Can We Please Stop Whitewashing Jesus?

As I write this, Twitter’s top trending hashtag is #ThingsJesusNeverSaid.

Guys, we need to talk.

Certainly it helps to expose the hypocrisy of conservative Christian “values voters” by comparing their economic views to those of Jesus. And it’s often a powerful point.  Jesus would not be thrilled with the spreading Trumpian philosophy that virtue is measured by financial success — the logical evolution of recent wildly popular “prosperity gospel” ministries.

So Twitter is filled with tweets like these today, that (no) God willing, will hopefully touch some hearts and minds:

Jesus may have been to the left on economic policy, but on social and military policy?  Sorry, but Jesus was no pro-gay, religiously tolerant peacenik.  Have we forgotten that there’s only one Christian god, and Jesus is the God of the Old Testament?  When we promote the Sandaled One’s words, we promote genocide, torture, slavery and rape and religious intolerance.  Just a few verses after the lefty favorite, “Blessed are the meek,” Jesus reiterates his support for the Old Testament, including his dad’s approval of genocide, slavery, rape and gay-stoning. Let the man-god himself remind you:

  • I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!  [Luke 12:49]
  • …for these are days of vengeance, to fulfil all that is written. Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people.  [Luke 21:22-23]
  • Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.  For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.  Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven…  [Matthew 5:17-19]

Upset with right-wing anti-Muslim bigotry?  Tweeting how Jesus said we should be kind to strangers?  Inviting people to follow Jesus’ lead in respect for nonChristians?  Jesus?  Come now…

Read the rest at Patheos.

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European Green Party Officially Rejects U.S. Green Party’s “Republicans are Preferable to Democrats” Stance

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U.S. Green Party’s 2016 vice-presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka and presidential candidate Jill Stein (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

I have received a March 20 communication from the European Green Party officially rejecting the U.S. Green Party’s “Republicans are preferable to Democrats” stance.

This was in response to my query to them asking if they share the views expressed by numerous U.S. Green Party leaders and allies that Republicans in American office are preferable to Democrats.  I provided them a link to a compilation of statements, each with a link to its original source so validity and context are easily verified.  It includes views such as such as this from U.S. Greens’ 2016 presidential candidate Jill Stein in October 2016:

If you watched the debate the other night, you would have heard Trump saying that he’s looking for collaboration with Putin… he’s got business interests all over the place; on that basis, hey wow, maybe he’d be the peace president because he needs peace all over the place… Yeah, climate change is horrific, but it’s not happening tomorrow.

Among the many similar pronouncements by U.S. Green leaders are an article by Stein posted in October titled “What’s scarier than Donald Trump? Hillary Clinton’s plans to gut Social Security;” an article that her running mate Ajamu Baraka tweeted in October titled “Why Hillary Clinton Is More Dangerous Than Donald Trump;” and a statement from the U.S. Greens’ 2016 campaign social media director Jillian Thomas explaining her own preference for Trump over Clinton.

There are many more.  Ralph Nader, U.S. Greens’ 2000 presidential candidate, similarly often stated his desire to see Al Gore defeated and George W. Bush win.

The reaction from Eliana Capretti, Head of Communications and Press, European Green Party, was a swift, thorough and unambiguous repudiation:

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Chandler Robbins, A Legend Who Persuaded a Generation to Love Birds, Wild Places and Science, Has Passed

By Bo Gardiner
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A well-loved copy of Robbins’ Birds of North America, 1966 (aka “Golden Guide”)

Thousands, maybe millions, this week will recall this gorgeous book with profound affection and tears in their eyes.  I can attest, as I seem to be having a bit of trouble myself writing this.

Chandler S. Robbins, co-author of the classic Birds of North America (1966), more widely known to birders simply as “The Golden Guide,” died yesterday, March 20 — a legend of ornithology and citizen science.

Let me tell you about this man and his work, even if you know nothing of birds.

For me, the tears are less about sadness -– 99 years is a marvelous run — than of gratitude for the incredible and lasting joy this book brought into my life.

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Worst Carl Sagan Day Ever

We needed you this year, Carl.

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Rarely have Sagan-esque musings been more poignant than today. Pale Blue Dotwas Sagan’s 1994 look at humanity from a distant vantage point. Really distant. Precisely where I wish I were just now. But no, I won’t quote THAT passage (“Look again at that dot…“); you can read it here. Those iconic words have overshadowed many other treasures in the glorious book, which once prompted me to pull together Pale Blue Dot‘s most timely excerpts. Some of them seem apropos to Day One of America’s new nightmare.

Above all, here’s Sagan’s seemingly unheard message to America:

Uncommon strength of character is needed to resist the blandishments of those who assure us that we have an obvious, even God-given, superiority over our fellows.

We’re going to have to figure out how to grow that uncommon strength in ourselves and more Americans in the coming days.

Sagan found it useful to imagine viewing Earth from space through the eyes of space-faring alien beings, so let’s begin… <snip>

When you consider the power of this viewpoint, it’s no surprise that Republicans have been been trying to defund NASA programs that study Earth from space. I think we know where that’s headed starting today. The last thing Trump will want, once he’s this Pale Blue Dot’s most powerful man, is for Earthlings to have any more Blue Marble epiphanies.

[Excerpt.  See full post at Patheos]

Halloween Just Got Scarier: The Not-so-Green Party Endorses Trump Over Clinton

[A version of this was published at Daily Kos]

The Green Party’s presidential candidate, Jill Stein, posted today on Facebook a link to an “Open Letter from the Social Media Director of the Stein/Baraka Campaign,” by someone whose name was given only as “Jillian.”  The message reads:

…A Clinton presidency is D A N G E R O U S … If a Trump presidency would mean that we have to fight ignorants in the streets—I’m ready for that. “

Stein commented “I couldn’t have said it better.”

I consider that sufficiently official. Journalists have been pushing Stein to answer this question throughout the campaign; it has now been answered.

Stein has been increasingly preparing her followers and the public for idea over the last few weeks.  She tweeted on Oct. 14:

Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy is much scarier than Donald Trump’s, who does not want to go to war with Russia. #PeaceOffensive

She retweeted an article by her running mate Ajamu Baraka on Oct 15 titled “Why Hillary Clinton Is More Dangerous Than Donald Trump,” which states:

The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton.

and on Oct. 16 retweeted Baraka’s tweet:

Expecting people of color to fear Donald Trump after all we’ve been through the last 200 years, is absurd.

On Oct. 21 she posted on Facebook an article titled:

What’s scarier than Donald Trump? Hillary Clinton’s plans to gut Social Security

Greens heavily spreading this message on social media and in articles such as this, that states “Donald Trump as president will do ‘less damage‘.”This may surprise many unfamiliar with Green Party history, but it fully adheres to Green Party tradition.  In 2000, Ralph Nader said on several occasions that he would prefer to see George W. Bush in the White House over Al Gore. Green Party leaders were open in their desire to stop Al Gore.

More history and analysis of this strange and very under-reported aspect of the Greens may be found at The Green Party Openly Preferred George W. Bush in 2000 and Openly Prefers Donald Trump Now.  It includes credibly-sourced quotes such as these from Ralph Nader:

When asked if someone put a gun to his head and told him to vote for either Gore or Bush, which he would choose, Nader answered without hesitation: “Bush… If you want the parties to diverge from one another, have Bush win.

In response to a reporter’s question “…does that mean you would not have a problem providing the margin of defeat for Gore?”

“I would not — not at all,” Nader answered.  “I’d rather have a provocateur than an anesthetizer in the White House. “

A news article reported:

After lambasting Gore as part of a do-nothing Clinton administration, Nader said: “If it were a choice between a provocateur and an ‘anesthetizer,’ I’d rather have a provocateur. It would mobilize us.”… in the past Nader has said that a Bush victory could have an oddly beneficial effect for the Green movement… Bush, Nader has said, could be the same kind of “provocateur” if elected.

In an interview with Tim Russert:

RUSSERT: Would it bother you that…Al Gore lost the election?

NADER: No, not at all… There may be a cold shower for four years that would help the Democratic Party… It doesn’t matter who is in the White House.

RUSSERT: … Would [Al Gore] not be better on [environmental and consumer] issues than George W. Bush?

NADER: …no… regulatory agencies under Clinton/Gore are as bad or worse than under Reagan/Bush

Greens are currently defending Stein over revelations of her investments in the world’s largest financial backer of palm oil plantations, the number one cause of deforestation in the world.Stein has come under heavy fire from progressives for her call to ban GMOs, which scientists and, increasing, environmentalists, agree that by increasing crop yields and improving disease and drought resistances, they mean less wildlife habitat lost, less water usage, less pesticides, less impact to biodiversity, and more of humanity fed.

Last week Stein bizarrely called for a national conversation on oppressive comedians, following criticism by John Oliver of her vaccine views and economic plans.

It will be interesting to hear Bernie Sanders’ reaction to the news, who is urging his followers to support Clinton.

I’d suggest these views place the Green Party as more of a bizarre alt-right then an alt-left political party.  I also recommend that journalists referring to the Green Party now use quotes, modifying the phrase to “Green” Party.

Green Party Calls for National Conversation on Oppressive Comedians

No this is not from the Onion, but sadly, is real life.

A brave voice speaks out against Big Comedy. Jill Stein posted this on Facebook yesterday:

We need to begin having honest conversations about the oppressive tactics corporate comedians continue to do towards already-marginalized groups of people.

This country was built on oppressing The Other (Blacks and indigenous people) and I’m not going to stand for more of this while we deal with major crises in this country that could determine whether we’ll even survive as a species.

Read my statement about how deceptive comedy continues to silence anyone who speaks out against it: jill2016.com/oliveremail

https: //www.facebook.com/drjillstein/videos/1340906079282912/

Since she’s objecting to Oliver’s criticism of herself (for her pseudoscience and unworkable economics), the “marginalized group of people” she’s referring to must be multi-millionaire white politicians.  It’s about time someone stood up for them.  Go Jill!

I admit I’m confused as to how Oliver’s “deceptive comedy has silenced her for speaking out against him,” since here she is posting about it.  Guess her phone has been cut off.  John, you bastard!

Also this week in a new Reddit AMA (the advisor suggesting it no doubt having been fired), Stein was overwhelmed by a heartwarming display of science skepticism.  She disappeared early after she went down under a storm of downvotes for doubling down on the dangers of wifi on kids’ health.

Anyways… Alec Baldwin, your days of oppressing Donald Trump are OVER.