Stuff to Read

I anticipate being frantically busy all day today, but please read the article “System Failure” by Christopher Hayes at The Nation. Really good.

Also — last week I complained in “I Am Misquoted by Bill O’Reilly” that I had been slammed by a number of Christians, including The Anchoress, for my reference to the “cast the first stone” story in the gospel of John.

I used the reference to mean that it’s hypocritical for a Christian to think Christianity is uniquely qualified to provide spiritual guidance to the sexually wayward. However, some Christians thought I was comparing conversion to Christianity to being stoned to death. Truly, there hasn’t been this much Christian martyrdom in the world since Septimius Severus ruled Rome.

Well, today I found an article on the Washington Post‘s “On Faith” website in which, wonder of wonders, an evangelical minister used the same Gospel reference to make pretty much the same point I was trying to make (see item 5).

So there.

10 thoughts on “Stuff to Read

  1. I cannot always tell whether their distortion is willful or a sign of cognitive deficiency. Clearly there is a hair-trigger defensivness and inclination to interpret words and actions as threats even when they aren’t. I suppose that when this is coupled with an apparent need to defend against perceived slurs at almost any cost they get out on a limb.

    You see this kind of thing with children sometime who tell a small fib that gets backed up with successively larger and larger ones…trying to work out a plausible explanation for some misstep or wrongminded assertion on the fly.

    There’s an element of motive-ascribing and projection in what comes out of the fundie right. They would rather stop at a convenient, albeit misstated and incorrect, rationale for the words and deeds of others. When this is done is seems more like they are trying to reign in their own doubt and to make seamless any fissures in their own certainty rather than truly trying to understand the other.

    Sometimes it seems like they are trying to do more than ease their own pain. Some might be perceived as leaders or of some ostensibly higher status or purity when they are the one to sound a clarion call against ideological enemies, however they might be conjured up out of thin air. Sometimes they are doing it for money, as I suspect many Fox commentators are. I somehow doubt any deep religiosity on the part of O’Reilly and Hannity.

    Whatever the reason for distorting the words and acts of others, in the end it seems rather base, unscrupulous and dishonest. I have an inherent wariness about any who actively pursue victimhood with strained scenarios in which they are “maligned”. In my life experience that has usually been justification for or the prelude to upwardly spiralling aggressiveness and even an attack, physical or otherwise….they are just in the process of working out how to justify it, either to themselves or others.

    So in almost all cases it is best to lay it bare and openly call it what it is in some court of public opinion. The cost of not doing so it too great.

    Maha’s exchanges with some of these types of people brings to mind a couple of other posts one from Michael Tomasky on false equivalency and another by Frank Schaeffer titled “Our Very Own Pact With Satan” which is ties together some thoughts on the likes of Pat Robertson and Sarah Palin who our media seem to dwell on incommensurately IMHO.

  2. Thanks for the link. I liked the way democracy as a process is explained in the story of the buried treasure not to be found by deliberate search. I keep having to find things that can lift me out of the despair potholes in the road of politics. Now, if only KO would just happen to run that clip of Rush bouncing up and down to urge applause from his minions. It’s always good for a giggle.

  3. Pastor Mclaren’s blog was great too and proves that there are some Christians who actually do embrace the teachings of Christ rather than cherry picking what they want and consequently exposing themselves as small-minded and hateful. It’s too bad that the press incessantly dwells on the latter.

  4. Moonbat, your link kicks ass!
    The ironic thing about the disaster in Haiti is that it will stimulate the U.S. economy.
    Haiti’s suffering will be the FDR type savior, with jobs and multitrillions injected to build the infrastructure in that sad and destitute land.
    I’m glad to see the U.S. military utilized to save lives.
    Thanks again for that link!

  5. On the Financial and Health Care fronts, I have an easy, American solution involving out favorite tool – guns.
    You create two lines. One line of bankers and the other health insurance executives. At the head of each line is the CEO of the company that makes the most profit off of the misery of the people of this country.
    You walk up to the first person in each line, put a gun to their eye, and shoot them in the head, no comments, no questions – making sure that brains and skull fragments splatter the person immediately behind them.
    You go simultaniously to each person behind them. Put the gun to their eye and say, “You just saw what happened, didn’t you? OK, you’ve got ONE shot to give us the deal we want or the next shot is in your head, no questions asked. Now, what’s the best deal you can give us?”
    If it’s not good enough, fire away – it’s the American way.
    You keep going until someone finally gets it and says, ‘ok interest rates will be X (whatever may be reasonable, like say 5%.’ Or the health care CEO sas, ‘profits will be limited to X (whatever that reasonable amount may be, say, 5%) and the rest will be paid out to people).
    You thank them for their compassion and understanding. You then hand each of the others left in line a shovel and you tell them, “You’re going to bury your cohorts now. Here’s a shovel. It costs 1 billion dollars. And every spadeful to dig a grave will cost 10 million, payable to the taxpayers. Anyone caught shirking will get shot, and thus increase the cost to the survivors. These terms, by the way, are set in lead. If you think you can create a loophole, go ahead, give it a shot. We’ll have one ready for you. A lead one. Any questions? No? Good! Start digging, Motherfuckers…”
    And to think, I used to be a pacifist! Now I channel the Tartar/Mongol part of my Russian and Ukrainian heritage. We could learn a lot from them. They drew no quarter – unless it was to draw and quarter…”

  6. Cheer up, dear Gulag.
    It doesn’t have to go that way. The fed could step in and actually regulate the banks and insurance companies, if only for a couple of years.
    The right would scream “fascism”, blah, blah, blah; but “we are a nation of “consumers”, and with the “consumers” being stricken with”consumption”, the “grand reset button” needs to be hit.The “tea-Baggers” should spend some time in Haiti, or some other 4th world hell hole and realize what happens when the big daddies control everything with “capitalism gone wild’.
    The “credit score” needs to go, an Orwellian term if there ever was one.
    With employment (actually) hovering around 16%, people upside down in loans, late on payments, credit card limits lowered, and interest rates increased, the “banks” will eventually eat themselves, unless the fed continues to feed them.
    I’m waiting for a brave politician to come out publically and declare the bonus fiasco in the banks to be “unpatriotic”. And it truly is. Pigs at the trough, I don’t give a flyin’ fudgsicle how “talented” those boys and girls are; they need to back off and play fair, if just for this one time.

    Thanks for the link, Pat.
    I’m very critical about “fundies” in many of my comments.
    Even though I’m a non-believer, I’ll shout praises from my roof top about the faith based NGO’s that go into disaster stricken areas tro help. Many of them have worked in Haiti for years, and know the land and the people intimately, so they can do the most good in the worst of times.

  7. erinyes,
    Yeah, I guess I was a bit angry last night, and a bit over the top.
    I agree with you. Uhm, if these greeedy MFer’s leave banking, where, exactly do they think they can make anywhere near the same amount of money? WalMart? Go ahead, try it! I need the laughs!!!
    Tax their bonuses at 99.999%.
    Whatchagonnadoaboutit? Where ya gonna go, babe? F U! Eat it. You did nothing to earn any bonus you got in the last 5+ years, let the people make something off of the reward you’ve gotten for crreating the world’s worst ecomonic disaster in 70 years. It’s the least you can do. The most you can do is to do what I wrote about above. We either take 99.999% of your bonus earnings, or 100% of your life? Your choice, assholes.

    As I’ve written before, Why are these bonuses annual? Why not reward people progressively over a 5, 10 15 etc, year plan for their company’s and the econmy’s growth.
    Oh well, that’s for greater minds than mine, I guess…

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