Christian Right Weekly Round-Up: Slaughter of the Innocents, a Light is Lost

unnamed-13Pastor Pillow here.

Please bow your heads and turn in your hymnals to No. 10.

’Cause I know I don’t belong / Here in heaven

This morning, I am the bearer of mournful news.

A light has gone out in our Universe.

It is the light of Hailey Owens, a girl abducted earlier this week in broad daylight in front of neighbors as she walked two blocks from a friend’s house to her home.

She was ten.  Her smile was infectious.  Here is her picture.

Hailey was murdered within hours of her kidnapping.

She was a light.  And an evil darkness uprooted her existence, her potential.  Her everything.

Fuck evil darkness.

I considered providing a TV news channel link with the “timeline” of Hailey’s tragedy.  But I decided not to do so, as you would have had to suffer through a furniture & mattress store commercial that sits atop the media timeline.

Because, you know, in order to learn the chronology by which a monster can rape the Universe of light, you should also contemplate purchasing a new bed for the guestroom.

Items are 50% off over at Arwood’s, by the way.  Way to go, KMBC.  Way to go, Interweb.

(Media pornography.)

This past Tuesday evening, while sitting at my desk, I noticed that an Amber Alert in faraway Missouri had been issued for Hailey.

Amber Alerts freeze me in my tracks.  Mock me if you will, but Amber Alerts cause me to stop and pray.  They make me beg the Creator of the Universe to spare the light that has been stolen.  I prayed for Hailey for several hours.

For reasons beyond my understanding, the Christian Trinity (the God I believe in) allowed a monster to rule the day.  That God watched Hailey being murdered, watched her lifeless body being stuffed into “trash bags,” according to officials.

Christian Deity, please explain what these officials mean by the plural of “trash bag”?  You were there.  Is it what I think it means?

This is not the first time that God watched a monster stealing light from the Universe.

In case you were unaware, this is apparently one of the really special features of our Universe.  God has given human beings the freedom to choose whether or not to kill children and stuff their dead bodies into “trash bags.”

Apparently the Universe wouldn’t be nearly as special without this freedom.

(I would like to opt for a somewhat less special Universe.)

Tens of thousands of monsters roam the Earth as we speak.  And tens of thousands of monsters have preceded us.  Killers.  Tyrants.  Abusers.  Dictators with swastika armbands.  Arizona and Kansas legislators.

The acid of hate trickles and streams from we advanced hominids in so many ways.

Investigators have offered some pretty disgusting information about the monster (whose name I refuse to type) who stole Hailey’s light.  He had a three-ring binder of pornographic images of children.  Three rings.  The monster was a circus ringmaster of his own darkness.

Who knows the accrued daily decisions, the genetic inclinations, the incomprehensible complexity of being that led this monster down the path of darkness, that caused him to borrow his parents’ car last Tuesday, that compelled him to snuff out the life of an innocent young girl?

That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.

However monsters are formed, they are of the same flesh and blood as you and I.

How are you different?  How am I different?

Let me share an episode of personal mini-monstrosity with you.

Last year, I walked onto my porch and observed an infestation of hundreds of disgusting creatures that had overtaken my domicile.  My first thought was that my house was about to be overrun by the earworm Ceti eel creatures of Star Trek: Wrath of Khan.


Normally I am the kind of person who carefully picks up spiders in paper towels and returns them to nature.  But for reasons unknown, that day I was overcome with six-legged murderous rage.  I ran back into my house and reached for a can of Raid.  I returned, finger pressed upon the death button, and executed every motherfucking last one of those insect wannabes.

Eventually, my conscience got the better of me.  I did some research to learn what those larvae would have become.  Here’s a picture.

Yeah, me, the Final Solution Architect of ladybugs.

There is of course a moral chasm between the monster who robbed the Universe of Hailey and your author, who eliminated a hatching of ladybugs from Planet Earth.

But for one brief moment I did not follow my own personal call to light.  And darkness won the day.

Wherever you are in your own personal spiritual journey, a reminder:  do not let darkness win the day.

Let light prevail.

I have this modest national voice.  And with it I have decided to wear my personal spiritual journey on my sleeve.

I was raised in an abusive fundamentalist home.  And Forward Progressives has been kind enough to allow me to share quite a few moments about my transformation over time from a worldview of conservative hate to one of progressive openness.

Here’s one such article.  Here’s another.

Another moment from my childhood:  I grew up with an abusive father.  Following one particularly horrible episode of abuse against my mother by my father, she took me aside and told me, “From this moment on, Arik, you have the choice to be different.  You can be the husband who brings flowers, the father who is kind to his children.  You can be different.”

I was 14 at the time.

Today at the age of 40, I hear those words every day.  I live by them.

I cannot tell you why Hailey’s light was allowed to be plucked and erased.  I cannot tell you why we live in a world where monsters are allowed to steal so many lights.

But I can tell you that you have a choice.  That today you can be a light.

Or you can choose to walk in darkness.

And whether 5,000 people or 1 million people read this article today, if just one of us embraces light as a result, then the world will have progressed.

Let us all strive to make sure that Hailey’s light has not been snuffed in vain.

Choose life.  Choose light.  Whenever, wherever.  And as much as you can.

Behold, the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up.  This is the one Sunday you don’t want to be one of the five articles below:

5.  The Prophylactic Thinness of Religious Freedom, according to Christian Broadcasting Network:  “Jindal: Obama Hypocritical on Religious Freedom” 

Bobby Jindal, it’s not too late to embrace the light.  Same for Pat Robertson.  Let go your love of office, your love of fame.  Stop cultivating hate.  Start giving a fig about the fate of your fellow human beings.

The sum of religious freedom is not a puddle of swimming spermatozoa.

Nearly 300,000 people in the state of Louisiana are being denied Medicaid coverage because Jindal & Co. refuse to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act.

Governor Jindal, their blood is on your hands.  You, sir, are presently enveloped in darkness.

4.  Pentecostal Prayer Steals Another Light or Two, over at Christianity Today:  “Parents Sentenced to Prison for Belief in Healing Power of Prayer” 

“Among all adults [Evangelicals, presumably], about 38 percent believe a parent has the right to refuse treatment for an infant with a life-threatening diagnosis.”

The Light of the two offspring of Philadelphia Pentecostals Herbert and Catherine Schaible have also been stolen from our Universe.

Why?

Because they refused to present their children for medical care for treatable forms of pneumonia.

Instead, these parents decided to pray their children to death.

“‘We believe in divine healing, that Jesus shed blood for our healing and that he died on the cross to break the devil’s power,’ Herbert Schaible told police after Brandon’s death.”

Can someone PLEASE tell me how these parents are any different than the Monster who stole Hailey’s light?

Also, on the subject of Pentecostals, anyone want to weigh in on the children who were forced to watch the suicide of this Pentecostal snakebite idiot this week?

Hey, Governor Jindal, you still there?  How many more children need to die at the hands of Pentecostal religious freedom?

3.  Another Bible Movie, STFW, as reported by The Gospel HeraldRoma Downey Casts Out Satan in Son of God

Apparently there is a movie coming out called “Son of God.”  STFW.

And apparently there was an actor in the film who portrayed Satan who bore a resemblance to President Obama.  STFW.

This is the reaction by one of the filmmakers upon gutting the film of all President Obama lookalike scenes:  “‘I knew it was just like Satan the narcissist to make it all about him and create division,’ Downey said.  ‘I am sure Satan loved being the center of attention for a day.’”

Again:  STFW.

And here is the reaction of The Gospel Herald to this all:  “2014 is a big year for The Bible in the theater.  With Son of God debuting this month, and Noah, starring the award-winning actor Russell Crowe, debuting exactly one month later on March 28th, God is certain to be glorified in the theaters this year.”

These are movies.  Movies.  MOVIES!  STFW!

Diogo Morgado is to Jesus what Kevin Spacey is to the U.S Presidency.

Get a life, Hollywood Evangelicals!  Do something meaningful with the little time you have on this planet.  The world has plenty of Jesus movies.

What it could really use is a few Jesus imitators.

Just ask Mel Gibson.

2.  Herpatology Decidedly Absent at Pentecostal Church of God Blogs

Just thought it was worth noting that I couldn’t find any blogs about venomous snakes on the Pentecostal Church of God Blogs this week.  How odd.

That said, the “official blog” of Bishop Charles Scott has this little tidbit of wisdom for us all:

“A lot can be learned from traffic jams that apply to our spiritual lives.

“According to research done by a team of mathematicians, the leading cause of traffic jams is human error.”

And what is the best way to avoid human error?

“We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is man’s only safe and sure rule of conduct and faith.”


As for venomous snakes, well, we’ll get back to you.

1.  You Can’t Possibly Give a Shit About Our Country Unless You Have 11 Children, from Wisconsin Christian News:  America’s Anti-Child Public Policy” 

“When people do not have children, or have few of them, they do not care as much about the future of the nation because they have nothing or little invested in the future of the nation.”

We haven’t gone to the Wisconsin Christian News well for a while.  (And for good reason.  There’s only so much fatuity one can take.)

But thank God we decided to peek in on the words of Pastor Matt Trewhella of Mercy Seat Christian Church this week.  Sorry, Milwaukee, but I’m not sure there has ever been a greater buffoon in all Christendom.

Let’s just reconsider his words again:

“When people do not have children, or have few of them, they do not care as much about the future of the nation because they have nothing or little invested in the future of the nation.”

Pastor Trewhella, are you even capable of fathoming how many tens of thousands of childless Christian couples you have just insulted?

Also (in your warped worldview):  Gee, I guess Abraham didn’t really give much of a shit about his covenant with Yahweh.  He and Sarah only had one kid.

For what it’s worth, I have but one child myself.  Yet I care earnestly about this nation—in fact, this world.  So much so that I am scared to death that the likes of someone of your hubris resides within it.

Then again, I know one same-sex marriage family that has seven children.  I guess they care about this country as much as you do.  How about them apples?

Find the light, hypocrite, before you are devoured by the darkness.

That’s a wrap.

Albert Schweitzer once said:  “I am life that wills to live in the midst of life that wills to live.”

Think on these things, and please turn in your hymnals to No. 109.

We love you, Hailey.  Your light must not be lost.

Arik Bjorn

Arik Bjorn lives in Columbia, South Carolina. He was the Democratic Party / Green Party fusion candidate for U.S. Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina. Visit the archive for Arik’s campaign website, and check out his latest book, So I Ran for Congress. You can also follow his political activities on Twitter @Bjorn2RunSC and on Facebook. And be sure to check out more from Arik in his archives!

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  • Shelton Browder

    I expect that you have read the works of the late Joe Bageant in your search for knowledge about why the poor vote the way that do?

  • Ophelia McGraw

    You lost me when you said you pray to god that apparently isn’t capable of stopping such a tragedy from happening in the first place.

  • Ken Row

    Regarding the lack of herpatology info on the Pentecostal Church of God’s web sites, you’re not seeing anything because that’s a different group of Pentecostals. The Pentecostal Church of God does not advocate snake-handling.