Willfully looking for a diversion, spend a while at TYWKIWDBI

MinnesotaStan’s Divertimento posts are a great way to spend some time looking at fascinating Internet treasures that don’t include all the political horseshit.

This one happens to be all gifs and videos. Here’s a sample:

A millionaire’s yacht vs. billionaire’s yacht
A young man creates a vlog entry about being a father.
Harvesting salt
Eight-year-old boy arrested at school
How tequila is made

There Are Evangelicals Who Stand Against Trump. Here’s One of Them.

This opinion piece from one Sara Billups is an evisceration of the idea that being a white evangelical requires a vote for Mr. Trump.

It’s so spot on, I feel like I wrote it. I carried my evangelical beliefs as long as I could before I could no longer rationalize who I was as a Christian and who I was as a human. The strong beliefs I held didn’t match up to the church culture I was taught, which was striving for excellence, to “walk the walk” and practice exactly what was preached.

What I continuously faced in evangelical culture was upending hypocrisy, blatant heresy, willful disobedience, and an almost masterful use of leaning on forgiveness like a crutch or even a wheelchair. The idea that one could pretty much live the life of a heathen and expect forgiveness was excruciating to me, especially since I carry the burden of a to-the-T rule follower and a perfectionist to a fault.

I had to start asking harder and harder questions. Like, “Why should I work my ass off and the people around me don’t?” When I saw people flushed with tear-soaked faces rushing to the dais during altar calls, I was like, “What the fuck am I doing in this culture?”

I told best friends that their gay cousins were going to hell. There was no out. I told people that they must follow Christ and ask them as their savior. This was a requirement of my friends, the people I associated with, and when I finally saw that as not only un-christlike but disgusting, I felt a freed from the heaviest burden possible.

I was so entrenched in conservatism that I saw no other option but to vote for republicans when I was just 18. I had no free will because none had been offered to me. It was THAT way or the highway. Church wasn’t a choice. It was prescribed with emphatic pointing and practically with shoving.

Yesterday, I pastor I’m friends with on Facebook reached out, and it melted my heart. He said, “I was thinking about you and Tina and wanted to see how you were doing.” I love people who still find their faith in the wilderness. I love that there ARE people of faith who care about atheists.

I don’t want to be atheist. I don’t want to be anything really. I don’t like labels, but it’s the only label that seems to describe who I am as a person. All I want is to act in ways that I was brought up, which is Christian at its core, but without the harmful label. Christianity is an appearance. It’s fake at its base. It asks you not to be you, because that would be animalistic and evil. It asks you to be someone else, especially at church, where you dress different to appear clean and Christlike.

Certain clothes still mean “church” to me. Just the other day, I saw a video of Barrack Obama nailing a 3-pointer in a school gym, and I said, “Look at that! Even in his church shoes!”

The writer of the above linked opinion piece describes voting for Trump perfectly: it’s to retain power. Albeit only the appearance of power. Trump gives two fucks if any about Christianity. He grifts an appearance just like I forced myself to for too long.

As a practicing human, I get to be who I am, a person who chases after morality and good living with honesty and no need to ask for forgiveness when unnecessary and to ask for it when I really do screw up.

I don’t mince words anymore. I don’t lie to myself that somehow I’m magical and can wield the power of a God by saying a prayer in my mind or out loud at the dinner table. I can’t bless food because there’s a direct line between me and the almighty. Food IS blessed and it’s what gives life. Sex isn’t dirty outside of marriage, as I was taught over and over. Abortion isn’t a biblical issue. It’s a cultural weapon.

Here’s a snip of the opinion piece that really rang true for me.

Like many kids who grew up as evangelicals, I was taught that abortion was the only issue when it comes to politics. When I turned 18, in the 1990s, my father took me to the Allen County Republican headquarters in my Indiana town, where I registered as a card-carrying conservative. Then we went to Fort Wayne’s Famous Coney Island for celebratory chili dogs.

“It doesn’t matter who is president for a term or two,” Dad told me. “We vote for the candidates who want to protect the dignity of human life.” And those candidates were all in the Republican Party.

Though abortion was the core battle, evangelicals have rallied around various flags of the culture wars for my life. One of the first of these I remember was when Andres Serrano’s photograph of a crucifix suspended in urine caused a backlash among evangelicals. Dad said it was a disgrace; I agreed with him.

Neither of us knew that Serrano was Catholic — not that knowing that would have made us more sympathetic to him — or took seriously the interpretation that the piece was a reaction to the exploitation of Christian iconography. To us, and to the church and broader community to which we belonged, it was blasphemy. And it was worth raising hell over.

A lifetime raised in a culture prepared to go to war over immorality made it especially disorienting when Donald Trump rode down a golden escalator into the presidential campaign, and captured 81 percent of the white evangelical vote. Trump mocked a reporter with physical disabilities, bragged about groping women, retweeted comments likening him to “the second coming of God.” He was accused by multiple women of sexual assault. He claimed he didn’t pray to God for forgiveness.

But instead of outrage, in defense of a basic sense of morality, loyalty to Mr. Trump only seemed to grow among white evangelicals. Their loyalty remained, even when the American president left a bunker in the White House, scattering a peaceful protest with aggressive riot-control tactics after the killing of George Floyd so he could walk to a church, hold a Bible, and have a photo taken.

Read the whole thing!