Do you remember the 2005 movie, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” which starred Tilda Swinton as the White Witch? Based on the book by C.S. Lewis, it’s actually a Christian religious fairytale. And the group that scored the music for the award-winning film is a Christian rock band named Jars of Clay.Â
You may have heard that two weeks ago, Jars of Clay lead vocalist Dan Haseltine invited the wrath of those who think they’re God onto himself, merely by offering his opinion supporting same-sex marriage via a few innocuous yet impassioned tweets.
Let’s take a look at a few, in case you missed them:
The treatment of people as less than human based on the color of skin is crazy… Or gender, or sexual orientation for that matter. â€” Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus)Â April 21, 2014
Not meaning to stir things up BUT… Is there a non-speculative or non “slippery slope” reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one. â€” Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus)Â April 21, 2014
I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But It doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women’s suffrage. â€” Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus)Â April 21, 2014
I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone? â€” Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus)Â April 21, 2014
Because most people read and interpret scripture wrong. I don’t think scripture “clearly” states much of anything regarding morality. â€” Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus)Â April 22, 2014
â€” Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus)Â April 24, 2014
Almost immediately, Haseltine faced Christian radio stations blacklisting his music, vowing to never play Jars of Clay again.
He endured the wrath of the same professional hate-mongers who almost daily attack gay people and LGBT civil rights supporters for who they are and for what they believe — namely, equality.
Among the most-vile attacks came from one of the religious right’s most vile creatures:Â Michael Brown.
In a rambling diatribe infused with links to a treasure trove (for him) of anti-gay religious books he’s written, Brown tore into Haseltine and gay people, of course comparing same-sex marriage to incest. Speaking to Haseltine, BrownÂ wrote:
You also asked, â€œJust curious what â€˜condoning a persons [sic] homosexualityâ€™ does. Does it change you? Does it hurt someone? What is behind the conviction?â€
Do you not realize that couples involved in consensual adult incest (and other relationships) are asking this exact same question? What do you say to them?
There of course were others from the self-knghted kingdom of faux-religion who took arms in a religious right crusade against the Christian rocker.
Christian band Jars of Clay was supposed to be setting out on a 20th anniversary tour — but if the latest controversy is any indication, not many fans will be celebrating. Lead vocalist Dan Haseltine made sure of that last week by singing a different tune on same-sex “marriage.” The firestorm is just the latest evidence of Haseltine’s slow walk away from orthodoxy that made the band famous.
Of course, that’s just a tiny excerpt of “God’s” wrath Haseltine has endured.
So just days later, he apologized for causing a ruckus — God forbid “orthodox” Christians are invited to actually debate humanity and equality — and for the “venue” he chose — Twitter.
ButÂ he didn’t retract his own personal beliefs, namely, what’s wrong with same-sex marriage.
In my questions and dialogue with people on Twitter, it became evident that the issue I had chosen to discuss was far too personal, nuanced, and deeply connected to faith and our human condition to honor the amount of wrestling that others have done on this topic. And though they were my questions and it was a dialogue provoked by me, it bled into the Jars of Clay world, and my other band mates felt peopleâ€™s dismay, frustration and the projection of my views and ideas back on to them. It is not theirs to shoulder.
It was a poor choice of venue on my part. I chose some of my words poorly. And I was unable to moderate the conversation in such a way that it kept everyoneâ€™s views with a shared validity and civility as I had hoped. And so, I am not going to continue the conversation on that forum. I do apologize for causing such a negative stir.
In the coming days, I will begin posting some questions on my blog (www.danhaseltine.com, and even doing some interviews around this topic, as I believe there can be healthy dialogue and better understanding even if there is not shared agreement. I am dedicated to being a life long learner. With a full heart- Dan
Isn’t this what Christianity is supposed to be about? Finding ways to be better human beings, more loving and generous and understanding?
Michael Brown and Tony Perkins are among the worst examples of Christians and Christianity. Dan Haseltine seems among the best.Â
Image viaÂ InstagramÂ
Hat tip:Â On Top
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Raphael Warnock Beats Trump-Backed Herschel Walker – Democrats Increase Senate Majority
Millions of Americans in Georgia voted to re-elect Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and send him back to Washington D.C., NBC News projects. It is a clear mandate for the policies enacted by the Biden administration and a strong rebuke for the flailing former president, Donald Trump.
Senator Warnock faced a challenge from a Texas Republican who claimed to live in the Peach State, Trump-backed former NFL star Herschel Walker.
The New York Times, confirming Warnock is the projected winner, reports a huge number of Georgians, more than 3.3 million, voted in the runoff election.
An admitted Texas resident, Walker’s long list of hypocritical claims and actions, falsehoods, lies, and troubling business and tax dealings were only outweighed by the women who accused him of violent behavior, pressuring them and paying for them to get abortions, and revelations he had not one child but four, including a son he almost never sees.
Warnock, who is also the Senior Pastor at the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church, Ebenezer Baptist, out-raised and out-campaigned Walker, especially in the last week.
Herschel Walker appeared at only two events this weekend, Politico reported, “a tailgate in Atlanta before a University of Georgia football game on Saturday, where he did not speak, and a Sunday rally in Loganville, where his stump speech touched on everything from complaints about pronouns and critical race theory to funding law enforcement.”
With 51 votes in the Senate, Democrats will not be forced into a power-sharing agreement with Republicans as they were two years ago. President Biden will be able to nominate and have confirmed even more judges, an area he has excelled. And Democrats will have full committee majorities, giving them power to issue subpoenas in investigations.
The Washington Post on Tuesday noted that Democrats having 51 votes is “an insurance policy against the unthinkable — the possibility that vacancies or party switches could flip the majority. That has happened before, most recently in 2001. The reason that it hasn’t happened more often is mostly because the Senate isn’t usually this closely divided. But vacancies and seat flips do happen — a lot. In fact, since World War II, about 70 percent of Congresses have featured some kind of shift in partisan balance of the Senate between elections.”
The unthinkable includes the possibility that a Democratic Senator in a state headed by a Republican governor could resign or die, allowing a Republican to be installed in their place. As The Post notes, there are 11 cases currently where that could happen.
Warnock unseated a GOP Senator in a 2020 special election, making this his first full elected six-year term.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain notes President Biden “becomes the first President since FDR 1934 to see every Senator in his party re-elected (who was seeking re-election.)”
Guilty on All Counts: Trump Organization Loses Big in Criminal Fraud Case
A jury has found thew crown jewel of Donald Trump’s real estate empire, The Trump Organization, guilty on all counts in a state criminal tax fraud case.
Calling it “a remarkable rebuke of the former president’s company and what prosecutors described as its ‘culture of fraud and deception,'” The New York Times reports the details include “conviction on all 17 counts.”
Charges include tax fraud, a scheme to defraud, and conspiracy and falsifying business records, but The Times says it is “hardly a death sentence for the Trump Organization.”
The Times adds the conviction comes “after more than a day of jury deliberations in State Supreme Court in Manhattan,” which “resulted from a long-running scheme in which the Trump Organization doled out off-the-books luxury perks to some executives: They received fancy apartments, leased Mercedes-Benzes, even private school tuition for relatives, none of which they paid taxes on.”
Donald Trump was not a defendant in the case, but the case will be front and center during his presidential run.
According to a press release from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, The Trump Organization and the Trump Payroll Corp. were convicted of the following charges:
- Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Criminal Tax Fraud in Third Degree, a class D felony, two counts
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, three counts
The Trump Corporation was also convicted of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony.
MSNBC reported the verdict on-air:
BREAKING: Trump Org. found guilty on all counts in a 15-year tax fraud scheme that prosecutors said was orchestrated by top executives at the company. https://t.co/MPjgQRmzjX pic.twitter.com/356LrhuK6u
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 6, 2022
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Image via Shutterstock
Watch: McConnell Refuses to Say He Will Not Support Trump for President Even After ‘Terminate the Constitution’ Demand
Even after Donald Trump called for the “termination” of the U.S. Constitution this weekend and demanded he be put back into office or be given a do-over national presidential election, Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to say he will not support the ex-president’s current run for the White House.
McConnell kicked off his weekly press conference Tuesday by mildly criticizing Trump, although not mentioning him by name.
“First, let me just say that anyone seeking the presidency who thinks that the Constitution could somehow be suspended or not followed, it seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in as president of United States,” McConnell told reporters.
But when asked if he “categorically” would refuse to support Trump – personally or in his role as Senate Republican Minority Leader – McConnell refused to go that far.
“This is the second week in a row you’ve come out to begin your press conference criticizing Donald Trump,” a reporter off-camera said. “Can you say categorically that you do not support him if he were the Republican nominee?”
McConnell could not.
“What I’m saying is it would be pretty hard to be sworn in, to the presidency, if you’re not willing to uphold the Constitution. That’s what I said, and I just said it again,” McConnell stated.
“How about your personal support?” the reporter shot back.
McConnell ignored the question.
During the 2016 campaign Trump also made clear he did not feel beholden to upholding the Constitution, so it’s unclear why McConnell would suggest he could not be sworn in again should he be elected in 2024.
In fact, Trump’s concerning remarks surrounding the Constitution in 2016 led Brown University political science professor Corey Brettschneider to pen a piece for Politico: “Trump vs. the Constitution: A Guide.”
“It may be true that Donald Trump has read the Constitution. But it’s unclear if he understands it,” it begins.
McConnell is not only the second longest serving leader of a party’s caucus in the Senate, nor his he just the Senate Republican Minority Leader.
He wields massive power and influence via his ties to a Super PAC.
According to CNN, the Senate Leadership Fund is “a super PAC affiliated with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”
This year alone, the Senate Leadership Fund has spent nearly $300 million to elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate. In 2020 it spent over $475 million.
Many have seen their ads, which are almost entirely, according to Open Secrets, against Democrats, not for Republicans.
Watch McConnell below or at this link.
Question: Can you say categorically that you will not support Trump if he were the Republican nominee?
McConnell: What I’m saying is it would be pretty hard to be sworn in to the presidency if you’re not willing to uphold the constitution pic.twitter.com/KOcHOUtpnc
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 6, 2022
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