I’m an EX-Lutheran. Do I still have to register?

Uh-oh. I agree with this. Lutherans are a terrible people who have inflicted much pain and suffering on others in their history, and if we’re going to start discriminating against people for their religion, it’s a fine place to start.


But…but…I was brought up as a Lutheran. I’ve since renounced the faith, but my driver’s license does say “Minnesøda”, and I’ve got Scandinavian grandma stories to tell, and I know a few Ole & Lena jokes, and I might be able to remember a verse or two of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”. This is probably enough to indict me, especially since our country’s new Muslim ban doesn’t give a flying goddamn about what people think, but just makes sweeping prohibitions based on country of origin.

I also probably belong on the list because hot dish and weak church coffee are enough to inspire me to contemplate revolution already.

I was worried for a moment that I’d also have to be on the atheist registry, but the ongoing alignment of that philosophy with neocon principles might actually counterbalance the Lutheran entanglement. Unless it’s an SJW Atheist registry, then I’ll be doubly damned.


  1. blf says

    On the presumed coming Muslim registry, a number of people (myself included†) have publicly stated we will register as Muslims.

     †  In my case there is a caveat: I am an ex-pat and generally have no contact with USArseholian authorities, and intend to continue in that manner. Hence, any register-as-Muslim, should a registry be established, will happen only in the course of what little contact I do have…

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I agree.
    Can’t fight a fire by building more fires.
    Feed the first to exhaustion. Overwhelm the Muslim Registry, inundate them with registrees that will mire them into drowning. What is known as “Red Tape” can work both ways.

  3. bcwebb says


  4. coragyps says

    I plan to register as a Muslim, and I plan to wear a yellow Star of David as well. If it’s good enough for the King of Denmark….

  5. blf says


    Retrospective, no time limit…

    And since that also includes people from Greenland (Denmark), many of whom are Inuit, to be safe, the ban must also include other notorious Inuit-hotspots, namely everyone from Canada, Alaska, and Russia.

  6. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    How about we go full inverse: disband the INS (Immigration Naturalization Service) and open the borders fully to all who arrive. When a refugee escapes their oppression and makes their way to our border, let then in without question, just wave them in, no passport requirement at all. Why not. They are here to be better, so let them; we’ll all benefit from what they end up contributing. Let’s put the Statue of Liberty’s words into literal effect. What could go wrong, realistically, not hypothetically.

  7. blf says

    slithey tove@7, Without commenting on the merits and demerits of the idea, I will point out it is incoherent: At one point you talk of “full inverse: disband the INS […] and open the borders fully to all who arrive.” In the very next sentence you restrict this fully-open to “refugee[s]”, which is only a subset of travelers to the States. What happened to all the other travelers? Some may be visitors (tourists or visiting relations), some may be seeking to live in the US but are not refugees, some may merely be transiting, and so on…

    I point out there is an international definition of refugee (all emboldening in the original): “Article 1(A)(2) of the 1951 Convention [relating to the Status of Refugees] defines a refugee as an individual who is outside his or her country of nationality or habitual residence who is unable or unwilling to return due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on his or her race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.”

  8. says

    I just did a google search on “Minnesøda”, wondering if that was a meme I was missing, and the only thing that came up was this post. If it ends up taking off you can take all the credit :). Just thought you might like to know……

  9. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    When when you Lutherans, or Muslims, are fleeing Hair Furor, just remember…

    “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada”
    – Justin Trudeau, 28/01/17

  10. blf says

    Dave@12, “Hair Furor” — I am so stealing that… (typed from the floor were he is still giggling)

  11. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    Glad you liked it, I wish I could claim to be that witty, but I stole it too. First spot I saw it was a HuffPo atricle called, “Hair Furor and the Tiny Sausage Fingers”. Note: Someone has already called dibs on the band name.

  12. says

    I’m an EX-Lutheran. Do I still have to register?

    Yes. According to what the people who want religious registries have said about Obama, your religion is not defined by what you believe, or even by how you were brought up, but by the nominal religion of a parent who didn’t raise you even though he converted to a different one at age 6 and later renounced religion altogether. So you’re pretty well screwed here.

  13. says

    I wouldn’t worry. They’ll get around to weeding out other minorities (e.g. catholics, Asians, atheists, jews, etc.) once they have gotten rid of the first one. Ideological purity and its partner racial purity walk arm in arm…or should I say, they march lockstep in goosestep.

  14. says

    On the presumed coming Muslim registry, a number of people (myself included†) have publicly stated we will register as Muslims.

    I’m up for some civil disobedience, but does anyone know how the Muslims themselves feel about this idea? I mean, I’m sure there will be mixed opinions in the Muslim community, but if a majority or even a significant minority consider people pretending to be their co-religionists just as offensive as the registry itself then the whole thing seems kind of – I don’t know – tainted? That’s not really a good word but I can’t think of a better one.

  15. blf says

    Sarah A@17, There is an article at the Chicago Herald Tribune about whether or not registering as a Muslim would help or not. (The site does not like ad-blockers, so I will not link to it as a matter of principle.)

    Summarising, the Muslims interviewed said doing so is appreciated and welcomed. Some warned doing so could legitimize the concept of such registers. They also suggest donating to organisations such as CAIR, ACLU, SPLC, and Amnesty International.

  16. ChasCPeterson says

    “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”

    Lyrics and inspiration notwithstanding, one of the most beautiful pieces of music out of Europe, ever. The harmony for the “armed with cruel HATE” LINE ALONE.

    They’ll get around to weeding out other minorities (e.g. catholics, Asians, atheists, jews, etc.) once they have gotten rid of the first one.

    ? No they won’t. Thanks to the actual real actions of specific-religion-motivated murderers, just the one scapegoat will be sufficient for a long, long time.

  17. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @8:
    uh yes.
    I just threw in “refugees” to emphasize their inclusion. Not to isolate them as the only ones eligible.
    I are a enginere not a writer. so I struggle with constructing sentences. sorry. I guess you understood me, despite my poor semantics. *sigh*

  18. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    Chas @19

    one of the most beautiful pieces of music out of Europe, ever.

    We must be thinking of very different pieces of music. The one I remember from church as a kid was practically a dirge. It was plodding and ominous and leaden.

  19. peptron says

    Be careful because Canada might not be as welcoming as people might think:

    There has been a shoot out about 10 kilometers from where I live, about 20 minutes ago, in Quebec City. The shooter was probably a right-wing extremist. He stormed a mosque (Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre) trying to kill as many muslims as he could. At least 5 dead and 12 wounded. The shooter is still on the run and probably fled to the Île d’Orléans.

  20. Rob Grigjanis says

    Dave @22: In my experience, yer average Lutheran (or Anglican) church congregation could make “Don’t Worry Be Happy” sound like a dirge.

    I wouldn’t go as far as Chas, but it is a fine piece of music. Just staying with hymns, I’d put Howard Goodall’s setting of Psalm 23 (see The Vicar of Dibley), or Geoffrey Burgon’s setting of the Nunc Dimittis, or Jerusalem (especially the cover by Emerson Lake and Palmer), well ahead.

  21. kevinkirkpatrick says

    I hate to deflate everyone’s “I am Spartacus!” visions of altruistic grandeur, but… I don’t think it’s going to be that easy. I suspect the Muslim registry is already under construction, and sincerely doubt its being build with anything like an “opt-in/opt-out” interface.

    I fully expect that Trump’s henchmen (with Banon leading the charge) have gleefully snatched up the already-notorious “no-fly list”, and are working diligently on three key changes:

    1) It will be renamed to something like “terrorist watch list”, and will have a more “sophisticated” classification scheme: Each person on the list will be rated on a “terrorist” scale of 1-3; where 1 is “person of interest” and 2 is “suspected sympathizer” and 3 is “suspected terrorist”.

    2) The conditions for inclusion, though brazenly hidden from public oversight, will be vastly expanded. They will be stretched to include any person with any heritage-based ties to known terrorist states (doublespeak for “brown people”) who either
    * have ever met up with any group that extols violence (doublespeak for “attended and/or worshiped at a mosque”)
    * are in a position to be radicalized by anyone on the list (doublespeak for, “is a relative of someone on the list, or has engaged with someone on the list via social-media.”)

    The overall construct will be a de-facto Muslim registry, just structured for official deniability of such.

    3) Though the criteria by which people are added to the list will remain forever masked in secrecy; the list itself will become much more publicly visible. Brown people who are merely “persons of interest” will, begrudgingly, wear an armband identifying themselves as such, if the alternative is having their list-status (and that of their closest friends and relatives) bumped to “suspected sympathizer”. “Suspected sympathizers” will begrudgingly limit their travel and commerce, lest their status be bumped to “suspected terrorist”. And being a “suspected terrorist” will mean that anytime something goes down in your proximity, it’s “indefinite detention” time.

    Un-checked, Trump will see that the courts are filled by judges who are sympathetic to the argument: those who wear counterfeit armbands or falsely claim to be on the list are seeking to undermine the safety of all Americans – and deserve to be treated every bit as harshly as if they were, e.g., printing counterfeit bills or falsely claiming to be policemen.

    In other words, Trump sure as hell isn’t going to make “active protest” of these measures as easy as “I’m going to put my name on that Muslim registry. I am Spartacus!”.

  22. blf says

    kevinkirkpatrick@27, Yes, yes, I’ve seen that line of (similar) reasoning before. And so what? It’s trivial to subvert, e.g., read daesh’s Dabiq (albeit doing so conflates Muslim with fruitcakes), visit a Mosque (who are usually quite welcoming), and other benign acts, admittedly perhaps not as easy as ticking a box or filling in a blank.

  23. kevinkirkpatrick says

    To the contrary; I’d argue that its nowhere near trivial, and quickly approaching the point of being impossible, to subvert the tools Trump has (and will have) at hand. Sure, 10 years ago it may have been plausible to disrupt machine-learning algorithms with sufficient “noise” data points (large numbers of people deliberately behaving in a way to generate misleading/confusing data points). But the AI algorithms of today and tomorrow will not be remotely challenged by the need to spot such “mimicry activism” in the underlying data.

    Do you honestly think you can change your behavior sufficiently that an average human couldn’t survey your social media footprint (contacts, relatitionships, and writing/conversations), plus census data, tax data, employment data, etc, and immediately peg you as “not a Muslim who is deliberately doing some Muslim-like things”? Because even today, if you’re not fooling an average human, you’re not fooling the AI engines already in existence. And in 2-4 years, even that standard will be a historic artifact.

    One bright side to this is… well, to be honest, I don’t have a bright side. IMO, Trump has at hand all the tools needed to be every bit as sinister as he wants to be. And “We The People” are rapidly falling farther away from having anything close to the power or tools needed to slow him down. Then-President Obama was quite prophetic in a statement made a few months ago (paraphrasing – can’t find the exact wording), when he said: The technology available to the US government needs to be kept in check; now, more than ever, we need leadership that asks “Should we do this” rather than “Can we do this”. IMO we’ve put exactly the wrong person in power to confront that issue.

  24. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    I suspect the Muslim registry will be every bit as well-thought-out as the Executive Orders spouting from the White House.