Archive for the ‘Poisoning Christianity’ Category

Those Stupid Dr. Laura Questions

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

This summer I had commented on that silly episode of The West Wing from October of 2000 when the show’s writer, Aaron Sorkin, decided to properly skewer Dr. Laura. He chose to do this the way he skewers everybody else, as I understand it: To position a ridiculous caricature of the chosen target opposite the blisteringly self-important Martin Sheen, and construct a highly improbable “dialog” between the two, most of which is worked over by Sheen himself, rushing through his pre-constructed lines at a jackrabbit pace.

This episode is often cited as a display of the show’s brilliance, which is odd because the whole thing is pretty far from being original. It had been passed ’round the innernets like a hooker at a stag party some five months before the show aired. A model of Sorkin’s brilliance? It seems the selection of a different model would be in order, but lots of West Wing fans don’t think so. You can get a transcript of the scene from many places, including here.

But the point is, just because you seldom hear of a response to those stupid questions this fictitious President is hurling at Dr. Laura, doesn’t mean the responses don’t exist or are somehow not probable. The responses are more reasoned and straightforward than you might think, and someone has taken the trouble to put them together. Really, they’re just the kind of responses a reasonable person would expect them to be, for the most part. Example…

Q. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to the French but not to the Scots. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Scottish people?

A. It doesn’t actually say slaves, it says ‘bondmen and bondmaids’. People who were poor bonded themselves or their children to someone wealthy. It was a form of social security. It is also written (Exod 21:16) that anyone who steals a man to sell him shall be put to death. So those Muslim slavers who took and sold black slaves to the white man were flat out of order and worthy of death. Don’t forget that the man who had slavery outlawed in Britain was William Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian. Atheists were quite happy with slavery.


But come on. Who really thought the best answer that Christians would have to give to Aaron Sorkin’s oh-so-brilliant recycling of innernet urban-legends, would be just a bobbing up-and-down of the Adam’s apple and a deer-in-the-headlights look? Maybe a fun fantasy for you if you really hate Christians, I suppose. But back here in the plane of reality…situation’s unchanged. It always pays to get both sides of the story.

No War On Christmas, Huh? II

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

I don’t know why we’re arguing about whether there’s a “War on Christmas” or not. As long as the Judeo-Christian religion, and variants thereof, remain “politically incorrect”…and as long as it’s the nature of administrators and bureaucrats to be weasely, spineless and lacking in testicular fortitude…there will be a War on Christmas. Count on it. It’s like the sun rising in the east.

Case in point, there is Ken Mott, a school bus driver who was ordered by his superiors to ditch the Santa hat he’s taken to wearing every Christmas season.

Mott, the big meanie, squealed to the parents of the kids he was driving. Some of them, anyway. Next thing you know, “supervisors suddenly had a change of heart” and decided he could go ahead and wear the hat.

In the meantime, there was some kind of foolish nonsense about the bussing company getting a phone call from a parent, saying their child didn’t believe in Santa Claus and was bothered by the hat. So — okay — look at this. Let’s assume Mr. Mott isn’t lying about what he was told…and whoever told him what he was told, in turn, wasn’t lying about what they were told. That all seems reasonable. So assume that…what we have here, then, is a parent finding out about the bus driver’s Santa hat, and taking the time to call the bussing company to protest. I would guess if that’s the case, this is a parent who called the school district, and was told about the bussing services being contracted to Mott’s employer, maybe being given the phone number, and proceeding to punch that one in as well.

Hey look, those people are out there. And without a doubt, that’s what I would call a “war.” A war going on in someone’s mind, if nowhere else.

Should Christians take offense? Well, first you have to settle the question of whether Santa’s hat is a Christian symbol. That’s got a few problems in itself. But it seems someone has surmounted those problems…and if they have, then everybody else can get past it as well. So we have those people walking around out there, determined to treat a certain religion as a dirty contaminant. They see a Santa hat on a school bus driver, and it’s gotta go.

So if someone’s treating your religion as a dirty contaminant…is that offensive? Should it be? Maybe I have a personal bias in this, but if that’s the relevant question, it gets a big fat “DUH” out of me. A personal system of beliefs, being treated by a bunch of outsiders as something akin to a public health hazard. Why, I’m hard pressed to think of anything that could be more offensive than that.

Preventing the establishment of a state-sponsored religion is one thing. Going after a specific religion or set of religions, like an antibody after a virus — that’s an entirely different thing.

But if I had to bet money on it, I’d bet this parent doesn’t exist and the weasely supervisors lied to Mr. Mott. After all, I’m left with no reason to infer they have any of what passes for “character” at all, whatsoever. They cracked down on Mott with some zero-tolerance policy, or the equivalent of same…and then once the wind blew the other way, suddenly it wasn’t zero-tolerance anymore. Like freakin’ magic. So being forced to make a snap-judgment, I think they’re liars, and the originally-complaining parent doesn’t exist.

Assuming that’s what happened, that’s offensive too. Would they invent a fictitious parent who objected to, for example, a star-and-crescent dangling from the rear-view mirror? No, I don’t think they would. So the religions most closely associated with Santa, are singled out for special abuse — because those religions show the greatest capacity for tolerating it.

You know, that’s offensve on a whole different level, as long as we’re looking for reasons to be offended. You don’t have to be a Christian to find that offensive. Specific creeds being targeted for attacks from the bureaucracies, just because they’ll put up with it — that’s kind of like a schoolyard-bully environment for religions. Religion, in general, deserves a lot more respect than that.

PETA Targets Alaska Church

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

I only have one comment to make about this: After the Democrat-controlled,110th Congress is sworn in, you can expect activist groups just like this one, to have much more of a voice in how things are done. And, what things are done at all.

PETA mistakenly targets Alaska church

The pastor at Anchorage First Free Methodist Church was mystified. Why was the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals chastising him? No animals are harmed in the church’s holiday nativity display. In fact, animals aren’t used at all.

People, however, do dress the parts – Mary, Joseph, the wise men, etc. The volunteers stand shivering at a manger on the church lawn in a silent tribute to Christmas.

The Rev. Jason Armstrong was confused by an e-mail this week from PETA, which admonished him for subjecting animals “to cruel treatment and danger,” by forcing them into roles in the church’s annual manger scene.

“We’ve never had live animals, so I just figured this was some spam thing,” Armstrong said. “It’s rough enough on us people standing out there in the cold. So we’re definitely not using animals.”

Jackie Vergerio, PETA’s captive animals in entertainment specialist, said her organization tracks churches nationwide that use real animals in “living nativity scenes.”

Seems the confusion started with the church’s choice of phrase. PETA flagged Free Methodist’s display as a “living nativity,” and indeed, that’s how the church describes it on its Web site.

To PETA, that means animals.

“Those animals are subject to all sorts of terrible fates in some cases,” Vergerio said. “Animals have been stolen and slaughtered, they’ve been raped, they’ve escaped from the nativity scenes and have been struck by cars and killed. Just really unfathomable things have happened to them.”