Jeff Sessions is history. A new Christian zealot is now acting AG.

Jeff Sessions is history. A new Christian zealot is now acting AG. November 8, 2018

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.’

Out: Sessions, left. In: Matthew G Whitaker

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.

Contrast these with quotes from another US AG – Robert G Ingersoll – one of America’s greatest orators – who, in 1867 was appointed the first Attorney General of Illinois:

• 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.

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  • Pofarmer
  • Broga

    A bit of me wanted Trump to win both houses. Let him drive the USA into the buffers, toxic air, poisoned rivers etc, no health service and his supporters can experience the full disaster and soon. Now he can blame any failures on the blocks of the lower house. He is furious about the very suggestion that his taxes should be examined, that any investigation into his collusion with Russia be halted. This is amazing. He should be impeached and, if found guilty, locked up. Yet they still vote for him.
    Don de Lillo, the USA author, thinks the reputation of the USA is unlikely to recover. Who can trust the USA ever after this. Apart, of course, from the usual poodle, the UK, with its faithheads led by the Vicar’s daughter.

  • epeeist

    The site is claiming that because of the EU and GDPR I can’t view its contents.

  • Broga

    I have had the same response. I don’t understand Profarmer’s sentence as I have little knowledge of the USA political system. I live on the “Edge of the known world” as described by the ancient Romans i.e. on the far western coast of the UK mainland, part of a farming community and with no near neighbours but lots of ancient forest, and between the coast and the hills. I worry about my many friends and relatives in the UK under the Trump.

  • barriejohn

    Talking about poodles, I see today that Prince Charles says that he “won’t meddle” when he is king (I bet everyone believes that), and Prince Andrew has again said that business people should not cease “engaging” with Saudi Arabia (he was even advocating stronger links about a week ago!):

  • Vanity Unfair

    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.’
    I would not trust a judge- any lawyer- who relied on the immediately previous edition of a legal textbook to inform his judgment. But to prefer one who trusts a 2,000+ year-old guide beggars belief.

    [N]ow we have unelected judges…
    I know that in the USA some judges are elected and some appointed. The processes are obviously open to much fruitful argument that I shall completely ignore here. However, I have noticed that, not only in the USA, when one agrees with such a person- and not only judges- he is “independent” and when one disagrees, he is “unelected”.

    We have a lot of bad leaders around the world that operate in ways we would never tolerate in the United States.
    From the reports I have read the present incumbent of USA leadership has set the bar pretty high (for being tolerated) or low (for behaviour). Perhaps it depends on whether it is set for high-jumping or limbo dancing.

    Scripture says, ‘He didn’t know the Lord, didn’t respect the Lord, but the Lord used him to advance his kingdom.’
    Is he actually calling the President of ths USA a hypocrite? That seems to be the obvious reading.

  • Vanity Unfair

    I, also. (“Me too” is collecting too many alternative connotations at the moment.)

  • Vanity Unfair

    [T]he UK under the Trump.
    That’s supposed to be a secret. Watch out!

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Boom boom, out the lights.


  • Yet another Fundagelical bastard. And people wonders why Christianism at least there seems to be in free fall.

  • 24CaratHooligan

    Have you ever read Rule Britania by Daphne DuMaurier? It was her last book, published in 1972 and set in a near-future UK where Britain has completely seceded from the EEC. One morning the inhabitants wake up to find themselves under American martial law… it’s feckin creepy and terrifyingly prescient

  • barriejohn

    “A biblical view of justice”. Allow me to refer to some of Rebecca Rose’s excellent poems, especially THE BIBLE MAKES YOU BETTER?:

  • Jim Jones

    > [N]ow we have unelected judges…

    Sure. Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Roberts, Alito.

    Not one elected.

  • Nemo

    In order to overlook Trump’s blatant lack of Christianity (and I don’t mean in his policies, I mean in his own personal character) when they’ve been preaching that a leader must be a Real True Christian since the 80s, the fundamentalists have regularly invoked Biblical figures such as Cyrus (a pagan) or David (who killed a guy for his wife) as examples of sinners who were still used to bring about God’s mysterious plans.

  • Vanity Unfair

    Cyril Fletcher with sharpened teeth: that is a compliment, by the way.

  • Vanity Unfair

    Yes, I know the Supremes are appointed- and for life, at that. The general point was that some of the US states have elected judges, at least for courts of first instance, and this is not the case in England. I remember a quite heated debate in a jurisprudence lecture when the subject arose. The specific point was that the adjective used betrays the speaker’s opinion of the principal’s judgment.

  • Adrian

    Wait, did something change? I don’t follow the UK royal family news anywhere in the ballpark of closely, but I was under the impression that Queen Lizzy’s reaction to the idea of Prince Bigears getting near the throne was along the lines of “if my reanimated corpse has to stand guard in front of the throne with a bigass claymore to prevent THAT atrocity, so be it!”

  • Adrian

    Shouldn’t that be Ruled Britannia? 😛