Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Christian Right NEVER Censors Itself - and... A Note on the Passing of a Conservative Mind

Oh, Wacko Waco Wherefore Art Thou?

Many Christian right-wingers must love Fred Phelps: next to him, they don't look so bad.

Why is it that so many evangelicals cannot bring themselves to REALLY censor someone who claims to be one of their own? When's the last time you saw or heard of a minister actively picketing Phelps? Oh yes, we've known how Baptist conventions everywhere have "excommunicated" him, but let's face it: BFD! Eight hundred years ago, Phelps could have been burned at the stake as a heretic. (The Dark Ages did have some enlightened moments!) And no concrete measures were taken to stop David Koresh from preaching that he was The Messiah.

I guess the Christian Right's problem is that there are so many sects, denominations, cults claiming to be Christian that to censor one would lead to censoring a lot of others. Fundamentalists have problems enough trying to shield their offspring from Catholicism and Mormonism. And not everyone can home-school their kids so as not to have contact with evil-doers.

Getting back to Koresh: since today is the 15th anniversary of the Siege of Waco, it's worth noting that secular (gasp!) scholars who studied Apocalyticism in religious groups tried to tell the FBI that their tactics were actually encouraging Koresh and the Davidians to believe that the End Times were near. But why didn't the Christian community step in before that? They could have done more than dismissing the Branch Davidians as a "cult."

Some Christian ivory towers are not only ugly, they're dangerous.


Today I read about the death of a great intellect. Liberals will shoot me when I say that William F. Buckley was more liberal than most people suspected. I had the honor to interview Mr. Buckley on two occassions. They were both phone interviews, but I could envision his facial expressions during replies. At first I was frightened to death of the possibility of interviewing him: he used his vocabulary to intimidate and dominate. My first question (actually too long to describe), however, put him on the defensive. Then I realized something: in order to get Buckley to talk about the things he REALLY wanted to talk about in a friendly and casual manner, you first had to gain his respect. Respect was what William F. Buckley was all about, you see. If you weren't worthy of respect, you weren't worthy of anything else.

Buckley's conservatism was far different than our neocons: do you think Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity would have been up to the task of talking to Buckley without encuring his polite disdain? His was the conservative outlook of less government and laisse-faire business. If you want to read unadulterated hypocrisy, read Ann Coulter's eulogy. Buckley would have given it a wan smile, then excused himself to go off stage... and vomit.

Above all else, William F. Buckly was a realist. On Iraq: "anything but conservative. The reality of the situation is that missions abroad to effect regime change in countries without a bill of rights or democratic tradition are terribly arduous." And: "One cannot doubt that the American objective in Iraq has's important that we acknowledge in the inner councils of state that it (the war) has failed, so that we should look for opportunities to cope with that failure."

Thank you, Mr. Buckley, for giving us a time when conservatism meant "take heed" and not "take up arms."

Could Beverly LaHaye Compare to ANY of These Great American Women?

More aptly: Would any of these women identify themselves with Concerned Women of America?
Part II
The women featured here stood FOR something, but the CWA has defined itself by what it is in opposition to:

(From wikipedia) CWA opposes:

- Legal recognition of GLBT people and any form of GLBT rightsRecognition of marriage or any form of civil unions or domestic partnership between same-sex individuals, including reciprocal health benefits, calling all of these "counterfeit marriage" that will be used "to take control and to have the force of law to legitimise their disordered, unnatural behaviors."

- Abortion rights in all cases except to save the life of the mother. Health exemptions are considered "deceptive" and not supported.

- Hate crime legislation that includes sexual orientation, referring to such laws as "weapons against... people who might oppose the homosexual agenda, such as Christians preaching on the street, even Christians preaching from the pulpit around the world"

- Pornography, obscenity, and media indecency, including on satellite radio, and satellite and cable television

- Embryonic stem-cell research, describing it as "deadly" and the destruction of "embryonic human beings"

- Emergency contraception in all cases including rape, asserting that ECP is actually an abortifacient by redefining pregnancy to begin at conception, not implantation of the zygote.

- Human trafficking in all forms, particularly of women for sexual purposes.

Somehow, I don't think these women felt the same way.

From top left: Elizabeth Taylor, Sacagawea, Rosa Parks, "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Oprah Winfrey, Marion Anderson, Josephine Baker, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Helen Keller, Helen Hayes, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (with Susan B. Anthony), Eleanor Roosevelt, Dolley Madison, Coretta Scott King, and Amelia Earhart.

Now compare these women to Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America (Her boss is LaHaye). Wendy is quite sincere and quite idiotic in her hyposthesis that comprehensive sex education programs WANT kids to get STDs (you read that right)

The above American icons ROCK!
However, Wendy Wright IS a rock!

Yesterday's amazing photo editing work by Philip Scott Johnson ( featured (in order):

Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Gloria Swanson, Marlene Dietrich, Norma Shearer, Ruth Chatterton, Jean Harlow, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Barbara Stanwyck, Vivien Leigh, Greer Garson, Hedy Lamarr, Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney, Olivia de Havilland, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford, Ginger Rogers, Loretta Young, Deborah Kerr, Judy Garland, Anne Baxter, Lauren Bacall, Susan Hayward, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Novak, Audrey Hepburn, Dorothy Dandridge, Shirley MacLaine, Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, Janet Leigh, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Ann Margret, Julie Andrews, Raquel Welch, Tuesday Weld, Jane Fonda, Julie Christie, Faye Dunaway, Catherine Deneuve, Jacqueline Bisset, Candice Bergen, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sigourney Weaver, Kathleen Turner, Holly Hunter, Jodie Foster, Angela Bassett, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Salma Hayek, Sandra Bullock, Julianne Moore, Diane Lane, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry

Music: Bach's Prelude from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 performed by Yo-Yo Ma