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.”


Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 26: ‘Go to Hell’
To live in the days of the life without end
Duck Dynasty’s loveless ethics and … the Aristocrats!
Duck Dynasty’s loveless ethics and why reaver jokes aren’t funny
  • Lori

    Monica Cole needs to learn how to use the parental control settings on her damn TV and leave the rest of us alone.

  • James Probis

    It is worth noting that the transgender teen being subjected to the hateful lies of the PJI has been on suicide watch for over a week as they continue to push their lies. They know the harm their actions are causing.

  • D Johnston

    I have to imagine that, like many morality crusaders, her concern is not raising her children. It’s raising everyone else’s children.

  • Lori

    Yeah. I just have no patience with that.

  • Albanaeon

    Or just change the channel. Or turn it off. Tried and true methods for avoiding programming you don’t like.

    But then you don’t get the visceral satisfaction of waging a losing battle for the very soul of the country that proves your own righteousness, so we obviously can’t expect that…

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    The ‘bringing guns to rallies’ things never fails to amaze me. Can you even imagine if some fool liberal had been packing heat at a Bush rally? Their families would STILL be petitioning the government to find out where the idiot was being waterboarded.

  • Invisible Neutrino


    How many boys have, in effect. sexually harrassed other boys by engaging in the kind of homophobic bullying practices occasionally reported by people who’ve had to endure the daily or almost daily ritual of changing clothes in the gym locker room?

    Or, for that matter, sex-segregated bathrooms etc doesn’t stop people of the same sex from doing that OMGSTARING thing they’re so up in arms about.

  • Lori

    You also can’t collect a fat paycheck by doing any of those things, so there’s that.

  • mistformsquirrel

    Urge to break things, rising…

  • Anton_Mates

    “Half-Muslim” is a thing? Are Muslim genes dominant or submissive? Are half-Muslim kids born looking like normal Christian babies, but then they start to refuse pork and spontaneously orient toward Mecca when they hit puberty?

  • AnonymousSam

    XD Quibble: Dominant or recessive. Dominant and submissive is something else altogether.

  • Anton_Mates

    Hah! That typo was so awesome I’m keeping it in.

  • AnonymousSam

    Now I’m picturing chains of DNA–

    Wait, I’m not gonna finish that one.

  • smrnda

    Complaining about violence and sex in a series about Dracula is like complaining about seeing violence in Ultimate Fighting. It’s like me complaining that VeggieTales *doesn’t* give me my fill of sex and violence on TV.

  • smrnda

    I think an issue with birth control/employment is that the discourse on employment has changed. It used to be you could openly talk about employment being exploitation. You could talk about employment being an exchange of labor (which made a profit for the employer) for money. But in this day and age of the Job Creators and the idea that only the 1% really does anything and all the people toiling under their command are just lazy moochers who contribute nothing (thanks Ayn Rand) it seems like employment is being treated by some to be a form of charity, as if the workers aren’t DOING anything.

    Seriously, if the workers want birth control, give them the birth control as workers get pissed and shat on enough.

  • Jared James

    Feature, not a bug. The more transgender, gay, and Other teens and adults who end their lives in misery and despair, the more their persecutors will smuglysorrowfully point to the “wages” of their “sinful lifestyles.”

  • tricksterson

    This is a dated quote but the sentiment is still valid:
    “I’d like to inform Reverends Wildmon and Falwell that their TVs come with a couple of knobs. One changes the channel and the other turns it off”
    –St. George Carlin

  • LL

    Again, I wish people would stop misusing the term “conservative.” I don’t consider myself conservative, so it’s not offensive to me, but I do care about proper word usage.

    People who urge a “coup” to “cleanse” the nation are the very opposite of “conservative,” by any standard. So when TPM identifies well-known nutjob Klayman as a “conservative attorney,” they are misrepresenting him. And misusing the word “conservative” – the actual, non-politically-tainted meaning of it (marked by moderation or caution), not the way the Republicans have bastardized it, the same way they’ve bastardized the words “life,” “freedom,” “compassionate,” “compromise,” “patriot,” “faith,” “truth,” “news” and “facts.”

  • damanoid

    What do you reckon would be the proper term in this case?

    ETA: It just occurred to me, is it possible to hold true “conservative” values (i.e., “marked by moderation or caution” about whether it is a good idea to allow these unreliable colored folk to vote), yet also imagine that it might be necessary to hold a coup, cleansing, etc. in defense of those values as they are slowly eroded away by progress?

  • J_Enigma32

    Probably something along the lines of “troglodyte.”

    “Regressive” works, too.

  • J_Enigma32

    “50 Shades of Guanine.”

  • Chris Doggett

    I think that’s close, but not quite on the mark.
    It’s not that employment is a form of charity, it’s that business owners view any compensation other than wages as a form of charity.
    Wages are regulated, both in terms of minimums and in terms of maximums, and employers are “forced” (by the state) to abide by minimum-wage laws, overtime pay laws, and so on.
    Anything that’s not wages (paid time off, health insurance) gets called a “benefit” or a “perk”, and viewed not as part of the total compensation package, but as owner-provided, optional “sweeteners” from owners to employees. That language creates a pretty profound distorition, because it lumps together things that are trivial (like employee discounts, or free employee uniforms) with things that have material, substantial economic impacts. (like paid time off and health insurance)
    I don’t think it’s a new idea either. Employers want to pay as little as possible for employees, down to the minimum the market will bear. The view any intervention on market forces with intense hostility, whether it’s minimum wage laws or labor unions. The fight over birth control in health insurance comes from an ideological position that demands all attempts at regulating employee compensation must be fought tooth-and-nail.

  • AnonymousSam

    A little more dated, but no less relevant.

    “The FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, decided all by itself that radio and television were the only two parts of American life not protected by the free speech provisions of the first amendment to the Constitution. I’d like to repeat that, because it sounds… *vaguely* important! The FCC, an appointed body, not elected, answerable only to the president, decided on its own that radio and television were the only two parts of American life not protected by the first amendment to the Constitution. Why did they decide that? Because they got a letter from a minister in Mississippi!
    A Reverend Donald Wildman in Mississippi heard something on the radio that he didn’t like. Well, Reverend, did anyone ever tell you there are two KNOBS on the radio? Two. Knobs. On the radio. Of course, I’m sure the reverend isn’t that comfortable with anything that has two knobs on it. But hey, reverend, there are two knobs on the radio! One of them turns the radio OFF, and the other one [slaps his head] CHANGES THE STATION! Imagine that, reverend, you can actually change the station! It’s called freedom of choice, and it’s one of the principles this country was founded upon.

    Look it up in the library, reverend, if you have any of them left when you’ve finished burning all the books.”

  • aunursa

    What all this bespeaks is a shocking amount of entitlement on the behalf of [insert plural partisan label here]. It makes sense; the underlying premise of being [repeat label here] is believing that you have the right to control the … decisions of perfect strangers and that your beliefs … should be imposed on others by government fiat.

    [aunursa's head explodes]

  • Cathy W

    I remember a civics class that placed “reactionary” at the far end of the spectrum from “radical”.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading your responses to the people responding to your post the other day about Obamacare. It’s that kind of healthy intellectual debate that shows you’re arguing in good faith, with strong evidence.

  • Monala

    Sigh. Are you seriously trying to compare the requirement to have health insurance (a requirement that can be met in a number of ways, including not purchasing health insurance and accepting a fine), with forcing a raped 10-year-old to carry a pregnancy to term?

    I seriously hope that’s not what you’re suggesting, because that would be sick. And if I’m mistaken about your point, then please clarify it.

  • Chris Doggett

    Gosh, that paragraph, stripped of all context and distinguishing information sounds potentially objectionable if read in a certain way! Especially when any supplimental arguments and details are omitted!
    It’s like MadLibs for trolls!

    What all this bespeaks is a shocking amount of entitlement on the behalf of [women who don't want to be raped]. It makes sense; the underlying premise of being [women who don't want to be raped] is believing that you have the right to control the … decisions of perfect strangers and that your beliefs … should be imposed on others by government fiat.

    Hey, I wonder if the subject matters at all in that construction? Let’s see…

    What all this bespeaks is a shocking amount of entitlement on the behalf of [persons who want to kill you and eat your flesh]. It makes sense; the underlying premise of being [persons who want to kill you and eat your flesh] is believing that you have the right to control the … decisions of perfect strangers and that your beliefs [about killing people eating their flesh] … should be imposed on others by government fiat.

    Gosh, I guess the same bland sentences sound good when we’re talking about a value we all support (rape is bad) and sound bad when we’re talking about a value we all opposed. (cannibalism) Whoda thunk it?
    Now let’s try it out with the actual content:

    What all this bespeaks is a shocking amount of entitlement on the behalf of [persons who want to force others to carry pregnancies to term against their wills]. It makes sense; the underlying premise of being [people who want to force women to carry pregnancies to term against their wills] is believing that you have the right to control the … decisions of perfect strangers and that your beliefs … should be imposed on others by government fiat.

    Hey, lookit that!

  • LoneWolf343

    A conservative is someone who avoids change. I think that many modern “conservatives” fit that description, since they are fighting any kind of change with all of their might, and clam up when they are called upon to offer alternative solutions to problems.

  • LoneWolf343

    I am.

  • LoneWolf343

    Or, if you want more classical definitions, those being “conservativism” “the idea that the state should keep power” and “liberalism” “the idea that the people should get the power,” the yare still conservatives because they are fighting to keep the various cultural or economic hegemonies intact. So, yeah, they are “conservatives,” and I’m going to keep calling them that.

  • AnonymousSam

    If you make a mess, you’re cleaning it up!

  • aunursa

    When I reply to every single response (with source links and other evidence), I’m accused of monopolizing or derailing the thread. When I pick and choose which comments to respond to, I’m accused of rejecting the more compelling responses. When I post a single comment, I’m accused of a drive-by.

    Thus I’ll be accused of arguing in bad faith no matter how often or how little I defend any comment that is contrary to the consensus of the other commenters. Heads you win, tails I lose.

  • Lori

    Maybe you could try being a bit more selective in the things you post in the first place. About 90% of the responses to your most recent attempt to “gottcha” the ACA were things that you could have thought of had you applied any critical thinking skills whatsoever to the article.

  • PJEvans


  • malpollyon

    When I reply to every single response (with source links and other evidence)

    You wouldn’t get nearly the pushback if your standards of “evidence” didn’t so often include outright lies and your “source links” didn’t so often say the exact opposite of what you claim.

  • PJEvans

    Good employers include PTO (vacation and sick leave0 as part of the contract. Mine specified $n per year and 10 days vacation. (Sick leave and jury duty, no. I wasn’t in the group that got those.)

  • Lori

    That language creates a pretty profound distorition, because it lumps
    together things that are trivial (like employee discounts, or free
    employee uniforms)

    Speaking as a person who has worked some pretty dirty jobs I can say that free uniforms and washing service aren’t trivial. Otherwise yeah to your post. This is why I always try to talk about total compensation, not about “wages” and “benefits”.

  • PJEvans

    That’s my choice to describe the roll-back-the-clock conservatives. They’re the definition of reactionary.

  • Lori

    A few years ago I heard some TV preacher say that he didn’t think people should watch anything on TV that they wouldn’t feel comfortable watching while sitting between their 6 year old and their grandmother*. People like that don’t think they ought to have to change the station to avoid things. After all, grandma and Little Bit might hear a bad word or something before you get to the clicker. And god save us all if someone sees a boob or a naked butt. Porn is the Tempter’s snare, insta-addicting for even the most upright among us.

    *Just think about all the layers of wrong there. Someone who can cram that much wrong into a single short sentence is impressive in a horrifying kind of way.

  • smrnda

    Wow, what an amazing discovery. If you take out the words in a sentence that actually means specific things and replace them with vague [word in brackets] you can conflate things that are really not the same at all. I guess you can learn a lot by playing mad-libs.

    The process of making laws means that certain people will have rules imposed on them they disagree with by government fiat. Almost everyone is subject to at least some law they don’t agree with. We have to balance which person’s complaints are legitimate from those which are merely whining. Privilege, entitled people often find having their power to piss and shit on others curtailed to be an outrage, but they’re a bunch of assholes that nobody should listen to. I figured I should phrase it plainly to avoid confusion.

    So.. employers SHOULD have conditions imposed on them in the interest of their workers, many of which they won’t like. Why? Because the law should intervene on behalf of those with less power.

  • Hawker40

    “I have raised my children to know better, but YOU have raised your children poorly and need me to control them for you.”
    It seems common with the morality crusaders, whether you’re talking about alchohol, gambling, sex or censorship or a dozen other things. “I am in control of myself, you are not in control of yourself therefore I will impose control on you.”

  • Hawker40

    Turning back the clock to ‘the good old days’ as they never happened.

  • J_Enigma32

    It did happen. Look, you can turn on the TV to any AMC and see it. Watch any episode of Leave it to Beaver. It did happen, but it was never in this reality.

    And it’s fitting they chase those dreams down that rabbit hole, because neither were they.

  • Susan_G1

    This forcing of a 10 yr. old to carry to term is not enough of a rarity. There was another case this week of a 15 yr old foster child who could not obtain parental consent for an abortion (required for underaged women in that state). Therefore she was deemed unfit to make the decision to abort her fetus. Unbelievable. For being unable to determine this, she was declared able to raise a child.

    when will this end? it’s insanity.

  • Lorehead

    Or you could stop bringing your pet issue into conversations where it isn’t relevant and talk about what the rest of us are discussing?

  • Ivkra

    This makes me angrier than I can fully say. Especially given Jared’s comment. We honestly cannot fix that environment in this culture soon enough.

  • tricksterson

    I’m surprised that she didn’t complain about there being vampires in it.

  • smrnda

    I think this attitude also seems to imply that anything that can go on the telly is just pop culture rubbish and nothing serious. I can’t imagine a solid war movie that I’d feel okay showing a 6 year old, but if a war movie could be shown to a 6 year old, it would probably not just be a shit film, but it would probably be a blatant lie about the nature of war. A show which takes you inside a prison should be something that makes anyone and everyone uncomfortable, but that’s the point. Sanitizing everything isn’t just boring, it’s morally indefensible since it’s effectively lying about reality, or choosing to omit the nasty bits.

  • Lori

    That is one of the major layers of wrong. It’s a view that requires people to infantilize themselves to a ridiculous degree. I can’t imagine that the preacher even actually believes what he said. Surely he must occasionally watch things that he would feel uncomfortable sharing with a child. Fear of teh sex makes fundies say and do really stupid things. (And it’s always fear of sex. Violence don’t seem to phase them much unless it’s really gory.)