God is not an old man

God is not an old man April 21, 2012

“The others are Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Mike Scott, Dwight Gooden, Hideo Nomo and David Cone.”

“All you hear about in the news is the people who have stayed on public assistance or are leeching off the system, but it’s not about that.”

SNAP benefits are at the very top of the list of stimulative spending, generating $1.73 in the economy for every dollar spent on the program.”

“Here is a summary of global warming and climate change myths, sorted by recent popularity vs what science says.” (via)

“Stereotyping evangelicalism as a whole only fortifies the influence of the political right on a movement that has a much more varied history.”

“As a young evangelical, I see two choices: back out of politics all together, or figure out a better way to do it.”

Imagine if Obama talked about business the way Romney talks about labor.”

“Rafalca receives the best care that money can buy. She has a farrier, a chiropractor, a vet, and a masseuse. Yes, the horse has its own hoof doctor. And masseuse. For massaging.”

“The other thing about Virginia Foxx is that she is personally responsible for so much of the student debt problem in this country.”

“We have some of the greatest health care in the world in this country — so long as you don’t actually need it.”

“I am bitter about the decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood, because without contraception the abortion rate will rise.”

“I think there a lot more of us out here than even we ourselves know — passionate women who believe the body of Christ needs much more than a face-lift to become all it’s meant to be.”

“It seems there’s still something unnerving about a priest who is a woman. It has to do with having a woman’s body.”

Having sex for enjoyment is okay, even for women.”

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  • friendly reader

    I think it is entirely appropriate (intentional?) that the video is 3:16 long.

  • Having sex for enjoyment isn’t just “okay” for women, it’s good for women. It has both physical and emotional health benefits. When people try to take those away from us, they are trying to cause us direct harm.

  • friendly reader

    The article basically says that – women have sex drives and enjoy sex the same way women do, and there’s nothing wrong with that, at all, get over it. I read the “okay” as a certain snide jab, not an “acceptable, but barely.”

  • friendly reader

     er, the same way *men do. Sorta ruined the sentence with that mistake. >_<

  • Yeah, I just wanted to emphasize it :).

  • veejayem

    God is not an old man with nothing better to do than peer through bedroom windows.

  • tiredofit

    I think the song is still too anthropomorphic.  Saying that “God Loves Everyone” implies that he is focused on humans above all other parts of his creation.  I prefer God loves evertyhing.

  • friendly reader

    But that would mess up the rhyme scheme! ;)

  • friendly reader

    (To be a little less silly, though, I agree with you. When Jn 3:16 says “God so loved the world,” the word for world is cosmos, the universe. It’s not just about human beings.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Virginia Foxx is an ignoramus. I’d add more adjectives but I can’t think of any with sufficient punch that aren’t ableist. Help?

    Just try geting a doctor’s appointment in this country on the spur of the moment when something goes wrong.  Just try.

    Have tried. Doesn’t work. Fortunately my problem is minor, if apparently chronic. What’s the rule for that, anyway? Because it’s been hanging around two months now. Been trying to get an appointment for six weeks but I keep hearing they’ll call me back to schedule and then nobody does.

  • Dash1

     Not just anthromorphic: sexist and Western as all get-out. “God is not an old man and he loves everyone”? Would it have killed them to replace the “he” with “God”? Wouldn’t have messed up the rhyme scheme.

    Also, the person in a beard and turban is a “terrorist.”

    I would call the video a good rough draft and send the producer back with suggestions for improvement.

  • I’ve always wondered how anyone could consider it ‘natural’ for our species of seven billion + to have incompatible sex drives between the two respective sexes. Or how what should be self-evident nonsense is instead some instinctively known truth that only the most alien of feminist fools would try to deny. Has anyone tried to reconcile this contradiction through any means except angrily repeating themselves of going ‘la la la can’t hear you?’

  • Ursula L
  • We’re all totally ignoring the important topic, here: Phil Humber’s perfecto.  Specifically, we’re ignoring the fact that I found out about Phil Humber’s perfecto on Facebook, of all things, since I spent the entire day working on my new house. But, of course, y’all didn’t know that until just now, so what’re you gonna do?

    I also missed Buerhle’s perfecto back in 2009, due to my unfortunate decision to be gainfully employed at the time.

    It’s tough, this life as a post-2005 White Sox fan…

  • I think it’s unlikely that the songwriter didn’t realize the lyrics: “God is not a man… he loves everyone” are contradictory.  It seems to me that the song is directed significantly toward people with sexist, Western preconceptions: specifically, Americans who equate God with religion, Republicans and the American flag, rather than love. 

     With that in mind, the turbaned terrorist imagery in the video is also probably a considered choice.  Yes, terrorists don’t all look Middle Eastern… but right now America justifies killing overseas by invoking bearded, turbaned terrorist imagery.  We just don’t care as much about terrorists who don’t look Muslim.  So the video is pointing out that even these bearded, scary terrorists are loved by God.  So maybe God wouldn’t approve blowing up whole neighborhoods trying to kill them?

    That’s the message I think they were going for, anyway.  I agree that the video imagery is invoking a reasonably offensive stereotype, which is a shame.  It’s such a happy song otherwise.

  • A few minutes after posting all that, it occurred to me that maybe:

    1. the turbaned terrorist is specifically supposed to be Osama bin Laden, and

    2.  it’s my own damn fault for thinking that all bearded guys in turbans look the same.


  • B

    I was curious so I Googled some of the musician’s comments about the lyrics where he mentioned that he did think about the “he” thing but ran into the usual problem that English doesn’t have a lot of good non-gendered third-person singular alternatives: neither “it” nor “they” really seem to work for God.

    I agree some of the “he”s could be replaced with “God” but maybe he thought that was too much repetition of the word “God”?

  • Half of the “hes” could be replaced with “shes”. Or the chorus could be re-written to eliminate the need for pronouns. Or the writer could have used “they”, which is what our brains automatically go to as kids for a gender-neutral pronoun until we’re trained out of it because it’s supposedly ungrammatical, even though “they” has a long history of being English’s gender-neutral pronoun. I think the point that God is not a man is a tad more important than strictly correct grammar.

    I also don’t really care if the terrorist was supposed to specifically be Osama bin Laden. The song says the god does not care if you’re a Protestant, Catholic, or… terrorist. And shows an Arab man in a turban as “terrorist”. The songwriter wrote that god does not care if you’re a Protestant or Catholic, and immediately followed up with “terrorist”, which inevitably makes people think of religious terrorism. And Protestant, Catholic, and terrorist are posited as entirely separate groups with it written that way, which as we know is entirely false. The video-maker could have put a picture of someone in a KKK costume for “terrorist”. But they chose an Arab-looking man in a turban instead. 

    So for both song and video, I say: I can see what they’re getting at. But they undermined their attempted message in two major ways. Being blind to privilege is normal, and it’s pretty blatant here. They can re-do both song and video, and if they do that, they will stop undermining their message. If they don’t — well, it’s a useful example of how intent is not magic.