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They are evangelicals, so assume biblical illiteracy.”

“The most powerful cultural values that affect us are those of which we are least aware.”

“After that day in the park eating lunch with the homeless, however, I started seeing poor and homeless people everywhere.” (via)

“This view forces evangelicals to think of themselves as squeaky clean outsiders, and they waste time, money, energy, and so, so many words on developing strategies to infiltrate culture while remaining pure themselves.”

“We fail to appreciate liberation theology because of 1,700 years of interpreting the Scriptures from the perspective of the empowered clergy class, rather than from the perspective of the marginalized who first received the message with such excitement.”

“Many decisions are clarified and helped by the question: 10/20/50 years from now, what choice will I wish I had made?

“Erickson has finally hit the fifth stage of conservative climate change grief: denial, denial, denial, denial, and acceptance.”

“If waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture.”

“Yes indeed, God made a farmer … and that farmer made a slave.”

“I want to know, just how did ‘god’ provide land for his elect White American male farmer?

“I could offer lots of other examples (such as the amount we spend on Christmas versus the cost of eliminating world hunger) but you get the point.”

“[Unemployed Reporter Porter includes] chocolate and roasted barley malts that are as dark and bitter as the future of American journalism, and a high alcohol content designed to numb the pain of a slow, inexorable march toward obsolescence.”

“This is ‘WHERE’ magazine, not what you think.”

Church Sign Epic Fails: ‘Family Values’”

 

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    The “8th Day” of which Paul Harvey speaks, must have occurred in the 1950s and 60s with the end of (widespread) sharecropping.

    That roughly corresponds to when the tractor overtook the farm animal as the source of work on farms.  I wonder if that innovation, or just better technology in general, caused it to be cheaper to have work done by not-serfs than a bunch of surfs under another name.

    There is a reason that a steam engine produced in the year… 200 I think it was but I can never remember whether it -

    Wait, I can look it up.

    There is a reason that a steam engine produced in the second century BCE remained little more than a gimmick where one in 1781 kicked off the industrial revolution.  Several reasons actually, but one of the more important ones was this: When the first steam engine (that we know of) was produced slaves were cheaper.  There was no need to use it to do labor.  There was no need to even consider using it to do labor.  And so such consideration was never made.

    But if in the 1950s and 1960s tractors were making share croppers less profitable than the alternatives, that could explain the decline of share croppers.

    -
    [Added:]

    I may have overstated the importance of the steam engine in the industrial revolution which actually started somewhat earlier than I thought. Still, the point stands about why it was used in one case and not the other.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    The “8th Day” of which Paul Harvey speaks, must have occurred in the 1950s and 60s with the end of (widespread) sharecropping.

    That roughly corresponds to when the tractor overtook the farm animal as the source of work on farms.  I wonder if that innovation, or just better technology in general, caused it to be cheaper to have work done by not-serfs than a bunch of surfs under another name.

    There is a reason that a steam engine produced in the year… 200 I think it was but I can never remember whether it -

    Wait, I can look it up.

    There is a reason that a steam engine produced in the second century BCE remained little more than a gimmick where one in 1781 kicked off the industrial revolution.  Several reasons actually, but one of the more important ones was this: When the first steam engine (that we know of) was produced slaves were cheaper.  There was no need to use it to do labor.  There was no need to even consider using it to do labor.  And so such consideration was never made.

    But if in the 1950s and 1960s tractors were making share croppers less profitable than the alternatives, that could explain the decline of share croppers.

    -
    [Added:]

    I may have overstated the importance of the steam engine in the industrial revolution which actually started somewhat earlier than I thought. Still, the point stands about why it was used in one case and not the other.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    The “8th Day” of which Paul Harvey speaks, must have occurred in the 1950s and 60s with the end of (widespread) sharecropping.

    That roughly corresponds to when the tractor overtook the farm animal as the source of work on farms.  I wonder if that innovation, or just better technology in general, caused it to be cheaper to have work done by not-serfs than a bunch of surfs under another name.

    There is a reason that a steam engine produced in the year… 200 I think it was but I can never remember whether it -

    Wait, I can look it up.

    There is a reason that a steam engine produced in the second century BCE remained little more than a gimmick where one in 1781 kicked off the industrial revolution.  Several reasons actually, but one of the more important ones was this: When the first steam engine (that we know of) was produced slaves were cheaper.  There was no need to use it to do labor.  There was no need to even consider using it to do labor.  And so such consideration was never made.

    But if in the 1950s and 1960s tractors were making share croppers less profitable than the alternatives, that could explain the decline of share croppers.

    -
    [Added:]

    I may have overstated the importance of the steam engine in the industrial revolution which actually started somewhat earlier than I thought. Still, the point stands about why it was used in one case and not the other.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    “This is ‘WHERE’ magazine, not what you think.”

    All they had to do was round the damn lowercase e and the painful mistake could have been averted because there would still be no confusion between e and o even with the obstruction.

  • Carstonio

    Dumb question – was the Congregational Church sign about Westboro Baptist picking one’s funeral attacking that group’s ideology or endorsing it? I’m guessing the former.

    Excellent entry by Patrol about evangelicals avoiding R-rated movies. While the MPAA’s system has huge flaws, these filmgoers seem to assume that the ratings are based on vices only. As if there were no distinction between American Pie and Saving Private Ryan. Could be related to the belief that witchcraft is real and that Harry Potter is a gateway to it.

  • Carstonio

    I’d buy a magazine called Whore. Provided that it was a feminist publication aimed at eradicating the shaming of female sexuality, such as interviews with SlutWalk organizers.

  • Mrs Grimble

    I thought the complaint about the “God made farmers” ad was going to be about the fact there were no non-white farmers depicted.  Either that, or it would be  grumbles from atheists.

  • Vermic

    I figured the Paul Harvey commercial was celebrating farmers everywhere, in all nations and all times.  It was a hymn to the profession of farming, not to white American mid-19th century farmers specifically.  At least that’s how I interpreted it the first time (I can’t rewatch the clip at work).  In any event it seems like a non sequitur to go from that to yes, but Slavery and Manifest Destiny!

    I’d like to hope it’s possible to express the message “Agriculture: Basically a Pretty Cool Thing” and not draw bolts of controversy around oneself.

  • glendanowakowsk

    My rather snarky thought upon watching the commercial was “And on the ninth day, the Devil made Monsanto.”

  • Magic_Cracker

    There is a feminist magazine called $pread that’s by, about and for sex workers and the people who love them.

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     I thought the complaint about the “God made farmers” ad was going to be
    about the fact there were no non-white farmers depicted.  Either that,
    or it would be  grumbles from atheists.

    This atheist complained about it because it was schmaltzy and stupid.  Although I was surprised it was a Ram Trucks ad, since that’s been Chevy’s bailiwick for years.

    I was similarly annoyed by the Jeep ad that slobbered all over veterans.

    My theory on commercials, especially of the Super Bowl variety, is that if you’re going to spend several million dollars to drown me in bathos for a minute between men giving each other concussions and goats eating Doritos there’s absolutely no genuine fellow-feeling in what you’re doing.  You’re simply manipulating emotions on the (expensive) cheap for the sake of selling a truck.  And you’re doing it for a truck that was probably manufactured in Mexico with parts made in China.  And then you’re going to turn around and sell that truck to some dipshit who’s going to use it to pretend to be tough while going to work at a bank in Dallas.  Most of the farmers out there are illegal immigrants getting paid five dollars a day on some corporate farm who can’t afford a brand-new Ram, after all.

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

    CAP alert! For RTCs who worry about polluting their wee kiddies.

    (To be fair to CAP there has been a noticeable coarsening of movie portrayals of sex, death and violence since the 1960s, and TBQH I think some of it is gratuitous and unnecessary. But the answer is not to invent a rating system that basically disqualifies every movie except Mary Poppins as valid for kids.)

  • vsm

     The thing is, the ad is not about agriculture in general, but a rather modern form that includes tractors, mowers and meetings of the school board, all of which is reinforced by the images, depicting modern farms and farmers, all of them white. The speaker was Paul Harvey, a right-wing radio personality whose stock-in-trade was precisely this kind of heartwarming crap about true Americans. Considering all that, I think a certain amount of criticism is warranted. Here’s a transcript of the speech ans some background: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/02/paul-harveys-1978-so-god-made-a-farmer-speech/272816/

    I’m curious about the theological implications myself. If farmers were created by God on the eight day, instead of being Adam and Eve’s descendants, does it mean they’re free from original sin? Is that why they’re better people than everyone else? Or is the speech actually about God punishing A&E by casting them out of Eden and making them work the land for their daily bread, as detailed in chapter three of Genesis? Was Harvey calling his audience a bunch of sinners who deserved all their hardships?

  • walden

    I hated the Paul Harvey commercial.  It was manipulative…but I also couldn’t distance myself from remembering Paul Harvey “News?” on the radio — which always had some homespun story about how welfare cheats and slackers and liberals were ruining America.  He was the “nice” predecessor to Rush Limbaugh. 

    Plus the “on the 8th day God made…” just felt wrong.  According to my Bible God was done on Day 6 and took the rest of the week off.

  • Mark Z.

    Clearly you’re just not as aware of your privilege as you need to be. :-P

  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    I was similarly annoyed by the Jeep ad that slobbered all over veterans.

    Ads like that remind me of the Jay Leno guest, “Mr. Cheap Applause”, who always started his routine with something like, “But, first, Jay, let’s have a round of applause for the greatest audience in the world.”

  • Magic_Cracker

    As I recall my Genesis, God made the farmer on whatever day the Fall happened — as a punishment. If that was the 8th Day, then all I can say is that I’m kinda impressed at how fast we fucked up.

  • MikeJ

      disqualifies every movie except Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins had Dick Van Dyke attempting a cockney accent.  No child should be subjected to something that gruesome.

  • Magic_Cracker

    I’d like to hope it’s possible to express the message “Agriculture: Basically a Pretty Cool Thing” and not draw bolts of controversy around oneself.

    Similarly, I’d like to hope it’s possible to express the message “Agriculture: Also Enabled and Accelerated Some Pretty Uncool Things” and not draw bolts of condemnation around oneself.

  • Jim Roberts

    Depends on context:
    “I frickin’ LOVE July in New Hampshire. Just picked up a pint of fresh strawberries from a farmer at the farmer’s m-”
    “Did you know that slaves were often made to work 18 hour days at the peak of season?”
    “I did know that. Pretty sure this guy doesn’t keep slaves. Do you want-”
    “And that women were often married off to other male slaves against their will? And . . .”

    Honestly, I wonder that the blog writer is aware of the works of Paul Harvey enough to realize that this is the man who gave the right many of its racial dogwhistles.

  • Carstonio

    I don’t remember Harvey’s show veering into that reactionary territory, but I may have been too young to recognize it. But later I saw a few of his print columns, and yes, they were Limbaughian with a bit more restraint. He tended to dismiss civil rights activists and feminists as selfish, whiny troublemakers.

  • AnonaMiss

    The Native American land-stealing point is well-taken and I don’t want to discount the amount of privilege my farming ancestors experienced as a result of being born white; but southern, plantation culture was not the only farm culture in the historical USA, and I’m annoyed to hear those of my ancestors who were both farmers and abolitionists, including one who lost a leg fighting for the Union, tarred with that brush.

    It feels unjust to those who fought against slavery culture, first in Kansas and then in the US Civil War, to go “Farming was historically based on slavery!” without qualification.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Of course, context is key, but did you know that historically locksmiths favored making keys from the finger bones of peasant children whose hands their parents sold just to feed the rest of the family? It’s where the idle hands/devil’s workshop expression comes from .

    Do I really need to winky smile all that? How about winky horror frown? D;

  • Darkrose

    I had several reactions to the farmer ad:

    “On which day did God create the migrant workers? Was that before or after he created agribusiness?”

    “I guess women just sit around the farm and look pretty?”
    “What the hell is this ad for, anyway?”

    “Is this what they meant by ‘Worship the truck farmer at the church of your choice?’” (bonus points to anyone who gets the reference)

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    I watched a video of a guy (voluntarily) getting waterboarded. Not sure if it was Hitchens or not. He went from “it’s not torture” to “it’s definitely torture” in approximately fifteen seconds. He thought he’d be able to hold out for at least thirty seconds. He lasted about ten. Unlike a real suspect, he wasn’t held down or had anyone demanding questions from him, and he could stop whenever he wanted.

  • Carstonio

    The Internet Monk piece is a great rebuttal to the fallacy of viewing one’s own culture as normative. While I agree that reading any scripture is a cross-cultural experience, that poses difficulties if one seeks to ascertain the messages the authors wanted to convey to readers. (Distinct from the meanings that readers derive for themselves, but no less important.) I don’t know how much knowledge of their cultures and values survives to this day. I doubt they imagined that people would still be reading their work thousands of years later – they might have assumed a typical reader who shared their culture and values.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     It just seems sort of counterintuitive to me that when you’re making an ad that will air to, apparently, 70% of the american public, you wouldn’t take care to avoid offending half of them.

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     It just seems sort of counterintuitive to me that when you’re making an
    ad that will air to, apparently, 70% of the american public, you
    wouldn’t take care to avoid offending half of them.

    Yeah…but then there’s GoDaddy.

    Actually, that was kind of funny.  After they played that awful first ad with the supermodel making out with the nerd guy on super-duper-what-the-hell closeup while playing sound effects they seemed to get by slapping two raw pork chops together I put something on Facebook to the effect of, “Can someone tell GoDaddy to stop it?  Their commercials weren’t good the first time.”

    The next GoDaddy commercial was then one where they didn’t shallowly exploit conventionally attractive women.  It was almost clever, too.  I think it was their first non-shitty commercial ever.

    It took me to the end of the commercial to realize it was actually a GoDaddy commercial, though.

  • David Starner

    I’ve hit the acceptance point on global warming. There’s nothing I can do about it, and even if I assumed the power of this one American Voter was all powerful over the US, I don’t think we can do much about India and China and even apparently the EU. If I buy land, I will keep in mind global warming in where to buy it. Nothing much more I can do.

  • Gotchaye

    So what you’re saying is that Paul Harvey ad worked.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    I think it’s an absurdly sappy ad, but (perhaps because I live in a heavily agricultural area) I have trouble seeing an ad that’s basically “Yay farmers!” and immediately jump to, “Yay genocide and slavery!”

    At least, I don’t see farmers as having anything more (or less) to do with genocide and slavery than everyone else in the US does.   They don’t eat all that food themselves, after all. 

    As far as migrant workers…  That also takes us straight to the “They’re picking the food so WE can eat it,” issue and the “So HOW well were the people in the factory that made the computer I’m typing on paid again?” issue.

    Of course, I’ve also never heard of Paul Harvey in my life, so that isn’t influencing my perception of the ad.

  • David Starner

    Never saw the ad, and I wasn’t commenting on that link above. I don’t get the relevance at all.

  • Carstonio

    The nerd ad did more than just exploit an attractive woman. It pandered to what I think of as arrested adolescence. The experience of being socially or sexually undesirable in high school is probably very common, but GoDaddy presents a revenge fantasy where the woman is just a prize or trophy. The American Pie attitude of sex connoting status. Reminds me of some evangelicals who brag online about having hot wives like they’re cars.

  • Madhabmatics

    no you see we have to use waterboarding because it accomplishes our goal of making muslims atheist

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_nature/2013/01/the_case_for_torture_ex_cia_officials_explain_enhanced_interrogations.2.html

    10. EITs liberated detainees from religious bondage. Rodriguez said Abu Zubaydah eventually “told us that we should use waterboarding … on all the brothers,” because

    the brothers needed to
    have religious justification to talk, to provide information. However,
    they would not be expected by Allah to go beyond their capabilities [of]
    resistance. So once they felt that they were there, they would then
    become compliant and provide information. So he basically recommended to
    us that we needed to submit the brothers to this type of procedure. …
    As a matter of fact, it would help them reach the level where they would
    become compliant and provide information.

    Hayden said the Abu Zubaydah story “was important for my own
    soul-searching on this.” The detainee’s view of the interrogators, he
    said, was that “Allah expects us to obey him, but he will not send us a
    burden that is greater than we can handle. You have done that. Therefore
    you have freed my soul, that I can speak to you without fear of hell.”

  • Baby_Raptor

    Because Atheists never have valid complains, ever. All we do is attack the poor, persecuted Christian majority. And they NEVER complain about us, nosiree. 

    Seriously, you have no idea how stuck up and privileged that whine sounded. 

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    I am amused that Mary Poppins’ magic is okay because he said so.

    :-P

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

    But that’s because Mary Poppins could have been an ~angel~! Srsly, this is the kind of rationalization proffered:

    Mary Poppins was a delightful romp for children and the young at heart through a make-believe world of frolic and fantasy. There were no instances of offensive material throughout the movie. While there were several occurences of “magic,” there was nothing evil or sinister about any of the “magic.” Mary could have been angelic.

    So… if Harry Potter had been an angel instead of a wizards, the fundies wouldn’t have had a collective shitfit over the series?Hmmmmmmmm. *goes off, thinking*

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

    Oh, hey, look, it’s a Chick Tract disguised as a movie.

    This site. I swear, it’s so earnestly dogmatic about applying fundametalist type doctrine to movies I sometimes wonder if it’s really someone having a giant laugh at the entire world.

  • http://www.tillhecomes.org/ Jeremy Myers

    Hey, thanks for mentioning the post on seeing homeless people. 

    I was somewhat afraid that people were going to make jokes based off The Sixth Sense: “I see homeless people!” 

  • Gotchaye

    Just a joke – my brain attached “So, fuck it, I’m buying a truck” to the end of your post about accepting that global warming was going to happen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659001961 Brad Ellison

    “So… if Harry Potter had been an angel instead of a wizard, the fundies wouldn’t have had a collective shitfit over the series?”

    Works for Gandalf.

  • Hexep

    What if it was just an ordinary trade paper for sex workers?

  • Carstonio

     Perhaps, if it had a pro-union stance with a focus on improving working conditions and eliminating exploitation, something like IUSW.

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

    Hmm. Come to think of it, Lord of the Rings (the movie) got panned.

    I am not going to try to debate the claims that Tolkien’s Rings trilogy parallels shards of the Truth shattered from the Bible. Satan is very good at making the truth into a lie through the most innocent vehicles and by the least obvious methods. Nor am I going to try to debate the involvement of C. S. Lewis in Tolkien’s life who placed the Gospel on the level of a myth in 1931 after a dinner with Tolkien:

    Don’t you just love complete and utterly blockheaded literalists who are so afraid to let a shred of imagination into their lives that they think this kind of pure fantasy is of evil?

    It is to be pitied.

  • Carstonio

    Wow, I just realized that the title of Fred’s post is from People Get Ready. I hadn’t viewed the video at the top. I had long assumed that the song was explicitly gospel, but apparently it’s also an allegory about the civil rights struggle.

  • AnonymousSam

    Every now and then, one of my friends (who’s in the gaming industry) shares the salient points from e-mails and blog posts the company receives from fundamentalists who really like the game, but… errrgh… could they maybe get rid of all the wizards and magic? Because those are Satanic, just like D&D.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Every now and then, one of my friends (who’s in the gaming industry)
    shares the salient points from e-mails and blog posts the company
    receives from fundamentalists who really like the game,

    Links?

  • AnonymousSam

    I don’t have a link since the post was deleted, but I got this out of IM logs:

    [D&D is] 1000% one of the most satanic games ever made it ever monster/spell/chant/ritual/and class come directly from paganism,druidism and wicca(black and white)…D&D was a ploy to introduce the occult in a playful manner fun board game to young people. one that teaches people how to chant, do rituals, i mean in the original handbook it even states that if you don’t do the rituals/chants in there entirety it would upsets the sprits

    Apparently this rant was triggered by a discussion about Castlevania’s Legion monster and how the game should have something similar. “This is based on the Bible -> using the names of demons is just like Satanism -> this game is as Satanic as D&D!”

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    I’ve recently heard a lot of the opposite view: that basically all the sins and problems of modern society derive from when we stopped being hunter-gatherers. My counter-argument, “Beer”, was not as persuasive as I hoped. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    That was very likely Hitchens, because I don’t think they could find TWO torture apologists who were willing to do that. IFAIK, Hannity hasn’t stepped up yet. 


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