Atrocities Committed in the Name of Money and Power

While I don’t believe in a supernatural Antichrist or a conspiracy to bring such a being to power on Earth, I certainly do believe that humanity is capable of great evil and has committed great evils for the love of money and power.

While I don’t believe that we have literally been branded by some sort of Satanic number, I do feel that more than ever, certain numbers have power over our lives. We have our social security numbers, and purchases made with our debit or credit cards are tracked. True privacy is something of a myth.

When people are motivated by greed and love of power, terrible things will continue to happen.


Beware the Purpose of Outcry: A Brief Duck Dynasty Diatribe

So there was an outcry for the patriarch of Duck Dynasty after he was essentially accused of vilifying members of the LGBT community. The outcry was based on two separate motivations: religion and money.

Members of various faith communities indicated that he was speaking from Biblical foundations and should not be fired for that. I submit that some of those who gave voice were also investors or others who stand to lose money with the demise of the program (have you seen how much DD merch is in Walmart?!?).

I admit that I have not followed every detail of the story but it wasn’t until I caught an update from this morning’s “Good Morning America” that I heard more of the story.

Evidently said DD patriarch also had some insight into the lives of American Black folk too. Allegedly the African Americans in his area of Louisiana were happy before civil rights as they worked cotton and so forth. This was based on what he saw working in some of those same fields.

What he saw.

Did he ever have a conversation with any people of color who, based on the numbers of such individuals who marched, sat in at lunch counters, and were beaten, hosed, and burned out and who might have had a slightly different perspective?

This part of the story certainly did not get as much press as the portion that has been identified with conservative gay bashing.

Know that it should have.

I must say that I do not react to both comments with the same level of vehemence. The first causes me upset because it again raises the specter of Biblical application. Yes, there are passages that state it is an abomination for a man to be with a man (Leviticus 18:22) and a woman to be with a woman (Romans 1:26) in a sexual manner. However, no one has yet been able to answer my question about how Christians are to live out their faith with members of their communities who are LGBTQ and are also Christian or are seeking a Christian faith. Further, had the DD patriarch called out same sex adultery, would there have been such a reaction, such a polarization of the so-called left and right?

The second of his comments makes me sad and angry because of its ignorance. If he had said something like “The Black people I worked with said they were happy before all this civil rights business” is very different than saying the Black people he worked with looked happy because they sang as they worked and didn’t complain. Singing and silence were how we stayed alive! Seemingly happy workers were not harassed or killed. Maybe such treatment didn’t happen in his neighborhood; it happened in many other neighborhoods, but hey, I wasn’t there in his neighborhood and can’t tell you.

I would like to say that it will be nice when this blows over bit it won’t be. Bigotry, hatred, and separation will still be a major issue in the world. We must continue to call it out, not to cause more division but to bring it to light and to hopefully educate one another outside such a public forum.

Feelings Count. Even if You Disagree

I had an hour occasion to be with a certain group of people for a certain purpose once; let us say it was a church. I was under the impression that I and my kin could share our triumphs and pains there. In the end I found that we could not. It was probably because we were in a minority there.

Now do not be mistaken. There were various cultures of people in the congregation. We missed the comment when we first started there about it being a “multiethnic and multigenerational” congregation. Racial and cultural minorities were outliers and were, so we found out, expected to fall in and comply.

So when a comment came up that was an affront to every non-European in the room, we spoke up. We were the only ones to speak up. And in the end we left, saddened that we could not make a difference, but glad to have taken a stand.

Our feelings mattered and still do. We continue to fight oppression–regardless of the particular “ism” (racism, sexism, ageism, genderism, financialism, etc.).

Don’t settle. Don’t blend.

Terry McAuliffe’s Win Is A Triumph For Rational Thinking

What a mercy it is for the state of Virginia that sensible Terry McAuliffe won, rather than extremist and homophobic Ken “Kookinelli” Cuccinelli.

Norfolk attorney Michael Hamar has talked about Cuccinelli’s dangerously narrow views in several posts on his blog, Coming Out In Mid-Life. Cuccinelli is a Creationist who does not care much about abiding by the rules of separation of church and state. He wants to impose his reactionary agenda on everybody.

It is not so much that I am glad that McAuliffe won the gubernatorial race in Virginia because he is a progressive. I’m glad that he won because he, unlike Faux News, actually has a fair and balanced approach to issues. These are the kinds of people I want in government, not those who have an agenda to spread their closed-minded ideology at any cost.



Asshat Compilation 1: Homophobic Political Asshats

Ladies and Gentlemen, for your viewing displeasure, a few Homophobic Asshats.

Their reason for opposing gay marriage generally boils down to “well…just…BECAUSE! So there!”

First, a blast from the past with Mitt Romney.

Next we hear Rick Santorum talking out his ass as he suggests that allowing gays to serve in the military will result in one big old gay orgy.

Now, watch The Young Turks break down Vicky Hartzler’s bigoted argument.

It always blows my mind when morons like this fail to grasp that there is a huge difference between allowing a fifty year old to marry a twelve year old and allowing two consenting adults to get married. I truly wonder about the I.Q. of people like this.

Brief Movie Review: The Man from Earth


This 2007 American film by Jerome Bixby is a dialogue-based dramatization of a story by Gordon R. Dickson about a man claiming to be a 14,000 year old caveman. While his friends/former colleagues initially believe that John is pulling their legs and go along for the ride just for fun, they eventually begin to believe that what he says might be true. This causes anger in several of his guests as they are forced to question the validity of the things they have always believed to be absolute truths.

Questions are raised about the validity of both science and religion. Things that are thought to be absolute truths one day may be refuted the next, replaced by new beliefs. People want something that they can believe in and when it seems that one’s comforting belief may be taken away, a person can have irrational, even violent reactions.

I have had discussions about belief with my son, who is, in my opinion, one of the wisest people I have known, although he is only 23 years old. He said that while he has certain spiritual ideas which he on some occasions holds to be true and on other occasions hopes are true, in general he feels that the only way to be a true scientist and a true seeker is to conduct oneself as an agnostic. Thus, one does not reject possibilities, nor embrace anything as absolute. One is always open to discovery and change.

As to the nature of questions such as life, death, and salvation of the soul should there be a soul, we are not in a position to know the absolute truth in these matters. This being the case, it is best to keep an open mind and an open heart. We must, as Dr. Martin Luther King Junior said, learn to disagree without becoming violently disagreeable.


Cross-posted to:

One Love

Sly Fawkes