Kansas House Speaker Prays for Obama’s Death


I missed this the other day somehow. Mike O’Neal, the Republican speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives, sent out an email in which he urged people to pray for President Obama’s death, and another where he referred to Michelle Obama as “Mrs. Yomama.”

Earlier this week, the Lawrence Journal-World was sent an email that O’Neal had forwarded to House Republicans that referred to President Obama and a Bible verse that says “Let his days be few and brief.”

Rodee said that that email was referring to the president’s days in office.

The email, which has been posted in various places on the Internet, refers to a bumper sticker that reads “Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8.”

Psalm 109:8 says, “Let his days be few and brief; and let others step forward to replace him.”

The email states: “At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!”

The verse in question is a prayer for someone to die. The next verse is: “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.” He issued a notpology for the other email about the first lady, but not even that for this far more vile one.

Comments

  1. shouldbeworking says

    Wouldn’t ths make the bozo an accessory to murder? He might get off on an insanity plea, but since he is a rethugican, that might be automatic.

  2. The Christian Cynic says

    A friend of mine on facebook posted about this, so I’ll repost part of what I said in response the first time: Imprecatory prayer is one practice found in the Bible that I find highly objectionable, and frankly, I think any Christian who uses it should be reminded of Matthew 5:43-48.

  3. raven says

    Fundie xians never, ever miss a chance to demonstrate their total moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

    I’d rather pray that the gods give Mike O’neal a working brain, a normal personality, and a conscience. Except that pretending to talk to imaginary friends in the sky is silly.

    I’m sure that all those moderate xians that everyone knows exist and no one can find will condemn him for attempted murder by powerful supernatural spirits.

    BTW, this is witchcraft. Begging supernatural beings to do something for you. In this case, killing the president.

  4. says

    Thousands of Kansans voted to elect this one reprehensible individual to office, and he was further elevated by his peers to the speakership. I can’t help but wonder how his constituents and peers feel about this display of childish hatefulness. (And yes, isn’t it a crime to threaten the life of the President? IDK – sounds familiar.)

    While the one cruel, hateful person grabs the headlines with hateful behavior such as this, he represents a hugh swath of hate. Same for Santorum, Gingrich, et al. HATE HATE HATE.

    And they revel in their hatefulness, finding righteousness (and pleasure?) in hurting other people. What sad little minds they have.

    I resent their filling our lives with hate and meanness, sucking attention and energy and resources (used in fighting them) that could be so much better expended on making life better for people around the world.

    Sad, sad, sad.

  5. says

    I guess they can’t say this guy represents a “tiny minority” or “lunatic fringe,” since he’s the presiding officer of a state’s house of representatives. This is the Republican establishment talking here.

  6. D. C. Sessions says

    I can’t help but wonder how his constituents and peers feel about this display of childish hatefulness.

    I’m sure a quite a few agree with him, while many think he’s being unacceptably moderate.

    As for the “wasting time” thing, do keep in mind that there are only so many ways to word bills making abortion, gay marriage, contraception, teaching evolution, and unions illegal. And even fewer ways to make prayer in schools mandatory. After that, there’s not a lot for the Legislature to do.

  7. Michael Heath says

    Quodlibet:

    Thousands of Kansans voted to elect this one reprehensible individual to office, and he was further elevated by his peers to the speakership. I can’t help but wonder how his constituents and peers feel about this display of childish hatefulness.

    That’s he’s one of them. Emails from Christians hoping and even advocating that Obama die have been circulating since early in his presidency. I got my first one in early- to mid-2009 claiming President Obama was an al Qaeda operative, using mostly clips from Fox News to support their premise. The Kansas Speaker’s behavior here isn’t something most of them want to discuss when non-Christians or non-conservatives aren’t in the room, but it’s a commonly held position amongst conservative Christians and has been his entire presidency and prior.

  8. John Hinkle says

    Journalist: Mr. President, can you respond to the emails written by Mike O’Neal and now making the rounds on the internet?

    Obama: Look, petty schoolyard nonsense is not worthy of a response.

    Journalist: But Mr. President, among other things he referred to Michele as “Mrs. Yomama.”

    Obama: What?!? Well you tell that honky if I ever see that cracker’s ass in a dark alley I’ll bust a cap in it!

    Too risqué? *ducks and runs*

  9. says

    It’s a bad idea to pray for someone to die, when that person’s shown they’re willing to call in drone strikes on citizens. It’s an especially bad idea if nobody’d miss you.

  10. says

    …and another where he referred to Michelle Obama as “Mrs. Yomama.”

    It would be far easier to take Republican complaints about the first lady seriously if literally every single one weren’t a crude racial stereotype.

    Did he also accuse her of having a big booty, hating whitey, and call her Barack’s baby-momma?

  11. says

    Matthew 5 doesn’t apply here: it only tells us to pray for those who persecute us, and Obama is not persecuting any Kansas Republicans. Also, the bit about “be perfect as our father in Heaven is perfect” was ditched a long time ago. Good works are socialist, remember? Only commie atheist elitists and the Antichrist want to force people to do good things.

  12. says

    This is yet another of like a dozen articles I’ve read over the last few years of Republicans (public officials – not just anonymous web commenters) making racist slurs, sending out racist pictures, offering imprecatory prayers, etc.

    Anyone know a good source that collects all these examples into one location? I’ll bet there must be a hundred since his election. Would be a great source to show wing-nuts when they start spouting off how “hate-filled” all liberals are.

  13. raven says

    I’ve read over the last few years of Republicans (public officials – not just anonymous web commenters) making racist slurs, sending out racist pictures, offering imprecatory prayers, etc.

    You are sort of missing the point.

    This is what the Tea Party/GOP means by xian family values. Racism, hate, and homicidal rage against those they don’t like.

  14. a miasma of incandescent plasma says

    Yes, and if you take his prayers and turn them into action, he will personally make sure to thank you in the exact way that Psalm 109:30 instructs.

  15. d cwilson says

    It would be far easier to take Republican complaints about the first lady seriously if literally every single one weren’t a crude racial stereotype.

    But remember, pointing out every time they use a crude racial stereotype to refer to the first lady or the president is “playing the race card” and proof that liberals are the real racists.

  16. anubisprime says

    #5 raven

    I’m sure that all those moderate xians that everyone knows exist and no one can find will condemn him for attempted murder by powerful supernatural spirits.”

    Funny that there is never a peep out of moderate xians…which according to their own boast comprise a significant percentage of the total xian count.
    They sort of imitate cockroaches when the light turns on when a fundy spouts fucking barking insanity.
    Not a peep…not a tut tut…nutink’…zilch…nada…silence
    …tumbleweed rolling by in a dusty eddy of pious pompousness.

    Like kiddies that stand around trying to look innocent when the bullies get busted for criminal damage…no one saw nuttink’

    ‘BTW, this is witchcraft. Begging supernatural beings to do something for you. In this case, killing the president.’

    Absolutely jeebus retards cast more spells in a day then a whole Peddle hill & Salem town combined of witches on overtime on the Sabbat!

    And they have not a fucking clue that is exactly what they are doing.

    They are not very bright are they?

  17. alost says

    For all of the accusations from within the right-wing blogosphere, perpetuated by their Michelle Malkins, that liberals are the masters of hysteria, I have NEVER seen more hysteria directed at one individual than what Michelle Obama receives from elected Republican officials. Embarrassing e-mails about her physical appearance, speculated eating habits and now these vaguely racial titles.

  18. Who Knows? says

    Just one more thing to consider when someone claims the Republican’s / Tea Party’s problem with President Obama isn’t related to his being black.

    But of course, these people wouldn’t see racism in calling the First Lady, Yomama.

    Assholes.

  19. lofgren says

    Funny that there is never a peep out of moderate xians…which according to their own boast comprise a significant percentage of the total xian count.

    This sounds like the same argument that islamophobes use to argue that there is no such thing as a moderate muslim. In fact moderate Christians do oppose extremists acting objectionably in their name. It’s just that extremists always get far more attention.

  20. Michael Heath says

    “There are a lot of folks who believe that we are really in the end times,” [Oran Smith] told me [NYTs reporter], “and the election of Obama was a signal that the end times were here.” But after Republicans came roaring back in 2010, he said, a lot of those conservatives decided that maybe the apocalypse was still a way off, after all.”

    Oran Smith, who runs Palmetto Family, a group that lobbies on behalf of Christian conservatives. Link: http://goo.gl/7UreW

  21. says

    “This sounds like the same argument that islamophobes use to argue that there is no such thing as a moderate muslim.”

    That’s what I was thinking. It’s not really the job for moderates of whatever stripe to apologize every time an extremist says or does something vile. Expecting them to is effectively asking them to share the blame. It should be enough for them to disavow such behavior for themselves.

  22. interrobang says

    and now these vaguely racial titles.

    Vaguely?! How racist does racist have to get before you say, “Woah, that is some racist shit right there!”? If that’s “vaguely” racial (or racist), I’d hate to see your definition of “overtly” racial.

    I mean, damn, I’m so white people use me as tracing paper, and even I can tell that’s a really freaking racist thing to have said.

  23. alost says

    In retrospect, “vaguely” should have been left out. It is unquestionably a caricature solely motivated by Michelle’s race, although some choice Republicans seem to want to keep it as vague as possible for their own sake (much like when a conservative-leaning actor used a certain animal as a comparison for Michelle’s appearance and later stated that any associations of that animal with race were fully unintentional). There aren’t many ways to justify “Yomama” in a non-racial context here.

  24. raven says

    That’s what I was thinking. It’s not really the job for moderates of whatever stripe to apologize every time an extremist says or does something vile. Expecting them to is effectively asking them to share the blame. It should be enough for them to disavow such behavior for themselves.

    In other words those moderates should be invisible.

    Hmmm, what is the difference between invisible and nonexistent again. If there isn’t any difference, it doesn’t much matter how many moderates there are.

  25. says

    “In other words those moderates should be invisible.”

    No, they can be as visible as they want. But they should be expected to speak for themselves, and not for someone else. So they may not be visible when you demand them to be, but that’s not their problem.

  26. raven says

    So they may not be visible when you demand them to be, but that’s not their problem.

    They aren’t visible at all.

    That is their problem and no one elses.

    If a group of haters, liars, and thugs take over a religion such as US xianity, who should stop them. The atheists? The Pagans? The Easter Bunny?

    It’s been long enough, decades now. The moderates haven’t done anything and they won’t ever do anything.

    BTW, it costs them a lot. I was a moderate xian who opposed the fundies. One of the few as it turned out. The only people I saw who actually stood up for the USA and our society were….The Atheists. I left xianity and joined them. So did millions of other people. The moderate churches are declining quite rapidly.

    As it says in the magic book, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”

  27. Doug Little says

    Mrs. Yomama

    There’s a bar in New Orleans called Yo mama’s on St. Peter between Bourbon and Royal. They have excellent burgers and loaded baked potatoes. My favorite is the Peanut Butter burger (Peanut butter, bacon, grilled onions). There is something magical about the combination of grilled onions and peanut butter, although every time I’m there I’m pretty hammered. They also have an excellent blue cheese burger. I recommend you head there after a hard night drinking in the Quarter to soak up some of the booze and stave off the inevitable hangover a little.

  28. matty1 says

    There are a lot of people saying they can’t find any moderate Christians who oppose this. Am I the only one seeing post 4 in this thread?

  29. raven says

    Am I the only one seeing post 4 in this thread?

    Yeah, I saw it. Good for him.

    That is one out of 2.2 billion xians. I’m sure there is another one somewhere.

  30. says

    Speaking of outrageous claims, has anyone run across an Obama “death list” like the ones that circulated during the Clinton yeara? If people can believe he’s a secret Islamifaciscommunist there’s bound to be someone who thinks he’s killing his opponents left and right.

  31. georow says

    Well, as a resident of Kansas, all I can do is shake my head. I’ve lived here for quite a while and to be honest with you it’s not that much different from my native Colorado, in terms of the proportion of the political fringe that populate the place. However, (much like Colorado and lot of other states) there are a lot of really fine people here, as well. After all, we’re the state that threw the creationists off of our state board of education when they tried to shove their nonsense down our throat. In fact, this was done twice. Unfortunately, this wasn’t really touted by the media or noticed by the more (shall we say) coastal parts of the country. I wonder is this is because it’s much more fun to laugh at the country folk that it is to acknowledge them for doing the right thing? Unfortunately, things are tough right now. The more moderate people in the state tend also to be people who are active in the real world and are therefore distracted and lack vigilance at times. The wingnuts, unfortunately, have nothing else to do but watch for their chances and jump on them. This year, they managed to get the upper hand in the republican party, which generally means control over the state legislature. We’ve been suffering ever since. It’s actually quite similar to what’s happened in Wisconsin, although the response has been less intense. I have no doubt that the current generation of wingnuts will be voted out of office, it’s just a question of how long and how much damage they will do in the mean time. One sign of hope; just today, I received a personal email from my (Republican) state representative, assuring me that he planned to vote against a restrictive voter registration bill being pushed by our crazy, tea bagger SoS. Things are not hopeless, but be could certainly use a little moral support.

  32. dan4 says

    I’ve seen this story reported elsewhere. It’s strange that the “Yomama” mention of Michelle Obama (as bad as that is, in and of itself) seems to be getting more attention than the prayer for her husband’s death.

  33. dingojack says

    Dan – That could be because everybody knows how impotent such utterances are, and look.
    Dingo

  34. says

    It’s strange that the “Yomama” mention of Michelle Obama (as bad as that is, in and of itself) seems to be getting more attention than the prayer for her husband’s death.

    Speaking for myself, I’ve got nothing interesting to say about the death prayer. It’s vile and disgusting, but that’s stating the obvious.

    I find the Michelle hating far more intriguing. In Barack’s case, at least it’s understandable why his political enemies might hate him, even if they go completely overboard in their malice and paranoia. In Michelle’s case, it’s just gratuitous hatred. She hasn’t, you know, actually done anything. Well, except for trying to fight childhood obesity, but what kind of a shithead do you have to be to have a problem with that? (Laura Bush campaigned for childhood literacy; I don’t remember a single person giving her a hard time for it.) And to top it off, the attacks on her are unfailingly racial in nature.

    To me, it just says a lot more about the ugly pathos that has gripped the right when they go after the president’s wife in such a manner. The president himself is at least fair game, even if the degree to which they do it is not.

  35. Azkyroth says

    (Laura Bush campaigned for childhood literacy; I don’t remember a single person giving her a hard time for it.)

    Of course, Michelle Obama campaigning against obesity would only be comparable to Laura Bush campaigning against illiteracy if Barack weighed 700 pounds or so…

  36. buckohnine says

    On behalf of all moderate Christians, for whom I am entitled to speak, I strongly object to this behavior. Not only is it a completely dickish thing to say, it demonstrates a failure to even understand the specific beliefs of his own church’s theological beliefs.

    While I can’t leverage the Bible as my magic spell book to bring down wrath upon him, I would only feel a little sympathy if, for example, he stumbled into a patch of (intelligently designed) poison ivy, fell down a (genesis-flood carved) hill and came to rest on a bed of (intelligently designed) fire ants, resulting in several days of severe but non life-threatening discomfort.

  37. exdrone says

    This is why the G-man is now screening his prayers and has registered the Republican on his do-not-pray list.

  38. says

    Well, Bill Janklow, former drunk driving, manslaughtering governor of S.Dakota died today, so maybe there is something to be said for imprecatory prayer. I’m sure a number of people are happy to see him dead.

  39. Azkyroth says

    I’m sure a number of people are happy to see him dead.

    And I’m sure a number of dumb fucks will pearl-clutch and insist that being pleased at one less person mocking justice and spreading misery in the world makes you even worse than him.

    …fuck. I’m too young to be this cynical. :(

  40. Aquaria says

    After all, we’re the state that threw the creationists off of our state board of education when they tried to shove their nonsense down our throat. In fact, this was done twice. Unfortunately, this wasn’t really touted by the media or noticed by the more (shall we say) coastal parts of the country.

    Then you weren’t paying attention to the coverage it got. Where do you think the Flying Spaghetti Monster came from? The aether?

    BTW. that it came up more than once doesn’t speak well for the collective IQ in your state. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the hallmark of insanity. And stupidity.

    I wonder is this is because it’s much more fun to laugh at the country folk that it is to acknowledge them for doing the right thing?

    The only person to mention the country bullshit was you, dumbass. We were talking about a racist piece of shit. Who cares if he’s city or country? Why are you bringing up unnecessary nonsense?

    What matters here isn’t your tribal identity with an arbitrary piece of land, but that an elected official thought it hunky-dory to spam people with his racist garbage. It’s not about you, cupcake.

    Do keep up.

  41. georow says

    Aquaria:

    Apparently, you’ve missed my point. For whatever it’s worth, I agree with you. It is about yet another elected bozo in my adopted state embarrassing us with his his stupidity. And yes, I was venting a little bit for events of the past, but there’s some history there. During one of those school board flaps, I was an officer in our state Academy of Science, and was very much involved in the battle over the educational standards. As board members, we were frequently interviewed by journalists, reporters, and even a few documentary makers from who came (mostly from elsewhere) to cover it. Unfortunately, with some notable exceptions, when those news stories actually appeared the coverage focussed more on the ranting of the ignorant clods than on the efforts to stop them. I suspect that this is because concentrating on the extreme and ridiculous views of the opposition made for a much more dramatic and easier story. I certainly acknowledge that those journalists were under no obligation to try to help us (in fact, no one is), but it sure would have been nice. The point is, I get a little tired of being lumped in with the ignoramuses, and resent it little bit when those who may not really understand the situation feel free to pile on anyway. My “tribal loyalty” such as it is, is to the Tribe of Research Scientists and Professors, but I am paid to educate the students of this state and therefore feel that I owe it at least a bit of my loyalty, as well. It is a little tough to feel that loyalty some times, especially when there are so many who seem so intent on flat-out embarrassing us. Thus, the rant.

  42. Michael Heath says

    georow,

    Thanks for your public service and your comment posts, they’re both much appreciated by this reader. Hope to see more from you soon.

  43. says

    I think the speaker should be charged with attempted murder. It would be funny seeing him cross examined in court:

    “When you prayed for his death this was an attempt to kill the President!”

    “Well, um, no it was just a prayer…”

    “JUST a prayer? So is prayer effective?”

    “No! Um… yes! Um… it’s complicated….”

  44. georow says

    Thanks, Michael. I appreciate it. Probably overreacted to a harmless comment, but it’s late (or maybe early). Usually astronomers and vampires are the only ones awake this time of day.

  45. heddle says

    TCC, #4

    Indeed. There is in fact no example of imprecatory prayer in the New Testament(*), just the opposite, as you point out, an exhortation to pray for one’s enemies (presumably even if they are but perceived enemies.) I have heard more than a few sermons on imprecatory prayer and how serious if not heretical a deviation from the gospel and Jesus’ moral law (from the Sermon on the Mount) it represents.

    raven #36,

    Yeah, I saw it. Good for him.

    That is one out of 2.2 billion xians. I’m sure there is another one somewhere.

    Once again you prove yourself a know-nothing, bigoted, broken-record.

    —————-
    * Paul does hyperbolically “wish” that misguided believers–the fundies of his day, the legalistic judiazers–would castrate themselves. (Gal 5:12.)

  46. Freeman says

    georow:

    I’m a native Missourian, lived here for 42 of my 51 years right on the Kansas border. Personally, I’ve come to the realization that people around here, on average, are just not very bright. Ten minutes watching these poor souls try to do something as complicated as driving a motor vehicle in traffic, and anyone can see this for himself. Sure, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule, like you and hopefully me, but this area really has earned it’s reputation.

    I’ve gotten over it. The negative connotations of my place of residence don’t seem to noticeably effect me negatively, outside of the minor nuisance of having to deal with loads of stupidity on a daily basis when I’m in public. When someone on a blog somewhere says Midwesterners are dumb, I just shrug and say “yep”!

  47. Freeman says

    Heddle: I have heard more than a few sermons on imprecatory prayer and how serious if not heretical a deviation from the gospel and Jesus’ moral law (from the Sermon on the Mount) it represents.

    I would be interested to hear what denomination(s) the church(es) ascribe to where you heard these sermons. Imprecatory prayer seems real popular in my neck of the woods these days.

  48. says

    Unfortunately, this wasn’t really touted by the media or noticed by the more (shall we say) coastal parts of the country. I wonder is this is because it’s much more fun to laugh at the country folk that it is to acknowledge them for doing the right thing?

    No, I’m guessing it’s because the MSM really don’t have the guts to say anything displeasing to the hyperemotional radical right. I hear the evolution manufactroversy mentioned once in awhile, but it’s always very brief, and almost never touches on the depth of dishonesty, infantilism and insanity underlying this, or any other, radical-right hate campaign. Our lame-assed tabloid MSM are part of the problem, and they don’t want to acknowledge how deeply serious a problem they’ve been part of since the 1990s.

  49. says

    Also, I have to agree with Heddle here: most of the Christians I’ve encountered (Catholics, born-agains, a little Assembly of God) do NOT support imprecatory prayer, and I don’t remember anyone asking for anyone to pray for anything bad to happen to anyone; nor do I remember anyone saying God wants us to be asking him to harm others on our behalf. If it’s not heretical, it’s definitely considered contrary to the overall spirit of Jesus’ teachings. Then again, I never hung with stupid losers, so YMMV.

  50. The Christian Cynic says

    I have yet to hear a sermon on imprecatory prayer, but then again, I have yet to hear an imprecatory prayer at all. In virtually every church I can remember before the one I periodically attend now, there has always been a great emphasis on praying for one’s leaders (for guidance, etc.), and never has there ever been even the slightest implication that such prayers should be for their death or any misfortune. I think even those who have detested the people in office (e.g. during the Clinton and Obama administrations) have recognized that it is neither moral nor patriotic (and that’s almost the more important of the two to these people) to wish for someone in power to die.

    One should note that these were all Baptist churches – Southern, General, and American – in arguably the most conservative part of Illinois.

  51. The Christian Cynic says

    And I do have to laugh at the exchange about moderates above, an exchange which is all too familiar to me for its catch-22. In a reasonable world, the moderates would have more of a voice, but we frankly don’t live in that kind of a world. The radical voices always get the attention, and the moderates always get pushed to the side because being reasonable is boring.

    And no, it’s not the responsibility of moderates to change or apologize for those who are the radicals within a given movement, and certainly blaming them for “enabling” the radicals (whatever the fuck that means) is going to be counterproductive if you want them as allies – and you should want them as allies.

  52. Michael Heath says

    The Christian Cynic:

    And no, it’s not the responsibility of moderates to change or apologize for those who are the radicals within a given movement, and certainly blaming them for “enabling” the radicals (whatever the fuck that means) is going to be counterproductive if you want them as allies – and you should want them as allies.

    I disagree, in spite of being a moderate. I think we do have to take responsibility for those associations we have, whether it be country, religious denomination, political affiliation, or the clubs we join. We have an obligation to either work towards reform or quit.

    It’s imperative we take responsibility for the behavior of extreme elements when they’re influential because so often we moderates are the tipping point which allows harm to follow when we join with an extreme element to create a majority, e.g., deficit reduction rather than education/job re-training in the 1990s, allowing investment banks to purchase mortgage securities without the same regulatory structure Main St. banks were required to follow, supporting the Iraq War.

    When I was a Republican I belonged to a couple of moderate groups that sought reform within the party. The last one was run by Christine Whitman, The Republican Leadership Council, which had a PAC named “It’s My Party Too”. However by 2008, in spite of the devastation conservative policies had wreaked on federal but especially many state governments, I quit the party because it was evident we had no influence and conservative domination was resulting in previously unimaginable incompetency and objectives at direct odds with U.S. interests.

    I do admire those who stick it out and fight for reform as well, as long as they do so with vociferous opposition to repellant people and policies and follow with their vote. Probably the most reprehensible rhetoric I hear from the GOP candidates prior to Iowa was how each candidate claimed anyone of them was a far better choice for president than Barack Obama. When you consider the qualifications of all of them sans Romney and Huntsman, that’s pandering to a degree that reveals zero fealty to country and total fealty to one’s constituents and self-interests. Sen. Huntsman fails this standard, which is no surprise; he’s not a moderate but instead a solid conservative who only appears moderate given how far right the party has swung.

    From a religious perspective this would have me respecting those denominational members who sought to reform their dogma to being more objectively true. Like getting their members to concede the Bible is not the inerrant word of God, that the historicity of Jesus and all super-natural claims can not be validated, establishing a process to seek objective truth rather than spend their time and resources redundantly reaffirming the falsehoods of one’s dogma and a defective reliance on claims of divine revelations. That of course will not happen in the most fundamental of churches since they demonstrate almost no concern about objective truth. That disdain for truth begins right from their beginning premises which constrain them – seeking “truth” without challenging false premises that can’t be challenged like the inerrancy of the Bible and that Jesus is God. False premises which they require their members to submit to like docile sheep in order to remain in good standing with the denomination, including many of their so-called universities.

  53. heddle says

    TCC,

    The radical voices always get the attention, and the moderates always get pushed to the side because being reasonable is boring.

    That is universal. Fred Phelps gets press. Boring pastors don’t. Theonomic covenant theology advocates get press. Their non-theonomic brethren (the overwhelming majority) do not. This leads unthinking people to make unreasonable generalizations. Same is true in the other direction. A few scientists squander their credentials to take pictures of broken communion wafers and torn holy books. Their self-aggrandizing behavior is widely noted. But the vast majority of scientists are “accomodationists” and are busy doing science with no time for such antics. They go unnoticed, leading some Christians to believe that most scientists are dip-shits.

    Freeman,

    I would be interested to hear what denomination(s) the church(es) ascribe to where you heard these sermons. Imprecatory prayer seems real popular in my neck of the woods these days.

    I have only belonged to two denominations. I was an atheist until ~30, when I became a Christian and was in a Presbyterian (PCA) church–the hotbed for dominionism/theonomy, which is why I know quite a bit about it. I left that church and since then have been in Reformed (Calvinistic) Baptist churches.

  54. georow says

    Freeman:

    I’m not convinced that people here are any more stupid than elsewhere, I think the problem is that there are just fewer people, so the idiots stand out more. What I have a hard time with isn’t the stupidity, it’s the willful ignorance, as if being a know-nothing is some kind of an achievement.

  55. Doug Little says

    A few scientists squander their credentials to take pictures of broken communion wafers and torn holy books.

    Remind me again how a scientists professional career is in anyway related to what they do in their spare time, I don’t see how PZ’s activism squanders his professional qualifications, of course if you can’t keep your personal beliefs from affecting your scientific work then I can see how you would think this. Oh and all you knee jerk Catholic lovers completely missed the point of the whole cracker incident, I know heddle, the only good atheist is one that sits in the corner and shuts the fuck up right?

  56. Trebuchet says

    @ Michael Heath: I too am a former moderate Republican. I do not consider that I left the party: It left me. I suspect the same is true for you as well.

  57. fastlane says

    interrobang:

    I’m so white people use me as tracing paper[.]

    *snort…coffeee…keyboard*
    Damn you!!!

    alost, I assumed ‘vaguely’ was just trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s not a widely used racial slur like nigger, but it’s certainly in there as a racist dog whistle. It’s one of the less subtle ones I’ve seen.

    As for the complaints about lack of visibility of moderate xians here at Dispatches, maybe someone doing the complaining could take it upon themselves to look a little. Find some of the more theologically liberal xian forums/websites. See what they have to offer in terms of criticism of the more right wing religious who get all the popular press.

    You may be right, they may totally ignore most of that and focus on social issues, or the occasional condemning of us heathens, but you may also be wrong. I do think you should actually take a little time and see if they exist.

  58. Michael Heath says

    Trebuchet:

    @ Michael Heath: I too am a former moderate Republican. I do not consider that I left the party: It left me. I suspect the same is true for you as well.

    I never felt the party left me so perhaps your older than me. I came of age during Ford’s presidency where conservatives were already becoming increasingly powerful (I’ll soon be 52). So my association was always a somewhat uneasy one and rather tenuous – similar to that of Ford, Bill Milliken (MI’s long-time governor during this period), and H.W. Bush whose pandering and concessions to the right uncharacteristic of his own positions were often reprehensible (the Clarence Thomas nomination). At that time Democrats were in a very sorry state in terms of their ability to govern so they offered no oasis – though they never came close to reaching the depths we now observe from the GOP of the 2000s, especially since the rise of the Tea Party and the Palin VP nomination which let open the floodgates of delusion, idiocy, and complete contempt for American interests.

    I do think the Democrats were a mere handful of Senators short in the last Congress to reveal true greatness in governance with corresponding great results (long-term). Something too many Democrats fail to grasp which they should as a motivation to turn-out in ’12. Instead they’re too busy trashing their own when their failures are primarily due to conservative obstructionism, which infected the Democrats in Congress as well.

  59. heddle says

    Doug Little,

    Oh and all you knee jerk Catholic lovers completely missed the point of the whole cracker incident,

    Now wait, raven is constantly harping about how we evangelicals view Rome as the Whore of Babylon presiding over hell-bound apostates, and here you are calling me a knee-jerk Catholic lover. I’m sure you are both uber-rationalists, so who is right?

  60. dingojack says

    interrobang: – let me see if I have got this right. You believe yourself to have such a high albedo that you’re translucent? That’s what you are claiming?
    Dingo

  61. Zinc Avenger says

    raven,

    If a group of haters, liars, and thugs take over a religion such as US xianity, who should stop them. The atheists? The Pagans? The Easter Bunny?

    When conversing with the religious I like to have snippets like this to call on. Thank you.

  62. alost says

    As an atheist myself, I’ve never had any trouble acknowledging the existence of moderate Christians and have, as a matter of fact, enjoyed many a dialogue with people who were a joy to converse with. Raven’s inane questions for moderate Christians to somehow become more “visible” is in no way different from any Republican’s sarcastic plea for the moderate Muslims to carry the burden of whatever their more extremist counterparts say. As an above comment noted, moderates are considered boring if not outright unworthy of coverage – it’s far easier to report on any incident of extremism than it is to actually open a dialogue with people from communities that we rarely even have the opportunity to hear about.

    So, please, don’t consider raven to be representative of atheists who are receptive to moderates of any religious belief system. S/he is little more than a broken record with little, if anything, of value to say. Same goes to Aquaria, who spewed what is probably one of the most off-putting, reactionary rants I’ve ever seen on this blog to a respectful, well-reasoned post.

  63. The Christian Cynic says

    heddle: My comments about moderates being boring was in fact intended to be a universal statement, so I absolutely agree with your extension of that sentiment.

    Michael Heath:

    I think we do have to take responsibility for those associations we have, whether it be country, religious denomination, political affiliation, or the clubs we join. We have an obligation to either work towards reform or quit.

    Emphasis mine. You are drawing the lines more narrowly than pretty much anyone I’ve ever seen make an argument like this about moderates. I’m not sure I agree with it still, though: it presumes that one must either change the minds of people in positions of power in the group or get out, and I frankly think that’s too much to ask of anyone. The threshold at which a person has to decide whether to stay or go is personal and individual, and I can’t bring myself to make that kind of demand on another person. (I was conflicted enough about leaving the church I served in for 10 years, and I won’t presume to tell someone when they should or shouldn’t break a tie. Freedom of conscience and of association, you know.)

    But even so, the “moderate” argument is almost always used in larger terms, so that I as a moderate Christian am held responsible for the beliefs, words, and actions of radical Christians. There is no association here other than a label (which I honestly couldn’t care less about) and a few shared beliefs, and guilt by association is not sufficient justification for discarding a belief. The idea is as absurd as suggesting that “moderate” (i.e. rational) Texans are responsible for Rick Perry. It’s pure, unadulterated nonsense, and I think we should call it what it is.

    alost: I would never presume to characterize all atheists by raven or Aquaria. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a number of reasonable atheists, both online and in real life, and of course I know better than to judge a group or a philosophy based on its least reasonable (or shrillest) adherents. Some people, on the other hand, seem not to have learned that lesson.

  64. Michael Heath says

    I wrote earlier:

    I think we do have to take responsibility for those associations we have, whether it be country, religious denomination, political affiliation, or the clubs we join. We have an obligation to either work towards reform or quit. [emphasis Christian Cynic’s.]

    Christian Cynic responds:

    Emphasis mine. You are drawing the lines more narrowly than pretty much anyone I’ve ever seen make an argument like this about moderates. I’m not sure I agree with it still, though: it presumes that one must either change the minds of people in positions of power in the group or get out, and I frankly think that’s too much to ask of anyone.

    You extend my logic beyond where I take it. I never claimed they had to be successful at changing minds of the leaders or get out, only and I quote myself previously:

    I do admire those who stick it out and fight for reform as well, as long as they do so with vociferous opposition to repellant people and policies and follow with their vote.

    Christian Cynic writes:

    But even so, the “moderate” argument is almost always used in larger terms, so that I as a moderate Christian am held responsible for the beliefs, words, and actions of radical Christians.

    I agree some criticisms are unfair. I’m extremely careful in putting qualifying adjectives in front of the proper noun Christian, or use the term Christianist, to filter out those Christians who don’t deserve the criticism I’m presenting. So when I use the term, “Christian”, there was always some forethought on my account that had me rationalizing the Christian community at large earned the subsequent assertions that followed. That’s also exactly why I added “denomination”, because I don’t see Congregationalists earning responsibility for the recent movement merging political conservatism with fundamentalist/evangelical Christianity which now dominates those denominations.

    Christian Cynic:

    The idea is as absurd as suggesting that “moderate” (i.e. rational) Texans are responsible for Rick Perry. It’s pure, unadulterated nonsense, and I think we should call it what it is.

    Your sole apparent premise supporting your conclusion is an empirical one. Did you first check to see whether Republican moderates overwhelmingly voted against Rick Perry? If not, how can you claim they don’t share in the responsibility? Assuming moderate Republicans did vote for him that seems to be a perfect illustration of how moderates share in the responsibility of extremism which comes from their own party. I would argue if his record was so bad in Texas, that liberals in the Democrat party of Texas even had some responsibility to expend some energy attempting to remove him from office.

    I happen to see responsibility as a redeeming feature of being an American, not a bug.

  65. says

    I read this an totally freaked out! Who the hell does he think he is? I don’t care if he doesn’t like Obama. He’s totally out of line disrespecting the office of the President! How DARE these people do this sort of thing. And he’s a member of Congress? WHAT THE HELL are you plp in KS thinking electing this kind of TRASH!!!! He need to be called on this one, where’s their Ethics Board. Evidently, that’s a joke also!! This kind of hate crap is not solving our problems, but it seems that’s only thing the Teapubs know how to do. It’s disgusting!!

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