Forever Marked with a Scarlet “C”, Oh My!

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Oh, the hysteria. The drama. The overwhelming glurge.

If they hate Jesus, they’ll hate you—and they certainly hate Jesus. I’m talking about the American Left and its unyielding war on Christianity.

And so is my good friend Matt Barber.

In his fiery new book, Hating Jesus: The American Left’s War on Christianity, Barber reveals how secular progressives are waging an unrelenting fight against Christianity in America. Perhaps more importantly, he explains how Christians can fight back.

“Just a few short decades ago, a church-going man who publicly supported the right to life, backed laws protecting marriage and spoke freely of Christ’s love for fallen man would be universally recognized as a fine and upstanding citizen,” says Barber, an associate dean with Liberty University School of Law and an attorney concentrating on constitutional law. “He would be welcomed anywhere, including at the highest levels of power. But things have changed. In today’s America, the ‘progressive’ left actively endeavors to destroy such a man.”

Well, no. Generally speaking, such fine, upstanding men of god do a fine job of destroying themselves.

[…]

With great detail, Barber explains the Modern American leftist war strategy. It starts by vilifying Christians. They then begin scheming, quite often with success, to get Christians terminated from employment and forever marked with a scarlet “C” to inhibit any future prospects for employment.

We’ve seen this over and over. [What follows is a list of known bigots losing their positions, such as Gen. Jerry Boykin, who was fired, but rehired almost immediately.]

[…]

Next, Barber says, the radical left simultaneously attacks the family and works to tear it apart, at once sending a warning shot over the bow of other Christians and pushing them to the fringes of society. The ultimate goal? Conform to their pagan demands or face incarceration.

“What’s worse is that progressivism has, like a deadly cancer, fully metastasized into what passes for the church in America,” Barber says. “There is a great falling away afoot, and apostasy reigns supreme.”

As Barber sees it, the secular left doesn’t merely have a disagreement with Christianity. He explains these are not people with whom one may reason, compromise or even disagree; they are dedicated to evil; and they demand nothing less than the abolition of the biblical worldview, and the destruction of Christ’s followers right along with it.

Holy fuck, I’m about to overdose on melodrama here. Secular and pagan are now the same thing? I’m secular, but not pagan. I have zero interest in making any theist conform to my demands, and even less interest in forming some sort of prison for those who don’t comply to whatever. That sounds more like a religious thing to do. As an atheist and a humanist, what I do want is for Christians to go about their lives as they wish, while keeping their religion the fuck out of everyone else’s lives. Simple enough. Stop trying to enforce religious law every 5 seconds, and withdraw your collective nose out of people’s genitals. Learn to mind your own damn business when it comes to private medical decisions. Realize that freedom of religion doesn’t mean Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. If you don’t like that horrible public education, send your kids to private school, or home school. Pray privately, as your own holy book tells you to do. Stop insisting on show prayer everywhere, all the time. It doesn’t impress anyone. Stop wailing over granting basic human rights to all people. No one is at your door with chaps, a whip, and the notorious Gay Agenda.

“Now is the time to fight back. If you are someone, Christian or not, who refuses to see Christianity wiped out—like it ever could be—and your children indoctrinated into pure evil, then sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option,” Barber says. “We live in dire times. But with Christ, it’s never too late to turn the tide!”

Emphasis mine. Right, so why the fucking hysteria? Why the overdose of drama? I can clue you in, Matt. It’s called loss of privilege. People get upset about that, which is perfectly normal. What you need to do is adjust, adapt. The world is moving on, whether you like it or not.

I’m believing for transforming revival that changes America from the inside out. Sure, there will always be a radical left, but when some of the proponents of a godless nation get radically saved and speak out about their passion for Jesus, the tide will begin to turn.

The devil knows his time is short. Let’s keep praying.

Oh, I’m sure that will work. Yes. Stay in your houses, and pray. 24 / 7.  Show that Lucifer.

Full Court Hysteria Here.

Jesus Tree Giving Up The Ghost.

The tree that hides Jesus in better days.

The tree that hides Jesus in better days.

The Jesus in question exposed.

The Jesus in question exposed.

SOUTH PORTLAND — The pine tree planted to hide what some call the googly-eyed Jesus may be dying.

The long, green needles of the Austrian pine, which obscures a controversial mural of Jesus Christ on the bell tower of Holy Cross Catholic Church on Cottage Road, have mysteriously turned brown in recent weeks.

[…]

“I think pollution is doing a number on it,” Roberts said Tuesday. “It’s got something going on.”

Roberts, who is a church member, said the tree also appeared to be dead a couple of years ago, but it rebounded after he applied a fertilizer and insecticide. Now, road salt and other pollution may be taking a toll once again.

“This time it may be gone,” Roberts said. “It may have to come out.”

[…]

On April 17, the Maine Sunday Telegram published a story about the tree and its strategic placement in front of the mural. At that time, the needles on the tree were green. In that story, Henchal said parishioners didn’t talk much about the mural, though the hidden Jesus is something of a legend among children who attend the parochial school next door.

At the high-traffic intersection of Broadway and Cottage Road, the enamel-on-steel mural was installed in 1980 to replace a deteriorating tile facade on the church, which was built in 1950. Titled “Spirit of the Matter: A Christian Triptych,” the mural was designed by Damariscotta artist John Janii Laberge at the direction of a church committee.

In the April story, Laberge admitted that he has often thought of cutting the tree down with a chainsaw to expose his artwork. On Monday, Laberge said he had noticed the tree’s failing condition last week when he was dog-sitting for a friend in South Portland, but he was quick to deflect any suspicion that he is responsible.

“I didn’t poison it,” Laberge volunteered. “It may not be dead. I’ve seen it that way before and it came back. It’s probably just going through its seasonal changes.”

The response to the mural has been mixed from the start, especially to the whites of the eyes, which stare woefully toward heaven in a pose suggesting medieval religious art. While some say it’s an apt representation of pain and suffering, others say it’s creepy or scary. Laberge says he delivered on the church committee’s request to depict a “powerful, working-class Christ.”

“I wanted a strong, drive-by presence,” Laberge said. “I made something bold and big that tells something about the crucifixion and what came after. I warned them that depictions of Christ are a touchy thing.”

When Laberge drives past the mural today, he questions the negative reaction.

“It’s not that bad,” Laberge said. “A person who died on the cross is not going to look pretty.”

[…]

The mural became the subject of community controversy in 2001, when church officials considered making changes to the artwork as part of building renovations. The renovations ran over budget, however, so the idea of altering the mural was dropped, church members said. Soon after, someone suggested planting a tree in front of the mural as a way to take care of the problem.

The plan seemed to be working until the tree started showing signs of stress in recent years. Whether it can be brought back from the brink a second time is unclear.

Full Story Here. So, no one suggested praying the tree back to life? I’m shocked, after all, it’s not a fig tree. After staring at that art work for what is probably too long, I think they need a much bigger tree. Much bigger.

Mary Lou Bruner, Loser.

Texas State Board of Education District 9 candidate Mary Lou Bruner (WFAA/screen grab)

Texas State Board of Education District 9 candidate Mary Lou Bruner (WFAA/screen grab)

Remember Ms. It’s A Theory, Theories Are Unproven Bruner?   Well, she’s not going to be sitting on the Texas Board of Education this year. All I can say is that I’m grateful for the outbreak of sanity (no doubt temporary, but still) that ousted her.

Texas voters on Tuesday decided the state’s school board should not include a retired teacher who claimed President Barack Obama was a gay prostitute and said dinosaurs might still be around if Noah had more room on his biblical ark.

Mary Lou Bruner, 69, an arch-conservative with a penchant for conspiracy theories, lost by 18 percent to fellow Republican Keven Ellis in a primary race for the board that sets policies for the nation’s second-largest school system, unofficial Office of the Secretary of State results showed.

[…]

Bruner has blamed U.S. school shootings on the teaching of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in classrooms and said Noah loaded dinosaurs on the ark to escape the biblical flood. “The dinosaurs on the ark may have been babies and not able to reproduce.

It might make sense to take the small dinosaurs onto the ark instead of the ones bigger than a bus,” she said on Facebook.

“Texas escaped an education train wreck tonight,” said Kathy Miller, president of the government watchdog group Texas Freedom Network, in a statement.

While the comments brought her ridicule in some parts of the country, in East Texas they also vaulted her to the top in a March primary, where she won 48 percent of the vote.

Bruner, who taught elementary school and special education for 36 years, had toned down the rhetoric recently and had been commenting only on her platform for the seat on the 15-member state school board that oversees the educational system and approves textbooks for some 5 million public school children.

Full Story Here.

Twitter drops photos and videos from 140-character limit.

A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo in Bordeaux, southwestern France, March 10, 2016. (REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/Illustration/File Photo)

A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo in Bordeaux, southwestern France, March 10, 2016. (REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/Illustration/File Photo)

witter Inc said on Tuesday that user names and media attachments such as photos and videos will no longer count toward the length of a tweet but the 140-character limit will remain.

Twitter said the change, part of its efforts to simplify its microblogging service, will happen in the next few months.

“A few simple changes to make conversations on Twitter easier! And no more removing characters for images or videos!” Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said in a 115-character tweet. (http://bit.ly/1s78BmY).

[…]

Additional changes include the ability to retweet and quote-tweet a person’s own posts.

Nice changes for twitterers. Full Story Here.

San Francisco 49ers Call for a Repeal of N.C.’s Anti-LGBT Law

Jed York, The CEO of the 49ers called HB 2 "bad for our employees, bad for our fans, and bad for business."

Jed York, The CEO of the 49ers called HB 2 “bad for our employees, bad for our fans, and bad for business.”

Jed York, the CEO of the San Francisco 49ers, is calling for a repeal of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT House Bill 2.

The National Football League hosted meetings in Charlotte, N.C., this week. Chris Sgro, the executive direcctor of Equality N.C. and the only openly LGBT person in the North Carolina legislature, says it was during this time that York chose to meet with LGBT advocates and transgender North Carolinians to learn about the impact of the anti-LGBT law. Sgro announced that the 49ers were contributing a gift of $75,000 to the Equality North Carolina Foundation to support the work of the organization.

In a statement published Tuesday, York said the San Francisco 49ers are “deeply concerned” about HB 2 because the team believes that “discriminatory laws” are “bad for our employees, bad for our fans, and bad for business.”

[…]

HB 2 will “make it far more challenging for businesses across the state to recruit and retain the nation’s best and brightest workers and attract the most talented students from across the country,” said York, the CEO of the 49ers. York echoed a fear many North Carolinians have expressed, which is that HB 2 has and will continue to create loss in business for the state. The law will “diminish the state’s draw as a destination for sporting events, tourism and conventions, and new business activity,” the CEO said. York added that his team “prides” itself on inclusivity and will “strongly urge” Gov. Pat McCrory and the North Carolina legislature to repeal HB 2.

Perhaps the threat of no more new NC sports stars will get through to McCrory. Nothing else has worked so far. I am not remotely into sports, but a big Yay! for Jed York and the 49ers.

Full Story Here.

Transgendered Orders from White House.

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Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump had a nice little chat about that whole transgender business, which didn’t take long to devolve into the same old, same old. “Eh, this bathroom thing isn’t necessary”, “this isn’t human rights”, and “shockingly expensive”. I’ve run right out of eyerolls, they need new lines.

Trump told the Fox News host that he supports leaving the issue of transgender rights up to the states. “You know Obama’s getting into a very tricky territory,” he said, referencing the guidance issued by the Obama administration. “The amazing thing is so many people are talking about this now and we have to protect everybody even if it’s one person… but this is such a tiny part of our population.”

O’Reilly asked Trump if he provided gender-neutral facilities in his properties. “No, we don’t have that,” replied Trump. “I hope not. Because frankly it would be unbelievably expensive nationwide. It would be hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Trump did not elaborate on how he arrived at this estimate, nor did he acknowlege that in many cases, gender-neutral bathrooms could be established simply by removing gender-specific signs from doors. Additionally, allowing transgender people access to the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, as Trump previously advocated, costs nothing.

[…]

Trump said he wasn’t sure about whether trans rights are “human rights,” but providing gender-neutral restrooms would be “an unbelievably expensive thing to do,” he told O’Reilly. Instead, the country should be “spending money on other things,” said Trump. “Frankly, the number of people we’re talking about is really a small number. Again protect them — but it’s a very very small number,” said Trump.

Full Story Here. Watch Trump discuss transgender rights, begining at 4:09.

https://youtu.be/IUq70p-PnV0

Offended by the Redskins?: An Indian Country Twitter Poll.

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As some of you know, The Washington Post recently ran a story on Thursday about a poll of 504 people which indicated that 90% of Native Americans are not offended by the Washington Redskins name.

Shortly after the article, I tweeted the hashtag #IAmNativeIWasNotAsked, which trended on Thursday night.

[…]

It’s true that some Native people say they are not offended by the Redskins name, but in my experience, they are rare. I have also been told on numerous occasions where I was asked to appear on television, online or on national radio to discuss the Redskins, the organizers and producers had an extremely difficult time finding a Native person who approved of the Redskins name.

The Washington Post says they spoke to a random selection of 504 Native American people. In a country with 566 federally recognized reservations (not including the Pamunkey up for Federal and the multitude of State or unrecognized tribes) this roughly equates to less than one person per federally recognized tribe.

According to the Post’s numbers, available here interestingly, the percentages reflected in 2016 are identical to the poll numbers from the National Annenberg Election Survey from 2004.

A Twitter Poll

I know this is not “scientific,” or acceptable standards for a national poll, but a simple Twitter poll I created Thursday evening at 11:59 pm est generated 200 responses in just a few hours. As of Friday afternoon, 83% of those people say they are offended by the Redskins name.

Full Article Here. Vincent Schilling talks about this specific issue in his ‘No I Won’t Just Move On’ Hashtag: Why I Made It, We Need It Column.

Yuichi Ikehata

I have been paying attention to art of all kinds for most of my life, and Ikehata’s work is right at the very top of the most evocative works I have ever seen. Incredibly evocative. Thought provoking. Poignant. Emotional. A reminder of our mortality, our fragility. Staggeringly beautiful. Terrifying. Astonishing. Look at everything. Click on it all, see it full size.

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Yuichi Ikehata works.   Fragmented beauty: Japan’s Yuichi Ikehata – artist profile.

We live from moment to moment in a mix of truth and fiction that we consider to be reality. The distinction between reality and fiction is a relationship such that we require one in order to recognize the other, and at times they are so closely connected that we are unable to distinguish the two.

Fragment of Long Term Memory (LTM), an ongoing photographic series, conveys an unrealistic world through fragments of reality. My understanding of reality comes from its moments of beauty, sadness, fun, perfection, and those days when nothing special happens. Many parts of our memories, however, are often forgotten, or difficult to recall. I retrieve those fragmented moments and reconstruct them as surreal images.

I always feel an uncertain anxiety. I find it important to have this anxiety stimulated by negative factors and feelings surrounding the uncertainty of existence, because by feeling my own existence as small and unstable, this in turn will lead to my recognizing a vast world and being in awe of it.