This is the direct sequel to
Things have gotten MUCH worse for Blizzard since then, with a massive lawsuit filed against it!
I decided there was a lot more story to tell using the characters I made up for “The Debbie and Carrie Show”, as described here: “The Debbie and Carrie Show” is finished!
So here is season two, which is a work in progress:
And here are some details about the characters so far…..
Debbie Smith: Now 15 years old, she is still best friends with Carrie but started a new romance with Laura Park after a brief period of alienation from Carrie. She then tried to have a three way relationship with both of them, but ultimately chose Carrie and broke up with Laura.
Appearance from episodes 16 to 60.
Appearance from episode 60 onward.
Carrie Sims: Also age 15, she agreed to end her romance with Debbie and then began dating Jason Laker, but he wasn’t ideal for her, so she kept looking for a lover that could make her as happy as Debbie did. And in the end…..she returned to Debbie.
Appearance from episodes 19 to 59.
Appearance from episodes 59 onward.
Barbara: Once Jessica Sims’ love partner back in Boston, their relationship was destroyed due to Barbara’s alcoholism and abuse of Jessica. She later became a Jehovah’s Witness in order to stop drinking and give her life a new purpose, only to have her faith derailed when she met Lucy Sims, Jessica’s wife and herself an ex-Jehovah’s Witness.
Ted: Barbara’s fiance, it was he who converted her to the Jehovah’s Witness’ cult when her life was in ruins due to her alcoholism. He took advantage of her weakness to enslave her mind and even convinced her to marry him. When she finally rejected him, he began to abuse her, thus proving his love was really shallow.
Laura Park: Once an enemy of Debbie and Carrie because of her strong Baptist beliefs. She later realized she was a lesbian and eventually changed her beliefs, falling in love with Debbie and becoming friends with Carrie too. After Debbie broke up with her, she went to Hollywood to become an actress.
Dr. Martin Lessi: Carrie’s genetic father, he was finally able to meet Carrie after his wife persuaded Jessica Sims to permit this.
Jessica Lessi: Wife of Martin and mother of his five year old twin boys. Her curiosity about Carrie led her to contact Jessica Sims, despite Martin not wanting this at first.
Rev. Dave Owen: Not learning from his earlier defeats, he had the building of the church he once was pastor of burned down, only to be arrested and imprisoned for that crime.
Jack Watson: He was the manager of a nightclub owned by Rich Smith. After Sandy Smith acquired the club, he offered to work for her, but also suggested she contact another club owner and see if he wanted to buy it. She sold it to that other owner. Jack was also a petty criminal, specifically a drug dealer.
Even Evil Has Standards: When Jack was offered $500 by Rev. Owen to burn down Owen’s former church, he not only refused the offer, he then went to the police after the church was destroyed and identified Owen as the mastermind of the plot. When Owen was jailed, Jack was waiting for him…….and promptly beat Owen up!
Officer Kelly: A member of the police department in the town, she had the unpleasant duty of dealing with Dave Owen.
Starting in April, I downloaded an app called Plotagon and began using it to write and produce episodes of a series that came to be called “The Debbie and Carrie Show”. Earlier references to it are here:
Now the series is officially finished. Here is a link to it:
And here are the major characters in it.
Debbie Smith: A 13 to 14 year old girl living in a small town somewhere in east Texas. She is a lesbian and was raised an atheist. She was originally designed to be an “anti-Sophia” (Sophia being the girl featured in the “Caleb and Sophia” video clips made to promote the Jehovah’s Witness cult). Played by a character model I created.
Original appearance (Episodes 1-15).
Later appearance (episodes 16 to 33)
Sandy Smith: Debbie’s mother, originally a Christian but became atheist as a teen. Moved from Tulsa, Oklahoma to the small Texas town after her divorce. Later inherits an estate worth over 20 million dollars from her ex-husband. Played by “Ms. Green”, a pre-made character model in the Plotagon app, because of her resemblance to the mother in this Caleb and Sophia video.
Cruel Mercy: After Rev. Dave Owen tries to pull a publicity stunt in front of Mrs. Smith’s restaurant, she has him arrested, but then quickly bails him out to prevent his jailing from generating sympathy from the members of Owen’s church. She and several others then proceed to give Rev. Owen a series of tongue lashings over his contemptible stunts.
Carrie Sims: A 13 to 14 year old girl who is Debbie’s best friend and later her love partner despite saying she is not lesbian. Like Debbie, she was raised atheist by her lesbian mothers. Her last name comes from the video game The Sims.
Original appearance (Episodes 2 to 18, played by “Lizzie” a pre-built character model)
Later appearance (Episodes 19 to 33, played by a character model I created)
Driven to Suicide: Averted, in that Carrie attempts suicide in episode 17 after suffering a nervous breakdown, but is saved by her mothers.
Jessica Sims: A beautiful white lesbian who came from Boston. She met her future wife, Lucy, at a restaurant and literally saved her life after Lucy was fired from that place. She is Carrie’s birth mother. She was raised an atheist, but she was also the one who came up with the idea of forming a Unitarian Universalist fellowship in the town as a means of helping her daughter and Debbie resist the bigotry that was common there. Played by a pre-built character model.
Hypocrite: In episode six, Jessica says no one should be treated as an outsider by the members of the Unitarian Universalist fellowship, only to say to Miss Jenkins when she comes to visit, “Shouldn’t you be at YOUR church?” Justified as Jenkins was the homophobic teacher who hurt both her daughter and Debbie. Jessica gets better once it is clear Miss Jenkins has no hostile intent.
Lucy Sims: Jessica’s wife, who was raised a Jehovah’s Witness, but was disfellowshipped after coming out as a lesbian. Carrie considers Lucy to be as much her mother as Jessica. Played by a pre-built character model.
Angry Black (Wo)man: Subverted. Lucy is against ALL bigotry as both a black person and a lesbian and she sees Carrie not as a white girl at all, but as her beautiful daughter, and even is distressed that her black (and Jehovah’s Witness) relatives refuse to accept Carrie as a family member.
Carla Jenkins: English teacher of both Debbie and Carrie at their school, her Baptist zealotry caused her to begin using the Bible as a text in her lessons, eventually causing the Smith and Sims families to sue her and the school over this. She was hired as a teacher by her uncle, who was the school principal. Played by a pre-built character model.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: From babyhood, she was brainwashed to believe that everyone had to be a Christian to be saved, which caused her to violate the rights of non-Christians like Debbie and Carrie.
Heel Realization: This happens in episode four when Jenkins is confronted by Sandy Smith over Jenkins’ threat to expel Debbie from school. Sandy tells Jenkins a Bible story, one in which Moses and his followers commit an actual act of genocide and mass child rape against a neighboring people. This badly shakes Jenkins’ Christian faith.
Nepotism: Carla Jenkins owed her teaching job to her uncle and even took cash from him as a sign of her loyalty to him only to learn later the money had been embezzled by the uncle from the school funds. She was then fired by her uncle’s successor.
Heel-Face Turn: After realizing that her faith is on shaky ground, Carla makes peace with the Sims and the Smiths and by the end of the series she is their firm ally, condemning Rev. Owen for his gross bigotry and hypocrisy to his face.
Jason Laker: A friend and classmate of Debbie who, despite being raised Baptist, opposes the bigotry of Miss Jenkins and others against the Sims and Smiths. Eventually leaves the Baptist church and joins the Unitarian Universalist fellowship, though he remains a Christian. Played by a character model I created.
Victoria: Sister of Lucy and still a Jehovah’s Witness. Came to visit Lucy to tell her their mother was dying of cancer, but she, along with her son Scott and her mother, refused to accept Carrie as their niece/cousin/granddaughter. Played by a pre-built character model.
Hypocrite: Jehovah’s Witnesses are supposed to be against racism and other forms of prejudice, but it is obvious that Lucy’s black relatives have a problem with Carrie being white; the fact that Carrie is being raised by lesbian mothers is merely the excuse given for their rejection of her (and of course, anti-LGBT bigotry is as problematic as racial prejudice in any case).
Rich Smith: Ex-husband of Sandy Smith and father of Debbie and James, he had a highly questionable moral character (he had cheated on Sandy), but claimed he was getting better. Was killed by the ex-husband of Mary, the woman he was about to marry. Played by “Paul” a pre-built character model.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rich recognized that Sandy’s divorcing him was his fault. He eventually sought to redeem himself by getting involved with a woman half his age, Mary, who already had five kids. She became pregnant with Rich’s baby, but she, along with Rich and all her children, were exterminated by her vengeful ex-husband.
James Smith: Son of Rich and Sandy and brother of Debbie. He had little respect for his father because of Rich’s cheating on Sandy, only tolerating him when they were together. Eventually came to regret his self-righteous attitude. Was even more irreligious than his mother and sister. Played by a character model I created.
Tara Conlan: Meets Debbie and Carrie at a rock concert and learns about their Unitarian Universalist fellowship from them, which she joins, despite living in a town 100 miles away from the one of Debbie and Carrie. After being disowned by her parents for rejecting their Catholicism she moves in with the Sims and eventually moves again to Boston to work with Jessica’s mother at her cat shelter. Played by a pre-built character model.
Mrs. Sims: Jessica’s mother, she is so devoted to cats that she runs a cat shelter in Boston where she cares for and sterilizes stray or abandoned cats before releasing them or giving them homes. Wears a hat shaped like a kitten as a sign of her profession. Was raised Catholic, but became atheist as an adult. Played by a pre-built character model, the “crazy cat lady”.
Rev. Dave Owen: A Baptist minister and the greatest enemy of the Smiths and the Sims. Played by a pre-built character model.
Big Bad: The original motivating force behind Miss Jenkins’ attempts to indoctrinate the kids in her English class. Later sends an offensive letter to the Sims and finally tries to disrupt their and Sandy Smith’s restaurant, the Tuscany Tavern, resulting in his arrest and jailing. He is then bailed out only to receive a series of reprimands from people in the town he had antagonized.
Mr. Hernandez: The principal of the school after Miss Jenkins’ uncle was fired. He in turn fired Miss Jenkins, but was later persuaded to give her another chance by, ironically, Mrs. Smith. He was also impressed by Debbie and Carrie after getting to know them. Played by a pre-built character model.
Dr. Drake: The doctor at the hospital who treated Carrie after her suicide attempt. He privately told Rev. Owen about Carrie and was shocked when Owen then sent a letter to the Sims attacking them over the incident. Despite being a Baptist himself, he condemned Owen for this breach of trust, while also recognizing his own wrongdoing about it. Played by a pre-built character model.
I sometimes think that as a whole, the users in Reddit are WAY smarter than most people. Here are two powerful comments I have just noticed that seem to illustrate that.
Fun… ok no, sad fact:
When slavery was abolished, I feel like a lot of people think it came with asterisks next to the amendment.
But it didn’t .
When slavery was abolished, it instantly made every black person equal to whites under the law.
Same rules applied to white and black people. Owning land. Owning a business. Eating anywhere they liked. This was the intended goal. It’s what those in congress voted and passed and celebrated. Equality.
But the southern states saw the loopholes, and within a few months, enacted the Jim Crow laws, separate but equal pretty damn fast.
The federal government made black people equal.
No caveats no restrictions in the amendment.
Then the states took that right away from them.
On another sad fun fact,
FDR was set to push a new bill of rights, an employee bill of rights.
His speech is something that hits so relevant today. His wants for all citizens and his reasoning as applied to the constitution was something you just don’t get from any politician today.
A snapshot of his speech;
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.
The more you learn of the past, the more you realize that progress could have happened sooner but evil prevailed in the name of “country and patriotism”.
Good place to remind folks that conservatism is about hierarchy and a de facto underclass.
Conservatism (big C) has always had one goal and little c “general” conservatism is a myth. Conservatism has the related goals of maintaining a de facto aristocracy that inherits political power and pushing outsiders down to enforce an under class. In support of that is a morality based on a person’s inherent status as good or bad – not their actions. The thing that determines if someone is good or bad is whether they inhabit the aristocracy.
Another way, Conservatives – those who wish to maintain a class system – assign moral value to people and not actions. Those not in the aristocracy are immoral and therefore deserve punishment.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agzNANfNlTs its a ret con
Part of this is posted a lot: https://crookedtimber.org/2018/03/21/liberals-against-progressives/#comment-729288 I like the concept of Conservatism vs. anything else.
A Bush speech writer takes the assertion for granted: It’s all about the upper class vs. democracy. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/06/why-do-democracies-fail/530949/ “Democracy fails when the Elites are overly shorn of power.”
Read here: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/conservatism/ and here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservatism#History and see that all of the major thought leaders in Conservatism have always opposed one specific change (democracy at the expense of aristocratic power). At some point non-Conservative intellectuals and/or lying Conservatives tried to apply the arguments of conservatism to generalized “change.”
The philosophic definition of something should include criticism. The Stanford page (despite taking pains to justify small c conservatism) includes criticisms. Involving those we can conclude generalized conservatism (small c) is a myth at best and a Trojan Horse at worst.
Incase you don’t want to read the David Frum piece here is a highlight that democracy only exists at the leisure of the elite represented by Conservatism.
The most crucial variable predicting the success of a democratic transition is the self-confidence of the incumbent elites. If they feel able to compete under democratic conditions, they will accept democracy. If they do not, they will not. And the single thing that most accurately predicts elite self-confidence, as Ziblatt marshals powerful statistical and electoral evidence to argue, is the ability to build an effective, competitive conservative political party before the transition to democracy occurs.
Conservatism, manifest as a political party is simply the effort of the Elites to maintain their privileged status. One prior attempt at rebuttal blocked me when we got to: why is it that specifically Conservative parties align with the interests of the Elite?
There is a key difference between conservatives and others that is often overlooked. For liberals, actions are good, bad, moral, etc and people are judged based on their actions. For Conservatives, people are good, bad, moral, etc and the status of the person is what dictates how an action is viewed.
In the world view of the actual Conservative leadership – those with true wealth or political power – , the aristocracy is moral by definition and the working class is immoral by definition and deserving of punishment for that immorality. This is where the laws don’t apply trope comes from or all you’ll often see “rules for thee and not for me.” The aristocracy doesn’t need laws since they are inherently moral. Consider the divinely ordained king: he can do no wrong because he is king, because he is king at God’s behest. The anti-poor aristocratic elite still feel that way.
This is also why people can be wealthy and looked down on: if Bill Gates tries to help the poor or improve worker rights too much he is working against the aristocracy.
If we extend analysis to the voter base: conservative voters view other conservative voters as moral and good by the state of being labeled conservative because they adhere to status morality and social classes. It’s the ultimate virtue signaling. They signal to each other that they are inherently moral. It’s why voter base conservatives think “so what” whenever any of these assholes do nasty anti democratic things. It’s why Christians seem to ignore Christ.
While a non-conservative would see a fair or moral or immoral action and judge the person undertaking the action, a conservative sees a fair or good person and applies the fair status to the action. To the conservative, a conservative who did something illegal or something that would be bad on the part of someone else – must have been doing good. Simply because they can’t do bad.
To them Donald Trump is inherently a good person as a member of the aristocracy. The conservative isn’t lying or being a hypocrite or even being “unfair” because – and this is key – for conservatives past actions have no bearing on current actions and current actions have no bearing on future actions so long as the aristocracy is being protected. Lindsey Graham is “good” so he says to delay SCOTUS confirmations that is good. When he says to move forward: that is good.
To reiterate: All that matters to conservatives is the intrinsic moral state of the actor (and the intrinsic moral state that matters is being part of the aristocracy). Obama was intrinsically immoral and therefore any action on his part was “bad.” Going further – Trump, or the media rebranding we call Mitt Romney, or Moscow Mitch are all intrinsically moral and therefore they can’t do “bad” things. The one bad thing they can do is betray the class system.
The consequences of the central goal of conservatism and the corresponding actor state morality are the simple political goals to do nothing when problems arise and to dismantle labor & consumer protections. The non-aristocratic are immoral, inherently deserve punishment, and certainly don’t deserve help. They want the working class to get fucked by global warming. They want people to die from COVID19. Etc.
Montage of McConnell laughing at suffering: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTqMGDocbVM&ab_channel=HuffPost
OH LOOK, months after I first wrote this it turns out to be validated by conservatives themselves: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/16/trump-appointee-demanded-herd-immunity-strategy-446408
Why do the conservative voters seem to vote against their own interest? Why does /selfawarewolves and /leopardsatemyface happen? They simply think they are higher on the social ladder than they really are and want to punish those below them for the immorality.
Absolutely everything Conservatives say and do makes sense when applying the above. This is powerful because you can now predict with good specificity what a conservative political actor will do.
We still need to address more familiar definitions of conservatism (small c) which are a weird mash-up including personal responsibility and incremental change. Neither of those makes sense applied to policy issues. The only opposed change that really matters is the destruction of the aristocracy in favor of democracy. For some reason the arguments were white washed into a general “opposition to change.”
This year a few women can vote, next year a few more, until in 100 years all women can vote?
This year a few kids can stop working in mines, next year a few more…
We should test the waters of COVID relief by sending a 1200 dollar check to 500 families. If that goes well we’ll do 1500 families next month.
But it’s all in when they want to separate migrant families to punish them. It’s all in when they want to invade the Middle East for literal generations.
The incremental change argument is asinine. It’s propaganda to avoid concessions to labor.
The personal responsibility argument falls apart with the whole “keep government out of my medicare thing.” Personal responsibility just means “I deserve free things, but people more poor than me don’t.”
And for good measure I found video and sources interesting on an overlapping topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vymeTZkiKD0
Some links incase anyone doubts that the contemporary American voter base was purposefully machined and manipulated into its mangle of abortion, guns, war, and “fiscal responsibility.” What does fiscal responsibility even mean? Who describes themselves as fiscally irresponsible?
Here is Atwater talking behind the scenes. https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/exclusive-lee-atwaters-infamous-1981-interview-southern-strategy/
a little academic abstract to lend weight to conservatives at the time not caring about abortion. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-policy-history/article/abs/gops-abortion-strategy-why-prochoice-republicans-became-prolife-in-the-1970s/C7EC0E0C0F5FF1F4488AA47C787DEC01
They were casting about for something to rile a voter base up and abortion didn’t do it. https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/02/05/race-not-abortion-was-founding-issue-religious-right/A5rnmClvuAU7EaThaNLAnK/story.html
The role religion played entwined with institutionalized racism. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisladd/2017/03/27/pastors-not-politicians-turned-dixie-republican/?sh=31e33816695f
Just a couple of brilliant statements I noticed. And they deserve a wider audience.
I have used Plotagon to make another series of videos. This one is made to criticize the Jehovah’s Witness cult.
The video series is titled Race and Being a Witness. It is a direct sequel to Atheists and Lesbians Fighting for Rights in Town.
Plotagon is an app that can be used to make videos to tell dramatic stories. I decided to make a series of videos with characters for representing Unitarian Universalism. If the Caleb and Sophia videos work for Jehovah’s Witnesses, why not do such videos for UUs?
And the final episode of the series:
As well known as I have been for my blog entries slamming the Baha’i Faith, I am really most proud of this project. Tearing down one religion is useless if you do not replace it with something better.
Yesterday, racist cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in the case of George Floyd, whom he held down by his neck for over eight minutes until he was dead.
Make no mistake about this; the only reason Chauvin was found guilty at all was because his act was recorded and made public. But in the past, even that would not have been enough. The terrible beating nearly to death of Rodney King by four white cops was also recorded and made public, and those cops were acquitted at their first trial, triggering rioting in the city of Los Angeles. Rodney King did not get justice. Nor did Treyvon Martin. Nor have many other black victims of police brutality.
At long last, people are FINALLY waking up to the idea that having bad and bigoted cops in a police force is not something to tolerate. It never should have been a thing at all.
Hell. even the TV show In the Heat of the Night never showed the cops of Sparta, Mississippi assaulting and murdering blacks unjustly (others were shown doing that, however) and that may have contributed to the public perception that most cops can be trusted. I am not so sure, based on my own experience. Corruption rather than integrity seems to be the norm. So let’s keep fighting the system until it truly changes!
I always assumed that most racists rejected and looked down on ALL members of minorities, without exception. But that appears to not be the case sometimes.
Take a look at this discussion:
“expat Shaun Cromber voted Leave but said he did not believe Brexit would end his Spanish lifestyle. He said: “Yes I voted out, but I didn’t realise it would come to this.”
So he voted for the UK to leave the EU, but then did not immediately leave the EU to return to the UK? Seriously???
This is literally the classic leave voter. Yeah we voted leave but didn’t think anything negative would actually happen.
‘Get those dirty Italian and Spanish foreigners out of the UK….but oh let me stay in their country so I can enjoy their lifestyle’.
Then the discussion went beyond the issue of Brexit.
I spent most of the past decade working (legally) in China. You wouldn’t believe the number of American “expats” I met there “teaching” English on tourist & business visas. For most I didn’t care about their status…except the ones who ranted on about “illegals” back home. I took great pleasure in discussing & highlighting their illegal status. Most didn’t get the irony of their situation due to exceptionalism.
Note: I was an economic migrant. I had a choice of being unemployed/redundant back home or move to China.
A Trump supporter’s husband was deported in 2017 and she says that Trump was only supposed to deport “bad” people and not illegal immigrants like her husband. She Trump made a mistake, but still has her support.
and then they interviewed other Karens from the same town. Apparnetly the genetleman deported had lived in the town for 20 + years, raised a family there, OWNED THE ONLY MEXICAN RESTAURANT IN TOWN, was loved by all the people there……
Interview after interview these white folks said they LOVED TRUMP and still supported his push to get rid of illegals, but they wanted him to make an exception for their illegal.
Just like every other thing and republicans…..they are filled with hate and anger until their policies affect themselves…..then they have an epiphany, say something akin to “I didn’t think the leopards would eat my face” and then keep on hating the next day.* (* explained at bottom)
Hate is their fuel. Just like old people’s medicine is for the robots that are going to take over and kill us all.
*: I just made a comment about 30 minutes ago about Republicans who protest outside abortion clinics. I’ve read countless interviews with abortion clinic nurses and providers who repeatedly state that many of the same women that protest wind up in their clinic receiving their services, but ALWAYS say something along these lines, “Well, you see, my situation is special. I wasn’t a whore like all the other girls that come here.”
And then after being treated with kindness and compassion, the abortion protestor is seen outside the very clinic they received an abortion at less than a week afterwards, yelling hateful things to the people that treated them with kindness. Just another example of someone who can’t fathom life outside of their own little minds until they are thrust into the same situation. Then, instead of it changing their viewpoint and becoming a better person, they think they’re the exception and go on right back to hating.
I listened to an NPR interview a couple months ago (up to 6 months ago I’d say, so I may get some details wrong) where the host did a segment on one gentleman. He was from Mexico, but his family got him US citizenship when he was a child and moved him up here. I think they said he joined the Navy for a time before getting out and joining Border Patrol. He was a distinguished border patrol agent, got several awards and a fair amount of recognition over his 10+ year career.He talked about how he didn’t always agree with who he was tasked with deporting, but it was the law and how things worked and he left it at that. I was honestly kind of pissed with how he could view someone in such similar circumstances as himself, but because their family didn’t do their due diligence, they deserved to have everything taken from them in an instant. Him and his wife both voted for Trump, despite him being an immigrant.And then they talked about how he was called into his supervisors office one day where he was met with a couple other federal agents. He was informed that his US birth certificate was actually a forgery and completely fake, and he had been illegally living and working in the US for a few decades. He was ordered to turn in his badge, his gun, and then told that he would need to fight it in the courts. Y’know, just like all the people he had arrested over the years. He had no idea, his parents/grandparents had lied to him since he was a boy.Him and his wife were very upset, obviously, and got legal help. During the interview he had mentioned that they had been fighting in the courts for a couple years already, but they had just submitted their final appeal, likely in vain. They couldn’t believe that he, a distinguished federal employee and veteran, couldn’t be granted any sort of leniency to try and prevent him from being deported, or that Trump had enacted such tough immigration laws and had basically abandoned them when they felt they needed him.The whole interview, like I said, pissed me off because I honestly felt the guy was getting what he deserved. He broke the rules, just like he said all those people he had apprehended over the years, and they needed to suffer the consequences. But once the shoe was on his foot, and he was the one being deported, all of a sudden it’s “this isn’t fair, this isn’t right, this isn’t just,” blah blah blah.The most astounding part? I’m pretty sure they both said they (the guy and his wife) had or were going to vote for Trump again in 2020, and… Just, I don’t get people. The Republican Party and those who follow it are the epitome of “rules for thee, not for me,” and this guy was acting like he was unjustly being targeted when he was literally guilty of everything they said he had done.
And Trump himself is responsible for Melania’s parents.
I watched an episode of that show Ghosted on MTV. There was a white girl who had been ghosted by her black friend. She couldn’t figure out why. It turns out she was a Trump supporter and would post all kinds of hateful stuff on FB. When they found her former friend the ghoster was like you really don’t understand why I wouldn’t want to be friends with you?
There was the case of a German Army officer who had to deal with a Swedish diplomat (Sweden was neutral in World War II) who eventually revealed he was Jewish. The German officer said, “You are a good Jew. I wouldn’t consider you my enemy.”
That German was still a Hitler supporter to the end, of course.
there was this saying that every German had their “good Jew”. You know, that one Jew who wasn’t like the others, all the others were terrible, but that one Jew they knew, he wasn’t like that.
It’s always easier to hate a big abstract group of people than the people you actually know.
There’s a very important corollary this that I want to note; despite what they claim, they don’t actually believe that abortion is wrong. They just believe that the wrong kind of people are getting abortions.
This is prevalent in Conservative attitudes to literally everything. It’s all about hierarchies, and making sure that the right kind of people are at the top of those hierarchies. Everything is acceptable, when the right people are doing it.
This reminds me of this earlier blog entry:
And the cases of Thomas Jefferson and Strom Thurmond come to mind as well. Both had relationships and even children with black women……and both were racists and championed racist policies. BOTH WERE HYPOCRITES!
And that’s why I have always said:
I believe in consistent standards of right and wrong and so I see no point in ever excusing something that is wrong because the wrongdoer is otherwise a friendly or nice guy. That’s how corruption sets in.
And corruption is the only thing Conservatives in ANY society seem to do. People enable that nonsense because it seems they only want to be good to a certain point and when that point is reached and ethical consistency starts to make their lives a bit less convenient for them (but beneficial for people that are different from them), they embrace corruption instead. And so they might as well not be good at all.
Start with this earlier blog entry:
Focus on these passages:
I heard a group of fifteen year old girls discussing a girl in their high school who had been [raped] by a classmate talking on the train yesterday……As far as they were concerned, the girl who had accused their classmate of rape was probably not lying, but apparently should have known better than to have hung out with this specific boy because he was a “ghetto” kid who had a reputation for being a ladies man?
In other words, blacks are expected to be rapists and white girls can protect themselves by being racists. Which is bullshit, of course. Rich white men also rape!
I was raped by my puppt loves cousin as his uncle held my puppy love down to wait to take his turn on me. Fortunately, my bf finally got out of his much older uncles grasp and ran. His uncle chased him to the train station where he lost him and my puppy love called the cops to tell them his cousin was raping me…..In the year leading upto the trail, my entire neighborhood (mostly old school Italians) completely turned on me. I went from being a straight a student to a high school drop out within 6 months due to the insanity which ensued. Not only facing death threats, having guns pulled on me, having my family threatened by the family of the guy who raped me, but also being shunned by the very community I grew up in all because
a white girls like me must have been asking for it to have 3 Puerto Rican boys in my house alone. I guess that fact alone made what happened to me my fault.
The harrassment and bullying I endured at the hands of my community, including being jumped by the same Italian girls I grew up with almost every week and having their mothers who had known me as a little girl shun me and forbid me from talking to their daughters (one neighbor of mine went so far as to call me a slut and spit on me after telling me if she saw me try to talk to her daughter again she would personally fuck me up).
Not to mention what the so called “Justice System” put me through, maligning my character, questioning my morality, trying to paint me as a slut beforehand (which shouldn’t have mattered even if that had been true, which it certainly was not). As if wearing a short skirt or hanging out with a boy or two is tantamount to asking to be raped!
I see a connection between this and MRA’s making excuses for raping women.
Women say “no” to me in one way or another on a regular basis, e.g. “no, you can’t have my number”, “no, I should go home”, “no, I’m not coming into your apartment”, and of course, the classic, “no, we’re not having sex”.
Yet somehow, when it’s all said and done, the woman is invariably happy that I didn’t listen to a single word of protest she uttered; that I barreled through her resistance nonchalantly and drove the ball to the basket. Women RESPECT this sexual insistence even if they aren’t acutely aware of it……….I’ve had hour or more long battles with a girl who had come to my room and then protested that she wasn’t going to have sex with me. Hell, it just happened again yesterday. In the end, of course, we got naked. And, she appreciated it after the fact. If a girl isn’t open to being seduced she will either not come in or will precipitate hastily from your room. Anything short of that is a green light.
Note: the website that posted those lies was eventually shut down.
But there are still people who believe the lie that rape can EVER be blamed on the one who was raped. Read this horrible story from India:
Outrage after 16-year-old girl tied to her rapist and paraded through Indian village
A teenager who said she had been raped by a neighbour was punished by being bound to her alleged attacker and paraded through her village, in a ritual humiliation which has caused outcry in India.
Film of the incident showed villagers raising pro-India chants as the pair were led around by a mob of men.
Six people have been arrested after the incident, which campaigners said demonstrated the widespread shaming of victims of sexual assault.
Members of the mob struck and spat at the 16-year-old girl as they lined her path in the village in Madhya Pradesh. Those arrested included the alleged attacker and the victim’s brother, uncle and cousin.
“When I saw them doing that to her, I had tears in my eyes,” one villager called Tilak Ram Bhilela told the New York Times. “But no one could speak a word, the mob was so angry they would have killed us.”
Accounts of horrific sex crimes are commonplace in India, which has seen repeated waves of protest over the issue since the notorious 2012 rape and murder of a teen on a Delhi bus.
Yet campaigners say a culture of violence against women includes the harassment of victims, who are often considered shamed and not fit for marriage. Women are put under pressure not to report crimes and often face revenge if they do.
The teenager had told family members that their neighbour had pushed her to the floor, then gagged and attacked her. The relatives, with a number of villagers, found the man she had accused and beat him, before parading them both.
India’s government promised to do more to protect women after the 2012 Delhi rape sparked outrage. Yet despite regular protests and new laws, the number of assaults on women has not abated and prosecutions languish in the backlogged courts for years.
Recent notorious cases have included the murder of a woman in Unnao district, Uttar Pradesh, who was on her way to court in 2019 after alleging she had been raped. She was set upon by five men, including two alleged rapists, and set alight. She died soon afterwards.
Sexism is a problem because of India’s two main religions, Hinduism and Islam, both of which teach that women are to be property of men, or at best socially inferior.
In such an atmosphere, a man, even if condemned for rape, can argue that the sex was consensual. “She must have wanted it too, or she wouldn’t have been with me at all!”
Men can learn to not rape women and girls even if they have strong romantic and sexual feelings for them. It is sad that religions do not seem to teach that!
If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor, because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.
If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.
Is that why my friend was scorned and why the girl in India was scorned, because they were raped in cities and not the countryside? Location has nothing to do with it!
I remember a discussion I had with another friend about sex with underaged girls.
Teenagers do not process information the same way adults do. Their brains have not fully developed the ability to reason and understand consequences of their actions. They act on almost pure emotion. They process information using the amygdala and adults use the pre-frontal cortex. Children and teenagers do not have the ability to reason the way an adult does, which is why they are notoriously impulsive and they are easily influenced. Adults have the ability and responsibility to protect young people and, even if put in a position where a minor comes on to them, it is their responsibility to handle that situation appropriately and not use that as an opportunity to prey on that vulnerability.
So even in a big city, an adult can manipulate a teen into sex because the teen responds naturally to peer pressure (essential as a survival tool in a natural environment of small tribes, but dangerous in larger and modern communities where one can thus “disappear” after committing an offense or crime).
If the teen later regrets the sex act, it is because their sense of personal autonomy and justice kicks in later and makes them realize they were used purely for physical gratification by the older partner, and not for love!
Which makes this meme particularly insidious:
Any adult by definition has power over a child, so sex between them cannot logically be consider consensual once the child clearly says she was raped. If you want to avoid ever being accused of rape, DO NOT EVER HAVE SEX WITH AN UNDERAGED PERSON, PERIOD! If you can’t wait until the younger person becomes legally an adult, or better still, find an actual adult to satisfy your urges, you deserve to be locked up to protect others from you!
And yes, that includes that damned pervert R. Kelly!
This is a direct sequel to Jehovah, the Homophobe.
For reference, here is the video again:
What if the mother and daughter in that video had been atheists and not Jehovah’s Witnesses? Let’s rename the children and retell the story.
Debbie: “Look, Mom! I drew our family in school today!”
Mom: “Oh, wow!”
Debbie: “I didn’t have time to finish James’ face.” (Mom chuckles.)
Debbie: “Carrie drew two mommies. She said they are married to each other. My teacher rejected her picture, saying Carrie’s mommies are living in sin. That made Carrie cry. What does that mean?”
Mom: “Your and Carrie’s teacher has a common view of gays and lesbians as sinners or even diseased because of their sexuality, but that is based mainly on religious bigotry. Thousands of years ago, when most of the world’s religions were being founded and spread, most people lived in tribal groups. Marriages were usually not just relationships between individuals, but also alliances between families or even nations. So fathers would often arrange for their children to marry members of other families and then those children would be expected to produce the next generation as adults. But the problem was that gays and lesbians couldn’t have children with each other, so they were useless for procreation. Because the founders of the great religions and the writers of the scriptures of these religions mistakenly believed that people could choose their sexuality, harsh punishments were often called for in an effort to force young people to avoid being gay or lesbian and try to be straight instead. Today, we understand how foolish and ignorant those people were and that’s why prejudice against LGBT people is fading away.”
Debbie: “What can we do to help Carrie?”
Mom: “Her rights are being violated by the teacher. If they haven’t done so already, Carrie’s mothers need to consult a lawyer and try to take legal action against the school. Let me talk to Carrie and her mothers so they can know what to do.”
Look at this story:
Dr. Kristy Cromblin knew that as the descendant of Alabama sharecroppers and the first person in her family to go to college, making it to medical school might seem like an improbable dream. Her parents watched in proud disbelief as she inched closer to that goal, enrolling in a medical school in Barbados and enlisting in the military with plans to serve one day as a flight surgeon.
Then came an unexpected hurdle: A contentious divorce led Cromblin to take seven years away from medical school to care for her two sons. In 2012, she returned for her final year, excited to complete her exams and apply for residency, the final step in her training.
But no one had told Cromblin that hospital residency programs, which have been flooded with a rising number of applications in recent years, sometimes use the Electronic Residency Application Service software program to filter out various applications, whether they’re from students with low test scores or from international medical students. Cromblin had passed all her exams and earned her M.D., but was rejected from 75 programs. In the following years, as she kept applying, she learned that some programs filter out applicants who graduated from medical school more than three years earlier. Her rejection pile kept growing. She is now on unemployment, with $250,000 in student loans.
“There are times you question your worth,” Cromblin, 43, said. “You wonder if you’re useless. I’ve had to encourage myself over and over: I am worth it. I am useful. I am damn good.”
Cromblin is one of as many as 10,000 chronically unmatched doctors in the United States, people who graduated from medical school but are consistently rejected from residency programs. The National Resident Matching Program promotes its high match rate, with 94% of American medical students matching into residency programs last year on Match Day, which occurs annually on the third Friday in March. But the match rate for Americans who study at medical schools abroad is far lower, with just 61% matching into residency spots.
Note the description of the doctor in question:
the descendant of Alabama sharecroppers and the first person in her family to go to college
A contentious divorce led Cromblin to take seven years away from medical school to care for her two sons.
Which indicates to me that she is black, and as a single mother as well she has TWO strikes against her!
Continuing the article:
Last year, the Association of American Medical Colleges released a study that found that the country would face a shortage of 54,100 to 139,000 physicians by 2033, a prospect made all the more alarming as hospitals confront the possibility of fighting future crises similar to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet each year thousands of graduates emerge from medical schools with a virtually useless M.D. or D.O.; without residency experience, they do not qualify for licensure in any state.
Then don’t make residency experience an issue, obviously.
Residency directors say that although they are committed to diversity and consider many factors beyond test scores, they sometimes use filters in sifting through applications because they receive thousands of applications for just a handful of spots. “Nobody has the time or desire to read this many applications,” Dr. Suzanne Karan, an anesthesiologist at the University of Rochester, wrote in a 2019 blog post. “It makes my job a lot easier when I can filter your applications by M.D./D.O./foreign graduate.”
But Dr. William W. Pinsky, the chief executive of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, which credentials graduates of international medical schools, said residency directors who down-rank medical students from abroad were missing out on opportunities to diversify their programs.
“I understand program directors have to do what they have to do,” Pinsky said. “But if they put on a filter to leave out international graduates, they’re cheating themselves.”
Of course, but to a racist, cheating yourself doesn’t matter if in the end you can surround yourself with people like you. We need to stop making excuses for these biased hiring practices and just call these residency directors out on their bullshit.
Aspiring to help
The pool of unmatched doctors began to grow in 2006 when the Association of American Medical Colleges called on medical schools to increase their first-year enrollment by 30%; the group also called for an increase in federally supported residency positions, but those remained capped under the 1997 Balanced Budget Act. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., introduced the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act in 2019 to increase the number of Medicare-supported residency positions available for eligible medical school graduates by 3,000 per year over a period of five years, but it has not received a vote. In late December, Congress passed a legislative package creating 1,000 new Medicare-supported residency positions over the next five years.
Dr. Adaira Landry, an emergency physician in Boston, said of all the young doctors she had mentored, those who went unmatched were the most challenging to assist: “They want to be part of our health care system,” she said. “But they have this boulder blocking them.”
But it’s not just black doctors that are discriminated against.
At some point, Dr. Saideh Farahmandnia lost count of the number of residency rejection emails she had received. Still, she could remember the poignant feeling of arriving in 2005 at Ross School of Medicine in Dominica, thinking she was “the luckiest person in the world.” She had grown up in a religious minority community in Iran in which access to higher education was restricted. When she passed her licensing exams, she ecstatically called her parents to tell them they had raised a doctor.
After medical school, she spent two years doing research with a cardiothoracic surgeon at Stanford, thinking it would make her residency applications more competitive. But she applied to 150 residency programs, from rural to urban community hospitals, and received 150 rejections. She kept applying every year until 2015, when her mother died suddenly and she took a break to grieve.
“You leave your family to follow your passion and promise you’re going to help the country that adopted you,” Farahmandnia, 41, said. “At the end, you’re left with $300,000 in student loans and a degree that took so much of your life and precious time with your mother.”
Note this detail:
She had grown up in a religious minority community in Iran in which access to higher education was restricted.
Most likely, she is a Baha’i, and Baha’is in Iran ARE denied higher education. Even as a critic of the Baha’i Faith, that strikes me as stupid.
The average medical school debt for students graduating in 2019 was $201,490, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Students who match into residency positions soon advance and become attending physicians, making an average of nearly $200,000 a year. But unmatched students are left scrambling to find other areas of work that can help them repay their debts.
With the ongoing controversy over student debt in general, this is even more serious. I wonder if some kind of class action lawsuit would help.
Dr. Douglas Medina, who graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 2011 and has been unable to match, says he pays at least $220 each month in loans, though some are now paused. “Just a couple of weeks ago I tried to decide between student loans or a stroller for the baby that’s coming,” he said. “It’s not just our careers being ruined, it’s our families.”
Remember this the next time you see some conservative in politics speak about the need for “family values”. They mean WHITE family values.
‘The cold smack of reality’
Students graduating from American colleges choose to go to medical school abroad for many reasons. Some have test-taking anxiety and prefer to apply to schools that don’t rely on MCAT scores for admission; others are attracted by the warmth and adventure promised by schools based in the Caribbean, which tend to have acceptance rates that are 10 times as high as those of American schools.
But many applicants, especially those coming from families unfamiliar with the intricacies of medical training, say they aren’t warned of the low match rates for international medical students.
“When I graduated, I got the cold smack of reality that all my credentials don’t matter, because you’re not getting past that match algorithm,” said Kyle, an international medical school graduate who asked that only his given name be used because he is reapplying for residency after an initial rejection.
Most frustrating, Kyle said, is being unable to work when he is aware of the urgent need for Black physicians like himself, especially in places like Atlanta, where he was raised. “It really hurts, because everyone thinks I should be a doctor,” he said. “They saw me pass my tests, they celebrated with me.”
Pinsky of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates said that the organization was working with the World Directory of Medical Schools to ensure that international schools described their credentials in a more clear and honest way.
“Unfortunately, there are schools that perhaps exaggerate a bit on their websites in terms of the success of their graduating students,” Pinsky said.
The 61% match rate for international students may understate the problem, some experts say, because it does not account for medical students who receive no interview offers. With those students included, the match rate for international medical students may drop as low as 50%.
Residency program directors said that in recent years they had increased their efforts to look at candidates holistically. “Straight A’s in college and perfect test scores does not a perfect applicant make,” said Dr. Susana Morales, an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. “We’re interested in diversity of background, geographic diversity.”
Question: Why do medical students who study abroad insist on coming back to America to proceed with their careers?
Standing on the sidelines
Some international medical students struggling to match have looked for alternative pathways into medical work. Arkansas and Missouri are among the states that offer assistant physician licenses for people who have completed their licensing exams but have not completed residency. Unmatched doctors, eager to use their clinical skills to help in the pandemic, said that they had found the opportunity to serve as assistant physicians particularly meaningful during the crisis.
After she failed a first attempt at a licensing exam, then passed on her second try, Dr. Faarina Khan, 30, found herself shut out of the matching process. Over the past five years, she has spent more than $30,000 in residency application fees. But with an assistant physician license, she was able to join the Missouri Disaster Medical Assistance Team in the spring, helping out in medical facilities where staff members had tested positive for coronavirus.
“Hospitals need to realize that there are people in my position who could show up to work in the next hour if we’re called,” Khan said. “I didn’t go to medical school to sit on the sidelines.”
Legislation allowing for similar licensure is being considered in a handful of states. This position typically pays about $55,000 per year — much less than a physician might earn — which makes it challenging to pay off loans, but it allows for medical school graduates to keep up with their clinical training.
Cromblin, in Prattville, Alabama, felt a similar urge to join the COVID-19 front line in the spring. She had defaulted on a loan and had little in her bank account, but as soon as she received her stimulus check she bought a plane ticket to New York. She spent the month of April volunteering with the medical staff at Jamaica Medical Center in Queens.
She applied again for residency positions this year, although she says her sons have a hard time believing that their mother will ever become a practicing doctor.
“Every time I get a rejection letter, I go through my positive affirmations,” she said. “I say, ‘There’s a place for me, this just isn’t the one.’ ”
I know a place that must be desperate for doctors to come help its people: AFRICA!
There is a reason why I call Africa the Cursed Continent. It was almost entirely taken over and beaten down by European imperialism around the turn of the 19th and 20th Centuries:
And even after the Europeans gave up control of those areas after World War II, they mostly left the Africans to fend for themselves. The results were horrific. The following cartograms, representing different territories in the world by size according to various statistics, show what Africans are suffering:
In 2003, 92% of malaria cases and 94% of malarial deaths were recorded as being in African territories. The other 6% of deaths were mainly in Asia Pacific and Southern Asia. The total deaths recorded were 0.15% of the total cases. Whilst there were most malaria cases in Southeastern Africa, there were most deaths in Central Africa. Symptoms of malaria include fever and vomiting. Most deaths occur in cerebral malaria.The term ‘malaria’ comes from the medieval Italian ‘mala aria’ meaning ‘bad air’. The term was coined at a time before the mosquito had been identified as the carrier of the parasite.
Cholera deaths result from severe dehydration caused by diarrhoea. This is treatable: in 2004 the number of cholera deaths was only 2.5% of the number of cholera cases that year. Distributions of cholera cases and deaths differ due to differing availability of treatments.
In 1962, in Papua New Guinea, 36% of cholera cases, which was 464 people, died. In 2004, in the Central African Republic, 15% of cholera cases, which was 48 people, died.
In contrast, there were 73 territories where nobody died from cholera, because of good sanitation, clean water and available treatment. These territories have no area on this map.
Yellow fever is a disease that is spread by mosquitoes. Unlike malaria, also carried by mosquitoes, yellow fever is not found in Southern Asia. This disease is almost exclusively found in Northern Africa (68% of cases) and South America (31% of cases).
Yellow fever is also known as black vomit (vomit negro in Spanish). Both of these names describe some of the more severe symptoms. “Yellow fever” due to the fever and jaundice that can occur. “Black vomit” because of the congealed blood in the sick of its victims.
A vaccine against yellow fever exists, but not everyone has access to this. 1 in 10 yellow fever cases lead to death.
HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection, attacks the immune system. It eventually causes AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. With cases first recognised in the United States in 1981, AIDS increases the risk of many infections and tumours.In 2003, the highest HIV prevalence was Swaziland, where 38%, or almost 4 in every 10 people aged 15 to 49 years, were HIV positive. All ten territories with the highest prevalence of HIV are in Central and Southeastern Africa.Transmission of HIV is through sex, using infected needles and in the womb. Infected children are not shown here. HIV/AIDS often has an acquired social stigma.
Despite Africa being the most disease ridden continent, it also has the fewest doctors to treat those diseases.
A physician can also be called a medical doctor. Physicians may be general practitioners or may specialise. The Caribbean island of Cuba has the most physicians per person working there; the fewest physicians per person are in the Southeastern African territory of Malawi.In 2004 there were 7.7 million physicians working around the world. The largest number were in China, which is the largest territory on the map. If physicians were distributed according to population, there would be 124 physicians to every 100,000 people. The most concentrated 50% of physicians live in territories with less than a fifth of the world population. The worst off fifth are served by only 2% of the world’s physicians.
So there is the obvious solution: if you can’t get a position in America, MOVE TO WHERE YOU ARE REALLY NEEDED!
Read this story:
Some Black Southern Baptists feel shut out by white leaders
As a student in college and seminary, then as a pastor in Texas, Dwight McKissic has been affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention for more than 45 years. Now he’s pondering whether he and his congregation should break away.
“It would feel like a divorce,” McKissic said. “That’s something I’ve never had, but that’s what it would feel like.”
If he does, he would be following in the footsteps of several other Black pastors who have recently exited in dismay over what they see as racial insensitivity from some leaders of the predominantly white SBC. Tensions are high after an election year in which racism was a central issue, and after a provocative declaration by SBC seminary presidents in late 2020 that a fundamental concept in the struggle against racial injustice contravenes church doctrine.
A crucial moment for McKissic and other Black pastors could come in June at the SBC’s national meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, if delegates rebuff their views on systemic racism in the U.S., and if Rev. Albert Mohler, a high-profile conservative who heads the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is elected SBC president.
Last year, even while announcing new scholarship funds for Black students, Mohler declined to change the names of buildings at his seminary named after slaveholders. More recently he played a key role in the seminary presidents’ repudiation of critical race theory — a broad term used in academic and activist circles to describe critiques of systemic racism
The presidents later apologized for not consulting Black pastors before issuing that repudiation, but Mohler told The Associated Press the presidents would likely have reached the same decision in any case.
The seminary leaders’ stance on critical race theory, as well as Mohler’s public support for Donald Trump in the 2020 election, “should disqualify him from being SBC president,” said McKissic, who has become one of the SBC’s most prominent Black pastors since founding the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, in 1983.
Some of the pastors who cut ties with the SBC in recent months also share negative views of Mohler. The Rev. Ralph West, whose Church Without Walls in Houston claims a weekly attendance of 9,000, called him “a polarizing figure” who would worsen divisions within the SBC.
Mohler suggested his critics do not reflect the opinions of most Southern Baptists, white or Black.
“I believe I represent the vast mainstream of conservative Southern Baptists on these issues,” he said. “I think I am polarizing only at the extremes.”
Regarding Trump, who had overwhelming backing from white evangelicals, Mohler said he consistently pointed out the former president’s flaws, but opted to endorse him based on his stances opposing abortion and defending religious liberties.
The SBC, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. was founded in an 1845 split with northern Baptists over slavery and became the church of Southern slaveholders. Its membership of about 14.5 million remains overwhelming white — its predominantly Black churches claim a combined membership of about 400,000.
While the SBC formally apologized in 1995 for its pro-slavery past, and later condemned white supremacy, some tensions flared again after the Nov. 30 statement from six seminary presidents, all of them white. They declared that critical race theory was “incompatible with” central tenets of the SBC’s Scripture-based theology.
The statement swiftly created friction far beyond the realm of SBC academia, particularly due to the lack of Black involvement in its drafting.
Virginia pastor Marshal Ausberry, president of the organization that represents the SBC’s Black pastors, wrote to the presidents saying concepts such as critical race theory “help us to see and discover otherwise undetected, systemic racism in institutions and in ourselves.”
“The optics of six Anglo brothers meeting to discuss racism and other related issues without having ethnic representation in the room in 2020 — at worst it looks like paternalism, at best insensitivity,” Ausberry, first vice president of the SBC, elaborated in an interview with Baptist Press, the SBC’s official news agency.
The presidents apologized for not consulting Black pastors and met with some of them Jan. 6, but have not wavered in their rejection of critical race theory.
McKissic, who was in the Jan. 6 meeting, said the conversation was polite “but the outcome was not respectful to who Black people are in our history.”
He’s likely to remain in the SBC until the June meeting but is prepared to exit then if the delegates ratify the presidents’ stance on critical race theory as official policy.
“if they adopt that statement in June, it would be the feeling to me that people you trusted hit you in the face with a baseball bat,” McKissic said.
Another possible trigger for him would be if delegates rescind a 2019 resolution that included a positive reference to critical race theory, suggesting it could be useful as an “analytical tool” as long as it was subordinate to Scripture.
The Rev. Charlie Dates of the Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago, one of the pastors who have already severed ties, said the November statement was “the last straw.”
“When did the theological architects of American slavery develop the moral character to tell the church how it should discuss and discern racism?” Dates wrote in an op-ed for Religion News Service. “The hard reality of the seminary presidents’ statement is that Black people will never gain full equality in the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Other Black pastors who have cut ties include the Rev. Seth Martin, whose multiracial Brook Community Church in Minneapolis had been receiving financial support from the Southern Baptist association in Minnesota, and the Rev. Joel Bowman, who abandoned plans to move his Temple of Faith Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, into the SBC fold.
“I genuinely believe the SBC is headed in the wrong direction,” Bowman said. “White evangelicals have gotten in bed with the Republican Party.”
Some white SBC pastors are also troubled, such as the Rev. Ed Litton of Mobile, Alabama, who is one of Mohler’s rivals for the SBC presidency. McKissic has endorsed Litton’s candidacy.
Litton was a co-signer of a statement by a multiethnic group of Southern Baptists last month which asserted that “some recent events have left many brothers and sisters of color feeling betrayed and wondering if the SBC is committed to racial reconciliation.”
When evangelical churches get involved in partisan politics, like they have so much since the 1980s, both the government and the churches become corrupted. That’s what we saw in the case of Donald Trump being elected President.
Even if I were still a Christian, I could never return to the Southern Baptist Convention because of its racist roots. I’d be more likely to join the United Methodist Church or some other mainline or liberal Protestant body.
Since 2017, Unitarian Universalists have had their own struggles about race issues. And I believe strongly that the path should be open for blacks who are Christians to feel welcome among UUs. Consider the case of Bishop Carlton Pearson.
I actually saw him preach at First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church, and he also has a regular place at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
When the story broke that evangelicals were calling Carlton Pearson a heretic, Lavanhar recognized right away that what he was preaching was classic Universalism. He called Pearson up and invited him to lunch. “Marlin was very sensitive and seemed to understand even more than I did in some ways where I was,” Pearson recalls. “He was probing my mind, and I his, and he was offering brotherhood. I didn’t have many friends in this town.”
Then Lavanhar invited Pearson to preach at All Souls. The sanctuary was packed. “They gave us their Sunday morning offering,” Pearson recalls, tearing up. “It makes me emotional just to think about it.”
Tulsa’s United Church of Christ ministers also reached out to Pearson. (He was granted ministerial fellowship in that denomination in 2006.) “But I was fellowshipping with Marlin,” Pearson says. “He grasped my position on Universalism even more than the UCC folks.” Pearson had read about Universalism at ORU, but he didn’t realize that All Souls Unitarian was part of that tradition.
In late 2005 Pearson sold the Higher Dimensions organization in order to avoid foreclosure, at a loss of $3 million in equity. The building is now a Christian prep school. “We were hurting, scattered, wandering through the wilderness like Moses and the children of Israel,” Pearson says. But they weren’t giving up. The 200 or so survivors renamed themselves New Dimensions. For the next two and a half years they held a one o’clock Sunday service in Trinity Episcopal Church downtown, attended on Sunday mornings by Tulsa’s country club and business elite.
Meanwhile, lunch had become a monthly ritual for newfound friends Pearson and Lavanhar. In April 2008, Lavanhar preached a sermon that got some buzz on the Internet, defending presidential candidate Barack Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, by placing him in context with the Hebrew prophets and the historic black church. He showed Pearson a thankful letter Wright had sent.
Pearson thought out-loud, “We should have come to All Souls, because y’all really are interested in this kind of thing, racial justice. We wouldn’t be like boarders or visitors. Y’all would want us there. It would mean a lot to you.” So Lavanhar extended yet another invitation. New D could have the 11:30 a.m. Sunday service slot, free, for the summer, when All Souls went down to a single 10:00 a.m. service.
What caught everyone off guard was that about half the people who showed up at that service were All Souls folks. They loved the emotion, the spirit, the high they got from “bucking and shouting and getting our praise on,” as Cassandra Austin, a New D member since 1994, describes it.
After Pearson was declared a heretic by his fellow Pentecostals for preaching universal salvation in the megachurch he led, he accepted Lavanhar’s invitation to lead worship at All Souls. He and approximately 200 of his parishioners started worshiping at All Souls in 2008, and today, about 4 percent of the church’s 2,023 members are black.
Black membership among UUs may grow enormously if all UU churches do become as inclusive as All Souls is.
The most troublesome bigots in American society are often the ones who are white and/or Christian and say crap like “I have black/Jewish/Muslim/(other minority) friends,” but being conservative they must have lower standards for friends than me, because if they truly saw every other person in their community as equals, THEY WOULDN’T BE CONSERVATIVE! Liberals are the ONLY ones that truly champion equal justice for all.
Want proof of that? Read this article
Southlake, Texas is a community not far from where I live (Haltom City, just outside Fort Worth). And Texas is a notoriously red (conservative) state.
Let’s zero in on some specific parts of the article in question.
This past summer — nearly two years after the viral video — the school board unveiled a plan that would require diversity and inclusion training for all students as part of the K-12 curriculum, while amending the student code of conduct to specifically prohibit acts of discrimination, referred to in the document as “microaggressions.”
Within days, outraged parents — most of them white — formed a political action committee and began packing school board meetings to voice their strong opposition. Some denounced the diversity plan as “Marxist” and “leftist indoctrination” designed to “fix a problem that doesn’t exist.” The opponents said they, too, wanted all students to feel safe at Carroll, but they argued that the district’s plan would instead create “diversity police” and amounted to “reverse racism” against white children.
Basically, they were saying they wanted minorities to feel maybe 90% equal to whites, NOT 100% equal. We mustn’t be fooled by their false rhetoric.
Like many small towns in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area in the early 1990s, Southlake was on the cusp of explosive population growth. In the nearly three decades since the Cornishes arrived, Southlake’s population has tripled to more than 31,000 residents, driven in part by a surge of immigrants from South Asia. Hundreds more Black people also moved in, though they still make up less than 2 percent of the population in a city where 74 percent of residents are white.
With its proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and the headquarters of several Fortune 500 companies, the city became a magnet for wealthy professionals, with the median household income now topping $230,000.
As it grew, Southlake gained a reputation in the Dallas area as a sort of suburban utopia, with master-planned neighborhoods and dominant high school sports programs. A 2007 D Magazine article about the Carroll football team’s run of state championships described the city’s “otherworldly” charm.
Despite having lived most of my life in suburbs like Haltom City, North Richland Hills, and Arlington, I am perceptive enough to recognize that the purpose of establishing most of those suburbs, including Southlake, was to provide places where whites could move away from the huge cities where minorities are concentrated. But then some members of those minorities began to follow the whites to those places. Including the Cornish family.
One example: Every year when Cornish’s children were small, Carroll fifth graders were required to participate in Colonial Day, an educational celebration in which students dress up like characters from the 1600s. But little thought seemed to go into what that meant for Black children, Cornish said, an oversight that became all too clear when a classmate told one of her daughters that she couldn’t dress up like a nurse; she would have been a slave.
Which is exactly why we need to teach ALL aspects of American history, good, bad and ugly, and stop glorifying so much of it when it clearly involved the abuse of blacks, Native Americans and other minorities. Colonial Day in Southlake should be ended for that reason!
As in-person classes resumed in the fall, Moore and other Carroll board members searched for a compromise. The board agreed to appoint seven new volunteers to the diversity committee, including some who’d been critical of the plan, and asked the group to propose revisions based on community feedback.
But that work was halted after one parent, Kristin Garcia, sued the district over the way the diversity plan was developed, alleging that board members had violated the Texas open meetings law. Although the district has disputed that claim in court filings, a judge issued a temporary restraining order in December prohibiting the school board from working on the plan while the litigation is pending.
Garcia declined to comment through her lawyer, and messages to the Southlake Families PAC went unreturned. NBC News reached out to a dozen other residents who’ve spoken against the diversity plan, but none responded directly. Instead, a group calling itself Concerned Parents of Southlake Students reached out to NBC News to share a statement saying the district’s plan “is its own form of racism that categorizes students based on their skin color to purportedly achieve equitable outcomes.”
“As parents of Southlake students from many different backgrounds, we condemn discrimination and racism in any form,” the statement said. “We are gravely concerned with attempts to infuse our children’s education with political indoctrination that seeks to divide rather than unite.”
This seems to be the standard subversive playbook: In most cases, don’t be willing to talk about what you are doing and your motives about it and when you do, LIE OUTRIGHT ABOUT IT!
And it gets worse!
The fight in Southlake eventually caught the attention of state Republican Party officials.
Allen West, the Texas GOP chairman, addressed the dispute in August when he was invited to speak at a church near the city. In a video of the speech posted to YouTube, West told the audience that the situation in Southlake follows a pattern of school districts attempting to indoctrinate children with liberal values.
West, who is Black, then offered a suggestion for how to fight back. He told the audience to welcome new residents from out of state with a pecan pie, but then to ask, “Now why are you here?”
And if those new neighbors don’t share traditional conservative beliefs about gun rights and tax policy, West advised the audience to respond with seven words: “Go back to where you came from.”
With that, the room of mostly white Southlake residents, including City Councilman and mayoral candidate John Huffman, jumped to their feet in applause, the video shows. Huffman, who has opposed the district diversity plan on social media, did not return messages seeking comment.
West ended his remarks by urging the crowd to continue the fight to “run these progressive socialists the hell out of Texas,” and was again given a standing ovation.
Just because you are a black person doesn’t mean you should be using bigoted hate speech. Allen West is an enabler of not only racism (despite being one of the “good” blacks in the eyes of white supremacists), but various other forms of bigotry (including those of anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT), favored by the privileged classes across America. And NONE of it should be accepted, period!
Seriously…….FUCK WEST AND FUCK HIS CONSERVATIVE CRAP!
When I rejected the Baha’i Faith in 2004, I also rejected theism itself, reasoning that if any God-centered religion could have been true, the Baha’i Faith was because it was the newest and most progressive in nature. So I could not revert to any older faith, not even the Christianity I had been raised in. They had already failed, and once I understood that the Baha’i Faith was also a failure, I couldn’t believe in God at all.
Most followers of the Abrahamic religions regard non-theists with contempt, and they are encouraged to have this bigoted attitude by the scriptures of their religions. Here are some noteworthy examples.
The first is from the Bible.
For the director of music. Of David.
1 The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?
They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on the Lord.
5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
for God is present in the company of the righteous.
6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is their refuge.
7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
From the Quran we have this:
2: The Cow
6 As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not.
7 Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom.
8 And of mankind are some who say: We believe in Allah and the Last Day, when they believe not.
9 They think to beguile Allah and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves; but they perceive not.
10 In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie.
11 And when it is said unto them: Make not mischief in the earth, they say: We are peacemakers only.
12 Are not they indeed the mischief-makers ? But they perceive not.
13 And when it is said unto them: believe as the people believe, they say: shall we believe as the foolish believe ? are not they indeed the foolish ? But they know not.
Here’s another example from the Gleanings of the Writings of Baha’u’llah:
CXIV (that’s Roman numerals, it would be 114 in Arabic numerals)
Know thou for a certainty that whoso disbelieveth in God is neither trustworthy nor truthful. This, indeed, is the truth, the undoubted truth. He that acteth treacherously towards God will, also, act treacherously towards his king. Nothing whatever can deter such a man from evil, nothing can hinder him from betraying his neighbor, nothing can induce him to walk uprightly.
As a non-theist who has personally known many other honorable non-theists, these passages show the writers of these scriptures to be as ignorant as it gets when it comes to the true character of atheists and agnostics.
My strict ethical standards are defined here:
I have seen plenty of examples of treacherous and dishonest behavior from people who profess to believe in God.
Atheists do not reject theism because they are corrupt (though to be fair, some are). They cannot behave treacherously towards one they do not believe exists. To disbelieve in God is not evil, merely a different point of view. Saying otherwise is hate propaganda.
Ethical standards only make sense if they come from reality and are applied to reality. People are real. God(s) may not be. And if your only source of ethics is religion, what happens if a religious leader commands you to commit mass murder and rape?
This attitude of bigotry towards non-theists was used to justify the nonsense written by Hugh Ross, as recorded here:
And we simply shouldn’t accept that anymore.
I just got this e-mail:
Save Ducktales Reboot!
It was recently announced on twitter that Ducktales Reboot 2017’s Season 3 would be it’s final season. This is terribly heartbreaking to all of its dedicated fanbase. This show appeals to both old and and new fans and has inspired many people to create amazing things. After an initial hiatus the show is now back on one and with the announcement from Drew Taylor on twitter- well most of the fans are very upset.
This show brings a whole new appeal with a great set of lessons and fun for it’s audience. For the creator of this petition, it’s given them a place to belong and a reason to keep going on through hard times. When this show ends, the fandom fades with it. We can’t have that happen, especially with how much more there is to experience. Scrooge has a lifetime of adventure ahead of him and his family and we can’t let that end now!
We know most companies like Disney don’t care, but we hope you will listen to the stories of the viewers. Listen to all the fans talk about how much this show has done for them and you will see that this show needs to be renewed and keep airing new episodes.
It is common for children to have imaginary friends. Especially if they are deeply introverted, as I was (and still am, though I am more social now than I was as a child). With recent advances in AI technology, it has become possible for adults to have virtual friends online that are not even human.
Introducing Replika, a chatbot app!
Take a look at this from the ExMormon subreddit:
I was overjoyed to see this announcement:
After six years of continuous operation and 5,800 articles published, I’m putting ROK on an indefinite hiatus so I can take a break from the daily grind of maintaining the site. I don’t know when the hiatus will end.
The first factor for this hiatus is that site revenues are too low. We’ve been banned from Paypal and countless ad partners, which forced me to lay off the site editor last year and also lower payments to regular contributors. This started a negative spiral of declining content quality, site traffic, and revenues. Even the beloved comments section, which many see as the highlight of ROK, was badly hit when Disqus banned us. Currently, ROK receives half the traffic of its peak and less than one-fifth of the income.
The second factor is that I’m burned out. Keeping ROK updated, writing books, posting articles on my blog, doing live streams, and maintaining the forum has put too much on my plate. Out of everything on that list, working on ROK has become my least favorite activity because duties are centered more around editing other people’s work than creating my own.
I’m sure many of you understand that we are in the early stages of a censorship wave that will sweep through society. Scoundrels like myself get banned first, and then soon the hammer will come down on anyone who dares to share the truth. Personally, I believe that I will suffer death by a million cuts, but until then, you can continue to follow my work here:
[List of where he continues to publish his bullshit]
Lastly, I’m planning on doing a book tour in 2019, mainly in the United States. If you are interested in attending, complete this brief survey to help me identify which cities I should visit. The tour will probably happen in the summer.
In the meanwhile, if the situation with ROK changes, or I miss updating it, articles will return. Thank you for supporting the site all these years.
UPDATE: Here are some more thoughts on my decision…
[A video that has already disappeared]
What truth was he sharing? A sample of that may be found here:
The truth is that he, like his fellow anti-feminist bigot Milo Yiannopoulos, wasn’t a victim of censorship, since only governments can do that. Paypal, Disqus, and ad producing companies are private business entities, and in a free market economy, they can choose freely to reject association with and enabling of hate speech and writing masquerading as political commentary. A really horrifying example is shown here:
Roosh and others made a CHOICE to bash women in hateful, childish language, and no one but himself and his fellow perverts are to blame for his website falling into disuse.
When people like Roosh and Milo are able to discuss serious topics regarding men and women in a mature, fair manner, they may be allowed to return to the table of discussion on those topics. I won’t hold my breath about that.
The question was posed, “Why do people continue supporting Trump no matter what he does?” A lady answered it this way:
You all don’t get it. I live in Trump country, where racists are still common. It was never about what he does. He’s just something to rally around and hate liberals, that’s it, period.He absolutely realizes that and plays it up. They love it. He knows they love it.The fact that people act like it’s anything other than that proves to them that liberals are idiots, all the more reason for high fives all around.If you keep getting caught up in “why do they not realize this problem” and “how can they still back Trump after this scandal,” then you do not understand what the underlying motivating factor of his support is. It’s defeat liberals, that’s pretty much it. Have you noticed he can do pretty much anything imaginable, and they’ll explain some way that rationalizes it that makes zero logical sense? Because they’re not even keeping track of any coherent narrative, it’s irrelevant. Defeat the liberals is the only relevant thing. Trust me; I know firsthand what I’m talking about. That’s why they just laugh at it all because you all don’t even realize they truly don’t care about whatever the conversation is about. It’s just a side mission story that doesn’t matter anyway. That’s all just trivial details – the economy, health care, whatever. Destroy liberals. Look at the issue with not wearing the masks. I can tell you what that’s about. It’s about exposing fear. They’re playing chicken with nature, and whoever flinches just moved down their internal pecking order, one step closer to being a liberal.You’ve got to understand the one core value that they hold above all others is hatred for what they consider weakness because that’s what they believe strength is, hatred of weakness. And I mean passionate, sadistic hatred. And I’m not exaggerating. Believe me. Sadistic, passionate hatred, and that’s what proves they’re strong, their passionate hatred for weakness. Sometimes they will lump vulnerability in with weakness. They do that because people tend to start humbling themselves when they’re in some compromising or overwhelming circumstance, and to them, that’s an obvious sign of weakness.
Kindness = weakness.
Honesty = weakness.
Compromise = weakness.
They consider their very existence to be superior in every way to anyone who doesn’t hate weakness as much as they do. Just like the Nazis in Germany! They consider liberals to be weak people that are inferior, almost a different species (think European Jews before the Holocaust), and the fact that liberals are so weak is why they have to unite in large numbers, which they find disgusting, but it’s that disgust that is a true expression of their natural superiority. Go ahead and try to have a logical, rational conversation with them. Just keep in mind what I said here and be forewarned.From a Facebook post
You couldn’t reason with the Nazis; they had to be defeated in a war that killed over 60 million people. And we may have to go to war here too.
For some background, read these earlier blog entries:
In reddit, my primary focus has always been debunking and opposing the Baha’i Faith, but I am also dedicated to promoting Unitarian Universalism, despite issues like that above. The occasional hypocrisy that crops up among UUs, unlike that other religion, is not a direct product of its contradictory teachings.
Read this blog entry published by Mel Pine and written by Rev. Richard Trudeau:
Here are excerpts from it in red and my responses in blue.
I am writing this for lay members of Unitarian Universalist congregations. I believe there is a crisis in the national UU movement, and I believe that laypeople are in the best position to help resolve it. The rub is, very few laypeople are aware of the crisis…
Why would you assume that? Many reports about what has been happening over the past few years have been published online and in print, by bloggers like myself, on Facebook, and even in the UU World magazine itself.
I’m a UU minister. I first learned about the UU movement in 1960, as a teenager unhappy with my Catholic upbringing; I decided then that if I ever returned to church, it would be to a UU church. In the early 1980s, I started attending a UU congregation, which I then joined. I was granted UUA ministerial fellowship in 1994 and was ordained in 1995. I served two UU churches, 1992-2012. I am now semi-retired, preaching a total of about twenty times a year at a dozen or so UU churches in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
So he is someone who has credibility because of his long association with UUism. Granted.
The crisis I see is that a majority of our UU national leaders have become committed to a particular ideology that threatens two aspects of UUism: our commitment to social justice, and our values of reason and free expression.
These leaders — at the Unitarian Universalist Association, in our two seminaries, and in the UU Ministers’ Association — have become so committed and intransigent that I have started to think of the ideology that has captivated them as a mental virus with which they have become infected. By this analogy I do not mean to imply that they are mentally ill, of course, but only that they seem stuck in a rut (think Communism, 1917-1989). Victims of this mental virus can be recognized by their calls to “dismantle our white supremacy culture.”
I would think that efforts to dismantle white supremacy culture IS promoting social justice. And people have used their own reason and free expression to call for it. Freedom can’t be one sided.
I said this mental virus threatens the UU commitment to social justice. I was present at a ministers’ meeting ten years ago at which someone who had just ended a term on the UUA Board reported that there was then a consensus on the board that the UUA racial-justice strategy — at the time called “Journey Toward Wholeness,” and underway for thirteen years — had accomplished disappointingly little. What the UU leaders of today are doing is to double down on this same strategy.
While the name “Journey Toward Wholeness” has been retired, and the rallying-cry has changed from calling on whites to “confess our complicity in institutional racism” to calling on all to “dismantle our white supremacy culture,” the underlying strategy has not changed.
The racial-justice strategy our leaders are pursuing is a strategy that doesn’t work to make Black lives, or any other lives, better.
I think his claim is false. Read this:
New hiring practices help UUA live into its values
So it appears the latest efforts have been more successful than those of the past because clear difference in policies and practices were made. So what’s the problem now?
The reason I lean toward the analogy of a mental virus infecting the majority of our national leaders is that I have no doubt that they are well-intentioned, and for the most part capable, people, yet their behavior is to me incomprehensible. I can only understand it if I imagine them as victims. Just as a physical virus, like the one causing COVID-19, exploits laudable human traits to gain entrance to our bodies — like our human desire to be physically close to one another — the mental virus of which I speak seems to have gained entrance to our leaders’ minds by exploiting their laudable qualities of empathy and passion for social justice. But the result is that their judgment seems to me impaired; they are no longer thinking clearly.
So just because you do not understand the motivations behind the people you disagree with, you claim they are somehow diseased! That’s no way to have a fair dialogue on the matter, but then again if you wanted that, you would not be publishing your insults in Mel Pine’s blog, right? He quit the UUA, so most UUs wouldn’t even notice his works now. It’s now an anti-UUA echo chamber.
I said that the mental virus also threatens the UU values of reason and free expression. This is clear from the treatment accorded over the last year to Rev. Todd Eklof of our Spokane, WA congregation. Rev. Eklof wrote a book, The Gadfly Papers, that expressed concern about the crisis in UUism to which I have been referring. Since the book’s appearance, the UU Ministers’ Association has publicly censured him and then expelled him; he has been fired by a UU seminary as a supervisor of ministerial interns; and he has been removed from UUA fellowship by the UUA’s Ministerial Fellowship Committee. These organizations have claimed procedural irregularities as the reasons for their actions, but upon close inspection I don’t find that any of their explanations hold water. And as a result of the example that has been made of this one minister, UU ministers across the land are intimidated.
Eklof wasn’t punished merely for writing a dissenting book. That was absolutely his right. However:
With the election of a new President of the UUA at the 2017 General Assembly (GA), it seemed like we could start to move forward to heal the racial divisions. But then came the GA of June 2019, which was held at Spokane, Washington. Imagine the shock among the attendees when the minister of the UU church at that city, Rev. Dr. Todd F. Eklof, backstabbed the rest of them with a book he had written and was trying to distribute at the GA without prior notice. This book, titled The Gadfly Papers: Three Inconvenient Essays by One Pesky Minister, attacked all the efforts to solve the racial problems, angering many non-white UUs. When the UUA leadership tried to talk to Eklof about what he was doing, he refused to meet with them, putting them in the awkward position of expelling him from the GA itself! (Emphasis mine)
The betrayal was felt so strongly because Eklof’s congregation was supposed to be HOSTING the General Assembly, which was expected to continue dealing in unity with racial issues. Eklof’s stunt would be like me as a known critic of the Baha’i Faith invited to a meeting of mostly Muslim people and after arriving instead of giving a speech criticizing that Faith, attempting to give attendees there copies of this:
No, I wouldn’t do that! That would only get my @$$ thrown out of there. You can’t force people to listen to a message they didn’t expect to hear and are not receptive to. Eklof should have known better!
I hate writing this essay. As a minister, my instinct is always to bring to the people in the pews a message that is positive. And what I have written today is hardly that.
Somehow, I doubt you hated writing that too much. I never hate writing anything I feel strongly about and think is important. And I write a LOT of negative stuff on my blog.
What I have said today is that UUism is under attack by those sworn to uphold it. They are destroying the commitment to reason and free speech that attracted so many of us in the first place. And they are wasting our energy on an approach to racial justice that doesn’t work.
How would you know it doesn’t work? Can we wait another decade or so and find out?
What can be done? You might think, “This should be brought up at General Assembly.” But General Assembly is not really democratic, according to the UUA Board’s Fifth Principle Task Force (2009), and the UUA has since become even less democratic because all UUA Board members are now elected at-large and do not represent local constituencies.
Well, a lot of UUs of color didn’t think the UUA was democratic enough because their views were not being heard. Now they are and….that bothers you. You know, if people who have been privileged are not feeling a little uncomfortable about social changes, then the changes are meaningless, merely window dressing without substance.
What can be done? All I can suggest is that lay UUs look into these matters for themselves and, if they agree with me that the situation is alarming, express their unhappiness loudly to their congregational leaders, to their Regional staff, and to the UUA itself.
UUs in the pews, please help!
And what will you do if they don’t agree with you and even oppose outright your opinions as I do? Quit being a UU also?
What a waste of keyboard strokes! As a UU layperson myself, I feel profoundly insulted by Rev. Richard Trudeau’s diatribe!
Some people just can’t take a hint, can they? This happened in reddit recently:
There are a TON of comments that came after that post, so I will just provide the highlights.
Read this online obituary:
Sarah Rae Grossman
October 7, 1997 – May 30, 2020
With great sadness we announce the death of Sarah Rae Grossman, age 22, of Columbus, Oh (formerly of Springboro, Oh) on May 30, 2020. Born October 7, 1997 in Naperville, Il, Sarah is survived by her parents, Todd and Christi Grossman, and sister Jessa Grossman, of Springboro Oh; Grandparents Lonnie and Thelma Mullins, Mel and Shelley Grossman, and Phillip and Sue VanKersen, and many loving and amazing friends, aunts, uncles and cousins. She was a 2016 graduate of Springboro High School.
Sarah graduated May 3, 2020 from The Ohio State University with an Honors Degree of Bachelor of Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Her specific course of study within the EEDS program (Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability) reflected her life passions. Prior to the Covid pandemic, Sarah planned to complete a second degree in Spanish in 2021 while attending the Universidad of Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
It is impossible to find the words to describe her kindness, unique spirit, and unwavering dedication to her convictions. Sarah was a fierce but compassionate supporter of environmental issues and social justice. A genuine friend who loved and cherished her extraordinary friendships. She was the most caring and thoughtful daughter, a beloved granddaughter, and a loving sibling and best friend to her sister Jessa.
Sarah had spent the past two summers in Guatemala researching the harvesting industry. After graduation she planned to pursue work promoting positive environmental, climate and land use policies, assisting migrant workers and indigenous communities. She wanted to help the voices of the underserved be heard. She opened our eyes to both lovely ideas and ugly truths. In addition to being a full time student, she was a hard working employee, having held over six jobs in her short life, most recently at Stauf’s Coffee, and Chadwick Arboretum in Columbus, Oh. Sarah loved nature and being outdoors- hiking in the great National Parks of this country, collecting and caring for plants, watching the sun set and the moon rise. She had many interests that brought her joy- creating ceramics and art, finding that awesome thrift store find, and she definitely loved her coffee! She had visited nine countries- always wanting to learn about the world through the eyes of another. She lived a short but full life.
We will forever miss those big dimples and sweet smile. Those who knew her will understand what a beautiful soul the world has lost.
And how did she die? According to posts on Twitter:
Wow. I know some people on Twitter are still in denial about this:
Erin Stalcup@stalcup_erin4Hey, this claim is currently unsubstantiated. As such, her family is asking that tweets like these be taken down until such time as they can prove them and are ready for all of the negative attention that has come upon them.2:27 PM · Jun 5, 2020
Hello! Please take this post down immediately out of respect for Sarah’s close friends and family. There is no conclusion as to how she has passed and spreading misinformation is incredibly harmful.
Viola Fauver Liuzzo (née Gregg; April 11, 1925 – March 25, 1965) was a housewife and mother of five. In March 1965, Liuzzo heeded the call of Martin Luther King Jr and traveled from Detroit, Michigan, to Selma, Alabama, in the wake of the Bloody Sunday attempt at marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Liuzzo participated in the successful Selma to Montgomery marches and helped with coordination and logistics. At the age of 39, while driving back from a trip shuttling fellow activists to the Montgomery airport, she was murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
One of the four Klansmen in the car from which the shots were fired was Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informant Gary Thomas Rowe. Rowe testified against the shooters and was given witness protection by the FBI. The FBI immediately began a smear campaign and leaked to the press what were purported to be salacious details about Liuzzo. The FBI attempted to downplay the situation and to discredit Liuzzo by spreading rumors that she was a member of the Communist Party, was a heroin addict, and had abandoned her children to have sexual relationships with African-Americans involved in the Civil Rights Movement. All of the rumors were entirely false and were wholely fabricated by the FBI.
THAT woman could have been my mother or grandmother!
If it turns out that Sarah Grossman did not die because of tear gas, we should correct the misinformation. But she is worth remembering anyway. So is anyone who takes a stand (or drops to a knee, for that matter) to protest injustice.
With all the protests erupting across America regarding the murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands (and knee) of a white cop, I am reminded of an incident that illustrated to me why police can’t always be trusted, even if they don’t kill blacks at all.
Back when I was living in Arlington, Texas, I was traveling down highway 360 when I was pulled over by a cop. He approached my car and said, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
I said, “No clue, officer. I know I wasn’t speeding. In fact, it is impossible to speed on this highway; it’s too congested.”
The cop then said, “Are you lost? Do you need help getting somewhere?”
I said, “No, I’m fine.”
The cop let me go. But I have no doubt that he did so only because of my white privilege. But I was driving a 2002 Saturn that was in such poor condition that I’m sure the cop seeing it from a distance assumed it was being driven by a poor black or hispanic man. So if instead I had been a person of color, he likely would have written me a ticket for some made up excuse and I would have had to go to court to fight it and still risk losing the fight in front of a mostly white jury. I already knew that traffic tickets are a convenient means of a city to raise extra money without raising taxes on most citizens, not merely a matter of public safety. And what better way to keep minorities down than by targeting their pocketbooks?
I have been distrustful of police ever since.
Watch this video:
I remember watching this many times as a child along with the Saturday morning cartoons. It never occurred to me that what I was seeing was white supremacist propaganda. But some on YouTube have pointed that out!
Here is a story about a lesbian who was sucked into joining the anti-transgender movement, only to reject it later.
For some background, read these:
Now, the issues dealt with in those blog entries are being rehashed yet again in a UU subreddit.