Suburban Republican Religion

A recent article in the Washington Post reported that, in the wake of Trump’s increasingly blatant racism, a number of Republicans who have long enabled him are now afraid of losing power and “forever associating their party with his racial animus.”

A bit late, aren’t they?

If Republicans serving in the House or Senate had pushed back on Trump’s bigotry–not to mention his constant corruption and his equally horrible Cabinet nominees–they might not now be fretting over his embrace of white supremacy and his defense of its symbols. (Not that most of them are fretting over the racism itself–just over the likelihood of an electoral rejection of it.)

White House insiders say that Trump has ignored the public criticism and reproofs from Republican operatives, and “remains convinced that following his own instincts on race and channeling the grievances of his core base of white voters” will carry him to victory. 

I don’t believe his base is large enough to hand him that victory, but one of the most depressing aspects of the past 4 years has been the incontrovertible evidence that the racists that comprise his base represent a much larger number of Americans than I would ever have imagined. Until this administration gave them permission to crawl out from under their rocks, I would have pegged the “deplorable” portion of the electorate at around 10%, not the 30% or so it evidently is.

A recent dust-up in Carmel, Indiana,  a prosperous suburb of Indianapolis just rubbed my face in it. 

The conflict began with a message written by a Catholic priest in his church bulletin, addressing the Black Lives Matter movement. Here’s a selection:

The only lives that matter are their own and the only power they seek is their own,” Rothrock wrote of Black Lives Matter organizers. “They are wolves in wolves clothing, masked thieves and bandits, seeking only to devour the life of the poor and profit from the fear of others. They are maggots and parasites at best, feeding off the isolation of addiction and broken families, and offering to replace any current frustration and anxiety with more misery and greater resentment.

The message was (understandably) met with outrage and (apparently in response to the blowback) the priest was suspended. I assumed that would be the end of it–or perhaps that anti-racists in Carmel might use the incident as a teaching tool. But it appears that lots of Trump people live in historically (and reliably) Republican Carmel.

Both inside and outside St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church on Sunday, the statement “Black lives matter” was said with conviction and met with opposition.

Outside, it was written on signs and chanted through megaphones by members of the community protesting remarks made late last month by the Rev. Theodore Rothrock calling Black Lives Matter organizers “maggots and parasites.”  

Those “Black lives matter!” chants were met with chants of “Go Father Ted!” from counterprotesters who oppose the suspension handed down to Rothrock and argue that he was speaking the truth.

The article quoted several of the people who had turned out to support Rothrock.  Mark J. Powell, who identified himself as a Lutheran pastor, chanted in support of Rothrock and verbally sparred with protesters.

The group Black Lives Matter is a Marxist front organization,” he said. “This is a call, as well as what Father Ted was saying, for people to wake up to what Black Lives Matter the organization is doing. They’re using race to destabilize and to divide this country over race during the time of a presidential election.”

Another group, organized by Jill Metz, gathered and prayed in support of Rothrock. Metz was quoted as saying

We feel that Father Ted spoke out in truth, and we’re to peaceably pray in support of all lives,” she said. “This should not be about Black lives. All lives matter. All lives.

I really have trouble getting my head around the fact that there are prosperous, privileged white suburbanites willing to join a public demonstration of support for a man who called Black activists “maggots and parasites”–not because they were counseling forgiveness for a racist message, but because they agreed with it.

In November, I guess we’ll see just how many of them there are, and whether those sudden Republican qualms are well-founded.


  1. Ah the Church. Where gay men in dresses preach hate towards Gay men.
    And now they preach hate for “Black live Matter” people.
    What a group. Why do we pay ANY attention to them? Time to grow up.

  2. Yes, Republicans enabled the psychopathic president. Why? Well, because their donors told them to. Trump is their guy, so since they purchased the Republican party, the party must do the bidding of the owners. We never imagined that our Constitutional republic could emulate third-world corruption until now, could we? This government is the culmination of Lewis Powell’s dream of the latter-day Robber Barons holding the reins of government. And the somnolent voters let them do it.

    The racist churches are the precise example of why our founders were so adamant about separating church and state. If one needs another obvious example, all one has to do is see Betsy DeVos’s actions and read her agenda. There’s a reason she so seldom appears in public.

  3. You cite a pastor who used the term “Marxist.” Trump also accuses many of being Marxists. My guess is that Karl Marx is far from the thoughts of almost all of these people. They simply are calling for fairness, decency, and justice.

  4. That Mark Powell ran for Congress in the 9th district in the primary. He made a lot of claims and ridiculous statements–including that he was a Democrat! The 9th district Dems had to make a public statement that he was definitely not backed by the party. I personally had to dis-invite him from a Democrats’ Club candidate’s gathering back in February because he was rude–and because he publicly disparaged a local activist who has led the charge against a farmer’s market vendor who has admitted that they are Nazi sympathizers! Powell made racist statements about the activist and made sympathetic statements about the Nazi folks! In my dealings with him, several statements he made made me dubious that he is authentically associated with the Lutheran church. Based on my own experience with Mark Powell, I’m not at all surprised that he is a cheerleader for Rothrock. Birds of a feather.

  5. I’ll never understand how the Church in which I was baptized and educated for 12 years became SO rabidly right-wing but I guess they have to follow the money. Nevertheless, I have no regrets walking away as a young man and never looking back. No better example of Institutional patriarchy and racism. (ps: I’m now a Diest).

  6. I have a 2019 “INSIDE the VATICAN” calendar which includes each month the amounts they give to various groups and education facilities through their Catholic Extension program; I found this description of that program by Wikipedia:

    “Catholic Extension (also known as the Catholic Church Extension Society) is a national fundraising 501(c)(3) organization which supports and strengthens poor mission dioceses across the United States. They provide funding and resources to dioceses and parishes through programs and services investing in people, infrastructure and ministries. This support is given based on need, passion and commitment to the growth of the Catholic faith.”

    There is no way to describe the display of wealth in the pictures of the Vatican on each calendar page but we have all seen the Vatican in movies and the expensive, ornate robes and accessories worn by their leaders. I find their charitable assistance to be pitiful examples of the entire religion and my knowledge through a family member of deplorable and dangerous conditions of a small Catholic church and school here in a declining neighborhood which apparently doesn’t qualify for assistance to which its parishioners donate. What will they do when school starts, whenever that is and under whoever decides the conditions, Trump or the CDC which currently has 38 pages of instructions for repeated cleaning and sanitizing of schools and the OSHA rules governing cleaning and sanitizing the entire cathedral after every Mass. No way to guess at the increased cost just as there is no way to guess at the number of Covid-19 victims (predominantly black) or how long the Pandemic will go on. All of this is to question the reactions to “Father Ted’s” diatribe against the black Catholic parishioners and students, Catholic and voucher students, in their schools. Is “Father Ted’s” suspension anything like the “cure” for hundreds of their Priests over countless years for child molest by Catholic Church and will he simply be moved to another parish to carry on his racist preaching from his lofty position as Priest?

    A sampling of Catholic Extension “Christian charity” to their own; Hispanic ministries receive more than $2.5 million annually, each year they grant more than $1 million to support Native Americans in 20 mission diocese. Deduct that $3.5 million from their accumulated wealth and the required 10% tithe of income from single members and 15% tithe from couples to get an idea of their self indulgence.

    Back to “Father Ted” and his church bulletin message in the St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in the Indianapolis wealthy suburb of Carmel; why, for centuries has this church, and others, sent missionaries into the darkest of jungles in Africa and other third-world countries to cram their version of Christianity down the throats of natives who have their own beliefs, faith and religion?

  7. Pastor Powell,looked into his mirror and said,, im using race to destabilize and to divide this country over race during this time of a presidential election,right?
    seems whitey again is large and in charge,,right? theres nothing like hearing scripture from a devout man in a local church of a white religion…praise the lord!

  8. I doubt that any of the people who use “Marxist” as an expletive have ever read anything Marx wrote. I don’t recommend reading him, because his works are incredibly dense and boring. But an image on a T-shirt sums him up nicely. It says that all he wants for Christmas is the means of production. That says it all. He recognized that the inequities in European society in the 1840s were due to the vast difference in economic opportunities between those who owned the factories (the “means” by which things were produced) and the workers who actually did the work. Does any of that sound familiar? He gets a bad rap because he noted the strong ties between the economics of the day and the politics, so he did not feel that any substantive changes could be made “peacefully.” He felt that some sort of political revolution would be needed for change to occur, which would lead to the workers having, control over economic decisions, which was expressed by his “the dictatorship of the proletariat.” His terminology was deemed dangerous enough that he had to flee Germany, and eventually ended up in England, where I guess no one read what he wrote, so he wasn’t in danger of being jailed.
    Considering the inequitable distribution of assets and incomes in our society, his ideas make a lot more sense today than in the past, when our “Social Contract” helped establish a thriving middle class. But since the Reagan administration, the Republicans have done their best to dismantle it.

  9. I’m not sure of the source, but my wife tells me of a man using statistical models who has predicted the last 4 or 5 elections correctly predicts that with 91% certainty Trump will win the election. How can that be?

    I don’t think that such a vision is impossible, though I hope that it is wrong. One takes perhaps 30% of the people who are diehard Trump supporters. Then one adds perhaps 5-10% of people who feel Only the “economic issues” and specifically look at tax advantages for wealthy people under Trump.

    Then, the really key numbers come in. How many white people may underneath their “moderate veneer” have a combination of simple racism underneath them tied to others who react in fear – Covid19, instability etc. And see Trump as “the man” – “the stabilizer” – the opposite of all of us.

    On top of this, no doubt with social media help, encouraging division among potential Democratic Party supporters. Biden isn’t liberal enough. Biden is racist. Biden is too old.

    If enough of the latter don’t vote, and closet racists and people subject to fear are there, Trump could easily win.

    I hope that this isn’t the case of course!

  10. I know many Catholics, including some priests, who are appalled by Father Ted’s words. Religions are the things of people and they will have as many flaws as there are in human beings (being gay is not one of them, as it is not a flaw, merely a difference). It would be nice if all Christian churches remembered why they were constituted, that is to love God and our neighbors, but it would be unhuman of them to always remember. When the era of the orange menace is over, many churches will have a lot of soul searching to do. Let’s hope it’s done in good faith.

  11. George Marx; I cannot get the picture out of my mind of Rudy Giuliani’s grinning face as he repeatedly told us “The Republicans have something up their sleeve. They have the Electoral College sewn up and Donald Trump will win the election.” For two weeks prior to the 2016 election that news film and others with him making that statement was in our faces…and here we are. Like you; I don’t see how it can possibly happen again but nether did I believe the Republican party would/ could possibly nominate a known unindicted criminal of almost 40 years to run as a temporary Republican. And he has more crimes where he is a known unindicated criminal in the Mueller Report waiting for him to leave the White House.

    You omitted the Electoral College in still red states, even with Trump’s minor irritation of the soon-to-disappear-by-magic and warm weather, Covid-19 Pandemic now hitting Republican states full force, the EC will still decide for us on November 3rd.

  12. My sense is that Carmel reflects the division of our national politic and does not deserve criticism of its whole only because it gives home identity to some we do not agree with. I say the same for the church. Casting wholeness of identity to differences of politic does not help our cause in a tight race. I am intrigued with Biden’s relative silence. Is it the less he says in large public gatherings that make him more appealing? Is it the final lap before Election Day that will break the anvil of margin for victory? I am on the edge of my seat. How about you?

  13. “They are wolves in wolves clothing, masked thieves and bandits, seeking only to devour the life of the poor and profit from the fear of others. They are maggots and parasites at best, feeding off the isolation of addiction and broken families, and offering to replace any current frustration and anxiety with more misery and greater resentment.”

    Oh, the irony of such a statement coming from religion.

  14. When I was a kid, there was a place not far from where we lived for a couple of years in California called “abalone cove.”

    This was a place of beautiful waves, the surfers would be out there catching these immense and fast-moving waves that were part of a convection situation where the cove narrowed and the waves would get bigger before they crashed into the rocks. So the surfers would ride these waves that we’re getting bigger and moving faster to a certain point, then they would have to jump off so to speak before they got smashed into the rocks. With the speed and power that the waves were moving, those surfers knew that they would face certain death if they hit those rocks. Kind of like those feckless and spineless bootlickers that have been following/supporting the POTUS and enabling his stupidity. I do think the mental imagery is quite breathtaking though!

    Concerning the church, I hardly think this is a surprise. And, I do believe that next year, there’s going to be a reckoning coming to the churches. Because, they’ve revealed themselves to be extremely partisan, supporting white supremacist tenants diametrically opposed to anything taught by Christ!

    And, Joanne is absolutely correct, the church displays great wealth, they take in unimaginable wealth to this day. but the church was extremely wealthy way before modern times. Their extortion of parishioners over the millennia amounted to their own blood sacrifice. As long as the lay people remained ignorant and stupid, the church could continue to extort monies from them trying to buy loved ones into heaven from purgatory and babies out of limbo and on and on and on.

    Christ never declared that Christians should tithe, that was a provision of the Mosaic law to support the Levites(priestly class) and also an arrangement for the poor to receive a certain amount of food concerning not gleaning 1/10 of the fields that the Israelites would plant.

    Christ’s law was to “love your neighbor as yourselves, and love God with your whole heart.” Christ also said to love your enemy which was a commandant of the Mosaic law. This part was carried on under Christ’s law who actually mentioned that our enemies should be shown love.

    The church, both Catholic and Protestant and even other non-Christian religions, have thrown their lots in with brutal governments and unkindly rulers and administrations. The comeuppance is rapidly approaching. The immense wealth that these churches possess is at risk, and yet they continue to meddle in politics around the world. They risk losing their wealth once governments whipsaw back to a more un-religious stance. It does work both ways! social media can drive this, just as social media has driven the Insanity up to now.

    It’s not only those GOP toady bootlickers seeing that wave approaching the cliff from their perch on the surfboard, some of these religious leaders also see it, but they have so indoctrinated their parishioners into hatred, it’s like they’re on a heat-seeking missile aimed right at the cliff wall. And the Carnage is going to be spectacular!

  15. Jack,

    I’m too old to be offended by almost anything, and no, you didn’t offend me at all. BTW, have you received your book yet? E-mail me and let me know details.( I will be happy to sign and return it to you, or send me $20 and your address. Write me a review on the Amazon book page after you’re finished. I am delighted that you are a fan.

  16. Mark Powell nowhere uses the title “Rev.” but claims he has worked as a Lutheran “pastor,” a term often used for people who have a “ministry” but not formal theological education. I couldn’t find any bio with education in it, which is odd, because if he were actually ordained in any Lutheran denomination some record should turn up, plus he would probably tout it. Looks like he is not what people assume.

  17. This is no surprise. Carmel was a small farming community until the school bussing decisions and white flight. Farms turned into upscale housing developments and those who could, picked up and left. They abandoned beautiful neighborhoods and decimated a great school system with a proud history of graduates like Richard Lugar and Kurt Vonnegut. They’ve tried to emulate the cultural amenities of Indianapolis and its arts districts like Mass Ave and Fountain Square with their own version, which has all the authenticity of a Disney recreation. All so that they didn’t have to cross the county line into Indianapolis.

    They came out in force to oppose a mosque planned for the community because of “increased traffic.” A friend who had moved there from out of town complained about the derogatory remarks being made by the people around her in line. She said, “That’s not who we are,” and my response was, “That may not be who you are, but it is who they are.”

    Don’t get me started.

  18. Folks, we will need the voting assets of communities like Carmel to push the election to a desirable finish. Be careful what you wish to say to make your point. Yes, a group of dissent managed an effective remonstrance to block a mosque in their community to the embarrassment of many who disagree. We are caught flat footed on the sidelines far too often in today’s politic by those who know how to disrupt and organize resistance. Shame on us for not being ready to take effective counter measures in more imaginative timely ways than inadequate criticism after the fact.

  19. Wallflower; my super intelligent, highly skilled granddaughter who was an RN and member of the Riley Hospital pediatric heart surgery team who sent to Uganda twice to perform heart surgeries on black infants and small children while educating the Uganda Heart Surgery Hospital, then the only assistant the head pediatric heart surgeon took with him to China to perform especially serious pediatric heart surgeries is now a general surgery nurse at IU Hospital in Carmel. It is near her home; which makes sense except it came after she fell in love with a Catholic Republican. First her politics changed which changed our conversations after she voted for Trump; last year, after months of weekly classes she was found acceptable to the Catholic Church. When “Father Ted’s” comments were made public I messaged her that I hope he wasn’t her Priest who was denigrating members of our family and an entire race of people. I have never received an answer which IS her answer. I’m afraid that is who she has become; we have black and brown skin family members as well as lesbians and gays. Family members ask how she is but I don’t hear often enough to know much more than a few posts on Facebook of her son, now 1 year old. I noticed a loss of sense of humor; we used to love to giggle over silly things or remarks, is a sense of humor banned by Republican Religious voters? There is certainly nothing funny about Trump.

  20. I know I’m not telling anyone here anything they didn’t already know but Trump didn’t come up with this ploy on his own. For one thing, he’s never had an original thought in his life. For another, let’s review a short and by no means comprehensive list:

    Ronald Reagan —- welfare queens
    H. W. Bush —- whose campaign featured Willie Horton
    W. Bush —- Katrina. Need I say more?
    Jeb Bush —- when asked how he would attract black voters said, “I won’t be giving away free stuff.”
    Mitt Romney —– while addressing the NAACP: “Black people just want free stuff.” Then climbed up on his high horse when Trump pulled his “good people on both sides” stunt.
    Rick Santorum —- “I don’t want to give my money to blah people”
    Paul Ryan —- faulted “lazy black men” for inner city poverty
    The party, generally, which has practiced voter suppression consistently focusing on any and all minorities —- particularly those with more melanin than they, themselves, have.
    And, of course, Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy began the process of allowing these ‘people’ [and I use the term loosely] to crawl out from under their rocks where they had been nursing their grudges since Andrew Johnson gave them permission to stay where they were and be smug about it.

    As I said, by no means a complete list. The only difference between Trump and the rest of the party is the fact that Trump doesn’t try to mask his racism. This is probably the first time during his political life [beginning with his birther campaign] in which he hasn’t told one lie. “This is who I am and I’m proud of it.”

  21. I wish some uber wealthy moderate would buy Fox News and stop putting crap into these people’s heads.

  22. With denominational-ism in fast decline it is possible this guy, Powell, is both a minister and serving a Lutheran church. is some history on Christian Theological Seminary. This school is listed on his short bio. There was/is no school having the name in Chicago where he was born and went to undergrad.

    There has always been a church within the church (then again, there are OVER 39,000 different protestant denomination!!! That’s not a typo….39,000 plus). I have always stated that Christendom has grown primarily through schisms and divisions!

    I graduated from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. I was fortunate to be in a good progressive humanities based program. Because of financial difficulties, they are now linked (once again) to Capital University. The faculty gave me a good foundation to think critically (hence historical critical interpretive tools and other sciences). I learned of the mythology within the bible. I learned about the different authors and voices in “books” and letters NEVER designed to be “holy scripture.”

    In short: I learned that the bible is an accumulation of ancient writings of human origin from Jewish and early Jewish/Jesus Movement localities.

    To locate the bible within it’s own historical times frames made the stories truly come alive and, believe it or not, relevant for me! How so? Because politics, economic and military power, corruption, war, social suffering, police states, religious and theological division, sex scandals, caste systems, etc, are consistent themes throughout history. NOTHING CHANGES, really, when understanding history, inclusive of religious history, through it’s own historical context!!!

    Claiming ANY religious texts to be “perfect, holy and without error” is obviously dangerous and need not be enumerated here. History or yesterday’s front page in the newspaper prove that problem beyond doubt.

    Of course, needing an “authoritative” leader/voice has been the space within civilization in which many people and institutions have tried to fill, some with good results, others ….well …we’re living in one of the worse. Duh.

    All to say, beware brothers and sisters, because there are those in every age who LOVE to dress in long elaborate robes, pray long and distinguished prayers and milk you for every last nickle and dime you have!!! (paraphrasing Jesus here)

  23. Unsustainable means temporary.

    There are many people who cannot imagine anything but the past. That’s what they knew, that is the way life must remain for them to still be relevant.

    They are a market to be served by politicians and businesses like entertainment.

    Of course because they are unsustainable due to the limits of earth’s natural resources versus that human population and average lifestyle they are temporary. The question is at what rate are they dying off and how much damage will they do before they are a wrinkle in history?

    They already have quite a bit of destruction of to their credit but it’s largely of the ticking time bomb variety. They have prevented problem solutions and therefore have made the coming consequences worse than they needed to be. Climate change. The pandemic. The limits to wealth redistribution up. The National Debt. America’s position in the world. Education. Infrastructure. The transition to sustainable energy. Social stability. The Great Enlightenment version 2.0.

    This year will be the final battle for the continuation of liberal democracy’s offer of freedom for all. We are either a voting majority or they are. We will either have an honest election or one determined by their manipulation. We will either restore the arc of justice or it will be history.

    We will either have a future or just a past.

  24. Thanks for the timely commentary and again, a great discussion.

    The Indy Star reported yesterday that the Indiana Republican Party was looking to be more inclusive, and they wondered why they did not have more minority members, and they they were going to make it an active goal to find that rare “minority republican”.

    Today an Indy Star opinion columnist James Briggs ran a piece “On race, Indiana Republicans are talking when they should be listening”.

    I had to laugh at Briggs piece because what he suggested is anathema to the Republican Party. He was basically suggesting they need to find some Democrats that would be willing to call themselves Republicans.

  25. Bradford speaks truth from an historical perspective and does not exempt religion from the rigorous historical tests it deserves. As for Lutherans, I recall that some ten or so years ago at the height of the anti-Wall Street street scene my elder daughter and I and perhaps fifty other Democrats were carrying anti-Wall Street signs on a major intersection in Naples, Florida, and I saw a man with a clerical collar across the street carrying a sign. I assumed he was a Catholic priest but noticed a woman hovering over him, so I walked across the street to investigate. He was a Lutheran pastor and the hovering woman was his wife. I congratulated him on his social activism and thought kindly of Lutheran pastors afterwards (though, of course, that was based on anecdotal evidence and a thin n).

    Parenthetical note > I have just learned of the decision of the SCOTUS in re the right of state and congressional bodies to subpoena Trump’s business records. Aside from the court’s central finding of yes to the State of New York and maybe in re congressional oversight pending further findings below, I find the ancillary finding that a state may prosecute a president for a crime while sitting a blow to the DOJ rule that such cannot be done. Thus, contrary to Trump’s view that he could kill somebody on 5th Avenue and get away with it, it appears he now can be prosecuted if he kills somebody on 5th Avenue, and last time I looked, New York has a murder statute.

  26. Some of the anti-Catholicism on here gives me the willies. There is so much about the Church that I would like to see changed(let priests marry, let women become priests) but some of the criticism here seems over the top. (Looking for better phrasing for my thoughts on this point, my efforts fell short.) Growing up, I remember people at my parish in southern Indiana telling about the evening they were wrapping up a church picnic when on the next hill over, the Klan lit a cross on fire to intimidate the Catholics attending the picnic. I too remember some publications growing up that demonized Catholicism and Catholics. Let’s not forget the No. 1 and No. 2 target of Indiana’s Klan in the 1920s were Catholics and immigrants.

    Having said that, I 100% agree with the thrust of Sheila’s argument. I come at it from a different angle though. In 2016, I pleaded with my fellow Republicans that nominating Donald Trump would forever associate conservativism with his toxic brand of politics. The evening of November 8, when I saw Trump had the election wrapped up, my response was that the liberals had won. I knew associating itself with Trump would cripple conservativism and lead to the rise of Democrats and liberalism. That’s exactly what has happened as Democrats have had a ton of success since 2016 winning back state legislative seats, governorships, and control of the U.S. House. Now because of Trumpism, Republicans face losing control of the Senate and the White House in what is shaping up to be a landslide in favor of Democrats. Republicans have lost the suburbs, and it will take a generation to rebuild the party in order to get those voters back. I’m actually no longer optimistic the Republican Party will survive, especially if Trump, the loser, sticks around to divide the GOP. Trump destroying the GOP is the greatest gift the Democratic Party could ever receive.

  27. To clarify, Sheila, my comments about anti-Catholicism was in reference to some of the comments which seemed over the line. I thought your column was fine. Father Ted (Ugh, I hate it that we now call Priests by their first name…seems so disrespectful) deserves criticism.

  28. Actually, Paul, Trump may have been a gift to partisan Democrats, but the destruction of one of America’s two political parties is a disaster for the country. If we are to continue as a two-party system, we need two ADULT, responsible parties bringing different perspectives to issues along with a willingness to negotiate and compromise. When there is, in effect, only one party, the absence of a reasonable opponent allows that party to become undisciplined. And since there is not an alternative to the Democratic party, moderates, liberals and far-left ideologues will fragment within the Democratic party, making any real progress very difficult.

  29. I echo Sheila’s sentiments. A two party system is necessary to keep a lid on political excesses likely to be practiced when there is no organized resistance to their implementation. The Republican Party was already demographically headed for the Whigdom from which it arose in 1854 due to its capture by the rich and corporate class and steady decline in the raw vote, and now Trump has hastened the process, so unless and until that party adopts a platform at variance with its benefactors’s balance sheets, my guess is that it is headed for the oblivion suffered by its Whig predecessor.

    As an old liberal I (perhaps paradoxically) want that party to survive for the sake of democratic governance, but we have become so politically antagonistic with one another at present that such a hope is not possible. Perhaps a decrease in the tone and baseless accusations (Marxists etc.) is in order, considering the glee of the Xis and Putins at our decline in this geopolitical world.

  30. Gerald; we had a four-party system in the last presidential election and look how that turned out. Hillary with more than 3 MILLION more popular votes than Trump; a total of more than 7 MILLION more votes for Stein or Johnson with no way to know how many voted against Hillary or against Trump, trying to prove some obscure point known only to them. But; that total of more than 10 MILLION votes probably would have made a difference to the Electoral College and we wouldn’t be rearranging deck chairs on this sinking USS America.

  31. I had a few days ago posted here Father Ted’s message, here it is again:

    Here is the copy of the weekly message (6/28/2020) from Father Ted Rothrock of St Elizabeth Seton in Carmel:

    Today in Saint Elizabeth Ann SetonThirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time28 June 2020
    This dialogue from Hamlet is taken from Act 3, scene 2 and is a response to Hamlet’s query: “how like you this play?” The line suggests a hidden agenda that is revealed in the objections, where the accuser is actually the perpetrator.

    History is replete with examples of misdirection. In 2001 the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamyan, the 6th century monumental statues of Gautama Buddha in central Afghanistan, claiming them to be pagan idols. The world was horrified, but did nothing about it.

    Despots and tyrants have always employed accusation and distortion to achieve all manner of mischief in an effort to shape and mold public opinion. Anyone currently doing business with Amazon could not help but notice the prominent banner headline from the internet giant touting their proud support for “Black Lives Matter.” But do those black lives really matter to the community organizers promoting their agenda? Is “Antifa” concerned with the defeat of fascist right-wing nationalism or more interested in the establishment of left-wing global socialism?

    The brutal murder of a black man in police custody has sparked a landslide of reaction to the alleged systemic racism in America. We are being told that the scars of race relations in this country are really unhealed wounds that continue to fester and putrefy; amputation is required! Reforms must be sweeping and immediate to crush the rising wave of racism that pervades the nation and perverts the body politic.

    On the heels of the Covid sequestration, the bottled-up tension of an isolated population has exploded into riots and demonstrations that we have not seen the like in fifty years. What would the great visionary leaders of the past be contributing to the discussion at this point in time? Would men like Fredrick Douglas and the Reverend King, both men of deep faith, be throwing bombs or even marching in the streets?

    Would they be pleased with the murder rates in our cities or the destruction of our families by the welfare system? Would they see a value in the obliteration of our history to re-write a future without the experience and struggles of the past?

    Would we tear down their monuments? Who are the real racists and the purveyors of hate? You shall know them by their works. The only lives that matter are their own and the only power they seek is their own. They are wolves in wolves clothing, masked thieves and bandits, seeking only to devour the life of the poor and profit from the fear of others. They are maggots and parasites at best, feeding off the isolation of addiction and broken families, and offering to replace any current frustration and anxiety with more misery and greater resentment.

    The message of peace that comes to us in Christ is the gospel we carry in common with the Orthodox Churches and other Christians. We must stand in solidarity with our brethren across the world to oppose this malevolent force. Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the other nefarious acolytes of their persuasion are not the friends or allies we have been led to believe. They are serpents in the garden, seeking only to uproot and replant a new species of human made in the likeness of men and not in the image of God.

    Their poison is more toxic than any pandemic we have endured. The father of lies has not just been seen in our streets, we have invited him into our home. Now he is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith.

    St Elizabeth Seton HAS TAKEN THIS DOWN from their website.

    Side Bar: >>> Father Ted has managed to hit most if not all of the Rightwing Reactionary talking points. Father Ted said what he thought. He must have thought also that his “message” was acceptable to his flock.

  32. I grew-up a Catholic. No more I am Agnostic. I do need need all the supernatural rubbish like Adam and Eve, unclean food, Noah, Plagues of Egypt, Virgin Birth and Resurrection.

    At least what I see from the Catholic and bible thumping evangelicals is Male Authoritarianism. The men hold all the power. I think of the woman in these religions held hostage, like the Stockholm Syndrome.

  33. Right you are, JoAnn. The raw vote should determine the winner but it makes a big difference WHERE a candidate garners such votes. When I write two party I mean two major party, and right now that’s us and them, as it were. West now says he’s starting the Birthday Party, and I suppose the Greens and libertarians will be at it again, so perhaps we will have a five party contest come fall. My hope is that we Democrats will have such a sweep that our raw vote will outnumber the other four combined, and that our vote is in the right venues, but that, as usual, depends upon turnout, and even if Trump is vanquished, Trumpism isn’t; so we have work to do – lots of it – beyond rejoining the civilized world.

  34. The only lives that matter are their own and the only power they seek is their own,” Rothrock wrote of Black Lives Matter organizers. “They are wolves in wolves clothing, masked thieves and bandits, seeking only to devour the life of the poor and profit from the fear of others. They are maggots and parasites at best, feeding off the isolation of addiction and broken families, and offering to replace any current frustration and anxiety with more misery and greater resentment.

    Wait. Was he talking about Trump Republicans?

  35. Some of my conservative friends claim that the Black Lives Matter movement promotes a breakdown of the family. They quote this statement which is on the BLM website – “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”

    The thinking on the far-right is doubling down on this to discredit BLM.

  36. JoAnn, I am very sorry for the loss of your relationship with your grand-daughter. This is a rough time for families.

  37. Thankfully the suburbs around the nation – including Carmel – are becoming more tolerant – the crazies supporting this Carmel Catholic church notwithstanding.

    After Trump had been in office a short time, I lamented to a very wise friend that Trump was setting back race relations 50 years. He said I could take heart. Just look around, he said. Blacks and whites were eating together at restaurants. Families were adopting children of different races and nationalities. Many marriages were of mixed races. Yes the racists had come out from under their rocks to broadcast their racism with Trump’s encouragment, but we’ve come too far from the 1950s and 60s, and we’re not going back.

    Trump’s open racism continues to surprise and distress me, BUT given its stunning ugliness AND the politically-turning suburbs, I think my friend was right. We’re not going back.

  38. I may not be very eloquent, but as a life-long Democrat and 25-year-long resident of Carmel, I just want to say that not all residents of Carmel are bigots and racists. There are those of us who DO embrace diversity. There are those of us who ARE trying to make things better. Don’t paint us all with the same brush. Thank you.

  39. Well said, Annette. Growing up, Oakland County, Michigan was the upscale, Republican stronghold. Democrats had no chance. Now, Democrats are in the majority. So will it be with Hamilton County. I’ve met some of those who will lead that change.

    I don’t pick on other people’s clergy, but I had noticed a tendency in my twenties where two people would meet, learn that they were both Catholic, describe horror stories of their Catholic education, and then agree that they would send their children to Catholic schools for the superior education. Interesting.

    I didn’t experience that, but Passover at my house had eight or ten nuns, either from the “boy’s home” where my cousin worked, or the sisters my parents met in ecumenical conferences. I also remember how the kids from the local Catholic school used to pick fights with public school children. You can’t generalize, there are always good and bad, among Catholics, Republicans, Democrats, or whoever. As we used to say in Detroit – “Your mileage may vary”

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