was terrified because, even though I didn’t know this word existed back then, I WAS AN ATHEIST. I was terrified because I knew god was real, and I knew I would never love him.

Freethinkers: That Religion You’ve Been Given Is All Poison…

 

Thanks to Bruce

[My church believes heaven and hell are real places.]

[Mmm. Uh huh.]

[And uh, guess which one you are going to if you keep this up?]

[I don’t know how we can fix a world where people have been so convinced that they are doing the right thing out of compassion and love and trying to help people when it is absolute poison. When it is absolutely destructive.]

Now who’s the one that is responsible for how the world is?
Who’s the one that is responsible for how we all live?
Who takes the negative influences and poisons all the kids
So they just repeat the stupid shit that you and I did?

Who’s the species that wallows in this puddle of mud?
Who’s the one that painted the planet in buckets of blood?
Who’s the one that begs a god for forgiveness of sins,
Then turns right around the next day and does it again?

Pat Boone Wants To Nail Blasphemers To The Cross…

 

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From PoliticusUSA

Boone says “there should be regulations that prohibit blasphemy” because SNL made fun of Christians pretending to be persecuted. Fuck you, Pat… and the white bucks you rode in on…]

Pat Boone, citing a “vitriol” against believers like himself, told Alan Colmes Thursday that “there should be regulations that prohibit blasphemy” after Saturday Night Live, in a movie parody poked fun at Christianity’s persecution complex – you know, because it’s genuinely funny that the world’s largest religion thinks it’s being persecuted.

“Vitriol,” of course, used in the conservative sense, is a code word for people who don’t think a few people like Boone ought to tell us what we can and cannot do or say. For Boone and Colmes, it is absolutely not vitriol to condemn people who chose not to abide by their rules. An example of this is Boone telling Glenn Beck that the SNL crew are going to hell for their movie parody.

Asked by Colmes if he would “regulate restrictions” on what was said, Boone first said no before saying yes, so when Colmes asked Boone,

“Would you “like the FCC to declare that a show like Saturday Night Live or any other show can’t do that kind of humor?” Boone answered, “You cannot do blasphemy, yes.”

Really? Keep in mind, you can’t blaspheme Boone’s god, but you can blaspheme other gods. Say, Allah, for example. Because Pat Boone’s Bible.

In The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine wrote that on the contrary, it is the Bible that is “a book of lies, wickedness, and blasphemy.”

Sunday Song: Smak Dem Christians Down

 

Thanks to Bruce

Oh, save us from your people, Lord.
Oh, save us, Lord, we pray.
Oh, save us from your people, Lord.
And make ’em go away.

My mammy baptized me you bet I’m washed in the Blood of the Lamb.
But here’s one thing I just don’t get — who baptized Uncle Sam?
Some folks say the USA was Christian from the start….
But was George Washington a Christian? No!
Was Thomas Jefferson a Christian? No!
Ben Franklin? No! John Adams? No!
Was Abe Lincoln a Christian? No! No! No!
They separated Church and State which makes dem Christians frown,
And on that day I’m glad to say they smacked dem Christians down!

We gotta Smack dem Christians Down,
Smack dem Christians Down,
On that day I’m glad to say they
Smacked dem Christians smaked dem Christians
Smacked dem Christians down.

My daddy hails from Alabam so the South is in my soul.
I know firsthand about Dixieland and one Christian Judge’s role. He said
“God made different races and gave them homes in separate places….”
So Black folk can’t marry white folk! No!
Black folk can’t marry white folk!
Colored can’t marry white folk! No!
Colored can’t marry white folk!
Nigras can’t marry white folk! No!
Nigras can’t marry white folk! No!
The Supreme Court heard it all and to their great renown,
On that day I’m glad to say they smacked dem crackers down!

We gotta Smack dem Christians Down,
Smack dem Christians Down,
On that day I’m glad to say they
Smacked dem Christians smaked dem Christians
Smacked dem Christians down.

Roll up the Bill of Rights and wap! wap! wap! ’em on the head.
Keep your radical Christian agenda away from my gonadicals and my pudenda!

I wish dem whacked-out Christian fools would learn from history
Instead of tryin’ to foist their bonehead rules on ‘mos like me.
If you wanna live in a theocracy maybe ya oughta move to Saudi Arabia.
Is the U.S. Government Islamic? No!
Is it Buddhist? No! Is it Hindu? No!
Jewish? No! Catholic? No!
Is the U.S. Government Christian? No! No! No!
So if dem Christians don’t back off we’ll run ’em outta town,
And on that day I’m glad to say we’ll Smack dem Christians Down!

We gotta Smack dem Christians Down,
Smack dem Christians Down,
On that day I’m glad to say we’ll
Smack Dem Christians Down.

Amen.
Smack dem Christians Down!
~~

Christian Crock: Leaving fake cash tips for waiters…

 

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From The Freethinker UK

A young waiter in Kansas was delighted when he saw that a customer had left him a tip of $20 – until he discovered that it was a Christian tract exhorting him to seek “faith thru Jesus Christ” and start reading the Bible.

The victim of this despicable act was Garret Wayman, who works as a waiter at a restaurant in a suburb of Wichita. He is reported here as saying: I’m 17-years-old, $7,000 in debt because I had to buy myself a car, juggling full-time school, and working seven days a week.

He said when he first spotted the note tucked under a ketchup bottle he was very excited: Getting a $20 tip at the restaurant I work at is very, very rare.

The intro to the tract read: Don’t be fooled! There is something you can have more valuable than money.

On the back was an eight-paragraph argument for why Wayman should buy a Bible and become a Christian. Wayman said the customer didn’t even leave a real tip to accompany the proselytising pamphlet.

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He just left that. I wanted to tell him that I only make $3 an hour and bust my ass at my job to make way less than I deserve, but he was gone by the time I had the chance to.

Freethinkers: What The Theocrats Forgot…

 

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From The Freethinker

There’s a thing that publicists for religion do when they’re trying to explain why human beings can’t possibly get along without some sort of god in their lives: they insist that God is the only source of ‘meaning’ for humans and that all secular sources are poor thin broken substitutes.

It’s a very common claim, and any reader of the Freethinker will have heard or read it a million times; for purposes of illustration I’m taking former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, in an essay for the Wall Street Journal last week, drawn from his new book explaining how religious violence isn’t really religious at all (another very common claim, but that’s for another day).

What the secularists forgot is that Homo sapiens is the meaning-seeking animal. If there is one thing the great institutions of the modern world do not do, it is to provide meaning. Science tells us how but not why. Technology gives us power but cannot guide us as to how to use that power. The market gives us choices but leaves us uninstructed as to how to make those choices. The liberal democratic state gives us freedom to live as we choose but refuses, on principle, to guide us as to how to choose.

Science, technology, the free market and the liberal democratic state have enabled us to reach unprecedented achievements in knowledge, freedom, life expectancy and affluence. They are among the greatest achievements of human civilization and are to be defended and cherished.

But they do not answer the three questions that every reflective individual will ask at some time in his or her life: Who am I? Why am I here? How then shall I live? The result is that the 21st century has left us with a maximum of choice and a minimum of meaning.

There’s a lot to say about what’s wrong with that, and it’s all been said and said and said, but the apologists keep on repeating the silly claim, so we have to keep saying why it’s bullshit.

Christianist Republicans Systematically Incited Colorado Clinic Assault…

 

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From Valerie Tarico

After months of verbal assault against Planned Parenthood and against women more broadly, Republican Christianists have gotten what they were asking for—bloodshed.

On November 27, a mass shooting left three dead and nine wounded at a Planned Parenthood clinic just miles from the headquarters of the Religious Right flagship, Focus on the Family. Was the shooting exactly what conservative Christian presidential candidates and members of congress wanted? Maybe, maybe not. But it is what they asked for. Republican members of the Religious Right incited violence as predictably as if they had issued a call for Christian abortion foes to take up arms. Inciting violence this way is called stochastic terrorism:

“Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. In short, remote-control murder by lone wolf.”

In an incident of stochastic terrorism, the person who pulls the trigger gets the blame. He—I use the male pronoun deliberately because the triggerman is almost always male—may go to jail or even be killed during his act of violence.

Meanwhile, the person or persons who have triggered the triggerman, in other words, the actual stochastic terrorists, often go free, protected by plausible deniability. The formula is perversely brilliant:

A public figure with access to the airwaves or pulpit demonizes a person or group of persons. With repetition, the targeted person or group is gradually dehumanized, depicted as loathsome and dangerous—arousing a combustible combination of fear and moral disgust.

Obamacare’s Victory Is Yet Another Remarkable Defeat For Christian Fundamentalist Psychos…

 

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From Patheos

Christian psychos want to shred the social safety net so that people have no option but to turn to churches when they need help…

You know it’s been a big week when the Supreme Court once again upholding Obamacare is only the second biggest story to come out of the court. But I wanted to write about this ruling and what it means.

… I exulted in 2012 when the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare the first time, rejecting a claim that the law was unconstitutional. It turns out I spoke too soon, because there was another challenge waiting in the wings: King v. Burwell, a right-wing attack which sought to cripple the law rather than strike it down entirely.

Obamacare, like Romneycare in Massachusetts, is a “three-legged stool“: regulations on insurance companies, so they can’t turn people away or drop them for being sick; an individual mandate requiring everyone to buy insurance; and tax credits to help pay for insurance for people who couldn’t otherwise afford it. Some states have their own exchange websites where people can shop for insurance, but a majority use exchanges set up by the federal government. The King lawsuit focused on an ambiguous and obscure clause which said that the tax credits were available on exchanges “established by the state”, which they used to argue that the credits shouldn’t be available for policies purchased on the federal exchanges (even though the law directs the federal government to set up that exchange in the state’s place if the state declines to).