A gen-u-ine Holy Man is about to summon the Wrath of You-Know-Who down on Never Trumpers.

If we so choose and decide to set our heart and our mind to fasting and prayer, we can move the hand of God to do anything that he would desire to do and give him the will—we have to choose, of course—to have his freedom, to say, ‘God, go do your thing right now.’

“This is going on the internet and I’m sure somebody will pick up what I’ve said. Right Wing Watch, I know you watch me, so go ahead and post what I just said and let’s see what happens. And then when it happens, you can apologize for being an idiot.

So there you go, Gentle Reader: We’re all doomed. Sorry.

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Showdown in Texas

The Houston Archdiocese is challenging a federal rule which prohibits foster care providers from discriminating against LGBTQ people.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston wants to become a foster care provider in Texas, but only if the Catholic organization is exempt from a federal rule meant to protect LGBT people from discrimination.

The archdiocese is teaming up with the Texas Attorney General’s office and the Department of Family and Protective Services to challenge the rule that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identify, and other characteristics.

This should be easy: “Nope. Sorry, padre, but you have to treat willing same-sex couples just as you would treat any other eligible couple.”

Certainly, a self-funded religious organization offering foster– and adoption-services should be able to enforce its beliefs — if it does business using only its own money. If is is funded with public monies, then it has to serve the entire public from whom the money came — including LGBTQ couples who, after all, put up some of the money being used. Seriously: Why should anybody be required to fund discrimination against themselves?

The role of LGBTQ people in society is one of those issues about which little compromise is ever likely; the Biblical condemnation is simply too definite and unambiguous to overlook. What is more it is encrusted with tradition and, since the Stonewall riot, a lot of ugly politics. Neither side is ever going to stand down.

However, the scientific research points definitely to the conclusion that the components of sexuality are hard-coded before birth and, rightly, that is what the overwhelming majority of educational institutions teach. Ultimately, then — not in my lifetime, or the lifetime of the majority of the readers of this blog — that discrimination will dwindle into a bad memory. Good. There are more important things to worry about than what the gentleman bachelors down the street get up to, and we should start, today, ignoring the ignorant busybodies who care.

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Excused ignorance

It seems that the Republican legislature in the Buckeye State has passed a measure which excuses high school students from learning the rudiments of biology — specifically, evolution — so long as they are sincere in their ignorance.

Ohio lawmakers are weighing in on how public schools can teach things like evolution.

The Ohio House on Wednesday passed the “Student Religious Liberties Act.” Under the law, students can’t be penalized if their work is scientifically wrong as long as the reasoning is because of their religious beliefs.

Instead, students are graded on substance and relevance.

Ohio has a bicameral legislature, so all is not lost; it’s at least possible that the state Senate will reject this nonsense.

I don’t doubt that lot of Ohioans like the sound of this bill, but they’re not going to like it at all when they realize that protecting ignorance undermines their manufacturing base and, even, modern agriculture.

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Quote for the day

The Bible is not what Evangelicals claim it is. Educated Evangelical preachers know this, yet on Sundays they play make-believe, leading congregants to think that the Bible is the very words of God/Jesus. These preachers know this is a lie, but their identity and economic well being are based on perpetuating this untruth Sunday after Sunday. They must not tell congregants the truth lest they find out the emperor has no clothes. Evangelical preachers know that if their charges question the purity and veracity of the Holy Bible, why, what’s next? Questions are the slippery slope that leads to liberalism and apostasy. For these preachers, better to lie than to cause people to lose their faith.

Bruce Gerencser

This quote points toward something I’ve wondered about for years: Which of these guys are idiots, and which are whores specialized in servicing idiots? I’ll be damned if I know, or if I’ve ever managed to devise a good test for distinguishing between them.

There is a further issue here. The whole of Christian thought rests on Original Sin — the teaching that …

  • Y’all are no damn good

  • Y’all were born no damn good

  • Y’all can never be any damn good

  • And the only way to avoid the eternal punishment you deserve — Yay! Salvation! — is to join the correct club.

No healthy adult is going to accept such a preposterous teaching; Christianity needs for people to be troubled in order to spread and thrive. And I wonder how many preachers have thought about their own words carefully enough to recognize that, and how many cynically exploit the troubled?

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More problems for Paige Patterson

Paige Patterson, a leader of the SBC’s so-called Conservative Resurgence and fired as the head of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for mishandling sexual misconduct complaints, now faces fire for a letter written upon the election of the denomination’s first black president.

There are a great many reasons to dislike Paige Patterson, and he deserved to be fired, but I’m not certain this letter is so awful as it is being construed. After all, according to the letter, the first black president is charged with appointing minorities to other positions of responsibility within the denomination — and religious beliefs are not informed by only theology (a dubious branch of ‘knowledge’ to begin with) but also culture. The Resurgence was, certainly, a southern conservative and white project, and I suspect that what the letter really points to is the uneasy relationship between theology and culture, and Patterson’s difficulty keeping them separate.

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