Something New to Drive the Fundies Crazy——Who Says God Has No Sense of Humor?

by Charles S. Garabedian

The Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals believe it is God’s design that women be submissive, stay at home, get pregnant often, take care of kids, and spend the rest of their days cleaning house and wiping kiddie butts. Arch fundie Lori Alexander is one of the chief purveyors of this classic fundie nonsense. If you can suffer it without laughing, crying, or getting sick, do some reading on her blog and you will see what I mean:

The Transformed Wife

A federal judge has just ruled that drafting men only into the U.S. military is illegal now that women are allowed to serve in combat roles. Therefore, young women (ages 18 – 24) are subject to being drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces—that is—if the conscription system that went away with the tail end of the Viet-Nam War in the 1970s is ever re-established in time of war. In short, young women have to register for the draft now, just like young men. You may read about it here:

Federal Court Ruling on Drafting Women

This means Lori Alexander’s grandaughters—and mine—might one day get drafted and be forced to go to war—just like the women of modern day Israel. The fundies have always been BIG-TIME military war hawks. In fact, I dare say, there has never been an American war they did not love—even the Viet-Nam War. This court ruling must be driving fundie men and women crazy—or when it finally sinks in—it will be driving them crazy.

I strongly suspect this federal court ruling will be upheld all the way through the U.S. Supreme Court because it is both simple, from a constitutional perspective, and fair-minded in outlook. How about it Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals—especially those of you who live in the American South?  You love war!!! You have told us all about it for many decades. Now your daughters will be compelled to participate in all the fun too—and just like in the following video clip—one of the African-American men you hate so much may be leading your daughters into battle. Check it out:

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Karma Is a Real Bitch

by Charles S. Garabedian

The foregoing title of this blog article is how most people say it today. Jesus said exactly the same thing in his own special words 2,000 years ago:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7).

Erin Burnett has a few sober words about karma, sowing, and reaping for The Anointed One of the Lord. The deep reaping for Trump begins with Michael Cohen today—and how fitting is it that another Jewish man is delivering it? Give a close listen to what Erin has to say.  Just click on the following safe link:

Erin Talks about Karma and Reaping

Of course, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts knew about Trumpian things many years ago, and they even sang a song about it:

The Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are famous for saying:

You cannot be a practicing LGBTQ person and still be a Christian.

Throw it back to them. I think these fundies should tell us how they can support Satanic evil like President Donald J. Trump day-in-and day-out and still be a Christian.

Joan Jett and her band had another famous song that was responsive to the first song (above). At the end of this week, when the Michael Cohen testimony to all three U.S. House of Representatives committees is finished, the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals who support Trump need to sing this song straight at him; fall down on their knees before Jesus; and repent of ever supporting President Donald J. Trump—and just plain quit it. Here is the Joan Jett song they should sing to Trump just prior to their repentance:

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Today Significant American History Begins…

by Charles S. Garabedian

Today and for the next two or three weeks, significant American history will be made. Make no mistake folks, you stand on the precipice of matters that will generate bold subheadings in future American history textbooks. Naturally, The Anointed One of the Lord is at the center of all this. An article by Stephen Collinson at the Cable News Network (CNN) lays it all out for you. Please click on the following safe link and stop the video immediately because the meat and potatoes are in the text—not the video:

History Begins Today

For those of you too busy to spend a lot of time reading that long article, I will give you the following shorter list:

(1)  The former attorney of The Anointed One of the Lord, a now famous Jewish guy by the name of Michael Cohen, will testify before three different committees in the U.S. House of Representatives. Two of these testimonies will be held behind closed doors because Cohen may reveal important information pertinent to the on-going Robert Mueller investigation or information that involves heretofore unknown parties—and even secret national security-related information could come up in these two meetings.

The big Cohen testimony for the American people as a whole comes on Wednesday. A huge national audience will be tuned into CNN and other news outlets for a big part of the day as the entire hearing is broadcast. Michael Cohen’s famous attorney, Mr. Lanny Davis, has suggested that Cohen is going to sing about alleged Trump crookedness—I hope like a 1930s stool pigeon under the interogation room lights of FBI special agent Elliot Ness.

President Richard M. Nixon said that the American people need to know whether “their president is a crook.” Many people think The Anointed One of the Lord is a crook. Based on what he knows, Cohen is going to tell us just how much of a crook he thinks The Anointed One of the Lord really is—with details and examples from his own firsthand knowledge. The bad news will probably be that this alleged crookedness occurred so long ago that it is outside the limits of various statutes of  limitation—meaning no one will be able to send Trump to prison for them—but at least the American people will know in more depth.

(2) The Anointed One of the Lord links up with his new best buddy, Kim-Jong-Un, for a second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. Look for whether Trump sells out his own country like he did with Putin in Helsinki. In my personal estimation, the only big winner at this summit will be Chairman Kim—-again. All Kim has to do is whisper sweetly into Trump’s ear about how great and glorious the orange-pated one is, and The Anointed One of the Lord will fold and be eating Bic Macs popping out of Kim’s open fly.

(3) Multiple reliable sources have indicated that the Robert Mueller investigation is essentially finished, and Mueller may provide the U.S. Attorney General (AG) with the final report on any day over the next few weeks or so. I think this week will see an enormous ramping-up of energy in the public domain, news media, and the U.S. Congress to make sure the final report is available to the American people as a whole—rather than allowing Trump’s new, two-bit, Trump-biased AG to cleanse the report of anything criminal or damaging to The Anointed One of the Lord. Of course, by law, any information in the report that could harm national security, the reputations of innocents, etc. must be redacted from any publicly released version of the report. The Democrats in Congress who have national security clearances that go to Top Secret are going to demand to see the entire, unredacted report—or burn Washington, D.C. to the ground to get it. I strongly suspect some clever government leaker will eventually make sure the full report gets into the hands of the news media and the American people.

(4) The plans put forward by The Anointed One of the Lord to invoke a national emergency to build The Wall may run into its own wall this week. The Democrats and some Republicans in the U.S. Congress have a planned vote to try to undo this fake national emergency.  Their effort will make big news this week.

(5)  Tuesday will be the big day when The United Methodist Church makes its landmark decision on LGBTQ issues and church policy. Look for that decision sometime late in the day on Tuesday. For anyone who is interested in the deliberations, every minute is being video live-streamed at the safe link below.  All you do is click and watch.  No special apps, payments, or set-ups are required:

https://livestream.com/accounts/207122/gc2019

(6) Whenever individual people are highly stressed, they are far more prone to wreck their car, fall off a high ladder, or make terrible mistakes. This is going to be a really stressful week for our country and its people. I wonder if nations are also prone to terrible accidents or mistakes in times like this. Will some other huge news event sail in from left field this week?  I have my concerns—like maybe things getting way out of control in Venezuela—or maybe another major school shooting or major terrorist incident. Sad to say, we are way overdue for another major school shooting or terrorist incident.

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A Case Study: Fundie LGBTQ Persecution in Action

by Charles S. Garabedian

LGBTQ Persecution

You Can Add “Fired from Your Job”

The LGBTQ community in the United States has deleted the “Q” from LGBTQ over the past couple of years. It is now just LGBT.  Personally, I think that was a terrible mistake. I hope you will agree with me at the end of this blog article. Therefore, on the eve of the LGBTQ decision process within The United Methodist Church, let us delve deeper into this matter. As the introduction to the old Dragnet T.V. series used to say:

“The names have been changed to protect the innocent” In addition, the name and location of the specific organization involved is not disclosed to protect me and my child from rabid fundie persecutors.

Nearly all major cities in the United States have a large public sector and/or private sector organization charged with assisting and caring for homeless people. The causes of homelessness are numerous—sudden poverty, loss of a home to fire, renter eviction, medical bankruptcy, parents abandoning teenagers to the streets, teen runaways, chronic mental illness, alcoholism, illegal drug addiction. The list goes on and on.

However you shake it, the homeless are the down-and-out folks and social outcasts who can be lumped easily into the general category Jesus referred to as “the least of these” in the New Testament. One such private sector organization ministers to the needs of homeless people in one specific American city. One of my children sent out a resume and landed a summer job with this organization. This child of mine is Christian, kind, loving, thoughtful, and willing to seriously converse with dad about many things, including the all-time classic: “What happened at work today?” Man!!! Did I ever get an earful across that summer!!!

The organization in question was founded by and is still managed by a person, probably a Christian fundamentalist, who was once homeless. I do not pretend to know where this organization gets all of its funding to help the homeless, but a great deal of it comes from donations by many different denominational and nondenominational churches in this city and its surrounding small towns. Like many American cities, most of the churches in this city are Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches—primarily various stripes of baptist churches.

This relief organization for the homeless obtains additional funds from the numerous thrift stores it owns and operates in the area. These thrift stores depend on public donations of material goods—just like the famous Goodwill Industries stores—and the donated items are processed, adjusted, and sold for profit to thrift store customers. These thrift stores also function as, for lack of a better term, economic halfway houses for homeless people who are trying to get back on their feet again and become self-sufficient. For example, a store manager, assistant manager, and a few workers are usually homeless people on their way up and out—as long as  they do not relapse into the behaviors or conditions that made them homeless to begin with. Other workers in these thrift stores are average people like you and me that are hired to do various kinds of work to keep store operations moving. My child was hired as one of those extra workers.

One of the first things my child noticed was the draconian rules applied to the thrift store employees—particularly the homeless employees. Circuit-riding regional supervisors watched over the homeless store managers and homeless employees like hawks, and the least little infraction of the rules could and did result in immediate firing of the homeless employee—and I always suspected some subsequent consignment to a unique Hell on Earth for a homeless person—like maybe being slung out on the streets again. In other words, from my child’s daily descriptions, it became more than clear to me that these thrift stores were run like highly restrictive Christian fundamentalist churches with iron-fisted preachers.

The other major thing my child noticed was this organization’s constant and never ending obsession with LGBTQ people. This organization disliked LGBTQ people with a passion and was dedicated to ensuring that no LGBTQ person managed to slip into employment at the organization.

Every employee was under constant suspicion—just like inmates living in a super-max security prison. Regional supervisors and managers were always incessantly observing and examining employees for any possible tell-tale sign of carefully hidden LGBTQ “behaviors.” A slightly betraying limp wrist here. A male employee too cozy with another male employee. Unusual clothing. Strange personal behaviors. Just the slightest flicker of employee movement away from the sexual or behavioral norms that one would be expected to abide by in the strictest fundie churches could and did result in immediate firing from one’s job.

This homeless relief organization is located in a state where a person can be fired legally for wearing navy blue socks to work instead of black ones—or preferring Pepsi over Coca-Cola. “One Milky Way bar—and you are outa here!!!” A number of our 50 states have such unfair labor laws.

Well, other than all of the draconian oddities in this organization, the regional supervisors, and their thrift stores, my child seemed to enjoy working there and making friends with fellow workers, who were described to me as very nice, kind, and friendly people. My child worked hard and did well in that store until one day late in the summer that broke my child’s heart.

My child had made friends with a very nice fellow worker. He was described to me as one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.  He was a very hard worker, and my child enjoyed working with him on various tasks. Unknown to my child and this fellow worker, supervisors and management had him under close daily surveillance for queer behavior. Not LGBTQ behavior per se. Not gay behavior per se. Not transgender behavior per se. It was just plain old queer behavior in the long-time, traditional meaning of that word in a 19th century English dictionary.

Because some of the work was easy and boring, especially in the warehouse area of the thrift store, employees were allowed to listen to music on their IPods or other personal playback devices while they worked—even all day listening. My child’s favorite fellow worker had an old-fashioned, 1980s Sony Walkman that still worked, and he listened to just one casette tape for a big part of every day. This tape was a collection of songs from Walt Disney movies, such as the famous seven dwarves’ song Whistle While You Work from the movie Snowhite.

The rigid overlords, who had been closely monitoring this young and otherwise normal- looking and -behaving young man, closed in on him for the kill one day.  They deemed his habit of listening to Walt Disney movie songs all day as queer behavior—possibly indicative of a closeted male homosexual who had somehow sneaked his way past Jesus and into employment at the thrift store. The young man was fired on the spot under suspicion of being a homosexual because only a homosexual would listen to one Walt Disney tape every day!!! That was the message my child brought home to me, and it broke my child’s heart. It broke my heart too—and I was very angry about it. My child told me that this young man was not LGBT.

The summer was soon over, and my child left the thrift store to resume her studies in college. My child never worked at that thrift store again because of that sad incident—and never wanted to do so.

This is why the “Q” should never be dropped from LGBTQ. A person who is not LGBT can be easily persecuted just like an LGBT person—simply because of some small behavioral quirk that looks LGBT to some mindless, stupid, draconian Christian fundamentalist nimwad. How would you like to be fired from your job for something so simple as eating Hostess Sno balls as a dessert in your brown bag lunch? No LGBT employees are allowed, and your manager thinks Hostess Sno balls “look like” something a closeted gay person might eat. “You are fired!!!”

Sno Balls

This is LGBTQ persecution plain and simple—because LGBT issues are a factor in such persecution—even if the accused person is not LGBT. Please put the “Q” back into LGBT. No more persecution!!!  No more!!!

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United Methodists to Decide on Major LGBTQ Issues

by Charles S. Garabedian

LGBTQ Welcome

This is the big weekend when my church, The United Methodist Church (UMC), will make a firm and final decision on assorted LGBTQ issues. The many delegates who will make these key decisions are meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, this weekend (February 23-26, 2019). I included February 23 (tomorrow) because it has been officially designated as a UMC National Day of Prayer for the LGBTQ decision process in hopes that God will intervene and lead matters to an appropriate result—whatever that decision might turn out to be. Many of the meeting delegates will probably start showing up in Saint Louis tonight and early tomorrow.  The very serious delegate meetings begin on Sunday and end on Tuesday. The final decisions on LGBTQ issues will become formal, church-wide policy. The United Methodist Book of Discipline will be revised to reflect this new policy. If you would like to read up on the issues at stake for LGBTQ folks and the UMC, as well as the three voting options for the delegates, you may do so by clicking on the following safe link to a really excellent article in the Deseret News newspaper:

UMC and LGBTQ Background and Voting Options for the LGBTQ Decision

The UMC has 12.6 million members worldwide. It is the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States, right after the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) churches. Once upon a time, the largest population of UMC members lived in the United States. That has been rapidly changing over the past few decades toward a day when most UMC members live in foreign countries, particularly Third World countries. That could be a problem for the upcoming vote on LGBTQ issues, and I am about to tell you why.

Apparently, many Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical missionary adventures in the Third World are of very short duration and have no staying power. They are much like a hit-and-run automobile accident. The fundie missionaries come into a Third World locality; set up shop for a short period of time (maybe just a few months); preach fire-and-brimstone sermons; save people from Hell the unique fundie way; and spend a lot of time indoctrinating the local natives with the usual fundie “right doctrines,” moralisms, rot docterns, and crazy preacher rules. Then the nomadic fundie missionaries pack up and move on to another location. The natives stand there, wave bye-bye, and shrug. They shrug because the fundie missionaries told the newly saved natives that they are now fundies, and they must attend a right-thinking fundie church for the rest of their lives. Trouble is—huge numbers of these natives have no local fundie church to attend. The only permanent church nearby is a UMC church, so they end up as UMC members. I think you already see the problem here. The problem is numerous Third World UMCs filled to the brim with thoroughly indoctrinated and brainwashed fundie natives. *

The Book of Leviticus in the Old Testament says that gay people must be put to death. Many American fundies would like to do that here at home, but that idea does not have any traction in the American legal system. Therefore, the fundies go to overseas countries such as Uganda and try to convince their governments to implement the death penalty for all gay citizens. Yes—-you guessed it. The fundie-indoctrinated natives who show up to worship and become members at UMCs in the Third World were taught by the itinerant fundie missionaries that LGBTQ people are terribly abominable sinners who either need to be killed or be socially demolished with extreme prejudice. Therefore, Third World UMCs end up being highly conservative churches—kind of like the crazy Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches in the United States.

As mentioned in the “About” section of this blog, Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals hate the UMC because it is largely (although not completely) a liberal Christian denomination with religious beliefs and principles that are different from those of the fundie churches. A few hardboiled fundie religionists lurk in assorted UMCs here at home. They and numerous other religious conservatives outside of the UMC denomination have been mutually salivating and licking their chops in recent years. Their highest aspiration is to turn the entire UMC denomination (worldwide) into an all-fundie denomination—just like Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson did with the SBC in 1979. They are hyper-aware of the situation with UMC churches in the Third World, which are growing much faster than American UMCs.  These religious conservatives are hungry for the day when the fundie-heavy UMCs of the Third World and their members will vastly outnumber the UMCs in the United States—giving them a gigantic majority voting block in overall UMC Conference decision making—-like the upcoming one on LGBTQ issues.

One big thing to look for this weekend is how much internal political clout the delegates from Third World UMCs will have on the LGBTQ decisions to be made in St. Louis. The other big thing to look for comes on Tuesday and Wednesday—after the LGBTQ decisions have been made. Any decision that benefits LGBTQ folks will result in a huge media howl from Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals. They will be angry and frightened out of their minds. Why? Any positive decision for LGBTQ folks and the UMC will be viewed as the future handwriting on the walls in their own fundie churches. They will see visions of a huge rainbow flag and Nikita Khrushchev banging the heel of his shoe on the podium at the United Nations—along with his famous words:

We will bury you!!!

We Christians are supposed to love our neighbors—even the unlovable ones. I can love my fundie neighbors. I would gladly feed a hungry fundie or take a sick fundie to the hospital—but I have little sympathy for their behavior. In the name of Jesus, they have made the lives of kind and loving LGBTQ children a living Hell. Under pressure from their churches, fundie fathers and mothers have kicked their own LGBTQ children out into the streets to fend for themselves. Fundie hate rhetoric in the pulpit, pressure tactics, and outright harrassment have driven LGBTQ children to suicide. Many LGBTQ children and adults have endured torture, suffering, and murder as a result of fundie rhetoric and the mindset of fundie discrimination and persecution against the LGBTQ community. If the fundie bigots—and they are indeed unholy bigots—do get buried one day, it will be well deserved (Galatians 6:7).

The Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog wishes the UMC and the American LGBTQ community the best and happiest outcome in the big meeting this weekend. If you would like to do so, please drop by a UMC in your local community, sit quietly in a pew, and pray about these LGBTQ issues. You may do it any time of day. However, it is my understanding that the heaviest prayer time will occur at most UMC churches in the general vicinity of 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

________________________

* I read a lot of on-line publications—so very many that I cannot always recall their titles, the names of their authors, or their locations on-line. Sometime last year, I read a really excellent article containing the information in this paragraph. I kindly apologize to the author for not citing their work.  However. this bit of information was too important to leave out of this blog article. Whoever you are, thank you for your research on this topic.

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Time to Quit Talking——and Take Action Against Pedophile Predators in Our American Churches

by Charles S Garabedian

Child Abuse in Church

Dry Her Tears and Put an End to Child Abuse in Churches

As some of you know, Mr. Bruce Gerencser is our blog’s “go to” expert when we have a serious question about the deeper mysteries of Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical thoughts, beliefs, deeds, behaviors, and shenanigans. For a period of 25 years, Bruce was a well-known and highly faithful Christian fundamentalist pastor in the upper Midwest and in Texas. He is now an atheist and a humanist who lives in Northwest Ohio with his dear wife Polly. Bruce and the many readers at his blog are deeply concerned about the harm pedophile predators are doing to the kids in our churches. We share their concern here at the Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog.

It is my understanding that a large committee of Roman Catholic leaders is meeting this week in Rome, at the direct behest of Pope Francis, to actually do something (with hard-biting canine teeth) about Roman Catholic clerics who molest children. On CNN this morning, one reporter indicated that this committee is seriously looking at establishing and enforcing a hard-hitting  zero tolerance policy to be applied to pedophile priests and other members of the Roman Catholic leadership. As the old saying goes—talk is cheap. Action is clearly needed!

Sexual and physical abuse of children is little-known—but widespread—among the Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches in this country—and probably the nonfundie churches as well. Way back in 2011, the ABC News program 20/20 did a grand video expose on the sexual and physical abuse of children in the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches of the United States. Bruce Gerencser was a pastor in a number of IFB churches. In the most recent post on his blog, The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser, he has written down some important thoughts on how to deal with the pedophile predator problem in American Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches. Bruce knows that religious landscape very well from firsthand experience. You may read his very timely thoughts on this pedophile predator issue by clicking on the following safe link:

Dear Evangelical Church Leaders: It’s Time to Get Rid of Your Youth Pastors and Youth Departments

Children are weak and powerless in a world dominated by adults—often very evil preachers, church staff members, and fundie parents. If sexual abuse and physical abuse of children in churches is to ever come to an end, responsible adults must take action on behalf of the children. The time has come to quit sweeping knowledge of such abuse under the rug to preserve the phony narrative of a nearly perfect fundie faith and a nearly perfect fundie church. If you are aware of sexual or physical abuse of a child under age 18 in church or anywhere else, it is time for you to report it to your local police department—and especially if the pastor or a member of his staff is the abuser.

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Is Christian Fundamentalism Choking our Country?

By Charles S. Garabedian

I have long thought that Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism are choking our country. Educational psychologist Tim Rymel makes his own case for it in the article below.

Quite frankly, I cannot recall whether I have already shared this article with you or not. If so, please accept my apology. The Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog now has more than 370 blog articles, and it is getting harder for me to recall the articles I have shared with you in the past. If you have time, you may read his short article by clicking the following safe link:

The Fundamentalist Christian Chokehold on America

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