Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thursday Afternoon Word Slinging: 05.14.15

Black Presidents, Republicans, Deflated Footballs, Killing more people, and Faith groups and poverty..

ATLAH World Missionary Church Pastor Dr. James David Manning asserted this week that Baltimore residents rioted after the death of Freddie Gray because black people were not ready for a black president.
In his Wednesday video broadcast, Manning said that he didn’t have any “hatred for the idiots who voted for Obama,” but “sometimes when you speak the truth it sounds like or feels like hate.” According to Manning, black people did not deserve a black president because “young black men” had not accomplished anything, and instead believed that they were “owed” government benefits because their ancestors were slaves.
“Hamite [or black] people were saying we should have a black president simply because we were once slaves in this nation,” he said. “It’s like saying because I went swimming one day, I should be the captain of the world’s largest aircraft carrier. You know nothing about a boat. You just got wet swimming one day.”
“To put a Hamite in office just because and only because — there was no other reason — is that Americans were once slaves,” Manning continued. “I stated as well that there would be riots in the streets. I stated that young people born after the plagues will look around and say, ‘We don’t have to accomplish anymore. We don’t have to discipline ourselves anymore. We don’t need a family structure anymore. We don’t need to be hardworking anymore. We can just demand because we were slaves, we ought to be given a penthouse, we ought to be given government subsidies.'”
The pastor declared that “the proof is in the pudding.” --David Edwards @DavidEdwards

“Those SOBs, and that’s all I can call them, these SOBs didn’t even have the decency to table the vote,” Rendell told host Chris Hayes, who quickly responded by playing devil’s advocate.
“The policy is good, or it’s bad, OK?” Hayes asked. “So if I’m a Republican and I say, ‘Look, we’ve got these budget caps, I don’t think Amtrak should be getting this money, this horrible thing that happened doesn’t change the way I’m gonna vote.'”
Rendell, a Democrat, responded by calling the argument of budget caps “a baloney excuse,” saying lawmakers often break budget limits when it comes to defense spending.
“Their policy is terrible,” Rendell said of the GOP. “This country used to have the world’s best infrastructure.” ---Chris Hayes @chrislhayes

Lawyers for the New England Patriots have issued a long letter defending the team against the Wells report.

In the letter, the lawyers defend locker-room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski, who sent series of damning texts seemingly discussing their plan to deflate the footballs. -Brett LoGiurato @BrettLoGiurato

“I think we need to kill more people,” Dale Cox, a prosecutor in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, said recently. He was responding to questions about the release of Glenn Ford, a man with Stage 4 lung cancer who spent nearly three decades on death row for a crime he did not commit. Cox acknowledged that the execution of an innocent person would be a “horrible injustice.” Still, he maintained of the death penalty: “We need it more now than ever.” -Nicole Flatow@NicFlatow

Earlier this week, Harvard professor Robert Putnam did a Q&A with Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein, headlined "Have faith groups been too absent in the fight on poverty?" Here is Putnam's answer to that question:
The obvious fact is that over the last 30 years, most organized religion has focused on issues regarding sexual morality, such as abortion, gay marriage, all of those. I’m not saying if that’s good or bad, but that’s what they’ve been using all their resources for. This is the most obvious point in the world. It’s been entirely focused on issues of homosexuality and contraception and not at all focused on issues of poverty.
That the venerable author of Bowling Alone would say this, let alone declare it "the most obvious point in the world," is a good reminder of that even the most brilliant social scientists are, more often than not, demonstrably full of it. There's a  damning retort to this by Rob Schwarzwalder and Pat Fagan at Religion News Service. Just to give you an idea, a single Christian Charity, World Vision, spends about $2.8 billion on anti-poverty efforts. "That would rank World Vision about 12th within the G20 nations in terms of overseas development assistance," World Vision President Richard Stearns noted in Christianity Today a few years back. Fagan and Schwarzwelder do a lot more number crunching, but the upshot is that Christians spend billions and billions fighting poverty. Even the most generous estimates of the resources devoted to pro-life causes and organizations defending traditional marriage are just a few hundred million dollars. By contrast, the budget of Planned Parenthood alone is just over a billion dollars. I don't know what the Human Rights Campaign's budget is, but if I've walked by their impressive building in Washington many times and I suspect they could marshall the resources of a small nation.  --Mark Hemingway @Heminator