Sunday, April 2, 2017

The real risk of Trump's Presidency is the Potential Horror of a Pence Presidency.

So far President Trump, despite his obvious faults, has shown that so far at least he is mostly ineffective, seems unprepared and not really paying attention to details or the political process.  This is not necessarily bad - considering his platform and public statements.

On the other hand, Vice President Mike Pence is a well educated, well oiled, politically savvy individual who presents himself as a pleasant and trustworthy human being.  That is what makes him so dangerous.
Mike Pence espouses Bible literalism - which is an interpretation of the King James Bible that represents many of the most radical and repugnant interpretations of Christian moral ideals - literalists apply their conservative, presumptive interpretations of selected parts of King James and then follow these beliefs blindly, and they have actually labelled their heavily redacted interpretation of the Protestant Bible as the living voice of Almighty God.
This form of belief is considered heresy by Catholic theologians -  as this kind of belief in any book, (even the Bible) is a serious violation of the First Commandment to not worship anyone or anything but God Almighty in his infinite and ever changing glory.
So essentially, if you believe as Mike Pence claims to believe, you worship a book.

What the Catholic Church currently teaches regarding this type of idolatry:  

(From the Vatican's recent treatise regarding current interpretations of the First Commandment)  
"You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve." "...The First Commandment is also concerned with sins against hope, namely, presumption..." (the belief that we can know and understand God without error) .... "Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship..."  (idolatry is any activity or belief that holds an object, leader or faith as superior to the direct study of Church teachings and an individual's own inner perception of Almighty God).
This means that no faith, not even Catholicism is to be held up as capable of infallible interpretation of God's scriptures and God's will for mankind. No prophet, no saint, not even the Pope can ever claim God's voice or to be anything but a humble, human interpreter of God's living word, and certainly no mere book can be held to the sky and be declared as containing the infallible and unalterable Voice of God. 
Bible literalism is a radical splinter movement within Christianity, and their teachings push thinly veiled prejudice of anyone of different cultural and social identity and non-Christian faiths. 
Literalism stands in opposition to mainstream Christian faiths, Christian historical traditions and Jesus' teaching of inclusion, acceptance, mercy and kindness to all.
It is very important to keep in mind that even Jesus prostrated himself before his Father, the Lord God Almighty - seeking to be worthy of his life's task, to better understand God's will, and to be worthy of his destiny.  
What is even more irrational about literalist fundamentalism is that they selectively ignore huge chunks of the words in their own King James Bibles.  Thus conservative Bible-literal Christians preach a hypocrisy of faith is that stretches the boundaries of rational understanding. 

Here are examples of "conservative Christian" fundamentalist hypocrisy:

Pence, like President Trump and most if not all "faith-based Christian" Republicans, lay claim to the Biblical mandate that humans have been given complete dominion over nature (strip mines and pollution please) but they then conveniently ignore God's instructions contained throughout the Bible regarding this responsibility - God's clear instruction to all believers to forever be stewards and caretakers of the planet and indeed all living things.
Pence and his fellows believe that homosexuality is an abomination repugnant to God, but they consistently ignore Biblical mandates such as not allowing high interest rates to be charged to borrowers, and God's imperatives about making sure widows and orphans and the elderly are properly supported and cared for.  They also seem to believe that Christ's instruction to "love thy neighbor" apparently includes denying even the most basic housing, food and healthcare to the poor.
Most heinous of all, Mr. Pence and most other "faith based" Republicans actually believe that five billion human beings currently sharing this planet with us are automatically going to Hell when they die.  Their sin? Committed the moral outrage of not being born Christian.
Pence believes gender differences are so important that he will not ever, EVER trust himself to be alone with a woman not his wife. Personally I am confident he does this out of fear and self-interest, as by avoiding any personal contact with females he believes he is thus immune from accusations of sexual impropriety.
The wisest man I ever knew would have looked at that and said softly, yes - that is what he fears, just as every thief believes that everyone everywhere is likely to steal his property.
Don't get me wrong - my dearest relative attends the same kind of fundamentalist, conservative Christian church as Deacon Mike and believes all these things just as fervently, and I love him nonetheless, but I am also greatly soothed that his power is limited to his occasional awful choices in voting booths.  
I believe that Mr. Pence and indeed every person has the absolute right of religious freedom to believe what they choose, but some forms of radical belief and direct public action on such beliefs represents a danger to our common American heritage of freedom and personal liberties.  For a politician, such perversion is no more acceptable than any other form of moral sickness.  
I can only speak for myself and for our little church.  We believe that Michael Richard Pence is one of the most dangerous men in the world.
History has taught us that if a man like him somehow gets the big chair, terrible things happen that can destroy not just rights and freedoms, but the arc of human progress for hundreds, even thousands of years.

And you can't pray that away either, Mister Pence.

Author's note and update, April 2nd, 2:00 PM:  I am amazed at the amount of traffic this brief article is receiving from all around the world.  I would like to share current statistics - keeping in mind that this is an obscure little Church blog, and the article was only posted a few hours ago.  I'd like to especially thank all our foreign readers.  Please - I invite all comments and would like to know your feelings and thoughts.

Final full-day article statistics by post - which is amazing, because our Temple website normally gets this much traffic in about a year or two.  Amazing.  Kind of scary.

Twenty four hours of post traffic final total:  6,700 page views from 11 countries.  Nothing like this has ever happened to me in a lifetime of writing and studying comparative faith and human culture.

I don't know if this will be a positive experience.  I wonder what Vice President Michael Pence feels about my obscure little article on our Temple's website.  

I hope he might choose to contact me and I will actively correct any errors in knowledge or judgement.  Many people think he is a truly great man.

I know his leadership history regarding policies, cultural and social morality and his choices as governor of Indiana - where I love to learn and write and live.  I despised his resistance to clean needle exchanges, the right of a woman to choose, and failure to support our poorest and most vulnerable populations.

He did however, eventually cooperate with our very conservative but common-sense legislature at local and State levels.

My most central belief is that War = Terror, and that failure to share in equality through community action to prevent gross disparity of wealth and health and lifestyle is our culture's greatest sin.  I wonder what his inner beliefs are on these issues, but I think I know enough to make an informed conclusion.


  1. Thank you my distant relative, for posting this and sharing it with me. I don't belong to your unique brand of Catholicism, but respect that in your own way you are carrying on at least 500 years of Hubertz tradition in still walking in a Catholic faith.

    I've even joined reddit (after all these years of lurking) to share it as best as I can. I have watched Pence as a man and as a politically active conservative I have for a long time doubted his integrity and his belief system.

    Your article really puts his issues into a context that rings with truth.

    Carl H

  2. I think this article is full of half-truths and disrespect.

    Muslims may not all go to hell, but I think you will.

    1. I find it sad that you can accuse a man of disrespect and then unilaterally decide he will go to hell because you do not agree with him.
      There's a story about sawdust and planks you might like.

    2. Ashkelon, could you send me an email at I'd like to ask you a few questions and learn about sawdust and planks.

      Thank you for your wonderful comment.

  3. As someone outside religon, this was a really refreshing view to see. Gives me a lot of hope for America actually. Keep it up.

  4. I'd like to hear you out. What specifically is inaccurate? Why? Without offering any potential correction or explanation it's very difficult for anyone to change their perspective or sympathize.

    1. AL,

      What is inaccurate about Bible Literalism is the way literalists pick and choose what to implement and actually DO, and ignore other equally banned behavior from the KJ Bible that fills their own lives.

      For example, giving money to the poor and afflicted is a Bible mandate mentioned 20 or more times, and was the central theme in Jesus' message - and as a man of poverty he solicited charity constantly, even though his clothes were old and he was often filthy.

      "Whatsoever you do unto these, my brothers, that you therefore you do unto me."

      That means, that when you mock an addict by denying access to their needs of food, shelter and moral and family support, you are denying Jesus himself.

      When you deny change to an alcoholic because he reeks of liquor, you are denying Jesus himself.

      When you make your love conditional, by forcing people to pray or listen or sober up, when you deny abortion to a woman who cannot afford a child, when you deny healthcare and food to the ill, the insane, the vulnerable, the starving or the elderly, you are denying the LIVING PRESENCE OF OUR LORD SAVIOR IN YOUR LIFE.

      To give to the afflicted without fear or reservation is the heart of how my Sainted Mother Bernice Hubertz lived her life from 1992 until the day she died.

      Why did she do this? Because I was a homeless mentally ill addict - and because I had friends worse off than myself. She filled our bedrooms and our dinner table with food and warmth and comfort for these tormented souls - and she started our little faith on the Apostle's path.

      She did this despite having to care for both me and my Father, with severe dementia.

      She did this despite the thefts of medicine, the occasional vomit or the knocks on our door or ringing phone at 4AM.

      She did this despite her blindness, her fear, and her need to trust people who she had never met.

      She walked the apostle's path, lived in joy, and always was willing to sit quietly and listen to people as they shared the stories of their lives.

      Any true Christian who does not strive to live Christ's example is seeking dominance and social status, not wisdom and faith and the true message of God in all of Reality's messy, ever-changing glory.

      The opportunity to give and help and grow is not an obligation, it is our chance to in our small way, walk with God.

      Their failure to do this is what specifically is inaccurate - and Mike Pence has built a career on neglecting the call of his Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  5. Anonymous Listener, are you also Ashkelon? Whether you are or not, I'm trying to reach him as I desire to know the story of sawdust and planks.

    Regarding your question, could you elaborate? I'm getting a lot of inbound mail volume today and it is somewhat overwhelming.

    Thanks for your comment and your desire to "Hear me out."

  6. Please don't misquote the Catechism while claiming it's a "recent Vatican treatise". And when you do, please don't add your own commentary without specifying that it's yours. And PLEASE don't ignore the actual definitions given while doing so. Here is the actual source, with my comments in brackets. Other than that, my only edits, unless specified otherwise in the quote itself, will be to remove footnotes and change double-quotes to single-quotes in order to help its readability.

    "Catechism of the Catholic Church




    THE FIRST COMMANDMENT... [skipping to the title of part one]

    'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND HIM ONLY SHALL YOU SERVE'"[There's the first part you quoted. The others are from paragraphs 2091 and 2113, both in that section].

    2091: "The first commandment is also concerned with sins against hope, namely, despair and [why did you delete that part?] presumption:"

    [As more proof that you're misquoting the Catechism, here's it's definition and examples of the sin of presumption]

    2092: "There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit)."

    [That is different than the definition you gave. If you're gonna use a source, be honest and use it's definitions. Here's the final part of your quote.]

    2113: "Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. [Note: the rest of the paragraph is, again, different than your parenthetical definition] It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, 'You cannot serve God and mammon.' Many martyrs died for not adoring 'the Beast' refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God"

    [In the future, please link to the Catechism or any other source you use so that your readers can properly check your source. Like this:]

    [And finally, please don't call your page "Catholic" if you've broken away from the Church to form a weird, new age-y, house cult. You're in heresy and schism and calling yourself Catholic. Even if you think your heresy and schism is good, and that we Catholics are wrong for labeling it such, it's still dishonest to call yourself Catholic.]

    1. Hello - And please accept my thanks and apology for making you angry.

      We are Catholic - in what we feel is the truest sense. We, despite our "home faiths" try our best to answer Jesus' call to grace, to worship, and as the theological center of the Reform Catholic faith, you might note we accept the Roman Catholic Church, we accept the primacy and importance of the Catholic hierarchy, and we accept the sacraments, from ordained Catholic priests.

      We do however, differ in some key respects. We believe the Nag Hammadi, Martin Luther King, Ghandhi, the Buddha, Muhammad and many, many other people were as equally prophetic, as equally in communication with GOD as Isaiah or St. John the Baptist.

      So what? The Catholic faith gives each person the right to believe whatever they feel within their own interpretation and springing from the infinite fountain that is their own Holy Spirit.

      I call attention to the fact that the Holy Mother Church itself in 2016 not only forgave Martin Luther and redeemed his soul from eternal damnation, but admitted publicly he had been in divine communion with God's spirit.

      As far as paraphrasing the Vatican treatise, that is our tradition. We never Ever quote chapter and verse, nor do we pray from books when together.

      Ours is, as Jesus' was, a purely oral tradition. Why? Because when you write stuff down, people start to beat each other over the head with the books.

      That my friend, is why the Third Testament of the Bible is not in one big dusty pile. God is not OK with what is being done with the first testament and the new testament.

      How do I know that? I'm a prophet. If you want proof, I'll email it to you.

      Have a nice day.


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