Talking Points

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“If you sit on the mental health commission, do you have to be retarded? If you sit on the [Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission], do you have to be a drunk?”

— Texas State Board of Education member David Bradley, R-Beaumont Buna, arguing that state board members don’t need to be finance experts to manage the $23 billion Permanent School Fund. Really.

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12 thoughts on “Talking Points

  1. He left himself wide open for this one.
    Forgive the un-pc language:

    Mr. Bradley, No, but apparently to be on the TSBOE, you have to be a drunken idiot.

  2. When will these people ever learn that there comes a time to just plain keep your mouth shut?

  3. Charles, I don’t see the downside for them. No matter what idiocy comes out of their mouths, their followers will still be there for them, because it’s all for Jesus…and the kids, of course. As long as they keep bashing those socialist lefties, they’re a-ok in the eyes of the “true Christians”.

  4. That’s the problem trog69. They have their secular political and social beliefs so tightly fused with their religious beliefs that it is hard to see where one ends and the other begins. For example, if you will look in your Bible, it does not say anything about the establishment of a democratically-oriented republic as the perfect form of human government. In the Bible, the political economy ranges from hunter-gatherer bands (Adam and Eve) to nomadic bands and their herd animals to assorted small monarchies, and on to empires ruled over by a king or an emperor.

    Using the hollow “Biblical authorization” argument the Christian Neo-Fundamenatlists use for some many other things, our American form of government is a sin among men that should not even exist. Even heaven is a monarchy ruled by God the King. Southern Baptist pastors say it all of the time in sermons: “Heaven is not a democracy where you have a vote; it is a kingdom and what the King says is absolute.” Some pastors will go on to describe heaven as a benevolent dictatorship.

    However, without any Biblical support whatever, these Christian Neo-Fundamentalist fruitcakes seem to believe that the constitutional form of government established by our founding fathers in 1788 was a new and very special form of human government (light years above all other forms of human government) that God established here personally. Apparently, they believe that the United States government is God’s own special government and that all of the other human governments on Earth are questionable at best or established and ruled by Satan. You know. The ruler and the power of the air and all that. I have seen some go so far as to say that the United States is the “second Israel” (the one true apple of God’s eye), a latter-day replacement of sorts for the Israeli nation destroyed by the Romans in 72 A.D. with the destruction of Herod’s temple in Jerusalem—the point being that the people of the United States are now God’s chosen people. How they flush that with the real Israel in today’s Middle East—I don’t know.

    I do not read any of that anywhere in my Bible. In fact, I do not see the United States or its government mentioned by name anywhere in my Bible. And here’s where it gets really good. As a friend of mine who is a fundamentalist pastor’s son says, “…the whole Bible must be interpreted literally—except when it suddenly becomes symbolic and allegorical.” They will say: “Well, the United States is not mentioned by name in the Bible, but we believe it is represented allegorically in Daniel blah, blah, blah.” Right—and my mother is a green tomato from Atlantis. Those literal verses (that are really allegorical) could mean any number of things.

    That sort of inanity is bad enough. However, the real trick of the Christian Neo-Fundamentalist trade lies somewhere else. As a matter of daily practice, they turn nearly every verse in the Bible into a rule or law. However, when they cannot find a rule or law that covers a particular subject, they resort to something they call “Biblical precepts,” which is where the real fun and insanity begins. These are more generalized Biblical principles that they claim to be able to extract from the Bible at some higher level or capture by reading between the lines in the Bible. Very strange for literalists. I am not saying that some plausible precepts are not present in the Bible. However, I would say that precepts are (more often than not) just a very fuzzy and all-too-convenient tool to be used for reading one’s own personal prejudices and “whack job” beliefs into the Bible—then use those precepts to claim that the Bible supports some selected piece of personal nonsense. In other words, they become a convenient excuse for the Christian Neo-Fundamentalists to create their own, personal, extra-scriptural Bible.

    For example, a Christian lady who lives in a nearby city tells me that it is a sin for the government to give food to a starving person. The Bible does not say anything about this being a sin. However, she claims there is a Biblical “precept” whereby all giving of food must be done strictly as a voluntary charitable act from one person or group of people (preferably Christians) to the starving person. Nothing else is acceptable. You see what she is doing here. Right? She is using this so-called precept as a tool to twist the Bible into conformance with her own personal and quite secular prejudices about taxes and government.

    So, as far as I am concerned, many of their so-called precepts are little more than man-created excuses to do the evil in their hearts. As far as I am concerned, the Christian Neo-Fundamentalists can shove most of their so-called precepts as far up their…

  5. Wow! Man, after hearing about it like that, most of these people must be geniuses! I mean, I’m getting a head-cramp just trying to follow the logic behind the contortions you describe, so for them to utilize these mental gymnastics on a daily basis, they must be Titans of the Brain Universe, and are only on this planet to play with our secular minds! Oh man, all this religion stuff is just a cosmic gag!?!

    I-I need to lie down for a moment…

  6. So now they’re stealing children in Haiti and taking advantage of the tragedy to round up some vulnerable people to indoctrinate.
    When the Haiti government exercises its sovereign right to enforce its laws, they and all the Fundamentalist pundits out there will claim they’re being persecuted for trying to save poor Haitian children.

  7. David and Trog69:

    Yeah guys. I have been scratching my head and trying to understand about that Haitian child rescue mission from the Southern Baptist Convention church in Idaho. All of the facts are not in, so I don’t want to jump to any premature conclusions about their motives and actions. After all, let’s face it. Even on a good day before the earthquake, Haiti was a mess. After the earthquake, it has turned into a gargantuan mess. Personally, I would rescue every adult and child on the island and transport them all to a middle class life with top medical care and great food in Milwauk…uh…Dallas, if I had the power. Most of us here would.

    So, with that in mind, one has to wonder whether these Southern Baptists were all just well-meaning “shmucks.” Maybe they were brought to tears by reports from Anderson Cooper and just suddenly resolved to go down there, grab some kids at random, and fly them to what they thought would be safety and security—you know—a real spontaneous and quite unplanned act of love. Maybe they thought Haiti was all chaos and anarchy such that they could spirit away kids without any questions. Maybe there was no thought or planning at all. I don’t know.

    Then come the troubling parts of it all:

    1) In the United States, no one can just pluck a kid off the street and fly them to Rio. You have to have court orders and papers to do something like that. Every American knows that—shmuck or no shmuck. The FBI even has a word for plucking that kid. It’s called “kidnapping,” and it carries a pretty stiff prison sentence. Did it not occur to these Southern Baptists that the same would be true in Haiti? It would have occurred to me. I think it would have occurred to you two guys as well.

    2) News reports say that at least one of the plucked children was crying and pleading that she had parents on the island and did not want to leave—and the Southern Baptists took her anyway. When my kids were small, I taught them what to cry out if they were being snatched by a stranger in the mall, “Help!!! This man is not my dad!!!” This Haitian kid was doing essentially the same thing. That would have frozen me in my tracks. I just wonder why it did not freeze these Southern Baptists in their tracks.

    3) News reports also say that many Haitian parents had actually “given away” these children to the church members. You know, “Here take them away because I am no longer able to provide for them.” Now, pretend some woman just walked up to you on a street corner in Boise and said, “Here—take my kid—he is all yours now.” Would you take him? I doubt it. You would wonder what was up and probably call the police. So, why did some Southern Baptists from Idaho think it was kosher in Haiti?

    4) Fundamentalists and evangelicals have always viewed the nuclear family as one of God’s highest creations. Where it exists, you do not mess with it. It is sacred and virtually untouchable. Show me a kid with parentally-inflicted razor blade slashes on his back, and I will show you a group of evangelicals holding protest signs and imploring the judge that the kid’s rightful place is home with his parents—perhaps after some serious family psychotherapy. So, why would a group of Southern Baptists consciously violate the sacredness of family by toting off children who had living family, including living parents, in Haiti? This sounds really odd to me.

    5) One thing is for sure. These Southern Baptists have a lot of explaining to do to the authorities, the American people, and the Haitian people—and the explanations had better be doggone good.

  8. If I were in the position of no food, water, shelter, and very little hope of getting anything soon, I’d be very tempted to let my kids go to someone, anyone that could do better for them. I truly hope this is the case, rather than that, once again, seeing why so many fundamentalists are so…fundie; Willful ignorance bordering on mental retardation.

    And then we add Scientology cult members being airlifted in by Vinny Barbarino.

    “Here I(we) come to save the da-ay!”~oh wait, that was Mighty Mouse.

  9. From what I’ve seen so far, the explanations are not going to be that good. They lied for one thing, when they were first interviewed, and said the kids were all orphaned. In fact they knew a bunch of them had parents and a bunch of them didn’t want to go. Even if their parents wanted to give them to someone who could take care of them better, out of concern for the child, the child has rights too of his/her own. They can’t just be “taken off” against their will.

    Of course, they’re “well meaning schmucks. I feel sorry for them.
    But they’re so damn drunk on Jesus they can’t think straight.

    To evangelicals, it’s perfectly ok if we go over and kill every last Muslim in the middle east, if we can “lead the last man standing to Jesus.”

  10. “If you sit on the mental health commission, do you have to be retarded? If you sit on the [Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission], do you have to be a drunk?”

    No, but if you sit on the State Board of Education, you had damn well better be educated!