What America Means To Me

Multicultural America

The New York Times last Sunday ran an article about the city of Enid Oklahoma. It was very illuminating, insightful, and ultimately disturbing.

In summary the story told was ostensibly about an attempt to institute an indoor mask mandate in the midst of the pandemic we are about to “celebrate” the second anniversary of. The mandate was ultimately voted down when a group of Enid citizens, calling themselves the Enid Freedom Fighters, shouted down all attempts at institution at a city council meeting. While this group claimed to have logically and civilly presented their views on the mandate, what they really did was shout, yell, make unfounded claims about the US Constitution and the bible, invoke the names of discredited quack “doctors”, and in general parrot the talking points of the far right. That “victory” emboldened them to become a political force that forced out all those council members who voted for sanity…er…I mean the mandate, take over the city council and the school board and suddenly become a political arm of religious extremists and white supremacists.

The story asks more, though, about what it means to be an American these days. So as we slouch out of this old year (thank you Joan Didion for all you wrote)  I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on what I think it means to be an American.

First of all, being an American is a choice (ooh, that’s a word full of contention these days). There is no ethnicity called American. This country was founded, it didn’t naturally evolve as a confederation of related and or conquered tribes like Anglos, Saxons, Gauls, Gaels, et al created Britain, France, Ireland, et al. The Founders (and that right there shows you a difference) made a conscious choice to disassociate from their former country and re-associate with the folks they were living around, mostly British, but also Dutch, German, French, and yes even Africans. Since then America has been a melting pot. Or a salad. Or a quilt. Or whatever analogy you want to use to signify that we aren’t all the same. And then of course in the last several decades we have all become hyphenated Americans, even the increasing number of citizens who are multi-hyphenated because their Australian-Chinese mother married their Belgian-French father making them so many shades of humanity about the only thing they CAN be called is American. We are the mutts of the world. And proud of it.

And I like that. I’d rather live in a land where who your parents were or where they came from makes no matter. Or at least a country that aspires to be that.

Being an American means you have an opportunity to make yourself into the best self you can be. It makes no matter if your desire in life is to have a house in a small town with 2.3 kids, a spouse, a pet, and just enough to retire comfortably on or if you want to have the mansion up on the hill and own all that you can see. The opportunity is open to all who wish to take advantage of it. Your background shouldn’t matter, your family shouldn’t matter, where you grew up or went to college or even if you went to college shouldn’t matter. As long as you are willing to do the work, and do it honestly, then you should be allowed to climb as high as you want. This is an asperation for our country as we have certainly gotten closer but never reached the nirvana of complete equality. Again, this country isn’t a finished product, it’s still in the rough drafts stage. The important thing is to believe we can get there and to have the strength to help get it there.

And if you do make it there, it is your responsibility to make sure the ladder you climbed up on is still there for the next person to use.

Continue reading “What America Means To Me”

Gotta Support The Team

Indian and Pakistani Cricket Players

Imagine this. You’re sitting at home watching a sporting event and chatting via text with a few of your friends. Let’s say you’re living in Dallas and the Cowboys are playing the San Francisco 49ers, but even though you live in Texas you and your buds are fans of the 49ers. The Niners win the game and the congratulatory texts go back and forth.

Then the Dallas police show up at your doors and arrest all of you for being prejudicial to the national interest of Texas. And when you try to get a lawyer to help you out of this mess you find out all the lawyers in Texas won’t defend you, not because you can’t pay, but because they don’t want to be seen defending you.

As Kafkaesque as this situation sounds, it is the reality for eight people currently in Indian jails because they posted texts of support for the Pakistan national cricket team in it’s match against India on WhatsApp. They have been in jail for over two months. Some have lost their jobs, some have been expelled from their schools. All have had their lives and the lives of their loved ones threatened.

All of them have been told in no uncertain terms that there are no lawyers in a country of 1.4 billion people who will defend them.

All this over a fucking cricket match.

In case you aren’t aware, India and Pakistan have a long and tortured history dating back to the 1947 partition that created the two states. Actually it goes back even further because this is a religious issue, Hindu India versus Muslim Pakistan that goes as far back as the founding of those two religions. Once again, it’s a situation of my version of Sky Daddy is better than your version of Sky Daddy.

So for an Indian teacher or student to put into writing their admiration for the way the Pakistan team played the game or for the way they handled their victory or even to say you liked the look of their uniforms is not a matter of personal opinion but rather a matter of treason. At least to the Indian authorities. And thus our group of Pakistan fans have all been arrested for “promoting enmity and disrupting religious harmony”.

Sporting events are supposed to help countries to come together and find common ground in the language of athletic achievement. At least that’s what NBC always says at the beginning of every Olympics. Instead, the ancient and modern animus that exists between Indians and Pakistanis has a new chapter to add to their epic novel of hatred.

The notion of an Indian state that Gandhi and Nehru envisioned was that of a multicultural, multi-religious, sectarian state. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, etc. all living and working together in peace and harmony. But the British, who held power in the area, decided that Hindus and Muslims couldn’t play nice together and divided the nation into a majority Hindu area (what is now India) and two majority Muslim areas (what is now Pakistan to the west and what is now Bangladesh to the east). This caused a refugee crisis as Muslims left India for Pakistan and Hindus left Pakistan for India. In the chaos that ensued it is estimated that 14.5 million people left their homes to live in whichever religious majority country they were affiliated with. The peaceful transition hoped for never materialized with estimates of anywhere from several hundred thousands to a number in the low millions being killed. To this day the tensions between the two countries run high and are enhanced by the fact they both have nuclear weapons.

Click the link to continue with this surreal tale.

Continue reading “Gotta Support The Team”

Saturday Odds & Sods: A Hazy Shade Of Winter

Houses Of Parliament, Fog Effect by Claude Monet.

It’s been foggy this week in New Orleans. I love the fog as long as I don’t have to drive in it. It’s a by-product of growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Monet loved the fog too. Perhaps I should have named my black cat Monet instead of Manet. Oh well, what the hell.

It’s runoff election day. If you’re in New Orleans, please vote. I’m eager to see the backs of several candidates, but even if they prevail I’ll be glad it’s over. No more lying fliers. Huzzah.

There’s a measure on the ballot in nearby St. Tammany Parish that would bring a casino to the dull suburban burg of Slidell. Both sides are spending buckets of money on teevee ads and making extravagant claims about the impact of a casino. It cracks me up: casinos are never as beneficial as their proponents would have you believe or as bad as opponents claim. So it goes.

A reminder that you can hear my views on today’s election by listening to The Ryne Show.

This week’s theme song was written by Paul Simon for 1968’s Simon & Garfunkel album, Bookends. It’s my favorite S&G record. It’s both arty and garfunkelly at the same time.

We have three versions of A Hazy Shade Of Winter for your listening pleasure: The S&G original, followed by the Bangles, and Hugo Montenegro:

If you’re feeling hazy, let’s shake it off by jumping to the break.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: A Hazy Shade Of Winter”

Wrap It Up

It’s been a long and newsy week. Part of me wants to hide under the covers, but I can’t help peeking. I’m going to break this post into segments like an Ikea bookshelf. I’ll try and keep the directions simple. Mercifully, there’s no translation from Swedish to English involved.

Publisher’s Note: I nearly plotzed when Athenae told me that she was leaving First Draft. I took her presence for granted, but didn’t try to talk her out of it. I still, however, miss her distinctive voice. Nobody drops F-bombs with her verve and grace.

I was pleased when Athenae asked if I wanted to succeed her as publisher. I’ve been telling jokes here since 2009. I love this joint and our readers.

I’m proud of the group of writers we’ve assembled over the course of the year, Both Tommy T and Michael F have been here longer than I have. I encouraged Tommy to branch out knowing that our readers would be interested in what makes him tick, tick, tick. His random ruminations have been a joy to behold. As to our photoshop wizard Michael F, I love using his images in my own posts. I only steal from the best.

I asked two old friends, Shapiro and Cassandra to join First Draft earlier this year. They’ve settled in nicely into their respective slots: Cassandra on Wednesdays and Shapiro on Tuesdays and Fridays. He received an excused absence today because of his son’s wedding. Our newest addition, Jamie O, agreed to fill in for our wandering blogger. He’ll be back doing matinees on Monday and Thursday next week.  Cassandra commended Jamie to my attention. Thanks, C,

I wish that my buddy Ryne Hancock posted more BUT his contributions have been exceptionally good. Quality is better than quantity, after all. I provide the latter.

I’m still open to submissions from guest writers and returnees. The more others write, the less I have to. I’m not quite as bone idle as Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances but I aspire to it.

I’d like to thank our writers for being such good team players. I seem to be achieving my goal as publisher: to let them to do their thing with minimal input from me. I think of myself more as a traffic cop than an editor.

First Draft endures because of the strong foundation built by Athenae, Holden, Scout, Jude, Doc, and everyone else who has written for First Draft. Thanks, y’all. We’re still walking in your footsteps.

Cue musical interlude:

Enough self-back-patting, on to the news of the week, which was on the bleak side. We’ll wrap it up in a neat package after the break.

Continue reading “Wrap It Up”

Today on Tommy T’s obsession with random ruminations – “You rang?” edition

You rang? I was staying with a (platonic) girlfriend overnight and head the doorbell ring. Thought “who could it be this early in the morning?” Heard a conversation at the front door, so I got up from the couch, dressed, and went to see. My very nice host had opened the door to a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and was trying to be nice and still get them to leave. Wasn’t happening. I came up beside her and slipped my arm around her shoulders, saying “Who are these fine people, sweetheart?”. She looked at me and advised me that they … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s obsession with random ruminations – “You rang?” edition

Thou Shalt Not Lie

Conway Regional Hospital Testament

So here we are, a year an a half into the pandemic, coming up on nine months since the release of the vaccine, and we still have those for whom the vaccine is a non-starter. I honestly don’t know which is worse, the general public who refuse to get the jab or the health care workers who refuse to get it. The general public refusers are unaware idiots who believe in conspiracy theories and the rantings of right wing talk shows. The healthcare workers, that’s another story. To have heard patients struggling to gasp their last breath, to have seen the anguish of a spouse or a child and to still say they won’t take the simplest of precautions, that takes a special kind of asshattery.

So here’s a little story to brighten the day of sarcastic hearts like mine.

It seems that the Conway Regional Health System of Arkansas has mandated that all employees must get the vaccine or have a COVID test done every 48 hours. They are being generous though and offering an out of a kind to employees who have sincerely held religious beliefs regarding the vaccine because it was developed with the help of fetal cell tissue. For the uninitiated that means cells from fetuses that were either spontaneously or surgically aborted. Many abortion opponents feel that nothing short of burial is the proper disposition for the mass of cells constituting that which is removed from a woman’s body during an abortion. Use for the development of new drugs or the upgrading of old drugs is out of bounds to these folks.

So many “religious” anti-vaxxers who refuse to get the jab do so with this as their reasoning. And they probably feel all smug and sanctimonious about it. But the folks at Conway have decided to call their bluff.

If an employee claims a religious exemption they must sign the statement that you see above. If you don’t see it, it basically says, “okay I agree that by saying I have a religious reason for not wanting the jab because it was developed with the aid of fetal cell tissue therefore I agree to ALSO not use any of the 30 drugs listed in the document”. This list of drugs includes Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, aspirin, Tums, Lipitor, ibuprofen, Sudafed, Benedryl, Senekot, and many other common over the counter and prescription medications that also were developed with the aid of fetal cell tissue.

So good luck if you get a cold while also having an upset stomach and heartburn which elevates your cholesterol count and makes you unable to take a shit. Man I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

I take that back, I would wish it on anyone who uses religion as a convenient excuse to avoid doing their part to end this pandemic. The gullible Fox News genuflecting gentry who do it simply to “own the libs” are bad enough. These folks pushing the religious angle are a whole dimension away from sanity. Continue reading “Thou Shalt Not Lie”

The Man Who Lived By The River

As the rains from Hurricane Ida fell across the Gulf Coast I thought of this moment from THE WEST WING. It has been floating in my brain for the past few weeks for other reasons, but I took the storm as a sign to bring it out. It’s an old joke, but it perfectly summarizes the state we find ourselves in vis-a-vis some in the community who believe they don’t need vaccines because “god will protect them”. Of course it never hurts to have a great actor like Karl Malden deliver it. But really I do have to wonder why … Continue reading The Man Who Lived By The River

Random Thoughts on Labor Hashanah

Jewish Women Labor Strikers

It’s always fun when a corporal holiday collides with a religious one.

I write this on Monday which is Labor Day here in the States as well as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, around the world. It feels like we ought to be throwing confetti so long as it is union made confetti from a factory that practices profit sharing, respect for labor, and a low highest paid employee to lowest paid differential.

Those would all be very Jewish ideals and after all, isn’t New Year’s when we think about the ideal way in which to live?

By the way, while it is certainly fine and acceptable to wish your Jewish friends a “Happy New Year” keep in mind that the holiday to follow in a week or so, Yom Kippur, is officially the Day of Atonement when you ask forgiveness from all you may have hurt in the recently ended year. Don’t wish those same friends a “Happy Yom Kippur”, it’s bad form.  Kinda like sending your Catholic friends a sympathy card on Good Friday.

But speaking of Labor Day, Delta Airlines and many other companies have decided the cost of insuring employees against COVID has gotten to the point where they will be imposing at $200 per month surcharge on the health care plans of any unvaccinated employee. In addition

in compliance with state and local laws, COVID pay protection will only be provided to fully vaccinated individuals who are experiencing a breakthrough infection.” Unvaccinated employees who contract Covid, without exemptions, will have to use their sick days after that.

I’m usually not in favor of large corporations picking out a minority of employees and targeting them with lower wages (deducting $200 from their paycheck makes their wages lower) but there are two mitigating factors here.

  1. It’s already being done for other health related matters. For instance, smokers pay a higher premium than non-smokers.
  2. GET THE FREAKING VACCINE. It’s not just about you. This is an airborne communicable disease that has killed 4.5 Million people worldwide and in this instance your “rights” are not greater than anyone else’s right to not be infected. Those same rights you claim come with responsibilities, to your fellow workers, your customers, to the world at large. Just as I have a right to free speech I also have a responsibility to not yell “There’s a gremlin on the wing of the plane trying to make it crash”. (The only time I will go with Shatner over Lithgow)

Back to Rosh Hashanah. I am what is referred to as a “Eating and Gifts” Jew as in I only celebrate the holidays that involve a big feast or presents. Rosh Hashanah is a big feast holiday. Besides looking forward to the new year it is a celebration of the fall harvest. The table groans with the weight of beef brisket, potato kugel, late summer vegetables, and sweets for as far as the eye can see. Not a one of them pumpkin spice flavored for which I am eternally grateful.

Continue reading “Random Thoughts on Labor Hashanah”

Death Cults “R” Us

I’ve been referring to the GOP as a death cult for years now, but over the last few weeks it truly has completed its metamorphosis. Back in the early days of the madness that has now taken full control of the party, it only venerated the death of people it considered to be bad or evil, and this manifested itself in strong Republican positions favoring the death penalty and wars that killed people of color. But during Ronald Regan’s second presidential campaign, the conservative political movement decided to marry a conservative religious movement:  fundamentalist Christianity. The GOP promised this bigoted, … Continue reading Death Cults “R” Us

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Last week the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops took a step toward publicly humiliating President Biden by denying him Holy Communion. This action is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and stupid, which means it’s completely on brand for the USCCB.

It’s no secret that the deeply misogynistic Roman Catholic Church is opposed to abortion. I was raised Catholic and had the full anti-abortion indoctrination of grotesque photos of purportedly aborted fetuses (who knows if any of that stuff was real or fake—propagandists use whatever they have available to push their message).

After I was free of parochial education, I started thinking for myself. As an adult, I saw the issue of abortion—and pregnancy—differently than I did as a teenager. I thought about what decision I would make if I found myself pregnant. And I had empathy for women who had to make that decision.

(I know that the anti-choice people love to yell “ADOPTION!!” when discussing abortion, but the reality is that many women just cannot afford to carry a child to term. In addition to the medical appointments, being pregnant still can get a woman fired, or cost her a promotion. If there are complications, it may require her taking unpaid leave.)

I don’t know what Joe Biden thinks deep in his heart about abortion. But I do know that as a politician he is supposed to represent the people who elected him. The Pew Forum says that 55% of people in Delaware support abortion being legal in all or most cases. And Pew also says that 59% of Americans support abortion being legal in all or most cases. And given the makeup of the electorate who elected him, there is a clear mandate for him to support women’s reproductive rights. That’s his job.

It’s ironic that the big fear about JFK’s Catholicism was that he’d be controlled by Rome. And now we have a bunch of Catholic bishops trying to act as if they were Rome to control Biden. This crazy plan might have worked, except that the Vatican has already weighed in on this issue and told the USCCB to back off.

In the end, the USCCB won’t explicitly say that pro-choice politicians must be denied Holy Communion. That’s not how Pharisees work. They’re cowards who hide behind a wall of words which they then twist to suit their purposes.

Naturally the chance to flaunt misogyny under the guise of morality attracts a lot of fellow travelers, and conservative Catholics are out there making the most of it. And they’re being cowards about any challenges to their obvious hypocrisy:

Karen Tumulty is right—there is a monomaniacal focus on abortion, but no public shaming for Catholic politicians who gleefully support the death penalty, and the Vatican has been very clear about the stance of the RCC on that issue. (Also on display in that exchange—the typical shift to the demand of a public debate when a conservative “thinker” has been shown to be intellectually naked. Pharisees gonna Pharisee.)

Continue reading “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”

Today on Tommy T’s obsession with Random Ruminations –

You rang? I was staying with a (platonic) girlfriend overnight and head the doorbell ring. Thought “who could it be this early in the morning?” Heard a conversation at the front door, so I got up from the couch, dressed, and went to see. My very nice host had opened the door to a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and she was trying to be nice and still get them to leave. Wasn’t happening. I came up beside her and slipped my arm around her shoulders, saying “Who are these fine people, sweetheart?”. She looked at me and advised me that … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s obsession with Random Ruminations –

Saturday Odds & Sods: I Want To Tell You

The Bird, The Cage, and The Forest by Max Ernst.

It’s been another bad weather week in New Orleans. I’m actually looking forward to what is forecast to be a hot weekend because I’m so tired of rain and being weather-aware. Hell, it’s not even hurricane season yet. Btw, my name is on the hurricane list and I don’t mean my pen name, Adrastos. I’m not displeased, I don’t mind scaring people.

Beatles month continues with one by George Harrison. He wrote this week’s theme song for The Beatles 1966 album Revolver. It was their first record to take a walk on the experimental side, especially in Lennon’s songs. George’s lyrics for I Want To Tell You are somewhat surrealistic hence the Max Ernst featured image. Max is my go-to surrealist.

We have four versions of I Want To Tell You for your listening pleasure: The Beatles original, George live with Eric Clapton’s band, The Smithereens, and Jeff Lynne from the Concert For George.

Like George, my mind is filled with things to say. I’ll share them after the jump.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: I Want To Tell You”

Fractured Fairy Tales

Fractured Fairy Tales Logo

 

I was a cartoon kid. I grew up on them, devoting endless Saturday mornings to the careful study of the various nuances of Underdog, Top Cat, or Yogi Bear. But far and away my absolute favorites were anything that came out of the Jay Ward factory. Bullwinkle and Rocky, Tom Slick, Dudley Do-Right, Peabody and Sherman. I may not have understood every joke, in fact there were times I knew something was a joke but too “adult” for me, but I loved the way they just kept spitting them out.

One that I generally did get the jokes for was Fractured Fairy Tales. Take a story that even at the age of seven or eight I had heard a zillion times and put a funny modern twist on it. Add that great narration by Edward Everett Horton and I’d say I would be on the floor laughing but I was already on the floor and laughing.

I bring this up because whenever there is fighting between Israel and an Arab entity (be it country or terrorist group) as there has been the last two weeks inevitably there will be a wag out there opining that this is just two peoples fighting over which Middle Eastern desert sect wrote down the better/correct fairy tales.

Both sides fairy tales are fractured. As are so many of the fairy tales we tell.

Personally I’m an atheist. Where did the world come from? Don’t know, don’t care. I deal with what is, not what might be. I wish the rest of the people in the world saw things as I see them, I think we’d all be better off, but I’m willing to respect a person’s right to their own opinion. You want to believe in God, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, the Church of Bob, that’s your belief system and if it works for you then as the kids these days say, you do you.

Where I do have a problem is when you want to take your personal belief system and impose it on everyone else. I’m not in favor of universal excommunication of all religion, but if your religion says in effect “Only our fairytale is the correct way to live your life, follow or we will make your life worthless” then I’m going to have to say “With all due respect, bullshit”.

Throughout human history we have told these fractured fairy tales. Ancient civilizations were mostly structured by fairy tales. What is a king or royalty but a construct by which a fable is told that this person, by right of family or maybe because he pulled a sword from a stone, is to rule over the rest of the land. As humans have evolved many societies have done away with that particular fairy tale or at least turned it into a profitable center of entertainment.

Yeah, I’m looking at you QEII.

The fairy tales did serve a somewhat useful purpose back in the day. They taught children to not steal from their neighbors or to be careful of the wolf in the forest or to not judge a beast too quickly for he may be an enchanted prince (or at least a nice guy). They also gave hope in a time when many lives were frankly hopeless. Maybe your fairy godmother will get you to the ball or a handsome prince will wake you from a spell or that even an ugly ducking can turn into a beautiful swan.

Continue reading “Fractured Fairy Tales”

Saturday Odds & Sods: Listening To Old Voices

Two On The Aisle by Edward Hopper.

A friend asked me the other day if I felt different now that I’m the publisher of First Draft. Not at all; other than nervousness at having to follow Athenae in the role. There are worse things than having a case of the jitters. I’ll take them over the heebie jeebies any day.

I considered asking Tommy and Michael to call me Chief so I could make like Perry White and do this:

I decided not to do that, but I may start saying “Great Caesar’s Ghost.” It has a nice retro ring to it. It reminds me of my salad days…

This week’s theme song was written in 1990 by John Hiatt for his Stolen Moments album. The main reason I selected it was this verse:

It’s a new light, a new day
Listening for new meaning learning how to say
It’s a new place but you’ve always been here
You’re just listening to old voices with a new ear

I thought that fit the moment as we break ground on a brand-new year.

The late folk singer Odetta also recorded Listening To Old Voices but I have been unable to find it online. The Hiatt original will just have to do.

Before we jump to the break, here’s the title track from that album:

If you have a stolen moment, let’s join hands and jump to the break together.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: Listening To Old Voices”

I Am Running Out Of Patience With People Who Think God Needs Our Defense

This ulcer’s coming along nicely, thanks much: The Assembly GOP plan would also enact several restrictions on state and local governments when it comes to limiting crowds. It would: Restrict the power of local health officers from ordering the closure of a business unless it applies to all types of businesses. Similarly, a local health officer would be barred from restricting capacity at businesses unless those restrictions apply to all businesses. Prohibit state and local health departments from prohibiting gatherings in churches. Okay. Let’s ignore the obvious, which is that this entire bill is BUGBONKERS INSANE, punishing schools for offering … Continue reading I Am Running Out Of Patience With People Who Think God Needs Our Defense

Saturday Odds & Sods: For What It’s Worth

Flying Eyeball by Rick Griffin.

Some call it fake fall, I call it a tease. Whatever you call it, the weather has been mild and temperate all week. I’m not going to say more about it because I don’t want to jinx it.

The city of New Orleans is entering Phase 3.1. They’re loosening more pandemic-related restrictions since we did not have a major post Labor Day spike. I thought we would, but I was wrong. It’s not the first time and won’t be the last. Punditting is risky business. I’m still not going inside bars or restaurants but I’m hoping more of them will be able to survive. Let my people go-cup. You’ll have to read 2020 Fatigue at Bayou Brief to get the reference.

Stephen Stills wrote this week’s theme song in 1966. It’s the protest song’s protest song. It was originally written about clashes between hippies and cops on the Sunset Strip, but it’s become a universal protest song. It’s still relevant in 2020.

We have four versions of For What It’s Worth for your listening pleasure: the Buffalo Springfield original; CSN live with Tom Petty; Keb Mo, and Billy Porter with Stephen Stills from this year’s DNC.

Now that battle lines have been drawn, let’s jump to the break.

Continue reading “Saturday Odds & Sods: For What It’s Worth”

Anti-Catholics

Sure, that’s the real problem here:  The scrutiny focused on Ms. Barrett’s beliefs has provoked allegations of old-fashioned anti-Catholicism on behalf of her Democratic critics. A good amount of febrile nonsense has indeed been floated regarding Ms. Barrett’s spiritual life, such as the notion that People of Praise inspired Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a charge that is reminiscent of 19th-century myths of nuns kidnapping good Protestant girls to force the faith upon them. People keep pointing out the absurdity — the Democratic presidential nominee is a Catholic, the Speaker of the House is a Catholic, THE ONLY CATHOLIC PRESIDENT WE’VE EVER ACTUALLY … Continue reading Anti-Catholics

Laborare Est Orare, Motherfuckers

This National Day of Prayer. I just. You want to pray? Give money to a food pantry. You want to pray? Call your parents, your siblings, anyone you’re lucky enough to love. You want to pray? Put a note on your window, as one of my neighbors did yesterday, with your phone number: LOW RISK PERSON WILLING TO PICK UP MEDICINE OR GROCERIES, PLEASE TEXT. You want to pray? Vote early or by mail. You want to pray? My church cancelled communion LAST WEEK. They cancelled mass on Wednesday. That was prayer. You want to pray? Drive someone to work … Continue reading Laborare Est Orare, Motherfuckers

Stand for Christ

Stooooooooop: Thank you @GovMikeHuckabee Clearly the judges aren’t going to be with me. Let’s send a message to #Hollywood that those of us who stand for #Christ won’t be discounted. May God bless you https://t.co/Qqa9xi3pIM — Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) September 17, 2019 Do you know all the crap Jesus has to do? Like, all of it? He has so much shit to do. He has to keep His eye on sparrows and sort His junk mail and appear in visions from here to Laredo and now on top of that you want to give Him the unbelievable burden of supporting … Continue reading Stand for Christ

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – now and Zen edition

Oh dear.

The Freeperati used to love them some Pat Robertson.

It used to be:

To: NormsRevenge

 

I am thankful for Pat Robertson because he says things that others are afraid to say. I believe he truly is trying to interpret current events through a Biblical perspective.

6 posted on 2/18/2006, 5:24:01 PM by Reddy

 

To: TLBSHOW
Pat Robertson is right, again.
37 posted on 4/4/2003, 7:40:39 PM by thepitts
That was zen, this is meow :

Conservative televangelist Pat Robertson says Alabama abortion law is ‘extreme’ and he believes…DAILY MAIL UK ^ | May 15, 2019 | Keith Griffith For Dailymail.com Posted on 5/16/2019, 1:29:24 AM by Morgana

FULL TITLE: Conservative televangelist Pat Robertson says Alabama abortion law is ‘extreme’ and he believes the state ‘has gone too far’

Christian televangelist Pat Robertson has said that he believes Alabama’s near total ban on abortions is ‘extreme’ and that the state has gone ‘too far’.

Robertson, who opposes abortion and hopes to see Roe v Wade overturned, made the remarks on Wednesday on The 700 Club, hours before Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the new law.

The Alabama law contains an exception for when the pregnancy creates a serious health risk for the woman, but not an exception for rape or incest, and would punish doctors who perform abortions with up to life in prison.

‘I think Alabama has gone too far,’ remarked the 89-year-old Robertson

‘It’s an extreme law, and they want to challenge Roe verses Wade, but my humble view is that this is not the case that we want to bring to the Supreme Court, because I think this one will lose,’ the conservative minister continued.

Robertson has been an outspoken opponent of abortion, and drew condemnation when he implied in 2005 that Hurricane Katrina’s destruction of New Orleans was God’s punishment for America’s abortion laws.

But in Wednesday’s broadcast Robertson said he feared that Alabama’s new law would not create the right test case to challenge the 1973 precedent of Roe v Wade.

‘It’s ill-considered,’ he said. ‘The Alabama case, god bless ’em they’re trying to do something, but I don’t think that’s the case that I’d want to bring to the Supreme Court.’

Governor Ivey signed the measure on Wednesday. The law will make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by 10 to 99 years or life in prison.

*************************

Someone please get this twit off the air!
1 posted on 5/16/2019, 1:29:24 AM by Morgana
To: Morgana
Dementia. It’s a sad thing.

4 posted on 5/16/2019, 1:43:51 AM by irishjuggler

To: Morgana
Someone please get this twit off the air!

Seriously. He has been saying stupid thing to embarrass Christians for too many years.

32 posted on 5/16/2019, 10:21:38 AM by Buckeye McFrog

And then a Freeper goes there….
To: Morgana

 

I think you want to pass the most restrictive law that might be upheld before the Supreme Court. This one is so politically risky that it could lead to serious election losses in 2020. If we could roll back the 19th Amendment, this wouldn’t be a problem. Thing is – women can vote, and they tend to vote against politicians who want to ban abortion.

7 posted on 5/16/2019, 3:06:23 AM by Zhang Fei (My dad had a Delta 88. That was a car. It was like driving your living room.)

Otherwise, OK?
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More at the “read more”…

Continue reading “Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – now and Zen edition”

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Beelzebubba edition

OK, people – a few hundred dollars worth of hardware and labour and the loss of my Windows 7 Professional software later, I’m back online and ready to rock.

Only one subject this morning – Hail Satin!!

IRS recognizes Satanic Temple as ‘church’, grants tax-exempt status

April 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has formally recognized the Satanic Temple as a church, according to a celebratory announcement by the organization and as confirmed by the Associated Press.

On Thursday, the Satanic Temple announced on Instagram that “for the very [first] time in history, a satanic organization has been recognized by the United States federal government as being a church.” The IRS website confirms that the Satanic Temple is now a tax-exempt organization “eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions,” but gives no further details on its status beyond being a “public charity.”

The AP, however, reports that it received a copy of the notice, which classifies the Satanic Temple as a “church or a convention or association of churches.”

The IRS’s decision comes despite the Satanic Temple’s own website all-but acknowledging it isn’t a religion in the traditional sense. The group’s FAQ page explains that it doesn’t believe Satan or other supernatural concepts literally exist, but embraces Satan’s name as a “symbol of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority.”

It claims to qualify as a religion because it has “deeply held beliefs that we actively advocate,” a “narrative structure by which we contextualize our lives and works,” and a set of symbols and practices that give a “sense of identity, culture, community, and shared values” – a definition of “religion” that could encompass any number of ideological, political, or cultural groupings not traditionally considered to be religions.

“IRS regulations draw a clear distinction between ‘churches’ and other religious organizations,” Catholic News Agency adds. “A church must have certain characteristics, according to IRS requirements, including: a recognized creed and form of worship; distinct ecclesiastical government; formal code of doctrine; ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study; established places of worship and regular religious services.”

Rolling Stone notes that the Satanic Temple itself has rejected tax-exempt status in the past, but reversed its position in 2017. Temple president Lucien Greaves made the change in protest of President Donald Trump’s moves to protect religious liberty, which Greaves claimed was turning religious groups into a “privileged class” from which Satanists should benefit as well.

“This acknowledgment will help make sure The Satanic Temple has the same access to public spaces as other religious organizations, affirm our standing in court when battling religious discrimination, and enable us to apply for faith-based government grants,” the Temple’s announcement added, meaning the new status is likely to bolster its legal claims in cases such as its placing of Satanic statues in the state capitals of Arkansas and Illinois.

The Daily Caller notes that the new status is “redundant” on the matter of grants, as there currently aren’t any federal grants exclusively available to faith-based groups, and faith-based and secular groups are equally free to compete for grants.

1 posted on 4/26/2019, 4:16:56 PM by ebb tide
This should be good.
To: ebb tide

It will be the official Church of the Democrat(sic) Party.

2 posted on 4/26/2019, 4:22:45 PM by Reverend Wright (TAX the WOKE !)

Projecting just a wee bit, aren’t we?  Democrats by and large favour separation of church and  State.
You know? Like in the Constitution you inbred idiots claim to worship?
.
Maybe you were thinking of Franklin Graham?

To: ebb tide

Leftist, commie, socialist, anarchist, satanic-demokkkRAT bureaucrats; the gov’t is stocked with so many of them, my calculator melted trying to count one agency’s roster.

3 posted on 4/26/2019, 4:23:34 PM by carriage_hill (A society grows great when old men plant trees, in whose shade they know they will never sit.)

Are you sure it wasn’t your alleged brain that melted?
To: ebb tide

The main sacrament of Satanists is abortion

Think about that for a minute

5 posted on 4/26/2019, 4:25:07 PM by Truthoverpower (The guvmint you get is the Trump winning express !)

Nah – the main sacrament is sacrifice of pre-teen children.
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Or was that ICE’s?
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(I actually have this t-shirt: )
Demons
Rush fanboy YYZ makes a good point here :
To: ebb tide

The IRS already gave the Church of Scientology tax status as a church. The Satanists couldn’t begin to touch that bunch for being evil.

10 posted on 4/26/2019, 4:36:22 PM by -YYZ- (Strong like bull, smart like tractor.)

Of course – this is Free Republic, and Freud never sleeps :
To: Roman_War_Criminal

Sodom and Gomorrah comes to mind.

6 posted on 4/26/2019, 5:25:11 PM by ExTexasRedhead

Come for the sodomy, and come back Gomorrow for more.
To: Roman_War_Criminal

It’s an anti-Christian hate group of atheists.

What’s their religion?

Is the Klan a religion too?

8 posted on 4/26/2019, 5:34:00 PM by a fool in paradise (Denounce DUAC – The Democrats Un-American Activists Committee)

…asking for a friend…
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More satanic majesties at the link below…

Continue reading “Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Beelzebubba edition”