Talking Points

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“It is of no concern to me if this president, or any president, issues prayer proclamations. I can pray, or not, without government encouragement.”

— Cal Thomas, a conservative commentator, writing about a recent court ruling that it is unconstitutional for government to promote the National Day of Prayer.

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14 thoughts on “Talking Points

  1. Well. Cal and I do not agree on much. However, after being a card-carrying member of the Religious Right for years, he finally caught on to the same things we all know about them. The Religious Right is not about the Christian faith or Jesus. It is about preachers who became bored with the Suffering Servant-Caring for the Flock Model set forth by Jesus himself. They could not take that any longer. They needed something more out of life. Some zest. Some money. An opportunity to build their own little personal empire. A chance to rub elbows with the big boys.

    Why? Here is a clue. Most preachers with a good education who leave the church for private sector jobs go into business management—MANAGEMENT. You see. The Christian pulpit attracts people who have a natural-born gift for managing people, resources, and ideas. Dick Bolles, a former preacher himself, who wrote the famous book “What Color is Your Parachute?”, says so right there in his book, and he is the world’s foremost expert in the field of career planning and development.

    Three Words: Parachurch Organizations. Megachurches.

    I have this personal theory that wicked people seek out and find other versions of themselves to advance their mutual interests. It was inevitable that bored Religious Right preachers in search of zest in the real world would hook up with politicians to advance their mutual interests of ego, power, and greed. They kissed, jumped into bed, and have been copulating with each other for nearly 40 years now. It’s a trade off made in Hell. It works something like this:

    “Brother John, if you will get your Christians lined up against a bill to limit corruption in Wall Street investment banks, I’ll float a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion. Deal?”

    Of course, the Senator does not give a dime about abortion way or the other—not really. After all, his daughter had one just yesterday. Furthermore, he knows quite securely and safely that it is nearly impossible to amend the U.S. Constitution, so he rests in great confidence that his proposed amendment will be “DEAD ON ARRIVAL.” All he has to do is tell the stupid Christian suckers, “Well, I tried.” In reality, he didn’t try. He didn’t come anywhere close to trying. He got what he wanted for the Wall Street banks and gave nothing in return to the Religious Right. How quickly they forget. Does anyone here remember when Tucker Carlson at CNN broke the stories about Washington cocktail parties and how the people at these parties openly run down consevative Christians and their leaders as hopeless rhubarbs? They are treated as laughingstock.

    Conservative evangelical Christian and former Religious Right member Cal Thomas figured this out—and has distanced himself from the Religious Right. I am just wondering when all of the other Religious Right followers are going to wake up to the realization that theytoo are being DECEITFULLY USED by these bored preachers and sly politicians. I wish the Tea Party people would wake up to this like Cal Thomas did—and go after them.

  2. For maybe the first time I agree with Cal Thomas’ statement.

    Sorry, Charles, but I take issue with your comment identifying Jesus as “the Suffering Servant.” All Jews – and many mainstream Christian denominations – agree that Isaiah’s Suffering Servant is a metaphor for the entire body of Israelite people, not any one individual. If you read the entire text of Isaiah 53 – which actually begins with the last couple of verses of 52 – you’ll see that the text cannot possibly be describing one individual: there are too many plural nouns (i.e. ‘they,’ ‘them’). In addition, Jesus does not fit the description of the Suffering Servant who, among other things, was promised long life and offspring.

    Additionally, many previous verses in Isaiah clearly state that the Suffering Servant is “corporate” Israel:
    Isaiah 41:8-9: “But thou Israel art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen….”
    Isaiah 43:10: “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen….”
    Isaiah 44:1-2: “….hear, O Jacob, my servant: and Israel, whom I have chosen….” “Fear not, O Jacob, my servant….”
    Isaiah 44:21: “Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant….”
    Isaiah 45:4: “For Jacob my servant’s sake….”
    Isaiah 48:20: “….say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob….”
    Isaiah 49:3: “…..Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

    Finally, there is no tradition that the Suffering Servant is mashiach or vice versa. Far from it.

    But maybe you were writing in the broadest, most loosely defined sense of a ‘servant.’

  3. It somewhat echoes Thomas Jefferson:

    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

    Oddly enough, David Barton doesn’t seem to use this line too often.

  4. It’s interesting that freedom of religion is threatening to “evangelicals”. I decided to refresh my memory on the term evangelical. I have “evangelical” in quotes to indicate I’m talking about the political movement which seeks to hijack Christianity for it’s own ends.
    They start out by proclaiming the all-important “personal relationship” with god that the believer must choose of their own free will, but in the end, they find it necessary to legislate coercive indoctrination of the entire society.
    What I’m getting at, is that this is the 800 lb gorilla of their own lack of faith. If they had faith in god’s power they wouldn’t feel the need to enforce it themselves.
    The ones that are sincere are torn by the absurdity of their own rigid thought process, which leads them to wind up having to support ANY con man or cynical politician who pays lip service to the faith, even though in their heart they know it’s wrong. So they wind up lying to themselves, and having to reinforce that rationalization over and over again to blot out any threatening “reality check”.
    And that has become the totality of their “belief system” at this stage. Wallbuilders, indeed.

    It’s so different from the faith of my parents. They accepted doubt and uncertainty a long time ago as part and parcel of faith and the human condition. They simply try to humbly live by the teachings of Jesus and quietly say a prayer at each meal and every night before bed. They read the Bible every morning and most evenings. They put their faith in God and aren’t afraid of death.
    Say what??

  5. Headline:

    I still stand with NCSE on this one. It is best to avoid doing word battles with fence posts. No one can win an argument with a fence post.

  6. Anonymous:

    Isaiah was not on my mind at all—never even crossed it.

    I was thinking about the overall nature of Jesus’s brief ministry as presented in the New Testament, particularly in Philippians 2:

    “But [Jesus] made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

    And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

    How many of you have seen the far right faction on the Texas SBOE make no reputation of themselves or humble themselves to even the outside possibility that they, in their human frailty, might be wrong.

  7. Hi Charles, it’s me Cytocop. My pc must be possessed and is identifying me as “Anonymous” as it did in another recent conversation. I hope it’s been corrected now. Sorry for the confusion.

    And thanks for the explanation. Jesus has always mystified me as he seemed to be confused about who and what he was. But based on your reference to Philippians, I understand your reference. Thanks again.

  8. Hold on to your hats folks. Charles is reporting back with his most significant post ever. PLEASE READ:

    The History Channel has a brand new, wonderful, and extremely well done series called “America: The History of Us.” It premiered tonight, and I managed to catch the first episode, which deals with the founding of our country. As you know, the Jamestown colony in Virginia was founded a number of years before the Pilgrims set sail, and it was founded as a commercial venture—one that essentially failed—at least at first. Here is the part even old history buff moi did not know. I guess this is what Paul Harvey would have called: “The rest of the story.”

    After the Jamestown folks had died off in droves, and still before the Pilgrims ever came to Plymouth, an Englishman by the name of John Rolfe boarded a ship in England to go check up on the Jamestown effort. At that time the Spanish had the world trade on tobacco cornered, and selling Spanish tobacco seeds to foreigners was punishable by death. Well, somehow, John Rolfe had managed to get himself some contraband Spanish tobacco seeds, and he was taking them to Virginia. When he got there, it was obvious that Jamestown was a death-filled flop. However, he was determined to stay and try to grow tobacco in this place—really make a go of it. He and others around him soon learned that tobacco grew very well, and his first plantings of tobacco (and those of his neighbors) were the beginning of the tobacco industry in the United States. Soon other folks decided to stick around and grow tobacco too—and did so successfully. The first Virgina tobacco crop was worth about $4,000,000 in today’s currency. Tobacco is what cemented the first staying power of English colonization in the new world. Tobacco and the potential money that lay in it were the factors that made the Englishmen dig in, put up with the Tidal Basin insects, and stick with the colonization effort (and I will emphasize again that this got underway well before the Pilgrims showed up). Now, get this. The people who put this documentary series together must have had their eyes on the Texas SBOE and David Barton because they made an EXTRA SPECIAL point to state their fact in no uncertain terms. Here is the money quote straight from the documentary, and I dedicate this quote to you Cynthia Dunbar:


    That is it. That is precisley what they made a very special point to say. You will note that the term “Biblical Principles” is not in there anywhere. In fact, the Biblical Principles had not even set sail on the Mayflower. So, as you can see, our country was actually founded—got its first real start—on account of a broad-leafed narcotic weed grown from South American seeds that were obtained illegally from the Spanish and smuggled on the sly to Virginia.

    Now here is the really fun part for Cynthia Dunbar. This documentary series is so well done and so interesting that people all over the United States (far more people than Don McLeroy and David Barton will ever address) are going to see it. People all over the world will see it. And here is the real kicker. The History Channel stated that it has made arrangements to give (as a free gift) copies of at least one DVD (probably DVD No. 1 that I saw tonight) to EVERY (not just one or two) EVERY SCHOOL IN THE UNITED STATES. EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM. That is what they said. Every kid from sea to shining sea is going to learn that:


    The DVD is simple and easy for any dimwit to follow and understand,which means that even the rubes out there are going to know that that this Biblical Principles stuff is just two-bit propaganda. I just hope the schools will emphasize that the facts of American history are no reason to chew, dip, or light up.

    The History Channel really nailed this one.


    That is an exact quote.

  9. I am so glad they decided to put something on beside “Nostradamus”.
    I glanced at the show, but I would have had to prop my eyelids open with toothpicks, I was tired.
    Thanks Charles.

  10. Charles, thanks for the great review. It’s a shame I missed the show but will watch for it. Yep, the conclusion is right on the money. And considering the tax revenue received, the profit for tobacco companies, and the high mortality rate of smokers (all 3 results being desired by our government and our for-profit healthcare system), America is STILL founded on tobacco.