Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Dear faithful readers:

2013 is THE time for change, and this blog will cease and another one will take its place in skewering all the religious and political hypocrites.

Please subscribe to SCMBH soon. It will contain more material, more insight, more apps than ever before and as many posts as I can muster. Be patient, because one-man blogging can be overwhelming at times - especially when dealing with religion and politics! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Transcend Christmas: Get The Guns Off The Streets, The Paranoia Out Of Our Minds, And Put "Happy Holidays" In Our Hearts!

A re-post of one of last year's articles might have been as appropriate for this Christmas article, but too many Americans need to have things current, up-to-date ... and in-your-face. Last year there was a series called Transcending Christmas and the first part ,Transcending Christmas: Will The Christian Right Kill The Christmas Spirit? The Christmas Truce of 1914 Shows Why. pointed out that during the Christmas Truce of 1914, men actually laid down their guns, walked across enemy lines and allowed peace to reign for one day during the most devastating war man had ever seen.

When those men laid down their guns, however, what they were actually setting aside was their fear, their paranoia that they would be killed by their fellow man.

The Real Reason Behind The Sandy Hook Slaughter?

One of the easiest emotions to pass on to a son or daughter is ... fear: fear of everything and everyone. Sometimes overprotective parents can relay fear, and overprotective parents who are themselves fearful may be double doses of paranoia. Newtown's Nancy Lanza was fearful of her former husband, of Adam's school and even of Adam himself. And while she may have had an "interest" in guns, the presence of an assault rifle indicates the possibility of a survivalist mentality. She even tutored Adam in use of the assault rifle, triggering a paranoia that would eventually be out of control. The possibility that Adam would use the gun for lethal purposes was, in Nancy's mind, a risk she had to take to protect herself from the outside world's intent on doing her and her son harm.

     "Nancy Lanza, the mother of the Sandy Hook shooter, was in the process of having her son committed to a psychiatric facility when he went on the mass shooting spree,a lifelong family acquaintance told Fox News.
A senior law enforcement official also confirmed that 20-year-old Lanza's anger over his mother's plan is being investigated as a possible motive for the Newtown shooting."
Fear. Fear and anger. The two can be mutually inclusive. 

Paranoia Begetting Paranoia

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

 ... Earlier this week, WorldNetDaily columnist and regular Fox News guest Erik Rush tweeted a video arguing that President Obama orchestrated the Sandy Hook and Aurora, Colorado shootings in order to cover-up a massive government scandal, forcibly disarm Americans, put people in concentration camps and start a civil war.

Driving The Second Amendment ... Into The Ground

Fear of England and fear of any totalitarian government like England's were certainly at the heart of the Constitution's Second Amendment. The common use of firearms (for hunting as well as protection) inculcated responsibility, however, with firearms that were nowhere near as deadly (or dependable) as a today's semi-automatic rifle. The vision of one man mowing down dozens of people within minutes could not have entered into the minds of the Founding Fathers. To be sure, frontiersmen had occasional run-ins with Indians, but the Founding Fathers were not concerned with them and any form of domestic terrorism was not in their nomenclature.

To put it simply: Patriot Movement and survivalist zealots armed with AK-47s and assault rifles were not what the Founding Fathers envisioned and they would have been ashamed that their own fears could reach such levels.

Wars and Enemies Everywhere

From foreign wars to the supposed "War on Christmas", the American psyche has been imbued with an "us vs them" mentality. Military terminology even invades our religious makeup (Cindy "Japan-is-shaped-like-a-dragon" Jacobs' organization is named Generals International - a point which seems to have no relevance whatsoever other than to instill a military air). The ability to stop paranoia seems, at times, futile: like the above insipid conspiracy theory, paranoia seems inevitable after a tragedy such as Sandy Hook. Calls for more guns and for greater school security with more guns (e.g. concealed weapons by teachers and administrators) are on the rise. Instances of children carrying guns to school are commonplace. Instead of being tamped down, paranoia is on the rise. 

One of the reasons for the rise in paranoia is the false notion that Christians are being persecuted in this country. In a country where the smallest hamlets have three church spires, the idea of persecution seems ludicrous, but for decades, "social conservatives" (the Christian Right's preferred label) have fostered an "us vs them" ideology that has not been seen since the days of the Roman Empire. For example, what is the "War On Christmas," except an attempt to take back the Christmas Spirit and brand it exclusively for Christians. 

What the Christian Right has never realized is that the Christmas Spirit itself transcended the holiday of Christmas long ago and any attempt to contain it, to make it exclusively Christian is futile. Instead of bemoaning the fate of Christmas, we should all be alarmed at the lack of Christmas Spirit brought on by our national paranoia. After all, the Christmas Spirit of "Peace On Earth Good Will Towards Men" depends upon something conspicuously pushed aside by our all-consuming paranoia: belief in your fellow man.

Was The Response To Sandy Hook The Final Chapter For The Christmas Spirit?

No. But dwelling on the lack of Spirit does little to propel the Spirit forward and grow, as it should, exponentially. What encourages and nurtures the Spirit is a combination of endless and all-inclusive hope, belief in your fellow man, determination and compassion. Endless. All-inclusive. The Spirit should be meted out to everyone and everything on earth ...forever.

There should be no Final Chapter.

So it is with the Spirit of Christmas that I bid everyone:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

When You Care Enough To Think The Very Worst

Remember Rapture Kitty?

On May 2, 2011, The Rapture was supposed to occur.

It didn't. And there were some very disappointed people. Anticipating one's worst fear can lead to actual depression when that fear isn't realized.

The disappointment doesn't necessarily come from embarrassment - looking stupid or crazy is something apocalypticists deal with long before the impending doom. Rather, it comes because they are looking forward to the Apocalypse with JOY: the promised Messiah will come, they will go to heaven and their enemies will go to hell. Yes, joy ... and revenge. They will also shackle off this mortal coil which has been so awful to them. All their worldly woes will disappear.

Famous moments in Non-Armageddon

Perhaps the most notable recent occurrence of apocalypticism (yes, there is such a word, although not, apparently in today's spell check) was the Harold Camping "Rapture" non-event of May 21, 2011. Camping - a host on Family Radio - and not an ordained minister - had previously predicted September 6, 1994 as the return of Christ, then when that did not occur, he revised his calculations and held steadfastly to the date of May 21, 2011. When the Rapture didn't occur, he changed the date to Oct 21st. After that date failed to bring forth the Four Horsemen, he had a stroke. The latest about Mr Camping is that he regrets the "sin" of being so arrogant as to predict what God will decide and is still reading his Bible for more knowledge and repentance (he's off the air).

Then there was David Koresh and the Branch Davidians. Overshadowed by the deadly confrontation in Waco, the history of the Branch Davidians goes back to 1930 when they were ostracized by their parent sect, the Seventh Day Adventists (who also believe in the imminent coming of the Apocalypse).

The Great Disappointment

But the most devastating (and widely believed) - date of the apocalypse -October 22, 1844, was promoted by Baptist lay preacher, William Miller. Miller's prediction, like Camping's, was based on Biblical prophecy and was widely accepted by tens of thousands of Americans at the time - and across denominational lines! By 1843, over one million copies of Millerite papers and periodicals were in print and people were absolutely convinced of Christ's Second Coming. When the day passed without incident, the entire nation called it The Great Disappointment. So eager were people for the Second Coming that overnight, 16 "advent papers" offered different dates. Factional battles sprung up. People changed denominations. The Great Disappointment had, in fact, changed a substantial part of the landscape of America's organized religion.

Why No Concern?

While the previous predictions of the apocalypse were accompanied by dire warnings (Camping's group spent $100 million on advertising), the coming Mayan apocalyptic date spawned only a tepid movie. Stand-up comedians aren't even giving it much air time, although Letterman and Leno had a few words:

     "The Mayans have predicted the world is supposed to end on December 21. If the world doesn't end on December 21, you can bet the next day the malls will be overrun with Mayans trying to buy last-minute gifts." –Jay Leno   
 "December 21, the end of the world, is a Friday. So it means dress is casual." –David Letterman
The answer to the indifference is perhaps that this particular apocalypse is based on the Mayan calendar which ushers in a New Age of Enlightenment. Two words: "Mayan" and" Enlightenment" are particularly anathema to some Christians, in particular the Christian Right fringe of apocalypticists who have their own ideas of The Apocalypse. 

Indeed, the names of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse have changed over the years (from Famine , War, Pestilence and Death) to any applicable ideology.

Therefore, in a sense, it is heresy (or apostasy) to believe in the Mayan apocalypse.

So for reason of indifference (sublime or otherwise), December 22nd will be greeted with dismay by very, very few people and with a hearty "ho hum" by many.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This Must Be The Home of “RAMBO JESUS”: Home School "Arsenal Sermon" On Newtown Hits New Low … For Christian Right Paranoia!

Just when we thought that the Newtown school shooting had finally brought out the worst in gun control rants and sermons, a pastor in Tennessee filled the heads of his congregation with thoughts that schools were government "mind-control centers" that taught "junk about evolution" and "how to be a homo.". The most egregious of the ideas, however, was that "home schools" were the safest because they did not have to have a police officer or metal detector and that " there's plenty of guns at my home school. Amen."

This Must Be The Home Of Rambo Jesus

In the annals of Newtown rants, Bryan Fischer turned up first and foremost by saying that "prayerless" schools were the cause of the massacre and that God did not protect the children because He was a "gentleman" who did not go where He was not wanted." It was a milder approach to the situation than the previous picture of Fischer's "Rambo Jesus" - the less than meek and mild firebrand who comes "with a sword", exhibiting a righteous cruelty.

Fischer's displacement of "meek and mild" with guns and ammo is not new, but with the backing of the NRA, far right elements of the Christian Right have made forays into the gun control war and have been more vocal in their support of paranoid sects like the Patriot movement.

Although the Rambo Jesus' Twitter account has been inactive for a year (and for what it's worth, a lampoon*), it is still evidence of a sub culture that believes more in the "come with a sword" words from Holy Scripture than "do good to those who defile you."

The Deepest Thoughts Of Religious Right Paranoia
Last Sunday, Pastor Morris (of Old Paths Baptist Church, Sparta, Tennessee) tried to evince the principles of his church:

Unfortunately, the sermon was also unprincipled, uneducated and reeking of paranoia. His church's David Barton-esque take on the Second Amendment was lost in a sea of mind-controlling government and school education disconnects. Here are some points:

  • Equal Rights: "It is a sham...As long as you're a prisoner, a murder, you can get equal rights"
  • Adam Lance: "They need to string him up in public and set his body on fire."
  • Gun control: Shootings only happened where guns are banned. (Ignoring the fact that the guns used in shootings are available where guns AREN'T banned). He also stated that there was "Never a mass gun shooting at a gun show"
  • School security: "They talk about increasing security, but he shot through the security doors!"

He then posited five questions for the country:

  • Why do you still send your kid to the governmental schools?
  • Do you think that these shootings will continue?
  • Does scoeity omehow share the blame?
  • Who has the REAl authority over America's children?
  • What is driving these mass shootings?
Morris' universal answer to these questions: Deception! - from the schools and the government: " 1963 the government and the schools kicked God out...and now they want Him back. ...It's too late"! He also stated that while practice and expression of religion was absolutely eradicated from schools, the schools are hell-bent on teaching humanism, that teaches your children that they are gods... teaches kids "to be homos" and that evolution teaches that you're an animal.

Bottom Line: "Pull 'Em Out!"

In Morris' plea to wrench children from the clutches of an evil, secular society controlled by the government, he uttered one one truism which, unfortunately, applied primarily to his own sermon: "lack of judgment brings on rage." Morris' rage of righteous arrogance rooted in ignorance and obscenely inept religious fervor transcended baffoonery and plunged into the depths of paranoia.

A dangerous paranoia the likes of which created Adam Lance.

*"It's important to love - if you don't, pray you don't meet @rambojesus.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Pope Tweets Death

Rebecca Kadaga, the most virulent supporter of Uganda's Kill The Gays Bill was blessed by the pope. Ironically, it was at the same time that the Pope opened his first official twitter account. 

Post image for Pope Benedict Blesses Top Lawmaker Pushing Uganda’s Kill The Gays Bill

I guess I'll have to write more about this, huh?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's The Epi-mark, Stupid! Science Proposes The Origins Of Homosexuality ... And The Christian Right Goes Into Convulsions!!

And It Happened In - of all places - Tennessee!!

     "KNOXVILLE – Epigenetics – how gene expression is regulated by temporary switches, called epi-marks – appears to be a critical and overlooked factor contributing to the long-standing puzzle of why homosexuality occurs.

According to the study, published online today in The Quarterly Review of Biology, sex-specific epi-marks, which normally do not pass between generations and are thus "erased," can lead to homosexuality when they escape erasure and are transmitted from father to daughter or mother to son."
According to the study, published online today in The Quarterly Review of Biology, sex-specific epi-marks, which normally do not pass between generations and are thus "erased," can lead to homosexuality when they escape erasure and are transmitted from father to daughter or mother to son."

He may not know it, but Professor Sergey Gavrilets of the University of Tennessee is now officially demon spawn. His study suggests a theory that regulation of certain genes (e.g. testosterone) can determine homosexuality. Such a theory (in Tennessee, no less) will cause mass hysteria among members of the state's Christian Right upper eschelons and produce reactions the likes of which have not been seen since Galileo was imprisoned for his theory of the earth revolving around the sun.

While some hate groups (Council of Conservative Citizens) are quick to posit that the study says there is no such thing as a "gay gene" (it actually does not) and still imply that "environment" has much to do with sexual orientation (the study, however, actually talks about biological environment), other groups are simply taking the tack that the study is "just a theory" (like evolution) or that Gavrilets is just a scientifically political pawn dependent upon government grants.

Reactions so far:

  • ....this article is you see what this does? If homosexuality is genetic, then those who oppose same sex marriage are cavemen and the Bible is a fable.....
  • By the way, homosexuality may be "common" in nature; so are ritual killing, cannibalism, torture and indiscriminate sexual behavior. Should we emulate those too?
  • A worthless waste of money, a worthless study, more worthless "science" signifying nothing.
  • Stunning coincidence that this "scientific breakthrough" is reported the same week that the SCOTUS decides to take p same-sex marriage, don't you think?
  • Studies like this will be the death of all credibility for "science." This is pure politics and social engineering. Nothing scientific about it.
Possibly the worst result of acceptance of the study: "get yourself 'FIXED'!" It may embrace science only to the point of being a possible repairman. In any event, the CR may reason that NOT going through newfangled medical or "scientific" cures is a"choice" and therefore still against God's will. Acceptance and happiness at what you are will not enter into the picture.

"A Choice" Is Out The Window

The strategy of the Christian Right may come in the form of total denial of the new study: as comments have it, the study smacks of "pure politics", especially coming before the Supreme Court decisions. But denial can only last so long, especially if the scientific community weighs in favorably to Gavrilets' study.*

The study's greatest blow to the Christian Right is that it's meme of "homosexuality is a choice" has little bearing in the culture war debate: any biological link** precludes/trumps "choice". How the Christian Right will continue to blare out its meme despite the study remains to be seen and will certainly be entertaining.

Re-defining "Abnormal"

If the Christian Right loses the current "born this way vs choice" battle, rest assured that it will re-focus on "abnormal" and how prayer, reparative therapy or abstinence will stem the "abnormal" proclivities and, in a sense, need to redefine the term, for in the past, "abnormal" has equaled ... "perversion." 

Abnormal. Epi-mark. Epigenetics. Born This Way. Choice. Gay Marriage. Supreme Court. Christian Right.

2013's gonna be very interesting, don't you think?

*To be sure, the Right will call in their own "experts" and "scientists", but under close scrutiny of their credentials and beliefs their statements may not hold water. It is up to responsible professional journalists to point that out.

** Several years ago, a study found that testosterone levels may have been "re-routed" in up to 25% of gay men.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The New White Supremacist Is The Same Old Ann Coulter(geist)

In her ever-hungry bid for publicity, Ann Coulter (aka Coultergeist) has recently hit a new low (for conservatives, but not for her) in portraying Hispanics as the shiftless and lazy group that helped keep Obama in the Oval Office: 


      "...[Charles Murray] recently pointed out that -- contrary to stereotype -- Hispanics are less likely to be married, less likely to go to church, more supportive of gay marriage and less likely to call themselves "conservative" than other Americans. 
Rather than being more hardworking than Americans, Hispanics actually work about the same as others, or, in the case of Hispanic women, less.
More than half of all babies born to Hispanic women today are illegitimate. As Heather MacDonald has shown, the birthrate of Hispanic women is twice that of the rest of the population, and their unwed birthrate is one and a half times that of blacks."
In citing Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve and fellow of The American Enterprise Institute, Coultergeist tips her heavy hand as a white supremacist: the Bell Curve insinuates that minorities (especially African-Americans) are inherently inferior in intelligence. And while Coultergeist has always preened herself in the mirror of conservative (therefore, white) supremacy, her adulation of Murray as well as Joe McCarthy has catapulted her into David Duke's upper eschelons.

The rest of the article tries to cite research such as Murray's as definitive and emblematic of the way America is turning black in its shiftless heart and brown in its skin.

Ann Coultergeist's disdain for anyone or anything slightly liberal has always been up front (the cover of her book, How To Talk To A Democrat ...If You Must shows her in tight leather dominatrix-style attire) and her rhetoric has always indicated that she and only she is the true savior of conservatives everywhere: she has been THE pin-up girl for the likes of Phyllis Schalfley and (retiring) Jim DeMint. She has taken moderate Republicans to task for being too "liberal" and even excoriated right wingers like Todd Akin for damaging the image of conservatives.

Footloose With The Facts

What would Coultergeist do with real facts? The very first thing critics of the article pointed out was that her "facts" were so ridiculously skewed and baseless that they couldn't weather the lightest scrutiny: Hispanics DO go to church more (albeit it the Catholic Church - a difference to Christian Right polemicists such as Coulter), and have a divorce rate far lower than any "religious" other group (e.g. Southern Baptists). Her statement about illegitimacy is tainted by her assumption that ALL illegitimate children become criminals.

In addition: the Hispanic share of total births declined from 24.2% to 23.6% during the last decade.

The reaction to Coultergeist's recent polemic has been predictable:

"... hateful, inflammatory piece of garbage passing as journalism."

"Republicans looking to reach out to Latinos may want to avoid the advice of Ann Coulter."

Indeed, Republicans may want to distance themselves from Coultergeist altogether, seeing that she has even disparaged Republicans for NOT caving in to Obama's tax hikes on the rich.
Demonic Or Just Delusional?

The (now) caricature Ann Coultergeist has created for herself has been of a harridan gone delusional: e.g., at one point after becoming GOProud's mascot (er, honorary co-chair) she declared that gays really loved her. And the fact that her latest screeds about Hispanics will be dismissed by the very political party trying to increase its numbers with them seems to be lost on her. To some (albeit very few), Ann Coultergeist is like a Carrie Snodgrass, deluded into thinking that she really is the queen of the conservative's prom. But in reality, Coultergeist's white supremacism makes her more insidious to the Republican Party and more destructive to conservatives.

Hmmm ... where's that bucket of pig's blood when we need it?