Inside: Opinions are like @ssholes; Late to the Fluke discussion; So right that you’re wrong; the Christian Id; American Taliban
Are you sick of people and their opinions? Facebook walls, Tweets, water cooler conversations. Especially when the topic has been hashed for so long already. There’s always some late-comer with something to say. As if it matters. Like me. I’m that guy.
But look here. Someone has done some of the work for me. To my politically left-leaning friends, I dare you to listen to this clip. Your head may explode.
Are you a Christian?
I am, although not a devout anything. I’m trying to figure this life thing out like we all are. But a lot of times I’m ashamed to lay any claims to being Christian, regardless of how un-religious and new-agey my interpretation can be, because of the Christians that are in the public square. The loudest Christians.
You know who I’m talking about. I’m not talking relatives who pray and want to bless food and the family. I’m not talking about friends who post bible verses and mention God, blessings and Jesus on their Facebook walls. I’m not talking about your average, church going, flawed but trying to do right and make ends meet and be part of a community Christians.
I’m talking about these self-proclaimed “Moral” “Majority”, Culture Warrior, public square evangelicals whose religious faith is somehow entwined with their political beliefs to the point of tribalism.
I’m talking about the politically aggressive Christians who align themselves with every GOP talking point and feel that it’s more important to present a unified front than to — I don’t know — emulate their professed lord and savior.
I’m talking about the SOCIALISM! mixed with doomsday prophecy wolf cryers.
I was going to just not publish this. Then I read “Blue Like Jazz” a few days ago and that got me thinking. And now I’m sitting here inside — on a day that’s too beautiful to be here inside, really — recovering from this morning’s workout.
I’m not trying to offend anyone. If you’re Christian, this isn’t about your faith. It’s about those who assume that because they believe, they’re right and what they do is God’s will.
Let’s not shy away from the abuses of doctrine, logical fallacies, group think and quasi-religious Jingoism. The left-wing world isn’t perfect and doesn’t have all the answers, for sure, but the left-wingers aren’t claiming to be the torch holders of the Truth, morality and family values.
This whole Sandra Fluke business is a perfect example. The clip above is from the radio show/podcast “Grounded”, hosted by Ryan Dobson, son of James Dobson.
I don’t know how to say what I’m about to say. I don’t want to be a jerk and criticize or attack an individual. How about this? I’ll go straight to substance.
First of all, well you’ve heard many people by now point out the logical fallacy — aside from the ad hominem attacks — that the expense of contraceptives is directly related to how much sex a woman is having.
Then again, they also said that Limbaugh’s apology was a good, sincere apology. You know, the apology where he says he’s sorry for stooping to the level of the left. The insultapology. True apologies don’t couch within them blatant, dickish insults.
On Grounded, Ryan Dobson, stated that Rush Limbaugh shouldn’t have used the words that he used, which were inappropriate. I was glad to hear someone who is quite right-wing conservative show some character. Oh. I’m not trying to say that being right-wing means that you don’t have character. I mean proactively showing moral fiber.
Then he went on to say that Sandra Fluke sleeps around so much that she’s going broke. So … calling Fluke, in so many words, a promiscuous woman of loose morals and character. Same thing.
They also completely and conveniently ignored the whole “if your health care covers your contraceptives we should get to watch you have sex” statement.
His guest said that Rush Limbaugh was inappropriate but agreed with the characterization and said that the Bible has similar harsh words for women who have sex outside of marriage. Oh, great.
As long as we’re going to get Old Testament (more or less), let’s drag Sandra Fluke in front of the Capitol Building and throw bricks and chunks of concrete at her head. That’s Biblical.
THE CHRISTIAN ID & MUSCULAR CHRISTIANITY
That’s “id” as in Freudian id. If you speak Christian, which I refuse to do, you can also call it one’s “sin nature”.
Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, the AFA’s Bryan Fischer, Matt Barber and others appeal to the Christian id. There are a lot of Christians — men, especially — who see things in our culture and the world and want to change it. Good show. There are a lot who feel threatened by the way the world is changing. Understandable. They feel under attack and persecuted. There’s definitely a backlash against religiosity.
The political environment has become increasingly polarized. Political rhetoric is at a boiling point. Nearly everyone has a conspiracy theory about something. We don’t trust the government. We don’t trust corporations. Various organizations are patrolling the culture and media for anything offensive to their cause or identity.
So there’s a generation of Christian men who want to inject masculinity back into Christianity. They don’t want to just sit through sermons in a soft, pastel colored, be-draped sanctuary under the gaze of a pretty, pale, high cheek-boned, girly haired Jesus statue. There’s a lot of “Jesus as your boyfriend” metaphors in Christianspeak, which don’t necessarily have a whole lot to do with the Bible.
I can’t blame these guys. They want to do something.
Enter muscular Christianity, which in the media comes off as just being a Christian jerk. Say exactly what you think or, heck, say it without thinking first. Maybe talk about guns and Jesus in the same sentence. That feels manly.
The Peter Principle
They want to be like Peter, redeeming himself with decisive action. Although misguided, apparently, judging by Jesus’ subsequent course of action.
Wow. Maybe that’s it. Maybe that says it all.
Oddly enough, there are some pastors who are telling their members that “social justice” is socialism. Environmentalism is idolatry — worshiping the creation and not the Creator. They question the motives of Christian activists who want to go out in the world and interact with the downtrodden and disaffected aside from straight up missionary work.
The more you listen to the evangelical Old Guard, the more you’ll hear comparisons and allegories to the Old Testament warriors and battles. Nevermind that the America they think they’re trying to restore — their nostalgic golden days — were segregated, sexist, racist and soul crushing for so many. Not that it wasn’t without its good things, but let’s be real.
Sluts & Prostitutes
That brings me back to Sandra Fluke.
That brings me back to the right-wing pundits and personalities rallying to Limbaugh’s defense in the past week to say, “Contraceptives too expensive? Why are you sleeping around so much?”
What kind of man attacks a woman like that? Call her a slut. A prostitute. Because she voiced an opinion that differs from yours. Because she’s not as conservative as you are.
Let me talk to the Christians here for a minute
For these self-professed Christians who claim to have THE TRUTH, how would Jesus respond to her? How would Jesus respond to a woman being publicly denigrated (and in that case threatened)? How did Jesus respond to a woman accused of being involved in an affair?
Did he join in and call her names? Did he silently agree?
For the Dobsons and O’Reillys and all the others who lay claim to Christianity — many of whom know religious texts much better than I do because some of them are ordained — HE DEFENDED HER.
He dispersed the crowd. He happened to save her life, too. He told her, if I have my story straight, to stop sleeping around, but there was obviously no guarantee of that. And it didn’t matter to him. Well, I mean her worth and value as a person wasn’t diminished one iota because she had sex outside of marriage.
If you’re a Christian or a man you should be defending women from insults or threats or personal attacks by political and/or religious, zealots. It doesn’t matter whether or not you agree with their politics or argument. You don’t have to defend their beliefs.
If you’re jumping on the bandwagon of insults and political spin to shame a woman from the public square…
Is it just me or does that seem like a very American Taliban thing to do?
(By the way, I want to add this because the most common response is to point out lefty anti-woman bashing. Yes, Bill Maher is not a nice person. I don’t like him. Not his media persona, I mean. He’s sharp and funny, but I do not agree with and I condemn any of the horribly sexist, derogatory and verbally violent language he used against conservative women. Louis C.K., too, for that matter. I like his comedy and social commentary but I don’t appreciate the whole c*nt, f*g thing. Not outside of the context of his stand-up act.)