Category Archives: Religion

Speaking of taking it up the ass …

… our old friend Ted Haggard in back in the news. No stranger to this blog, Haggard was the golden boy of the lunatic Christian right until three years ago when his career as a megachurch pastor and de facto Bush administration advisor disappeared in a blizzard of methamphetamine and cockmeat.

After a lengthy sojourn during which he solicited donations to pay his living expenses while he pursued a counseling degree, using a convicted sex criminal as his collection agent, Ted is back in his $700,000 house in Colorado Springs. He and his lovely wife Gayle hosted a big ol’ prayer meetin’ on Thursday night.  In true hebephrenic Christian conservative style, Haggard observed:

“For the people who come tonight, that means they believe in the resurrection in me,” he told reporters before the start of the meeting Thursday night. “Because I died. I was buried.”

So, yeah. Ted is now zombified. Or something. And that’s a good thing for some reason. Maybe he’s saying that the “good” part of him is still alive; only the part that was into penis and meth died. Or maybe not. If anyone knows what Ted is trying to say here, please be so kind as to pass it along.

Haggard also wants us to know that he was never, ever a hateful anti-gay preacher. All that stuff about gays being an abomination was love, you see.

In addition, going through that silly ol’ gay sex scandal “was good for me as a heterosexual evangelical Christian, father of five, 30-year husband of Gayle.” As a result of all those Christians THINKING Ted was gay and hating him for it, his “compassion for the homosexual community has gone up incredibly.” Accepting multiple dicks in his mouth and anus no doubt helped with the compassion thing as well.

Anyhow, Ted says he’s looking to make a “comeback,” and judging from the fifty or so cars parked outside his house for the prayer meeting he’s well on his way. A fundy and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place, and rarely stay together very long. In the final analysis, that’s a fundamental truth Haggard can really believe in. And exploit the hell out of.

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Right wing religious nuts unite behind McCain

So perhaps you’ve been thinking that John “Walnuts” McCain isn’t religiously insane enough to garner substantial support among the extreme Christian right. Forget it. Unhand your Johnson, Skippy, and breathe deep the odious stench of reality.

One hundred fairly well known wingnut Christian extremists met in Denver, CO on July 1 and “agreed to unify behind the Arizona senator for president.” Although the wingers aren’t deliriously happy with Walnuts, they’re convinced that he’ll be far more supportive of the Christian right agenda than presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

Attendees included Mat Staver, dean of Falwell-founded Liberty Law School (who arranged the meeting), Phyllis Schalfly, Wendy Wright, Tim and Bev LaHaye, David Barton, Phil Burress, Kelly Shackelford, Don Hodel and representatives of Focus on the Family and the American Family Association.

The group also endorsed a Declaration of American Values (pdf, 1 page). Clicking on that link is for the strong of stomach only. It’s mostly just heinous, but it has amusing components as well, particularly adherence to the laughable view that Jesus was some sort of supply-siding free marketeer.

Hagee: Jews were askin’ for it

This story is all over the intart00bz. I first saw it at Esoteric Dissertations, so Codesmithy gets the hat tip.

Click on the above link and you’ll find audio of right wing evangelical lunatic John Hagee waxing insane about how the Jews were to blame for the Holocaust and Hitler was simply doing the Lord’s work.

Other notable Hagee sputterings include referencing the Catholic Church as “The Great Whore,” an “apostate church,” the “anti-Christ” and a “false cult system.” And then there was the whole Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for New Orleans hosting a gay pride parade thing. My personal favorite is Hagee’s call for a joint U.S.-Israeli military strike on Iran “to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West… a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.”

Republican presidential candidate Walnuts McCain remains “very honored” to have Hagee’s endorsement. Walnuts claims to repudiate Hagee’s statements “that are anti-semetic or anti-Catholic, racist, any other,” but there’s really nothing to repudiate because the good pastor’s comments “were taken out of context[.]”

As always, Lord save me from your followers.

More: Illusory Tenant links to this appropriately derisive article from Salon:

These psycho Christians make Robert Mitchum’s sociopathic traveling preacher in “The Night of the Hunter” (the guy with “love” tattooed on one hand and “hate” on the other) look like St. Francis of Assisi.

Go tell it on the mountain, brother!

Still More: It looks like the Hitler-was-God’s-agent-on-earth comment was too much even for Walnuts: McCain officially rejects Hagee endorsement

Fulla YECs

No leading economic power has ever maintained itself on the cutting edge of innovation and development with a political coalition that panders to biblical inerrancy.

So wrote Kevin Phillips in his 2006 book American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century.

If Phillips is correct, and it’s hard to believe he’s not in this regard, this survey indicates that we’re well on our way to falling off the “cutting edge of innovation and development.” Seems that a disconcertingly high 16% of public high school biology teachers are young earth creationists.

On the plus side, our health care crisis is well on its way to being solved. Someday the practice of medicine will consist exclusively of a gaggle of biblical inerrantists standing around the bed of a sick or injured person gibbering uncontrollably (speaking in tongues). If the patient gets better, God’s will. If not, also God’s will. No right-thinking person would ever call that a “crisis.”

McCain Kinda Like Jesus

The John McCain Isn’t Religiously Insane Enough for the Republican Party Era came to its de facto end when Mike Huckabee cashed in his chips and endorsed the Arizona senator’s presidential campaign. That Era met something of a de jure demise over the weekend with this statement by Georgia Republican Party chair Sue Everhart:

Georgia Republican Party chairwoman Sue Everhart said Saturday that the party’s presumed presidential nominee has a lot in common with Jesus Christ.

“John McCain is kind of like Jesus Christ on the cross,” Everhart said as she began the second day of the state GOP convention. “He never denounced God, either.”

Yep, it’s all about t3h unitah now. The wagons are circled and the GOP appears poised to wield the tripartite bludgeon of God, guns and gays to full effect yet again. Oh, how I adore this country.

More: H/T to Wonkette for linking this lovely assemblage of McCain video clips. In all likelihood, Jesus is more than a little honked off over being compared to someone who can’t decide whether his principal strength lies in laughable incompetence or outright fraud. No rapture for you, Sue Everhart.

Get yer free creationist shlock right here!

Thanks to Troy over at Playing Chess with Pigeons for pointing me toward this place, where you can get your hands on all sorts of free stuff for promoting the “intelligent design” “movie” Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, previously discussed here.

Actually, I don’t know whether to thank Troy or to say nasty shit about his momma. There’s some pretty heinous stuff available for download at that link.

Particularly odious is the gargantuan, thirteen-page, four-color brochure titled “Leader’s Guide.” I’ve read maybe two and a half pages and plan to continue as soon as my eyes stop bleeding. A critique of the “Leader’s Guide” is available here.

For now, suffice it to say that the political movement known as “intelligent design” trundles on as hamfistedly and disingenuously as ever.

The siren song of forbidden love

It seems like only yesterday that Ted Haggard, then senior pastor of the New Life megachurch and a major player in the Christian evangelical political power movement, was driven from the limelight amidst a blizzard of methamphetamine and male genitalia. In truth, it all happened well over a year ago. In November 2006, religious and business leaders in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the evangelical’s Obersalzberg, planned a massive demonstration in support of their beleaguered brother. They canceled the demonstration just three hours before it was set to commence. Turns out the stories weren’t just lies perpetrated by the liberal atheist media, as James Dobson claimed; they were quite true.

Haggard undertook a Christian “restoration” process overseen by the New Life Church. In February 2007 — a whopping three weeks into the process — Haggard pronounced himself TOTALLY NOT GAY.

Even so, Haggard was irreparably tainted. Gone were the high-paying job at New Life, the substantial revenue from sales of his fundamentalist books, and the weekly phone conferences with the Bush White House. Haggard and his family hit the road, ultimately ending up in Phoenix, Arizona. Despite his own proclamation of absolute heterosexuality, though, Ted remained in “restoration.”

Haggard, still very much a millionaire, made news last summer by begging donations to assist with living expenses while he and his wife pursued college degrees. Ted asked that the faithful make donations through Families with a Mission, a ministry owned and operated by twice-convicted sex offender Paul Huberty. Teddy Boy got himself in a heap o’ trouble with his overseers behind that shit.

Just when you thought the schadenfreude value of this saga was pretty much maxed out, Cara DeGette goes and posts this at Colorado Confidential. Seems that New Life Church issued the following press release earlier this week:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ted Haggard’s leadership of New Life Church for many years was extraordinary and the depth of spiritual maturity that is found today in the church is in large part attributed to his leadership as the founding senior pastor.

In January 2007, Ted Haggard voluntarily agreed to enter a process of spiritual restoration. He has selected Phoenix First Assembly and Pastor Tommy Barnett as his local church fellowship and is maintaining an accountability relationship there. He has recently requested to end his official relationship with the New Life Church Restoration Team and this has been accepted by them.

New Life Church recognizes the process of restoring Ted Haggard is incomplete and maintains its original stance that he should not return to vocational ministry. However, we wish him and his family only success in the future.

Because spiritual restoration is a necessarily confidential process, the church does not anticipate that it, or its Overseers or Restorers, will make further comment about it.

What? Ted “should not return to vocational ministry”? The restoration “incomplete”?!

Oh! Oh, deary dear!

Maybe, just maybe, Haggard jumped the proverbial gun a year ago in announcing his absolute devotion to vagina. Perhaps his brain is still awash in thoughts of the sweet, sweet milk of meth intoxication and/or the irreplaceable bliss of abomination.

If so, good on you, Ted Haggard! The United States is asshole-deep in hateful, hypocritical, drunk-with-power Christians of the Dobson ilk. There are gay Christians out there, but not nearly enough of ’em.

So don’t hide your lovelight under a bushel basket, Ted. Fly that rainbow flag! Rock out with your cock out!

This 100% non-gay sausage fest’s for you!

EVERYBODY DANCE NOW

Support teh gheyz, render yourself uninsurable.

At least in the eyes of Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company.

From WSJ Online:

The West Adrian United Church of Christ in Adrian, Michigan has been around since 1836. Last summer a member of the small congregation told the pastor about Brotherhood Mutual, an insurer that specializes in insuring churches and other religious organizations. Hoping to get a better rate on the church’s property damage coverage, the pastor met with a Brotherhood Mutual agent and filled out an application.

Brotherhood wouldn’t sell the church a policy at any price. Why? The national governing body of the United Church of Christ supports gay marriage and allowing gays to become clergy members, that’s why. Brotherhood’s coverage denial letter reads, in relevant part:

Based on national media reports, controversial stances such as those indicated in your application responses have resulted in property damage and the potential for increased litigation among churches that have chosen to publicly endorse these positions[.]

Never mind that the West Adrian church hasn’t formally endorsed the national church’s position on gay rights. Never mind that there’s no evidence of actual or threatened vandalism or other violence against any UCC churches based on the gay rights stance. It’s enough that bad things might happen.

The insurance regulators in Michigan and Indiana, Brotherhood’s principal place of business, say there’s no legal problems with the company’s position. Insurers can do pretty much whatever they please when it comes to underwriting decisions.

Not to worry, though. West Adrian isn’t going commando. The church ultimately renewed its existing policy with Safeco.  Church Mutual and GuideOne, two other major players in the church insurance biz, don’t even ask about support for gay rights.

But it’s only a matter of time. Private insurance companies’ underwriting practices historically favor the social status quo in a big way, and it’ll be no different here. This particular bandwagon will be mighty large by the time it’s all said and done.

Huckabee rocks the cafeteria

Baptist preacher and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee delivered a totally non-political sermon yesterday in Windham, New Hampshire to an evangelical congregation called the Crossing. The congregation of 200, which apparently meets in a middle school cafeteria for want of a church building, was delighted with Huckabee’s twenty-minute speech sermon on the trials and tribulations of being part of God’s Army.

Although there wasn’t any overt vote-begging, a church official invited congregants to attend a nearby Huckabee rally featuring free clam chowder and an all-but-inevitable appearance by devout Huckabee supporter and all-around “low moron”* Chuck Norris. Mr. Norris is depicted here at an earlier event contemplating the abomination of falling to his knees and imbibing the candidate’s righteous seed.

*Lynch v. Rosenthal, 396 S.W.2d 272 (Mo. 1965).

Honest Christian Spotted

I spend a lot of time blabbering about the misrepresentations, dissemblings, half-truths and outright lies advanced by evangelical Christians in support of their political ends. In the interest of equal time, this entry is about motive honesty exhibited by a Christian living right here in dear ol’ Broomfield, Colorado.

Not long ago our local rag reported on Kohl Elementary School Principal Cindy Kaier’s decision not to have the usual Halloween party at the school. Not long thereafter, on October 17, the paper published a LTTE from some nutburger that leads off with:

Prayer is gone from the classroom, “under God” is out of the Pledge of Allegiance and now the ghosts and goblins are leaving the building. That is if the Kohl Elementary principal has her way.

My, oh my, what a mess. First of all, the notion that prayer is “gone from the classroom” is idiotic beyond description. No less an authority than the U.S. Department of Education actually offers Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools. Prayer certainly should be gone from the classroom, IMO, but it’ll never happen.

Congress, swept up in the prevailing kneejerk anti-commie hysteria of the day, added the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. From that day to this the words in question have never, ever been “removed.” Nor will they be. The letter’s author can find endless solace by checking 4 U.S.C. 4 on a daily basis.

Even more ridiculous is the author’s suggestion that Principal Kaier’s decision was somehow anti-religion. One of her stated reasons for canceling the party was that some families “don’t celebrate Halloween.” Having followed religion-government separation issues for some time, statements such as that reek of biblical literalist Christianity to me. In other words, people who spend disturbing amounts of time literally gibbering (speaking in tongues) and rolling on the floor (slain in the spirit) consider Halloween evil and anti-Jesus. Unfortunately, such people procreate, send their snot miners to public schools and spin themselves into a state of raging apoplexy when the school does something contrary to the Bible (as authoritatively interpreted by James Dobson, of course).

In accordance with the maxim that even a blind squirrel finds a nut on occasion, an October 21 LTTE suggests that I might have been correct. The author gets major honesty points for writing:

When my children began school, I was one of “those” moms who talked to the principal and teachers, explaining we were Christians and didn’t celebrate Halloween. I asked for alternative assignments for my children during October, as many assignments were Halloween based. On Halloween, I kept my kids home from school. They felt isolated sitting in the hall doing alternative assignments. I still couldn’t compromise, knowing the truth about Halloween.

She then engages in an irrelevant and largely inaccurate discussion of Druids, tossing in terms like “demonic” and “Satanic” for good measure. But also to her credit, she acknowledges that “Schools are not allowed to celebrate religious holidays.”

Whether she considers that rule applicable to Christmas — yet another pirated pagan holiday — remains to be seen. For present purposes, the candor of the October 21 letter is strangely refreshing. All too often accomodationists bent on purging public schools of anything they consider unchristian are less than candid about their aims.