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4:42 am EDT        50°F (10°C) in South Rockwood, MI

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Some of you may have been wondering if I had gone to the great fuel-driver paradise in the sky, or if so-called “fundamentalist ‘Christian’” thugs had murdered me for my exposé on Peter LaBarbera in my last update some 53 days ago. Those are all nasty rumors, I assure you, and I remain as alive and well as ever. There’s way too much to try to catch up with in one update, but I’ll do my best, in addition to doing yet another exposition of “fundamentalist ‘Christian’” hypocrisy.

On April 13, I started a new shift at work. It’s actually the same time of day as it has been since I started there last July, from 4:00 pm until whatever time I finish the assigned work, but now I work on different days of the week. Rather than my old Wednesday through Sunday shift, with Monday and Tuesday off, I now work Sundays through Thursdays with Friday and Saturday off. This would be great for a social life, if (a) I had the time between all the other shit to do on the weekend and (b) I much gave a shit about pursuing it. This change in shifts occurred because we added a second truck to our operation, and hired two new drivers to fill new shifts that were created with the addition of the new truck.

As I alluded to in the last paragraph, even my weekends have been insane for quite some time now. The first weekend immediately after my change of work days, April 18-19, was mostly lost with my car in a body shop, as some asshole had apparently pushed a shopping cart into my right rear door and dented it pretty good. Fortunately, the $250 cost to repair it seemed pretty reasonable, and more importantly didn’t even match my insurance deductible, so I won’t get my premium jacked up.

My weekend activities since then have included a visit to my 94-year-old grandmother in her nursing facility in Howell, MI, and poker at my friend Jay’s apartment, in the last weekend of April; an oil change on my car two weekends ago; all kinds of family shit last weekend for Mother’s Day and a cousin’s college graduation; and the replacement of my Gateway laptop two days ago with a new HP Media Center desktop. The laptop nearly died on me earlier this week, and has ever since been behaving about like Dick Clark right after his 2004 stroke, so I was worried about its continued health.

Frankly, I only bought the computer because of a deal offered by Circuit City this past week. They were offering 12-month no-payment, no-interest financing on the purchase of any digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera over $499, but it was something in the fine print of that offer on their web site that caught my eye: any other item in a purchase containing a qualifying item (in my case, the DSLR) would also qualify for the same promotional financing. I had been considering a DSLR as a long-range purchase, perhaps late this year or in 2009 after I had other debt paid off, but when I saw that I could do both a DSLR and a computer and not pay a dime for a year, I couldn’t pass it up. Without the deal, I probably would have had to string the laptop along until about September, hoping it wouldn’t completely die in the interim.

The insanity of my weekends will not go away for at least another few weeks. Even though I’ve asked for next Sunday off from work, thus giving me a three-day weekend, I will still have to go under the car again to rotate the tires, renew my apartment lease, and head to a family barbecue planned for next Sunday. The weekend after that will essentially only be one day, as the Friday (May 30) will be lost to a company safety meeting I have to attend in Findlay, OH. Two weeks after that, I’m playing around with the idea of a Chicago trip, as another “national” road enthusiast meet is being planned for that weekend. Perhaps by July, I might actually get to sleep in on a Friday afternoon/evening.

Although I know I’m easily a month behind the times, perhaps two by now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the whole controversy surrounding Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Naturally, conservative Reich-wingers have seized on one sentence out of a much longer and more complex sermon Wright delivered to his Trinity United Church of Christ congregation, while completely ignoring the greater point Wright was making. In fact, any correct analysis of the sermon proves Reich-wingers and so-called “fundamentalist ‘Christians’” to be lying hypocrites, for the 37,236,834th time.

See, so-called “fundamentalist ‘Christians’” like to pretend that they’re not Christ-despising bigots by invoking the catch phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” whenever they speak on the topic of homosexuality. Those of us with functioning brains have long realized that “love the sinner, hate the sin” is really code for “hate the sinner and do anything possible to deny him dignity and full membership in the human race, all the while putting on a ‘loving’ public face about it” — and now we have proof of that, in the form of the conservative “fundamentalist” response to Wright.

Read the Wikipedia entry on Rev. Wright, and you can clearly see a man who loves his country, but doesn’t care for some of things it has done and is doing. No man would serve six years in the Navy, and in fact participate in a surgical procedure on the President as Wright did for Lyndon Johnson in 1966, if he didn’t have the deepest patriotic love for his country. The part of the sermon that the Reich-wing conservative media won’t ever air — since airing that part doesn’t make Obama out to be a Manchurian candidate, and FAUX “News” can’t countenance your not believing he’s some secret Muslim out to hand us all over to al-Qaeda — listed a long litany of un-acknowledged American government crimes against non-white peoples, from the forced relocation of Native Americans and the Japanese internment of World War II to the Tuskegee experiments and the non-response to Hurricane Katrina. Clearly, Wright’s attitude is one of somebody who loves America, but hates the anti-Christian things it does, and wants it to be a better place for everybody.

Oh, but he can’t do that, to hear the usual Reich-wing suspects tell it. According to the likes of OxyContin-popper Rush Limbaugh, a certain huge-Adam’s-apple-bearer and attention whore who won’t be named here, and Sean Insannity, Wright is “anti-white,” “anti-American,” and “a traitorous, racist nutjob.” Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, but that isn’t stopping the Reich-wingers and the masses of mindless drones from parroting the belief that Wright “hates the sinner” and is incapable of “loving the sinner and hating the sin.”

Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and I’m glad to finally see Reich-wingers and conservative “fundamentalist ‘Christians’” admitting that it isn’t possible to “love the sinner and hate the sin” — that it invariably ends up turning into the un-Christian position of hating the sinner too. Certainly they will now renounce their anti-gay views and positions and start pressing for full equality and first-class citizenship for their gay and lesbian brethren in the human race, right? I guess those 27 state constitutional bigotry amendments will soon be repealed, huh?

Nope, didn’t think so. So-called “fundamentalist ‘Christians’” are reprobate, inveterate liars and hypocrites, and in their warped world view, it’s better to stay on the path to hell that Jesus warned them about in Matthew chapter 23 than to admit they were wrong and start displaying unconditional, absolute affirming love to GLBT folk. If they actually had God within ten thousand miles of their hardened hearts, so-called “Christians” would, among other things, immediately drop their petition drive to add bigotry to the California Constitution and join in our revelry and joy over the California Supreme Court’s judicially and constitutionally correct decision on same-sex marriage — but of course, we know better, as it isn’t that hard to see Satan at work in their hearts and minds.

(Aside: I have reviewed about half of the text of the decision, and will have more to say about it in the future. So far, though, I can say that finally, a court has properly applied precedent and commonly accepted jurisprudence as outlined in my July 27, 2006 entry in this space.)

In fact, a look at the Gospels shows us that Jesus Himself condemned the “love the sinner, hate the sin” attitude held by “fundamentalists.” In Luke 6:37, He warned us not to judge or condemn others, lest we be judged or condemned; later in that same Gospel, in chapter 20, verse 25, He reminds us that God’s judgment should be left to God rather than any earthly authority. The true Christian attitude, therefore, is something more like this: love the sinner and shut the fuck up about the sin — especially when, using correct Biblical scholarship, the Biblical evidence that it actually is a sin is flimsy at best.

I had better be off for tonight, but I’ll be back, hopefully in less than 53 days next time. I have at least two more update ideas in the pipeline, one of them being about how progressives need to do a better job of taking their message to the grass roots. To quote Keith Olbermann quoting Edward R. Murrow, “Good night, and good luck.”