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Reformation Sunday 2013

Lutheran churches across the world celebrate this day in memory of the Protestant Reformation. It was on October 31, 1517, when Dr. Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Castle Church door, the historical equivalent of the church’s online forum.

Significantly, the 95 Theses rejected the Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences (certificates that reduced the time a departed loved one suffered in Purgatory). The slogan attributed to indulgence salesman John Tetzel was:

As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul into Heaven springs.

This is one of the coin boxes on display in Wittenberg, Germany:

Coin Box

While the differences between Luther and the medieval Catholic Church were more theologically profound, this practice of abusive fundraising was still a significant point of contention. (And perhaps this is why modern Lutherans are not particularly successful at fundraising.) I think that it was shameful to foster anxiety and then to take advantage of heightened grief and affection for relatives to raise money, which brings me to:

imageimage

What’s my point? I believe that birthers and other right-wing groups foster anxiety in people by misrepresentation and then take money in exchange for promises that cannot be fulfilled. (Orly Taitz is not going to win her lawsuit, and Mike Zullo is not going to cause a Congressional investigation in to Obama’s identity documents.) In fact, the donors just get more anxiety and hate as they become financially invested in conspiracy theories and smears.

As soon as the PayPal button clicks, Obama from office kicks

Not really.

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17 Responses to Reformation Sunday 2013

  1. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG October 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    A spot on analogy, Doc!

  2. avatar
    scott e October 27, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    fogbow solicits donations.

    [Yes, they do. The money goes to support the Jack Ryan document collection at Scribd. People who contribute to The Fogbow get what is promised. Doc.]

  3. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG October 27, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    I’m not at all surprised that scott missed the point.

  4. avatar
    Rickey October 27, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:
    I’m not at all surprised that scott missed the point.

    Yeah, Scott hasn’t yet grasped that it is soliciting contributions under false pretenses which is repugnant. Here was Zullo ten months ago:

    On January sixth of this year, Zullo held a conference with members of the Arizona chapter of the Tea Party and others but did not hold a nationally televised event. He assured patriots and Tea Party citizens that efforts are still ongoing and that a Plan B is underway. In this particular plan, key national figures in the private and governing sectors of society will raise their concerns and voice their opinions that the President has violated the Constitution and has been allowed by Congress to continue in office because either the leaders on Capitol Hill have ignored the evidence at hand or have simply not acted as they should with the body of evidence to pursue due process and impeach a sitting President.

    So how is that Plan B going, Scott? What have Zullo’s benefactors gotten for their contributions?

  5. avatar
    Slartibartfast October 27, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    Scott,

    Maybe you’d better buy some indulgences from Orly or Zullo—you wouldn’t want to miss out on birther heaven, would you?

  6. avatar
    JPotter October 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:
    I’m not at all surprised that scott missed the point.

    It’s intentional doncha know. I’m continually glad that this is a typed medium … imagine the mewling whining les birfers’ comments would be rendered in. As the content is an affront to reason, the tone would be an acid bath for the ears!

    I wonder where mailed “donations” to the CCCP go … how long do they take to clear, and to which bank do they go.

  7. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater October 27, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    scott e:
    fogbow solicits donations.

    What fogbow does has nothing to do with this site. Birthers ask for donations under false pretenses.

  8. avatar
    Benji Franklin October 28, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    Because professional Birthers are so mercenary, I still think the Obama Presidential Museum’s ONLY Birther exhibit should be a PayPal Toilet, attended by an Orly Taitz imitator who explains to every guest, that as a new, inexperienced attorney, she was motivated to begin her career in Law by tackling the job of getting Obama out of office when she heard Alan Keyes remark that getting rid of any sitting President would be “like pulling teeth”.

  9. avatar
    The Magic M October 28, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Benji Franklin: attended by an Orly Taitz imitator

    I think they should offer the real Orly a job (much like her musical doppleganger, Celine Dion, has in Vegas) – nothing beats a real-life exhibit, and she could present her Obama delusions to visitors every day for as long as she likes, and even get paid for it.

  10. avatar
    Curious George October 28, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Rickey

    “So how is that Plan B going, Scott? What have Zullo’s benefactors gotten for their contributions?”

    If they would have filed their 990s with the IRS maybe we would know the ins and outs of the CCCP? Plan B? more like Plan D for Disaster.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    There has been tiny movement on the CCP IRS filing issue. We should know a bit more within a month.

    Curious George: If they would have filed their 990s with the IRS maybe we would know the ins and outs of the CCCP? Plan B? more like Plan D for Disaster.

  12. avatar
    Crustacean October 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    But “Animatronic Orly” would be cheaper (no payroll taxes or workers comp), would come with an “off” button, and would be more lifelike.

    The Magic M: I think they should offer the real Orly a job

  13. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG October 28, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Crustacean:
    But “Animatronic Orly”would be cheaper (no payroll taxes or workers comp), would come with an “off” button, and would be more lifelike.

    It would be more intelligible as well.

  14. avatar
    JPotter October 28, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    The Magic M: Celine Dion … in Vegas

    Hey, would you look at that! Dion is back in Vegas. I worked as a consultant on the Colosseum at Caesars, she was the inaugural headliner, on a 5-yr run.

    It was nauseating. But I can say I was in Celine’s dressing room.

    The things you learn while following this foolishness LOL

  15. avatar
    Curious George October 28, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: There has been tiny movement on the CCP IRS filing issue. We should know a bit more within a month.

    Thanks for the tip.

  16. avatar
    CarlOrcas October 28, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    There has been tiny movement on the CCP IRS filing issue. We should know a bit more within a month.

    Excellent!

    Have you checked to see if they have changed their status or filed any reports since you filed?

  17. avatar
    Sef October 30, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Thesis 86 is particularly relevant to Orly.