Notes from the culture war

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I mean, call me a bigot.”

“I’m not a publicist or an expert in p.r. but I think it’s probably a bad sign when your rivals think it’s hilarious to read your book out loud in public.”

This is not a novel like 1994 [sic], it’s Common Core.”

“It has been my conviction that if a child is brought up on the Bible, and, if he consistently reads the Word of God as a young person, he will have all the sex education he needs. Why not let God teach our children about sex?

“But even were I to be done away with, those who are like me would remain.”

“I was so blown away by that long-winded, absolutely Tommy Chongish explanation of heterosexual sex that I almost missed getting angry when he next compares gay and lesbian relationships to alcoholism and sexual addiction.”

“Legal recognition of same sex civil marriage should not and will not require clergy of any faith or denomination to officiate at or recognize the religious status of same-sex marriages.”

“I had no mental ability to grasp that at all. I wasn’t given any space to love anyone who wasn’t heterosexual, and, for that matter, a Calvinist.”

“These folks can believe the separation of church and state is a communistic principle intended to undermine religiosity or they can believe the separation of church and state is a bedrock legal principle that guarantees and protects religious liberty for all. They cannot believe both.”

Narcissism thwarts the ability of the church to fulfill its mission by focusing on someone and something other than itself and its own needs.”

“This is not the Vatican. It’•s Melrose Place.”

“Now that the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the conservative cardinal of Cologne, and the German bishops’ conference have clearly distinguished between the morning-after pill as a contraceptive, and abortifacients, and have concluded that Catholic hospitals can morally administer the morning-after pill in cases of rape: how will the pastoral leaders of the Catholic church in the U.S. begin to repair the damage they have done by … spreading misinformation about the morning-after pill and Catholic moral teaching?”

“That’™s a big thing. That’™s a big surgery. You don’™t have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that.”

“Obviously, I oppose these efforts because they endanger women’s health and take away their freedom of choice. But I just wanted to point out that Alabama state Representative Mary Sue McClurkin is evil and stupid.”

 

  • Michael Cule

    “These folks can believe the separation of church and state is a communistic principle intended to undermine religiosity or they can believe the separation of church and state is a bedrock legal principle that guarantees and protects religious liberty for all. They cannot believe both.”

    Actually, you know, I think you’ll find that they can. And do.

    Doublethink lives!

  • connorboone

    The one I read last night that upset me was about the Sooper Seekrit 13th Amendment (Not the one that ended slavery, the secret one) that was cited by legislation introduced in New Hampshire.

    Then it goes down the rabbit hole… here, read it.  http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/03/new-hampshire-lawmakers-allege-secret-hidden-thirteenth-amendment

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

    I thought it was in the original constitution, actually, that US government officials couldn’t hold titles of nobility. (<_<)

  • histrogeek

    The Common Core thing was a fascinating example of pure knee-jerk reaction. CCSS is not a federal initiative, it is very specifically an agreement among the bung-holes, I mean state departments of education. And wow, anti-capitalist, anti-Christian, anti-American, or what have you? I have to read those miserable things once a week and I never saw anything like that. They’re just math and reading, and not even remotely controversial in what they are trying to teach. Still fish gotta swim, bats gotta fly, wingnuts gotta lose their damn minds.

  • P J Evans

     Article I, section 9, down toward the end of the section. It’s limited to people holding office under or being paid by the government.

  • Jim Roberts

    Ah, NH.

    Come here for the tax-free shopping, stay for the lunatic conspiracy theorists.

    New Hampshire had its own little enclave of conspiracy nuts who gathered for an anti-Agenda 21 meeting – the Speaker of the House knew about it and let it go forward, but when they returned to the house, they found that their office supplies had been replaced with a box of grease pencils and a pair of safety scissors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    I just like the Items In Heaven’s Welcome Basket, what could be better? Especially the kitten. How could Heaven be Heaven without sweet widdle baby kittens? 
    A jet pack could be considered an update on wings.

  • connorboone

    I’ve got that problem up here, too.  The local Republican Party had a “Stop Agenda 21″ sign in the front window for a while, and, well, this happened: http://sequimgazette.com/news/article.exm/2011-09-28_angry_crowd_enlivens_county_meeting

  • Jenny Islander

    So Elois Zeanah of the Alabama Federation of Republican Women is warning that Obama’s agenda includes pushing “social justice” on our children.  Warning.  As if this were a bad thing.

    I wonder what she thinks a world full of social justice looks like.  I wonder what she thinks a world free of social justice looks like.  I wonder how high a person has to be on their own self-importance to prefer the world without.  I wonder if there has ever in the history of ever been someone who could deliver news with such supposedly dire implications through such a jolly smile without being severely reality-challenged.  Does she actually believe that the implications are dire, or is she just grooving on being in the inner circle of Those Who Know?

  • Jenny Islander

    Seriously, watch the clip with the sound off.  She looks like she’s reading a Little Golden Book to a group of Kindergarteners.  Why?

  • Jim Roberts

    That’s a nicely written article. Manages to not take sides in the debate itself, while clearly identifying which side is the wackaloon division.

  • http://homeinbabylon.com/ Chuchundra

    I just think it’s pretty funny that in heaven’s welcome basket there’s an album by the guy who wrote, “Imagine there’s no heaven”.

  • The_L1985

     I thought that was only in books, like George Orwell’s classic 1994.  (I still don’t get how you could not know the title of that book if you lived through the actual year 1984.)

  • Tricksterson

    A kitten would be nice but I’d much rather have my deceased pets waiting for me.

  • christopher_y

    So all those people with honorary KBEs and Chevaliers de la Légion d’honneur could legally use them* without getting smacked upside the head by Uncle Sam as long as they don’t take a job in the public sector? I did not know that.

    *Not suggesting they should: that would be silly.

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

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    It has been my conviction that if a child is brought up on the Bible, and, if he consistently reads the Word of God as a young person, he will have all the sex education he needs

    Said by someone who probably refuses to admit that the Song of Solomon is about sex.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    My guess is 1994 is an obscure and poorly received sequel written by a different author after Orwell died, like the most recent Dune and Foundation novels.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    “These folks can believe the separation of church and state is a communistic principle intended to undermine religiosity or they can believe the separation of church and state is a bedrock legal principle that guarantees and protects religious liberty for all. They cannot believe both.”

    They believe neither. 

    They do not believe that there is a legal basis for a separation of church and state, that it is not what the law says or the founders intended. 

    They certainly do not believe that there should be any protection of religious liberty for all

    They believe that this is a Christian nation, and that Christianity is the state religion, even if it cannot officially be acknowledged as such. The laws of this land should, in their views, be used to protect Christian worship. (and only/b> Christian worship)

    That is what they believe, and they’ve been remarkably consistent about it. You could argue that it’s counter-factual, that the evidence and history and ethics and morality and logical all argue against such a belief, but remember that one of their “bedrock principles” is that to believe without evidence (or to believe despite opposing evidence) is the essence of faith, that most central and sacred element of their religion. 

    You can’t promote a system of spirituality that has as it’s key component a devotion despite evidence, and then turn around and be surprised that it’s ardent followers seem immune to reason and logic. 

    *I’m not saying this applies equally to every religious person; I’m talking about the folks who think yoga classes represent religious activities the same way a student-led school prayer does. 

  • Ross Thompson

    Well, a KBE isn’t a title of nobility. Which is why no-one complained when Reagan got one.

    And “Esquire” isn’t only not a title of nobility, it’s not even granted. Lawyers just adopt the styling to make themselves look more professional. “Doctor” is a better fit for what those whack-jobs are complaining about.

  • JustoneK

    Kittens and puppies AND all the pets you lost in mortal life!

    IT’S HEAVEN!  GO ALL OUT ON THAT SHIT.

    And turtles!

  • Pepperjackcandy

    Why are they upset about this  supposed “secret amendment”?  Are they upset that the King of Kenya is now President of the United States or something?

    Or is he King of Hawaii?

    Or maybe he’s King of the United Republics of Kenya and Hawaii.

  • Ross Thompson

    Oh, sorry. No puppies allowed in heaven:

    Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

    –Rev 22:14-15

  • Worthless Beast

    Maybe it’s the same thing? 

    That kitten is actually your favorite old cat (assuming you had a cat in life) who you had to watch get old and arthritic – and now he’s a spritely young kitten again. 

    And more gifts are to follow, in the form of all of your other pets, young and healthy again.

    I want to get my hands on that Firefly DVD set, myself. And the ligthtsaber.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    Who’s to say they’re not? An angelic kitten just proves that animals DO go to Heaven.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    > I wonder what she thinks a world full of social justice looks like.

    This is, I think, precisely the right question.

  • connorboone

    Well, for one thing, they claim that the ‘esquire’ used by lawyers is a title of nobility, so anyone licensed by the American Bar Association should be barred from public office.  Among other things.

    Also, the missing 13th Amendment was cited by at least one pair of sovereign citizens as justification for their murder of a police officer in Florida in the 1990s.

    What’s bothersome is that this is extreme fringe stuff, and is being introduced into state legislatures.  It has all the truth of it of New World Order/FEMA camps/Agenda 21/magic forms that free you from government controls, but is being introduced into the mainstream by legislators.  People who got elected to public office pushing these things?  That’s septic to the body of democracy.

    The Republican Party’s been infected with crazy, and they need to amputate and cauterize off the heirs of the Birchers.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Ah, I remember the first time I read “1994″, that chilling novel about a dystopian future where a U.S. President* advocated for health care reform** and an assault weapons ban***, and where a nation with a terribly racist history elected it’s first ever black president who also held a Nobel peace prize.**** Truly, an unnerving work of fiction that warns against a terrible future!

    *Clinton
    *…which failed
    ***… which was passed
    ****Nelson Mandala in South Africa, of course.

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

    There’s also 1985. It’s, IIRC, in diary form and purports to tell of the breakdown of the Party due to internecine conflict at the highest levels.

  • christopher_y

    A KBE is a bona fide knighthood in an order of chivalry. The point is that Reagan didn’t go around calling himself Sir Ronald, as he would have if he’d been British. Thank goodness.

  • ReverendRef

    “Legal recognition of same sex civil marriage should not and will not require clergy of any faith or denomination to officiate at or recognize the religious status of same-sex marriages.”

    The requiring of clergy to officiate at same-sex marriages is patently false.  If that were so, the government would already be requiring clergy to officiate at all heterosexual marriages presented to them.  As a test case, I invite any atheist, JW, SDA, Jewish or Baptist couple to present themselves to the local Roman Catholic church and ask the priest to officiate at their marriage.

    The claim of forcing gay marriage on clergy isn’t true, and anyone with half a brain can see that.

    Oh . . . wait a second . . . 

  • JustoneK

    is this a literalist joke

  • Ross Thompson

    A KBE is a bona fide knighthood in an order of chivalry. The point is that Reagan didn’t go around calling himself Sir Ronald, as he would have if he’d been British. Thank goodness.

    Yes, but a knighthood is not a title of nobility because it’s not hereditary.

    And a KBE (which is granted to non-Commonwealth citizens) does not include the right to style oneself “sir”. But on the other hand, I don’t believe America has any laws preventing one from doing so*, even without a knighthood; after all Christopher Monckton get away with calling himself “Lord” Monckton…

    *Excepting the whole “holding public office” thing under debate, anyway

  • Wednesday

    I’m starting to think condemning “social justice” is one way that wingnut Protestants can embrace the Catholic Church’s doctrines on contraception and abortion while still differentiating themselves from the not-RTC Catholic Church.

  • christopher_y

    Christopher Monckton can do that because he’s a British citizen and also the 3rd (hereditary) Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. And almost all titles of nobility granted in the UK in the last 50 years have been baronies for life (ie. not hereditary, but still baronies, making the holder Lord Muck of Richville).

    I can’t read the framers’ minds, but I doubt they’d have been any happier about American citizens flaunting foreign knighthoods than foreign baronies. That seems to me to be a quibble worthy of Nino Scalia.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Well, for one thing, they claim that the ‘esquire’ used by lawyers is a
    title of nobility, so anyone licensed by the American Bar Association
    should be barred from public office.  Among other things.

    Given the mess that our current government of lawyers and bankers has caused, I’m actually OK with this idea.

    The Republican Party’s been infected with crazy, and they need to amputate and cauterize off the heirs of the Birchers.

    Not a bad idea in theory, but given who currently votes Republican, I think it would be like treating an inflamed appendix by keeping the appendix and surgically removing the rest of the person.

    Mind you, I’m still ok with this.

  • arcseconds

     Anthony Burgess wrote a book called 1985, the first part of which was an essay about ‘cacotopian’ novels, and the second part a novella.  

    The novella is set in a future Britain that has been entirely dominated by trade unions (they even call the country TUKland) , who strike at the drop of a hat.  Anti-intellectualism is rife, and there’s an underground university.  The students pay for each class in cash (just like old times!) and they often fund their studies by stand-up robbery.

  • ReverendRef

     And for those unfamiliar with the name, Sequim is actually pronounced, “Squim.”

  • ReverendRef

    I’m starting to think condemning “social justice” is one way that
    wingnut Protestants can embrace the Catholic Church’s doctrines on
    contraception and abortion while still differentiating themselves from
    the not-RTC Catholic Church.

    I’m not sure about that.  It seems to me that it’s a dog whistle for “un-American.”  I had a parishioner leave for a conservative Baptist congregation.  One reason she cited for leaving was “[my] emphasis on social justice . . . Did you know that the term ‘social justice’ was coined by Marx and is part of Communist ideals??”

    So, for her anyway, social justice = un-American Communists.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    It’s either “Lawyers call themselves ‘esquire’ therefore all laws made by congressmen who are also members of the bar are invalid” or “Obama gave people the title ‘czar’, therefore illegal”

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Your dead pets have their own stuff going on and have better things to do now than wait around for you to show up. But if you’d like to make an appointment with their secretaries, the can probably for you in for some petting and nuzzles thursday next.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Yes, track 1 is “Turns out there is one. Pleasant surprise.”

  • Hilary

    I just want to know what I have to do in this life to get seasons 2-10 of Firefly in the next.  Does anybody have any idea which mitzvot that fulfills?  And the light saber – I’ll have to double check the list and see which is the sci-fi mitzva.  It’s gotta be somewhere in the 613.

  • Jenny Islander

    Or “Imagine there’s no heav–” followed by about 30 seconds of helpless laughter that rolls out to include everyone in the studio followed by a jam session featuring musicians who never got to jam together in this life but sound absolutely fantastic.

    Followed by another giggle.

  • Ben English

    Well of course she’s evil and stupid. Her name is literally Mary Sue.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Is it laughable to imagine a world without war, while knowing that war rages around us? Or to imagine a world without death, while knowing death waits for us all?

    I wouldn’t say so.

    Nor is it laughable to imagine a world without heaven, even as we dwell in Paradise.

    To invite the listener to imagine a world without X is not just a sneaky way of asserting that there’s no X. It’s a way of inviting the listener to consider a world larger than their experience.

  • Lori

    Is it laughable to imagine a world without war, while knowing that war
    rages around us? Or to imagine a world without death, while knowing
    death waits for us all?  

    No, but it is laughable to continue to  imagine there’s no Heaven when you’re standing in it. Which I believe was Jenny Islander’s point.

  • gpike

    I can’t help but wonder whether that Christopher West dude would be more comfortable with a man having sex with a woman who has/had a penis, or a man having sex with a man who has/had a vagina?  I won’t even bother trying to imagine what he would think of a nonbinary couple in which NEITHER party is a man or a woman. : | 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     I agree that it was her point. I disagree that it’s true (which is why I said “Nor is it laughable to imagine a world without heaven, even as we dwell in Paradise”).

    Imagining a world that’s different from the world I observe isn’t laughable at all.

  • Carstonio

    My smile of the day – for an assignment on presidents, a student in my town chose Obama because his father was black and his mother was white, “just like my mom and dad.”


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