Archive for the ‘Possible the Magic Fetus’ Category
Since screwing his fellow conservatives over by wresting Roger L. Simon’s money from them (I know that’s two in a row, but I never get sick of linking to that one!), Alfonso Rachel has actually been very judicious with his use of air-scare-quotes, though you can tell in this clip that he’s just dying to use them during his TOTALLY FAIR paraphrasing of an abortion-rights advocate.
I must say though, Rachel gets points for honesty, with his admission that the only actual basis for his opposition to abortion rights is religious in nature. His argument for outlawing abortion rests on his claim that America has been, since its founding, a religious nation (Rachel alternates between describing it as “Judeo-Christian” and just straight-up “Christian”). So yay theocracy! I guess?
Since I am too tired to re-hash the history of the establishment clause and early establishment clause jurisprudence (I mean, it’s 2009. The least you can do is read the Wikipedia article about something before you start running your mouth, dude), I’ll take a different angle.
I’d be interested to hear Rachel’s thoughts on the broader implications of this argument. We’re a Christian nation! The founders were Christian! Should divorce be illegal? What should the prison sentence be for adultery? How often should people like Rachel be forced to re-read the various bits in Matthew condemning the hypocrisy of the Pharisees? Discuss!
Yeah, yeah, I know I haven’t been updating. And at the worst possible time, what with the whole absurd ACORN pimp story going down, and Andrew Breitbart launching himself into the mainstream political discourse (or, rather, the mainstream political discourse lowering itself to the level of Andrew Breitbart). If I’d been doing the blow-by-blow on that, it coulda been my ticket to INTERWEB STARDOM.
But really, I haven’t been posting much because, after a long break for some summer traveling, I returned to find Big Hollywood devoted almost entirely to the NEA thing, the ACORN thing, and the singing children thing. Like, 5 pieces a day on each. I just did not have the energy, y’all. Those are three such lame stories. I’m trying to be a polemicist here! Give me something more to work with, BH! Compare Obama to Hitler again! Rep for Miley Cyrus and Twilight as our cultural saviors like you used to! Go back to Comparing third tier GOP pols to sci-fi characters! Something! Anything!
Luckily, Doug Giles, a BH n00b late of, lulz, NRA News is here with his list of Doug Giles’ Top Ten Pastoral Strawmen. Giles, you see, is upset that some pastors and priests are “avoiding the culture war.” He doesn’t name any specific person, locale, congregation, denomination, or style, and he doesn’t explain what issues are encompassed by this “culture war” he thinks the clergy ought to be engaging in. His wording is so weird and broad that I can only assume he’s pissed at any man of the cloth who doesn’t yell “FEEEEEEEETUUUUUUSSSSSS” at the top of his lungs every time someone uses the letter “O.”
As far as I’m concerned, a silent or waffling pastor in today’s paranormal climate is unnecessary. I don’t care how much the minister likes kitty cats, candy canes, and if he cries at Celine Dion concerts. Look, Voiceless Vicar, if you’re not currently in the middle of this crucial cultural squabble, pointing out what’s putrid and cheering on what’s proper, then you’re Dr. Evil in my book.
I don’t think “paranormal” means what he thinks it means. And “Voiceless Vicar”? Did I get sucked in to a 13th Century miracle play or something? And why is liking candy canes a sign of weakness on par with Celine Dion fandom? Candy canes are delicious! I guess enjoying seasonal confections makes me the biggest fag in fagtown.
But let’s go through the Reasons Some Pastors Don’t Have Big Jangly Balls Like Doug Giles one-by-one:
1. Fear of Man: If you purport to be a man of God then your regard for God and His opinion must trump the trepidation of the creature God created from spit and mud. Come on, man of God, don’t fear the crowd . . . we’re peons with cell phones who’ll shoot Botox into our foreheads. We’re weird and fickle weather vanes of what’s en vogue. You’ve got to lead us. Therefore, move into the Moses mode and command us to be and do what is holy, just and good. The grinning, mild, subtle Oprah approach doesn’t seem to be stemming the current flood of cultural filth.
I’m not sure where homeboy is getting the “spit and mud” thing. Maybe he should be more angry at his local pastor for not explaining Genesis 1-2 better. And maybe Giles and I just go to different services, but “DRINK THE BLOOD OF YOUR GOD” doesn’t sound like something Oprah would say.
2. Ignorance: Most people are not bold in areas in which they are ignorant . . . always excepting Janeane Garofalo, of course. I know keeping up with all the pressing political issues is maddening, but that’s life, brother, and if you want to be a voice in society and not just an echo, you have got to be in the know. Staying briefed is par for the course for the hardy world changer.
This one is most confusing to me. What issues does Giles think churches ought to be concerned with? The particular hobbyhorses of the religious right (abortion, gay rights, etc) haven’t changed in a generation. Does he think pastors should be up there yakking about whatever bullshit story cable news is fabricating that day? “My children, please bow as I COME TO YOU LIVE WITH EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS ON THE LACI PETERSON STORY.”
3. Division: Y’know, I hate the current non-essential divisions in the church as much as the next acerbic Christian columnist. Squabbling over the color of the carpet, who’ll play the organ next Sunday or who is the Beast of Revelation, is stupidity squared. That being said, there’s a time and place for a holy throw-down and an ecclesiastical split from political policies and parties. For a minister to seek unity with secularists when they are trashing and rewriting Scripture with impunity is to side with vice and to allow darkness to succeed.
4. Last Days Madness: Many ministers do not get involved in political issues because they believe that “it simply doesn’t matter” since “the end has come.” These defeatists believe that any change in the jet stream, war, earthquakes, a warming globe, the success of a corrupt politician—or even a new Shakira video—are “proof” that God is getting really, really ticked off and that His only recourse is to have Christ physically return and kick some major butt. Attempting to right culture is, in the defeatists’ eyes, equivalent to polishing brass on a sinking ship; therefore, they are content to simply pass out gospel tracts, tramp from Christian rock concert to Christian rock concert, eat fatty foods and stare at Christian TV.
WTF crazy-ass church is Giles attending where they talk about Shakira videos as signs of the End Times? Because I want to go there.
5. Sloth: Classically defined, sloth is lethargy stemming from a sense of hopelessness. Viewing our nation and the world as an irreparable disaster, where our exhortations, prayers, votes and labors will not produce any temporal fruit, leaves one with all the fervor of a normal guy who’s forced to French kiss his sister. If you’re wondering why your flock is so apathetic, Pastor Eeyore, ask yourself if you have stolen the earthly hope that their valiant efforts can actually prevail in time and not just in eternity.
OK, I guess laziness is bad. But like… was Doug Giles “forced to French kiss his sister” once? That’s an oddly specific example.
6. They don’t want to lose their tax-exempt status: Many pastors, priests and parishioners have been cowed into inactivity by the threatened loss of their tax-exempt status if they say anything remotely political. This can make pastors who don’t, or won’t, get good legal advice about as politically active as Howard Hughes was during the flu season.
As long as they aren’t endorsing specific candidates, this will not happen. Even if they do, it probably won’t happen.
7. They bathe in paltry pietism: Pastors avoid politics because such concerns are “unspiritual,” and their focus is on the “spirit world.” Yes, to such imbalanced ministers, political affairs are seen as “temporal and carnal,” and since they trade in the “eternal and spiritual,” such “worldly” issues get nada.
This bunch is primarily into heavenly emotions and personal Bible study, and they stay safely tucked away from society and its complicated issues. How sweet. They forget that they are commanded to be seriously engaged with our culture or fall into the worthless manure category Christ warned them of (Mt. 5.13). Snap.
Unless Giles has some sort of New Translation for Manly Badass Cultural Warriors edition of the Bible that I don’t, Matthew 5:13 doesn’t say anything about “manure,” unsurprisingly. And again, Giles doesn’t explain what being “seriously engaged with the culture” would look like. Because if complaining about Shakira videos isn’t up-to-the-minute enough for two millenia-old religion, I’m at a loss.
8. They have bought into the Taliban comparison: Pastors have muffled their political/cultural voices because they fear being lumped in with Islam by the politically-correct thought police. The correlation made between Christians’ non-violent attempts at policy persuasion and the Taliban’s kill-you-in-your-sleep campaigns is nothing more than pure, uncut crapola.
That’s a neat rhetorical trick there. I’m engaging in a “non-violent policy persuasion” to convince people that we ought to bomb Iraq, Afghanistan, and probably Iran until there’s nothing left. But see, see, my call to do that is non-violent. I’m just like Jesus!
9. They can’t say “no” to minutiae: Some ministers can’t get involved in studying or speaking out regarding pressing issues simply because of the ten tons of junk they are forced to field within their congregations. Spending time wet nursing 30-year-olds without a life and being bogged down in committee meetings over which shade of pink paint should be used for the women’s ministerial wing of their church, ministers are lucky if they get to study the Bible nowadays—much less anything else.
Pastors aren’t supposed to be part of their community! They’re supposed to be spending their time shouting at their community!
10. They like the money: The creepy thing about a lot of ministers is their unwillingness to give political or cultural offense when offense is needed, simply because taking a biblical stand on a political issue might cost them their mega-church, which means their seven homes, their Bentley and their private jet. Oh well, what do you expect? Christ had His Judas, and evangelicalism has its money loving hookers.
Again, I’m confused here, since, as a group, mega-church pastors tend to be the more political than their Catholic or mainline Protestant counterparts, with their hippie-ass lives of modest, local service to their communities. Don’t they know about ACORN? Don’t they know about Van Jones? Don’t waste your time taking Communion to that bed-ridden old lady, padre. Read the Washington Times instead!
I’ve been waiting patiently for a Big Hollywood contributor to weigh in on George Tiller’s murder (you may remember Doug TenNapel contributing to the O’Reilly-driven hysteria about Tiller’s clinic before his death). I expected the “one bad apple”/”can’t blame a political movement for the actions of one nutjob” etc etc argument, but it never materialized. Which is interesting, because BH posted several pieces making that case with respect to last week’s shootings at the Holocaust museum. Silence on Tiller, though. I wonder why?
The only piece to bring up the Tiller murder is one of Greg Gutfield’s daily dashed-off-between-burrito-bites “Gregologues,” which takes an angle I wasn’t expecting at all:
Am I wrong for not caring?
I mean, I know that soon there will be a movie about Tiller (not about William Long, of course), probably starring walking hairpiece Ted Danson. But I still don’t care. I mean, I know that killing Tiller is wrong. It’s murder. And if you’re against the killing of unborn children, you can’t just go out and kill a man, even if he kills unborn children.
But that still doesn’t explain why I don’t care. And I’m willing to bet that the rest of America – save the media – don’t care much either.
Why is that? It’s not about Tiller’s murder being wrong. I get that. That’s not the issue. This issue is, when you make priorities of “stuff that’s wrong” – is it more wrong to kill a dumpster full of viable babies, than to kill the doc who fills that dumpster?
Making fun of a just-murdered guy’s hair. Classy. Beyond that, though, Gutfeld is so busy thinking up fart jokes that it’s not really clear which argument he is trying to make. It’s either:
1) Tiller’s murder, while morally wrong, is not newsworthy.
2) Tiller’s murder, while morally wrong, is not worth discussing because he did something I think is worse.
If it’s 1), that’s a little hard to swallow given the fact that, to date, Big Hollywood has run 10 pieces on David Letterman’s Willow Palin joke, and a whopping 24 pieces on Miss California. And let’s not forget that piece about the institutional religious implications of Miley Cyrus. By those standards, I think the murder of a man who was only made notable in the first place by media coverage from the conservative movement, is clearly newsworthy.
If it’s 2) then, well, it’s just a cowardly way for Gutfeld to say he thinks Tiller deserved to die. “Sure, sure, murder is wrong. But whatevs.”
The Male-Gigolo-in-Chief actually graces us with his presence today, confronting anti-Catholicism in Angels & Demons. SPOILERS ahead, as if anyone is actually planning on watching that shitty movie.
People whose opinions I respect have defended A&D as not being anti-Catholic. This is probably due to the end of the film which delivers a trumped up moment of warmth and reconciliation between Tom Hanks’ Robert Langdon character and the Church in the form of a new Pope. From my perch, this moment is a subtle but devious cherry on top of a blisteringly unfair and wholly dishonest attack on the Church.
Serial adulterer Martin Luther King, Jr.
Serial adulterer Martin Luther King, Jr.
Serial adulterer Martin Luther King, Jr.
One way to dishonestly destroy someone or something is to repeat only the negative about that someone or something. DreamWorks has just announced a new film about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and were it to focus solely on King’s extra-marital affairs no one would argue that the movie was anything other than a propaganda tool produced with the goal in mind of assassinating his character.
You know, if MLK had tortured and enslaved people, executed religious leaders, and massacred his enemies (just off the top of my head), this argument might hold more water. Those things are all significantly worse than cheating on your wife.
Rather than get sidetracked, let’s just stipulate each criticism is accurate (though they’re not). But it doesn’t matter, because… None of the enormous good the Church has done over the last 2,000 years is ever mentioned. So even if the filmmakers are right on “the facts,” they’re telling no less of a lie. Intentionally omitting all the good the Church has done intentionally creates a false impression no reasonable person would get if the film provided the full story.
Nolte never elaborates on what exactly this “enormous good” has been. I am wont to play Church-apologist among my LIBTARD friends, but come on, 2000 years? There were entire centuries where the Church did not do a single thing right. Inquisitions and crusades aside, how big of an asshole do you have to be to side with Phillip II over Elizabeth, for instance? Or Charles V over anyone?
Finally, to reaffirm his straw man really does exists, Howard tacks on a warm closing scene that portrays the Church as evolving into an institution more open and accepting of scientific truth.
Some may have gotten the fuzzies from this moment, but the Church is already open and accepting of scientific truth and to say it could be what it already is… Well, let’s just say that if “Angels & Demons” was as clever at storytelling as it is at spreading lies, it might have been a watchable movie.
As Christian institutions go, the contemporary Catholic Church is on the pro-science end of the spectrum. At least they’ve mostly kept out of the whole Creationism/ID game. They’d rather not look like idiots again in another 200 years, so they’ve learned that “we have no position” is the best space for a religious organization to occupy with respect to scientific issues.
Sadly, the Church’s embryo fetish has not allowed it to extend this good sense to its position on stem cell research. But hey, you can’t win ’em all. The Church is an ancient institution, and I, for one, am pleased with the current no-burning-people-at-the-stake policy. Baby steps, people.
Doug TenNapel makes a rather startling admission over at Big Hollywood today.
Sebelius is most rabid pro-abortion governor in the country. Even late-term abortion doctor George R. Tiller has proudly donated over $38,000 to her campaigns over the years.
So you’ll have to excuse me if I get extra-happy that Sebelius made “unintentional errors” on her taxes. It’s like going after Al Capone. If we can’t generate enough disgust for Sebelius over her radical position on late-term abortion, I’ll settle for removing her from the nomination for being a tax cheat.
He just admitted that conservatives don’t give a fuck about the tax problems of various Obama nominees. After all, who hates the progressive income tax more than our armchair Dagny Taggerts at BH?. No, for TenNapel this is all about using everything possible to further a hard-right agenda. He is admitting to using bad-faith arguments here.
Incidently, I actually care about politicians who don’t pay their taxes. Fuck them.
Also, yeah, Bill O’Reilly’s obsession with George Tiller. How relevant.