Instead of voting on President Obama’s jobs bill last week — or on anything to address America’s ongoing jobs crisis — the House of Representatives voted to reaffirm that America’s official motto remains its official motto.
Steve Benen notes that the president chided Congress for wasting time with a nonbinding symbolic vote to reaffirm a previous nonbinding symbolic vote:
President Obama invoked God Wednesday as he criticized Congress for voting on commemorative coins and a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto in all public buildings, public schools and other government institutions.
“That’s not putting people back to work,” Obama said. “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people to work.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney, unfortunately, garbled, and misattributed, the president’s words a bit at a press conference later:
“I believe the phrase from the Bible is, ‘The Lord helps those who help themselves,’” Carney said at the White House daily news briefing.
Yeah, uh, no. That’s actually one of the standard phrases in polls measuring biblical literacy. Year after year, those polls show that most people mistakenly believe that phrase to be from the Bible. So Carney’s goof is both common and famous — the former making it more understandable, the latter making it less so.
Where does that phrase — “God/The Gods helps those who help themselves” — come from? I would have said Ben Franklin, since it can be found in his Poor Richard’s Almanac, but Religion News Service traces it further:
It didn’t even originate with Ben Franklin, but goes back to the Greeks, Aeschylus and Euripides, then to poet George Herbert before it was adapted to its modern form by political theorist Algernon Sydney in 1698. Only later did it wind up in Poor Richard’s Almanac. Got it?
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That headline is a bit misleading. Rep. Walsh actually owes $117,000 in unpaid child support:
In July, the press learned that Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), a Tea Party freshman in Congress, owed $117,000 in unpaid child support to his ex-wife. Walsh, despite earning a hefty salary as a member of Congress, has continued to refuse to pay his ex-wife to support his children.
Now, it appears, an influential Christian right lobbying group is lending some support to the deadbeat congressman. The Sun-Times reports that the Family Research Council, a social conservative advocacy nonprofit headed by CNN pundit Tony Perkins, has awarded Walsh a 100 percent rating as a “True Blue” member of Congress. The FRC said it gave the honor to Walsh because of his “unwavering support of the family.”
This seems like a hilariously over-the-top example of hypocrisy, but again we need to remember that the Family Research Council is not concerned with Joe Walsh’s family, or with any other particular family, or even with families, plural. Their agenda is to support “The Family” — an abstract, ideal entity that cannot be seen, touched or measured. That’s not the same thing as those actual, tangible, flesh-and-blood families of real people.
You have a family. We all do. But no one has a The Family.And according to the Family Research Council, many things that are disastrous for actual, physical families are necessary in order to “strengthen The Family.” Rep. Joe Walsh is just the latest example of what has always been the case with pro-The Family groups like the FRC: “‘Pro-family’ means anti-families.”
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So corporate tool E. Calvin Beisner is telling deliberate lies about the science behind clima … Oh, nevermind. Dog bites man. Not news.
Here’s the link to Jenny McCarthy Body Count. Now you can bookmark it without having to turn safe-search on to Google that phrase.
Somehow I had never previously come across the blog “Stuff Christian Culture Likes.” “Stuff Christians Like,” I knew. And “Stuff Fundies Like.” Do we really need another snarky look at the strange subculture within the evangelical bubble?
(The phrase “one of us” in the previous sentence isn’t meant to imply that I expect everyone reading this is a native of the American evangelical subculture. It’s more like the chanting in Tod Browning’s Freaks — “We accept you, one of us! Gooble Gobble!“)
“20 Couples That Put Kim Kardashian’s Marriage to Shame” (I like BlackTsunami’s preferred headline better: “20 Couples Who the Right Claim Want to Destroy Marriages.”
The title of this post comes from Anya, in the classic Buffy episode “Once More With Feeling,” which originally aired 10 years ago today. It’s her response to Xander’s impression of Tom Cruise as T.J. Mackey in Magnolia: “Respect the cruller! Tame the doughnut!”
My observation the other day regarding Mackey and the Rev. Mark Driscoll was mainly due to the latter’s apparent adoption of the former’s hyper-masculine strut and his headgear. In terms of substance, of course, Mackey’s predatory misogyny is far nastier and more excessive than the tender, caring male supremacy taught by that cruller from Seattle.