A graphic representation of the Dunning-Kruger Effect (note to Trump supporters: Google it)

“You are not under attack just because you have to follow the rules like everyone else”

I want the school boards of America in the hands of evangelical Christians within the next four to six years. And it can happen and that will have a huge impact because so many school districts now are controlled by wicked, evil people, and the gays and lesbians, and I keep bringing their name up, but they are at the forefront of this attack against Christianity in America.

– Rev. Franklin Graham, 2016

Of all the things that worry me, loss of religious freedom for Christians in America isn’t one of them. I can’t say I have ever experienced anything in this country that could reasonably be called a restriction on my religious liberty, much less persecution. When you started talking about attacks on Christianity, I thought you might have been referring to the racially motivated slaying of pastors and lay people at Mother Emmanuel church in Charleston some time back. Or I figured you were referring to the slaughter of Coptic Christians in Egypt this past Palm Sunday. That’s what I call persecution. But having to pay a judgment for refusing to bake a cake for a same sex couple in violation of the law against discrimination? This you call persecution? There’s a letter in the Bible, written by the Apostle Peter (ever heard of him?). He’s an expert on persecution, having been on the receiving end of it more than once. He says you don’t get divine kudos from suffering the consequences of breaking the law-even if you are a Christian. Moreover, there is a Christian fellow named Paul (aka Saul) who wrote a letter to a church in Rome nearly two thousand years ago. He said that if your enemy is hungry you should feed him (that’s in the Bible too). So wouldn’t it have been the Christian way to have baked a cake for the same sex couple in your example, even if you deem them enemies (another assertion I don’t quite understand)? I’m confused.

Rev. Peter Olsen

When it comes to Christianity, it can be said that those who can do and those who can’t…well, that explains the American Taliban, eh? Referring to Rev. Graham as a man of God is akin to believing Timothy McVeigh was unflinchingly committed to non-violent conflict resolution. He may talk the talk, but he doesn’t begin to walk the walk. The God I learned about in Sunday School was about love, tolerance, acceptance, and inclusion. Graham’s iteration is an angry, mean-spirited SOB just as soon smite you as embrace you. Continue reading

Ignorant, possessed of abysmally low standards…and built to stay that way

I find it almost impossible to comprehend that there are those who’d defend Donald Trump no matter what. Not that I give a tinker’s damn about Jeffrey Lord. He’s a troll (Does Google have a Liberal bias?) who’d defend Trump if the President was found in flagrante delicto with a platoon of Girl Scouts. Why media outlets (other than Fox News Channel, which ADORES him) would grant air time to someone with no discernible brain wave activity defies rational understanding. I had to Google Lord to even figure out who he is (a former associate political director in the Reagan Administration).

Yes, there are still people who strongly support Trump. It’s a free country…and people are certainly free to whatever delusions may help get them through the night. That said, Cooper’s right; if Trump took a dump on his desk, Jeffrey Lord would be lauding him for his unique approach to problem-solving. It’s time American media outlets recognize him for what he is and tell him politely but firmly, “Not your circus. Not your monkeys. Take your Right-wing lunacy elsewhere, eh?”

Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia: A good argument for a ban on travel from Muslim countries

Science looks at religious fundamentalism…and the fundamentalists aren’t going to like it

ODD, ISN’T IT? NEITHER HAS MUCH OF ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE TENETS OF THEIR FAITH. COULD IT BE THAT RELIGION IS MERELY THE JUSTIFICATION FOR TYRANNY AND OPPRESSION?

A new study published in the journal Neuropsychologia has shown that religious fundamentalism is, in part, the result of a functional impairment in a brain region known as the prefrontal cortex. The findings suggest that damage to particular areas of the prefrontal cortex indirectly promotes religious fundamentalism by diminishing cognitive flexibility and openness—a psychology term that describes a personality trait which involves dimensions like curiosity, creativity, and open-mindedness.

Anyone familiar with my writings on this subject will understand that my problem isn’t with religion- the concept, at least. I’ve long felt that if believers actually honored their faith by living it, this world would be a better, kinder, and more peaceful place. Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening these days as religious fundamentalism seems to be sucking up all the air in the room. Continue reading

“I think just morally, spiritually, socially, [some people] just don’t want health care”

A top White House official tried to defend the American Health Care Act (AHCA)— the GOP’s response to Obamacare — earlier this week by implying that health care systems shouldn’t help someone who “sits at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes.”…. Mick Mulvaney of the Office of Management and Budget delivered the line…while speaking to the LIGHT Forum at Stanford University. Mulvaney was asked whether he agreed with the “Jimmy Kimmel test” — or the idea famously forwarded by the late-night show host that “No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life.” Kimmel made the quip while delivering an impassioned account of his newborn son’s struggle to survive a congenital heart disease. Mulvaney said he agreed with the idea in principle, but with one a very specific caveat: taxpayers shouldn’t help people who fall ill because of, ostensibly, their own actions. “That doesn’t mean we should take care of the person who sits at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes,” Mulvaney said.

I know; it’s incredibly naive to believe in Republican compassion, something rarely seen when the wily Conservatus Americanus is in its natural habitat. Being someone who tries to assume the best of people until they demonstrate otherwise, I often go away disappointed. In the case of Mick Mulvaney defending the American Health Care Act (AHCA), he’s merely giving voice to what other Republicans on Capitol Hill are savvy enough to keep to themselves. For obvious reasons.

Perhaps Mulvaney didn’t get the memo: Compassion isn’t a sign of weakness. Continue reading