Trump—-Drinking “The Chosen One” Kool-Aid

by Charles S. Oaxpatu

Trump and the Bible

Cognitive Dissonance Lives!!!

Well, by now you have probably read all the news stories about Trump raising his face to the sky and proclaiming to the news media that he is The Chosen One. Obviously, Trump is now drinking the insanity-laced Kool-Aid prepared for him by the celebrity Christian Fundamentalist and Conservative Evangelical preachers who regularly meet with him at the White House to advise him and pray over him. It was bad enough that fundie preachers mistakenly branded Trump as The Anointed One of the Lord.  The really scary part is that Trump now believes it and is willing to publicly style himself as The Chosen One of God. Really awful things happen when the leader of a nation or empire begins to see himself or herself as part and parcel with the Godhead.

Then you have to pair that with the fact that Trump was raised as a Calvinist Presbyterian who sucked for years at the nipple of the tulip and predestination. I can just hear Trump now:

What?  Me evil. No Way!!! All of that despicable treatment of migrants and their children at our southern border was part of God’s predestined plan for me. God did it!!!  Not me. I was just the Holy instrument God used to make it all happen. He was in total sovereign control of everything I did. He even controlled the timing of my arm movements, Big Mac bites, and farts.  God is in full control of me. It’s all God’s fault—not mine!!!  You know what the Bible I almost never read says: “God is the author of both good and evil.”

It should be noted that Trump’s hero, President Andrew Jackson, did not have much use for Christian churches until he was old and gray. Getting on toward death in those later years, Jackson felt the need to join a church. The church he picked was a Presbyterian Church. This was perhaps predictable. Jackson was well known for being a single-minded a-hole who relished killing men in duels, defying U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and leading a huge genocidal act against the Kituwah American Indian tribe, known today as  The Trail of Tears. Calvinism?  Why not President Jackson?  You get saved from Hell and you get to blame all of your personal acts of evil on God. I can just hear old Andy now:

Hey. It was not me.  Perish the thought!!!  God predestined me to do all of those evil things. I was just God’s instrument to bring them about. It was all God’s fault.

You should also be aware that young Donald J. Trump was a disciple of Pastor Norman Vincent Peale and his famous book entitled The Power of Positive Thinking. Peale, long deceased, was the pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. I know about Peale because I have read and used his famous book. Basically, the book says that if you want something in life and think positively about it at all times, the thing you want will eventually materialize or happen in your life. As you can plainly see, positive thinking is only a few short steps away from something Trump does all of the time—speak a lie or delusion, repeat it numerous times, and firmly believe in it with constant positivity—until one’s lie or delusion eventually becomes truth and reality.

Now, here is the most profoundly scary part of all this Trumpian religious brew. The American broadcast news media are clueless about all of this—-when they should be learning about it in depth and presenting it to the American people. Last night, on CNN’s The Situation Room, I sat in my Lazyboy chair and watched Gloria Borger and the other discussants wail and flail about Trump calling himself The Chosen One. They were wracking their brains and absolutely clueless as to where an idea like that could have originated.

The American news media know about Trump’s history with positive thinking, but to the best of my knowledge, they have never seen the very obvious connection between that positive thinking and all of Trump’s lies and delusions. It is very sad when our broadcast news media ignore the “religious side” of Trump and how it affects his behavior. Wolf Blitzer knew about Dominionist theology and Republican politics at one time (but may have forgotten about it). The broadcast media folks pretty much ignore Trump’s past brushes with religion and the circle of celebrity preachers who advise him and pray over him. One is much more likely to see articles on this subject at reliable on-line news services and in print media. The fundie preachers who advise Trump, and all of Trump’s past experiences with religion, speak volumes about his outrageous behavior as President of the United States. Wake up Gloria Borger!!!  Wake up Jeff Toobin!!!  Wake up folks at CNN!!!

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Should Nonfundie Americans Fight Fire with Fire?

by Charles S. Oaxpatu

Speak Out

Speak Out II

One of our kind and loving readers has asked the following question:

In my 63 ‘adult years, I’ve been both a student & activist in political & inter-religious communities. What I’ve observed (perhaps dimly) is a GOP that enjoined Christian fundies (to garner votes), turning ever more into autocratic regimes. Democrats, mostly confident in their faith, turned their cheeks, quietly moving toward the Jesus WAY, trying to reflect the love of God. President Obama surely listened, understood, and diligently tried to reconcile.

The result is a more extreme Christo-fascist GOP.  Today many Democrats, especially young generations, are not so accommodating. So, should we stay on the path Albrecht posed or fight fire with fire?

Answer:

This is an excellent question. I will try hard to provide you with a thoughtful and meaningful answer. This is done in the following listing format to be clear on each point—even though the points are all related:

(1) First of all, I want to make one point perfectly clear to everyone. I and the Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog are firmly opposed to solving religious differences and/or religio-political differences between individual people and between groups of people by foreign terrorism, domestic terrorism, or other acts of violence. Both I, as the blog owner, and this blog believe all religious people and nonreligious people of differing viewpoints should be able to use words and diplomacy (either in public or in private) to freely express their differing opinions on matters of religion and politics—and always be willing to settle their differences peacefully and nonviolently. Violence solves nothing—and the hard feelings it sets up—only leads to more violence. Words alone, diplomacy, and peace are the best and only ways to go.

(2) The GOP of today is far more radical and extremist than it ever was in the American past. The key problem with this is the American people. They are too downright stupid and uneducated (with regard to American civics and politics) to realize that one simple fact. They think the members of the GOP today are exactly the same and just as level-headed as President Dwight D. Eisenhower and President Gerald R. Ford. They do not understand that the good GOP people, such as those two, have either been purged from today’s GOP (by internal social sanction) or they have quit elected positions in government out of total disgust with the current GOP. Senator Bob Corker (R – Tennessee) was among the last GOP good guys to leave Congress. All that remains in the GOP today are the post-modern, extremist dregs of the GOP——-the sludge-like scrapings from the rusty bottom of the GOP barrel. I am just wondering when the American people are going to wake up and recognize that fact.

(3)  The members of the old GOP gave plenty of lip service to Christian Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals, attended their public events, sucked up to them, voiced their religio-political interests, and even injected some of their interests into the formal GOP plank. However, for the most part, that was just political theater designed to get fundie votes in elections. The key mission of the old GOP as a whole was to find a way to get large numbers of fundie votes for GOP candidates, while ensuring the fundies did not get any of the crazy things they wanted. In fact, before 2016, anyone who attended private, upscale, GOP black tie cocktail parties in Washington D.C. will tell you how much these upper level members of the GOP laughed and joked around about the evangelical hillbillies and their ridiculous demands. In secret, these GOP members held their fundie pastor suck-ups, their churches, and their pewsitters in utter contempt.

All of that changed by 2016, which is how President Donald J. Trump made it into the White House. Some genius in the Trump campaign hit on the idea of sitting down with Dr. James Dobson and other fundie leaders to make them an offer they could not refuse. If these celebrity pastors could round up all their pewsitters and set them on fire to elect Trump, then there would no longer be any empty promises from the GOP. Instead, Trump would be the first GOP President to actually give the fundies every crazy thing they wanted to happen in American government, society, and culture. Trump would make their wildest fundie dreams come true! Trump has kept his end of the bargain and is trying even harder to fulfill all of those fundie dreams—and by the time he is finished—the United States of America we grew up in and loved so much as kids may be gone—replaced by something unsavory—and even horrifying.

(4)  How did the Christian Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals obtain all of this political power they now have in the White House, the U.S. Senate, and U.S. Supreme court?  I think it was three key things:

(A) Beginning after the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, the fundies withdrew themselves in embarrassment from the sinful world and began the 50-year planning and construction of a vast fundie media empire designed to save souls and educate all of the American people on the fine details and demands of their ever-angry, vengeful, and blood-thirsty God. By 1970, the giant media cake they had baked was ready to come out of the oven and do its work in American society and culture.

(B)  Republican political operative Paul Weyrich identified and put into action his plans to suck fundie churches into American politics—with the goal in mind that every fundie church member would become a GOP Voter for Life. Jerry Falwell founded the so-called Moral Majority and used its media platform to reach all Americans with its religio-political agenda. Charismatic evangelist and media mogul Pat Robertson, and his Christian Broadcasting Network, came on line with its fundie message. Fundie media messages were everywhere: bookstores, pamphlets, posters, salvation tracts, radio, TV.  You name it. It seemed like fundies everywhere were being sucked into American politics—and they were loving every minute of it. To the fundies, it looked as if the stone that had been rejected in 1925 was quickly becoming the cornerstone of the entire American enterprise. They were elated. The election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980 was their enormous mutual orgasm—with a couple of secondary squirts for George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Old ladies in solidly Republican East Tennessee firmly believed that George W. Bush was The Anointed One of the Lord, and they wrote letters to the editor of the Knoxville News-Sentinel to express that high opinion. I know because I read them. Funny thing though, none of those letters were showing up in the newspaper after their grandsons were coming home from Iraq in caskets and their life savings came undone in the Great Recession of 2008. Where was The Anointed One of the Lord then? That is correct. Laying low!!!

(C)  The Mainline denominational churches (United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Disciples of Christ Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Roman Catholic Church, and many other nonfundie denominations and churches responded to numerous fundie accusations and attacks by:

ROLLING OVER AND PLAYING DEAD

Since the Christian Fundamentalist Resurgence began circa 1970, they have continued a policy of rolling over and playing dead in the face of one fundie outrage after another. With the exception of the small group known as the Sojourners, they have continued to roll over and play dead until this very day. Christian Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals lie about these traditional Christian churches and what they believe, call their pastors false teachers, and brand their members as apostates. Hate is the only word for it. Mere words can hardly even express how badly the fundies think of these great American churches and their members—and they are more than happy to spit their vitriol and venom upon them in public.

(5) Why did these traditional American denominations and churches roll over and play dead—and why do they continue to do it?  I think it is three things:

(A) They think Jesus Christ would roll over and play dead in front of the fundies, just like he did under the judgement, scourging, and crucifixion imposed by Pontius Pilate. Even though the fundies do not recognize the pastors and members of these traditional American churches as “true” Christians, the members of these churches believe the Christian Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals are fellow Christians—and they believe it is just plain wrong to openly oppose their outrageous words, behaviors, and actions. So, they just sit quietly, remain calm, bite their tongues, and take their daily horse whippings from the fundies. [Tragic Stance]

(B)  The members of these traditional denominations and churches think the fundies are silly, ignorant, and off the deep end in regard to the Christian faith.  They think millions of nonbelievers will look at the fundies in the same way—and if everyone will just stay quiet, close their eyes, and pretend the fundies do not exist—then the fundies will, by some miracle, go away and dissolve into nothing. [Tragic Stance]

(C)  The memberships of each of these traditional American denominations and churches contain within them a “peanut gallery” of people who are fundie in outlook, and these people are working hard inside their own denominations and churches to turn them into Christian Fundamentalist or Conservative Evangelical denominations or churches. Frank Schaeffer calls these people a “fifth column of insanity,” and I think rightly so. The pastors of these traditional denominations and churches live in fear that one of these internal fundie factions will succeed in gaining enough internal support to take over a denomination or church—-or they will succeed in splitting off members from their denominations or churches—leaving them with fewer members, less money, and less power to do good things in the name of Jesus. [Tragic Stance]

(6)  Mainline Christian denominations, churches, and church members need to quit rolling over and playing dead in front of the fundies. When the fundies see this pitiful rollover, I am sure their first thought is:

Look at those fools!!!  They are rolling over and playing dead. God must be on our side—or else they would not be doing it. We hate them, and this must be a sign from Heaven that God hates them too. We can take the entire field unopposed—and do any outrageous thing we want to do on the American stage. No one can stop us now!!!

(A) Should we fight fire with fire—as you asked? Personally, just my opinion, I think nonfundie American denominations and churches should stand up in unison, band together as one, and publicly denounce and renounce fundie denominations, fundie churches, fundie pastors, fundie individuals, and their corrupt fundie beliefs and deeds. These public denouncements and renouncements need to ring out across the United States of America every single day—all day long—in every possible communications medium—and especially on Sundays.

I think it is high time to quit rolling over and playing dead. We need to assemble truthful words and speak out loudly on the American stage.  All of the fundies and the rest of the American people need to hear our words about how hateful, unloving, and wicked American fundie beliefs, words, and actions have become over the past 100 years—and especially since the year 1970. The American people need to know all about the cold, empty fundie hearts that hide themselves and their evil intentions behind the words of the Bible.

The Christian Fundamentalists, Conservative Evangelicals, and members of the so-called Religious Right in the United States are the Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees of our own time in human history. They are the kinds of people who sent Jesus to his death on the cross. Throughout Matthew 23, Jesus sets a bold public example for how to deal with fundies by using words only.  Go read it, and do your reading slowly.

The fundies (Christian Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals) have been hateful, cruel, and merciless in their public denouncements and renouncements of nonfundie denominations, nonfundie churches, nonfundie pastors, nonfundie church members, and their beliefs and deeds. Their blistering attacks on us have come daily in various communications media. Their hate for us seems to have no end, and their expression of it has gone without cessation for almost 100 years—while we have just rolled over and played dead in the face of it. It is time for that to change. The fundies need to hear from us regularly via verbal challenges to their militant rhetoric and foul behaviors.

However, once again, I must add that I am not advocating violence in any way, form, or fashion against fundie denominations, fundie churches, fundie pastors, or fundie believers. Yes. They attack us with words and even with violence at Planned Parenthood Clinics. We need to respond to their vicious attacks verbally and peacefully—all the while renouncing their love for assault rifles and violence.

(7)  In previous blog articles, I have mentioned a very real and defined phenomenon known as the fundie paradox. When fundies are experiencing good times and favorable political power, as they are now, they portray themselves as great in numbers and loaded to the hilt with religious and political power. When the fundies are experiencing bad times, they portray themselves as few in number, weak, powerless, vulnerable, and an oppressed minority doing everything it can to just barely survive in the face of a Godless world that hates them.

Right now, with their man President Donald J. Trump (a.k.a The Anointed One of the Lord), sitting in the White House, the fundies are in a drunken stupor with religious and political power. When Trump is voted out of office in November 2020—as I think he definitely will be—the  fundie mindset will immediately swing to the “small, poor, weak, vulnerable, and pitiful us” end of the fundie paradox. This brings up a question. Have you ever cornered a wild animal in the back corner of your garage? The animal knows the flight option no longer exists. The only option left is to growl, hiss, and be ready to fight—violently.

Christian Fundamentalism and Conservative Evangelicalism in the United States today are driven primarily by one thing and one thing only——–FEAR. It is FEAR of their angry, vengeful God and the Hell he dangles below their feet night and day. FEAR of sinners. FEAR of other churches and religions. FEAR of black and brown people. FEAR of migrants from Mexico, Central America, and the Middle East. It is FEAR of failing to acquire the United States and all of its people as exclusive fundie property. The list of fundie FEARS goes on and on.

All of that said, Christian Fundamentalists have one FEAR that exists above all other FEARS. It is a FEAR shared by religious fundamentalists all over the world today. Christian fundamentalists. Islamic fundamentalists. Buddhist fundamentalists.  Hindu fundamentalists. All of the other groups of fundamentalists here, there, and yonder all across the Earth. That is the FEAR OF ANNIHILATION. They live in constant FEAR (conscious and/or unconscious) that their fundie religious beliefs, their fundie subculture, and even their own lives stand on the brink of utter and final ANNIHILATION.  When this FEAR OF ANNIHILATION reaches a fever pitch in fundie religious quarters, two things happen:

(A) They scream out their fears very loudly to the public in their countries—really a cry for special help and protection.

And if no one hears their cries:

(B)  They resort to violence, which usually comes in the form of local terrorism or worldwide terrorism. This resort to terrorism is usually a desperate, last ditch attempt to get attention, be heard, and obtain the help and special protection they need.

If such help does not come—and if often does not come—the terrorism morphs into terrorist warfare to stave off the religious, subcultural, and personal ANNIHILATION the group fears so very much. American Indians fighting against the white eyes on the High Plains. ISIS. Al Qaeda. All are representatives of people who have felt like their belief systems and subcultures were standing on the brink of ANNIHILATION.

I am deeply concerned that the Christian Fundamentalist and Conservative Evangelical FEAR OF ANNIHILATION in the United States may one day reach a fever pitch, and the fundies will then resort to domestic terrorism on American soil to get what they so desperately want.  This is happening in nearly all of the other religious fundamentalisms around the world. So, one has to ask the obvious question:

Will fundie domestic terrorism ever happen here in the United States?

I think it is a very real possibility that should be taken seriously by the FBI, ATF, Department of Homeland Security, and the American people.

Why am I concerned? Just prior to the election of President Trump, the fundie leaders and pewsitters were sending out public signals indicating that Trump was their last ditch hope. If he were to lose the election, the whole fundie enterprise and all their fundie hopes and dreams of ever converting, controlling, and ruling the American people would be over. Godless American culture would grab them, throw them into its mouth, chew them up, and swallow them down. Apparently, loss of the same sex marriage fight in 2015 was the final straw that afforded them a vision of impending ANNIHILATION. If Trump loses the 2020 election and the fundies retreat to the scared, vulnerable end of the fundie paradox, they may feel like that cornered animal in the garage.

Trump and the fundies (working together) have pissed off an incredibly large number of Democrats and many other Americans since January 2017. The fundies will be living in abject fear of the day Trump leaves office and Democrats take over the White House—-and probably the U.S. Senate—as well as gaining more seats in the  U.S. House of Representatives. If all of that were to coincide with a sudden uniting of nonfundie denominations, churches, and individual church members to denounce and renounce fundie hate on a continuing daily basis, that might be just enough to push the fundies into a fever pitch FEAR OF ANNIHILATION, which could turn into domestic terrorism committed by fundie preachers and church members. I would hate to see terroristic violence like that on American soil, but there is at least a possibility that such violence could occur. If so, it will be the fundies starting it, and the responsibility for the terrorism will fall squarely where it should be——on the shoulders of the fundies.

This raises another key question. How can American citizens in general relieve the fundie FEAR OF ANNIHILATION?  That would be the merciful and Jesus-like thing to do. Help them out. Relieve their fears. Make them feel safe—and be safe. If the fundies could be made to feel safe and actually be safe in American society and culture, no such fundie terrorism would ever occur on American soil. Unfortunately, I think the fundies would say:

The only time we fundies will ever be satisfied, feel safe, or be safe is when all 326 million Americans convert to Christian Fundamentalism or Conservative Evangelicalism; turn over 100 percent, complete, and total control of the United States Government to our fundie preachers; and amend the U.S. Constitution to take away the First Amendment rights of all Americans—except for us fundies. Then further amend the U.S. Constitution to make that most precious thing we call “Bible-Believing Christianity” the official national religion of the United States. By law, force all Americans to support the new national church with their tax dollars. Then legally force all Americans to attend the “Bible-believing” church of their choice every Sunday—under penalty of death for failure to attend.

That is how all too many hard-core American fundies think these days. It is a price so high that no sane American outside of fundie faith circles will ever pay it to make the fundies feel safe.

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Mormon Beliefs———-Just a Fraction of It

by Charles S. Oaxpatu

Just a few minutes ago, on a truly abysmal Christian Fundamentalist website in the United Kingdom, I found an article highly critical of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Rather than expound on that subject with words, they somehow managed to find a You Tube video that said everything about the Mormon faith that they wanted to say.

Way back in the 1970s, for a graduate school course in cultural anthropology, I had to do a long and highly detailed term paper on a subject of my own choosing. The Mormon faith had always been a matter of great mystery to me, so I chose to write a long (30-40 pages) term paper on the cultural ecology of Mormon polygyny—the 19th century Mormon practice where one man married multiple wives.  Most people then and even today call this practice polygamy, which is a legal term. Actually, the correct anthropological term is polygyny—meaning multiple gynes (or women) who are married at the same time to one man.

I have rarely ever seen a Mormon student center on a college campus outside of Utah, but The University of Tennessee (Knoxville) had a large Mormon student center with a big and really nice library devoted to the ins and outs of the Mormon faith. The Mormon pastor, who ruled over the center, was very gracious in allowing me full run of the library in order to complete my term paper. I learned so very much about what the Mormons actually believe in researching that term paper, and I have learned quite a bit more from various reliable sources over the past 40 years—much of it now forgotten—but not all of it.

All of you are no doubt familiar with the nicely dressed Mormon missionaries, usually two young men with white shirts and black ties, who bicycle through your neighborhoods and ring door bells in hopes of witnessing their faith to you in your living rooms. During this witnessing, people are almost never told the full truth about what the Mormons actually believe. They just tell an intentionally very limited faith story contrived to sound a lot like what typical Christian churches believe. However, this is just a slick ruse to hook you into attending their local Mormon church, where over time, they will feed you their whole bizarre salami—the salami I learned about the hard way 40 years ago in that Mormon student center. Today I remain personally convinced that very few Americans know anything about this salami, but for you, that is about to change right here on the Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog.

When the Mormon missionaries come to my house, I listen quietly to their presentation. Immediately afterwards, I regale them with my knowledge of Mormon secret things I am not supposed to know.  Sometimes, I ask if they are married. Occasionally, one is already married. Then I will ask him if he is married for both time (the here and now) and for eternity—and then ask how many spiritual wives (besides his real wife) he has already married for eternity.  We talk, and talk, and talk. Then I politely tell them it is time for them to move on to the next house. Their mouths drop wide open then because they cannot understand how an ordinary person could know all of this Mormon stuff  without committing—right there in their presence—to becoming a Mormon. They walk away stumped and dumbfounded.

Well, anyway, if you know a lot about the Christian faith and know almost nothing about the Mormon faith, you really are going to learn a lot and have some good laughs by watching the video clip below, which I ran into this evening on that fundie blog, and yeah—the information in it is correct information about Mormon beliefs and practices. However, these two Mormon missionaries tell the lady in the doorway deep things about the Mormon faith that no actual Mormon missionary pair would ever tell you in your living room. You have to attend their churches for a long while as you slowly learn all of this bizarre stuff—and it is bizarre.  (It is my understanding that Senator Mitt Romney actually wears those under garments.) Just click on the safe triangle and watch:

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Tennessee and Its Three Parts

by Charles S. Oaxpatu

Today we leave the Christian faith and President Donald J. “Bait of Satan” Trump behind to take a fun look at Tennessee. For those of you who have not already guessed it, I was born on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville and have lived in Tennessee all of my life.

There is no such thing as eastern Tennessee, central Tennessee, or western Tennessee. If you ever make that mistake here, your K-12 teacher will swat your hands hard with her ruler. Tennessee is divided into three geographic units with formal and proper geographic names, which are always capitalized. They are East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, and West Tennessee. Each of the three large stars on the state flag represent those three portions of the state, all of which are different from each other geographically, geologically, and culturally.  Some would say that any two of them are as different from each other as night and day.

Tennessee Flag

I am not going to write a lot more about the so-called “three states of Tennessee.” Instead, they will be described for you with a few key words and three music videos that perfectly capture each one.

East Tennessee

Mountains, Beautiful, Backwoods, Solidly Republican Since 1861, Distant and Unfriendly People, Strange Mannerisms, Simple Things, Odd Speech, Poorly Educated, High Value on Ignorance, Fundieland, Big Orange Country, “Just as Soon Kill You as Look at You.” Music That Captures It Well:

 

Middle Tennessee

Rolling Hills, Huge Farms, Religious, Urban, Highly Educated, Wealthy with Money to  Burn, Corporate Headquarters, Skyscrapers, Country Club Member, Exporter of Country Music, Locals Love Rock n’ Roll Most, Palatial Homes, High Value on Living the Good Life, “Just as Soon Hug You as Look at You.” Music That Captures It Well:

 

West Tennessee

Flat; Boring; Riparian Wildlife, Lots of Grasslands; Sparse, Huge Four-Way Stops in the Middle of Nowhere; Mississippi River; Elvis; The Blues; African Americans; People Who Struggle; Homer, Buford, and Floyd. “Memphis: Just as Soon Look at You and Kill You.” Music That Captures It Well:

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Christian Fundamentalism Earns a Huge and Well-Deserved Butt Kicking

by Charles S. Oaxpatu

I just read a really wonderful blog article written by Greg Albrecht. Greg writes for an organization called Plain Truth Ministries. His Christ-centered articles are published in two places, a magazine entitled Plain Truth and the Christianity Without Religion blog https://www.ptm.org/. The title of the blog article that caught my attention is The Gathering Storm of Fundamentalism. This is one of those rare Christian faith articles that hits the old nail right on the head, and it delivers a well-deserved verbal butt kicking to Christian Fundamentalism. The article is well-written, and I think you will enjoy reading it. That is the good news.

What is the bad news? I found this blog article to be a bumpy and somewhat difficult read, primarily because it was poorly formatted. I very much doubt that the poor formatting  was Greg’s fault. It was most likely dictated by various, written-in-stone limitations and constraints imposed by his blog server. I have many of those same formatting problems with my own WordPress blogs.

Now, with all that said, here is some more good news. I cut and pasted the text of Greg’s blog article into a Microsoft Word 2010 file, fixed all of the formatting issues, and did some very minor editing of the text to make it easier to read. I did not edit the text for content. The editing was focused primarily on punctuation, grammar, and clarity issues. Greg’s blog article is now an easy and fun read. You may read it by clicking on the following safe link:

 

The Gathering Storm of Fundamentalism

 

I agree with almost everything Greg says in his article—with only one key exception. That exception involves the following excerpt from his blog text:

The Bible constitutes the accurate, infallible, and divinely inspired word of God.

That statement comes dangerously close to the Christian fundamentalist and conservative Evangelical dogma on Biblical Inerrancy—and the fundie insistence that the Holy Bible must be read simply and literally—the way your kids read comic books——or as the fundies might say:

A simple gospel for a simple people.

I have no objections to his point about holy scripture being divinely inspired. However, the most highly educated Christian scholars know the Bible contains numerous internal contradictions. If a person insists on a literal reading and understanding of the Bible, then we know for certain that the Bible contains assorted factual inaccuracies. These inaccuracies and contradictions are well-known among scholars of the Bible. For example, we know-the Christian fundamentalist perspective on creation in the Book of Genesis does not jibe with the vast amounts of scientific evidence to the contrary.

We also know the Holy Bible is not infallible—and neither are many of the fundies who read and study it.  The main purpose of the Bible is to point readers toward faith in Jesus Christ and to invite people into reconciled discipleship and fellowship with God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. However, millions of Americans have read the Bible, put it down, and rejected the Holy Trinity, reconciliation with God, and discipleship. If the Bible were truly infallible with its primary mission in this world, then 100 percent of the people who have read it or heard a sermon based upon it would have been drawn into a deep relationship with Jesus. However, that does not happen in most cases, and in that sense, the Bible often is fallible in what it most seeks to do—draw every last man, woman, and child on planet Earth into a deep and lasting relationship with Jesus.

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Christian Fundamentalists and the Evil Television Set

by Charles S. Oaxpatu

A couple of days ago, I wrote a brief blog article asking readers and visitors to submit any questions they might have about Christian Fundamentalism, Conservative Evangelicalism, or any other thing they might have on their minds. One of our regular readers asked a question. Here is that question:

One thing I’d like to know about televangelists (and I don’t know if I’ve asked this of you before): why do some televangelists say that television is immorality and sin (and that irrelevant of content, meaning that B/W classics are as immoral/sinful as today’s extreme sexual and violent content, for instance), notwithstanding that televangelists are using the very same medium they call a sin to call it a sin (i.e. preaching against television, on television)?

Answer:

This is an excellent question, and I could probably write all day about it. However, a member of my nuclear family needs to use the family PC from 5:00 p.m. EDT until midnight, so I must answer quickly and straight to the point of the question.

Christian Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals definitely have a problem with television. Conservative Evangelicals, such as the members of Southern Baptist Convention churches, are not particularly against the home television set or the electronic medium of television.  They are just against the content of some television programs. As I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, I did not know any Southern Baptist families that did not own and watch shows on television. I suspect that is still true today. They just object to the content of certain television programs that contain what they define as sinful portrayals that do not honor God. Many of them refuse to let their children see programs with this sinful content, and the parents also refuse to watch such programs.

The hard-boiled, hard-shelled Christian fundamentalists, such as the members of Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches, are the ones who have a huge beef with both the television set and the content of television programming. If you doubt that, please take a close look at the following church sermon—and while you are at it—notice the typical fundie disrespect for girls and women:

How many of you kind readers and visitors have threatened the lives of your wives and daughters with an ax? Is it any wonder they love President Donald J. Trump so very much? But I digress—so we go back to our main subject—where I will digress again.

The fundie preacher in the video clip blames the content of various “sinful” television shows for the destruction of the American family and the warping of minds toward being friendly with sin. His answer is to get rid of the television set in fundie homes so fundies will no longer be able to watch a television show that they regard as sinful or mind-warping. Here is where we digress again. This is the same thing they thought about alcoholic beverages in the early 20th century. Prohibit the manufacturing and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States, and the American home and American society will be all the better for it. I suspect most fundies still believe in that today. Those of you who know American history are familiar with how bad prohibition turned out to be before it was finally repealed. If banning whisky and television sets is so near and dear to their hearts, you really have to wonder why so many fundies are against banning assault rifles?

By the 1950s, many Americans had a television set in their homes. Christian evangelists, particularly the Christian Fundamentalist and Conservative Evangelical ones, quickly hailed the potential for television to be one of the greatest evangelistic devices ever invented in all of human history. They jumped on it, like kids jumped on their first personal computer, and sought to be masters of the television medium for the purpose of broadcasting sermons, delivering religious music, and saving souls. Today fundies still decry what they view as sinful television programming. However, they also know that nearly all hopelessly lost sinners (any person who is not a fundie) own a television set and watch it regularly. They see their own religious programming on television as a way to get the fundie message out to all of those evil, hopelessly lost sinners who watch TV—you know the kind: serial killers, Presbyterians, pedophiles, United Methodists, murderers, Quakers, thieves, and Roman Catholics, etc. So, in their minds, fundie religious programming  on TV is A-Okay. No vile sinner will ever take an ax to his own TV set, and the fundies see that as their greatest opportunity to reach him or her with the fundie message.

What is the greatest fundie message that travels out to the television sets of vile sinners? Well, the fundies would no doubt say that their biggest message concerns the famous and all important Fundie Salvation Benefits Package, which is way up there alongside your corporate benefits package at your place of work. To get this package of benefits, all you have to do is briefly bow your head, say a few right words in prayer—-and then flip the old fundie middle finger at Jesus—because hey—the most important thing is getting saved from Hell—so just forget all that stuff about following and emulating Jesus in your daily life. Oh Sure!!!  The fundies give plenty of lip service to following Jesus like that in their daily lives, but do most of them really do it as a matter of personal action? I have to wonder about that! If they were following and emulating Jesus in their daily lives, then how on Earth could they gift us with President Donald J. “Bait of Satan” Trump? The cognitive dissonance between their lip service and their actions is enormous!

Many other fundie messages travel out to American television sets, like the one from that guy down in Texas:

I need you to plant just one little $58 seed.

If you would like to know more about the other fundie television messages that travel to your TV set, you may sample some of them by watching the following incredibly funny, highly detailed, and thoroughly enlightening look at such fundie messaging:

 

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Does Anyone Have Any Questions You Would Like to Pose to Me?

by Charles S. Oaxpatu

Please feel free to ask me any questions you would like—as long as they comply with our blog policy and our e-mail contact policy. You may read both policy statements by clicking the “Blog Policy” button and the “Contact” button on the black strip at the top of this blog page.  If I do not know the answer, I will just say so. If I have an opinion about it, I can offer you my opinion or a few random thoughts on the subject.

You may ask a question by clicking on the “Leave a comment” button at the bottom of this blog post.  However, I will not respond in the comments section.  Instead, I will use my editing button to insert your question and my response at the end of this blog post.

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I have noticed that some of you appear to visit this blogspot every day by clicking on a bookmark for one of our past blog articles.  If you would like an alternative route to our blog, I have created one for you.  I have changed my pen name to Charles S. Oaxpatu. The last name is a word I made up out of thin air—one that exists nowhere else on the Internet. It is ours and ours alone here on planet Earth. Just do a Google search on the name “Charles S. Oaxpatu” or just “Oaxpatu,” and you can get here from there. If you use a search engine other than Google, you may not find us.  For example, the Yahoo! search engine does not pick us up so far.  We are hoping it will soon.

No one asked me to change my pen name. It was a totally voluntary thing on my part to help our visitors and regular readers.  Have a great day folks!!!

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