I'll give my usual disclosure: Whatever you believe, great. If it helps you sleep better, if it makes you a better person, great.
Mine? Given the ridiculous stuff I believe on a daily basis, I can hardly call myself an atheist. I'm not certain what eschatology I fall into. One thing I'm positive of, I don't believe there's an old man with a book or iPad waiting for me to either:
a.) be good and so get to go listen to cherubim holler Ave Maria until I put a celestial nuclear weapon in my mouth, or;
b.) be sent to a pitchfork wielding Pan expy who has all the good musicians and a long pork barbeque.
I try to be a decent human to be a decent human.
Now. I am on the mailing list of the Minnesota Family Council. Most well known for being pro-bullying. especially if gay kids die, it is a hard-right-wing political action committee. I stay on the mailing list because these people are dangerous as hell and it's a smart thing to keep an eye on the bastards. The CEO, John Helmberger, sends out pleas for money, prayers, action, and money. He asks for donations as well.
So, his latest 'testimonial', encouraging caucus participation, needs to be explored a bit. To begin, though, let's face it, this 'event' never happened. Lying for Jeebus.*
The Red Words? Nope. Paul. Color me surprised, most evangelicals have never read the gospels. They like Paul and the Old Testament, books and letters what give them an excuse to kill. The Rabbi Yeshua ben-Yusef, if he existed, seems to have been pretty chill. Feed the poor, heal the sick, whomp the ever-loving hell out of bankers. Paul's a complete bastard.
A Defining Moment at a Precinct Caucus
Only behave as citizens worthy of the gospel of Christ Philippians 1:27
As a university graduate student, I arrived late at the precinct caucus for my new neighborhood. The room was full, with standing room only, and I could barely find a place to squeeze in near the entrance. As it turned out, that was a good thing.Okay, basically true. Political engagement is a great thing. Although I have major issues with the caucus process, preferring the primary system, good on you. Good on everyone who goes.
Having grown up in a politically active family, it was only natural, now that I was out on my own, that I also would participate in the grassroots process of debating and voting on issue resolutions, hearing from candidates, and choosing delegates to represent my neighbors and me at upcoming conventions where candidates would be endorsed.Again, engagement. How can I have a problem with this cat?
But something had changed. Or rather, someone had changed.
I had been conditioned from my childhood to identify with a party that increasingly valued personal autonomy above any faith or moral code, looked to government as protector and provider, and oftentimes viewed faith in God with open hostility.And, we're off. Meine dog's ears are bleeding. Who's faith? I know all'y'all don't believe in Papism or Smithism, but even more than that, the pre-millenial dispensationalists think the post-millenial dispensationalists think the Prosperity Gospel crowd think the UCC bleeding hearts are all wrong and going to hell. And everyone hates the Jews (h/t Tom Lehrer).
"Above moral code"? Moral code, is, ummm, laws. And you're damn right I want government protection, from bankers and 'patriots' and Lost Cause types and godbotherers who feel the need to dictate faith and moral codes.
Of course, I had never thought about it in those terms. In fact, I never thought about my party affiliation at all. I just followed the path I’d grown up in without questioning it.So, it took you until graduate school to think?
But now, in that crowded caucus, I couldn’t do that anymore. Some years earlier I had become a Christian. It took a while to get serious about studying God’s word, but as I did, it started changing me. It changed my values and priorities. It gave me a new lens through which to view everything, including politics. I found myself evaluating policy on everything—from abortion to taxes and spending—in light of Scripture.Abortion? Not a word. (Although the Old Testament was awfully approving of killing kids. Dash the children against stones, anyone?). Taxes? Render to Caesar what is Caesar's. Spending? Before Pauly stuck his misogynistic beak and lust for authoritarian power into things, the early Christians were egalitarian socialists, share what you have, Mary Magdelene one of Christ's beloved.
Which religion will save the world, Johnny? Seems Lil' Teddy Knickers; Stabby McNeurosurgeon; Florida's Parched Theocrat; Cousin Itt cosplayer, college president, and one-man Ukrainian model immigration agency Don 'Don' Trump; and the rest (Mary Ann, Ginger, Kasich) have vowed to set much of the world on actual fucking fire
I now knew I had a calling to engage in the process as “salt and light” for the sake of the gospel of Christ, the only power that can truly transform hearts and minds and cultures.Back up, dear. I don't believe any of your nonsense. I have my own nonsense and have yet to stab or set fire to anybody.
As I stood in that caucus meeting listening to demands for one policy after another that conflicted with what I saw as God’s pattern for a truly just and moral society, it hit me. “I don’t have anything in common with these people,” I thought. “I don’t belong here.” Thankful that I was near the door, I slipped out as quickly as I could, making a clean break from the inherited politics of my youth.You were not the only thankful one, John-John. These people were exploring solutions to problems. Together. Not looking for the simplicity of listening to 200 preachers arguing about when Jeebus comes back but agreeing that the gays must be killed.
Since that defining moment, I’ve caucused with another party whose platform—and usually candidates—more closely align with biblical principles (though not perfectly—that never happens in our fallen world). I’ve become more actively engaged than I ever had been before, spurred by our calling to “behave as citizens worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27, ESV literal rendering of Greek).Ok, bucko. Let's take the revisionist history - The republican party invited you yahoos into the party in a quest for political power. Votes. As late as Barry Goldwater, you were kept at arm's length. Abortion was chosen as the visible politically acceptable way to organize for misogyny, segregation, and an alphabet soup of phobias. Reagan then brought you guys in. The republican establishment has used you for 36 years for votes. They, prior to the rise of the Teabaggers, would never have outlawed abortion. Too politically useful. And the road went both ways. A couple of notable items were added to your laundry list. The rights of rich people (yeah, the irony is like rain on a wedding day). The end of the Public Commons.
If you haven’t participated in a precinct caucus, I encourage you to give it a try on March 1. Find your precinct caucus location and learn more about Minnesota’s precinct caucuses. There’s more at stake than ever before, including the freedom to engage openly in our culture as a Christian. Come shine your light—it’s needed!
John HelmbergerYeah, I'm going to participate in my caucuses. Sorry, JJ.
CEO of Minnesota Family Council
'freedom to engage openly in our culture as a Christian'?!? We're riddled with you rodent molesters. Fuck yourself.