Slip Ups in GOP - BUT is it a

Premature Epitaph for the Christian Right

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Republicans say they are the party God endorses
"People lash out at Republicans because they are a lightning rod. It is the morality they hate. Republicans are the symbol. What people really hate is the morality implicit in Christianity. So when Republicans
echo bedrock Catholic doctrine, people get frantic and lash out at the messenger. In reality, Republicans merely give voice to what the Church has always taught -- the difference between right and wrong."


An Image Challenge for Conservatives:

So God Endorses These Republicans?

He's got religion
Rush Limbaugh is standing by him

mushrooming numbers of Republicans involved in sex scandals
first following the gay and ethics scandals of 2006

Senator Larry Craig of Idaho in 2007
and NOW South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford
is the Christian Right's moral reputation ruined?

-   and   -

The Accusers

Ken Starr Linda Tripp
Is there still redeeming virtue to be found
in America's
Christian Conservatism
God Help Our Land

Republican Gomorrah

(see Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, by Max Blumenthal.)

Has the Ken Starr "moral indignation" (anti-Clinton) pendulum started coming back the other way?

The year just past has not been a good one for the political fortunes of America's religious right. It seems light years from the heady days of Ken Starr and the vociferous era of digging up dirt on the sexcapades of Bill Clinton the Democrat. In those days, Republicans' shining armor was still shining. They were the moral champions, the pure saviors of their version of "good, old-time purity." What has happened?

In 2005 it was Joe Scarborough, a worthy and upcoming Republican, caught in his little scandal with Lori Klausutis, and subsequently forced to resign from Congress, and embarassment to his fellow Conservatives, who had just lowered the congressional ethics standards. But the Scarborough-Klausitis scandal was only the beginning for Republicans.

The long-brewing DeLay scandal finally spun out a range of indictments, resulting in DeLay's resignation from Congress (2006). Rampant bribery of congressmen tainted the reputations of Democrats as well as Republicans, but Republicans seemed to be worst hit. The entire Jack Abramoff escapade seemed to grate on the public nerves particularly hard in the light of Republican success in watering down ethics rules that, we are told, were in place for generations past. The Abramoff scandal was all about money, influence, and power. Right and wrong seemed not to matter -- only winning counts.

And finally, sex scandals seemed to pile on sex scandals. Sex and lust and secrecy. What do you know, Republicans are human beings, too!! The Republican party that tooted the biblical trumpet year after year during the Monica Lewinsky impeachment of President Clinton, now seemed beset by a series of scandals distinctly their own.

There was Republican Congressman Mark Foley of Florida, caught in a scandal concerning the congressional page program. Then came the cover-up by Dennis Hastert, and his "forgetful" memory of having been told. (How many times?) Then came one of the most outspoken and articulate spokesmen on behalf of Republican causes, the popular (Colorado-based) preacher and conservative leader, Pastor Ted Haggard. This scandal for Republicans hit particularly hard, since Haggard was such a high profile and effective spokesman for conservative issues, including, paradoxically, ardent opposition to the gay agenda. Ted Haggard was "known" for his weekly telephone call every Monday with President Bush, who has since backed away from whatever close association he formerly had with Reverend Haggard.

Haggard has finally admitted that he is guilty before God of some kind of "sexual immorality" (which he did not spell out). A male prostitute had gone public with their liaisons, outing him. Latest of all, still another religiously conservative Colorado preacher has been exposed for sexually embarassing episodes. This time it is evangelist Paul Barnes pastor of the 2,100-member Grace Chapel, a church he founded in suburban Denver.

In a tearful videotaped message Sunday to his congregation, the senior pastor of a thriving evangelical megachurch in south metro Denver confessed to sexual relations with other men and announced he had voluntarily resigned his pulpit. Then, the Rev. Paul Barnes of Grace Chapel in Douglas County preached to his 2,100-member congregation about integrity and grace in the aftermath of the Ted Haggard drugs-and-gay-sex scandal. Now, the 54-year-old Barnes joins Haggard as a fallen evangelical minister who preached that homosexuality was a sin but grappled with a hidden life. "I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy," Barnes said in the 32- minute video, which church leaders permitted The Denver Post to view. "... I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away." His wife, Char, cradled his hand. Barnes declined an interview request through the church.
Desires in Conflict
Another sex scandal to rock conservatism was unfolding on the west coast. The Mayor of Spokane Washington, a rock solid Republican named Jim West, represented the hard right Republicanism during his long tenure in the legislature. West, a former Boy Scout leader and Army paratrooper, later a Sheriff's Deputy, was known for his macho image and abrasive style.

As a conservative legislature, he joined with others in sponsoring anti-gay legislation, including one that would have banned gays and lesbians from working in schools and day care centers. He also proposed a law that would ban all sexual activity among persons under the age of 18 (the bill failed).

Thus, when it became known that he had solicited gay sex online, a scandal ensued. West claimed, with perhaps some justification, that Spokane's local newspaper, The Spokesman-Review, was conducting a vendetta against him. He criticized the "sex Nazis" who try to regulate private sexual behavior. Subsequent investigation by law enforcement turned up no apparent illegality, but the stain to his reputation remained.

In December, 2005, West was recalled from office by the voters of Spokane.

Where will it all end? In August of 2007, the highly respected (if moralistic) conservative Larry Craig, of Idaho, has become latest in this long line of good, solid Christian conservatives to fall from grace. What is going on, asks James Dobson associate Tony Perkins of Family Research Council. We have a possible response. The Ken Starr holier-than-thou (anti-Clinton) pendulum has finally started coming back the other way. Maybe "you reap what you sow" can actually work AGAINST the self-righteous "moralists."

God help us all!

From Joe Scarborough, to Schwarzenegger to Giuliani to Jeb Bush
The Matson - Mowder Gay Murders, rural northern California
The cowardly "masculinity" that lynched Matthew Shepherd

Eros Defiled?

The romans said
hoc si crimen erit, crimen amoris erit
[if this be crime, it is the crime of love]

Aleister Crowley once (somewhat wryly) commented:
'Part of the public horror of sexual irregularity so-called is due to the fact that everyone knows himself essentially guilty.'

To quote Emma Goldman: Man is much more a sexual creature than a moral creature.

Sex is inherent
Morality is grafted on.

Havelock Ellis wrote:
Sex lies at the root of life, and we can never learn to reverence life until we know how to understand sex.

Eric Hoffer has wryly remarked:
There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet.

Even to this day, science really does not understand human sexuality. Gore Vidal wrote, "There is no such thing as a homosexual or a heterosexual person. There are only homo- or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices."

Joycelyn Elders, FIRED by President Bill Clinton for the crime of calling for more openness and honesty regarding sexuality, recently commented that as a nation:
"We just don't like to talk about sex ... Our silence has really been deafening, and the people who suffer the most are our young."

"It is better that scandals arise than that the truth be silenced." [Pope Gregory the Great]

Sometimes what is called for is not so much harsh judgment, but rather understanding, and mercy.

Abraham begged God not just once or twice for the Cities of the Plain, but SIX TIMES he interceded for God to spare the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah.

And Jesus himself made an interesting comment which is surely appropos. When a woman was taken in adultery, Jesus enemies sought to entrap him by asking whether she should be stoned.

Jesus said, He that is without sin let him cast the first stone.

Sometimes mercy is called for. My heart goes out to someone like the late Jim West, and the others. All we like sheep have gone astray. No one is without flaw or frailty. As human beings we all have lapses, times of fatigue, or stress, weakness and failing. What the world needs now is a dose of the kindness and compassion that alone can redeem this sad race of ours.

A mystic and saint once said, "You will never have real mercy for the failings of others, until you know and realize you have the same failings in your own soul." Worth remembering are the words in the paternoster. dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. We must forgive others.

There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to speak evil about the rest of us.
(James Truslow Adams.)

or Edgar Cayce

Early hopeful impressions of Bush Presidency

Freedom of Conscience: why it was America that led the way?

Blinded By Might - how the hard Right blew it (the 2008 wake-up call)

The mystic planting: America's secret founding promise

Huma Abedin : a modern woman of valor

Martin Luther King Jr : America's Moses Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;
considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
[Galatians 6:1 & 2]
The Bible

Judge Gently

Pray don't find fault with the man
who limps or stumbles along the road
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears,
or struggled beneath his load.

There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt,
though hidden away from view,
Or the burden he bears ... placed on your back,
might cause you to stumble too.

Don't sneer at the man who's down today,
unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall or felt the shame
that only the fallen know.

You may be strong, but still the blows that
were his ... if dealt to you,
In the selfsame way at the selfsame time
might cause you to stagger too.

Don't be too harsh with the man who sins
or pelt him with word or stone
Unless you are sure ... yea doubly sure
that you have no sins of your own ...

For you know, perhaps, if the tempter's voice
should whisper as softly to you
As it did to him when he went astray
could cause you to falter too.

thanks to Nursing Humor
01 - 23 - 2009, 03:02 AM

The Media Loves to Sensationalize & Scandalize

p h o t o s h o p ~ s a n s ~ d o u t e
sizzling hype?
Even the Normalest Flings and Flirtations
Public figures are always handy targets for the public imagination and the media spotlight. But how much is hype and how much is legitimate gossip. Part of the blame is obviously the celebrities, who are human, all too human. But part of the blame must be shared by the public, who truth be told, live VICARIOUSLY through the larger-than-life figures of these glamour types who prance and dance across the popular imagination.

Sarah Palin has glamour, she has looks, she is in some sense a real hottie. Additionally, the public seems to be titillated by the salience of interracial liaisons and love affairs almost everywhere. There seems to be something "scandalous" in the fact that the most feminine women seem to be doubly attracted to the most masculine men, and vice versa. Or perhaps part of it is simply opposites attract. If what we find on the internet is at all believable, a USA poll said that 78% of white women ages 15-30 are attracted to black men. Whatever the magic here, it sure seems to be working.

Add to this the simple fact that Sarah Palin, then a sportscaster in her sexual prime, was forced by her job into close promiximty with the most masculine, most athletic, and no doubt most muscular specimens of manhood to be found -- in sports. Instead of being shocked, why cannot we simply accept the natural -- as natural. Sarah is a woman, why is she labelled a slut? I really have to blame to gossips and whisperers. Be careful pointing fingers, for three of your fingers point back at yourself.

As the prophet Jeremiah cried out, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

The sanctimonious superiority of the scandal mongers is actually more offensive than the relatively innocuous red-blooded (or hot blooded) sexuality of the objects of the scandalizing. And the interracial aspect is far more normal and out-in-the-open in today's world than even a decade or two ago. TOPIX: has a report that 87% of white women have slept with black men (This was dated November 2009). I guess the real question here is, why are we shocked.

Give the gal a break. Sarah is perfectly fine

Linda Rochester writes

I was a social worker working across the deep south and in my own home town amid the secrets of my childhood so I came to know a lot about people. There was so much that I had to go through a little psychological adjustment to hold it all. The situation is complicated and detailed and practically every family was involved in some kind of bizarre situation sooner or later. And all that keeps coming. Those who live in cities are able to cut off the past much easier than those who are in one place.

I know so many people that don't know the half of who their folks were. I was an investigator and that has helped me as I have been interviewing people as a writer. I learned to ask the next question-to just go the extra step. The truth of people is that they are as jumpy as horses. They have emotional problems and do things one day that they would never do another. Even those who lie, and that is both men and women, are often conflicted and don't even get the extent of the lie. In other words, people are a mess.

As to our leaders, John Kennedy, Bill Clinton, even Roosevelt, have all had lovers and shocked the public. Lincoln was depressed. Thomas Jefferson had a relationship with his wife's black sister. There were gay and lesbian experiences that got buried. Leaders that didn't do much, like George Bush or Gerald Ford, didn't have many skeletons, but look at what history would have been if we were stuck with the dullards. If a person is an adult, engaged with adults, it's that person's business unless force is involved. And it is true that women lie about it on occasion.

We must be able to say that without everyone freaking out because it was the truth and is still the truth. There is some confusion over the age of consent. My neighbor was married at 13 and that was socially acceptable at the time--only a short 40 years ago. Boys were involved sexually at early ages, especially in the gay community and thought of it as a coming of age experience. All these "rules" and laws have been put in place within the past 50 years. Many kids were and are sexually active as teens. The line of when it is abuse is murky. The law gives us a line, but in practice, that line is always moving and mores have problems catching up to changing lines.

The truth is that for one reason or another, we wouldn't have had many of our best presidents if we had gotten into their business. We wasted Clinton's enormous talents as a nation. After all, it is our wellbeing that we have to be concerned with. When they start a witch hunt, they don't think of what that person is doing for us. They just keep digging. Believe me. The only way possible to know anything about a case is to investigate fully, and even then, if one person isn't talking, you don't get the straight of the situation.

In the case of Bill Clinton. That situation was none of our business, no matter how much we personally object morally. No law was broken. In the case of Clarence Thomas, a law was allegedly broken. In spite of the fact that the case wasn't legally provable, there was enough evidence that should have ended his career with the people. It didn't because he was in favor the Reagan Republicans. Or maybe it was that they just didn't like Anita Hill. This is a difficult discussion to have. I hope I have added something that you haven't discussed. This goes to the very heart of what I write about.

It's Not Just Republicans

THIS ISN'T PARTISAN. (It's all of us.). We are all the children of sex. We are the pinnacle of evolution, ten million years of it. And reproduction for the most recent end of it has been sexual. Two gamete cells, one from a male parent, and one from a female parent, are joined by means of sexual reproduction. A zygote is then synthesized from the union of the two, and a new generation begins (from this single cell). This has gone on for millions of years. So each of us is the creature, the creation, of sexuality. It is in the DNA of the nucleus of every cell and fiber of our being (except red blood cells, or the haploid sex cells (gametes).

But the urges and sins that flesh is heir too, they are found universally. As Emma Goldman said, "Man is much more a sexual creature than a moral creature.Sex is inherent; Morality is grafted on." Ironically, the slapped hand is quick to learn. Statistics show that sex recidivism is among the lowest types of re-offense. Is that surprising?

Information provided by the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation [CDCR 2010 Annual Report] tells us that the recidivism rate for all felon offenders was 54.2% for 2005/06 Fiscal Year. The Department of Justice reports that the recidivism rate for "sex offenders" committing new sex offenses is less than 4%.

Of course ... ANY new offense is unacceptable. Foregoing data from Restoration Ministries -- An Amends U Focused Ministry.

WHY, one might ask, is the re-offense rate so low. A variety of answers could be suggested.

  • A slapped hand quickly learns.
  • Alternative outlets are deemed preferable to the unacceptable ones.
  • Negative reinforcement (criminal justice system) is a very effective learning tool.
  • Simple cost-benefit analysis. The cost is not worth it, and "continence" looks better.
  • Hidden strengths are discovered to withstand temptation.
  • Older sometimes really does mean WISER, as well.
  • Time to confront the real enemy (look in the mirror)

From robt.shepherd (Bob Shepherd)

Bob Shepherd I am basically what Rush Limbaugh labels a RINO, Republican in name only. I remember a time when Republicans praised such "liberal" values as compassion, mercy, closing the gap of hope, being uniters not dividers, and using government to help create a kinder, gentler America. But the hard right labels men like Colin Powell (and Daddy Bush) as LINCOLN Republicans, meaning liberals. No wonder we feel so out of place in the current Republican climate. (Spring 2012).

I feel almost repulsed by the climate of rage in the party of my liberal Republican ancestors (Quakers and abolitionists). Yes Lincoln was a liberal. I might call myself a moderate, but the Rush Limbaugh types say that is just "secret liberal." Frankly, I feel more at home among Democrats (except for their atheism, and a few of the more extreme left Occupy types). Generally, liberals make more sense to me these days.

Just let me stipulate I am more comfortable with the urban evangelical church (Donnie McClurkin, T.D. Jakes, Jeremiah Wright) than with the "Act Up" wing of the extreme gay movement. Everyone deserves basic equality before the law. There's a kind of hypocrisy when Republicans get caught doing the very thing they ostentatiously denounce "the wicked gays" for doing. Arent we all sexual beings?

Inspiration from

Lady Lynn

Bob Shepherd

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God is our Refuge & Strength

From the Heart : Laura Bush

walking the walk
Sarah Palin
IS ~ talking the talk