Damned if you don’t

school, closings, weather

Clete Wetli, Contributor

Last night, we got the message that the City of Huntsville cancelled classes due to the potential of severe weather as Hurricane Irma was predicted to bring heavy rain and wind into the Tennessee Valley. The kids were jubilant, the adults not quite so much. Then, on social media there was great bitching and anguish over the decision. Most folks were very upset because they felt that the severe weather threat was overstated and that they were now forced into spending some unplanned time with their kids. They were irate because, in many cases, it would mean having to take a day off work presumably without pay.

The best part was inadvertently listening to WVNN conservative talk show host Dale Jackson picking it as his “Number One Thing You’ll Be talking About Today” and excoriating the school administrators for the decision by calling them cowards. I was scanning stations while I was coming back from the store with bread and milk so that we could make milk sandwiches should Armageddon begin. Mind you, Jackson has no kids, but he’s quick to disparage the school system for their decision to err on the side of abundant caution. He thinks the whole decision was based on their fear of lawsuits from angry parents.

I think too many parents would be angry no matter what decision they made. In this case, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey had already made an emergency declaration before the storm changed intensity and direction. This means that cancelling class would not require a “make-up” day. The school systems made their decision yesterday based on the forecast that included wind advisories and a tropical storm watch for the area. Of course, things changed and the forecast wasn’t entirely accurate.

Cue rage and rending of clothes and gnashing of teeth and cursing in foreign tongues! How dare they!! Yes, Dale Jackson was right, this is the number one thing you should talk about today- not disaster relief, not Equifax’s hack, not tax reform, not 9/11 memorials- yes, we should burn the effigies of school administrators and be sure they hear our feverish outrage!

Alrighty then. Now that your done foaming at the mouth, you may wish to consider that if this is, indeed, your number one issue for today, your life is darn good. I have a feeling that later in the day, that will change after your kids complain about being bored and not being able to go outside because it’s raining. Or, you’ll stay enraged like Dale Jackson, who remains completely unaffected by this issue, and gripe incessantly to ever person who’ll listen because that’s sort of y’alls happy place. Ooh, I bet your pissed I used the colloquial word “y’alls” in a sentence, too…

C’mon, whatever happened to our ability to just roll with things? I mean, they made a decision on the best information they had at the time and, yes, they erred on the side of abundant caution. I may be going out on a limb here, but I prefer that rationale over making decisions out of carelessly embracing risk or being completely unaware of severe weather threats or using a Magic 8 Ball for major decisions.

Yes, you will have to interact with your children if you’re able to pry the cell phones out of their hands. You will feel intense guilt as you binge watch Game of Thrones or whatever other non-productive thing you do on a Monday when you should be working. Some of you will even declare at 2:20 that it’s 5 O’clock somewhere. Eventually, your outrage will subside or it will grow as you begin to seriously contemplate a career change as a right-wing talk radio show host.

So, let’s lighten up on the school system. They’re doing the best they can. Those poor folks are truly damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Remember, they’re dealing with your genius angels every single day. Yeah, your genius angels and those bratty moron kids down the street, yet teachers have to do all of that completely sober. So, you’ll make it through this one unplanned day. Remember this afternoon that it’s probably 5’Oclock somewhere and toast the school for unplanned family time.

I wonder what Dale Jackson’s “Number One Thing” will be when he finally does have kids? Probably, complaining about how that Hawaiian Punch cartoon character on his kids juice boxes turned them into liberal snowflakes. Well, we can only hope.

The Huntsville Statement

religious, authority, nashville, statement

Clete Wetli, Contributor

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”- First Amendment, Constitution of the United States of America



In response to the Nashville Statement, a document sanctioning discrimination by state and church, produced by Evangelical Christians and initially signed by over 150 Evangelical Christian leaders, let it be known that it is our duty as Americans to stand against prejudice, discrimination, and the advocacy of hatred toward any class of person. Our Constitution guarantees life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all who live in America including the right to marry who they love regardless of their sexual or gender identity. Of course, your personal religion or individual belief system may not approve of such legal, civil unions and, because America is a free country, you are entitled to practice your beliefs in the way you see fit so long as your practice does no harm to others. Simply, if you disapprove of gay marriage, then don’t get gay married. If your church doesn’t agree with same-sex marriage, then don’t perform them. However, respect the rule of law and recognize the legality of marriages recognized by the state. Same-sex marriage will have no ill effect on your marriage, regardless of how many times you marry, regardless of your religious beliefs, or lack thereof.

The signers of the Nashville Statement are welcome to their unfortunate opinion, but their public display of prejudice, their willingness to try to infuse their brand of religion into civil public policy, and their immoral advocacy of discrimination endorsed by Evangelical Christian churches is hereby condemned.

The Nashville Statement is objectively a rejection of Christian values and the rule of law in America.

Evangelical Christians are free to believe and practice what they wish, but realize that many Americans don’t really care what they believe or practice, and want them to keep their noses out of other people’s business. If you happen to make wedding cakes for the general public, then, yes, you make them for everyone including people who don’t live in ways you personally approve. Stop being bigoted. Live and let live.


Article I

WE AFFIRM that no church or state can or should deny the legal right for people to marry who they choose. Marriage can be for a multitude of reasons and frankly it’s no one’s business except the people who are marrying each other. In America, they can have as much or as little sex as they want, they can procreate or not, and that marriage is a legal construct that should not and does not require the approval of any religious doctrine.

WE DENY that any religious group should be able to deny anyone the legal right to marry, although it is the religious group’s right to not acknowledge that marriage within their church. Hopefully, if that’s the case, the married couple will find a much better church that does not promote discrimination and bigotry.


Article II

WE AFFIRM that your body is your own and that no else has the right to tell you who you can have sex with or love if you are a consenting adult. Not being married and having sex does not make you a bad person. Polygamy is against the law for good legal reasons, but polyamory is your choice. Again, your love life is your business.

WE DENY that supposed people of faith, like the Evangelical Christian leaders who produced the Nashville Statement, should ever feel compelled to advocate discrimination and bigotry in the name of their religion. Nor, should they ever cause any type of distress to people because of their gender or sexual identity or legal sexual behavior.

Article III

WE AFFIRM that the discomfort of Evangelical Christians with matters of sex and sexuality, particularly the sex and sexuality of others, may be indicative of their own insecurities and unhealthy obsessions, but should not be the primary focus of their spiritual leadership particularly if they are representing the Christian church. A careful reading of Biblical scripture will help in determining that the primary message of Christianity is love, inclusion, and forgiveness, not finding ways to denounce, denigrate, or discriminate against people you do not understand or particular lifestyles you do not condone.

WE DENY that there is scriptural foundation to the Nashville Statement’s claim rejecting “that physical anomalies or psychological conditions nullify the God-appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male or female.” There is no “God-appointed link” when discussing the issue of gender identity which is clearly a personal and individual matter.

Article IV

WE AFFIRM that the Nashville Statement’s comments about sexual and gender identity and sexual behavior is the product of a narrow interpretation of Christianity and does not speak for all Christians or those who have different faiths or those who do not have any faith.

WE DENY the Nashville Statement’s validity having come to believe it to be the product of misguided patriarchy, confused religious zealotry, blatant discrimination, religious arrogance, and obvious hypocrisy. The signers of the Nashville Statement should spend more time trying to figure out how to get a camel through the eye of a needle than producing controversial documents that advocate bigotry and endorse exclusion. For they will find it easier to solve the dilemma of the camel than they will finding the Gates of Heaven that they claim in their pride to know so much about.


LASTLY, live and let live. Try living as Jesus did instead of encouraging the people that you are supposed to lead to discriminate and judge others, it’s not their job and it’s not yours either. Spend more time loving your neighbor instead of trying to figure out who they’re sleeping with or what private parts they have. Jesus never asked you to do that, just like he never asked you to sell books, amass wealth, or build mega-churches. When you’re without sin, then you can hurl that stone… In the meantime, drop the rock and help those in need.



Clete Wetli

People who love the Constitution

Most Americans

Franklin, editor of twentytwentynews.com

People who think

Everyone who’s not an Evangelical

People who like having sex just for fun

Married people who haven’t had sex in years

Jerry Waters, rumored to be asexual

People who marry with no intention of procreating

People who don’t need approval to be who they are

Every drag queen you will meet on Earth

Pat, a transgender friend

Pat, who’s married to Pat

Pat, who sometimes sleeps with Pat and Pat

People who mind their own business

People who bake wedding cakes

People who believe in love

People who believe in diversity and inclusion

Adam and Eve

Adam and Steve

Decent people with morals who have no use for religion

Most Christians

98% of the people who drink Zima because they genuinely like it

Nashville Statement