God Is Pro-Abortion

Think about it: ONE IN FIVE pregnancies ends in a miscarriage… Or as the medical community refers to them, a “spontaneous abortion.” The Mayo Clinic says that the number is likely higher than that, because “many miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy that a woman doesn’t realize she’s pregnant.” It’s referred to as a “spontaneous abortion” when the pregnancy ends before 20 weeks, while after 20 weeks is often referred to as a “stillbirth.” If abortion is “murder,” then God is the biggest mass murderer of them all…

Consider that ratio for a moment: Twenty percent of all the fertilized egg on the earth. ONE out of every FIVE pregnancies — probably more — result in a naturally occurring abortion. And UNICEF estimates that more that 140 million babies are born each year worldwide. That’s an average of a little more than 386,000 babies every day…. So if you do the math, that means that more than 28 MILLION babies are naturally aborted every year. That means just under one spontaneously aborted baby every second of every day… Or, to put it another way, in the time it took you to read this sentence, God aborted roughly SEVEN BABIES.

Now, please believe me when I say that I’m not writing this just to heretically rustle the feathers of a bunch of evangelicals. I’m not (though I must admit, it is little bit of a bonus). I’m writing this in the hopes that you consider something you may not have considered before. Nearly all of the people who are in favor of this new wave of draconian abortion laws credit their religious beliefs as the reason for their opposition to keeping abortions safe and legal. They toss around slogans like “Abortion is murder.” They use the word “infanticide.” They use the word “holocaust.” They believe they have moral clarity, and they treat this issue as if they have been given a mandate from God.

But the God that they believe in is the God who is IN CONTROL OF THINGS. And the ALL-POWERFUL God who is supposedly “calling them” to vote for a pussy-grabbing, sexual-assaulting, philandering, thrice-married, compulsive liar & serial adulterer — all because he calls himself “pro-life” and they want to overturn Roe v. Wade — is the SAME GOD who is responsible for aborting 71,233 every day through the natural process of an egg being fertilized and growing in a woman’s womb. That’s the same God, by the way, who — IN THE BIBLE — gave the Israelites a process to cause an abortion in a pregnant women whom the husband suspects was unfaithful. God actually PRESCRIBES an abortion in the Bible, while telling us that lying and adultery are wrong… Meanwhile, people calling themselves “christians” attempt to make abortion illegal, all while voting for a liar & adulterer.

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This incredibly harmful and insensitive “murder” language is mostly used by people who have never spoken with actual women about the reasons why their abortion was necessary. When you actually LISTEN to a woman’s story, your “moral clarity” about making all abortions illegal fades away… Women who get a “non-compatible with life” diagnosis… Women with a baby who didn’t form an airway and would have been brain dead… Women who were carrying their rapist’s baby… Here’s a great tweet about how hearing her story changes things:

If you’re interested in seeing some of these stories, the hashtag #YouKnowMe on Twitter is incredibly powerful. It was started after Busy Philipps spoke about her abortion on her TV show. But the shitty thing is, these women shouldn’t have to explain something to the world that is private and often traumatic in order for them to be able to make decisions about their own bodies… Just like they were forced to relive the stories of their sexual assaults for people to take #MeToo seriously. The whole point of the 7-2 Roe v. Wade SCOTUS decision was that it is none of anyone’s fucking business.

The LAST POST I wrote was about abortion too, and I can’t tell you how many women I know have talked to me privately about the circumstances surrounding their own abortion. I have talked to women who have gone through the trauma of having a miscarriage, and received a D&C (a Dilation and Curettage — A surgical procedure that opens the cervix and removed the contents of the uterus), which made it more possible for them to have kids later. These new laws would turn D&Cs into a procedure that women would be forced to explain and justify.

And they do all of this — demonizing women, and calling for punishment, prison time, and even (without a hint of irony) the death penalty — without ever really considering the man’s role in this whole process. If you want to regulate something, it seems you would start with the actual problem. Perhaps mandatory vasectomies are the solution? Because it’s pretty clear that penises are the problem… A piece of hypocrisy that is perfectly pointed out in this tweet:

It’s maddening! There is no state in America where public support for these total abortion bans reaches even 25%. These new laws would subject women to examinations to “prove” that their miscarriage/abortion was spontaneous and not induced… Basically asking a woman to prove that their abortion was God’s fault instead of theirs. What does a policy like this say about what we think of women? And maybe equally bewildering: What does a policy like this say about what we think of God? ONE IN FIVE PREGNANCIES… And yet we’ve got people crediting their “christianity” as to why they are passing legislation suggesting prison sentences for women who get an abortion which are longer than the prison sentences of the men who raped them. Jesus wept…

 

Thank you so much for reading. Please offer support to the women sharing their stories of why we need to keep abortion safe and legal for those who need it. Please listen to their stories. Please vote like we are on the precipice of a return to a horrific time for women who need an abortion as part of their healthcare… Because we are.

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Men Aren’t Making Enough Noise About These New Abortion Laws

This includes me. I have been too quiet, and I’m sorry. The vast majority of the noise I have heard and seen has come from women. Which makes some sense, I suppose — These oppressive laws are attempting to control WOMEN’S BODIES and WOMEN’S CHOICES… But men have to be more involved, because our silence is failing them.

Before going any further, I should mention that I have written about abortion before. When I told my wife I was writing about abortion, she said, “Again?” I wrote a post about how complex this issue is titled “Finding A Middle Ground On Abortion.” I wrote a post about how God seems to be pro-abortion in the Bible called “The Test For An Unfaithful Wife,” or “How To Perform A Biblical Abortion.” I wrote about how, since Roe v. Wade, Democratic presidents & policies have LOWERED the actual rates of abortion while Republican presidents & policies have either increased the number of abortions or kept is stagnant… It was titled “Christians ~ Want Fewer Abortions? Vote Democrat.” I also wrote a satirical post titled “Christians Should Be Rooting For As Many Abortions As Possible” about how — if saving souls from hell/getting souls into heaven is really what it’s all about — abortion is actually has a way higher success rate than evangelism. I’m not going to go over all of the points I made in those articles again, but if you’re interested, there they are.

I’m sure you’ve seen that abortion is in the news again. This oppressive “fetal heartbeat law” recently passed and signed in Georgia is not unique — there are similar laws that were passed in Ohio and Louisiana which go into effect on July 1 of this year, while Georgia’s law doesn’t go into effect until January of 2020. These laws essentially makes abortions after 6 weeks illegal, even though most women won’t even realize they might be pregnant until AT LEAST around week 4… As if all women have cycles you could set your watch to. There has been a lot of misinformation about these bills, with people saying it allows for the death penalty for women who have an abortion. This is not true. What IS true is that it DOES penalize and criminalize doctors who perform abortions, and it COULD require women who have had a miscarriage to be submitted to exams to prove that she didn’t have an abortion. The law allows for exemptions in the case of rape or incest, but only when a police report has been filed. It’s a complicated mess, and there are a bunch of places on the internet (here’s one) that can explain the specifics to you better than I can…

It is no secret that these abortion bans are designed to get the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade… And as I wrote about HERE, Roe v. Wade was and is a case about PRIVACY. It is not about making a moral judgement, but it’s about how the state shouldn’t be able to look at a woman who has been raped and say “Prove it” before allowing her to terminate her pregnancy, and how that would be an egregious violation of a person’s right to privacy. They are trying to get the SCOTUS to revisit the ruling by attempting to define an embryo at six weeks — where a sensitive transvaginal ultrasound can detect the slight flutter of what would later develop into a heart — as a “full person” with 14th Amendment protections under the constitution. But as Andrew Fleischman pointed out, that would mean that thousands of “full persons” are being being unlawfully detained in prisons that hold pregnant women.

Lawmakers in many of these republican-controlled states are even inexplicably coming after emergency contraception… Which makes about as much sense as being against fire AND fire extinguishers:

We live in a country with people who are so comfortable with cognitive dissonance that they elect lawmakers who are calling themselves “anti-abortion,” while actively making it harder for women to get birth control… They try to allow insurance companies to refuse to cover abortion procedures, while they keep shelling out money for men’s boner pills… They put groups of men in charge of of making decisions about women’s healthcare…

Banning abortions doesn’t make abortions go away… It simply makes them unsafe. Republicans seem to think that banning things will fix all the world’s problems… All of the problems other than gun violence, that is.

Anyway, NONE of this is about doing things that will actually reduce the number of abortions. This is about CONTROL. It is about controlling women’s bodies. They don’t actually want to get rid of abortions. For most republican lawmakers, the issue of abortion is about power. It is about getting elected. It is about getting people out to VOTE. The moment a woman they’re having an affair with gets pregnant, they become as Pro-Choice as anyone on the planet. Rich conservatives love the abortion fight, because it allows them to say the reason they are voting republican is for “moral reasons,” instead of having to admit that it is just because of good ol’ fashioned combination of greed and preserving white privilege. Please make no mistake: These heartbeat laws are not being passed because republicans are anything close to “Pro-Life.” They’re not. At best, they are pro-BIRTH. You know who else has a heartbeat? Migrant kids.

And in the GOP’s attempt to stop abortions from taking place, they are focusing on WOMEN, and forcing them to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term… Instead of focusing on the actual problem: MEN. If lawmakers wanted to actually get rid of abortions, they totally could. Criminalizing abortion and punishing women is not the answer. Listen — You want to pass a law that reduces the number of abortions? PASS A LAW PUNISHING MEN FOR THEIR IRRESPONSIBLE EJACULATIONS! Because, as Gabrielle Blair wrote in her absolutely amazing Twitter thread, “Men are responsible for 100% of unwanted pregnancies.” And yeah, sure, I know: “It takes two to tango,” and all that… But it takes two people for INTENTIONAL pregnancies… It only takes one man ejaculating irresponsibly to create an UNWANTED pregnancy. Please read the whole thread below…

Men: WE ARE THE ONES CAUSING ALL OF THESE UNWANTED PREGNANCIES. The very least we can do is speak up and stand with the women who are being compelled into the role of Forced Baby Incubator. What I’d REALLY like to see is more men taking up the cause of vocally opposing this push toward turning “A Handmaid’s Tale” into a reality. This is not and CANNOT be only a woman’s fight. Men have got to be loud and active in our opposition to these unjust laws, which put all of the onus on the woman as a baby incubator, and none of the blame on the men who irresponsibly cause all of these unwanted pregnancies with their selfish desire to not wear condoms & their selfish insistence on not pulling out.

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Now, if we can just start getting people to READ…

We need to speak up when we hear people referring to abortion as “murder.” All of this hyperbole is so misleading and demonizing. Sperm is alive too… That doesn’t turn male masturbation into mass murder… And if it did, you can bet there would be no law passed against it. And all of this talk about “infanticide” is so utterly false. An embryo is NOT an infant. A fetus is NOT an infant. Nobody in the world is talking about having an abortion at 36 weeks… We who are Pro-Choice acknowledge that there are times when abortion is needed, and we want to keep abortions safe & legal for the women who find themselves in that difficult situation. And before anyone discusses whether an embryo is “fully human,” they need to understand that WOMEN are fully human.

  • Forcing a woman who has been raped to carry her rapist’s child is cruelly inhumane & dehumanizing to women.
  • Ordering a woman who has been raped to relive her trauma by insisting she press charges against her attacker in order to access a safe abortion is cruelly inhumane & dehumanizing to women.
  • Compelling a young woman — pregnant as a result of incest — to publicly report that family member before being able to end her pregnancy is cruelly inhumane & dehumanizing to women.
  • Requiring a woman who has gone through the trauma of a miscarriage to “prove” she didn’t have an abortion is cruelly inhumane & dehumanizing to women.
  • Demanding that a woman — who, with her doctor, goes through the difficult choice of deciding that terminating her pregnancy is in her best health interest — be subjected to insurance inquiries and possible criminal charges is cruelly inhumane & dehumanizing to women.
  • And men: Expecting that women fight this battle without our active & vocal support is ALSO cruelly inhumane & dehumanizing to women.

We must do better.

 

I’m probably going to lose some followers over this post, but I’m totally okay with that… Ten years ago, I could have NEVER seen myself writing something like this. And if you don’t agree with me right now, perhaps in ten years you will also have had your mind changed. Here’s hoping… And speaking of hope, I hope you consider BECOMING A PATRON. Or, if you like what you see here, and you want to leave a tip, you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. Otherwise, stay in touch with me ON FACEBOOK and ON TWITTER. Or share this post with people in your life. Also, and more importantly, please use whatever platform you have to magnify the voices of the women who are doing such amazing work in this fight. Stay hopeful…

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Thoughts On Praying For Miracles

When my wife was diagnosed with cancer, the doctor told us there were many people at the hospital willing to pray for us. I said, “I’ll take my prayers in the form of competent expertise.” I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately… A lot of you may already know that Rachel Held Evans has been in a medically induced coma for a couple weeks now. If you don’t know who that is, you should. She’s a lot like me, only she’s smart and successful and a really good writer. Folks on Twitter have started the #PrayForRHE hashtag to allow people to share their love & prayers during this scary time…

As a writer & a blogger & a Christian who went through deconstruction, it was only natural that I was introduced to the beautiful mind of Rachel Held Evans. She is one of my heroes. She has this way of saying things that feels so Fresh & True & Good. People would send me her articles all the time. Many of the things she wrote became a sort of Doubter’s Canon for people who had questions about their unraveling faith. The news of her health struggles have broken my heart. I just love her.

Before I was aware of the inherent danger strangers/men like me posed to people like Rachel, I think I messaged her something like, “We should totally be friends.” My feelings were a little hurt when she didn’t respond. Ha! As if she owed me a response… Anyway, I have looked on through tears as people post their prayers & well-wishes to her on social media. She is so universally beloved by people I respect, and so feared & reviled by people I can’t stand. And through all this, I have been thinking once again about prayer.

In the faith of my youth, PRAYER was the thread I started pulling on which led to the unraveling of my Sweater Of Traditional Christian Theology… An admittedly ugly sweater. I grew up in Church. I went to a Christian School, kindergarten through college. I was a Young Life leader. I worked at a Christian Camp. I did Bible studies. I did prayer groups. I did all the Christian things.

It wasn’t until I moved to Nashville that I had my first experience with a church that “believed in miracles.” For a while, we attended the sort of church that would tell stories about seeing angels, & limbs growing back, & the dead being raised. They were interested in the God of the Spectacular. I remember watching once as prayer team members were released, and they pushed past addicts & single moms to get to a person on crutches… In the hopes of seeing him spectacularly drop those crutches. One Sunday we worshipped late into the afternoon, as we received news that God had miraculously healed a woman of her ovarian cancer! We cried & sang & collected an offering.

When she died from cancer about a year later, no one mentioned it…

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You don’t see faith healers working in hospitals for the same reason you don’t see psychics winning the lottery… 

I work at a restaurant, & most of the people there know I’m a big fan of Jesus. A few years ago, a friend asked me to pray for her gravely injured brother to get better. I told her I would—even though by then I had stopped believing in that sort of prayer. I couldn’t sleep that night. He died soon after. I cried later as I told her that I didn’t really believe that is how God works. And that I didn’t want my prayer testifying of the God who COULD, but so often decides to NOT.

I feel like the #PrayForRHE hashtag is a net good… Seeing all of us beautiful misfits come together around loving RHE was inspiring. Certainly, the GoFundMe was a beautiful act of generosity & support & goodness. But there’s a part of this whole thing that is troubling me. And it came to a head for me today, when Nadia Bolz Weber—another important voice I love & respect—posted a tweet about praying for Rachel that said “We’re not asking nicely anymore, God.”

And I guess that’s my worry here: It feels to me like these prayers for healing paint a picture of a God on a throne… A God who has plenty of water for a kid dying of thirst, but who is like, “Sorry, you didn’t say PLEASE.” It feels like a physician who has the cure for a deadly disease, but requires the sick person to get 10,000 signatures first. Or to get a hashtag trending. It feels like being back at that Holy Spirity, charismatic church, and having to listen to people talk about “Storming the Gates of Heaven,” or “Holding God to his promises.” It feels like the bullshit that is Name It & Claim It.

It feels like “Everything happens for a reason” and “All part of God’s plan” and “God never gives us more than we can handle.” And if I’m being honest, it feels like the reason I can’t go to church anymore. 

It feels like what led me to read Rachel’s work in the first place.

And please believe me when I say that I’m not writing this to try to steal anyone’s hope during this hard time. I am filled with hope. I realize these prayers can be comforting to some. But beyond this tragedy, I am worried about what these prayers say about God. If her brain isn’t healed, it’s because “God had other plans.” If her brain IS healed, then God healed it… Healed by the same God who was in control when this happened. And the same God who healed her brain still decided not to heal some little kid’s leukemia.

This is the God of “Have you considered my servant, Job?” allowing Satan to torture & murder an entire family because God felt like showing off. That’s the distorted picture of God Jesus tried to fix… And the same distortion the Still-Speaking Voice Of God still longs to correct.

I have no interest in a faith or a theology that is not intellectually honest enough to deal with the Problem of Pain without deferring every answer to some supposed omnipotence, while simultaneously refusing to address the inherent immorality of inaction.

I am done worshipping “The God Who’s In Control Of Everything.” I’m done with The Volcano God, who requires a sacrifice. A VIRGIN sacrifice. The God who hears us if we’re pure enough. Or ENOUGH enough. The God who moves mountains IF we just have faith like a mustard seed. Because “The God Who’s In Control Of Everything” quickly becomes a monster… ESPECIALLY to those who are oppressed. When we ask for the mountain to move, I believe in the God who hands us a shovel. Not because God WON’T, but because God CAN’T.

As my wife & I raise our 3 kids, we are trying to give them as little theology as possible that they’re going to have to deconstruct later. If they hear a prayer from me, they won’t hear me pleading with God to do a miracle… They hear me acknowledging that the God of the universe binds us together in love… That God is in us all, and that Gods knows what it’s like to feel powerless and forsaken… That we love God best when we love & take care of each other… But you will NEVER hear me testifying—with my words or my prayers—of the God who COULD help, but doesn’t. That God might be powerful, but we could never call that God “Good.”

And if God’s not Good, then what’s the damn point?

 

Thank you for reading. This was initially published as a Twitter thread, but I wanted to make it available to those of you who aren’t on Twitter. I have written a few different times about this stuff. If you’re interested, here’s one: “Fun With Cancer” (by the way, my wife is cancer free now… So that’s a really good thing). Another one is “God Had Nothing To Do With This.” One more is titled “When Prayer Is Worthless: Some Thoughts On The Cold Weather.”

If you are a person who loves this blog, and you’d like to help support me and my writing, I’ve got some good news for you: YOU CAN! You can BECOME A PATRON and give a little each month. You can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. Or you can simply follow me on Facebook and on Twitter, and share the stuff you love with your friends. I am so honored that there are people in the world who value what I write here. THANKS AGAIN!

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Share This With A Trump-Supporting “Christian”

I know it can be easy to forget all of the thousands of things which — on a daily basis — prove that Donald Trump is an objectively awful, morally bankrupt human being. It’s too overwhelming to keep track of… As soon as you hear about one horrible thing he’s said or done, he does something else that is even MORE monstrous or moronic, and then you end up forgetting the insidious thing he did four hours earlier. And when we live with this depraved pattern, it’s difficult to get people to coalesce behind a response to the evil we are seeing. For people to come together and demand change, it takes an act of awfulness on a truly epic scale (like separating children from their families and locking kids in cages) to bring us together in one voice of resistance… And even then, we soon get distracted by another bit of awfulness. People are overloaded with outrage and disgust, as outrageous and disgusting behavior from the president becomes the new “normal.”

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“When you’re famous, they let you do it.”

And the truly bewildering, infuriating, and heartbreaking thing — for me, at least — is this: Somewhere around 80% of white, evangelical “christians” support him. 80% of white evangelicals don’t know enough about Jesus to know that Donald Trump is the polar opposite of Jesus in every possible way. I’m not calling him the “antichrist,” but he is CERTAINLY anti-Christ. I mean, I understand why all the white supremacists love him… But Jesus-followers?!? I guess it shows how closely related white supremacy is with white evangelical christianity. And if he wins another term, it will be white evangelical — people calling themselves “christians” — who give it to him.

Something has to be done. These people have to be shown and reminded on a regular basis that Donald Trump is as ANTI-CHRIST as any leader has ever been… And they’re not going to get that information from watching Fox”News.” So at the risk of this post being just another bit of noise against Trump’s symphony of awfulness, I’m asking that you read through these, remember what it was like when every day wasn’t another startling act of depravity, and then share this post with one of those “christians” in your life. Share it as a comment when they post something about supporting this horrible, broken man… Share it with your parents, share it with your crazy uncle, share it with the crazy lady on your Facebook forum. Share it… And remind people that this stuff is NOT normal.

To jog your memory, here is a totally NON-exhaustive list of some of the truly despicable things that have been done by the man who is still supported by an overwhelming number of white evangelicals:

  • 23 WOMEN (so far) Have Accused Him of Sexual Assault and Misconduct. In the era of #MeToo, Trump has somehow escaped accountability for his actions… Probably because there is so much other awfulness to try and keep track of. Among the accusers are his ex wife Ivana (Eric, Ivanka, & Don, Jr’s mom), a woman whose allegation he dismissed because she was TOO UGLY TO SEXUALLY ASSAULT, as well as a one of the teenagers whom he BRAGGED TO HOWARD STERN ABOUT how he used to intentionally barge in on in their dressing rooms during the Miss Teen USA pageant. But none of this is surprising for a person who was caught on tape…
  • BRAGGING ON A BUS ABOUTTrying to fuck” a married woman,  forcibly kissing women against their will, and saying that he can “Grab ’em by the pussy.Two crazy things about that: There are people out there who are probably offended that I just wrote those words, but they are NOT bothered by the fact that the man they voted for actually SAID THEM. Also, Billy Bush was forced to resign for laughing at the things Trump said, but there was no accountability for Trump. It’s all on tape right here…

    And here’s what TRULY unbelievable: My 13 year old son came in here while I was writing this, and I felt like I had to shield the computer screen from him. He knows every word to Hamilton and Rent, but I had to protect his eyes from seeing the sort of filth that is said by the President of the United States.
  • HE LIES ABOUT 30 TIMES A DAY. Literally. Of course, these are only counting the lies he makes publicly… I’m sure it’s significantly more than that. This is DOUBLE his average from 2018… which was TRIPLE his average from 2017. He is a serial liar, and the christians who support him don’t care. One of his biggest lies was his claim that he was…
  • DRAINING THE SWAMP. It’s a phrase that means to root out corruption and fixing the governmental problems caused by putting political cronies in positions of power. White evangelicals would rapturously cheer “DRAIN THE SWAMP” at his political rallies… Here is what “draining the swamp” has looked like in the Trump administration:

  • HE MOCKED A DISABLED REPORTER. Stop. Seriously don’t even act like he didn’t. He totally did. It’s embarrassing to both of us when you don’t admit it… And what’s even MORE embarrassing is that you don’t admit that this is as totally opposite to Jesus as something gets.

  • HE DEFENDED WHITE SUPREMACISTS. This really shouldn’t come as a big surprise, since he is a white supremacist himself… But his “very fine people on both sides” remark about the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was one of the low points in the history of the ANY presidency. And a low point for America.
  • AFTER 9/11, HE BOASTED THAT HIS BUILDING WAS “NOW THE TALLEST.” When terrorist attacks brought down the twin towers, he bragged about how his building is now the tallest one downtown. Seriously — What kind of depraved human being does something like this? One white “christians” overwhelmingly support… That’s what kind.

  • HIS TREATMENT OF IMMIGRANTS. Front to back, the Bible calls us to treat immigrants and aliens like they are one of “us.” His continued demonization of immigrants & migrants from Mexico and Central America is as Anti-Christ as anything that could come from an actual Antichrist.
  • HIS POTTY MOUTH. As I sit here writing this, the president has just referred to the Mueller Report as “total bullshit.”  He also retweeted a person who referred to the probe as a “circle jerk.” When he heard that Special Counsel was appointed, he said, “I am fucked.” Are white evangelicals okay with this? Are you still using the “baby Christian” defense? This is not even counting this ridiculous hypocrisy…

And listen, I’m obviously just scratching the surface here. There are giant lists of Trump’s disgustingness. This country has elected one of the most disgustingly immoral human beings on the PLANET as its leader… A man who cheated on his 3rd wife — shortly after she gave birth to his son — with multiple women, and then paid them off to keep them silent… A man who offered to pay the legal fees of people at his rallies who assaulted protestors… A man who encouraged members of his team to obstruct justice… A man who refers to black countries as shitholes… A man who can’t even muster a moment of class or kindness after a political rival has died… A man who ordered kids to be put in cages and separated from their families for the “crime” of their parents seeking asylum… A man who alludes to having the people involved in the Mueller investigation put to death

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Opposite of Jesus in every possible way…

Listen carefully, because these are the truest words I can tell you: If you are a person who calls yourself a Christian while still supporting this objectively immoral and evil man, you don’t know the first thing about what it means to follow Jesus. You act like Jesus is important to you, but when the republican party picks a person who is opposite of Jesus in every discernible way, you follow him like the lost sheep you are. Your religion isn’t Christianity… It’s White Nationalism. It’s time for you to choose between Trump and Jesus.

 

ALRIGHT! If you are a trump supporter, and you made it this far, chances are not very good that you are thinking, “I wonder how can I support this guy’s writing?” But just in case you are (or in case you, like me, can clearly see that evangelical support of Trump is about the height of hypocrisy), here’s how you can help — If you’d like to become a Patron on PATREON and give a few bucks a month, you can DO THAT HERE. If you’d like to leave a tip on PayPal and buy my wife a cup of coffee, HERE’S THE SPOT. Otherwise, please follow me on FACEBOOK or on TWITTER. Much love…

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It Won’t Be Long Until This Administration Starts Killing People

After the Mueller Report was released, and people got to read for themselves (redacted as it was) the OVERWHELMING evidence of Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice, Donald (as he often does) took to Twitter to express his anger. And the world clutched their collective pearls as the President of the United States used the words “total bullshit” to describe the Report. It should be pointed out here how quickly Trump went from calling it a “total exoneration” to calling it “total bullshit.” Here are the first two of his tweets:

Now, I am not AT ALL bothered by the use of the phrase “total bullshit.” I think that “total bullshit” is a fantastic phrase, and — if I’m being honest — I use it just about every day… Certainly most every time I see things that 45 has written on Twitter. There are some words that just taste better in my mouth as I say them. I can’t tell you how many times, while voice-to-texting in my car, I have had to backspace over any number of colorful phrases, because some idiot did something stupid while he was driving. When I’m driving by myself, the words that come out of me make the phrase “total bullshit” look like something you would put in a children’s book. So, no… I am not bothered by him saying “total bullshit.”

What I AM bothered by is the THIRD tweet in that series:

Read it again… Here is why those words, “Spying or Treason,” are so significant: There are 41 Capital Offenses that can bring a Federal death sentence. Of those 41, there are only TWO crimes for which people can be lawfully put to death which do not involve killing another human being. Can you guess what those two crimes are? That’s right… TREASON and ESPIONAGE.

And if you think his base isn’t picking up on that, you are wrong. James Woods — the vocal Trump supporter, former actor (whose parts were all limited to total sleazeballs), and current example of all that is wrong with the world — just posted a now-deleted tweet about the Mueller Report with the hashtag #HangThemAll… which was trending for a while on Twitter. Here it is:

People who study history know where this kind of thing is headed. It’s headed for GENOCIDE. And I don’t say that lightly. There are Eight Stages of Genocide. Stage 7 is “Extermination.” We are EASILY at Stage 5, and probably closer to Stage 6. And I know people balk when you compare Trump to Hitler. They call “hyperbole” on you… But that’s just because we remember Hitler at the end of his life — at his worst. Nobody is comparing Trump to Hitler in 1944… But comparing him to Hitler in 1932 is totally valid. This is not that much of a stretch for a man who kept a book of Hitler’s speeches next to his bed. He also regularly employs Nazi propaganda strategies…

There is a propaganda tactic know as the “Big Lie.” This is a term coined by Adolf Hitler, and it basically refers to a lie so huge that nobody would believe that someone had the audacity to tell it. You have probably heard the quote — often falsely attributed to Hitler or his minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels — “If you repeat a lie frequently enough, sooner or later people will believe it.” This is actually a paraphrase from a psychological profile of Hitler. See if this quote from that profile reminds you of anyone…

“His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.

It seems like “telling the same lie so many times that people believe it’s true” has become Trump’s favorite strategy. Sometime, when you’re feeling more impervious to despair, go on Trump’s Twitter feed and take note of how many times he says the Mueller Report confirms that there was “No Collusion, No Obstruction,” even though it clearly and specifically says that “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.” In other words, THIS REPORT IS DEFINITELY NOT AN EXONERATION. The Department of Justice believes that you can’t indict a sitting President, so the Mueller Report lays out the case for obstruction charges to be used to remove him from office… so that he can THEN be indicted.

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For the life of me, I still can’t figure out how this asshole is president…

HERE are the views of 12 DIFFERENT LEGAL EXPERTS on whether or not the Mueller Report “exonerates” Trump of Obstruction of Justice. It’s not even CLOSE to an exoneration. It is damning evidence of a man who was very willing to subvert and ignore the rule of law. It lays out multiple times that Trump gave orders to subordinates to obstruct justice… They just refused to do what he told them to do, because they knew it was illegal, and it would end up with them going to jail. Literally the only thing keeping it from being full-on, textbook obstruction of justice is the people who refused to follow his illegal orders. And STILL Trump pushes the big lie that the Mueller Report shows there was “NO OBSTRUCTION.” And for some reason, none of his supporters seem willing to read it…

And now that this pile of damning evidence is out for the world to see, this narcissistic man is literally calling for the DEATHS of the people who exposed his crimes. And he’s doing this while continuously using another Leninist, propaganda phrase, “The enemy of the people,” to refer to the press which uncovers his attempts to cover up his crimes. A person who is innocent of the accusations against him does not, when he hears that a Special Counsel had been appointed to investigate his actions and misdeeds, say the words, “This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.” And even now, even with PROOF of Trump’s total disregard for ethics and the rule of law (not to mention truth or morality), the Democratic-controlled House is refusing to begin impeachment proceedings…

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With each of these men, history has proven who the REAL enemy of the people has been… And it will do the same with Trump.

Meanwhile, the president of the United States of America is putting out test balloons on Twitter to see if people will stomach him talking about having his political enemies put to death. He is calling the Free Press “The enemy of the people.” He encourages violence, and he traffics disinformation and outright lies. He and his corrupt administration are inching this nation toward authoritarianism, fascism, and genocide. And he is daily attacking everything that makes this country worth a damn… All while claiming to be “making America great again.”

He is so utterly awful that his actions are even beneath people like Joe Walsh. Think about the following tweet…

Trump has made hundreds of tweets detailing his anger at the people working to bring his actions into the light — Both the Press and the Office of the Special Counsel — but he has nothing but praise for Putin and for Russia. And now he is suggesting that the people involved in the investigation be tried for espionage and treason… The only two federal crimes you can be killed for which don’t involve a punishment for murder. Trump is not like Richard Nixon… He’s much, much worse. If people really want to Make America Great Again, they need to remove the traitorous, corrupt, lying moron who is currently in power.

 

Thank you for reading! I have already written another post I will probably be publishing tomorrow. Please don’t give up. I know his awfulness is relentless, but the ice is cracking beneath him. He can’t survive forever by just telling Big Lies to the people who watch Fox”News.” Look for places of encouragement. Look for the goodness in the world… It’s all around us. As always, if you want to become a Patron and SUPPORT THIS BLOG ON PATREON, that would be amazing. If you’d like to leave a tip because you really liked a post, you can DO THAT ON PAYPAL. Otherwise, please just share this with your friends, and you can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. Thanks again…

 

 

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Four Reasons Why School Vouchers Are A Terrible Idea

I have spent the last five mornings standing next to the road in front of my kids’ school to show my support for the public school teachers who give their time and energy to teach my weird little kids how to not be dumb. Most of us are wearing #RedForEd. We’re a pretty eclectic group. So far there has been an inflatable T-rex, Waldo, a human “Floaty Guy” (as my kids call them), a whole lot of kick-ass moms, a few kids & dads, and a Roman Emperor of some sort, who wears a red cape and shouts “Honk, as your Emperor commands you!” and asks the prescient question, “Are you not entertained?!?”  We basically stand out there with signs (turns out my wife’s spiritual gift is making protest signs), and we encourage people to honk their horns if they think that public schools should be fully-funded, and if they’re AGAINST pulling funding from public schools to pay for kids to go to private schools… AKA “Vouchers.”

All around the country right now, there are attempts being made to push legislation for “vouchers” which can be used for kids to attend private schools… essentially taking the money earmarked for their public schooling, and giving those funds to private schools. If you are living in a state with a republican-controlled legislature, chances are good they are trying to pass laws legalizing school vouchers. In Tennessee, where I live, Governor Bill Lee knows that “Vouchers” don’t have a very good reputation, so he is dishonestly attempting to rebrand them as “Educational Savings Accounts.” But make no mistake — They’re vouchers.

Since people might not know what vouchers are (or why they are the worst), and since you might not get that information while driving and honking at a T-rex, I’ve decided to attempt to make it a little clearer… Here are four reasons why school vouchers are a terrible idea — for your state, and for mine:

1) PUBLIC FUNDING FOR DISCRIMINATORY SCHOOLS — This should go without saying, but we should not be using public funds to pay for religious educational institutions which write discrimination into their bylaws… Schools like the one Karen Pence works at (the Vice President’s wife), which bars its employees & students from engaging in or EVEN CONDONING any “homosexual or lesbian sexual activity” or “transgender identity.” A long time ago, I applied for a job as a teacher here in Tennessee at a private religious school (Church of Christ). The application asked me to describe my faith… and only provided about four lines for my answer. It also asked me to describe my thoughts about modest dress for women… But there were roughly sixteen lines for my response to THAT important issue. I was like, “You know what? I don’t think this is a good fit,” and handed them back their application form.

Vouchers provide public tax dollars for religious schools… Schools that can hire unqualified teachers to teach kids… Schools that are allowed to discriminate… Schools who can teach whatever nonsense they want: The world is flat, geology is a satanist plot, Adam lived with a T-rex in the Garden of Eden, vaccines cause autism, earth quakes happen because God is angry about “the gays,” essential oils cure cancer, Jesus hates science, etc…  And if none of those things seem particularly concerning to you, here’s a good rule of thumb, white evangelical republicans: Imagine the religious schools that are getting public funding are Islamic schools… Does it still sound like a good idea? I didn’t think so.

2) IT’S DISHONEST — They’ll tell you that vouchers are for “poor kids trapped in failing schools,” but if that’s true, why are all the people who are pushing vouchers from the more “desirable” schools districts, and the people who are vocally AGAINST vouchers are teachers, families, and representatives from those struggling districts? They have FAILED to improve student achievement. Vouchers are pushed by people like Betsy DeVos, who dishonestly claimed that larger class-size could be better for students. The same Betsy DeVos who pushed to win “school choice” in Michigan, and then watched as STUDENTS & CHILDREN LOST in a colossal failure (the article is long, but it’s very important). The same Betsy DeVos who met with Gov. Bill Lee in a closed-door meeting to plot their plan to mislead (in every sense of the word) Tennesseans into not recognizing “Educational Savings Accounts” for what they are.

3) FUELING INEQUALITY AND SEGREGATION There is nothing I’m going to write which will explain this better than THIS ARTICLE RIGHT HERE. Please take the time to read it. In fact, if you have to choose between that article and this one, choose THAT one. But if you don’t read it, just know that private schools are way more segregated places than public schools. For example “from the article), “In Mississippi, white students comprised 51 percent of all school-age students but an overwhelming 87 percent of all private school students. This pattern holds across Southern states that demonstrated resistance to school integration.” The growth & explosion of private schools coincided with forced integration for a reason. And as the article points out, “Sociologists have shown that for white families, ‘best’ is often shorthand for ‘white,’ even if the school in question does not necessarily evince better educational outcomes than its more multiracial peers.”

In addition, vouchers and “school choice” exaggerates economic disparities and inequality. The voucher being proposed in Tennessee is around $7300… This amount would not even cover half of most of the private schools in this area. So basically that money amounts to a tax cut for people who can already afford to shell out thousands of dollars to pay for their kid’s education. It does NOT help the folks living paycheck to paycheck… Nor the ones who don’t have a reliable car to drive their kids to school in… Nor the ones who don’t have a stay-at-home mom to drive that reliable car… AKA primarily People of Color.

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Someday our grandkids will look at the push to pass vouchers in the same way we look at pictures like this one…

4) THE MYTH OF “COMPETITION” CREATING BETTER SCHOOLS — They will tell you that this is all about choice… that competition is good for schools… that if students are able to take their $7300 with them/away from an underperforming school, the “invisible hand of the market” will fix the problem. But what about the kids left in those failing schools — the ones “left behind,” so to speak? Education is a necessity. We don’t do this with other necessities. We don’t do this with WATER. We don’t allow competing water companies to provide water for different neighborhoods, and then hope to “weed out” the “underperforming” companies who are putting out unsafe water (unless you’re living in Flint, I suppose). Do you know WHY? Because as one water company is failing, the people living in that area are getting sick. They are dying. And THEN, we certainly don’t offer the people living in areas with the diseased water “vouchers” for water from the successful water companies’ areas. That would be insane. What we do is we FIX THE PROBLEM, so that everyone in all the areas is getting good water. We do this because water is important… Well, you know what? SO IS EDUCATION.

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Teachers are underpaid, y’all. This is so messed up…

Here’s what we need to do: WE NEED TO PAY TEACHERS LIKE WE VALUE THE JOB THAT THEY ARE DOING. This Time Magazine article told a story of a full time teacher who has multiple jobs, is selling her blood plasma, and STILL is having a tough time making ends meet. The teachers I’ve been standing beside this past week are the sort of people who pour their entire lives into children in their care… OUR CHILDREN. They are the sort of people who stay up late making signs, and wake up early to stand outside in the rain and protest these stupid vouchers. They are the sort of people who inspire my kids to learn, and inspire me to stay up late writing this post. The least we can do — and I mean the VERY least — is to fully fund our public schools before we even CONSIDER the idea of pulling funding away from them so that wealthier, majority white folks can have an easier time financially sending their kids to a private school. Ugh…

SAY. NO. TO. VOUCHERS.

 

If you live in Tennessee, you can call the members of the House Finance, Means & Ways Subcommittee (if you click on a member’s face, it will take you to their contact information), and tell them to vote NO on Gov. Lee’s dishonest voucher plan. Tell them that it doesn’t make sense to fix struggling schools by pulling funding from them. Tell them we need to pay Tennessee’s teachers so well that people from other states want to come HERE to teach. DO IT TODAY! There are only a couple weeks left before this bill could become law…

And if you’d like to help support my writing and this blog (and me and my family) you can become a Patron, you can leave a tip on PayPal, or you can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.

 

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Confessions of A Creepy Hugger: Thoughts About Joe Biden and Me

For as long as I can remember, I have been a “hugger.” And growing up in a family who wasn’t particularly physically affectionate, I kind of stood out. At my grandfather’s funeral, one of my great aunts told me a story about me being at their family’s cottage when I was a little kid, and when it was bedtime for the kids, how I insisted on going around the room and hugging each person goodnight… Even the ones who didn’t do a whole lot of hugging. I was oblivious to the fact that my hugs were out of place, but I was a kid… I didn’t know any better.

Fast forward to high school and college and beyond, and next-thing-you-know, I’m just a creepy dude who thinks he can hug whoever he wants. I can’t tell you how many girls and women I insisted on hugging… even when I sensed an awkward resistance. I would comment on times when girls would hug me while leaning over (keeping their breasts away from pressing into my chest). I would point out how stupid “side hugs” were, and insist on giving them a “real hug.” Or I would “come in for the real thing.” Or I would pick her up off the ground with my hug… even over protests. As far as physical contact was concerned, I thought I knew better than they did what they needed. I DIDN’T know better.

But here’s the thing: Adults SHOULD know better.

Joe Biden Swears In New Defense Secretary Ashton Carter

I can’t imagine standing in front of people at an official ceremony, and rubbing a woman’s shoulders. Can you? 

Years ago my wife told me about an incident which she observed at a friend’s house. I had greeted a friend’s wife by hugging her and picking her up off the ground. While I hugged her, my wife saw her make a face to her close friend… Kind of a cross between a “Please help me” face and an “Oh great, here we go again” face. My wife was embarrassed… For me, and for herself. When she told me, I probably responded with some sort of “Aw, c’mon” or “That sounds like her own issue.” At some point, she told me that I needed to ask people before I hug them, and I was like, “Really? That seems pretty weird.” I think I said, “People need hugs.” And she yelled at me, “YOU DON’T GET TO DECIDE THAT! YOU DON’T KNOW HER STORY!” (As an aside, I’d like to say Thank God For Strong Women)

And the thing is, I BELIEVE that people need more physical contact. I believe it is a good and beneficial thing for human beings to practice… But if I am imposing those beliefs on other people, that is NOT good. It is NOT beneficial. It is harmful. We are subjecting women to daily indignities. And it might not bother everyone… I have some female friends who are like, “PLEASE give me one of those good hugs.” But the existence of women who are not bothered by your unsolicited shoulder massages doesn’t excuse you rubbing some woman without her asking you to. Just like the fact that you have a “black friend” who isn’t bothered by your racist “jokes” doesn’t allow you to impose your racism on everyone else without consequences.

Anyone who knows me knows I would never intentionally cause harm or distress to a woman by making her feel uncomfortable with physical contact. But there comes a point where my refusal to listen to the things women are saying renders my “intent” worthless. Women all around us are standing up and saying, “Hey. Asshole. I am in charge of my own body, and you don’t get to touch me without asking.” And if they’re not saying it that directly, they are saying it with their actions. It’s a no-win situation for women, really…  If they ARE saying it that directly, they are labeled as a “bitch.” And if they aren’t being that direct (and trying to be “nice”), then it’s the woman’s fault for not letting him know.   

We men need to pay more attention to how much more comfortable we are touching women than we are touching men. Read this tweet (and the thread that follows):

Women’s bodies are NOT communal. Maybe we should say that as many times as it takes to allow it to sink in and become the Truth…

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Seriously… Look at every single person’s face in this picture. Each of the five faces tells a story.

 

There are now FOUR different women who have come forward saying that Joe Biden’s inappropriate touching has made them feel uncomfortable. I am 100% certain there will be more. None of those women have accused Joe Biden of sexual assault. But as Jessica Valenti writes in her amazing article, “Is it really asking so much that our standard for treating women well goes beyond ‘don’t sexually assault’ and ‘don’t pull your dick out at the office’?” The fact that no one has accused him of sexual assault (like so many have accused the current president) does not change the fact that his touchiness with women is a problem. And it’s a problem he needs to take ownership of.

And yes, I am aware of Joe Biden’s work fighting sexual assault and violence against women… But that should be even MORE of a reason for him to have long ago changed his handsy habits. There is plenty to be concerned about without even mentioning Biden’s refusal to take ownership of the role he played in the humiliation of Anita Hill and putting the sexual assaulter Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. He recently said, “I regret I couldn’t give her the kind of hearing she deserved… I wish I could have done something.” Which is different than him taking responsibility — as the CHAIR of the Senate Judiciary Committee — for what happened.

He has said he owes Anita Hill an apology, but Anita Hill has yet to receive one

And for those of you who are all “Why are we just hearing about this now?!?” Listen — I don’t know if there are women out there who feel violated by my insistence on a “real hug.” If there are, I doubt they are feeling the need to make my creepy actions public right now… But if I were being considered for a powerful position as a congressman, a Supreme Court Justice, or the freaking president, it would not be at all surprising for them to come forward. Do I think that my creepy-ass hugging past should disqualify me from ever holding a political office? No. However — AND PAY ATTENTION HERE — If I refuse to take ownership of and responsibility for my past actions and creepiness, that SHOULD be disqualifying. The same is true for you, Joe.

It should be mentioned that a photocopied picture of Joe Biden’s wrinkled, white ass — made while sitting on a printer — has more character, integrity, honor, and ability to lead this country than Donald John Trump. And if Joe Biden somehow makes it through the primaries and is the only legitimate chance of removing Trump from office, I will rally around him and run to the poles to vote for him… And you should too. But right now we are not comparing Biden to Trump. We are comparing Biden to the other democratic hopefuls. I believe there are many better choices for president than Joe Biden… And when one is picked, I can’t wait to vote for her.

 

Thank you so much for reading. I am honored that there are people in the world who appreciate and value this blog enough that they are willing to support it financially. If you would like to become a Patron and give a little each month to support me, you can DO THAT HERE. If you’d like to leave a tip on PayPal or pay to boost a post, you can DO THAT HERE. If that’s not an option right now, you can help out by sharing this post. Or you can follow me on FACEBOOK of on TWITTER. I love you people…

 

 

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In Tennessee, Teaching Kids About Inclusion Is Now “Radical Leftist Indoctrination”

Just south of Nashville, Tennessee, there is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation: Williamson County. It is a county whose population “coincidentally” swelled right around the same time the government said school segregation was unconstitutional. I’m sure it was just a coincidence… Just kidding, it was totally due to White Flight. Williamson County (and to a lesser extent, the other surrounding counties) is where people from Nashville move when they start magically start being concerned about “good schools.” And again, people “coincidentally” seem to only start worrying about how “good” the schools are around the time that that they have kids of their own who are zoned for one of the schools without as good a reputation…

Recently, a Williamson County school made national headlines when teachers gave their (majority white) students a writing assignment that said, “Your family owns slaves. Create a list of expectations for your family’s slaves.” It was part of a larger assignment, but certainly an assignment that was startling in its tone-deafness. It came to light when the brother of one of the students (who is one of a handful of black students at the school) posted the assignment on social media…

Personally, I think that the assignment asking kids to “Create a PSA informing citizens of hazards living in urban areas” is even more problematic, culturally insensitive, and harmful. Nevertheless, in response to the national uproar and outrage, the school apologized, and two teachers resigned (which I think is a shame. When we mess up, we should apologize, learn from our mistakes, commit ourselves to doing better, and move on). Which brings us to what has been happening in Williamson County this past week…

Before any of this brouhaha with the “Your Family Owns Slaves” assignment, Williamson County was working on creating videos to train teachers and staff about Cultural Competency.  Among other things, “Cultural Competence” encompasses…

  • being aware of one’s own world view
  • developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences
  • gaining knowledge of different cultural practices and world views
  • developing skills for communication and interaction across cultures.[citation]

… and  it “requires more than becoming culturally aware or practicing tolerance. Rather, it is the ability to identify and challenge one’s own cultural assumptions, values and beliefs, and to make a commitment to communicating at the cultural interface.” In addition, “Principles relevant to cultural competence include fostering secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships, partnerships, high expectations of equity and respect for diversity.”

So after having one of its schools make national headlines for its LACK of Cultural Competency, it makes sense that Williamson County Schools would focus a bit right now on teaching and training its staff on this important issue. Well, apparently some people did not like this idea… A couple of participants in the training on Diversity, Inclusion, Bias, Privilege, & Cultural Competency felt slighted when they were “forced” to watch a video which referred to the reality of “White Privilege.” And true to form, white folks cried “REVERSE RACISM” and called the press…

When I used to have a regular day job (working for a non-profit, partly office, partly in the schools — in addition to working as a server) we used to have trainings in Cultural Competency. They were challenging, and sometimes uncomfortable, but they were always worthwhile. I can NOT wrap my mind around the crazy amount of snowflakiness that would compel a white person to complain about “having to learn about diversity” as being “indoctrination.” It is the “Why is there no WHITE History Month?” of corporate trainings. But this is where we are… Especially in Williamson County in Tennessee, and PARTICULARLY concerning Debbie Deaver, who is the Chair of the Williamson County Republican Party.

 

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Here is Debbie Deaver, looking literally EXACTLY the way I had imagined her…

In the 2016 election, 65.1% of Williamson County voters voted for Trump, but it has been a powerful republican stronghold for decades. Williamson County MATTERS to Tennessee politics… And not just because it is the center of wealth in Tennessee. Its influence has only gotten stronger since the election of Williamson County’s Bill Lee as Governor, as well as the election of the objectively awful Marsha Blackburn (formerly a state representative from the 7th district, which includes Williamson) as State Senator. Debbie Deaver did NOT LIKE the fact that teachers and staff in her county (a county that is nearly 90% white) were being forced to hear about “White Privilege.” In an eMail she sent out to Williamson County republicans, she asked, “Are you concerned that WCS is training teachers to promote a politically charged agenda in our schools and indoctrinate our students?” That’s right… For Williamson County republicans, teaching about diversity, privilege, & cultural competency is now “indoctrination.” It seems these are controversial things she believes should be “taught at home.” Like sex. And “science.”

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Photos like this are leftist indoctrination… Only FOUR WHITE PEOPLE?!? Out of NINE??? That’s “fake news,” baby. Also, there are no bald people in the photo! REPRESENTATION MATTERS!

Deaver wasn’t the only republican raising a stink about the training in Williamson County (by the way, you can see some of the training videos HERE). Williamson County Commissioner Barbara Sturgeon posted on her Facebook page a link to a “Tennessee Star” article about the story and made a suggestion that teaching about privilege is illegal (FYI, the “Tennessee Star” is an unethical, far-right “Baby Breitbart” media source posing as actual journalism. It is gross, and anyone posting links to it is probably the sort of person who uses coded language about “ghettos,” “thugs,” & “urban areas”). Even though Deaver wasn’t alone, she was certainly the main voice of criticism…

She also was very angry about a “Teaching Tolerance” workshop being offered by the Southern Poverty Law Center, because for her, a group which documents and maps the rise in hate groups (a statistic which has increased THIRTY PECENT since the emergence of Trump) and has dedicated itself to “Fighting Hate, Teaching Tolerance, & Seeking Justice” is apparently too “radical” and “leftist.” In response to the criticism, Williamson County Schools superintendent Mike Looney cancelled any staff participation in the “Teaching Tolerance” workshop which was scheduled in May. Tolerance — not even Acceptance — TOLERANCE is now considered “radical leftist” ideology! “Tolerance” is seen as “too political.” WHAT. THE HELL.

Though, it is not THAT surprising, I suppose, that Debbie Deaver is opposed to trainings teaching people about cultural sensitivity. This IS the same Debbie Deaver who included this racist meme on an official party newsletter she sent out this January…

Yup. Debbie Deaver included this on the official party newsletter. I guess no one told her Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is of Puerto Rican descent. In Deaver’s defense, AOC doesn’t have blond hair, her skin is a little darker, and she DOES have a “Mexican-sounding” name… All of these things, plus watching Fox”News”A network which this week described the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, & Honduras as “Three Mexican Countries” — can lead to mistakenly making “Mexican jokes” about Americans of Puerto Rican descent. FYI, in a response to The Tennessean she defended the meme. She wrote:

“Allowing a few people on the left to whip up media outrage over political satire is just another example of the left manipulating the press to present their narrative as truth and all other views as wrong or worse racist. The Republican Party of Williamson County will not let those outside our organization tell us what we can or can’t say.”

And really, this statement says a lot about Debbie Deaver’s (and much of the republican party’s) stance on discussing the morality of diversity and the inherent immorality of white supremacy. They don’t want “the left” presenting “their narrative” that making racist jokes makes you “racist.” They don’t want “the left” presenting “their narrative” that simply wanting to preserve and promote White Culture and White Privilege is “wrong.” They don’t want “radical leftist” groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center presenting “their narrative” that just because a group is driven by hatred of minorities, is explicitly anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQIA, & WILDLY Pro-Trump, that such a group should be designated as a “hate group.” And they CERTAINLY don’t want schools in their precious, 90% white, richest county in the state to be “indoctrinating” their kids with such nonsense. That sort of thing makes people so angry they might just decide to pull their kids out of those public schools and put them in a private school! Better yet, HOMESCHOOL!! Because saying that racism exists is the “REAL” racism… Right Debbie? Right Williamson County? Right Republican Party?

 

If you’d like to contact the Williamson County Republican Party, you can give them some feedback at 615-790-7642, or post on their Facebook page… I’m sure they’d be excited to hear from you. If you’d like to write Debbie an eMail, you can reach her at DebbieDeaver@comcast.net or debbie@williamsongop.org… (I called to ask if Debbie wanted to comment on this. I’ve had no response yet. I’m betting she’s about as big a fan of people like me as she is of diversity trainings). And if you’d like to SUPPORT THIS BLOG because you think it’s awesome, you can BECOME A PATRON… Or you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL… Or you can follow me on Facebook and on Twitter.

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This Is How Much A Billion Dollars Is…

If you made $50k a year, and you didn’t ever spend one penny of it — you just put that money into safe keeping and saved it up — do you know how long you would have to work to save up a BILLION dollars? TWENTY THOUSAND YEARS. That’s right… Roughly 4X the length of recorded human history. Or, for my Biblical literalists and creationists out there, just a little over 3X the span of time since God created the universe and put dinosaur bones and fossils in the ground just to fake us all out.

A billion dollars is a LOT of money. If you manage to make a billion dollars, don’t plan on keeping your money under your bed… A billion $1 bills would weigh over 10 tons, and if you piled all those bills in one neat stack, it would reach somewhere around 400,000 feet into the sky — Technically into “space.” If you had a billion dollars, and you decided to spend $10,000 a day, it would take you 274 years to spend all your money. And right now, there are 2208 billionaires in the world, with an average wealth of $4.1B per billionaire — A record high. So if you’re making $50k a year, keep saving up… It’ll only take you 20,000 years to make it to a billion dollars.

And again, this is if you’re SAVING $50k a year… Not if you’re using that money to pay rent and utilities and car payments and the occasional guacamole at Chipotle. Now, some of you out there are probably thinking, “$50,000/year is not that much money.” Well, congrats, Scrooge McDuck… To a lot of us, it is. In the United States for example, the median income per capita is right around $31k-$32k per year. So if THAT’S all you’re making, you’d have to keep saving your dollars for about an extra 12,000 more years (give or take) to declare yourself a billionaire. The good news is you’re still doing way better than the worldwide average, which is in the neighborhood of $18,000/year. And when you consider that over a third of the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day (about $730 a year), there are obviously some very rich people out there.

amazon-zero-0

He’s laughing because his tie costs more than your car.

People like Jeff Bezos, whose net worth Forbes lists at $131.4 BILLION. Let’s just consider, for a moment, how much money that is… Let’s say Jeff Bezos was counting his dollar bills (which is a giant hypothetical, because if you were to count all day, every day, it would take about 31 years, 251 days, 7 hours, 46 minutes, and 40 seconds just to count to ONE BILLION… so multiply that times 131.4). And let’s say that every THOUSANDTH dollar bill he counted, Jeff agreed to give you one shiny penny… YOU’D GET $1,314,000. One more: Amazon has been around for 24 years. Let’s say that the bulk of Jeff Bezos’ money was earned in those 24 years. This would mean that each second of every day –waking or sleeping — ol’ Jeff is making $173.61/second. Or $10,416 per minute. Or, if that’s not impressive enough for you… About $625,000 an hour. <– That’s how much he makes while he’s SLEEPING AT NIGHT. If he slept for eight hours, he made $5 million. Okay, last one… If you took Jeff’s $131.4B and put it in a savings account with a 2% APY, the interest alone would earn you $2.6 billion per year.

Then, after all that, consider that last year Bezos’ Amazon reported a $129 million tax REBATE, effectively making its tax rate -1%. And I get it — Amazon (like Netflix, which paid zero dollars in taxes after making a record $845M in profits) is just taking advantage of tax loop holes which are there by design. So the point of this is not to say that Jeff Bezos or Amazon is the Devil… Although, paying yourself more PER MINUTE (adjusted for an 8 hour work day) than what your median employee makes IN A YEAR (the median full time employee working for Amazon made $28,446 in 2018) is certainly a colossal act of immorality. The point I’m trying to make here is this: 

YOU. ARE. BEING. SWINDLED.

The republican party is not the party of anything resembling “fiscal responsibility.” The republican party is about nothing more than worshiping the rich while demonizing the poor (and immigrants, and Muslims, and People of Color, and people who are LGBTQIA). The national deficit has ballooned under this administration. Trump said he could eliminate the national debt “over a period of eight years.” Instead, the debt has risen over 2 TRILLION DOLLARS in just two years, and thanks to the republican tax cuts for the wealthy and a fiendishly immoral budget, the man who used to bankrupt casinos looks to add $9.1 TRILLION to the national debt over 8 years… As the super rich enjoy record profits. All this while the average tax return for poorer and middle class folks in America is down 17%. Republicans will say things like this…

But republicans are not “for” letting people keep more of their hard-earned money as much as they are AGAINST systems and programs designed to promote equality & even the playing field. So when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talks about raising the top marginal tax rate to 70% under the “Green New Deal” to help fund the process of combatting man-made global climate change and creating green & sustainable jobs, republicans would like you believe that this “leftist” witch wants to take 70% of every dollar you make. This is beyond deceptive. It is a lie designed to scare people who don’t understand Marginal Tax Rates. Please take 2 minutes and educate yourself by watching this video:

Here are the marginal tax rates by president (since WWII) for the top income brackets:

  • FDR — 81% – 94%
  • Truman — 82% – 94%
  • Eisenhower — 91% – 92%
  • Kennedy — 91%
  • Johnson — 70% – 91%
  • Nixon — 70% – 77%
  • Ford — 70%
  • Carter — 69.13% – 70%
  • Reagan — 28% – 69.13%
  • Bush (H.W.) — 28% – 39.6%
  • Clinton — 39.1% – 39.6%
  • Bush (W.) — 35% – 39.1%
  • Obama — 35% – 39.6%
  • Trump — 37% – 39.6

And we can see that as the top marginal tax rate decreases, so does the strength of the middle class… The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. And they give any attempt to correct this trend the evil & scary-sounding moniker of “Socialism.” But during the biggest economic boom the United states ever experienced, the marginal tax rate for money earned over $200,000 was OVER NINETY PERCENT… As was explained by Dutch historian & author Rutger Bregman at the World Economic Forum in Davos. PLEASE watch this amazing video (and also enjoy watching Winnie Byanyima artfully destroy the former CEO of Yahoo).

So where am I going with this? In America, we are currently able to vote to remove officials who support policies which reinforce unjust systems. Let me give you an example of one of these systems: We find the money to spend more on military spending than the next ten countries COMBINED…

… but people act like young adults are wanting “something for nothing” when they want to change a system which forces so many kids to graduate from college with $80k – $100k of debt. In America right now, there is over $1.5 TRILLION in outstanding college debt. In addition, the poorer you are, the more you have to pay for higher education. A person with all kinds of money can simply pay $30k for their kids to go to college for a year… Poorer families are forced to take out college loans and pay back interest. So for a college loan of $30k (at 6% interest), poorer folks, who end up on a payment plan, end up paying $39,967 for the same year of college. THIS IS A SYSTEM DESIGNED TO PREVENT ECONOMIC MOBILITY. By design, it is meant to protect the power and privilege of the ones with all the money.

And like the man on the video above, the rich will flaunt a low unemployment rate like it means people are happy. People aren’t happy… People are scared. Sure, most everyone has a job, but no one can afford anything. Healthcare is unaffordable for most people. A year of college costs about as much as most people make in a year. Our schools continue to fail, as people with money either put their kids in private schools or move to whiter neighborhoods & counties. States continue to pass legal barriers to unionization, and big companies (and the billionaires who own them) move their businesses to those places because they are considered more “business-friendly,” allowing their stock prices to go up, and making them ever richer. And then those same people use their obscene wealth to get people elected who will appoint “business-friendly” judges and pass laws which even FURTHER expand income inequality… Making an increasingly uneducated electorate even MORE scared, and more easily manipulated into voting for dishonest, narcissistic tyrants who are willing to exploit those fears. And on and on and on…

And to top it all off, it’s getting rarer and rarer to find someone with an attention span long enough to read 1600 words in a blog post, or even watch a four minute video… Let alone read an entire book on a complex problem with a complex solution. Meanwhile, we’ve got a lying moron in the White House who is calling the press “the enemy of the people,” and scores of spineless republican representatives silently looking on as an inept, immoral billionaire attempts to destroy a once great nation under the guise of making it “Great Again.”

Things are not good, and sometimes it seems like they are heading in an even worse direction. For example, the fact that whole groups of people would go to the polls and continue to elect an awful human being like Mitch McConnell should give us all reason for genuine concern. But the good news is IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. The good news is WE CAN FIX THE THINGS THAT ARE BROKEN. The good news is WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE SYSTEMS WHICH DISPROPORTIONATELY BENEFIT THE RICH. The good news is that WE CAN VOTE THESE A-HOLES OUT. Together, we can make the crooked places straight, and we can raise the valleys & make the high places lower. We can enforce policies which plow money back into the lives of the people on whose backs the billionaires made their fortunes. And when we look at a system which creates CEOs who make more in a minute than their workers make in a year, we can stand together and call that system what it is: Broken. Harmful. Immoral. And Evil.

 

As I was writing this, I kept thinking about the “debate” that is going on here in Nashville about giving teachers raises… Let me just say this: If you are ever in a position to vote for raising teachers’ salaries and you vote against it, you are an awful, Mitch-McConnell-level human being. They teach your smelly, ungrateful little kids how to think, and hopefully how to tell truth from a lie. If salary is just a number representing how much society values the work you do, we need to start paying these people better. They are heroes. I say TAX THE RICH, AND GIVE THE MONEY TO TEACHERS. And speaking of money, if you’re a billionaire (or a regular person) who’d like to support this blog as a Patron, you can DO THAT HERE. If you’d like to leave a tip on PayPal, you can CLICK HERE. Also, you can follow me on Facebook and on Twitter.

Posted in 2) Politics, 5) Not Quite Sure | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

6 Things You Can Say To Let Your Server Know You’re A Horrible Tipper

I have worked as a server in a restaurant for a really long time. Seriously… Like, just a ridiculously long time. Some might say “an embarrassingly long time.” And if working as a server has taught me anything, it is that some people are cool, and other people are just… Not. There are so many truly great human beings out there, but for others — regardless of the level of service that is provided to them — some people were ALWAYS going to be mean… or rude… or cheap. And if you are a person who is attempting to pay your bills by bringing people food in a restaurant, you know that “CHEAP” is by far the worst of those of those descriptors. I would much rather have a person be a total and complete asshole and hugely generous, than have someone who goes all out on being “nice” and then leaves a shitty tip. And I’m betting the same can be said for just about every person you’ve ever had a a server…

I’ve learned that if you try to pre-judge people based on what they look like, you will constantly find yourself being surprised and disappointed and foolish. As much as I can, I try not to make any judgements based on what people look like. There are a few exceptions… For example, if people come in decked out in a bunch of University of Tennessee orange clothing (I live in Nashville), my expectations for their tip percentage drop a good five to eight percentage points… MORE for people who dress their kids in those gaudy orange outfits. I keep waiting for someone dressed in orange to surprise me with their generosity — It just hasn’t happened yet. Anyway, there are few jobs that will teach you the lesson that people’s WORDS and their ACTIONS mean way more than “what they look like” than one where you rely on the generosity of strangers to earn a living. That being said, I’ve compiled a list of some things that people might say at a restaurant that will “tip” their server off (seewhatididthere) that he or she is going to get completely screwed when it comes time for leaving a gratuity:

  1. “Don’t worry, I’m a really good tipper.”
    No. You’re not. People who say these words think that 20% is a startling act of generosity. If you can’t wrap you head around how lame it is to “brag” about what a good tipper you are while someone is taking care of you at a restaurant, then you are CERTAINLY not going to be able to figure out the ins and outs of the social contract surrounding the relationship between patron and server. If you are a person who has ever uttered these to your server, be assured: You are NOT a good tipper. You’re a person who makes your friends feel embarrassed. Stop it. Don’t ANNOUNCE that you’re going to be generous… Just BE GENEROUS.
  2. “Can you bring me a BOWL of lemons?”
    “No. Also, I hate you.” <– This is what every server to which you have ever said this is thinking. And I swear to Caucasian Jesus that if you follow it up with, “Oh, and also can you bring me some Sweet & Low?” you are a terrible person, and you belong in prison. Dude… You don’t get to make your own free lemonade at the table. We get it — You think drinks are too expensive… But the REASON they are so expensive is because of cheap A-holes like you who use up $4 worth of lemons in their free glasses of water. Anyone capable of this level of asshatery was never going to leave a decent tip.
  3. “Can I order from the Kids’ Menu?”
    Well, that depends… Are you a freaking KID?!? Oh my gosh, lady — WE GET IT! You need everyone to know that the normal entree size is too much food for your petite frame, or you don’t want to waste food, or WHATEVER… That’s why there are To-Go boxes. I used to just say “NO” when grown-ass adults asked me this. At some point, I was just like, “What do I care?” and I started saying yes. I thought maybe they would be so grateful that I bent the rules that they would tip like they had purchased a grown-up’s meal. I thought wrong. Your garbage tip tells me your decision was based more on “thriftiness” than on “not wanting to waste food.”
  4. “What is the cheapest beer you have?”
    Seriously??? Did you just ask me that? I mean, I can tell just by looking at you that this isn’t the first time you’ve ever enjoyed a cold beer. Basically, what someone is asking here is this: “Do you have anything shittier than Bud Light, Coors Light, or Miller Lite? Because I have so little self-respect that I am willing to ask that question in front of people I call my friends, and I am willing to pour whatever horse piss you hand me down my throat… so long as it saves me 25 cents a beer.” Don’t worry, sir — When you round hand me $24 on your $22.75 bill and loudly proclaim that I can KEEP THE CHANGE, it will come as no surprise to me whatsoever.
  5. “Make America Great Again.”
    I don’t think anyone has actually said this to me out loud, but I’ve had some folks who were actually wearing one of those godforsaken hats… And let me assure you: They are not good tippers. And before people freak out on me, I’m NOT saying “Everyone who voted for Trump is a bad tipper.” What I AM saying is that people who loudly, vocally, and proudly support Trump are exactly the same kind of people who think, “Screw this server — I’m going to get MINE.” They probably think tipping is some kind of socialism. “America First” is just “ME FIRST” on a global scale.
  6. “Dear eight pound, six ounce Newborn Baby Jesus…”
    People who make a spectacle of their before-meal prayer are some of the worst tippers on the planet. I have written about this before, so I’m not going to go into it at length… But suffice to say, some of the worst PR that “christians” get is due to people who give a loud, LOOK-AT-ME prayer, and then follow it up with a shitty tip. I’m a big fan of Jesus, but people who hold hands and make sure the next table over can hear them say “AND JESUS, WE JUST…” are “just” the worst. Do all the rest of us a favor: If you’re not planning on being generous — SKIP THE PRAYER. You’re doing about as much for Jesus’ reputation as the Catholic Church right now.
99fe71a9-8bf3-4efc-a450-6eed291d8962_screenshot

“… don’t even know a word yet, just a little infant — so cuddly, but still omnipotent.”

So there you have it. I’m sure there are more. If you have other examples of things people say that will let their servers know they are horrible tippers, maybe leave them in the comments. Also, this is not the only time I’ve written about restaurant stuff… If you’d like, you can read about “How To Not Be A Jackass.” Or you can read one I really love about Human Nature and Fear and Politics. You can read one about the time I received a $500 Tip from Aaron’s Last Wish. Or, if you’re just looking to laugh, you can read about “How Not To Do A Wedding Reception,” or laugh at what happens when idiots don’t know what an anchovy is.

 

Thank you again for reading! This blog is one of the ways I take care of my family. If you’d like to LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL, you can totally do that. If you’d like to BECOME A PATRON for this blog, that would be so very kind. And if you like what you’ve read, and you want to share it with others, that would be amazing. You can also keep up with me on Facebook and on Twitter. Love you all…

Posted in 1) Jesus, 2) Politics, 3) Bathroom Humor, 4) All Of The Above | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments