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★FALCON★ gets his ass handed to him

Totally out of character, I know, but since ★FALCON★ doesn’t use his real name, I can’t add him to my prayer list.

So I was minding my own business making nice at Birther Report when all of the sudden, and completely off topic, I get this:


Dr. Conspiracy,
On November 4, 2013, you published an article titled “New revelation: Obama finds his birth certificate.” The article references a story found in Double Down: Game change 2012, by Mark Halperin and John Heilmann (sic). Yet you knew this title was a lie. A line from the book (and excerpted in your article) says as much: “White House Counsel Bob Bauer took one look at the booklet in Obama’s hand and knew it wasn’t the birth certificate.”

Halperin and Heilmann’s (sic) version of events reads in part:

Continue Reading →

MCSO Cold Case Posse Prayer Support Group

imageWhen I followed the link to the MCSO Cold Case Posse Prayer Support Group Facebook page, my punking antenna was up; however, this seems to be a straight-up page supporting the Cold Case Posse. The group’s founder says:

This page is dedicated to covering the MCSO Cold Case Posse in prayer for the Lord’s wisdom and safety over these people. Join us today as the day nears when this criminal investigation will finally expose the fraudulent usurpation of the office of President of the United States. We will be posting articles and updates here on a continuous basis. If you are a man or woman of prayer please join us, especially now as the day approaches.

I have Mike Zullo on my personal prayer list, which means I have to be nicer to him in print than I might otherwise be inclined to be, and I can subscribe to part of that mission statement: wisdom and safety. I do not however, acknowledge that any day is nearing when Obama will be “exposed” for something he didn’t do. The only danger to the Cold Case Posse is the just consequences of their own actions. I can pray for justice tempered with mercy, but not that the Posse’s misdeeds go without recognition and sanction.

So far I have refrained from commenting on the Facebook page because I can’t think of anything to say that wouldn’t go towards confirming the prejudices against anti-birthers that many in the birther community hold. If it devolves into hate speech, I’ll reconsider.

I’ve been thinking about writing an essay titled “The Conservative attack on Christianity.” If I do, it will be published on one of my other blogs, perhaps Jesus was a Liberal, and I’ll leave a note in the Open Thread here. There is no shortage of precedent in the Bible for prayer to end oppression,1 and these birthers, fanned by the right-wing media, earnestly believe that Obama is an oppressor as well as a usurper, but the virulent hate speech we see coming from those attaching the President is inimical to Christian principles.

1Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?

–Psalms 44:24 (ESV)

11th Sunday after Pentecost 2013

Righteous anger

It’s not an easy topic. Certainly there are things in this world to be rightly angry about, so long as anger doesn’t drown out everything else. Even the teacher of universal love, Jesus, had some angry words to say. In one translation Luke attributes this to Jesus:

Damn you, Chorazin! Damn you, Bethsaida! If the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have sat in sackcloth and ashes and changed their ways long ago. But Tyre and Sidon will be better off at the judgment than you. And you, Capernaum, you don’t think you’ll be exalted to heaven, do you? No, you’ll go to Hell.

Luke 10:13-15 Scholar’s Version

The evidence was right in front of their faces, but they refused to change their ways. No great cleverness is necessary to substitute birtherism into that text.

The prophets in the Hebrew scriptures railed against con men (false prophets) and those who would take advantage the weak—widows, orphans and aliens. Character assassination and smears were elevated to the level of getting their own commandment among the Ten:

You are not to testify against your neighbor as a false witness.

Exodus 20:13b, The Five Books of Moses, Everett Fox

While belief in conspiracy theories is in the main just a human quirk, a visible sign of an underlying psychology that we all share to some degree, there are factors contributing to birtherism that deserve condemnation and anger, specifically racism, xenophobia, and fraud. I will continue to apply harsh words where they are deserved.

Birther prayer list

I mention my “birther prayer list” sometimes. Its content varies over time. Jerome Corsi is the first on the list, and Mike Zullo isn’t on it at all. The saying, “hate the sin, love the sinner,” sounds trite but it isn’t. Nobody is truly represented by one issue unless they are totally consumed by it. Recognizing the depth and complexity of our fellow humans is part and parcel with following the commandment about false witness. The difficulty about putting Mike Zullo on the list is that everything I know about him proceeds from his birtherism, which itself is characterized by false witness. The only way someone can see him who does not know him personally is as a cartoon villain, and I cannot pray sincerely for Lex Luthor.

We’ve heard examples in comments here about how birtherism has split families and ruined relationships. It can’t be easy being a birther and being shunned by society, and outcast for being a crank.

Birthers are easier for me to deal with if I separate them into the hateful bigots and liars, and the deluded victims. In reality, those neat categorizations are made with significant bias on my part, and they may be just a convenient way to escape some hard judgments. That problem I just have to live with. In the mean time, if you’re a prominent birther, and you feel your ears tingling about 10:30 on a Sunday morning, it might be that your name is being spoken in prayer.

Shooting fish in a barrel: Media Matters v. Corsi

imageI believe that society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members and so I must level some criticism at Media Matters for America on its recent treatment of conspiracy theorist and political smear writer Dr. Jerome Corsi, in their article, “The Many Conspiracies Of Kerry Swift-Boater Jerome Corsi.”

Ignoring Corsi’s contributions to science, such as his seminal book,  Black Gold Stranglehold that explains that petroleum is not a fossil fuel,  Media Matters instead focuses on Corsi’s  long history of writing crazy material, from the scurrilous lies told in 2004 about John Kerry’s military service, to his scurrilous lies about John Kerry in 2013, by way of his obsession with Barack Obama’s birth certificate, parentage and even his ring; and it really takes no effort on the part of Media Matters to pile up a string of offenses that quickly overwhelm the defenseless Corsi and make him look like a villain or a fool or both.

Corsi has been the victim of any number of deceptions, from the fake vital records manuals he passed on to Mike Zullo whereby the Maricopa County Cold Case Posse was discredited, to Obots who made a fool out of Corsi by feeding him the made-up story of James Johnson (AKA Jimbot), former head of Fannie Mae, being the head of a 100-strong Obot army directed by the White House. It’s as if Corsi went around with a “Punk Me” sign stuck to his back. Obots are still laughing at this video at poor Corsi’s expense:

Can you look at that video of Corsi and Ed Hale and perhaps not have more sympathy when Corsi accuses Muslims of “boy bumping?”

Ever since Corsi’s outing of me at the Internet tabloid web site WorldNetDaily, Corsi has been in my prayer list, and because of that I am very sensitive to attacks on Corsi, no matter how fair, and factual. I have to have some respect for Corsi, who uses this web site in multiple footnotes in his book, Where’s the Birth Certificate?  And can you ignore his patriotic fervor in wearing the flag of our country (right) on his lapel?

How would you feel if your mighty efforts to derail Obama’s second term through lies, faked evidence, smears and open-ended questions, had been roundly rebuffed by the voters who gave Obama an electoral landslide, and at the same time your books only sold when your own publisher bought them, and now even Fox news won’t touch you? Is it really fair to damn someone with their own words and to kick them when they are down? Doesn’t it count for something that Corsi gives me the opportunity to talk about something other than Orly Taitz?

How about a little compassion!

Articles at WND by Corsi mentioning me:

Read More:

Note: In honor of Jerome Corsi’s Ph. D. from Harvard, this article’s reading level has been bumped up to a Flesch-Kincaid reading grade level of 15.9 after the inclusion of this final sentence.

Bad influence

I haven’t felt right the last couple of days. Something was bugging me emotionally and this morning I realized what it was. I had written a couple of articles mentioning Joel Gilbert’s film Dreams from My Real Father, in relation to its being child pornography. I don’t believe it’s child pornography and I don’t think any of my readers do. I justified that label by exploiting a technicality linking the film, who it alleges the salacious model was, and when the photo shoot occurred to make a technically correct but actually false smear against the film. Smears are morally wrong, and it was my moral compass that was bugging me. My apologies.

I think I’ve been spending too much time reading right-wing extremists and propagandists lately, and some of it has worn off on me. The movie offends me deeply and angers me greatly, but two smears do not make truth.

So anyhow, Joel Gilbert is now on my prayer list.

My prayer list

Those offended by religious sentiment may wish to stop reading.

For the past month I have been praying for the birthers – not for birthers in general, but for a short list of named individuals. I didn’t plan to share the list except to say that I have added SSgt. Daryn J. Moran today.

It may sound condescending for one person to say that they are praying for someone they disagree with, but my petition to God is not for them to “see the light” or to “get what they deserve.” The point of my concern is that those I pray for are not at peace in their lives. They are anxious and they are angry. Those, such as Moran, are in conflict with their families and they are placing themselves in harms way. Being a birther is in many ways its own punishment.

I’m not anticipating any miracle, but it is difficult to respond harshly to someone I pray for. That’s the point. The direct beneficiary of prayer is the one who prays.

Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord GOD, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?

Ezekiel 18:23