It’s not about winning (and other religious links)

As Jack Kirby once observed, humans are really bad at living by their ideals. It’s much easier to turn them into flags, then go and kill everyone carrying a different flag. The idea that our religion, for instance, is about something bigger than “our side wins!” is a difficult one.

Case in point, Donald Trump Jr. informs young conservatives that they’re playing too nice: We’ve turned the other cheek  … I understand the mentality but it’s gotten us nothing,” he complained. “OK? It’s gotten us nothing while we’ve ceded ground in every major institution.” Dude, it’s not about getting us something in this world, it’s about acting in the way God requests. Of course, I doubt Junior cares — I’m sure his Christianity is ass nonexistent as his father’s — other than convincing his audience to support The Former Guy when he tries to overthrow the government again.

I have similar thoughts about Melissa Crabtree, an Oklahoma Trump voter and conservative Christian who says she’s angry at being ridiculed for opposing mask mandates: “Why people are choosing to shame others, I don’t know.” Given she’s also angry over men not being masculine enough, gender blurring and teaching kids racism is bad, I suspect she’s fine with shaming people — just not people who think like her (I could be wrong).

An old Slacktivist post looks at the right-wing bullshit that women should give birth without drugs because, the Bible!

And of course we have right-wing bullshitter Charlie Kirk comparing Kyle Rittenhouse to Jesus.

The pandemic has stressed out clergy just like laity.

Militant Islam is on the rise in Pakistan. Not that our religious right here wouldn’t be just as bad once off the leash.

I’m an admirer of Beth Allison Barr and Kristen Kobes Du Mez but to patriarchalist ministers and Christian leaders they’re false teachers and wolves. As the article at the link says, the problems are “not the fault of those asking the questions; the problem is building a take-it-or-leave-it worldview on premises that don’t hold up to scrutiny made in good faith.”

A Christian in Virginia is outraged that a banned books display includes the Bible.

Even some of The Former Guy’s evangelical allies are upset with his cussing out Israeli leaders — how dare Netanhayu call and congratulate Biden? I suspect they’ll still vote for TFG when time comes though.

Conservatives love to blame sexual harassment and predators like Harvey Weinstein on liberal sexual values. But then we get conservative Christians like like Pennsylvania DA Bill Higgins, a Very Moral Man who goes easy on female defendants in return for sex. He was later convicted.

Christian finance guru Dave Ramsey has been sued by an employee, Brad Amos, for religious discrimination. Amos says his religious beliefs require him to mask and take other steps to avoid spreading Covid; Ramsey is anti-covid restrictions and allegedly fired Amos. I’m sure all the Republicans so outraged about vaccine mandates will raly to Amos’ cause … I’ll come in again.

And now some Christmas links:

“An escaped camel sent police scrambling in a Kansas City suburb this past weekend. The dromedary in question escaped a Nativity scene in Bonner Springs, Kansas.

Learning history from It’s a Wonderful Life. Caution, it’s not always a good teacher. It’s a better teacher in matters of faith.

“Christmas hope may well fall in the psychological category of wish fulfillment. But that does not disprove the possibility of actually fulfilled wishes. On Christmas, we consider the disorienting, vivid evidence that hope wins.” — Michael Gerson on not giving in to despair (pitched to fellow believers, but I am one).

“Most evangelical posturing on covid mandates is really syncretism, a merging of unrelated beliefs — in this case, the substitution of libertarianism for Christian ethics. In this distorted form of faith, evangelical Christians are generally known as people who loudly defend their own rights.” — Gerson again.

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