Mayor Pete Had a Good Week, Mike Pence Had a Sad, and the “Evangelical” Leaders Had a Cow

lolcat has a sad

I know some of my posse disagree, but I like Mayor Pete, and I think he might The One.

One, he’s likeable. Likeability is an intangible factor. It isn’t all that correlated, I think, with whether you are actually a good person—let along whether you’re a person with good ideas, or a person with the full set of leadership skills needed for an important job. But it is, nonetheless, hugely important, even if we shy away from talking about it.

Barack Obama said that Hillary Clinton was “likeable enough.” That may well be, but she wasn’t likeable enough to get the 70,000 votes she needed in three midwestern states. This time, we had damn well better pick a really likeable person.

Two, Mayor Pete is extraordinarily intelligent and extraordinarily erudite, but he wears his intelligence and his erudition lightly.

Third, I think it’s of the highest importance that Buttigieg is trying to get inside the evangelicals’ heads. It would be nice to peel some of them off from their nauseating tribe. Impossible, you say? Maybe so. But think about this.

To be a Franklin Graham/Mike Pence evangelical is to bear an enormous burden of cognitive dissonance. To suffer from constant, high level cognitive dissonance is to be unstable in your thinking. To be unstable in your thinking means that there’s at least the bare possibility you might listen to a different point of view.

The core of the Sermon on the Mount is a message of radical inclusiveness, radical caring, and radical love. I saw Stacey Abrams quoted recently as saying that Jesus would be a progressive. But that means more than saying that Jesus would vote Democratic, but if the Republicans won, he would try to be tolerant and make the best of it.

No, my friends, if you read the literal words of the Sermon on the Mount, you see that caring for the weak, the stranger, and the oppressed is more than something that’s nice to do, if you get around to it, and it’s not too much trouble. Instead, it’s a matter of whether your immortal soul is damned to hell.

That’s not what I believe. But we’re not talking about what I believe or don’t believe. We’re talking about the literal words of Jesus, as purportedly recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. And we’re not talking about people who worship Zeus or Odin. We’re talking about people who claim to worship Jesus and claim to take the Bible literally.

No wonder that, according to the New Republic, “the Religious Right is terrified of Pete Buttigieg.”No wonder that Mike Pence had a very bad week—even though his “religious freedom” was in no way prejudiced. Mr. Pence has the freedom to espouse any religious beliefs he chooses to espouse, and to give his religion any name he chooses. If he wants to scoot on over to the local Hindu temple, prostrate himself before Shiva, and then walk out claiming to be a Muslim, then he enjoys the freedom to do that. But he does not have the freedom to escape the discomfort that arises when someone points out the inconsistency with his claiming to be a Christian, yet acting in ways that Rabbi Jesus damned to hell.

If you weren’t raised in Sunday School, you may not know the 25thchapter of Matthew. If you are Mike Pence, you may have forgotten. Just read the words—the literal words of the King James Bible, If you take them literally, and if you mistreat the poor and the oppressed, then you are going to hell.

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Aardvark Prophesies

the Greenbriar

AND LO, IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT ST. JERRY, ST. GARY, AND ST. FRANKLIN SHALL GATHER THEMSELVES TOGETHER IN THE UPPER ROOM OF THE GREENBRIER, FROM WHENCE THEY SHALL REPAIR TO DELIVER A NEW REVELATION UNTO THE PEOPLE

The immediately preceding post comments on the “evangelical” “leaders’” expulsion of Jeff Session from their island—and their promise to Trump that they will cheerfully lead their segment of the Republican base loudly to applaud any obstruction of justice in which he might wish to indulge. And see also Once-loyal Alabama delegation gives Sessions the cold shoulder—a situation that has resulted in my friend Hans’ experiencing intense Schadenfreude.

So, for the moment, Dr. Faustus is still sticking with the devil, hoping against hope that the really bad bargain he made will work out in the end, after all.

But Faustian bargains never work out.

Aardvark still prophesies that, when the jig is about up, the court evangelicals will gather at some suitable watering spot—I strongly recommend the Greenbrier, where so many corporate conspiracies have been hatched—and receive a revelation from the Holy Ghost that God no longer supports Donald Trump.

If they could throw their good bud Jeff Sessions under the bus, then, Donald, the same fate surely awaits you.

And here is the icing on the cake: the “evangelical leaders” are accusing Sessions of being a hypocrite.

pot and kettle

Meanwhile, In Other News

Facing severe criticism over its flag policy during John McCain Adulation Week, the White House has changed its policy.

white house flag

God’s Choice for Our Next President

President Pence

I think we may be forgiven for deriving some innocent merriment from the enchanted ramblings of Pastor Kilpatrick. But, all seriousness aside, let’s think this through.

My name is not Nostradamus, but I can apply basic logic to the known facts.

The good ship Trump is taking on water. Faster and faster. Only this morning the boss of the National Inquirer was granted immunity to tell his story about illegal collusion with Trump.

God’s chosen vessel is headed for the iceberg.

So, though I am not Nostradamus, let me make this prediction.

Sometime in the coming months, Falwell, Jr., and Graham, Jr. and their ilk with have a secret conference at some nice, secluded resort.

They will solemnly declare that God has withdrawn His mandate from the Trumpster. They will conclude that God, and their constituents, would be just fine if Vice President Unctuous were promoted to the presidency.

And they will solemnly petition the Democrats running the House of Representatives to pass Articles of Impeachment.

The sooner the better.

Trump ship