Google and white Christians’ search for ‘persecution’

Sunday was the birthday of Cesar Chavez. He’s kind of a big deal — a hero for me personally since he championed the rights of farm workers and I eat food almost every day.

Chavez was a church-going Roman Catholic — a member in good standing of Team Christian.

Now, the rules of the Game clearly state that any snub or slight, however minor, against any member of Team Christian is grounds for Outrage. And collecting Outrage points is even better than winning.

Chavez’s birthday, March 31, is thus a good date for savvy players of the Game to keep in mind. Did the godless liberal media fail to honor this distinguished member of Team Christian on his birthday this year? If so, don’t miss the chance to collect those Outrage points.

Unfortunately for Team Christian players, Google honored Chavez with a lovely Google Doodle on its homepage. Such respectful tribute to a devout Christian is a nice gesture, I suppose, but respectful tributes don’t win you any Outrage points. This would all seem terribly deflating for players of the Game — like when the store clerk says “Merry Christmas,” depriving you of the chance to rack up some War on Christmas Outrage points — except that, by a happy coincidence, Passover came early this year. And that meant that this year, Cesar Chavez’s birthday also happened to be Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday is, of course, a very important day for Team Christian. It’s a high holy day, meaning all Outrage points get doubled with the 2x HHD bonus. And guess what? Google’s lovely doodle honoring Cesar Chavez meant that Google didn’t have a doodle Sunday honoring Easter.

Score! Chaching!

It might seem preposterous to you that Team Christian would try to pretend that Google’s honoring of a Christian hero constitutes some kind of horrific insult to Christianity, but I would remind you that nowhere in the rules of the Game does it say that Outrage points cannot be awarded for preposterous and imaginary reasons.

Ed Stetzer acknowledges that it seems contradictory to collect Outrage points over this notrageous doodle, noting that “Chavez might be a better representative for Jesus than the Easter Bunny, since he shared Jesus’ love for the poor and marginalized.” But he concedes that it’s all in the Game. And since he works for Team Christian, he prudently joins in their criticism of Google rather than following that train of thought to consider whether or not “Jesus’ love for the poor and marginalized” might maybe perhaps also be more important than the never-ending quest to accumulate Outrage points.

Morgan Guyton does follow that train of thought in a post titled “Why Google’s ‘War on Easter’ is offensively Christ-like.” Guyton notes that this whole Game and the obsessive collecting Outrage points seems to go against everything Jesus lived and said and demonstrated (most notably on, you know, Easter):

I don’t think Chavez would be “profoundly insulted” as a Christian by Google’s choice to feature him on Easter. If he were still alive, he would exploit it as an opportunity to talk about Jesus. People who are truly humble don’t need to be theatrically self-effacing; they use the spotlight to testify about the cause they serve. I don’t think Jesus would be offended by Google either, because Jesus’ ministry constantly put the spotlight on people who were ignored and left out, like the migrant farm-workers Cesar Chavez fought for.

… When your understanding of holiness is disembodied of your relationships with other people and defined exclusively in terms of a spiritual “cleanliness” by which you sacrifice earthly pleasures to honor a God who cares about His “glory” more than the people you’re ignoring, then it’s impossible to avoid being poisoned by a self-righteousness which ironically mocks God more than the reckless, undisciplined, debaucherous sinners Jesus ate and drank with. One of the things that many of today’s evangelicals share in common with the religious authorities who [opposed] Jesus is the way that their piety is built upon pitting love of God and love of neighbor against each other. How dare you talk about farm-workers today! This is the day to honor Jesus (and me since I’m His most zealous defender!).

The Game would be funny to watch if it weren’t making so many people so miserable inside and outside of the church.

Christians will never be happy until they stop being the kind of people who, as TBogg put it, “can’t sleep at night because they can’t wait to see how the world will offend them the next day.”

Christians will never be Christian until they stop being that kind of people.

I’m starting to think that the Easter Vigil John Shore describes, involving the ritual burning of our resentments, isn’t just a good idea, but a necessary one. During Easter, and the rest of the year, we can collect resentments or we can practice resurrection. We cannot do both.



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  • PrickliestPear

    I hope next year’s Google Doodle features a bunny and some Easter eggs–pagan symbols, both–so we can compare the response. I bet they “Rage Against the War on Easter” crowd wouldn’t have a problem with that.

  • badJim

    Next year, Easter will be April 20, which we all know is Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

  • Jake Hamby

    Fortunately, April 20 is also George Takei’s birthday, as well as a big day for the marijuana scene (4/20) so there are plenty of possibilities for offending the squares. Maybe a doodle of Takei and the Easter Bunny sharing a spliff?

  • AnonymousSam

    For bonus points, people can decide that one Chávez is interchangable with the next and condemn Google for honoring Hugo Chávez!

  • Baby_Raptor

    My tweet on the entire nontraversy: I’m glad Atheism doesn’t have holidays. I don’t know what would happen to my lack of faith if Google didn’t acknowledge it.

  • Ross

    Yes. It’s fortunate that atheists never get bent out of shape when someone fails to make a special point of including them.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I’m sensing heavy amounts of sarcasm, but I’m going to need more of an idea why before I can address your concern.

  • SisterCoyote

    The more I look at this, the weirder it gets.

    “I am SO OFFENDED that not everyone shares my beliefs!” Or, even, “I am SO OFFENDED that not everyone shares my beliefs as vocally as I would like them to!” It’s utterly absurd on just about every level.

  • Richard Travis

    I am a christian and it never crossed my mind about the Chavez piece stealing God’s thunder……are we finding it hard to find any material to write about Mr. Clark?……better luck next time.

  • SisterCoyote

    Hmmmm. You may not have noticed, but Fred actually has… I counted seven different links in this piece to Christians acting offended over the Chavez doodle. My friend linked me to an article about it earlier:

    Nice try, though.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Congratulations, you failed to notice something. Lots and lots of other people didn’t. Is your childish attempt at insulting Fred actually a cover for some sort of feeling of inadequacy on your behalf? Or do you honestly believe that, somehow, yours is the only Christian opinion in the world that matters?

  • Richard Travis

    baby raptor………????………who’s really hiding behind something…….and your statement is pointless

  • AnonaMiss

    If Fred was talking about all Christians, he’d be talking about himself,
    and most of the people he linked to saying “it’s not a big deal get
    over yourselves” too. Gee! It’s almost like he’s talking about a certain subset of Christiandom that likes to paint itself a martyr to modern culture!

    I was going to say that the piece wasn’t about you, until I realized that your defensive response means that you are the kind of person who thinks “Waaaah you must be against Christians as a whole, we are sooo persecuted.”

  • Chelsea

    I like that you took time out of your busy day to not even read this article and then fail at delivering a sick burn on Fred. Are you allergic in some way to acquiring more knowledge?

  • damanoid

    “Chavez’s birthday, March 31, is thus a good date for savvy players of
    the Game to keep in mind. Did the godless liberal media fail to honor
    this distinguished member of Team Christian on his birthday this year?
    If so, don’t miss the chance to collect those Outrage points.”

    Actually I kind of suspect that the Christians whining about this incident wouldn’t have any problem ignoring the legacy of an eminent Latin American activist for organized labor and civil rights.

  • Rae

    That was exactly my thoughts: Being pro-organized-labor, and Latino, and advocating for poor Latin@s’ rights, are all things that the Christian Right (the ones who are kicking up most of the fuss) tend to see in a very negative light.

  • Rae

    And I was raised in such an insular white fundamentalist community, that when my first March in SoCal rolled around, I actually asked someone who mentioned Cesar Chavez Day (as it’s treated like a Monday holiday here) who Cesar Chavez was, and they looked at me like they just discovered that I was from another planet.

  • Jeff

    ‘Christians will never be happy until they stop being the kind of people who, as TBogg put it, “can’t sleep at night because they can’t wait to see how the world will offend them the next day.”’

    What’s more petty, being outraged by a Google Doodle or being outraged by outrage over a Google Doodle?

  • Fusina

    I didn’t read it as outrage, more of a “Can you stop the pathetic whining over how the world doesn’t revolve around your personal beliefs” sort of thing.

    Note, I don’t use google* as my search engine any more, so I only find out about doodles if someone lets me know they have a good one. Really liked the Star Trek homage doodle, that one was a great deal of fun.

    *Duckduckgo. Awesome, with fewer/no ads.

  • Jeff

    Ok, then what’s more petty, whining about a Google Doodle or whining about people who are whining about a Google Doodle?

  • Rowen

    Well, if you’re REALLY going down that road, lemme take it a step further and just point out that you started it.

  • Fusina

    ‘sokay. I have a daughter with a boyfriend who is smart, wise, thoughtful and has a job! And he thinks minding ones own business is a good thing–also that gays should be allowed to marry whomever they want, no one has to be christian to be good, and that jokes are sublime. Um, my daughter shares his opinions, as, actually, do I. Life is beautiful, and the young are going to inherit the earth and most of them are tolerant and nice. Right now, nothing can get me down!

  • Rowen
  • Fusina

    Yeah! Exactly!

    I loved the book Wicked. Turned everything upside down, and was way cool. Good thing he didn’t write any sequels*

    cf *xkcd on The Matrix

  • Ross Thompson

    …Says the person whining about someone whining about people whining about a Google Doodle….

  • JustoneK

    It’s smelling rly meta up in here!

  • Jeff

    I should have thought the irony would have been obvious to all without someone needing to call attention to it. Man, Ross, you just had to be “that guy”, didn’t you?

  • JustoneK


  • Ross Thompson

    Yeah, well, maybe my pointing out your irony was like, the ultimate irony. Like, woah, dude.

  • Fusina

    What, didn’t you like the Star Trek Homage doodle? I thought it was awesome. Also, here is a video that I highly recommend to people.

  • Naked Bunny with a Whip

    The former, by far.

  • Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    You remind me of an adolescent girl of my acquaintance who thought it the most philosophically profound thing to say, “Who is the greater fool, the fool himself or he who calls him such?” How well I remember the adolescent urge to take oneself too seriously, and to think that dressing up “Takes one to know one!” in pseudo-philosophical aphorism-speak counts as wisdom! How well I also remember the comfort I got from thinking that if someone called me foolish, I needn’t examine myself or my actions but simply retort “Oh yeah? Well YOU’RE foolish for calling me a fool!”

    You also remind me of the people who puff themselves up as More Worldweary Than Thou by inserting comments along the lines of “Can’t see why you’re so surprised…” into online discussions about incidences of injustice. Much as they do, you try to deflate the blogger’s observation by imputing an incorrrect motive to it. In their case, they mistake outrage-at-injustice for surprise-that-certain-people-perpetrate-injustice, though the former is appropriate and the latter is irrelevant.

    Fred isn’t outrage that the emperor has no clothes. But he feels it’s important to point it out. Why do you think it important to shut him up? Could the reason be in your own wardrobe?

  • AnonymousSam

    It’s also another variation of the theme we’ve been seeing quite a bit of lately: “It’s better to be X than to call someone X” and “you’re being intolerant by not tolerating my intolerance” (which, sadly, I hear uttered in serious tones at least daily…)

  • Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Yup. Or the moment you call someone out for racism or misogyny, YOU’RE the rude person, so very much more rude than the person actually saying racist or sexist things.

  • Jeff

    Nicole, I really think you’re reading far too much into my comment, but I’ll nevertheless pay you the courtesy of answering your question. I don’t think it’s “important to shut Fred up”. But for better or worse, Fred has designated himself as the white evangelical hypocrisy and bad behavior police.
    What is his motivation for doing this? I can see two. The first is that he truly cares about the evangelical church and sees it as his responsibility to hold it accountable. The second is that he has an axe to grind.
    Posts like one this don’t really support the first interpretation. If a tiny number of evangelicals complaining about Google’s Easter screen doodle is an overreaction on their part, well, the complaint itself isn’t exactly that big a news story, either, is it? I mean, it’s not like evangelicals kicked a puppy or said something mean about B. Obama. So insisting on calling attention to every little thing evangelicals do “wrong”, to an amen chorus of mostly non-evangelicals, makes it look less like the former motivation and more like the latter.
    But here’s the thing: if the latter is his motive, then using petty non-events like this as the whetting stone for his axe shows that he doesn’t particularly care which stick he’s beating Christianity with, to mix metaphors and paraphrase Chesterton. And the fact that that same amen chorus cheers every swing of that axe, however trivial and unimportant a target it strikes, basically confirms this interpretation as the correct one.

  • AnonymousSam

    I hesitate to call it “a tiny number” when it’s still all over the Internet, described as “showing no signs of stopping.” It’s attracted the attention of GOP officials and Fox News (which immediately branded it “creating controversy” and pointed out that Google has–gasp–never posted a picture of Jesus despite his importance to billions of people, the shame and horror, and then indicated that it’s probably Obama’s fault — and no, I’m not fucking kidding). Glenn Beck tweeted about it and has since received 377 retweets. I’d say the word is out.

    This just the latest symptom in an illness Fred has been covering for years. The illness creates events, not to mention a toxic environment where people think they’re being persecuted if at any time their religion isn’t being constantly affirmed as the only meaningful religion on the planet.

  • SisterCoyote

    Y’ know, posting this sorta undercuts your whole thing, above, that you were just doing it for the irony.

  • Anton_Mates

    Yeah, well, what’s more petty, undercutting your own claim to be doing it for the lulz, or pointing out that someone else is undercutting their own claim to be doing it for the lulz, or complaining that someone is pointing out–*explodes*

  • Anton_Mates

    well, the complaint itself isn’t exactly that big a news story, either, is it?

    Dude, if you look up “Cesar Chavez” on Bing or Google right now, this story’s all over the first page of hits. LA Times, Fox, Christian Science Monitor. Your lack of awareness is not Fred’s problem.

  • Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    You may think posts like this don’t support the first interpretation (” that he truly cares about the evangelical church and sees it as his responsibility to hold it accountable”), but as far as I can tell that’s because

    1. you are willfully ignorant about the size of the blow-up over this in evangelical culture

    2. you are willfully ignorant about Fred’s decade-long posting track record

    Pick one. Or both! It could very well be both.

    (And as for the “same amen chorus” – er, yes, a lot of us continue to read his blog because we agree with his assessment. That a bunch of Slacktivist regulars tend to agree with Fred isn’t proof of anything much except that people who agree with a blogger tend to come back and keep reading that blogger.)

    I say “willfully ignorant” because, for crying out loud, dude, we have this Internet here. There is a lot of reading material therein. Follow the links! Google the subject matter! Read the archive! Physician, heal thyself!

    And also, get a better wardrobe adviser. Dunno about where you are, but it’s been alternately snowing and raining here in Boulder, and your “fashionably fine linen” (ahem) doesn’t look likely to help keep you warm.

  • Carstonio

    When I first read about this non-issue, I anticipated how Fred would put it into context, and he didn’t disappoint. These folks are acting like titled aristocrats who didn’t receive the proper deference from a lowly serf.

    And while it’s tempting to blame the Cesar/Hugo confusion on simple “they all look alike to me” racism, I think it’s just more of the persecuted hegemon mentality. They carry this narrative like a yoke, always looking for evidence that the media is pro-socialist and anti-American and anti-Christian. They might not have even known or remembered what Hugo looked like, but they knew that he had died recently. So they read the last name and see an image of someone who looks Hispanic to them, and it appears to confirm their belief that the media is out to get them. Classic that they compare Hugo to Pol Pot, when he was really just a minor annoyance who bashed the US just to maintain his popularity at home.

  • Fusina

    “I’m starting to think that the Easter Vigil John Shore describes,
    involving the ritual burning of our resentments, isn’t just a good
    idea, but a necessary one. During Easter, and the rest of the year, we
    can collect resentments or we can practice resurrection. We cannot do

    I have recently realized some of the resentments I had been hanging onto for years now–some dating back to high school. And made the deliberate decision to stop–to let them go as there is nothing that can be done now. Felt good, actually. And one of the incidents had a positive effect on future geeks–I started a chess club in the elementary school my kids were attending–drove the admin crazy as I didn’t keep the kids as quiet as they would have liked. It was best when we could go outside, as the noise wasn’t as noticeable then.

  • Hth

    Chavez isn’t a member of Team Christian; you said yourself he was a practicing *Catholic.* Rookie mistake, Fred.

  • Lori

    Well, not exactly. Remember that after years of adjunct status necessitated by the fight to save the bay-bees (until they’re born after which, screw ’em), Catholics now have provisional membership on Team Christian in order to allow the Team to better fight the scourge of birth control being covered by insurance and same sex couples being allowed to file joint tax returns.

    Obviously that provisional membership was never meant to be retroactive. Any Catholic not currently available to bolster Team Christian’s numbers is useless and therefore no RTC has to pretend that they were Christians. Membership was certain not meant to cover people who actually tried to help the poor and marginalized*. However, Team Christian can’t call too much attention to the fact that Chavez has not been and never will be issued a team jersey because it might offend the Catholics currently needed to fill out the roster.

    *Especially not a brown person trying to help poor and marginalized brown people. Even more so because that help involved costing white people money.

  • histrogeek

    I’m pretty sure Catholic membership in Team Christian is limited entirely to the hierarchs and their assorted dingleberry mouthpieces (K-Lo, Douhat, etc.). It certainly doesn’t apply to anyone who wants to better the lives of the poor like Cesar Chavez.

  • Lori

    I’m pretty sure that lay Catholics who marched against marriage equality and pitch a fit over Obamacare buying birth control for sluts and who yell invective at women walking into clinics which are perceived to have something to do with performing abortions are welcomed in Team Chrsitian’s locker room.

  • Persia

    Yeah, if Pope Francis actually walks the talk about helping the poor the alliance may crumble completely.

  • addicted4444

    “a brown person trying to help poor and marginalized
    brown people”

    You mean, like Jesus?

    If Jesus were to be resurrected today, the RTCs would be the ones dragging him to the cross.

  • AnonymousSam

    Catholics don’t count as Christians? Is this really a thing? Every definition I have ever read of Catholicism references Christianity in the very first sentence.

  • Ross Thompson

    I know many Protestants who do not count Catholics as Christians.

    Unless they’re trying to argue that a majority of Americans are Christian (all types), and therefore Christian (Southern Baptist) morals should be imposed on everyone. They do this with a straight face.

  • AnonymousSam

    Ah, it’s an RTC vs N-RTC classification. For a minute there, I was having severe comprehension failure. (It’s 8:53 AM. I woke up an hour ago and I have not had anything to eat or drink yet. I cannot brain today I have the dumb.)

  • Invisible Neutrino

    In the 1960s some people used to look at JFK funny because he was a Roman Catholic. Go figure.

  • P J Evans

    I’m old enough to remember the rumors that were being passed around when he was running for President. They were pretty much the kind of thing you get in e-mails from wingnuts now.

  • Fusina

    It gets worse, as of some 25 years ago, Assemblies of God didn’t consider Catholics or Episcopalians as Christians. Not sure what one would call what I did, basically leaving the AoG and becoming Episcopalian. And then I married a Catholic dude. Yup, going straight to hell. Ah well, I’m gonna do my best to enjoy the ride.

  • AnonymousSam

    And now that I’m awake enough to do braining, I just remembered a bit from my FAVORITEST AUTHOR IN THE WORLD:

    Does Jack Chick hate Catholics?

    Quite the opposite. In the mid-1970’s, when he first began to understand what Roman Catholicism really teaches, he knew it was unscriptural. He also knew that to speak out against it would be unpopular and hurt his publishing company.

    After much prayer, he made the decision that, no matter what it cost him personally, he would publish the truth that Roman Catholicism is not Christian. He did it because he loves Catholics and wants them to be saved through faith in Jesus, not trusting in religious liturgy and sacraments. He paid a price for that decision in many ways, as priests and nuns entered Christian bookstores screaming and making a scene, demanding that the store owner not stock Chick tracts. Some “Christian” media have even refused to accept advertising from Chick Publications, fearing any “controversy” that might hurt their cash flow.

    But God has been faithful (as He always is) and has protected Chick Publications over the years. Jack Chick has made it clear that if he had it to do over again, he wouldn’t change a thing. The letters from so many Catholics who have read Chick’s anti-Catholic material and have gotten saved carry one theme: “Thank you for loving us enough to tell us the truth!” Those precious people make it all worthwhile.

    (Really, disqus, really? Their formating issues are worse than ever.)

  • Jon Maki

    This is one of those things that I…well, “admire” isn’t the right word, certainly, but I guess I could say that I appreciate Jack’s consistency. How much of an exaggeration it is to say that it cost him a lot personally and financially I can’t say, but it seems likely that there was at least something of a price that he paid, and despite that, he hasn’t backed down.
    Again, I don’t actually admire his stance – in general, my feelings about Jack are kind of complicated – but I’m kind of impressed by his willingness to stick to it.
    I remember during the 2008 election when Hagee walked back his anti-Catholic rhetoric when it became apparent that not changing his views (publicly, at any rate) on Catholicism might have a negative impact on McCain’s run for the White House, and I thought, “Hmph, you’d never see Jack Chick pulling something like that for the sake of political expediency.”

  • Jamoche

    I confused a British Catholic friend of mine when I was still newly arrived from Texas, where an unqualified “Christian” meant the ones we call RTCs. Everyone else, from Southern Baptist on, used their denomination to distinguish themselves from them.

  • Carstonio

    I would have assumed that most RTCs were either Southern Baptists or else members of independent fundamentalist churches.

  • Jamoche

    Yeah, I meant the independent fundamentalist subset of RTCs :)

  • ReverendRef

    Catholics don’t count as Christians? Is this really a thing?

    Unfortunately, it really is a thing. When I was in Montana I had a visitor come into the church from a very rural town in another state who proudly proclaimed that, “All the Christians in town came together to do such and such good deed thing — even Catholics helped out.”

    I politely pointed out that Catholics were Christians.

  • cminus

    It can run both ways, though. I went to Catholic school in a heavily Catholic town in the Midwest, and one of our catechism classes showed a video in which we were assured that the particular scriptural interpretation we were being taught was “accepted not only by Christians, but by many Protestants as well”.

  • ReverendRef

    Ah . . . Good point. I guess the whole “Us and Them” thing runs deep.

  • SisterCoyote

    Yup. They’ve all been deceived into actually worshipping Satan in the disguise of Christian doctrine. You can tell, because like, three people have gone on preaching tours to talk about how when they were deep in the dark underbelly of the Evil Church, they used to meet with Communists to talk about how to best destroy Real, True Christianity.

  • AnonymousSam

    This is like witchcrafty Torahs (Noah’s ark thread) and worshiping the Pagan Christ of the Pagan Trinity by reading a little Pagan Luke (LCMS thread), isn’t it? XD

  • SisterCoyote


  • Deird

    Definitely a thing. I still occasionally hear questions by people (honestly wondering) about “what’s the difference between a Catholic and a Christian?” Because they think there is one.

  • Edo

    I’ve heard that before too. In fairness, one of the people asking was from Indonesia, where “Christian” legally means “Protestant,” so it makes a bit more sense.

  • Ross

    Back in fifth grade, a classmate told me that catholics weren’t christians because catholics worshiped Mary instead of Jesus. I assumed he was just dumb and misinformed. Years later, I discovered that, yes,. this was a real thing and a mainstreamish attitude in the english-speaking world.

  • heckblazer

    When I was in grade school I would get annoyed when people would ask me if I was Christian or Catholic (I usually answered along the lines of “both”). I got *really* annoyed when I was asked the same question in college, which was only around a decade ago.

  • Rowen

    “People who are truly humble don’t need to be theatrically self-effacing;
    they use the spotlight to testify about the cause they serve.”

    I feel like this isn’t exactly being humble, either.

  • Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    It’s the difference between “Oooh! A spotlight! The better that the world should see how awesomely humble I am!” and “This spotlight will make it easier for the world to see how necessary advancements in equality and fair labor laws is. I shouldn’t waste it.”

    It’s the difference between “All about ME!” and “Why are you all looking at me? Look at those in need instead. What can we do for them?

    Redirecting the spotlight onto someone/something else you think more worthy of the attention requires you to be humble enough to think someone/something else deserves the attention more than you do.

  • Larissa Lee

    I often wonder where in Christianity we learned that it was acceptable to be offended. To “be offended” is such a snobbish position anyway – paper cuts into flesh wounds. Furthermore, why do we expect the world to honor our holidays or our God? Why? We don’t expect people in other countries to celebrate the fourth of July. And yet it seems about that illogical. I’m so offended that these people who don’t claim to have a part in something I have a part in are not honoring my thing. It’s not the way Jesus would have been at all.

  • histrogeek

    It’s all about defending the tribe. The tribal and privileged the group, the more easily it finds offense.

  • Worthless Beast

    I didn’t catch the doodle, but my guy did. (We both believe in stuff, but we aren’t into church)… He was surprised that they had a doodle for Chavez and not for Easter and I shurgged and said “Maybe they want to get away from religious holidays.” And we thought it wasn’t any kind of big deal because, Google being a search engine for everyone, it makes good business sense to be genrealized and secular.
    People who demand that they/their tribe be honored all of the time in ways that go out of the way strike me as people who know little about marketing or basic politenes.
    Whenever these kinds of threads come up here, I can’t help but imagine that lady evil Hogwarts-teacher who wears a lot of pink and collects kitten-stuff in the Harry Potter movies… (sadly, I’ve only seen the films as yet). All sweetness and light until the students do something even slightly out of line or offends her little world….

  • AnonymousSam

    The closest to a religious display I can recall Google ever doing in the doodle has been the occasional Santa Claus during the holidays, and Santa’s not really a religious icon, heh…

    Well, I suppose it’s not too late to nominate him as the Son of Walmart.

  • ShifterCat

    Dolores Umbridge.

  • histrogeek

    I wonder if someone at Google decided to PWNED the outrage squad. It was a perfect way to get them riled up and stupid and push their racist buttons too. Sheer elegance in its simplicity.
    I still can’t believe prominent jack-asses decided to jump to the conclusion that it was Hugo Chavez and then tweet about it before even checking. Ready, fire, aim.

  • Baby_Raptor

    The tribalists seem to have recurring issues with fact-checking. There’s a picture of a conversation Ray Comfort had going around FB wherein he mistakes the word bibliophile for an “Atheist insult” “combination of bible and pedophile” and attacks the person using the word for insulting him instead of taking two seconds to consult Google before responding.

    It ‘s the urge to martyrbate. It wins every time.

    Edit: Here’s a link to the Friendly Atheist story on it, if anyone’s curious.

  • Lori

    It figures that Ray Comfort is too poorly educated to know what “bibliophile” means.

  • Jenora Feuer

    It’s petty of me, I know, but my favourite part of that was still the response:

    Ray I sincerely apologise for the use of the word ‘bibliophile’. It means lover of books as I’m sure you know and I never meant to cast that aspersion upon you.

    Ray accepts the apology, apologizes himself, but makes no comment on whether or not he even noticed the dis in that statement.

  • KevinC

    If you do your bibliophile-ing with YA or children’s books, is that wrong? ;)

  • Ross

    Yeah, being offended by “bibliophile” because it is shaped like another unrelated word is pretty stupid. It’s not like this is the word “niggardly” we’re talking about here.

  • AnonaMiss

    The “niggardly” thing still makes me sad. Not so much for people’s illiteracy, but because it’s a great word and now for no fault of its own we can’t use it.

  • Jake Hamby

    It’s not that great of a word when you can use “stingy” or “miserly” instead and get the same meaning without the potential for offense.

  • Carstonio

    Illiteracy? I think most people who object to the word know the difference between that and the racial slur. But in conversation, the first two syllables of the benign word would still cause momentary feelings of shock and outrage among blacks, until they hear the rest of the word. Particularly blacks old enough to remember when the slur was publicly acceptable. Not much different from what one feels after narrowly escaping an accident.

  • Ross

    I’ve had people tell me that avoiding the word “niggardly” is racist, as “You’re assuming black people are too stupid to know the difference”

  • Ross Thompson

    But in this case, it’s not unrelated. They both end in -phile for a reason. And, all things considered, a random -philia is more likely to have to do with sex than not. Not that you shouldn’t look it up before getting indignant (especially for a word as common as “bibliophile”), but still.

  • Ross

    My point was that I’m pretty sure that it’s not considered okay to dismiss people as “poorly educated” if they find “niggardly” offensive.

  • Lori

    Well, I would think that a person who doesn’t know what niggardly means, but who nevertheless complains about it in a public forum is rather lacking in education and probably should have done a tiny bit of homework before making an issue of it.

    That’s a different thing from someone who knows what it means and ays, “I can’t help it. The sound of it just bothers me and I think there’s too much likelihood of misunderstanding and I would rather people not use it.”

  • JarredH

    Martyrbate! I love it!

  • Carstonio

    Did Comfort think that atheists were accusing Christians of being a little too friendly with their copies of the Bible?

    “Reverend, what are you doing?”
    (Furtively) “Uh, just looking up Corinthians…”

  • EllieMurasaki

    No, no. Song of Songs.

  • Carstonio

    That choice would be too suspicious. But claiming Leviticus might be trying too hard, like a homophobe who’s secretly gay.

  • KevinC

    Leviticus is the bibliophile’s BDSM.

  • histrogeek

    It’s no wonder they have fact-check issue. Fact checking requires:
    1. An interest in things as they actually are.
    2. A willingness to believe you could be wrong.
    3. A sense of shame when you do get things wrong.
    4. A willingness to do actual work (albeit not that much in the whole Internet era).
    I think we all can see how compatible that is with reactionary d-baggery.

  • Ruby_Tea

    Hell, he doesn’t need to fact-check, as such. All he needs to do is go on the intertubes, and look up the word “bibliphile” using the boogle or the groggle or the Cesar Chavez machine or whatever the kids are calling it these days.

    Then again, we are talking about the author of the “banana argument” here.

    Best part: he didn’t even realize he was being insulted. (Maybe he doesn’t know the meaning of the word “aspersion” either.)

  • Jurgan

    Chavez can’t be a true Christian, he was a communist*! And we know they’re all atheists! Q.E.D.

    *I do not actually know if Chavez was a communist- I would imagine he was a socialist of some stripe, but to the Right, anyone who talks about labor is automatically Joseph Stalin.

  • phranckeaufile

    To the current American Right, anyone who supports a slight increase in the marginal rate for the wealthiest taxpayers is automatically Joseph Stalin.

  • Madhabmatics

    Alabama actually has a really neat history of Christian communists. Check out the book “Hammer and Hoe” for fun christocommie quotes from Alabama.

  • Michaele Maurer

    Thanks for the tip — I just put in an interlibrary loan request for it :)

  • Jurgan

    Oh, and I hope next Christmas they honor Isaac Newton, just to see the reactions.

  • Lori

    So you’re saying that you hope Google goes nuclear in the war on Christmas?

  • Baby_Raptor

    There would be no chance of digging the country out from under the head asplode debris.

  • guest

    That would be brilliant, and make me very happy as I celebrate Newton Day. Though unfortunately in our calendar he was born on 4 January.

  • chris the cynic

    Wrong day. We’ve switched calendars since then because the Julian calendar doesn’t quite work and over the centuries that adds up.

    Besides, Isaac Newton?

    Devout Christian, alchemist, Bible Code fanatic. He’s pretty well in line with what they like. Even the alchemist part.

    The modern finance industry of the so called “Job Creators”, or even running more standard businesses as CEO, is all about turning lead into gold so you don’t have to put in actual useful work for your pay (and then selling the “gold” before someone notices that it’s actually still lead.)

  • Jurgan

    Well, yeah, but he’s not Jesus, so they’d consider it a sleight. The whole point of this post is that logic doesn’t matter if they have a chance to take offense.

  • chris the cynic

    Point taken.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    How about James Clerk Maxwell? (13 June ^_^)

  • VMink

    He consorted with demons, even had one named after himself. That’d be almost as asplody.

    (Or am I thinking of the wrong Maxwell?)

  • P J Evans

    no, that’s the correct one.

  • Panda Rosa

    You learn something new every day. I didn’t knew Newton was born on Christmas. Didn’t he believe angels were spying on him?

  • Geds

    It’s funny. I saw the Google doodle a couple of times before I even realized it was Cesar Chavez. My very first thought was, “Uh, oh, that’s not Easter. Someone’s gonna get offended.”

    Chavez’s birthday, March 31, is thus a good date for savvy players of
    the Game to keep in mind. Did the godless liberal media fail to honor
    this distinguished member of Team Christian on his birthday this year?
    If so, don’t miss the chance to collect those Outrage points.

    I doubt that, considering that Texas was trying to write Cesar Chavez out of the public school curriculum a couple years ago. If it had been any other day the outrage machine probably would have reacted more like, “Who’s that Messican-lookin’ fella and why’s he on my Google Machine?” Then they would have turned it into Google’s support of Agenda 21 and the NAFTA Superhighway.

  • connorboone

    My favorite message I saw on the matter: “I’m pretty sure that Jesus, who taught loving another, charity, humility, and justice, would be just fine with someone else getting the spotlight for a day.”

  • Naked Bunny with a Whip

    As far as I can tell, Google routinely avoids explicitly religious doodles.

  • histrogeek

    True (and sensible for business), but they use secularish symbols for religious holidays that have them.

  • Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Only for the holidays that have effectively lost their religious connections, e.g. Halloween and St. Valentine’s Day. I don’t see any Santa Clauses. I suppose if the angry Christians really want Easter to have all the deep meaning of St. Patrick’s Day….

    Is this an annual outragefest? It’s the first time I’ve heard about it, even though Google hasn’t acknowledged Easter in the past.

  • VMink

    It’s a new thing. They haven’t gotten enough traction with the ‘War On Christmas’ thing so they’re trying to spread the feelings of persecution throughout the year.

  • Carstonio

    I’ve never seen Game of Thrones but I like the parodies of the House sigils, particularly the ones for Kent and Corelone.

    What would be the sigils for House Slacktivist and House RTC?

  • Lori

    House Slacktivist sigil would need a book & a pie, and a sheep if it could be done without mucking up the design too much.

    The sigil for House RTC should by all rights be a butt

  • Mrs Grimble

    Don’t forget the boobies!

  • Aeryl
  • Ruby_Tea

    House Tumblr is making me giggle all day, and I don’t even watch Game of Thrones.

  • Aeryl

    I know, that’s my favorite. But Reddit’s “We Do Not Source” is funny as hell too.

  • rizzo

    Wait, I thought Roman Catholics weren’t RTC’s anyhow? I mean they’re idolators and all, right?

  • Angelia Sparrow

    What would the Christian readers have been happy with anyway? Eggs and bunnies are pagan. And I think they would take a doodle with one O shaped like a rock that rolls away from the second O, a tomb, to be mocking them.

  • Lori

    One of the offended posted his idea of what the doodle should have been and it was the tomb. The opening was the first O and the stone was the second. Obviously that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have been (or at least claimed to have been) offended if someone else had done it.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    “Why Google’s ‘War on Easter’ is offensively Christ-like.”

    offensively Christ-like

    offensively Christ-like

    offensively Christ-like

    Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay then! *throws hands up in disbelief*

  • Lori

    Jesus offended plenty of people in his day, which seems to by Guyton’s point.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    Hmm. Fair point. It still seems kind of odd, is all. :)

  • Krutikov

    Google is Christ-like now. Amazing blog.

  • JustoneK

    I’ll bite. What the hell does this mean?

  • robert davis
  • stardreamer42

    Because, y’know, there could NEVER be two well-known brown people with the same last name. This is “all those X look alike” racism writ large.

  • The Ridger

    Well, unless they plan on also doing Easter when the Eastern Rite Christians have it…

  • P J Evans

    In high school we moved into a house where the neighbor on one side was Italian (and RC ) and the neighbor on the other side was Greek (and Orthodox). Keeping track of Christmas and Easter became a necessity.

  • Arachnus

    Right on