Third Birthday

  • Third ‘birthday’;
  • Why American Christians support Israel;
  • More polarities and correlations for my chart;
  • Examples, just from recent days, about Republican ambitions to turn back history;
  • More examples of Christian indoctrination.

This week is the third anniversary of my heart and kidney transplants. May 26th, actually, which quite coincidentally was the 20th anniversary of when I met my partner Y. (Who prefers I not spell out his name on social media.) And so this week I am enduring another battery of tests and blood draws, for the cardiologists at CMPC. So far so good; I’m fine, doing well. Today’s visit with the cardiologist, Dr. Ray, mentioned this third anniversary as my “third birthday,” which in a sense is true. I would have died without the transplants, and it’s only because I live with a partner, who saved me each time I had a heart attack, that I’m still alive. Unlike my late friend Larry Kramer, who lived alone for the past 15+ years near Austin TX, and had no one to save him when he fell, and died in his house, alone. I am still dealing with his estate; we will be back in Austin the weekend of June 7th.


Moving on. I monitor these things because they’re scary, and threatening. Existentially threatening.

I don’t think the reasoning behind America’s unstinting support of Israel is generally understood.

Salon, Paul Rosenberg, 26 May 2024: Cracking the Christian nationalist code: A glossary for the confused, subtitled “The Christian right has a clearly anti-democratic agenda — but it’s concealed with deliberately confusing terms”

The opening para is the key point:

While Joe Biden’s support for Israel’s Gaza war has outraged or alienated many would-be supporters, Donald Trump has never expressed even the slightest interest in Palestinian rights. Trump’s allies in the evangelical community — by far his strongest base of support — interpret Middle East politics through a biblical lens that gives Israel title to all the lands from the Nile to the Euphrates — and also sees the apocalypse they believe is coming as desirable. Striving for peace and universal human rights, in their view, goes against God’s will.

American Christians support Israel — which obviously is not Christian — because they believe the Holy Land is key to the Biblical prophecies about the end of the world, and the second coming of Christ. That so many people believe such things is, to the rest of us, very scary.

(I am reminded of this post, from about a year ago, about Bart Ehrman’s Armageddon, and how what many Christians today take from the Bible is quite different from what was understood when it was written.)

There is much more to this story, of course. Second para:

A key figure who epitomizes this view is John Hagee, founder and leader of Christians United for Israel, which boasts 10 million members, which is greater than the total population of American Jews. It was founded in 2006 after the publication of Hagee’s book “Jerusalem Countdown,” which asserts that a U.S.-Israel war against Iran is both biblically prophesied and necessary to bring about the battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming. Two years later, John McCain rejected Hagee’s endorsement in the 2008 presidential campaign, after a sermon of Hagee’s surfaced describing Hitler as fulfilling God’s will by hastening the return of Jews to Israel.

The article goes on to compile a glossary.

I’ve put together the following glossary of terms, drawing heavily on the work of others: First there’s the “Reporter’s Guide to the New Apostolic Reformation” co-authored by Gagné and Clarkson, recently published in an updated and condensed version with a glossary. Clarkson’s group has a broader glossary of terms, including some that provide relevant context. And Julie Ingersoll, author of “Building God’s Kingdom” (Salon interview here), helpfully provided additional terms.

I will list only a few of the terms he explains: Christian nationalism; Christian Zionism; Demonization; Imprecatory prayer; Intercessory prayer; Pentacostalism; Philosemitism; Postmillennialism; Premillennialism; Theocracy; Theonomy. That’s the basic group. Further: Dominion; Dominionism; Christian reconstructionism; New Apostolic Reformation; Fivefold ministry; Apostle; Prophet… and so on, and on. For another four screens.

With the perspective of the Gottschall book discussed a couple days ago, and of course the many books by Pinker and Wilson and Shermer and many others, which take a higher view of human nature and human history, all of these Christian nationalist notions (not to mention the no doubt similar constructs by the many other religions around the world) are just *stories*. The stories that emerged with the function of defining one set of tribes against other sets of tribes. And there is nothing objectively real about any of them, or even true, in any honest historical sense.


Some more items for my polarities chart.

Under “right”: backwards
Under “left”: forwards.



And that’s just from one site over the past few days. MAGA!


More correlations here.

Washington Post, Perry Bacon Jr., 28 May 2024: Opinion | How geography and religion drive America’s blue vs. red divide, subtitled “Race and education aren’t the only things driving how Americans vote. They aren’t even the most important.”

Favors Trump Favors Biden
rural areas cities and suburbs
Christian Non-Christian
No bachelor’s degree At least a bachelor’s
White People of color
Age 45 or above Below 45
Male Female

I conform to three of these patterns, and defy the other three. What does that make me? An independent thinker? A thinker? Or is it that very people actually match a set of general trends.


When the new regime takes over, correct thinking will be strictly enforced.

Friendly Atheist, Hemant Mehta, 29 May 2024: Florida civics teachers are still being indoctrinated with Christian Nationalism


Joe.My.God, 25 May 2024: Cotton Posts Christian Nationalist Flag Outside Office

And I haven’t even mentioned Sam Alito. It’s hard keeping up.


Right Wing Watch, Kyle Mantyla, 28 May 2024: David Barton Keeps Spreading False Christian Nationalist History

Barton’s claims are entirely false.

We see this over and over. They lie for a higher cause, apparently. Which is to say, they don’t *really* believe in the Constitution, or law and order.



Right Wing Watch, Kyle Mantya, 29 May 2024: Christian Nationalist Pastor Joel Webbon Says Women Should Not Be Allowed To Vote

Once again, women are only baby-machines; primitive, tribal mentality.

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