Showing posts with label Money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Money. Show all posts

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jesus Was Just as Wrong about the Rapture as Quack Harold Camping

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

     Fundamentalist Christian and multi-millionaire Harold Camping's doomsday prophecy was wrong.  Again.

     We're still here. As if there was any doubt.

     Robert Fitzpatrick, a retired transportation agency worker in New York, said he had spent more than $140,000 (£86,000) of his savings on advertisements in the run-up to 21 May to publicise the prediction. After 1800 passed and nothing had happened, he said: "I do not understand why... I do not understand why nothing has happened. I can't tell you what I feel right now. Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here." 
     "I had some scepticism but I was trying to push the scepticism away because I believe in God," said Keith Bauer, who travelled 4,830km (3,000 miles), from Maryland to California, where Mr Camping's Family Radio is based, for the Rapture. "I was hoping for it because I think heaven would be a lot better than this Earth," said Mr Bauer, a tractor-trailer driver, who took the week off work for the voyage. 
     Other followers said the delay was a further test from God to persevere in their faith. 
     [Camping] has predicted an apocalypse once before, in 1994, though followers now say that only referred to an intermediary stage.
     How did other "mainstream" Christians respond?  According to the BBC, "Many Christian groups however dismissed Mr Camping's ideas, with some describing him as a 'false prophet.'"

     Here's the thing.  The "god is testing our faith" and "false prophet" arguments have been used by Christians for two-thousand years to justify the delay of the parousia -- $140,000 word for "the rapture," ArmageddonApocalypse Now (and Later), Judgement Day, the end of the world, eschatology or whatever you want to call it. 

     Mainstream Christians--you know, like Catholics--much like some of Camping's followers, believe that the world is in an "intermediary" stage.  But the Catholic Church has a fancy two-thousand-year-old "Tradition" to pimp up its explanation with "accepted" and "scholarly" theology.  

     Catholics believe in an "already, not yet" realization of their god's "Kingdom" here on earth.  Let me dust off my Master of Divinity from the oldest Catholic seminary in the United States to explain this.

     Jesus, his disciples, and Paul believed that the end of the world was going to happen in their lifetimes.  They instructed people to leave their jobs and families, to stop marrying and having children, and to give away all possessions.  This is in the scriptures --"the Kingdom of God [sic] is at hand," "Anyone who does not leave father, mother, sister and brother behind has no place in my Kingdom," and so on.  Harold Camping's doomsday claims were a time-tested Christian incentive to trick vulnerable people into draining their bank accounts and children's college funds or to leave their fishing boats rotting on the shores.

     Early Christians believed that the world would end within a generation of Jesus' death.  But, when it didn't, they had to revamp their eschatology.  The shock and fear of this realization is evident in the New Testament, as "believers" struggle to understand and accept the not-so-immanent coming of the "Kingdom."  Over the centuries the Catholic Church developed it's "already, not yet" understanding of the coming of the "Kingdom." When Jesus died and "rose" from the dead, the "Kingdom" was made known in the world, but was not yet fully realized.  That will happen when Jesus "comes again" and the end of the world.  

     There will be "false prophets" who will predict the end of the world, but believers should not give into the temptation to believe them.  (It seems the Church learned from the mistakes of its founders.)  All of this is one big "god is testing our faith" argument.  

     But today's mainstream Christians call Camping crazy.  They are revolted by these modern day quacks who predict the end of the world.   They need to take the "Kingdom come" plank out of their own eyes and look at the failed predictions of their Jesus and saints.

     Christianity has been wrong for two millennia about the end of the world.  One reason that Harold Camping made headlines is to justify the denial that Christians have about the inconstancies, fallacies, and failure of their own scriptures and savior.  If Harold Camping is a quack, then so was Jesus of Nazareth.

     I feel sorry not for the adults that were scammed by Camping, but for their children.  Frightening your children into believing the world will end, now that's child abuse.


     Perhaps instead of Harold Camping and his saved followers disappearing, it's time that the world's many gods disappeared.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

For Harold Camping...



Postscript:

     The world didn't end and guess who's millions of tax-exempt dollars richer? 

     CNN reports:
     At the center of it all, Camping's organization, Family Radio, is perfectly happy to take your money -- and in fact, received $80 million in contributions between 2005 and 2009. Camping founded Family Radio, a nonprofit Christian radio network based in Oakland, Calif. with about 65 stations across the country, in 1958.

Friday, May 20, 2011

REM Music Tribute to Harold Camping's Homophobic End of the World "Prophecy"

     Have you noticed the billboards around the world?  Be afraid!  "Judgement Day" is upon us.

     Again.

     I'm not talking family-values politician Arnold Schwarzenegger's spousal termination and judgment day.

     Tomorrow, May 21, 2011, is going to be the start of the five-month Christian "apocalypse."  The Christian making this absurd prediction is Harold Camping of  Family Radio.  
Don't forget to purchase your celebratory t-shirt.
     Of course, Camping long ago discovered the lucrative nature of rapturous merchandising. He wrongly predicted the end of the world to happen back in 1994.  Why anyone continued to follow him is beyond me.  I guess you just gotta "have faith."

     Guess which minority is being scapegoated as bringing on the "end times."   Ding.  Ding.  Ding.   Went the bell.  You guessed it: Gay Pride.  (Evil laugh.)  Check out homophobic Mr. Camping's incredible document, "Gay Pride: Planned by God as a Sign of the End."  Don't be surprised if FamilyRadio.com  has crashed.  What an omen that would be. 

     If you are a heretic, who will be left behind after the rapture for five months of unattended sin-time, don't worry.  You can join the half a million hellions who are attending the "Post Rapture Looting" party on Facebook.  Tonight, I'm camping out on Rodeo Drive.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wisconsin, Michigan, Washington, Public vs Private Sector, Salaries, Unions, Tax Cuts, Corporations, Greed, Religion, Hypocrisy, & the Republican Jesus Christ of the Upper Class: David Koch -- A Lament for Our Time

     Good Christian white rich men rejoice!  With heart and soul and voice!  If Calvin was right and the Prosperity Gospel is true, then you are on your way to heaven.  Only, you may not want to stay long as your Jesus will be hanging out with the poor people who's rights, benefits, and livelihoods you've crushed.  

     You say it's the middle class and public employees that are bankrupting America, especially those money-hoarding teachers, power-hungry nurses, and lazy road-construction workers.  You hypocrites!  You forget, that we are the poor souls are paying your salaries.


             So, why don't all of you Tea Party/Republican politicians put your money where your mouth is and lower your wages, benefits, and expense accounts to the average made by your fellow public workers?  In Wisconsin, you would drop to a salary of $50,774; in Michigan, $58,801; and in Washington, DC, $82,607 (which is only $457 more than DC's private sector workers.  Hmm.  I wonder if the immense cluster of elected public officials and their six-figure salaries have anything to do with DC leading the nation's average public-sector salary?).  Or better yet, you should all work for free.   When you each average nearly a million dollars in personal wealth, why should we be paying you?

             But the public money that the Scott Walkers and John Boeners of the world are being paid is peanuts compared to the billions their benevolent benefactors are making thanks to unprecedented tax cuts, courtesy of the political lobbying and campaign donations bought and paid for by multi-billionaire heir David Koch (Roman Catholic) and the like.  

             Mister Koch--Or shall we refer to you as "Master"?--you might want to catch up on the social ethics of your own precious Holy (Dysfunctional) Mother Church, who has supported the right of workers to join unions and collectively bargain, not to mention a just wages, universal healthcare, taxation of the rich, and service to the poor, alien, and ill.  Of course, Mother Church is still giving you and your Speaker Boehner communion, which makes her a hypocrite, as well.

             Oh, America, when did you become so ungrateful?  Oh, Middle Class, when did you become so ignorant, so easily duped?  When will you wake up and see that the problem is not that public workers are paid too much but that private workers, whose corporate overlords are stuffing their pockets via tax loopholes they've bought and secured with your votes, are paid too little!  You are fighting over the difference of a few thousand dollars, while the upper class of our nation, Wall Street thieves, and corporate hoarders are transferring wealth from the middle class to the upper 2% at unprecedented proportions.  The Forbes 400, the richest 400 individuals in the nation, have no amassed more wealth than a combined 155 million Americans.

             Yes, 0.0001% of the American public holds 50% of the nation's wealth.  Don't believe me, take it up with Forbes and simple math (although I had to get out my old scientific calculator to divide 400 by 310,964,000).  Trickle down economics--the warrior's cry of the Republican politicians of my youth--has shed it's grace on thee, upper 0.0001%.

             But still, the GOP wants to extend tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the poor and middle class.  This chart from the Center for American Progress says it all:

             If faced with such an immoral disparity, what would Jesus do?  

             Apparently, the Jesus of the United States of America would take back the loaves and fishes he'd given to the middle class of Wisconsin, shake the snow from his sandals, and walk across the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to Wichita so he could hand-feed David Koch.
             I've heard the middle and lower classes despairing on Facebook and in the streets, "What can we do?"  "We're helpless."  "We don't have the money to influence politicians like the corporations and billionaires do."  Well still have the votes, although the upper class is working pretty hard to take those away from us too.  We have the numbers.  It's time to STRIKE!  If every public employee in this nation stopped working for one or two days, the nation would come to a standstill.  And even David Koch couldn't save the upper class then.


             Postscript: In my years as a Catholic school student, seminarian, and priest, I never once heard a private sector/Catholic school teacher or parish employee, who was making between twenty and forty thousand dollars while trying to feed a natural-family-planning family of four or five children, ever say, "You know, I'm making just the right amount of money for what I do."  So, let's not blame the state for being too generous to school teachers, when it's the private sector who refuses pay its workers a just wage.

        Hug a teacher!

        Sunday, February 13, 2011

        Another (Conservative) Priest from My Alma Mater Goes Down

             Another priest, with whom I was in seminary, has been removed from ministry because of scandal.  And, I'm not surprised.  After seeing a classmate removed for having sexually abused minors decades ago, hearing about one of the most conservative fellows going down in an assault/adultery case, and seeing another one die after drinking himself to death, nothing surprises me anymore.  I'm just thankful that I got out when I did.

             Delaware Online reports:
             A Roman Catholic pastor of two city parishes -- including one that counted Vice President Joe Biden as a past congregant -- is being accused of embezzling more than $350,000 from the parishes.  
             The Rev. Cornelius J. Breslin, 59, who had been pastor of the parishes of St. Patrick and St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception until Wednesday, turned himself in at the New Castle County Courthouse and entered pleas of not guilty to the charges.  Breslin faces two felony charges of theft over $100,000 -- one for each parish -- and two misdemeanor charges of falsifying business records.  If convicted on all charges, he faces up to 32 years in prison, but likely would face far less -- including a sentence of probation -- given his lack of a criminal record and state sentencing guidelines.
             Adding insult to injury:
             St. Mary's, meanwhile, is one of the 28 parishes in the diocese facing a priest sex-abuse lawsuit. The plaintiff in the case is an anonymous "Jane Coe" who charges she was molested as a 13-year-old by the Rev. Edward Carley, who has since died.
             But the "good" news is:
             Krebs said Wednesday that he did not believe the alleged thefts by Breslin would have any effect on the diocese's bankruptcy proceedings -- because they involved parishes, not the diocese -- or the ongoing efforts by diocesan officials to reach a "global settlement" to resolve all outstanding priest-abuse lawsuits against both the diocese and its parishes. 

        Thursday, December 2, 2010

        Kentucky Tax Dollars to be Used for Building of Fundamentalist Christian Theme Park Based on Genesis; Noah's Park

        You can't make this stuff up:

        Another Televangelist Infidelity; What These Christian Hypocrites Have in Common

             Daystar founder and Christian televangelist, Marcus Lamb, has been caught in adultery.  So, besides destroying the sanctity of marriage and wearing bad makeup, what does Lamb share in common with his unfaithful televangelist brethren? Here's Rachel Maddow to discern the signs of the times:

        Here's Maddow's visual aid.

        Wednesday, November 10, 2010

        The GOP's Middle-Class-Tax-Cuts Hypocrisy

             Despite the rhetoric of the Right Wing, the tax cut plans of the Republicans and Democrats are virtually identical when it comes to tax cuts for the lower and middle classes.  But look at what happens when it comes to the rich getting richer.  GOP indeed.


        Here's Rachel Maddow's explanation of the fat-bottomed-snowman-tax-cuts-for-for-the-rich chart:


        Friday, November 5, 2010

        NOM Lost More Elections Than It Won

             Despite anti-gay NOM's boasting and plans to funnel it's out-of-state dollars into the politics of New Hampshire and Minnesota, the Christian liars at NOM didn't do as well in the elections as they claim.

             NOM Exposed reports:
             While NOM made significant investments this cycle, its electoral win/loss record is decidedly mixed. In fact, NOM lost more races than it won. NOM endorsed at least 29 candidates. As of Wednesday afternoon, NOM had lost 19 of these races, won eight, and the remaining two (the Minnesota governor’s race and a New Hampshire statehouse candidate) were undecided. With the exception of a judicial election they hijacked in Iowa, NOM lost its most expensive and high-profile gambits in California and New Hampshire and all of its races in Maine and the District of Columbia. And it fought campaign finance laws all along the way.

        Saturday, October 23, 2010

        Iowa Marriage Update: Gubernatorial Debate; Out-of-State Anti-Gay Christian Groups Attacking Gay Families & Supreme Court

             Here's a short video from Iowa's gubernatorial debate. Iowans asked questions via YouTube. 

             In this clip, a two mothers and their children ask Republican candidate Terry Branstad why he would support changing the Iowa constitution to deny marriage equality and equal protection under the law to families like theirs. Branstad, who looks uncomfortable being confronted by those he's believes are civilly inferior, goes on to recite that he's Catholic and believes that the people should be given a vote to restore "one-man-one-woman marriage," as if all Catholics agree with him. (They don't. Recent polls show 42-46% of American Catholics support same-sex civil marriage equality.) 

             Then an Iowan asks Democratic candidate Governor Chet Culver why he didn't do his "duty" and let the people vote on the Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling. Culver's answer is a lesson in sixth grade civics and the separation of powers in our branches of government.  Also, he points out that the Supreme Court Justice, who signed the unanimous decision granting civil marriage equality to all Iowa couples, was appointed by Branstad.  Branstad has yet to state whether he's voting to retain the Iowa Supreme Court Justices that he appointed.

             Towleroad has a fantastic post on the elections in Iowa and how out-of-state anti-gay Christian groups, including the American Family Association, are pumping millions of dollars into Iowa's elections to unseat Governor Culver and three of the three Supreme Court Justices, who were part of the unanimous marriage equality ruling.  Click here to read it.

        Thursday, October 14, 2010

        Republicans Carl Paladino and Jan Brewer and Their Homophobic Hypocrisy

             Anti-gay New York GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino attacked gays with homophobic hate speech earlier this week.  Since then, his nephew, who is gay, spoke out, offended.  So did Rudy Giuliani.  In turns out that Paladino's not only a homophobe but also a hypocrite.  As a landlord in Buffalo he rented to a gay bar (see video below).  Gay pride is fine as long as it brings in the bucks.

             In Arizona, GOP senate candidate Jan Brewer, who signed the explosive papers-please-anti-immigrant law (leading in the polls by 13.5%), is also gay-baiting (like Christine O'Donnell did in her primary).  Brewer's campaign called for her opponent, Democrat Terry Goddard, to take a lie detector test to prove that he's not gay.  Brewer has excused herself, saying she doesn't need to apologize because she didn't say anything.  Come on.  It was her top political adviser who said it.  I thought that good leaders delegated power, but not responsibility.

            The bullying continues.
          
             Here's Keith Olbermann's report:

        Saturday, October 9, 2010

        No Target, No Walmart: Where's a Gay to Shop?


             Now Walmart is selling an anti-gay children's book.  Where's a gay to discount shop?

             A children’s book written by the wife of anti-gay Standard of Liberty president Stephen Graham is being carried by over 100 Walmart stores. Chased by an Elephant, the Gospel Truth about Today’s Stampeding Sexuality by Janice Barrett Graham was written to “help shed the clear light of truth on today’s dark and tangled ideas about male and female, proper gender roles, the law of chastity, and the God-given sexual appetite,” according to Janice Graham in the book’s introduction.

        Thursday, September 30, 2010

        Wisconsin GOP Senate Candidate Ron Johnson Versus Sexual Abuse Victims

             Earlier this year, Ron Johnson helped to defeat Wisconsin's Child Sexual Abuse Victims Act.  And Republicans are supposed to be for "family values"?  

             Below Keith Olbermann covers the story and he interviews Todd Merryfield, a victim of sexual abuse by a Green Bay priest, who is shocked that his candidate (Johnson) voted against his rights and the rights of other victims of abuse to have their day in court.

        Senate Republicans Holding Up Funding of National Women's History Museum

             USA Today reports:
             A letter from two senators is the only thing blocking congressional approval of a decade-long effort to build a women's history museum in the nation's capital.
             Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Jim DeMint, R-S.C., have placed a "hold" on a bill that would sell land near the Smithsonian Institution for the National Women's History Museum. A "hold" is a Senate practice that prevents bills from passing with unanimous consent — and implicitly threatening a filibuster.
             The senators say their concerns are financial: Though the museum would pay fair market value for the land, the group has raised little money. And they said the new institution would duplicate more than 100 similar museums — some of which already get taxpayer subsidies.
             Abortion politics are also in play: The senators' action came two days after the Concerned Women for America, a conservative group, wrote DeMint asking for a hold. The group's CEO, Penny Nance, wrote in July that the museum would "focus on abortion rights without featuring any of the many contributions of the pro-life movement in America."