Monthly Archives: March 2006

Life update:

Still sick.

And now you know

How to make vegan twinkies. I wonder if these will survive any nuclear holocausts?

via

The "Founding Fathers" are rolling in their graves

So I know there’s a post below on a stupid forward I received about boycotting Pepsi products because they’ve left out the “under God” phrase from the Pledge of Alligence. I initially posted it tongue-in-cheek, consoling myself that it was an extreme example of religious right ignorance back home.

Sigh. Maybe it’s not such an extreme example.

This weekend in Washington DC, there was a evangelical conference entitled: The War on Christians and the Values Voters 2006. Speakers included some of “Justice Sunday” favorites, such as Tom Delay, Phyllis Schlafly, Gary Bauer, and Alan Keyes.

In last night’s Hardball on MSNBC, Chris Matthews featured a segment titled “Is Christianity Under Siege?“– which had (the Rev.) Al Sharpton and Tony Perkins, the president of the (hyper-conservative/evangelical) Family Research Council.

I don’t know where to even begin. Watch the clip.

Some of what Perkins spewed:

  • He’s upset that “religion” is under attack in America — specifically Christianity.
  • He calls it a “growing hostility” and cites the injustice of the legislature of Indiana no longer being allowed to open with prayer, if they only pray to Jesus.
  • He finds it of “concern” that there is no public prayer at schools, graduations, football games (all rulings of courts)
  • and claims Christianity is under attack — case in point: the county of Los Angeles was “forced” to remove a cross from its city seal.

But the most enjoyable part of the segment is when Sharpton nails Perkins and the RR’s support of former House majority leader Tom Delay [who’s in the midst of being investigated for several ethics and money laundering violations]. The RR is making Delay a symbol and martyr of Christianity, saying he’s “being persecuted for standing up for Jesus.”

Sharpton asks Perkins: “But I would like Tony to tell me how what Tom Delay is facing has to do with his religion, or any religion — it has nothing to do with it. … How does Jesus and embezzling funds have anything to do with each other?”

Perkins stumbles and attempts an answer, but ultimately cannot defend it. He claims that it’s partially due to Delay being evangelical and pro-life — as if THAT’S the reason why he’s being investigated for ethical violations. Riiiight.

Supposedly, Perkins just wants people to be able “to display their faith publicly.” Translated: They want a dominionist theocracy, where there’s one religion validated by the government.

Oy, and don’t even get me started on the RR’s claim of Christianity and government as a part of our “history” and “heritage” as a country — the men who founded the US government and constitution WERE NOT CHRISTIAN. If anything, the framers of the Constitution went OUT OF THEIR WAY to make sure that God and Christianity were not evoked in the setting up of our government.

Then again, when you don’t take the time to actually read the Constitution, I suppose it’s easier to make such unsubstantiated claims.

Don’t forget to go watch the clip that spurred on this rant o’ mine.

Subject: DON’T BUY PEPSI IN THE NEW CAN!


Don’t buy Pepsi in the new can. Pepsi has a new “patriotic” can coming out with pictures of the EmpireStateBuilding, and the Pledge of Allegiance on them.

However, Pepsi left out two little words on the pledge,”Under God.”

Pepsi said they didn’t want to offend anyone. In that case, we don’t want to offend anyone at the Pepsi corporate office, either!

So if we don’t buy any Pepsi product, they will not be offended when they don’t receive our money that has the words “In God We Trust” on it.

HOWFASTCANYOUFORWARDTHISONE?


I hate email forwards, especially when they’re as culturally-humilating as these.

I highly doubt any Pepsi boycott will occur in my household. For one, I married into a “Pepsi family” — and I support not having the “under God” in the pledge. Most people don’t realize that those two words weren’t a part of the pledge until the 1950′s, and were only added in an effort to deter communism [read me].

Separation of church & state — and carbonated beverages, I say!

Religion, torture, Islam, Christianity

This last week’s Real Time with Bill Maher was really good. You never know with that show — it’s either really well done, or just boring/painful to watch. This week’s panel was Muslim author Reza Aslan, actor Jason Alexander, and my old Congressman from GA, Jack Kingston. Good discussion all around — well worth watching.

I liked this particular exchange between Maher and Aslan, referencing religious perspectives on torturing:

Bill Maher: And I think this is interesting. There was a Pew study of different religions: 31% of Protestants and only 26% of Catholics said it was never okay to torture. That seems like a very small percentage of Catholics – 26% — to say, you know – Jesus was tortured – to say it was never okay. Forty-one percent of secular people – atheists or agnostic – said it was never okay to torture. And I – I bring this up because, reading your book, I was struck by how liberal and tolerant Muhammad was. I didn’t really know that.

And I think there’s something Christianity and Islam have in common, which is that neither one of them follow their leaders. [applause]

Reza Aslan [author of the book No god but God]: Well, no, this is true – this is true not just of Islam or Christianity, it’s true to religion. You know, we have this idea, somehow, that prophets invent religions, that Jesus invented Christianity, or that Muhammad invented Islam. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What prophets do is they take the social and cultural and economic and political milieu in which they live, and they reshape it. They recast it. They don’t talk about the future. They talk about the present.

It’s the prophet-followers who then take those words—

MAHER: [overlapping] and screw it up.

ASLAN: [overlapping]—take those deeds, and turn it into what we call a religion. And it’s often the case that it has far more to do with their own ideas, their own biases, than it does with what the prophet said or did.

[transcript here, video of this clip here]

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Oh what a night.

At Brownies tonight, one of my co-leaders pitched a royal fit and left 5 minutes into the hour-and-a-half long meeting. She was having “issues” I suppose, and felt like she didn’t need to be there to help us.

Odd thing is, the other senior Brownie leader was out of town tonight too, leaving me and a junior leader to deal with 15 seven and eight year olds — without any specific plans.

Oh, what a night.

We did well, and it was probably better that Her Royal Highness didn’t stay for the night — because it would have only made the situation worse.

I’m not very happy though, with her irresponsibility — especially considering I’ve only been in Guides leadership for less than 6 months.

And while I could leave more sortid deals about how much I’m not very pleased with this individual, I think I’ll leave it at that.

Grrr.

Burning bridges

(this late night musing is brought to you by insomnia and the letter C, for constant coughing)

Burn your bridges
to permanently and unpleasantly end your relationship with a person or organization. ex:/Welles had burned his bridges so badly with the movie studios that they laughed when you mentioned his name.

Etymology: based on the military action of burning a bridge you have just crossed to prevent the enemy from crossing it after you.

link

[Before I start this post, there needs to be a disclaimer – there are some of you, out there, who will read this and probably think I’m talking about you. I’m not. Well, maybe I am — albeit indirectly — but this post is not a veiled, passive-aggressive way of me taking a cheap shot. This is me, stranded alone at 3:30 in the morning, with my thoughts. It’s a scary place, and this blog often feels the brunt of it.]

I never realized the phrase “burning bridges” had a militaristic tinge in its etymology. Now that I know the history of the phrase, I can see how it works. It’s quite a vivid image, imagining those metaphorical bridges burning in the wake of a diminished friendship. The older I get, the more I recognize the heat of flames of my own making.

Burns. I’ve got several scars of past burns on my body — one of them is on my arm, permanently searing my first summer job of making pretzels in a mall. Another is only from a couple weeks ago, when I tried to cram a cookie sheet into our too-small-for-words oven. Burns carry the memories of hurt, blistering, and scarring — and when burns happen in relationships, I now realize it is one part of a cycle.

I look at how much my life has changed — just in the last 5 years — and it’s hard to grasp. 5 years ago, I was in Savannah. I wasn’t happy, I was in the middle of a degree I didn’t really care about, I weighed 40 or so extra pounds. I was lost, in many ways — and many of the relationships I had, back then, weren’t helping me out of the mire. If anything, some of them only pushed me further into it.

So, what happened? I realized that I needed to pull myself out. I needed to take control, make difficult choices — and in the process, sever some of the relationships that weren’t supporting me or helping me become a better person. So, that’s what I did. Many of my friends (at that time) either didn’t like my choices, or couldn’t accept me after I did them — and as a result, those friendships slowly burned themselves out.

I moved to Canada. I started a whole new life. And now, even looking back on the “me-of-four-years-ago” — I can see how much I’ve changed. Today, I’m more confident in who I am and I’m not as willing to allow others compromise or censor that. I’m willing to ask questions I know can’t be answered — and I’m also willing to stick my neck out by saying what’s really on my mind (and heart). It can be rewarding, while also scary as hell.

But even in my life of today, I’ve had those similar experiences of the past — friendships in the cycle of growing, dying, or being completely lost.

I used to think the number of friends showed the degree of how much a person is loved and supported in life — today, I see it’s more about the caliber and strength of a few good relationships (rather than the fleet of many so-so friends).

A simplistic revelation? Maybe. But a hard lesson to learn.