Oh boy

As grieving parents, family and friends try to deal with the tragedy of the Chardon High School killings, at least one commentator is cackling with glee. For Todd Starnes of (where else?) Fox News, the killings give him the perfect opportunity to ask, “Why is school prayer only allowed during tragedies?

As police try to make sense of the senseless, the school superintendent called on people to pray.

It was a wise decision.

But perhaps lost in the chaos is the irony that in American public schools – people are not allowed to pray.

Liberals have successfully banished God from the classroom, replacing Him with the manmade god of secularism.

Yes, those darned liberals and their support for liberal handgun access. Oh wait, no, sorry, handguns are real, and aren’t really a liberal thing. Let’s blame an imaginary response by an imaginary God to an imaginary ban on people praying. Because everybody knows that if you don’t let God into the classroom, He gives handguns to emotionally unstable kids and tells them to go kill people—even when He’s not really banned from school.

Wabbit season

I remember the first time I saw it: Elmer Fudd stands by, gun loaded, as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck rip signs off a tree, exposing a new sign underneath: “Rabbit Season!” “Duck Season!” “Rabbit Season!” “Duck Season!” “Rabb—ELMER Season!??” And Elmer has to run for his life from his former prey. Gotta love the classics.

Speaking of silly cartoons, here’s a columnist from the World Net Daily arguing—I kid you not—that Barack Obama, as President of the United States, officially declared an open season on Christians worldwide.

Here’s the relevant quote from the May 2009 press conference in Turkey:

“One of the great strengths of the United States is … we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation, or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”

It is bedrock American tradition, as stated in the first amendment to the Constitution, that there is no government-established religion, that freedom of religion for each individual is guaranteed. The United States has no state religion, no government church. In that sense, the United States is, of course, not a “Christian nation”…

To the Muslim ear, Obama was saying that the United States would not protect Christian communities in predominantly Muslim countries because the U.S. was neutral on the issue of religion. An unfolding Christian bloodbath is the result.

So he admits that our Constitution specifies “no religious preference” for our government, and yet somehow that translates into “it’s ok to shoot Christians” when mentioned by Obama? If I made a cartoon that gave conservatives lines like this, they’d complain about being ridiculed. Or they might cheer. Who knows?

Ben Stein on Christmas trees

According to the UK’s Catholic Herald, it seems the War on By Christmas has enlisted a new recruit: Ben Stein.

There’s a story somewhere about Barack Obama referring to a Christmas tree as a “holiday tree,” which is apparently a worse form of persecution than denying Christians the right to marry one another, or something. In a vigorous and principled rebuttal on CBS Sunday Morning (which all good Christians will have missed because they’re in church where they belong), Stein says:

I am a Jew and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it doesn’t bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful, lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against… It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say ‘Merry Christmas’ to me… In fact I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year.

Oh my God, Ben, which side are you on? How dare you refer to it as “this happy time of year” instead of calling it Christmas? Are you trying to take Christ out of Christmas? You do remember, don’t you, that this whole “war on Christmas” meme was originally concocted as an anti-Semitic propaganda campaign? That Jews were originally accused of writing secular holiday songs (like Jingle Bells) as an attack on Christmas as a holy day reminding us of the miracle of the incarnation of the Son of God?

Well, maybe he does, and he’s just kissing up. Or maybe he’s just being paid to shill for the conservative Christian majority. Wouldn’t be the first time, eh?

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Christian bigots unhappy over bad publicity

Writing for The New American, Dave Bohon seems unhappy about the negative publicity a certain Baptist university has been receiving lately.

A Baptist university in Georgia is receiving abundant media attention for a “Personal Lifestyle Statement“ it recently updated, that requires faculty and staff to adhere to a set of biblical standards that include shunning homosexual behavior. Employees have been told that they must either sign the statement as a pledge, or face termination.

It’s a private school and receives no federal funding, so there’s no legal issue here. If Christians want to say, “We’re bigots and you have to be a bigot to work here,” then they have that right. What Bohon seems to be unhappy about is the fact that so many people seem to see anti-gay discrimination as bad even when Christians do it.

On its “Gay Voices” page, the Huffington Post highlighted “happily out and proud gay” Rome, Georgia, native Jeffery Self, who recalled the joyful days he spent helping out in the theater department of the college around the corner from his boyhood home. While claiming to understand that, because Shorter is a Baptist college, “certain ‘lifestyle choices’ might not be within their ideas and beliefs,” the aptly named Self nonetheless took the liberty of referring to the school’s pledge as “outlandishly backward, despicable, disgusting, and in no way Christ-like….”

Ooo, “the aptly named Self”—bet that one hurt. But what Bohon fails to understand is that there’s no contradiction here. It’s entirely possible that Baptist doctrines might not allow homosexual “lifestyles,” AND that this anti-gay attitude might be outlandishly backward, despicable, and disgusting. Bigotry doesn’t magically become OK just because Christians do it, any more than raping altar boys becomes ok just because the perp is a priest.

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Archbishop defies president, society

Bit late, but I wanted to comment on this one. According to USATODAY.com, Archbishop Timothy Nolan (Grand Wizard head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops) is putting pressure on President Obama to try and stop his senseless rush towards tolerance and civil rights for gays.

Dolan said the bishops are especially upset that the administration and opponents of DOMA are framing their argument as a civil rights issue, which he said equates “opposition to redefining marriage with either intentional or willfully ignorant racial discrimination.”

Right, because framing is something that only conservatives are allowed to do, for example by pretending to “defend marriage” and by refusing to address gay marriage as anything other than an attempt to “redefine” it.

Why can’t Catholic archbishops tell the truth about what they hate and what they’re doing to try and stop it? Simple: the Church is using sex to sustain Christianity, and they’re scared to death of losing control of it. That’s why they always refer to THEIR definition of marriage as THE definition of marriage. As soon as there’s any competition for the Catholic definition of marriage, the Church loses an important competitive advantage. They’ve spent literally thousands of years training people to assume that the Church controls their access to sexual fulfillment, and that only the church can provide them with a legitimate outlet for their sexual desires, through the “sacrament” of marriage. Break this monopoly, and disaster ensues, because without the threat of sexual frustration, what’s left to draw people into the faith? The Holy Spirit? Gimme a break!

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And on the other hand…

…sometimes common sense does prevail. A federal appeals court has ruled that a San Diego County school district does have the right to tell Christian teachers not to use their classrooms for proselytizing. The case at hand concerns a math teacher who wanted to establish religion by hanging “testimonial” banners in his class.

The two banners, each about 7 feet by 2 feet, contained references to God from U.S. documents and patriotic songs. One quoted the Declaration of Independence passage that all men are “endowed by their CREATOR” with unalienable rights.

The banners also trumpeted phrases such as “IN GOD WE TRUST” and “GOD SHED HIS GRACE ON THEE,” but do not seem to have imparted any concepts with any particular relationship to mathematics, the subject of the class. Predictably, the teacher complained about discrimination against Christians, effectively confessing that he was indeed explicitly promoting Christianity in the classroom. At first, this was a winning argument, but when the appeals court looked at what he was specifically complaining about, it reversed the lower court ruling.

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Sept. 11, 2011: a chance to reflect–and blame Obama

Today is a very sober and somber day, the anniversary of a vicious and cowardly attack against thousands of innocent men, women and children, a day when we ought to reflect on the horrors that dwell in the depths of hatred, a day for all men to put aside petty differences and affirm the bonds of charity and compassion.

Or not.

President Obama will be the featured speaker at an “interfaith faith prayer service” at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. (interior photo at left) on the evening of September 11th to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the nation. Curiously, while the event will also include a “Roman Catholic bishop, a Jewish rabbi, Buddhist nun, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America, and a Muslim musician,” reported Ron Kerby at Beliefnet.com, “…not a single protestant or evangelical has been invited to participate.”

In point of fact, the interfaith prayer service was open to all, including evangelicals, as even a cursory visit to the National Cathedral website will show. And, by the way, if you read the program for the morning prayer service, you’ll find that while representatives of various faiths were indeed on the program, President Obama is not. He is scheduled to speak at the evening concert, on the same program as Patty LaBelle, Alan Jackson, and Denyce Graves, and it’s open to the public—even if they’re evangelical Christians.

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How God really works

[I have to be out of town today and tomorrow, so I thought I'd cheat and replay some old Evangelical Realism posts. This one, from August 2007, is my all-time greatest hit (according to my stats log, that is).]

A blogger at passionateamerica.com has a bit of Monday Morning “humor” that (perhaps without meaning to) gives us a good hard look at how God really “works”:

A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan . One of the courses had a professor who was a vowed atheist and a member of the ACLU.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, “God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I’ll give you exactly 15 minutes.” The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop.

Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, “Here I am God. I’m still waiting.” It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform.

The professor was out cold. The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, “What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?”

The Marine calmly replied, “God was too busy today protecting America ’s soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid stuff and act like an a$$. So, He sent me.”

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Bigotry backfires on Christian consultant

The Christian Post reports that anti-gay author Dr. Frank Turek is finding it just a little bit harder to sell his team-building consultancy services after publishing a book promoting discrimination against many of the employees and customers of his prospective clients.

Just months after being fired from Cisco Systems in California over an anti-gay marriage book, Christian consultant Dr. Frank Turek was also given the boot from Bank of America.

“I get a lot of flak for just actually agreeing with what a majority of Americans agree on and that is that marriage is between one man and one woman,” Turek said this past week on American Family Radio.

He’s being just a bit dishonest, of course. If all he were doing was defending the freedom to believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, then that would be fine. It’s a bigoted and ignorant opinion, but freedom of speech means that people are allowed to hold bigoted and ignorant opinions, as long as they don’t try to force their bigotry on others in a way that violates their civil and human rights. That last bit, however, is exactly what Dr. Turek and his fellow believers are trying to do, which is why he’s taking some heat for it.

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OZ: Date change prompts accusations of ‘Christian cleansing’

The Christian Post reports that Australian education officials are planning to edit the dates in textbooks by replacing the initials BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord”) with the secular alternatives BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era). Stop me if you’ve heard this one: local Christians are taking this move as a deliberate attempt to eradicate Christianity from Australia.

Fred Nile, a minister in New South Wales, told The Daily Telegraph that the announcement was a “final insult” to Christians in Australia and “an absolute disgrace.”

Nile said he feels the move is an attempt to remove any traces of Christianity from the country.

“The direction of the national curriculum is towards almost a Christian cleansing to remove from our history any references to the role Christianity had in the formation of Australia and still has today,” he told The Telegraph.

Personally, I don’t much care whether you say BC or BCE, any more than I care that Wednesday is a tribute to the Norse god Woden. Its mythological significance is too trivial to fuss over. But “Christian cleansing”? For a typographical substitution? That’s a bit over the top in my book. Save the “ethnic cleansing” insinuations for actual human rights violations please.