The Münchhausen martyrdom of Rick Warren, Chuck Colson and Fr. Jonathan Morris

These folks aren’t driven by religion. They’re not really even driven by politics.

It’s just a big fantasy role-playing game.

Rick Warren, Charles Colson, Richard Land and Father Jonathan Morris all might as well be playing World of Warcraft.

Let me show you what I mean. Here’s Rick Warren, boasting of his own courage in a tweet allegedly responding to the news that health insurance for women must include health coverage for women:

I’d go to jail rather than cave in to a government mandate that violates what God commands us to do. Would you?

Ooh, so bold! What a profile in courage! What a valiant stand against oppression and persecution!

That’s what Rick Warren thinks of himself, obviously, but it’s not clear why anyone here in reality would share that view.

You can’t take a valiant stand against oppression and persecution when no one is oppressing or persecuting you. Standing up against threats that exist only in your own imagination does not constitute bravery or courage.

“I’d ride a cannonball rather than cave in to a government mandate.”

Rick Warren is a fantasist. That fantasy allows him to stroke his own ego, but it also makes him appear ridiculous to anyone not caught up in the fantasy with him. He claims to be a martyr but reveals himself to be Baron Münchhausen.

Even more embarrassing for Warren is that his hypothetical courageous stand has, for the past 13 years, been a case of actual cowardice. Warren boldly proclaims that he would “go to jail” rather than to submit to such an allegedly outrageous “government mandate,” but he’s been submitting to exactly the same law since 1999.

You see, Warren’s ministry is located in Lake Forest, California (Orange County). And a birth control mandate has been law in California for a long time. Since 1999, actually.

Cal. Insurance Code § 10123.196 and Cal. Health & Safety Code § 1367.25 (1999) require certain health insurance policies that already cover prescription drugs to provide coverage for prescription contraceptive methods approved by the FDA. Religious employers can request health insurance plans without coverage of approved contraceptive methods that are contrary to the employer’s religious tenants. (AB 39)

Now, California allows churches to opt out, but so does the federal one. In fact, the federal law was modeled after the exemption offered by California and other states.

So either Warren has somehow been persecuted for 13 years without noticing it or else he’s transparently puffing himself up over something he knows is completely fabricated.

Markos Moulitsas is having some fun with Warren’s pompous pratfall. Kos has started an online petition: “Rick Warren, please report to jail.”

Rick Warren, you claim that you would rather go to jail than comply with a law requiring health insurance policies to cover contraception without co-pays.

However, the state where your ministry is based, California, has had such a law since 1999.

So we’re just wondering why you haven’t you turned yourself in to the authorities yet. You have only had 13 years to do so.

The problem, though, is that even if Warren believed his own scam, he still couldn’t “report to jail” because no one is trying to send him there. The law that upsets him does not in any way threaten him. There is no “government mandate” that would force him to violate what he thinks God commands him to do.

Warren is just fantasy role-playing.

Just as grandiose and just as foolishly self-congratulatory are the ministerial Malvolios tripping over themselves to declare that health care for women is cause for “civil disobedience.”

Charles “homos and queers” Colson sounded the call in solidarity with his Manhattan Declaration buddies:

We have come to the point — I say this very soberly — when if there isn’t a dramatic change is circumstances, we as Christians may well be called upon to stand in civil disobedience against the actions of our own government.  … I’ve made up my mind — sober as that decision would have to be — that I will stand for the Lord regardless of what my state tells me.

Colson is singing their favorite tune, so the usual suspects have to get up and dance. Folks like Southern Baptist ethics czar Richard Land rushed to join in the self-congratulatory role-play of Colson’s fantasy.

In their imagination, they are being heroic and brave. See how bravely they stand up to the oppression they’ve concocted in their imaginations? See how courageously they vow to withstand this non-existent oppression?

Part of the problem here is that none of these preening posers seems to understand what civil disobedience means.* They’re upset about a mandate from which their ministries are exempt. I don’t understand how they intend to disobey a law that does not apply to them. It would be like me trying to use civil disobedience to protest the designated hitter rule.

I suppose they might decide to broaden their scope to include the whole of the Affordable Care Act, courageously standing up for the right of insurance companies to deny coverage to sick children. They might be able to disobey that law by refusing to provide any health care coverage for their employees.

Technically, that might be a form of civil disobedience, but it would introduce a possibility that Thoreau, Gandhi and King never imagined: an act of civil disobedience that constituted a graver injustice than the supposedly unjust law it was meant to protest.

Plus, I seem to recall the Bible having something to say about employers who deny their laborers the wages they have earned. It starts with “weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you” and then it gets really harsh.

So they might want to keep that in mind.

But as fatuous and ridiculous as the fantasies of Colson, Land and Warren are, they’re exceeded by the new champion of pomposity: Catholic priest Jonathan Morris.

Morris seized the throne of King Laughingstock by declaring that he was “willing to die” to defend his right not to live in a country where women have access to preventive health care.

Morris has apparently failed to notice that no one is threatening to kill him. Or to harm him. Or even to make him pay the taxes that the rest of us pay.

Morris seems to think that defying a non-existent threat makes him appear brave rather than appearing divorced from reality. He has forgotten that in order to be martyred, someone has to be trying to kill you. And the government simply refuses to oblige his great desire to be horribly oppressed.

I’m pretty sure Catholic doctrine forbids self-immolation, so even that path to martyrdom also doesn’t seem available for to Morris. But even that wouldn’t make him a martyr — it would just make him “that messed-up priest who offed himself because Blue Cross stopped charging co-pays.”

Morris desperately wants our admiration. He certainly admires himself — so much that he assumes the rest of us will join him.

But while this sad, ridiculous man doesn’t merit anyone else’s admiration, he has earned my attention. I can’t wait to see how he intends to nail his second hand to the cross-beam all by himself.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

* This is what civil disobedience looks like:

On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, [Rosa] Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake’s order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. … Parks’ civil disobedience had the effect of sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

… By refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white man, Parks was more clearly in violation of custom than of law. Nonetheless, her refusal amounted to an act of civil disobedience, resulted in her arrest and conviction by a local court, and proved to be the spark for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

… Blake … said, “Why don’t you stand up?” Parks responded, “I don’t think I should have to stand up.” Blake called the police to arrest Parks. When recalling the incident for Eyes on the Prize, a 1987 public television series on the Civil Rights Movement, Parks said, “When he saw me still sitting, he asked if I was going to stand up, and I said, ‘No, I’m not.’ And he said, ‘Well, if you don’t stand up, I’m going to have to call the police and have you arrested.’ I said, ‘You may do that.'”

The law was unjust. The law directly applied to Rosa Parks. Parks broke the unjust law, was arrested and convicted.

We have many laws that I believe are unjust. The Citizens United ruling, for example, which effectively legislated into existence the corrupting and un-democratic Super Pacs, giving corporations and billionaires undue influence in our elections, is unjust. The policy of indefinite detention without charge or trial for those held at Guantanamo Bay is an atrocity against the Constitution. But I am not engaged in civil disobedience against those laws because they do not apply to me in a way that requires me to obey them or enables me to disobey them. Since I cannot disobey those laws, civil disobedience is not an option for me to oppose them.

I could announce that I planned to demonstrate my opposition to such laws by trespassing on corporate or military property. My arrest might serve to bring attention to my concern, but it would be political theater, not civil disobedience. The law I would be disobeying would not be related to the law I was protesting. I would be, in effect, violating a just law in an attempt to draw attention to an unrelated unjust law.

And but so, the point being that Rick Warren and Chuck Colson are pretending they’re Rosa Parks. They’re not. Not even close.

These men are pretending their the heirs to Martin Luther King Jr., penning their own “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” But they’ve forgotten the salient point about that inspired epistle — it was a letter from jail. King was really being persecuted. They are not. They imagine themselves to be the heirs to his legacy, but in actual fact they are the heirs — precisely — of the white clergymen who were standing in the way of human rights.

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  • http://twitter.com/real_issues Alan Eason

    @ jclor – all I can say is that I am so glad so many are standing with us on NOT including anything that induces abortions in the mandate. Hope that line can hold.

  • Lori

    all I can say is that I am so glad so many are standing with us on NOT including anything that induces abortions in the mandate. Hope that line can hold.  

    Oh for Pete’s sake. No one is “standing with you” on this issue. No one needs to stand with you. There was never any attempt to include abortion in any form in the mandate. There is no line to hold. You are fighting nothing more than your own fantasies. It would be sad if you and people like you hadn’t managed to gin up this whole fake controversy that’s wasting so much time and energy. 

  • Kiba

    all I can say is that I am so glad so many are standing with us on NOT including anything that induces abortions in the mandate. Hope that line can hold.

    Oy. How many times do you have to be told that abortions are not covered in the mandate? That line you’re “holding” is a complete and utter fiction.
     IT. DOES. NOT. EXIST. 

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     

    Oy. How many times do you have to be told that abortions are not covered in the mandate? That line you’re “holding” is a complete and utter fiction.
     IT. DOES. NOT. EXIST.

    Who do you expect him to believe, his beloved priests, or those lying, untrustworthy facts?

  • http://twitter.com/real_issues Alan Eason

    @ Fangs – I see where you got your handle! The debate I entered was one about conscience.  People asked me: “Why conscience on this issue?” I explained the “why” – to me it is people’s conscience about life and death issues. I assumed most people would have conscience issues on life and death. That is what it boils down to with me and many I know. Bringing in euthanasia or even “pulling the plug” wa just to illustrate that – when it IS about life and death – we split hairs. I am pretty convinced the possibility of abortions happening under the mandate is not about life and death to you. You have decided. I understand why it does not compute for you. It still does for me. For my Catholic friends, it goes even beyond that. Though I do not share their belief on that, I respect it. I don’t have to curse to make my point either.

  • Termudgeon

    Can I ask you again, Alan; why is it you have been given misinformation on this issue? Doesn’t it make you a little annoyed to know that you’ve been lied to about what Ella does, and about abortion funding here and overseas, and about there being a magic moment of conception? I’d be furious. Why have people deliberately misled you, do you think? Why should you trust those people in the future?

  • http://twitter.com/real_issues Alan Eason

     Turmudgeon – I am not convinced yet about the morning after or the week-after pills. Like I said, maybe the national debate will move there and there will be much more info coming. Not a “hammer slam – next case” even for me. And the abortion funding thing with PP IS sort of a shell game – give me a break. It is like saying we can fund Castro’s sugar plantation but not his secret police. And I think someone said it well if you scroll up a bit – that the “magic moment” IS at conception (they denied personhood though – splitting hairs? – ahem). Seems most logical to me. I remember studying the Dred-Scott decision in 1857 it seemed to rest on the premise that someone could be human, yet not fully a person (or a citizen or protected by our constitution). That seems ridiculous to us now, but to a lot of people then, it seemed to fit what they were used to.  I remember how shocked I was to realize after that (the only one I ever had) law class, that the whole slavery issue really all hinged on what makes a human a human. And people were horribly divided then on that, as we are on another issue revolving around the same concept now.

    And as a fairly new Christian, I realized it was because as Psalm 8 says, we were made “a little lower than the angels.” It was from a real God, this humanness, and not something we confer on ourselves or any other person. Nor can we deny it to any other person, of any age, pre- or post-natal. It is that mysterious and that powerful. I realize that many, many laugh at that. They have for millenia. There will come a day when we will see the truth of it all – and I believe – the faces of all who have ever lived…. even for only a short while. Once a person is created, they exist forever. I believe that. You may not. But I do.

  • hapax

      I am not convinced yet about the morning after or the week-after pills.

    Your convictions are entirely irrelevant.  They make as much difference as, to paraphrase Terry Pratchett, a rock’s opinions about gravity.

    They don’t cause abortions.  They don’t work that way.  That’s biology, not a matter of opinion.

    You might as well state that you are “not convinced” about the potential effects on an implanted fertilized egg of eating peanut butter cookies, wearing socks, or having a black cat cross the woman’s path. 

    The only difference is that saying any of those things will have you publicly branded as an idiot.  Saying that you are “not convinced” about Plan B or ella will get you an invitation to testify by the Republicans in Congress.

  • Termudgeon

    Do you have a neutral source that agrees the morning-after pill works as an abortificient? If it does, I wonder why actual abortificacients have to be so much stronger? Surely you could simply give the morning-after dose?

    Abortion funding is not a shell game. Are you familiar with the Hyde Amendment?
    But even if it were, and you were felt that giving money to an organization somehow connected with abortions was a bad thing because abortions would somehow be funded with your money, how then can you even do any sort of business with insurance companies that cover the MAP in a plan different from the one you have chosen? How is that not the same shell game? If money to PP is tainted because of their abortion services, so is money to insurance companies.

    It is easy to be a human and not protected by the constitution, btw. Billions of people live in this situation even today.

    What happens to the souls of fetuses that are aborted, in your theology?  Is it something bad?

  • Termudgeon

    I can spell abortifacient, all evidence to the contrary.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     

    Once a person is created, they exist forever. I believe that. You may not. But I do.

    So…. what’s the big deal if they get aborted, then? 

  • FangsFirst

     You responded to me and did not address what I asked about. Repeatedly. You still haven’t. In fact, now you are claiming you were responding to the thread’s general sentiments, instead of me, even though you directed it at me. Does this not strike you as wildly unhelpful?

    And AGAIN, you did not address what I pointed out: I responded to a context that addressed a specific split hair, you then went on to talk about generally splitting hairs. What does that have to do with anything?

    I am pretty convinced the possibility of abortions happening under the mandate is not about life and death to you.

    No, it isn’t. But that’s the point.
    The point is:
    It’s not a possibility, life and death or otherwise. It doesn’t matter if the possibility is life and death or joy and sadness or burgers and hotdogs. Because the possibility does not exist. Which is what I told you in the last two posts and is the reason for my (extremely mild, might I add) swearing. You’re infuriating in your refusal to address the content you claim to be addressing. If you say “Fangs” and refer to me, then you should probably be addressing something I said, not general abstract concepts or what you perceive as an overall “theme” of this thread of comments. Don’t direct it at me if you aren’t going to pay attention to what I said. I’d go back and make that less harsh, but really that’s just common decency, and you haven’t had the decency to read what I wrote, or even what you wrote that I responded by quoting.

    Contraceptives can be a matter of life or death in a way this thread–unlike all the rest–has not addressed. But your biased sources won’t mention those things. Because they don’t care about that.

    But this is sidestepping the other, more general point: who said “Why conscience?”
    And who suggested they have no morality about life or death? The split hair–the one you first referred to–is on defining “life” with regard to conception. Bringing up euthanasia is not even remotely analogous.
    “Hello, I am in pain,” — Person with debilitating disease or condition who wishes to die.
    and
    “….” — inaudible, unthinking, unfeeling clump of cells
    are not the same thing.

    As a sidenote: my handle is totally unrelated, and does not much reflect my attitude or personality. It’s relatively elderly at this point, as handles go. (to throw this entire thing backward in a weird way, it has its origins in gaming, via White Wolf).

  • Anonymous

    I apologize for the flippancy and reductio-ad-absurdum of the following, but I find the precedent of allowing “conscience clauses” for basic health care coverage or (as in the case of Catholic Charities) refusing services to legally eligible classes of the general public to be quite dangerous to liberty and justice for all.

    As a committed devotee of the Cult of Randy Newman, I “don’t want no short people round here.” As a business owner, it’s refreshing to find someone who supports my moral right to refuse employment opportunities to the evilly-heighted. Also, there was a schism in my faith a number of years ago. I won’t get into the details, but my sect branched out over our firm belief that individuals in wheelchairs count as “short people.” My office space has no wheelchair ramps nor any wheelchair accessible bathrooms. The government has been trying to subvert my liberty on this; maybe we can pool our political forces and end the tyranny of centrally-held mandates once and all?

    Now, that is admittedly absurd, but from a legal standpoint, an individual’s religious views and practices must be weighed against the reasons a law or regulation is passed in the first place. As Justice Scalia said in Employment Division v Smith:

    We have never held that an individual’s religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate. On the contrary, the record of more than a century of our free exercise jurisprudence contradicts that proposition.[…]

    When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice,the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.[…]

    To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.

  • Lunch Meat

    For some less absurd examples, can a Jehovah’s Witness refuse to provide coverage for blood transfusions? Can a Jain refuse to provide coverage for chemotherapy (since cancer is life and all life is sacred)? Can someone who believes mental illness should be treated by exorcism of demons refuse to provide coverage for counseling or medication?

    These examples have been brought up several times in discussions here the past few weeks, and I haven’t seen an adequate answer for any. None of these beliefs are more or less worthy of respect than the belief that contraception is wrong, and like contraception, none of them are provably wrong (since I hope it’s been adequately demonstrated that even the morning-after pill doesn’t kill anything, it just prevents life from existing) so you can’t argue they should be prohibited to protect someone, just in case.

    Interestingly, in most cases these can’t be separated out from regular health coverage, because they’re understood to be basic and necessary health care. Further, my employer shouldn’t know whether I’m receiving treatment for cancer or blood loss or mental illness, because it’s a violation of privacy. In the same way, my employer should not know or care whether I’m receiving birth control–but in this case, it’s being argued that they should get to veto that specific treatment. If we allow employers to refuse to provide coverage for any treatments they don’t like, what’s the point of mandating universal coverage at all?

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    It is like saying we can fund Castro’s sugar plantation but not his secret police.

    If they were both non-profit organisations with separate and independently audited accounts, I imagine you could. You know, LIKE PLANNED PARENTHOOD. Please do your research before commenting.

  • http://twitter.com/real_issues Alan Eason

    @ FangsFirst – I was responding to the reason you gave (i.e. what you believe) is going on with the debate – that the “hair-splitting” is artificial. It is just attached to some other agenda. I thought I read that right and then saw your summary just now: “There is no controversy here, and that’s why the hair is being split: assholes are pretending there is one.” Yep, I think I was right.

    I absolutely did respond, FangsFirst. To people who see a life and death issue in something – there are real hairs to be split. That absolutely IS the case with abortion, as well as other medical issues. As long as people believe (whether informed or not) an issue is about the life or death, they are going to split hairs if they are really conscientious about it.

    To people who do not believe it is about life or death, the whole thing looks silly, as in “Why are you worried about THAT?”

    Such is life, my friend.

  • FangsFirst

     

    “There is no controversy here, and that’s why the hair is being split: assholes are pretending there is one.”

    I’ll admit the phrasing is slightly awkward, but realistically, this says:
    There is no controversy and assholes are pretending there is one, so a hair is being split. Thus I did not deny the hair. I denied the controversy, and the facts are on my side.

    So hairs are being split where the hair does not MATTER.

    The REASONS for hair-splitting are artificial.

    You keep talking about abortion but, let’s repeat if for the 8 billionth time: abortion is not relevant to this mandate.

    I said, before anything else in this thread, if you want to discuss anything like the morality of abortifacients or when life begins, go and discuss it where it’s relevant. Because it isn’t relevant here. And splitting hairs about when after conception life begins does not matter in this discussion.
    Because people who are not opposed to contraception are not opposed to contraception. Turning it into a conversation about something it ISN’T causes hairs to be split, but hairs that ARE NOT RELEVANT.

    ARE.
    NOT.
    RELEVANT.

    Just for the record: it’s far worse to imply that people ARE assholes and have no conscience and gasp in horror when they say “asshole,” than it is to say “asshole.” And that’s the nicest way I’m going to put that, despite temptations to the contrary.

  • Lunch Meat


    I am not convinced yet about the morning after or the week-after pills.

    I agree that you sound like a reasonable person, and I’m sympathetic because I was misinformed on this topic and others for a long time. But honestly…if a citation from the FDA is not convincing, what will be?

    Like I said, maybe the national debate will move there and there will be much more info coming.

    We really don’t need this discussed on the national scene, because it will turn into another “The experts who actually created, studied, tested and approved the pill say this, but a religious leader says this! Who’s right? Surely it’s not the responsibility of the media to fact-check anything, so we’ll let our viewers think the truth must be somewhere in the middle!”

  • http://twitter.com/real_issues Alan Eason

    Hey all – didn’t mean to talk so much, but did try to respond to comments and questions. My time is up for today. I have learned a lot about this community and find it interesting. God Bless.

  • Anonymous

    OK, I really have to insist that we stop using “mother” as a universal or generic label for pregnant women.  Many pregnant women already have children, and many don’t.  But especially within the context, we should stop implying that a pregnant woman is already a mother.  I know it’s convenient and easy to say “life or health of the mother” or “let the mother decide”, but many of the women considering abortion are not yet mothers and some hope not to be for awhile.

  • Termudgeon

    That sounds as if you’ve never heard the expression “mother-to-be.” Perhaps English is your second language?

  • Termudgeon

    No offense intended. You have some characteristics in your writing (sentence fragments, punctuation problems, insensitivity to tone, for example) that make you seem like a non-native speaker. I wondered if you might be unfamiliar with the expression “mother-to-be.” Were you?

  • Lori

      
    What’s telling is the deflection of the real issue in bringing something like that up.  

     

    Says the man who conflates contraception and abortion and tries to pretend that the application of employment law to a secular employer is an issue of religious freedom. 

  • Katie

     Frank, you are an asshole.  If you are wondering why I am calling you an asshole, please read what I wrote  yesterday.

  • Anonymous

    I’d like to join the others thanking you for sharing your painful experience. I desperately hope your courage will help prevent other women from having to face the same obstacles.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s all stop pretending that being anti-abortion is the default Christian view.  Tens of millions of US-American Christians are fine with abortion.  Historically, most US-American Christians, at leas the Protestant ones, have been at least somewhat supportive of legal abortion, as Fred has demonstrated in previous posts.  This isn’t some religious war of atheist who are pro-choice versus Christians who are anti-abortion.

  • FangsFirst

     Of the Christians that I associate with personally (family, friends, etc), I can think of three off the top of my head that I’ve discussed the issue with. Two Catholics, one Protestant. All three are in favour of the rights, though they have varying personal feelings on the personal portion.

    One is family, one is a close friend and one is my SGF, so that even covers a range of associations.

    One of them has had one (as noted above–and she told me it was a *clergy group* that set her up with this some forty years ago, roughly, and that still…almost surprises me, but really doesn’t at all. Maybe it’s because she’s clergy…).

    One has every personal emotional reason to irrationally develop utter hatred of the idea (and does, on a personal level, and could never do it herself) but does not feel she has the right to dictate the choice to others. Would not begrudge me the opposite choice, were it to come up, if it were a matter of child/her life and death.

    And one is probably the most “None of my business, none of your business, her every right, I’d do it if I need to because pregnancy would probably kill me,”–no moral compunctions or compromises involved, not even personal ones.

    2/3 are also well versed in biology, up to and including college (and in the one case, doctorate) level education specifically in life sciences.

    I suppose there is one other I know, but I don’t address it with her. Then again, she believes in antivax nonsense and conspiracies about Planned Parenthood being involved in eugenics, so reason isn’t high on her list.

    Sidenote: all three (actually, even four, I believe) either have used birth control or endorse its usage in others or their own lives. And I know for certain two more family members feel the same way. Not even a question, let alone an issue or controversy there. Including the Catholics.

    Anecdotal, to be sure, but I endorse not framing it as “a default Christian view,” for certain.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    These RTCs have such a faux persecution complex mixed with a WOO I’M SO HARDCOAR attitude. It’s really annoying, and puts me in mind of the attached picture:

  • Patrick Phelan

    Poor German. Such a genuinely wonderful language, abused to make hyperbolic Nazi references. Anyway, back on topic… might it not be public service for a group of GMs to take in these poor fantasy-deprived Quixotes and run campaigns for them? I’d support it. “The Faux-Crusader Gaming Service: because it’s better for fictional goblins to suffer than it is for real people.”

    I’ll volunteer, but I’d probably end up running a deeply satirical Dogs in the Vineyard campaign about them being wrong about everything.

  • Rikalous

     

    Anyway, back on topic… might it not be public service for a group of
    GMs to take in these poor fantasy-deprived Quixotes and run campaigns
    for them?

    It might, if you could convince them that it’s safe to play without them being possessed by demons or the other players casting spells on them.

    You’d probably have to start them off with Dragon Raid. Definitely nothing with nonChristian religions or playable demons.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/republicans-prove-they-can-drill-to-new-lows/

    I came across a just mindblowing article that very succinctly reveals just the kind of shitbags some Repubs can be.

  • Matri

    … I am disturbed by how little this surprises me.

  • Lori

    I wasn’t surprised and I actually wasn’t particularly disturbed by that. I think I’ve just had enough exposure to Homocons that I know what to expect. They’re odd, pretty much by definition. That goes double for the closet cases. When you are driven to join a group that makes bank off of hating you, you have some seriously weird shit going on. When you not only join the group, but actually make it your career you’ve added a whole other level of wrong. The fact that the freakishness and self-loathing bleeds out in the form of treating other people like utter crap is not exactly a surprise. In fact it would be more of a surprise if it didn’t happen. 

    Paul Babeu’s entire biography points to him being highly skilled at hiding who he is in order to get ahead in situations where his reality is deemed Not OK. He has spent his entire adult life mired in contradictions, secrets and lies. The fact that he was willing to treat someone he once cared about incredibly badly in order to maintain his secrets just doesn’t surprise me at all. Trapped animals are mean, even when they climbed into the trap of their own free will. 

  • Katie

    I’m glad that several people used the word ‘asshole’ to describe Alan Eason earlier in the comments.  I wasn’t sure what level of profanity was acceptable to use here, and I’m very pleased to get to call him an asshole.

    Alan Eason, you are a sanctimonious asshole.  You, and people like you, have caused me unspeakable pain.  Pain that I would not wish on even a worm like you.  For me, abortion isn’t an abstraction.  When I think of abortion, I don’t have the luxury of fantasizing about how I would react if my pregnant daughter came to me and needed help paying for an abortion.  When I think of abortion, now the first thing that comes to mind is the living hell that I went through little less than a month ago.

    In early December, I took a home pregnancy test, and discovered that I was pregnant.  This pregnancy was very much planned, very much wanted, and my husband and I were very happy.  Then, nine weeks into my pregnancy, I had an ultrasound, which was occasioned by me rushing to the doctor to make sure that the bloody discharge I’d noticed wasn’t the start of a miscarriage.  As I think I mentioned earlier, this was a very wanted pregnancy.  During this ultrasound, I discovered that I was pregnant with severely conjoined twins. They were joined from the top of the chest to the bottom of the abdomen.  There was only one heart.  There was only one umbilical cord.  Because the quantity of oxygen and nutrients wasn’t sufficient to support two bodies, one of them was already starting to develop abnormally.  I was told by the perinatologist, and my own obstetrician agreed with her assessment, that the most likely outcome was that at some point before I reached full term, the twins would expire.  At that point, they would be large enough that removing them from my body would be difficult for the doctor, dangerous to my life, my health and my future fertility.  In the highly unlikely event that they did manage to survive to the point where they might be viable, it was extremely unlikely that one of them would survive the operation needed to separate them.  This operation would, unavoidably, kill one of them, as there was only one heart. My husband and I cried as we faced the agonizing reality that there was no realistic way that this pregnancy was going to end with us holding a living baby.  It was made worse by the knowledge that, had the division happened a few days earlier, we could have been holding two babies.  And, because we chose to end the pregnancy at a time and in a way that was most likely to preserve my life, my health and my future fertility, our situation was made worse by small minded, sanctimonious assholes like Alan Eason.

    I was too far along to use one of the ‘abortion drugs’ that Alan and his ilk love to wring their hands over, and my doctor doesn’t do medical abortions, because she doesn’t want to have assholes praying outside of her office and putting her picture on wanted posters.  So, because Alan Eason is an asshole….

    I had to make an appointment with another doctor, who does do medical abortions.  This meant that I had to spend five agonizing days in the hell of being pregnant, and knowing that this pregnancy was not viable, was not and could not result in anything other than pain.  I had to do this because Alan Eason is an asshole.

    Then, the day of my appointment came.  At the doctor’s office, I had to sign legal documents saying that I was not being coerced into having an abortion, and that I was not having an abortion because of the sex of the fetus, or because of the race of the fetus, or of the fetus’s father.  This was a painful reminder that I had no choice but to abort, and that I would never know the sex, or the eye color, or anything else.  That no matter how desperately I wished that things could be different, that this pregnancy wasn’t going to end in a joyful birth.  I had to listen while the doctor read a government mandated statement about adoption, telling me that I might qualify for welfare programs, and read statements about fetal development that were totally untrue.  I had to endure this alone, because a bunch of assholes decided that only the pregnant woman and the doctor can be in the room.  I also had to go through an ultrasound, although, in a rare moment of something akin to decency, I wasn’t required to listen to the heartbeat,  or look at the picture.  Doing that the first time had almost broken me.  Then, because Alan Eason is an asshole, I had to go home and wait 24 hours.

    The next day, I went back to the doctor’s office and had the abortion.  I regret that I had to do it, and I wish that I had any other choice, and if I had it to do over again, I’d make the same choice.  Because I did the best thing for myself and my family.  And as hellish as my situation is, the laws that were put in place by assholes like Alan Eason made it worse.

    So, in summary, Alan Eason, you are an asshole.

  • Lunch Meat

    I’m so sorry for the pain you went through. Thank you for sharing your story even though I’m sure it causes you more pain. I hope it gets through to someone.

  • Lori

    I am so sorry for your horrible experience. I wish you and your husband healing in this difficult time. 

  • Matri

    You have my sympathies and condolences.

    I’d like to point out for the record that Alan Eason supported the murder of this woman here, by wanting Katie to carry the conjoined twins to term and thereby guaranteeing her and their death by childbirth complications.

    Alan, why not be straight with us and just tell us you would rather kill 3 people than save 1.

  • Katie

     To be absolutely fair, it wasn’t a certainty that attempting to carry the pregnancy to term would kill me.  If I’d been further along, the procedure to remove the dead fetuses surgically would have carried a greater risk of damaging my uterus, possibly in ways that would cause a possibly fatal hemorrhage, or at least cause the removal of my uterus, in order to save my life.  Inducing labor, as was done with Mrs. Santorum, or a C-section would carry the same risks normally associated with childbirth.  Risks that are not, I would hasten to add, non-existent. 
    So, in the interests of fairness, we really should say that Alan Eason is indifferent to the increased risk to my life that attempting to continue with the pregnancy would have caused.  Depraved indifference, rather than premeditated murder.

  • Matri

    Point taken.

    But given the circumstances, namely that the twins would have unavoidably expired in the womb, carrying them to term would still have caused unnecessary strain and risks to you.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Katie, I’m very moved by your story and hope you and your husband are okay – especially you, as you had to undergo the procedure.

    It’s stories like yours that really impress upon me that the majority of men cannot appreciate how difficult the struggle can be for pregnant women when something has gone wrong during a pregnancy.

  • hapax

    Thank you sharing your story, Katie.  That was very brave of you.

    I am so sorry for the pain you went through.  I am even sorrier that the stupid laws we were unable to stop made it worse.

  • Katie

    I’d like to add, as a postscript, that I don’t think that the nature of my case entitled me to special treatment.  Looking around the waiting room, I could see that no one there wanted to be there.  Their reasons for having an abortion might have been different than mine, but like me, they were choosing the least-bad path open to them.

    I also realize that I was lucky.  I live in a major city, so I didn’t have to travel a long distance, pay for a hotel, take a lot of time off work, or any of the other logistical problems that many women in my situation face.  I have health insurance, which made it possible for me to have the tests done that let me discover this early on.  My friends and family reacted with love and support, not hatred and condemnation.    But it was still the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life. 

    I’m also, oddly enough, happy that Alan Eason posted in these comments.  Although I cried while I was writing my first post, getting to call one of the people who hurt me an asshole was cathartic.

  • FangsFirst

     

    Although I cried while I was writing my first post, getting to call one
    of the people who hurt me an asshole was cathartic.

    That makes me feel a lot better about “liking” that post. It…felt cathartic, like there was a direction to the hurt and anger, a focus, and I liked that you could follow awful things with “And I understand why I was forced to deal with this awfulness,” and then make a perfectly accurate judgment of those responsible.

    That was the instinct, but, otherwise, it was a painful and unpleasant story, and I hate those like it for everyone who has them to tell. I don’t want to “like” any such thing…but it felt so pure in intent that it seemed right anyway.

    And, while I refrained from the directed usage of asshole, Fred has used it himself, so you are in perfectly acceptable company there.

    It had not occurred to me just how devastating stupid regulations like that could be to someone who is in a place where there isn’t even a chance at the option those hideous things are supposed to lead a woman to take. Thank you, I guess, for that bit of knowledge. What seemed an unfair annoyance or hassle for those who are looking at an early and unemotional procedure, takes on a whole new dimension when framed in the reality of someone who has actually had to endure them as a source of direct pain. Loathsome things…I hope the emotional truth of your story reaches more people. Enough people. I can’t really bear the thought of more people having to endure that for no good reason.

  • Kiba

    @ Consumer Unit 5012

    Yeah, I know: Facts? We don’t need no stinkin’ facts!

    I just hope he gets splinters climbing onto that cross of his.

  • Anonymous

    Good article!

  • Anonymous

     . . . unless Morris means he’s willing to become a suicide terrorist to push his point. Very thin line between Munchausen Syndrome and the sort of crazy who would make his underwear into a bomb, or fly an airplane into a building, or bomb a daycare center in Oklahoma City because it happens to be in a federal building.

  • Consumer Unit 5012
  • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com Jas-nDye

    THIS: ” an act of civil disobedience that constituted a graver injustice than the supposedly unjust law it was meant to protest.”

    That reminds me of the most absurd bit of political protest theatre I’ve ever heard of: When Teahadist GrandMasterDragon Dick Armey got several awfully confused seniors to protest the ACA and its “death panels” by “dying” outside of legislators’ doors.

    Because expanding medical coverage will kill us all…

  • Lori

    The thing I couldn’t figure out about that “death panel” die-in was this: if you really believe someone wants to kill you, or at least to be able to kill you when it suits him, why would you suppose that pretending to die, i.e. giving him what he wants, would be an effective protest?

  • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com Jas-nDye

    Because then the world would see that’s what you want. You know, dogs and fire hoses attacking little children, etc.

    The theater part I get – it was stolen from leftist guerilla activism. It was the object that I just can’t get over. The die in should have been staged outside the offices of Merck.

  • Lori

    Except the dogs and fire hoses were actual attacks. The bad guy did something actually, viably bad. It wasn’t theater, it was real abuse in plain sight, 

    Unless the lawmakers targeted by the die in stood over the protesters rubbing their hands together and chortling like Simon Legree while loudly proclaiming, “I love it when a plan comes together” the protest was going to be rather lacking. It’s borrowed from leftist guerrilla activism, but borrowed poorly. Sort of like that Fox News “comedy” thing a few years back was a very bad rip-off of The Daily Show.  

    As you say, holding it in front of Merck would have been good theater, but the very things that would have made it good theater are the things that guaranteed that the Teas wouldn’t do it.  

  • http://leftcheek.blogspot.com Jas-nDye

    True. Probably not the best example. I’ll try to unmuddle my cloudy thoughts and get to my point.

    The youth marching in Alabama was supposed to get a reaction, it was supposed to elicit some furious response from O’Connor and they got what they wanted. That much, as you point out, didn’t happen at the die-in. But it should have at least drawn attention to an actual evil.

    In the South, it was the violent refusal to allow Black men and women to participate in an actual form of democracy an ongoing firm of violence that supported and exasperated other forms of violence itself.

    With the Tea Party, they had no clue what they were protesting, so they had nothing left to do but pretend to die outside congressional chambers.

    So… I guess I’m agreeing, but I may need more coffee just to make sure…

  • Lunch Meat

    Sorry, Katie. You might have gotten through to Alan or some of the other posters, but you will never get through to this one because it doesn’t believe you or I are human. This troll is worth nothing but derision.