Making History Again (And Again Nobody Notices)

Last year we featured a trip to Washington by a group of fundy pastors who wandered about, met with a few staffers, sang on the Capitol steps and then congratulated themselves roundly on how they’re changing the course of our nation’s future.

Well…this week they’re back at it again.

(notice the cover of the New Testament this guy is handing out)

…and of course the Internets are full of their tweets

…and again they make a photo op out of singing on steps

…and again it’s a lot more about being seen than actually accomplishing anything.

I’m sure Washington will never be the same.

148 thoughts on “Making History Again (And Again Nobody Notices)”

  1. So close! I could taste the butt-cushion glory!
    Well, blessgawd, ‘Merica!!
    But, seriously, this is sad. My mind can’t understand how people think posing and lining up on steps to sing will turn the wheels of justice. Then again, my mind can’t understand fundies.

    1. An internet each to Ricardo and BJU Grad!

      I, too, immediately thought how proud I am to be apart of the movement.

    2. You and Caleb couldn’t be more right, Ricardo. It is a great joy to be apart from that movement.

  2. “What a joy to be ‘apart’ of a movement…” Anyone else notice this changes the meaning quite a bit?

  3. Have some friends out there now for this, filling up my Facebook with pictures of everyone they talked too. A shame there isn’t one picture of what they did to actually touch someone in need and does anyone else feel like the patriotic worship of the pledge and flag is in direct disagreement with the command to be strangers and pilgrims?

    1. Yes they are some of the FEMA pastors I’m sure…the ones the gov’t already has lined up to lead their sheeple into the FEMA camps when the time comes 😛

  4. Senator Cruz bears a striking resemblance to Senator (Tail Gunner Joe) McCarthy.

    Maybe there’s really something to reincarnation?

    1. Good God, I rarely to never feel sorry for Senator Cruz, but I’m not sure even he deserves that.

  5. Lightweights . . . where are their AKs? This prayer thing ain’t getting nowhere.

    No joking, when I was pastor of a church I was looking back in some old records (late 70s early 80s, if I recall) and found a plan and signed resolution from the former pastor and members, vowing to go to the state capital armed with guns and refusing to leave unless demands were met. This was a Reformed Baptist church, but they were basically just Calvinist fundies with a mean streak. (They were big on Rushdoony in those days.) I don’t know what came of it, nothing I guess, but thankfully the people had mellowed somewhat by the time I got there.

  6. Their video production skills have improved since last year (if we ignore the Twitter pic where the Capitol is falling over backward), but their self-delusion is, if anything, worse.

    They seriously believe they are the first ever to tell these members of Congress and their staffs about prayer?

    1. The thought of Westboro Baptists armed with Bowie knives is going to keep me awake tonight. 😯

  7. Drat! If I’d known and been invited, I would have gone downtown to see the spectacle for myself. Maybe pretended to be an unsaved heathen (or just told them I’m Lutheran, which is the same thing), to score a free Bible.

    How long are they in town for? Maybe there’s still time for me to get a picture with a Fundy pastor for my Twitter…

  8. We got to go all the way up hear to Washington, DC. Thanks fer sending us. We brought all these sined bibles and a book where they said preyers are wrote down. Then we got to go to a sinaters office and get our pitcher made with the sinaters aids. He had a broom in his hand but we tuk a gud pitcher anyhow. We giv him a preyer book. He was reel nice and put that book in a special tin can on the floor of the rooom. Then we made a muvie and someone put it on that grate series of toobs called the interwebs so Jesus kin get all the gloory.

  9. Just watched it. They’re here through tomorrow. Hmm. I wonder if the laundry reaaalllly needs washing tomorrow. Maybe an expedition to Capitol Hill is in order. I can always swing by Eastern Market afterwards, like I’ve been needing to do. Think, think. If I end up not needing to work till later in the day, I just might. I’ll post pics if I see any Fundies. It’ll be just like a zoo trip!

    I love how the guy says this is their way of bringing prayer back to Capitol Hill. Has he never BEEN to Capitol Hill? They pray all the time! Before all those senate sessions and stuff. Most of the Southern Representatives and Senators are crazy Baptists, too.

    1. Hannah–do it, do it do it! Go with a friend that’s in on it to take the pictures. Tell your friend to snap a first normal pic of you with Bro. Fundy, but to be on the ready. Immediately turn to him with a big smile and say, “And just think–I’m Muslim!” or, “I didn’t think you’d be so friendly to lesbians!” or, even worse, “Hey! I’m Lutheran!” or something like that. Make sure your friend is ready to snap the second picture. THAT’s the one we want to see!

    2. Hannah, a thousand times over please do it. Maybe after you take the “grip and grin” photo with the Impotent Fundies, you could tell them (to expand on Bro. Nico’s Divinely-Inspired Suggestion) that you’re a Lesbian Muslim, and that you have 2 gay fathers. And you’re on your way to your job down at Planned Parenthood.

    3. Or, if you don’t want to go the sexuality route, talk about the need for more gun control. That should throw them for a loop.

    1. I meant to include this link in my post:

      If you have not read Greg Boyd’s book The Myth of a Christian Nation it is certainly worth the time. As a history major and a pastor I’m sick and tired of the claim we are a Christian nation. I have no idea how anyone can actually read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and conclude the U.S. is Christian.

      One glaring fact that so many Christians overlook is our nation came about as the result of a revolution, rebellion against the governing authorities. Please try to reconcile that with Romans 13. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to be an American and for the freedoms we have, but unfortunately too many “Christians” seem to confuse sound biblical theology with western democratic philosophy.

      I will step down from my soapbox.

      1. Amen!! I have been flogged by my fundy peoples for saying such things and you would have thought I cursed God.

  10. These guys are so optimistic. But, hey, politician would never tell voters what they wanted to hear just to get their votes, would they?

  11. Back again, ready to bitch about how much it pisses me off to see the church associating itself with America.

  12. Washington DC has a very high homeless population. Wonder if they are going to help them?

    1. Wonder how much was spent on those “prayer books”… I mean, if they gave one to each member of congress that’s 535. At say, $50 a book (what I would consider conservative for a gold embroidered leather-bound book) that’s about $27,000. More than enough to fund a homeless shelter for quite a while.

      1. What shall we say then? Knowest thou not the scriptures?

        “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he have faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them,” ‘Depart from me, you slothful freeloader, you leach on the system, you welfare queen, you godless, ragged beggar, you big government dependent–I say unto thee, warm and fill thyself!’–dost thou thinkest unto thyself that thou shalt escape the judgement of God?

        Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard, that the LORD, the Son of Man, Jesus our Saviour, was an hungered, and was thirsty, and was naked, and was sick, and was in prison, and in that Great and Final Day the King shall say unto them, “Inasmuch as ye have done it, or not done it, unto the least of these my brethren”?

        But thou, secure in thy riches or thy great desire for riches, unwilling that any such vile, dirty lowlife should require thy care, grasping thy wealth as if it had by gotten by thy own strength–indeed, believing that where the spirit of the LORD is there is Aynrandian libertarianism– have chosen the mark of the prize of the high calling of upward mobility, and God will appoint thee thy portion with the hypocrites.

        (Taken from the KJV and the Gospel According to Nico)

      2. I noticed that too. Just another example of IFB pastors spending God’s tithes and offerings (given by hard-working church members) on opulence, extravagance, and over-all vanity. I believe there will be a reckoning at the Judgment for things like this where some will be amazed at their lack of reward. But, that is up to the Lord…

  13. I know there’s lots of hating on Ted Cruz here, but I just wanted to mention that I actually follow him on Twitter and I’ve seen no mention of his meeting with these pastors, nor has he retweeted anything they’ve said that tagged him. So I have a feeling he was just being friendly and making time for a group of Christians, which is a large portion of his support base. Anyway, just mentioning that to prove, again, what little deal these guys actually are and how little history they’re making, if their favorite politician can’t even be bothered to show them a little Twitter love. LOL

    1. I have a feeling Teddy was just sucking up to some potential contribution bundlers for his 2016 run for President.
      He’s a Texas politician. I know his type from of old.

      1. I’m not even going to ask why you follow a certain lying slimeball on Twitter. That’s your business.

        1. I guess differences of political opinion are not tolerated around here?

          (And I say that as an Independent who usually votes Republican but doesn’t worship the GOP by any stretch.)

          Mag is right. All politicians are slimeballs, just about. Goes with the territory. If we had to screen out all the slimeballs, we’d have no politicians left. Not that that would necessarily be a Bad Thing.

        2. Ted Cruz is a very special brand of crazy, and really should not be used as representative of anything but Ted Cruz.

        3. No politician is perfect, but they aren’t all the same.
          Cruz is one of the worst of the worst.

    2. Thank you for saying that about Ted Cruz.

      The leftists on this site have already made up their minds about Ted Cruz b/c of a picture.

      All the Obamabots on this site have never visited his church now, have they? But, they paint with a broad brush.

      It’s funny also how the leftists never mention Obama’s anti American anti Semite Pastor Jeremiah “God hates America, it’s in the Bible” Wright!

      And you wonder why commenting on this site is WAAYYYY down.

      1. If 132 comments is “WAAYYYY down” then I guess that’s a cross we’ll just have to bear.

      2. Jeanette, as far as I know there is a pretty good mix of political leanings represented at SFL. You are welcome to your opinion of Cruz, but I really doubt people are criticizing him for a photo. Those of us who do not like Cruz have more substantial complaints, I think.

        And for what it’s worth, this is one very left leftist who did not vote for, nor do I care much for, Obama. Not every leftist is a Democrat.

        However, I will say this about Obama and his relationship with Wright. Wright’s controversial comments came to light in March 2008. Obama immediately distanced himself from the comments and public spoke of his outrage against them. In May 2008 Obama resigned his membership in Wright’s church. Do YOU want to be held accountable for every stupid thing your current or former pastors have said?

      3. “The leftists on this site have already made up their minds about Ted Cruz b/c of a picture.”

        What are you talking about? What picture?
        My opinion of Cruz is based on more or less everything he’s ever said and done. I live in Texas and I’m very familiar with the Canadian carpetbagger’s record.

        Obama’s drop in popularity since he was first elected is almost entirely due to his taking conservative, not liberal, positions and actions. If he had stayed true to his original platform, his base would still be with him.

  14. It’s a simple 4 step process:

    1. Completely separate from the real world in every facet of life and insist your congregation do same.
    2. Exist in total non-relevance in your community and society due to step one.
    3. Gather with other ministers of like cult to march on the Capitol for numerous photo and social media opps.
    4. Claim persecution from the media – which doesn’t even know you exist due to steps 1 & 2 – due to the lack of media coverage of said event @ Capitol.

    1. Honestly it reminds me of that bit in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy about the people who were so mortally insulted by an overheard random scrap of conversation that wasn’t even about them that they jumped into their space armada and came to wipe out the infidels, but they had forgotten to check their relative scale so they were all accidentally swallowed by one of the infidels’ pets and nobody ever knew they were there.

  15. We would normally have had a meeting of some of the pastors in Virginia today where there is normally two rounds of good preaching. Instead, the pastor in charge of the meeting this month (Troy Calvert) cancelled it in lieu of this political rally. I despise politics in the pulpit and would much rather hear some preaching that can help me and my church family, instead of “making a statement” in DC. I believe the only statement believers in Jesus Christ need to make is through their preaching of the Gospel and teaching of Bible doctrine as they live like Jesus; not schmoozing up to politicians! What a waste!

  16. “…change the course of history.”

    They think so highly of themselves and their “mission”.

    I think the only thing they accomplished was scoring yet another guys’ trip to D.C. on the backs of the people in the pew.

    1. Well, maybe they did, in a teeny-tiny sort of way, not the kind of thing that makes headlines.

  17. I live about an hour away from D.C. and I can tell you that this sort of thing goes on all the time. Groups show up, meet with Senators or whoever, put on a demonstration and leave and the next bunch shows up to meet with the Senator, put on some sort of demonstration and move on and the next group….you get the idea. I’m sure it all becomes a blur after a while. Nothing history making about it.

    1. I don’t live in DC, but I’ve been there a number of times, and yes, that’s how it is. On any random weekday, you will see multiple groups like this one in and around the Capitol and demonstrating on the Mall.

        1. There’s more reasons than just “lazy” that Congress likes to get out of town on Thursday for the weekends.

        2. In theory, they’re spending Friday through Sunday or Monday meeting with constituents in their districts. Some do this much more than others, of course.

  18. Hey! It’s the Million Man March!

    Looks like they fell a few men short again. Better luck next time, gents!

  19. Ah yes, another chance for the MOGs to wallow in their self-glorification. I’m sure much yarn will be spun as they preach at their congregations next Sunday…

  20. If the best story they have to tell is about meeting a guy with two Baptist roommates…… I would venture to guess they haven’t made much of an impact.

    1. That story is kind of wonderful in its absurdity, isn’t it?
      No one can satirize Fundies as well as they satirize themselves.

        1. My theory is that these are the Two Witnesses of Rev. 11. What else can explain the big fuss being made over this D. C. Field Trip?

  21. Crap! Please disregard my above comment. Please!

    I was trying to mock these pastors by comparing their little demonstration to the Promise Keepers “Stand in the Gap” march on Washington in 1997 (modeled on the Million Man March) (thanks, Wikipedia). Of course, I meant no disrespect to the actual Million Man March of African American men on the national mall – which was indeed an inspiring event.

    Actually, Darrell, if it’s possible to delete posts, could you delete my post above?

    Sorry, SFL readers…

  22. Was that Pastor Mike Ditka in the second clip?
    Honestly, prayer was integral to the founding of this country? Umm, how about genocide? Maybe the title of this post should have been “making up history again”. Maybe that is why they yearn for those good ol days. You didn’t have to reach the infidel, you could just kill them. Or when they yearn for the ’50’s, could it be because that was when plastic Christianity and hitting on the secretary was widely accepted?

    1. Hitting on the secretary?

      How’s about Clinton having an affair with an intern which is against the law, but leftist defended him!

      Did you vote for him twice?

      1. Bill cheating on his wife was disgusting and anyone defending his actions was also disgusting. Did you just need to get that off your chest or was it apropos of anything?

  23. I also noticed that their “prayer book” (PRAYER BOOK?!?) looks like it costs upwards of 50.00 or so with its case, compilation, and cover, while the New Testament looks like garbage in comparison (I think I saw one of those in the dollar store the other day *sarcasm*).

    Way to treat the Word of God, guys. Way to go…

    1. Last time around, they gave each Congressional office a Bible that they said cost $250 ($250 x 535 = $133,750.00). So the prayer book must be an effort to come up with different swag this year. Honestly, though, its contents sound like the kind of book I see in the bargain bin at the used book store, or on the book shelf in my local “everything’s $1” store.

      1. I am sorry, I just need to say this, because it irks me to no end. These pastors have the gall to spend exorbitant amounts of money on a field trip to DC (including gas, food, prayer books, etc.) to schmooze up to politicians and “make a statement”, while churches like the one I pastor struggle to meet their mortgage every month. Oh! What we could do with $133,750 or even $20,000!

        Now, I am not complaining against God, because He has always met our every need. I am complaining against the irresponsible spending of pastors that have opulent church buildings (whereas we have to rent one), steady salaries (whereas our church cannot pay one) and large congregations (whereas we have a few, faithful, growing believers). The hypocrisy and lack of true Christianity blows my mind sometimes. You would not believe the number of preachers “praying for us” that would not give a dollar in support or a family to help us do the work of the ministry. It is reminiscent of James 2:15-18 where a “Christian” tells a poor man that needs clothing and food “God bless you. Go, and be fed.” without giving him any help.

        Again, I am happy to be the pastor of our small church and am content with the lot God has given us. God is doing great things here. We have seen God lift up the hurting and make whole the broken. I am not whining or complaining; financially, it is what it is and my wife and I have decided to stick it out, with God’s help and grace. Thankfully, He has provided both in abundance and has provided some pastors that actually prove their faith by their works. But, it is none of these guys that could do so much more… Thanks for listening… (rant completed)

        1. I think what we’re seeing is the truth of Scripture that says those who would be rich fall into temptation and a snare. Pastors of large churches with a large budget have a great temptation to do things that will build their own personal kingdom instead of considering what will build the kingdom of GOD around the nation and the world.

    2. I fully agree. Way to treat the Word of God. I wonder if this prayer book includes such worthy prayers as this one:

      Lord, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? (Ps. 35:10)

      And, in order that the “Christian” politicians may prioritize their commitments, perhaps the book could also include verses such as these:

      He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want. (Prov. 22:16)

      The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it. (Prov. 29:7)

      What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts. (Isaiah 3:15–and there’s that interesting phrase “Lord of hosts” that we discussed a few days ago, again in the context of God’s defense of the poor and oppressed, not in defense of Christian dominionists’ bid for power.)

      [Red letter here] But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:13-14; see also the parable following.)

      I could continue. For quite a long time. So much so that one might get the impression that, in God’s mind, social justice, care for the poor and needy, having a generous safety net that is not dependent on the recipient’s ability or even desire to return the favor, is pretty important. But these verses are always spiritualized away, applied to some other situation, doubted, ignored, contradicted, God just COULDN’T have meant such a thing.

      And I already know, but if one wishes to do so, go ahead and quote to me the verses about how if a man doesn’t work neither should he eat. Quote to me the verses about a man being worse than an infidel if he cannot care for his household. Let’s battle Scripture with Scripture. Get out the old Strong’s concordance and see what thus saith the LORD. Warning! Warning! This endeavor may be harmful to your political leanings. And, perhaps, your religious affiliations.

      1. Nico,

        You referred to a verse that tells us, “if a man doesn’t work neither should he eat.” I would have to respectfully say that’s not the teaching of 2 Thessalonians 3:10. That verse tells us that, “… if any would not work, neither should he eat.” It does seems clear that if an able bodied person refuses to work, then he should miss a few meals in order to change his way of thinking. Back in Jamestown, there were some lazy gentlemen who thought they were above manual labor. John Smith invoked that verse and demanded they work or go hungry. That, however, is a completely different situation from that of people who are willing to work and who are seeking work, but who haven’t yet found gainful employment. These people most certainly should not be denied food.

        This isn’t an original thought, but those mentioned in Matthew chapter 20 who were standing idle at about the eleventh hour weren’t lazy, they were just the last workers to be chosen. When it came time for the laborers to receive their wages, the last chosen were paid the same as the big, strapping fellows who were picked first. So if someone’s hungry and willing to work,
        if we’re able to hire them we should do so. If we can’t do that, we still have a moral obligation to help feed and clothe them if it is at all in our power to do so. Naturally we have the same moral obligation to help those who are incapable of working. Same principle’s involved with unemployment insurance, if someone’s job is outsourced, there’s nothing unscriptural about sending them a check for a period of time until they are able to find a new way to provide for themselves.

        I know you were arguing this entirely from the other side and your quote may very well have been referring to those who misuse 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Still, I really hate hearing that verse misquoted.

        1. Forgive me, Ben. It’s not exactly clear to me whether we even have a disagreement about that verse. I *think* we’re on the same page, or at least in the same chapter, but based on your comment it’s hard for me to tell.

          No, I don’t think using this verse as divine support for stinginess (what we now call “austerity,” I suppose) is warranted. I was being a little bit of a wise-acre, indicating that if you want to get into a one-up bible verse challenge on the issue of Christian duty to the poor, a few isolated verses that seem to suggest stinginess isn’t going to get you very far. With me anyway.

          I know that in some of my comments I’ve come down pretty hard on the bible. I have what might be called a “low” view of scripture, in that I believe it was written and edited by men who may not have really been hearing the voice of God on certain issues. I think some verses are best to be ignored. However, the teaching of the bible on our duty to the poor is, to me, one of the highlights of the bible and worthy of more attention than it usually gets from the Christian Right.

          Even if we still disagree, hopefully this clarifies our
          disagreement! 🙂

        2. I get what both of you are saying! Nico, definitely I get your sarcasm as you were saying what Bible verses people might bring up to “counter” all the verses about helping the needy.

          Ben’s point was just to clarify something about that verse. You wrote, “if a man doesn’t work neither should he eat.” And he is clarifying that the word isn’t really “doesn’t” because that could include ANY and ALL reasons for not working and is instead is “WOULD NOT work” which implies that they are capable of work but choose not to. THOSE are the guys that verse is speaking against. Those are the guys who shouldn’t be indulged, not just anyone who doesn’t work. He just wanted to clarify that point hinging on a helping verb because how one interprets that verse and others like it DOES influence one’s political and personal choices.

          So I didn’t really see him as arguing against you as just wanting to clarify a point in a Bible verse that he’s probably heard misused from the pulpit.

      2. Maybe this is a non sequitar, but in The Onion’s book, “Our Dumb Century,” I believe there was a “Depression Era” headline that read something like, “Plutocrats Amused, Pleased by Plight of American Worker.”

  24. All snark aside, this leads to an important discussion about the relationship of the Church to the world’s power structures and the mission and telos of the Church. I think NT Wright has some good things to say here. Seriously, though, if the power of Jesus’ kingdom comes through politics, we are doing a really crappy job.

  25. I am delighted that these (imperfect) men of faith went to DC and sang on the Capitol steps. Change is desperately needed in this country!

    1. And precisely what sort of change is going to occur just because a bunch of guys went and sang the national anthem on the steps of the Capitol?

      1. There’s no time for thinking through details when you got a really string bad idea going! Or as King Julian once said in Madagascar: “Let’s hurry up, before we all come to our senses”!

    2. I don’t mind at all that they went. As Americans, they have a right to meet with their representatives and have their voices heard. I also think it must have been exciting to gather with others of like mind to sing on the capital steps. That would be cool.

      My issue is that they’re calling this “changing history.” They’re not facing down angry mobs or antagonistic policemen with clubs and German shepherds. Some humility and perspective would be more becoming of ministers of Christ.

      1. Pastor’s Wife, I think you and I are often on different political sides, but you have expressed my exact view here. Pastors are citizens, and all citizens have the right and sometimes the duty to tell their concerns to public officials and to advocate for what’s right. So I don’t fault these men for going to Washington to meet their Senators and Representatives.

        But crowing about how they’re “changing history” and “bringing prayer back” to Washington (as if it ever left)? That’s the kind of hubris that is both deplorable and extremely funny.

        1. But crowing about how they’re “changing history” and “bringing prayer back” to Washington (as if it ever left)?

          I agree it never left. As a matter of fact, I’ve been there numerous times, and prayed every time. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I always figured there were residents as well as visitors praying.

        2. The problem, as I see it (perhaps through a glass darkly, what do I know?), is not that citizens who happen to be Christians are bringing their concerns to their representatives so they might be heard. That’s not the goal of these clowns. Their sermons, books, FB pages, tweets, broadcasts, and actions speak unequivocally. They don’t want dialogue. They don’t want an open society. They don’t want democracy. They want to be in power. They want “Christian” sharia. They want to bring all things under subjection to their particular brand of Christianity.

          They claim they want to bring America back. Seriously–back to what? Jim Crow? Pre-scientific understanding of the world? Back to the time when wimin knew their place and stayed in it? Back to when everyone said “Yes sir” and “No ma’am”? Back to when they didn’t have to know about the existence of anyone different than themselves? Back to their mythical utopia of a “Christian” society where everyone loved the Lord Jesus and lived in his righteous good favor?

          Sorry. They need to learn some history from books other than ABeka or BJU. (Zinn would be mighty helpful in rounding out their gappy knowledge.) Until then, they can sing on the capital steps all they want. I ain’t having none of it.

        3. @Nico: In these days of the Godless Internet, thousands of pages of primary sources from the Godly Good Old Days are available to view for the cost of an online connection (and probably thousands more if you have a college account or some other way to get past certain paywalls).
          Some things I see in those scanned documents from Ye Olde Vyctorian Tymes, when farmers were farmers, paterfamiliae led morning prayers, and women’s highest ideal was being of the class that didn’t have to drag themselves to work every day:

          1. Side-eyeing of corporal punishment. In general, primary sources regard it as a tool in the toolbox, but not the only one and not even the first one to reach for.

          2. A demand for female dignity and self-determination–more than that, an assumption that women have control and make the major decisions in the household sphere. Women inspect a prospective new house to determine whether it is fit for purchase. Women work, even if at “genteel” occupations, and they keep the money they make; if they don’t work, they are seen as the rightful family bookkeepers, and husbands who dole their wives out a measly allowance and take the rest for their own amusements are given the side-eye. Women organize committees to clean up cities. Even women who do not favor suffrage do these things.

          3. A love of science and technology, a keen interest in new discoveries about hygiene and nutrition, and an eagerness to try new inventions.

          But the people who bang on the most about the Godly Good Old Days want children to be beaten to make them holy, demand that women be silent and pliant, and hate and fear science. Gosh, it’s almost as though none of them ever cracked a book that one of them didn’t write.

        4. Precisely. An interesting question to play around with: Why does the fundy idea of Old-Timey society and religion ignore the more lenient, open, and liberal expressions of past American life and focus almost exclusively on strict control, closed-mindedness, and stinginess? Why do they want to “bring America back” to what is some of the more regrettable tendencies of human nature?

        5. *should expect to keep the money they make

          Women not being able to keep money for the family needs away from the fingers of alcoholic husbands was one of the big motivators of early-20th-century feminism, and also of Prohibition.

      2. That’s it, right there.

        Cross out “changing history,” and substitute “taking a field trip,” and you’re pretty much on the money.

        I enjoy visiting DC, too. It can be inspiring, for sure. But I’m not deluded enough to think I’m changing history or restoring prayer to the Capitol, or any such thing.

        1. Besides the epidemic self-importance of fundamentalist pastors, I think there’s an underlying compulsion to make everything cosmic, or at least serious; just doing something because you enjoy it is somehow sinful. On one end you have the poor Maxwells, who have to hasten to assure the Internet (monitored by their gloomy, dour preacherfathergod) that they aren’t really taking a vacation, it’s a Godly mission-type road trip. On the other you have (hopefully had) Doug Phillips (is a tool), who is (hopefully was) able to sell a series of overpriced secular package tours to the faithful by making them sound like arduous spiritual quests.

      3. Singing on the capitol steps is a rather ego-centric gesture, like something a teen-age girl would do. “It’s all about me boys! Look at me!”

        I’ve been to DC many times, and each time I’m overwhelmed by the greatness of those who have gone before me, and by my own insignificance. Let these piss-ass pastors go to the WWII memorial; to the Martin Luther King Memorial; the Korean War Memorial; or to Arlington National Cemetery and preen around like they’re something special, when they’re really specks on the ass of history.

    1. These aren’t real Christians. I didn’t see a wooden sign with “KJV 1611 4-Ever” carved into it. I didn’t see the Baptist flag. I saw a wimin preacher or deacon. The preacher was wearing a hat and a dress. He was carrying some kind of New Age Talking Stick. The folks looked like they were swatting flies with that sign of the cross thing. He read the prayer instead of making it up on the spot like God intended. Indeed, the whole service reeked of formalism, ritualism, liberalism, and a bunch of other isms I cain’t think of right now. God would never hear prayers from such people.

      (You know I’m being sarcastic, Jay. I thought it was very nice! And a comforting thought that such prayers are being regularly said in a godless city as Washington!)

      1. Fear not, Nico! Got your satire.

        The cloth strips on the bendy poles are to swat mosquitoes with.

        1. 🙂 That reminds me of a funny story. Funny to me, anyway.

          Once, while I was serving in the altar (Orthodox liturgy), we arrived at the point in the service where the priest takes the cloth covering the chalice and diskos (called an Aer in our tradition) and waves it over the bread and wine. He leaned over to me and said, “Do you know why we do this?” This is a beautiful action, full of symbolism that I had dutifully studied out, but his question caught me by surprise and I wasn’t quick with an answer. I was thinking, “He really wants me to go into the whole symbolism of this right now?” He waited a few seconds and said, “It’s to keep the bugs out of the wine.”

          There’s almost always a practical reason for liturgical accouterments or actions to go along with the symbolic explanation.

        2. nico,

          In all seriousness, what do you think was the Biblical reason for the wave offering?

        3. You’re asking me to reply in all seriousness. Me? I’ll try. Honestly, I don’t know. Probably something to do with giving back to God the fruits of the harvest. But I’m guessing here. May I wikipedia it? 🙂

        4. A wave offering – a country church where my husband worked for a while had a pastor who proudly proclaimed that he’d been to college for four years and never learned a thing. 0.0

          At some revival meeting, he said we were going to have a wave offering. We’d all take bills out of our pockets and wave them around and other people could snatch your bill and wave it – heehee, such fun! – until the ushers (or the evangelist) came along and collected them all. He called it a wave offering. I was mortified.

        5. Our church used to indulge in the “wave offering” silliness too! Our pastor liked to use the line that “you can only wave paper money – you can’t waive your spare change!”

    2. I have a soft spot in my heart for the National Cathedral, having attended a number of services and events there while I was a student at Patrick Henry College. I have to say, though, that many of its clergy tended toward the liberal fringes of Christianity, often accompanied by a rather contemptuous attitude towards those who did not agree. I recall one sermon by Canon Sulerud in which she blasted opponents of more church acceptance/tolerance of homosexuals as being unwilling to engage in “listening.” Regardless of my own opinion on that particular issue, I feel that it is the liberal wing of the Episcopal church that is guilty of not “listening” to the conservative wing’s concerns on that issue. In another sermon, she described the book of Numbers as being “an example of using God to justify genocide of indigenous people.” Again, while I understood her point, I found her blunt way of expressing it to be somewhat disrespectful towards the Scriptures. So, yes, while the worship and traditions of the National Cathedral are beautiful and inspiring, some of its teachings leave something to be desired.

      1. I won’t comment on the homosexuality debate just now (because I’m kind of tired of people debating it), but in the Torah and some of the other Old Testament books, genocide is seen as being just fine, as long as it’s “our” side doing the killing. There are even place where God orders genocide, and punishes leaders for sparing conquered people’s lives.
        This is one of the major problems I have with the Old Testament.

        1. When the Creator commands the genocide, it is just. When the creature does it, it’s murder. It’s a question of property rights.

        2. Yeah, I have all kinds of problems with that theory. But you’re kidding, aren’t you?

  26. By the way, both the House and the Senate have full-time chaplains, each with six-figure salaries, to make sure that praying is done.

  27. I believe the Senate & House still open with prayer daily, although I think the current Senate chaplain is black, so as far as these guys are concerned his prayers may not count for that reason let alone the fact it’s likely a non-sectarian, etc prayer (which they likely wouldn’t even notice until someone told them it was).

    1. The other day, the Dalai Lama opened the Senate with prayer and actually told them, “I am going to pray to Buddha.” I was rather surprised that this did not generate any particular controversy. Then my wife reminded me that people can only hate one thing in any given category at a time, so right now people hate Islam and thus don’t have the mental capacity to simultaneously hate Buddhism.

  28. “The prayers of some of our Presidents…….”

    And we can all guess which President has been left out, can’t we children?

  29. Nico,

    Apologies for my inarticulateness, Sir!

    I’m real sure we’re on the same page when it comes to our understanding of our moral responsibility towards the poor. I was just pointing out that I HATE HATE HATE it when people misquote “would not work” as “does not work!” The two phrases have completely different meanings!

    1. Ahhhh, gotcha. You’re right, I wasn’t worried too much about an exact quotation here. I was just using it in the way those who resist any kind of “redistribution” might use it.

    2. And now that I’ve read all the way to the bottom of the thread, I can see that my explanation above was not needed at all. lol

      1. Thanks so much PW–I think Ben and I were trying to clarify ourselves at the same time you solved the problem for us!

      1. Big Gary, I’m sure Bro. Guy “Ultra-conservative” Beaumont was spending wisely. Without doubt, since these patriots are so adamant that the government cut spending for critical services to the poor, elderly, working class, etc., such a conservative as Bro. Guy would know how to do without.

        Besides, he’s doing the work of the Lord. It’s not just any old everyone that can boast of standing outside of a gubmit official’s office to say a prayer.

    1. Regarding the second tweet: he has apostolic authority to declare whether certain legislators are “saved” or not?? I had almost forgotten the Baptist game of categorizing everyone you know into “saved” and “lost” categories. (Of course, as someone pointed out above, in most of these preachers’ minds, “saved” = Republicans and “lost” = Democrats.)

      1. If that’s the way it breaks down, it’s the “saved” ones who keep shutting down the government and blocking any legislation (even things like the Farm Bill, which have no real opposition) from getting passed.

  30. So, apparently, they think that handing out a book with prayers printed in it is the same thing as bringing prayers back to Washington. The extent to which these people fetishize books (e.g., KJV, hymn book, now prayer book too) borders on the grossly pagan. I really think that they believe that these books actually have some magical powers as talismans against evil.

    1. Not only that, but they believe that other books, such as post-17th-century translations of the Bible, have both volition and supernatural powers. No wonder they won’t read any books except their own.

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