It’s Opening Day, so let me use that as an excuse to link to one of the most remarkable posts I’ve ever read on a baseball blog.
Rany Jazayerli is a Kansas City Royals fan, which speaks well of him as a person. To be a Royals fan requires character, sincerity, humility, fidelity, commitment, courage and hope. Royals fans, like Cubs fans, are implicitly trustworthy and I wish Rany the best on Opening Day — especially when his Royals play the Yankees.
But my favorite post at Rany on the Royals had nothing to do with baseball. It was, instead, about Abd el-Kader and the Massacre of Damascus.
“Christians, come with me! I am Abd el-Kader, son of Muhi al-Din, the Algerian. Trust me. I will protect you.”
True story. Inspiring story of an inspiring life.
* * * * * * * * *
This particular lawsuit has to do with the firing of a teacher at a sectarian private school who got sick. I’m not clear on whether the church’s legal claim here of a “ministerial exception” is technically correct, legally. It’s generally pretty crummy behavior, though, and regardless of the legal merits of its argument, the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School of Redford, Mich., ought to be ashamed of itself for being the kind of jerks who would fire a teacher because she got sick.
Parents who pay thousands of dollars to send their children to this school probably do so because they want their children to learn good Christian values. But the values Hosanna-Tabor is teaching, apparently, include kicking sick people while they’re down.
My general theory on Christian churches seeking exceptions to the ADA is this: Give them the right to deny access to the disabled, but deny them the right to sue when somebody tries to correct for that by cutting a hole in the roof.
* * * * * * * * *
Newt Gingrich recently warned a Texas megachurch congregation of the grim threat facing christianamurka:
“I have two grandchildren — Maggie is 11, Robert is 9,” Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. “I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.”
This makes no sense politically or theologically or grammatically. “A secular atheist country … dominated by radical Islamists” is the kind of hilarious oxymoron you get when an unprincipled panderer like Gingrich speaks to an audience he doesn’t quite understand and just blindly gropes about for whatever buzzwords he thinks they might like.
But Matt Yglesias thinks you can make sense of Gingrich’s nonsense if you realize that — for him and for his audience at this Texas megachurch — the words “Americans” or “Christians” are neither national nor religious categories, but tribal ones. This tribal view allows for only two categories: Us (straight white gentile Americans) and Not-Us (everyone else). Everyone in the Not-Us category, you have to understand, is identical and interchangeable.
As Matt says, “This is how it gets to be the case that overturning marriage equality in Iowa is somehow a blow against the threat of creeping sharia.”
* * * * * * * * *
Dwight Ozard used to say that the agenda of the evangelical Christian religious right seemed to be “making America safe for Mormons.”
Amanda Marcotte thinks that very point may have something to do with “Why Mormons are hated” by evangelicals:
Mormons, like evangelicals, recruit. Evangelicals and Mormons are in direct competition for the same resources. And what’s really threatening is that Mormons are kind of better at being evangelical Christians than evangelical Christians could ever be. Or at least, that’s the perception. Evangelical Christians are desperate to put forward a nuclear-family-everything-is-so-great-we-have-10-kids-and-none-are-gay image, but the public facade on that is always slipping.
* * * * * * * * *
Mormons, Muslims, “secular atheists” and Newt Gingrich all come under fire in the latest ALARM!!1! e-mail from Brannon Howse and his gaggle of dishonest, delusional, toxic control freaks at Worldview Weekend. Also targeted by Howse et. al. as demonic, baby-killing apostates: Glenn Beck, Pentecostals, Catholics, Charles Colson, Alvin Toffler and C.S. Lewis.
Howse’s M.O. is just a more extreme version of what Fox News practices in a more sophisticated way. The goal is to cast doubt on all other sources of information, making one’s followers wholly dependent on you by isolating them from — and punishing them for — any contact with any other voices, relationships or arbiters.
Fox does this by systematically slandering every respected and reliable source of information, truth and fact. This is a necessary part of their project. You can’t present a convincing alternative to reality for people who have access to other, more credible arbiters of reality. So Fox attacks all such arbiters of reality: journalists, the media, NASA, the CBO, the CDC, the NIH, think tanks, foundations, academia, universities, science as a whole, logic, reason, conscience, sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch.
The tactic is identical to that practiced for centuries by abusive husbands. Isolate to create enforced dependence and control.