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Thursday, September 22, 2005

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richard lo cicero

Hi y'all, I'm back after a short hospital stay - doing fine thanks - and another hurricane threatens the Gulf. It really is Deja Vu all over again.

Are these hurricanes portents of the rapture? I like to think that if they are God's messages the almighty might be trying to comment on our fossil fuel use. I mean, why else knock out a quarter of our oil and gas production? Verily, I hear him (her?) saying: "Stop driving SUVs!" I think the Kinkster said "Jesus is coming and boy is he pissed!" But I hope he wasn't sore at the Big Easy, If he really wanted to smite a modern day Soddom he'd go after Vegas - sorry Marc.

But one you can be sure of this time. GWB will be all over the place handing out goodies. Even though Karl Rove - in charge? - will be at a fundraiser. No I expect another $200 billion in Bush bucks with lots of photo ops. And don't worry about where the dough comes from. No wonder this guy was a failure in business!

The NATIONAL EBQUIRER says Chimpy is drinking again. Maybe, but a few more years of these guys and "natural" disasters (Iraq?) will drive us all to booze! And boy the hangover!

richard lo cicero

Hi y'all, I'm back after a short hospital stay - doing fine thanks - and another hurricane threatens the Gulf. It really is Deja Vu all over again.

Are these hurricanes portents of the rapture? I like to think that if they are God's messages the almighty might be trying to comment on our fossil fuel use. I mean, why else knock out a quarter of our oil and gas production? Verily, I hear him (her?) saying: "Stop driving SUVs!" I think the Kinkster said "Jesus is coming and boy is he pissed!" But I hope he wasn't sore at the Big Easy, If he really wanted to smite a modern day Soddom he'd go after Vegas - sorry Marc.

But one you can be sure of this time. GWB will be all over the place handing out goodies. Even though Karl Rove - in charge? - will be at a fundraiser. No I expect another $200 billion in Bush bucks with lots of photo ops. And don't worry about where the dough comes from. No wonder this guy was a failure in business!

The NATIONAL EBQUIRER says Chimpy is drinking again. Maybe, but a few more years of these guys and "natural" disasters (Iraq?) will drive us all to booze! And boy the hangover!

The end of the world and armageddon have been predicted many times throughout history. The advent of the internet just allows the message to be spread more widely.

Michael Turner

You can help the Kinky Friedman for Governor Campaign by paying $5,000 to play golf with Kinky, Jesse Ventura and Willie Nelson. Yee-ha. Yes, you, too, can be the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, out there on the putting green. Sign ... me ... UP!

I admit I'm kind of worried that this guy might have some history with alcohol and drugs that disqualifies him from being a credible candidate for Governor of Tex-- ... uh. Never mind.

That animation definitely will lose Kinky votes in the Bible Belt, no two ways. It names the Lord's take in vain. Or, vainly lords and takes names. Or ... I dunno, however that commandment goes. I can't for the life of me remember how, ever since the Communists had the Ten Big Ones taken down from where they used to stand in front of the courthouse ....

Woody

Saying those fringe denominations represent Christianity is like saying Lyndon LaRouche represents all Democrats.

reg

But of course, Andrew didn't say...oh, nevermind.

Moving right along...that giant menorah in Kinky's cartoon is gonna be a deal-breaker. Most Texans won't know what it is, but it'll remind them of Liberace and they'll begin to suspect that the Kinkster doesn't have sufficient gravitas to govern Texas.

Woody

reg, in these posts, Andrew has shown a journalistic pattern of taking the worst about his "opponents" and presenting those views or rumors in combination with a label, like Christian or Republican; and, then he lets the reader assume that is typical of the people with those labels. He and you can step back and say, "I didn't specifically say that", but it's clear what the inference was and what a non-discerning reader, like a Democrat, should take away from the article.

So, I guess that I can take the views of Ward Churchill, combine those with a discussion on universities, and let everyone assume that all professors are nuts (which isn't true, because there are still professors in the business schools.)

People gain prejudices from such improper presentations, and both sides do it. I would like to see a little less from your side.

reg

Sorry Woody, but as a Democrat I'm obviously just too goddam stupid to see the pattern.

Marc Davidson

"Saying those fringe denominations represent Christianity is like saying Lyndon LaRouche represents all Democrats."

I don't think Andrew is saying that. He's just saying that there are enough that politicians feel that they need to pander to them. Imagine anyone getting elected in the Bible Belt who doesn't go to church.

reg

Just one question, Woody. Are Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Tim LaHaye (the Left Behind author) representative of "fringe denominations" and fringe theology in your view ?


There's really no "correct" answer here. I happen to think these characters aren't fringe in that they tend a quite large flock of sheep, but are crackpots nonetheless. Just curious as to how crazy a so-called Christian has to be for you to consider them "fringe" or, as I believe, is it more a question of the numbers.

Mavis Beacon

Glad to hear you're doing well Richard.

I too have occasionally stupified myself surfing the Christian fundie websites. To be fair, they frighten me on a regular basis - it doesn't take a disaster of epic proportions to let me know that I don't have tons in common with Jerry Falwell and Jimmy Swaggart. And it's not just Christians - crazy is an equal opportunity employer - some Jews are getting in on the act as well http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46178 )

Woody

What's fringe is a matter of opinion and perspective, and I don't think it's a numbers game; but, some statements are obviously out of the mainstream and are less a matter of opinion as a matter of fact. The best rule of thumb is to compare what someone says to scripture and see how it holds up.

Some people can be in the mainstream and still say something crazy from time-to-time. For instance, Robertson could be very effective at helping people to find salvation and yet say something crazy about assassinating a country's president. Overall, he tries to present God's word well, but he can get off track on his politics. As with him, it's probably best to evaluate the statements than to make blanket statements on the person, although that might be appropriate in extreme cases.

No one is going to be perfect and free from criticism. A friend the other day was telling me about someone who attacked the people in the church. My friend said that everyone in there is a sinner, and he's right. Just because you're a preacher or a church-goer won't make you always right. People go to church because they acknowledge that they are imperfect and are seeking to be molded according to God's will. It's a great place to start.

Falwell is not fringe, but I think that he is often unfairly portrayed and attacked simply because he has political views contrary to the left. For decades, the left has decried preachers being involved in politics and have run many back into hiding behind the church walls--unless they are from liberal or black churches. Falwell, to his credit, takes the attacks and stands his ground.

I always liked LaHaye, although I haven't read anything from him in years and years. He wrote a book titled "Battle for the Mind" which covered how the left was trying to recruit kids for its base from messages in our schools and media. That book was written probably about thirty years ago, but from what I remember he was accurate about the struggles between parents with traditional values against the left with non-traditional and non-Christian views. I'll see if it's boxed up or if my wife gave it away. It should be an interesting read to see what he predicted versus what happened.

Getting to politicians, people like to vote for those who have shared values. That way you don't have to worry about how he would vote on each issue and can trust him overall. If church helps to define those shared values, then fine.

I wouldn't vote for Friedman, first, because I'm not a Texas resident, and second, because he smokes--and everyone knows that people who smoke are stupid.

rosedog

Fringe? Hmmmm.

*A 2002 Time/CNN poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe the prophecies found in the Book of Revelations are all going to come to pass.

**The rapture driven "Left Behind" fiction book series---in which all the ba-a-aad non-believers like me, Michael Turner, Andrew, Reg, RLC and all Catholics are "left behind"---is one of the top sellers in the world.

**According to the Christian Science Monitor, more than 50 Million Americans believe in some "End Time" theology.

(And I'm not even going to mention the wealthy of info compiled in a much reprinted article published last year in the environmental journal, "Grist" telling how "...faith in the Apocalypse is a powerful driving force in modern American politics" to the point that a signficant number of Washington lawmakers feel they don't need to protect the environment because the end times are coming and "...until Jesus' return, the Lord will provide...." )

http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2004/10/27/scherer-christian/

Dunno, Woody, I think your religion (and the religion in which I was raised) is being highjacked by these folks.

Here, by the way, are the "Prophetic Top Ten" news items according to RaptureReady.com. Katrina is right at the top. (They don't seem to have gotten to Rita yet. Slow on the...er....uptake, I guess.)

http://www.raptureready.com/rap17.html

PS: Hi RLC! Glad you're okay and on the mend.

Woody

I just did a quick search on Amazon and found this link about LaHaye's "Battle for the Mind" book from 1980. http://tinyurl.com/dxh7h Here's what the one review said:

"Having been raised by an extreamist feminist, I recognized many of the accusations made by LaHaye in this book as being genuinely part of the feminist/humanist agenda. Even had I not become a follower of Christ, I would have recognized every statement as being true. What was most eye-opening for me was how accurate the author was in his predictions. He makes many statements about how '20 years from now...' that, having read this book in 2002, 20 years after the initial publishing, I could see how accurate he was."

As I remember, it was a scholarly approach to the subject and well footnoted, and this reviewer picked up on what I said about its accuracy standing the test of time.

Also, another scholarly analysis that I liked from that period was "How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture" by Francis Schaeffer. It was originally published in 1976 and apparently just updated by his son. http://tinyurl.com/7ezzt This is also along the same lines as LaHaye's and addresses what, back then, was considered the removal of Western Civilization from colleges and today is known as diversity. Here's part of one review:

"In this book, Schaeffer illustrates that the reason the world is in such disarray is because we no longer have a moral and ethical foundation to build upon. This book explores the paramount philosophic, religious, and scientific ideas from the decline of Rome until the 1960s. He claims that in order to understand where we are today we must trace these three lines in history. ...Not only does Schaeffer explore the history of Western philosophy, religion, and science, but also history art, culture, cinema, Christianity, humanism, and communism. Furthermore, there is a flow to history that is rooted in people's thoughts. Their thought-world determines how they act. ...Many of these individuals shaped our culture to reject a Biblical foundation with absolute morals and ethics to live by. Instead of this moral foundation, the West is now functioning on top of a feeble, relative foundation. Schaeffer asserts that this is the reason our culture is in its current hysteria. He basically divides man and his view on the world into the two categories of belief in an infinite God (Christianity) and belief in the absence of an infinite deity (humanism). The book provides evidence proving that the Christian belief promotes a solid basis for morals, ethics, and order; however, humanism promotes relativism and chaos. It is on this basis that Schaeffer proves that without Christian principles, a culture is doomed to failure."

See how hard you liberals make it on the rest of us to maintain progress and decency?

steve

"Instead of this moral foundation, the West is now functioning on top of a feeble, relative foundation."

Well, yeah, in the sense of one set of laws for the wealthy and another for the rest of the population, ok. Gosh, one need only look at leading politicians or captains of industry to see that. Then again, what right thinking Republican would have an issue with that?

reg

"Falwell is not fringe"

I agree, in fact I stated such.

But he's a simpleton and a bigot who's truly crazed statements after 9/11, among others, show he has little but contempt for this country and its people. Anybody who thinks God would kill Americans because of it's gays and feminist women is so far out into cuckooland, they should be shunned. Definitely a crackpot - a theologically retarded hypocrite who has spent decades giving Christianity a bad name. Of course, you give this madman props. Pathetic...


On this other bit: "He basically divides man and his view on the world into the two categories of belief in an infinite God (Christianity) and belief in the absence of an infinite deity (humanism). "

Can't you see how prima facia stupid and fallacious that is ? Frankly, I find anyone who would presume to divide mankind philosophically into two categories, and then proceed to define the categories the way he apparently does and reach the conclusions you state, engaged in the laughable musings of an idiot. Where do you dig up this crap ??? And where do you find the chutzpah to pass it on ???

reg

Here are some of Falwell's "contrarian" views for your edification, Woody - sad that some people would mock and criticize such a sterling, intelligent, right-thinking man.

God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, to which Rev. Pat Robertson agreed, quoted from John F. Harris, "God Gave U.S. 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says," The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)

The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this.
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, to which Rev. Pat Robertson again agreed, quoted from AANEWS #958 by American Atheists (September 14, 2001)

The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, "You helped this happen."
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, quoted from John F. Harris, "God Gave U.S. 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says," The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)

I sincerely believe that the collective efforts of many secularists during the past generation, resulting in the expulsion (of God) from our schools and from the public square, has left us vulnerable.
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell, after the 700 Club broadcast wherein he had blamed civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, speaking to The New York Times, quoted from Dick Meyer, "Holy Smoke," CBS News (September 15, 2001)

[America's] secular and anti-Christian environment left us open to our Lord's [decision] not to protect. When a nation deserts God and expels God from the culture ... the result is not good.
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell, responding to criticism of his statement blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, quoted from John F. Harris, "God Gave U.S. 'What We Deserve,' Falwell Says," The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)


I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell, America Can Be Saved, 1979 pp. 52-53, from Albert J. Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

The Bible is the inerrant ... word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible,without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc.
-- Jerry Falwell, Finding Inner Peace and Strength


Woody, you've chosen to be part of a movement - the Republican Right - that has, literally, full-tilt crazy people as prominent spokesmen for key constituencies. Good luck.

steve

If Woody dies and goes to Heaven, will he be able to look down and watch me in my most intimate and compromising moments?

Jim Rockford

It is my sense (granted merely anecdotal) that most Evangelicals simply ignore Falwell, Robertson, Bakker, that "I have sinned guy" who was caught with a pro in a Metarie cheap motel (forgot his name).

Evangelicals seem (again from personal observation I am not much of a believer in any organized religion) to want a personal and emotional religious experience and do some good. And that they want this a lot more than being told what do, say, or think by obvious charlatans. Their need for individualism outweighs any heirarchy. Of course there are always kool

What falls out of this all is who responds to the situation and gets things done. Dems need to understand that politics is not static and they need to get out ahead of the game by offering people more/better results.

Looks like we are in for the "up" Hurricane cycle of the 30's-60's and people will have to relocate from the Gulf. Lots of rebuilding.

Here's what New Orleans is like:

http://www.livejournal.com/users/interdictor/

Real stuff from a guy on the ground. Bad news all around.

This is going to be massive, massive, massive. It's just inconceiveable. Dems ought to get out in front and "do" what they have historically done best: rebuild.

Kausfiles has some Davis-Bacon thoughts on this, as relating to rebuilding. Hard for me personally to argue with that.

Woody

reg, you know more about Falwell than I do. Is it possible that you're a closet contributor to Liberty Church, especially since Jim and Tammy Fay Bakker shut down? I'm not going to defend stupid statements from the right, but I rarely hear people here criticize stupid statements from the left. If anything, Falwell seems to be a "knee-jerk" conservative, because he speaks before he thinks. That doesn't make him bad, especially if he backs off once he's had time to think.

What no one wants to focus on are the thousands of churches and preachers who do so much good and serve the people of this country and sponsor missions to starving and needy countries.

Regarding Shaeffer, you can't go entirely by that brief review. That's one person's view. However, there's nothing wrong with saying that we have "believers" and "non-believers" and that each serves a different master with different results. The book is well documented and a scholarly presentation, which has a film series which accompanies it. Sometimes I think that people are afraid to hear the truth because that makes them accountable for their life choices. I honestly think that the book makes for good discussion among honest people with differences and who are seeking the truth.

Think it over, Satan worshippers. (Okay, I'm just kidding.)

steve

Fair enough Woody, but if I get so much as a sense that you're peeping in on me from Heaven in the afterlife during my more compromised moments, I"ll see you in Zeus' court!

And if there's anyone out there who can tell me which Christian church I need to belong to to get into Heaven, please lemme know. Especially desired is the one that can help me get rid of the ghosts that haunt me at night--and don't tell me you don't believe in GHOSTS Satan believers!

reg

"I rarely hear people here criticize stupid statements from the left. "

That's why I had all of those great things to say about Gorgeous George Galloway.

steve

Reg, check this out, I'd say Galloway's making more sense in his call for immediate withdrawl from Iraq by the US occupation forces:

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0922-32.htm

GM Roper

I am truly amazed at the number of people that point to charlatans and kooks, from Baker to la Rouche and paint an entire group with the same broad brush.

As a person with a strong and abiding belief in God, I utterly reject the nonsense sayings of Fallwell, Robertson, but also of LaRouche and the mad drunken ravings of Kennedy of Galloway and Saddam Hussein.

One should NOT have to prove their belief by saying who they reject. One should not put down anothers' faith, or lack of faith by ad homenim attacks.

And for many of the commenters in this blog, ad homenim is practically all they use against someone who doesn't see it their way.

As for my belief in God with foundations in Judeo-Christian values, if I am wrong, where is the harm when I'm gone? I do not pound my faith down your throats, why is it necessary for some in here to pound their lack of faith down my throat. As I noted, if I am wrong, no harm. If I am right, and my faith tells me that I am, my afterlife will be better than the "non-existence" of a non believer.

reg

"What no one wants to focus on are the thousands of churches and preachers who do so much good and serve the people of this country and sponsor missions to starving and needy countries. "

I find that charge ironic, since my father was just such a man.

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