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Religion

Trump's Jesus Lady, Paula White, Wants Your Electric Bill Money

Okay, NOW WE'RE MAD.

Paula White, Trump's personal Bible lady, wants your money. Not just some of your money, all of it. Every last dime. And if you don't give it to her, that will mean that you don't even like God at all and instead want to worship your utility provider.

This is a no-brainer for those of us who do not believe in God, or those who do not believe in Paula White, but a whole lot of people out there actually do.

In an in-depth Mother Jones profile on White, Stephanie Mencimer highlighted the conflict between White's position in the White House and her personal ministry and televangelism career, and the way that is complicated by the fact that churches that endorse political candidates can get into trouble with the IRS. It's even further complicated by the fact that White's gimmick is Prosperity Gospel, a flavor of evangelicalism in which preachers ask congregants to give them lots and lots of money in order to win "favors" from God and become rich themselves. It's quite the scam!

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Religion

Go To Jail, James Bakker. Again.

Bakker wants you to die of coronavirus, for Jesus.

Jim Bakker, that old I Need Your Money For Jesus huckster who did a five-year stint in the federal slammer for fleecing his flock faithful, has been back on low-budget cable for a few years now, mostly selling nigh-inedible survival meal buckets to get you through the End Times and explaining that Planned Parenthood performs Satanic rites, free with every abortion. Ever the kind of fellow to hop on the latest trend, Bakker is now hawking a "silver solution" that just might cure the COVID-19 coronavirus, which now has an official name. Here's the spiel, as captured by the nice folks at Right Wing Watch.

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Feminininism

Are You A 'Republican Goddess?' If So, We Have Found Your Future Husband.

Surely there are many 'Republican Goddesses' who read Wonkette

Finding true love is never easy. Or maybe sometimes it is, I don't know your lives. But clearly, it hasn't been easy for the Reverend William. Who is the Reverend William, you say? I'm not actually sure. Mostly he is a guy who seems like he'd be a vaguely spooky non-main character in a Stephen King movie — and he is going ALL OUT to find the "Republican Goddess" of his dreams. And by "all out," I mean handing out business cards and creating a janky looking website with 85,000 pictures of himself looking increasingly unhinged.

I came across this self-described "awesome gentleman" through a tweet from Vice's Anna Merlan, and boy — if there has been any time in my life where I have regretted being a Republican, this was not it.

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Religion

Trump Vows At Prayer Breakfast To Hunt Down Jesus's Real Killers, The Democrats Who Impeached Him

How evangelical!

Donald Trump showed his ass this morning at the National Prayer Breakfast. This'll come as quite the shock to Susan Collins, who believed the president would find God, repent, and change into a better man. The Senate only acquitted Trump. It didn't curse him with a human soul.

Trump was as petty and vindictive as ever. He didn't temper his remarks or behavior for the moment or the setting. He waved around newspaper front pages with "TRUMP ACQUITTED" headlines. Trump is very proud of his "good enough" presidential diploma. Nancy Pelosi, Trump's arch-nemesis, was present and likely deeply offended, as she is an actual religious person who can touch a Bible without bursting into flame. The prayer breakfast is supposed to be a non-partisan event, but there was no possibility of these two hugging it out. Trump could barely stay awake during Pelosi's own speech -- though in fairness she droned on about "the poor and persecuted." Trump did snap back to consciousness when he heard "persecuted" because that's what President Job considers himself.

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Crime

Mormon Doomsday Novelist Claims Ghost Of Dead Wife Hooked Him Up With Mom Of Missing Kids

This just keeps getting weirder.

Lori Vallow — aka the Mormon Doomsday Cult Mom — was ordered to show up to court in Idaho on Thursday with her children, Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow, who haven't been seen since this fall. Shockingly enough, she did not make it. It is not known whether she returned to Idaho or if she has remained in Hawaii where she has been living with her new husband, Mormon doomsday novelist Chad Daybell, since November.

It's... a lot of a lot.

There's also a new development, of sorts, in the case, and somehow it is no less bizarre than everything else going on with these people.

Kauai landlord Jeani Martin says that on November 7, the couple showed up unannounced at her house about renting her master bedroom, claiming that God had led them there. You know, because God is a big HGTV fan and has very strong opinions on real estate. Does not miss an episode of "Property Brothers," that guy.

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Religion

​MS Rep's 'Heart Would Melt' If Only She Could Violate Schoolchildren's Constitutional Rights

She wants to bring back school prayer.

In 1962, the Supreme Court found, correctly, that prayer in public schools — even if it is non-denominational and even if children are not required to participate — violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Ever since then, pushy religious people have been trying to undo that, because for some reason it is super important to them to get to force their religion on other people, especially other people's children.

The latest in this long line of people who don't seem to get the whole "separation of church and state" deal is new Mississippi Rep. Jill Ford, who wants children to be forced to pray in schools primarily because she thinks it would be super cute and also Jesus would like it a whole lot. On January 27th, Ford filed her very first bill, a proposed amendment to the Mississippi Constitution that would allow for prayer in schools. Christian prayer, of course.

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foreign policy

Kushner Warns Palestinian Leaders Not To Make Him Read A 26th Book About This Crap

Trump's dumb son-in-law tanks Middle East deal by existing.

Donald Trump assigned his son-in-law Jared Kushner -- the nearest Jewish person available -- the small task of brokering peace in the Middle East. He didn't even ask him to change a light bulb first as a basic skills test. The president unveiled Kushner's brainchild at the White House Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. No Palestinian officials were present to hear the details of the deal that would give Israel most of what it wants and Palestinians the lease to own a well-maintained 1982 Buick Century.

Palestinians broke off direct talks with Kushner in 2017 after Trump moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. They also realized they were talking to Jared Kushner, which didn't help matters. Kushner is keeping the lines of communication open, however. He went on CNN and Fox News this week to discuss how much Palestinian leaders suck. It was similar to the "motivational speech" Alec Baldwin gives in Glengarry Glen Ross.

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Courts

Ramapough Indians Win One ... Make That Three Against Sh*tty New Jersey White People

All's well that ends well!

For years, the Ramapough Lenape Nation Tribe, the Township of Mahwah, New Jersey, and a homeowner's association called the Hunt and Polo Club (yes, that's its real name) have been at odds over the Ramapough's right to use their own land.

The land in question is the Ramapough's ancestral land, which they have been on since well before the United States existed. The Ramapough people are descendants of the Munsee people of Lenapehoking, which includes parts of what's now New York and New Jersey. Now, the Ramapough are clustered mostly in Mahwah, New Jersey, Ringwood, New Jersey, and Hillburn, New York.

They are one of the only tribes that has been able to remain on their ancestral land through the systemic displacement of indigenous people by the US government. So, as you would guess, a bunch of white people tried to screw them out of it.

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Crime

Doomsday Cult Couple Found Vacationing At Hawaiian Resort, Without Their Missing Kids

It's a very stressful time, okay?

For the last three months, police have been searching for Idaho doomsday cult members Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell in hopes of finding out what happened to Vallow's children — Tylee Ryan, 17, and Joshua Vallow, 7, who is autistic — who have not been seen by anyone since September.

To refresh your memory, Vallow and Daybell were married in November — just weeks after his previous wife died in suspicious circumstances — and disappeared that same month when police started poking around and asking where the kids were, after J.J.'s grandparents reported that they hadn't seen or spoken to them in a real long time. Said grandparents have since issued a $20,000 reward for any information leading to finding out what happened to them.

On Sunday, police on the Hawaiian island of Kauai found Vallow and Daybell staying in a resort, which is of course a perfectly normal thing to do if your kids are missing and you definitely had nothing to do with it. Or really, if your kids are missing and you did have something to do with it, because that looks suspicious as hell. There is absolutely no context for which "going to a Hawaiian resort" is a normal thing to do when your kids have disappeared.

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Religion

White House Spiritual Advisor Wants God To Abort All The Satanic Pregnancies

So pro-life!

On Friday, Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to give a speech at the March For Forced Birth. On Saturday, footage surfaced of White House spiritual advisor Paula White demanding the immediate miscarriage of all Satanic babies.

White, if you don't know, is into the whole Prosperity Gospel thing. The gist of which is that if you are rich, that means God loves you and thinks you are great and wants you to have all of the golden toilet seats, and if you are poor, it's because you are bad and God hates you and the only way you can get God to love you and give you money is if you give money to people like Paula White. It's sort of like one of those Nigerian prince deals. It is not terrifically surprising that this was the brand of Christianity most appealing to Donald Trump, given that he is a rich person who likes to be complimented, but White is definitely one of the stranger White House spiritual advisors in a while. At least since Joan Quigley, Nancy Reagan's psychic astrologer.

In the clip, White is seen praying for God to miscarry all the Satanic pregnancies. Whether that applies to humans or just like, jackals that are pregnant with the Antichrist or just women who live next door to Ruth Gordon, we don't actually know. But she wants those Satan babies aborted and she wants to do the D&C.

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Culture Wars

They've Found This Year's Culture War And It's Drag Queens, Books

Oh, and put those damn fool librarians in jail, too, for America.

A Missouri state representative has heard about all these Drag Queen Story Time shenanigans at public libraries, and he is very upset at the thought of all those communist preverts practicing their commie preversions in the sight of little kids, what with the drag queening and the reading and the proximity of people wearing things he does not approve of in the presence of children. Clearly, the answer is to comb through library collections and censor all the books that might upset parents, which is why state Rep. Ben Baker has introduced the Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act, which would require all library districts to elect a review board that would have the authority to approve all library materials and events. Any library that failed to set up such a censorship board would lose its state funding.

Baker told NBC News the bill isn't aimed at censoring anything, heavens no! Instead, he explained, he just wants these danged drag queens stopped.

They've had these drag queen story hours, and that's something that I take objection to and I think a lot of parents do [...] That's where in a public space, our kids could be exposed to something that's age-inappropriate. That's what I'm trying to tackle.

See? Not a bit of censorship; Baker just wants to protect the innocent children from people reading picture books while being fabulous. And if any librarian allows "age-inappropriate sexual material" in the library, that would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $500 fine. Gotta let those com-symp Library Science majors know who's boss. No word on whether the bill would also take action to eliminate the "sexy librarian" stereotype.

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History Facts

Betsy DeVos Flunks History, Human Decency

Education secretary compares abortion to slavery like a horrible person with limited knowledge of history.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said some stupid crap the other day. She's an incredibly stupid person and likes to stay on brand. DeVos, who bought her Cabinet position at a GOP donor auction, took on the horrors of reproductive freedom at a Colorado Christian University event. She went so far (and so low) as to compare abortion rights to the enslavement of human beings. She might've also suggested that Donald Trump reminded her of Abraham Lincoln. It was a hot mess.

DEVOS: [Lincoln], too, contended with the "pro-choice" arguments of his day. They suggested that a state's 'choice' to be slave or to be free had no moral question in it. Well, President Lincoln reminded those pro-choicers that there is a vast portion of the American people that do not look upon that matter as being this very little thing. They look upon it as a vast moral evil. Lincoln was right about the slavery 'choice' then, and he would be right about the life 'choice' today. Because as it's been said: Freedom is not about doing what we want. Freedom is about having the right to do what we ought.

Congratulations, Ms. "Education" Secretary, you just failed seventh grade history.

DeVos is comparing something she doesn't like to something everyone (mostly) agrees is terrible. This rhetorical tactic is called "being an asshole." So abortion is just like slavery and zucchini on pizza. This intellectual laziness works equally well in reverse: Charter schools are like freedom and Girl Scout cookies. Her insulting argument falls apart under the slightest scrutiny.

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Gay Stuff

Nice Time: Utah Will Stop Trying To Torture The Gay Out Of Kids

Good riddance to rubbish science.

Utah has agreed to stop torturing children. It's crazy that this is even a victory rather than just a given, but Utah is only the 19th US state to ban conversion therapy for minors. The barbaric practice is supposed to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. It's widely discredited because it's garbage science that doesn't actually achieve its questionable goal. Conversion therapy is more likely to kill its victims. That's not hyperbole. LGBTQ youth are already at a greater risk of attempting suicide than heterosexual kids, but their suicide rate more than doubles when parents try to change who they are. If therapists and religious leaders get involved, the rate triples.

Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, issued the ban this week. Utah's legislature couldn't agree on stopping the practice last year, so Herbert turned to the state's Psychologist Licensing Board. He said at the time:

We're going to turn this to the licensing people. They'll use the best available science. They'll have the opportunity to see what works, what doesn't work. What should be done. What shouldn't be done.

The science has been clear on conversion therapy. The American Psychiatric Association has opposed it since 1998. The American Psychological Association told CNN that there's "insufficient evidence" psychological "interventions" can change a person's sexual orientation. Spokesperson Kim Mills said that instead of trying to change sexual orientation, young people are best served by therapies that involve "acceptance, support and identity exploration and development without imposing a specific identity outcome."

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Gay Stuff

'Kill The Gays' Bill Pastor Scott Lively Declares Self Most Persecuted Man In America

And it's all Saul Alinsky's fault.

Back in 2009, Scott Lively and two other American pastors held a big conference in Uganda in order to tell government officials all about how evil gay people are, how they maybe were responsible for the entire Rwandan genocide, how they wanted to destroy families, and how best to make them all straight. It took five years, and changing "execution" to "life imprisonment," but Uganda finally passed the Kill the Gays bill introduced immediately after Lively's big trip. (For the record, Lively thought the whole execution thing was a bit excessive although he agreed "with the general goal.")

If Scott Lively is known for one thing, he is known for really hating gay people. It is his entire personal brand. He wrote a book called The Pink Swastika in which he claimed that gay people were the ones who invented Nazism and then decided to throw themselves into concentration camps for being gay. And these are the titles of his other books!

Seven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child: A Parent's Guide to Protecting Children from Homosexuality and the "Gay" Movement (1998)
Why and How to Defeat the "Gay" Movement (2000)
Redeeming the Rainbow: A Christian Response to the "Gay" Agenda (2009)

As you can see, he has committed to this bit. He's not out there talking about other aspects of Christianity or writing books about the joys of model train collecting. If you Google him, pretty much all that comes up are the terrible things he has said about gay people. Although, to be fair, he did call for the death penalty for performing abortions last month and also once got a nice thrill up his leg from an explosion at a strip club in which 18 people were injured. That is about as diversified as his personality portfolio gets.

In addition to blaming gay people for the Holocaust, he also blames them for Noah's Flood, claimed that Barack Obama was previously married to a man (his Muslim Pakistani roommate no less), and bragged about helping to craft Russia's anti-gay law, calling it the "proudest achievement" of his career.

Why am I telling you all these things about Scott Lively right now? Because Scott Lively has officially declared himself the most persecuted man in all of America.

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Religion

Rude Church Kicks Out All The Old People In Hopes Of Attracting Young Hep Cats

Jesus didn't trust anyone over thirty. That's why he died around that age.

This June, the Grove United Methodist Church in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, will close its doors.

In November, it will open them back up, but they won't be welcoming back any of their current parishioners on account of how they are too old and uncool. The church is hoping to get hip young parents to join up and thinks they will start coming in as long as there aren't any old people there, olding up the place. You know, so they can all learn good Christian lessons about loving one's neighbor (except if they are old, because ew).

While the former parishioners will not be "physically barred" from coming into the new church (how nice!), they were sent a memo asking them not to come back, and suggesting that they stay away for two years and then, after that, they can consult the pastor about "reapplying." How very holy! And Christlike!

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Feminininism

Nice Christian Lady Just Wants To Insult Some Fat People (For Their Own Good)

Content note: fat-shaming, eating disorders

There are perks to be a bully, no question. Traditionally, one reaps such rewards in middle school and high school, though if one sticks to certain areas afterwards — Greek life in college, PTAs, Real Housewives franchises, probably a lot of financial stuff, Republican politics, tradwife blogger — being the kind of person who just enjoys insulting people who have done nothing to you can be an asset.

The one thing it doesn't help you with, however, is getting to be "the good guy." And to some, that just doesn't feel fair.

Over the last few years, it has become less and less acceptable to make fun of people for being fat. Most of us — especially those who thought that making fun of people for being overweight was gross to begin with — see this as a good thing. Personally, it had never occurred to me that people who made fun of people for being fat did not think they were assholes. What could possibly be more apparent?

But there has been a backlash, with many of these obvious assholes insisting that the reason they are doing this is because they are caring people who so desperately want people to get "healthy" and are sure that the only way to encourage them to do so is to scream "Hey thunderthighs!" at them as they walk down the street. Surely, that will help them turn their life around. Who among us hasn't heard many great success stories of overweight people properly shamed into getting "healthy?"

One of those people who is very upset about this whole body positivity movement is our old friend Lori Alexander of The Transformed Wife blog.

Responding to a recent interview in which known asshole Jillian Michaels expressed her anger about people celebrating Lizzo's body and being glad to see someone who isn't a stick thin blonde poptart getting to be the It Girl of the moment, Alexander wrote that "fat shaming" is actually a good thing because God hates fatties.

God said this about a man: "And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man" (Judges 3:17).

She explains that the "shame" people are feeling when they are mocked for being fat is actually "conviction" — which resident Evangelicode decipherer Evan explained to me yesterday is a thing where you feel a certain way because god wants you to do a certain thing or behave a certain way. So like, if you feel bad after someone says something shitty to you, that's God telling you that you are sinful and that person is right.

The word "shaming" is a common word being used these day. Mommy shaming. Fat shaming. How can women feel shame if there's no reason to feel shame? Can shame be another word for conviction? Are women who are feeling "fat shamed" being convicted about being overweight and don't want to admit it so they use the word "shame" instead of "convict" because they don't want to be convicted of their sin?

I would just like to take a moment and thank my mom for raising me in an agnostic manner, because I swear to God would probably be dead now if this were something I grew up believing. I mean, I don't think Catholics have this particular thing, because I've definitely never heard of it before, but I'm sure there's something similar.

"When I step on a nail I feel pain. That pain is my body saying, 'Stop that.' When I sin I feel shame. That shame is my conscience saying, 'Stop that.' Shame, like pain, is an uncomfortable but necessary teacher. It exhorts us to turn from doing something destructive" (Michael Foster). "I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?" (1 Corinthians 6:5)

So yeah. She considers it a mitzvah of some kind to shame people into seeing that being fat is a literal sin so that they can get healthy and God will love them.

Just like how Judy Garland developed a lifelong healthy habit of taking so many diet pills every day that she couldn't get to sleep without sleeping pills at night, when Louis B. Mayer thought that she was too fat. Or when a teenage Tracey Gold weighed a shocking 133lbs, the writing staff at Growing Pains decided not only to mock her in private, but to write in as many "fat jokes" as they could get in an episode. So helpful! Sure, she ended up hospitalized and weight 80 lbs, but you can't put a price on "health" or on God's approval. Sure, both Karen Carpenter and gymnast Christy Heinrich are quite dead from trying to get "healthy" but they are probably up in heaven right now with God and Jesus and Saint Catherine of Siena admiring them for having killed themselves in their pursuit of "health."

If it is possible, it gets even worse in the comments.

If we see a fellow brother or sister in Christ living in sin we have the duty to call them out in love. Why not help them? Positive criticism is good!

Again! So glad I'm an atheist!

Ouch, what a conviction! I am considered overweight by most standards and I am doing exactly what you suggest. My breakfast consists of coffee, I normally skip lunch, and supper is the healthy, nourishing food I prepare for my family. As a mother, I am on my feet all day cleaning- there is my excercise! Lol

Thank you for speaking up on this topic.

That is not actually good, just FYI.

Several women in the comments were like "I'm doing literally all I can to lose weight but I have PCOS and that makes it hard!" and Lori is just like "Go to Weight Watchers!" because she apparently thinks that the only reason people are overweight is because they overeat.

But then, some other asshole in the comments decided up the ante and throw in that she thought PCOS was a thing that was made up so that women would feel better about gaining weight and also go on birth control so that their "reproductive systems" get ruined. Which, as you know, is not a thing.

In reading many comments, I must say I'm skeptical of PCOS. My sister was diagnosed after trying to conceive for 1 year, she now has several beautiful children (I don't believe she has PCOS after looking into it but it is a convenient excuse for many things). My sister-in-law is also diagnosed and attributes many physical ailments to this problem while many other habits may contribute to her concerns. While I don't deny that people experience symptoms that are concerning, I also wonder if PCOS is an excuse to get more women on birth control and further ruin their reproductive systems. Many people who don't accept birth control as a means to stop pregnancy are more likely to accept it if it is considered medically necessary. I was having some problems myself and when I mentioned my sister's diagnosis, I was told that I likely had PCOS as well. I refused hormonal treatment and low and behold I found out years later that my problems were a side effect of an asthma medication! But doctors tried and tried to push me toward hormonal birth control as it was "the only way" to manage my symptoms. I fear that too often, in today's world, there are wolves in sheep's clothing (you need birth control for medical reasons; abortion can solve problems) to open the door to more family destruction.

God these people are fucking terrible.

There are a lot of fat people who are healthy. There are a lot of skinny people who are unhealthy. Some people can eat the most perfect diet in the world and exercise every day and still be overweight. Some people can eat an entire bag of cookies on the regular and never gain a pound. You can be healthy at any size and being shitty to people is never helpful in any way whatsoever. I have to say, if I believed in hell, I'd believe with all my heart that this lady and all of her friends in the comments would be going there, on account of how they are mean-spirited, smug assholes and I would not allow mean-spirited smug assholes into my heaven. So there.

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[The Transformed Wife via Friendly Atheist]

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