Category: Conservatives

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.

Trump National Security Adviser Applies Iraq War Justification to Iran

President Trump’s National Security Adviser, John Bolton, this week wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post justifying Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord, despite its continued support by our principle European  allies, as well as co-signers Russia and China.  IndieDems comment:

The notable features of Bolton’s polemic: 1) It repeats exactly the justification George W. Bush and his Boltonesque advisers gave for launching the Iraq war 2) beneath the bombast and braggadocio, it is a hollow nothing, offering no specific facts, no specific policies, no specific plan of action to obtain its deluded goals

Even for the mind-blowing Trumplandia, it staggers the human mind that with the United States still facing each day the disastrous consequences of the Bush/Bolton Iraq war, Trump and Bolton are repeating the same flawed reasoning, warped judgment, and Neocon unhinged predictions to set us on the road to war with Iran.
Remember? Bush and his Bolton Neocons assured us that if we went to war with Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein, peace and democracy would envelop the Middle East, and the new, democratic Muslim regimes would join us in permanently guaranteeing Israel’s security. Word for word, Bolton repeats the argument.

Bolton cites not one iota of evidence to back up his central claim that Iran is violating the nuclear agreement; he offers no specific plan of action for the U.S. to now prevent Iran from resuming its nuclear weapons program, short of all-out war. He does not remotely address how the U.S. is to accomplish its Herculean ambitions without the support of our principle allies–or with their opposition, given our contemptuous treatment of them.

And his long-proven-false Neocon canard that Israel is the linchpin of our Middle East policy? Bolton obviously has the genie on hand to work his magic, followed by carpet rides leaving Jerusalem every hour.

Break with Boy Scouts Takes Mormons to New Heights of Hypocrisy

Headline: “Mormons Break All Ties with Boy Scouts”
(Excerpts) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said on May 8 2016, it will sever all ties with the Boy Scouts of America, ending a century-old tradition deeply ingrained in the religious life of Mormon boys….
Church officials did not cite specific Scouts policy changes that spurred the split, but the two groups have increasingly clashed over values in recent years, particularly after the Boy Scouts’ move to include openly gay troop leaders.
  • The announcement also came less than a week after the Boy Scouts announced it would be changing its flagship name to Scouts BSA, promoting its decision last year to welcome girls into the program for the first time.
IndieDems Comment:
The Mormon Church is now, hands down, the leading example of pure Christian hypocrisy among our mainstream Christian denominations. It’s now surged ahead of its main challenger for first place, the Catholic Church. As always, the Southern Baptist Convention is close behind.
To understand the magnitude of the Mormon Church’s hypocrisy, look at what it considers normal as it turns its back on those “abnormal” Scouts for daring to grant equality to gays. Mormons–most prominently, Senator Orrin Hatch–have given either overt or tacit support to Donald Trump as he and his Republicans have waged war against America’s basic moral and democratic values.  Here is a partial list of what Trump has done that Mormons have endorsed, as they consign the Scouts to outer darkness:
  • Lived his adult life in total defiance of Jesus’ Golden Rule and God’s Commandments not to lie or commit adultery
  • Bragged about sexually assaulting women and called them bimbos
  • Demeaned John McCain’s military service
  • Mocked a physically handicapped person
  • Incited his followers to violence.
  • Used ethnic and religious slurs
  • Praised neo-fascists marching in a Nazi-like torch light parade in Charlottesville shouting “Jews will not replace us”
  • Called a Miss Universe “Miss Piggy”
  • Approved Howard Stern’s calling Ivanka “a piece of a–“
  • Made misogynist remarks about women’s physical appearance
  • Belittled a Gold Star American mother
  • Praised the murderous thug Putin
  • Called foreign countries “s—holes”
  • Accused Obama of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to hide his real birthplace
  • Lied about undocumented immigrants being mostly rapists and criminals
  • Supported a child sex pervert and brazen defier of the rule of law for the U.S Senate
  • Pardoned Sheriff Arpaio, who defied court orders and whose treatment of prisoners resembled Nazi concentration camps
  • Bilked innocent people of their money in a scam involving a phony university
All the above–all of it–is what Mormons consider normal, as they cloak themselves in self-righteous hypocrisy for opposing the Scouts’ exercise of the Golden Rule.

Republicans’ Reaction to Comedian’s Words Highlights Their Hypocrisy

The annual White House correspondents’ dinner this year, on April 28, invited comedian Michelle Wolf to deliver the evening’s comedic address. Her admittedly acerbic and occasionally vulgar remarks, especially those about the Trump Administration and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, elicited sharply different responses from some audiences. Here’s IndieDems view:

it’s a measure of the extent to which Trump and his Republicans have prostituted and vulgarized our politics that satirical remarks by a professional comedian about Sarah Sanders have ignited such a firestorm of self-righteous criticism by Trump and his Republican–the same people who had no problem when Trump:

  • Bragged about sexually assaulting women
  • Called a Miss Universe “Miss Piggy”
  • Approved Howard Stern’s calling Ivanka “a piece of ass”
  • Demeaned the military service of John McCain
  • Mocked a handicapped person
  • Called African countries and Haiti “shitholes”
  • Said good words about neo-fascists marching in a Nazi-like parade in Charlottesville
  • Made numerous disparaging remarks about Rosie O’Donnell’s physical appearance
  • Labeled Megan Kelly a bimbo after she called out Trump for his Rosie remarks
  • Accused Obama of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to hide his real birthplace
  • Lied about undocumented immigrants being mostly rapists and criminals

In fact, Trump and his Republicans have told so many lies, they have made lying a Republican/conservative way of life.

These people who have spent three years marching with their President as he has taken American culture day by day into the sewer of vulgarity, crudeness, and hate, now rise to denounce the professional comedian Michelle Wolf for doing what she is paid to do: deliver a handful of comparatively mild satirical remarks. This exercise in pure hypocrisy proves the Republicans do not get it and never will. They must be destroyed in order to save our Republic.


Columnist Jonathan Capehart sums it up: Shut up about Michelle Wolf if you’ve been silent on Trump’s offenses

“The criticism of Wolf by Republicans, the press and the public was inevitable. Comes with the job, and some of it I agree with. What makes it galling is that those screaming the loudest about Wolf are mute when it comes to Trump. The former is a comedian hired to tell jokes at a dinner where jokes are traditionally told. The latter is the president of the United States. His words, even the jokes, carry weight. They have real consequences and affect real lives. But we’ve become so used to the garbage that sloshes from his Twitter feed and his presidency that we have grown numb to how it sluices over our collective national psyche.”


Georgia Republicans Continue Assault on Decency

Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker today published a column Decent society is unraveling right in front of us.”  Her most immediate motivation came from the incident involving members of the Syracuse University chapter of the Theta Tau fraternity, who simulated a sexual assault on a disabled student during an initiation ceremony. But Ms. Parker views the “fraternity gone bad” as “a symptom of a larger cultural disruption”—the waning regard for simple decency in American life.  The incident, she says, should horrify anyone with an ounce of decency, “assuming people still recall what decency is.”

Ms. Parker does not mention the Republican Party or Donald Trump, but her words describing an absence of decency leap from the page as explicit descriptions of Trump and his Republican minions:

  • “appalling and disgusting on many intersecting grounds””
  • “these overcast days of indecency, cruelty and behavior bereft of empathy”
  • “a fresh episode in what should be understood as a gradual unraveling of decent society.”

Remember Trump’s mocking of a handicapped person in a campaign speech?

Ms. Parker most telling words are these: “Permissiveness in the guise of non-judgment has aided in the triumph of selfish expression predicted by cultural historian Christopher Lasch in his 1979 book, ‘The Culture of Narcissism.’ ”

“Somewhere in his imagination, he may have envisioned a future president who would act out his infantile impulses on the world stage when he wrote that ‘the logic of individualism’ would be carried to ‘the extreme of a war of all against all, the pursuit of happiness to the dead end of a narcissistic preoccupation with the self.’ ”

What better description of Donald Trump has ever been written? Two companion pieces in today’s Post elaborate on the theme:

Helaine Olen: The Ronny Jackson mess perfectly sums up the Trump presidency

Trump can blame Democrats all he likes, but his nominee problems start with him

Since the dawn of the age of Trump-as-president nearly three years ago, IndieDems has pointed out that he and his Republican followers are creating an America bereft of decency. Trump’s allies include most particularly Georgia’s own Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Barry Loudermilk, and Karen Handel.

Read More:

Georgia Republicans Comfortable with Colleagues’ Racist Speak
Georgia Republicans Follow Trump into the Sewer
Georgia Republicans’ Separation from Basic American Values
Georgia Republicans Welcome Dr. Strangelove as National Security Chief
The Known Facts about the Crime and Malfeasance in Trumpgate
Republican Family Values in Full Flower
How Does David Perdue Betray America? Let Us Count the Ways…
     (You can substitute any Georgia Republican’s name for Perdue’s)

Nikki Haley’s Feet of Cay, cont.

Joe Scarborough, former Republican Congressman and current TV/newspaper commentator, recently wrote that he does not believe Trump will run for re-election in  2010. In the process, he joined the media hallelujah chorus that has turned Trump lap dog Nikki Haley into some kind of Nikki-the-giant-killer avatar because she publicly rebuked a Trump aide for stating she was confused when she said on TV that the U.S. was going to impose more economic sanctions on Russia. 

Turned out that was the decision in place when she went on TV, only Trump had overturned it at the last minute–and no one had informed the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

Scarborough went on to beat the presidential drums for Haley.

IndieDems Comment:

I am about to puke over the media frenzy falsely declaring Nikki Haley as a virtual Joan of Arc for poking Trump in the eye. Scarborough’s joining the hallelujah chorus has only magnified the symptoms. Nikki Haley’s track record shows her as one of Trump’s most sycophantic, obsequious lap dogs.

Where was Nikki Haley’s disgust when Trump:

  • Demeaned the military career of John McCain
  • Accused Obama of engaging in a conspiracy to disguise the “fact” that he was foreign-born
  • Used an ethnic slut to insult a federal judge
  • Accused Mexican undocumented immigrants of being mainly rapists and criminals
  • Praised the thug Putin
  • Said good words about neo-fascists staging Nazi-like parades in Charlottesville
  • Mocked the handicapped
  • Tells lie after lie.

But more to the point, where was Haley’s anger when Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women and called them bimbos; appointed sex predator Roger Ailes as a key advisor; and approved calling his own daughter a piece of a–. Or when Trump appointed white supremacist and overt misogynist Steve Bannon as his campaign czar and then as a Presidential Counselor.

Haley showed no problem with Bannon’s words: “There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Tech; Birth control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy; Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?”

But the question Haley needs to be asked: “who do you believe? The women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment, or the Trump who calls them liars?”

Why have our TV pundits gone overboard for the Nikki Haley who only gets mad and reacts when she is personally insulted, but gives not one tinker’s damn about the other targets of Trump’s venom? What a pathetic example of “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” Haley is just another Paul Ryan/Mike Pence clone.

Christian Leaders’ Feckless Tolerance of Trump Continues

Michael Gerson, conservative commentator and former G.W. Bush speechwriter, recently published a column “Are these evangelicals ready to topple the idol of politics?”

(Excerpt) …the reaction against the Trump evangelicals among other evangelicals is still in the emergence stage…a group of 50 ethnically and denominationally diverse evangelical leaders (recently)  met to discuss the sad state of their movement…The predominant narrative of white evangelicalism is tribal rather than universal: Christians, who once set America’s moral and political terms, are under legal and cultural siege by the forces of secularism. Now they must find political allies and fight back before they are thrown to the lions…

IndieDems Comment:

Why does Gerson limit his remarks to evangelicals? Where in God’s name are the leaders of our major Christian denominations? They remain silent as Trump and his Republicans sink deeper and deeper into a cesspool of criminality, corruption, and contempt for America’s basic moral and democratic values, contempt for God’s Commandments, and contempt for common human decency.

The absence of a concerted Christian opposition to Trumpism takes us back to the days when Christians remained silent about slavery and then segregation. Christian hypocrisy has reached new heights of shame.

Our current Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Catholics seem closer to the doctrines of the 19th Century Baptists who founded the Southern Baptist Convention as the Christian instrument to perpetuate slavery. Or the 1950’s Christians who let it up to the lawyer Joseph Welch to point an accusing finger at Joe McCarthy and his Trump-like followers to start the destruction of McCarthyism.

It’s not just the love of money that characterizes our putative Christian leaders, as some claim. It’s their total abandonment of the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule to accommodate Trump and his morally and intellectually corrupt Republicans that makes American Christianity nothing but an exercise in hollow hypocrisy.

Our current Christians’ silence as Trump deals daily blows to every principle of the Judaeo-Christian ethos has become equal to the silence of previous generations of Christians to slavery, segregation–and the rise of fascism and Naziism in the march toward the Holocaust. Christian hypocrisy once more knows no bounds.

When did we reach the point where the only thing you need to do to show you are a Christian is point your accusing finger at abortion, gays, or the use of contraceptives? Or at Bill Clinton? Trump literally tramples on the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule daily–and our so-called Christians keep their heads firmly in the sand.

But God is not mocked, and these hypocritical Christians are in for a rude shock on judgment day.

Giuliani Joins League of Republican Adulterers

Trump, unable to get high-level prominent lawyers to represent him, has appointed former New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani as his senior attorney.

Wow. Trump and the Republican Party are in overdrive to make adultery a way of life in America, the way they have worked to make lying a way of life. Trump, Giuliani, Newt Gingrich–birds of a corrupt, adulterous feather do stick together, don’t they?

To you young Americans: the Republican Party was once actually led by decent, honorable people. Go to Wikipedia and look up Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight David Eisenhower. Those days are obviously gone forever.

Yes, you live in an era of the total moral and intellectual corruption of the Republican Party, and the total hypocrisy of your religious leaders for failing to speak out against the immorality and corruption in which the Trumpists are enveloping us. But do not despair. Remember, Trump’s opponent got 3 million more popular votes than he did, and the strength of the lying and adultery-loving immoral and corrupt Republicans is exaggerated by the unrepresentative U.S. Senate and the Republicans’ gerrymandering of Congressional districts to frustrate the popular will.

Rededicate yourselves to ousting these NRA-loving sleazebuckets from office and have faith better days will come.

A Christian Universal Get-Out-of-Jail Pass?

The Reverend Frank Graham on April 4 tweeted the following:

How does someone not fear death? Because of the assurance knowing that their soul is secure in the hands of Almighty God. That’s our hope–that one day we’ll be in His presence, not because we’re good people but because we’ve been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Thank you, Rev. Graham, for assuring us that Trump can tell all the lies, commit all the adulteries, and sexually abuse all the women he wants, and preside over a totally corrupt Administration, and still be assured of going to heaven.

Rev. Graham explains that when Trump said he could shoot someone on Fifth Ave. and get away with it, he not only knew what he was talking about, he was being a good Christian. In fact, Graham has explained the genesis of slavery, segregation, and the Holocaust.

Question: Is this universal get-out-of-jail pass really the foundation of the Christian faith? Do Christians really believe they can rape, lie, cheat, steal, and commit adultery with impunity, and get to heaven as long as they claim they were saved by Jesus Christ?