The Right Returns to the Religion Well

Over the centuries, religion has cloaked hypocrisy – and it’s getting a test again as President Trump and Senate candidate Roy Moore hide behind the Religious Right’s self-interested sanctimony, write Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.

By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

In Babylon-on-the-Potomac recently, the brand new, $500 million Museum of the Bible had its grand opening. Donald Trump did not attend, perhaps fearing a fate like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark when the remnants of the Ten Commandments are unsealed, holy mayhem ensues and miscreants melt like candles.

Roy Moore, the Republican Party’s U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama.

Just a couple of blocks from Capitol Hill, the museum sprawls across eight floors and 430,000 square feet, giving visitors a chance to meet New Testament re-enactors, see a burning bush and Bibles that belonged to Babe Ruth and Elvis, walk through a replica of a village from the time of Christ, experience a motion ride called Washington Revelations and grab a snack at the Milk and Honey café (There’s also a cafeteria-style restaurant called, you guessed it: Manna).

At the gift shop, you can buy key chains, hats and T-shirts, frankincense and myrrh body wash, a $1,250 leather foot stool shaped like a rhinoceros (because rhinos were on Noah’s Ark, of course) or a $125,000 bejeweled pomegranate made of Jerusalem stone (the Song of Solomon: “I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates”).

As the old joke goes, this is what God would do if He had money.

To be fair, by most accounts, the museum is well designed and executed, high-tech and state-of-the-art. Philip Kennicott, art and architecture critic for The Washington Post, wrote, “What it does well, it does as well or better than any museum in the country,” but added:

“There… is a lot of slippage between [the museum’s] claims that the Bible is enormously influential (which is indisputable) and that the stories it tells are fundamentally true (a claim disputed not just by atheists, agnostics, secular scholars and scientists, but also by billions of adherents of the world’s other religions). Every resource of museum design and careful argumentation has been mustered to sweep up these unrelated ideas in one, big, overwhelming package.”

Right-Wing Money

What has many observers far more concerned are connections among the new attraction’s principal funders and the right wing. Here its mission becomes suspect, more political than religious, although with the right wing, it is always difficult to separate the two, each possessing a will to dominate.

Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C.

The Post describes a tangled relationship between the nonprofit museum, its corporate backer Hobby Lobby — the very rich, closely held craft store chain controlled by the Christian conservative Green family — and another principal backer the National Christian Foundation, a donor-advised fund “that supports key soldiers in the national battle for conservative Christian values.”

The foundation, self-mandated to “advance God’s kingdom,” has given millions to churches and others, counting among its grantees opponents of abortion and same-sex marriage. As for the billionaire Green family, their craft-store empire gained notoriety when it won a Supreme Court ruling allowing it to deny on religious grounds Obamacare coverage of contraception for its employees. Oh, and just in case you haven’t heard, they recently were fined $3 million in fines and forced to turn over thousands of antiquities smuggled out of Iraq. (Down goes one of the commandments — see Deuteronomy 5:19.)

Those involved claim that the museum’s purpose simply is to expose visitors to the story of the Good Book and that its motives are nonsectarian and apolitical. Sure. But the opening gala was held at the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. The cheapest ticket was $2,500 and apparently no collection plate was passed for the hungry and homeless, on the grounds, we presume, that it would be an unfair tax on the rich. Organizers claim that the choice of a venue had all to do with finding an available space large enough and nothing to do with currying favor with the owners of the inn.

Hobby Lobby CEO David Green backed Sen. Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential candidacy but endorsed Trump in the general election, and his son, museum chair and Hobby Lobby president Steve Green, recently told the Christian Broadcasting Network, “We are seeing that the current administration with President Trump is a friend of religious freedom and has taken steps to strengthen and confirm that we are a nation that values the freedoms our founders gave us.”

Really? Trump? A friend of religious freedom? Why, according to televangelist and Trump buddy Paula White, he’s a man whose election kept us from being “on the verge of losing what we call religious liberties.” Without him and the prayers of believers, she said, “I believe the church in America would have been an underground church in five years.”

Trump as Savior?

Whoa! Donald Trump, the savior of oppressed Christians whom Democrats otherwise would have banished to caves and dungeons, or fed to lions in the Coliseum? Apparently for Paula White and the like-minded, the first commandment — forbidding the worship of false gods — must be provisional. And to them, what Jesus told his followers — “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” — presents no hard choice, because Trump is one and the same.

President Donald Trump places a prayer in-between the stone blocks of the Western Wall in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Dan Hansen)

The ninth commandment — forbidding false witness — they simply ignore. Donald Trump rode to power on the Birther Lie, and they cheered him on. During the 2016 campaign he couldn’t open his mouth without lying, and they cheered him on.

Yes, they cheered the man who said he had never needed to seek forgiveness, who reportedly cheated his contractors and vendors, who wants to slash programs for the poor and cut taxes for the rich, who plans to kick thousands of disaster and political refugees out of the country, who ignores famine in foreign lands, who wants to eradicate rules and regulations protecting the water and air of God’s green earth and who has surrounded himself with crony capitalists, grifters and predators. The man who scorns and dismisses allegations of his own sexual misconduct (See Deuteronomy 5:18) while calling for the election to the U.S. Senate of Roy Moore, the pistol-packing, homophobic, God-fearing demagogue who by many accounts lusted after teenagers and asked them out on dates. This to the applause of some of Alabama’s loudest Bible thumpers.

Speaking on an Alabama radio station, here’s how right-wing, anti-gay pastor Flip Benham justified Moore’s alleged predilection for teens: “He did that because there is something about a purity of a young woman, there is something that is good, that’s true, that’s straight and he looked for that.” A sentiment like that may be what prompted Walt Whitman to write: “‘O Bible!’ Say I, ‘What follies and monstrous barbarities are defended in thy name!’”

And here’s pastor Earl Wise from Millbrook Alabama, a Moore supporter who told the Boston Globe, “How these gals came up with this, I don’t know. They must have had some sweet dreams somewhere down the line. Plus, there are some 14-year-olds, who, the way they look, could pass for 20.”

“Not versions, but perversions,” said St. Jerome of the Bibles in his day.

Religion and Politics

One trembles at the numbers of right-wing Christians who resort to the Bible as if it were the Republican Party platform, who in their pursuit of reactionary and bigoted rectitude embrace Trump and his GOP allies no matter how reprehensible their behavior; who, like Trump mouthpiece Kellyanne Conway, seem to find it preferable to have a purported molester like Moore elected to the Senate than a Democrat, and who quote scripture to overlook — even justify — Moore’s sins, going so far as to cite biblical references to the age difference of Joseph and Mary to give their candidate the all-clear.

All of this skin-crawling rationalization just to hold onto a single Republican seat in the Senate? Yes, because they can count on Moore to continue demonizing their gay brothers and sisters, to invoke the police powers of the state to force women to carry unwanted pregnancies, to cut taxes for rich donors and give churches the right to collect money from secret sources to carry on political activities without losing their tax-exempt status (it’s in the tax bill now before Congress; check it out).

In the words of historian of religion Randall Ballmer, “You have a movement that has so totally embraced a particular political party that it’s willing to go along with any outrage as long as it’s within the tent of party.”

Fortunately, there are Christians who say no. In Alabama itself, dozens of pastors signed a letter condemning Moore. It reads, in part:

“Even before the recent allegations of sexual abuse, Roy Moore demonstrated that his extremist values and actions are not consistent with traditional Christian values or good Christian character. He and politicians like him have cynically used Christianity for their own goals. But Roy Moore does not speak for Christianity, and he acts in ways that are contrary to our faith.”

To which North Carolina’s Rev. Dr. William Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach, says amen. He deplores the fact that religious values “have been hijacked by extremists” who no more represent Jesus “than did the church authorities who backed slavery.”

Rev. Barber likes to quote Isaiah 10:1-4:

“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?”

Go to the Museum of the Bible in Washington. You can look it up.

Bill Moyers is the managing editor of Moyers & Company and BillMoyers.com. Michael Winship is the Emmy Award-winning senior writer of Moyers & Company and BillMoyers.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MichaelWinship. [This article originally appeared at http://billmoyers.com/story/right-hijacks-old-time-religion/]

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68 comments for “The Right Returns to the Religion Well

  1. hatedbyu
    December 1, 2017 at 11:53

    i hate religious zealots. have since they tried to get me to join their little teen group when i was 14. in alabama. i’m happy that american politics in general have abandoned the appeal to the bible or other good book thumpers. mostly.

    with that said, i still think that people who are religious have the right to support who ever they want. as they should. alabama is still a very bible thumply place. if they want moore. good on them. whatever.

    this piece of editorial has no place in modern media. mainstream or alternative. when, oh when can we all just go back to reading news? or at least have the professionalism to pretend some partisan moderation?

    bottom line? roy moore will probably be elected because the media went after him in a way that was predictable and unfair. journalism was damaged by russia gate that will take 20 years to recover from(according to camille paglia). this new witch hunt over sexual harassment will take another 10 years.

    prediction. next week, with just a few days till the election, new “accusations” will surface of roy moore being “tied” to the kkk or other white supremacist groups in the 70’s. no photos, no proof. just more rumors. and stories.

    please, editors….is it too much to ask to moderate the hate? just the facts, mam?

  2. Norma Price
    November 29, 2017 at 17:13

    Moore and Trump have, in my opinion, a messiah complex. They falsely believe, or try to convince us normal Christians, that they hold the keys to the Kingdom. Lying to the masses is acceptable to them because it gets the job of convincing done. This is a scary time much as in the McCarthy era, or even worse, a takeover by a vicious dictator, such as Hitler, who places little value on women as well as the land.

  3. Curious
    November 29, 2017 at 04:20

    In order to remain tax-exempt under 501(c)(3), churches must abide by strict guidelines that prohibit election activity. The Code states in relevant part that 501(c)(3) organizations cannot “participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” I.R.C. Sec. 501(c)(3). Thus, as a 501(c)(3) organization, churches are strictly forbidden from supporting or opposing a candidate for public office. To do so jeopardizes their tax-exempt status. Churches cannot engage in any of the following activities under the federal tax law:
    • Cannot endorse or oppose candidates for public office
    • Cannot make any communication—either from the pulpit, in a newsletter, or church bulletin—which expressly advocates for the election or defeat of a candidate for public office
    • Cannot make expenditures on behalf of a candidate for public office or allow any of their resources to be used indirectly for political purposes (e.g., use their phones for a phone bank)
    • Cannot ask a candidate for public office to sign a pledge or other promise to support a particular issue
    • Cannot distribute partisan campaign literature
    • Cannot display political campaign signs on church property

    This is the LAW, although one would never know this driving through the southern states and listening to the radio as I have. Maybe they have found a way to set up there tax except status separate from a 501(c)(3) but really people. Why let them get away with combining church and state and preaching politics to their flocks? They all could lose their tax except status instantly with their abuse of the law, so maybe it’s time, or way past time to take their tax status away from them and then they can preach whichever version of their ‘gospel’ their little hearts would want. Just make them pay taxes like the rest of us and level the playing field. Those who defy the law will lose their ‘receive in the mail’ devinity authority and whatever version of the good book they plumb.
    It’s not too long ago in the south to remember those pastors who brought out scripture to rationalize slavery. They can cull any version they desire, but as they lose their tax advantage their twisted message may lose a bit of clout. It’s time to do it now and use the law to say they cannot preach politics!
    I’ve even seen catholic priests tout a political candidate on TV. This is not only against the law, but unbelievable wrong. The Catholic Church could feed the world with just selling the art in their basement never to see the light of day. Is it time to hold the Catholic Church up to the standards of US law if they preach in the US?
    We have given them a pass, along with the Fallwells, pat Robertsons, and the Billy Graham’s of the world. It’s time to end their tax advantages immediately.

  4. HpO
    November 28, 2017 at 19:34

    Which is worse, actually, brothers Bill Moyers and Michael Winship? The Museum of the Bible? Or your friend there, brother William Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach, … [who] likes to quote Isaiah 10:1-4″ – but not a few verses down, Isaiah 10:22-23? Messianic prophecy, they are, whose fulfillment gets written in Romans 9:27-33. What’s the matter? Ashamed to admit that, as Romans 9:27-33 reveals, the 3 of you are really no different from Roy Moore, David Green and Steve Green? Truth to tell, you sick I mean six people, in “pursuing a law of righteousness, do not arrive at that law. Why? Because neither one of you pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. And so all 6 of you stumble over the stumbling stone, Him” – the Messiah of Israel, Christ Jesus.

  5. rosemerry
    November 28, 2017 at 15:38

    Good article. I hope Bill keeps on with his truthful commentaries and avoids the disastrous anti-Russian displays like that now appearing in truthdig.

  6. Shredder
    November 28, 2017 at 14:27

    Bill Clinton is a rapist.

  7. Zachary Smith
    November 28, 2017 at 13:12

    At the Naked Capitalism site this morning I saw a link describing something else the Right is returning to in the effort to put that Moore swine into the Senate. FRAUD.

    The Post didn’t bite on O’Keefe’s attempt to trap the journalists by sending a woman claiming she was impregnanted by Moore.

    In an article this afternoon, the Post reveals journalists met with the woman several times over two weeks, then decided her story didn’t check out.

    Then they followed her into O’Keefe’s office building.

    So the Bezos WP does something right for a change. Well, as the old saying goes, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then.

  8. November 28, 2017 at 12:25

    Could we be living in “The Doomed Society’?
    —————————————————————-
    July 29, 2012
    The Doomed Society
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2012/07/the-doomed-society.html

  9. DFC
    November 28, 2017 at 12:14

    If these people were only Muslims we could cordon off the Red States as protected religious “diversity” areas, with special status, and embrace them as our friends. But, alas, they are reading the wrong book.

    sigh…

  10. mike k
    November 28, 2017 at 11:34

    Most of those posting here at CN are well aware that religion has not escaped the general degradation of truth and real values that pervades all the institutions of modern society. What many are less aware of is the baby of precious and essential value to society’s continuation that has been discarded with all the foul fake religion rightfully unmasked and discarded.

    When Nietzsche presciently warned us that the old “God” of Western religions was dead, he also noted that we desperately needed a better replacement – lacking which we would be in a world of trouble. And that is where we find ourselves today. As Carl Jung put it, Modern Man in Search of a Soul.

    • mike k
      November 28, 2017 at 11:40

      That last was the title of Jung’s book about our predicament. It was Jung who also diagnosed the craze about flying saucers to be an attempt to supply an extraterrestrial quasi-scientific “God from the machine” to solve our human problems – perhaps signaling to us their kindly intentions through crop circles and other enigmatic omens.

  11. Danny Weil
    November 28, 2017 at 11:15

    Here is a video that shows the thinking of those who support Trump, Zionism and who are Christians.

    https://youtu.be/Vf5RSsvClQQ

    • rosemerry
      November 28, 2017 at 15:47

      Isn’t Tom Delay in prison?

  12. Danny Weil
    November 28, 2017 at 11:12

    The real danger with the religious right is the Christian Zionist.

    Here is Bannon claiming to ZOA he is one.

    https://www.brasscheck.com/video/christian-zionist-whackos-for-israel/?omhide=true

    • Jake G
      November 28, 2017 at 13:29

      Zionist are not much different than neocons. And since neocons are now allied with neoliberals, you can all put them into a bag and hit it with a bat and you will always hit the right one.

  13. geeyp
    November 28, 2017 at 10:16

    Winship thinks in terms of “flyover states” and Moyers has no legacy left to have pride in and is also clueless regarding the people of this country. Who cares what they spew? These are not serious people.

    • Dave P.
      November 28, 2017 at 15:48

      Moyers, Michael Moore . . . they all have been all bought by The Wall Street Financial Oligarchy for twopence half penny, in one way or the other. From what is going on here for more than a year now, one begins to feel as if one is living in some kind of insane asylum.

  14. Herman
    November 28, 2017 at 09:45

    It was a choice of what Hillary Clinton endorses through her actions and what Trump said he endorsed. It was enough to sway voters to the one without a government record who just might respond to their concerns.

    Washington, New York and Los Angeles are in a mindless frenzy about the sitting POTUS. Mindless because it threatens to turn America into a failed state by overthrowing the people’s right to choose who will be President. Those in power, meaning those who have created this hysteria need to reflect on the consequences of impeachment or forced resignation, If they have, and continue to neuter the office of the President, it speaks volumes about their perfidy.

  15. Lisa
    November 28, 2017 at 08:40

    My first attempt, posted over 12 hours ago, is still under moderation. It was meant to be a reply to WeatherEye:

    “God help America”

    Why would he do that? To help America or, for that matter, any other nationalist group, surrounded by some borders, drawn on a map?
    I wonder if I’ll live to see a day when an atheist (or at least – someone indifferent to religion) will be elected president of the US.
    Must he/she still utter the words “so help me god” with his/her hand on the Bible at the inauguration? Is this the land of religious freedom (which should include even those without a religion)?

    Not being an American, I’m constantly amazed at the multitude of religious references during the political campaigns. Not so much in Scandinavia, where I live.

    (This was a shortened version of my original post.)

    • Lisa
      November 28, 2017 at 13:24

      Funny. Now my first post just appeared, after a l-o-o-o-ng moderation, at the beginning of this commentary thread.

      • Zachary Smith
        November 28, 2017 at 14:19

        The only word which I can imagine would trigger “moderation” was ‘s e x u a l’. They really do need to take a look at the word list in the censor program.

        EDIT: that was the word! I deleted the first post and put in the spacing – it ought to show now.

        Yes, somebody REALLY needs to look at that word list.

  16. fudmier
    November 28, 2017 at 08:38

    “religious values “have been hijacked by extremists” Humm? are not religion and value two separates? Religion is a set of rules based on interpretation of the meaning of the infinite wisdom hidden in faith; while
    value is an ” assessment” arrived at by comparison.
    I agree with dFc: article is foundation boilerplate and. with. backwardsevolution’s observation that emotion activated religion(EAR) cannot compete with emotion activated Zionism (EAZ) and I see indictments threatening members of the EAR teams but no indictments threatening the EAZ teams.

  17. backwardsevolution
    November 28, 2017 at 07:19

    Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller, James Comey and Hillary Clinton will all be indicted over Uranium One, the Clinton emails, the Steele Dossier, spying on Trump, and the Russian witch hunt. They are trying desperately to get Trump before he gets them.

    Sean Hannity tonight had on a former federal prosecutor from the Department of Justice, Sidney Powell, who has written a book entitled “Licensed to Lie” about corruption at the Department of Justice. She was joined by Greg Jarrett, lawyer and legal analyst. The topic was the Mueller investigation into Russian collusion into the election.

    Greg Jarrett and Sidney Powell spelled out how these scum get their man: they get a lesser player, like Manafort, trump up a charge against him (lie if they have to), then tell him he will spend ten years in jail unless he signs a piece of paper implicating Trump. He can either lie or spend time, take your pick. This is what it’s come to.

    Listen to the video from 31:06. At 34:35, Sean Hannity asks how Andrew Weissmann (one of Mueller’s assistants) still has his licence, to which Greg Jarrett says:

    “Because there is a syndicate going on within the Department of Justice. Let’s call it a cartel, the equivalent of the Mob. It’s composed of that man, Andrew Weissmann, Robert Mueller, James Comey, who has now lost his job, and Rod Rosenstein, who is the Deputy Attorney-General. And the fact that all four of them are involved in the Trump investigation should be a cause for concern for every American. They have little credibilty because their integrity has been compromised.”

    At 36:45:

    Greg Jarrett: It’s sort of an illegal syndicate that’s acting under the guise of the law.

    Sean Hannity: How can this happen in the United States of America? This is not a banana republic here.

    Greg Jarrett: Because the Department of Justice, and particularly the FBI — Comey and Mueller were at the FBI — have turned into this renegade, rogue, Deep State that operates under their own rules, the law be damned.

    Sean Hannity: They don’t want Manafort, they don’t want General Flynn. They want Trump.

    Greg Jarrett: Yes, and what I worry about are ruthless prosecutors who suborn perjury. What they do is they make promises and threats to defendants: you’re going to spend ten years behind bars unless you sign this statement, and the witness says, “Yeah, but that’s a lie,” and the prosecutor doesn’t seem to care.

    Sean Hannity: Or they go after your son.

    Greg Jarrett: It’s extortion, it’s bribery. When they do it, it’s legal. When you and I do it, it’s illegal. It’s got to stop.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxSbLjp2qcY

    • mike k
      November 28, 2017 at 11:16

      Exactly. Ask any poor “black” guy about the “justice” system in America – it is simply a tool for oppression. Period. Who will judge the judges? Isn’t “Supreme Court” code for Ultimate Autocrats?

  18. R Davis
    November 28, 2017 at 06:54

    Christianity has enveloped itself with the burial shroud of Christ.
    Like a wolf wears a sheep skin.

  19. john wilson
    November 28, 2017 at 06:37

    One can only assume in this outbreak of religious fever that hell is Russia and the devil himself is called Putin. Religion is really just another method of crating fear and getting control of the population and it was ever thus. I thought the deep state and their lacy mouth piece the MSM already had the American sheep terrified of Russia with Russia gate and all that rubbish. Looks like they are looking to cement their mind games by making sure everyone is on board including the bible thumpers.

  20. backwardsevolution
    November 28, 2017 at 05:24

    Not everyone on the right is a religious, bible-thumping idiot. Many are worried about the loss of morals and decency, family values. They are conservative people who believe in tradition, hearth and home.

    I am not a church-going person, but I can see what the loss of the church has done to the country. The void has been taken up with identity politics, political correctness, the loss of free speech, consumerism, porn, Facebook and Oxycontin.

    This has not been by accident, but by design.

    Roy Moore, poster boy for sexual deviance on the Right? He pales in comparison to the Left’s Bill Clinton and Harvey Weinstein, known rapists.

    The progressive Left has pushed the country to the edge of a cliff, left it terminally divided, chaotic. The pendulum swings, and it is going to swing back. Quite naturally.

    • Dave P.
      November 28, 2017 at 15:39

      backwardsevolution –

      I am not sure about the pendulum swinging back. But your analysis is right on the mark of what has happened here in this country over the last four decades or so.

  21. backwardsevolution
    November 28, 2017 at 04:05

    “… and give churches the right to collect money from secret sources to carry on political activities without losing their tax-exempt status.”

    Gee, you mean they might finally be on a level playing field with AIPAC and FDIC (Friends of Israel Defense Forces)?

    “Hollywood Jewish royalty was thick on the ground, the grub was strictly kosher and billionaires competed to see who could give the most to such a worthy cause. The 1,200 attendees at the Beverly Hilton Hotel donated a record $53.8 million, with Oracle founder Larry Ellison leading the pack with a contribution of $16.6 million. Israeli media mogul Haim Saban, Hillary Clinton’s most generous supporter, served as host of the event and donated $5 million.

    Two weeks ago, a similar gathering of 1,200 in New York City dubbed “A Night of Heroes,” attended by GOP major donor casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, raised $35 million, $7 million coming from Adelson personally. FIDF reportedly was sitting on $190 million in contributions for the year before the Hollywood and New York events.

    Donations to FIDF are tax deductible as the organization is registered with the U.S. Treasury as a 501(c)3 educational and charitable non-profit foundation. One might well ask how it is possible that the American taxpayer should subsidize a foreign military organization that is regularly accused of war crimes in its ongoing brutal and genocidal occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem?”

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/israels-money-machine/

    Bring it!

    • mike k
      November 28, 2017 at 08:55

      When your “God” is a WAR GOD – you owe your Tribute to HIM. The US Gov serves and worships WAR.

  22. DFC
    November 28, 2017 at 02:03

    This is a boilerplate “stupid voters” article. ie: The Democrats could do such an incredible job of governing this country, if it was not for the people. lol

    It reminds me of when the typical North American gringo visits us here in South America and says they love this place except for the fact that it is full of Latinos.

    A novel strategy might be: hey, lets figure out what the voters want and run on that. But that seemed to cross no politician’s mind except the current non-politician in the Oval Office.

    So now that the Democrats are out of power, instead of re-examining why they lost the last election, they decide the best strategy is to insult the voters, which inevitably results in another backlash and characters like Roy Moore going to the Senate, which will inevitably bring about another round of more amplified insults and voter shaming.

    Lets see, there was the Tea Party, then the loss of the House, the Senate and the White House, yet it all seems to not have made dent, and probably nothing short of electing Lucifer himself to high office will change this.

    ‘Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes but do not see; Who have ears but do not hear. ~ Jeremiah 5:21

    sigh…

    • mike k
      November 28, 2017 at 08:44

      Lucifer for Prez! I love it. I might even vote if he was on the ballot……….

      • mike k
        November 28, 2017 at 08:48

        Jeremiah was a really sharp dude. Too bad Obama didn’t listen to him.

      • Virginia
        November 28, 2017 at 14:36

        He has been on the ballot(s) for a long time. It’s who runs things behind the scenes called deep state, the establishment, illuminati. But with internet and independent journ
        alism, people are beginning to wake up.

        I, too, hold out hope for Trump to do some good. He has with Syria, and elsewhere. There is hope, and prayer. I have hope in prayer

        • Broompilot
          November 28, 2017 at 18:30

          The last three presidents have campaigned on domestic issues, including Dubya, and all seemed to find domestic politics too broken to accomplish anything. In no time at all they then get embroiled in foreign misadventures. Trump made the transition in record time.

  23. Annie
    November 27, 2017 at 22:06

    This is a letter I received from someone whom I’ve known since we were 12. She knew I supported Sanders, but didn’t attack Trump in the loud and vicious way she did, so I guess she felt I deserved this, as well as a verbal assault on the phone. I will not mention her many faults, but she is, or was a friend who has many faults.

    Those of us who have voted in numerous presidential elections surely
    have had wins and losses. After each of those losses, I suspect that
    you, like I, were able to accept the results and move forward.
    But I am having serious problems “getting over” this one. Recently I
    came to the realization that the problem goes much deeper than just
    coming to grips with who won. Rather, I have finally discovered that my
    continuing malaise and distress are due to the reality that several
    long-time friendships have been changed, most likely forever.

    The other day I sent the following email to two friends who were
    particularly adamant and outspoken in their support of the now
    president-elect:
    Please understand that I am not mad at you because Clinton lost. I
    am totally unconcerned that you and I have different ‘politics.’ And I
    don’t think less of you because you voted one way and I another.
    No, I think less of you because you watched an adult mock a disabled
    person while addressing a crowd and still supported him. I think less of
    you because you saw a candidate spout clear racism day after day and
    still backed him. I think less of you because you heard him advocate for
    war crimes and still thought he should be given the reins of government.
    I think less of you because you watched him equate a woman’s worth to
    where she landed on a scale of 1 to 10 and still got on board. I think
    less of you because you stood by silently while he labeled Mexicans as
    criminals and Muslims as terrorists.
    It wasn’t your politics I found repulsive. No, it was your
    willingness to support someone who spouts racism, sexism, and cruelty
    almost every time he opens his mouth. You sided with a bully when it
    should have mattered most, and that is something I will never be able to
    forget.
    So in response to your post-election expression of hope, no, you and
    I won’t be ‘coming together to move forward.’ Obviously, the
    president-elect disgusts me; but it is the fact that he doesn’t disgust
    you that will stick with me long after the election.

    Phil Shailer, Hollywood

    • HpO
      November 28, 2017 at 00:01

      Phil you bad

      • Annie
        November 28, 2017 at 00:51

        Worse then Phil is my friend who sent this letter to me, and she knew I didn’t support Trump. She sent it because I didn’t express absolute outrage, and venom, as she did. To be kind, the hypocrisy of it all is absurd. Since we were kids she defined people as winners and losers. She always cultivated people with money, and called a few people I knew who had money issues, stray dogs. She never visited an old aunt who, as she said, lived in a black neighborhood, which I go into often since the main library is there. She never marched against the war in Iraq, never was politically active, as I was. I know I said I wouldn’t mention her faults, but I can’t help it. However I only mentioned a few.

        • mike k
          November 28, 2017 at 08:34

          In the general culture that exists today, politics becomes just another venue for violent egotistical “games.” What can you expect of a culture that finds watching men literally beat each other’s brains out to be “entertaining”? A culture that found watching the murder of thousands of men women and children to be an exciting and fun fireworks show?

        • November 28, 2017 at 13:08

          I received a forwarded copy of the same letter. This was not written by your friend.

    • Jake G
      November 28, 2017 at 00:48

      Perfect example why these people can never admit they are wrong. They gave up too much to be “right”. Or simply put, they are fanatics.
      Know history and you know they were the exact people who brought about the worst wars, state sponsored oppressions and massacres. Even when they realized they were wrong, they couldnt admit it and had to keep going.

      How she bases her whole knowledge of Trump on fake news, makes this really disgusting. Shows how easy it is to indoctrinate people with hate today STILL.

    • Harpo Kondriak
      November 28, 2017 at 04:59

      Oh what drivel. After outspending her opponent by a factor of 2; with the vast majority of main stream media biased toward her; and with Trump saying all the things Phil has him saying; with the vastly experienced Clinton campaign organization, Hillary lost anyway. This loss was big. But that the most disliked candidate in history beat the 2nd most disliked candidate in history is hardly a tragedy. And people seemed to forget that we didnt want Hillary in 2008 either (and I knew people heartbroken then). She was defeated in the primaries by someone with little experience on the national stage and from a minority group. Maybe we were all tired of the Clintons after all the drama, deserved or not. But when we look back in the light of recent revelations, we have major sex scandals in 2 of the biggest Clintons supporters in Harvey Weinstein and super rich Jeffrey Epstein, Hillary’s closest aide the wife of sex-scandal Anthony Wiener (and with state department emails on HIS laptop), and Bill’s historical philandering. This isn’t a picture that inspires any warm and fuzzy feeling about a the judgement, or intentions, of this group. The tragedy here is not that Trump won, but that Democrats have seemingly become captured by a quite iffy group.
      Personally I agree with the Hedges view mentioned earlier – Trump the symptom. Though I still hold some dim hope that he will learn this job and accomplish something positive, as unlikely as that seems.

      • mike k
        November 28, 2017 at 08:40

        Hope springs eternal in the heart, but can also be misguided, and serve to distort reality. Sorry about that, a real downer – but nevertheless real…….

    • December 2, 2017 at 03:12

      “She”…it was signed “Phil”. So, you voted for Trump?

  24. Annie
    November 27, 2017 at 21:06

    As I’ve said before I didn’t vote in the 2016 election. I supported Bernie Sanders, with a few hundred dollars, which I have never done before. Not that I thought he could really exert a lot of power in our political arena when so much is controlled by outside, non elected forces, but I thought he was a decent man. I didn’t think that was true of Clinton, or Trump. There are so many things on the table in the Trump administration I am deeply opposed to, and in no way am I a fan of his, however when I read articles like this I pick up a visceral hate for the man and it turns me off. Moyers has been on this hate spree since Trump’s election and I no longer listen, or read his columns. There is nothing I disagree with in the article, just it’s tone which I perceive as a bit too venomous for me.

    • Zachary Smith
      November 27, 2017 at 23:07

      Sanders was – absolute terms – awful. But like you, I sent him money, and would have voted for him if I could have.

      “Awful” just wasn’t a suitable word to describe Hillary and Trump. “Monster” would have been a better one for them.

      • Annie
        November 27, 2017 at 23:53

        I had more antipathy for Hillary Clinton then Trump, since she was a known. I have never voted Republican in my lifetime. I was a registered democrat, but I am now an independent. I prefer to look at it the way Hedges does, Trump is a symptom, and not the disease. We have a systemic problem which has to be addressed and too much Trump bashing tends to make people believe that all that is wrong with America can be placed at his doorstep. It blinds them to the truth of who we are as a nation, and who is really pulling the strings, so to speak. The mass media is in total complicity with this, and they will continuously focus on trivia as opposed to real issues. It’s become a three ring circus. The dialogue between the right and the left has become hateful, and there can’t be any honest dialogue, or real change if that’s the road we want to go down. Again I’m thinking the power elites must love all of this.

        • exiled off mainstreet
          November 28, 2017 at 11:43

          Hedges is almost always one of the most effective critics of the deep state structure. I also agree that since Hillary was a known threat for nihilist war, she was and even is the bigger threat, and that Trump is an easily manipulable symptom. The legacy media, meanwhile, acts as though Joe Goebbels is in charge.

        • Sunrise Skipper
          December 5, 2017 at 08:55

          Very insightful, Annie. Thanks for the perspective.

      • HpO
        November 27, 2017 at 23:59

        You avoided Annie’s criticism of Moyers. Deliberately?

    • mike k
      November 28, 2017 at 08:22

      What is one person’s perception of venom, is another person’s nectar of delicious satire.

  25. Al Pinto
    November 27, 2017 at 20:00

    Color me surprised that politicians, clergymen, etc., try to use religion for enforcing their views on people and change their behavior. Just like religions have been doing that since, well, ever since there’s religions….

    • GM
      November 27, 2017 at 22:51

      It is also worth noting that Hillary Clinton was an adherent of Doug Coe’s militant dominionist ‘The Fellowship’ cult for 25 or so years, of whom she once wrote that Coe is “a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God.”

      • Zachary Smith
        November 27, 2017 at 23:02

        Good catch! That was another factor of the dreadful Clinton ***** which worried me.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fellowship_%28Christian_organization%29

        • tina
          November 28, 2017 at 00:55

          But Mrs. Clinton is not the potus, Donald j trump is

          • mike k
            November 28, 2017 at 08:07

            The Lord works in mysterious ways…….

          • mike k
            November 28, 2017 at 08:14

            My first posted comment was “moderated’ out of existence – so here goes again:

            The Lord works in mysterious ways Tina………….. (lol)

  26. Zachary Smith
    November 27, 2017 at 19:25

    President Donald Trump places a prayer in-between the stone blocks of the Western Wall in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017.

    The dummy POTUS is pretending to be reverent at the foundation stones of the Roman Fort in Jerusalem.

    Go to the Museum of the Bible in Washington.

    No. Never. Not even if I happened to be outside the door and they were passing out free tickets gift-wrapped in $20 bills.

    I drive by the Creation Museum in Kentucky all the time, and I’ll confess that I’d go in there for just long enough to get a picture of myself with the dinosaur wearing a saddle. (in the extremely unlikely event somebody gave me a free ticket, that is.)

    The Ark Museum – also in Kentucky? Same as that DC place. Wouldn’t go there even on a dare. Stupidity beyond words.

    • tina
      November 28, 2017 at 00:37

      It is a mockery of everything. Just like you, I drove by a house that had a nativity display right next to santa , Rudolph, and all the pea
      nuts figures, those inflatable things. This is all without meaning. FOX news can call their “War on Christmas”, that now is a joke, they do not know yet. Face it , Christmas is time to spend money on presents for the people one loves, and that is about it. My Lexus with a big red bow will be here in four days. Merry kwanzaa, hannukah ,holidays, new year ,fasching ,dio de la mortes,, carnival in Venice,
      and my very own favorite, The Winter Solstice , December 21, 2017

    • mike k
      November 28, 2017 at 08:04

      Speaking as one who was born in and resides in Kentucky (but does not consider himself a “Kentuckian” – whatever that means) I wish they would push their goddam “ark” into the Ohio River, and float away to la la land…….

    • rosemerry
      November 28, 2017 at 15:40

      I would like to know what an American definition of a museum is. I always expected such a place to have evidence and facts.

    • WC
      November 29, 2017 at 15:55

      Zac. What a hypocrite you are. You whine and complain when I bash your religion, but think nothing of demeaning the religious beliefs of others. :(

  27. November 27, 2017 at 18:35

    God help America…

    • Lisa
      November 27, 2017 at 20:02

      “God help America”

      Why would he do that? America or, for that matter, any other nationalist group, surrounded by some borders, drawn on a map?
      I wonder if I’ll live to see a day when an atheist (or at least – someone indifferent to religion) will be elected president of the US.
      Must he/she still utter the words “so help me god” at the inauguration? Is this the land of religious freedom (which should include even those without a religion)?

      Not being an American, I’m constantly amazed at the multitude of religious references on the political arena. Not so much in Scandinavia, where I live.

      The sexual harassment “tsunami” that is drowning all other questions does resemble a witch hunt. It is enough to claim having been abused some decades ago by a person, and that person’s career is over. Evidence not needed. The “abuser” has no right to defend himself. Something like in the Russia-gate: accusations are just as good as evidence.

      By the way, I do believe that there is much truth in the accusations, and that there are many “Harveys” around who are generally known as sexual abusers, and nobody has dared to expose them until now.

    • tina
      November 28, 2017 at 00:21

      why not god help the earth? Only one country for you?

      • Antonia
        November 28, 2017 at 11:30

        Agree!

  28. Drew Hunkins
    November 27, 2017 at 18:06

    On certain issues Bill Moyers can go jump in a lake. Currently he’s one of the most prominent and trusted liberals out there who’s incessantly fomenting hysteria over Russia-gate.

    Moyers is terrific on many of the issues of the day, but his Russophobia is dismaying at best and downright dangerous at worst.

    Go after Trump for the right reasons! Not for phony baloney anti-Moscow shibboleths.

    • November 29, 2017 at 15:08

      There are several reasons I personally have for some distrust on Mr Moyers, but I didn’t read anything on Russia in this commentary. You say go after Trump for the right reasons and not the phony baloney anti-Moscow shibboleths. What would be the right reasons? Again, I didn’t read anything about Russia.

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