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lees1975's Journal
lees1975's Journal
July 31, 2023

Anti-Wokeness is going backward, and it undermines Democratic values.


I had it pounded into me all during my education, and in discussions with family and friends ever since. It's the assertion that America was founded on "Christian values," and the founders desired to create a "Christian nation."

Books have been written about the truth, or the lack of provable evidence, that this is the case. There's no question that there was a Christian influence on the founding fathers, since some of them were practicing Christians, and so were many Americans. But there's no evidence to support this contention in any of the record they left behind when they were putting together the constitution.

What has come to be called "Woke," in the African-American English vernacular, while it may simply be based on observations of the shortcomings of our society and culture, is most definitely compatible with the core foundational principles of Christianity. This piece points that out. And if that's the case, then being Anti-Woke would undermine Christian values and principles, wouldn't it?

So Ron Desantis, and anyone else who thinks that this country should be politically anti-woke, is inconsistently underming the very "Christian nation" idealism that they claim is part of our history and heritage. You can't have it both ways.

Where does anything Desantis spouts, or Trump and his supporters, or any Republican for that matter, exhibit any of the virtues that are found at the core of the Christian gospel? They seem to be making this up as they go along.
July 31, 2023

Here are some virtues and values identifying people who are Woke


The term "woke" has, in a very short period of time, come to define a sense of awareness of bigotry and prejudice aimed at people who are racial, ethnic, social, religious, economic or cultural minorities among the population at large. It is an adjective, derived from African American vernacular English, meaning "aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues, especially issues of racial and social justice."

That definition has expanded and is used by right wing political extremists to define "politically liberal, as in matters of social or racial justice, in a way that is considered unreasonable or extreme." And so it has worked its way into right wing political criticism of anything or anyone that exhibits such an awareness and is active in promoting any kind of social or racial justice.

Long read, but worth it in the end.
July 30, 2023

Republicans are controlling the narrative with silly distractions.


The GOP is grabbing headlines and media time in huge chunks with ridiculous and idiotic antics that would be more effectively ignored, instead of covering up media coverage of what is turning out to be the single most effective Presidency since Frankiln D. Roosevelt. We got a two minute sound byte on Biden's recent trip to Maine to tout his economic success, infrastructure bill and we have been subjected to hour long blocks of arguments against Desantis very wrong claim that slavery provided slaves with beneficial skills.

We have the most successful economy in at least two generations. But we are hearing very little about it in the mainstream media. Even the one cable news outlet that can be considered to be favorable, or at least, fair in its reporting on Democrats and on the Biden Administration keeps the narrative on Trump, Trump, Trump. And if the focus isn't on him, or on the moribund "race" among multiple GOP wannabees, which is not news because it's going nowhere, it's on some silly, ridiculously racist bigotry or attack on civil rights by Ron Desantis, or the dead horse of impeaching the President, which has no chance at all of succeeding. Or the Hunter Biden nothingburger, which has nothing to do with current presidential politics except to underline Joe Biden's refusal to practice nepotism on behalf of his son.

And when I say no chance of succeeding, I mean, it won't ever get past the house, even with its slim GOP majority. Watch and see. They have no issue on which they can debate, or even offer an alternatie plan, so they are resorting to whatever gets them headlines. And it's working.

July 27, 2023

Texas Republican-dominated legislature repeals water break law in the middle of a heat wave.


This is absolutely unbelievable. I can't imagine who could possibly benefit from this kind of ridiculous idiocy.

You can't make this stuff up, and you sure can't fix stupid.

July 27, 2023

The wheels of justice can move quickly.


We have a political party in this country that is pouring effort, support, and millions of its dollars, into an effort to completely change reality. Part of the blame for that happening is the laziness and lack of interest in political affairs that is a disease in the United States, where we take going into a voting booth so much for granted that experiencing the consequences of having done that is still baffling and defying expectations. Fascism is staring us in the face, much more obvious than it was in the 1930's in Europe, but it seems we recognize it even less than the Europeans did back then. It's even using a lot of the same methodology and tools that it once did.

We're still a constitutional democracy, and we must do whatever that permits us to do to preserve it, protect it and keep it working for us. A big part of that is holding our leaders accountable, and make them realize who it is that they are serving, and for whom they are working. No matter who it is or how rich they are or how powerful they are, they must respect the law and they are subject to equal justice under it. Even those with whom we share political convictions in the same party need to understand they are accountable to we, the people. Democrats expect honesty and give trust. This is the issue of the day and the means to address it was given to us in the Constitition by the founding fathers.

So use it.
July 26, 2023

How the intersection of right wing politics with Evangelical Christian faith is leading to apostasy.


The Signal Press continues its commitment to exposing the undermining and misuse of Christian faith for political purposes.

Inside the nation's largest Evangelical denomination, the former President of its Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission was viciously attacked and vilified by individuals in a conservative faction in a manner that caused him physical symptoms because of the stress and threats to his family. Was it because he was some kind of liberal wolf in sheep's clothing? No, Dr. Russell Moore's credentials as a Southern Baptist minister, seminary professor and journalist were impeccable from a conservative perspective.

So what did he do wrong?
His Christian faith caused him to be openly and vocally opposed to the candidacy of Donald Trump for president, a position that he has consistently held in the face of criticism.

He initiated a program within the ERLC to help churches understand, have compassion for and minister to the needs of women in their membership who are victims of sexual abuse by their pastor or other church clergy.

He advocated for Christians to sponsor and house Syrian refugees from the civil war in that country.

He encouraged the parents of gays and lesbians not to shun their children, or put them out on the street, but said that the key for them is to love them.

He vocally opposed states flying the confederate flag following the Charleston mass shooting, saying, "The cross and the confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting fire to the other."

And, he argued for Baptists to hold to their traditional interpretation of separation of church and state, advocated by early American Baptists John Leland, Isaac Backus and Jeremiah Moore.

That was too woke for the conservatives in the SBC. So they attacked him. He resigned at the end of his term. And now, he is editor in chief of Christianity Today.

The influence of right wing politics, which have become pretty extreme by any definition of the term, is leading many Christians into apostasy. There's a combination of reasons at work here, one of them being a lack of trust in the power of God to resolve issues that conservative Evangelicals see as symptoms of worldliness, sin and evil. Rather, it's a lack of trust that God will do things that they want to see done, mainly punishing those that they consider enemies.

I have a hard time believing that someone like Ted Cruz is as oblivious to the provisions of religious liberty and freedom of conscience found in the first amendment as some of his proposals, used to pander to the ignorant, seem to indicate. Cruz knows exactly what is in the first amendment, and it does not suit those whose Christian nationalist beliefs compel them to make everyone who isn't their kind of Christian a subservient, second class citizen. The conservative Evangelicals who have picked up the Christian nationalist narrative are leading their churches into apostasy, a departure from doctrine and theology found in the gospel of Jesus, and indeed, a complete departure from everything Jesus believed, taught, and by which he lived his life.

July 24, 2023

The divide in American Christianity over right wing politics is deep.


And it is a danger to the conservative, Evangelical churches who are now losing members in the millions. It is an even bigger danger to American Constitutional Democracy.

Americans who are politically liberal, and who tend to be religiously unaffiliated or not directly involved in a Christian church, can sometimes be dismissive of something they've resolved in their own minds, and which they now see as having developed from a major nuisance to a danger to American democracy itself. If it is, indeed, that much of a danger, then being dismissive isn't going to resolve the issue, nor will it be of much benefit in confronting the problem and solving it...

...None of the Republicans who have served as President since Jerry Falwell and James Robison brought Reagan into the fold with their endorsement in 1980 have been Evangelical in the practice of their Christian faith. As it turns out, Reagan, according to Nancy's statements about it after his dementia set in and his death, was involved in New Age religion, considered a cult by Evangelicals. Bush Senior was a liberal Episcopalian, a weak, wishy-washy President pushed around by stronger elements in the GOP, resentful of much of what they made him do. Dubya was a member of a liberal Methodist church, in spite of "knowing the lingo," did not share a lot of conservative theology and doctrine with conservative Evangelicals. Trump is just a more worldly, unethical, morally bankrupt character whose lack of knowledge of anything having to do with Christian faith is obvious and visible.

But having strong Christian credentials and setting a strong Christian example doesn't matter. Conservative Evangelicals have invented a thousand convolutions to get around Biblical instruction and Christian principle when it comes to their embrace of right wing extremism as their political expression. They do not see the inconsistency of this, and, as Rick Pidcock points out, it is driving the sincere, genuine Christians whose convictions and faith practice are governed by the gospel of Christ, out of the church. And it has caused the disillusion of two generations of young Americans who have turned away completely from any interest in Christian faith, and made many of them hostile to the conservative, Evangelical version of it.
July 22, 2023

Trump's Politics causing an exodus of members from evangelical churches


"What if evangelicalism's allegiance to Trump has simply been the catalyst that gave us the courage to walk out under the stars?"--Rick Pidcock, freelance writer, graduate of Bob Jones University, Northern Seminary who counts himself as a "never attender."

There is nothing in Christian faith and practice, no supporting scripture references, no tradition or traditional teaching, no part of the gospel of Jesus Christ itself, that reconciles the political support given by conservative, Evangelical Christians to Donald Trump. Support of his candidacy and Presidency by this group, characterized by claimed belief in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible, leading to a literal interpretation of its content, is an inconsistency that undermines Christianity altogether, and is explainable only by the cultural influences that occur when extremist right wing politics merges, and overtakes, conservative, Evangelical faith practice.

But, while support for Trump is abhorrent to those Christians who are taking the exit ramp from church as a result of it, that doesn't necessarily mean the political support will change. Listening to a talk show this morning, a commenter said she wasn't going to vote for Trump, but she couldn't vote for Biden, either. What that tells me is that there's a gap in the message. Nothing Biden has said or done would be contrary to someone's Christian convictions, but sometimes that has been so tightly wound up in politics that there's no separating the two.
July 22, 2023

Recent Monmouth poll shows a wide Biden lead over Trump, which gets wider with a Manchin candidacy.


None of the 24 hour cable news media outlets have been trumpeting this most recent Monmouth poll, like they did a couple of weeks back when Trump picked up a point or two in an obscure poll with 800 responses. This one shows two things--a Biden lead that is just about what we've thought it has been all along, outside the margin of error and reflective of the orange headed buffoon's high level of unpopularity that keeps creeping upward. And, for all the handwringing Democrats have done over Joe Manchin flirting with a third-party candidacy, Biden's lead widens over Trump if Manchin is included in the choices.

Of course it does. Manchin has spent two years courting conservative West Virginia voters to try for a third term in the Senate. He's not getting Democrats nor is he getting much independent support, since two thirds of them are left of where he is. He's a more viable choice for moderate Republicans who will vote along party loyalty lines, but who are hoping and fervently praying that Trump will stumble and fall, and not win the nomination so they can finally be rid of this albatross around the party's neck.

And with Trump now the bulls eye of the January 6th investigation, and with indictments ready to rain down once again, we're about to see this go in a good direction for this country. There's clearly a big wall building against Trump's ability to use his candidacy as a shield against prosecution. If Democrats are lucky, the timing of all of this will also leave a lot of Republicans in Congress with the residue of their failure to stand up for the rule of law, and a blue wave that is building will become a real tsunami.
July 22, 2023

Are Americans finally getting it? Where's the news media focus on this recent Monmouth poll?


A new Monmouth poll, released this week, shows Biden with a significant lead, head to head, against Trump, and, surprise! It shows his lead increasing when Joe Manchin is included as a third party candidate.

The President has strong support within his own party, and no other candidate has anything anywhere near what they will need to qualify for a debate appearance. If Manchin runs on some sort of third party candidacy, it will be the very end of his political career. He has to weight whether or not he has a better chance at winning back his senate seat, odds of which are 50-50 at best right now, though he does have a slight lead in the polls over his best known potential challenger. Either way, Democrats don't have to worry nearly as much about a third party candidacy by Manchin as they would from one on the left, along the lines of Stein's misguided and disastrous run in 2016. Manchin activity in the senate these past two years has been aimed at gaining support from West Virginia conservatives, so he's not going to pull many votes from Democrats. He sunk his chances at that with his record these past two years.

Indictments are finally raining down around the failed former President 45, and it appears that the bulls eye of January 6th indictments is about to be hit with more of them in a court environment much less favorable to the Orange-headed buffoon. He is getting smacked down in efforts to use his candidacy as a shield from prosecution, an argument that is getting tiresome and weary, and is, in my opinion, one of the reasons why an increasing number of Americans don't want to see him as a candidate for any elected office again.

I'm optimistic enough, at this point, to think we are going to get our wish.

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Current location: Chicago, Illinois
Member since: Wed Dec 25, 2019, 12:02 AM
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