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Yet Another “Family Values” Child Molester

Democrats have a problem molesting grown women…

Republicans…Diddling children.

Yet another of the Roy Moore, “Holier than Thou” crowd of child molesters…

Co-founder of nation’s largest Christian rock festival abused minors for 16 years, authorities say

A church pastor is accused of sexually assaulting four minors over a 16-year period.

Harry L. Thomas, 74, of Medford Township, faces charges of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.

The alleged assaults came to an end two years ago. Thomas is currently the pastor of Come Alive Church in Medford.

Authorities said the assaults took place between 1999 and 2015 in Medford.

Thomas was arrested Wednesday, and remains in a medical facility for treatment, where a county department of corrections officer is guarding him. A first appearance in court will be scheduled in the near future.

Phone calls to Come Alive Church went unanswered Thursday morning. An email seeking comment was not immediately returned.

 

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Why Religion Is Dying In America

 

The sort of hypocrisy on display with Roy Moore rape of a child is a big reason…

 

 

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How the White Evangelical Church…Stays White

11 O’Clock Sunday Morning is still the most segregated time in America…

That isn’t accidental.

And no – a black (or minority) is not going to go to a Church where support for Trump is part of the package when they know full well that Evangelical support for the CHumph is a lot more about racism than religion.

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HOW “RACE TESTS” MAINTAIN EVANGELICAL SEGREGATION

…“We need more diversity on that stage!” and “What about that one minority guy? Can we get him to do announcements?”

Crist’s sketch functions as a reminder of the fact that, as Dr. Martin Luther King once famously remarked, the eleven o’clock hour on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of American life. Despite all that’s occurred over the past 50 years in the culture more broadly, and all the Christian hand-wringing, American churches have remained largely segregated. And, while many have sought more benign explanations, others have spoken for quite some time, albeit in hushed voices, about the racial gatekeeping that persists in much of white Christian America.

Talk of gatekeeping was largely anecdotal, until now. In a recent study called “‘Race Tests’: Racial Boundary Maintenance in White Evangelical Churches,” published by Sociological Inquiry, researchers Glenn E. Bracey, II and Wendy Leo Moore sought to reveal how evangelical religious organizations, many of which claim to be open, remain so heavily segregated.

Bracey and Moore hypothesize that these ecclesial organizations perform a “race test” on incoming persons of color that manifest as anything from micro-aggressions to outright overtures of racial stereotypes, in effect seeing “whether the people of color are willing to serve the interests of whites in the space, or execute exclusionary race tests to coerce people of color into leaving the space.”

To turn on the TV and watch the telecasts of churches, it’s easy to see that most churches have a super-majority of one race or ethnicity. While many of the church-going population have no problem acknowledging tendencies toward racial segregation in voluntary groups, this new study shows that there is a toxic combination of unintentional and intentional behaviors that are keeping white evangelical churches mostly white.

The researchers introduce the notion that these white evangelical churches have created what they call “white institutional space.”

Simply put, white institutional space is created through a process that begins with whites excluding people of color, either completely or from institutional positions of power, during a formative period in the history of an organization. During this period, whites populate all influential posts within the institution and create institutional logics—norms of operation, organizational structures, curricula, criteria for membership and leadership—which imbed white norms into the fabric of the institution’s structure and culture. Although the norms are white, they are rarely marked as such. Consequently, racially biased institutional norms are wrongly defined as race-neutral, and thus merely characteristic of the institution itself (e.g., “the appropriate way to act in church”), masking inherent institutional racism.

Bracey, who is African American, ventured into seven churches and attempted engagement in numerous ways. In one of the more passive micro-aggressions, on an early visit, a white congregant whom he’d been emailing with, immediately introduced him to a black mother and her apparently biracial child. The lady even slipped, saying “I’ve been praying that God would send a bla—, a man, that could step in and be a father figure to this child.” One of the other examples was a trip to a small group meeting where pictures of Confederate soldiers were proudly displayed and where the homeowner spoke of the “heroism and hardships of his Confederate ancestors.” Bracey left the meeting quickly, faking an emergency.

Each interaction Bracey had with church members seemed to get decidedly worse than the previous one, as if there were a level of intentionality to maintaining white exclusivity. The study delineated between utility-based race tests and exclusionary race tests. The former is where one’s entry is pre-conditioned, based on how the white institutional space expects a person of color to behave; while the latter functions as a bolder macro-aggressive statement, outwardly expressing sentiments of exclusion. One of the macro-aggressive examples occurred during a small group session at a congregant’s house, when one member of the group made a reference to his “China Gun”—because of the “chink chink” sound it makes when being cocked. He then proceeded to point his imaginary gun at a Latino participant and the researcher.

There are some deeper theological and ecclesiastical questions that are triggered by this study, including: how does evangelical Christianity propagate white institutional spaces so well? Most protestants have left behind the iconography that depicted Jesus as a medium-to-small-framed white guy with either blond of brown hair wearing a robe. But, as contemporary churches designed new sanctuary spaces, with massive stages replacing traditional pulpits, the actors on the stage replaced the icons. Effectively, then, “Jesus” was still a medium-to-small-framed white guy with either blond or brown hair. When the representation of holiness—in pastors, lay leaders and worship leaders—is still overwhelmingly white, it will consistently perpetuate white institutional space. The tokenization of persons of color in the worship bands merely adds fuel to the machine of white institutional spaces; that persons of color can only function for minstrel entertainment purposes.

The failure of ecclesiastical white institutional spaces to find ways to bridge the gap across racial and ethnic boundaries draws a direct correlation to the persistent reluctance of white Christians to accept a gospel message from anyone but another white person—usually a male. Recall, then-candidate Barack Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and the numerous denouncements from the Christian right and moderates about how black liberation theology was heretical and separatist in nature. The distinct incapacity to accept another lived reality as it encounters the Gospel of Jesus is the breathing apparatus that gives life to white institutional spaces that are, as Bracey and Moore put it: “normatively white in policy and practice by explicitly accounting for the intersecting mechanisms—structure, culture, ideology, and discourse—that justify and reproduce white privilege, power and accumulation of resources in these institutions.” In other words: white is, and will continue to be, right.

Recently, here on RD, Deborah Jian Lee reported on the ways in which persons of color are pressured to perform to standards of whiteness in evangelical spaces. She writes that “for those staying, they must contend with a dominant white theology shaped in the cauldron of privilege…. It fails to recognize how unfair policies and societal structures harm the economic and social wellbeing of those subject to those systems.” Her article is bookended by the story of a person of color, pastor George Mekhail, who ultimately chose to leave evangelicalism. Unfortunately, that’s the choice that many face: stay and try to fight an uphill battle or leave and let the chips fall where they may.,,,The Rest Here

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2017 in The New Jim Crow

 

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How Evangelical Became a Bad Word

Back when Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson signed their compact with the political Devil, the words Evangelical Christian had a positive connotation. In becoming the Devil’s whores, often for very narrow religious reasons they have enabled the least rational and most extremist groups access to the political machinery. A machinery which lets those people define the laws under which the citizens of America must live under.

Examples?

North Carolina became known as the most extreme state of the union this year, with the legislature refusing to expand Medicaid, curtailing unemployment benefits, putting hurdles on the right to vote and even potentially closing almost every abortion clinic in the state. One thing they didn’t quite manage to pull off? Establishing Christianity as the official state religion. However, that wasn’t for lack of trying. House Resolution 494 would have allowed the state to establish an official religion. The bill went down when everyone realized it would be in direct violation of the Constitution. No worries, though – North Carolina passed an absurd “no Sharia law” bill instead.

What do you do with a young, scared, pregnant teen who doesn’t want to name the father of her baby? According to the Mississippi GOP, you make her take a DNA test to determine paternity. Proponents of HB 151 argued the info could be used to prosecute statutory rape or obtain child support, as well as drive down teen pregnancy rates. Opponents worry that teens could be driven into hiding and away from hospitals when it’s time to give birth or miss out on prenatal care. Opponents lost; HB 151 was signed into law by Republican Governor Phil Bryant.

 

 

Evangelical Christianity destroyed its own brand — here’s why they are now widely despised

Here is what the Evangelical brand looks like from the outside:

Evangelical means obsessed with sex. Evangelicals are so desperate to fend off their own complicated sexual desires and self-loathing that they would rather watch queer teens commit suicide than deal with their homophobia. They abhor youth sexuality and female sexual pleasure to the point that they have driven an epidemic of teen pregnancy, unintended pregnancy and abortion—all because accurate information and contraceptive access might let the wrong kind of people (young unmarried and female people) have sex for the wrong reasons (pleasure and intimacy) without suffering for it.

Evangelical means arrogant. Wheaton College put Evangelical arrogance on national display when administrators decided to suspend and then fire a professor who dared to suggest that Muslims, Jews and Christians all worship the same God.

Evangelical means fearful and bigoted. While more secular Europeans and Canadians offer aid to Syrian refugees, Evangelical Christians have instead sought to exclude Muslims.  They have used their vast empire of telecommunications channels to inspire not charity but fear of imminent Sharia in the U.S. and of refugees more broadly. They have urged that Latin American refugees be sent home so that we can build a wall across the southern border before they come back.

Evangelical means indifferent to truth. Evangelicals refuse to acknowledge what isobvious to everyone else, including most other Christians—that the Bible is a human document woven through with moral and factual imperfections. Treating the Bible like the literally perfect word of God has forced Bible believers to make a high art out of self-deception, which they then apply to other inconvenient truths. They rewrite American History, embrace faux news, defend in court the right of “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” to lie, and force doctors to do the same. The end justifies the means.

Evangelical means gullible and greedy. From televangelists and Prosperity Gospel to adulation of Ronald Reagan and Ayn Rand, Evangelicalism faces the world as a religion ofexploiters and exploited—both of which are hoping to make a quick buck.

Evangelical means ignorant. The only way to protect creationism is to keep people from understanding how science works and what scientists have discovered. As evidence accumulates related to evolutionary biology, insulating children requires aconstant battleto keep accurate information out of textbooks. Insulating adults requires cultivating a deep suspicion of science and scholarship, an anti-intellectualism that diffuses out from this center and defines Evangelical culture at large.

Evangelical means predatory. Evangelical missionaries prey on the young and ignorant. They have fought all the way to the Supreme Court to ensure they canproselytize children in public grade schools. Having failed to block marriage equality in the States, they export Bible based gay-hate to Central Africa, where gays are more vulnerable. Since Americans lost interest in tent revivals, evangelists now cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead among uneducated low-information people in developing countries.

Evangelical means mean. Opposing anti-poverty programs, shaming and stigmatizing queers, making it harder for poor women to prevent pregnancy, blaming rape victims,diverting aid dollars into church coffers, threatening little kids with eternal torture, supporting war, denying the rights of other species, . . . need I go on?

Laid out like this—sex-obsessed, arrogant, bigoted, lying, greedy, ignorant, predatory and mean—one understands why a commentator like Croft might say that TrumpisEvangelicalism. But reading closer, it becomes clear that Trump and Cruz and Rubio are not the problem.

 

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Clueless Pastor

Rule 101 – If you stepped into a nest of Vipers… It ain’t going to be the one you can see in front of you which is going to kill your dumb ass.

When assessing the character of an individual – is seeing who that individual chooses to surround him/her self with. If all of a person’s friends are crooks, there is a better than even chance said person is also a crook. If most of the people a guy chooses to surround himself with are reading Mein Kampf every morning with their Cheerios – there is a good chance that those sorts of people will be nominated to the thousands of positions in the government if he/she is elected. Remember George W. Bushit? “Smiling faces”…Indeed.

God don’t help stupid. One of the basic tenets of Christianity is free choice. Including punching your own one way ticket to hell.

Being pissed off because the Democrats don’t want to join your freak show Sunday mornings is not reason to kiss the Devil’s ass. Providing 35% of the vote to get them elected means they should be kissing yours – providing you did some thinking beforehand about what you ask for. Electing those “third generation fourth rate progeny and inheritors of the Civil Rights Generation” as a certain poster here is wont to say….Ain’t going to get you there.

Why some African-American evangelicals are playing the Trump card

Pastor Mark Burns recalled how he walked into his first face-to-face meeting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in October 2015 “full of apprehension:”

“Several other African-American pastors were scheduled to come but they backed out last minute due to heat from their congregation,” said Burns, who preaches in his hometown of Easley, South Carolina, at The Harvest Praise & Worship Center. He also runs a Christian TV network he founded four years ago – the NOW Television Network -with the help of his wife and six children. “I was not for Mr. Trump at the time, [but] I really wanted to hear the man’s heart.”Although he ended up one of the few African-American evangelical leaders in attendance at what was supposed to be a private meeting of “who’s who of Christian TV evangelicals,” Burns said the discussion was nonetheless dominated by concerns about Trump connecting with African-American voters through the African-American church.

“For those of us who are evangelical leaders and pastors, we are led by listening to the spirit of an individual, and we also believe that through the Holy Spirit, [it] will reveal to us whether someone is truthful or not,” said Burns. “All of us, especially after that first meeting, and especially us in the African-American evangelical community, [we] came out believing that this person is legit.”

Many supporters are convinced that his consistent popularity (in New Hampshirehe garnered 35 percent of Republican votes, with runner-up Ohio. Gov. John Kasich at 16 percent) will carry him to another victory in South Carolina’s upcoming primary. As the billionaire’s campaign fights in earnest for the evangelical vote, national polls place him solidly in the lead. Yet the issue of race will loom large, particularly in a general election: 72 percent of black Protestant churchgoers identify as evangelical or born-again, yet 82 percent of black Protestants – like blacks more generally – lean Democratic compared with just 11 percent who align with the Republican Party.

“As an African-American, I’m absolutely put on the defensive for being a Donald Trump supporter,” Burns told CBS News the morning of Trump’s first South Carolina rally after New Hampshire. He was getting ready for the drive to Clemson University where he was scheduled to speak at a Trump campaign event. He described how he sees it as his “calling,” and the calling of other African-American evangelicals, to turn black voters on to Trump.

“One of reasons why I believe I’ve been called to do this – to bring right where there is wrong [is that] I know that he is not at all how many African-Americans view him.”

Burns’ congregation is divided on the Trump issue. While some members, including African-Americans, echo their pastor’s praise, others maintain that Trump is a “bully” and are critical of his lack of political experience or correctness.

“It’s unprofessional,”said Danielle Sloane, a 38-year-old member of Burns’ Harvest Praise & Worship Center congregation, describing the real-estate magnate’s conduct and persona. “He is not a man of the people. He never has to worry about losing a job or his son being shot by police.”

Burns joked how, although he had yet to convince all members of his church, he believed that people simply needed to “look at the facts” and read about Trump’s policies to make the right decision: “It’s an uphill battle, but we have influenced thousands of others to take a second look, and make decisions not off of feelings.”

Burns has met with Trump several times over the past few months, and publicly endorsed him last November. Around that time, an open letter from more than 100 black religious leaders and scholars on Ebony.com, addressed “to the African-American ministers scheduled to meet with Donald Trump,” expressed disdain for their decision to back him, stating that Trump’s rhetoric was routinely racist and divisive. A November Public Policy Polling survey found that 75 percent of African-Americans had an unfavorable opinion on Trump, versus 9 percent with favorable views.

“Personally, it was a challenge at first – to be called an Uncle Tom … as if I’m submitting myself to the white man’s authority,” said Burns. “But eventually I understood somebody has to do it.

 

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How Conservatism Makes You Stupid

Christian victimhood is a favorite meme of the evangelical Christian right. To combat such, legislators have embarked on a pogrom to install Christian monuments on the grounds of, or in the courtrooms of the nation. The problem being, the Founding Fathers of the country, many of who themselves escaped, or were the descendants of those who escaped state sponsored religious persecution to come to America…

Weren’t about to let the same thing happen here.

As a child I can remember the family dinner conversation about Robert F, Kennedy’s candidacy. My father, being an educator and historian, who had been persecuted by McCarthy in the early 50’s demanded of his sons the ability to lucidly discuss current events and history at the table. Like a lot of educators I have known through the years, it was my Dad’s personal belief to maintain and improve family eugenics through education. Conversation de jour was the fact that Kennedy was a Catholic, and his opponents assault on his patriotism questioning whether he answer to the Pope…Or America.

Well…With the placement of the 10 Commandments on the Courthouse grounds or walls by evangelical right wingers – do they report to their very own denominational interpretation of God…Or the Republic?

And that Constitution thing…If you put the 10 Commandments up – then you have to put up something for every other religion…Like this:

Baphomet an Occult Demon Statue in Detroit

Atheists Join Hindus, Vegans, Satanists In Asking For State Capitol Monument

Arkansas recently approved a measure to build a statue of the Ten Commandments on the state capitol grounds.

When Arkansas lawmakers passed a bill this year calling for the creation of a privately funded Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol building in Little Rock, they clarified in the legislation that the move shouldn’t be “construed to mean that the State of Arkansas favors any particular religion or denomination over others.”

Construction hasn’t yet begun on the tribute to Old Testament scripture — but already, a number of religious and secular groups have come forward to put the lawmakers’ claim to the test, demanding that they also be allowed to erect their own statues on the capitol grounds.

The latest request, submitted last month by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national group that advocates for the separation of church and state, calls upon Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and Arkansas Secretary of State, Mark Martin (R), to build a “no gods” monument that represents the “views of citizens who reject the biblical or religious perspective.”

In a letter, FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor tell Hutchison and Martin that “most freethinkers find the Ten Commandments to epitomize the childishness, the vindictiveness, the sexism, the inflexibility and the inadequacies of the bible as a book of morals.” They then request that they be allowed to fund their own statue at the capitol, which would display the following text:

MAY REASON PREVAIL

There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.
There is only our natural world.
Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

Freedom depends on freethinkers

KEEP STATE AND CHURCH SEPARATE

Presented (add date) to the State of Arkansas on behalf of the membership of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, in honor of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The FFRF’s proposal joins a list of similar requests from other groups, none of which have been approved. In August, the Nevada-based Universal Society of Hinduism received a rejection notice after asking for permission to build a tribute to the Hindu god Hanuman, a monkey-faced deity revered for his strength and skill as a linguist and grammarian.

Hanuman A Hindu God

The society’s president, Rajan Zed, told The Associated Press that he had apparently submitted his request to the wrong board, and must instead apply through the Arkansas General Assembly or submit an application to the Arkansas State Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission.

The FFRF appears to have copied the commission in its letter, which can be read in full below.

The Satanic Temple, a group known for taking a more in-your-face approach to the issue of separation of church and state, is also reportedly considering staking out some real estate on the Arkansas capitol grounds. The group nearly succeeded in placing a massive bronze statue of Baphomet, a satyr-like horned idol, outside the Oklahoma state capitol earlier this year — near a massive stone tablet of the Ten Commandments.

But the group was forced to move the monument to Detroit after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that such religious displays, including the monument to the Ten Commandments, were unconstitutional.

What is good for the Goose…Is indeed good for the Gander.

 

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Alabama Governor and “Non-Believers'”

Alabama governor touches off controversy with Christian commentsHmmmmmmmm…..

Alabama governor touches off controversy with Christian comments

Alabama Republican Gov. Robert Bentley is kicking off his first term in office with a bit of controversy, telling a church audience Monday that he only considers Christians to be his “brothers and sisters.”

“Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters,” he told parishioners at a Baptist church in Montgomery Monday shortly after being sworn in. “So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”

“There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit,” Bentley also said, according to the Birmingham News. “But if you have been adopted in God’s family like I have, and like you have if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister.”

Rebekah Caldwell Mason, Bentley’s communications director, was not immediately available for comment but told the Birmingham News that Bentley “is the governor of all the people, Christians, non-Christians alike.”

Bentley also celebrated the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. in his speech and said he will govern in accordance with King’s teachings.

‘I was elected as a Republican candidate. But once I became governor … I became the governor of all the people. I intend to live up to that. I am color blind,” Bentley also said.

 

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2011 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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