The Dark Fiery Pit Of The GOP

Have you ever noticed the connection between the New Testament, Fox, and the GOP? The New Testament imposes fear in Catholics and Christians to vote God by preaching you will be thrown into a dark, fiery pit where you will gnash your teeth for eternity if you don’t.  Fox and the Republicans have always employed fear by preaching to vote GOP or you will be thrown into dirty bomb attacks by domestic terrorists while you’re being thrown into bankruptcy by big spending Democrats after you’ve been thrown into jail by Obama personally for owning a registered firearm after he throws your family into poverty by forcing you all onto Food Stamps after he takes your job away. If the Bible is in fact the word of Jesus, wouldn’t that make both Fox and the GOP guilty of plagiarism?

Besides, the Republicans got it all wrong! Their ad campaign shouldn’t be centered on selling Obama as the anti-GOP about to deliver the end of the United States as we know it. They should borrow a page from the 19th Century Dept. of the Interior and update the image of the Great White Father that was sold to the Indians. The Indians bought, eventually, VERY eventually…

Fact is, the Republicans haven’t had a Great White Father since Dwight D. Eisenhower. John McCain was supposed to be the next Great White Father but he turned out to be their Crazy Uncle John. The closest they’ve come is Ronald Reagan, who was the Great Orange-Haired Father. And while we’re on the subject—what’s the deal with Republican hair dye jobs? At 69, Reagan was the oldest elected President in US history. So naturally they dyed his hair prematurely orange to make him look younger and more vigorous.  Mitt Romney is just five years younger than Reagan was but apparently his advisors are going for the youthful but experienced look. Hence, Romney’s got a dye job that gives him dark hair except for the sideburns extending just a teensy weensy bit up to his temples. The dark hair exemplifies youth, the gray sideburns—experience. Taken altogether, the phony-looking dye job seems as carefully manufactured as Romney’s changing stances on any issue. But I digress…

So, the GOP should be offering their electorate the modern day equivalent of beads and blankets instead of doom and gloom. As any father–Great White or otherwise–knows, it’s easier to get your child to fear you than it is to respect you, whether they love you or not.

Look at how President Obama is being sold: “I’m doing a good job so are, ain’t I?” Clear, simple, emphasizes the affirmative, asking his electorate to buy into the premise that overall, he’s doing ok so they should just let him keep doing it. The Democrats don’t need a father figure, great or otherwise and of any color. The only black they care about is on the federal government’s balance sheet.

But perhaps the Republicans have intertwined themselves too heavily with the Bible and are now unable to extricate themselves. Must be rough to have to spend eternity in a dark, fiery pit where you will gnash your teeth. Perhaps we can convert them posthumously to Democrats.

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Catholic Sin vs. Jewish Guilt

The Catholic religion is based on Original Sin. We’re all born sinners who must have that sin baptized away in the name of Jesus Christ.  In fact  Mormons are so worried about dirty sinners they proxy baptize dead Jews as a public service just to be safe. Not sure if they baptize dead Muslims though; there could be a language barrier and their dead might misunderstand and think the Mormons are trying to drown the death out of them. Last thing you want in the afterlife is a jihad.

Catholics blow it all at birth by being baptized. I used to have to schlep my dirty clothes weekly to a laundromat, plug in the coins, wait for it to be done, and then schlep them home again. What a hassle. That’s what Catholic confession is like. When their soul gets dirty again—as it always will–they have to schlep their sins to confession, plug in a few “Hail Mary”s,  wait for the absolution cycle to be done so they can schlep their newly-washed souls home.  This can be a weekly event for some Catholics. And I’m told the magazines inside the confessionals aren’t very good.

The Jewish religion is based on guilt, in fact, it thrives on it. You have to feel guilty about something in order to be forgiven for it. A Jew just says “Oy, I shouldn’t have had that extra piece of pizza. I’m all bloated now. God, what a mistake that was!” In the morning, God has foregiven the overeating and allowed digestion to get rid of the bloat. THAT’S the way religion should work!

You might ask why do Jews need to feel guilty over everything? Don’t ask. Guilt, for want of a better word, is good. Guilt works. You don’t cross the Red Sea because you feel sinful. You cross the Red Sea because you feel guilty that if Moses goes by himself he might fall down on the Sinai Peninsula and skin his knee or something.

Personally, if I belonged to a religion where I had to practically drown my newborn baby to wash its soul clean, I would feel as guilty as sin.

 

 

Judaism: It’s Not Just For Jews Anymore

What’s a poor Christian to do these days? Everywhere they turn they’re under attack. Can’t propose to stick a transvaginal probe up a pregnant woman in Virginia. Can’t have a prayer to the Lord posted on the wall of a public school in Rhode Island. The war on Christmas has no end in sight. And Kenyan-born Muslim President Obama is forcing churches to pay for abortions and contraceptives. A Christian just can’t catch a break anywhere.

Being a Christian used to be great when this was a Christian nation, but now not so much. So, what’s the answer?

Maybe it’s time to try into a new religion. Have you considered Judaism? It’s been time tested for over 3000 years so you can be assured that Judaism will be here for you today and here tomorrow for the rest of your life.

And Judaism is customizable; there’s a sect for every taste and lifestyle. Think you can’t eat pork as a Jew? Think again. If you’re one who clutches forks and knives to eat their bacon, check out the Reformed sect. Not only is bacon on the menu, so are pork chops and BBQ Ribs! Do we allow pork carnitas in your diet? Sí señor!

When you’re a Jew, there’s no longer any need to get up at the break of dawn to attend church.  The sabbath begins at sunset on Friday night and ends at sunset on Saturday night. This means that not only are you free to go out Saturday night, you can sleep in on Sunday mornings! Isn’t that a nice religion?

And there’s nothing in the Old Testament prohibiting gay marriage, birth control, or abortion. Why do you think so many show business professionals and doctors are Jews? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, anyone?

And I’ve saved the best for last. With Judaism, there’s no downside—literally. Jews shuffling off this mortal coil take a nonstop flight up to Heaven—flying coach, of course. But there’s no Hell for Jews. Yes, you read it right: no Hell or eternal gnashing of teeth in a dark pit. Jews don’t believe in eternal damnation. We feel that life is hard enough so no reason to go all meshuga in the afterlife.

So, if Judaism sounds good to you, you sound good to Judaism. Call your neighborhood rabbi today or just stop by your local synagogue—no need to schedule an appointment. We just ask you to bring some danish. And bagels. Bagels and lox with a little schmear. Oy gevalt, I’m hungry now.

Vatican Street

I’m not the first one to ask this but, if life begins at conception shouldn’t pregnant women be allowed to use the carpool lane? Zygotes are people too, my friend. Currently, the Virginia legislature is trying to push through ultrasound vaginal probes that could tell if a new, burgeoning lifeform is indeed inhabiting her inner sanctum. If that law passes, it could conceivably happen that a state trooper, suspecting a lone female driving in the carpool lane of breaking the law, could pull her over and right there by the side of road insert an ultrasound vaginal probe up her Volvo to confirm whether or not she had a bun in the oven.

Is this the country we want to become? Why is it that Republican men are so insistent upon checking to see if a woman is pregnant and on banning abortions to make sure that she is?  Virginia is turning so far to the right that they’re working on banning all prophylactic care so that both condoms and dentistry would be outlawed in the state.

Is this what Jesus would have wanted? This would be the place for me to insert a biblical quote, but never having read the Bible I have to settle for some of Jeffrey Hunter’s dialogue in “King of Kings”. Nope, sorry, it was John the Baptist, played by that great underrated actor Robert Ryan: “Woman, is not your cup of abominations full enough?” In other words—come on, sister! First you want the vote, then the right to smoke in public, then equal pay for equal work, and now you want sovereign power over your own body? You’re really beginning to piss Jesus off, here!”

What I don’t understand is Republican women who meekly raise their hand and softly whisper, “Please, sir, I don’t want sovereign power over my own body if you please, sir” just before they cast their vote for Rick Santorum.  Maybe like Mitt Romney’s father, George, they’ve been brainwashed, but this time by the Roman Catholic Church, to believe their bodies are merely vessels to serve at the pleasure of God’s will, as interpreted by Rick Santorum and the Republicans. I can see no other explanation.

But to complicate things further, the Catholic Church endorses the use of Viagra. In fact it’s paid for by the Church health plans. This is indeed curious. Why would the Church cover the costs for clergy who have sworn a vow of celibacy who work around young altar boys all day? Perhaps for a man a vow of celibacy exerts a strain on the heart increasing blood pressure? Viagra did start out as blood pressure medicine until a unique and unexpected side effect was discovered. Now with one medication, men can have a soft aorta and a hard penis at the same time. But we’re back to the question of why a single priest living alone in his cell would need a hard penis?

And there is yet another question to be answered. If the Church is dead set against contraception and abortion, why would it embrace Viagra? Unless it views a man with a flaccid penis as another form of birth control, which is against God’s will. But if it was God that made this flaccid penis, isn’t it God’s way of ensuring sperm will not meet egg, which after all is what birth control is all about? I mean, it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a limp noodle.

So, it would seem to be that the Church signing off on Viagra would fly in the face of the word of God, as spoken by Rick Santorum and the Republicans. One would begin to think that the Roman Catholic Church has been set up like Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s old stomping grounds. Hundreds of millions of men worldwide have been sent out merge with women who accept their IPO (Internal Penile Offering).  The women essentially become the holding company that issues the little dividends nine months later. The Church collects its percentage off the top every Sunday as all its subcontractors, I mean, parishioners, take a much-deserved day off as they attend the weekly corporate meeting.

So, we’ve finally come to what it’s actually all about. It’s about passing the plate and then passing on the genetic code just so the Roman Catholic Church can maintain a steady return on its 2000 year old capital investment. It’s the money, stupid.

The Whoosh Sound

The Obama campaign strategy has just come into sharp focus. Following on the heels of a bill the President just signed that drastically cuts the number of weeks federal unemployment benefits can be collected comes the announcement that Obama plans to cut the top corporate effective tax rate to 25%. Although he claims this is part of a greater tax code overhaul which will close many business tax loopholes, cutting the tax rate flies in the face of advice given by prominent economists such as Paul Krugman and Robert Reich to raise them. These tax changes will further motivate corporations to bring overseas jobs back here, according to the President’s claim.  But what he doesn’t explain is how those jobs can be brought back here with a pay scale that won’t exceed what the Chinese were being paid.  To pay Americans more would boost the cost of the manufactured goods beyond what the unemployed who just ran out of unemployment benefits can afford.

The Obama team claims the tax overhaul will bring in an additional $250 billion in tax revenues, if we’re willing to wait 10 years to collect it all. These tax changes will further motivate corporations to bring overseas jobs back here.  By that time Obama will have been retired from the White House and making a lucrative living from speaking tours and book sales. Whichever presidents follow him into office can do whatever the want to the tax code which could render the anticipated $250 billion just another phantom of an unfilled campaign promise. But the tax benefits to corporations are immediate and that’s how quickly his SuperPac will start collecting their campaign contributions. (Have you ever noticed how all presidents are fond of predicting outcomes that will happen during someone else’s presidency? But I digress.)

Obama has clearly kicked the 99% to the curb. He knows he’s got his base locked in on the social issues because they’ve got nowhere else to go. So now he’s looking to cut his opposition off at the knees. Moderate Republicans are turned off to the crop of clowns they’ve been offered. The clowns’ stances on the social issues are no laughing matter, despite their large floppy clown shoes. So Obama needs to woo these moderates on their bread and butter economic issues: make unemployment harder to get and for a shorter amount of time, and back off on those high corporate taxes which are strangling the job creators. After the President wins both the social and economic debates, the clowns, despite their large floppy clown shoes, will fall flat on their collective face.

It’s a brilliant if cynical campaign strategy. The difference between Obama and Romney is that Obama can tell a crowd what it wants to hear with believable sincerity. I think that both Obama and Santorum are sincere in their religious beliefs, but Obama’s are grounded in reality and if he ever spoke of inserting an ultrasound vaginal probe up into a woman’s private parts, Michelle would whomp him upside the head with the Lincoln cast iron skillet.

But Obama’s message to the 99% is once again, “I gotta go meet with the money people now. See ya later.” And the 99% have no choice but to respond back, “OK. See ya…”  That whoosh sound you just heard is Obama turning his back on them.

The Hyphenated or Forward Slash American

I dislike African-/American. I dislike Mexican-/American. I also dislike Italian-/American and Chinese-/American.  Discern a pattern here? I assure you it’s non-racist and non-bigoted.

What I dislike is the practice of putting the country of origin before America, emphasizing where one’s family came from before where they are now. It just serves to fragment us into separate ethnic camps.  In my day, we were taught in social studies that America was the great Melting Pot. All the different ingredients poured in, I mean, were poured into the pot where they all blended together into the stew called Americans.

Why is that people who cry “America First!” are so eager to put another country’s name in front of America? That’s what the hyphen or the forward slash does—it separates us from America. I’m all for being proud of one’s ethnic identity and heritage, but when our foreparents came to this shore past the Statute of Liberty, walked onto Ellis Island, and later took the oath of citizenship, they made a pact to swear allegiance to the American flag, not the Greek-/American flag, or the Lebanese-/American flag.  There are two exceptions to the oath takers: blacks who were brought here as slaves and Native Americans. I dislike Native American. I dislike it because it’s inaccurate. Whether they are called Native Americans or Indians they did not originate here, unless America 3000 years or so ago annexed Asia including the foot path across the Bering Strait. There are no indigenous people here. We’re all immigrants, folks! And although American Indian is also inaccurate, it’s a lot closer to “American indigenous” if that’s the point someone is trying to make.

And what about the term Native American? What’s to stop tribes from taking it further and describing themselves as Navajo-/Native American-/American or Seminole-/Native American-/American or Snohomish-/Native American-/American or Cherokee-/Native American-/American? And what about the Sioux? Are they Dakota-/Sioux/Native American-/American or Lakota etc. or Teton etc. or Santee, etc. or Nakota etc. or Yankton etc.? But then you got your Oglala, etc. Lakota Sioux and Mdeakantonwon, etc. Dakota Sioux and both Upper AND Lower Yankton-/Yankton and on and on. It would be the same thing when dealing with Arabic tribes and Palestinians. But I digress.

Let’s take these hyphenated or forward slash labels out to their absurd conclusion. My kids can describe themselves as Russian-/Romanian-/Polish-/Irish-/German-/Native American-/American. What one ethnic group could they possibly belong to?

The Israelis and the Iranians are very aware of their ethnic origins and look how well that’s working out for them.

But we still haven’t reached the limits of absurdity. We’ve yet to arrive at Jewish/- or Christian-/ or Muslim-/ or Presbyterian-/ or Episcopalian-/ or Lutheran-/ or Baptist-/ or Southern Baptist-/ or Mormon-/ or Seventh-Day Adventist-/ or Jehovah’s Witness-/ or Buddhist-/ or Agnostic-/ or Atheist-/ Pantheist-/ or ad infinitum added to the ethnic mix of origin names. Let’s go further: Democratic-/, Republican-/, Green-/, Peace and Freedom-/, Independent-/, and blah blah blah.

And with each additional name, the groups keep getting smaller and smaller until your children are in their own group separate from yours.

So, forgive me if I don’t get into the whole hyphenated or forward slash thing. I refuse to do it for skin color, too. There are no Black or Caucasian or Red or Yellow or Brown Americans to me.

I’ll say it again: the practice of putting the country of origin before America, emphasizing where one’s family came from before where they are now, just serves to fragment us into separate ethnic camps. It puts ME in front of US. And take a look around our country today: it’s US against THEM, them being the powers that be that are intent on helping us build our separate camps.

 

So, I for one will eschew all of these hyphenated or forward slash American labels. Because when the day comes and the space aliens land and interbreed with humans, I don’t want to even begin to think of learning how to spell THOSE names…

 

 

 

 

The Hypocrisy Of The Conservative Black Pastor

Black pastors who oppose same sex marriage are very much in the news. A notable exception to these hypocrites is Pastor Delman Coates of Maryland.

A quote from a 2004 MSNBC article could have been printed today: “When the homosexual compares himself to the black community, he doesn’t know what suffering is,’ said the Rev. Clarence James, an African-American studies professor at Temple University.” Oh really, Rev. James? Ask Matthew Shepard and Jesse William Dirkhising. Oh, you can’t—they were both murdered. Ask their families then.

Over 22% of hate crime murders are committed against gay victims although the total number of murders comprise a small percentage of the general population. But still, how many blacks were lynched last year? How many black teenagers committed suicide as opposed to gay teenagers? How many gay black teenagers committed suicide because they were black? And you hypocrites dare to claim that the gay population fighting for its rights has no relevance to the black population who fought for their civil rights?

It was less than 50 years ago when “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” was released to great controversy. Even during the swinging 60’s many people didn’t stand for interracial marriage unless the groom was named Sammy Davis, Jr. or the bride was named Pearl Bailey. 20 years earlier black men were still getting lynched in the South for just talking to a white woman. So, all you black pastors, what if those conditions and outright hatred and bigotry still existed throughout America? Would you be ok with that? Or is it not ok to discriminate against someone on account of their skin color but ok to discriminate based on their sexual preference?

OK, black pastors, take out your bibles. Show me where it says God says that miscegenation is allowed but gay marriage isn’t. Show me where the bible sets out any rules about who can marry who to begin with. I’ll wait here while you look.

This is just another example of “I’ve got mine but you can’t get yours” which forms the basis of the Republican Party and apparently a number of black pastor’s versions of Christianity. These guys contend that the civil rights of gays is nothing like civil rights for blacks. I contend they are EXACTLY the same. Blacks have won the right to marry outside their race with impunity. What is wrong with people marrying within the same sex? And besides the satisfaction you get from sticking your holier-than-thou noses into other people’s bedrooms, what palpable effect does same sex marriage have on your personal lives? If John marries John, is your morning any different when you get up? If Jane marries Jane, does that mean your life as you know it will come to an end? Doe the price of gas or food go up when gay couples tie the knot? Will Israel attack Iran unless we ban gay marriage from the world?

And finally, black pastors, or even Pope Benedict—who died and made you God? Who made you the final arbiter of what the Bible says about marriage? The Bible was first written a couple of thousand years ago or so, and the memory of the words of Jesus might have spoken had been a little faded and shaky when pen was finally put to parchment.  If God created Man and Woman, he made them in different sexual preference varieties. Homosexuals are not mutations; in fact, how can any of you prove they weren’t part of His plan? Maybe it isn’t gays who are going to Hell, but the righteous bigots who hate and fear them.

This is not a Christian nation ruled by the Bible. This is a melting pot, as we were all taught in grade school, ruled by the Constitution. And unlike the Bible, the Constitution was written at the time this country gained their freedom by the same guys what did it.  It is not filled with legends of dubious origination, or fables open to interpretation. And the Constitution sets it all out in a lot less pages.

And final question to you black pastors: how many gay folks marched for your civil rights back in the 50’s and 60’s? How many of you have returned the favor?