Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The group that gives Christians a bad name

The vast majority of the Christians in America today, whether they call themselves conservative or liberal, are all basically good people. That’s also true, of course, for the vast majority of Muslims, Jews, agnostics, atheists, and “neo pagans”.

Within each group, there are bound to be a few bad apples.

In the recent past, three conservative Republican congressmen (the folks who are in favor of “trans” bathrooms laws) were found guilty of sexually harassing people - in public bathrooms.

Josh Duggar was formerly the executive director of FRC Action, a lobbying group that is affiliated with the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group that eventually became part of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. The Family Research Council has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Josh’s television career ended when it was revealed that he had molested 4 of his sisters, was a member of the Ashley Madison “let’s have an affair” website, and he sexually assaulted pornographic film actress Danica Dillon.

The Duck Dynasty family has faced problems ranging from alcoholism to marital infidelity, but still manages to portray an image of a good Christina family on their syndicated television show.

In 2015 in the United States, there were 372 mass shootings in America, which killed 475 and wounded 1870. ONE of those mass shootings was committed by a married Muslim couple in California. That makes sense, of course, since a large number of Americans believe that ALL MUSLIMS ARE KILLERS.

Although most people have never heard of it, the secular American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has written hundreds of “model laws” for state legislatures. A fair number of them (especially the “stand your ground” and voter ID laws) eventually became law in a variety of states. The vast majority of the laws written by ALEC, however, do far more harm than good.

ALEC has a religious counterpart in a group called the Alliance for Defending Freedom. It was founded in 1994 by a variety of people who would be charitably be called “right wing religious conservatives” That group includes the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, the founder of Crown Financial Ministries, the founder of Focus on the Family, the founder of Coral Ridge Ministries, and the founder of the American Family Association.

If you'd like to read more about the group, just click on the link below. Be sure to watch the video:

who is ADF?

Like ALEC, ADF has written “model laws” for various state legislatures, and some of them have become law. They wrote Arizona’s SB 1062, which Governor Brewer wisely vetoed during her last year in office, thus preventing Arizona from losing the 2015 Super Bowl and its $720 million economic impact.

The folks in Indiana most be slow learners, since Governor Mike Pence signed their version of a “religious freedom bill”, SB 101, (also known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act) on March 26, 2015. To date, that law has cost Indiana a minimum of $60 million in lost tourism dollars.

The folks in North Carolina must REALLY be slow learners, since they passed HB 2 earlier this year. Before the ink was dry on the bill, two prominent musicians cancelled their concerts in the state, and several employers have decided to expand their operations in states other than North Carolina.

Many Catholics won’t watch the Academy Award winning picture “Spotlight” due to the fact that it is critical of the Catholic Church, a position that is perfectly understandable. I would be considered “liberal” on social issues, so there are movies that I would not want to see either. The list would include conservative political films, like Dinesh D'Souza's "2016:Obama's America". It also would include movies that film critics have called “Christian propaganda” films.

One of the 109 priests that have been charges with sexual abuse is a man who baptized one of our young relatives in Minnesota. Despite the fact that he molested over 100 young boys, and cost the Church $6 million in legal fess, he suffered virtually no penalty at all. He’s been receiving his pension for more than 30 years, and will have full medical and dental coverage for the rest of his life.

The sexual abuse scandal in the United States has cost the Catholic Church over $3 billion, and resulted in more than one diocese being forced into bankruptcy protection, including the one in Tucson.

The sexual scandal in the Catholic Church, naturally, is not just limited to the United States. When Pope Benedict was cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in Germany, he actively worked to SUPPRESS any discussions of sexual impropriety. In May of 2001, he sent a confidential letter to all bishops, warning them of the extreme gravity of a certain crime. The “certain crime” was the reporting of rape and torture to local authorities. In others, it’s OK to cover up the sexual assault itself, but it’s NOT OK to report it to the proper authorities.

We’ve had freedom of religion in our country since its founding. The Founding Fathers were also firm believers is keeping religion separate from politics.. More often than not, though, they tend to blend together. As a result, truly incompetent people (like Louie Gohmert of Texas) get elected to office solely on the basis of the fact that they are religious people.

In its quest to lure more “religious people” to its side, the preamble to the 2012 Republican Party Platform contains TWO references to God - when there should not be any.

As a country, we are always going to have differences of opinion on religion and politics. If we can somehow manage to keep both discussions totally separate, we’re all going to make decisions that are an awful lot smarter.

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