“Wrong” Kind of Christian Chaplain Fights Back and Rescinds Resignation

As America continues its abominable spiral towards a dominionist theocracy, the news that some members of the House were angry at Speaker Paul Ryan for forcing out the “wrong” kind of Christian as House Chaplain was somewhat surprising. It is not shocking that Ryan forced the “wrong” kind of Christian out of his position; only an ignoramus is unaware that there is a “purity” movement in the religious Republican movement. What is curious is that both Democrats and some Republicans were “upset” as if Ryan’s move took them by surprise.

The minor furor last week was over Ryan unilaterally “firing” the Reverend Patrick Conroy, the highly-respected Jesuit House chaplain and warmly-regarded spiritual counselor to members of Congress. There are conflicting reports, and conjecture about why Ryan forced Reverend Conroy out, but it seems relatively clear what prompted Ryan’s action. Unwilling at first to cause any more conflict, the obedient servant Reverend Conroy succumbed to Ryan’s pressure and submitted his resignation.

That action vexed a bipartisan group of House members who demanded that Ryan explain his justification for what is certainly a rare move. In a letter to Ryan, the bipartisan group of House representatives wrote:

We are seeking additional information regarding your decision to request the resignation of Reverend Patrick J. Conroy, the 60th Chaplain of the House of Representatives. The sensitive nature of this situation requires a description of the process followed to arrive at the decision and a justification for that decision.”

One Republican who was particularly revolted at Ryan’s action, Representative Peter King (R-NY), told reporters:

“To be the first House chaplain to be removed in the history of Congress, in the middle of a term, raises serious questions. I think we deserve more of an explanation of why. Was there political pressure?

To answer Mr. King’s question; of course there was  “pressure,. But it was not necessarily “political pressure;” it was theocratic pressure. And it surrounds two specific “incidents” that devotees of America’s bastardized version of Christianity are not going to comport in their Christian Dominionist theocracy.

However now, the Reverend Conroy is not going to comport being “pressured out” and on Thursday he rescinded his resignation. As Conroy noted, in agreement with a gang of Democrats and Republicans, he did not do anything wrong and expects any action taken against him to be done correctly; no matter the outrage from evangelicals for being the “wrong kind of Christian.

Ryan and the Republicans’ evangelical caucus took umbrage at Reverend Conroy’s prayer appealing for members of Congress to follow the “structure” of the nation that guarantees equity for all Americans; including those who are “struggling.”  It is noteworthy that Mr. Conroy was also appealing to members of Congress, primarily religious Republican members, to follow mythological Jesus Christ’s teaching to help all people, especially “those who continue to struggle.”

After a few years on the job, Reverend Conroy was aware that Republicans intended on heaping more wealth on the rich at the expense of “those who are struggling” under the guise of “tax reform.” He likely hoped a “prayerful” appeal might convince some religious Republicans to harken to Christ’s teachings about helping those who are struggling. It was a valiant effort, but Republicans are never going to consider the plight of any American who is not rich and they damn sure are not going to abide a Chaplain appealing to them as Christians.

It is glaringly apparent that Paul Ryan and his heretical evangelical cohorts are apostates to the “Christianity” Jesus preached; they are fierce adherents of “prosperity gospel” that particularly targets “those who are struggling” to enrich the already wealthy. Even atheists and agnostics are likely aware that the mythical Jesus of the Christian bible spent the majority of his time preaching that helping those who are struggling at any cost is paramount to being a “follower of Christ.”

The prayer that offended Paul Ryan and his band of evangelical heretics occurred during last November’s tax reform debate and included an appeal for members of Congress to be fair and consider the plight of all Americans – including those who are suffering. Reverend Conroy prayed thusly:

“Bless the members of this assembly as they set upon the work of these hours, of these days.  Help them to make wise decisions in a good manner and to carry their responsibilities steadily, with high hopes for a better future for our great nation.

As legislation on taxes continues to be debated this week and next, may all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”

Ryan was irritated over the prayer and bluntly told Reverend Conroy, “Padre, you just got to stay out of politics.”

If a Christian prayer for fairness for Americans who “continue to struggle” is wrong, then mythological Jesus Christ was a criminal of epic proportions. If Paul Ryan or any prosperity gospel devotees had ever opened their New Testament, they would be well aware that Reverend Conroy was not being political – he was being a “follower of Christ” who commanded his disciples to teach and preach about helping those who are struggling.

Ryan said  that “a few” Republicans complained that they wanted “a more active Pastor.” No doubt a few Republicans complained that Reverend Conroy prayed like a “Christian” by appealing to Republicans to consider the plight of “those who are struggling.”

It is noteworthy that he also did the unthinkable in the GOP’s aspiring Christian theocracy by inviting a Muslim to offer a prayer. However, it is almost certain the real issue was the Christian clergyman calling for consideration for those who are struggling – something that is anathema to Republican evangelicals promoting the heretical “prosperity gospel.” It is “gospel” that uses Christianity to justify living to attain “personal empowerment, personal wealth, and personal health.” Prosperity gospel is, no matter what Christian cult one subscribes, contradictory to everything the religion’s namesake, Jesus Christ, preached incessantly while he was alleged to live as a man on Earth.

Although it damn sure should be as unconstitutional to employ a “House Chaplain” as it is to designate a national day of prayer, or claim all Americans “trust in god,” or pledge allegiance to a flag “under god,” it is an abomination that a chaplain was forced out because he was the wrong kind of Christian. And by dog, that is the real reason Ryan pushed Reverend Conroy to “resign.” Because since Trump’s poorly attended inauguration, the religious right has pushed its agenda down the American people’s throats with valuable assistance from that dirty lying sinner Donald Trump, his equally despicable underling Mike “preacher” Pence, and the nasty Republican evangelical caucus.

It is worth noting that Republicans who claim Christianity as the be all, end all to the world’s woes were vicious in a months-long set of attacks on Pope Francis because, like Reverend Conroy, he followed his namesake’s teachings and appealed for attention to income inequality and “those who continue to struggle.” Those same religious Republicans love the Pope and Catholic clergy when they support the GOP effort to control and dominate women, but praying for fairness for “those who are struggling” crosses a “prosperity gospel” line they will not accept without a fight.

As Representative Steve King said, Ryan ousting Reverend Conroy in the middle of the term, the first time in American history, does raise serious questions, but he surely knows all the answers. Reverend Conroy is the wrong kind of Christian and he committed a major sin by praying for so-called Christian Republicans to do something they consider an atrocity – give consideration to Americans who are struggling.

There is another message for Americans who still refuse to see the creeping evangelical theocracy threatening this country, especially Americans who are Christians. When the evangelical fundamentalists take control of the government, something they are on a crusade to complete by 2020, there will be no safe “Christian.” If any American doesn’t believe it, consider the plight of the “wrong” kind of Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan or any country controlled by religious extremists. The only difference in America, at least for now, is that the “wrong kind of Christian” serving as House Chaplain can rescind a forced resignation and avoid being beheaded.

Nothing To See – Roy Moore’s Pedophilia is Bible Approved

There are some acts that most civilized human beings consider beyond abnormal and one particularly obscene and heinous act is an when an adult male sexually abuses a child; unless they are an evangelical fundamentalist from Alabama. A state where political support for pedophiles is justified according to the Christian bible.

After revelations that Roy Moore sexually abused young girls, the alleged super-Christian doing his god’s will by attacking women and members of the LGBTQ community won praise from Alabama Republicans for modeling his pedophilia on biblical characters. Although it is true some Republicans in Congress were less than enthused that another one of their own is as immoral as their hero in the White House when it comes to sexually abusing women, Moore garnered enthusiastic support from his evangelical Republican home-boys back in Alabama.

Apparently, the thought of a 32 year-old Christian man forcing a 14-year old girl’s hand down his pants is not only acceptable in Alabama, it is a holy act that produced icons of the Christian faith such as John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. Seriously, no wildly imaginative science fiction writer could make this up. The wild fiction is not that an alleged uber-Christian is a pedophile, but that his actions are considered bible approved. These are some seriously sick, twisted individuals and they are running the government.

Alabama’s Republican State Auditor, a vile individual named Jim Ziegler, ardently defended Senate candidate Roy Moore’s sexual abuse of a 14-year old girl and sexual pursuit of at least four other Alabama teens. Ziegler “justified the GOP Senate candidate’s deplorable behavior” by citing examples from the Christian bible and offering proof that they produce good results.

What Ziegler is defending with his bible is what normal human beings consider sexual abuse and pedophilia. It is noteworthy that Ziegler never denied Moore’s guilt and why should he? According to Ziegler, Moore didn’t have sexual intercourse with the 14-year old girl;  he is only accused of  “kissing her, undressing her, touching her over her bra and underpants, and guiding her hand to touch him over his underwear.” Ziegler said:

There is nothing to see here. The allegations are that a man in his early 30s dated teenage girls. Even the Washington Post report says that he never had sexual intercourse with any of the girls.”

Then Ziegler cited scriptural evidence that Moore’s criminal behavior was “nothing to see” and certainly nothing any respectable Christian fundamentalist would ever consider wrong, immoral, or criminal. He claimed, in fact, that Moore’s pedophilia was practiced in the bible as a means of producing some relatively famous Christians. He continued defending Moore saying:

He’s clean as a hound’s tooth. Take the bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became parents of John the Baptist.

 Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here.”

Although Ziegler stopped short of saying Moore’s pedophilia was a  holy attribute to be admired because Jesus and John the Baptist, he did the next best thing. Not that it will impact Moore’s assured victory on Tuesday, it appears that like Trump boasting about grabbing women by the vulva (pussy), Alabama voters will overlook sexual abuse and pedophilia if one of their champions promises to continue waging religious war against women and gays.

One Republican county party chairman, Riley Seibenhener, said that “Mr. Moore was not guilty of ‘forcible rape,’” and that “I know that 14-year-olds don’t make good decisions.”

Another party chairman from Bibb  county, Jerry Pow, said he would continue to support Moore:

Even if the candidate had committed a sex crime. I would vote for Judge Moore because I wouldn’t want to vote for Doug [Moore’s opponent]. I’m not saying I support what he did.

Notice that like the Republican state auditor, Mr. Pow does not deny Moore’s guilt, just that he doesn’t support sexual abuse and pedophilia. He will support Moore no matter what he did, but he didn’t say whether he would change his mind and support pedophilia and sexual abuse because it was scriptural.

It is noteworthy that citing the Christian bible to support sexual abuse is highly selective, and blatantly hypocritical. Republicans, particularly Alabama Republicans, are vehemently opposed to legal and medically safe abortions, and yet right there in the same bible that apparently condones pedophilia, the “loving” Christian god commands his followers to “rip open pregnant women’s wombs;” and he commands it more than once.

One never hears an anti-choice Republican cite the bible when they attempt to ban women from legally terminating a pregnancy because there is no biblical justification for opposing a woman’s right to choose, but it is all “Jesus and John the Baptist” when one of their own sexually abuses a 14-year-old girl and who really knows how many others; only four have come forward.

What these dirty Republicans do know is that it doesn’t matter how badly a candidate acts, including being accused of sexual abuse of minors; the voters will still support them. However, citing their alleged holy bible as a precedent, and justification, to defend one of their most ardent fundamentalist Christian crusader’s pedophilia is beyond the pale. No doubt Alabama evangelicals will flock to the polls to vote for Moore despite being accused of sexual abuse by at least four minor girls simply because it cannot possibly be a crime if it produced a couple of highly-regarded and popular paragons of the Christian religion.

This absurdity founded on the bible is an incredibly dangerous portent of what American women and girls have to look forward to now that the religious right controls all three branches of government. The idea that there are any justifications for an adult male sexually abusing a woman is an atrocity, but it is already gaining acceptance in Trump’s administration. Remember, it was just recently that Education Secretary held closed-door counseling meetings with anti-feminist male groups and then made sexual abuse on college campuses the woman’s fault and rolled back protections because the men’s groups complained they were treated unfairly.

That Moore garnered immediate support after being accused, by four women, of sexual abuse is just more proof that there is an ongoing Republican war on women founded on religion. Whether it is forcing women to be perpetual birth machines, or making them culpable for being raped, or using the Christian bible to justify sexual abuse of a minor, women are being assaulted by Republicans and their fundamentalist base will continue supporting them because Jesus and John the Baptist.

Steve Bannon Joins Insurgency Trying To Topple Pope Francis

 

Any conscious human being should comprehend that there is a movement to re-order the world that includes tearing down established governments and institutions, and America is now leading the movement. The current administration has shown a marked desire to tear down long-established alliances and treaties and is basing its foreign policy on waging a religious crusade against a particular faith. The man considered the second most powerful person in America, Steve Bannon, was reported to have confessed to being a Leninist whose goal is taking down “the state establishments” worldwide; it explains the Trump administration. What Trump is too “functionally illiterate” to comprehend about Bannon is that his dream of tearing down the state includes the “American state,” and the Republican Party will not be spared. Bannon has inserted his particular brand of alt-right nativism throughout Eastern Europe and has made inroads into French politics by “advising” neo-Nazi groups on how best to effectively sow fear and loathing toward Muslims and the people and organizations working to promote tolerance and democracy; especially people like Pope Francis.

It was reported that Bannon’s assault on “the establishment” includes the Catholic Church’s Pope Francis; likely because he talks like Jesus Christ and embraces “the Messiah’s” teachings on tolerance and charity; even for Islam and its adherents. Bannon, the alt-right theocrat who wants America to be a serious Jude’s-Christian “state,” did what he does best and slithered his slimy self into a demoted neo-conservative Catholic cardinal’s confidence to assist him in undermining the Holy Father and his agenda of promoting Jesus Christ’s teaching of charity, tolerance and goodwill toward everyone; not just white racist greedy evangelicals.

The New York Times reported that Bannon and conservative (American) Cardinal Raymond Burke became enamored with each other over their hatred of Muslims and “a changing worldview” they believe Pope Francis was working to spread. The Times reported that Bannon and Burke “…saw Islam as threatening to overrun a prostrate West weakened by the erosion of traditional Christian values, and viewed themselves as unjustly ostracized by out-of-touch political elites.”

In what seems like a damned bizarre statement from a Vatican-aligned member of the Christian faith, the man who arranged the commiseration meeting between the “onward Christian soldiers,” who have “sacrificed” and fought in the still ongoing culture war, Benjamin Harnwell said,

When you recognize someone who has sacrificed in order to remain true to his principles and who is fighting the same kind of battles in the cultural arena, in a different section of the battlefield, I’m not surprised there is a meeting of hearts.

As a former Christian minister, it is safe to say that every member of “the Christian clergy” is supposed to “act like Jesus” and is tasked with shepherding the flock to comport with Christ’s teachings; not fight battles against Islam, women and gays.

What has the “anti-Francis insurgency” inside the Catholic Church and Steve Bannon joining forces is their drive to put an abrupt end to “the direction” [Pope] Francis is taking the 1.2 billion Catholic flock. As the Times noted, the neo-cons in the Church agree with Bannon and believe that the Holy Father is a “dangerously misguided, and probably socialist, pontiff” who needs to be “toppled” along with democratic governments opposing neo-Nazis, evangelical fanaticism, and aggression towards Islam.

It is most certain that Cardinal Burke is carrying out a vendetta against Pope Francis for demoting him for being an intolerant ultra-conservative douchebag and expressing hate speech unbecoming of a civilized human being, much less a Catholic cardinal and representative of Christ. There is little doubt that Bannon’s vendetta is founded on the Pope “carrying out an inclusive agenda on migration, climate change and poverty,” a Papal agenda that has endeared him to Catholics and non-believers alike around the globe.

The good news for civilized human beings is that Pope Francis is undeterred in directing the Church to be more “Christ-like.” According to a Jesuit priest and editor of the Vatican-approved “La Civilta Cattolica,” the Reverend Antonio Spadaro, the Pope is not slowing down despite the machinations of people like Burke and Bannon. Rev. Spadaro, who is said to be very close to Francis, dismissed their (Vatican insurgents) criticism as the “stuff of a noisy but small ‘echo chamber.’” He also “played down the effect of Trump’s ascent on the standing of Francis’ opponents in the Vatican” and said it was only “propaganda.” He expressed a sentiment that most in the Vatican are already well aware of; the Pope is not about to be distracted by fights against those trying to topple his papacy. “He moves forward, and he moves ahead very fast.”

Rev. Spadaro said what is obvious to sane people: Trump’s ban on immigrants for “select” Muslim-majority nations is the “opposite” of the Pope’s vision for how best to “foster unity and peace” in nations and around the world.  The Pope is doing his level best to “avoid the clash of civilizations that both fundamentalist Muslims [ISIS] and Christians [religious right] want;” Bannon is chief among those wanting a Christian crusade against Islam led by America.

Look, Bannon’s dream of another holy Christian crusade against Islam cannot go forward with a Pope like Francis at the Vatican. Especially one who is having success at promoting being a follower of Christ and preaching tolerance and charity. Bannon needs the Vatican on board with his agenda, an agenda by the way that is Trump’s agenda, of creating the conditions to launch an all-out religious war against Islam, and any non-compliance to his dream of a world ruled by Judeo-Christian corporate regimes.

However, going after Pope Francis, a Pontiff that even non-believers embrace, is a sign that Bannon’s lust for power knows no bounds and demonstrates that he is deluded if he thinks working to undermine a beloved world leader like Francis is going to be anything but a giant struggle. It is also a sign that no one person or establishment in the world is safe from the “second most powerful,” and certainly the most dangerous, man in America and still a Breitbart punk named Steve Bannon.