Posts Tagged “christianists”
Neocrusading Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas is one really angry fellow. That in itself is not news. He’s been outraged for years that there are actually non-Christians in his precious “Christian Nation” and he’s incensed that they dare actually stay in this country. (How rude of them!). He recently used time on the floor of the House, as Mediaite reports, to launch into an accusation that the Obama administration has conspired with Muslims to destroy his “Christian Nation” (WebCite cached article):
On the House floor on Friday, Texas Representative Louie Gohmert accused various federal agencies of aiding Islamic terrorists organizations such as the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America in their attempts to enact Sharia Law.
“We need to address the political correctness that is blinding our agencies and blinding our military of its ability to see who the enemy is, because it’s getting people killed,” Gohmert said. “When you refuse to acknowledge that the Afghans you’re training, may be willing to turn their guns you’re training them on and kill you … until you recognize that and who our enemy is, and that our enemy can be among us, and that our enemy can be in uniforms that we’re supposed to be friendly with, then more Americans are going to be killed needlessly.”
Gohmert accused the Obama administration of changing policy so that the FBI, State Department, and others had to “partner with” CAIR and ISNA, rather than treat mosques as terrorist recruitment centers.
He actually thinks CAIR and ISNA together will repeal the Constitution:
“Any time CAIR says, ‘This offends us,’ the FBI says, ‘Oh, gee, we’d better change it,’” Gohmert claimed. “When you’ve had the Fifth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals confirm that, yes, the evidence shows that CAIR, Islamic Society of North America—those are front organizations for the Muslim Brotherhood. They want Sharia law to be the law of the land, not our Constitution. And that is what we did not take an oath to allow to happen.”
Note that Louie-boy isn’t the first militant Christianist to posit that the Muslim Brotherhood is being set up to take over the country and establish shari’a law here; Franklin Graham has been saying this for a few years now, as have his friends in the American Family Association.
The idea that CAIR and are “fronts” for the Muslim Brotherhood is an old one, but so far has not held up to scrutiny. It’s true that a board member of CAIR’s Texas chapter was involved with the Holy Land Foundation, which did, in turn, have connections with Hamas. But that was shut down by 2008 — before Obama was elected. And the board member in question was convicted in 2009 — under the Obama administration — of having funneled money to Hamas via his connection with the HLF.
So little crybaby Louie missed his mark. Not only did he point to the wrong Islamist bogeyman group (the Muslim Brotherhood vs. Hamas), he accused the administration that got a CAIR chapter board member sentenced to 65 years in prison of conspiring with them. I suppose that makes sense to Louie-boy, but to the rest of us, it doesn’t.
The Religious Right has been complaining for years about the existence CAIR and ISNA. They’d rather these groups disbanded and their members drifted off into silence. Well, too bad for them … this is a free country, where we have this little thing known as “freedom of speech.” CAIR and ISNA get to say what they want to say and advocate on behalf of their membership, all they want — so long as they don’t break the law in the process (as one of them found out). And they get to do it in the same way that militant Christianist outfits like Focus on the Family, the Christian Coalition, Operation Rescue, the American Family Association, etc. can. Gohmert is being hypocritical when he whines and cries about CAIR and ISNA doing precisely what all of those groups, with which he’s allied, do. Curiously, though, his own Jesus explicitly and unambiguously forbid him ever to be hypocritical.
As far as I’m concerned, as an objective observer, CAIR, ISNA, the AFA, FotF, etc. are advocates for religionism. At best, they’re two sides of the same coin. At worst, they’re all playing the same game, trying to promote unreasoning religionism. One form of religiofascist irrationality is no better than any other.
In any event, Gohmert’s absurd conspiratorial tirade places Louie-boy in my “lying liars for Jesus” club.
One last thing about Louie-baby’s tirade: He says neither the Obama administration nor the Pentagon are concerned about “green on blue” attacks. But that’s not true at all. Of course they’re concerned about this vile phenomenon, and it’s slanderous for him to suggest otherwise. Since last year they’ve been taking steps to deal with it (cached). So that makes Gohmert a liar on yet another count. Well done, Louie. You must be so proud!
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Tags: barack obama
, christian nation
, christian nationer
, christian nationers
, christian right
, conspiracy theory
, council on american-islamic relations
, holy land foundation
, house of representatives
, islamic society of north america
, louie gohmert
, muslim brotherhood
, obama administration
, political correctness
, politically correct
, president barack obama
, religious right
, shari'a law
, washington DC
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The militant Christianist governor of Texas, Rick Perry, isn’t waiting for summer to be over, before firing the first salvo in this year’s edition of the annual “War on Christmas.” Hell, summer hasn’t even begun yet, and Rickie is trying to ram Christmas down the throats of public schoolchildren in his state. The Houston Chronicle reports on a bill he signed which is predicated on lies (WebCite cached article):
It was the Governor’s Public Reception Room, for a ceremony in which Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill into law that he said would allow people of all faiths can exchange holiday greetings and display religious scenes and symbols “even on school property.”…
House Bill 308 by Bohac and Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville — dubbed the “Merry Christmas bill” by some backers — specifies that a school district may allow students and staff to offer “traditional greetings” associated with winter celebrations, specifying they include “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah” and “happy holidays.”
Among the lies upon which this law is predicated, is that it was somehow made illegal for anyone to say “Merry Christmas” in a public school. That’s just not true. What can’t be done in a public school is for the school to force Christmas — a holiday which only has meaning for one religion, Christianity, and excludes those who belong to any other, or to no religion — on kids. Those kids certainly can wish each other “Merry Christmas,” if they want.
What’s worse than the lies implicit in this law, however, is that Perry makes his religiofascism explicit and unmistakable:
“It’s a shame that a bill like this one I’m signing today is even required, but I’m proud that we’re standing up for religious freedom in this state,” Perry said. “Religious freedom does not mean freedom from religion.”
Did you catch that? Rickie-boy states very clearly that, in his view, there is no such thing as “freedom from religion.” That means non-belief, in his view, can be made illegal. Since there’s no such thing as “freedom from religion,” it’s possible for government to prevent me from being the godless agnostic heathen that I am!
All right, Rickie-boy. Here’s my open invitation to you: You just track me down and impose your religion on me, because, as you claim, I have no “freedom from religion.” I don’t live in Texas, Governor, but even so, I dare you to put your words into action. Go ahead. You have no reason not to, since you’ve already stated that there is no “freedom from religion” in this country. What’s stopping you, governor? Just come here and make me adopt your religion!
Photo credit: Austin Cline, Licensed to About; Original Poster: National Archives
Tags: austin TX
, freedom from religion
, freedom of religion
, house bill 308
, merry christmas
, merry christmas bill
, merry christmas law
, religion in public schools
, religion in school
, rick perry
, texas house bill 308
, war on christmas
, war on christmas 2013
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The Religious Right in the US sincerely believes Christianity is “under attack.” There’s a war against their religion, they claim. Now, most of us know there’s no such thing going on. Churches aren’t being shuttered or bulldozed; Bibles and crucifixes aren’t being confiscated or destroyed; devout Christians aren’t being put on trial for believing in Jesus. Put as simply as possible: There’s no persecution of Christianity going on in this country. It’s. Just. Not. Fucking. Happening.
You may have heard that the great Biblical state of Kentucky passed a law protecting Christians’ freedom of religion (even though, with First Amendment protections already in place, no such law is needed — in Kentucky or in any other state). One of its proponents is outraged that there’s been criticism of this law, and penned a letter to the editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader to explain why it was needed (WebCite cached article):
Could it be a war on Christianity? Now I know your response will be that there is no attack on religious freedoms. Indeed, you will deny the very existence of such a war. Yet, tell that to the owners of Hands On Originals or Chik-fil-A, who were vehemently attacked by government officials and agencies for expressing their personal religious beliefs. Tell that to the high school coach who gets sued by the American Civil Liberties Union for offering a prayer of protection before a ballgame. Tell that to the teacher who gets sued for saying, “Happy Thanksgiving,” “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Easter.” Tell that to the valedictorian who gets enjoined from mentioning God in her graduation speech. Tell that to the county judge-executive who gets sued for posting the Ten Commandments. Tell that to the student who tries to pray or read her Bible during school. Tell that to the citizens whose governor decided the State Capitol needed a “holiday tree” as opposed to a Christmas Tree.
Rep. Stan Lee’s complaint is basically a “dump” of childish whines. There’s no cohesion to it, and Lee generously salts his bellyaching with mythology, marginal claims, and outright lies.
First of all, no business owner has been “attacked” by any officials. An “attack” is a punch in the face or being held up at gunpoint; criticism is not, and never will be, an “attack.” Second, no American — not even the owners of Chick-fil-A or Hands On Originals — is ever entitled never to be criticized. Third, using their position as bosses to coerce their employees to live their private, non-workplace lives according to the fierce, rigid strictures of their own dour metaphysics, is not merely “expressing their personal religious beliefs.” It’s quite something else.
Lee doesn’t provide any evidence of these teachers he says have been “sued for saying, ‘Happy Thanksgiving,’ ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Easter.’” It sounds like urban legend to me. There’s nothing specific, just wild claims without a stitch of support.
Valedictorians in public schools being told not to talk up God is part of an effort to keep church and state separate. Let’s face it, lots of public schools use children as proxies to force religion into them, and that’s forbidden.
Oh, and public-school students most certainly can both pray and read Bibles in school. It happens all the time. To say it can’t, is a flat-out lie, and Lee knows it.
Public-school coaches leading students in prayer, and judges putting up immense Decalogue idols in courts, are both examples of Christians using the power of government to promote their religion. And it’s illegal.
And calling a Christmas tree a “holiday tree,” harms no one! Since Christmas is a holiday, semantically speaking, this means all Christmas trees truly are “holiday trees.” To say otherwise is also a lie.
Like the rest of the Religious Right, Rep. Lee is confused. He thinks Christians being criticized for wanting to control everyone’s lives, is an “attack” on his religion. He thinks separation of church and state abridges Christians’ freedom of religion. He thinks Christians are entitled to get their way, all the time, every time, and when they don’t, it’s unacceptable.
As I’ve blogged many times already, I understand where Christians are coming from. A desire to be persecuted for Jesus is part and parcel of their religion, and it has been almost since its inception. This persecutorial delusion is embedded deep in the psychopathology of Christianity. Rep. Lee and the rest of the Religious Right really, truly want to think they’re being attacked for their beliefs. In many ways, they literally can’t help themselves.
But that’s really no excuse for remaining attached to this paranoid delusion. It’s one thing to fantasize about being a martyr, because one’s religion is founded on a martyr. It’s quite another to invent persecution that’s not even happening, and accuse others of doing things they haven’t done. The delusions don’t serve any good purpose, and really need to fucking stop already.
I have to add Rep. Lee to my “lying liars for Jesus” club. Not that he’s alone there. Lying for Jesus is a common pastime among Christians. That’s because … to paraphrase Isaac Asimov … lying is the last refuge of the insecure.
Photo credit: I Can Haz Cheezburger Builder.
Hat tip: Friendly Atheist.
, christian martyr complex
, christian persecution
, christian persecution complex
, christian right
, frankfort KY
, religious freedom
, religious right
, rep stan lee
, stan lee
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Christofascists are a really angry bunch. They’re downright incensed that things like the First Amendment have gotten in the way of them forcing their dour religionism on the American people.
I’ve been saying for years now that … if they had their way … they’d make everyone worship as they do. Well, it turns out some Republican Christofascist legislators in the great Bible Belt (aka Bobble Bay-elt) state of North Carolina, have declared their religionistic militancy openly. As NBC News reports, they’ve proposed legislation that would establish a North Carolinian state religion (WebCite cached article):
Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have introduced a bill declaring that the state has the power to establish an official religion — a direct challenge to the First Amendment.…
The bill [cached] says that federal courts do not have the power to decide what is constitutional, and says the state does not recognize federal court rulings that prohibit North Carolina and its schools from favoring a religion.
The bill was introduced Monday by two Republican representatives from Rowan County, north of Charlotte, and sponsored by seven other Republicans. The party controls both chambers of the North Carolina Legislature.
The two lawmakers who filed the bill, state Reps. Harry Warren and Carl Ford, did not immediately return calls Wednesday from NBC News.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued last month to stop the Rowan County Commission from opening meetings with Christian prayers. One of those prayers declared that “there is only one way to salvation, and that is Jesus Christ,” the ACLU said.
This proposed law is quite obviously unconstitutional. The law itself explicitly dismisses the incorporation doctrine, even though it’s been upheld through many court decisions and isn’t going anywhere.
Assuming these fierce Christofascists are able to pass this bill, get it signed, and have it become the law of the land in North Carolina, it’s nevertheless fraught with peril, even for the most devout Christians there. That’s because of the sectarian conflict which would have to follow. Would the North Carolina state religion be a Protestant sect? If so, Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians would be disenfranchised. If Catholicism is made the state religion, then Protestants and the Orthodox would be disenfranchised. That’s not even considering that non-Christians and non-believers would be disenfranchised, no matter which Christian sect is made the state’s religion.
The bottom line is that Harry Warren and Carl Ford are childishly furious that the First Amendment has gotten in the way of them imposing their religiosity on everyone. But I’m less worried about them, than I am about the (large) number of North Carolinian Religious Rightists who will, no doubt, immediately and happily flock to their cause and support this bill, in spite of the fact that it’s unconstitutional. Neither Warren nor Ford will suffer any serious consequences from having raised this bill; if anything, they’re assured of long careers in North Carolinian politics.
Be afraid, folks. Be very, very afraid. These people are serious, and they aren’t taking any more shit from anyone.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Tags: carl ford
, christian right
, establishment clause
, first amendment
, harry warren
, incorporation doctrine
, north carolina
, north carolina legislature
, north carolina state church
, north carolina state religion
, raleigh NC
, religious right
, rowan county
, rowan cty
, state church
, state religion
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The nation’s Christianists continue to confuse “religious liberty” with “the power to force everyone to believe what they believe.” The Mississippi legislature is no exception. As the AP reports via NECN, both houses of that august, religionistic body have passed measures to promote school prayer under the aegis of “religious liberty” (WebCite cached article):
Supporters say bills to guarantee religious freedom in Mississippi public schools are meant to ensure students can talk about spiritual beliefs and aren’t deprived of their rights.
But some supporters also say the measures would legalize prayer before school audiences, and that makes people who advocate for separation of church and state uneasy.
Both the state House and the state Senate have passed versions of the Schoolchildren’s Religious Liberties Act. The chambers must agree on a single bill before anything would go to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant. The Senate version represents the first time the chamber has passed such a bill, improving chances that it will become law.
The bill is ostensibly predicated on the Religious Right’s decades-long whining and bellyaching that school kids aren’t allowed to pray or talk about religion or express their beliefs. Those things are not true. In fact, a lot of praying goes on in schools all around the country, every single minute of every school day. It comes, for example, in quickly muttered prayers such as, “Please God, let me pass this algebra exam!”
Look, I get that the Christian Nationers are none too happy about Engel v. Vitale (1962) and Abington School District v. Schempp (1963), along with various other decisions that ended prayer in public schools. And I also get that they’re Christians, and therefore can’t help but view themselves as being oppressed for Jesus. But facts are facts, and they’re not allowed to make shit up just ’cause it makes them feel better to do so. Formby is very clearly a lying liar for Jesus.
Even so, at least some of the bills’ supporters are not lying about their motives, and admit they’re not about “liberty” at all:
But it’s clear that advocates for the measure, especially those outside the Legislature, believe it would clear the way for student-led prayer before groups.
“People ask me if this is a step toward getting prayer back in schools. I think this is THE step to get prayer back in schools,” said Paul Ott, who hosts religion-flavored radio and television programs about hunting, fishing and the outdoors.
Because, you know, nothing says “religious liberty” quite like forcing a school full of kids pray when you order them to. Right?
Photo credit: Allstarecho, via Wikimedia Commons.
Tags: christian right
, freedom of religion
, jackson MS
, liar for jesus
, liars for jesus
, lying liar for jesus
, lying liars for jesus
, mark formby
, prayer in public schools
, public school prayer
, religious freedom
, religious liberty
, religious right
, school children
, school prayer
, schoolchildren's religious liberties act
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Even a century and a half after the emergence of evolutionary science, Christians are still incensed and even outraged that there are so many insolent people who dare talk about it as though it’s valid. In their eyes, it’s intolerable … a wicked, profane plot to separate humanity from God. Why, that kind of thing simply must be outlawed (or so they think). Marvin Olasky, editor of WORLD Magazine, vented his rage at this unacceptable chatter, labelling it “propaganda” (WebCite cached article):
The center of the front page of today’s New York Times proclaims, “Rat-Size Ancestor Said to Link Man and Beast.” [cached] Accompanying a cute illustration … is this lead: “Humankind’s common ancestor with other mammals may have been a roughly rat-size animal that weighed no more than a half a pound, had a long furry tail and lived on insects.” …
But wait a minute—what exactly is the evidence for the rat-size animal being our ancestor? “The animal had several anatomical characteristics for live births that anticipated all placental mammals and led to some 5,400 living species, from shrews to elephants, bats to whales, cats to dogs and, not least, humans.”
So because the animal apparently gave birth a bit like mammals and humans give birth, that’s proof of ancestry? Hmm. Couldn’t it be evidence for intelligent design, with God having a group of His creatures giving birth in similar ways?
Oh the outrage! How dare these so-called “scientists” arrive at a conclusion that Mr Olasky personally disapproves of, merely because it violates his own metaphysics! It can’t be allowed! It’s horrible Left-wing “propaganda” from the Times, which — quite obviously, in his mind — is trying to abolish religion and destroy all devout believers!
Let me clear up a few facts for Mr Olasky and other militant Christianists:
- Evolution is valid science. Don’t like it? Tough. You don’t have to like it. But you do have to grow up and live with it.
- We have something called “freedom of the press” in the US, meaning the Times is free to print whatever it wants to, whenever it wants to. Don’t like it? Too bad. But you do have to grow up and live with it.
- It’s true that “freedom of the press” also means Mr Olasky is free to whine about the evil evolutionist “propaganda,” too. But the rest of us are, furthermore, free to conclude he’s a sniveling little crybaby.
Petulant, childish gripes about “propaganda” cannot and will never change the veracity of evolution. It truly is both a theory and a fact. Dour Christianists like Mr Olasky can’t prevent people from accepting it as valid, nor can they stop scientists from pursuing it, nor can they prevent media outlets from reporting on it. What’s more, they cannot and will never change the fact that Creationism is a religion, not a science. Nor can they change the fact that referring to it as “intelligent design,” as Olasky does in his whine, is itself a lie, intended to make it seem scientific when it’s not. For Olasky to accuse the Times of publishing “propaganda,” while he uses the propaganda trick of calling Creationism “intelligent design,” makes him a hypocrite … in spite of the fact that his own Jesus clearly and unambiguously ordered him never to be hypocritical.
Photo credit: TheGiantVermin, via Flickr.
, evolution vs creation
, evolution vs creationism
, intelligent design
, marvin olasky
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One of the things I go into at length, in my page on scriptures that Christians love to ignore, is Jesus’ injunction against his followers judging others. He was very clear and specific on the matter, yet Christians have, historically, refused to obey this explicit instruction. Christianity’s history is a long chronicle of Christians judging other Christians … and non-Christians … adversely, and often coming to blows over it. It’s not as though they aren’t aware of this teaching; what they’ve done is to rationalize it away so as to grant themselves license to judge, even though they’ve been ordered not to.
An example of precisely this sort of rationale was offered by the AFA’s Bryan Fischer. He objects to people he calls “secular fundamentalists” and “Leftists” using this injunction against dutiful Christianists like himself (WebCite cached article):
Leftists think it’s [i.e. Matthew 7:1] their trump card. Anytime a social conservative expresses criticism of, say homosexual behavior, the secular fundamentalist throws the “judge not” card on the table, declares game over, and smugly dares his vanquished opponent to breathe another word.
Here’s the problem. A leftist cannot use that argument without condemning himself.
If judging other people is wrong, then, to personalize it, he has no moral right to judge me, which is exactly what he is doing by condemning me for criticizing deviant sexual behavior.
His whole argument is predicated on his mindless conviction that passing moral judgments on other people is, well, immoral. But then he is guilty of the very thing of which he charges me.
Fischer even conjures up a laughable, imagined dialog with his own personal version of a “Leftist” in support of his contention.
His problem is, his entire argument is predicated on a straw man. He assumes that “secular fundamentalists” (aka “Leftists”) are under the same injunction that he is. The problem: They very well might not be! Jesus’ order to his followers not to judge others, by definition does not include non-Christians, who increasingly make up a larger proportion of America’s ideological Left (or what Fischer refers to as “secular fundamentalists,” whatever that might mean).
I concede that any Christians within the ideological Left would, of course, be subject to the same injunction Fischer and all of his fiercely Rightist co-religionists are. But given that Fischer is complaining about “secular fundamentalists” and equating them with “the Left,” he’s referring to a larger group than just liberal Christian believers, a group that would have to include non-Christians. Some of Fischer’s critics to whom he’s responding are not subject to Jesus’ injunction against judging others, and are allowed to judge him negatively — and simultaneously inform him that he’s violating Jesus’ teachings.
Fischer didn’t use it, but some Christians cite another scripture passage as an evasion:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
This passage is an admission that it’s sometimes necessary for Christians to correct each other. However, it clearly contradicts what Jesus said on the subject. And it’s not a “clarification” of what Jesus taught, because it’s not worded that way. No part of 2 Timothy says anything along the lines of, “Jesus did teach us not to judge one another, but sometimes you need to admonish and correct others, and when you do, Scripture will help you do it.” It’s not in there … at all. But even if 2 Timothy did say that, we’d still end up with Jesus on the one hand teaching one thing, and the author of 2 Timothy (which, in spite of Christian tradition, was not written by Paul), who says another.
At any rate, if Fischer, or any other Christian, objects to being told s/he isn’t supposed to judge anyone else, too bad. It’s their religion, they picked it, and that’s what it teaches. If they don’t like it, they either need to alter their religion and its scripture so it teaches something else, or leave the religion and find another. This problem is entirely between Christians and their God.
Photo credit: storyvillegirl, via Flickr.
Tags: 2 tim 3:16-17
, 2 timothy 3:16-17
, american family association
, bryan fischer
, christian right
, christians judging others
, matthew 7:1
, mt 7:1
, religious right
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No sooner do I get done blogging about another in a long line of pricks for Jesus using the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to promote his fierce fundementalism, than I hear about a rather prominent Religious Rightist doing the exact same thing. This one is James Dobson, founder and former head of Focus on the Family. The Christian Post reports he thinks God allowed the shooting, because of atheists, abortions, and gay marriage (WebCite cached article):
James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, said Monday that he believes the Connecticut shooting is a result of God allowing judgment to fall on America because it has turned its back on Him.
“And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think He has allowed judgment to fall upon us. I think that’s what’s going on,” Dobson told listeners of his “Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk” program.
It’s the same tired litany: atheists, abortion and gays are to blame for anything bad, and the country isn’t Christian-fundamentalist enough. They’re the reason for earthquakes, droughts, crime, hurricanes, tornados, and … just about everything.
Well, too fucking bad, Dobbie. You don’t run the country. You aren’t getting your way any more. And the country is growing increasingly secular, so it’s not very likely you’ll be able to get your way any time soon. Wah wah wah, you fucking crybaby. Grow the hell up, fercryinoutloud.
Photo credit: Louisiana College, via the Christian Post.
, dr james dobson
, focus on the family
, james dobson
, newtown CT
, newtown massacre
, newtown shooting
, sandy hook elementary school
, sandy hook elementary school shooting
, school shooting
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