Forgiving #Megyn

Look. We all mistakes. Maybe we should ease up on Megyn Kelly. She made a mistake. Perhaps she simply failed to apply her intellect before speaking. Maybe she inadvertently revealed a degree of racism she ordinarily keeps buried. Maybe she said the things she did about the skin tone of Santa and Jesus for the ratings, knowing full well that her core audience would respond with approval and support.

Maybe it was something altogether different, and maybe we should forgive her.

In my opinion, the discussion on all of the important issues in America and in the world would improve dramatically if we simply ignored her and her employer.

Which brings me to this question.

Why would a self-proclaimed and so-called news network and one of their more popular hosts even,
1) bother with picking up the story that got her so provoked that,
2) she and her producers would then be compelled to bring on a panel of 3 more white people to discuss Santa’s skin color and then,
3) bring Jesus’s skin color into a conversation about Santa and his skin color?

What was the point of this segment? What was she hoping to accomplish?

She did explain herself, saying, ““In kicking off the lighthearted segment, I offered a tongue-in-cheek message for any kids watching, saying that Santa, who I joked is a real person … is white,” she told her viewers Friday night. “That’s part of why we covered the story in the first place — humor is a part of what we try to bring to this show, but sometimes that’s lost on the humorless.”

She goes on to defend herself and her comments about Jesus being white by saying, “As I’ve learned in the past two days, that <the question of Jesus’s skin color> is far from settled.”

True enough, perhaps. We are likely to never know with absolute certainty what color an Iron Age rabbi’s skin was; however, what we can be absolutely certain about is that the depiction of Jesus in the Western World has no basis in science.

Check out this very interesting article from Popular Mechanics, “The Real Face of Jesus,” for  an informative description on the application of forensic science used to get to this far more likely rendition.changing-face-of-jesus-08-0312-lgn

As for Megyn, and as is so often the case with Fox News personalities, she goes on to lament that, “Fox News and yours truly are big targets for many people.”

You know what? Forget it. I’m not forgiving her.

There’s no rational explanation or justification in 2013 for her behavior and for such comments to be coming from anyone except from those who are completely ignorant, racist, or just pandering to an audience for the ratings.

Jonathan Merritt is absolutely correct in his Atlantic article, “Insisting Jesus Was White Is Bad History and Bad Theology”

If the Bible is silent on the matter of Jesus’ skin color, does it really matter that Megyn Kelly says Jesus is white?

Yes, actually.

As some historians and theologians have posited, the silence of the Scriptures on the issue of Jesus’ skin color is critical to Christianity’s broad appeal with people of various ethnicities. In a world where race often divides communities and even churches, the Biblical depictions of God’s son positions him as one who can bridge those divides.

Are you listening, Megyn? Do you even understand the fundamental concepts of Christianity and what the teachings of this person – real or imagined, physical or allegory – referred to as the Son of God has been telling you and the rest of humanity for 2,000 years?

Megyn Kelly, Fox News, and our fellow Americans – including our friends, our family, and our neighbors – who perpetuate what is the fundamental core of the Fox News strategy – divisiveness – must be held accountable for their words and their actions.

I’m not a holy man or a believer of any kind, so I can say this with a clear conscience: Forgiveness from me will come, but only when there’s sincere contrition first.

Arizona House OKs religious-protection measure

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

By Alia Beard Rau The Republic 

Supporters of a bill that would change the state’s religious-protection law say it would strengthen Arizonans’ ability to defend their “practice or observance of religion.”


But critics of the legislation, particularly in the gay and transgender community, say it’s so broadly worded that it could have dangerous implications, particularly in providing a legal defense for those who ignore state law or city ordinances meant to protect groups such as same-sex couples and transgender individuals from discrimination.


The Arizona House on Wednesday passed Senate Bill 1178 in a 32-24 vote, with most Republicans supporting it and all Democrats opposing it. The bill still needs final Senate approval before going to the governor. The Senate has not yet scheduled a vote.


The conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy authored the bill. Its attorney says the bill does not expand the definition of exercise of religion in a way that adds new protections. Rather, the group contends it clarifies an individual’s right to make a legal argument by allowing him or her to claim in lawsuits that a state action is a burden on a religious exercise, even when the government is not a party.


“It is shocking the claims that have been made about what this bill does,” said Josh Kredit, legislative counsel for the Center for Arizona Policy. “We just want to clarify the state law.”   MORE


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The Coming GOP-Evangelical Divorce

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

It may take a couple of elections—but GOP moderation on social issues is inevitable. By Michael Tomasky. (Will evangelicals leave the GOP?

Greg Russak‘s insight:

"By 2024, evangelicals will have been up to their armpits in politics for half a century. With what to show for it? A country where (I’m betting) abortion is still legal, and now Adam and Steve are saying vows. And their vehicle for their agenda, the Republican Party, will be walking away from them to a place where they smell more votes (and money)."

I think we sometimes confer too much credit to politicians generally as champions for a set of beliefs and ideals with which we are aligned. Votes, and the money to get them, is really what most of them are about.


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Note to Christians: Not to Worry, Your Holiday is Safe

Today, December 8, 2012, is Bodhi Day which, according to Wikipedia is,
“…the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautauma (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment, also known as bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali. According to tradition, Siddhartha had recently forsaken years of extreme ascetic practices and resolved to sit under a peepal tree and simply meditate until he found the root of suffering, and how to liberate oneself from it.”
So to Buddhists everywhere, I’d like to send my best to you this day and everyday.

Ok, I admit it. This post and my well-wishes to Buddhists are the result of sheer happenstance. It all started when I read an email from a Christian relative. They are very concerned about the takeover of Christmas by the politically correct apparatchiks hell-bent on taking Christ out of Christmas. The chain email was meant to be sent to everyone, demanding that we stand up to the rest of society and express proudly to everyone (presumably whether they believe in Christ or not) a Merry Christmas. 

That said, and besides not knowing that today is Bodhi Day, I’m supposed to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Consider this greeting banked for those who believe until December 25th.

What I’m curious about now is how is it possible in the age of smartphones, ubiquitous wi-fi, and the 24-hour news cycle that I didn’t know that today is Bodhi Day? (Not to worry. I’ll get to Chanukah in a minute.)

How’s that possible? How can I miss a religious holiday at this time of year when the volume is turned up to what one of my fellow Coffee Party friends calls “a Spinal Tap 11” over the fears and concerns that America is losing sight of the religious significance of this time of year?
I think I know the answer.
First, it’s my fault. I’m an atheist. I don’t pay very much attention to religious holidays, and were it not for Facebook I wouldn’t know that today is also significant to Jews and the celebration of Chanukah. So, a sincere Happy Chanukah to Jews everywhere!

On top of being an atheist, I was raised by Catholics. These were two of the best and finest people to ever walk the planet, mind you, but they were not of a generation sensitive to multiculturalism. December – and for my father who was raised an Eastern Orthodox Catholic, it was January – meant Christmas and only Christmas. Besides being raised by Catholics, I grew up in an all-white, working class, and, as far as I know to this day, all-Christian enclave in southwestern Pennsylvania.

As for my public school education, and to the best of my recollection, there was absolutely no evidence whatsoever in the curriculum of any other holiday being celebrated in December besides Christmas. To their credit, we didn’t have Nativity displays at school, but I also don’t recall any lessons about other world cultures and their holidays. (Happily, educators are paying more attention to this issue nowadays. See “The December Dilemma: Acknowledging Religious Holidays in the Classroom”)

What else is going on in December and all year and with other religions, you might be asking? 


One look at this Huffington Post piece on religious holidays for 2012 shows just how much religious celebrating is going on throughout the year for nine of the world’s major world religions: Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Paganism, Shinto and Sikhism. (What no Flying Spaghetti Monster?!?) 

One of the takeaways for me was how many Christian religious holidays there are. They beat their next closest competitor, the Hindus, by more than 2 to 1. Who knew?

Besides winning the race to rack up the most religious holidays, Christians are also unmistakably among the largest religions by membership in the world and in America

Given these facts, why do we seem to get treated each year around this same time to so much concern from Christians about their religion and their holiday coming under attack? For me to go merrily along with the chain email and to wish everyone a Merry Christmas may be the statistically correct greeting, but it still might not be right and it does nothing to account for the fact that not everyone is a Christian.

My advice to Christians is to relax. For now, you are the dominant religion in America. Even Gallup says we’re telling them we’re still a religious people and that we’re primarily a Christian nation. Please, stop with all the hand-wringing, wailing, gnashing of teeth and chain emails already. You’re the majority, no one is attacking you, and pretty much everyone still calls Christmas Christmas. 

You shouldn’t think of “Happy Holidays” as an insult or an attack. I can’t for the life of me see how it diminishes or detracts one bit from your holiday. Is it so hard to accept that I simply don’t believe as you do and yet still want to wish you and everyone around me happiness? Is that so terrible, and why are you put off by the fact that I want to be as universal in my well-wishing as possible? 

Ask yourself how you would feel as a Christian if I said Happy Chanukah or Merry Yuletide or Kung Hei Fat Choi. If I know you celebrate Christmas, I’m just as likely to say, “Merry Christmas!” If, however, I choose instead to say, “Happy Holidays,” it’s not a metaphorical slap in the face (although your prophet would tell you to turn the other cheek). 

What’s the problem with Happy Holidays? For me, Happy Holidays takes all the risk out possibly insulting or offending the statistically less likely (and seemingly less emotionally troubled) encounters with Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and even the rare Zoroastrianist. You don’t hear them complaining.

Please. Christians. I’m begging you. Take a break this year. At least take a breath. The rest of us in all the minorities who don’t believe as you do and who may or may not also be celebrating this time of year are not out to get you or to keep you from celebrating Christmas. All we want to do is wish you happiness.

Besides, all this complaining from the religion that holds the majority in population and in holidays is really tiresome, tedious, disingenuous, and is flat out spoiling the fun in the holidays – whatever holiday we choose to celebrate – for the rest of us.

Happy Holidays, One and ALL!

Sanford Compares Plight To King David – Are You Kidding?

LMAO!!!!! Who didn’t see this coming?!?!? Okeeee-dokeeee, then. What’s next, Sanford, “The devil made me do it?”

Not only did this guy abandon his responsibilities as governor, cheat on his wife, and use taxpayer money to fund his little love trips, now he wants people to pity him and think of him as a fabled leader of equally dubious morality who supposedly turned out to be a great leader if you happen to believe that particular fairy tale.

So, somebody needs to get Markey some serious counseling and mental health treatment fast. They need to get him out of government even faster. Next thing you know he’ll be walking the streets of Columbia in flowing robs and proclaiming himself to be the Second Coming.

I really feel bad for his wife and kids. How awful must it be to have a complete and total schmuck like this guy as your husband or father?!? He’s embarrassed himself, his family, the state of South Carolina and, with my own personal and heartfelt congratulations, the Republican party.

Like you Rs needed a member of the self-righteous, ultra-conservative, Christian neo-con element of your party to come out of nowhere and shoot another foot off.
– Having a born-again moron like W leading your party and believing that his god told him to invade Iraq wasn’t enough.
– Having Cheney come out of 8 years of hiding to try and protect his own ass and, by extension, admit that he violated the Constitution and everything this country stands for and is now trying to completely and totally alienate and remove any semblance of rational thinking in the party by siding with Limbaugh over Collin Powell wasn’t enough.
– Having the Laurel and Hardy team of Rush and Beck as your new public relations guys wasn’t enough.

Now you have your own reincarnation of King David governing a state which brought us such bastions of progressive thinking and inclusion as Strom Thurman (anyone know if they buried him in his Grand Dragon hood) and, until recently, was still flying that ultimate symbol of American racism, the Stars and Bars, over the very dome where Sanford stumbled all over himself trying to apologize for something that if done by a Democratic governor Limbaugh and Beck would have already whipped up enough outrage to motivate another shooting.

It’s bad enough that Sanford cheated on his wife, but what kind of insanity leads the governor of a state to think he can disappear for days and no one will notice or care?!?? And has he never heard of airport security cameras? He’s clearly not processing his thoughts and emotions on a rational level and needs serious help. The state legislature needs to remove him immediately. That would actually be the best thing, relatively speaking, that the Republican party could do for itself. At least it would show some amount of consistency between all the blow-hard self-righteousness and how the party actually behaves.

One last thing before anyone starts trotting out the tired, old Clinton and Kennedy stories – kudos again btw, Brucey, for at least updating to Edwards on Facebook!.

Check this related story:

At least the R’s are winning – by my tally 7-1 – in something…………………Too bad it’s the game of Moral Hypocrisy.