Posts Tagged “lying for jesus”

'What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church ... such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.' -Martin Luther (PsiCop original graphic)This is the second post today where I’ve had to address something that was said at the Values Voters Summit in Washington. And it happens also to concern a lie that was told in support of Christianism. (I expect dozens of lies were told there, today … but I only have just so much time, so these two will have to do).

The liar I’ll discuss here is former Congresswoman (and current raging Christofascist) Michele Bachmann. As Right Wing Watch reports, she repeated the old fundamentalist canard that archaeology proves the Bible (Archive.Is cached article):

Apparently operating under her new anointing as pastor, Bachmann opened her remarks by celebrating the election of Donald Trump before dedicating a significant portion of the remainder of her speech to recounting the history of Christianity and the saving power of Christ.

“You know, the remarkable thing,” she said, “when you read the Bible, every archeology find that has ever come forward has only proved the authenticity of the Bible.”

This claim — while it’s widely repeated among fundies like Bachmann — is an out-&-out lie. Pure bullshit. A steaming load heaved right out the back of the barn. The cold fact is that archaeology has actually failed to confirm much of the Bible’s contents. For instance, there’s no archaeological evidence for a worldwide flood. There’s no evidence the Hebrews were captive in Egypt, nor is there any evidence of an “exodus,” the Red Sea never parted, nor is there evidence that Hebrews conquered the Levant in a military campaign.

I could go on, but it would be pointless. The number of Biblical events which have never been confirmed by archaeology is legion. It’d be easier for me to point out times they coincide; there are only a few. Among them is the Hittites, a people who were mentioned a few times in the Bible, and had been thought of as maybe-legendary, but hadn’t been encountered by archaeologists until a little over a century ago. But some ruins and tablets … and texts found in Egypt as well … confirmed that there had, indeed, been Hittites in the Near East.

So archaeologically speaking, the Bible got that right — but unfortunately for Bachmann and her fundie ilk, not much else.

Fundies tell this lie, and repeat it endlessly, because it reinforces in their minds the importance of their own strict and literal reading of the Bible texts. They’re so convinced of their mantra that “archaeology confirms the Bible” that they’ve run roughshod over the Near East, particularly Israel and the West Bank, desperately flailing around in search of stuff they think they can use to “prove” to the rest of the world that they’re right (cached). That they haven’t been able to do this, decades into their search, should speak volumes.

At any rate, I’ve added Ms Bachmann to my “lying liars for Jesus” club, where she’ll find many like-minded Christofascists.

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Orlando - Disney World - Hollywood Studios - The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights - Peace On Earth Globe & Merry Christmas SignThe end of the year is approaching, and with it — of course! — come the annual repeated appeals to a phantasmal “struggle” called the War on Christmas. This is the contention made by Religious Rightists that Christmas is being outlawed in the US (presumably as the opening salvo in a presumed effort to outlaw Christianity entirely). I call it “phantasmal” because — well! — it is!

There truly is no “war” on the Christmas holiday. Christmas trees have never been removed from anyone’s homes. Churches have never been forcibly closed on Christmas Day. It’s not illegal to buy and give Christmas presents, nor to send Christmas cards. Nothing of the sort has ever happened in the US. Not once … not anywhere … not at all. Ever.

But to hear the R.R. tell it, one would think their very lives are in danger merely because they think about Christmas.

For me, then, the so-called “war on Christmas” is an annual event on my blog. It accounts for many blog posts. And I can always rely on the R.R. to weigh in on it, year after year after year.

This year’s edition begins with our Groper-in-Chief, that legendary champion of Christmas, who — as The Hill reports — weighed in on the phony controversy at this year’s Values Voter Summit (Archive.Is cached article):

President Trump reignited the “war on Christmas” on Friday, telling a crowd of supporters that “we’re saying merry Christmas again” now that he’s president.

Speaking to a packed crowd at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Trump argued political correctness has gotten in the way of celebrating the holiday.

The GiC rambled a bit, as he usually does, laughably and insanely trying to wax poetic about a fake effort to prevent Christianists from worshipping their Christmas, but then he dropped this extra snippet of idiotic drivel:

Trump went on to briefly pivot toward his push to cut taxes, calling for tax reform as a “Christmas gift.”

Yeah right. The Apricot Wonder’s “tax reform” isn’t going to be any “Christmas gift” for anyone except businesses or the wealthy (cached) — because, pity the poor little things, they’re just soooo beaten down and persecuted, you see.

If I haven’t been clear enough on this, allow me to repeat what I’ve said almost since this blog began: There is no effort to outlaw Christmas, anywhere in the United States. It is not happening, anywhere in the country. Yes, it had been outlawed in some colonies before the country’s independence, by dour Puritans (cached), but they’ve been gone for centuries. Ironically, perhaps, the modern Religious Right movement has a lot in common with the fiercely religionistic Puritans. One wonders why they’re so militant about celebrating a holiday which is not mentioned in their holy scripture, and which hadn’t even been celebrated by Christians in their religion’s first couple centuries. Hmm.

In addition to being clear that there is, in fact, no “war on Christmas” in the US, and it’s been legal to say “Merry Christmas” throughout the country’s history, I’d also like to add that American Christians tend to believe a lot of things about Christmas which, in the end, also are not true at all. For some reason, they seem to like to use Christmas as a kind of bludgeon, and when the reality of this holiday doesn’t suit their needs, they just go and make up shit about it.

Oh, and the GiC’s lie about “Merry Christmas” having been outlawed, places him squarely in my “lying liars for Jesus” club. He’ll enjoy that, I’m sure, since lying is perhaps the one thing he’s best at, and he’s proud of it (cached).

Photo credit: Jared, via Flickr.

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Noah's Ark toys / ariesa66, via PixabayFor ages, Christianists committed to a literal reading of the Genesis creation legend have worked diligently to force others to believe in it the way they do. It’s never enough for them that they believe in it; they require everyone else’s agreement, too. Anything less is directly harmful to them … somehow. I have no idea how, but they’re convinced of it, and they act accordingly.

Toward that end they’ve been trying to ram their Creationism down school kids’ throats, for decades. That teaching religion in public school is unconstitutional hasn’t really been enough to stop them. Many Christianists go so far as to deny the unconstitutionality of it, even if they’d scream and holler like banshees if a public-school teacher taught — say — the Slavic creation myth rather than the Genesis Creation story. Even so, courts haven’t seen things this way, so Creationists have had to devise other tactics to get their religion into schools … such as by calling it “Creation Science” (which it’s not, because there’s no “science” in it), or “intelligent design,” which also doesn’t work.

Courts have generally seen through these charades, too. But that hasn’t stopped Christianists from keeping up the effort to force their beliefs on school children. Oh no. They just keep at it, relentlessly. As the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, a Democratic state senator in Louisiana recently took up this cause (WebCite cached article):

State Sen. John Milkovich, D-Shreveport, made the case for teaching creationism in schools Tuesday night (March 29).

“Scientific research and developments and advances in the last 100 years — particularly the last 15, 20, 10 years — have validated the biblical story of creation,” the freshman state senator said.

Milkovich, who is the vice chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said archeologists and scientists have verified the origin story of the Christian Bible. He said archeologists had found the remnants of Noah’s ark recently. A study of rocks had verified that the earth was created in a week, Milkovich said.

This is a bold-faced, brazen, out-&-out lie. Science has not, in fact, “validated the biblical story of creation.” Not at all, and not even in the slightest way. Noah’s Ark has not been found. The recent “discovery” Milkovich mentions is — as it turns out — a big fucking hoax promoted by a pro-Flood crank (cached). And that’s not the only Noah’s Ark discovery hoax that’s been perpetrated over the last few decades (cached).

Lies, lies, lies, lies, lies! All lies!

I have to add Milkovich to my “lying liars for Jesus” club. He’ll be in good company there, even if most of his fellow politicians in that assembly are Republicans rather than Democrats like himself.

I’m continually amazed at the shamelessness of militant Christianists like Milkovich. They lie, and lie some more, and lie even more, on and on and on, and they do so openly and with the approval of a large segment of the public. They literally cannot be shamed into stopping, because they have none. They’re doing “the Lord’s work,” you see, so that makes their lies OK. Or something. I guess. I mean, they must think their Jesus wants them to lie for him. No?

Photo credit: ariesa66, via Pixabay.

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'Veracicat has checked your facts and is not impressed with your lies' / PsiCop graphic, based on Davis, the anti-gay-marriage county clerk from Kentucky, having contrived to martyr herself is still angling for a second career as a Christianist pundit/lecturer/author. Toward that end, as Raw Story explains, she had an interview on (where the fuck else?) Fox News, with Megyn Kelly (WebCite cached article):

“When the legal challenges ended up not going in your favor, many people have asked, why not just resign at that point?” Kelly asked.

“If I resign I lose my voice,” Davis replied.

Thus, we see why Ms Davis has remained both defiant and on the job: She doesn’t want to lose the spotlight. It’s the only way she can spread her gospel of anti-gay hatred.

While this is quite a revelation … and it demonstrates how truly selfish she’s being … that’s not the part of her interview I’m most concerned about. There’s another little snippet (emphasis mine):

“It has been about upholding the word of God and how God defined marriage from the very beginning of time,” [Davis] insisted.

Please take note of this. It’s a commonly-repeated Christianist canard that God has “always” defined marriage as only “one-man-&-one-woman.” They love to say it over and over and over again.

There’s just one tiny little problem with it: If you look at their own scripture, you easily see that it’s not fucking true!

You see, as I noted long ago, marriage in the Bible comes in more than one form. The following Biblical figures all had marriages decidedly not of the one-man-&-one-woman variety:

Abraham: Married Sarah (Gen 16:1), then took as additional wives Hagar (Gen 16:3) and later Keturah (Gen 25:1).

Jacob: Married Leah (Gen 29:23), then Rachel (Gen 29:28), then Bilhah (Gen 30:4), then Zilpah (Gen 30:9).

Moses: Married Zipporah (Ex 2:21), then an unnamed Ethiopian woman (Num 12:1).

David: His named wives were Michal (1 Sam 18:27), Abigail (1 Sam 25:39), Ahinoam (1 Sam 25:43), Eglah, Abital, Haggith, & Maacah (2 Sam 3:3-5); and Bathsheba (2 Sam 12:24); there were an unknown number of other wives as well (2 Sam 5:13).

Solomon: Had 700 wives plus 300 concubines (1 Kg 11:3)

There are many more I could have listed, but didn’t. Yes, folks, Biblical marriage included polygamy and even concubinage! Granted, all of this is in the Old Testament, which some Christians will say doesn’t apply to them any more. (Except for the parts of it they say do still apply.) But really, whether it not it applies to them personally, cannot and will never make Ms Davis’s statement that “God defined marriage from the very beginning of time” as being only one-man-&-one-woman. It is, quite simply, flat-out untrue. A lie. A big fat fucking lie, in fact, since it’s so easy to verify as untrue! All one has to do is open up a fucking Bible and look at the words, fercryinoutloud.

However, as they like to say in infomercials, “But wait; there’s more!”

Looking at the New Testament, we see a pair of interesting admonitions. In 1 Tim 3:2 we see that overseers (aka bishops) must be men married to only one woman. Just ten verses later, in 1 Tim 3:12, we find that deacons also must be men married to one woman. The reason I call these instructions “interesting” is not just in what they say, but in what they don’t. That is, these requirements don’t apply to all Christians. They apply only to deacons and bishops. It’s quite possible, then, that some of the men in early Christian congregations — like many of the patriarchs and Hebrew monarchs before them — might have had multiple wives. The only problem for them was that they couldn’t be deacons or bishops. Otherwise they were Christians in good standing.

This, too, shows Ms Davis and her militant Christianist cohorts are lying when they said their deity had always declared marriage to be only of the one-man-&-one-woman sort. It’s just not true … not for the Biblical monarchs and patriarchs, and not even for the first few generations of Christians.

Now, that these presumably-devout Christians would lie for their Jesus is understandable, and par for the course. They lie for Jesus because they think they have to, because they should, and because they think they’ve got a special license to do so. They have no problem with it. But … I don’t understand why people in the media to whom they speak never summon the courage to challenge them on it. As I point out above, that’s remarkably easy to do. All that’s needed is a handy copy of the Bible to show them chapter-&-verse in which there were polygamous marriages, then ask them how they can say their God “always” defined marriage as one-man-&-one-woman. Megyn Kelly may work for the Religious Right’s house organ, but that isn’t really a justifiable excuse for her not to do her job. And it certainly can’t explain why journalists and interviewers from other outlets never issue the same challenge.

I’m happy to introduce Ms Davis to membership in my “lying liars for Jesus” club. She has lots of friends there already, so I know she’ll be happy. But she and her fellow Christofascists shouldn’t be granted carte blanche to lie as often as they want by the media. That’s got to fucking stop. Journalists need to grow up, and grow a pair, then do what they should. Period.

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Rick Warren — about whom I’ve blogged many times, the fundamentalist preacher who built a megachurch in southern California, and created the lucrative “Purpose-Driven” publishing empire — just revealed his complete ignorance of freethought and atheism. According to the Raw Story:

Not believing in a Supreme Being takes more faith than believing in one, according to Pastor Rick Warren. “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist,” Warren told Fox News anchors Steve Doocy and Martha MacCallum Monday.

Warren puts forth arguments against atheism which are so old and tired that he has little rational excuse for trotting them out yet again. I’ll go over them one by one:

“You know, Steve, if I’m walking down a mountain and I see rock out of place and I go ‘that’s an accident.’ If I’m walking down a mountain — on the trail — and I find a Rolex that’s evidence of design,” he explained. “It actually takes more faith not to believe in God than to believe in God.”

This is known as William Paley’s “watchmaker analogy,” a teleological argument, which is fallacious, and for several reasons. One of those failures is that it’s based solely on a subjective determination of what must have been “made.” Subjectivity can never be construed as objective veracity. Another failure is, one can know a watch is only human-made because one can walk into a factory and see them being designed and crafted. When it comes to the Universe, however, it is not possible to watch an “intelligent designer” (or deity) manufacture a new universe. (At least, no one has yet done so … and I don’t expect it ever will happen.) So, Rick, strike one!

While Warren scoffs at atheists, he seemed to respect every other belief system. “The are 600 million Buddhists in the world. There are 800 million Hindus. There are one and a half billion Muslims and there are 2.3 billion Christians. The actual number of secularists in the world is actually quite small outside of Europe and Manhattan,” said Warren.

Warren’s appeal to numbers … i.e. there are billions of “believers” but nowhere near as many non-believers, ergo, believers must be correct … is fallacious. This fallacy goes by many names; formally as argumentum ad populum, and less formally as the appeal to popularity, the bandwagon fallacy, appeal to consensus, democratic fallacy, appeal to the majority, etc. It fails, because reality and veracity are not up for a vote. That many people believe something does not automatically make it true. At one time nearly all human beings thought the Earth was at the center of a universe only a few thousand miles across; we have, however, found this is not so. If one followed Warren’s reasoning, we’d have dismissed Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo as mindless cranks and would still think we were at the center of the universe. So, Rick, strike two!

Bashing on atheists isn’t new for the pastor who has also compared gay marriage to pedophilia.

Warren is wrong here, folks. Gay marriage has nothing to do with pedophilia. It can’t … because marriage (of any kind) is a partnership between adults capable of entering into a contract; while pedophilia is an adult having sex with a minor. The two are completely and totally unrelated — and by definition. So, Rick, strike three — you’re out!

But wait, there’s more!

In April of 2007, Warren told Newsweek that he “never met an atheist who wasn’t angry” and that “far more people have been killed through atheists than through all the religious wars put together.”

While it is true that 20th century massacres and atrocities have killed more people than anything prior, and not all of them were done for religious reasons, keep in mind that these were political regimes, not religious ones.

The medieval Church which orchestrated the Inquisitions, was primarily a religious organization. The wars in the Middle East known collectively as the Crusades, had at least some religious motivation. The invasions of Europe and the Middle East by central Asians, under Genghis Khan and then under Timur the Lame — in their time the single most devastating conflicts in all of history, which were not exceeded until the 20th century — were partly motivated by religion: In Genghis Khan’s case, because his Mongol gods of heaven told him he would be a mighty ruler, and in Timur’s, because he wanted to spread Sunni Islam in places which were, in his day, primarily Shi’ite.

As for people like Hitler, who orchestrated the Holocaust, it hardly seems possible for him to have repressed and then slaughtered so many Jews, if not for centuries of Christian-inspired anti-Semitism. One can, therefore, also chalk up the atrocities of the Third Reich — at least partly — to religion.

Not to mention the fact that, while Warren condemns — and dismisses — atheists as “angry,” I definitely see a lot of sanctimonious anger on the part of lots of religious folk, too. Including himself! So, Rick, not only have you struck out, you whiffed an extra time!

If anyone isn’t clear, by now, what kind of bellicose, sanctimonious, ignorant creep Rick Warren is … well, you now have your evidence. He’s also proven himself a hypocrite by dismissing atheists as “angry” without acknowledging the religious are often just as angry, if not moreso. (Note to Rick: Your own Jesus specifically, clearly, explicitly, and unambiguously ordered you, as his follower, never to be hypocritical. So I’d be careful if I were you.)

Hat tip: iReligion Forum at Delphi Forums.

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To follow-up on my blog entry about multimillionaire megapastor Rick Warren’s cowardice exhaustion, Politico offers an elaboration on Warren’s claim:

Pastor Rick Warren abruptly canceled an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” in which he would have had the opportunity to clarify his denial last week that he had ever endorsed California’s anti-gay-marriage ballot measure, when in fact he had done so on videotape.

A Warren aide e-mails the best-selling evangelical pastor’s view on both issues:

“Easter weekend is like the Super Bowl for a megachurch like Saddleback; this year they were expecting upwards of 43,000 to attend 43 service venues and locations offered at 13 separate service times, requiring an intense several weeks of preparation by the pastor and his team.

Interesting. If Easter weekend is so understandably busy for the megapastor that his exhaustion is a natural consequence, why then did he book an interview with Stephanopoulos in the first place? Clearly Warren planned to go through with it and did not consider the busy pace of an Easter weekend to be a problem, back when he promised to go on George’s show.

Nevertheless, the Warren aide quoted in this Politico piece goes on:

“There has been a lot of blog chatter trying to connect the dots with the interviews this weekend and comments Dr. Warren made on CNN Larry King Live, but his cancellations were related to health and fatigue…. I was looking forward to the opportunity for him to clarify his position with Messrs. Stephanopoulos and Huckabee (the latter with whom he was to interview live at 2:45 PM EDT on Saturday) to reframe the picture for television viewers the way we had been trying to do on a per-inquiry basis with print outlets by sending out the statement below:

Warning to my readers: What follows is Warren’s twisted rationale for lying to Larry King. The aide’s promise to “clarify” and “reframe” the matter should serve as a warning that you’re about to be inundated with bullshit … and he doesn’t disappoint:

“Throughout his pastoral ministry spanning nearly 30 years, Pastor Warren has remained committed to the biblical definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, for life — a position held by most fellow Evangelical pastors. He has further stressed that for 5,000 years, EVERY culture and EVERY religion has maintained this worldview.

“When Pastor Warren told Larry King that he never campaigned for California’s Proposition 8, he was referring to not participating in the official two-year organized advocacy effort specific to the ballot initiative in that state, based on his focus and leadership on other compassion issues. Because he’s a pastor, not an activist, in response to inquiries from church members, he issued an email and video message to his congregation days before the election confirming where he and Saddleback Church stood on this issue.

There are a number of problems with this statement. First, it is factually untrue that — as the Warren aide put it — “EVERY culture and EVERY religion has maintained” that marriage is only between one man and one woman. Warren’s holy text itself contains proof that this is not true. The list of patriarchs and kings in the Old Testament who had multiple wives and even concubines is long. (See my earlier post on the subject of marriage for details … complete with chapter and verse citations.)

Also, contrary to Warren and his aide, there are, even now, cultures and religions that accept alternative forms of marriage such as polygamy. (Islam is the most significant example … nearly one/third of humanity is Muslim, a number far too large for Warren or his aide to dismiss as they do.)

To lie as an explanation of a lie, is never a good idea. But Warren, through his aide, has done so! This means that not only did Warren lie for Jesus, he lied for Jesus again in order to justify having lied for Jesus. How nice.

Second, Warren asserts that his support of Proposition 8 was not as part of “the official two-year organized advocacy effort specific to the ballot initiative,” yet nevertheless he informed his sheep to vote for it; even so, those instructions were not “support.”

Did you catch that? The aide concedes that Warren supported Prop 8, but because his support was not of the “official” variety, it doesn’t actually count as “support.” This is gibberish, pure and simple.

The question I asked in my prior blog post (near the end), remains unanswered: Why is it not possible for Warren simply to apologize for having lied and be contrite? It won’t kill him to do so. And it’s never a bad idea for a Christian pastor to show a little Christian humility.

Note to Rick Warren: The humility part of your religion was best explained by your own Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount — if you open your Bible, you’ll see it in chapters 5 through 7 of the gospel of Matthew. Read it sometime. Just once, and just for kicks.

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One of the claims theists often make is that ethics and morality are the reason why religion and a belief in God are necessary to humanity. Without it, they insist, there can be no morality. They moreover often accuse atheists and other freethinkers of having rejected religion and/or belief in God specifically because they want to behave in immoral or unethical ways, and do so freely.

This is, of course, complete bullshit. There have been and are many moral people — and many systems of morality — which are not theistic in nature.

Not only that, theists’ assertions that a belief in God is necessary to make people morally upright, are ironic in light of the things that theists actually do. A recent example of this was revealed on the Unreasonable Faith blog; a pastor, of all people, had misrepresented himself as an atheist and then posted incendiary comments in that guise:

The other day this comment was posted by an atheist:

What’s wrong with killing babies? I see no problem with it. I have enough mouths to feed. I don’t get the argument and I am an atheist. Since I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in anything characterized as good, bad / right, wrong. So, what’s the big deal?

At first I was shocked that anyone could say that. Then I realized that it must be a fundie in disguise, a sheep in wolves clothing. …

Who would do such a stupid thing?

It turns out, a pastor would. After some more digging, I was able to figure out the commenter’s identity: Pastor Chris Fox of Kendalls Baptist Church in New London, NC.

It goes without saying that the guy never admitted that what he’d done was wrong. Of course it’s not, because he did it for Jesus, and that makes everything right, no?

Now, I know you believers out there are going to say that Pastor Fox is just a human being and that human beings do lie, cheat, etc. from time to time. This is, of course, very true. But it also demonstrates the problem conclusively: If believing in Jesus isn’t enough to make someone a morally-upstanding person who doesn’t lie or misrepresent him- or herself, then what value is there in being a Christian? Seriously … if Christians’ behavior isn’t visibly improved by their Christianity, then how are they any different from non-Christians?

But in addition to this we have the problem that Fox is a pastor. His behavior should be better than that of the average Christian since he’s supposed to be an example to his flock. If he’s going to behave like anybody else, he may as well step down from the lectern.

Final note: Further down the page, commenter “shamelesslyatheist” posted Fox’s response to criticism he must have received. He claims not to be a fundie or extremist, and claims he did not intend to deceive anyone. He also doesn’t want people to judge his character based on his misrepresentation. Woops, Pastor Fox, too late — I’ve already done that! You lose.

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