Weekly Weird Religious News – #hypocrisy and #guns

This week’s theme for my selection of three items of weird religious news from the past seven days is “hypocrisy”.

If I scan the news items popping up during the past seven days, can I possibly find any examples?

Nope, not a chance … oh wait … yes I can.

Inevitable the utterly tragic events in Florida also came up, and so that is item 3.

Item 1 – Pastor Found with Nude, Tied Up Man Swears “On a Stack of Bibles” Nothing Happened

Via the Friendly Atheist we have this …

Police found Pastor George Nelson Gregory in the back seat of a parked car with another man, who was naked and bound with nylon rope, in the front. The officers were following up on a report of a suspicious vehicle parked outside of a residential home, according to local reports.

The criminal complaint says when officers asked what was going on, Gregory told the officers that they “were just playing” and he and the other man “meet up from time to time to play with each other.” The other man confirmed that what they were doing was consensual.

The man who reported the suspicious vehicle told police that at one point, he saw the second man get out of the vehicle without any clothes on, and he was concerned because the car was parked outside his daughter’s window.

Gregory allegedly told the officers he thought they were in a private place, and when an officer said their vehicle was on a well-lit public street in clear view of several homes, Gregory told police, “I know.”

The police report shows the pastor was relatively open about what was happening that night, perhaps because he was hoping for anonymity or lenience from the officers, but that tune changed once his name became public. He denied having the conversations reported by police, and said the issue was not related to sex at all.

“I have nothing to hide. I did nothing wrong,” Gregory said.He says they were approached by police because they “thought somebody had passed out or something, that’s what the call was.”

“I was counseling a young man with a drug problem,” Gregory said. “It did turn strange, but it wasn’t my doing, OK? And I was adamant that I’m not participating in that way. And so that’s when the police pulled up, and they assume things, but I’m standing by my story. It’s not true.”

According to Gregory, he has been working with the man for a few years, and he and his wife have tried to get him help.

“I won’t deny that he began to take his clothes off and propositioned me, but I will deny, on a stack of Bibles with God as my witness, that I did nothing,” Gregory said.

Gregory says he had his clothes on during the alleged incident, so “there’s no reason for me to be charged with open lewdness.”

Sure yes … he took his clothes off and then tied himself up, that sounds credible … not.

Actually, as long as it is consensual, then what people do together should never be a problem.

If however you stand up on Sundays preaching vigorously against gay people, and happily declare them to be wicked and evil, then throwing a spotlight upon such gross hypocrisy such as this truly does earn you a place in the spotlight.

Incidentally, his exact words were “I will deny, on a stack of Bibles with God as my witness, that I did nothing” ... in other words, by denying that he did nothing, he is telling us that he did in fact do something.

Item 2 – Australian Deputy Prime Minister Who Supports “Traditional Marriage” Leaves Wife for Pregnant Girlfriend

This story from Australia is reported here …

The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Barnaby Joyce, has always opposed gay marriage because of “the children!” Broken homes always make for broken families, says the hypocrite initiating a divorce to be with his much younger, pregnant staffer.

As the country considered legalization, Joyce argued that such unions are wrong because marriage is a process “inherently there for the support of, or the prospect of, children” and because “every child has a right, an absolute right, to know her or his mother and father.”

His own marriage was struggling, he acknowledged at the time. But that didn’t stop him from taking a stand in support of the traditional family

Now, though, gay rights activists are questioning Joyce’s devotion to his values after it came out that he was divorcing his wife of 24 years for a former staff member who’s pregnant with their child. The staff member, Vikki Campion, 33, is a former media adviser and nearly two decades younger than Joyce. The unmarried couple are now living together.

In case you’re keeping track, that last line is another talking point for the Religious Right and the “traditional marriage” crowd gone up in flames. How could they have even gottenpregnant? After all, isn’t sex before marriage itself a sin and therefore not a traditional part of the institution of marriage?

To make matters worse, Joyce is abandoning his own four daughters by moving in with his staffer, something he was worried about with gay couples. He has said in the past that allowing gay marriage would actually damage his family.

I think he did that well enough by himself.

For years, Joyce campaigned against same-sex marriage by arguing it would fundamentally degrade an institution founded on traditional notions of love and partnership. In 2011, Joyce told attendees at an anti-marriage equality rally (organised by the Australian Christian Lobby and the Australian Family Association) that same-sex marriage would negatively affect his four daughters.

We know that the best protection for those girls is that they get themselves into a secure relationship with a loving husband,” he said, “and I want that to happen for them. I don’t want any legislator to take that right away from me.”

Just two words sum this one up … hypocrisy incarnate.

Item 3 – Alt-Right “Journalist” Says Liberals Caused FL Shooting by Demonizing Christianity

Sarahbeth Caplin posts about the right-wing gun loving journalist blaming criticism of hypocritical believers as the prime cause of the school shooting …

An alt-right “journalist” who covers the White House is casting blame for the recent fatal Florida school shooting not on a lack of firearm regulation, but on “the left,” which he says has “demonized” Christianity.

Seventeen people were killed in the mass shooting all because of the “lack of the role of the church in modern American society,” according to Lucian Wintrich, the White House correspondent for a far-right, pro-Trump website called The Gateway Pundit.

“Part of it is the lack of community and the lack of the role of the church in modern American society. And I think that the way the left has disparaged that, what they’ve done — and it infuriates me what the left has done these days — is they have demonized Christianity, the church, Jesus Christ, who if you read his teachings, right, it was ‘We’re all brothers. Look out for one another.’ The left has demonized that and then propelled these fringe ways of thinking,” Wintrich said.

He continued, “So previously, we could be as creative as we wanted but we understood morality. We understood who we are functioning under — quite honestly, God, right? I think a lot of especially younger people don’t have that anymore and then that this is what’s driving these shootings.”

“It’s disgusting. It’s absolutely disgusting,” Wintrich said. “The left is to blame. The left is purely to blame.”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s Wintrich’s political blame game that’s “disgusting,” not the liberals calling for gun safety measures.

Amen to that.

Sarahbeth also goes on to highlight that this is not one lone nutter, but unfortunately it is a theme …

In a similar display of irony and astounding religious closed-mindedness, Christian radio host Bryan Fischer said God could have stopped the shooting if only the kids had prayed and given the all-knowing deity a heads up.

Fischer said on Twitter that, if only the students had prayed beforehand, the all-knowing and all-powerful Christian God would have been more prepared and more capable of stopping the tragedy from occurring in the first place.

Hey, here’s an idea: why don’t we pray in schools BEFORE these shootings happen instead of waiting until we have dead students? Why does somebody have to die before even start talking about prayer? This is the 19th school shooting this year. What do we have to lose?

As she quite rightly points out, the lack of lack of prayer claim as a cause of the shooting is utterly insane. It also results in the deployment of “prayer” as a supposedly meaningful action, but unfortunately that is in effect doing exactly nothing at all.

It strikes me that it is akin to what happened during the Maji Maji Rebellion. In 1905 a local shaman in German East Africa (modern-day Tanzania) named Kinjikitile Ngwale told the tribesmen that he had magically imparted an immunity to bullets upon them and that bullets would simply turn to water, so they rose up and attacked their German colonists. Net result – the rebellion left 15 Europeans and 389 native soldiers and tens or even hundreds of thousands of insurgents and innocent bystanders dead.

Bottom line: magical thoughts don’t actually work.

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