Weekend Roundup – Tanks, Government Lies, Anti-Gay Pride, Christian Persecution, Government Shut Down

These are some items of interest that I either didn’t get to or need no additional noise from me.

David Barton: Tanks A Lot – David Barton told his Wallbuilders audience that private citizens should be allowed to have whatever weapons the government has – tanks, fighter jets, whatever. Just like the founders had.

How Do You Know When The Government Is Lying? – That’s the burning question Michael Peroutka asks on his IOTC website. He claims that the government and the media conspire together ” to endanger you, impoverish you or otherwise to harm you.” I also learned that the media hyped up the dangers of Swine Flu in 2009 to “provide cover” for the government to meddle in health care.

Scott Lively and Bryan Fischer Celebrate Anti-Gay Pride –  At 10:25, Lively calls his indirect influence on Russia’s anti-gay law “one of the proudest achievements of my career.” Guess it is all downhill from there.

Christians are under attack all over the world and the Church seems silent – Kirsten Powers’ thought provoking editorial provoked me. I will return to this issue next week. My initial view is that most Christians in the pew are praying but don’t know what else to do. Our evangelical leaders are consumed with Values Voting and Culture Warring and Taking The Country Back.

Oh, and the government might shut down…

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  • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com David Cary Hart

    Christians better start worrying about income disparity. Abortion = Economics. Nobody seems to care, for example, about the secret incantation that mystically turns ordinary income into a capital gain at tax rates lower than the average worker pays. Nor do they appreciate the fact that this fosters behaviors that weaken our economy and the middle class. And I’m no socialist. I am a retired CEO.

    There is going to be hell to pay on a scale that we haven’t seen since the great depression.

  • Richard Willmer

    Well, yes, David.

    How interesting that – while it’s ‘sex, sex, sex’ with Scottie – the Church gives us Amos 6 : 1 and 4 – 7 as the first reading for today’s / tomorrow’s Mass. And then, to make the point, the Holy Gospel is Luke 16 : 19 – 31.

    To be fair to Lively: it appears to be the case that he does some charitable work that may well be useful; but just think how much more he might achieve if he were to drop this self-centred obsession with ‘homosexuality’.

    That’s right: I did say “SELF-CENTRED obsession.” I said that because I believe that Lively is more interested in propagating his own ideas than he is in the genuine welfare of Russians or Ugandans or whomever. His dialectic betrays this self-centredness, and supports the contention that he displays something a psychopathic mentality; one has a sense that his thinking is along the lines of “one may have to break many eggs to make my omelette, but my omelette must be made at whatever cost*.” That’s certainly the feeling I get when I read his blog: http://www.scottlively.net/ Judge for yourselves.

    * That ‘cost’ includes lies and crass generalizations designed to promote hatred.

  • Ann

    Our evangelical leaders are consumed with Values Voting and Culture Warring and Taking The Country Back.

    Dr. Throckmorton,

    Wouldn’t it be fair (and honest) to make the distinction that some of our evangelical leaders are doing these things rather than infer they all do by not making the distinction?

  • Richard Willmer

    As for the possible shutdown: well, the President was re-elected (pretty convincingly) last year, and the Democrats currently lead in the polls; is this a case of the ‘righties’ wanting to bulldoze the entire stadium because they don’t like that they are losing the game?! Just wondering …

    And it would seem that Barton would like to transfer control of the defence of the nation from elected representatives and the trained military formations that are answerable to those representatives to the likes of … (pick the name of any crazed gunman of your choice).

  • Richard Willmer

    ‘Righties’ should think carefully before playing the shut down game. The last time they did so, they lost the subsequent presidential election.

  • Carol A Ranney

    Re, Kirsten Powers’ views, I’m afraid I’m not so optimistic that most Christians are praying for the persecuted church, except for the one Sunday a year dedicated to that. I think most Christians are oblivious. In my former church, no newsworthy crisis was EVER of a magnitude to be prayed about from the pulpit, except as noted above. In my current church, there are times when people and countries in disaster do get prayed for. But I think if you polled the average person in the pew, there would not be much knowledge and even less passion about Christian persecution in the rest of the world. Unlike the Jews, we are divided into many small groups and denominations, without a glbal consciousness.

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    Richard Willmer# ~ Sep 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    ‘Righties’ should think carefully before playing the shut down game. The last time they did so, they lost the subsequent presidential election.

    True. OTOH, I doubt your far-lefty [heh heh] BBC has told you the whole story.

    Unfortunately, perception is reality. As long as the left controls the press, the GOP will always get the brown end of the stick.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2013/09/19/obamas-claim-that-non-budget-items-have-never-been-attached-to-the-debt-ceiling/

    The Pinocchio Test

    Clearly, Obama’s sweeping statement does not stand up to scrutiny, even with his caveat. Time and again, lawmakers have used the “must-pass” nature of the debt limit to force changes in unrelated laws. Often, the effort fails — as the GOP drive to repeal Obamacare almost certainly will. But Kowalcky and LeLoup speculate that one reason why Congress has not eliminated the debt limit, despite the political problems it poses, is because lawmakers enjoy the leverage it provides against the executive branch.

    There’s an old reporter’s rule that you want to avoid using the word “unprecedented.” Otherwise, a professor might call or e-mail the next day to dispute it.

    Let’s add this rule for politicians: Never say “never.”

    Four Pinocchios

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Carol

    I think you are right to be very concerned by the apparent lack of concern for those who are persecuted for following their consciences in good faith. It isn’t just Christians of course, although the persecution of Christians is a very big issue.

    Warren’s point (with which I have very great sympathy) is perhaps that the focus on using Christianity as a ‘political tool’ (something that is arguably highly dubious in itself – “my kingdom is not of this world,” said the Man himself) is a big problem here. After all, if some Christians are advocating the persecution of others (eg. gays), then attempts to protect Christians appear somewhat hypocritical.

    The last time I was in Egypt, I was all too aware how ‘the screw was being tightened’ by those who ‘held the power’.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Tom

    I know, I know … that ‘far lefty’ BBC that dares to put both sides of a story (so incredibly ‘lefty’ to do that, don’t ya think?). Oh that it would adopt the calm, balanced (even nuanced) approach of Fox News!

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    Between the BBC and Fox News y’d get the whole story, true.

  • Richard Willmer

    And from the BBC alone you’d probably get about 99% of it. Fox does have a small role, of course. One must be ‘fair and balanced’ after all. Tee hee.

    On more serious note, it must be admitted that some of rhetoric from the ‘not-quite-so-righties’ (aka the Democrats) has been somewhat overdrawn. No need to talk about the ‘rather-more-righties’ being ‘terrorists’.

  • Richard Willmer

    (You started it, Tom! You’ve only yourself to blame!)

  • stephen

    Richard, Fox news is a full-time propaganda wing of the Republican party, that same party that is about to push the nation into default and chaos – and perhaps wipe out my life’s savings – on account of the black man in the White House. Funded by hugely, obscenely wealthy self-professed Christians – Koch brothers, etc – we are facing a financial Armageddon to prevent a poor woman in Kansas buying health insurance for her children. Where is evangelical America? On the side of the Republicans. This is a failure so vast that the shame will last for generations.

    Full disclosure: I was born in London, have lived here with my husband a very long time. I love where we live. I love the open-handed generosity of Americans. This is a beautiful nation full of remarkable people. Unfortunately none of them are part of the hideous tea bagger movement. We will live through this. One can only hope that the damage they will do can be put right by reasonable people.

    We elected our first black president. Didn’t happen in Europe. Happened here. The most brilliant and accomplished politician of my lifetime. Only think what he could have achieved if the Republicans had worked with him as is the tradition of our government instead of trying to tear him down as an upstart nigger.

    Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Let Cruz boil in the oil of his own vanity.

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    Oh, I consume plenty of BBC, Richard. I speak both languages; you only seem to speak one.

    And look what we’re dealing with over here in America. For every Mike Petrouka there are ten thousand Stephens. This is why Warren’s trolling for the bottom .01% of the right is pretty wearying sometimes. People like Stephen think it’s OK to talk that way in a civil forum. And you know what? They get away with it. Nobody’s going to say boo to him, Richard.

    That’s how far out of balance American civility has drifted, that people like Stephen can routinely demonize the other half of the country with abominable calumnies and even use the “n-word” if it serves their purpose. We’re so used to the left talking ugly like that we don’t even notice it anymore.

    THIS is why American politics has become dysfunctional, not because of congressional battles over Obamacare or dipshits like the League of the South.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

      Tom – This is why Warren’s trolling for the bottom .01% of the right is pretty wearying sometimes.

      Then why are you here?

  • Richard Willmer

    @ stephen

    I too am from a ‘transatlantic’ family, and – like you, I think – believe that the USA should be proud of what has been achieved in terms of redefining the understanding of the nation state from something ethnically-based to something that is centred on allegiance.

    One really does wonder what Cruz is playing at. I am pretty certain that he will lose politically from all this, whatever the ‘merits’ of this situation.

    @ Tom

    I was joking with you, because you decided to say something about the BBC. Lighten up. (And of course people on both sides ‘talk ugly’ – nobody is seriously suggesting otherwise.)

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Tom, again

    I do not speak for Warren, but I do reckon that Warren has his own agenda with respect to this (his) blog. This blog’s primary purpose, as I see it, is to question and challenge some of the ‘nostrums’*** of what I might term the ‘hard religious right’; thus you would not expect Warren to focus on what people on the ‘left’ might say.

    Whether I am right or wrong in what I have said above, you, Tom, do seem sometimes to fall into the trap of ‘tu quoque’ (what A does shouldn’t be challenged [too much] because B does something similar) – which is no defence ‘under law’ … or ‘under morals’.

    And ‘the truth’ on the shutdown (which has now started, I am sorry to say): well, who knows?! (And I’ve seen just about everybody blamed somewhere in the highly disparate collection of articles I’ve had the time to read.)

    *** Those ‘nostrums’ might include “straight is good, gay is bad” (echos of Animal Farm there?!), “the perfect society can be made by the imposition of a particular religion”, “freedom includes the freedom to say just whatever you like [as long as we agree with it], regardless of its veracity and/or how that exercise of such ‘freedom’ might affect others”, and so on …

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Richard – I think you have it sussed out about right.

  • ken

    stephen# ~ Sep 30, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Democrats are not blameless for the current mess in DC. At the very least their policy of giving republicans enough rope to hang themselves ignores all the people the republicans will hurt in the process.

    There has been an appalling lack of leadership in DC (and that includes the white house). Tell me Stephen, what have the democrats actually strong to avoid the current shutdown? Keep in mind sitting on the sidelines laughing at the clowns is NOT doing something.

    Finally, I don’t see any evidence that Obama’s race plays any significant part of the current problems. Are some of the people opposed to Obama because of his race? Undoubtedly (just as there are some who support him because of his race). However, this childish behaviour between democrats and republicans has been going on (at least) since Clinton was in office.

  • ken

    Ahh formating issues. the strong in my last message should have been done

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    Richard Willmer# ~ Oct 1, 2013 at 4:53 am

    @ Tom, again

    I do not speak for Warren, but I do reckon that Warren has his own agenda with respect to this (his) blog. This blog’s primary purpose, as I see it, is to question and challenge some of the ‘nostrums’*** of what I might term the ‘hard religious right’; thus you would not expect Warren to focus on what people on the ‘left’ might say.

    Whether I am right or wrong in what I have said above, you, Tom, do seem sometimes to fall into the trap of ‘tu quoque’

    Not a trap atall, for reasons you yourself give. Obviously, if the target is the religious right to the exclusion of all else, the reader might get the mistaken impression Warren is playing it straight down the middle as a disinterested devotee of “the truth.” Certainly “Jefferson Lies” was served up that way.

    Now however, Warren seems to admit he’s more about being anti-religious right.

    As for why I still come by Warren, you didn’t used to be this bald about it, nor so obsessed with dredging the bottom of the right’s fever swamp. You used to be more the disinterested lover of truth. However, lately you seem more content to provide a platform for anti-conservative haters to shoot off their mouths.

    I’ve wondered where you’re been going with all this since your debacle with the ex-gay thing. I’m not sure this is any better.

  • Richard Willmer

    Of course, Warren, I thoroughly approve (primarily as a Christian) of your ‘agenda’! :-)

  • stephen

    Ken dear,

    money is the reason for the current mess in D C.

    We all wanted to see our Democratic majority use its heft. But the caucus proved illusory. We had Ted Baucus selling us out. Plus others.

    Our president will come to be seen as another Lincoln. The Republican party leadership on the night of the election plotted how to take him down. That has been their only purpose. The current shutdown could be ended now by Boehner allowing the house to vote.

    Kenyan, not American, marxist, socialist, muslim… that’s not about race?

    Right. Since Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States of America and the Republican party went into shock.

    PS. The Republican party has demonstrated to the world how weak is our government. When we are at war I would have thought that was treason. But that’s just me.

  • Richard Willmer

    I have to say that, from over here, it does rather look as if the ‘right’ is saying “repeal this law (or make it ‘dead letter’) or we’ll pull the house down.” That does look like an attempt to destroy a democratically-elected leader.

    There is a ‘due process’ for repealing a law and, if the ‘right’ is not able to get what it wants through such a process, it should look at itself and ask itself why it is unable to do what it wishes through what is generally acknowledged to be democratic means.

  • Scotty G.

    Richard,

    I appreciate that, that is what it may look like from across the pond, but you’re getting a skewed image.

    Not to go into a political tangent here, but this “democratically-elected leader” is not showing any leadership skills at all. He has not met with house Republicans to try and remedy this situation. Rather choosing to go golfing or meeting with foreign leaders.

    Make no mistake; I have absolutely no love for the majority of the republican leadership in our capital. And that contempt is no less ardent for the democrats as well. The vast majority of Americans want to see the ‘Affordable’ Care Act shown the door. This includes a number of the democrats, union leaders and labor force that once sang the praises of the ACA.

    Nancy Pelosi stated the bill must pass so we could ‘see what’s in it’. Fine; through its gradual implementation we’ve now seen what’s in it and ninety percent of it is bad. So bad, the unions that put their voting chad in for Obama because of it now want to see it repealed. So bad, republicans AND democrats have been giving themselves and their staff illegal waivers (paid for by us) to exempt them from its mandates. So bad, the bills writer himself said it will be a ‘disaster’.

    Unless repealed, the ACA is a huge issue for the nation’s health care system and the economy in coming years, so any short-term unpleasantness is a trifle compared to what’s at stake.

    Now, have republicans mixed their responsibility to the American public with their desire to play ‘King of the Hill?’ Absolutely! But that’s all the more reason the American public needs to be in its collective right mind. Partisan rhetoric only feeds the ignorance.

    Back on topic…

    I believe we’ve reach a pretty bad state when questioning the actions and motives of pubic figures is tantamount to ‘bashing’ them in some way. Moreover, if we admonish the religious-right, we are now somehow obligated to admonish the liberal left? It’s also interesting how a proverbial ‘nobody’ posting in a comment thread on a blog is considered more ‘threatening’ then a known leader broadcasting their misinformation and rhetoric.

    Tom, you go on and on at Warren for supposedly making ‘mountains out of mole hills’, yet you makes an Everest out of the ravings on one commenter.

    I think Tom overestimates the influence of Warren’s personal blog. I believe even Warren would concede that Barton, Lively, etc. have a much wider following. [Unfortunately] Yet it is implied that Warren should disregard these ‘inconsequential’ public figures because his personal and (with no disrespect) humble blog is somehow contributing to the moral degradation of society at large.

    Lively openly, publicly and proudly states his agenda against homosexuals. He vocally commends and publicly takes credit for the recent legislation in Russia, and Uganda, which will directly or indirectly cost the lives of human beings. Warren blogs on Lively, pointing out how the ‘unchallenged air time’ the conservative and/or Christian media provides Lively is no different from promoting him and yet somehow Warren is the bad guy.

    The thing is, this is a typical reaction to be had when you’ve never been on the receiving end of discrimination. When the laws past by our political leaders in no way affect you, you are not inclined to be worried about or even mindful of those leaders or their laws. This not only happens with the TVDs of the world, but even with people of good will. If you asked the average person what DOMA was, if that person was heterosexual, you would likely get a blank stare and a head shake. Even those politically savvy types who knew what it was would not likely be able to tell you how its execution affected its targets. Ask the average GLBT person the same question, and they can tall you what it was along with each and every way it impacted their life.

    Being part of the margin and being overlooked is not suppressing and fairly understandable. Being seen as part of the margin and being pushed further into that margin is reprehensible.

    If Warren, as one who’s taken on the name of the One who advocated for the marginalized, chooses to call attention to those who’ve also taken on that name and yet actively marginalize others, he has my full support. After all, if the CEO of Pepsi were caught drinking Coke-a-Cola, who would offer a truer reproach; the Pepsi drinkers or the Coke-a-Cola drinkers?

  • ken

    stephen# ~ Oct 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    “Kenyan, not American, marxist, socialist, muslim… that’s not about race?”

    No, (well maybe the Kenyan reference). However, I fail to see how any of that is related to the current political problems between the republicans and democrats in DC.

    “Since Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States of America and the Republican party went into shock.”

    As I said in my previous post, the problem is not just with the republicans. You never answered my question: what have (did) the democrats done (do) to avoid the government shutdown?

    “The Republican party has demonstrated to the world how weak is our government. When we are at war I would have thought that was treason. But that’s just me.”

    Really, did you think it was treason when Bush was in office and a democratic sen. obama argued against getting involved in Iraq? Or is it only treason depending on whether the person speaking as an R or a D after his/her name? Hypocrisy isn’t limited to one party either.

  • ken

    Scotty G.# ~ Oct 3, 2013 at 11:42 am

    ” The vast majority of Americans want to see the ‘Affordable’ Care Act shown the door. ”

    Do you have any actual evidence of this? Specifically, the “vast majority” claim.

  • Scotty G.

    Ken,

    Before posting I considered removing the ‘vast’ adjective. It was inaccurate as well as being a superfluous word anyhow.

    Here is the link for the polling data. This will be the last I respond to the general political comments being made here. Not because I’m unwilling to be challenged, but I strongly feel this is off topic.

    http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/us-health-bill

  • Scotty G.

    Then again I guess it COULD fall under the ‘government shutdown’ topic. ;-)

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Scotty G

    Why should the President parley with the ‘hard right’ when he (like many of us) knows perfectly well that their real interest is, in effect, his ouster? As many on this side of ‘the Pond’ see it, they can’t get him on supposedly lying about womanizing (which is what they tried to get Clinton on after the Whitewater thing failed to deliver what they wanted), so they resort to using the ACA controversy to close down the government.

    The fact that Obama disagreed with the disastrous and ruinously expensive – in both money and, more importantly, (Iraqi, American, British, …) lives – Iraq policy is not relevant; he did not, as far as I can see, try to use it to close the government; rather he simply expressed his view (as was his right, and, in a sense, his duty) that it was inadvisable. And I can assure you that most of us over here think he was quite right!

    (I’ve turned off the flame-thrower now and await developments! :-) )


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