Thursday, October 31, 2013

Doug Phillips Resigned, Martyrs Himself

Yes. You heard me right. Doug Phillips, the man behind Vision Forum, "engaged in a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman," and thanks God for his mercy and love, asking for all of us to pray for him and his family.

I will write more on this soon, but, suffice it to say that, while I am orbitally elated at the news, I am also livid beyond words. I'm sitting here, smoking out of my ears.

In the entire 4-paragraph resignation post, Phillips doesn't show ANY MEASURE of concern for the woman he may have harmed. Nor does he ask people to pray for her.

Nope. He doesn't give a shit. He's more interested in the MEN that are going to be running his gig. AND that he's going to still be a "foot soldier" for his god.

I can't begin to convey the heat of my wrath right now. Phillips has overplayed his male chauvinistic, woman  hating hand.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Tom Emmer Coverage: Emmer Appears in Illegal Ad

From time to time, I will be writing about Tom Emmer here on Incongruous Circumspection, but mostly on Liberal America.

Tom Emmer is the leading Republican primary candidate vying for the seat being relinquished by U.S. Representative Michelle Bachmann. Unfortunately, this bloke is getting off to a rough start. Whereas it took Bachmann many years to finally come under the scrutiny of the FEC, Emmer sticks his foot into it even before his party's endorsement.

You can read the rest here.  Bonus! Stephen Colbert comedy.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Nancy Campbell Really Doesn't Have a Clue How Normal Society Functions

In the October 2013 issue of "Above Rubies," Nancy Campbell's magazine to "...encourage women in their high calling as wives, mothers, and homemakers," Nancy reveals that she really doesn't know how normal society - read: the rest of us - interact with each other.

It's quite obvious that she thinks we're all selfish nincompoops, disregarding family, hating children, and sitting around in front of television screens, watching pornography. If this describes you, then Campbell is correct. But I'll gander a guess that, while partaking in any one of the above activities I listed doesn't make you a naughty person at all, you don't live your life by every one of the above definitions all the time.

Nancy introduces this month's issue by talking about her gardening and how big her farm is. She lets the readers know that there are always children on her property. She's a grandmother, after all, with a lot of grandkids. But, as you read, you begin to get the innate sense that Nancy Campbell is talking down to the rest of humanity:
It is amazing that you can have so many young people come together without sending out invitations... We constantly enjoy celebrations and gatherings at our home. No need for organization. Just call the families and we have a huge crowd with loads of fun, antics, and fellowship.
While, to the untrained eye, one not well-versed in the language of a fundamentalist us vs. them superiority complex, this may look like normal conversation, a woman glowing about how great her life is - like a Facebook status. But it isn't. With fundamentalists, it never is.

See, Nancy thinks we don't know families with kids. She thinks that in order for us to have a house full of people, we need to send out invitations months ahead of time, order the inflatable jumping houses, buy oodles of pre-prepared foods from the deli, notify the city of the need for additional parking permits for the non-parking zone, and square off an area of the property for the kids, to rid us adults of their snot-nosed peskishness.

Also, we don't talk. We must just sit around on our phones, ignoring one another, with nothing better to do than write stupid and pointless blog posts like this one.

So, to all my friends that come to my house, to all my neighbors that eat all of my food, drink all of my beer, use all of my diapers, flush all of my toilets, use up all of my lawnmower gas, and make sure your methamphetamine customers don't walk on my lawn. To all of my enemies that still come around. To all of my kids that have birthday parties with adults and sometimes just kids - disorganized for adults, yet a blast for the kids. Yes, to all of you.

I'm sorry for being such a prudish bore.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Why I Write About Crackpots Like Tony Perkins and Ted Cruz, et al

I was them once.

It's that simple.  I was a patriarchal asshole.  A person who looked at the world through black and white religious glasses.  Religious glasses that were backed up by religious thought and religious thought alone.  

If I had a question about any subject, religious, political, sexual, financial, anything, it didn't matter, I would go to Google or Altavista or Webcrawler and find what other Christians were saying about the matter.  Inevitably, I would happen across websites run by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, Desiring God, Institute in Basic Life Principles, Vision Forum, etc.  It didn't matter.  If they claimed to be Christian, I ate them up.  Any written or spoken words that came from a pragmatic point of view or argued anything without a Scripture verse or two attached to it, I would move on. 

As a younger boy, I sat, mesmerized, watching and listening to Bill Gothard at his seminars and then read all of his materials that reached into every single area of your life - to get answers for things as trivial as the proper way to run a church service, or the proper way to pray (it was laying on your face, by the way, because, in the Bible, that god answered more prayers when people ate sand than when they stood - and that god never talked about being "on your knees").

I am not unique with respect to my above words.  There are thousands, nay, millions of people that only go to religious sources for their beliefs and they usually settle for either the loudest or the most well-funded organizations, the FRC among them.

And these people and organizations are convincing.

These folks parrot popular positions from the Religious Right, sprinkle it with a bit of the Bible, say "God" (extra points for "Jesus" because he's more popular), and then claim that they are "set apart" from the world, which obviously disagrees with them.

There is nothing more convincing than the idea that a Christian is holding to an unpopular position.  Jesus was killed for his.  Therefore how much more pious is a Christian for being ridiculed for their position.  Adversity means correctness in every respect.

This is how those people, like Ted Cruz, Tony Perkins, Ken Ham, JimBob Duggar, Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Strawberry Boy Driscoll, John Piper, and everyone else I have written about, gets into the heads of those that listen to them.

Finally, as much as I used to BE them, I was taught to think, and I STOPPED being them.  That, my friends, is why I write.  I am here to make people think, change minds, and maybe save blokes from a few unnecessary pop knots (thanks to Lewis Wells of Commandments of Men for that phrase) on their heads.

That is all.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tony Perkins Says That Christians Shouldn't Give to The Poor...Or Not...Maybe

Tony Perkins, the President of the Family Research Council, recently went onto Janet Mefferd's radio program to talk about some article.  During the interview. Perkins had this to say:
Not only do we have a privilege in this nation to be involved in shaping our government's a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, I think, as Christians, we'll be held responsible for the policies adopted by this government's us!
This view isn't anything new to Tony Perkins, the FRC, and the rest of the Religious Right.  They believe that America was founded upon overt Christian principles, nay, Christianity itself, insomuch that the government is obligated to follow the laws of their god.  This is part of the doctrine of Dominionism, where Christians are to take possession of the earth.

To bring Tony's words into focus, he was speaking about the government helping the poor and the needy with respect to food support and other types of aid.  Thus, if we take the above quote by itself, it would seem that he was saying that all Christians have the privilege of showing the love of Jesus Christ by helping the poor through the government - because Christians ARE the government.

But sadly, this wasn't the case.  Prepare yourself for a mind twist.  It will hurt.  Tony Perkins, again:
Does the government have the responsibility to care for the poor?  That's not what the scripture says. Scripture hands that responsibility to you and I, as members of the faith - the followers of Jesus Christ. That's who he gave that to. Not to the civil government.
Wait.  What?  Hang on!  I thought you just said that Christians have the privilege of shaping government policy because "IT'S US!"  How then do you make the jump that the government is not you, but is just the government and somehow the Scriptures say something about the government not giving to the poor when it's a government that isn't you, when it really is you, so thus you should be giving to the poor through the government, even though you shouldn't because...

I guess I'm confused.  Tony Perkins continues:
He never said to the Romans, "Hey, you guys need to make sure that your taking out of one person's pocket to put into another." 
Huh?!  Where did that come from.  Okay, Tony.  Now you're just spouting Republican talking points.  In fact, Jesus DID say to "give to Caesar what is Caesar's" with respect to paying taxes.  So, these are taxes that you are paying and Caesar (the government, according to most interpretations) can do whatever he wants with them.  

But!  Thankfully, you live in America, land of a representative government, giving you the unique ability to control Caesar!  Yet you complain that this government, which you claim is in fact you, is somehow not supposed to do what you are supposed to be doing in the first place.  

Finally, Perkins proves that he has absolutely NO IDEA what his own Bible says:
[Jesus] said, "No, you sell all that you have and give to the poor. You take that responsibility."
Yeah.  A Bible story about a rich young ruler that asked Jesus what he must do to be saved.  Jesus told the bloke to sell everything and follow him after telling him to follow all the commandments.  This story had everything to do about a man and a mission that Jesus was giving him and absolutely NOTHING to do with a narrative on government distributing income to the poor in lieu of the rich young ruler doing so.  Nothing.

But, conveniently, the narrative can be extrapolated for the purposes of the FRC to try and beat their lousy interpretation of the Bible over the head of those who are supposedly supposed to follow what it says, even though it doesn't even say what they say it says.

But it doesn't really matter.  Tony Perkins doesn't give to the poor as Jesus told him to sell everything and give it away.  Neither does the Family Research Council, more interested in muddy politicking than anything worthwhile.  

So who does?  I'm not sure the right person to ask is Tony Perkins.  He's simply full of hot air.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Banana Bread Bake-Off: I Lost...I Think

The bake-off is done.

First of all, I'm not sure I lost.  The kids are still waffling.  Not only that, but BOTH loaves are obliterated.  Nothing but crumbs are left and Luna, the dog, is finishing even those off.

Renaya (11) decided pretty quickly that Kristine's bread was the best.  She said it was due to Mommy's being crunchy on top.  This is shocking to me, being that it takes a chainsaw to get through my crust of raw sugar.

Mommy: 1
Daddy: .5 (she is sadly mistaken, I'm afraid)

Laura (10) voted on Kristine's right off the bat and weighted the winnings to her side.  Then, later, she recanted, saying she liked both.  But, it was quite a wavering recantment.

Mommy: 2
Daddy: 1

Frederic (8): Liked both.  Never changed.  He just liked both.

Mommy: 3
Daddy: 2

Felicity (6) actually liked mine to begin with, then flipped, saying in the end that she hated mine.  I get half a point for her first vote.  But I'll give Kristine an additional .25 points for Felicity's vociferous despising of my bread in the end.

Mommy: 4.25
Daddy: 2.5

(yes...I'm losing...but then there's Jack)

Jack (4) refused to eat Kristine's bread.  He ate piece after piece of mine and NEVER wanted Mommy's at all.  I get 2 points for that strong vote.

Mommy: 4.25
Daddy: 4.5

Analisse (3) didn't cared and happily ate both.

Mommy: 5.25
Daddy: 5.5

Mommy (31) said mine was too spicy (I don't measure the spices), loved my crust, and yet liked her flavor better.

Mommy: 6.25
Daddy: 5.5

And then, there's me (33).  Well...I have to hand it to her, she did good.  In the spirit of compromise, which the U. S. Congress has no idea what that word means, I must say, her flavor and texture was better.  Once you got past the little chunks of baking soda and the lack of raw sugar crust on the top, no hint of spices, and no vanilla flavor, it was still better.

Mommy: 7.25
Daddy: 5.5

We did decide in the end to mix the two and make a killer batch.  That recipe will be forthcoming.

Banana Bread Bake-Off - I'm Going to Win

A few years ago, I posted a recipe for Crispy Banana Bread.  Since then, it has been the most popular foodie post on Incongruous Circumspection, being that it is THE ONLY foodie post on here.  The kids are in love with my banana bread and Kristine thinks she does better.

Nay nay, I say.  We're having a good ole' fashioned bake-off with the kids as taste testing judges.

I am baking the perfect bread for them with no tricks (unless you call a mound of raw sugar baked into the top, a trick) and Kristine is plying them with a milk and shortening batter.

May my bread win - the best, of course!

In the oven they go....

I'm Either a Moron or Impatient

We bought our home in January of 2011.  That summer, we discovered an apple tree in the backyard, which produced more bushels of apples than three regular apple trees.  The old owner came over and told us it was a Macintosh tree and only produced green apples.

So, we harvested them for two summers.  All green apples.  We made sauce, pies, crisp - everything that asked for a tart apple.  But they made for terrible munching.

Until this year.

I got lazy.  No, WE got lazy.  We picked a few bushels, froze them, and gave the rest away.  Then, we had no time to pick the rest.  We watched the remaining apples get redder and redder and I groaned inside, knowing all that rotting fruit was being wasted.  But, oddly, they were getting bigger.

Ready to see what was up, I walked out to the tree today, and picked a large round red apple. It was perfect.  I spun it around in my hand and realized I was staring at the world's most perfect Haralson.

I bit into it.  It crunched, the peel split away naturally, and the juice squirted into my mouth.  Chewing the bite, I raced into the house, surprising the company that had just arrived, and yelled at Kristine about my discovery, to which she said,

"Honey, I've been telling you that for two years!"


Frederic is Getting an Excellent Science Education

I heard whimpering and footsteps coming down the grand staircase.  Frederic (8) bounded through the living room doorway, looked around, and saw me laying on my stomach on the carpet, up on my elbows, typing away on my laptop.  He was carrying a cup of ice that he had been munching on.

"Daddy!" [whimpers] "I shrunk my tongue, eating this ice."

I tried valiantly not to giggle, covering my face with the inside of my elbow.

"Pray tell, Juaca Baby (that's Fred's nickname), how do you know you shrunk your tongue?!"

I buried my face further into my arm, trying desperately to hide my mirth.

"I used to be able to touch almost to my nose with my tongue and now I can only touch to here," Fred said, as he pointed to about halfway between his lips and nose.

"Show me, buddy."

He wound up his face muscles and tentatively stuck his tongue out - touching just beneath his nose.

"Oh.  I guess I didn't shrink it!"

Then Fred flashed one of his beautiful smiles, giggled, and bounded back up the stairs.

Felicity (6) walked over and saw me burying my face into my arm, pointed to me and laughed.

"Daddy is having sympathy pains.  He can't handle Freddie telling him about his tongue!"

I couldn't hold it in anymore, ripped my arm away, and laughed with her.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Felicity Failed Her Spelling Test Miserably

Last night, I was at Costco with the family, eating their $9.95 pizza, cinnamon and sugar churros, frozen yogurt, and Mountain Dew, when Felicity (6) announced that she didn't do so well on her spelling test.

Felicity: "Daddy, I got 6 on my spelling test."

Me (33): "Oh?  Out of how many?"

"I got 6."

"Okay.  So which three words did you get wrong?"

"I. Don't. Know."

"What?!  'I' is easy!  And so are the other two words!"

[Blank stare...]

"Renaya (11), can you tell Felic how to spell 'I'?"

Renaya laughed and spelled it quickly.

[Realization flashes across Felicity's face and she rolls her eyes, lets out an audible grunt, coupled with a jokingly frustrated sigh]


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Another Hephzibah House Abuse Story

On January 8, 2012, I wrote a blog post titled, Tim Dunkin's Hephzibah House Faux Pas, in response to a terrible article by Dunkin himself.  It was, and still is, one of the most read post on Incongruous Circumspection. 

In that post, you'll find links to other first-person survivors of the extreme HH abuse stories, as well as a robust conversation in the comments when one Lucinda, a staunch defender of HH, begins to attack those who are telling their stories.  

Today, one of the commenters posted the following anecdote, in response to Lucinda's claims that abuse simply did not happen at HH.  I have edited out some personal religious opinions for the purpose of this post, but feel free to read the comment in it's entirety.

Are you serious? Ok, so let me get this straight Lucinda. When I was there, I followed their rules to the letter. Always had my [Bible] verses memorized, always completed chores quickly and thoroughly, never mouthed off or argued. 
My one "crime' was that one night I wet the bed because they would not allow me to go to the bathroom. The incident was extremely embarrassing for me, and having to tell them in front of all the other girls, even more so. So they put me in diapers and made it a point to tell all the other girls how nasty I was. Of course this further humiliation and stress added to the fact that they would refuse to let me go to bathroom when I clearly needed to only made things worse. 
There was also the isolation.....speaking partners? Yeah....mine left the week after I got there and for the next 8 months I was not allowed to speak to a single other person there other than staff. I got one phone call with my family the entire time I was there. Once I accidentally made eye contact with another girl. Since that was considered "communication" I was punished by not getting dinner. On top of that I was stood up in front of the entire school and raked over the coals by Naomi, who told me how worthless I was, and that I was possessed by demons and the my parents would never love me because I was so rebellious. 
Yeah, rebellious.....because they forced me to drink more liquid then (sic) I could hold and then refused to let me go to the bathroom. Once when [we] were standing in line waiting for bathroom break, Naomi spotted a drop of water on the floor. It was immediately blamed on me......the fact that I hadn't had an accident was irrelevant, they were convinced I had somehow peed one drop on the floor and so as a punishment I had to scrub the brick floor of the entire building. Alone. and of course on hands and knees. My knees were bruised and blistered for days, but of course they didn't care. 
And all the while, while they were telling my family I was rebellious and disrespectful and refused to follow the rules....outright lies. 
Once while getting ready for church, I didn't move away from the mirror in the dorm fast enough to please Naomi so she grabbed me by the back of my dress and literally threw me down on the floor, But that was also my fault because that extra .5 seconds I was standing there was rebellion. So eventually, they told my parents that I was demon possessed and a hopeless case, that I would never change and they kicked me out. 
The day I left I got called to William's office. I was lectured sternly on what a horrible, wicked person I was and that he prayed that God would save my soul from the fires of hell, but he feared it was too late for me. I was then laid down on the floor and spanked. And by spanked I mean beat so hard and so many strikes that my buttocks were bleeding. Literally bleeding. 
So now how about you go and argue that was NOT abuse. If you truly believe that then I feel for you because you are more brainwashed and ignorant then I ever imagined. 
Furthermore, not only did they blatantly lie to my parents about how I was behaving and that they had NOT spanked me, but my parents took out a load to pay for the full 15 months I was supposed to be there in advance. They never got a dime back. 
As for Patty William's, she was a bitter, angry, hateful woman who specialized in degrading others ( believe[d] calling us whore's (sic) and slut[s] and telling us how lazy we were while all 300 lbs of her perched on her balcony above us was her specialty) ... 
Oh did I mention that when I arrived home I was down to 101 lbs, from the 143 I was when I arrived there. I'm 5'9", so that is dangerously skinny. I also had a massive UTI from being forced to hold my urine for hours. 15 years later I still have nightmares about that place. So go ahead and keep deluding yourself. I feel for you, and pray that you will see the truth.

And that is why I write about this.  Hephzibah House is evil, is still in business, and the state of Indiana refuses to do anything about the alleged abuse.  Religious boarding schools flock to that state because of its complete lack of regulation over them.

Also, read about Ken Copley, the pastor that sexually abused his adopted daughter, and is now happily pastoring a church in Fort Wayne, IN. 

Analisse Knows English Better Than Me

We had just arrived home from grocery shopping.  The kids were helping bring the groceries in and, as she is wont to do, Analisse (3) decided to shed her shoes and run outside on the cold and wet sidewalk.  All she wanted to do was help me as long as I kept walking back and forth, from the door to the car, car to the door, bringing load after load of groceries into the house.

We walked up the the door for the last time and I leaned down and said, "Ani, make sure you wipe your feet.  It's wet out here."

"Noooo, Daddy!  I have fwip fwops on!"

"I know, Freak, but you still have to wipe your feet.  I don't want you tracking mud into the house."

"No!  Not my feet.  I have fwip fwops on!"

[Me (33), pausing in confused silence, wondering what to say next.]

"Oh!  Right...Ani, make sure you wipe your fwip fwops off."

"Yeah, Daddy.  Fwip fwops."

And she happily wiped her feet and ran off.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Public Restroom Thought of the Day

As it has become expected, commonplace, even professionally sought after, the following is my public restroom thought of the day:

I thought only my kids didn't flush.  But, adults?  Really!?  Do I now need to walk to every last one of your desks and remind you what a freaking toilet handle is, how it moves, what it does, the exact amount of pressure to push down on it with, the need to stand and watch to make sure everything in the bowl swirls down below the final gurgle?

*sigh.  I thought so...


I. C.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fox News Contributor, Todd Starnes is a Liar

As I have written here before, Todd Starnes has no credibility with his narrative that Christians are being persecuted out of existence under the current administration.  The evidence keeps piling up that he not only lies about events, but doesn't do his due diligence in reporting the facts, or even edits the facts to make them say something entirely different than reality.

His speech at this year's Family Research Council's Value Voters Summit didn't disappoint along that dishonest front.  

Take a listen to his latest lies and read Right Wing Watch's rebuttal.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Adrian Peterson's Son Critical After Mother's Boyfriend Beats Him Unconscious

Who the fuck does this to a two-year-old child?

Screw football.  I don't want to see AP on the field this Sunday.  This is so sad.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Best Damn Government Shutdown Response

Last weekend, I went on a honeymoon of sorts with my bride of 12 years.  We went up to the North Shore of Lake Superior. One of the days, we just drove to no place in particular and happened across a National Park campground with an outhouse - way up on the Gunflint Trail.

This was the sign we encountered at the outhouse.

This sign was posted by National Park staff and reads:
This Campground is CLOSED due to the lapse in federal government funding. This campground or facility will reopen once Congress restores funding. If you need to dispose of waste during this lapse in funding, please travel at least 150 feet from waterways and recreation sites, dig a hole at least 6 inches deep, and bury your waste.
A humorous visitor then vandalized the sign and wrote the following:
OR BAG IT (sic) and mail to Washington
After laughing ourselves to tears, we then noticed a brown paper lunch sack on the ground.


Well done, citizen.  Well done. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Today is Don't Kill Your Child Day

This day is about the story of Abraham, ole' Abe, as I like to call him.  A little voice in his head, or a booming voice in the sky, or a whisper on the wind (a still small voice like Elijah heard), told him to take Isaac up to some hill, slit his throat, and burn him so his god could smell the delicious smell of burning human flesh and...

Who knows why that god would do this.  The story is interpreted ad nauseum that this was a test of ole' Abe's faith, but, REALLY!?

If I were God (and maybe I am), I would have told the bloke to murder his kid and MY test would have been the expectation that he would take his long-nailed index finger, poke it in me eye, and loudly proclaim in King James English for me to "go f*ck myself".

If he didn't, I would have made sure that men knew women were in charge and then killed the gentleman on the spot.

Now don't kill your kids.  If your god tells you to, give him the finger.

In fact, this could be labeled Give God the Finger Day, but that's too controversial, so we'll just label it with the refusal to do what God tells us to do.  Less controversial that way.

The best open letter to the U. S. Government yet

Courtesy to XKCD for this one.