MARK SANDLIN (Presbyterian minister, blogger at The God Article): *Enters … finds room empty… slowly backs out of room*
JASON MANKEY (Pagan blogger, Raise the Horns): Hey Mark, I’m over here, behind the Internet.
Mark: Oh hey Jason! What should we start with?
Jason: I was going to ask you all sorts of questions about being a minister. What exactly do you do? How does your congregation feel about you talking to a Pagan?
Mark: Well, I have Atheists in my congregation, so they really wouldn’t bat an eye.
Jason: Do you think of this stuff as part of your ministry? What is your ministry?
Mark: I basically think of just about anything I do as part of my “ministry” but not in a traditional sense of converting people — just the idea of learning from others and expanding my perspective, which I believe strengthens my spiritual outlook.
Jason: That’s so great to hear. There are so many Pagans who see all Christians as adversaries, and I try really hard to remind them that’s not the case.
Mark: My own daughter is Pagan/Wiccan, so I am not ever gonna be the kind of person that does anything more than try to learn from others. I have far too much respect for her (and other folks I’ve met) to be judgmental or try to convert folks. I don’t even think that’s what being a Christian is about.
Jason: How about you? Why this? Why bother with this kind of dialogue?
Mark: “The voice of God” asked me.
Voice of God: I WAS BEING SARCASTIC.
Jason: It’s nice to be a Pagan and to be a part of an interfaith type of thing. We are usually on the outside looking in when it comes to that sort of stuff. There’s this idea that we can’t be serious or are all Harry Potter geeks or something. So I like being involved for that reason. Also, I think progressive Christians and atheists are often our friends and allies.
Mark: Yeah – I am involved with a group (Common Ground Conversations) that intentionally put Atheist and Christians in conversation with each other. We intentionally don’t talk about deities and discover that we have MUCH more in common than we don’t have in common. I think that is true of all out looks, in general.
JT EBERHARD (atheist blogger, What Would JT Do?): *tries to sneak in* *trips, makes tons of racket* AAAAARGHHHHH…um…so…Donald Trump, right?
Mark: Hi ya JT. Glad you could make it finally 😉
JT: I definitely wasn’t just sitting at my computer writing a blog post and forgot about this. So…um…what are we chatting about?
Jason: Nothing in particular. I was asking Mark about his church.
JT: Ok, then I have something: Sheriff in Tennessee had to settle with American Atheists who sued over him using the police’s official page to post pro-Christian stuff. Fair or not?
Jason: Completely fair, government agencies should not endorse particular faiths. How can I expect justice for my Witchy self when everyone sees Jesus as the only way?
JT: Boys, this blog’s gonna get pretty damn boring if we can’t ever disagree on anything. 😛
Ok, new game: I want you both to imagine the stupidest, most politically harmful thing Trump could possibly say. If he says it before the next blog, I’ll wax my ass.
Mark: Trump: “I think Putin has a lot of positive things to say, particularly his perspective on how to govern.”
Jason: He hasn’t said that yet? I just assumed he had.
Mark: I could have just been inadvertently directly quoting him without realizing it. How about this: “I’m bored. I think I’m done with this race. Hillary has the whole thing rigged, anyway. Otherwise, I would obviously be winning.” I hope he doesn’t drop out, because he’s going to lose now, and lose badly.
Jason: As far down as he is in the polls, I’m shocked he’s not down more, really.
Mark: Looks like SC may even go Hillary — that’s CRAZY!!!!
JT: SC and Georgia…and Utah…and Arizona. On 538 right now they give Hillary a 37% chance of winning in a landslide, which is almost double the chances they give Trump to win at all.
Voice of God: MY MONEY IS ON GIANT METEOR.
JT: Trump won’t drop out. Ego too big. But likewise, I hope he doesn’t. Not only because he’s not going to win, but because the millstone of Trump is getting hung around the necks of Senate Republicans up for re-election.
Mark: I can’t help but wonder if he’ll drop out BECAUSE of his ego — can’t stand to lose by the biggest margin in modern elections.
Jason: He can quit when we get to the point that they can’t put another Republican on the ballot.
Mark: Wow – all this talk of him losing BIG has almost made me hopeful about the general American public — almost…. OK – not really.
Jason: I’m hopeful. Hillary will win the general and the Dems will retake the Senate. The House will still suck, but at least Hillary will get more Ruth Bader Ginsburgs on the court.
JT: Lawl. What I’m really waiting for is when Republicans realize they aren’t going to take the Presidency and approach Senate Democrats, suddenly ready to vote on Obama’s olive branch of a moderate in Garland (who supported Citizens United). At which point I suspect Senate Dems will say, “Oh no, no, no — you were right. Let’s ‘let America have a say.’”
Mark: Yeah, I’m glad that Garland probably won’t be confirmed. I’d rather have a much more liberal judge. But “when they realize they aren’t going to take the Presidency”? It’s just surprising that they aren’t figuring that out already. Particularly with so many already jumping ship.
JT: If the party as a whole were there, they’d be voting to confirm Garland yesterday. So funny that by knee-jerk denying everything Obama tries to do they’re probably going to wind up handing Hillary an easy first political victory.
Jason: It’s that whole “political purity” thing, they can’t possibly vote for a Supreme Court justice appointed by a man of color. (Did I just say that out loud? Yes, yes, I did.)
Mark: That sums up the GOP approach to the Obama Presidency in a nutshell, “He’s black. Just say no. To everything.”
JT: Yeah, it’s funny how obvious it is that all their subtle racist pandering has created Trump’s direct racist pandering. They say Trump doesn’t represent the GOP’s values, but he clearly does because the voter base put him in as the nominee. Now the establishment wants to act like they have no idea how Trump ascended. Ugh.
Mark: They are reaping what they sow. It was bound to happen. The question is, do any of them 1) see it or 2) are willing to admit it?
Jason: I feel like a lot of the “Trump style supporters” were used by the more “Romney-centric” type of Republicans, and then they rose up and nominated someone who truly articulated all of the under surface racism and misogyny. They’d been peddling it for years, but it was like a hidden ingredient, now it’s out there in the open.
JT: I suspect many see it, but how can they possibly admit it? “Hey guys, we were trying to appeal to racists without directly saying racist things for the last 16 years and, in so doing, created this guy we really don’t like but whom we all have to get behind to keep our political power. Our bad.”
Mark: At the same time, they are allowing their reluctance to admit it to completely destroy their party. Pride goeth before the fall?
Voice of God: NO ONE GETS THAT PROVERB RIGHT. AND I WORKED SO HARD ON IT.
Jason: I’m out on the road at a festival myself. How do people live anywhere but California? It’s 90 degrees here in Connecticut with 90% humidity. It’s like being in the world’s grossest swimming pool, or that bay in Rio.
Admittedly, I am enjoying analysing Trump, but I gotta run. You guys can solve the Trump problem without me. I have faith in you. 😉
JT: See you guys next week then.
Trumptych via Pixabay