Learning to be annoyed by all the right people

Silence creates vulnerability.”

“But you can’t redeem something you won’t see.”

“I am beginning to realize that I am annoyed by all the wrong people.”

“From a sociological perspective this makes sense; but it is very bad theology.”

“They showed up with an army of clowns, with stilts and unicycles and red-noses — and they far-outnumbered the white supremacists.”

“For residents of Rome, the sight of courting priests is hardly an anomaly.”

“It used to strike me as odd, when I was watching Torchwood, that I’d made such a complete transition from rooting for Mulder and Scully to uncover secrets to rooting for Jack Harkness to conceal them.”

“Suddenly, the apple-themed knit sweater is a symbol of American menace rivaling the leather biker jacket.”

“The whole experience felt rather like finding Gandhi playing Connect 4 with your plumber in the cupboard under the stairs.”

“If the Messiah descends from the Mount of Olives as foretold in the Bible, America’s two biggest Christian broadcasters are well-positioned to cover it live thanks to recent acquisitions of adjacent Jerusalem studios on a hill overlooking the Old City.”

“He is still a culture warrior who has been enamored by these heroic figures and can’t help but make use of them to rally his fellow evangelicals to fight against the left.”

“It’s apparently in the DNA of some evangelicals to conduct inquisitions and ‘investigate’ fellow evangelicals, even their friends, from time to time to prove some point.”

“In the world of evangelical Christianity, public figures have to walk on tiptoes.”

“His critics aren’t trying to silence him, he’s trying to silence his critics.”

“The argument becomes less a matter of evidence and reason and more of a matter of competing authorities and personal identities.”

The things you do often create the things you believe.”

Well, do you have another report in you?

Church Sign Epic Fails, Reader Submissions 2

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    That Shawn Smuker post. Ouch.

  • Carstonio

    Bruce Garrett argues that laments about “putting the desires of adults before the needs of kids” are really the old slander about gays being child molesters. While that could be Matt Birk’s meaning, the harping about kids needing parents of both genders suggests that his true fear is of the dreaded two-mommy scenario. Or else he believes that fathers would be tempted to turn gay and leave their families.

  • aunursa

    Christian TV networks plan live coverage of ‘rapture’

    Ummm … if all of the Christians vanish, won’t their TV networks be vacant?

  • Matri

    Maybe they’re stealthily insinuating that they themselves aren’t real Christians?

  • Carstonio

    Well, technically they’re aiming to cover the return of Jesus and not the Rapture. But you have an excellent point – no one working the cameras, no one offering commentary, and also no one apparently watching at home other than channel-surfers.

    I would hope that if Jesus does indeed come back, he has better interviewers than these fundamentalists. I imagine someone like Rick Warren pushing hard for the first interview and Jesus having an expression of disgust – “I slouched toward Bethlehem for this?”

  • vsm

    Protip, American Evangelicalism: The greatest Christian art since at least the Renaissance has been about feeling terrible and uncertain. Read some Dostoevsky and John Donne.

  • Carstonio

    I can appreciate the value of such art even while not sharing those beliefs. I was hoping that the AntiLit blog would explore another facet of art that uses Christianity like team colors – it values sincerity to a fault.

  • JustoneK

    Pff, that’s sissy European stuff.  Muricans are sure of EVERYTHING.

    EVERY.  LITTLE.  THING.

  • Tricksterson

    I notice that in his concern for chidren the subject of child molesting priests and the bishops who protect them never comes up.

  • Tricksterson

    Shut up with the logic already!

  • Tricksterson

    Re: The Clown Rally:  You know, Dad can be a real pain in the ass sometimes but when he gets something right he really gets it right.

  • Magic_Cracker

    There’s a church in my neighborhood that has fairly ridiculous marquees. The best/worst one was “Open up and let Jesus love you like no one else.”

    I still wish I’d taken a picture of that.

  • Carstonio

    That could be a separate category under Church Sign Epic Fails – ones that read like lyrics from Eric Cartman’s Faith + 1.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=581585394 Nicholas Kapur

    While the question of who would actually remain to cover the Rapture is the most obvious and amusing question, I think it actually reveals not that the broadcasters are silly and inconsistent, but rather that covering the Rapture isn’t the point.

    As the article notes: “The dueling studios are part of an aggressive push by U.S. evangelical broadcasters seeking to gain a stronger foothold in the holy city. Their presence not only offers boasting rights with American viewers and contributors, but also — and more controversially — a platform for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to Jews in Israel.”

    That right there? That’s why they’re actually setting up shop in Jerusalem.

  • Carstonio

     Yeah, that didn’t sink in the first time. It didn’t occur to me that fundamentalists, despite all their attempts at converting US Jews over the years, would directly target the heart of Judaism. I thought that might interfere with their End Times scenario. But they seem to have found a way around it with their hateful notion of “completed” Jews, a phrase that might justifiably provoke Israelis to blows. Targeting an entire sectarian minority for conversion seems like a religious equivalent of ethnic cleansing, like wiping out a huge part of the Jewish identity.

  • The_L1985

     I honestly think it’s a combination of the two.

  • The_L1985

    Shhh!  Don’t bring logic into this!

  • The_L1985

    I’m assuming that’s because Catholics are, at least temporarily, “The Enemy of My Enemy.”  As soon as the question of gay rights is settled one way or the other, I can guarantee you that Catholics will go right back to being Evil People and Not Real Christians in the eyes of the Religious Right.

  • vsm

    Using romantic and even sexual language to describe the relationship between God and the faithful goes back to the Old Testament, and has been part of religious art ever since. The aforementioned John Donne wrote a beautiful poem where he begged God to ravish him.

  • AnonymousSam

    Marriage is in trouble right now — admittedly, for many reasons that have little nothing to do with same-sex unions.

    FTFY, Matt Birk. Marriage coming to mean less and less has fuck-all (pun intended) to do with teh evul gayz and everything to do with the fact that our species is terribly immature in all the worst ways. If all the horrible horrible queers disappeared tomorrow morning, we’d still have exactly as many people getting married in Vegas drive-throughs, men having four kids with four different women, women drowning their kids in bathtubs because Satan told them to do it, marriages that lasted longer than the ceremony and men eagerly looking forward to their last orgasm with an anonymous stripper at their bachelor parties.

    Gay marriage has nothing to do with the way marriages fall apart. There’s a reason the mechanism for divorce is in the Bible. It’s because marriage isn’t where the flaws lay, it’s people.

    In the last few years, political forces and a culture of relativism have replaced “I am my brother’s keeper” and “love your neighbor as yourself” with “live and let live”

    It disturbs me that you say that like it’s a bad thing. We SHOULD be policing everything our neighbors do? Methinks you don’t understand the concept of loving your neighbor.

    I am speaking out on this issue because it is far too important to remain silent. People who are simply acknowledging the basic reality of marriage between one man and one woman are being labeled as “bigots” and “homophobic.” Aren’t we past that as a society?

    The basic reality of marriage? The basic reality appears to be that people divorce, have affairs, are polygamists, and occasionally molest their children… or at least, that’s what the Bible taught me. You mean to say there’s a different reality? How about I tell you about my reality, the one where I ask that same question because people like you stand in the way of others who just want to peaceably live their lives doing things with consenting adults that you have no damned reason to so much as think about?

    Oh, and when you present gay marriage as a threat to your children? That is homophobia, nimrod.

    Don’t we all have family members and friends whom we love who have same-sex attraction? Attempting to silence those who may disagree with you is always un-American, but especially when it is through name-calling, it has no place in respectful conversation.

    I’m amazed you manage to string this sentence of concepts together in defense of being homophobic. The fuck is wrong with you?

    A defense of marriage is not meant as an offense to any person or group.

    Isn’t this like how Bush defended the safety of America by invading a couple of countries to kill some Muslims?

    All people should be afforded their inalienable American freedoms.

    Again, you amaze me. Seriously, wow. And you mean this to be the exact opposite of the very words you’ve written. Do you often find yourself stating things opposite to the context you present them in? Protip, if you find yourself commenting on healthy flush and vibrant animation the next time you attend a funeral, seek psychiatric help immediately.

    There is no opposition between providing basic human rights to everyone and preserving marriage as the sacred union of one man and one woman.

    Actually, it’s a pretty damned great example of an oxymoron. Personally, I’d like to practice providing essential human freedoms and dignity by tying you in little knots and throwing you in vat of liquified gummi bears so I can film it for youtube.

    I hope that in voicing my beliefs I encourage people on both sides to use reason and charity as they enter this debate.

    You first.

  • Richard Hershberger

    From the ” he’s trying to silence his critics.” link I discover I have a new hero:  Chris Kluwe, an NFL player arguing in favor of gay marriage rights.  I wonder how long it will take (or, more likely, has taken) for someone to play the “He’s just a punter” card.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I just love the people who think freedom of speech is this incredible sacred thing that’s much much more important than the most basic and essential of other human rights, and that therefore they should be able to say whatever asshole thing they want without being called assholes.

    Oh but I thought freedom of speech was this sacred and unquestionable thing, so why can’t I be free to call them assholes? Apparently their right to be an asshole without being called out on it is more important than everyone’s else’s rights to everything, including freedom of speech. Assholes.

  • AnonymousSam

    I know, this guy’s a poster child for the “It’s all right to be a bigot, but not to call people bigots” movement. I have to wonder if this is some sort of extreme reaction to the politically correct language movement.

  • Jenny Islander

    The link about the yahoo who was forced to write a report about the religion he thought his victims followed, then do another report, no plagiarism this time, about the religion they actually do follow–that’s a thing of beauty right there.  Problem: ignorant violent sack of crap punches somebody and pounds on their car because he’s an ignorant violent sack of crap.  Solution: Make him actually put something in his brain meats besides slogans and hate–and make him rephrase things in his own words to increase the possibility that he’s actually thinking about what he reads.   

  • AnonymousSam

    In before Romney strips a company of all its assets in the name of charity and generosity!

  • Tricksterson

    What is Isreal’s legal stance if any on conversion from Judaism?

  • Tricksterson

    Except, like abortion, it’ll never be settled.  If anything a SUpreme Court decision would only fire up the losing side, just as Roe v Wade did.

  • Tricksterson

    What about, I forget the name, the Baltimore Raven who’s defense of gay marriage started this brouhaha?  Let’s not forget him.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I actually think abortion and gay rights will settle eventually. Votes for women is no longer controversial here, and there are countries where abortion is noncontroversial. It’ll take a while and getting there will be painful, but I think we will get there.

  • Tricksterson

    “My object all sublime
    I shall achieve in time
    To make the punishment fit the crime
    The punishment fit the crime”

  • Lori

    Brendon Ayanbadejo

    I mentioned this before, but I’ll mention it again in case anyone missed it— Brendon Ayanbadejo totally expected his teammates to give him crap* about speaking out for marriage equality. Getting crap from your teammates when you play pro football for a living can be a really unpleasant thing.  He spoke out any way because he feels that strongly that it’s the right thing to do. He totally has my respect.

    *They didn’t. Which was a pleasant surprise both for Ayanbadejo and for me. Even in the hyper manly man world of pro football Birk is no longer the norm. He’s one of a dying breed, and good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • AnonymousSam

    Doesn’t help that people like Todd Akin continually prove that there are a lot of people on the pro-life side who have no bloody idea what they’re talking about, and it’s hard not to recognize that.

    Who wants to be at the very bottom of the food chain of the medical profession? And what sort of places do these bottom-of-the-food-chain doctors work in? Places that are really a pit. You find that along with the culture of death go all kinds of other law-breaking: not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things, misuse of anesthetics so that people die or almost die. All of these things are common practice, and all of that information is available for America.

  • Lori

    That whole comment is nearly as stupid as “shut that whole thing down”. Also, it’s more than a little ironic for Aikin to talk trash about a “culture of lawbreaking”, given the fact that he has an arrest record for something he did in connection with an anit-choice protest. When asked about it he initially agreed to release details of his arrest and then changed his mind and is now refusing to do so. That’s a big old red flag, because if it was your standard misdemeanor trespass charge for picketing or something there would be no logical reason to try to keep it hidden.

  • AnonymousSam

    Yyyyeaaaahhh, that’s right up there with Romney refusing to release his tax forms “because it’ll hurt my chances of election.” And then he releases one that’s obviously been affected by some conspicuous actions in the recent past…

    Ten to one odds we get to see his arrest warrant after the arrest has been expunged from the records. It’ll be nice and scarce with information, what with black marker covering every significant line.

  • Tricksterson

    When you do it it’s” breaking the law”.  When <b.we do it it’s “standing up for what’s right”

  • The_L1985

     I think “It’s OK to be a bigot, just not to call somebody a bigot” should be printed on T-shirts.  Maybe when enough people have seen how absurd that double-standard is when stated baldly like that, the meme will finally die.

  • AnonymousSam

    I’d like to think so, but I don’t know. In fact, worse, what I get from this on later contemplation is that he thinks it’s perfectly all right to be a hateful, deeply mistrusting person so long as he invokes a lot of nice concepts and uses polite words to convey his beliefs. I mean, he was kind enough to implicitly define “basic human rights” in such a way which directly implies that homosexuals are neither human nor do they have rights.


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