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! Cha-ching!

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.

 

 

  • http://integralchristianity.blogspot.com/ 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.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

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

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/louispeitzman/people-who-think-google-is-honoring-hugo-chavez

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TexhomaGraphicDesign 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: http://www.buzzfeed.com/hunterschwarz/google-celebrates-easter-with-cesar-chavez-doodle?s=mobile

    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?

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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?

  • 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 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.

  • 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
    both.”

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Ross Thompson

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

  • Rowen
  • 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.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNtnN_DiP3o

  • 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

    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.

  • JustoneK

    It’s smelling rly meta up in here!

  • 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

  • histrogeek

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

  • 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. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/04/02/the-catholic-church-should-kick-out-all-those-bibliophiles/

  • 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.

  • Lori

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

    Martyrbate! I love it!

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

  • 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…”

  • 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?

  • EllieMurasaki

    No, no. Song of Songs.

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • Carstonio

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

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

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

  • 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.

  • Carstonio

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

    http://lokiable.deviantart.com/gallery/

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

  • rizzo

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

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

    The former, by far.

  • histrogeek

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

  • 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.

  • 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


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X