Postcards from the culture wars

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“In a democracy there is no more inappropriate place to being a gun than a political rally.”

I don’t want to see this happen to somebody else.”

“The WSJ, like most other newspapers, has a paint-by-numbers article that they pull out every few years announcing the demise of Evangelical political influence and the rise of a kinder, gentler, and less-partisan religious political engagement.”

“He’s not a general. He can’t order a retreat.”

“You are engaged in some sort of false religion.”

“Monica’s wrath has recently fallen upon Ruby Tuesday, Motorola, Slim Fast, Rent-A-Center, The Discovery Channel, salad dressing and shaving cream.”

The world is leaving them behind. And that cosmopolitan, multiracial man in the White House became the embodiment of everything they fear.”

“I’d put the Koch brothers in that category: rich, powerful people who are scared because they’ve stolen so much from the country, and electoral changes signal the possibility that they may lose what they’ve stolen.”

Cleanse the nation of the half-Muslim, anti-white, socialist fraud in the White House before the nation goes under for the final count.”

“Maybe it would be best if I attached a newspaper transcript that details the practice. It is gruesome, but then so was slavery and Jim Crow.”

“You might learn something. Though you might not like what you learn.”

“‘Authorities gave no motive for Stout’s alleged actions at the mosque or the Planned Parenthood clinic, which does not provide abortion services.’ So there’s just no telling. Could be he just happened to pick those two places to burn because he’s a false flagger trying to make mosque-and-clinic-burners look bad.”

“They did get the complaint and it turned out that it was fabricated by one of the parents who opposes transgender students in schools. So it was an unfortunate situation, to have to put the students through, but it was fabricated.”

“In the 154-page ruling, the panel concluded that Kline’s suspension was warranted due to his ‘dishonest or selfish motive,’ ‘pattern of misconduct,’ and ‘refusal to acknowledge the wrongful nature of any of his misconduct,’ among other reasons.”

“The Protestant opposition to contraception can’t be understood without a greater understanding of the way in which a particular conception of patriarchal authority has more and more deeply embedded itself within conservative evangelicalism over the past forty years.”

“As it happens, on that January day when Smith was working late, she had called police to confirm her husband’s address. She believed they were on their way to finally arrest him. So when Smith finished up for the day — it was nearing 7:30 p.m. — she didn’t call security, because she didn’t believe she’d need to.”

“Clearly, depriving 10-year-olds of the opportunity to go through body-breaking labor to provide their rapist uncles with a shot at fatherhood is so evil that anyone who participates deserves to have her life ruined.”

“Women who work at large companies like Hobby Lobby should not be subjected to the religious values of their employers — whether the corporation itself, or the owners of the corporation – when those religious values infringe on women’s religious freedom, and result in the denial of earned employee benefits and the elimination of access to the full range of preventive health-care services authorized by the Affordable Care Act.”

“If it happens to us, we want to call it persecution. But when we do it to others, we want to call it ‘religious liberty.‘”

“If you’re a conference organizer, you’re not lowering the bar of quality by having different perspectives involved. You’re making things more interesting.”

“What it means is that, by the logic of incarnation, I need to struggle to see God’s face in the suffering and dying of the wretched of the earth. And doing that requires spinning theologies that subvert the texts used to make God the exclusive possession of the victors and owners of the world.”


Southern Baptist leaders call for war … or something
Bullies have always been intersectional, even before that was a word
Good news for your customers is good news for your business
Tickle my ear and I’ll pay for your show
  • smrnda

    If someone is going to demand you wear a uniform to work, they’d damn well better pay for it and have the decency to clean it for you. I’d be willing to put the burden of any special work clothes on the employer.

    I say this because, as a person who isn’t subject to a dress code, it’s both personally and financially liberating. Think of all the places that require clean-pressed khakis, or black trousers, or grey trousers – you can end up having to buy a few pairs of each if you work multiple jobs, which can start eating into your earnings, and the demands for clothes to be clean when you work a dirty job can get very costly.

  • Lori

    Yes, some people say exactly this. For example a lady in North Dakota has taken it upon herself to educate parents who are letting their kids get too fat and therefore should not have Halloween candy.

  • smrnda

    We also have the same people distorting the word ‘socialism’ to mean ‘anything but anarcho-capitalism.’ This creates problems because it involves a loud political faction refusing to use words in a way that enables rational debate – it’s kind of how a *particular politician* can both be a Muslim and a militant atheist at the same time. It’s a case when angry people who do not think have spouted so much meaningless nonsense, which, regrettably, people don’t call out as nonsense when it’s spoken.

    I think part of the problem is that, as long as a speaker is conveying the right emotion, people seem to just assume something meaningful is said. I don’t personally get it, but I’m fairly demanding when it comes to requiring that words mean things. (Probably because, as a person who uses lots of mathematics and logic, I’m used to very precise statements.)

  • Rhubarbarian82

    A lot of times, I will write up a complete comment, double check all of my facts, reference everything a second time. Then, before clicking “post,” I’ll ask myself, “If people take issue with this comment, do I really want to take the time to defend it?” The answer is often “no, I don’t want to spend 15 or 30 or 45 minutes writing up responses to people.” Therefore, I don’t post it.

    You know the things you post are inflammatory, and I honestly don’t know why people even bother responding to your attempts to instigate arguments. Maybe you just enjoy knowing how to pull peoples’ levers. Not that I don’t find their responses interesting or insightful, of course, but you’re just going to wake up tomorrow with the exact same opinions you had today, and no amount of data, rhetoric, or real life experiences will apparently change that.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    I once had a debate with an uncle about the meaning of “conservative” and “liberal.” He insisted that the definition of conservative was that they were in favor of less government, and liberals were in favor of more government. Being a high schooler who had just covered the definition in history class, I said that it was based on willingness or reluctance to change. We went back and forth for a little bit before I proposed just consulting the dictionary. When he found that the dictionary supported my definition, he claimed that it was because the dictionary was written by liberals, and that his definition was still accurate.

    I never argued anything approaching politics with him again.

  • AnonymousSam

    It’s hard to imagine, yes, but there are people whose bubbles are right on the verge of being completely opaque. I have an aunt who never watches television or listens to the radio, and will shut down any conversation that even begins to infringe on her Christ-heavy view of the world.

  • MarkTemporis

    Nobody tell her that NBC also has a (vastly superior) television series about Hannibal Lecter, with a violence level that makes Dracula look like Veggie Tales.

    Edit: I just watched Dracula. I was right about the violence: the pilot episode shows about as much blood as Hannibal’s OPENING SEQUENCE.

    Also, it really isn’t Dracula. It’s Steampunk Vampire Tony Stark versus the Illuminati. If that sounds like something you’d watch, check it out.

  • Lori


  • Invisible Neutrino

    Driving your car on the road means that “government fiat” is enforcing a set of beliefs about which side of the road to use.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    The only problem I have with total compensation is that right-wing economists often like to use that metric instead of actual after-tax cash wages to “prove” there is no such thing as wage stagnation.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    That being said, I will say when I was a teenager and a sex scene came on a movie on VHS tape? I was torn between wanting to watch it and wishing my dad could fast forward faster.

  • AnonymousSam

    Yeah. Thanksgivings were ‘fun’, until she told my father to stop bringing me to them. I’m still not sure what I did which caused her to decide I was no longer part of the family.

  • Baby_Raptor

    On the other hand, that’s how these people self-identify, that’s the party they side with, and that’s the identification of the people they appeal to.

    Denying people the right to use their chosen self-identification has a bunch of issues with it by itself, before you factor in the rest.

  • ohiolibrarian

    And now for something fairly horrifying that fits today’s theme. Just read that letter to the ‘other woman’. Pitiable … and infuriating.

  • Baby_Raptor

    It’s more than a little sickening that you would exploit the story of child rape victims to score political points.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I went to Starbucks with a coworker earlier. New baby, deployed husband…She needs adult company. So we went out for coffee.

    While we were sitting there, this random woman walks up to us and starts ripping Toni a new orifice about the onesie her baby was wearing. It “showed too much skin,” she was “teaching her daughter to dress like a whore” and she was a “child abuser.”

    Keep in mind, this baby is about a month old.

    Some people just have no filters. Or common sense.

  • LoneWolf343

    “Facts have a liberal bias.”

  • LoneWolf343

    Your sarcasm. It makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

  • MarkTemporis

    No filters might have come in handy. A good response would have been to act all indignant and yell at the top of your voice “OHMIGOD YOU WANT TO FUCK A BABY!” to the woman, just to see everyone’s reaction.

  • Jenny Islander

    “She’s a martyr for others. You can tell the others by their hunted expressions.”

  • Jenny Islander

    Wow, you top the one that had me floored back when my oldest was about a year old. She was sitting in the top of the grocery cart “talking” to me (“Meh,” “Awehwah,” that kind of thing), which was her signal for “I am getting fed up, Mom, and I really want to go home before I have a meltdown.” I was talking gently to her as I pushed the cart around and some random guy walked up, told me to “give her something to cry about,” and hurried off.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Because triggering a meltdown would totally help you prevent one. Yeah. Makes sense.

  • SororAyin

    Have I mentioned how much I love community here as Slacktivist lately. You guys are awesome.

  • Caddy Compson

    But heaven forbid the government–even state governments–institute ANY sort of guidelines for homeschooling. Then the righteous fury flares up and it’s all about “parents’ rights.”

  • chgo_liz


    Words fail me.

  • chgo_liz

    See if you can figure it out, because there are a lot of people who would love to learn exactly what they can do to effect the same result.

  • chgo_liz

    Reactionary extremists.

  • Lori

    The letter from the wife of the cheater was horrible, but I disagree a bit with Marcotte’s conclusion about it. Religion is not the reason that woman can’t see the truth about her husband. She can’t see the truth because she doesn’t want to. She can’t face the truth about her marriage, so she doesn’t see it. She loves and has devoted herself to her husband and he doesn’t love her back, or at least he doesn’t love her the way she needs for him to. She can never get back the 14 years she spent with and on him and she can never really break ties with him because they have children. She uses religion as a scaffold on which to build the fantasy husband she needs to believe in so that she can keep getting out of bed in the morning, but if she didn’t have religion she’d find something else.

    I’ve heard non-religious women spout that same delusional crap substituting addiction or PTSD or being the adult child of alcoholics or any number of other things having nothing to do with religion for “It’s in his heart to serve the Lord and lead his family as a Kingdom Man, but his flesh is weak.” Conversely, I’ve know deeply religious women whose response to an unfaithful spouse was to kick his lying ass to the curb, get a church-approved divorce and leave him to the devil.

    That woman is pathetic in the dictionary sense, she arouses pity through vulnerability or sadness, but something other than, or more than, religion made her that way.

  • AnonymousSam

    Honestly, I think it was because I fussed a little when they made me go to a baby baptism, revealing myself to be an atheist. A true believer would have been overjoyed. <.<

  • Anton_Mates

    Yeah, judging by that “Patriot Survival Plan” Fred linked to, the definition of “patriot” is “someone who’s planning for open warfare with their government, their neighbors and the majority of their fellow citizens.” Which does seem a leetle bit backwards.

  • Tired and Angry

    Regarding the bakers: I am really getting sick of this. Isn’t christian one like Christ? Didn’t Jesus go to the prostitutes and the tax collectors and the Samaritans and the Gentiles and all the other filthy sinners and unclean ones and give them healing? Didn’t Jesus tell us to go give aid, comfort,, food and love in general to these people? And aren’t we ALL sinners anyway? “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”, says Paul? I don’t get these “Christians” insistence on refusing to serve or associate or give equal rights to gay because they are sinners or sinning or some nonsense like that. It is literally against their OWN RELIGION to refuse them service.

    And seriously? You refuse to bake them a cake? That’s not just asshole-y and unchristian, its bad business. I mean, hell, you could just charge them more (not that you should, that would also be bullshit, but it makes more market sense).

    Man, this is why my friends say i don’t act Christian. I’m not oppressing gays and minorities. And that pisses me off.

  • Chris

    It’s a view that requires people to infantilize themselves to a ridiculous degree.
    “Except ye become as a little child…”

  • Lori

    Yeah, but there’s also “so be wise as serpents” which doesn’t really go with spending your whole life in a bubble fit for a child.

  • Jenny Islander

    Fortunately, this one appears to be a hoax.

  • Lori

    A tiny bit of faith in humanity restored.

    After several days in a row of dealing with people who can’t understand that blackface is not OK my butthead radar must have shut down.

  • melissia

    I actually broke down and cried reading some of these…