And it's kind of sweet sometimes?!?!
Today in Things We Didn't Know Existed Until Just Now: There's this sappy little Onion knockoff called the Babylon Bee, and it has actually been around since 2016 doing comedy stylings for evangelical Christians. It veers between mildly satirical jokes that are 100 percent safe for the rectory bulletin board ("Worship Leader Caught in Infinite Loop Between Bridge and Chorus") and hard-hitting political satire ripped from rightwing Twitter posts ("Flash Flood Warnings Issued As Liberal Tears Continue To Soak Nation," from June 2017). Let's take a look at what gets the fundagelical set laughing these days, shall we?
Boy, never would have seen that coming.
Jerry Falwell Jr. is getting some attention again, for being an asshole. The president of the Christian clown college Liberty University has always been one of Donald Trump's most steadfast fluffers, even in the face of rude liberals who point out how Trump isn't "Christian" in any sense of the word, and how it seems pretty hypocritical for the "family values" crowd to be falling all over itself for a thrice-married adulterer who is currently named as an unindicted co-conspirator for (allegedly! LOL) directing his personal lawyer to pay off the porn stars and Playmates he was fucking (allegedly! LOL) while his latest wife was home caring for their new baby. And he (allegedly! LOL) directed those payments in order to benefit his campaign!
In an interview with the Washington Post, Falwell gave a bunch of evangelical boilerplate answers about how he, a GOD-FEARIN' HETEROSEXUAL WHITE CHRISTIAN, could support Trump so much. For instance, he just thinks it's really dumb and bad for people to think we should embrace brown Mexican children, because when Jesus told the little children to come to him, He wasn't talking about THOSE kids:
More witches than Presbyterians?!? Oh no!
Once upon a time, in America, in the late 1600s, a bunch of incredibly cruel and stupid people in Salem decided that a bunch of women (and a few men!) were definitely doing witchcraft to them, and that they should kill them over it. While most of us consider this to have been a particularly embarrassing chapter of our history, those who cater to the cruelest and stupidest people of today seem to be trying to bring those days back.
This year, we have been treated to a spate of "OMG THERE ARE WITCHES AND THE WITCHES DO NOT LIKE DONALD TRUMP" articles popping up all over the wingnuttosphere this past year. The latest in this genre comes from Breitbart, eager to warn it's cruel and stupid audience of the impending witch invasion. There are more witches than Presbyterians now, warns Thomas D. Williams, Ph. D. -- and it's pretty much all Obama's fault.
Williams' article touches on three major things: There are more people who say they practice Wicca than there are Presbyterians now, America became less religious during Barack Obama's presidency, and a bunch of witches tried to curse Brett Kavanaugh earlier this year. But none of that really matters -- the whole point is simply to rile up Breitbart's stupid and cruel audience into sounding as much like everyone's favorite Pat Robertson quote as humanly possible.
"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
And he succeeded! Let's take a look some of the hilarious comments from outraged Breitbarters who are very mad at all the feminism and witchcraft they see taking over their precious country:
This, my friends, is where the road of feminism leads, and complete with child sacrifice (abortion) as its chief sacrament.
It sure is, guy who sounds exactly like 1992 Pat Robertson!
Personally, I like this guy who decided to explain that the Presbyterian denomination is also Satanism, because of how much they like the gays:
WTF... Witches or other witches.. The Presbyterian Church is currently the only Presbyterian Denomination in the United States that allows same-sex marriage, and ordains openly LGBT members as teaching elders, and ruling elders. If that isn't the church of satan, what is?
The idea that mainline Christianity is just not homophobic enough to keep people away from witchcraft seems to be a popular one:
Mainline Christianity puts more emphasis on global warming and acceptance of homosexuals and illegals than it does on saving souls and preaching the Gospel. That's not going to inspire anyone so it's no surprise that their membership is dwindling. Man has a void in his soul that has to filled with something and if the churches are going to abandon their mission people are going to look elsewhere. It was predicted that in the last days there would be a falling away from the faith.
Man, they really hate Presbyterians over there. Possibly more than the witches!:
I was raised in the Presbyterian Church as was my whole family. I never really heard the Gospel in our Church. Nobody talked about how good the Lord was, never heard any Praise Jesus. My older brother 10 years older never heard the Gospel either, just a few years ago he asked me what the John 3:16 signs meant at football games, he had no idea. my sister joined the JW`s for crying out loud.
My Mother and Father came to Jesus both late in life, my mother via TV ministry. lead me to Jesus, LONG LONG after the Presbyterian days, dont want to condemn other Presbyterians, but we never heard the Gospel at ours, and yes we went faithfully every Sunday, Sunday School picnics bring back good memories, but thats about it. We raised money for Ethiopia
I have no denomination outside of Christianity. All Christians are Pro life pro family and are NOT capable of voting Democrat in any way shape or form as far as I am concerned. I only attend Bible believing Churches, non denominational mostly, been to some good Pentecostal Churches, Salvation Army and many independent Bible believing Churches. Hey been to some great Baptist Churches, yes have moved around a lot.
I don't... I don't know what any of this means.
Now, far be it for me to question the logic of a Breitbart commenter, but I'm not actually sure that aborted fetuses would even count as a sacrifice?
"They buy aborted fetuses to sacrifice. It should be illegal."
Like, you couldn't just go to a mortuary and be like "Hey Satan! Look at all these dead bodies I got you!," could you? That seems like cheating.
Here's this normal person explaining how if we killed people for being witches, we wouldn't have any witches. Fair point!
If being a witch meant a death sentence in America, then there wouldn't be any witches out there.
Too bad it's not the 1600s anymore, I guess.
This one is very, uh, poetic:
So this is where militant feminism leads. invoking Satan to destroy the "patriarchy". Druids sacrificing the unborn in their bodies in sterile rooms devoid of mercy and love to the Lord of Flies. These are the signs our Father foretold to us, brothers and sisters. Repent and be Baptized!
I'm not gonna copy and paste the whole thing, but there's also a whole long conversation there about how there are more "heathens" because of all the immigrants coming in, and how it doesn't matter if the immigrants are Catholic because Catholics -- like the Presbyterians, I guess? -- are actually Satanists. Then this one guy who says he has a masters in theology proves all the people from Latin American countries are Satanists with numerology:
The ancient Greek word for "the Latin speaking man" is LATEINOS
L = 30 lambda
A = 1 alpha
T = 300 tau
E = 5 epsilon
I = 10 iota
N = 50 nu
O = 70 omicron
S = 200 sigma
Well. Who can argue with that logic?
Anyway, this has been real weird, and I'll now leave you to your open thread. Enjoy! And also give us some money if you can -- we've all gotta stock up on our eye of newt supplies for the new year!
Is that weird? That seems weird.
Children's speech pathologists do a lot of things. They help kids overcome speech impediments, they help them speak and communicate more clearly, they assist with language comprehension, etc. etc. They are required, in the United States of America, to hold a Master's Degree in Communicative Disorders/Speech-Language Pathology from an accredited university in order to practice. In Texas and several other places, however, if they work for the state, they are also required to sign an oath swearing that they will not boycott Israeli products or advocate for a boycott of Israeli products to protest the treatment of the Palestinian people.
The Intercept reports that Bahia Amawi, a Texas elementary school speech pathologist who has been working in Texas schools since 1999, has been barred from working in public schools due to her refusal to sign this oath -- which is absurd and mostly unenforceable. (What? Are they going to stop by every state contractor's house to make sure they have some Sabra hummus in their refrigerator? Are they going to check bra tags to make sure they're from Victoria's Secret, even if Victoria's Secret does not even sell their bra size? What if they just don't happen to own a SodaStream because they don't have the counter space? What if they don't use Moroccan Oil because it weighs their hair down?) Besides that, of course, the oath is a clear violation of both her First Amendment rights and her rights as a consumer to buy whatever she damn well pleases.
If these people were competent, they'd be REALLY dangerous.
Have you ever wondered who falls for those Nigerian prince schemes? Who hires rando Travelers to paint the garage? Who thinks the IRS is actually leaving those robot voicemails threatening imminent arrest if you don't send cash today? IT IS REPUBLICANS! (Ever wonder why when you go to right-wing "news" websites, all the ads that take over your browser are for obvious scams? This is why.) The Gaggle of Patsies party are the easiest marks in the world, and they've got their credulous little fingers on the nuclear button. Hooray!
Russian spy Maria Butina's plea agreement was filed this morning in DC federal court, wherein she lays out one prong of the Russian government's influence operation to get rid of those pesky American sanctions that stop oligarchs from parking their looted cash overseas. Guess who figured out that we're governed by a bunch of gunhumping godbotherers who'll do anything you ask if you just take them on a field trip?
Butina pleaded to one count of failing to register as an agent of a foreign government (we'll give you three guesses which one!) and agreed to fully cooperate with the prosecutors, making her the first Russian witch to plead guilty in the Mueller hunt. Her statement of offense describes a conspiracy where Butina, her handler Alexander Torshin, then-Deputy Governor to the Russian Central Bank (who has curiously just retired!), and her boyfriend US Person 1, AKA Paul Erickson, would cozy up to Republicans in order to influence America's foreign policy.
Demands immediate revision to end of A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Time for another seasonal tale of holiday cheer and litigation, brought to us yet again by a devout Christian who feels sore oppressed by the nasty secularists (OK, fine, a bunch of other Christians, but bad ones) and their endless War on Christmas. This time, it's from northern Idaho, in the Coeur d'Alene suburb of Hayden, but for once when we talk about this area, there are no neo-Nazis involved. Oh, sure, there's an armed militia in the story, but that's pretty much a given in Idaho. Those guys show up for christenings, bar mitzvahs, and drivers tests around here. This is also one of those stories where to appreciate the full insane Culture War of the whole mess, you should go read the full article. But we'll try to do it justice.
Okay, he said some not-crazy things about immigration. Doesn't make him not crazy.
Ammon Bundy, the leader of the High Plains Grifters (not to mention Y'All Qaeda) and a favorite of various "patriot" and anti-government groups, has decided to sever his ties to the militia movement after many of his former supporters condemned him and his family for criticizing Donald Trump's demonization of immigrants.
Bundy took to Facebook last week to try to correct -- from a Biblical perspective, as filtered through his Mormon fundamentalism -- the wrongthink of Trump and Trumpism when it comes to hating immigrants, especially Central Americans seeking asylum. Don't go looking for the Facebook post, though; as part of his uncoupling from the militia crowd, Bundy has deleted his account (it's summed up well here, though). Happily, some rightwing loon who thinks Bundy lost his damn mind copied the whole thing to YouTube, for the purpose of posting a long tedious OMG-How-Could-You-Betray-Us?
The spies who loved Trump, more Republican election fraud, and Parliament airs Facebook's dirty laundry. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Guess he'd know from shitholes.
Ted Nugent, a native of Michigan, took to Facebook Wednesday to express his displeasure at the
Badger Chevrolet Wolverine State for electing a whole bunch of Democrats, and maybe one Democrat in particular if you know what he means and we think you do.
Weird how literally no one ever mentions Louis Farrakhan in months that don't rhyme with 'Bovember'
Yesterday afternoon, Maggie Haberman did a Maggie Haberman and tweeted out an article from The New York Daily News calling for "the left" to officially denounce Louis Farrakhan, a person very few of us even give much thought to, except for when the Right goes all "WELL WHAT ABOUT LOUIS FARRAKHAN, HUH?"
Hold on, they've said that forever. What was supposed to be new about this?
Jim Hoft, the Stupidest Man on the Internet, may have suffered a minor embarrassment Monday when one of his "writers," young genius Jacob Wohl, turned out to be involved in that fakey-fake attempt to fabricate a sex scandal against Robert Mueller. Or not -- Jim Hoft doesn't do "embarrassed," although he hurriedly pulled down some dubious documents accusing Mueller of rape and promised to "investigate" further. Never one to let publicity go to waste, Hoft took to the Twitters Wednesday morning, promising,"We have a hell of a story developing." OOOH, is it a new development in the ongoing fart-cloud of stupidity involving Wohl and the fake "intelligence" operation headquartered at his mom's house?
Haha, no of course not! It was actually a very timely Hallowe'en story, in fact, just asking the important, if long-winded, question, "As Democrats' Deceptive Smears, Illegal Caravans, and Intimidation Mobs Backfire, Will the 'Satanic Left' Turn to Its Magick?" The answer may astonish you: Probably, because Democrats are in League With the Devil!
Get it? It was a hell of a story because it was about Satan! No, really, do you get it? Are you sure?
Squirrel Hill mourns and chases Trump out of town, Steve King is in big trouble, and the Proud Boys get banned. Your morning news brief.
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
It is a very funny joke, oh, he wasn't joking haha.
Mike Pence is a disgusting POS, anti-Semite!
But before we get to that, please permit a brief anecdote about the time I, Yr FDF, lost my shit at a PTA meeting. The topic was the outside Christian group hosting "Bible Study and Pizza Club" which had invited all the students to join them, without mentioning it to the parents at the tiny, non-sectarian girls middle school my daughter attends. Naturally, I asked the principal if they would also be pulling a van with tinted windows into the driveway for "Taking Candy From Strangers Club." The room went dead silent. I explained that Jewish kids face the Pizza-n-Bible Talk come-on everywhere they go from Evangelicals looking to bring them to Jesus. So if they were going to bring in scalp hunters, they could at least give me a heads up so I could tell my 11-year-old why this activity is fundamentally dangerous for her.
Next to me, another mother was getting agitated. There was heavy breathing, and pursing of lips. Did I not understand that her kids, as Catholics, were also targets, she snorted? Why did I think being Jewish meant I got to veto Bible Club for Christian girls? So then I splained to her about evangelical churches that dress their kids up as Orthodox Jews and spend their summers door-knocking in Jewish neighborhoods up and down the East Coast to bring us to Jesus. And I splained how Jews for Jesus uses former Jews who have converted to Christianity as a lure to target Jewish kids specifically to "perfect" them in Christ. And I splained how people whose family tree has been aggressively pruned get a little touchy about a bunch of fake Jews whose only goal is to separate them from their family's religion. So maybe don't "All Faiths Matter" Me, Lady!
And for the rest of the year, we never made eye contact again.
Leopards, faces, etc.
Jordan Peterson has made a career out of coddling the seething anger of young white men who desperately want to be able to not only go around saying horrible things and insulting people with impunity, but also to be told they are wonderful and special for doing so. He first rose to fame by going ballistic over his bosses at the University of Toronto requiring that professors refer to students and fellow employees by their preferred pronouns -- which he claimed was "compelled speech" -- and claiming that Canada, by including trans people as a protected category in the Canadian Human Rights Act, was going to throw him in jail for using the pronouns he preferred to use for people he talked to.
He has not, thus far, been thrown in jail for being a rude jackass.
He has, however, made a LOT of money. He earns this money by giving speeches, writing books and doing YouTube videos about how white privilege is a lie meant to make them feel bad for no good reason, about "cultural Marxism," and about "identity politics." This has made him very popular among a certain segment of people. He upset that certain segment this week when he criticized their holy practice of putting three brackets around the names of people who are Jewish (or whom they believe are Jewish), and suggested that by normalizing anti-Semitism, they contributed to the radicalization of the man who bombed the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
And he sure got responses!
Just pointing out here that no one was preventing this guy from talking to people who wanted to talk to him. No one was preventing him from posting on Gab. The idea that we should all be forced to listen to the rantings of an anti-Semitic lunatic because otherwise he might have to kill 11 people is completely fucking ridiculous. Billions of people made it through life prior to the internet without having a massive platform to spread their personal views, and somehow managed to not kill anyone over it.
In fairness, "it's not clever to be anti-Semitic, cut the shit" goes against literally everything Peterson has told them over the last few years -- most particularly the sentiment that they should never, ever have to consider how something hateful they might want to do or say could affect others. In fairness, the "cultural Marxism" he rails against began as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about shadowy Jewish intellectuals seeking to undermine the United States by convincing people who are oppressed they shouldn't like being oppressed. It is, actually, still that. Peterson has basically been doing family-friendly cover versions of Pat Buchanan's Greatest Hits, repackaging them for the masses of today, and the people who know the original songs recognized them for what they were.
Is Jordan Peterson actually so stupid that he doesn't know who and what his words and sentiments inspire? It's possible, but it's also unlikely. He pretended to not know the difference between having one's free speech oppressed and not being able to be a jackass at work, he pretended as if people saying "Hey, that is a shitty thing to say" was tantamount to government suppression of speech when it never was, as if white men were being oppressed by the mere discussion of other people's oppression or the acknowledgement that it is a lot easier to go through life not being a member of a group that has been systemically oppressed over hundreds of years. Who did he think he was going to attract with that? Does he think his fans are only hanging out around him because it's so exciting when he tells them to clean their rooms?
No, they're looking to be told "It is OK that you are an asshole and it is bad for anyone to not like you because of that, or to criticize anything you do or say."
Peterson was not the only conservative this week to discover that his fan base was, in fact, actually made up of assholes. Matt Drudge had a moment of clarity in which he somehow realized that maybe it was bad for people on Fox News to be giggling and laughing during a segment about political terrorism. His people were not happy either.
Will Peterson or Drudge have a sudden epiphany in which they realize that this is the kind of shit that they, personally, have been encouraging all along, that they are the Frankensteins to these empathy-free monsters, and that they should maybe just stop being the worst? Nah. They will not. Too much money in being Frankenstein to stop.
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But at least Tucker Carlson stood up for 'free speech' (by Nazis).
The neo-Nazi Twitter clone, Gab, has suspended operations in the wake of the Squirrel Hill massacre. Gab's CEO, Andrew Torba, posted a whiny statement to the site that says Gab is "not going anywhere," which is the tech equivalent to Trump's "confidence" in any given staffer. Without a free-speech platform like Gab, Torba has been frantically shitposting on Twitter and hoping a major media outlet will quote him blowing a dog whistle. Torba has even asked his favorite orange autocrat for a patriotic bailout so he can keep fighting the Silicon Valley liberal elites who are telling the Nazis to shut the hell up.
Shortly after people discovered the Pittsburgh shooter (now charged with
multiple hate crimes) was a Gab user, they began combing through his posts and found he had a long history of anti-Semitic rants. Even though Gab quickly offered some thoughts and prayers, the biggest names in internet infrastructure suddenly announced they were pulling the plug on Gab. You know, because it's full of Nazis.
And it's time we started saying so!
Huddle up, kids! I'm about to tell you Uncle George Soros's One Weird Trick for making money. READY?
Figure out the difference between reality and the BS people believe because they want it to be true, and bet the spread. You can call it arbitrage, or use his own "Theory of Reflexivity" terminology, but that's basically it. George Soros didn't invent it, and he sure as hell didn't make the laws that allow it, but he did use them and his own prodigious intellect to make billions betting against the British pound in 1992. For which he was labeled "The Man Who Broke the Bank of England." Welcome to being a Jew in the modern world -- play the game by rules you didn't set up, then get called a cheater when you win.
Yes, this is less worse than African Americans having to work twice as hard to get half as far. But we are not in competition for world's most oppressed minority. It's not a zero-sum game, and we all need to lift each other up. Indeed, George Soros spent tens of billions of dollars lifting up poor people across the globe and promoting democracy. And that's why Republicans hate him. Because in their screwed-up worldview, a man who put up $35 million to secure matching federal funds to get every poor kid in New York City $200 for school supplies is an existential threat to the American way of life. Very Christian!
And he did flee the Nazis, by the way. Trump's bigoted base happily swallows lies peddled by Fox and the wingnut demimonde that Soros was a collaborator who led Jewish deportees to their deaths, or even that he was an SS officer. In fact, he was a 14-year-old Jewish boy in Hungary, using false papers claiming to be a Christian child, who fled to England, started out hawking souvenirs, and wound up with a master's degree from the London School of Economics. He became the most successful hedge fund manager in history, and went on to donate at least $20 billion to making the world a fairer place through various pro-democracy and pro-Democratic efforts. Which is philanthropy and political activism when your side does it, but is nefarious fifth-column stuff when the donor is on the other side. And so much the better if he's an un-photogenic Jew with an accent!
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