Tag Archives: 2020 presidential election

Best Quotes of the Week – April 3, 2021

“The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections. This is simply not true.”

Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Airlines, referring to claims by Donald Trump that he lost the 2020 elections because of fraud

Bastian was also reacting to newly-enacted laws in the state of Georgia that some see as voter suppression.  Delta Airlines is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

“If your knee is on a person’s neck, that could kill him.”

Lte. Richard Zimmerman, the most senior officer in the Minneapolis Police Department, testifying in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the 2020 death of George Floyd

Zimmerman also testified that once someone is handcuffed, “they are not a threat to you at that point” and the amount of force should be immediately reduced.

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A Letter of Faith

A Trump supporter carries a Bible outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (Photo by John Minchillo, Associated Press)

Earlier this week more than 500 evangelical Christian faith leaders composed a letter denouncing “radicalized Christian nationalism” that many of the January 6 rioters used to descend upon the U.S. Capitol Building in an attempt to undermine certification of Joe Biden as the nation’s 46th President.  The statement is bold in its condemnation by actually calling out names of various entities now deemed as hate groups. This is the letter in its entirety:

Sign on: Evangelical Leaders Statement Condemning Christian Nationalism’s role in the January 6th Insurrection

Evangelical Leaders Statement
Condemning Christian Nationalism’s role in the Insurrection January 6

As leaders in the broad evangelical community, we recognize and condemn the role Christian Nationalism played in the violent, racist, anti-American insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6.

We recognize the damage done by radicalized Christian Nationalism in the world, the church, and in the lives of individuals and communities.

We know from experts on radicalization that one of the key elements is a belief that your actions are “blessed by God” and ordained by your faith. This is what allows so many people who hold to a Christian Nationalism view to be radicalized.
While we come from varied backgrounds and political stances, we stand together against the perversion of the Christian faith as we saw on January 6, 2021. We also stand against the theology and the conditions that led to the insurrection.

Over the centuries, there are moments when the Church, the trans-national Body of Christ-followers, has seen distortions of the faith that warranted a response. In ages past, the Church has responded by holding emergency councils in order to unilaterally denounce mutations of the Christian faith, and to affirm the core values at the heart of Christianity. It is in that spirit that we unite our voices to declare that there is a version of American nationalism that is trying to camouflage itself as Christianity –  and it is a heretical version of our faith.

Just as many Muslim leaders have felt the need to denounce distorted, violent versions of their faith, we feel the urgent need to denounce this violent mutation of our faith. What we saw manifest itself in the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, is a threat to our democracy, but it is also a threat to orthodox Christian faith. The word “Christian” means “Christ-like.” As leaders in the Church, we do not agree on everything, but we can agree on this – Christians should live in a way that honors Jesus, and reminds the world of Him.

As Jesus himself said, “They will know that you are my disciples by the way you love” (John 13:35). No Christian can defend the unChristlike behavior of those who committed the violence on January 6. Not only was it anti-democratic, but it was also anti-Christian.

On January 6 we saw the flags claiming Trump’s name, calling for violence, and raising the name of Jesus. We saw images of a police officer being beaten with an American flag and another being crushed in a doorway. We know an officer was murdered in the act of insurrection. We witnessed the cross and the gallow being erected. We saw and heard the prayer the insurrectionists prayed from the Senate desk in Jesus’ name. Many of us recognized the content, the structure, and the style of that prayer as matching our own churches and faith.

But we reject this prayer being used to justify the violent act and attempted overthrow of the Government.

We have witnessed the rise of violent acts by radicalized extremists using the name of Christ for its validity in the past, including the deadly actions in Charlottesville in 2017. We join our voices to condemn it publicly and theologically.

We recognize that evangelicalism, and white evangelicalism in particular, has been susceptible to the heresy of Christian nationalism because of a long history of faith leaders accommodating white supremacy. We choose to speak out now because we do not want to be quiet accomplices in this on-going sin. But we also want to celebrate the long tradition of prophetic Christian witness in this nation that has challenged white supremacy and violent Christian nationalism. Though the KKK in the South claimed the symbol of a Christain cross, prophetic Black Christians formed and discipled children in Birmingham, Alabama who led a nonviolent witness in the face of dogs and firehoses. Though an appeal to “biblical values” has been used to demonize immigrants, undocumented Christians in America today have led a movement that insists upon the dignity and full humanity of all undocumented people. There is a powerful Christian witness for the common good in our past and in our present. White evangelicals in America can grow in faithfulness by following this cloud of witnesses, including the many white freedom-fighters who risked their lives standing up for love in the face of violence and hatred.

We urge all pastors, ministers, and priests to boldly make it clear that a commitment to Jesus Christ is incompatible with calls to violence, support of white Christian nationalism, conspiracy theories, and all religious and racial prejudice.

Just as it was tragically inconsistent for Christians in the 20th Century to support the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi ideology, it is unthinkable for Christians to support the Proud Boys, Oathkeepers, QAnon, 3 Percenters, America Firsters, and similar groups.

We urge faith leaders to engage pastorally with those who support or sympathize with these groups, and make it clear that our churches are not neutral about these matters: we are on the side of democracy, equality for all people, anti-racism, and the common good of all people.

Instead of seeing the United States as God’s chosen nation we thank God for the church around the world that calls people of all races, tongues and nations to the knowledge and love of God. Instead of seeing any particular political leader or party as divinely appointed, we believe in the prophetic and pastoral ministry of the church to all political leaders and parties. Instead of power through violence, we believe in and seek to imitate the powerful, servant love practiced by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our faith will not allow us to remain silent at such a time as this. We are also aware that our world needs more than a statement right now… we need action.

Every one of the signers of this declaration is committed to taking concrete steps to put flesh on our words. We will combat bad theology with better theology. We will resist fear with love. We will tell the truth about our nation’s history.

We will seek to repair and heal the wounds of the past. We will seek racial justice on a personal, ecclesial, and systemic level. We will support organizations led by people of color. We will listen to and amplify the voices of people of faith who have been marginalized by the colonizing force of white supremacy and Christian Nationalism.

We will do our best to be faithful to Jesus, and to those Christ called “the least of these.”

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Worst Quotes of the Week – February 20, 2021

“So first off, we obviously look at all the data that comes in.  But this strain is in blue states and they don’t talk about doing anything with blue states.”

Florida Governor Rick DeSantis, dismissing the growing number of COVID-19 cases in his state due to a new mutation

“The hundreds of thousands of people that attend those Trump rallies, those are the people that love this country.  They never would have done what happened on January 6.  That is a group of people that love freedom.  That is a group of people … we need to unify and keep on our side.”

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, claiming the January 6 rioters were not armed insurrectionists

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Worst Quotes of the Week – January 30, 2021

“This is what happens when you govern by pen and phone.  The jobs of hard working Americans are sacrificed in the name of environmental activism.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), criticizing the number of executive orders President Joe Biden has signed, including cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline

“Sadly, free speech is a notion that is increasingly radical to the liberal left.  I do not plan on leaving, and I need your help to fight back against this attack on free speech.”

Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX), on being removed from the Board of Trustees for Texas Christian University (TCU) because he voted against certifying Joe Biden as president

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Strangest Quote of the Week – January 23, 2021

“The mob was fed lies.  They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell, about the mob of Donald Trump supporters who invaded the U.S. Capitol on January 6

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Photos of the Week – January 16, 2021

Yes, it’s been another crappy week here in the United States, with the ongoing madness of the 2020 presidential election, refuse of the January 6 Capitol Hill riots, and worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help soothe everyone’s souls (short of providing free alcohol and unlimited sex), I present these pictures of baby goats.

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Most Prophetic Quote of the Week – January 9, 2021

“The die is cast for the Republican Party.  It will be destroyed on January 6th in much the same way the Whig party was destroyed by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854.  The act unraveled the Missouri compromise and allowed for the westward expansion of slavery.  The party could not survive its factionalism.  There could be no more accommodation, compromise and partnership between pro-slavery and anti-slavery Whigs.  A new political party was born, the Republican Party.  That party will divide into irreconcilable factions on January 6th.  The 6th will commence a political civil war inside the GOP.  The autocratic side will roll over the pro-democracy remnant of the GOP like the Wehrmacht did the Belgian Army in 1940.  The ‘22 GOP primary season will be a bloodletting.  The 6th will be a loyalty test.”

Steve Schmidt

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Worst Quotes of the Week – January 9, 2021

Courtesy of Donald Trump:

“So look.  All I want to do is this.  I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.  Because we won the state.”

In a recorded phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger

“To all of my wonderful supporters, I know you’re disappointed, but I also want you to know that our incredible journey has only just begun.”

In response to the riots of January 6

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Blood Sporting

Tom Freeman’s painting of the August 24, 1814 burning of the White House by British troops during the War of 1812. (White House Historical Association)

In the fall of 1989, the world watched the Soviet Union begin to crumble, as its various satellites in Eastern Europe started breaking free from the decades-long grip of the terrorist state.  The seminal moment came in November when the Berlin Wall was torn down, and the democratic west joined with the communist east to form the New Germany.  That edifice had been both literal and ideological; a true line between freedom and tyranny.

A month later came another equally stunning and even more sanguineous event; one that gained plenty of international attention, but seems to have faded into history.  Shortly before Christmas gangs of angry Romanians stormed the central palace and captured President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena.  The duo was subjected to a trial and sentenced to death; afterwards they were garroted.  Their demise was similar to that of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, as World War II came to an end.  Bands of anti-fascist citizens captured them after ambushing their convoy and rushed them through a trial, before stringing them up like wild animals.

I imagine the mobs who invaded the U.S. Capitol building this past Wednesday felt equally aggrieved and outraged by what they perceived to be an unfair presidential election.  Spurred on by the vitriolic rhetoric of their dear leader, Donald Trump, they amassed in Washington from all over the country and launched their angry assault.  In behavior similar to that of developing countries, these renegades overwhelmed Capitol Hill police and managed to enter the arena where lawmakers had convened just moments earlier.

That January 6 was a critical day.  That’s when elected officials gathered to certify that Joe Biden had won the U.S. presidency two months ago and would be sworn into office as the nation’s 46th president on January 20.  The gangs of right-wing ideologues who disrupted that stately process demanded otherwise.

This is the first time since 1814 that the U.S. Capitol had been invaded.  And that was in the midst of the War of 1812; during the early days of the American republic.  Great Britain was still trying to regain control of its former colony and succeeded in burning down the capitol.  That was over 200 years ago.  Last Wednesday came during a war of ideology and political differences.

I have never seen anything like it in my life.  Indeed, it is something more emblematic of nations around the world struggling through the growing pains of a new democracy or any new regime change.  It’s similar to what happened in Cuba on New Year’s Day 1959, when Fidel Castro led a ragtag band of rebels into the presidential palace in Havana to overthrow the brutal dictator Fulgencio Batista.  Like Ceausescu and Mussolini, Batista had held onto power for many years through bloodshed and terrorism.  He suppressed free speech and sought to annihilate anyone who dared to disagree with him.  Unlike Ceausescu and Mussolini, however, Batista was able to leave Cuba and live out his life in peaceful exile – and wealth – in Spain.

The people who stormed into the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday aren’t freedom-loving patriots.  They’re domestic terrorists; redneck hooligans supported and agitated by a psychopathic narcissist who didn’t fairly win the U.S. presidency in 2016.  They weren’t the least bit upset over the blatantly fraudulent elections of that year and 2000.

For decades conservatives have lobbed conspiracy theories about mobs of left-wing anarchists swarming into American homes to seize firearms and bibles and force everyone to love Muslims and queer people.  That has never happened.  It didn’t happen after the raucous turmoil of the 2000 presidential elections and it didn’t happen four years ago.  As upset as liberals were then, groups of enraged tree-loving abortionists and pot-smokers didn’t invade Washington and trash lawmakers’ offices.  The biggest threat came from within the bastions of conservatism.

I hope devout Trumpists are happy with themselves.

One Capitol Hill police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, has now succumbed to his injuries.  Four protesters also died; one of them shot to death.  I’m saddened by Sicknick’s death, but I don’t give a damn about the others.  Like people who drink alcohol heavily their entire lives and develop cirrhosis, they brought this upon themselves.  The Capitol Hill police chief has resigned, and – as of this writing – nearly 20 people have been arrested in connection with Wednesday’s mayhem.  Insurrection is a federal offense, and treason is technically punishable by death.  The legal machinations over this debacle will play out for years.

And Donald Trump will go down in history as a president who fomented a riot and placated the rioters.

The nation will move forward, as time does – whether anyone on the far left or far right like it or not.  The spirit of a truly democratic society can’t be quashed.  It never has and it never will.

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Tweets of the Week – December 19, 2020

An even cursory review of these two Tweets displays the wide gap between the ever-classy Jill Biden and the ever-cantankerous Donald Trump.

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