May 30, 2012

Westboros Among Us

I don't know why my mind boggles when I view this video -- I really shouldn't be surprised. I guess I've known all along that we have large numbers of Westboro Baptist Churches, not just one anomalous example of poisonous hate. (...and if looking forward with joyous self-satisfaction to the day when another group of people will be viciously and incessantly tortured for all eternity while you bask in splendor doesn't fit the definition of hate, I don't know what does.)

This group of people have the right to speak their opinions. (I'm not so sure they have the right to brainwash their children, but that's a topic for another day.) But freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism. What these adults are doing to this child is evil -- no ifs, ands, or buts. They are warping this young boy's mind with delusions of self-righteous superiority. You see, he won't have to focus as hard on being a better person, because he can always count on being fundamentally better than another group of people.

May 21, 2012

The Evil Within, cont.

You know, some folks get really upset about the violence that is preached in some mosques and impute that to Islam in general. I wonder if we should treat this little tidbit similarly:

So, again I call on all Evangelicals to denounce and renounce this kind of rhetoric. I call on you to demand censuring of such rhetoric in your congregational meetings, in your evangelical conferences -- everywhere two or more of you are gathered in His name. If you don't stand against those who advocate mass murder, what would you stand against? What would you stand for?

May 18, 2012

Limbaugh Redefines Patriotism

Credit: Brett Tatman
Rush Limbaugh gives us all the evidence we need in order to conclude that he has re-defined American patriotism.

He was discussing today the recent criticism of Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook, who renounced his American citizenship late last year (from his current residence in Singapore) to escape millions of dollars in American income taxes. According to the Huffington Post, Limbaugh said today during his radio program,

"If it’s a more favorable tax haven that you can find elsewhere and you go there, why is it automatically that you are unpatriotic?”

If it is not unpatriotic to renounce your American citizenship so that you can avoid taxes, then Limbaugh clearly has a different definition of patriotism than I and most Americans have. Based upon this and the bulk of his other opinions, I am left with no conclusion but that Limbaugh has re-defined American patriotism to be loyalty to Conservative principles.

This may indeed be the key to understanding Limbaugh (and perhaps many of those who fundamentally share his philosophy) -- every time he speaks about America, he is really referring to Conservatism. This is why Liberals are enemies and un-American -- because being American means being Conservative. This is how Eduardo Saverin can remain a patriot while renouncing his American citizenship.

Everything seems so much clearer now.

May 10, 2012

Romney the Bully

Credit: Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library
Ever since I heard about this high school bullying incident, I have been trying to find a way to discuss this calmly. I just can't seem to set my anger about this aside - and maybe I shouldn't. So, at this point, I believe that Romney must
  • specifically and abjectly apologize, 
  • stop minimizing this by calling it a prank, 
  • either stop pretending he doesn't remember or explain why he wouldn't remember doing something so awful,
  • stop behaving as though his being a senior in high school makes this automatically excusable or dismissable - high school seniors go to jail all the time for assault.
His response to this incident's exhumation speaks volumes about his character - and he had better scrounge up a decent, human response PDQ.

May 03, 2012

The Evil Within

Jesus Blessing the Children
by Bernard Plockhorst 
Conscientious evangelicals, who truly believe in the salvation Jesus provides, need to acknowledge the evil in their midst. When they attend sermons advocating violence against children (and 'amen's from the congregation), they should at least walk out if they don't speak out.

People who are particularly concerned about the well-being of LGBT folks clearly have good reason to be suspicious of evangelical churches. In response, instead of feeling defensive or persecuted, evangelicals should acknowledge that these suspicions are warranted and should work within their churches to change attitudes like those exhibited in Fayetteville.