Category: Conservatives

GA GOP Congressional Delegations Sink Deeper into Trump’s Sewer

(Editor’s note: This post first appeared as a  Newsletter on July 7, 2018)

Within the last 24 hours, a plethora of headlines have highlighted the implosion of Trump’s Republican Party into a corrupt, intellectually and morally burnt-out case, with nothing positive to offer America. Trump, with his speech in Montana, shows every sign of being unhinged. And the speech is simply the latest of a growing pattern of flagrant lies and false claims. It’s no longer a Republican swamp. It’s a Republican sewer.

But, Georgians, note this: your Republican Congressional delegations in Washington are swimming happily in this sewer. Our Senators, Representatives, and their staffs remain among the most slavish lackey supporters of Donald Trump. They are eagerly helping Trump to wage his war against America’s basic moral and democratic values, against God’s Commandments, against Jesus’ Golden Rule, and against common human decency.

But let’s get specific. IndieDems provides below the headlines that will lead you to articles that provide sentence by sentence and paragraph by paragraph the facts about the debased Republican agenda and its debased supporters.

As you read, remember this: the following Republicans endorse every word and deed that is being condemned:

  • Senator Johnny Isakson and his Chief of Staff Joan Karr and Immigration Legislative Assistant Michael Black.
  • Senator David Perdue and his COS Derrick Dickey and Immigration LA Drew Robinson
  • Rep. Karen Handel and her COS Muffy Day and Immigration LA Elisabeth Conklin
  • Rep. Barry Loudermilk and his COS Rob Adkerson and Homeland Security LA Susannah Johnston

What human being could listen to a President of the United States in a public speech insult George H.W. Bush and John McCain, call a U.S. Senator “Pocahontas” and then devote hundreds of words to discussing how, in a debate, he is going to have her DNA tested—and not conclude that the President is unhinged? All the people listed above, that’s who.

Details

Trump Assails Critics and Mocks #MeToo. What About Putin? ‘He’s Fine

In a speech July 5 in Montana, Donald Trump mocked or insulted: John McCain, former President George H.W. Bush and his Points of Light, the #MeToo movement, Elizabeth Warren, and Maxine Waters. He did not attack the latter two for their policies. He leveled a racist slur at Warren and a personal insult at Waters. In the same speech, he praised Vladimir Putin—a now consistent Republican policy of attacking friends and allies and decent people, while heaping praise on Putin, Kim Un Jong, and fascists copying Nazi parades by marching through the streets of Charlottesville bearing torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us.”

Trump Administration in Chaotic Scramble to Reunify Migrant Families

These reports of the Trump Administration’s continued chaos and confusion in reuniting the kidnapped refugee children with their families—including an inability to provide accurate numbers—surfaced on the same day that Trump delivered his Montana diatribe. Look at the names of the Republicans above. They give not a damn about what this shows about the state of their debased and incompetent rule.

Scott Pruitt is out, far too late

“The most dishonest and corrupt administration in about a century is only marginally improved by the departure of Pruitt.” A conservative columnist speaks. Georgia’s elected Republican and their staff remain speechless, clear evidence of their acceptance of massive corruption.

Trump and Republicans Cross Over into Outright Racism

Trump over the weekend removed any doubt that racism that is the true guiding force of the Republican anti-American and anti-Christian policies that imprisons thousands of refugee children in wire cages and leaves them there in legal limbo. He did so by telling whopping lies about immigrants’ crime, their numbers, the cost they impose on the United States, and again referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.” He doubled down by employing flagrantly race-baiting language, saying that immigrants come to “infest” America and to “breed” while here.

Trump went even further and trampled the Constitution underfoot by declaring that illegal immigrants should immediately be deported without trial or an appearance before a judge. Lawyers quickly pointed out this would violate the explicit words of the Constitution.

The Reverend Michael Huckabee, prominent Republican and the father of press secretary Sarah Sanders, reinforced the Republican racist message by releasing a photo of MSD-13 gang members and labeling them Nancy Pelosi’s campaign staff.

Wow. That’s as funny as Sarah Huckabee Sanders looking the American people in the eye about five times a week and lying to them. I’ve said for some time, Sarah proves the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Read more from true conservatives:
Republicans have bought into Trump’s racist bilge
Trump sends us down a rabbit hole of white supremacy
Other Voices:
Loyalty to Trump demands a lack of character

Sarah Sanders Gets Booted Out of a Restaurant

Incredibly some commentators are depicting the denial of service to Sarah Huckabee Sanders as a partisan political act.

What a bunch of absolute bullcrud to depict Sanders’ booting as caused by partisan politics and ideological divisions. It is the act of normal, decent Americans fed up with the now proven fact that The Trump Administration is the most immoral, corrupt, and incompetent administration in the history of the Republic. Sanders, Trump and Republicans are waging a war on every basic moral and democratic value America stands for–and on common human decency.

I am one of those who despise the Trumpists with a passion. Not one single reason I have cited to justify my position has anything to do with partisan politics or ideological leanings. Not a single one.

Who is Sarah Huckabee Sanders? She is a person who looks the American people in the eye almost daily and lies to us. She tells lies of her own or she repeats Trump’s lies. The assembled newspeople point out her lies and she scoffs and keeps on lying. Sanders actually has fun lying. She has a sick grin on her face as she knowingly tells another lie. She knows as well as you and I do that Trump is a congenital liar. She does not care.


The restaurant owner explains her action: “And she knew — she believed — that Sarah Huckabee Sanders worked in the service of an “inhumane and unethical” administration. That she publicly defended the president’s cruelest policies, and that that could not stand.”


Sarah Sanders has remained a gushing supporter of an Administration that has exhibited utmost cruelty, depravity, and meaness in separating children from their parents and inflicting unspeakable trauma on them that will warp their lives forever–with no procedures in place to reunite them with their parents. Her support for this depraved madness, alone, fully justifies her being shunned by normal, decent Americans.

Trump in recent days has crossed over into outright racism by saying immigrants come to “infest” us, telling flagrant lies about immigrant crime and numbers, and once more calling Senator Warren “Pocahontas.” Sanders’ father just published a photo of MS-13 gang members and labeled them Nancy Pelosi’s staffers. Sanders remains an admirer of Trump and Dad.

Shunning these overt racist bigots is a noble act.

New Definition of Republican: Supporter of Mass Child Abuse

News reports: Polls consistently show at least 55 percent of Republican voters support the policy of President Donald Trump of prosecuting parents immediately even if it means separating them from their children and putting the children in detention.

News Reports, almost two months after Trump Administration announced its “no tolerance” policy that produced the child imprisonment:

Congresswoman tells of ‘heart-wrenching’ images of children crying alone in cells
June 25:Separated immigrant kids are scattered across the country
“The children taken from their parents now live and wait in unfamiliar places: big American suburban houses where no one speaks their language; a locked shelter on a dusty road; a converted Walmart where they must stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance in English daily.”
June 24: Sen. Warren visits detention center, says no children being returned to parents there
June 22:  Audio of sobbing children plays on House floor
June 10: Lawmaker blasts Trump policy after visiting detained immigrants

 

Letter to Rev. Bryant Wright, Chief Pastor, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church

June 20, 2018
IndieDems.com
Tom Barksdale, proprietor
1025 Rose Creek Dr. – Suite 620
Woodstock, GA 30189

Gut-wrenching’ recording captures sounds of crying children separated from parents at the border

 Senior Pastor Bryant Wright
Johnson Ferry Baptist Church
955 Johnson Ferry Rd.
Marietta, GA 30068 

Dear Chief Pastor Wright,

In December, I sent you and several other leading American religious leaders a letter pointing out the growing chorus of religious and conservative voices speaking out in alarm about the danger to Christianity posed by a passive attitude toward the immorality, corruption, and sordidness of the Trump Administration. I highlighted the words of leading conservative spokesman David Brooks: “You can’t save Christianity by betraying its message.”

I asked for comments. Your only response was an email with a link to one of your sermons about how the second coming of Christ was the only solution to all our problems.

Since December, Trump’s words and deeds, and even those of some Christian leaders, have exponentially magnified the threat to American Christianity posed by “Christians” who either actively support Trump or remain silent in the face of his assault on the basic values of Jesus Christ, of democracy, and of common human decency.

An even more appalling and direct attack on Christian principles has emerged in recent days by the Trump Administration’s separation of children from parents accused of illegally crossing the U.S. border and the inhumane mass incarceration of the children in detention camps.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions compounded the anti-Christian inhumanity by citing the same Bible passages once used to defend slavery to defend separating immigrant families. As a native Southerner, his words were like a blow to my solar plexus. I have been saying for some time that the Trumpists’ racism, sexism, and xenophobia made it seem as if the last 60 years had disappeared and we were back to the time when you could lynch a black person on Saturday and attend church on Sunday and be reassured that your soul was guaranteed eternal salvation.

Or murder civil rights workers, spit in the face of black school children desegregating a school, bomb a black church, or beat senseless peaceful demonstrators on a bridge in Selma—and still be a good Christian, according to your Baptist pastor.

Sessions’ words sparked a revolting feeling of déjà vu all over again, of a return to the worst days of the Civil Rights struggle.

I have been heartened, therefore, by the actions and resolutions taken at the recent annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas. In particular, I saw the resolution on immigration as denoting a decisive separation of the SBC from the policies of Trump and the Republicans. My positive view has been reinforced by the media’s conclusion that the SBC has taken a significantly new tack.

The most striking article appeared in The Atlantic: “Southern Baptists Call Off the Culture War: America’s largest Protestant group moves to cut ties with the Republican Party and re-engage with mainstream culture.”

Even more heartening, Rev. Wright, were your retweets of the positive coverage of the results of the SBC convention, and your tweet expressing thanks to Franklin Graham for criticizing the separation policy and urging people to “contact your members of Congress and call on them to stop this abuse against families.” I hope you continue to raise your voice against this despicable mistreatment and traumatizing of children.

One paragraph in the Atlantic article struck me in a very personal way: “(Southern Baptists) appear to recognize that tethering themselves to Donald Trump—a thrice-married man who has bragged about committing adultery, lies with impunity, allegedly paid hush money to a porn star with whom he had an affair, and says he has never asked God for forgiveness—places the moral credibility of the Southern Baptist Convention at risk.”  My goodness. Almost as if the author is plagiarizing words from my letter to you!

But there is no room for complacency. Many evangelicals—probably including some of your flock—are willing to continue to support a policy explicitly contrary to the teachings of Jesus. Read: Why many white evangelicals are not protesting family separations on the U.S. border. I hope you are dedicated to setting such people straight, with as much fervor as they display in opposing abortion.

The Growing anti-Trump Chorus

You should be encouraged that other Christians have begun speaking out against the mistreatment of innocent children.

  • On June 14, the Migrants and Refugees Section at the Vatican tweeted a verse of Deuteronomy: “The Bible teaches that God ‘loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt’ (Deuteronomy 10:18-19).” Pope Francis twitter.com/Yt8i7b39VN.
  • “At a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on June 13, the nation’s Catholic leaders strongly condemned the administration’s immigration policies as immoral, with one bishop going so far as to suggest that Catholics who help carry out the Justice Department’s policies are violating their faith and perhaps should be denied Communion.”
  • On June 20, Pope Francis announced his support for the Bishops’ statement, putting himself on the record as opposing the Trump administration’s policy.
  • On June 19, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and 12 other Republican Senators sent a letter to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for a halt to the practice of separating families at the border.
  • Four-star general warns Trump’s family separation policy echoes Nazis
  • And now, former First Lady Laura Bush has taken the unusual step of writing an op-ed column for the Washington Post, adding her voice to those denouncing this cruel and inhumane policy: “I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”

Read More: Conservative Religious Leaders Are Denouncing Trump Immigration Policies

Trump’s Continuing Sins: His Contempt for the 10 Commandments

Trump continues to live in virtual daily defiance of God’s Commandment not to bear false witness. According to the Washington Post’s documented inventory, as of June 1 Trump made 3,251 false or misleading claims in 495 days. See also:

Trump’s lies about the Russia probe devolve into absurdityTrump keeps incriminating himself with nonstop lies

Trump, of course, has a history of not only engaging in adultery, but publicizing it and bragging about it.

The Stormy Daniels affair has highlighted Trump’s sins. He lied to the American people, claiming the affair never happened, and reversed himself only when the evidence became overwhelming. He also lied publicly about not knowing about his lawyer’s payoff to Daniels to keep her quiet, and then had his new spokesman announce the truth that he had recompensed his lawyer for making the payment.

What a mind-numbing display of hypocrisy so-called Christians display when they turn a blind eye to Trump’s ever-present contempt for God’s laws while waving in our faces those words in the Bible that supposedly ban abortion and gay rights.

The Mormon Church took Christian hypocrisy to new heights recently by severing its ties to the Boy Scouts in an apparent response to the Scouts’ decision to include openly gay troop leaders—while remaining mute on the gross immorality and God-defying antics of Donald Trump. See my blog Break with Boy Scouts Takes Mormons to New Heights of Hypocrisy

The criminality, corruption, and malfeasance of the Trump Administration has expanded since my December letter.

  • Former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was charged and pleaded guiltyin December 2017 to making false statements to the FBI.
  • Special Prosecutor Mueller has charged three other former Trump campaign officials with criminal conduct. This month, June 2018, additional charges were brought against one of them as well as one of his associates
  • An attorney associated with Trump pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators and was sentenced to 30 days in prison.
  • Environmental Protection Agency Chief Scott Pruitt has been revealed as a one-man band of pure, in-your-face corruption. See “A Running List of Scott Pruitt’s Corrupt Acts.” As of early June, there were at least a dozen ongoing investigations related to Pruitt by EPA’s Office of Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, and congressional oversight committees. Read more.

Further reading:

The Known Facts about the Crime and Malfeasance in Trumpgate

The State of New York this week opened a new front in dealing with Trump’s corruption: N.Y. files suit against Trump, alleging his charity engaged in ‘illegal conduct’.

Trump’s Wanton Defiance of Jesus’ Golden Rule

You will recall, Pastor Wright, that these latest examples of moral decadence are a continuation of the acts Trump committed in the past, for which he has never apologized and for which you and other Christian leaders have never held him accountable. Trump’s more telling words and deeds are listed in the section of my original latter titled “The Republicans’ arrogant trashing of Jesus’ Golden Rule.”

________________________________________________________/
An American’s Opinion
From the Washington Post
Peter Daou‏Verified account @peterdaou 10h10 hours ago

TAKING INVENTORY OF “CHRISTIAN VALUES”: Back child molesters for the US Senate. Strip health coverage from sick children to enrich billionaires. Shrug at the slaughter of schoolchildren to appease the gun lobby. Steal immigrant babies and hold them hostage for political gain.
147 replies 2,521 retweets 4,029 likes
_________________________________________________________________________/

Trump’s daily tweets continue to remind us that “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a concept totally remote to Donald Trump.

Christian Leaders’ Feckless Tolerance of Trump Continues

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Crisis of Morality

Let’s hope the new leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention can overcome the considerable shortcomings of its own. The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on May 30 fired its long-time President, Paige Patterson, for allegedly lying about and mishandling complaints of student rape. Here is my write-up: Leader’s Disgrace Deals Heavy Blow to Southern Baptists.

Three men have accused Paul Pressler, Patterson’s closest ally in bringing about the “conservative revolution” in the SBC, of years of sexual molestation.  Also, according to the Baptist Press, Frank S. Page, the former president and chief executive of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, resigned in March from the top role in the SBC because of a “morally inappropriate” relationship.

There’s more.

My Questions
  • How can anyone who calls themselves a Christian support a President who exhibits utter contempt for God’s Commandment and Jesus’ Golden Rule?
  • What Bible passages establish that the 10 Commandments can be abandoned in order to support a President who appoints Supreme Court justices who will rule against abortion?
  • What practical steps do you and other Baptist pastors intend to take to implement the spirit of the resolutions adopted at the SBC meeting? What will you ask your congregation to do?
  • Have you preached a sermon denouncing the horrendous Republican policy of separating immigrant children from their parents? If not, why not?
  • (Original version) Have you thought of asking your congregation to sign a petition demanding that President Trump abandon the family separation policy? Laura Bush’s op-ed in the Washington Post on June 17, it seems to me, would be an excellent reference to start a draft.
  • (Revised version) Have you thought of asking your congregation to sign a petition demanding that President Trump immediately mobilize the resources to return all the kidnapped children to their parents?
  • Why can’t America’s religious denominations denounce Trump’s lies and adultery as strongly as they denounce abortion and/or gay rights?
  • Why do so many Christians focus so relentlessly—in some cases, almost exclusively—on things Jesus Christ never said anything about—like abortion and gay rights—while virtually ignoring Jesus’ core message, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”?
  • Why do we almost never hear Christian clergy citing Jesus’ strong denunciation of the rich? Much less preaching a sermon based on those words?

I look forward to your answers.
Sincerely,
Tom Barksdale

Leader’s Disgrace Deals Heavy Blow to Southern Baptists

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on May 30 fired its long-time President, Paige Patterson, for allegedly lying about and mishandling complaints of student rape.  Patterson for decades has been one of the most powerful leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest American Protestant denomination and a giant force in American evangelicalism. Beginning in the 1970s, Patterson was the leading architect of the takeover of the SBC by hardline religious conservatives. The Washington Post’s description:

“The takeover, which lasted over a decade, was no holds barred, with Patterson keeping files on ideological opponents and cultivating spies in seminaries, according to historical accounts. A 1991 profile in D Magazine…said Patterson had been ‘likened to the Rev. Jim Jones and Joe McCarthy’ by his critics in the denomination. ‘He’s been reviled as a power-mad fundamentalist on a witch hunt for heretics.’ ” (See also Southern Baptist seminary drops bombshell: Why Paige Patterson was fired and Why Southern Baptists can’t shake their racist past)

Patterson’s conservatives left no doubt about their primary concern: they were disturbed by the rising tide of the feminist movement and increased debate about abortion.  Their chief goal was to keep women in their subordinate place and out of the pulpit. Patterson made the Biblical words calling on a wife to “submit to the servant leadership of her husband” the chief a chief element in Baptist theology.

“By the mid-1990s the seminaries and state conventions were largely purged of moderates and liberals. Many women who were studying to be pastors or who taught classes that included male students were forced out or left.”

But a darker side of Patterson’s stand emerged this year when recorded comments surfaced of his counseling abused women to remain with their husbands and making remarks seen as objectifying a teenage girl and criticizing the physical appearance of female seminary students.

Events became more ominous when a former student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary stated that in 2003, when Patterson headed the school, she had reported to him that she had been assaulted by a man she had been dating, and  Patterson encouraged her not to report the incident to the police and to forgive her alleged assailant.

A few days later, Southwestern trustees cited a second incident in 2015. A Southwestern female student had reported to Patterson that she had been raped, and police were called. But Patterson allegedly emailed campus security and “discussed meeting with the student alone so that he could break her down.”

The allegations prompted thousands of conservative women SBC members to petition for Patterson’s removal. Faced with the damning evidence, the Board of Trustees acted.

The Washington Post’s headline on the article detailing Patterson’s demise summed up the irony: “How women led to the dramatic rise and fall of Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson.”

My initial response to the revelations about Patterson and his forced retirement was posted in a comment on one of the Washington Post stories:

“Does any half way intelligent human being fail to see the twisted, perverted thinking that underlies the outlook of Southern Baptist clerics? The only difference regarding Patterson is that his perversion became too obvious to ignore. He got caught red handed. The rest of them still fervently believe the crud about wives having to obey their husbands. In the 21st Century, Southern Baptists believe women are no better than chattel. To understand the rot that pervades the hearts and minds of Southern Baptist pastors, you need only to remember two things: 1. Their predecessors fervently believed that Jesus ordained slavery as a positive good. The Convention was founded to preach that gospel. 2. The next generation fervently believed that segregation was perfectly legitimate and helped maintain it for 100 years.

Why anybody would believe that the current crop of medieval-minded misogynist yahoos are preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ escapes me.”

On re-reading it, I hesitated to post it on this blog, feeling that maybe it was a little extreme. But then I read more about the beliefs and practices of Patterson and his conservative Southern Baptists cohorts. And I got 21 thumbs-up on my “extreme” comment from other readers.  Big deal, huh? Well, the average number of approvals on any article is decidedly in single digits. And I would say that 5 is the usual highest. Twenty-one is earth shattering. And there were a much higher number of double-digit approvals for other commenters than are normal.

In short, the Patterson conservatives’ conquest of the Southern Baptist Convention has left it more isolated than ever from mainstream America. From the Post article:

  • Data released June 1 by the movement shows membership falling for the 11th straight year, to 15 million — down 1.3 million since 2006.
  • Baptisms — a core marker of the faith — were fewer in 2017 by 26 percent compared with a decade ago, according to an internal survey published by LifeWay Christian Resources, the research arm of the denomination.
  • Enrollment at Southwestern is down by almost half since Patterson arrived there.

Seems hypocrisy and a distortion of Jesus’ message can only get you so far.

Video Watch Party Spotlights Abuses at GA Immigration Detention Center

Event: Carolyn Hadaway’s Monthly Video Watch Party

  • Date: Thursday, May 24
  • Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Place: Private home near the intersection of Canton Hwy and Jamerson Rd/Shallowford Rd.; Woodstock, GA 30188. Close to Cherokee – Cobb County border.

Topic: Immigration. Special guest speaker is JoAnn Weiss, Chair, Board of Directors, El Refugio, a hospitality house located in Lumpkin, GA, providing assistance to the families of inmates of the next-door Stewart Detention Center, one of the United States’ largest detention centers for suspected illegal immigrants, run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  • Ms. Weiss will discuss the growth of the immigration detention system since 1996 (especially since 9/11/2001) and the role of prisons for profit. She will examine the violation of civil and human rights at the Stewart facility and the work of El Refugio in running its hospitality house.

POC: Carolyn Hadaway, 678-687-7753chadaway.volun@gmail.com

Note from IndieDems proprietor, Tom Barksdale:

Lumpkin is “just up the road” from my hometown in Southwest Georgia, and even closer to the Jimmy Carter homestead in Plains. The El Refugio web page provoked a flood of personal memories by stating that “Partners from Koinonia Farm (www.koinoniapartners.org) offer hospitality for family members needing a place to stay overnight during the week.”

Koinonia Farm was born the same year I was, in 1942. It’s mission statement says “We are Christians called to live together in intentional community sharing a life of prayer, work, study, service and fellowship. We seek to embody peacemaking, sustainability, and radical sharing. While honoring people of all backgrounds and faiths, we strive to demonstrate the way of Jesus as an alternative to materialism, militarism and racism.”

Meaning: Koinonia Farm was an interracial haven smack in the middle of segregated Georgia during the darkest days of segregation and on through the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s-60s. Its inhabitants paid a heavy price of having to endure the isolation, intimidation, and violence all too common in that era.

Koinonia communal living did not include schools, and “home schooling” did not exist even as a concept. Koinoia’s children had to attend the local, segregated schools, where living together on a farm with black people pegged them as stranger than space aliens. To most of the locals, they were literally Comminists, a term I heard leveled at Koinonia whenever the topic came up. The children endured unspeakable acts of mental and physical harassment.

In 21015, former AJC journalist Jim Auchmutey wrote a book centered on the experience of one of those students: The Class of ’65: A Student, a Divided Town, and the Long Road to Forgiveness. It’s on Amazon with a five-star review. You want to read this book. Amazon sums it up well:

Being a student at Americus High School was the worst experience of Greg Wittkamper’s life. Greg came from a nearby Christian commune, Koinonia, whose members devoutly and publicly supported racial equality. When he refused to insult and attack his school’s first black students in 1964, Greg was mistreated as badly as they were: harassed and bullied and beaten. In the summer after his senior year, as racial strife in Americus—and the nation—reached its peak, Greg left Georgia.

Forty-one years later, a dozen former classmates wrote letters to Greg, asking his forgiveness and inviting him to return for a class reunion. Their words opened a vein of painful memory and unresolved emotion, and set him on a journey that would prove healing and saddening.

The Class of ’65 is more than a heartbreaking story from the segregated South. It is also about four of Greg’s classmates…who came to reconsider the attitudes they grew up with…

I have said to myself many times that the Trump era has left me feeling as if 60 years of presumed progress in America’s racial relations has been erased, and I have been transported in time back to the days when the “N” word was common currency, violence against minorities was normal, and anyone practicing equality for blacks, like Greg Wittkamper, had to be a Communist, not a “real” American. And you could become governor of Georgia by wielding an ax handle as a symbol of your noble resistance to segregation.

Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Karen Handel, and Barry Loudermilk don’t need an ax handle to symbolize their warped views. They’ve got Donald Trump in the White House.

Georgia Republicans Firmly in Ranks of Tut-tut Republicans

Headline: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) blasts White House aide’s McCain remark as ‘pretty disgusting thing to say’

IndieDems Comment:

The more despicable the Trumpists become, the more Republicans like Graham, Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Barry Loudermilk, and Karen Handel fall all over themselves to plant another kiss on Trump’s behind. Just imagine: Graham his Republican colleagues criticize him for refusing to fire the aide or to issue an apology–and Trump does not fire the aide or apologize.

  • At one time, if someone had called Graham a sissy, I would have come to his defense. No more. His track record shows the term simply defines him.

The fact that Senator Graham’s anodyne response to WH staffer Sadler’s despicable remark represents the epitome of Republican criticism, demonstrates beyond the shadow of a doubt what a morally and intellectually corrupt, burnt-out case the Republican Party has become.

  • Just to mention three of the multitude of bellwethers that showed Republicans they were headed for the sewer: nominating for president someone who bragged about sexually assaulting women, approved calling his own daughter a “piece of a–,” and mocked a handicapped person.

The more that Republicans like Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, and Handel rally behind Trump as he intensifies his assaults on the moral fabric of American, the more one has to ask: are we witnessing the consequences of where all that Russian money that has been flowing into Republican coffers went?

It’s abundantly clear: Isakson, Perdue, Loudermilk, and Handel will remain Trump’s faithful lapdogs until he destroys America. Pigs will fly before they exercise any oversight of the Trump Executive Branch.

And Graham, once a critic of Trump, became more and more one of his lap dogs the more Trump engaged in lies, insults, and slander. Isn’t it likely that Trump is ensuring Graham’s fealty by dangling an important office in his face, like a cabinet position? Given the rate of turnover, an opening is always a possibility.

Nikki Haley has already sold her soul to the Trump devil to burnish her foreign policy credentials at the U.N. Why should Graham be any different?

The Neglected Role of Women in the Early Christian Church

If you do not read any other posts on IndieDems, see the link in this  one.

As pointed out in our post Southern Baptists Discover–Gasp!–Misogyny in Their Ranks, women and supporters of women’s rights are up in arms over remarks by  Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson in which he “described a young man’s lewd comments toward a teenage girl as ‘biblical,’ and said the proper response to abuse within marriage ‘depends on the level of abuse to some degree’.”

Commentator Gracy Olmstead has expanded the debate in a rewarding way with an excellent review of the role of women in the early Christian church. You want to read this article. It covers a part of history that is too much ignored and explodes the idea that Jesus Christ proscribed a secondary role for women or that early female Christian were meek and mild followers of their male counterparts.

Southern Baptists Discover–Gasp!–Misogyny in Their Ranks

On May 7, conservative columnist and  former GW Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, a vociferous critic of Donald Trump and the phony “conservatives” who support him, wrote an article “Evangelicals are having their own #MeToo moment.” An excerpt:

Paige Patterson — head of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and icon of conservative Baptist belief — is being called out for a story he told in 2000. An abused woman had come to him for counseling. Patterson recommended prayer. Later, the woman returned with two black eyes. In Patterson’s telling: “She said, ‘I hope you’re happy.’ And I said, ‘Yes . . . I’m very happy,’ ” because the woman’s husband had heard her prayers and come to church the next day.

Gerson went on to point out a number of prominent Baptists had risen in criticism. [‘We are shocked’: Thousands of Southern Baptist women denounce leader’s ‘objectifying’ comments, advice to abused women]

Here is IndieDems comment:

My, my. Over 2000 years after Christ treated his female followers with dignity and respect, followed by the Apostle Paul (allegedly) telling women Jesus wanted them to keep quiet in church and to obey their husbands; followed by the Catholic Church’s declaring women unworthy to be priests, much less hold any higher rank; 18 months after evangelical females–and about 52 percent of all white women–voted for a serial adulterer who had admitted to sexually assaulting women, called women bimbos in his tweets, and approved of someone calling his daughter a “piece of a–“; after all this, Michael Gerson and Southern Baptist Women are shocked, shocked–again–to discover there is misogyny going on in their ranks.

Not because the womenhad an epiphany about the phony baloney balderdash they have been listening to, but because some Baptist preacher finally made a statement that even evangelicals couldn’t stomach.

Real life again presents an incident that, if presented in a Saturday Night Live skit, would have unleashed a torrent of criticism that SNL had gone too far in tarnishing the wonderful, God-fearing evangelical community, the sole preserver of the true faith and morals in our sinful society.

It’s all too rich for words. A piece of advice to Gerson and the female evangelicals: try to see the light and see Patterson, not as an aberration, but as the exemplar of evangelical preachers. Then do what other Americans are doing in droves: abandon organized religion for being the hollow, hypocritical shell it really is.

A Message for Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Barry Loudermilk, and Karen Handel

Now, calm down and try to understand this. That does not mean abandoning the teachings of Jesus or the 10 Commandments. It just means abandoning the false prophets who’ve already abandoned both but disguised it with demagoguery about how all you need to do is oppose abortion and gay rights and you are guaranteed entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. That ain’t what Jesus was all about, my friends.