I’m Not Sayin’ (I’m Just Sayin’)

Julian Fantino CIDA Crossroads Christian Communications Uganda Kill The Gays Law

The following nugget was buried at the bottom of a follow-up CP report on how CIDA helped fund the Ugandan aid work of the virulently anti-gay Crossroads Christian Communications (in full PR damage control mode now that its homobigoted Evangelical slip is showing) to the tune of half a million dollars last year:

Francois Audet, director of the Montreal-based Canadian Research Institute on Humanitarian Crisis and Aid, said he believes Crossroads is far from the only group with controversial opinions that receives CIDA money.

“There is, for sure, other hidden treasures, other organizations who do ideological propaganda with public funding from Canadian aid — and what is worrying is that CIDA does not check this,” Audet said in an interview.

Audet said that his own research on how CIDA allocates its funds shows that between 2005 and 2010, funding for religious non-government organizations increased 42 per cent, while secular groups saw an increase of just five per cent.

“I have the clear impression — and I am not the only one in the scientific community — that behind this, there is a deliberate strategy to finance the groups ideologically close to the actual Conservative government,” he said.

Hey, careful now — publicly musing about hidden Harpercon agendas is almost guaranteed to give the Queensway set the serious vapours. The last thing we need on a Tuesday (or any other day for that matter) is an especially vapourous Canadian punditocracy. Their regular pinheaded emissions are gaseous enough as it is.

I highly doubt Ottawa’s atmosphere can handle any more pollution.

Related: To be fair, not all Jesus-friendly NGOs are on board the CIDA gravy train:

In the past few years [KAIROS],  the Mennonite Central Committee and the Catholic Organization for Development and Peace have all seen CIDA funding cut:

CIDA’s shift away from working with long-time and often church-based development partners to financing private sector projects such as those of the mining companies has been in the works for several years.

In November 2009, CIDA cut off funding to the ecumenical social justice group KAIROS, which had been a long-time partner in development. Neither CIDA nor its minister Bev Oda would provide any explanation beyond saying that CIDA’s priorities had changed and KAIROS did not meet them.

Then in February 2012, CIDA turned down a proposal by the well-respected Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) for $2.9 million for each of three years to provide food, water and income generation assistance for people in India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Haiti, Bolivia, Mozambique and Ethiopia.

In March 2012, it became apparent that CIDA had also cut off the Catholic organization Development and Peace (D&P). CIDA, which had provided the organization with $44.6 million in the years 2006-11, chopped that amount by two-thirds, to a total of $14.5 million over the next five years.

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Sarah Palin a “Complete Fiction” – David Talbot

by matttbastard

ForaTv:

Author and Salon.com Founder David Talbot dismisses Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin as a “complete fiction” created by Republican Party strategists.

Full video here.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

More on Sarah Palin and Book-Banning

by matttbastard

The Nation has just published a very informative investigative piece by Michelle Goldberg, author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, further exploring the connections between Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin and the Christian right.  The entire article is worth reading, but I wanted to highlight the following passage, which sheds more light on a now-infamous alleged incident from 1997 involving Palin and the Wasilla Public Library:

Much has been made of Palin’s gestures toward book-banning as mayor. To understand what happened, it’s useful to realize that the Mat-Su Valley was in the middle of a roiling controversy over a book by [Howard Bess, a local retired liberal Baptist minister], titled Pastor, I Am Gay. Bess, 80, is deeply respected by the Valley’s small progressive community. Educated at Northwestern’s Garrett Biblical Institute — now called the Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary — he comes from a Baptist tradition committed to church-state separation. In 1980 he left his church in Santa Barbara, California, to become pastor of Anchorage First American Baptist. Over the years Bess developed an intense concern about gay rights, and he went out of his way to welcome gay people into his Anchorage church. After he had served seven years at First Baptist, the board of the church asked him to lower his profile on the issue. Unwilling to do so, he resigned, took early retirement and ended up moving to Palmer to pastor a tiny liberal congregation, the Church of the Covenant, which he did without pay.
Bess published Pastor, I Am Gay in 1995. It recounts his experiences ministering to gay men and lesbians, calls for the church to take a stand against discrimination and even draws parallels between the experience of gay people and that of Jesus. “They are despised and rejected,” he wrote. “They suffer and are acquainted with infirmity. They are rejected by a perversion of justice. Is it possible that the will of the Lord will prosper through them?”

Local conservatives, including at Wasilla Assembly of God, mobilized against the book. Christian bookstores as well as secular retailers refused to sell it. Bess donated two copies to the Wasilla Public Library, but they vanished from the shelves, so he donated more. The atmosphere toward Bess was toxic; a 1997 cartoon in the Frontiersman showed a slobbering, doll-clutching pedophile approaching his church, whose sign said, Wasilla Church of the Covenant. Howard Bess, Pastor. All Sinners Welcome! Bible Interpretations to Suit Your “Lifestyle.”
Most reports have said that, when asking about banning books, Palin never mentioned any specific titles, but the presence of Pastor, I Am Gay in the library was, at the time, a matter of fierce contention. “I’m as sure that that book was at issue with Sarah Palin as I am that I’m talking to you right now,” said Bess.

Providential coincidence, or small-town cheap homophobic conspiracy?  Stay tuned, true believers.

Related: Fareed Zakaria dons his Captain Obvious pajamas, declaring Palin to be “utterly unqualified to be vice president”; has the bar on Palin been set so low that it’s entirely possible for her to ‘win’ Thursday’s VP debate?

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

The Real News: Holy warriors in the US armed forces

by matttbastard

Michael L. Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on the infiltration of the U.S. military by right-wing Evangelicals.

Related:

  • AlterNet provides an excerpt from With God on Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military, written by Weinstein and David Seay
  • Max Blumenthal on Operation Straight Up, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, and how D-list space cadet Stephen Baldwin is now perma-drunk on teh Jeebus Juice
  • Sharon Weinberger spotlights a March 2007 “revival service” that took place at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan–and was subsequently celebrated in an official press release sent out by the U.S. military’s Bagram Media Center. The post also points to a 2005 NPR report which notes that “40 percent of active duty personnel — and 60 percent of chaplains — are evangelical, compared to only 14 percent of the U.S. population.”

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

File Under: ‘Parody Is Superfluous’

by matttbastard

x-posted @ Comments From Left Field

Looks like Buddy Christ has walked off the big screen and onto the shelves of North America’s largest retailer. In These Times reports that Wal-Mart is selling a 12-inch talking Jesus doll – a 12-inch talking Jesus doll that “looks remarkably like the Brawny Paper Towel Man, has kung-fu grip and utters soothing but authoritarian Bible quotes, like, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3)””.

Again, this is why I stopped reading The Onion years ago: the absurdity of contemporary existence is already quite apparent without requiring any exaggeration.

Flashback – Related: Max Blumenthal on the insidious military outreach efforts of Stephen Baldwin (yes, that Stephen Baldwin — apparently the lamest youngest Baldwin brother has been ensnared by Christ’s brawny kung fu grip) and Operation Straight Up (OSU):

As an official arm of the Defense Department’s America Supports You program, OSU plans to mail copies of the controversial apocalyptic video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces to soldiers serving in Iraq. OSU is also scheduled to embark on a “Military Crusade in Iraq” in the near future.

“We feel the forces of heaven have encouraged us to perform multiple crusades that will sweep through this war torn region,” OSU declares on its website about its planned trip to Iraq. “We’ll hold the only religious crusade of its size in the dangerous land of Iraq.”

Jesus wept.

Update: For Christ’s sake – you really can’t make this shit up.

Also, please do take the time to read in its entirety the Radar/Stephen Baldwin interview linked above – even the mighty Jon Swift couldn’t pen something this (unintentionally) hilarious, nor quotable.

Random snippet:

What’s your take on Tom Cruise, who’s also gotten some flak for his faith.
Let me just start a little trouble here. On the Hollywood list of people I pray for often, Tom Cruise is probably No. 1. All I have to say to Tom is, God bless ya, I hope you’re having fun. But I’d love through Radar magazine to throw a gauntlet down to Mr. Cruise. I’d love to break bread with him and pray with him, and I’d love for the Holy Spirit of God to reveal the truth to him. That would be an awesome thing. I remember Tom back in the day. I did Born on the Fourth of July with him. And he’s a very different guy now.

In what way?
That regular Joe quality seems to have been lost. When you buy enough of your own hype, then it’s not who you are anymore. It becomes about how you’re perceived. I’d rather be young little sweet little Jesus Freak Stevie B any day of the week. Seriously though, can you put us together? Can we get a little sushi together? I’d like to give him a spicy Jesus roll.

Spicy…Jesus…roll? Buh?! You know, I never thought that anyone could make a bat-shit crazy Hubbard-humper like Jumpy McCoucherson seem positively rational by comparison.

Update 2: “Why Should God Bless America?” Definitive proof that ‘IOKIYAR’ isn’t just a clever acronym.

Goddammit, after drowning in an unholy deluge of poisonous, all-American Christianism, I need an antidote (if not a towel). And, all apologies to Howie Klein, the late, great Woody Guthrie just don’t cut it. A pair of selections from the gloriously Godless Greg Graffin and Co. seem more appropriate atm:

“He’s the farmer barren fields, (In God)
The force the army wields, (We trust)
The expression in the faces of the starving millions, (Because he’s one of us)
The power of the man. (Break down)
He’s the fuel that drives the Klan, (Cave in)
He’s the motive and the conscience of the murderer (He can redeem your sins)
He’s the preacher on TV, (Strong heart)
The false sincerity, (Clear mind)
The form letter that’s written by the big computer, (And indefinitely kind)
He’s the nuclear bombs, (You lose)
And the kids with no moms (We win)
And I’m fearful that he’s inside me (He is our champion)”

There’s no justice
Just a cause and a cure
And a bounty of suffering
It seems we all endure
And what I’m frightened of
Is that they call it “God’s love”

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers