Jul 112016
 

It’s taken a month for the Republican Party to come up with an official response to the Orlando Massacre.  They took an ever so brief timeout from hating, Blacks, Latinos,Women. the poor, etc., to focus their hatred on the LGBT community.

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One month ago on Tuesday, a gunman shot and killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. House Republicans plan to mark this milestone with a hearing on a bill that would enable widespread discrimination against LGBT people. The legislation, ironically named the “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA) rests on the idea that discrimination should be excused when it is justified by religion.

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform plans to consider FADA. The anti-LGBT bill has 171 different co-sponsors, nearly all of them Republicans.

By its own explicit terms, FADA grants special rights to individuals with a “religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.” In that sense, it closely resembles a Mississippi law that a federal judge halted earlier this month, in part because it extends special treatment to individuals with anti-LGBT religious beliefs.

Under, the core provision of FADA “the Federal Government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with” a religious objection to marriage equality or a faith-based belief that sexual relations must be reserved to a marriage between people of the opposite sex. Subsequent provisions define the term “discriminatory action” to include a broad range of sanctions against religious objectors who themselves engage in discrimination. The government cannot deny tax subsidies to religious objectors who discriminate against LGBT people, or deny them a grant or benefit, or, under a catch-all provision, “otherwise discriminate against such person.”… [emphasis added]

From <Think Progress>

Photo Credit: The Great American Disconnect

Essentially this proposal would codify allowing the right to religious beliefs of one person to take precedence over the Constitutional rights of another person, but only if the beliefs, upon which hateful discrimination is based, are the beliefs of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, the polar opposite of authentic Christians.  As such, it seeks to establish pseudo-Christianity as a state religion, a clear violation of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment.

Of the 171 co-sponsors of this hateful garbage, I could find only one Democrat.  He is Rep. Daniel Lepinski [DINO-IL]. If you’re an Illinoisan, especially from the 3rd Congressional District, would you please give this Trump Humping DINO a call and tear him a new one?

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Jul 042016
 

It’s a good thing I slept well on Saturday and Sunday nights, because I know I won’t tonight.  The main fireworks display is only seven blocks from me.  I hope you are all having a happy and safe weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:10 (average 6:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 7/2014): 1. Conservatives opposed the Founding Fathers, the American Revolution and a lot of other righteous stuff as well.

By definition a conservative is one who wishes to preserve and/or restore traditional values and institutions, i.e. to “conserve” the established order. No surprise then that 18th century American conservatives wanted no part of breaking away from the British Empire and the comforting bonds of monarchical government. Those anti-revolutionary conservatives were called Tories, the name still used for the conservative party in England. The Founding Fathers? As radically left-wing as they came in the 1770s. The Boston Tea Party? The "Occupy Wall Street" of its day.

Some of the other "traditional" values supported by conservatives over the course of American history have included slavery (remember that the Republican Party was on the liberal fringe in 1860), religious persecution, the subjugation of women and minorities, obstacles to immigration, voter suppression, prohibition and segregation.  Conservatives started off on the wrong side of American history, and that’s where they’ve been ever since.

2. The United States is not a Christian nation, and the Bible is not the cornerstone of our law.

Don’t take my word for it. Let these Founding Fathers speak for themselves:

John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797)

Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” (Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814)

James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” (Writings, 8:432, 1819)

George Washington: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” (Letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789)

You can find a multitude of similar quotes from these men and most others who signed the Declaration of Independence and/or formulated the United States Constitution. These are hardly the words of men who believed that America should be a Christian nation governed by the Bible, as a disturbing fundamentalist trend today would have it be.

These are just the first two of thirteen listed facts about America that Republicans wish you would forget. Click Through for the other eleven.

From Crooks and Liars: In this web exclusive, John Oliver lets us know just what we’re missing by declaring independence from Britain.

 

LOL! God save the Queen!!

From TPM: If elected president. Hillary Clinton plans to appoint enough women to the top levels of her administration that females would make up half of the cabinet positions, the New York Times reported. The report is based on interviews with friends and advisors close to Clinton — some on the record, some unnamed — and they told the Times that she also plans to look at talent from Silicon Valley to assemble a diverse cabinet.

Only about a quarter or a third of the president’s cabinet has been female in recent years, according to the Times.

I consider this move as progress in the right direction, but why stop mat half? Also, we’d better have a supermajority in the Senate, or many will not be confirmed.

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Jun 302016
 

After staying here nine nights, Julie and Killer Dawg moved out yesterday.  I’m feeling lonely.  After a while I‘ll get used to my routine again.  She will be back for about four hours on Saturday and will help train her replacement for a couple hours on Tuesday.  I felt too tired to sleep well last night, so I took a Lona Nap this morning and I am running late.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:44 (average 5:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Because that is what Jesus would do, right? No, wrong. Assault weapons are meant for one thing — to kill. Jesus was against killing.

The Globe reports on a church in Joplin, Missouri, that held a raffle and gave away two Black Rain AR-15 assault rifles on Father’s Day. Fathers were given one free ticket and another for each child they brought in. (I wonder if you could bring in someone else’s child for extra tickets…) Ignite says it was part of a marketing strategy to “lure”  young men between 18-35 to follow Jesus. Because that’s what Jesus would do right? No, wrong. No where [sic] does it say Jesus “lured.”

It would appear that church exists to worship Republican Supply-side Jesus, who Republicans invented to justify their false gospel of violence, lies, hate and greed. Republican Supply-side Jesus is the polar opposite of the real Jesus.

From MSNBC: Rachel on Benghazi BS

 

 

Republican Benghazi BS had one purpose only, to propagandize against Hillary Clinton. And Nameless was right. It STILL isn’t over.

From Alternet: Donald Trump has been showered with accusations of financial impropriety, from fraud suits levied against his now-defunct Trump University, to charges that the presidential candidate drastically inflates his charitable donations. To add fuel to the monetary fire, Trump is now facing repercussions for poor fundraising acumen; on Wednesday, the Federal Elections Committee filed a complaint against Donald J. Trump for President for “soliciting contributions from foreign nationals” in a series of emails the campaign sent to “foreign nationals in Iceland, Scotland, Britain and Australia.”

Following reports earlier this month that Trump’s fundraising numbers are severely lagging, the presumptive Republican nominee sent emails to members of the British parliament, Talking Points Memo reports.

Sir Roger Gale, British Member of Parliament (MP) complained about the correspondence to the Speaker of the House Commons, Politics Home notes. "Members of Parliament are being bombarded by electronic communications from Team Trump on behalf of somebody called Donald Trump,” Gale said Tuesday. ”Mr Speaker, I’m all in favour of free speech but I don’t see why colleagues on either side of the House should be subjected to intemperate spam."

Click through for more details. Trump has not even tried to hide his criminal foreign fundraising behind bogus nonprofits, the way Republicans normally do.

Cartoon:

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They need to Vote Blue!

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Jun 132016
 

I’m getting another late start, because I’m so tired I needed a Lona nap this morning.  Then I needed to arrange a medical cab for all three trips to and from Casey Eye Institute next week.  Then I needed to massage the parade pictures into shape.  Finally I ordered a new pad for my wheelchair, as the old one is worn out.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Portland Rose Festival  Grand Floral Parade:

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The Rose Queen and her Court. (a better Court than SCROTUS).

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After every horse act came a contingent of poop-scoopers.  Republicans lack the intellectual capacity to do this job, Winking smile

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Short Takes:

From NY Times: …Mr. Sanders said that he and Mrs. Clinton planned to meet on Tuesday and that he would ask her “whether she will be vigorous in standing up for working families in the middle class, moving aggressively in climate change, health care for all, making public colleges and universities tuition-free.”

“And after we have that kind of discussion and after we can determine whether or not we are going to have a strong and progressive platform,” he said, “I will be able to make other decisions.”

There have been signs that he was winding down his run. While Mrs. Clinton has been hiring campaign workers, Mr. Sanders started laying off at least half of his campaign staff members last week. He has let go of a number of advance staff members who help with campaign logistics, as well as field workers who have been canvassing for votes.

According to a person who attended the meeting at Mr. Sanders’s home Sunday, and who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a private gathering, there was no talk from Mr. Sanders about trying to win the nomination. The group was keenly interested in how the senator’s meeting with Mrs. Clinton on Tuesday will turn out, and whether he would get assurances that she would fight for his ideas, this person said…

By continuing to run, Bernie increases the likelihood that his dream will live-on because it gives him a stronger negotiating position for the platform.  As their stance clings to more and more desperate delusions, those who say they follow Bernie, but ignore his overtures toward unity work to increase the likelihood that Bernie’s dream will die in a totalitarian Rump Dump Trump Reich.

From Alternet: …The Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, which works to support and empower LGBTQ Muslims, declared in a statement released on Sunday, "This tragedy cannot be neatly categorized as a fight between the LGBTQ community and the Muslim community. As LGBTQ Muslims, we know that there are many of us who are living at the intersections of LGBTQ identities and Islam. At moments like this, we are doubly affected."

"We reject attempts to perpetuate hatred against our LGBTQ communities as well as our Muslim communities," the organization continued. "We ask all Americans to resist the forces of division and hatred, and to stand against homophobia as well as against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry."…

The violence stems from neither Islam, nor Christianity, but from right wing pseudo-Muslims and right-wing pseudo-Christians, who abuse their respective religions to pursue the right-wing hatred and homophobia that they share.

From Think Progress: This morning on Fox & Friends, Donald Trump not so subtly returned to the subject that launched his political career — outrageous conspiracy theories about Barack Obama.

Trump said there were two possible reasons the gun massacre took place in Orlando. The first possibility was that Obama is “not tough” and “not smart” and therefore incapable of stopping terrorist attacks.

The other scenario, according to Trump, is that Obama is fully capable of stopping terrorist attacks but “has something else in mind.” In other words, Obama is purposefully allowing terrorists to kill people in the United States to pursue a hidden agenda.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Perhaps we could use his hair as a filtration mesh for sewerage.  I can’t imagine any other productive use for him, at the moment.

Cartoon:

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Before SCOTUS became SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD)

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Jun 122016
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how insane InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

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Good Christian Republican senator just has a teeny tiny request for God.

Boy, those evangelicals sure do know how to have a good yuck-fest, with biblical jokes and everything! But we’re pretty sure Jesus Christ would not have been amused by the prayer offered by Republican Senator Frank Perdue, who made a hilarious joke about Obama at this week’s Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference.

“I think we are called to pray,” the junior senator from Georgia told those who were gathered. “I think we are called to pray for our country, our leaders, and yes, even Barack Obama."

Specifically, he suggested, “we should pray like Psalms 108:9 [sic] says. It says ‘May his days be few.’"

Oh, titter, titter, chuckle, chuckle went the crowd.

Yes, it is the Christian thing, to pray for the death of a president whose politics you don’t like.

The cited psalm goes:

Let his days be few; Let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless And his wife a widow.
Let his children wander about and beg; And let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes.
Let the creditor seize all that he has, And let strangers plunder the product of his labor.

Yes, Republicans have plunder in mind.

From <Alternet>

The author made a typo in the verse.  It’s actually 109:8

Barf Bag Alert!!

This pseudo-Christian purveyor of hatred is only the second of five listed insane Republican moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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Apr 262016
 

I slept poorly last night, because the druggies partied into the wee hours on the street below and made a lot of noise.  So I took another Lona nap this morning.  Store to door called and I gave them my grocery order.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:18 (average 5:49).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists who have spent decades acquiring a world-class collection of Republicans, revealed over the weekend that they are considering purchasing their first Democrat.

“We’ve always bought Republicans, and our father bought Republicans before us,” Charles, the elder Koch, said. “They’re bred to be obedient, and they respond to simple commands.”

He said that he and his brother had considered acquiring a Democrat only after determining that none of the Republicans on offer this year was worth adding to their collection.

Fortunately, Andy, both Bernie and Hillary are too principled to become Koch suckers.

From Daily Kos: James Van Kuilenburg, a trans teenager, attended a Ted Cruz rally with his mother on Thursday. His goal was to hear what Ted Cruz had to say, but also, as The Frederick News-Post reported, "to show Cruz supporters that rhetoric about gay and transgender rights hurts real people, like him."

 

Republicans consider the First Amendment their exclusive property. Nobody else may exercise it.

From Upworthy: Witness this amazing letter he wrote in 1790 to the largest Jewish community in America at the time, the Hebrew congregation of Newport, Rhode Island. The Newport Jews had sent a message to Washington, basically congratulating him on being awesome.

A few days later, Washington responded (emphasis mine):

Gentlemen:

While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.

The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy — a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.

G. Washington

Now try to imagine a similar epistle coming from a President Fecal Dump Trump or a President TRUSed Uranus Cruz to America’s largest Muslim community.  Then vote in November!

Cartoon:

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Apr 172016
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how bad InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

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And from the lunatic Christian fringe, this just in.

The mystery of Stonehenge has been solved, at long last. Turns out that giants created by Satan built it.

Yeah, that makes sense.

This exciting revelation—and when we say "revelation" we mean it in the biblical sense—comes courtesy of televangelist Jim Bakker, who hosted one Dennis Lindsay [pseudo-Christian talibangelist delinked]on his program on Wednesday [pseudo-Christian talibangelist delinked] in order to discuss Lindsay’s latest "discovery" in the realm of Creation Science.

So what happened was, Satan made these giants who moved those big ol’ rocks into the structure we now call Stonehenge. That was pretty smart of Satan to create a supersized labor force.

That’s the reasonable part. Here’s how Lindsay explained how the devil wants to destroy God’s creation, Israel, and "contaminate the whole human race," per RightWingWatch:

Satan wants to “have his own seed and make his own family,” Lindsay explained, and so he created a race of giants who would attack Israel.

“He build his little squatter’s hut up there on the Temple Mount, you know that temple, because he knows what the Bible says about that place,” he said. “I weaved through why and what is the evidence for giant beings on this earth. We all know about Stonehenge, right? That’s just one of hundreds and hundreds of gigantic places around the world that testify that some sort of supernatural power or giants were involved in its construction.”

So there you have it. Satan has a "squatter’s hut" and you have Satan’s giants to thank for those all those "gigantic places in the world."…

Inserted from <Alternet>

I have one major bone to pick with this author for calling these nut-jobs “the lunatic Christian fringe”.  They are Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians.  Nothing could be further from authentic Christians.  They are as representative of Christianity as the Daesh is of Islam: not at all!

That said, this is the fifth of five worst Republican moments listed from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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Apr 172016
 

I got up super early this morning to do my taxes on the last possible day.  It went quite well.  I posted the Squatch’s birthday  article first, because I wanted to be sure that was up, no matter what else happened,  I don’t owe Infernal Revenue or the State of Oregon any money.  I did, however, have to pay a $35 Portland Arts Tax.  The poor and middle classes get to pay for the rich to attend events that the rest of us can’t afford.  It’s been a pet peeve of mine for years.  Also on a positive note, I’m stable enough on George that I can now pee standing up.  At this rate, it won’t be long, before learn how to miss the pot like a normal guy.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with one of Megan’s (PCP)associates.  Julie, cannot approve my Oxycodone, because she’s a PA.  It should be an interesting trip, because I’m taking the normal bus, and the forecast high is 88°.  I may have  only a Personal Update tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:56 (average 5:23).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Donald Trump’s father, Fred, was a pretty crummy guy. He was a low-income housing profiteer who used state and federal subsidies in developing his real estate empire—the one his son Donald benefits from—and abused his position. 

As the man who controlled the FHA’s New York office, Powell controlled the flow of money for Beach Haven, a big apartment complex Fred Trump built with FHA loans. He allowed Trump to start building before Beach Haven was actually approved and start renting to vets and others six months before he had to start repaying his loan.

In that time Trump pocketed $1.7 million in rent payments. Trump was also allowed to pocket most of a fee—5 percent of the Beach Haven development’s cost—that was earmarked for architectural work. Trump was also permitted to borrow more in federally subsidized funds—$3.7 million, to be precise—than he actually needed.

Beach Haven was the apartment complex Woody Guthrie moved into in 1950. Unfortunately for Woody, Trump was a racist shit (apples and trees).

Here’s Woody!

Like Republican father, like Republican son!!

From TPM: In an extraordinary display of internal discord, the chairman of the Republican Party’s rules committee is accusing top GOP officials of "a breach of our trust" by improperly trying to impede a proposed change in bylaws that would make it harder for party leaders to nominate a fresh candidate for president.

Bruce Ash, RNC committeeman from Arizona, wrote the harshly worded email to the other 55 members of the GOP rules committee that he chairs. The confidential email, obtained by The Associated Press on Saturday, was written days before party officials gather in Hollywood, Florida, for preliminary discussions about what rules the GOP will use at its presidential nominating convention this July.

Ash wrote the note at a time when some top Republicans consider the party’s two leading presidential contenders, billionaire Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, to be likely November election losers and have discussed how to replace them with alternatives at the summer convention in Cleveland, Ohio. It is possible that no contenders will have the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination at that gathering, which would produce the first GOP convention without a presumptive nominee since 1976.

Because this has become such a contentious issue, I’m going to leave the current poll up for the rest of the month. May Republicans have a civil war between themselves. Nothing could be better for our down-ballot candidates.

From Raw Story: Saturday Night Live took aim at a multitude of subjects associated with the rise of religious freedom laws that are anti-LGBT legislation in disguise, with a parody film preview of an “oppressed Christian” baker forced to not only make a cake for a same-sex couple but also to declare that “God is gay.”

 

Dang!! It looks like God and I have something in common!! Smile with tongue out

Cartoon:

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Apr 132016
 

The graphic with this article is the State Flag of the Republican Theocratic Dictatorship of McCrorystan, formerly North Carolina, led by Religious Reichsfuhrer Pat McCrory.  You are probably aware that McCrorystan has taken some major economic hits over their recent display of hatred for Transgender folks who want to use the rest room.  To try to stem that tide Religious Reichsfuhrer McCrory pretended  to duck.

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Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina, whose state has been the subject of withering criticism since he signed legislation limiting bathroom access for transgender people and eliminating anti-discrimination ordinances based on sexual orientation, announced Tuesday that he would strengthen workplace protections for state employees and urge the General Assembly to modify part of the law.

But he stopped short of opposing limits on which bathrooms transgender people could use, and the law will be left largely intact. Critics said his action was more cosmetic than real.

Mr. McCrory signed the legislation immediately after it was passed last month and, 20 days later, made his slight retreat with an executive order that he said would alter the equal employment policy for state workers to cover discrimination claims related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

He also said he would urge lawmakers to reverse course and allow people to bring discrimination cases in state court… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Rachel; Maddow covered the story and extended it to Tennessee.

Note that neither the Times, nor Rachel came out and said McCrory’s pretense at ducking is just smoke and mirrors.  I say so because it’s all talk.  He hasn’t actually done anything.

It wouldn’t surprise me if xhamster is Religious Reichsfuhrer McCrory’s favorite site. Whether it is or not, threatening Bubba Bagger’s access to Republican family-values porn, could crash the state government.

It will be interesting to see what Tennessee does.

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Mar 272016
 

Easter

In the time I have available, I don’t think I can improve on last year’s Easter message, so here it is again.

Whether or not you are a Christian, I respectfully invite you to join me in the celebration of the my faith’s most central holiday, even though many of its traditions are borrowed.

Jesus was a fascinating man.  He associated most closely with the social rejects of his day.  He respected people with faiths different from his.  He did not burn their religious writings or try to prevent them from their own forms of worship.  Sometimes he used them as an example of what is right, like the Good Samaritan.  He had a heart for meeting the needs of the poor, and admonished us to care for them.  His concern  for the rich was that their own greed would blind them.   He had no trouble getting along with sinners.  He met people at the point of their need, and accepted all, except for the religious hypocrites who used their position to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor and to force their own piety codes, which they often ignored themselves, onto others.  Those were only people Jesus condemned.  Sadly, they are still among us.

If we are followers of Jesus, our faith will help us to follow the example of what he did.  Of course, none of us is perfect in that way.  God knows that I fall short every day.  It is important to know that those who preach the things Jesus was against, but condemn those who contend for the things Jesus supported, are not followers of Jesus.  They are pseudo-Christians. Authentic Christians try to follow Jesus’ example.

And now, for your listening pleasure:

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