Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – where the American president is a bigot, the mid-South needs help, and an anti-choice twit demonstrates how very deceitful they can be

What a fun time here in the US. So, we have the liar and wannabee despot Trump pardoning a liar and a bigot, Arapaio, who used the power of his office to harass people who weren’t white. Why anyone thought or currently thinks this ignorant orange ass wasn’t a white supremacist and bigot, I have no idea. When the GOP might do anything about is anyone’s guess and certainly makes them *all* seem to be supporters of the white supremacists. These actions of Trump support the idea that a good part of his supporters are indeed deplorable.

We also have the devastation by Hurricane Harvey. I am of the opinion that anyone who asks for help from the federal government and FEMA be investigated for any time they may have been for secession or have spread lies about FEMA having “concentration camps” and then summarily be denied any assistance, or be required to repay the assistance after the fact, which may be the more humane thing to do. If they said they didn’t want aid from other before, then they don’t get it on our backs.

Lastly, we have the opinion piece in the Washington Post by a rather unpleasant anti-choice activist Jeanne Mancini in response to the news stories that Iceland has few people with Down’s Syndrome being born thanks to pre-natal testing and having the choice to carry the fetus to term or not. Ms. Mancini repeats the lies that all people with Down’s Syndrome are happy individuals, who are no problem to their parents and on and on. She plays on the societal pressure to never admit that having a disable child is a very hard thing to do. It is the terrible lie that some god will never give you more than you can handle, when the fact is many people have more than they can handle and suffer greatly because of it.

This unpleasant woman intentionally deceives people by not mentioning that people with Down’s Syndrome have many medical issues and that the syndrome covers a range of expression, from those who are high functioning to those who must be restricted to homes and tended 24/7. She also ignores the fact that many parents of such afflicted children are desperate with worry on what happens to their children if they happen to outlive the parents who have spent so much time and love on caring for them. They don’t want to worry about those children be placed in homes which have a mixed track record for care.

She also evidently has no children of her own and has never adopted any of these children that she wants to force others to have. This is per her biography on the March for Life website, a mention of her husband but no family: “Jeanne resides in northern Virginia with her husband, David.” . Her compensation is around $118,000 in salary and other compensation.

She also supports politicians that do their best to reduce the help that people with such children can get. She is the worst kind of Christian, the hypocrite who piously claims that her god will help others and does little herself.

As my new bumper sticker says, my species disappoints me. Happily, there are indeed responsible and honest people out there. Support them all you can. My preferred help organizations are Foundation Beyond Belief, where non-theists can donate and not have their donations claimed by theist groups, and Oxfam which I just like.

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From the Kitchen, from the Bar and from the garden: a meandering post about various things

I haven’t had a food and drink post for awhile. A handful of weeks ago we decided to see if we could grill whole Cornish hens on our small barreled shaped grill. We didn’t want to butterfly them which would be simpler, but to have a little whole chicken for each of us.

Many years ago, I was a member of a medieval recreation group called the Society of Creative Anachronism. I was friends with some folks who were part of a somewhat parallel group called the Tuchux, a group that recreated fantasy barbarians, and got their name from the rather atrocious Gor books by John Norman (very bad fantasy of a fellow who ends up on a alien planet where his fantasies of submissive women come true). They are quite a bit more egalitarian than the Gor nonsense and were some coolest people I ever met in my sojourn in the SCA (it’s been about a decade since I’ve had any contact with the SCA). At one of their Yule Feasts that I was kindly invited to, we each got a small loaf of fresh bread and a roasted Cornish hen and it was the best feast I think ever had. I wanted to recreate that.

We managed to do so by putting a pile of charcoal on both side of the grill aka indirect grilling and putting the chooks between them for about 45 minutes and then moving them over the dying coals to crisp up the skin for about 15 minutes at the end. I do recommend getting the biggest charcoal chimney as you can get because then you never have to worry about having lighter fluid or having that nasty taste on their food. We use brown craft paper to light ours since some inks smoke like crazy.

As for a recipe, all it was consisted of thawed chooks, with butter stuffed under the skin and smeared over the skin. Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation: Antics of Christians in the news, in a blog, and in a newsletter(NSFW because of what they said)

(note to my readers: if you followed this blog because of your interest in my recipes, brewing or drink reviews, you may want to back out now.  Anything that is titled “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation” is my unvarnished views of politics and/or religion. You’ve been warned 🙂 ).

Here are a few random things about religion. The first is about an opinion piece published in the New York Times by someone who really is afraid of anyone not like him. The second is a brief bit about what a pastor thinks about justice and the bible, and the third is just a few bits of crank mail from my FFRF newspaper and a link to a good blog post about the new bible “club” in the White House. The newspaper also has some very nice essays written by young atheists of color for a scholarship contest.

The NYT ran an opinion piece by Rob Dreher, a conservative Christian, “Trump Can’t Save American Christianity”.   Of course, Mr. Dreher is certain that his version of Christianity is the only true one.  He’s also one of the fellows who thinks that Christians really need to segregate themselves from anyone who disagrees with them.   Of course, that’s rather inconvenient and even he doesn’t follow his own recommendations.  Writing for the NYT isn’t exactly conducive to doing what he says.

He’s also jumped from Methodism, to Roman Catholicism, and now is with the Eastern Orthodox church.   Funny how the magical and divine “truth” can change, isn’t it?

In the article, Dreher wonders if Trump can do anything to alienate conservative Christians.  At this point, it certainly doesn’t seem to be anything, considering the circus that has been going on for more than 6 months.  Ah, but Dreher is sure that Trump isnt’ the problem, it’s is an “increasingly faithless people” aka those who don’t agree with Mr. Dreher.  He claims that the lack of people who agree with him will lead to a “calamity for civil society in ways secular Americans do not appreciate”.   Of course, all we have is this chicken little nonsense about how bad it will be, nothing to show what this would be or anything to support the claim.

One of the claims that Mr. Dreher makes is that Americans are not following “authentic Christianity” and are following something a Notre Dame researcher calls “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism”, something that Mr. Dreher insists is a “pseudoreligion” and it isn’t his version of Christianity.   The problem here is what is “authentic Christianity”?  We see that Mr. Dreher has gone from one sect to another, which would seem to indicate that Mr. Dreher has no idea what it is either.  If he gets disappointed with one, he decides another might have the right answers, and that certainly isn’t an unusual thing for Christians.

Now, Mr. Dreher is sure that all of the nonsense that conservative Christians have done with the Republican Party aren’t enough, and that the GOP isn’t doing what he wants.  The slide into the secular abyss is because his religion failed somehow.  Ah, but how you may ask?  He’s sure that Trump is a symptom of this problem, which at least he may seem to realize that Trump is no kind of Christian, literalist or liberal, a thing that many Christians can’t quite seem to grasp.  What he returns to is that Christians (again only those who agree with him) need to separate themselves from the world.   They cannot listen to anyone who has a different opinion, they cannot consider that they are wrong.

Conservative Christianity has been its own enemy when it comes to losing believers.  The constant adherence to outright lies is rather stupid in this age where information is easily available.  People have realized that the myths of the religion are nonsense and that morality does not come from one sect of one religion.  As always, this particular form of Christianity depends on fear and ignorance to exist, and Mr. Dreher certainly uses those tactics in his article.  “You must run away! You must not listen to anyone else except me!”   Everyone else must be cast as an enemy to fear.

As much as Dreher may see Trump as a symptom, Dreher is using the same pathetic attempts at controlling people.  He seems to need external validation and keeps poking his head out of his imaginary fortress to get it.     Continue reading