Which Dads and Moms taught them to think this way and act it out?

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A New Dawn for Hate?

This morning, in Ogden, Utah, Aaron Feller McFarland and his husband, Nik McFarland, woke up to find the slurs “FAGET” and “HOMO DIE” emblazoned across their car in blood-red spray paint.

Yesterday, Nancy Leong experienced a more casual form of harassment. On her morning run in Denver, as a car whooshed by, a man screamed at her, “Build that wall!” Never mind that Nancy, an associate professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, is an Asian American, born and raised in this country. Her brown skin and dark brown hair were all that were required to raise the ire of her harasser.

STAND WITH US TO PROTECT EVERYONE’S RIGHTS

Aaron, Nik, and Nancy are not alone. A mere three days after the election, reports of harassment and violence directed at people of color, immigrants, LGBT people, Muslims, and others have been pouring in. Shaun King, the senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, has received dozens and dozens of reports of abuse and is chronicling them on Twitter. The Southern Poverty Law Center is also collecting reports of racist harassment, as are various news outlets.

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liberty-valance

Bullies don’t like it when all the little kids start keeping their lunch money in their pockets and talk sassy talk.
And of course we Americans who are too busy consuming to understand this stuff only understand that as usual we are expected to react as a collective jingoist entity.
Like mushrooms fed manure in the dark or who are told to ignore the liar behind the curtain, we simply must be offended.
– ‘Cause that’s what Americans do.
– ‘Cause those who bully in our name are only thinking of global peace
– ‘Cause the great American foreign-policy actors tell us that we as the American electorate who collectively ARE the bully are collectively “disappointed”.
And WHY are we disappointed?
Because our badly battered neighbors object to our pillage, rape and extortion in the name of world peace?
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American Evangelism as Illness

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WHAT THE FIGHT OVER ALLAH SAYS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY

Evangelicalism knows what it is by fighting against what it is not. Take away the threats and enemies, and evangelicalism loses its identity and reason for being.

One of the main reasons that evangelical Bible Schools and colleges were established was to fight against this new form of rational Christianity—one that subjected biblical and theological claims to scientific inquiry rather than to literal interpretation. Thus, for example, evangelicals rejected claims of the evolutionary origins of the world, or that humans were not special creations of God. One step on the slippery slope of this sort of theological reflection would ultimately lead not only to the end of Christianity but also the end of American culture—or at least the American culture that the mostly white, middle class evangelical world preferred.

eye-twinkling the morally self-righteous
I’ve said this before and do so again.

A change in attitude and behavior is necessary in order for Christianity to maintain a strong and positive influence in the world. Emphasis is on positive.

The loudest Christian mouths have brought us is to being equated to that extremely inaccurate parody of Islam that stokes flames of hate where none need exist.

When the rose-colored glasses are removed, one can see very little difference between the Taliban in Afghanistan and our American Christian Talibanist who not only preach equivalent judgmental-ism, but use the same tactics … mostly verbal now. But if it were possible for those big mouths and their elected Republican lackeys to create a one-party state, then that which Bishop John Shelby Spong – who writes that Christianity Must Change Or Die – and others of like mind are working against will become quite obvious.

I am in harmony with those who understand that literalist Christians in general and evangelicals of like mind in particular may very well literalize themselves into inconsequential roles, or worse, become a  foundation of even greater religious childishness in this country.

Unlike those who are doing so, I’m not counting on any apocolyptic end times to interrupt our social corruption.

I’m not giving up, shrugging off humanity or buying into moral hubris thinking that Jesus will have to clean up the messes being made after eye-twinkling the morally self-righteous.

 

 

 

My disagreement with you makes you an enemy of my country.

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In retrospect in seems that – going back 30-40 years – a change of political tactics, efforts more directed at personalizing differences of opinion has arisen. It’s a personalizing in most instances that deliberately avoids a discussion of issues in the interest of demonizing supporters of views opposed to your own.

Demonization: [Merriam Webster] includes the following: b : a source or agent of evil, harm, distress, or ruin

Our entrepreneurial honesty suggests that if we can provoke readers and listeners on the left and right in such a way as to get them to come back for more, we have found another way to make a living … to earn money. But does a free-market capitalism imply justification for the elevation of revenue and profit above the value of common good, common well being and of course common sense.

Lots of communicators have followed the money using as a tool, inflammatory charges that are pretended to be civic discourse. However, Civic Discourse seems to get left standing at the starting gate after the bell has rung while Inflammatory Charges are running neck and neck into the final turn and already coming up the backstretch.

As author Robert Wright has said,

The point is that Americans who wildly depict other Americans as dark conspirators, as the enemy, are in fact increasing the chances, however marginally, that those Americans will be attacked.

… But the more incendiary theme in current discourse is the consignment of Americans to the category of alien, of insidious other.

So if I as an American citizen have a problem with other Americans or non-Americans who disagree with me, am I justified in consigning those who disagree to a status lower than my own civil-liberties protected life?

Am I justified in condemning those who disagree with me to a status of “less-than”, “not as worthy” and “deserving of destruction?”

Again from Robert Wright,

If you convince enough people that an enemy of the American way is setting up a system that could kill them, the violent hatred will take care of itself.

This is the core of the problem.

Contempt, rejection and advocacy of the termination of ideas as things viable in civic discourse is fine so long as it addresses ideas. But can you personalize your contempt and rejection of what you believe are harmful ideas and transmute that personalization into a public advocacy of termination of persons who are the targets of your contempt and rejection?

The backbone of civic decision-making is compromise of ideas, plans, and actions … spiced with the attitude that the will of the people is not represented by any one political perspective or absolute. The back-breaker is the notion that one perspective is holy, sacred and able to withstand any challenge to its ideology and that any other perspective – and it’s supporters – need to be eliminated. We might take umbrage at the idea, but does not the recent violence make us look like someone other than who we think we really are and what we are about?

“Arthur”, one might ask, “how dare you compare us to our most hated enemies?

One more from Robert Wright,

My own view is that if you decide to go kill a bunch of innocent people, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re not a picture of mental health. But that doesn’t sever the link between you and the people who inspired you, or insulate them from responsibility.

Wright source: First Comes Fear

“actively and passively driven from faith, by people of faith.”

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An excellent writing by John Pavlotvitz. There are so many valuable and worthy lines in his article, I’ll paste a couple but the only way to appreciate the fullness is to read it on his site.

Distorted Love: The Toll Of Our Christian Theology On The LGBT Community

This is the cost of our religion to the LGBT community. More accurately, it’s the cost of our religion to LGBT human beings. This is the painful collateral damage that comes when we see principles and ignore people; when we refuse to give them the dignity they deserve.

Apparently Love does hurt; really, really badly.

The most common defense I’ve heard over the past 14 days from Christians who believe that being gay is both chosen and sinful, has been some variation of the supposedly well-meaning, “Well, we’re just loving people by being honest with them, by giving them ‘the Truth’. Telling people the truth is loving them.”

Really?

Theology is NEVER a truth … yes, I said NEVER a truth, divine or otherwise.

Original sin is not and never was a real thing … nor was the consequential need for redemption and atonement … none of that is any kind of truth.

Theology is merely a righteousness tool most frequently used as a cudgel by people who want to FEEL morally superior in any desperate way to someone to whom they are in fact not superior in any way.

Then there are those who do passive/aggressive ostraciscm of friends and loved ones who doubt or stop believing their societal or cultural “truths.” This from John Shore:

Is this fundamentalist mother’s letter to her daughter loving, or horrible?

Or as John Pavlovitz expressed it: “actively and passively driven from faith, by people of faith.”

An excellent example of why we need to realize that there is no one true way to judge any human being …

Symposium scene, circa 480-490 BC, decorative fresco from north wall of Tomb of Diver at Paestum, Campania, Italy, Detail of so-called lovers, 5th Century BC

Symposium scene, circa 480-490 BC, decorative fresco from north wall of Tomb of Diver at Paestum, Campania, Italy, Detail of so-called lovers, 5th Century BC

Every LGBTQ+ Person Should Read This

An excellent example of why we need to realize that there is no one true way to judge any human being …

and that religion – above all else – has no monopoly on absolutes. Religion is the least authoritative when it expresses what in reality are inflexible theologies.

“Remember: the way Western culture today has constructed gender and sexuality is not the way it’s always been.” – Sarah Prager