Thursday, November 29, 2007

Trash a televangelist for Jesus

Here's a story about Ole Anthony and how the Trinity Foundation got started. It includes the tale of how they got a bug up their bum about televangelists.
Another time Ole counted the number of homeless people in America, then compared that to the number of churches, and announced one day, "We don't have a problem! If one homeless person slept in each church, the problem is solved." Especially since most American churches are only used one or two days a week. So Trinity sent speakers out to ask churches to adopt a single homeless person.
That didn't take too well. Most of the local churches just sent all the homeless people to Trinity.
And it was those very homeless who led Trinity to its biggest and most controversial work, the trashing of televangelism in America. The homeless would arrive at Trinity after being kicked out of some place, usually by their families, who were overwhelmed by their constant problems and inability to make money. But in several cases, the homeless person had spent his or her last dollar, not on food, not on drugs, not on gas for a car, but on a "faith pledge" to a televangelist. Many of these television preachers talk about the "hundredfold blessing" you get when you donate money to God, suggesting that God is a kind of spiritual casino who pays 100-to-1 odds when people need Him.


"It was literally widows and orphans," said Ole. "That's who supports the televangelists. The weakest, most vulnerable people in the world."
Unfathomable are the ways in which that shit ain't right.

Monday, November 26, 2007

About Hillary Clinton

I have no desire to see her get the Democratic nomination. But for crying out loud, can we all call her "Clinton" already? Is she not more important than her husband by now? Since when are we all on a first name basis with the possibly-soon-to-be-President of America? If you want to be derogatory, fair enough (see "Dubya"), but it seems clear that many are under the impression that this is a perfectly inoffensive way to refer to her (see "Clinton backs up Hillary campaign").

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It could happen here

Or so says Janet Folger, whoever she is. "It" being:
Nov. 20, 2010

To the Resistance:

I'm writing this letter from prison, where I've been since the beginning of 2010. Since Hillary was elected in '08, Christian persecution in America has gotten even worse than we predicted.

When the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" was signed into law, my radio program was yanked off the air along with all the others that dared discuss moral issues on Christian radio.

I feel obliged to offer some comment about what could possibly make this scenario seem plausible.

Dawn offers the suggestion (which she attributes to some source which may or may not be Slacktivist) that, in the strain of the Christian Right to which Folger clearly belongs, there is a tendency to assume that we liberals aspire to use the law to ban, imprison, or otherwise forcefully eliminate all those things which we oppose. And that of course includes the members of the Christian Right and everything they hold dear. Since we dislike radio shows that only ever go on about how awful abortion or homosexuality are, we must want to take them off the air; since we think books complaining about Christian persecution in America are stupid and politically harmful, we must want to ban them; if you so much as think those thoughts, we must want to throw you in prison.

That is, of course, their way of thinking, not ours. But being so intolerant themselves, they are incapable of believing that our talk of tolerance is at all earnest.

That helps make sense of Folger's paranoia, but there remains a significant gap of plausibility: it is one thing to think that this is what American liberals want, and another thing to think that the one thing needed to achieve that goal is to get Clinton (why her in particular?) elected, after which all else falls into place.

(via JP)

Friday, November 23, 2007

"Shots fired"

The other day I slow-played a pair of kings at poker. Another player commented that this was a "dangerous" move, and I suavely responded something about that being my very way of life. I was then informed by all around me that "dangerous" is in fact "the opposite" of how I live.

Oh yeah? Well, check out my neighbourhood. Or "the 'hood", as I am wont to call it. This evening it was host to a couple dozen police cars, coming from all directions, sirens wailing, to converge right outside our door.

The camera's batteries were out, so by the time I started taking pictures, the cops had already started to disperse. A couple of minutes beforehand, there were even more cop cars in the street, with a small army of officers winding their way between them.

Here we see some of the latecomers returning to their cars:

The action was down the street to the right in the second picture above. Dawn overheard one of the officers tell a passerby that they'd caught a gunman just down that street.

Myself, Dawn, and Beezus, all managed to make it through the evening unharmed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Let the fraudsters hit the floor

With any luck, the finances of some of America's richest and worst televangelists will soon be hitting the floor like the bodies at a Benny Hinn spectacle. Well, maybe that's a little too optimistic. But one can hope.

The backstory here is that Ole Anthony and the rest of the Trinity Foundation (the nice folks behind the Wittenburg Door) have spent decades researching the financial practices of these televangelist snakes (and also their religious practices--which, for them, also reduce to financial practices). And the latest news is that Republican (!) Senator Chuck Grassley decided to put this sort of information down on official Senate letterhead and demand some answers to some tricky questions--all leading up to the very big question of whether these "ministries" deserve their tax-exempt status.

(As it is, these organizations are tax-exempt because they are registered as non-profit organizations. But they don't have to report on how they spend their money, because they are "churches". Whose bright idea was this?)

See here for a summary, as well as (in the comments) a first-hand account of what it's like to be victimized by these assholes:
I'm so mad still at [John] Hagee [alas, not one of those who received a letter from Grassley] who fleeced me for over 12 years while I was a single mom with three abused kids, barely getting by. When I think of the times my electricity got turned off because I tithed and gave instead of paying my bills, I could scream. I was told to NOT pay my bills, but to tithe first and believe God for the money for my bills....then when my electricity was turned off I was told I had no faith. I thought God hated me.
OK, so, that's somewhat beside the point. It's unlikely that this sort of practice in particular breaks any tax laws. But it sure does piss me off.

Anyway, other info, plus clips of TV news coverage, available at the Door's Televangelism Scorecard. See Creflo Dollar (his real name) explain how he has only one Rolls Royce, not two. See Kenneth Copeland get asked whether he ever sees any of the prayer requests included in the cash-stuffed envelopes he gets, and then start whining. See Senator Grassley suggest that maybe a non-profit shouldn't be buying marble toilets.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Remembrance Day

The Parable of the Old Man and the Young

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb, for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an Angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him, thy son.
Behold! Caught in a thicket by its horns,
A Ram. Offer the Ram of Pride instead.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

- Wilfred Owen, 1918

Thursday, November 08, 2007

An accidentally discovered bit of blog gold

To be honest, I have never liked the idea of some guy smacking some female around for whatever reason but on the odd occasion there seems to be no other option as she refuses to stfu. Women must know that if they keep attacking the male, he just has to take some type of drastic action just to put an end to that verbal and psychological abuse.

I am of the belief that in most situations, women are just as responsible for the abuse as if they perpetrated it themselves.
Well, top marks for frankness, gotta give him that. Maybe we should find this refreshing--this sort of thing is assuredly much more commonly thought than said. (In case you're wondering: nope, no signs that this is satire whatsoever.)