What do you think? This billboard went up in Chicago yesterday and the print ad appeared last month in a Chicago alternative newspaper.
The billboard was financed by an abuse victim using some of the settlement money.
What do you think? What is it going to take for the raping of children to stop?
Jesus said "It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble." in Luke 17:2.
Now we find out the same thing is happening in the US Baptist Church.
Perhaps it's time for these churches to stop worrying about controlling women's reproductive choice and and limiting the human rights of the LGBTQ community and focus on the their own problems. You know, like the kids in their flocks being raped by the people who are supposed to be their role models.
It did our souls a lot of good to hear these two men speak. They spoke truths we've known inside for a long time. (Two Videos Below)
You only have to listen to Ted Cruz for 44 seconds which sets the stage for what follows.
The Week in Review. The Bad, the Ugly and the Good.
— Republicans are gunning for healthcare yet again. They slipped a provision into their tax bill that took the fine for the individual mandate down to zero. Then a group of Republican governors and AGs filed suit against it. They knew it would likely cause a judge to declare the ACA ‘unconstitutional.’ They undoubtedly planned and colluded with one another to come up with this strategy. That decision made by a Texas judge could easily land in the Supreme Court where two fresh, illegitimate, right-wing extremist justices (Federalist Society puppets) stand ready to strike it down. If the case lands on their bench they won’t let their puppet-masters down.
In the 2018 midterm elections healthcare was the number one area of concern among voters, even above the economy. If conservatives pull off this coup against the American people don’t be fooled by their empty promises about ‘protecting preexisting conditions.’ They’ll find a way to gut that provision. They’ll allow states to ‘set it up themselves,’ and the red states won’t. Or they’ll allow insurance companies to price ‘high-risk’ people out of the market. The ACA already protects people with preexisting conditions. Republican have sabotaged it from the beginning. It’s not perfect but it’s a big step in the right direction. Allowing Republicans to get rid of it will be a giant leap backwards. It will probably take decades to get back to this point.
If all the Republican governors had allowed the Medicaid expansion, and if traitor Joe Lieberman hadn’t stripped out the Medicare at age 55 provision, the coverage would have been even better and less expensive. Again, Republicans have been sabotaging the ACA from the beginning, because “Obama,” and because “abortion.”
— After the Blue Tsunami made the wishes of the American people clear lame-duck Republican state legislatures are carrying out relentless power grabs against the will of their citizens, crippling the power in incoming Democrats.
— Widespread Republican election fraud was uncovered in North Carolina following the mid-terms where it’s such a mess both parties are planning another campaign.
— In Florida voters passed a bill restoring the voting rights of released felons. Republicans are dragging their feet and throwing up roadblocks against the will of the people.
— The Republican dismantling of the Obama Recovery continues with the federal deficit and debt skyrocketing at record pace following massive Republican tax cuts. They claim ‘Entitlement Reform’ is the only way to fix the fiasco they’ve created which is code for unprecedented cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Meanwhile the stock market continues its downward spiral.
— Indictments, plea deals, prison sentences, and newly discovered Russian spy networks swirl around the most corrupt administration in US history. Every rock a reporter or investigator turns over reveals another level of seemingly unending corruption.
— Immigration reform is an ugly mess with immigrant children dying in US custody while Trump threatens to shut down the government over the wasteful and unnecessary political stunt known as ‘the wall.’
— Despite campaign promises to the contrary nothing is being done to relieve American college students of staggering and debilitating debt burying graduates so deep they’ll never get ahead. The problem is just being ignored and made worse by the incompetent and unqualified wife of an Amway (ScamWay) Billionaire donor, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Ms. Devos is the sister of Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater private mercenary force. The stink runs thick in that swamp.
— Our reputation worldwide couldn’t be worse as Trump coddles murdering dictators who chop up reporters. This while he tries to cover up a $50 million bribe he wanted to give Vladimir Putin in the form of a top floor penthouse in a proposed Moscow Trump Tower. Meanwhile he chides our European allies like France to the point where they tweet back at him to ‘leave our country alone.’
Have you heard enough yet because we could keep going?
The one positive aspect to our otherwise depressing national nightmare is the new congress! Thank God for the Blue Tsunami, the biggest mid-term gain for the house in US history! We will finally have some oversight and real congressional investigations!
We can propose the things we want to accomplish legislatively as well but we all know McConnell won’t go along with any of it. He’s already broken the Senate and the Supreme Court. He’s not about to stop now. Anything that would make Democrats look good in any way he’ll be against. It’s not about the country for him. It’s about personal ambition, power, greed, and the party. He’s a traitor in every sense of the word. He’s quite possibly the worst politician in our nation’s history as far as the damage he’s done. History will agree. We’ve had our finger on its pulse every day for a decade.
In the long-term, even though it’s sad to have to point out, this old, white, racist generation is dying off. There’s a young, vibrant, progressive generation of leaders bursting at the seams and waiting in the wings. They aren’t going to put up with any of this crap.
Reform is coming whether the old guard likes it or not. Young people are just up and walking away from the right-wing, cult religion the Republicans hijacked, distorted and ruined. Not to worry though, they aren’t walking away from Jesus or his teachings. They’re rejecting the apostasy known as The “Christian” Right. They know it’s a scam and a sham and they aren’t having it. The faith will evolve back to what it once was, a spiritual framework with Jesus at the center.
The next two years are going to be interesting to say the least. We’ll be here every day to keep you informed and plugged in to the largest gathering of Christian progressives (and their allies) in the world. The Christian Left admin team has been the hardest working admin team on Facebook for 10 years.
If our sponsored posts are the only posts you see Google “How to receive all updates from my favorite Facebook pages.”
Rebel Jesus - Jackson Browne
All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
While the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus
Well they call him by 'the Prince of Peace'
And they call him by 'the Savior'
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
As their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel Jesus
Well we guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus
Now pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgement
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
There's a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus
by Naomi Hanvey
Tonight, as part of my annual holiday tradition, I watched the 1983 movie, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, for the umpteenth time. This movie, based on the book by Barbara Robinson, explores the story of a group of poor children who hear the Christmas story for the first time when they decide to take part in a church Christmas pageant. There's a lot about this story worth talking about - the classism and judgmental superiority of being shocked by poverty and its consequences, or the very depiction of the Herdmans, written to make suburban white readers in the 1970s gasp and shake their heads in dismay, but which kids today hardly bat an eye at because it's so familiar. But I'm not going to talk about that. I'm going to talk about something the Herdmans noticed when they heard the story of the nativity for the first time: where is Herod?
In the book, the Herdmans are really captivated by the role Herod plays in the Christmas story, attempting to manipulate the Magi into revealing Jesus' location so he can murder the child. In fact, in the book, they're so interested in Herod that they end up going to the library and doing research on the notorious life and reign of Herod the Great. They begin to plan a sequel to the Christmas pageant in which the Wise Men and Joseph get revenge on Herod, much to the dismay of the narrator's brother Charlie, who fears they are going to make him play Herod so they can beat him up.
It's kind of obvious why we don't usually see Herod in the Christmas story. We don't want to complicate the pure, sacred narrative with this subplot of murder and intrigue, right? The image of the nativity creche isn't quite as picturesque when you add a paranoid king slaughtering children in the periphery.
And yet, Matthew spends a significant portion of his nativity account focusing on Herod. And in fact, from both a narrative and a theological standpoint, Herod is essential to the story of Christmas.
A few of my friends have written wonderful things this season about the Magnificat, the song Mary sings when she visits her cousin Elizabeth while they are both miraculously pregnant. In it, Mary praises God for overturning the power structures that have kept people like her oppressed and downtrodden, celebrating the revolutionary new kingdom that God will usher in with the birth of God's Son - of her son. This, my friends have emphasized, is the good news of Christmas: the promise of liberation for the oppressed by God's conquering the oppressor.
What are these power structures? Who is the oppressor in the nativity story? Well at this point in time, it's Rome, of course, the occupying pagan government. But apart from Augustus ordering a census that sets the events of the story in motion, Rome is pretty absent from the narrative we read in the gospels. Instead, we see Herod as the story’s antagonist. Herod was a puppet ruler, subservient to Rome. The story of his rise to power is as convoluted and full of intrigue as is Octavian's - full of assassination plots, strategic marriages, and political maneuvering. Herod represents power at its worst, power that exists for no other purpose than to increase, and which will stop at nothing to maintain itself.
Herod became the tetrarch of a small chunk of Palestine called Judea. The whole region of Palestine seems to have been perennially problematic, constantly at war with whoever was occupying it at any given time (this was one of the reasons it was broken into separate jurisdictions under Roman rule). Herod's job, presumably, was to keep the Judeans from revolting against Rome - in other words, to maintain "law and order." Herod was Jewish (ish) himself, and he went to some great lengths to build good PR with his province by rebuilding and expanding the temple in Jerusalem. It was Roman policy to allow conquered peoples the right to practice their religious and cultural traditions. So really, all Herod had to do was to maintain the status quo.
It's into this situation that Mary proclaims:
"He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty." (Luke 1:51-53 ESV)
This describes a complete overturning of the status quo. Mary's song depicts God aggressively - dare I say, violently - tearing down existing power structures in order to lift up the humble and lowly. God is, in short, a revolutionary, the very opposite of what Herod represents.
Sometimes I think we mistake peace for the status quo. Especially for those of us whose lives are pretty good, who are neither poor nor oppressed, it's easy to think that "peace" simply means "the continuation of things as they are, without any interruption to myself." That's certainly what peace meant for Herod. And yet, as Mary's song indicates, the arrival of Jesus - the Prince of Peace - represents a direct threat to Herod and to everything he stands for. Herod probably didn't care if Jesus actually was the promised Messiah; it was enough for him that he might be seen as a Messiah, a figure for people to rally around and support over himself. Remember, as the instrument of Rome, Herod's power depended on keeping the Judeans in line, and the Judeans had a habit of rising up around charismatic leaders and revolting against the powers that be. Herod's job security depended on nothing changing in Judea - politically, economically, socially, or theologically - so this rumor needed to be squashed. And so Jesus had to die.
For those like Mary who do actually live in poverty, hunger, or oppression, peace means the opposite of the status quo. It means an end to things as they are so they can be as they ought to be. It means bringing down the people in power - not to put new people in power, but to replace the entire structure of power. Peace requires radical, absolute, irrevocable change, change that threatens the rich and the powerful and the comfortable.
This year, let's put Herod back in Christmas. Let's remember that there are people and forces in the world to whom Jesus is a threat, and who will do anything they can, often in the very name of "peace," to prevent him from enacting his radical agenda. But Jesus didn't come into the world so things could stay as they are; he came to turn the world upside-down. He came to bring true peace, the kind of peace Herod feared but Mary longed for. Let's take a hard look at the structures of power in our world that keep many people perpetually locked in powerlessness, in poverty, in hunger, in danger, in fear, in want - and let's enter into the work of Christ, which is to undo those structures. Let's be willing to risk losing the comfort that comes with maintaining our current way of life, in order to usher in the reign of peace foretold by Mary so long ago.
Merry Christmas, all.
‘I like the cut of your jib,’ is a 17th century expression which referred to the forward sail on most ships. The course and speed of a ship is determined by the cut of the ship’s jib so saying that you like the cut of someone’s jib is a way of saying, 'I like the way you're heading.'
Disclaimer: When we talk about abortion here we're addressing the sick, right-wing cult that has risen up around it.
You can have any opinion you want. You don't have to agree with our viewpoint that personhood takes place at first breath, which is the Biblical view.
But you can't impose your opinion on others, legally or otherwise, and you can't make judgments about the status of their souls or label their choices a sin if they differ from yours. Full stop.
The abortion issue may be the single most powerful strawman Satan ever concocted.
Those brainwashed by the fabricated nonsense are truly under some kind of bizarre spell. They come here like an army of drones and harass us all day, every day about it.
They repeat the same mantras like Trump does with the Mueller investigation in his Tweets.
We just ban them and delete their comments. They can't be reasoned with on any level. It is 100% pointless to attempt to reason with them.
Satan has managed to get them onboard with an evil ideology (modern right-wing ideology) that is the complete opposite of everything Jesus ever taught. They just throw out the concocted slur, "I'm pro-life," and they think they're good with God!
Clever scam. These people are going to have a big surprise coming in the end. If nothing else they'll learn they were all wrong when Jesus recites Matthew 25: 31-46 to the nations.
We pray that God has mercy on them. They've been psychologically kidnapped by a cult whose ideology is the Law of the Jungle. It's "The strongest shall survive and the weak deserve nothing" garbage.
Please don't give us any crap about fetuses being weak. Fetuses aren't people until they take their first breath outside their mother's body. Until that point the mother is the vulnerable entity who deserves the protection of society, not the other way around.
The biggest protection we can give women is the right to make their own decisions about their own bodies and their own private and personal convictions.
Abortion fanatics love to babble about "Religious Freedom" until your freedom to make moral choices isn't in agreement with theirs. Then they want to control you and force their religious rules on you.
That's really demented. Maybe that's why they're called Dominionists. Mike Pence is one of them and they make us sick to our stomachs. That fake pious tone of voice he uses makes our skin crawl every time.
Click here to read the complete story of how this scam was pulled off: "The Real Origins of the Religious Right." Everyone should educate themselves about this history. It wasn't always the way it is now.
Let's look at another story about the "pro-life" crowd and how their ideology manifests in the real world:
"Writer Shannon Dingle is the mother of six kids, several of whom are adopted. Some of them have disabilities while others have special needs. Her Republican church friends applauded her for her 'pro-life' decisions — at least until she asked them to support policies that would make her kids’ lives a bit easier. Then they balked ..."
Read the full article here. Former Republican: My “Pro-Life” Friends Oppose Policies That Help My Kids Live
Please note the above article links to a essay featured in a blog called "The Friendly Atheist." The story originally appeared in USA Today. Be assured, all the members of The Christian Left admin team and staff are Christians. That said we have no issues sharing some ideas from our atheist friends. The Christian Left Facebook page has thousands of atheist fans and allies. We love them, and why wouldn't we? Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, ALL our neighbors.
Atheists often offer insight from a perspective where Christians may have a blind spot. They can shed light on hypocrisy that causes people to stumble and leave the faith. The story highlighted above is one of those situations.
Here are two videos to cap off this conversion. They are very informative. Like the above article they explain in detail how the abortion cult began.
Weekly Update 12/01/2018 -- This is our first post using our new, updated layout and design! Isn't it great!?
The news this week has further illustrated that the Donald J. Trump administration is an embarrassing cabal of liars and criminals. Trump ran his business like a mob organization for decades and he just moved the operation to the White House after the Russians helped him steal the election.
The worst part of it all is the “Christians” support him and put forth the deluded lie that they’re the guardians of a “Christian Nation.”
“Christian Nation?” Really? Let’s take a look at the fruits of their “Christian” ideology. They take away food from people who don’t have enough as it is. They take away medical care from those who will suffer and die without it. They take away housing assistance and force people to live on the violent streets. They give gigantic tax cuts to people who don’t even need them and increase taxes on the poor and the middle class.
They bully and pick on the oppressed and vulnerable (the easiest targets for them), the LGBTQ, pregnant women in bad situations, undocumented people brought here as children who know no other country but America. They keep wages artificially flat for decades while the cost of living skyrockets.
They go home and stand in front of their constituencies and congregations and tell them they’re doing ‘God’s work.’ They are ‘God’s party.’ The people believe them. They watch Fox “News” and their beliefs are validated and reinforced further. Their preachers feed them the same lines every week as well. God has turned over all who participate in this ugly mess to being of reprobate minds. Something has gone wrong. Something has gone very wrong. It’s a cult.
It’s always funny to us when Christians say we should have nothing to do with government. God spent most of the Old Testament either telling us how to set up our governments, or warning unruly, disobedient kings via the prophets that they were messing up and abusing the people.
In the Old Testament, God commands Moses to “bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you” (Numbers 11:16). In Deuteronomy 16:18 we read, “You shall appoint for yourselves judges and officers in all your towns which the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.”
In Deuteronomy 14 and 15 God says, “At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied. There should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you. If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.”
In Leviticus 25 God says, “If any of your fellow citizens become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. Don’t lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit. If they become poor do not make them work as slaves. They are to be treated as hired workers. Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.”
In Isaiah 58 God says, “Is it not you I have chosen to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not you I have chosen to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter? Is it not you I have chosen when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Is it not you I have chosen to end exploitation of workers? Have I not chosen you to raise up the age-old foundations and be the repairer and restorer of streets and dwellings?”
Over and over again God says, “Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud, Proverbs 16:19. He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker, Proverbs 17:5. He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done, Proverbs 19:17. If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered, Proverbs 21:13. The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern, Proverbs 29:7. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy, Proverbs 31:9.”
It’s fair to say that most of God’s communication with us has been how we should treat one another, in all aspects of life including government.
In Matthew 25 Jesus explains his final judgment, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
How many times does God need to say it? How many ways does God have to explain it? How many prophets does God need to send with the same message? Was it not enough that God became flesh and explained it to us eye to eye?
Yet here we are again. We’ve built the golden calf again. We’ve disregarded God’s instructions again. We’ve invented our own system of morality again. Now the two things God is allegedly most concerned about are fetuses and homosexuals. Now the poor are ‘lazy freeloaders’ and ‘why should we have to help them with a gun to our head?’ According to our president most resident aliens are ‘rapists, gangsters and drug dealers, and we need to get rid of them.’ People who say we should actually help the poor using the methods God outlined are labeled 'Socialists' and ‘Communists.’
We’re right back at square one, where we always seem to end up no matter how obvious God makes it for us. That's why it's so important for each new generation to carry the message of Jesus forward. We intend to do our part, and we do.
David LaChapelle, "Last Supper," 2003
While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” - Mark 2: 15-16
Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. -- Matthew 19:13-15
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” -- Luke 14:12-14
A Brief Note On Who We Are:
We show up here every day, 7 days a week, and provide a continuous flow of news stories illustrating the truth of everything we just stated. Who else does that? Where else would you find that in real time every day? Where else can Christian progressives and their allies gather 24/7/365 and discuss the issues of the day, support one another, offer comfort, share hopes and dreams, ask for advice, share struggles, talk about God anytime without being harassed, and learn from the content and from each other how to apply the teachings of Jesus to our daily lives?
Frightening Viewpoints Of Powerful "Christian" Right "Ministry" - We're Among The Few Counternarratives
Most people don't really know the extent to which The "Christian" Right's power and influence has grown exponentially over the past 40 years. It is truly frightening.
We've been monitoring them for 10 years. Here is one small example of a "ministry" with immense power:
Ralph Drollinger and Capitol Ministries has way, way too much power in DC and around the world. Read their list of viewpoints.
Among them is that "Liberal Christians aren’t really Christians, they’re simpletons," "Catholicism is one of the primary false religions in the world,” "People with government positions should not 'compromise Biblical absolutes' and should hire only other 'righteous' people," and "Christian public servants are required to support the death penalty and oppose marriage equality."
Also, "entitlement programs (like Social Security) have no biblical authority," and "God is a capitalist."
After you read the below article please come back to this blog post for a few more thoughts.
Group That Runs Fundamentalist Bible Studies For Cabinet & Congress Growing ‘Beyond Our Wildest Imaginings’ Globally
A Brief Note On Who We Are:
This is the kind of feedback we see every day:
“I thank God for this page & all the members who promote the love & acceptance of Jesus Christ. I live in a rural area of the South where Christian bigotry runs rampant. It does my heart good to come here and read encouraging & uplifting words.” -- Rebecca P., member of The Christian Left
Frankly, that’s why we started this ministry and also why we’ve kept coming back every day for close to 10 years. We knew we were not alone. We knew the voice of Christian progressives was being suppressed. Christianity Inc. had become a powerful force. They had become the religion of wealth and empire. They had forgotten about the teachings of Jesus.
It has taken thousands of person-hours to build and maintain this ministry. Our effort continues daily. We set up and maintain a website, a blog, a Twitter page, a store, an Instagram page, a Facebook page and a broadcast mailing list. During the 2012 election season we formed a super-PAC (which is now dismantled due to lack of support).
We take direct, in-person social justice action throughout the year at locations around the nation. When we do we report to the community.
We're glad you're here!
Taking Back Christianity From The Religious Right
"Very little in the actual teaching put forward by Jesus here would support the political philosophy of the Christian right, with its worship of military might or its obsession with capital punishment. But it’s probably too much to ask them to consider what Jesus actually said."
The death of Christianity in the U.S.
"Christianity has died in the hands of Evangelicals. Evangelicalism ceased being a religious faith tradition following Jesus’ teachings concerning justice for the betterment of humanity when it made a Faustian bargain for the sake of political influence.
The Evangelicals’ Jesus is satanic, and those who hustle this demon are “false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." (2 Cor. 11:13-15, NIV)
The Last Temptation
"The moral convictions of many evangelical leaders have become a function of their partisan identification. This is not mere gullibility; it is utter corruption. Blinded by political tribalism and hatred for their political opponents, these leaders can’t see how they are undermining the causes to which they once dedicated their lives. Little remains of a distinctly Christian public witness."
The Real Origins of the Religious Right
(Four Page Must Read On How It All Went Down)
"Today, evangelicals make up the backbone of the pro-life movement, but it hasn’t always been so. Both before and for several years after Roe, evangelicals were overwhelmingly indifferent to the subject, which they considered a 'Catholic issue.'
it wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after Roe—that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools. So much for the new abolitionism."
How Corporate America Invented Christian America
At a gathering in 1940 Reverend James W. Fifield Jr. told industrialists that clergymen would be crucial in regaining the upper hand in their war with Roosevelt. As men of God, ministers could voice the same conservative complaints as business leaders, but without any suspicion that they were motivated solely by self-interest. They could push back against claims, made often by Roosevelt and his allies, that business had somehow sinned and the welfare state was doing God’s work. The assembled industrialists gave a rousing amen. “When he had finished,” a journalist noted, “rumors report that the N.A.M. applause could be heard in Hoboken.”
It was a watershed moment—the beginning of a movement that would advance over the 1940s and early 1950s a new blend of conservative religion, economics and politics that one observer aptly anointed “Christian libertarianism.” Fifield and like-minded ministers saw Christianity and capitalism as inextricably intertwined, and argued that spreading the gospel of one required spreading the gospel of the other.
“Pain is whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever and wherever the person says it does.”
-- Margo McCaffery, RN, MS, FAAN, leader and pioneer in pain management for nursing.
Over the last 3 years I have been forced to become a student of chronic pain and a pain activist. The pain I've endured in my left shoulder has been brutal, unrelenting, and at times unbearable.
I'm finally emerging on the other side after having my shoulder replaced last May. They told me it takes about a year to completely recover and that's about what it has taken. In a month and a half it will have been a year since my surgery. I feel about 10/12ths in to my recovery.
My odyssey has been long. My story is long too. I'm going to add to it over the course of time. I've been treated like a junkie and fed falsehoods from the medical community that I knew weren't true. The medical community on the whole knows the least about this issue unless they're chronic severe pain sufferers themselves. They are being fed propaganda by the CDC which lumped street opiates in with prescribed opiates to come up with their bogus numbers. The medical community is operating out of fear and a very bad case of group think. The full truth will come out eventually. It's beginning to emerge right now.
Some of the things I've been told I know to be false because I've experienced it myself. They include:
"It's really the Acetaminophen (Tylenol) in opioid pain medication that provides relief from the pain. The opiates only provide euphoria."
This is patently false. No, it isn't the Acetaminophen that provides all the relief. Acetaminophen alone didn't even touch my pain, neither did Ibuprofen, and they were both tearing my stomach to shreds. Percocet (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen) did provide relief, and it had nothing to do with euphoria. It had to do with what works at relieving the pain and what doesn't. Opiates are by far the most effective pain reliever there is. Every one of the hundreds of accounts I've read of people suffering from chronic severe pain say the same thing.
In the course of being put through the wringer I was forced to try Lyrica, Cymbalta, Gabapentin, Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline, and Tramadol. I was taken to the highest recommended doses on all of them. None of them even came remotely close to the pain relief of narcotics (opiates).
It didn't matter to the doctors I went to, two "pain doctors," one orthopedic surgeon, my primary doctor, all of them said, "I'm not giving you narcotics and that's that." I literally could not sleep at night in any position without enduring brutal pain, and I mean brutal. None of them cared. They all fear the CDC and the DEA that much. They started telling themselves lies.
As it turns out the vast majority of pain patients don't abuse their medication and they don't die from it. It's worth repeating ... the CDC lumped deaths from street opiates like heroin and illicit pills in with deaths from prescribed opiates taken by pain patients, came up with one number, and called it "The Opioid Crisis."
At one point I was desperate so I called a medical malpractice group of attorneys to get their take on all of it. I was told, "You can't do anything to a doctor unless they actually harm you. We get calls every day from people literally crying, telling us their doctor took them off their opiate medication for chronic pain after 20 years. Most of them are in unspeakable agony. Their doctors don't care."
I didn't give up. I couldn't give up. The pain wasn't something you could "live with." A Naturopathic Doctor pain managed me with opiates for a few months before and after my shoulder replacement. The point came where she felt like she had reached the limits of her expertise.
I finally went to the pain clinic at Oregon Health and Science University. I found a bastion of sanity there. They deal with many of the tough pain cases in the region. They acknowledged the craziness taking place around this issue and told me mine wasn't a difficult case compared to most they see. They listened to my history and put me on the low-dose opiate regimen I needed. That was that. I've been tapering down per my own decreased need for pain relief as I reach full recovery.
The truth is starting to come out. I just ran across the best, most comprehensive article I've seen thus far on this topic. It begins to expose what is really going on. It's from Reason Magazine, the April 2018 issue. I highly recommend it. The title of the article is, "America’s War on Pain Pills Is Killing Addicts and Leaving Patients in Agony," by Jacob Sullum. Here's an excerpt:
In contrast with these harm reduction tactics, continuing attempts to discourage the use of prescription pain medication promise to cause a lot of needless suffering without making a noticeable dent in opioid-related deaths. Prescription guidelines that the CDC issued in March 2016, which minimize the benefits of opioids, exaggerate their risks, and encourage doctors to be stingy with them, exemplify this misguided strategy.
A 2016 critique published by the journal Pain Practice challenges several key aspects of the CDC document, including its recommended dose ceilings, its general declaration that nonopioid treatment is “preferred for chronic pain,” its suggestion that opioid prescriptions for acute pain last no longer than seven days, and its statement that doctors who decide to prescribe opioids should begin with immediate-release products rather than extended-release or long-acting (ER/LA) analgesics.
The criticism of that last recommendation sums up what is wrong with the guidelines in general ...
I'll end it here for today. This is only the beginning of my writing on this topic. This blog post will expand over time. I haven't even begun to tell you about the nightmare of the two "pain clinics" I went to before the university. Talk about humiliation. Again, I recommend reading the articles linked in this post. It's a lot of information to process. Those who suffer from chronic pain will feel validated after being treated like junkies and criminals by a medical community overcome by hysteria.
Pro-Born: A Former Evangelical on the Single-Issue Politics of White Christians
By Bradley Onishi
"First, you get to deny the messy stakes of loving the born and bodied—those with melanin in their skin, different kinds of hair, gender-queer expressions, immigrant parents, and non-Christian faiths. Second, you get to deny the messiness of the social contract—of the political realm and all its irreducible details and multiple voices.
You are absolved of responsibility for the brown skin of Dreamers, the unwashed hair of refugees, the cry of bullied trans teenagers, the mourning songs from families of black men and women killed by police. Myopic and unwavering focus on abortion is the way to avoid the carnality of living, breathing beings. The way to get away from bodies."
Link To Full Article
About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.