Newt Gingrich / Gage Skidmore, via FlickrChristofascists are nothing if not paranoid. Anything and everything that exists, other than each other and their dour religion, is a dire threat to them, and their very lives are at risk … merely because they believe in their Jesus the way they do. This has been Christianity’s stock in trade pretty much since the religion began. They’ve worked hard, over the last couple millennia, to cultivate a deep-seated persecution complex. It is, in fact, so profound that it’s made them downright delusional. They actually invent “persecution” that doesn’t exist, solely so that they can feel like martyrs for Jesus.

A terrific example of this came from someone I haven’t blogged about in a while: Newt Gingrich, the hypocritical Christofascist. As the Naples Daily News reports, he claims atheism is a greater threat to Christianity than terrorism (Archive.Is cached article):

The secular philosophy of the left in Western society is at least as grave a danger to Christianity as that posed by terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaida, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Saturday night in North Naples.

The Republican from Georgia addressed about 300 people at The Ritz-Carlton for the annual Speaker Event dinner of the Ave Maria School of Law.

“The rise of a secular, atheist philosophy” in the West is “an equally or even more dangerous threat” to Christianity than terrorist organizations that will kill Christians if “they don’t submit,” Gingrich said.

He exhorted this school to become part of the “resistance” to his putative “war on Christianity.”

Yeah. That’s right, folks. He actually compared the mere existence of atheism to terrorism that’s fucking killing people around the world.

No shit. That’s exactly what the Newtster said!

Before you think this sort of comparison is out of character for him, it’s not. Seven years ago, he actually stated that “secular atheists” were “radical Islamists.” I still haven’t figured out how that works. I mean, it’s a semantic impossibility — “radical Islamists” are, by definition, religious, whereas by definition, “secular atheists” are not — but that’s what the cretin said. Honest! So comparing the rather brazen evil which is Islamist terror, with “secular atheism” (which is not inherently harmful to anyone) is a game the Newtster has been playing for a very long time now.

The problem, of course — and the reason he’s continued making these comparisons — is that his audience totally swallows this contention. The precious snowflakes really and truly do think that the mere existence of atheism is a dire threat to their very lives, and that atheism exists solely to wipe out Christianity (but somehow, not Islam, nor any other religion). These people are fucking nuts and have woven their own delusion. That makes them extraordinarily dangerous.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr.

Hat tip: Friendly Atheist.

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'You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste.' / PsiCop original graphic, based on quotation by Rahm Emanuel (see https://www.factcheck.org/2011/01/bum-rap-for-rahm/)By now, you’ve heard about the Parkland, FL school shooting, this past Wednesday (cached article). And if you’ve read my blog for more than a few months, you’d be able to predict Christianists would use it to promote their dour metaphysics. After all, what good is a terrible — and terrifying — event, if one can’t exploit it, in order to terrify others into believing something?

The overall phenomenon is something I’ve called (generally) “disaster theology,” and this case is part of a subset of that, called “massacre theology.” I have for your review two examples of this related to the Parkland massacre.

First, we have Fox News pundit and raging Christofascist Todd Starnes, who says this shooting was caused by the Devil, and abortions and other Christianist bogeymen (cached):

They kicked God out of the public marketplace, banned Bibles and prayer in school.

And the Devil smiled.

Tens of millions of unborn babies have been slaughtered in the name of choice.

And the Devil smiled.

His whole whiney diatribe is a parade of lies, such as that Bibles and prayer were outlawed in schools … that never actually happened. In truth, there are Bibles in public schools all over the country, and prayer takes place in them all the time (“Please God, help me pass this geometry test!”). And God has never been removed from “the public marketplace” … that too is a damned lie. If anything, the Religious Right has made sure their God remains firmly in control of “the public marketplace.”

The second example of “massacre theology” comes from Lucian Wintrich. (Who’s that, you say? He’s the White House beat reporter for a Right-wing blog called the Gateway Pundit. Yes, folks, Right-wing blogs now have White House beat reporters. Really.) As Right Wing Watch reports, this cretin says the massacre happened because Christianity has been “demonized” (cached):

“Part of it is the lack of community and the lack of the role of the church in modern American society. And I think that the way the left has disparaged that, what they’ve done—and it infuriates me what the left has done these days—is they have demonized Christianity, the church, Jesus Christ, who if you read his teachings, right, it was ‘We’re all brothers. Look out for one another.’”

While it’s true Jesus did teach those things, no one should forget that, since his time, Christians themselves have rejected those teachings; they tend to view only each other as “brothers,” and outsiders as vile creatures who need to be treated like garbage. So let’s be honest here: This “Christianity” that Wintrich thinks has been “demonized,” doesn’t actually exist, and hasn’t existed for nearly a couple millennia. Aside from this, Wintrich’s complaint is yet another manifestation of the Christian martyr complex. Yes, Lucian, Chrishuns are just soooooo persecuted, aren’t you, you preciously little snowflakes? Yawn.

Another yawner: Both Starnes and Wintrich also fell back on the Religious Right trope that there’s no morality without their Christianism. That’s not true, but it happens to be a very old complaint among their ilk. If they genuinely think I’m an amoral person because of my agnosticism, and that I need to become a Christian in order to have any morals, I invite both of them to track me down and make me convert to their Christianity. Go right ahead, guys. Lock and load! I’ll be ready for you. You won’t be able to convert me, even by force, but please, by all means, give it your best shot. OK?

I continue to marvel at how supposedly-devout people are so eager to exploit horrific events for their own aggrandizement and to advance their religion. I find that tactic despicable … but then, hey, what could some cynical, cold-hearted, godless agnostic heathen possibly know about such important, sacred things? Right?

Photo credit: PsiCop graphic, based on Rahm Emanuel quotation.

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Pakistani security officials clash with supporters of the Movement in Service to the Finality of the Prophet, a religious group, in Islamabad on Saturday as the government tries to disperse protesters who have blocked the main highway for days. (Sohail Shahzad/EPA/EFE/REX/Shutterstock, via Washington Post)We all know Pakistan is home to a lot of militant Islamists. The country has stern laws against anti-Islamic blasphemy, and it’s the place where a hundred thousand people turned out to mourn the Islamofascist assassin of one of their state governors. Pakistan’s pervasive, extremist Islamism once again reared its ugly head, as the Washington Post reports, in the wake of convictions after a mob murdered a university student almost a year ago (Archive.Is cached article):

When an anti-terrorism court sentenced one man to death and 25 others to prison terms Wednesday in the slaying of a student last year in northwest Pakistan [cached], the ruling was meant to send a strong warning that murder in the name of defending Islam would not be tolerated.

But the court’s decision immediately triggered large, angry protest rallies by religious groups in the area, along with homecoming celebrations for those acquitted of the mob beating and shooting death of Mashal Khan last April. Banners welcomed them as heroes of the faith.…

The movement, led by clerics from Pakistan’s largest and generally peaceful Sunni Muslim sect, has swelled since November, when a protest they staged in the capital, Islamabad [cached], ended with the federal government capitulating to their major demands and calling in army leaders to negotiate.

Really, the government of Pakistan is doing what it always does in cases like this: Surrendering to its people’s childish, irrational, violent Islamism. And that’s the reason Pakistan has become a bastion of Islamist extremism; its government won’t really press the issue, discipline their own people and force them to grow the fuck up already. Instead, they indulge the infantile rabble, because they haven’t the fortitude to deal with the inevitable backlash.

Will Pakistan’s One of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, via Assyrian Information Management military do anything about this? I don’t expect it. This is the same military that let none other than Osama bin-Laden live for years just under a thousand yards from their own equivalent of West Point, without ever having offered any explanation for how that happened.

As for blasphemy Lars Vilks Muhammad cartoon, via Gawker being a crime that must be punished with death … well, that’s just fucking ridiculous. Blasphemy is no crime at all, because it never harms anything. (Except maybe for believers’ feelings.) Islam won’t be damaged just because there was a non-believer on a university campus. It won’t be damaged if someone burns a Qur’an. It won’t be damaged if people draw cartoons of Mohammad. It simply won’t. Islam will continue on, as it always has, in spite of anyone’s “blasphemy.”

As I always do when blogging about the topic of murderous anti-blasphemy rage among Muslims, I’ve decorated this post with a couple added blasphemous graphics … just to tweak any infantile Islamofascists who might happen to see it. Boo hoo hoo, little babies. Book hoo!

Photo credits: Top, Sohail Shahzad/EPA/EFE/REX/Shutterstock, via Washington Post; middle, Jyllands-Posten, via Assyrian Information Management; bottom, Lars Vilks, via Gawker.

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2015 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships - Vault - Claudia Fragapane 02By now my readers will have heard about the case of Dr Larry Nassar, physician for numerous gymnasts over the years, who’s pled guilty to sexual assaults of a number of them (Archive.Is cached article). It was inevitable, I suppose, that someone would blame the victims for these assaults. We live in a time when many people refuse to acknowledge there can ever be any such thing as a genuine crime “victim”; instead, they view everything that happens to people, no matter how terrible, as being somehow “deserved.” This is largely because they cannot, and will not, accept an unjust universe.

I bring this up because someone has done exactly this: Blamed Nassar’s victims for his sexual assaults. Christofascist pastor Kevin Swanson, about whom I’ve blogged already, made this claim, according to Right Wing Watch (cached):

On his radio program today, extremist anti-LGBTQ pastor Kevin Swanson attributed USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of more than 150 women and girls he treated, in part, to the fact that gymnastics encourages “a fair amount of immodesty.”

Citing a variety of supposed dangers, such as the use of open showers, Swanson warned Christian parents against allowing their children to participate in sports because “sports tend to focus on the body.”

“There is an infatuation with the body,” he said, “and, of course, the sexual aspects of the body as well. Some sports encourage immodesty, revealing large portions of the body and this happens in some sports. These are the risky sports. Here they are, what are the risky sports? Gymnastics. Gymnastics and swimming. These are the sports in which there is an added risk.”

I’m not sure how gymnasts are supposed to do what they do, in blousy, unrevealing clothing. Maybe Swanson would like them to wear burqas or something? (As an aside, the obsession with female modesty is a great example of how militant Christianism bears more than a passing resemblance to militant Islamism.)

Let me explain a very simple fact, here: Nothing a woman wears — or doesn’t wear — can ever possibly justify rape or molestation. Period. A woman or girl should be able to walk down the street stark naked and not be attacked by anyone. That’s just how it is. I know a lot of folks don’t accept that … but it’s not negotiable. No law I know of, in the US anyway, says that rape or molestation is justified if a woman is naked or wears revealing clothing. If that were true, no woman would be able to walk on a beach or beside a pool without being raped.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Hat tip: Joe. My. God.

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Magic wand / kalhh, via PixabayOne of the things many people don’t realize about fundagelical Christians is that they like to wave their Jesus around like a magical talisman. They view him as the ultimate tool … for any vexing task.

Take, for example, this winter’s particularly bad flu season (Archive.Is cached article). Yes, for fundagelicals, even the flu is no match for the magic of Jesus. All you need do — as Gloria Copeland (wife of megapastor Kenneth Copeland) says, according to Right Wing Watch — is drop Jesus’ name a few times, and poof! the flu magically goes away (cached):

You’d think that given past experience, Copeland’s Eagle Mountain International Church might have learned a lesson, but you’d be wrong, as yesterday a video was posted on the ministry’s Facebook page [cached] featuring Copeland’s wife, Gloria, telling people that there is no such thing as flu season and that they don’t need to get a flu shot because “Jesus himself gave us the flu shot.”

“Listen, partners, we don’t have a flu season,” Gloria Copeland said. “And don’t receive it when somebody threatens you with, ‘Everybody is getting the flu.’ We’ve already had our shot, He bore our sicknesses and carried our diseases. That’s what we stand on.”

Praying for those who may already have the flu, Copeland proclaimed, “Flu, I bind you off the people in the name of Jesus. Jesus himself gave us the flu shot, He redeemed us from the curse of flu.” Those who don’t have the flu, she promised, can protect themselves by simply declaring, “I’ll never have the flu.”

What’s ironic about this is that the very fundagelicals who’ll ward off the flu with mantras like, “Flu, I bind you off the people in the name of Jesus,” in the very next breath would condemn the performance of witchcraft or magic, as well as taking the name of the Lord in vain. What’s more, they’ll never admit this rather blatant hypocrisy … even though their own Jesus explicitly and unambiguously ordered them never to be hypocritical, ever, at any time or for any reason. They just don’t get that their own religion contradicts itself.

Not to mention, repeatedly blabbering Jesus’ name will never do anything to prevent or cure the flu. It just won’t.

One last note, for all readers: If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, go get one. Don’t buy into any of the bullshit you’ve heard to the contrary. Just do it, ferfucksakes. Now!

Photo credit: kalhh, via Pixabay.

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LotusNearly eight years ago, I first blogged about Christianity and yoga — and how, supposedly, they’re at loggerheads. At that time, Southern Baptist theologian Al Mohler had come out against it as un-Christian. Since then, other Christians have made their opposition to the practice of yoga known, in a number of ways, including via lawsuits.

Well, this controversy has kicked up anew. A Catholic blogger declared it un-Christian on Twitter, and complained that he was criticized for having done so (Archive.Is cached article):

The cool kids on Twitter use the term “ratioed” to describe an event where someone sends a controversial tweet that garners far more replies than it does likes. According to Twitter logic, this is supposed to be an indication that you were wrong about whatever you said.…

Yet I have found that the ratio more often indicates the correctness of a statement than it does incorrectness. That does not always hold, of course, but I think it did this morning when I fell into another ratio because of a tweet about yoga [cached]. Here’s what I said: “It’s kind of amazing to see all of the Christians who think nothing of going to a yoga class. There are many excellent ways to get in shape that do not involve participating in Hindu worship.”

Most of Walsh’s article isn’t so much a condemnation of yoga as a “pagan spiritual practice,” but a self-serving, infantile, sniveling whine about the criticism that was leveled at him. As part of his diatribe, Walsh (a supposedly Catholic blogger) cites Mohler (a very Protestant theologian). I find that little bit of irony amusing, even if it’s almost beside the point.

What is important to know, here, is that Walsh misunderstands what yoga is, as it’s practiced in America. As I’ve noted each time I’ve commented on this, it’s absolutely true that yoga began over a couple millennia ago (or more) as a Hindu practice. It’s been practiced in numerous ways since it began in classical India, however. It migrated through various religious traditions, and as it’s practiced in the occidental world, has lost any connection to its religious origins, aside from the Hindi names of some of its positions.

To be clear, American yogis and yoginis are not worshipping any Hindu gods — no matter how vehemently Walsh, or Mohler or any other Christian critics of yoga, might insist they are. What’s more, meditative practices along the lines of yoga are part and parcel of Christianity, and have been for a very long time. Meditation is embedded in the monastic and mendicant movements.

It’s time for Christianists to grow up and deal with things that seem foreign (and therefore scary) to them, rather than dismiss and castigate them as “pagan.”

Photo credit: CEBImagery, via Flickr.

Hat tip: Vox.

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'Illinois Nazis ... I hate Illinois Nazis!' / Still from Blues Brothers film, via MemeGeneratorMy heartfelt congratulations go to the Illinois Republican party! I’ve got to hand it to you for demonstrating your lack of anything resembling character or integrity. You’ve gone and let a well-known anti-Semite and Holocaust denier become the sole entrant in the GOP primary for a Congressional seat. As the Chicago Sun-Times explains, that means he’ll represent Republicans on ballots in the 3rd District of Illinois (Archive.Is cached article):

Arthur Jones — an outspoken Holocaust denier, activist anti-Semite and white supremacist — is poised to become the Republican nominee for an Illinois congressional seat representing parts of Chicago and nearby suburbs.

“Well first of all, I’m running for Congress not the chancellor of Germany. All right. To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket,” Jones told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Indeed, Jones’ website for his latest congressional run includes a section titled “The ‘Holocaust Racket’” where he calls the genocide carried out by the German Nazi regime and collaborators in other nations “the biggest blackest lie in history.”

At first blush this might seem to be a tempest in a teapot, since Jones isn’t like to win, as the Sun-Times points out:

Republicans didn’t bother to muster a credible candidate because the district is so Democratic. There is always a debate if parties should recruit candidates to run races they are highly likely to lose.

So I get it: No Republican is likely to win, so what’s the point in running anyone? Still, the state GOP was aware of this particular gadfly; he’s been running for offices for decades:

He ran for Milwaukee mayor in 1976 and 13th Ward alderman on Chicago’s Southwest Side in 1987.

Since the 1990s to 2016, Jones has jumped in the GOP 3rd Congressional District primary seven times, never even close to becoming a viable contender.

The bottom line, then, is that Illinois Republicans — for economic and strategic reasons — chose to leave their 3rd District ballot wide open, knowing full well that Jones — a repeated crank candidate — would dive right in and fill that vacuum. That is … they purposely allowed themselves to be represented by a Holocaust-denying anti-Semitic nominee. They couldn’t even be bothered scaring up some “sacrificial lamb” candidate to at least keep this hateful wretch from infesting their ballot line — yes, even though he has little chance of being elected.

As I said, this is precisely what I’ve come to expect of Republicans. (And yes, I used to be one, back in the day. So more than most folks, I know whereof I speak.)

Hat tip: Friendly Atheist.

Photo credit: Blues Brothers, via MemeGenerator.

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