I suspect the Methodist Church will soon change its policy on excommunication.
Dear Reverend Puckey:
My name is Kevin
Robbins and I attend Hudson Falls UMC. I’m writing because you and I disagree.
This is in regards to a Facebook post put up by Kathi Cech and liked by you,
disliked by me. I’m overlooking the notification I received in the comments
that I can’t possibly be a Christian because I’m a liberal. You may not have
seen that, and may or may not agree with those sentiments. But, you did click
like on the Dinesh D’Souza quote. If you’d care to respond, my e-mail
is email@example.com. I corresponded with Reverend Mudge and he informed
me that I’m “engaged in a debate that is dividing all of the UMC.” I attempted
to engage in a debate on Facebook without much success. No one wanted to
D’Souza said: “The paradox of
liberal tolerance is that it extends to Marxists, transsexuals and Islamic
radicals – but not to conservatives or Christians.”
I’m curious what you find agreeable
about the quote. How many living Marxists can you name? And how many liberals
that are supporting them? The Russians took up kleptocracy around the time of
Boris Yeltsin. Nicolas Maduro might be a Marxist, but I doubt many liberals are
supporting him. Maybe Harry Belafonte and Sean Penn? I’d say President
Trump is giving him support by threatening him and rallying people to his side.
I agree that we are tolerant
toward transgender folks. What should we be? Hateful towards them? We liberals
have company anyway. The brass at the Pentagon and some Republicans in Congress
recently smacked down President Trump’s attempt to bigly discriminate toward
transgender service members. But wait, wait; that’s not all. Some members of
the Methodist Church are tolerant, too. A transgender person named M has
recently been ordained as a deacon.
D’Souza insinuates that liberals
are in league with ISIS and al-Qaeda. I would require some evidence of that
scurrilous charge. We do support Muslims being able to practice their religion
without being subjected to attacks like the recent one in Minnesota (and so many
others). And why are they being attacked? Possibly because of hate-mongers like
D’Souza. Actually, we support transgender folks not being attacked, as well.
Would it be offensive if I said conservative Christian tolerance extends to the
right-wing extremists in Virginia? I can already see it doesn’t extend to
liberals. Why is it acceptable to push hatred of them?
Presumably some of my best friends
are conservative Christians. I don’t bring my politics into church so I don’t
know for sure. I’m not intolerant of conservative views or people who hold
them. I am intolerant of bigots like D’Souza who use fallacious, straw man,
nonsense arguments to spread hatred.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you
commit atrocities.” – Voltaire.
Every American president since World War II has believed
that our nation benefits from the spread of economic and political freedom.
Oppressive regimes are more likely to seek destabilizing weapons and to harbor
terrorists. Democratic nations are more peaceful and more likely to engage in
trade. Democratization (for the most part) cannot be imposed, but it can be
encouraged — unless that great, defining national mission doesn’t fit in the
Yes, off and on they've tried to encourage that sort of thing, too. And Trump and Tillerson?
Here is a story for Tillerson to consider, told to me by a
United States senator who was in Africa confronting a leader about human rights
abuses. At one point during their testy exchange, the (increasingly) oppressive
ruler said, “Well, Trump is on my side.” The senator, to his credit, responded,
“Trump doesn’t even know your name.” Which is probably true. But the impression
that the United States no longer cares about human rights has filtered down to
third-rate despots everywhere.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met Monday with America's top
diplomat, where he voiced solidarity with the U.S. amid global concerns over
North Korea's nuclear program and angrily dismissed media questions about human
rights abuses by his government.
(Trump’s) efforts — as bad as they might be — have been so
far confined to the margins. Trump has not passed any major legislation or, for
that matter, built any walls.
On the other hand, his most significant and appalling
contribution has been to normalize lying as an ordinary tool of the presidency.
He has ghettoized truth, confining it to something characterized as the lying
and disloyal mainstream media. He lies for purpose and he lies just for the
hell of it. His lying is such that it ought to be a mental ailment. Call him
And sure that looks bad along with too many other things to mention.
His views, especially regarding social and cultural issues,
are to the right of the right. He is famously antiabortion, recommends
abstinence as the entire key to sex education and has taken the unique view that condoms are useless in AIDS
prevention. As for global warming, back in 2000 he said it “is a myth.”
In 2002, Pence took to the floor of the House to declaim on
evolution. Like many of its opponents, he misused the term “theory,” making it
seem like a guess or a speculation. In science, a theory is an explanation of
how things work. This is quite different from what Pence cited as a comparison — “that God created man
in his own image.” That’s religion and not a theory — and that’s a fact.
And Cohen goes on to point out what a vile hypocrite Pence is for overlooking all the things that make Trump the most nihilistic bastard ever to walk the Earth.
Hillary Clinton wants to preach. That’s what she told Bill
Shillady, her longtime pastor, at a recent photo shoot for his new book about
the daily devotionals he sent her during the 2016 campaign. Scattered bits of
reporting suggest that ministry has always been a secret dream of the two-time
presidential candidate: Last fall, the former Newsweek editor
Kenneth Woodward revealed that Clinton told him in 1994 that she thought “all
the time” about becoming an ordained Methodist minister.
The ordination of Pastor Hillary would be either the first or second most likely thing to raise the blood pressure of the lib haters in South Glens Falls. This story was one I'd seen awhile back and it had slipped my increasingly decrepit mind.
Barclay, a transgender person who identifies as neither male
nor female and thus uses the pronoun “they,” was commissioned on Sunday as the
first non-binary member of the clergy in the United Methodist Church.
There are some open-minded people in the church. Praise Jesus!
So, I've seen them mentioned lately and hadn't really got around to finding out. One of several reasons to link to this story. And may I say "link to this story" makes a great place to put the link. Oh yeah, Russian bots.
“The president doesn’t know whether it’s a Russian bot or
not,” said Clint Watt, a former FBI agent and fellow at the Foreign Policy
Research Institute, using the term for a fake Twitter account pretending to
represent a real person and created to influence public opinion or promote a
Of course the president doesn't know. Sadly, he knows even less than I do. What else is in this story? Nicole Mincey. Well, sort of, since she doesn't exist. At least not in the persona Trump knows her.
On Saturday, President Trump tweeted his gratitude to a
social-media super-fan, Nicole Mincey, magnifying her praise of him to his 35
Here’s the problem: There is no evidence the Twitter feed
belongs to someone named Nicole Mincey. And the account, according to experts,
bears a lot of signs of a Russia-backed disinformation campaign.
(H)e may have become Exhibit A of the foreign government’s
influence by elevating a suspected Russia-connected social-media user — part a
sophisticated campaign to exacerbate disputes in U.S. politics and gain the
attention of the most powerful tweeter in the world.
It's gonna be a miracle if we survive the next 3 and a half years.
“As a Republican, it raises questions for some on the right
who obviously have a difference of opinion on someone like Gen. McMaster, but
the reality is there is a foreign power here trying to push an agenda,” said
Jamie Fly, a former adviser to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who helped create the
Hamilton 68 project, which tracks the influence of Russian-backed propaganda
Researchers say the fake accounts sometimes disseminate
content from well-known Russian-backed sources, including Sputnik and RT. The
content is then picked up by U.S. conservatives. Or the fake accounts might
amplify content created by far-right media outlets known for misinformation,
including Gateway Pundit and Infowars.
Fly said Trump’s liberal use of Twitter has only increased
the return on investment for a foreign power such as Russia seeking to sow
division within the U.S. political system. Accounts can use Trump’s low bar for
retweets to their advantage by creating large volumes of content in the hope
that he might be drawn to some of it.
At least helping. I was interested to see this story. My kitty is 15 and a half. He's winding down. Actually I thought I'd be putting him to sleep in January, but he keeps on ticking. I've recently thought that I won't replace him and this article is one of the reasons I'd come to that conclusion. I maintain a mostly vegan diet, but that isn't possible with cats.
America’s 180 million or so Rovers and Fluffies
gulp down about 25 percent of all the animal-derived calories
consumed in the United States each year, according to Okin’s calculations. If
these pets established a sovereign nation, it would rank fifth in global
Needless to say, producing that meat — which requires
more land, water and energy and pollutes more than plant-based food —
creates a lot of greenhouse gases: as many as 64 million tons annually,
or about the equivalent of driving more than 12
million cars around for a year. That doesn’t mean pet-keeping must be eschewed
for the sake of the planet, but “neither is it an unalloyed good,” Okin wrote
in a study published this week in PLOS One.
American Catholicism, he argued, echoing the article's
thesis, "has become different than mainstream European Catholicism and
mainstream Latin American Catholicism," and has fallen "into the hands
of the religious right." The authors of the article argue that American
evangelical and ultraconservative Catholics risk corrupting the Roman Catholic
faith with an ideology intended to inject "religious influence in the
political sphere." They suggest that so-called values voters are using the
banners of religious liberty and opposition to abortion to try to supplant
secularism with a "theocratic type of state."
And this too, which I alluded to in my letter to the reverend.
But his conversion doesn't erase his past. After all,
Gingrich has a history of marital infidelity. He cheated on his first wife, and
his relationship with Callista, his third wife, began six years before the end
of his second marriage. She was a staffer 23 years his junior; he was a
Republican congressman who had yet to become speaker of the House.
"Without a doubt," says Rozell, "many people will find it rather
strange, ironic, whatever, that his religious journey that led him to convert
to Catholicism began with an affair he had with a young woman while he was
still married to his second wife."
That's the subject line I used when I sent the letter. Works good as a post title, too. I may have to add a label "Fights With People on Facebook" or some such.
Dear Reverend Mudge:
By way of
introduction, I’m Kevin Robbins and I attend Hudson Falls UMC. I have liberal
political views and this has never been a problem in the church I attend. I
occasionally have letters published in the Glens Falls Post Star. There are
some fellow parishioners who see them and comment. Some agree with me on some
letters. One lady told me, “I don’t agree with your letters, but they’re
well-written. And I used to be an English teacher.” Hey, I’ll take that! I try
to be polite in the letters. They’re mostly about gun control or healthcare or
similar issues. I don’t discuss the current president because whose mind am I
going to change? Beyond a cursory acknowledgement of the letters, I don’t bring
my politics into church. In my church no one has made me feel unwelcome because
of my views.
I’m going to
include a link to a Facebook post made by someone who was on my
friendlist. This is someone I went to school with and who attends the South
Glens Falls Methodist Church. The conversation I had, or tried to have, in the
comments bothers me quite a bit. I’ll admit to maybe borderline trolling at
some points, but I wasn’t getting much response. The fact that the reverend of
that church and his wife both approved of the post possibly offends me more.
Even allowing they maybe weren’t aware of the comments, they still lent their
imprimatur to the strawman nonsense that is the subject of the post.
tolerant of Marxists? How many Marxists are there still around? Vlad Putin and
his gang have taken up kleptocracy. I don’t know what Nicolas Maduro of
Venezuela is, but if it helps I’ll denounce him here and now. Transexuals? Last
week President Trump tried a bigly bit of discrimination against those in the
military. He was slapped down by the military brass and even some Congressional
Republicans. No liberals are tolerant of ISIS or al-Qaeda. I believe that’s
safe to say. I’d hope most are supportive of Muslims being free to practice
their religion without their mosques being fire-bombed like the one recently in
Minnesota. This is one of many that have been attacked. I will plead guilty to
being intolerant of Conservatives and Christians who are bigots.
I used to go to
the suppers at the SGF church. I’ve kept a mostly vegan diet for the last year
or so. It would be a moot point now, though. I certainly want nothing to do
with them and I have to question whether I want to continue in the Methodist
Church at all. It’s nice to see the ability to be so selective about who’s admitted
“The paradox of liberal tolerance is that it extends to
Marxists, transexuals and Islamic radicals – but not to conservatives or
Christians.” Dinesh D’Souza.
They are not tolerant, they ‘a’ crazy.
Kevin Robbins - How does that shake out when it comes to
KC - The two can't go together.
KR - That sounds pretty intolerant to me.
KC - Sorry but
bible following Christians are not liberals. The bible is very clear about
right and wrong, but I can have my beliefs and still be tolerant, I just won't
bend my standards for myself.
KC - The
majority of my family are liberals - I still love them.
KR - First, no
the Bible is not that clear on "right and wrong." Secondly, if it is
you do know that D'Souza is a convicted felon? I'm sure that's all good because
he's Conservative and Christian.
KR - And
you don't consider your family capable of being Christian without adopting
whatever Conservative beliefs you have?
MV - but she is right according to God;s word and you
can't argue with that the two can't mix.
KR - And
thus spake Michael Vaughn without basing your comment on anything. According to
what part of God's word does someone
have to hold Conservative political views to be a Christian.
I'd consider Pope Francis to be liberal. Are you going to say he isn't liberal?
Or isn't Christian?
KR - Yeah, Jesus was always going on about cutting taxes on
KR - Because I am open-minded, I'll entertain the
possibility that you're right, Kathi. Rather than take you and Michael's word
for it I think I'll contact Rev. Mudge and ask his opinion. If he tells me that
what you say is true then I'll leave the Methodist Church. Since, as a liberal,
I'm not wanted. I'll certainly go out of way to make it known to anyone else
who doesn't hold strict Conservative views that they're not wanted there. Fair
MV - all i said is she is right, the two don't mix don't
know what your on about??
KR - You have
every right to believe what you want. I hope you'll respect my being a little
offended at being told I can't be a Christian because my political beliefs fail
the litmus test.
KC - Fair enough. I stated how I feel and live MY life.
After you live my life you then can tell me I'm wrong. No hard feelings.
KC - Let me know what Bill says
KR - I will let you know. I'd really like to get an
And he wants us to get a useless border wall. I'd rather have a pony. Lyin' Ryan wants it so much he put on shades and made an ad in favor of it. No mention of Mexico paying for it. What's that? We're paying for it? Bullshit!