Honorable People Don't Support Filth

When Trump was elected, I stupidly imagined that his supporters had inexplicably failed to understand that he was devoid of honor, decency, and compassion. I told myself that, were it otherwise, they wouldn't have voted for him. As the months passed, I was nonplussed to observe that his supporters clung to him ever more passionately.

Last Saturday, Trump held a campaign rally on the very day that eleven Jews were murdered in the city of Pittsburgh. He explained his decision by saying that he could no more cancel a rally on a day when eleven Jews were murdered than he could cancel a rally on a day when his hair didn't look right. 

His statement on Saturday was no worse than much of what Trump says, but, combined with my outrage over living in a country in which any fool can murder people with a legally obtained assault rifle, it forced me to conclude that Trump's supporters don't adore him because they're too stupid to see him for what he is, but because they see him for exactly what he is, and they like it. On a comparable note, the people of Brazil just elected their own fascist president, not because they failed to understand how vicious he was for telling a female legislator that she wasn't worth raping*, but because he made it permissible for men to indulge their own misogyny.

People who elect "strong man" fascists invariably equate cruelty with strength, and they only think better of their choice when their country lies in ruins. Until such time, they are content to offer rationalizations worthy of a four year old. For instance, on the radio today, I heard someone say that Trump can't possibly be an anti-Semite because, after all, he has a Jewish son-in-law. By the same reasoning, he can't be a misogynist because he has been married three times....

My conclusion regarding the honor and integrity of Trump's millions upon millions of supporters has grown stronger everyday he has been in office. It is: 

There is something wrong with these people. 

I just wish I could come up with some way to think about it that didn't cause me to hate them so much. 

*Trump has expressed the same sentiment.

To clarify my thoughts regarding the existence of God and religion in general...

What follows is a statement of my faith, or rather my absence of faith, that is intended as a corollary to my recent and my upcoming posts about attending church.

The world as we know it shows no evidence of an all knowing, all wise, all good, and all powerful deity, but to posit a God that lacks these qualities (as in pantheism, deism, and much of liberal Christianity) is to render God's existence all but irrelevant.

To respond to a question about how something came about by saying that God did it or God made it that way isn’t to give a reason but to evade the question.

To say of God that he is a supernatural being is to define God with a term that cannot itself be defined.

Other than to project attributes that we wish we had onto God, no one can say what God is, yet millions of people imagine that they know God’s mind, and that God wants them to oppress those who disagree.

The more effectively science can explain the existence of the universe and life on our planet, the harder it becomes to defend theism. This is why lesser educated believers tend to be hostile to science, while better educated believers worship such an attenuated version of God that they are left with little that outsiders can criticize or that they themselves can find comfort in.

Alongside the complete lack of evidence to support a belief in God’s existence, there is strong reason to believe that God (as a being who is all good, all knowing, and all powerful) does not exist. This proof is evident anytime any creature suffers, whether from violence, accident, deformity, disease, addiction, oppression, mental illness, starvation, natural disaster, natural selection, or for any other reason.

Despite what theists commonly argue, there is no evidence to suggest that those who believe in God are more open, honest, moral, compassionate, spiritual, sensitive, fair-minded, intelligent, common sensical, open to wonder, or superior in any other way to nonbelievers. I would even argue that the reverse is commonly true with religion being used to justify behaviors that require a lack of positive qualities on the part of those who engage in them. For example…

In nearly every instance, the God of a given nation is portrayed as favoring that nation above other nations (Gott Mit Uns the Nazi belt buckles proclaimed), and that nation’s powerful above its oppressed, the latter of whom are told that by submitting to their wealthy oppressors in this life, they will receive mansions in the next. It is even commonplace in modern America for ministers to promise the poor that they will receive mansions in this life if they are willing to prove their trust in God by donating generously to those same ministers.

All of the above being what I believe, it follows that I don’t attend church because I think I am in good company, it being my conviction that the company of believers as a whole is very bad company indeed (America's Christians continue to support Donald Trump), or because my beliefs about God or religion have changed. I instead go to church because I gain from the experience in ways that I have blogged about and will continue to blog about, and because I make a strong distinction between liberal Christians and other Christians. Unfortunately, liberal Christians are in the minority, the reason being that most people have an emotional need for assurances beyond what liberal religion can provide.

I finally open up in the face of growing outrage...

...by offering some pesky news cliches for your consideration. The fact that most of them concern the president is due to the fact that although he was elected to deal with events that are in the news, the reality is that, more often than not, he is the news, and he goes to pains to insure that it will remain that way.

Walked Back, as in, "The president walked back his earlier comments."
Fired Back, as in "The president fired back against his critics."
Pushed Back, as in, "The president pushed back in the face of continued allegations."
Doubled Down, as in, "The president doubled down when his statement was shown to be in error."
Opened Up, "In an exclusive interview, she opened up about sexually predatory behavior on the part of the president."
Broke His Silence, as in, "He finally broke his silence about what really happened on that deadly night in July." 
Speaking Out, as in, "Victims of sexual abuse are finally speaking out."
Growing Outrage, as in, "The president's remarks have inspired growing outrage."
Taking Heat, as in, "Donald Trump's children are taking heat for using their father's office for monetary gain."
Heads Turned, as in, "Heads turned when Melania Trump proclaimed her concern for children in a jacket upon which was emblazoned the words, 'I really don't care. Do you?'"
Dog Whistle, as in, "Many argue that the president's boasts of being a credit to his genes are a dog whistle to white nationalists."
America is talking, as in, "America is talking about renewed allegations that the president colluded with Russia." 
Explosive new allegations, as in, "Yet another woman came forward today with explosive new allegations of sexual impropriety on the part of the president. 
Witch Hunt, as in, "The president said that the investigation into whether he used his office for financial gain is a witch hunt."

Flooding Event, as in "The president left the small North Carolina town just hours before it was inundated by a record flooding event."
Drought Event, as in, "The state is in its fifth straight year of a record drought event."
Forest fire event, as in, "A record forest fire event is being fueled by high winds and extreme drought."
Fatal event, as in, "Zebrux has been shown to cause fatal events in some users.

Whence cometh this constant use of cliches on the part of reporters? While plugging in the same formulaic language in story after story might spare reporters the necessity of thinking, it is a disservice to the public in that it causes disparate stories to run together in a muddled whole. As for the senseless use of the word event, I assume that it is intended to make one sound more precise and knowledgeable than one actually is, except in Big Pharma commercials where it is clearly euphemistic.

In all cases, a disrespect for language is evident, and I haven't even gotten into the relatively recent and almost universal misuse of pronouns. I might comprehend what you're trying to communicate when you say, "Me and him got drunk," but what I don't know is why mere comprehension is all that matters to you. If you or someone you know teaches English, I would love to know if proper speech has officially become a thing of the past.  Please, if you can, tell me.