“We Are Angry”

Háu kola,

Mr. Hines, Chet to friends, was my high school government teacher. He was a tough and threatening ogre even back then. He taught my older siblings in a course called Problems of Democracy, initialized as POD. When I took it, the name was changed, and Hines said there are no problems with democracy. Yes, indeed there are problems. Keeping it is one.

He also said that our rights ended where his nose began.

As grim and stoic as he was, there was something I liked and respected about him. He made his position clear and offered to fight any of us should we desire physical confrontation. I don’t recall anyone rejecting his ultimatum, but some idiot probably did.

I was reminded of old Chet Hines when I read this article about Christians, one in particular, pissing off some Native American Tribes, the Oglala Lakota Nation, by insulting their cultural and religious heritage. Insult people’s religion and the cheese gets binding. This Christian got his evangelical panties in a wad when the Lakota leadership said enough of his rude bullshit.

To be fair, tribal leadership set rules for all religious groups on the reservation. I am talking about freedoms of and from religion and speech. Where is the beginning of tribal, cultural, or religious rights? Where does their metaphorical nose begin? Must indigenous people tolerate slanderous insult and injury because some Christians (cult or other religion) claim it is part of their religious freedom?

What about freedom from harassment by religious people (fanatics, missionaries, JWs, Mormons, evangelical whatevers)? What about those Lakota who are Christians (some are) and want to practice that? On the reservation, all such activity must be equally vetted and approved or not.

It is one thing to run around claiming Jesus loves you. It is another to claim, your family and tribal religion is from the devil, is evil, and you all are gunna burn in hell for eternity if you don’t believe me. And your past heroes were drunks, racists, and fools.

Dear Christians, these holier than thou crackpots are yours. They are not passing out bibles and baptizing willing souls in the river. They are insulting the very core of a people and their culture in exact defiance of what any normal person might do. They also have ignored all requests to stop.

This is classic religious persecution of a religion and ancient tribal belief system by a minority of Christians. But the stated goal of Christianity is to bring everyone into the group. This is also an obvious case of the fundamentalist bad guy playing the victim. And, for the record, this same jackass said that he does not even believe that Catholics are Christians (and he’s not alone).

Do I hear any objection from the six papists on the SCOTUS? Crickets!

Governance is a difficult and unpopular job. Add some religious bullshit and buffalo chips to the fire, and it may be time for the war paint.

Religious people often ask why atheists are openly and intentionally critical of religions. For two (and more) reasons. One, because aspects of many religions deserve the negative attention. In this case, tyrannical evangelistic proselytization by insulting not only the religion, but the culture and ancestry of people (i.e., turnabout is fair play).

Secondly, because as Christopher Hitchens said, “religion poisons everything.” And I agree.

As one of the Lakota leaders reportedly said, our objective is to decolonize mind, heart, spirit, land, and return to our Lakota ways; we don’t need any more churches to assimilate us. The reporter added, “Therein lies the rub surrounding the complex relationship in Indian Country with Christianity.”

Tókša akhé,



While this old song is about a different tribe, The Cherokee Nation, the long sad story remains the same. I’ve always like the tune, historically sad though it is.

VP Fired by Free Speech Advocacy organization

(Disclosure: I’m atheist and can be very anti-clergy. But I sometimes find ministers I like and even admire despite any disagreements about what is and what isn’t.)

National Religious Broadcasters (NRB.org), a major evangelical nonprofit media organization, canned their senior vice president of communications. Daniel Darling got the sack partly over commentary he made on the Morning Joe TV show saying he thought folks should get a Covid-19 vaccine, as he did.

Darling could have stayed on with NRB provided he signed a confession of insubordination for saying what he did. He chose to be fired rather then confess to a sin he did not, in his view, commit, or to incriminate himself to save his job.

Evangelical Christian hypocrisy, duplicity, and disingenuousness must be good with God. It seems to be with NRB. The company has a policy stating the employees must profess neutrality regarding the vaccine. Why? I see that as advocating opposition to the shot. Maybe Dan did, too.

What is the motivation for forbidding employees from trying to save lives and doing what Dan Darling saw as following his god’s law? Maybe this media company missed it, but there is a hell of a debate over shots and taking horse worming meds. I wonder if they have policies to be neutral about the crazy crap some folks are putting in their bodies.

The company has a right to have the policy and to fire whomever they wish. I have a right to say they were morally wrong on three counts. First, the policy of neutrality on the vaccine is obscene. People are dying for Christ’s sake, and that was Darling’s point. Enough!

Second, this is from their web site. “NRB advocates for issues that matter to Christian communications, including freedom of speech, online censorship, and technology access.” (Italics are mine.) I assume they are anticensorship, but that quote sounds like they are advocating for online censorship, except for corporate policy. Employees, even if it is God’s law, are forbidden from speaking in favor of saving lives with vaccines.

The US Constitution is not much help here. The Frist Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It says “Congress,” but SCOTUS held that speakers are protected against all government agencies and officials: federal, state, and local, and legislative, executive, or judicial. That includes Congressman Kevin McCarthy.

NRB needn’t worry. The First Amendment does not protect speakers from private individuals or organizations. It restrains only the government. I wonder if NRB is okay with that considering their opposition to online censorship (it’s still confusing).

The third immoral act by NRB was trying to get Mr. Darling to sign the confession of insubordination. Insubordinate means disobedient to authority. Synonyms are contrary, contumacious, defiant, disobedient, incompliant, intractable, obstreperous, rebellious, recalcitrant, recusant, refractory, restive, ungovernable, unruly, untoward, or wayward. Dan Darling was none of those things, but NRB wanted his confession. An Evangelical Inquisition?

NRB insisted Darling incriminate himself. The constitution is still no help, but now we’re at the Fifth Amendment. In addition to the protections of the Fifth, other laws also provide protections related to self-incrimination. NRB had the legal right to insist. Dan had the right to say no. So, they fired his ass.

It is a rare day that I go to bat for an Evangelical Protestant. But Dan Darling did no harm. He did a good thing. In my opinion, NRB is on the threshold of being a political advocacy organization. Also, as Darling said on Morning Joe, “when trust goes down, belief in conspiracies goes up.” Hmmm. I’d like that in context, but there it is. Trust? Tell me about it, Dan.


Stats from NRB: 67% of weekly churchgoers consume Christian media regularly. 141-million Americans see/hear Christian Broadcasting every month. 4,000+ is number of active Christian radio &* TV stations in USA.