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WEEK IN REVIEW: Jesus loved greedy landlords, says greedy landlord
Dave Ramsey, GOP hypocrites, fundie video clips, and more!
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Just a reminder that I’m currently on a brief hiatus from posting regularly and I’ll be back writing at a website called OnlySky in early January. You can read more about my decision here!
OnlySky is an explicitly secular media outlet that goes far beyond blogs. You’ll find topical posts and longer reflections, sure, but you’ll also get podcasts, videos, news analysis, and more from a variety of progressive voices.
While the site isn’t live just yet, you can be updated ASAP when it goes live.
There were a few major stories breaking on Friday, including the Supreme Court saying it would take up a big church/state separation case. I’ll have a more detailed writeup on that tomorrow. Stay tuned…
33-year-old Republican Lee Chatfield used to be the Speaker of the Michigan State House and a rising star in the party. After he was term-limited out, he had a clear path to higher office. But that future may have derailed after Chatfield recently admitted to having a long-term affair with a “consenting adult.”
Why that specificity at the end? Because the woman in question says it wasn’t consenting, that she was 15 when Chatfield first sexually assaulted her, that they met in the church run by his father, and that Chatfield worked at the church-affiliated school she was attending.
Chatfield denies everything. And who knows, given the way his party works, this could all somehow make him even more popular.
The “research journal” produced by Answers in Genesis is already a joke to begin with, but one of their recent articles involves condemning the Tuskegee Syphilis Study (which, I agree, was a disgrace)… and claiming it could’ve been avoided had everyone involved just accepted Creationism.
It’s bad enough when a politician says we ought to live under a Christianity-based values system because our secular government has failed.
It’s even worse when that politician is the attorney general, whose job is enforcing the laws.
But that’s what Oklahoma AG John O’Connor said at a recent event after saying “there’s no such thing as an ideal godless America.” (There is. In that America, he would get anywhere close to a position of leadership.)
Just look at this headline. Just look at it.
The same diocese also apologized for asking the child sex abuse victim "whether the sexual contact may have consequently been pleasurable for him."
Rachel Hamm, a Republican who’s running for Secretary of State in California, has told some wacky Christian stories before, including ones about her supposedly prophetic son. But this 30-minute story about moving out of her new home for NO GOOD REASON, only to move into what appears to be a dump, just tells you how broken her faith-based judgment is.
Imagine watching this 15-second commercial and deciding to launch a petition to RUIN the company that made it:
That’s what the one mom at One Million Moms did this week, claiming Hilton attempted to “normalize sin by featuring two men together with a young boy.”
Evangelical financial “guru” Dave Ramsey told a landlord who wrote in to his radio show that there was nothing un-Christian about raising rent on his tenants even if he could afford not to.
Ramsey justified that by saying “I did not displace the person out of that house if they can no longer afford it. The marketplace did. The economy did. The ratio of the income that they earned to their housing expense displaced them. I didn’t cause any of that.” But, of course, he ignored the fact that greedy landlords contribute to people’s hardships.
Ramsey has a long history of purposely not understanding why people are poor, so none of this is surprising, but it’s appalling that so many Christians take his advice seriously.
Before she died, an elderly woman in New York left her more-than-$2 million estate to her favorite priest. But that’s caused a major conflict because people who knew her say she may have been coerced into signing that document… and because the priest in question had been repeatedly accused of child molestation. (He has not been convicted.)
If you’re running one of the largest, most influential church-planting organizations in all of evangelical Christianity, and you pledge to root out the kind of spiritually abusive priests who have been connected with your group, it would help if you yourself weren’t known as a spiritually abusive priest.
And yet Matt Chandler, a pastor who apparently lacks self-awareness and has no one in his life willing to call him out on it, dismissed a question about abusive priests by saying his real concern is that our society “lumps guys into that category who don’t belong there.” (Spoiler: The guys we’re talking about absolutely belong there.)
Christian Nationalist and COVID super-spreader Sean Feucht said this week that his book deal had been canceled due to his “political views.”
Turns out there was never even a contract. According to the Christian Post, Feucht said in a video that he had been working for months on a book with HarperCollins and that included a signed agreement. The company, however, denied it, saying, “We did not have a signed contract."
I’m sure Feucht will just produce the contract for everyone to see, right…? (Don’t hold your breath.)
I don’t know why former American Atheists president David Silverman though he could sell an NFT of the meme with his face even though he didn’t create it, but after getting in touch with the artist who designed it (who has a copyright on the image), the website that was selling the product finally removed it.
Speaking of Silverman…
The Republican atheist group he now advises also sent a letter to a company this week demanding that anti-vaxxer atheists also get included in the company’s “religious exemptions” policy. They want equality so badly, they’re willing to promote anti-science propaganda to do it…
Keep in mind they could easily have argued against religious exemptions for everyone — which also would have created an equal playing field — but they chose the anti-vaxxer route because being Republican matters more to them than protecting everyone’s health.
Christian “prophet” Timothy Dixon says there’s video of a miracle happening in real time, in which he cured a woman’s deformed leg with prayer! The video is available on his website!
… Except it’s not on Dixon’s website at all. He’s just lying.
An After School Satan Club — an alternative to the indoctrination-heavy Christian “Good News Club” — held its first meeting at an elementary school in Moline, Illinois. Even though the group doesn’t believe in Satan, love sciences, and promotes critical thinking, a group of Christian men protested outside the school Thursday afternoon.
I repeat: Grown-ass Christian men protested outside an elementary school because kids were learning how to think critically.
I rarely say “Young Earth Creationism” and “age” together in a positive way, but this video from InspiringPhilosophy does an excellent job explaining the age of YEC — literally. He talks about how it started and how it took off.
If you’re a Creationist group that makes your supposed expert understanding of science the centerpiece of your misinformation campaign, you should at least make sure your logo doesn’t contain an obvious error.
Evolutionary biologist Forrest Valkai does a great job quickly breaking down a FOX News piece that suggests the scientific world is slowly accepting the existence of a literal Adam and Eve. The article made no sense and is actually the result of shoddy, purposely deceptive journalism. It only took Forrest a couple of minutes to explain why.
Should we be concerned about a proposed bill in Oklahoma to bring the KJV Bible and fundamentalist preachers in the classroom? Oh yeah. I explain why in this video:
Scamvangelist Jim Bakker isn’t the only guy who’s forgotten about all the controversies involving Jim Bakker.
In Arizona, Atheist State Rep. Athena Salman just gave birth and requested the chance to work (and vote) remotely in order to stay safe from COVID. But the “pro-life” Republicans in charge of the House won’t let her do it. Salman is rightly calling out the hypocrisy.
This was a banner week in fundamentalist preacher insanity. So grab some coffee and bask in these clips from a bunch of sermons you thankfully didn’t listen to. (Also, my brain is now broken.)This is not the metaphor I was expecting to hear in church. Stick around for the last line of the clip.Here's conspiracy theorist (and “Praying Medic”) Dave Hayes helping viewers "smell the aroma of Heaven."Christian conspiracist Dave Hayes says he's asking God to help him go BACK IN TIME to *fix his wife's DNA* to cure her illness. (So much for his belief in faith-healing...) Oh. And he's interviewed author C.S. Lewis three times. Lewis died in 1963, long before Hayes was born.I wasn't sure where preacher Hank Kunneman was going with this story. Then I heard the final sentence.Preacher Ryan Urbanek pulled a whole "they're taking our guns" scenario out of thin air to prove how much he loves Jesus.Christian preacher Corbin Ressl longs for the good old days when he could bully gay kids without consequences.Christian prophetess Kat Kerr says that when you paint or knit in Heaven, your creations come to life. "Wow," responds the gullible host.
Speaking of Satan, when you think masks are demonic and Jesus is your vaccine, it’s not surprising when you hold a massive maskless indoor concert in the midst of a pandemic wave. That’s what happened at a Christian youth camp in Australia — according to a number of viral videos this week.This was yesterday south of Newcastle at Hillsong’s summer camp. Singing and ritual are part of faith (inc mine) but on any test this is an indoor music festival. As the live music industry again is forced to cancel gigs this 👇 was entirely legal. Is that fair?
Making matters worse, the government said it won’t issue any fines because organizers said it wasn’t technically a “festival.”
It’s not just the fundies, though. Here’s one of the most popular mainstream evangelical preachers in the country, Ed Young, just casually spreading vaccine misinformation to his audience in an afterthought while making a dad joke.Here's one of the most popular pastors in the country, , making a cheesy joke about keeping romance alive... before descending into anti-vaxxer nonsense. This is mainstream white evangelical Christianity.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s only the people on the fringes who say crazy things. It’s everywhere in conservative circles.
Okay, and also with former mobsters.
I can’t embed it here, but do yourself a favor and watch this excellent parody of a newlywed Christian influencer couple.
Well played, sir.
This week in Atheist Bible Study? Leviticus 11, full of a long list of rules about what you can and cannot eat. And yes, carcasses are involved.
This podcast hasn’t launched yet but I’m already excited:
Finally, any tweet that begins with “youth pastor’s voice” always grabs my attention:
That’s it for this week! Stay safe. Get vaccinated. Get boosted. Please become a full subscriber or share this with someone who may enjoy it. It would mean a lot to me :)