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Long live rock n roll!!! Right

Long live rock n roll!!! Right

Mural in downtown San Ignacio, BZ

Mural in downtown San Ignacio, BZ

Pictures that make you go, “Huh?”

A THROWBACK POSTCARD: Your favorite blogger at some far-flung ancient city somewhere in Central China, ca. 2009

A THROWBACK POSTCARD: Your favorite blogger at some far-flung ancient city somewhere in Central China, ca. 2010

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Today’s “Big Amen of the Day to That!”

Every husband can relate

Every husband can relate

For sure, for sure.

For sure, for sure.

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True that.

True that.

Wise words.

Wise words.

At a certain age you just relax and keep on scrolling a whie.

At a certain age you just relax and keep on scrolling a whie.

Is there a more stimulating and addictive drug than caffeine? It makes even a pooty tat cranky.

Is there a more stimulating and addictive and legal drug than caffeine? Withdrawal makes even a sweet little pooty tat crazy for the first fix of the day.

As we were saying about rock and roll . . .

As that seminal song of the sixties that spoke to us put it, “Hope I die before I get old.” We didn’t mean it much. . . .

Only a master of prose could have described a character in such a concise, witty, beautiful and powerful way. But that's Salinger.

Only a master of prose could have described a character in such a concise, witty, beautiful and powerful way. But that’s Salinger.

I mean, really.

Preach it, Jimmy.

Their vow-els. Not their vows. Git it?

For fellow punsters. Wocka! Wocka!

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Until next time, go in peace.

Until next time, go in peace.

I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus.”

— Mother Teresa

Mother Theresa and Dorothy Day always said they saw “the face of Christ” in the poor and marginalized, but that’s a “theology of the poor” that goes back a long way–and not just in the Catholic faith tradition.

It’s been a “spiritual thing” in a lot of churches and faith traditions going way back.

Facebook has a wonderful, fee-good page called “Humans of New York,” in which some common man or woman on the street poses for a picture and shares a brief yarn or some nugget of wisdom about his or her life.

This story, shared by the New Yorker in this picture, brought a couple of scriptures to mind:

Her mother saw the face of Christ in a homeless man.

Her mother saw the face of Christ in a homeless man.

    “One day a crazy looking homeless guy came to the door, and we were about to close the door on him, but my mother saw him and shouted: ‘Hey Eugene!’ She knew his name! Then she ran around the kitchen putting all sorts of food into tupperware, and brought it out to him. After he left, we asked my mom why she gave him so much food. She told us: ‘You never know how Jesus is going to look when he shows up.’ She was always saying that– it was a spiritual thing. Then you know what happened? Two months later, that same man showed up on the door step, clean shaven, and wearing a suit. And he had an envelope with money for my mother. ‘Ms. Rosa always believed in me,’ he said. I’ll never forget it! Eugene was his name.

“Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

— Hebrews 13: 1-2

———————-

‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

— Matthew 25: 31-40


With Independence Day approaching I’ve been re-visiting the writings by, and writings about, our fascinating Founding Fathers.

In high school and college I thought seriously about a career in academia as a historian. Every year in the weeks leading up to July 4th I dust off my biographies and history books or go online to read about our Founding Fathers.

This week I’ll be sharing a few nuggets from those refined and enlightened men who envisioned America and made America happen.

For today’s reading . . .

Imagine the reaction if a presidential or congressional candidate from either party today were to say this kind of stuff about war and liberty (with my italics for emphasis):

    “Of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debt and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.

    “In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.

    “The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manner and of morals, engendered in both.

    No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

That was America’s Founding Father James Madison, known as “The Father of the Constitution” for championing the Bill of Rights.

He was also the 4th President and was married to First Lady Dolly.

He had real issues with taxation, but real issues with constant war, too.


Death and life are in the power of the tongue,

and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

— Proverbs 18: 21

————–

“If you can’t say something good about somebody, don’t say anything at all.”

— American folk wisdom

————–

“Don’t be so contrary.”

— What my parents said to me, a lot

Violence is always preceded by violent language.

Violent words in wars are fought with violent, nasty, demonizing language.

I’m talking about wars in the broadest sense: that is, in wars that play out in divorce and child custody courts every day; or in wars in the Middle East; or in the wars that are the shouting matches in media and in government and political arenas and “social” network posts every day now.

In order to “win” against the other in a “war” of words, you have to hammer the other one with destructive, denigrating words.

Some of the most demonizing words — including words like the “n” word or “faggot” (a word that stems from the days when they used homosexuals for firewood) — can kill or deeply wound someone in soul and spirit.

My youngest-born daughter, who was born Megan McKay, has had a heart for physically and mentally challenged kids since she was a little girl, when she attended her first Special Olympics with her mother. Naturally, the grown-up Mrs. Megan Bidelman, a kindergarten teacher, majored in Special Education at Texas A&M.

You do not want to use the word “retard” even in a joking manner around Mrs. Bidelman — she’ll give you a fierce “education” about the pain that the word inflicts on millions of American families.

We hear so much lamenting of “politically correct” language, and Lord knows the p.c. police — especially, but by no means only those on the Left side of the political gauge — are out of control these days, putting a chill on freedoms of expression at every turn.

No less a liberal than the stinging, killer-bee comic Bill Maher is on a crusade against his own political tribe these days, rightly noting that progressives are taking political correctness to serious extremes.

Maher, who lives by extremism, is such a militant atheist and religion hater that I have a hard time abiding him; but as offensive as he can be, he’s definitely an equal opportunity offender.

I’m drawn nowadays to more civil progressives, though, like the very civilized and unapologetically Christian liberal Kirsten Powers, one of the more calm and palatable pundits at the all-too-often shrill Fox News. (See my post last week about young Fox star Greg Gutfeld’s nasty, god-awful take-down of Pope Francis.)

Powers has written a book that apparently cites a long litany of anti-freedom sins by the left-wing thought police. (Of course, Powers is anti-abortion, which, in the view of so many intolerant progressives who preach tolerance from every rooftop that they can climb up on, automatically makes her just another wrong-headed Fox conservative.) See more on Kirsten in a nice Washington Post piece here.

There’s a fine line, usually very difficult to discern, between what is genuinely politically correct nonsense and what is just plain thoughtless, mean-spirited, hateful, tasteless, undignified and unnecessary language. And to simply slap the “political correctness” label (or “race-baiter” or “racial divider”) on somebody or some issue is a good way to cover a multitude of mean-spirited, conservative sins, by the way.

Kirsten Powers, a contrarian librul and ulrta-smart contributor to Fox News who has written a much-acclaimed book about how the political left is chilling free speech.

Kirsten Powers, a contrarian librul and savvy contributor to Fox News who has written a much-acclaimed book about how the political left is chilling free speech.

Like so many millions of Americans (and not just in Texas and the South, by any means), I used a lot of ugly, demonizing language, and shared racial jokes or laughed along with some of the ugliest jokes imaginable, from the time I was a child and into my youth, coming of age as I did in a thoroughly segregated Texas town, a town that Texas writer Larry McMurtry once described as nice little “crumbling” Southern hamlet. (Speaking of fearless, contrarian independents–read McMurtry’s first book of essays from early in his long career, In a Narrow Grave.)

I probably joked more about “fags” and mocked them like so many Americans and Southern good ol’ boys did — until I went to college. I’ve always made friends easily and I made several great friends in college whom I very much love and remain in contact with to this day.

One such college friend was — he is — gay. Talk about somebody who has always made fast friends — he’s one of the most personable, charming, outgoing, friendly and warm people you could ever know, and that I’ve ever known. He prospered in a long career at one of the airlines and now travels around the world in his retirement, most of the year, with both straight friends and gay friends alike.

Partly because of him, and because of so many people of other races and ethnicities and sexual orientations that I met on a very diverse college campus (the University of North Texas) in the turbulent sixties–when the times they were a-changin’ and changin’ in fast and sometimes ugly ways–I started outgrowing and taming some of my darker impulses, the sort that spring from racism or homophobia or whatever.

I can’t say that taming such strong impulses–that trying to grow into a better, more tolerant and understanding person–came overnight. The impulses in fact are still way down there in my “shadow side” somewhere. We all have our dark “shadow sides,” all of us.

For a long time I could still laugh along in private with an ugly racist or homophobic joke with trusted friends, using or shrugging off hurtful words that I nor the joke tellers would never, of course, dare to use around someone who would be offended to the point of real hurt.

I mean, what racist or homophobe would dare tell a racist joke or direct a racial or homophobic slur at Dallas Cowboys football legend and gay-rights advocate Michael Irvin to his face? (See more on Michael’s background here.)

How cowardly is it to demean someone of another race or color or sexual orientation behind their back?

Football legend Michael Irvin with Michael Sam, who was the first, openly gay player in a brief pro football career.

Football legend Michael Irvin with Michael Sam, who was the first, openly gay player in a brief pro football career.

And yet it’s often the people who pride themselves on being fearless “truth tellers” and “tell-it-like-it-is” types who use the most cowardly language — in private, not in public, where they risk being held accountable for their words.

But here’s another angle regarding all this — and let’s face it:

    Who among us didn’t, or who doesn’t, do or say things in private, intending no pain or harm to anyone, that we wouldn’t want exposed to the growing billions on the Internet?

    Who among us doesn’t just “go along” sometimes–or used to go along–to get along, in our thinking that no real harm was done to anybody in private?

As a writer whose style is prone to a very personalized writing style, I’m not one to pour out all the details of my personal life to the world.

In fact, if and when I ever take over this crazy world, I’ll banish Dr. Phil and the troubled people he counsels in front of God and everybody in the world on worldwide TV back to the privacy of his counseling office where counseling belongs. We got way, way too much public and not enough private in this world now.

But as a divorcee, I’ll just say here that in my private life I can’t say that I’ve always been good at taming my tongue in love and marriage and personal relationships.

Nor has my tongue been entirely tame in my attempts at political and religious persuasion right here. I’ve used overly harsh or “snarky” language right here at this blog. But I’ve made a conscious effort in recent times to tone down my honest-to-God-felt contempt for people with whom I fundamentally and fiercely disagree about things. A good-faith effort to “hold my tongue” and not get into verbal spitting matches with people that do nothing to advance the kingdom of God, not to mention democracy or civilization.

Besides, denigrating or demonizing someone with whom we fiercely disagree with snarky or clever language is commonly more of an attempt at puffing ourselves up to look cool and clever anyway, so that we can get some “atta-boys” and Facebook “likes” from like-minded friends. We see this on Facebook, a lot.

The word for it is “self-aggrandizement,” and there is a lot of it going around, thanks largely to everyone trying to out-clever everyone in the endless whirlwind of social and other media.

Of that I’ve been too guilty at times. Mea culpa and all that.

But, again, I’ve tried in recent years, in my spiritual journey as a Christian, to practice more Christian humility in my writing life as well as the whole of my life.

I’ve had to repent of a fiery tongue that used to get out of hand in relationships, in writing and debating, and I still have to work, at times, to keep this potentially “poisonous” tongue tamed.

I am nothing if not a fierce “opinionator.” You may have noticed this before. And I will be fierce, passionate, in my convictions until my last breath; of that you can remain assured.

But I’m more aware now that it’s one thing to use direct, sometimes firm or even strong language in conflict, as did Jesus, who even though he was equal with God, “he humbled himself.”(See Philippians 2: 1-11 here.)

It’s another thing to “trash talk” or do a “gotcha!” just to put down somebody or somebody’s point of view that you don’t “like.”

The word “life”–as we can see from page one of the Bible to the end of it, and as we can see in all of literature and so much art–is pretty much just another word for “conflict.”

It’s all about how we resolve our differences, because we’re going to have conflict–and necessary conflict. And the only real way to resolve our differences, in the final analysis of all conflict, is with words.

Wars–“culture wars” or a bloody wars–don’t really end up with any “winners.” Even we “the good guys” tend to become the very evil that we detest and fight against.

Yet we don’t get to tolerance and reconciliation by “playing” at nice. It seems to me that grandma’s advice about not saying anything about somebody unless it’s nice is a trifle flawed.

Again, some of the language that Jesus used in blasting his enemies will blow your hair back, assuming you have hair.

But Jesus, not always sounding like Mr. Nice, never said “don’t make enemies.”

Jesus did tell us — commanded us — to love them, and taught us to deal with our enemies in all the tensions and paradoxes that love holds. Another of those “fine” or “fuzzy” lines we tread sometimes is the one separating righteous indignation that is truly on the side of right, vs. self-righteousness, cynicism or a little and maybe a lot of hate, which is evil.

Loving enemies is no small–and certainly no easy–spiritual challenge, since our “shadow sides” harbor all kinds of evil. Or what might be called our sin-sick dis-ease.

But all morally great things come out of conflict and dealing head-on with the huge, mountainous challenges in resolving them.

Conflict is the only way we reach understanding and reconciliation and, ultimately, peace.

James the brother of Jesus warned: the tongue can be “a restless evil, full of poison (James 3: 8).”

He also opined that the tongue can’t even be tamed at all, and I’m not sure why he said that. He was probably suggesting that the tongue is just too full of evil for that evil to be eliminated entirely, and that taming it requires eternal vigilance.

But the toxic or potentially toxic tongue sure as hell can’t begin to be tamed if we don’t even try to monitor the words and language that we use.

A physician friend of mine back in Bryan, TX, used to have an etching he kept on his office desk that said:

“Throw a little salt on what you hear and sprinkle a little sugar on what you say.”

We might want to throw a little salt on what we hear and sprinkle a little more sugar on what we say, and do more fruitful listening and less reactionary talking, even at out angriest and most outraged.

Grace and peace.

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Think nothing of it, you of the Jitterbug Cult–you are quite welcome for all the cool rocking music, some soft, some hard, that follows:

“Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup,

you never know until you try.”

——

“Sometimes late when things are real

and people share the gift of gab,

among themselves”
——

“I ain’t ready for the altar but I do agree there’s times,

when a woman sure can be a friend of mine.”

——-

The folk-rock seventies band America gave us some memorable and lyrical lyrics and were great performers, too — the kind of musicians who just stood and looked pretty for the girls and delivered without much glitz and glamour and seventies disco-era over-kill to distract from finely crafted music.

I never get tired of hearing about that “sister golden-hair sublime” and the band’s homage to the Beach Boys with the feel-good song’s ending.

So with no further ado, more music from “America,” AND, memes and more:

And while you’re listening, here’s your Belizean Face of the Day and his name is Cisco and he was, and is, a friend of mine, and maybe the best shoe repairmen south of the American border.

Sometimes we chase de gringo rustlers through de fields and steal their wine and whiskey although most of the time we just sit at his shoe repair stand and pass the time shooting the caca and watching the tourists go by while he works.

Your Belizean Face of the Day, now a regular feature here at the blog that is saving the world with its wit, wisdom, provocations and stimulations while possibly (probably!) alienating whole  continents.

Your Belizean Face of the Day, now a regular feature here at the blog that is saving the world with its wit, wisdom, provocations and stimulations while possibly (probably!) alienating whole continents.

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And speaking of great people from south of the border, los lobos, another stand-up bunch of talented Mexicanos whose lead singer David Hidalgo, poses the age-old question about ol’ Peter Wolf–will he survive in such a graceless climate???

And if you can listen to this song without patting your foot or jumping up and doing a jitterbug jig, you may be the living dead.

This is dedicated to Donald Trump, who loves people everywhere as much as he loves money.

Until next time . . . remember that everything’s gonna be all right when Love incarnate comes back around:


According to authorities, the two men walked into the Walmart on Highway 49 around 8 p.m. Witnesses said the man holding the shotgun was actively loading and racking the firearm. Walmart does not have a policy about guns inside its stores.

“If I were in a situation where I’m in the store shopping with my family and I see an individual loading a 12 gauge, and racking it, I’m not coming to the conclusion this is good,” said Papania. “While the actions of these two men are sanctioned by state laws, what they did negatively impacted our community. . . .

“Gun laws should be such that it provides us security. As we look at this fact pattern, do you feel safer?”

— Mississippi’s Leonard Papania, on the disturbance that two men with firearms caused in Gulfport, where Papania is the Chief of Police

Gulfport's police chief is not happy at all with Mississippi's unrestricted gun laws after incidents drained his resources at Walmarts and other businesses in the wonderful Gulf city.

Gulfport’s police chief is not happy at all with Mississippi’s gun laws after incidents drained his resources at Walmarts and other businesses in the wonderful Gulf city. Of course, Gulfport got nothing on Texas Our Texas.

Thanks to Texas Gov. Abbott and other Texas leaders who are bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association and owe the NRA so much in return–and the liberal gun laws Abbott just signed off on–the kind of threat and drain on local tax dollars and law-enforcement resources cited above in Gulfport may well be coming to your Texas town and your favorite Texas restaurant, college classroom or keg party, your favorite pub or dance hall, movie theater or quite possibly your church.

And of course, your friendly, down-home Walmart.

Thanks to even fewer restrictions on guns, we Texans now have more of these incidents to look forward to before some catastrophic incident erupts from it all. (Don’t forget–a lot of the weapons compensated in the Waco massacre, a sure preview of catastrophes to come, were under legal permits.)

During the recent Texas legislative session, gun-toting militants weren’t altogether subtle in moseying into the state capitol and making less than subtle threats on the lives of lawmakers to, uh, “secure” the votes of those lawmakers.

Talk about a pressure group–Texas gun militants don’t fool around.

But Texas got nothing on Ol’ Mississippi over yonder, another state mecca of Christianity (they do love God and guns, not necessarily in that order in Texas and the South and other parts) and Enlightenment.

Then again, as it turns out, even Mississippi has enlightened, plainspoken people, like the Gulfport police chief, who refuses to be intimidated. Something tells me that if he were a sheriff, the NRA-backed lawmakers in the state would bury this sensible man.

And oh yeah–this wasn’t the first such incident in the chief’s city! Read here for a scare earlier in this year there.

Where will it all end?

    FROM TV STATION WLOX in Gulport:

    Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania held a press conference Monday afternoon to discuss a situation that had many Walmart shoppers terrified Sunday evening.

    “That’s not normal.”

    That’s what Papania said about two men who went into Walmart, Winn Dixie and Krispy Kreme armed with a shotgun.

    While openly carrying a firearm in Mississippi is legal, Papania said this situation could have turned into “a very violent misunderstanding.”

    According to authorities, the two men walked into the Walmart on Highway 49 around 8 p.m. Witnesses said the man holding the shotgun was actively loading and racking the firearm. Walmart does not have a policy about guns inside its stores.

    “If I were in a situation where I’m in the store shopping with my family and I see an individual loading a 12 gauge, and racking it, I’m not coming to the conclusion this is good,” said Papania. “While the actions of these two men are sanctioned by state laws, what they did negatively impacted our community.”

    Papania said his department’s resources were stretched thin while officers and the SWAT team responded to this situation.

    According to Papania, no one was threatened, no weapons were discharged, no one was shot and police officials and civilians responded to the situation appropriately.

    Gulfport police will not release the names of the men, because they did not violate the law.

    “If there was something I could have arrested these people for, I would,” said Papania.

    Papania pointed out a question he thinks people should ask themselves as we move forward with the gun laws conversation.

    “Gun laws should be such that it provides us security. As we look at this fact pattern, do you feel safer?”

(Link to WLOX here.)

The most dangerous person on the planet is someone who is seeking strange new respect from their adversaries. And that is what the Pope is doing.”

Fox News Channel pundit Greg Gutfeld

Fox News pundit Greg Gutfeld has targeted Pope Francis as “the most dangerous man on the planet.”

WARNING: You’re about to enter the “No Spin Zone!

God help us.

It turns out that the most admired and popular man alive — the most respected religious leader on the planet — is, in fact, “the most dangerous man on the planet!”

This according to the up and rising star at Fox News Channel, Greg Gutfeld (see bio here), who apparently pines to be the next Rush Limbaugh.

Naturally, Rush Limbaugh shares Fox star Gutfeld’s bizarre estimation of the head man in the Vatican.

* * * *

Speaking of the Vatican, my own Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said last week — and as comic writer Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up! — that while he doesn’t know “how the pope thing works,” the Vatican needs to “fire this pope” and get a new one!

Now, one might expect a puffed-up young broadcast news star, and Rush Limbaugh wannabe who makes a lucrative living off of TV ratings, to spew the stuff of his dark heart and willful ignorance out to his millions of viewers who, like him, would never read a serious Catholic encyclical before assailing it if their lives depended on it.

But for a United States Senator like (the Honorable???) Ted Cruz, who is seeking the highest office in the land, to demonstrate his casual ignorance of Catholicism 101, and his utter disrespect for this admired Pope, and alienate a huge segment of the huge block of American Catholic voters and Catholic leaders, can only be filed under “Rank Stupidity.”

But then, what might we expect from a man who announced his presidential candidacy at Jerry Falwell’s “Liberty” University.

Not that Jerry Falwell ever spoke out from a moral-Christian perspective on political or scientific (Creationist Div.) issues like the alleged Marxist in the Vatican you-know-who.

* * * *

But back to Fox News Channel’s increasingly popular pundit, young Mr. Greg Gutfeld.

According to him, Pope Francis — “the most dangerous man on the planet” — is obviously more dangerous than the following world-class evil terrorists on this God-given, green planet:

    — that evil leader in North Korea who pops up once in a while to remind us that he may be No. 1 in dangerous threats to the world;

    — those dangerous ayatollahs in Iran;

    — more crazed, presumably, than bin Laden or Saddam Hussein were;

    — that sick guy in Nigeria who specializes in slaughtering girls;

    — and of course, to cite just one more example, Pope Francis apparently is more of a threat than those blood-thirsty haters from ISIS.

If that were Pope Francis, and I had the power to do it, I would fire the pope and get a new one myself.

And I’m not even Catholic, in spite of a lot of Catholic sensibilities and years of studying Catholic writers, theologians, teachers and papal documents, including encyclicals that, to paraphrase Mark Twain’s definition of the classics, “everybody talks about and nobody reads.”

They come with footnotes, after all, to support a pope’s moral argument. And who but a scholarly Christian or a simple theology geek like me reads documents with footnotes?

* * * *

As if he were not insanely shrill, bizarre and simply disrespectful enough of one of his elders, young Fox star Gutfeld in his clever voice of reason(?) went on to say:

    “He doesn’t want to be your grandfather’s pope, he wants to be a modern pope. All he needs is dreadlocks and a dog with a bandana and he could be on Occupy Wall Street.”


Right.

Pope Francis is just another anti-Wall Street slacker in Catholic garb.

Young Gutfeld might as well have come right out and dubbed Pope Francis as the anti-Christ, which a rising number of crazy American Protestant fundamentalists fear.

I grew up around ignorant, paranoid, Protestant fundamentalist Christian zealots, of which there is never a shortage in Texas and the former flag-waving Dixieland, who claimed that the Catholic Church was “the whore of Babylon” mentioned in the Book of Revelation, it which is surely the most misused, abused and misinterpreted book of hope, when properly interpreted, ever put to a scroll.

But the Catholic Church has never peddled in wrong-headed “rapture” theology, which makes the church a target of suspicion, if not contempt, to so many Protestants to this day.

    (NOTE to any fundamentalists reading these words: I’ve written fondly of my Aunt Newell, a fundamentalist, Pentecostal Christian who understood that the overarching message of the Bible is fundamental love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithful, self-control, respect for other people’s opinions and common, American decency.)

Back in the day, I also heard it said by a lot of Protestant Christians that “Catholicism will take over before Communism.”

Such harsh dismissals of the Catholic faith tradition have long been virtual mantras of the Klan, of course, who doesn’t limit its hatred to blacks, Jews and God knows who else.

Honestly, I fear for the Pope’s safety when he comes to America because of the mindless and dangerous vile spewed out by Greg Gutfeld all over America, paranoid America included.

God forbid that something does happen to this pope, which Gutfeld will be obliged in his seat of punditry at Fox to discuss, with, presumably, some measure of appropriate remorse.

* * * *

Gutfeld did acknowledge that this traditional, very conservative Pope Francis is against same-sex marriage, against condoms and doesn’t want female priests, but went on to ask “why aren’t we focusing more on that before heaving a nightmare-worthy cackle out of his face.”

I am hoping against hope that Gutfeld does not “identify” (to use a trendy word) as “Christian.”

Now, in the interest of that old Fox-style fairness and balance, one of Fox’s diminishing number of generally sane and sober broadcast journalists, Chris Wallace, hosted an actual U.S. Catholic Cardinal and gave him ample opportunity to respond to critics who have assailed the pope’s encyclical addressing the ways we are destroying God’s good, green earth, and how it affects the poor among us most of all.

You can view it on the video below, where the Cardinal politely schooled not only Rush Limbaugh, but also a very Catholic candidate named Bush.

And in the interest of why not?

I wonder why Fox New’s Chris Wallace served up Rush Limbaugh, and not Fox’s own Greg Gutfeld, for the American Cardinal’s response????

[Click here, for example, to the traditionally very conservative Catholic journal First Things for another welcome response (and check out the critical responses in the journal, too)].

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