Smart people saying smart things

Smart people saying smart things March 9, 2012

Mary E. Hunt: “Communion or Disunion?: Sacraments do not ‘belong’ to the clergy

The shift is in models of authority — from the top down, clergy-centered model to a more rounded, communal one. It is a new thing under the contemporary Catholic sun but it is real.

… One account of Ms. Johnson’s experience at her mother’s funeral included a detail I cannot verify but can well imagine. A blogger who spoke with her [John Shore] wrote that after being passed over by the priest for Communion, Barbara actually received a host from a layperson who was acting as a Eucharistic Minister at the mass. Lay ministers distribute Communion at many if not most Catholic churches at this time of increasingly fewer priests. It was the unordained person, not the priest, who did the right thing.

This act, based on pastoral common sense, is Catholic clerics’ worst nightmare, what I assume keeps Roman and diocesan officials awake at night. Lay people are taking on increased authority, begging no one’s permission or pardon. Clergy are coming to realize that the Eucharist does not belong to them any more than they own church buildings, theology, or ministry. They are not in charge of who receives Communion, whether politicians or waitresses, divorced, remarried, and/or queer. Whether in cathedrals or base communities, people decide for themselves about Communion, just as they decide about contraception, sexuality, and marriage. The Catholic community is changing indeed.

Joe Atkins: “The Tea Party and the South: Preaching the gospel of raw capitalism and the evils of government

In the 1940s, CIO organizer Lucy Randolph Mason, a Virginia aristocrat and committed Episcopalian who believed in the labor cause, often found herself face to face with the mill village minister, a man usually totally compromised by the financial support he got from the mill owner and one who thus considered labor unions minions from hell. She describes one of them, Preacher Jones, in her autobiography To Win These Rights: “The preacher dropped his bull-like head and hunching forward said to me: ‘You don’t believe in no kind of religion — you believe in a social religion and that ain’t Christianity … .’ I, too, leaned forward and asked earnestly, but politely: ‘Then you don’t believe in the teachings of Jesus? … His whole life … (was) all part of a great social religion.'”

In the modern South, Pentecostal, Methodist, and Baptist leaders are joined by first generation Southerners who came to Atlanta, Nashville, and the Research Triangle in North Carolina with their business and engineering degrees and pro-business ideas, set up shop, and laid the foundation for the rise of Sunbelt South politicians like Newt Gingrich and George W. Bush. For those politicians, the old bugaboo of communism that preachers used to fire congregations back in the 1940s was replaced by the bugaboo of government.

But, just as Preacher Jones was a tool of the mill owners to keep the workers pliant and passive, the religious right today is also merely a tool for the oil barons and Wall Street types who truly rule. In the 1950s and 1960s, [Purdue historian Darren] Dochuk writes, oilmen H.L. Hunt and J. Howard Pew stayed busy “marshaling their fellow church folk in fights for right-to-work legislation and the deregulation of industry.”

… Instead of Hunt and Pew, today we have the Koch brothers.

Michael Sean Winters: “How the Ghost of Jerry Falwell Conquered the Republican Party

Rigid obsession with orthodoxy in all political matters … now defines the Republican Party. Orthodoxy … was the signature of Falwell’s style. And irony, tolerance, and pragmatism were never his strong suits. They did not sit well with the earnestness and literalism of fundamentalist Christianity. “In the intellectual battle of the present day there can be no ‘peace without victory’; one side or the other must win,” J. Gresham Machen, a professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary and one of the founding lights of fundamentalism, wrote in 1923. Falwell’s folksy sermons transferred this absolutism about church doctrine to the political realm. …

It was this cast of mind, the sense that political and religious facts were as obvious as his “standing here right now,” that was arguably Falwell’s principal contribution to the shaping of the modern GOP. Yes, Falwell made abortion a key issue; he liked to say that you could no longer run for the Republican nomination to be dog catcher without articulating your position on abortion. But the arrival of an orthodox temperament to Republican politics was not only about abortion or about social issues. It soon extended to everything.

Whatever the value of Falwell’s black-and-white approach to theological debates, this worldview, when carried over to the political realm, resulted in a coarsening of discourse and increased ideological rigidity. Politics does not save, but the newly engaged religious right brought all the fervor of, well, evangelists, into discussions of economics, foreign policy, the environment, and a host of what had previously, and properly, been considered mundane concerns. With evangelical voters, everything took on an eschatological veneer.

… Before Falwell, if liberals wanted to increase the minimum wage by one dollar and conservatives did not want to increase it at all, they could compromise and raise the minimum wage by fifty cents. Before Falwell, the American public’s ambivalence about abortion could find expression in the Hyde Amendment, which does not prohibit abortion but denies federal funds for the procedure. After Falwell, such compromises were seen not as part of the art of governance, but as a betrayal of first principles. After Falwell, conservatives could not entertain differences of opinion on many issues without being accused of political heresy. Grover Norquist is as much Falwell’s heir as any preacher.

Ta-Nehisi Coates: “On Making Yourself Right

When I heard that Andrew Breitbart had died, I was saddened. It is natural to think of the damage Breitbart did to people like [Shirley] Sherrod by embracing lying as a weapon. But I found myself thinking of the great injury he must have ultimately done himself, for by the end of the Sherrod affair, he was a man lying only to himself and other liars.

By embracing that deception, by neglecting to research Sherrod before putting up a clip of her talking, by electing to see her as little more than a shiv against the hated liberals, he deprived himself of knowledge, of experience, of insight, of enlightenment. That he might learn something from Sherrod, that he might access some power from her life, and pass that on to loved ones and friends, never occurred to him. …

That is what took me to sadness. I have experienced curiosity as a primarily selfish endeavor. It originates in the understanding of the brevity of life, and the desire to see as much of it as possible, from as many angles as possible without doing too much damage to my morality. The opposite of that — incuriosity, dishonesty, the opportunistic deployment of information — is darkness. Breitbart died, like all of us will, in darkness. But as a media persona he chose to also live there, and in the process has impelled countless others to throttle themselves into the abyss.

… It is wholly appropriate to be sorry that Andrew Breitbart died. But in the relevant business, it is right to be sorry for how he lived.


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  • I guess, but all my compassion is currently aimed at Breitbart’s victims, and I don’t have any left over for him. Sorry. ^_^

    Also, Fred, thanks for the Winters quote/link. It helps to clarify and consolidate a lot of what’s been striking me about the far right these days. I mean, it’s obvious to me that they’ve become ideologically intransigent, but the reasons and thought processes behind it were never as clear to me as Winters makes them.

    This is the danger of worship, I suppose. Fundies worship Jesus, but they’ve morphed him into something that doesn’t resemble the real Jesus one bit. And far-right “patriots” worship America, but they’re worshiping an America that doesn’t in any way resemble the real thing. (Although it will if they have their way, which is scary.)

  • You know, I recently watched the Malcolm X movie with Denzel Washington playing him, and I’ve got to say, having had my eyes opened to the way privilege works when one is a member of the dominant race on the planet, it was rather educational seeing how some of the more extreme perspectives of American blacks in the fifties and sixties was shaped by centuries of white people purposely denying basic self-respect to blacks.

    So when I read about claims that the NAACP was cheering someone who argued that whites should be discriminated against, etc – 

    While I agree that it’s deplorable to tell a lie, I also think that tales like this serve to reinforce the smug self-reassurance of some white people that they knew all along that blacks have no desire to live in co-existence and simply want to invert the existing order of things: i.e. the old fear by the number ones anywhere that the number twos will visit on them what they used to visit on the number twos.

    Also, when I hear about things like that, i can’t find it in my heart to deplore too harshly the notion of discrimination against whites, because as Malcolm X famously said:

    “The whites landed on Plymouth Rock. Well, Plymouth Rock landed on us!”

    Hard to argue with the lasting effects that kind of thing has had.

  • Rachel W

    Re: Hunt–the irony is of course that the shift in authority is fueled in large part by the
    literal lack of pastoral leadership in the Catholic Church in America.  Literal as in, “not enough priests for the population.”  The oversized, big-money parishes get the cream of the crop, while smaller churches are closed, share pastors, only have Eucharist 1-2 times a month.  The Church does incredible contortions to maintain leadership–one example is a sizable parish with a former minister, currently married, who officially is a “deacon”  but who does everything but actually touch the Host during Mass.  The *real* priest does that.  Most non-Catholics watching the service wouldn’t even know the difference.  My point is that the Church will do almost *anything* to avoid letting married men or women into the priesthood–but that very fact is bringing the laity into the leadership vacuum, whether they like it or not.

  • Anonymous

    One of the ironies of the Shirley Sherrod incident is that she was never Breitbart’s intended target.  Her speech was beside the point.*  Rather, his target was the NAACP.  Breitbart’s point was about the reaction of the NAACP audience to her story.  But in order to discover that, you’d have to actually read the post.

    * In the original (uncorrected) post you would have to scroll down three times before you even see her name or the video in question.

  • I’m not sure we’re working from the same definition of “irony” here. Breitbart deliberately attacked Sherrod and misrepresented her speech. The fact that he did so in service of a larger, equally ridiculous and racist attack on the NAACP at large doesn’t change that.

    That the left’s reaction to Breitbart’s racism and mendacity centered around Sherrod is a result of the fact that Sherrod is the person who was personally harmed in that whole incident. I suppose what you’re attempting to do here is portray her as collateral damage in Breitbart’s pursuit of a larger point, but there is no larger point. The NAACP is not racist, the federal government is not out to screw whitey, and the media is not aiding and abetting liberal smears of the Tea Party.

  • the old fear by the number ones anywhere that the number twos will visit on them what they used to visit on the number twos.

    One would think that would be reason enough to treat the number twos well in case the tables were ever turned, but…

  • Anonymous

    I think Breitbart is the perfect example of my characterization of conservative opinion makers as orcs.  He was not an inherently evil man – but he was so consumed by the need to WIN (or more accurately, to keep the Other Guy from winning.) that he became this kind of hyper-real parody of a conservative provocateur.  (There’s a great chat log with Breitbart on Gawker, where he literally types the same thing dozens of times in all caps as a way of making his point.)

    I think that he honestly believe that he was standing on the right side of history.  He HONESTLY FELT that he was wronged, that the tea party has no racist component, and that that video of Sherrod showed that “the liberals” were out to destroy his life.

    The question that I have about conservatives – especially of this sort of hyper-panicked kind is what exactly do they WANT?  What would Breitbart do if actually CAUGHT the car he was chasing – if he managed to usher in the conservative libertarian utopia?  I mean – if you were to magically convince all liberals tomorrow that they were fundamentally misguided and we all agreed that Ayn Rand was the super-bestest thing ever – then what next?  I ask this in all seriousness.  Does he just want to live on Camazotz or in Stepford Village or something?

    Breitbart, Rush and those guys – they can’t point to a place and say “when we get here, the project is done” – they can’t even point to a place and say “when we get there, we’ll still have work to do, but at least we’ll have made progress.”  A lot of liberals can point at some kind of totally unachievable utopia where everybody is happy and free and say that.  I mean, it’s completely unrealistic, but it’s at least a goal.

    But conservative thought makers (especially of the non-theocrat variety) can’t do this.  They like to talk about the land of opportunity – and that’s fine – but that still leaves people starving on the streets, which they’re cool with.  That’s the big idea?  That we’re going to have a society red in tooth and claw?

    I guess I understand “conservatives” – people who just don’t want anything to change – but radicals like Breitbart, Rush, Ron Paul – what is they want to happen exactly?

  • Daughter

    Man, TNC can turn a phrase!

    I have observed this recently:

    It was this cast of mind, the sense that political and religious facts were as obvious as his “standing here right now,” that was arguably Falwell’s principal contribution to the shaping of the modern GOP.

    My husband posted about Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh on his Facebook page, and one of his friends from high school wrote back the most obnoxious stuff, about her being a slut, about us paying her to have sex, about the real issue being forcing the Catholic Church to go against their convictions. My husband, several friends of our and I wrote back and addressed why he was wrong point by point.

    His “friend” then started shouting back how we were all blind and deceived–even though we had all offered information and evidence to support our points of view, and he had offered none.

    My husband and I talked about this afterward, about how to this guy, he thinks his point of view is so obvious and true that he doesn’t have to back it up, and no matter what evidence anyone else gives to the contrary, he can dismiss it all as “blindness.”

    My husband started wondering whether it was worth it at all to engage this guy, and if it wouldn’t just be better to de-friend him, when someone else posted a comment. The new commenter was someone neither my husband nor I knew, so obviously a friend to someone else on the thread. This person wrote, “Until all this happened, I never knew how prevalent birth control use was, or how many reasons women might need it, even beyond preventing pregnancy. I realize now that I’ve really misjudged people, and I’m sorry.”

    That’s when we realized that even if my husband’s “friend” is incapable of learning anything, there are other people reading and listening who are learning something. I think of comments some have made here about engaging trolls: even if the troll won’t learn anything, other people who are lurking and reading might.

  • Daughter

    Anursa, that’s bullshit. Breitbart says this: “In her meandering speech to what appears to be an all-black audience, this federally appointed executive bureaucrat lays out in stark detail, that her federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions.”

    He’s clearly slamming her, and his words are lies on several accounts: she wasn’t talking about her federal duties, but her work decades ago with a private non-profit, and of course, most importantly, she was describing how she learned that her racial hatred was wrong.

    And Breitbart goes on to say, “Sherrod’s racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another groups’ racial tolerance.”

    Again, such bullshit. There is laughter (not even raucous laughter, but light chuckling) when she talks about the guy looking down on her, not realizing that she had the power not to help him. As the article TNC links points out, were they laughing that she could withhold help from a white guy, or because she could withhold help from a guy with an attitude? The author says the latter, and I agree. It was a relatable moment; we’ve all (and I mean all–no matter what your color) felt that brief desire for mild vengeance when someone mistreats us or looks down on us, and that’s what made it amusing.

    OTOH, the audience never indicates any approval for Sherrod’ negative feelings toward him because he’s white (negative feelings which came about understandably because of unpunished murder of family members and decades of abuse by white people–and if you want to judge her for that, then don’t you dare ever say anything negative about Muslims because of 9/11).

    But you know what happens when she describes her epiphany, when she realizes that she has to let go of her hatred and help a fellow human being in need, no matter what his color? The supposedly “racist” NAACP audience cheers.

  • Anonymous

    I also think that tales like this serve to reinforce the smug self-reassurance of some white people that they knew all along that blacks have no desire to live in co-existence and simply want to invert the existing order of things: i.e. the old fear by the number ones anywhere that the number twos will visit on them what they used to visit on the number twos.

    Yes, I think this is a key mechanism of denying privilege while fearing its loss. Louis CK’s “time machine” bit hits on these ideas in a very funny way (edited down some, trigger warnings if you seek out the full bit):

    Here’s how great it is to be white, I could get in a time machine and go to any time and it would be fuckin’ awesome when I get there. That is exclusively a white privilege. Black people can’t fuck with time machines.[…] I can go to any time in the past, I don’t want to go to the future and find out what happens to white people because we’re going to pay hard for this shit, you gotta know that[…] If you’re white and you don’t admit that it’s great, you’re an asshole. It is great and I’m a man. How many advantages can one person have? I’m a white man, you can’t even hurt my feelings.

  • Anonymous

    Except We are Number Six….

  • Did she really say that she “hated” white people”?  I thought it was more like her being only one person, with finite reources, knowing how the government treats black people, and figuring “This white guy doesn’t really need my help, he’s white, he has other resources, like the government.  Black people really need my help, because the government doesn’t care, and they have nowhere else to go”.  And then her realizing “The government doesn’t treat poor white people much differently from poor black people, he really does need my help”

  • Anonymous

    Mary Hunt:  Clergy are coming to realize that the Eucharist does not belong to them
    any more than they own church buildings, theology, or ministry. They are
    not in charge of who receives Communion, whether politicians or
    waitresses, divorced, remarried, and/or queer.

    I’m obviously not RC, but the Episcopal church does hold to the minimum standard that a person must be baptized “in the Trinitarian formula” in order to receive communion.  You don’t need to be baptized in the Episcopal church, any Christian church will do.  You don’t need to be straight.  You don’t need to be a Democrat.  You don’t need to be over 13.

    Our invitation to Communion reads in part, “All baptized Christians are welcome to receive Holy Communion.  If you are not baptized, you may come forward and cross your arms at the rail for a blessing.”

    That’s an invitation.  It’s not a request to show your baptismal certificate to the usher.  Have I administered Communion to unbaptized people?  Maybe.  But I’d rather error on the side of inviting all to the table than on church discipline alone.

  • Melo

    Delurking very quickly, but the fact of having deacons or lay ministers
    (not ordained priests, but people heavily involved with the Church)
    administering communion is not uncommon nor a recent invention (well, it
    is for Catholic standards I think, but it was already done sometimes
    when I was little). It’s the consacration that absolutely requires a
    priest.

    I found this site: http://www.netplaces.com/catholicism/qa-the-eucharist/ as a source, I can’t find anything better for a lack of time.

    I see the point they’re trying to make, but they’re making a somewhat
    established tradition in modern Catholic Church sound like something
    ground-breaking and I feel this undermines their point.

  • One of the ironies of the Shirley Sherrod incident is that she was never Breitbart’s intended target.

    So what? It doesn’t matter if I hurt someone by design or because I’m trying to hurt other people – I’m still an asshole (and in Breitbart’s case, a lying asshole).

  • Daughter

    You’re absolutely right, Whitney. I haven’t listened to the video since it first came to light in 2010, so I just went back and listened to it again (the full one, not the clip posted by Breitbart). She talks about how the night of her father’s murder, she made a vow to stay in the south and do whatever she could to help black people–and only black people. So when she’s faced with the white farmer, she thinks in light of that vow and tries to steer him to someone white who can help him.

    However, she later talks about coming to realize that she couldn’t hold hatred in her heart, so that probably was something she felt she had to change, even if it wasn’t the primary reason she initially declined to help the white farmer.

    In other parts of the whole clip, Sherrod reiterates her commitment to change: she talks about how we have to all come together and work together, and how we have to learn that there is no difference between us, no matter what our skin color.

  • RE: Breitbart.

    You called it Fred.  somebody really did die of an indignation overdose. 

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2011/06/30/we-have-a-wheelbarrow/#disqus_thread

  • Mary Kaye

    In the course of talking about lay people regaining power over the Catholic sacraments, Mary Hunt also makes it clear that she holds a non-magical view of those sacraments.

    I think a lot of people remain in the Church as it is currently organized because they think–I hope falsely–that these are their choices:  to leave the magic in the hands of the hierarchy, or to lose it altogether.  I know that this troubled me greatly when I was a  Catholic, because I disliked both of those choices.  I didn’t want to belong to a church where no one transubstantiated the Host:  I wanted to be a priestess who could do that.

    When I became a Pagan I still struggled with the issue of hierarchy and the right to do things.  It took my coven several years to accept that we *were* a coven despite not having valid initiations into any existing tradition. 

    It is very hard in this society to own your religion.  We are taught that it has to be given to us, and can be withheld or taken away.  I think that we (religious people) would be a lot better off if we lost this idea.  The buildings and meetings and whatnot belong to communities, and you can lose a community, but the faith itself belongs to the believer and we should never allow anyone to take it away.

    I have seen Christians writing well on this too:  the keyword is often “priesthood of believers.”  But it’s hard, because religious hierarchies rely on not having this.  People who own their own religion are difficult to control.

  • Daughter

    He was not an inherently evil man – but he was so consumed by the need to WIN (or more accurately, to keep the Other Guy from winning.) that he became this kind of hyper-real parody of a conservative provocateur.  …
    I think that he honestly believe that he was standing on the right side of history.  He HONESTLY FELT that he was wronged, that the tea party has no racist component, and that that video of Sherrod showed that “the liberals” were out to destroy his life.

    I’m curious to know why you give him this much credit for honesty and not-evilness?

  • Well, no one is inherently anything.  But the belief that winning an argument, (by any means neccessary) magically makes the argument true and makes you better than your opponent is evil.  It is born out of an obsession with controlling and dictating to other people that can only be described as malevolent.

  • Fred: thanks very much for … cramming my name in there, basically. I appreciate that. Best to you.

  •  

    “That’s when we realized that even if my husband’s “friend” is incapable
    of learning anything, there are other people reading and listening who are
    learning something. I think of comments some have made here about
    engaging trolls: even if the troll won’t learn anything, other people
    who are lurking and reading might.”

    True.
    That said, the way I engage with someone when I want to exchange thoughts with them is different from the way I engage with them when I want to broadcast my thoughts to a watching audience.
    Also, the way I engage with someone when I want to exchange thoughts with them is different from the way I engage with them when I want them to learn something.
    It helps to know what goal(s) I’m trying to achieve.

  • Anonymous

    Word of mouth basically.  People who knew him personally (while eulogizing him) have said this was true – that he was a good father and husband, and that he thought the lies he told revealed some larger Truth and were not just cynical ploys to create as much link-bait as possible.

    Of course, he also never admitted the lies he told were lies.  In other words, he has all the hallmarks of true-believer.  If he’d been a true believer in a less toxic ideology, we might all be singing his praises.

  • I guess I understand “conservatives” – people who just don’t want
    anything to change – but radicals like Breitbart, Rush, Ron Paul – what
    is they want to happen exactly?

    I don’t know, of course. But I’ve talked seriously and at some length with some smart, articulate people who endorse these guys, which might shed some insight on related questions at least.

    The closest I can come to expressing it in a neutral way is that they (my interlocutors) want to maximize the rate of progress of some sustainable fraction of humanity. That is, given a choice between N% of the population progressing at rate R and N2% progressing at R2, where N R2, they are inclined to choose (N,R) over (N2,R2). Where  “progress” roughly means, or at least correlates with, the increasing ability to manipulate the physical world in accordance with one’s wishes… put another way, where the measure of progress is increasing power, and they are more concerned with raising the maximum rate of power increase than with raising the average.

    My own question at that point tends to be “well, OK, but does it really not matter what that power is being used for?” But to be fair, they can just as readily ask me the same question when I extol the virtues of increased personal freedom. (My answer with respect to freedom is roughly “sure it matters, but in general I prefer to liberate people and then educate them to freely make better choices, than to deprive them of the freedom to choose.” That said, I suppose someone with a power focus could just as readily say “I prefer to empower (some) people and then educate them to freely make better choices, than to deprive them of the power to choose.”)

    One of the things that frustrates me about political dialogue in my country is that power and freedom have grown so conceptually entangled.

  • Daughter

    I’m not sure I find that convincing. Many people are kind to their family and friends, and still evil or cruel in their behavior to others (think of the KKK or Nazis). And who admits their lies are lies, whether they believe them or are just spreading them cyncially, unless they are truly remorseful or have been forced by circumstances (say, in a court of law) to tell the truth?

  • Lori

    People who knew him personally (while eulogizing him) have said this was
    true – that he was a good father and husband, and that he thought the
    lies he told revealed some larger Truth and were not just cynical ploys
    to create as much link-bait as possible. 

    I realize that many people are not good parents or spouses, but this strikes me as a very low bar. The fact that he was nice to “his people” doesn’t make him a good person. The fact that he had a well-developed set of excuses for his lying doesn’t make him any less of a liar.

    I know that you don’t really mean to suggest otherwise, but I’m just sick and tired of hearing how all these Right wing ideologues who make their living off hate are really nice in private and/or deep down. I call bullshit on that. People are complex and multifaceted, but no one’s character is infinitely flexible. Spewing the kind of garbage Breitbart did so consistently is not the product of a good heart.

    If he’d been a true believer in a less toxic ideology, we might all be singing his praises. 

    If we sing the praises of a Breitbart-equivalent just because we agree with his ideology then IMO we’re making a mistake. Breitbart’s crap about reveling larger truths is just another way of saying that the ends justify the means, and they don’t.

    In spite of the best efforts of the Fox News machine and people like aunursa to drum up false equivalence I think we mostly don’t praise people for being that mentally closed and ethically challenged. When we do I think we’re wrong and need to stop.

  • No one is “inherently evil.” People are not born good or evil. Their choices make them who they are.

    And no evil person is always evil to everyone all the time and constantly and forever. Being nice to one’s spouse and children does not make one a good person. Further, I’d argue that he was not a good husband and father. He wanted to make the world a worse place for women and children. 

    When you believe something that is morally despicable, you don’t get points for believing *really hard.* Actions are what matter. 

  • If we sing the praises of a Breitbart-equivelent just because we agree with his ideology then IMO we’re making a mistake.  Breitbart’s crap about revealing larger truths is just another way of saying that the ends justify the means, and they don’t.

    Likewise, I tend to think of Michael Moore this way.  Ideologically we share some common ground, but I do not care for the way he presents his message.  It comes across as selective and partisan, and I think that the facts ought to speak for themselves instead. 

  • Lori

    I feel the same way. I agree with a lot of his ideas and principles and still end up wanting to tell him to shut it virtually every time he opens his mouth. The Tweet he sent chiding Rush for his slut tirade was nearly as sexist as the thing he was complaining about.

    Wingnuts keep bringing up Bill Mahr, and as false equivalence goes that’s even more false than Moore comparisons. I don’t agree with a lot of Mahr’s opinions and I don’t know anyone with any sense who doesn’t realize that he is, and always has been, a sexist ass.

  • Anonymous

    Somewhat related to lying liars and the lies they lie about, Harold Camping admits he was wrong and had sinned.

    Bonus points for admitting that they sinned, but deductions for saying it was all God’s plan anyway, and penalty foul for not refunding all the donations which people made to them because of that ruckus.

  • Cynical me just wonders if Camping has realized he can’t keep predicting Raptures forever and decided to get out of the game while the donations are still rolling in.

  • Matri

    and penalty foul for not refunding all the donations which people made to them because of that ruckus.

    Not just donations. Those were life savings. Entire families’ life savings. He had them genuinely believing they would be leaving the planet at a certain date, so they cashed in all of their possessions and money.

  • Suspect Camping also thinks he might get hammered with a few lawsuits.

  • Tricksterson

    “So you didn’t mean to murder my girlfriend, just my best friend”.  Inexact quote but you get the idea.