Tales of Rats and Ratfinks on the Pulpit

That is one Ratfink to remember…

Good Evening!

I have a story to tell, just a quick one. It is fiction of course…kind of like that book about the million little threads, or more like one of those Lifetime dramas that take an idea based on a true story and twist it into a show that is worse than one of the later Dallas episodes, you know, one of those crappy made for TV movies that just makes you want to wake up and find out it was all just a dream.

Back when things were booming in my small mountain town…. It was a friendly community, full of upstanding good christian folks. Conveniently located just two miles from the big city, with lovely streams, rolling pastures and soft smokey blue mountains.  The town people were happy, they were selling a dream, the second home dream  and everyone had a job within the real estate industry. I worked for a local attorney and one day a call came through. On the phone was a man with one of those deep self-righteous voices, where every word comes out in a condescending manner…and every conversation is finished with a hearty “Gawd bless you,” or a  contemptuous  “Have a blessed day.” However, this was not one of the holier-than-thou member of the  flock…this man was one of the local preachers, and his godly praise reeked of hypocrisy.

He began the phone call in the usual way, he needed to speak to the attorney right away, it was an urgent matter that a peon like me could not help him with.  As always, the attorney was with a client and could not be disturbed, “…would you like to leave a message sir?” Reluctantly, but with that smug touch of superiority that comes from spending so much time speaking from the pulpit, he asked his “legal” question.

He had a woman, who bought some land from him a while back…he wanted to know how he could foreclose on the property.  He had sold a mountain lot to woman from Florida, owner financed and our office had drawn up the mortgage documents and even did the closing.  I asked him how many months behind she was…and he answered, she pays on time…always. WTH? She doesn’t owe any back payments. My next question was,  why do you want to foreclose on the property? What he said next made me sick…he needed to foreclose on her because he wanted to sell the property for more money. Yeah, he had a member of his church who would pay him way more than the lady from Florida paid for his little hump of dirt with trees on it…and there was no way he was going to miss out on that money.

I took his message and gave it to the attorney who shook his head and said, “I’m not calling this asshole back. If he calls again tell him that he can’t do that…”

The point I am making with this little tale is this…this was a man of “Gawd” that preached his hypocrisy from the pulpit of one of the largest churches in town, it was a house of praying sheep, lead by a greedy son-of-a bitch self-righteous ratfink. The kind of man who takes something from everyone…the kind of man who feels entitled to his tax-exempt superiority that comes with title of Reverend. The kind of man who has no qualms of conscience when he tells his followers how to live a christian life, to live their life with one thought…what would Jesus do? (That’s “Jaa-ee-zus” with three syllables.)

And now I bring you tonight’s evening reads.  Georgia churches challenge IRS rules on politics

Dozens of Georgia’s religious leaders, including one in Blairsville, are embracing a new movement to challenge a decades-old tax law that prohibits preaching about politics from the pulpit.

Several pastors in the state have openly criticized the law in recent weeks. The pastors say the Internal Revenue Service’s rule is an intrusion on their free speech rights.

Other religious leaders have endorsed a political candidate. Some have even dared the federal government to sanction them for expressing their political preferences.

The stakes are high, as violating the rule could cost a church its tax-exempt status, costing it thousands of dollars.

And money is something these people of Gawd don’t want to lose…

“There are risks to be taken and I knowingly take those risks. But I refuse to compromise God’s word and I refuse to be muzzled,” Jerry Helton, who leads Blairsville’s House of Prayer Interdenominational Church, said in a sermon earlier this month.

Helton is among at least 38 in Georgia who participated in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” a national movement sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom. The group says it will hire lawyers to support churches who were challenged by the Internal Revenue Service, but so far the federal government has steered clear of sanctioning participants.

In Blairsville, Helton stopped short of endorsing a candidate, but urged congregants to view the presidential election through a biblical lens. That perspective was echoed by preachers in both Alpharetta and downtown Atlanta Sunday, where they reminded their parishioners to vote on Nov. 6 and all but stated their presidential choice.

Yup, he spoke his peace about who Jesus would would vote for, however he didn’t name names. In other words…but stopped short of really “breaking the law” and possibly loosing that nice tax-exempt status. That’s the way it is with a rural ratfink.

In other news, Hurricane Sandy is giving big city rats a run for their money…‘Ratpocolypse Now?’ NYC subway rat invasion feared

First the flooding…now the rats???

Rats 2011 5 5

Fears of a “Ratpocolypse” are growing among New York City residents after many of the city’s subway tunnels were flooded by superstorm Sandy earlier this week.

Now I know it is serious, but Ratpocolypse sounds like a great lifetime drama…don’t you think?

Subway rats may flood NYC streets – TODAY Tech – TODAY.com

Hurricane Sandy Worsens N.Y. Rat Problem – The Daily Beast

NYC Rats: Did Subway Vermin Survive Hurricane Sandy? -HuffPo

Jezebel.com Updates: New York City’s Displaced Rat Population Simply Cannot Wait to Give You the Bubonic Plague

AFP: For New York rats, a question of sink or swim

Rats That Survive Hurricane Sandy Could Spread Infectious Diseases In New York City | ThinkProgress

This next headline sounds like mine, but I swear I wrote this post before I saw it!

Tales of the D.C. and NYC rats, after the storm – ComPost – The Washington Post

But my story is about a different kind of rat, a Jesus freak rat…and that my friends is the real Ratpocolypse!

This is an open thread…