CNN: Congressman-Elect Targeted in SNL Joke Urges Civility in Politics

On Saturday night, Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson mocked Republican Congressman-Elect Dan Crenshaw for wearing an eyepatch. Specifically, Davidson compared Crenshaw to a “hit man in a porno movie,” even though he was aware that Crenshaw lost his eye while serving as a Navy SEAL in Iraq in 2012. He waved this fact away dismissively (saying, “I know he lost his eye in a war or whatever”), and then he went on to mock somebody else.

Look, I’m just as energized against the Republican Party as anyone else. And I am not afraid to say some really harsh things about the politicians who piss me off. But I fail to see how it could ever be appropriate to mock someone for an injury they might have. Our President has no qualms with doing such things, but liberals are supposed to be better than that. We’re supposed to be the ones fighting for a more inclusive society, where people aren’t being judged for their sex, their skin color, or their disabilities. Well thank you, Pete Davidson, for thoughtlessly undermining all of that. People like you are doing Trump’s work for him.

I’m not saying I like Dan Crenshaw, or that I agree with any of his views on policy. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t make fun of him about anything, either. Political satire is an important staple of any true democracy; without it, our freedom of speech would be jeopardized. I just think that politicians—Republican or Democrat—should be satirized for their views and their deeds, not for their bodies.

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Religion News Service: He’s Not a Rabbi, and It’s Not Judaism

At a rally here in Michigan on Monday, Vice President Mike Pence introduced “a leader in the Jewish community” to offer a prayer for the victims of the Pittsburgh massacre. He neglected to mention that this so-called “rabbi” is actually not a rabbi at all. Loren Jacobs was ordained at an evangelical seminary and identifies as a “Jew For Jesus.” This means that while he might be ethnically Jewish, he is religiously Christian by definition, which automatically disqualifies him from being considered “a leader in the Jewish community” by most Jewish people’s standards.

Let’s also remember that Jacobs believes all non-Christians will go straight to hell after they die (especially Jews, whom he argues have a “greater responsibility” to accept Christ than the rest of us). He can believe whatever nonsense he likes, of course; but the Pittsburgh shooting victims were all mainstream Jews, not “Jews For Jesus.” So what does this tell us? It tells us that “Rabbi” Jacobs probably isn’t the best person to be leading a “Jewish” prayer for Jewish martyrs. This much should be especially clear given the fact that Jacobs ended his prayer with the words “Jesus the Messiah.”

If you’re having trouble understanding why this might be offensive to Jews, imagine for a moment that somebody has committed a mass shooting at an evangelical church. Imagine that following the massacre, a Muslim guy goes on TV and starts leading prayers for the victims, even though he has publicly stated that non-Muslims are all infidels burning in Jahannam (i.e., Hell). And imagine that this Muslim gentleman is being introduced at rallies around the country as “a leader in the Christian community” for some bizarre reason, even though he’s invoking the Prophet Mohammad and quoting from the Koran all the time. Look me in the eye and tell me that White Christian America wouldn’t go completely apeshit over that!

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Further Reading (Huffington Post)

Further Reading (NBC News)

Further Reading (Newsweek)

Further Reading (New York Times)

CNN: Here Are the Tell-Tale Signs to Help You Detect a Suspicious Package

Here is a good read from CNN about what to look for in suspicious mail packages. Mail bombs are actually quite rare, as the article explains, and the recent wave of attempted mail bombings has been targeted at high-profile people, so it’s unlikely that anyone reading this post will ever need to deal with this issue. But I’m a big believer in being prepared for such things anyway, so here you go.

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CNN: Lou Dobbs Peddles Conspiracy Theory About Suspicious Packages

The banality of right-wing conspiracy theory peddling is truly limitless. I suppose many of you have heard about the explosive packages that someone has been sending to Democratic politicians across the country. Lou Dobbs of the Fox Business Network would like us all to think that this is really a “false flag” operation that is being carried out by Democrats “to make the Republicans look bad.” There are a few serious errors in Dobbs’ theory here:

  • The Republicans don’t need any help in looking bad. They have already permanently tarnished their party’s reputation by selling themselves out to Donald Trump. There is literally nothing the Democratic Party can do to make the opposition look any worse when it is already taking it up the ass from a self-proclaimed nationalist who behaves like a would-be dictator.

  • Common sense dictates that if you are receiving bombs in your mail, the person sending them really doesn’t like you. One does not normally send lethal devices to people one appreciates. While it is entirely possible that some whacko thinks he might be helping the Democrats by doing this, the chances of this actually being the case are infinitesimal. It’s much more likely that this person just wants to intimidate and kill high profile Democrats.

Yeah, I know it’s pointless. It’s not like Lou Dobbs gives a shit what I think. But for the record, I think he belongs in a padded cell with Alex Jones, who shares a similar interest in “false flag” fearmongering.

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Sermon: Love & Death

I first met my wife in an online Pagan discussion forum during the autumn of 2008. It was only about a year later that we met in person, fell in love, and decided to spend the rest of our lives together. We lived as an unmarried couple for three years, and then we got married on November 2, 2012. We chose this date specifically because it is the third day of Samhain (or All Souls’ Day, if you’re Roman Catholic), and we figured this might increase our deceased grandparents’ chances of attending the ceremony and reception. Since the wedding, we have accumulated plenty more happy Samhain memories for our little family as well. But one of the most monumental things to have happened was the passing of my mother-in-law, who joined the ancestors just before Halloween 2015.

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