Posts Tagged ‘Westboro Baptist Church’

(First off, not all of those who voted for Trump in 2016 fall into the following category, only 75% to 80%. The remaining 20% to 25% were justifiably disgusted with the do-nothing policies of Obama/Biden/the Clintons that had left them totally screwed over economically, and just wanted to shake things up. If you’re among them, please realize that you are not who I’m talking about. I’m talking here about the real true believers, Trump’s personality cultists. There’s no reasoning with them, and it’s time to call them out for what they are.)

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We’ve all seen ’em, assholes driving around in land-raper pickups wearing MAGA hats, flying huge American flags. Using the symbol that’s supposed to stand for individual freedom and equal opportunity as a stand-in for preening jingoism, butt kissing of their glorious leader, and intimidation of those they disagree with.

They’re utter, total phonies. They systematically betray everything America is supposed to stand for.

Let’s look at specifics:

  • Freedom of speech. They beat protesters at Trump rallies, and show up bearing assault weapons at anti-Trump demos to intimidate protesters (as at Charlottesville — and thank god for Redneck Revolt showing up equally well armed to oppose them). On a more mundane level, Trump routinely attacks the press — about the only real check on the misdeeds of the powers that be — as “enemies of the people,” and god help you if you refuse to participate in the mass domination/submission spectacle at the start of ballgames.
  • Equality of Opportunity/Self-reliance. We’re talking about a moron who managed to bankrupt casinos, who had a silver spoon protruding from every orifice at birth, and who started receiving an “allowance” or $200,000 a year at age three — and in all a total of over $400 million from his dad. Trump is the proverbial entitled brat who was born on third base and has been bragging ever since that he hit a triple. And his sycophantic followers admire him for it.
  • Independence. Republicans/Trump supporters (there’s almost no distinguishing between them at this point) are slavish members of a personality cult. Trump famously bragged that he could murder someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and his base would continue to support him. He was right, but it’s worse than that. He could strangle a puppy and sodomize its corpse on national TV, and his base would praise him for it, saying how “out of the box,” “what a different kind of president” he was. If sucking up to Dear Leader and excusing every one of his crimes is “independence,” Trump’s supporters would win a gold medal.
  • Mercy. Trump puts children in cages and separates them from their parents. The members of his personality cult applaud this vicious behavior precisely because it is so vicious. All too many of them like to hurt people. They do it vicariously through Trump, and feel self-righteous about it.
  • Your Tired, Your Poor. Somehow the powers that be and their tools have convinced idiot Trumpistas that people even poorer and more powerless than they are are the cause of their misfortunes. These fear-driven dumbasses actually believe that desperate people fleeing horrendous conditions in Central America are somehow threatening them. (Many of the refugees are fleeing Honduras — thank Hillary and Obama for that one with their support of the coup there in 2011, and the installation of the narco Hernández regime)  Trump’s followers concentrate their hate on these powerless scapegoats who just want work and safety for their families, while supporting a billionaire parasite who’s never done a single day’s work in his life.
  • Fairness. Republicans support a system in which the three richest men in the United States own more of the wealth than the bottom 50% of the population combined, and in which unearned income is only taxed at half the rate or earned (through work) income. They support a system that is rigged in favor of the rich. They’re also so deluded that they think that a billionaire con man is somehow on their side, and that he somehow personifies the American spirit. To quote a sign I saw yesterday (carried by a goofball at the corner of First Avenue and Ft. Lowell), “God delivered Trump to us.” If so, the Westboro Baptist Church must be right, and god really must hate America.
  • Loyalty. The orange cancer just capitulated to Turkish Islamist tyrant Erdogan and betrayed America’s only true ally in the Middle East, the Kurds. They lost over 11,000 soldiers fighting ISIS, and Trump just sold them out. As a result, there are already mass civilian casualties, over 100,000 have fled the Turkish invasion/bombardment, ISIS captives have been freed en masse, and America’s reputation is in shreds. Of course, the bootlickers in his personality cult will somehow find a way to praise him for this.
  • Courage. Then there’s Cadet Bonespur’s draft exemption during the Viet Nam War. There were reasons in abundance to avoid involuntary servitude during that imperialistic crime against humanity. Somehow, one suspects, Trump’s draft avoidance had nothing to do with principled reasons. On a more contemporary level, Trump routinely doesn’t even have the guts to take responsibility for his own actions. The latest example is his refusal to take responsibility for betraying the Kurds, insisting, even after his capitulating phone call to the Turkish thug whose tanks then rolled into northern Syria, that he’s somehow not responsible for that, and in fact opposes it. If he’d actually opposed it, he wouldn’t have pulled back US troops and wouldn’t have told Erdogan it was okay to invade Syria. (It’s a very good bet that most Republicans in both the House and Senate are well aware of this and are disgusted by it. But they’ve placed their own political fortunes, currying favor with the Trump cultists, above what’s good for the country. How patriotic.)

Trump’s cultists are the seamy underside of America: they’re the authoritarian 25% or so of the American people who give lip service to American ideals, wrap themselves in the flag, and then betray everything the flag is supposed to stand for. Their motto might as well be “Sieg Heil Y’all.” (with a tip of the hat to the late Molly Ivins, who ages ago came up with that most apt phrase)





by Chaz Bufe, publisher See Sharp Press

The more literally people take their religious beliefs, the worse they tend to be: dogmatic, arrogant, authoritarian, cruel, willfully ignorant, and self-pitying.

Let’s take these in order. They’re all related; they’re interlocking. (We looked at these in more detail in 20 Reasons to Abandon  Christianity, Part I and Part II. Here, we’re only hitting the low points.)

Dogmatism. Asserting that some “holy” book or man is invariably correct–despite oftentimes massive evidence to the contrary–is almost a dictionary definition of dogmatism.

Arrogance. Just look at the self-congratulatory, self-referential terms religious folk use: “the chosen people” (or simply “the chosen”), “the elect,” “the redeemed,” “the saved,” etc., etc. And then look at how righteous they feel about imposing their dogmatic beliefs on others.

Authoritarianism. ISIS with its shariah law is only the worst recent example of this. Look also to Boko Harom in Nigeria and the mullahs in Tehran.

Here in this country, look at America’s Taliban: the Christian fundamentalists, conservative Catholics, and Mormons intent on turning this country into a theocracy (a “Christian nation”) with their religious beliefs jammed down everyone else’s throats via the government. (They’re already done this to a great extent via intrusive laws with no secular justification, such as those restricting abortion, [until recently] those outlawing “sodomy,” [until a few decades ago] those restricting or banning birth control devices, and those denying assistance in dying to those with terminal illnesses or intolerable pain. And let’s not forget about the “war on drugs”–conducted by uniformed terrorists–which is in large part fueled by religious “moral” fervor.

Cruelty. This is so obvious it seems almost  unnecessary to provide examples, but just to hit a few of the low points: the Inquisition with its ecclesiastical torturers; the mass burning of “witches”; imprisonment of atheists (in 19th-century England). And currently, denial of access to abortion to rape and incest victims; vindictive prosecution and imprisonment of those who help those in intolerable pain die with dignity; (until recently in this country) cruel, lengthy prison terms for the victimless “crime” of “sodomy”–an unfortunately common, current practice in all too many other religious countries;  support for the death penalty, and the slavering, vicarious enjoyment of judicial murder; and the hideous, unjustifiable sentences routinely imposed on drug “offenders” for their victimless “crimes.”

Willful Ignorance. Again, this is so obvious that there seems little point in mentioning anything but the low points. Climate change denial. Creationism. Submission of women. Persecution of gays. Leviticus (the entire damn thing–almost nothing but vicious assertions and incitements to murder). The list goes on. Christian apologists go in with predetermined conclusions, cherry pick the evidence to find anything that supports their wishful thinking, and ignore the rest — the exact opposite of the scientific approach.

Self-Pity and Paranoia.  Christian crybabies constantly whine about how “persecuted” they are. What’s the reality? The number of laws prohibiting Christian worship in the U.S.? Zero. Property tax exemptions for  churches?  Universal. Clergy housing tax exemptions?Universal. Money from the government to churches? Very, very common. An entire TV “news” network devoted to flattering the most fear-driven, vicious, authoritarian Christians? Check. Cruel religious precepts, with no secular justification,  enshrined in law? Almost universal. Laws restricting access to abortion. Laws restricting access to or (until relatively recently) banning contraception. Laws outlawing homosexuality–almost universal in the U.S. until very recently, and still very common in Christian countries outside the U.S.  Laws prohibiting individuals from controlling their own lives and deaths? Almost universal. And, lest we forget, nearly 80% of the U.S. public is Christian, along with a good 90% of U.S. lawmakers.

The way the Christian victims in the U.S. manage to put up with such terrible persecution is a constant mystery and  inspiration.

And, yes, the very being of all too many American Christians, their cruel, intrusive, authoritarian nature, is enough to gag a maggot.

But what of the decent Christians we all know? They’re decent people to the extent that they cherry pick Christian scripture and preaching and ignore the rest. They’re cafeteria Christians, choosing what they like and discarding everything else. Why do they do this? Because scientific advances have revealed how outright insane many religious beliefs are, and because they’re nice people. Not as a result of religion, but despite religion. They’ve simply discarded the most inhumane aspects of it (after 250 years of secularism, which is powerful only because of its ideas).

What’s the harm in this? you might ask. Well, first off, they’re taking financial advantage of the rest of us.  Their churches contribute nothing to schools, libraries, fire departments, or the other services they and their members use. The rest of us pay for this with our property taxes.

And, probably worse, liberal Christians provide cover for their mean-spirited, goose-stepping co-religionists. They make religion appear almost respectable. We’d all be far better off if they’d abandon it and allow those who take their religious beliefs seriously, literally, to reveal the true nature of religion. (This is the wonderful thing about the Westboro Baptist Church [“God Hates Fags”]: they’re honest, and they reveal the true nature of Christianity. Fred Phelps was absolutely right when he said of the Bible that there are two verses about hate for every one about love.)

Right-wing, theocratic Christians are a deadly threat to our lives, families, and freedoms. Liberal Christians who know better and who reject the more vicious parts of Christian dogma should be ashamed of themselves. They provide camouflage for the mean-spirited authoritarians intent on turning the U.S. into Iran.