Sermons on Society & Politics

Whatever You Do, Don’t Discuss Politics
“The best we can hope for is to keep secular government by the people, for the people alive, and to curb religion’s influence on public policy as much as possible.”

Paula White Gives Great Headache
“Even prisoners on death row get better treatment than this, when you stop to think about it; so what do you suppose Jesus would say about that, Paula?”

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CNN: Trump Throws Open 2020 Election to Foreign Spies

Wow, I can’t wait to see how all the conservatives are going to spin this. It’s amazing that Bill Clinton got impeached in the 1990s just for having an extramarital affair and lying about it. But Trump effectively confesses on TV to being an outright traitor and enemy of the American people, and those fools in Congress still won’t do jack shit. What exactly is it going to take for us to see justice here? The worse this gets and the longer it takes for us to fix it, the more likely it is that something terribly violent is going to happen. People on both sides of the political divide have already been radicalized against each other enough as it is. If Congress doesn’t act soon, this pot is likely to boil over and explode.

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CNN: Franklin Graham Wants the Nation to Pray For Trump on Sunday, But Other Christians Call It Propaganda

Franklin Graham, son of the evangelist Billy Graham, has called for a national day of prayer for Donald Trump on Sunday, June 2, 2019.

“Franklin Graham got an idea: God had helped Donald Trump reach the White House, and now the President needed divine aid again.”

If Trump needs divine aid “again,” it stands to reason that he never had it in the first place.

“Like no President before him, Trump was under attack, Graham said. From Democrats, Republicans, the media, even powers and principalities beyond the human realm.”

Classic Evangelical Politics 101: Equate any and all opposition to your political agenda with “spiritual warfare.” This way, anyone who opposes your side will be dehumanized. It’s always easier to hate people and not listen to them when you think they’re possessed by demonic forces.

“Some have accused Graham of “weaponizing” prayer and turning it into a pro-Trump propaganda tool.”

At this point I think we are well beyond the “accusation” phase, don’t you?

“Asked how he would answer critics who say that Trump and his evangelical allies are actually a threat to the church, Graham declined to engage the question. ‘I wouldn’t even answer a person like that. I don’t think it’s valid at all.'”

More young people are converting away from Christianity today than ever before. Granted, there are many different cultural reasons for this that predate the current political climate. But do you seriously expect anyone to believe that endorsing Trump hasn’t been a contributing factor to this? You, the shepherds of Christ, are telling people we all just need to shut up and obey a known liar, fornicator, racist, and misogynist. I can’t speak for Jesus, but I’d be pretty pissed off about this if I were him.

“Some pastors told her that some of their church members threatened to walk out of their churches if they ever prayed for Obama on a Sunday morning, Margolis said. But they are happy to pray for Trump, and likely will this weekend.”

So the well-spoken black liberal might as well be Satan, while the trash-talking white nationalist is a saint. This would be funny, if it weren’t so depressing and gross.

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CNN: This Brutal Creature is Wiping Out Everything Besides Itself

Human beings are the single most destructive animal on Earth, and our anthropocentrism is the worst thing about us. We treat Nature as a resource, a possession, something that is only valued for what it can give to us. Things like catastrophic climate change and environmental reform are only important insofar as humans might suffer and/or benefit from them; they carry no intrinsic importance beyond these ramifications. And it is exactly this selfish attitude that has brought us to where we are today. With ocean levels rising, mass extinctions happening every day, and no mainstream political interest in counteracting either of these disturbing developments, I fear it may already be too late for us to reverse these trends. I mean, just take a gander at this:

“Consider that humans and our livestock now constitute 96% of all mammals on Earth. Wild mammals are down to a measly 4% of the total. We have wiped more than 80% of mammals off the face of the Earth.”

—Carl Safina

I hope it doesn’t happen. But if our species is ever wiped clean from the face of this Earth, I dare say we will deserve it.

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CNN: Justice Brett Kavanaugh Signals Court Should Take Up Religious Liberty Case in the Future

One thing that really sticks in my craw is the idea that churches deserve or are somehow entitled to receive funding from American taxpayers. Some people think denying the use of taxpayer funds for the historic preservation of churches is an “infringement” upon people’s free exercise rights. In particular, Justice Brett Kavanaugh says he is “troubled” by a lower court opinion on this matter that ruled against the churches. He seems unduly concerned that churches are being denied historic preservation funds simply because they are religious establishments.

Churches are given too many breaks as it is. While you and I have to pay taxes for our houses, our roads, and our emergency responders, churches don’t. They enjoy all the benefits of owning property, driving on paved roads, and dialing 911 without having to help pay for either of these things. Churches also generate revenue from their members, and most of their revenue is spent not on charitable things like feeding the poor, but on purchasing property, manufacturing products, and organizing missions or other “outreach” programs (so they can attract more followers and generate more revenue). In other words, churches are essentially private businesses that don’t have to pay any taxes, and by giving them so many tax exemptions, the federal government forces all American taxpayers to support them—whether we actually affiliate with them or not.

If you think I’m overreacting, the Church of Scientology is a legally-recognized church that enjoys all the same protections and exemptions as the Roman Catholic Church. So if you live in a state that’s lucky enough to have any Scientologists living in it, chances are good that some of your tax money is going into the manufacture of E-meters. Now if you’re a Scientologist, I can see how this might not bother you; but if you aren’t a Scientologist, it might really piss you off. Some of us feel the exact same way about more conventional churches as well. I think the Catholic Church has every right to exist, but it does not have the right to fund its activities and its politics with my money. This is an institution, after all, that denies women the right to terminate unwanted pregnancies, which is a fundamental human right that Setians hold sacred. A Setian woman must be capable of terminating a pregnancy if she is to be fully capable of practicing her religion (even if she doesn’t actually choose to terminate), which means the Catholic Church is working to deny her free exercise rights. And the fact that my taxes are being used to support such an initiative is, frankly, unacceptable.

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CNN: AOC Fires Back at Ivanka Trump—’A Living Wage Isn’t a Gift, It’s a Right’

Of all the stupid things that have come out from the White House this past couple of years, this is my nomination for the absolute stupidest. Mind you, I don’t know that every little thing in AOC’s proposed Green New Deal is actually feasible; there is always some disappointment to be experienced in almost any transition from ideality to reality. But nevertheless, I think AOC’s proposals are absolutely worth fighting for, and I think raising the minimum wage is essential.

But then we have Ivanka Trump offering cute little hum-dingers like this one:

“I don’t think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something. … People want to work for what they get. So, I think that this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want.” (Source)

Here are all the reasons why Ivanka is wrong:

  1. Most people want to be able to pay all their bills.
  2. Most people are unable to pay all their bills.
  3. This is because most people aren’t being paid enough money by their employers.

Furthermore, it is common knowledge across the entire globe (and possibly the universe) that Americans love to earn more money for doing less work. (I know I certainly do!) Surely, a rich and privileged aristocrat who has never had to earn a living for herself should already be well-acquainted with this fact. But of course, Ivanka isn’t really speaking for the American People here. She’s clearly speaking for the 1% of our population who are billionaires and who use all their social and political leverage to keep the rest of us under their thumbs. You see, people like Ivanka live in a totally different moral universe where a person’s worth is determined entirely by their wealth and status (or their lack thereof). Only those with the most wealth and the highest status are important; everyone else is just an insect to be ignored, manipulated, or perhaps even exterminated. And whenever anyone tries to address the injustice of this system, they are dismissed as some gibbering, wild-eyed “radical.”

Since the dawn of humanity, in every culture and every age, the masses have always been cheated and tyrannized by wealthy assholes who think they know what’s good for all the rest of us. And for most of history, the masses have simply bent over and taken it. It’s only been during the past couple hundred years that we’ve even started articulating this issue. Here it is, a century and a half since the death of Karl Marx, and people still think bridging the gap between the rich and the poor is a “radical,” “ridiculous,” or even “scary” idea. Considering how much the 1% hate us, it’s a miracle there are any “little people” left to refill their martini glasses or powder their noses.

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Congratulations to Representatives Omar and Tlaib

Congratulations to Ilhan Omar, Democratic Representative for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, and to Rashida Tlaib, Democratic Representative for my own state of Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, for their historic achievement of becoming the first Muslim Americans ever to be elected to Congress! I’m glad Muslim women and girls here in the States have two strong new role models they can now look up to. Here’s wishing all the best for Representatives Omar and Tlaib as they work with the rest of Congress to keep America from totally going down the crapper. (All of us here in Detroit are rooting for you, Rashida!)