Good news and bad. The good news is that deranged religious bigot Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced by Trump to resign yesterday.
The bad news is that the man chosen as acting AG – Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’s Chief of Staff has, to quote The New York Times:
A connection to the evangelical voters who helped propel Mr. Trump to the White House – during his Senate campaign, Mr. Whitaker said at a forum for Republican candidates that if elected, he would ask judicial nominees whether they were ‘people of faith’ who had ‘a biblical view of justice.’
And this from the Intelligencer:
Sessions’s departure, and his replacement with Matt Whitaker, is Trump’s plan to corrupt the Department of Justice. It is the most dire threat to the republic since Trump’s election itself …
In practical terms, he [Whitaker] has interpreted the biblical view of justice the way most of his fellow Christian conservatives do: a combination of stern, Old Testament punishments meted out to Democrats combined with New Testament forgiveness toward any sin by a Republican.
Can we now look forward to Whitaker dispensing similar pearls of wisdom that Sessions was known for? Here are are some of Session’s quotes:
• Marriage has been defined by every legislature that has ever sat in the United States from every State, now 50 States, the same way, but now we have unelected judges altering and changing that fundamental institution.
(In October 2017 Sessions issued a sweeping directive that undercuts federal protections for LGBT people, telling agencies to do as much as possible to accommodate those who claim their religious freedoms are violated.)
• We have a lot of bad leaders around the world that operate in ways we would never tolerate in the United States.
• Scripture says, ‘He didn’t know the Lord, didn’t respect the Lord, but the Lord used him to advance his kingdom.’ I just believe that at this point in history, Trump will defend religious faith. I talk to him about that.
• Progress is born of doubt and inquiry. The Church never doubts, never inquires. To doubt is heresy, to inquire is to admit that you do not know – the Church does neither.
• The doctrine that future happiness depends upon belief is monstrous. It is the infamy of infamies. The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called ‘faith’.
• Reason, Observation and Experience – the Holy Trinity of Science – have taught us that happiness is the only good; that the time to be happy is now, and the way to be happy is to make others so. This is enough for us. In this belief we are content to live and die. If by any possibility the existence of a power superior to, and independent of, nature shall be demonstrated, there will then be time enough to kneel. Until then, let us stand erect.
• … Is there a supernatural power – an arbitrary mind – an enthroned God – a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world – to which all causes bow? I do not deny. I do not know – but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme – that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken — that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer – no power that worship can persuade or change — no power that cares for man.
Alas, it’s unlikely we shall ever see the likes of Ingersoll again.