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## Saturday, May 3, 2014

### If This Goes On

Now here's a fun thing:

Darrell Trigg announced his candidacy for President of the United States.

Trigg is the head of the American Christian Party.

The Christian Party? What's that?

You didn't even know there was an American Christian Party, did you?

Folks, these are the people who put the mental in Fundamentalism. At the moment The Christian party consists mostly of Darrell and his wife, and as such, he’ll be running as an Independent in 2016. Trigg described his prospective administration to about a 100 people at a National Day of Prayer event in Rogersville, Tennessee, last week.

It was … enlightening, to say the least.

If you elect him President, here’s what Nehemiah Scudder Darrell Trigg has in mind for America:

1. Separation of Church and State will be changed to the UNION of Church and State. God will be asked to be an integral part of the government of the U.S.

The national religion of The United States of America will be the Christian religion . Those belonging to other religions, such as Islam, will be free to live and worship here as now, with their own religion;  however, the Christian religion will be the one chosen to form the basic moral principles of our nation, to give it a strong moral foundation, and a right relationship with God.

You know, I've never understood the whole "God is my co-pilot" bit.

God will be "asked" to be an integral part of the government. God? Asked to join the government?

As what?

What part of the government?

Seriously, think about it. If Trigg is the president, what's God's job? Vice President? Deputy Under Secretary of State? Surgeon General? US Board of Geographic Names? I mean, where’s he going to work? Satan’s already running the IRS, so that’s right out. Oh, hey, how about the EPA?

Folks, I’m certainly no expert on deities, but do we really, really, expect Him to take a subordinate role? “Thou shalt not have any gods before me?” Remember that? I’m just saying, based on his track record God seems to have problems with authority and he sure doesn’t appear to be much of a team player.

Can you imagine being his supervisor?

Well, see, uh God, yeah, I'm going to need you to come in on Saturday to work on those TPS reports. Yeah, so if you could just do that, that would be great. Yeah...

BZZzzzrpt!

Boy, I can't wait to see how the annual employee performance evaluation thing shakes out, especially that "Describe Three Strengths and Three Weaknesses" part. Okay, God, pretty good job this year making the sun come up on a daily basis, flooding Florida again, and handing out the random cleft palate and that kind of stuff, but, and don’t take this the wrong way, but this year you need to work on a little less smiting … The lightning bolts are making your co-workers kind of uncomfortable. That’s a problem, isn’t it?

President Trigg is going to ask God to be part of government.

What if God says no?

What if God gets a better offer? Hey, Iran said I could be King! So, Ima gonna have to decline your offer, America! Unless you can top King? Maybe a company car? Corner office? Unlimited virgins and a mini-bar?

2.  Public Schools – all schools supported by the U.S. Federal and State tax systems:

The Bible will be a standard required subject in all public schools and universities, for all grades , the same as English and Math.
Each day of school will begin with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
The salary and total compensation package of school teachers will be increased.
The total budget for our school system will be increased.
The school day will include one period of physical education that includes 30 minutes of exercise four days per week.

So much for that part where “Those belonging to other religions, such as Islam, will be free to live and worship here as now, with their own religion.”  It’s like Henry Ford and the Model T, you can have any color you like so long as it’s black … okay, that’s a bad example but I think I’ve made my point here.

But I do like that part where we’re going to increase salaries for teachers and funding for schools. That’s probably because they’ll need to pay for all the science stuff, you think?

3.  Homosexuality will not be recognized legally, or in any other manner, by the United States government or any state, city, or county government.

Okay, now just so I’m clear on this, homosexuality will not be recognized either legally or in any other manner.

Not legally or in any other manner.

In any manner.

Correct?

So, logically, you can’t prosecute or otherwise legally discriminate against gay people. I mean if the government doesn’t recognize homosexuality in any manner good or bad, then, hey, must be okay, right? President Trigg! President Trigg! Gay people are getting married!  Happy people are what now? No not gay gay people, Sir, gay people, Homosexuals! Homo whatis? Homosexuals, Sir! I don’t recognize that, nope. But Sir! Sorry, nope, don’t recognize it. But, Sir, we have to stop them! Stop who?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got kind of a Mel Brooks as Governor William J. Lepetomane image in my head here.

4. Public - Traded Corporations :

The income and other compensation,  received by the managers and officers of public - traded corporations will be limited to $300,000 per year. I’m surprised the Koch brothers haven’t taken out a hit on this guy yet. 5. The income of coaches of sports teams at universities will be limited to$300,000 per year .

TV Preachers, on the other hand, can make as much as they want.

6.  The legal drinking age will be increased to 25 for any alcoholic beverage.

Alcohol will not be allowed on university campuses.

Alcohol, however, will continue to be mandatory at all NRA shooting ranges.

I bet this guy is a lot of fun at parties.

So, just to review, we’re only at #6 and already he’s pissed off atheists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists,  the scientists and engineers, gays and lesbians, he’s alienated Wall Street, lost the teachers and the coaches and college students, and I probably wouldn’t expect the Z-generation to ever be legally drunk enough to vote for him – what’s his target demographic again?

7.   Marriage and the family will be protected by the following :

Marriage will be defined as the union of one woman with one man.
The legal age for marriage will be 22.
A couple wishing to get married must first attend Christian marriage counseling classes.
Divorce will only be allowed in cases of abuse, infidelity, or incarceration.
The penalties for abuse and infidelity will include large fines and jail time.
Married couples who become pregnant must attend Christian parenting classes.

One man and just one woman?  One? I don’t think that’s what the bible says.

Legal age for marriage is 22? 22? That can’t be right. They should be on their third kid by 22. According to the bible. Can’t get married or have kids until they’re 22? What the hell are Southern Baptists going to do for entertainment?

Divorce? Divorce? What’s this divorce thing? Where’s that in the bible? I thought once God joined it together, no man could tear it asunder, isn’t that the whole issue?

Abuse and infidelity are punishable by fines? Jail time? But what about stoning! Has Trigg even read the bible? Seriously?

So, Okay, we’re not running the country in accordance with the bible after all? Then maybe making kids read that silly tome in every class at every school isn’t such a good idea after all – they’re bound to spot the discrepancy, kids are a pain like that.

Also, I wonder if we might get a peek at the curriculum for “Christian” marriage and parenting classes, because that should be good for laugh or two. On the other hand, I suppose Obamacare will start handing out free rods, you know, so you can beat some Jesus into your wife and offspring, like it says in the Bible.

8.  The rating system for movies and T.V. shows will be drastically overhauled :

No show or movie will be allowed on T.V. systems or computer systems accessible by homes that contain nudity, strong sexual content, excessive foul language, blasphemy, or any form of homosexuality.

This is going to totally ruin Game of Thrones.

Wait, “…accessible by homes?” Just by homes

So does that mean we can still access gay porn from, say, church like the professionals do?

If you take it as written, it says you don’t get any TV or Internet if the home contains nudity, foul language, blasphemy, and homosexuality. Well, okay, but if they can’t watch TV and surf the internet, I’d expect the streets to be full of naked cursing gay people in short order.

I’m just saying, might want to rethink this one.

9.  Abortion will only be legal in situations where the child has a small probability of living and the pregnancy is placing the life of the mother in extreme risk.

Wait, what? Now he’s going to allow abortion?

Well, there go the Evangelicals … ur, you know, on second thought we probably lost the Christians back there when Trigg outlawed booze, cheap sex, and porn, at least the Catholics anyway.

10.  Industries in the United States ( U.S.)  that have suffered from foreign competition with much lower labor pay rates, lower employee compensation costs, and lower environmental compliance costs will be assisted and protected. Assistance will include financial help in building or refurbishing manufacturing plants and training employees and low capital gains taxes. Protection will include tariffs on imported goods in order to establish a market fair for these U.S. industries. These tariffs will be used to help prevent inflation on these manufactured goods.

Who does this guy expect to vote for him? Obviously not the Tea Party.

11.  The Welfare Department will be overhauled. This overhaul will include training welfare recipients for jobs that match their abilities. The financial responsibilities of caring for children of mothers who are not married will be shared by the father.

Training welfare recipients for jobs that match their abilities. Okay, but how many Investment Bankers, TV Evangelists, and Oil Company Executives do we really need?

Jobs that match their abilities? So, each according to their ability, each according to their need, eh? That’s from the Bible, right? Which Gospel was that again? Mathew, Marx,  Luke, or John?

12. The insurance and medical system of the U.S. will be overhauled. Employers will be required to provide insurance for their employees. The costs of medical services and pharmaceuticals will be reviewed. These will be offered at a fair price without excessive profit for the providers.

Employers will be required to provide healthcare. Required.

Medical Care costs and drug prices will be strictly regulated to prevent “excessive profit.” Costs will be regulated. Regulated.

You want to go ahead and make the joke about socialism here or should I? It’s healthcare, so don’t forget to use the word “Nazi!”

13. Illegal immigration laws will be enforced . Laws will be passed to assist this enforcement.

Immigration laws will be passed?

Immigration laws will be passed?

Well, that rules out congressional Republicans.

Again, I know I keep asking this, but who exactly does he expect to vote him into office? I mean who’s left? Liberals?

You know, it never ceases to amaze me just how many of these nuts want to be president, and don’t seem to have the first clue as to how America works.

These people are het up about the Constitution and how supposedly the current government is wiping their hairy asses on it … and the fix is always martial law and religious theocracy imposed by force, because the only way, the only way, their version of America works is if they discard three quarters of the population.

What’s that?

What’s that you say? I’m just being mean, picking on Darrell. It’s like mocking the class spaz. C’mon, Jim, Darrell Trigg and his Christian Party haven’t got a prayer of getting to the White House on anything other than a tour bus. They’re not hurting anybody. That’s what you’re saying, right?

I mean, it’s good for a chuckle, but really who takes this kind of stuff seriously?

Who indeed.

Other than one of the major political parties in America, I mean.

TELL OBAMA TO DEFEND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Make sure America is defending this God-given right.

That call to arms comes directly from the official GOP website.

Republicans have found another reason to hate Barack Obama: he’s not taking freedom of religion seriously.

Hurry on over to GOP.com and you can sign the petition demanding that the president stop his war on Jesus and start defending religious freedom by appointing a minor figurehead to an unknown post.

Don’t forget to bring your righteous indignation.

What exactly are we talking about here? Why is it that Republicans are convinced Obama isn’t taking religious freedom seriously?

Because the post of Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom is unfilled.

Ambassador-at-Large? For International Religious Freedom?

Never heard of it? I can’t imagine why.

It’s a ceremonial post – the Ambassador doesn’t magically go around handing out religious freedom and saving Christians from the lion pit.

The Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom is a state department employee who attends international shindigs and tells officials from other countries, like Syria and Iran, that they should be more tolerant and accommodating of other religions and atheists Christians, you know, sort of like how Republicans are tolerant and accommodating of Muslims and gay people here in America. Other nations mostly find this irritating and hypocritical – pretty much like the rest of our foreign policy.

Basically, the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom is the State Department’s Ronald McDonald, a creepy unfunny figurehead.

Oh, and did I mention that this post was created by a president who was the very epitome of pious religiousity?

No?

Yeah, it was Bill Clinton.

The State Department is lucky they didn’t end up with Ambassador at Large for International Blowjobs. Though in retrospect that’s not a bad idea, because really when you think about it isn’t international diplomacy mostly about oral gratification? You want to get through to fanatical religious leaders, I’m just saying, hhhhhhmmmmm, spit, spit, and then cigars.  We’d be pals with Iran in no time.

The position was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

There have been three such ambassadors, the first (1999-2001) was Bob Seiple.  He was succeeded by John Hanford (2002-2009). In June, 2010, President Obama nominated Doctor Suzan Johnson-Cook for the position, however, her nomination was put on hold in the Senate and therefore expired without a vote at the end of the 111th session of Congress on January 3, 2011. Obama promptly renominated Johnson-Cook and she was then confirmed by the Senate. She was sworn in on May 16, 2011.

Johnson-Cook resigned her post in October of last year.

She resigned to take a job in the private sector, one that pays considerably more than a federal position so that her children could have a “debt-free college education.”

Ironic, don’t you think? The GOP, the very political party who absolutely refuses to address the costs of college tuition is upset about a position that was vacated specifically because the person filling it couldn’t pay for her kids’ education?

The Party of Small Government is angry that a bullshit ceremonial position is currently empty, thus saving taxpayer dollars?

I call Shenanigans.

Last week the GOP sent out the following tweet:

Aren’t republicans the ones always up in arms over states’ rights?

They are, aren’t they?

Then ask yourself something, how come there aren’t any stars on that American flag?

But I digress.

No, no, on second thought, no I don’t digress. Not yet. First I have to wonder just what kind of outraged conspiracy theories it would spawn if Obama tweeted a picture of the American flag minus all the stars…

Sweet Wookie Jesus! It’s the New World Order come to suck the eyeballs out of our little white babies!

Okay, now I digress.

The tweet contains a link to GOP.com where you can sign the following petition:

TELL OBAMA TO DEFEND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Make sure America is defending this God-given right.

President Obama is not taking freedom of religion seriously.

The Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom was established to be the top advocate for religious liberty throughout the world. But Obama has left this post vacant for the second time in his term—sending a signal to the international community that fighting against religious persecution is not a priority. This is an outrage.

In the Middle East, East Asia and parts of Europe, people are persecuted, oppressed and even killed because of their faith. In America, we know that freedom of religion is a fundamental, God-given right. That’s why we must take a stand against this kind of persecution and advocate for this basic human right throughout the world.

Join the RNC in demanding that President Obama fill this critical position now to defend freedom of religion.

Paid for by the Republican National Committee. Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate's Com

God given right?

God given.

So, God, he wrote the Constitution? And then what? Gave it to Moses who carried it down the mountain and handed it to Thomas Jefferson? Funny, you’d think there would be more Jesus in it then, wouldn’t you?

Religious freedom in the United States doesn’t come from God, your god or anybody else’s.

Religious freedom is a right enumerated in the US Constitution. It’s a legal right, not an inalienable one. It’s a right we grant each other as Americans.  That’s what the Constitution is, you know, a contract between citizens, a template for government and law. It’s not divine writ and never has been – seriously, show me a holy book with a provision for amending itself, that right there ought be your first clue.

God given right? Seriously? What’s next? You going to try to tell me how God gave you freedom of the press? Or the right to keep and bear arms? You going to try and tell me how God granted Americans the right not quarter soldiers in their houses during time of war? You think what? That God was worried about your right to petition the government for redress of wrongs? Seriously? Go ahead, look me in the eye and show me where in the Bible the Christian deity declares his divine concern for Tort Law. Go ahead, I’ll wait, but I’m going to want chapter and verse and the number for God’s lawyer.

Obama isn’t taking religious freedom seriously? Oh please, isn’t this the self same guy these self same hypocrites have been calling a Muslim, intended as a vile insult, for the last five years? Well? Aren’t they? Who’s not taking religious freedom seriously here?

“… This is an outrage.”

This is an outrage?

It’s outrageous! We’re outraged! Outraged we tell ya, outraged!

An outrage? Really? An Outrage? We haven’t had a Surgeon General in more than a year, but this idiotic ceremonial position, that’s the outrage?

There are currently 77 federal judicial vacancies. Seventy-seven. Some of them have been held up by republicans in congress for more than five years, you know federal judges, those people responsible for adjudicating matters of religious freedom. In 2013, Senate republicans repeatedly blocked the President’s appointments to the US court for appeals for the District of Columbia, the second most powerful court in the US after the Supreme Court, leaving three of its eleven seats empty.

There are currently more than 200 federal appointments, including more than 90 major positions, vacant or filled by interim administrators because Senate republicans have repeatedly blocked any appointment from Obama.

But this, this powerless figurehead, that’s what conservatives are mad about.

I’d like to see Obama nominate a Muslim or a Native American animist for the position, see what the GOP says about religious freedom then.

The simple truth of the matter is this, when these people talk about religious freedom, they’re not talking about the religious freedoms enumerated in the Bill of Rights, they’re talking about the kind of religious “freedom” described by Darrell Trig.

And as laughable as Trigg’s candidacy is, it’s not all that far fetched in the modern GOP.

And suddenly, it’s not so funny, is it?

1. Madison made the point that both religion and government are stronger without propping each other. Jefferson specificlly mentioned Islam as one of the beneficiaries of our religious freedom.
Our country was founded by Protestants who'd either been kicked out of Europe or been pissed on by religious governments.
The founders knew what they were doing with the first amendment. It wasn't some kind of oversight or brainfart. They'd seen what government joined to religion was like and wanted no part of it. I am not interested in living in Iran. Thanks anyhow, Darrell. Thanks but no thanks.

2. It is not, nor has it been funny. It's always been damned scary, this frothy version of hypocrisy. I'm at a loss as to how to combat it, since a silly thing like logic or reason increase frothiness. Thank you for pointing out more things sure to bring on Gorn infested REM sleep, Jim.

3. Yup - you nailed it again. Although, it could use some Shopkat.

4. I think it's obvious; The Supreme Being would serve as the Supreme Court.

5. Palm to forehead: Whack!

The only religion that matters to these people is Christianity. No matter how many times a scholar elucidates that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights specifically do not state the United States is a Christian country, they just don't freaking get it.

Christians have more freedoms and religious rights in this country than ANY other religious group. If you build a church, no one protests. If you build a mosque or temple, the loons come a-screaming. Prayer is allowed at school. School-directed public prayer is not. If a young Muslim boy pulls out his prayer rug... that's a horrific matter indeed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Pledge of Allegiance (with the 1950's godless commies are coming so we better add "under God" still intact) still said in schools??

Sometimes I just want to cry when I see what goes on in this country.

1. You are so right!
I taught and volunteered in schools here in South Carolina, and YES, the Pledge of Allegiance is said every day AND there is a moment of silence and you can pray to whomever you would like! I get so tired of these people who say their religious freedoms are being taken away. And living where I do, I hear it all the time!
~NancyB in SC

2. As a kid attending two different but equally batshit Christian schools, I had to say THREE different Pledges of Allegiance every morning: one to the American flag, one to the "Christian" flag, and one to the Bible. (Don't know if this still goes on, but it wouldn't surprise me.)

Air Force Basic and the early-morning command of "At the count of three, you will sing the first verse of the Air Force Song!" was a flippin' breeze.

(Interestingly enough, not once during my service was I ever asked/required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.)

3. Just want to point out, as a self identified Christian, that the version of "Christianity" they espouse is un-Biblical and warped.

6. No. When you think about it, it's not funny at all. Oh, your post is funny, good for wry smiles and some LOLs, but the underlying message is depressing as all hell.

7. Arbogast HolmskraggaMay 7, 2014 at 4:57 PM

I think you missed one other "oopsie" in all this:

"Those belonging to other religions, such as Islam, will be free to live and worship here as now, with their own religion..."

"A couple wishing to get married must first attend Christian marriage counseling classes."

Yes, you did comment about a different conflict with Trigg's position and that first clause, but this also seems to show yet another example of muddled thinking on his part.

8. I worried that Romney was Scudder, actually.

9. "So does that mean we can still assess gay porn from, say, church like the professionals do?"
I think you menat to write 'access'

1. I think you're right.

It's fixed. Thanks!

2. You have to access it before you can assess it.

3. Or he could have meant to type "asses." That kinda makes sense in context, too.

10. Well, with his ideas about restricting what TV shows and movies are available I'd say the video game industry would see a real boom in sales...

Honestly though the only difference I see between this guy and the popular voices in the GOP right now is that he is saying more directly, honestly and forthrightly what he would actually do. Which is, yes, absolutely terrifying.

I kept thinking that the debacle in Oklahoma surrounding the Ten Commandments monument - the one where they decided a monument could go up on public land as long as it was privately funded and as a result the Church of Satan jumped on board with their own statuary - would have taught even these people something about religion in the public square.

11. **MEANT** Okay, I'll never correct you again.

12. I work in a museum in the nation's capital. I shall say no more. One day, on my way to lunch, I noticed a small group (four people, one man, three women wearing headscarves) in a not very crowded with visitors corridor just rising from four small rugs and rolling them up. What visitors there were gave them curious glances. A passing security guard sort of did a double-take, then went about his business. The four rolled up their prayer mats and went back into the main exhibit areas to continue enjoying what we have to offer.

Religious freedom? I think we's gots it. What Trigg and his ilk offer doesn't come close. And they frighten the spit out of me.

13. As always Jim, another hilariously poignant posting .... and yes, when we really see these screaming madmen not just making foolish runs at the Presidency, we also see more mainstream - but equally ludicrous inclusion-of-Christianity-and-State mainstay GOPers making seriously close and hugely funded runs at the Presidency... and Fascism, as they say, if it comes to the US, will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a bible. Given the tone of the national rhetoric lately, it does make me toss and turn a little at night.

Reading this post, I am also immediately reminded of comments made recently by Chief Justice Roy Moore [Alabama Supreme Court] indicating his strong belief that the first amendment applies to only Christians because this nation was founded on Christian principles and (more importantly for him) by a 'Christian' God...

A specious bit of stupocrisy, because the 1st amendment and the very idea of separation of church and state clearly addressed the multitude of religious beliefs during the early years of this nation. More importantly it addressed the concerns of most (if not all) the founding fathers and democratically minded philosophers of the day regarding possible sectarian [albeit "Christian"] violence, if not for a clear and distinct lack of 'preference' towards a specific set of religious beliefs, ideologies, and let's face it, really strict and prudish attitudes (seriously, Benny F. liked the French ladies a little too much to sign a document that restricted his right to some filthy Booty!).

The Establishment clause that came later makes it even more clear on these matters, but I actually enjoy how separation of church and state is blatantly stated in the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli,... Article 11.

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

So no, the 1st Amendment, nor any other aspect of the constitution, is now - nor was it ever conceived to be - owned by Christianity and evangelicals alone.

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster and praise be the touch of his noodly appendage! Raptor Jesus be praised!!!

14. Jim, I hate you. I'm working on a novel about Nehemiah Scudder. Yes, I shamelessly stole the whole idea from RAH, I admit it. I couldn't help myself. And here you are in this blog post, you've just given the whole blasted plot away, right down to the real-life identity of the scoundrel in chief.

Man. That sucks.

15. These people make me very uneasy. I'm the sort of person that historically they liked to dunk in rivers or burn at stakes. At the very least, they'd try to force me into marriage because single women are a threat.
Very uneasy about these people.
M from MD

16. Considering that the chairman of the state Republican Party down here in Oregon is a far-right "scientist" (OK, fair enough, he has degrees and was once fired by Linus Pauling) whose main income is from publishing textbooks for fundamentalist homeschoolers and processing urine samples for labs, and who's best known for the fraudulent "Oregon Petition on Global Warming"...no, not real far-fetched from where I'm sitting.

17. "Legal age for marriage is 22? 22? That can be right. They should be on their third kid by 22."

I think you meant that _can't_ be right.

18. Darryl Trigg isn't Nehemiah Scudder. Try Senator (R-Gilead xxx Texas) Ted Cruz. "In a sermon last year at an Irving, Texas, megachurch that helped elect Ted Cruz to the United States Senate, Cruz' father Rafael Cruz indicated that his son was among the evangelical Christians who are anointed as 'kings' to take control of all sectors of society, an agenda commonly referred to as the 'Seven Mountains' mandate, and 'bring the spoils of war to the priests', thus helping to bring about a prophesied 'great transfer of wealth', from the 'wicked' to righteous gentile believers. link to video of Rafael Cruz describing the 'great transfer of wealth' and the role of anointed 'kings' in various sectors of society, including government, who are to 'bring the spoils of war to the priests'."—Bruce Wilson, quoted by David Atkins in "Ted Cruz, King of the Seventh Mountain"

Cruz is smart and powerful and has a real shot at the Presidency. His main electoral negative is that women hate him. He is not only anti-abortion, but anti-contraception. IIRC, he's also the man who got Boehner to shut down the government the last time; Senator Cruz walked away and Rep. Boehner took the heat.

If Cruz has anything like empathy for people not radical right Christians, I do not see it in him. "For if you love only those who love you, what reward have you earned? Do not even the [hated, Roman] tax-gatherers do that?"

19. Be of good cheer! Everything old is new again! (You might like this.) http://history1800s.about.com/od/immigration/a/knownothing01.htm

20. Interesting that blasphemy, nudity, homosexuality et al would be banned from TV but thhere is no mention of banning violence. While I'm no longer a Christian, I do have this memory of Jesus saying we ought to be nice to each other. Of course, seeing how the majority of Trigg's platform is based on Old Testament principles, perhaps he's never read the portions that mention that Jesus fellow. Trigg probably thinks he's an illegal alien from Mexico or something.

1. Greg - ETC(SW) USN - RetiredMay 8, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Ah, Senor of Peace, we do NOT want you in this country. Go back to San Diego. - Cheech Marin

21. *sigh* Just when you think the nutjobs have shown their worst, something even more nutty comes along. As far as your jab at Catholics, Jim, you might want to consider the above-average to very high rates of teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, pornography-watching and divorce in the mainly Baptist / evangelical Protestant Southern and mid-Western Bible Belt states. They may go to church with the kids and hetero-spouse-unit on Sunday, but they're ripping each other off on weekdays and hitting the strip clubs & screwing someone other than their own spouses on Fridays & Saturdays. Yup, hypocrisy flourishes there among the born-again.

1. I dinged the Baptists elsewhere in the text.

2. Quite true, you did, Jim. I missed it. Maybe I wanted to point out the hypocrisy of the holier than thou types some more. They've been getting on my nerves this year.

22. At least Trigg says exactly what he believes. Most of the serious contenders from the Republican Right know they can't be nearly as direct, but would do very similar things if given a free hand.

23. I doubt that Trigg considers Catholics to be Christians...

24. Just when I think I'm writing fiction...

25. Your description of God as a government flunky reporting to a supervisor reminded me of one of my all-time favorite Onion articles:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/clinton-written-up-by-total-bitch-supervisor,852/?ref=auto

26. Thank you for the entertaining essay. I always enjoy reading your work--well turned phrases, fun and thought provoking.

It is curious how the U.S has been creeping in fits and starts toward more Christianity in government. And yet the loudest proponents of the movement never seem to put it in any context other than the God-as-MY-personal-savior-told-ME-it-is-so type.

1776 – U.S. Declaration of Independence
1783 – U.S. independence recognized
1787 – U.S. Constitution adopted
1791 – Bill of Rights ratified

1892 – Pledge of Allegiance Ver. 1
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

1892 – Pledge of Allegiance Ver. 1.1
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

1923 – Pledge of Allegiance Ver. 2
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States and to the republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

1924 – Pledge of Allegiance Ver. 2.1
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

1954 - Pledge of Allegiance Ver. 3
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

1956 – U.S. national motto changed
from “E Pluribus Unum” to “In God We Trust”

1957 – U.S. currency changed
to include “In God We Trust”

101 years from the Bill of Rights to the Pledge of Allegiance.
62 years from the Pledge of Allegiance to the addition of “under God”
60 years from the addition of “under God” to now

What was happening in the 1890s that prompted the need for a pledge of allegiance?
What was happening in the late 1950s that prompted the inclusion of God into Government?
What does this say about the trend of society in the United States?
How does this bode for the separation of Church and State?
Is it possible that the U.S. will become a Christian Theocracy?
Thoughts to ponder…

1. What was happening in the 1890s?

Well, for one thing, the Civil War had been over for a generation and people were getting tired of having politicians "waving the bloody shirt." They wanted to put this behind them. This was approximately when what historians sometimes call the Civil War settlement gets informally worked out - the South admits that they lost, becomes willing to rejoin the Union in spirit as well as law, and promises not to do it again, while the North admits that the South fought nobly and concedes the whole Lost Cause mythology (this, for example, is when the pernicious nonsense of the Civil War being fought for states' rights starts to gain traction). The pledge ("one nation, indivisible") was meant to help with this healing.

For another thing, this is the time of the New Immigrants - the wave of southern/eastern European immigrants (and Chinese, in the west) that washed over the US between 1880 and 1914. They were very different from the Old Immigrants who arrived before the Civil War - poorer, less educated, non-Protestant, and notably darker-skinned (think Italian vs German). Native born citizens worried about these New Immigrants being able to assimilate into American life, and the Pledge was meant to help that.

What happened in the 1950s?

Essentially the McCarthyite Red-baiting hysteria against "Godless Communism" happened. Shoehorning God into the pledge and the motto was a way to separate us from them.

As for your other questions:
1. It says nothing good.
2. It bodes ill.
3. Yes.

27. #10 Businesses are disadvantaged by having to pay, among other things, higher employee compensation.
#12 All employers MUST pay for health insurance for all employees.

Anyone else notice that inconsistency?
Chandra in MO

28. I'm a non-denominational pagan - I would be happy to be nominated for the religious freedom Ambassador at large position.

1. Maybe we should start one of those White House petitions, just to see the Preznit ignore it...

2. @Meanie: If you were intending to note that "President Obama" is surprisingly hard to say, and gets slurred to "Preznit Obama" fairly often, well spotted.

Otherwise...what's your point? Do elucidate.

3. @ Don Hilliard

It comes from "Preznit giv me turkee", a phrase coined by Atrios in 2003, concerning the White House press corps, and the sycophancy attendant thereto.

Its maculate conception. Can't find the original post, but this is the graphic Atrios used in the post.
Its preposterous heritage. See, "turkee" quickly became a euphemism for "campaign contribution", and Atrios (Duncan Black, economist/blogger) helped raise quite a bit of "turkee" through Actblue.

As for the petition, that was a joke (although I'd sign one to appoint a Pagan as RFA@L). The "We the People" page at the White House website will let you start up a petition on anything you want, and promises an official response if you collect 100,000 signatures. UInless they don't want to.

And the old saying is still true. If yez gotta explain a joke, then maybe it wasn't funny...

4. @Meanie: Ah. Understood. (And no, never heard that gag before.)

Re the "We the People" online petition site: I think it's an interesting but ultimately dumb idea. The brilliant radio comedian Merle Kessler, in character as his rapid-fire commentator Ian Shoales, nailed the concept down back in the '80s: "Writing a 'Letter to the Editor' is easy: all it takes is paper, anger, and time to kill." The Internet has eliminated "paper" from the equation.

(And just for lagniappe, Kessler/Shoales' best comment ever: "Football players, like prostitutes, are in the business of ruining their bodies for the pleasure of strangers.")

29. I've been reserving the term Scudderite for when I'm talking about the Dominionists. Generally. It produces a short moment of double-take, into which it's sometimes possible to sneak an explanation that wouldn't otherwise be listened to. This idiot scares me a lot less than they do, but yes, it's an increasingly visible problem.

Ann C.

30. This would have hit the nail square on the head a few days ago. However, today, just a few days after the Supreme Court decided that apparently the freedom of religion bit in the first amendment really does only apply to Christians, you're a little behind the times. Unless you're planning a column specifically speaking to that ruling?? (pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease)

31. I agree with trouvera, I'd love to see your commentary on Town of Greece v. Galloway.

This post is, in my opinion, one of your best yet. I have been trying very hard lately to find words for my frustration and fear over the blatant dismantling of church-state separation that has been going on in this country. Your post helped.

Honestly, as an atheist, I am starting to actually get really scared of what the future holds in the US for me and my family. I grew up in a fairly liberal Midwest town that is the home of a major state university, so other than the lunatic traveling preacher on the quad, I don't think I ever even met a creationist until after I graduated from college (I did graduate work in evolutionary biology). The contrast of prevailing beliefs that I was exposed to when growing up in the 70s and 80s and what my kids are exposed to is huge. Despite the fact that the number of non-religious is rapidly growing, so too seems to be the power and influence of the religious right.

The republican party has effectively become the Christian party, and they are winning. They will likely take over the Senate in the fall, and the damage they may be able to inflict on the country is huge.

The recent Galloway decision is especially concerning. It punches a big hole in the first amendment. Rather than defining religious coercion as endorsing a religious position or making a non-adherent feel less than an equal citizen (a Jeffersonian definition that has been the precedent), they re-define it as forcible compulsion or fine for those who do not participate. Within 24 hours, the city of Roanoke announced that they will change their previous rule of only non-sectarian prayer, and would only allow Christian (Protestant) invocations.

Even more concerning is Clarence Thomas' assertion that church-state separation is a federal issue, implying that a state religion would be permissible, essentially nullifying the 14th Amendment. Does anyone else find it ironic that an African American is endorsing a position of nullification of the 14th Amendment?

Sorry for the wandering rant. Events of the last week have left me less comfortable and secure than I have ever felt in my own country, and frankly, I'm terrified. Thanks, Jim, for allowing me to laugh a little at the insanity of it all.

1. I too, worry about the continuous, slow, but steady move here to join church and state. Thanks for your comment, it helps to know others are concerned. I have read (can't remember where now) that the religious right is working towards making this country a theocracy. That is so far from what was intended by the founders of this country that the right loves to quote. And the republicans have sold their soul to this devil in return for votes. The republican party was not always the party of the christian right, and I don't think they can control this group.
I often wonder what would this country look like if they succeed, it would be very frightening from my perspective. Sometimes I think it would be better to leave the US, as I don't want to live in a theocractic state, christian or otherwise.
So, it can be discouraging to witness these changes in our country, and yes, reading Jim's blog and all the other comments do help!

2. There is a movement known as "dominionism" that has the goal of turning America into a theocracy. Prominent politicians involved in the movement include Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Michelle Bachmann, and Sarah Palin. When you have a couple of hours to kill, try googling "dominionism" and "seven mountains." It's scary stuff, especially given that two of the names I mentioned are Republican presidential frontrunners.

Here's one look at what America might look like as a theocracy...

And another...

http://www.amazon.com/The-Handmaids-Tale-Margaret-Atwood/dp/038549081X

3. I've heard of dominionism and their theocratic goals. I did check out the links you included. Now reading articles on www.theocracywatch.org and if they can be believed, this is some scary stuff! There is much to read on this website, and it just details what I've suspected and more. We should all be reading and sharing this.
As much as this is frightening, part of me thinks no, we won't elect one of these nutjobs. We wouldn't let this happen here, I imagine an uprising of public outrage as the dominionists try to turn this country into a church state. But, unfortunately it seems they came close with Bush 2? You didn't mention Santorum and he received a 100% rating from the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family Voter Scorecards. I'll bet Santorum runs again, an embarassment for my home state! I can't imagine he would win a general election, I think he's too extreme for the majority of voters, at least I hope so!

4. I used to think it could not happen here, but I also would never have anticipated that they would get as far as they already have. Dominionists are in our Congress, and have been in the White House (Bush 2). I am really afraid that they are winning, at least in terms of political power, despite the fact that there are more non-religious in this country than at any time in our history.

If we continue to take the attitude that it can't happen here, they will continue to incrementally gain power, until we are looking back saying "how in the hell did that happen?" I am guessing those in Europe before WWII never thought that something like the Holocaust could happen there.

And yea, the idea of Santorum in the White House is terrifying. Read a little about Ted Cruz's father for some more light reading. He is completely and utterly nuts. Rick Perry is another - he is fairly open about his dominionist ideas.

I'm in the process of making sure my entire family has passports. I hope it will never get to the point where I feel we need to leave, but the idea is starting to sound plausible. Maybe not likely, but definitely plausible.

32. I'm honestly surprised you aren't familiar with "God is my Co-Pilot" thing. It's a best selling autobiography of Col. Robert Lee Scott Jr.. Col. Scott was a pilot with the Flying Tigers fighting the Japanese prior to the US entry into WW2. It's been some 50 years or so since I read it, but I remember it to be a decent read.

The phrase comes about from people asking about the safety of a man alone in a plane with no one to help him. The phrase, "No co-pilot but God" came about from that. I guess it was considered nicer than saying, "You are on your own". Scott changed that phrase into "God is my Co-Pilot" for the title of his book. It's not really intended to be a phrase of faith. In fact, I've been known to write polite notes to people explaining this when I see them use the phrase as a statement of faith. I consider that an insult to those brave flyers so long ago.

1. Jim didn't say he was not familiar - he said he didn't UNDERSTAND it - two entirely different things, as I am reasonably certain that he is QUITE familiar with it.

I don't understand it either really.

33. I'll never be able to think of the names of the Gospels again without smiling. Subtle, very subtle.

As for the rest, the christianists scare me. We have our own home-grown version of religious fundamentalists and nothing seems to be being done about them. I'm also afraid that many (most?) people aren't aware of how truly dangerous they are.

BLS

34. Greg - ETC(SW) USN - RetiredMay 8, 2014 at 7:37 AM

So, maybe we DO bring God into the government. We get President Obama to name God as the new Czar, I mean, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. That ought to make some heads explode.

PS - one of your Triggs near the very end of the essay is missing a "g".

35. There are a lot of illnesses that will cause a person to act irrational. What would happen if there was a contagious illness that caused super rationality? It makes me smile contemplating the resulting chaos in the streets but it makes me laugh out loud when I consider congress. .

1. damon knight (he didn't use capitals) published a novel about that called A Reasonable World. As I recall, it was late in his career and is considered a minor work, but knight was one of the minor greats of the field, and you've persuaded me to seek out a copy.

36. Wasn't all that funny when Isaac Asimov wrote "Trends" in 1939, either. An evangelical (An Eldredge, not a Scudder, which is sort of like "a Lippman, not a Winchell") and his followers gain control of the Senate, and create the Federal Scientific Research Investigation Bureau. In the story it was spaceflight that they went after. The idea is absolutely *not* far-fetched in today's America, and I think we all know which science they'd go after first, don't we...

37. Jim, you are losing your touch (or I am going blind)

Compare and contrast

-- Those belonging to other religions, such as Islam, will be free to live and worship here as now, with their own religion

with

-- A couple wishing to get married must first attend Christian marriage counseling classes.

and

-- Married couples who become pregnant must attend Christian parenting classes

You can be Muslim, as long as you do Christian stuff.

Is God actually Christian? I know his son got a gang, but surely God is Jewish.

That pledge of allegiance stuff amuses and bemuses many of us Brits. What happens if you don't say it daily? Do you suddenly wage war on the US? What happens at the weekends- without your daily fix do you suddenly start bombing the US? Many of us don't trust those who wear their patriotism on their arm, (or flag on their lapel, to be honest). I mean, anywhere else you'd be suspicious- if, say, a preacher was ALWAYS going on about the evils of homosexuality, and ignoring the peace and love bits, you'd wonder if they were hiring rent bo... oh...

1. The part that got me was "The financial responsibilities of caring for children of mothers who are not married will be shared by the father."

What's a poor little widow-woman like me gonna do? No longer married, but no father around to ante-up, either.

2. Kerry, you and I (also a widow with kid at home) would be forced to marry a "good Christian man". If he happens to beat us or rape our children, well tough.
Chandra in MO

38. Makes me think of "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis (mostly because you used that phrase in the post, I believe). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Can't_Happen_Here

CTYankee

39. At the risk of being the grammar police, I thought it was funny that the way he wrote the movie rating part made it sound like the homes contained the nudity and profanity (most do I guess at some point!)

"No show or movie will be allowed on T.V. systems or computer systems accessible by homes that contain nudity, strong sexual content, excessive foul language, blasphemy, or any form of homosexuality."

"homes that contain nudity....... "

Anyway it struck me funny when I read it. You missed another chance to ridicule his positions :-)

40. Normally, I wouldn't agree much with someone having dissenting views, but (as a Christian) THIS "candidate" scares me. The ONLY point of disagreement concerns the "blocking" of 3 appointments to the DC Court of Appeals.

"The court consists of a chief judge and eight associate judges. The court is assisted by the service of retired judges who have been recommended and approved as senior judges." (Source: http://www.dccourts.gov/internet/appellate/judges/main.jsf)

in the blog: "In 2013, Senate republicans repeatedly blocked the President’s appointments to the US court for appeals for the District of Columbia, the second most powerful court in the US after the Supreme Court, leaving three of its eleven seats empty."

It was being talked about expanding to 11 seats, but I don't think that has happened yet. As of this post, there are 7 Associate Judges, leaving one vacancy.

41. We all want the advantages of eating clean tacos, but we don't like the dishwashers that are part of that highly regulated restaurant environment.

42. If Mr. Trigg were to run in my neck of Oklabygodhoma not only would they vote for him, they would name him Emperor for Life.

43. I guess the taliban ain't exclusively muslim, eh ?

1. That's why the term 'Talibaptist' was invented.

44. Oh my word, what a messed-up platform. I'm betting that the Secret Service is fervently hoping that this quack never rises to the level at which he commands protection from them. He ticks the Tea Party check-boxes for religious lunacy, but on other issues (such as trade policy & salary caps) manages somehow to wind up veering somewhere a bit to the left of Bernie Sanders. This guy on a national stage would be the equivalent of tattooing a Star of David onto the forehead of a black transvestite, covering him in glitter, slapping high heels on him and send him sprinting through a Volksfront rally. "Okay, your jobs are to keep him alive, hope you remembered to strap on your kevlar. Go, go, go!"

45. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…Ted Cruz. Take it away, Ted!

“I’m very much a believer that the scripture teaches that you hate the sin and love the sinner, and so, you know, from my perspective I am perfectly willing to interact with anybody,” he said. “Look, I work in the U.S. Congress. But at the same time, I don’t think the law should be forcing Americans to violate their religious faith.”

He was referring to the infringement on religious liberty of forbidding discrimination against gays. (More over at Digby's.)

46. JW: One other minor correction - the President's first name has one 'R', not two. (Spell check is evil.)

1. I made that mistake on a poster. Arghh! Maybe Barack would consider a slight name change.

47. Jim- I recently learned about the "Conservapedia" project run by Phyllis Schlafly's son that is re-writing the Bible to edit out all those inconvenient, Left/Liberal-leaning sayings and quotations that have been giving all the extremists such a hard time when they try to use the bible as justification for their nastiness. You just can't imagine the reading they have to do in order to find something to counteract those things like "It is easier for a camel..." that are CLEARLY not the favorite sayings of the Wall street crowd. Well, agonize no more! They are re-writing the bible so that it is more "business friendly", more in line with our fine, 'Murrican values and philosophy, more accepting of our weapons sales and supporting dictators and turning out the blood-sucking poor people so the Job-creating rich people can build a new High-rise condo on the site of the old mission...and we can dance in the streets that there will no longer be a dichotomy between what we do and what the bible says! They will be in complete agreement!

48. Not all of the insane walk the halls of an asylum....there is a bunch of insane walking the halls of congress, now...

1. They are also among us, Buford. Many armed, unfortunately.

bd

49. I have to ask: How would Darrell (and his brother Darrell, I presume) Trigg be able to tell the entity he invited to be part of his administration is really God? That it's not Lucifer in a God suit? And what would be keeping Lucifer/God from just usurping the top position, and demoting Darrell?

Heck, this might be the opening Sarah Palin has been waiting for. She could waltz in wearing whatever God suit she's found in Walmart's costume department, and take over.

50. That requirement that the legal age for marriage be changed to 22? I think Trigg means that is the age by which you *must* be married. This would cut way down on that nasty premarital sex thing.

51. Well, Jim, I dunno. I'm with you pretty much all the time. Often enthusiastically (yeah, sorry, I don't write much). But this one? Like I said, I dunno. Couldn't make it past the first fifth or so. Haven't you (or skaty-eight others) been here too many times before? Sounds like blank page syndrome.

52. Perhaps if God did work for the government, He would be in charge of The Parting of the Red Tape and things would get done faster.

53. Jim, I wanted to read your whole posting, really I did! But by the time I was about 1/3 of the way through, my face hurt so much from laughing and the tears of laughter were so intense that I couldn't focus on the screen! Keep up the good work!

1. See, Carl's comment, 3 up. I guess it all balances out.

54. You are adept at propaganda. You admitted as such. You know the difference between right and wrong. You promote what is, in the long term, detrimental to civilized society. You know what will be the eventual result of the direction our country is going: a form of socialism and state control that will be harmful to your children. What does that make you?

1. Since everything in your comment is fallacious supposition, what it makes him is, pretty much, smarter than you.

2. You know what will be the eventual result of the direction our country is going: a form of socialism and state control that will be harmful to your children.

Ah, it's the monster hiding under your bed. Socialism! Statists! Oh noes!

Be more specific, Anonymous, how does a religious theocracy give you less state control? Also, please describe the "form of socialism" you're talking about and exactly how it will "harm" my children. Please be specific, enumerate each "harm" including cause and effect.

More, how do three hundred and fifty million Americans live together on top of each other without some form of social compact? Without killing each other? Without leaving the poor and unfortunate to starve and die. Without a handful of rich bastards taking it all and leaving the rest of us to live off the scraps.

Go ahead, Anonymous, enlighten me.

3. If Anonymous is referring to the kind of socialism they still have (albeit in weaker form than it once was) in much of northern Europe, I seriously doubt that it will be anything but really quite good for my children.

Also, Jim, your third paragraph is exactly why libertarian utopians could benefit greatly from observing the example of Somalia. They don't have answers to those questions.

55. Sometimes I think the universe is just f*cking with us. I mean really, Darrell Trigg? Why am I picturing an amalgamation of Issa and the youngest Palin kid?

56. Great post as always.
I'd like to know who is in charge of hunting down those illegal immigration laws, though. Those things get loose and, bob's your uncle, all hell breaks loose.

57. One nation,indivisible with liberty and justice for all! Those who insisted that verse needed to be revised was because certain groups don't really want a united country.

58. You say the Christian Party I'd comprised of "Darrell and his wife". Darrell is divorced. She left many years ago, so please correct that error as I prefer to not be associated with his name.
That's right, I'm the ex-wife, and I am horrified. Please remove the reference to "wife".

59. America is not a true democracy. Great,we have the right to vote. However, we vote for party members. Therefore, the United States is a representive government. Hence, once elected, it is a government for the party and by the party. As a result, America gets party members John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. In order to get party policy enacted members will filibuster, block appointments and shut down the government. This strategy is put in place by party lines despite the majority of Americans who are against it. Consequently, based on the people's vote we get a government that cannot lead and is seemingly useless.

As a result, if Trigg or Cruz or Palin get elected to the presidency because of the diatribe of people like Beck or Limbaugh then America deserves it. Some people love to create conflicts for personal gain. Yet, chaos creates change. If fundamentalism takes over then change there will be.

As 2016 approaches America should be concerned about the ignorant that believe everything they're told. After all, "ignorance is the curse." Therefore, the thing that comes out of the mouth of the perverse person that purposely stirs up conflict will be swarmed upon by the dung beatles that follow. Hopefully, the wiser population will carefully consider the situation and the reasonests will prevail.

When Martin Luther banged the 95 Thesis to the door of the Catholic Church he was challenging religious beliefs. Ultimately, he created change which caused people to think for themselves instead living in fear of blasphemy. Waving the Bible from the 7 mountains will certainly be a return to darker times.

60. "The simple truth of the matter is this, when these people talk about religious freedom, they’re not talking about the religious freedoms enumerated in the Bill of Rights, they’re talking about the kind of religious “freedom” described by Darrell Trig."

The fallacy of composition. Pretty easy to demonstrate and not very convincing.

1. Pretty easy to demonstrate and not very convincing

Then you should have no trouble demonstrating it in a convincing manner. By all means, go right ahead.

61. The demonstration was on your part. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. You employ logical fallacies to convince others that your opinions have merit. That fallacious reasoning weakens your argument.

1. You're not that subtle. I got it on the first try.

Funny thing, as supposedly lousy as my argument is, it sure keeps you coming back, doesn't it?

Anonymous, I gave you the opportunity to justify your accusation, and as is predictable habit with you, you moved the goal posts. You might want to take another look at those logical fallacies, just saying.

2. The religious freedom guaranteed in the Bill of Rights is the freedom to worship (or not worship) according to individual conscience.

The religious freedom Darrell Trig wants to force on us all is his own freedom to be free from all religions or religious ideas (including uninterest and disinterest in religion) different from his own. It's an old idea, Mr Trigg's. As old as those first religious refugees who sailed to the Plymouth Bay to live in a world where, they hoped and intended, to live free from everyone else's religion and religious ideas for the rest of time. Happily they didn't get their way, but their ideological descendants never seem to give up trying.

BB

62. Maybe a body has to enable third party cookies always to post on this blog?
BB

63. I think that was it... finally!!

64. This must be where Sarah Palin got her youngest child's name, Trigg.

65. I just found you . . . because 3 (now 4) of my friends on fb are 'friends' w you on fb. And this was the first thing I read from you. And I cant think of the last author who made me laugh this much other than Dave Barry. I'm so glad I found you . . .

66. Christopher BonhamMay 19, 2014 at 12:23 AM

Jesus Haploid Christ. Just read this newest piece and the only reaction I'm capable of summing up is this: my head will not stop spinning. Jim, are you sure Darryl Trigg isn't secretly a comedian of sorts, because the guy's platform almost seems like satire.

67. Excellent, as usual.

68. Jim, this is completely off topic. Do you have any idea why the immoral minority blogspot is no longer available to readers (aka non-authors) like me?

Thanks for putting up with a non-topic question.

Freckles

1. Reportedly, the blog author, Gryphen, says that he doesn't know why the site is down. He's looking into it, but supposedly it's related to a Terms of Service violation.

Because Gryphen spends much of his bandwidth in counter to Sarah Palin, his readers suspect that the site was interdicted by the malicious machinations of her fanclub - likely an organized campaign of complaints to The Immoral Minority's host which is Google's Blogger Platform. Likely they are lodging copyright infringement complaints based on a quotes and/or pictures Gryphen has put up on his site. This is a known tactic used to silence blogs via automated takedown software.

I'd say that this is the most likely reason for Immoral Minority going dark, but could be something entirely different.

Based on my own experience with attackers and Google, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised, this is how they roll. They hate laws and rules, but they love to abuse them for their own goals and to silence their critics.

My experience with Blogger is that the support staff is reasonably responsive, once you figure out how to contact them. Gryphen should have this resolved in a day or so.

69. Thanks so much for responding, Jim! IM is back up, and it would be very interesting to find out why it ever was down. I suspect you're right, and it was Sarah and/or her minions trying to cause trouble.

Freckles

70. WELL! I am speechless and if you knew me at all you would understand that something must have really impacted me. you used all my words up. I would like to say sir that you did so in a remarkably honest, engaging intelligent, factual, albeit wordy fashion. our nation should stand up and salute you but of course they would never. I am standing and saluting you.

71. As I sat here reading this (I work from home and had some downtime for a moment), the mailman pulled up to deliver mail. His window was open, and Christian scripture reading was blasting as loud as possible from his radio. I couldn't help but enjoy\be terrified by that perfect blending of Church and State, right in the middle of reading this topic.

Comments on this blog are moderated. Each will be reviewed before being allowed to post. This may take a while. I don't allow personal attacks, trolling, or obnoxious stupidity. If you post anonymously and hide behind an IP blocker, I'm a lot more likely to consider you a troll. Be sure to read the commenting rules before you start typing. Really.