Close enough

“Well, the Barth, Theology, Philosophy and Barth. That’s not got much Barth in it.”

Getting together to sing and listen to a long sermon has never been the attraction.”

“Politicized religion provides a substrate of beliefs that rationalizes — at least in the minds of its followers — all three of the GOP’s main tenets: wealth worship, war worship, and the permanent culture war.”

“Neither is conservatism a makeshift fusion of capitalists, Christians, and warriors, for that fusion is impelled by a more elemental force — the opposition to the liberation of men and women from the fetters of their superiors, particularly in the private sphere.”

“All I want is to listen to Christian music. I should be able to do that without being made to feel that my family isn’t holy enough or my political beliefs are sinful.”

“Jack Schaap gave his signature sermon ‘A Polished Shaft.’ Then he proceeded to demonstrate exactly how to … polish a shaft.”

“With as far to the fringe as fundyland has moved, most of the people who remain are simply not strong enough to survive outside of the walls that lock them in.”

“The truth has always been that humanity needs no external spiritual help to do gross and inhumane things to one another.”

You can call me a bigot if I start campaigning that Chick-Fil-A-Holes should not be able to marry, adopt, or serve in the military. You can call me a bigot if I ship my friends off for traumatic psychological boot camps because they dared to eat a chicken sandwich. You can call me a bigot if I compare being Republican to pedophilia, bestiality, or necrophilia.”

“I do fear his counsel to seek ‘common ground’ with conservative evangelicals because they leaned Left politically over a century ago will do little more than encourage the kind of clumsy ‘outreach’ efforts that has kept Barack Obama coming back to the spider’s webs of leaders like Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes, and validating their pretenses to serve as spokesmen for American Christians generally.”

“Norman explained to Carlos and Smith that he had been raised in the Salvation Army, where service to Christ was never separated from service to the poor and the hurting, that he understood the importance of their cause, and that he would be honored to join them.”

“The most it might serve to prove is that Christians can be found, against all expectations, even in the Church.”

“This is why the Bible reads like a survival guide for non-citizens, this is why God is Lord of the undocumented, and why the Bible has always been a bit of a puzzle to the powerful, to legal citizens, and especially to those who create and sustain great empires.”

“Given a choice between believing God is good, and God is in control, I have chosen to believe God is good.”

“So are there people in our world today who are dishonored in the same way that lepers and paralytics were in the synagogues where Jesus worshiped because of Biblical commands whose letter kills the Spirit for which they were written?”

“Wagoner’s great sin was that he attended a civil union ceremony on an Air Force base for a same sex couple.”

“Most of the lore surrounding the Rapture originates with two people in the early 19th Century: a teenage girl living in Scotland, and a London-born preacher.”

Young-earth creationism deserves to be categorized as a cult in the sinister sense of the word.”

“So do they really smoke a lot of weed? Yes. A lot.”

“The statue was and remains an icon of white supremacy.”

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  • I’m just staring in mixed horror and disbelief at the “Polished Shaft” clip. There’s something unseemly about someone doing that kind of innuendo-laden thing when it’s not done as a joke.

  • Athenides

    Seriously, though, the Schaap thing… what did I just watch? And why are they all wearing lab coats? SO many questions.

  • Nenya

    I got about thirty seconds into that and just STARED. What–what is he doing? What does he *think* he is doing? Admittedly I watched it with the sound off, but what on earth?

    I think I agree with Invisible Neutrino. Parody, or straight-up porn, that’s fine. This makes me…uncomfortable. 

    What is he preaching *about*?!

  • Revelshade

    If you read the post at Exploring Our Matrix (the second link) be sure to read the first comment. I think it’s brilliant.

  • Mau de Katt

    re: this post The fact that there are Christians on the right side of the issue
    doesn’t mean very much when the established church of England and the
    bulk of its members sit idly by and allow things to happen which are
    contrary to heart of the Gospel that they claim to follow. The most it
    might serve to prove is that Christians can be found, against all
    expectations, even in the Church.

    Hey, here in America, the bulk of the members of the Political Church (aka RTC-dom) don’t just sit idly by and allow those “contrary to the heart of the Gospel” things to happen, they actively support and promote them.  I want to scream Ezekiel 16:49 at them nonstop, and find some way to paint “Ichabod” over the door of each and every church they go to.  Except they’d still not get the point.

  • friendly reader

    Oh hey, look who Romney picked for his VP!

    BBC is asking us Americans to share our reactions. Mine is, I feel I can vote for Obama now without the least feeling of regret or hesitation… rather like last year with Palin.

  • From a bit of googling, it looks like the “polished shaft” comes from Isaiah 49:1-3.

    “Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from afar; the Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; and said unto me, thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

    Apparently, biblical scholars believe this is a prophecy of Jesus. Schapp used it to launch into a long and rambling sermon about his own life story, and how he became a preacher. That bit is apparently at the end, so it comes after close to an hour of talking about himself. Fill in your own foreplay joke, I guess.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    Romney chose Paul Ryan to be his running mate.

    The man who did everything in his power to gut the state-worker unions.

    The man whose only economic advice is, “Cut all funding and benefits for the poor and needy and disabled and the ill.  And lower taxes for the One Percenters.”

    The man who worships at the altar of Ayn Rand.

    The man whose entire political stance can be summarized as “Piss On The Poor!”

    Thank you, Mr. Romney, for confirming all our worst suspicions about your character.  I was already planning on voting for Obama, but now you have removed even the faintest traces of doubt from my mind.

  • Apparently Romney is trying to insure that if he does get elected, no one will want to assassinate him.

    ETA: Or his thinking is, that if this doesn’t distract attention from the issue of his tax returns, nothing will.

  • PJ Evans

     And now Romney’s campaign is trying to distance him from Ryan’s views, by saying he doesn’t support Ryan’s budget proposals. Which he supported up until about yesterday.

    One slogan I’ve seen already: Bain and Pain 2012.

  • PJ Evans

     Ryan has the same tax proposal: cut them for the 1%, raise them for the 99%. And turn Medicare into a program where you get coupons (AKA vouchers) to pay for it.

  • Emcee, cubed

     Yes, an old high school friend of mine, who was once extremely closeted, now openly gay and HIV+, and worked on the Gingrich campaign (I’ll just let all that sink in for a moment…)

    said on Facebook that now conservatives can be confident that Romney is serious about the economy and working to end the deficit.

    I’m guessing that only makes sense if by “serious about the economy” one means, “sending it into a tailspin from which the country may never recover” and by “working to end the deficit” one means “increasing it substantially over the next 30 years in the hopes of gutting the middle class and giving the 1% so much money that deficits won’t matter”.

  • How on God’s green earth can such a nakedly greedy philosophy of existence possibly flourish and survive even after being so obviously self-serving?

  • friendly reader

    Okay, I was getting all ready to post this on FB (

    Until I saw this lovely snippet, under Paul Ryan on Families & Children:

    Voted NO on four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees. (Jun 2009)

    Voted YES on establishing nationwide AMBER alert system for missing kids. (Apr 2003)

    Voted YES on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years. (Mar 2001)
    Rated 91% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-Family-Value voting record. (Dec 2003)

    Usually the summation ratings at the end are actually relevant to the subject addressed; the NEA on public education, for example, or the NAACP or what-not. But it’s clear from that list that their definition of “family” is not at all what the Christian Coalition means when they say “Family-Value.”

  • Lori


      Yes, an old high school friend of mine, who was once extremely
    closeted, now openly gay and HIV+, and worked on the Gingrich campaign
    (I’ll just let all that sink in for a moment…)  

    Homocons confuse me so much. My brain just isn’t wired to understand the concept of money, or fantasies about money, being more important than the fact that the official position of the people you’re supporting is that you shouldn’t be allowed to exist in public.

    They’ve hired Dana Loesch to speak at Homocon 2012, for the love of FSM. That would be Dana the raving homophobe who said that anyone who supports marriage equality obviously “hates Christ” and that the Left is just using gays and the issue of marriage equality to drive a wedge between citizens and the church. As a bonus she has strongly implied that anyone who doesn’t have a religious marriage isn’t really married. Because the only real marriage is one that’s “a blessed union by observance of faith”.

    Throw in a lot of lies about the real meaning of separation of church and state and a whole lot of really vile attitudes toward Muslims and you have Dana Loesch’s whole schtick. Let that sink in and then read the press release from GOProud about their big party:–press/2012/goproud-announces-homocon-2012-at-the-republican-national-convention-in-tampa

    WTF? I mean really, W. T. F?

  • Yeah. Even if one would be economically better off by voting for right-wing parties, it doesn’t make any sense to vote in favor of socially restrictive policies which could have the effect of reducing one’s chance of enjoying the more lightly taxed income and wealth.

  • Emcee, cubed

     Yeah, GOProud completely confuses me as well. I don’t really get Log Cabin either, but at least they rarely support actively anti-gay candidates, and their lawsuits against DADT and other anti-gay laws and policies have done actual good. But GOProud, not so much.

    As for my friend, he was very active in Repub politics in the late 80’s early 90’s, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a working relationship with Gingrich from back then, so wanted to help him this time around. I don’t really get his politics either, but then, I don’t get much of his life. For his uber-closetedness in high school and college; to his meth addiction (which he’s in recovery for now); to his HIV diagnosis; to being outed as gay and HIV+ in front of the ruling council of an Asian country; to wanting to help a party that doesn’t want him to exist, and points to people like him as being everything wrong with America today, I can’t even imagine what he’s gone through and how he thinks.

  • Daughter

    The video at the top brought tears to my eyes. 

  • Dave Lartigue

    Fred, I always love your linkposts. I wouldn’t want you to have to make any Sophie’s Choices, but would you consider posting your top ten or so sources? My RSS Reader could use some freshening up.

  • AnonymousSam

    *Snirk* Well, Ryan has filed his taxes every year since he took office.

  • Lori

    My favorite thing so far about Ryan getting the VP slot is that it resulting in me learning that his high school classmates voted him biggest brown-noser. I feel like that explains a great deal about his budget. Also I just think it’s funny because I can be petty like that. 

  • Haven’t the wealthy and influential always been able to stay above the rules and restrictions they place on the rest of us? It’s like voting for an abortion ban even in cases of rape and incest when you know that you and your family members have the resources to have the procedure done discreetly or leave the country to do it without fear of arrest. It’s also like how Communist leaders can enjoy imported luxuries that their people wouldn’t be allowed to have even if they could afford it.  The only people who really have to deal with the social restrictions are the underprivileged.

  • PJ Evans

    How on God’s green earth can such a nakedly greedy philosophy of existence possibly flourish and survive 

    I suspect a lot of people who vote for politicians proposing stuff like this are also expecting to win the lottery.

  • snowmentality

    I watched the “Polished Shaft” video this morning in fascinated horror. I just. Wow. Okay.

    To do that with a straight face takes either a very clean mind, or a very twisted mind.

  • Tricksterson

    “And why were they all wearing lab coats?”

    Silly person, to protect against splatter of course..

  • Tricksterson

    Once again showing why he’s nicknamed “Quantum Mitt”.

  • ako

    It took me a moment to grasp that the Barth joke wasn’t anything to do with John Barth. (I read Giles Goat-Boy while I was in high school, and it’s related to theology.)

  • Lori

    Or his thinking is, that if this doesn’t distract attention from the issue of his tax returns, nothing will.  

    If that was his plan he may have goofed again. People have looked at the returns Mitt has made available and determined that under the Ryan Budget Mitt would have an effective federal tax rate of less than 1%, down from an already scandalously low 13.9%, at the same time that federal taxes on the poor and middle class would go up.That’s not exactly the kind of thing that’s going to take people’s minds off wanting to see exactly what Romney is hiding in those older returns.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    Same here. Especially at the end.

  • And turn Medicare into a program where you get coupons (AKA vouchers) to pay for it.

    Because the privatized version of Medicare (Medicare Advantage) costs so much less than A&B.  

    (Actually, it doesn’t.)