Notes from the culture wars

Notes from the culture wars February 20, 2013

John Hagee’s Creepy Christian Teddy Bear …”

“I guarantee you, if you see your table praying before the meal, you can mentally subtract a third from your tip.”

The Catholic Church had slaves as late as 1996.”

“Non-sexual self-bondage is not a recognized mental health diagnosis at this time.”

“When war, global devastation, and environmental ruin become things to celebrate as the ‘fulfillment of prophecy,’ then not only do we ignore clear Biblical mandates to be peace makers and stewards of the earth, we who should be working to bring the kingdom of God to earth, instead, become villainous co-conspirators in the reign of evil and death.”

“While he was alive, the right wing savaged King as a communist who hated America and a dangerous subversive. Now they’re claiming he was just like them. Not coincidentally, they’ve done the same thing with the Bible.”

“When the attorney general of the state of NJ decided that we had to put up a same-sex site, and we did it, we literally had to hire guards to protect our lives because the people who were so hurt and angry with us were Christian people who feel that it’s a violation to Scripture.”

Alfie’s Home, cited in PFOX’s Supreme Court brief, is the most horrifically disturbing children’s book we have ever seen.”

“We searched the Internet for any examples in which a religious group had been forced to host a same-sex ceremony against its beliefs. We couldn’t find any.”

“The story serves as an illustrative example of the way the conservative echo chamber can twist facts and turn baseless speculation into their controversy du jour.”

“While the ‘liberal media’ is often framed by conservatives as activist and acting on an agenda, it seems that the deeper criticism contained within that charge is the simple fact that, after hearing The Word of their side of the story, the media refuses to become an activist force for their cause.”

“When he lists all these denominations and atheists and Buddhists and Muslims it’s like we’re all equal, of equal proportion, and we are not.”

They never think about what the Jewish kid feels like, or the atheist, or, Powers forfend, the Wiccan.”

“Best wishes for your good health, and the speedy demise of the sham institution that employs you.”

“I still think that Ken Ham is genuinely out to make Christians look as foolish and dishonest as possible because he hates Christianity.”

“Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the bishops are still complaining about contraception — but the administration should stop listening. Catholics already have.”

“Frankly, the culture wars are kind of over and Republicans largely lost.”

“That’s why, from the outset, many of us have resisted the rhetoric of embattled religious freedom. — If you want to take the Queen’s shilling, you must play by the Queen’s rules.”

“What has always been the worst about Douthat is that his conclusions, supported by whatever he can scrape together, have rarely been true.”

No evidence exists that those quotations are authentic. Yet they are presented to students in Texas public schools as real and historical proof supporting an ideological point of view.”


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  • In the worst case scenario, they actually claim that the fetus is aware
    of its impending destruction and would be begging for life if it only
    had the means to do so.

    ::Trigger warning for surgery, pregnancy, abortion, and link to a potentially disturbing image.::

     I’m reminded of a particular piece of glurge someone I know posted recently. regarding a surgery performed on a fetus, discussed here on Snopes. The claim is that the fetus “reached out and squeezed the surgeon’s finger, as if thanking him for the gift of life.”

    So in addition to ridiculous ideas about pregnancy, it adds ridiculous ignorance about surgery and anesthesia.

    Plus, of course, the message added is that therefore abortions should be illegal even in cases of spina bifida, not that such treatment should be available for any pregnancy where it would prove beneficial. That would be Big Government Socialism.

  • AnonymousSam

    Ginny in the D’Souza thread was very fond of the story of a fully formed infant gasping for breath and tragically expiring post-abortion. Nevermind that for all intents and purposes, this never happens.

  • Even if it did, it would not matter.  

    How is it that people like that can have an unhealthy surplus of empathy for something not even aware yet, and at the same time consider empathy for anything actually aware, experienced, and involved to be something best forgotten about?  

  • AnonymousSam

    A faith which entails people going into a realm of despair and unspeakable agony for all eternity based on whether or not they say the right magic words in the right context with the right mental attitude and framing somewhat precludes a properly developed sense of empathy, or so I would assume.

    The bigger question is why someone with a reason to have no empathy can see this is painfully shortsighted and wrong, but they can’t.

  • Unlike many abstractions, living people have a way of not quite fitting into the well-defined categories on which most formally constructed rules depend.

    Empathy for actual living people therefore frequently forces us to choose between strictly enforcing some set of formally constructed rules, on the one hand, and engaging compassionately with those we empathize with, on the other.

    That can be an uncomfortable choice to have to make, especially if we identify strongly with a particular rule-set or generally have a strong preference for clearly defined rules, which many people do.

    Some people resolve that tension by reluctantly discarding or weakening the rules. Some resolve it by reserving their empathy for convenient abstractions.

  • P J Evans

     Or, as I read about lasers, ‘photons are gregarious’.

  • The_L1985

     Technically, sex toys are still sold in Alabama “love shops.”  I know; I’ve seen them on the shelf.  They get around the law by putting big stickers on the boxes that say “For Novelty Use Only.”  Nope, they’re totally not buying dildos, handcuffs, buttplugs, or oddly-shaped vibrators for sexual purposes, so it’s totally ok!  They’re not buying them as sex toys or anything…