Okay God, Give Me the Ratio Will Ya?

What’s wrong with the type of men that Willard “The Stench” hangs with, is that they are experts at “locker room” talk when nobody is around. You know what I mean. They are the one’s who are so politically correct in public, except when they let it slip that they are quite different with the “boys.”

You can almost hear the snickering about the “masses” that goes on in the country club over lunch as they compare the latest vacation spot in Europe and prattle about the newest investment scheme to “harvest” some profits at low risk.

John Bolton is one of the “boys” to be sure, and a snarly nasty example of neo-con war hawking manliness. You can almost hear the laughter that permeates his macho speech. These are the anti-women, anti-gay, anti-minority men who surround Willard and give him his economic and foreign policy policies. Today Bolton called the President’s Libyan policy as “limp-wristed.” How nice of him to insult a whole segment of America unnecessarily, all to make his point that the President doesn’t live in the bomb- first league with him.

A Manhattan storage company is having some fun with advertising boards. Apparently he’s been at it for some time.

The one about Michele “crazy eyes”  Bachmann is the best. We hear that MB is having herself some time in her re-election campaign. We can only hope that the people of Minnesota have finally come to their senses and discovered that she is insane.

But we doubt it.

We do hope though. Hope springs eternal among people my age.

What’s going on in Republican circles these days? I mean once you ignore the silliness of Krauthammer, Dick Morris, Hannity, and the usual bilge dumpers. The question is “who decided to nominate this guy?” Yep the blame game is already starting up and it promises to be a doozy, once the election is finished and Willard starts ejaculating into the conversation how it wasn’t his fault. Hint: just remember what the other choices were (Huntsman excepted).

Every day, if you read enough stuff in the old Google reader, you come upon the stupidest jerk on the planet, for the day. Each day, a new one. I can only figure that God has some formula for stupid. As a joke factor he slides us an idiot to keep the game interesting. Just what is the ratio?

Today the idiot meter went off and nearly woke up the house when I found out that there is a guy who is a mayor in Maine who has a lot of Somalian immigrants. Now said idiot says they have to stop living their own culture, and must leave it at the door, and adopt ours. Whatever that means.

His name is Bob McDonald and he ei-ei-ohed off some farm where he was probably sleeping with the pigs (as in sleeping, not that other thing–you potty brain!). Anyway, he is just another one of your colorful clowns who has managed to somehow pull the wool over his community who confoundedly elected him. My dog is smarter.

McDonald is a Republican. He ran against a dead guy. He only managed to win by 7 votes. Sigh. I’m signing up for the first interplanetary shuttle to NewStar when the begin the immigration. I sure hope I don’t have to leave my culture at the door.

Nate Silver says that the convention bump of Obama did stall as predicted. But when you make God happy, good things happen! The infamous 47% story has got it moving upward again. Or, as we say, gee Mitt, you DID build that!

This is why the Religious Right falls on deaf ears among rational people: Case in point. One pastor of a mega church in Indiana, Pastor Jack Schapp, has just pled guilty to having a sexual affair with a teen girl. The pastor had been counseling the girl, and was the author of a book for teen girls and dating. His advice? Keep your weight own. It’s not that there aren’t bad people in and out of religion, but it’s always the vocal “moralists” who are doing the most immoral things. They give all believers such a bad name. It’s a shame. They need to shut the pie hole.

A close runner-up for idiot of the day is our favorite Todd Akin, remember the dude and his “legitimate rape” claims? Well Todd is one stupid man. After debating Senator Claire McCaskill, he called her “not at all ladylike like she was in 20o6.” Todd, shut your pie hole.

Once upon a time, Akin was supposed to finish off the Democrats and turn the Senate into a GOP love land. Well, that is not likely to happen now, and where once (was it so short a time ago?) the GOP was vilifying Akin for his anti-woman remarks, now they are sending him money again, because you know when it comes down to it, women take second place to the chance to get that seat.

There are no principles in the GOP any more are there?

Is It Still the Wrong Time to Talk About Gun Control?

 

 

Yes no doubt it is. Just as La Pierre and his band of gun-sodden nuts. After all, guns don’t kill, people do–with guns.

And for the Breitbart wannabes out there who were sure this was some Obama-induced Islamic terrorist. . . .first go learn some history, and then shut the F**K up.

And the senseless killing continues perpetrated by mentally ill individuals who find it oh so easy to purchase the weaponry they desire to wreak havoc on innocents.

How sick of this need we get before we wake up?

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Because I have fabulously bright and well read readers, I invite you to a website that I suspect many of you will thoroughly enjoy. It’s called the Boston Review, and comes out I believe 4-6 times a year. You can of course subscribe to a hard copy but I think you can read all or most of it online. This month’s subject is: Under the Influence: Politicians listen to money rather than to the public’s preferences. An opening article starts the discussion and then others respond with articles of their own. Plus there is more. Go take a look.

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I have come to the very important conclusion that being a leveraged-buyout artist ala Willard, must be a job that any moron can do. Why you say?

Because every which way I turn, Willard manages to screw the pooch. I mean has anyone ever run a worse campaign to date? His attempt to turn the lawsuit filed by the Obama Administration against the new voting law that seriously shortens the time average people have to vote into some anti-military thing is falling on deaf ears. Perhaps, and finally, people are starting to understand that with Willard it is noun, verb, lie whenever he opens his mouth.

Similarly Willard has come out against tax credits for wind energy, something that is insane in a state like Iowa which was still considered a toss-up. Wind energy accounts for some 20% of electric power in Iowa and supports several thousand jobs. Nice job dunce!

So headhunters! Call me! I can leverage all day!

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Some people are no longer worth picking on because they have lost every last cell of common sense and gone over to the willy-wonka crazy tent. Such a one is Bryan Fischer, the dude who waxes all too often on the growing fascism of the President. Today Bryan told us that a Saudi woman who competes in judo is nothing more than way of promoting sharia law, something he claims is now enshrined in the Olympics.

I bet if you asked his mom, you’d find out that Bryan ate paste as a child. He has all the symptoms of paste syndrome you know–wild leaps of fantasy, followed by long bouts of crying.

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Oh, gosh, it’s so hard to decide who to give the YOU’RE STUPID AS HELL AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT, award for the week. I think I’ll give it to that perennial idiot, James Inhofe, senator from the burning state of Oklahoma. Given the awful weather of the year, and the growing and uncontradicted reports of global warming, Mr stupid pants came up with this intellectual response:

“It gets cold, it gets warmer, it gets colder, gets warmer. God is still up there, and I think it’ll continue in the future.”

Another paste eater for sure.

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If ya didn’t hear, our new best friend, Curiosity Rover landed softly on Mars and is busy going about its job. You can follow her at Twitter: Curiosity Rover @MarsCuriosity. She’s a her, cuz I said so.

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There are 12 rules to being a human being. Bet you didn’t know that. There are though, and if you don’t believe me, go over to  Mark and Angel’s and see. I wouldn’t lie ya know.

Life lessons. Don’t miss them.

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Scott Erb over at World in Motion has a great post on givers versus takers. And I want you to know I stole this from the post. I wouldn’t lie to ya, like I said.

Yeah, someday they will wake up. Hopefully before it’s too late.

We’re having some brokeback tacos for dinner with guacamole and green chile salsa. And I need to get into the kitchen and start makin’ it. If you would like thee recipes just head on over to What’s On the Stove? and you can find ‘em with little efforts.

Have a good one.

 

Aw Shucks and BeJesus!

 

 

 

Doncha know that I am just bummed. I hear ex-pretence-of-a-president, George W. Bush, Dubya fun, dubya stupid to his friends, ain’t a goin’ to the big to-doin’s called the GOP convention.

Nope, he don’t wanna take the spot light off the dim bulb personality of Willard.

Given that Georgie was one of the more incurious types ever to sit his behind in the oval office, my guess is that it is just too boring for him to bother with.

But then again, no doubt the black sheep son is also somewhat concerned about his legacy. And associating with idiots probably would not help. Speaking of legacy, when I heard that the Texas stooge (not Gohmert or Perry), had written a book about EKO-NOM-IKS, I nearly lost my lunch in guffaws (Willard uses this term for laughing). I mean you gotta be kidding me!

Seriously. The man is a mental midget.

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There is a really excellent post by Frank Bruni on the NYTimes editorial page about the super-noodle head, Michele Bachmann. Bruni examines her strange variety of “Christianity”, you know the one I mean. The one favored by the likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, and other hate-mongering types who use their sick interpretation of the bible to justify suppression of other people. Take a look. As always take a look at the comments.

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Ya know,  the NRA may tell me that I can’t talk about gun control because it is “politicizing” a tragedy. Which is dumb of course, but the crazy right thinks it’s exactly the proper time to blame it all on liberals. Colorado is Gods vengeance for turning away from Him. Sick huh? Which makes our favorite hate monger, Bryan Fischer’s remarks all the more backward:

It’s been interesting to me in talking to liberals, and I’m sure you’ve had this same experience, the conclusion I’ve come to is that they cannot be reasoned with because logic means nothing to them, facts mean nothing to them, history means nothing to them, reason means nothing to them. They just have these very strong feelings and the strength of those feelings in their minds is all they need to validate the positions they take. So I’ve just come to the conclusion that liberals cannot be reasoned with they can only be defeated.

Now that will make your head spin won’t it?

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Willard appears to be taking a page from the Gingrich (where the hell did he go?) playbook. Remember when ole Nootie Patootie was buying Twitter followers? Well it seems our boy Willard has done the same thing. His campaign of course denies it, but his numbers went up dramatically on one day, and they don’t match the retweets and tweets offered on that day. Estimates are that Willard’s twitter account contains only about 26% real people. For an unreal guy, hey that’s pretty good don’t ya think?

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Well one thing you don’t wanna do. Louis Gohmert Republican idiot from Texas, don’t take no “chit” from nobody, and that includes one John S. McCain–a man not known to take criticism well. Senator McCain had the audacity to criticize Gohmert and Bachmann and others who decided based on no evidence to attack a Hillary Clinton aide. McCain came to her defense.

Well, Gohmert didn’t care for that, and while appearing on the Dennis Miller (he has a show?) show, called McCain “numb nuts” and that McCain was probably under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.

I do believe that we are drawing near to a time when it can fairly be said that there are no minds at all in the GOP only facsimiles.

I bid adieu, adios, and good day to you all.

GOHMERT: Well, it’s obvious that John McCain didn’t even read the letter because of what he said in accusing Michele and us of making these horrible accusations. There were five letters and there were many things that are stated that are facts in each letter. And I wish some of these numb nuts would go out and read the letter before they make these horrible allegations about the horrible accusations we’re making. But we also know that John McCain himself had said back in the early stages of stuff going on in Egypt that he was, in his words, “unalterably opposed to helping the Muslim Brotherhood.” Well, obviously the unalterable person has been altered, so he is okay with it now.

Yeah, well now Louis, you have about as much sense as Gomer Pyle on a bad day, so I’d button that lip before Johnny comes and lays you out on the House floor for impersonating a Representative. And don’t land on no cactus when you fall there bud.

 

 

And Then There was Only One to Decry the Inhumanity

Collaborator.

It’s an innocent word. All words are in and of themselves.

Until they are attached to people, events and things and then they can and often do take on a tone all their own. We all know that in reference to a whole plethora of words we do not use in our society. The “N” word, the “R” word are examples.

Collaborator simply means “to work together, especially in a joint intellectual undertaking”. Scientists collaborate in their efforts to build a robot to walk the red dirt of Mars. Certainly a laudable effort.

But the word came to take on a very negative tone after WWII when it was learned that various people in various countries had “collaborated” with the Nazis in order to gain safety, extra food, preferred treatment of some sort. There were Dutch collaborators, as pictured here, and French. There were Jews who sold out other Jews.

To be a collaborator became the name of someone who had sold out, saved his own skin at the expense of others, someone who for some personal gain was willing to do the bidding of another group who was acting against one’s own kind, however defined.

The world is full of collaborators, unfortunately.

I have something to say. It in no way is limited to the folks I’m going to talk about. There are their counterparts in every other group I can think of. I’ve been reading Max Blumenthal’s, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party. For several chapters now, Blumenthal has been documenting the Religious Right and it’s stranglehold on the Republican Party. He has been documenting how some  African-Americans, sexual misbehavors, gays, and women have been willing to shill for the Right, and doing it by attacking in the most virulent manner their own kind. 

They all have their reasons, they all can give excuses, but in the end, they are those who would walk away from themselves and their families and friends in order to achieve some personal goal. It might be money, prestige, or power. It is never pretty. It always makes one slightly sick.

We see it in the guise of so many Black conservatives (I use the term Black here because they almost universally decry the use of the term African-American since they are promoting the trope of “we are all equal” now). We see it most recently in the various low-level Republican women who have been shoved before microphones to insist that the GOP has no war against women, but this is all just some ploy by Democrats to scare women. We see it in Log Cabin Republicans who look aside as members of their party demean and verbally abuse our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, in the name of God and “traditional values.”

I have said nothing about the tragedy in Florida relating to the murder of Trayvon Martin. You are all most clear on the facts I am sure. It is heartbreaking to see this play out. It is heartbreaking to listen to grown men of African-American descent, talk about how as young men, they learned rules of behavior that no white male would and will ever hear.

  • Don’t run in public places. You will surely be thought to be running from some crime you committed.
  • Don’t speak back to police officers no matter what they say. Don’t argue. Don’t maintain eye contact.
  • Don’t be alone, but don’t be in such numbers that you will be thought a gang.
  • Don’t carry things in your hands, no matter how innocent they may be.
  • Don’t go there  or there or there at night, during the day,  . . .

Can you imagine this? Can you? I can assure you it is the reality of life for the teen American Black Male. I have witnessed more than one distraught mother, shaking her head as she looked at me with tears in her eyes. “I told him not to go . . . or to be with. . . . “

Have you ever heard radio tapes between patrol officers and dispatch when investigating an arrest? I can tell you that it is common that  the “suspicious activity” often involves merely a black male late at night being in a place that is “white”.

I worked in Detroit. At the time, the most ritzy part of the greater Detroit Metropolitan area were the “Grosse Points”, actually several smaller suburbs, but home to the car giants, the Fords and Iacocca. They were all white. There were NO blacks in residence, other than the help. Do you know what constituted “suspicious activity”? A car with black youths crossing the line from Detroit into their jurisdiction.

The case of Trayvon smacks exactly of this kind of thing to me. And as usual, but for the hue and cry from the African-American community, it would have gone unnoticed.

But there are voices that I am not hearing at all.

I have not heard Alan West, that staunch conservative from Florida say a word. I have not heard Alan Keyes say a word. I have not heard Herman Cain say a word. I have not heard any of pandering sycophants that pass for African-American Republicans lift their voices in horror and dismay. (Nor of course are we hearing from the Religious Right either. Fox has been nearly silent)

And I wonder why.

Except I know.

Their “constituents”, nay their masters, those lily-white haters of all things non-white won’t tolerate it. No, they mouth, on behalf of whitey, the crap that racism is over in this country, and that we judge “by the content of the character” thereby abusing no only the sensibilities of rational people but also demeaning  the greatest civil rights leader of our time. If West or Keyes or Cain raise their voices, they will be accused of  “playing the race card”. The white head will shake and bemoan, “he’s just like them all, always using race, instead of. . . .” Hear the echos of Mr. Zimmerman? “they always get away. . .”

So don’t expect to hear much from these fine Black conservatives. They condemn themselves. But then what is new? 

“I Think There are a Couple of Pages Missing From His Bible”

So said Mike Barnicle on Morning Joe today of Franklin Graham.

And he was right.

While I am not a fan of his father’s, there is no need to belabor his shortcomings at the age of 93. Franklin, however, is another story. He is a religious bigot of the first order, and rather proud of it.

He couches much of his language in the “proper” Christian rhetoric. He proclaims himself a “sinner” which is offered to show proper “humility”. He refuses the word “judge” and prefers to “take people at their word” but let their “actions speak for themselves”, all the while reminding folks that “there are all kinds of ‘Christians’ claiming to be followers of Jesus.”

Why he came on Morning Joe today is anybody’s guess, but he was not treated kindly in his bigotry. He was asked about whether he believed Obama was a Christian, and returned with the usual “He says he is, I have no right to judge.” He insisted that he must be judged by his actions. And his actions, Franklin argues suggest a decided Muslim favoritism.

The proof?

Why, America’s complicity in the downfall of Mubarak in Egypt! Dictator though he may have been, he protected Christians in the country, and the protection of Christians matters. It is inconsequential if Mubarak treated opposition Arabs rather poorly. Those people have no right to freedom when Christian lives are in the balance!

When Graham was asked whether Santorum was a Christian, he responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!” This prompted Willie Geist and John Heilemann to grill him incessantly over his double standard. He kept on smiling while assuring everyone that he has spoken with Santorum and he believed his faith real. On the other hand, President Obama admitted to him that he had not attended church until he began working in Chicago and local leaders there told him that he would have little credibility if he didn’t involve himself in the churches.

Graham left it there, implying that Obama’s Christianity was a matter of convenience, rather than the more likely catalyst for perfecting his faith.

When asked about Gingrich, Graham admitted that he has some “marriage” problems, but was also a Christian and had the “makings of a good candidate.” As to Romney? He unbelievably and audaciously lied, “he’s a Mormon, and most Christians don’t think Mormons are Christians.”

Pressed again on his double standard, he reiterated that the way one lives one’s life is the defining standard. Clearly Santorum and Gingrich are “good candidates” while Obama has “favored Muslims” over Christians. End of story.

Graham has attempted to be smarter in his lying at least. When asked about his infamous remark that because Obama’s father was Muslim he “carried the seed of Islam”, Graham now disclaims that he said that. No, he claims, Islam claims that. The quote is below. You decide.

“I think the president’s problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name.” Franklin continues to say, “Now it’s obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed, and he has renounced Islam, and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That’s what he says he has done. I cannot say that he hasn’t. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said.”

I am happy that Graham supports the GOP. We sure don’t want no more Jeremiah Wright’s in our camp do we?

I bet you didn’t know that President Obama had “radical environmental policies” did ya? So radical that Santorum’s screech-owl, Alice Stewart, got confused and called them “radical Islamic policies” by mistake. She called in to correct that little Freudian slip real quick. Or is that just Santorum code speak

Newt knows his audience. Speaking in Oklahoma, he made fun of the President’s call for smaller cars as one way to combat our oil dependency. “You can’t strap a gun rack into a Volt,” Newters cried. And you can’t put lipstick on a pig either. Oops, that’s been taken.

Newt likes to shock. “Defeating Barack Obama becomes, in fact, a duty of national security. Because the fact is, he is incapable of defending the United States.” Wave the flag Newtie. All that’s missin’ is the bible.

Republicans can be such wet blankets. An Indiana legislator by the name of Bob Morris, refused to sign a 100 congrats to the Girl Scouts, because as he sees it they are a radicalized group who promote abortion and homosexuality. Does this mean no cookies Mr. Grouch? The Family Research Council thinks their campaign against the GS has resulted in lower cookie sales. Grown men beating up on little girls. Nice.

There are those who think it’s a darned shame that Pat Buchanan was turned out of MSNBC. The Right Wonkers are claiming that it is because Buchanan as a conservative voice. No, actually it’s because Pat couldn’t keep his hate buttoned up like he is supposed to. Read his ten most egregious racist remarks here.

Ragin’ Rick likes WWII analogies to Hitler when he thinks about Obama. Like Newtie, it’s your patriotic duty to get rid of the pretend President:

“Remember, the greatest generation for a year and a half, sat on the sidelines while Europe was under darkness,” Santorum said, going on to explain why Americans delayed entering the war. “We’re a hopeful people. We think, ‘Well, you know, it’ll get better. Yeah, he’s a nice guy. I mean, it won’t be near as bad as what we think. This will be okay. I mean, yeah, maybe he’s not the best guy after a while, after a while you find out some things about this guy over in Europe who’s not so good of a guy after all … ‘”

Oh such a collection of dopes.

 

Scientists Announce: Newt Gingrich Created the Universe!

Ya see, I believe that God in infinite wisdom, created us with a two help-mates. One is a devil, and the other an angel. Stay with me here.

They are constantly pushing us to respond to their line of reasoning.

They are meant to be kept relatively equal.

So most of us are pretty much even throughout our lives.

We are good about half of the time, and bad about half of the time. We try to keep the “bad” mostly thoughts and words, and not so much actions. That helps to keep us out of jail. (The angel is a good advocate for practicalities.)

But in some humans, the devil is listened to far far too much.

And things get way out of whack. Mostly the poor little angel atrophies from lack of use.

And it’s voice gets tinier and tinier, and harder and harder to hear.

And the devil grows by leaps and bounds.

His voice gets louder.

It gets more insistent.

It sounds more reasonable.

It offers more things that make you feel good.

In fact it’s speciality is making your feel good.

Temporarily.

And it urges you not to think of the future.

Or pay back.

Or inevitabilities, such as death, and whether you will be well received at the Pearly Gates.

But it can drown out the tiny voice of the angel.

The poor little angel sounds almost like a squeak.

It cannot be heard any more.

Look familiar?

It should.

If  you could cast a spray of pixie dust over Newt Gingrich, you would see these two quite clearly.

If you were in Newt’s boudoir (perish the thought) you would notice it easily. For Newt’s one shoulder hangs perilously lower than the other. The devil  is one heavy dude for this man. One of the reasons you don’t see Newt without a jacket on, is because he is forced to wear a very heavy weight under his arm to counterbalance the bloated devil on his shoulder.

 It makes him waddle like a duck when he walks. I’m sure you’ve noticed that.

Newt is convinced that the free world was created by himself. He’s already taken credit for the collapse of communism, and the fall of the Berlin wall. He claims to be the creator of “supply-side” economics, though a few others might dispute that.

Now he claims that Mittens ought to be thanking him, because it was his economic policies which he convinced Reagan to pursue that led to Mittens great wealth. And that may be true. At least it’s true in Newt’s mind.

But if it is true,  . . .well. I guess it means that Newt is responsible for much that is wrong with our economic system today. I guess he is proud of the fact that there has never been so much inequality in America. I guess he approves of the destruction of the middle class.

Newt listens to his devil too much.

But, it may be the only friend he has.

Oh, I forgot. Another way you can tell that a person’s devil is too big? Their heads get really really big. I spoke to Newt’s haberdasher only yesterday. His head size is up 2″–in just the last two weeks.  Just sayin’.

Somebody else who has been listening to the wrong shoulder, is Tony Perkins. Tony, you remember is a right-wing family values kinda guy who heads up the Family Research Council. That means he favors Republicans, since only Republicans are pro-family. You knew that.

So, Tony, like others of his evangelical kind, try to prop up the mean-spirited  economic goals of the GOP.

So Tony has decided to “interpret” Luke 19: 11-27, commonly known as the Parable of the pounds.

In a nutshell, a man goes on a journey, and gives money to several of his servants. The first two, engaged in some business trading and multiplied the money, while the third, simply hid the money for safekeeping. The man punishes the third servant for doing nothing to increase the money.

Tony, doesn’t get what a parable is. He thinks the story is literal.

He thinks that Jesus is applauding free market economics, and rejected collectivism. Kinda like, Jesus would reject Occupy Wall Street today and applaud the banks.

Tony’s interpretation is not unique. It’s been heard before by the likes of David Barton, that brilliant pretend historian who also dabbles in biblical explanations.

But it has nothing to do with what Luke (or Matthew 25)  was trying to get across. Which was simply that  we are responsibility to live out our beliefs–namely spread the Gospel and bring into the Kingdom as many as we can. We can’t just sit in our salvation, complacent and smug.

But reality means almost nothing to those who believe that God is calling them to cheapen the bible with partisan interpretations, in order to SAVE OUR COUNTRY FROM THE DEMON OBAMA.

Mr. Perkins is also known to always wear a jacket.

Self-Serving Interpretations

I haven’t posted much here lately of a religious nature. And I usually describe this blog as part political commentary and part religious commentary.

Yet, I’ve been sensitive (probably too much so) to the fact that a good many of my readers are either agnostics or atheists and have little or no interest in things spiritual.

But, of late, I’ve been thinking hard about David Barton and his awful pretense of “historical” revising. We all know of course, his proclivity to proclaim that America was “founded on Christian principles.” While we agree that most of the Founding Fathers were Christian in some form or another, it is equally clear that the dangers of a religious-political union were well-known from history and there was a deliberate determination to not allow that unholy alliance to be the government of the new nation.

Barton, who has a BA from Oral Roberts University (which tells you a lot in and of itself) in religious education, has the temerity to hold himself out as “expert on historical and constitutional issues.” What he actually does, is cherry pick statements from historical documents and the bible and create a web of arguments that favor his view–that America is meant to be a nation ruled by Christian principles (supposedly as defined by him and others who agree with his fundamentalist notions).

Ironically, the Founding Fathers were steeped in exactly the opposite philosophy. The long history of the Roman Church and its marriage with the kings of Europe served an object lesson in how not to govern. Moreover, the FF were men of the Enlightenment, and any high school student in the US knows that they were deeply influenced by John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, both Enlightenment thinkers, who posited that man was more than capable of learning the secrets of nature and governing himself. One’s personal belief in a deity, was just that, personal.

One of the dangers of people like Barton is that they use their “talents” to create a history that favors their agenda and that of the party they affiliate with. In this case, Barton provides the “philosophical” underpinnings to the Republican notions of free market economies unfettered from regulation of any kind. In other words, toss out all the anti-trust, anti-child labor, minimum wage, safe working conditions legislation. This is God’s will.

Of particular interest to me as of late is the continuing claim that “Jesus opposed the minimum wage.” Setting aside for a moment the obvious idiocy of this, since there is no reference to “minimum wage” in the bible, let us examine the crux of the argument.

Most often cited in this discussion is Matthew 20: 1-16. In this parable, a wealthy vineyard owner seeks day workers for his fields. In the morning he finds some and agrees to a wage, and sends them out. At noon, some more are found, and they too are sent to the fields. Late in the work day, a few more are found and sent for a hour’s work.

As the men line up for payment, those who worked a full day are chagrined to see that the owner is paying those who worked only an hour the same wage as those who worked a full day. They complain. The vineyard owner points out that they agreed to their wage before they began working. What is it to them how he deals with others? And here is the phrase that the Christianists hang their hat on:

“Have I no right to do what I like with my own?”

To the so-called Christian who wants to protect his/her own wallet, more lovely words were never spoken. Why God says that a business owner has the right to do with his money as he wishes! The government has no right to order them to pay people any set sum of money!

Such greedy and selfish people virtually ignore the obvious point Jesus makes, and see nothing but that one sentence; that along with various verses strewn throughout the psalms and scriptures which talk about not placing undue emphasis on wealth. (Except the wealthy I guess did place a lot of emphasis on money in order to become so.)

This is then married to the “Jesus never said that Rome should care for the poor” and “it’s the job of charitable works to take care of the poor” (the poor being those people we conclude are deserving). There you have it. A perfectly constructed argument that allows “Christians” to keep their money in their pockets and the government out of social safety-nets. (An amazingly high percentage of these fools do take their Social Security and Medicare when they reach retirement. Shocking isn’t it?)

Actually the clear import of the parable is this: The vineowner was a good man. He recognized that all those who worked for him that day had to eat and probably had families they had to feed. He had no idea what may have prevented the later arrivals from getting to the town square earlier. Who knows how far they traveled to seek work?

He provided a decent wage to all who worked because they had themselves and their families to support. He recognized the need to make sure that all were cared for. If you struck an agreed-upon bargain, what was it to you if the owner struck more favorable bargains with others? The implication is, that the long-day workers were the greedy ones! They wanted more if the owner was paying the latest workers a “living” wage.

This is the kind of thing that fundamentalists do with scripture, twisting and dishonoring it in order to serve their personal desires. And of course, in doing so, they dishonor God, the Bible, and other Christians.

And sad to say, Barton continues to be the darling of the likes of Bachmann, Huckabee and Gingrich and others who play to the fears and greed of the “religious right.”