Nel's New Day

August 18, 2019

Oppose Fundamentalist Christian Opposition to Democracy

Much has been said about the connection between mass shooting and white supremacy, but people are more cautious in discussing its connection to Christianity. Activist Sandy Rios, activist for extreme conservative Christianity, claims that criticism of white supremacy is an attack on Christianity. In her radio program, she defended the Nazis for murder of white people because they selected those who didn’t qualify for the superhuman race. She added:
“When the left is talking about white supremacism, they’re talking about the roots of this country. They’re talking about Christianity. They’re talking about hard work, about capitalism and free-market values. They’re talking about everything that has made America what it is. That’s what they mean.”

The Southern Baptist Convention was founded on with the ideology that black slavery and white supremacy are the basis of the Christian faith. The white supremacist Ku Klux Klan has always been a Christian organization. Christians allowed Nazi Germany to take control and murder people because most German Christians supported the Third Reich even in the face of mounting evidence of its evil. Throughout Europe, millions of Christians still support fascist regimes just as early Christian sects were loyal to authoritarian leaders.

Centuries ago, Rome misinterpreted the Gospels to remove blame for Jesus’ crucifixion from Romans and move it to the Jews. Throughout time, the myth that Jews killed Jesus accelerated into Catholic genocide of Jews during the Holocaust. A racist, anti-democracy culture came from people who grew up in strict, pious households disparaging tolerance and free speech. Nazis despised feminism, homosexuality, and abortion while following a patriarchal lifestyle with discipline and conformity. Their elections reflected their belief that an authoritarian strongman would “make Germany great again”; religious Germans repeatedly voted for anti-democracy candidates. As Christians supported Hitler and his policies, he became stronger, and the minority weaker. Not even Hitler’s mandatory sterilizations of minorities and the mentally ill lost his Catholic leaders.

Michael Gerson writes about how Christians find their worship of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) in opposition to Jesus’ spiritual education. For example, only 25 percent of white evangelical Christians accept the responsibility to help refugees, compared to 65 percent of those not affiliated with a religion. The majority of conservative Christians promote cruelty, corruption, and hypocrisy, not the people who consider themselves non-Christians. Gerson proposes that these Christians take their talking points from Fox, talk radio, and DDT with a blasphemous worship of political idols. They side with white supremacists, making them difficult to identify as Christians.  

Christian TV host Leigh Valentine claims migrant children in DDT’s concentration camps are “God-haters,” “unclean,” “debased,” and “criminals.”

DDT-supporting West Virginia state senator Paul Hardesty reported that at least three of his constituents called to complain about DDT’s profanity—“using the Lord’s name in vain”—at a recent rally in Greenville (NC). Although many of DDT’s listeners focused on the “send her back” chanting, others were disturbed by his frequent use of “g—damn” and other profanities. Hardesty hasn’t heard back from DDT after he wrote him to “reflect on your comments and never utter those words again.” Hardesty said:

“I think this president needs to be president to all of the people and realize that kids look up to him and adults look up to him. Carrying that type of language from behind the presidential seal is offensive.”

Two pro-DDT pastors expressed dismay about his use of “bullsh—” at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in March. He bragged about going “off-script” and then littered the remainder of his speech with cursing in front of an audience with young people. Yet some evangelicals support DDT despite his multiple divorces, infidelities, and inability to discuss religion. Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. says that DDT’s language is not a deal-breaker despite its front-and-center appearance in his campaign and since his inauguration. Evangelicals who turn against DDT think racism and cruelty are no problem, but his language is offensive. All sin—sexual assault, adultery, rape, murder, corruption, lying, etc.—is forgivable except swearing.

In the 16th century, one Catholic priest, Diego de Landa, destroyed the Mayan language and culture through the forced adoption of the Intolerance Meme that declares worshipping gods other than the primary one is a sin but justifies murder, slavery, forced conversion, racism, destruction of other religions, etc. Furious because the Mayans incorporated the Catholic god into their religion, Lana started the inquisition that tortured and killed Mayans throughout the Yucatan region. By 1720, not one person alive understood the meaning of the Mayan hieroglyphs. Landa was punished by house arrest in Spain, but only for an inquisition without authorization, and then promoted to Bishop of Yucatan in Central America.

DDT is not unique among presidential candidates in his swearing: Joe Biden makes slips, and Beto O’Rourke and Tulsi Gabbard use profanity. But they haven’t been elected to the highest office in the country, and they don’t count on the religious right for votes. In 2016, 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for DDT, and 61 percent of the voting bloc approve of the country’s direction—22 percent higher than the general population in the conservative Rasmussen poll.

According to Melissa Mohr, author of a book on swearing, DDT’s swearing was initially acceptable because his blunt statements gave him a sense of authenticity and came from “a deep well of real feeling.” On the other hand, the use of profanity for shock value, according to one of the pastors, “does raise questions about the president’s respect for people of faith.”

Recent developments show Christian collectively pushing the theocratic “dominionist” ideology in government through unconstitutional state-mandated “religious liberty” policies: 

Six weeks ago, federal prosecutors decided to retry humanitarian aid volunteer Scott Warren for aiding migrants on the southern border after his first trial ended in a hung jury. Following the words of Jesus, Warren gave food, water, clothing, and shelter to people on the Arizona desert, a belief that can put him in prison.

The VA announced new “religious liberty” policies against religious minorities by putting bibles in the public POW/MIA “missing man” displays. As justification, it cited the Supreme Court decision that allowed a cross to represent 49 men from Prince George County (MD) who died in World War I.

Frederick Clarkson reported to the House about Minnesota state legislators threatening to cut the entire budget for the Minnesota Historical Society if they didn’t drop all education and changes that don’t support the Christian nationalist concentration on only their “Judeo-Christian heritage.” Their insistence came from Project Blitz that prepares a package of Christian-only bills at the state level that promote discrimination. The lectures about the myth of the U.S. founded as a “Christian nation” were privately funded, but Project Blitz still wanted to block them.

The dominance of Israel over U.S. legislators has returned with DDT’s attacks on Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), both Muslims. Tlaib also has Palestinian heritage. Christian fundamentalists support Israel, hate Palestinians, and believe that Jews are going to hell if they don’t become fundamentalist Christians. Evangelicals need to eradicate the Palestinians so that Jews can gather on their land and must convert before the beginning of the great millennium, the golden age when Christ reigns on earth. In addition, Christian nationalists want the U.S. to be a white Christian nation. Therefore, the Christian fundamentalist position on Israel is selfishly religious and racist—not political.

Evangelical worship for DDT gives a bad name to all Christians—and all religious people. When Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R-TX) told Fox and Friends that the shooting was a warning from God, Matthew Martin-Ellis wrote a piece for the Christian publication The Relevant describing Patrick’s comment as “logically indefensible.”

A group of at least 17 church leaders, united under the name Christians Against Christian Nationalism, is opposing the Christian nationalists’ attacks on other faiths and attempts to make the U.S. a fundamentalist theocracy. The coalition asserts:

“Whether we worship at a church, mosque, synagogue or temple, America has no second-class faiths. All are equal under the U.S. Constitution.

“Christian nationalism … provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation.

“Christian nationalism seeks to merge Christian and American identities, distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy. Christian nationalism demands Christianity be privileged by the state and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian.”

These leaders warn about the threat to both Christian faith and democracy if church and state don’t remain separate. They reject the idea that being a “good American” requires being Christian and argue against the privilege of Christianity by the State.

August 25, 2018

DDT: Week 83 – Outside the Courts

Frantic from his loss of loyal followers, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) attacked the DOJ and the FBI by threatening to fire his appointee AG Jeff Sessions and take over both agencies which are legally separate from presidential control. DDT sent out a long list of enemies that he wants investigation, starting with Hillary Clinton, and cited the 63 months of prison for Realty Winner for disclosing classified information about Russian hacking as an example of how easy these investigations could be. One useful investigation would involve DDT’s disclosing classified information to two Russians in the Oval Office of value to the Kremlin.

This file handout photo taken on May 10, 2017 from Russian Foreign Ministry shows shows DDT speaking with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak in the White House. 
HO/AFP/Getty Images

These weekend tweets came after DDT fomented racial divide in South Africa to distract from the news that he is an “unindicted co-conspirator.” Before looking into false reports from Fox’s Tucker Carlson and white supremacists, DDT tweeted that he had directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate “the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers.” Until 1994, blacks, comprising 90 percent of the population, were barred from owning more than 15 percent of the nation’s land, allowing whites to own 90 percent of the land. Despite the 1994 South African policy allowing the government to buy white-owned farms for redistribution to black citizens when the seller is willing to cooperate,  whites still own 72 percent of the farmland. As for the false claim of “white genocide,” the numbers of white farmers’ murders dropped to below 50 a year, the lowest that it has been in over 20 years.  Murder rates in the country’s predominantly white suburbs are far lower than in the mainly black townships.

White supremacist leaders such as David Duke and Richard Spencer have expressed their gratitude to DDT for giving credibility to their lies. “White genocide” has been used for years to inspire violence; Dylann Roof cited this reason for murdering nine people at a prayer service in a black church.

DDT managed more destructive behavior in the past week:

In June, the United States was safe from North Korea’s nukes, according to DDT who referred to the skeptical media coverage as “almost treasonous.”  In August Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) gave lack of progress as the reason for calling off negotiations with North Korea. Since then, North Korea continues to build nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and China increased cross-border trade with North Korea after DDT laid tariffs on U.S. imports from China.

DDT has gone full Zionist by cutting $200 million from Palestinian humanitarian aid at a time with Egypt and the UN are trying to stabilize Gaza. Forty percent of Palestinians living in Gaza are unemployed. Because of the U.S.-backed Israeli blockade, everyone in Gaza lives with only a few hours of electricity per day and constant food and medicine shortages. Last January, DDT froze $65 million for a UN agency that provides aid to Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza as well as Jordan and Lebanon. DDT still promises that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will broker peace in the Middle East—perhaps through blackmail.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos hopes to use education money for lower-income students, the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, for buying guns. Justification would be to “improve school conditions.” DeVos wants to arm teachers; one reason was to defend schools from grizzly bear attacks.

Conserving oil no longer has any value, according to DDT’s new policy. His proposal increases consumption by 500,000 barrels a day. Another EPA plan weakens regulations of coal-fired power plants by giving states authority to set standards for cutting emissions with incentives for keeping inefficient coal-fired plans with no pollution controls. DDT’s “Affordable Clean Energy rule” will kill up to 1,400 people every year by 2030, according to the EPA. Employment for coal is declining because of increased automation, cheaper natural gas, and healthier wind and solar power are healthier. DDT’s new EPA czar, Andrew Wheeler, is a former coal lobbyist.

The oil and gas industry claims that climate change doesn’t cause sea levels to rise, but it wants $12 billion from taxpayers to fix their problems in Texas including “floating gates” and “steel levees” for the coastline home to most of Texas’ 30 refineries. Texas has already spent almost $4 billion of that money to protect only oil refineries.

DDT may consider a plan from Blackwater founder and war criminal Erik Prince, brother of Secretary of State Betsy DeVos, to privatize the 17-year-long Afghanistan war by replacing U.S. soldiers with mercenaries, “private military contractors who would work for a special U.S. envoy for the war who would report directly to the president.” Although privatization never saves money, Prince claims it will. In an 85-7 vote, the Senate approved $675 billion for the military, over half the discretionary funds spent in a year. Under DDT, the U.S. drops an average of one bomb every 12 minutes; in his first year, he dropped almost half the number of bombs that President Obama did during the eight years of his two terms.

At a conference on cyberbullying, First Lady Melania Trump said that “children are more aware of benefits and pitfalls of social media than most adults.” In the past few days, DDT cyberbullied his former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman (“dog,” “wacky,” “vicious,” “nasty,” “a loser” “hated,” “crazed, crying lowlife”); John Dean (“rat”); the media (“sick,” “fake,” “disgusting,” “enemy of the people”); Brennan (“loudmouth, partisan, political hack,” “limited intellectually”); his own attorney general (“BLANK Jeff Sessions”); Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT (“Loser!”); Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-NY (“haywire”); New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (“incompetent,” “really dumb,” “having a total meltdown”); Ohio Gov. John Kasich (“very unpopular,” “failed”); and those investigating DDT (“creep,” “McCarthyism at its WORST!” “zero credibility,” “corrupt,” “a fraud,” “lowlife”).

While overshadowing the First Lady’s work against cyberbullying, DDT held an event to “salute the heroes” of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that he consistently called CBC. About a Latino Border Patrol agent and dog handler in the audience who had arrested a smuggler trying to bring 78 people to the U.S., DDT said, “And he speaks perfect English.” He said that Democrats, who he called the “opposition,” “don’t mind crime” and claimed that between 88 percent and 93 percent of people support the work of ICE. Almost half the people view ICE unfavorably.

Acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello said that his agency had a plan to reunite the thousands of migrant children with their families that was ruined by the federal courts. The government still can’t find families for about 700 children, including 40 who are four years old or younger with the deadline a month and more past.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke lied when he said he would never sell public lands. A huge public backlash stopped him from selling 1,610 acres that had been part of the Grand Staircase national monument. After he shrank the national monument by 860,000 acres, he decided to put it on the market for private owners. One 120-acre is adjacent to land owned by Utah state Rep. Mike Noel (R).

Wildfire is covering hundreds of miles in California, and DDT’s solutions are to keep the water from going into the ocean and get rid of the trees. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue want to cut down all the trees, or what Zinke calls “robust fuels reduction and pre-suppression techniques.” The new farm bill, as yet in Congress, cuts out environmental review and permits logging for any reason. The House version of the bill that passed on June 21 would fast track road construction and commercial logging in national forests and exempt projects from environmental review.

The stock market is rolling for the top 20 percent, but the purchasing power of salaries has reverted to a 1974 level as the costs of living increase when workers get a small bonus from the massive tax cuts for the wealthy and big business. Pew Research Drew Desilver listed the peak of average hourly earnings at 45 years ago. Earnings for the lowest-paid quarter of workers are far worse than the past, with only a 4.3 percent increase since 2000 while the top tenth of earners have a 15.7 percent increase. The economy may be booming, but the vast majority of people in the United States are suffering.

DDT brags about “his” economy, but he fails to mention the current budget deficit—already 21 percent over that in 2017 with little hope for the future. President Obama’s deficits came from George W. Bush’s recession, but DDT’s disaster comes at a time of growing economy, the result of greater military spending and excessive tax cuts for the wealthy and big business. When Congress returns in September, the Republicans want another trillion-dollar tax cut, and the proposed “U.S. Space Force” can add hundreds of billions to the Pentagon budget. DDT also his wall that will cost $70 billion. Nobody is addressing the highly expensive natural and man-made disasters occurring more and more—or the ballooning interest on the national debt. The highly unpopular tariffs may also slow the economy.

As Republicans campaign, ObamaCare is more popular than the GOP tax law, according to Fox network poll, with the healthcare law at a 51 percent approval rating and the tax cuts at 40 percent approval.

DDT’s latest Gallup poll is 39 percent approval—the same as his average since he was inaugurated. Among Republicans, his approval is 82 percent, down seven points from last week. And next week may bring more disasters for DDT.

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