Monday, January 26, 2009

Things that Make My Head Hurt Today

1)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi tries to justify "family planning services" (including abortion) as economic stimulus.

Why? Because if low-income and impoverished women keep their babies, the government will be liable to feed and educate them.

I've heard this argument over and over: that abortion is better than children being destitute. And I've almost stopped trying to argue against it because it belies a certain ideological or philosophical blindness I just can't overcome by rhetoric.

But I've never heard it from a politician's mouth, let alone the Speaker of the House. And I never thought I'd hear the implication that infanticide is a financially beneficial concept.

2)

American Christians are losing some of the key concepts of Christian theology, according to a recent Barna survey.

Here's the key quote:
Evidence of people’s willingness to part with church teaching was shown in other data from the survey regarding what people believe. Among individuals who describe themselves as Christian, for instance, close to half believe that Satan
does not exist, one-third contend that Jesus sinned while He was on earth, two-fifths say they do not have a responsibility to share the Christian faith with others, and one-quarter dismiss the idea that the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches.

*head-desk* *head-desk* *head-desk*

Okay. First, I have to hope that Barna's definition of "Christian" (or the responders' understanding of it) plays a part here. But even so, this shows a troubling circumstance for those who claim Christianity.

Here's the deal, gang. If you are a Christian, a Jesus-follower, there are certain beliefs involved. This is part of what the belief system entails.

First, the Bible says clearly, that Satan is real, that He is our enemy, and He will one day be eternally condemned by God. Second, the Bible says that Jesus was sinless, because in order for Jesus to be our high priest before God, and our substitute who takes on the wrath of God for our sin, He could not have sin of his own. Further, a God who sins is not holy. Read the books of Romans and Hebrews, people, c'mon! Third, IF you believe in that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus, and IF you believe that anyone who doesn't enter through that narrow gate is condemned to hell, then you have a MORAL OBLIGATION to communicate that truth to as many people as you can. As Penn Teller so accurately stated in a video a few weeks back, how much do you have to hate someone in order to let them be hit by the (metaphorical) dumptruck hurtling toward them??? Finally, the accuracy of the Bible is the lynch-pin to all of this, I think, because all of the links I'm putting up are practically meaningless if you don't think the Bible is trustworthy. Because I find it logically inconsistent that someone claims to base their belief about God on a book that they second-guess half the time, because at that point there's no way to know what's accurate and what's not. (But we've had this argument before, haven't we?)

So there. A great big "gaaaah." Why can't Christians just read the Bible? Dang.

3)

Because I haven't pissed off enough people so far, how about this: Annalee Newitz is an IDIOT.

[Before dissecting her arguments, I have to take issue with the phrase, "the Obama Era." This "era" has lasted (at most) ten weeks or so. Yes, I'll even allow the time since the election to be included. So far, I've heard a lot of jabbering about "the Obama Era." Hells bells, Gwen Ifill even wrote a book about it. But I beg of you, please pretty please, can we tone down the purple haze of "hopenchange" until the man (MAN, I said) has actually DONE stuff?]

Newitz asks if the blockbuster TV show "Battlestar Galactica" is still relevent in the current administration. For those of you uninitiated, BSG is a brilliantly conceived and produced, but admittedly left-leaning, sci-fi program. Yes, it's left-leaning, and if Adama's "is our civilization worth saving?" question doesn't convince you, the subtext of moral equivalence should. However, I still dig the show, and watch it every week. But Newitz gives point/counterpoint on whether the show has become a relic of the past "age" (the "Dark Ages" apparently).

She commends the show's multi-cultural, gender-equal leadership. As one commenter astutely points out, the Bush Administration was the most diverse (in regards to race and gender) of ANY administration up to that point, and so far the Obama "era" is only equally so. But then Newitz says the show exhibits liberal siege mentality, and adds, "Zarek and Gaeta's mutiny plot feels like something written for the Bush Era, a cautionary tale of what happens when xenophobia creeps into national policy." Because that's what it was about, hating all foreigners. *eyeroll* Newitz then cites the show's dwindling relevance by stating "the torture years are over."

Maybe this should be a whole post by itself. Suffice it to say, those five words speak volumes. Her next sentence: "Now that Obama has shut down Gitmo and other foreign prisons, we lack that feeling of panicked recognition as we watch the humans and cylons abusing each other." Okay, first, Gitmo? Not closed. Not yet. There's SO MUCH TO DO before that happens, but folks like Newitz are already dancing in the streets over it. After a quote, Newitz asks if the show won't be taken as seriously without a president who's "beating the 'war on terror' drum". Ugh. That's right, folks. Bush made the whole thing up.

Here's the killer: Newitz describes the show's still relevant examination of the connectedness of religion and politics, but then says that "religious war is being replaced by religious peace."

Um, what?

"Culture wars between Judeo-Christians and Muslims may be on the wane with Obama addressing his inaugural speech to 'a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers.' ... Under Obama, it's possible that this civilization gap will start to close... If Obama makes good on his promises of religious tolerance, in eight years BSG's religious anguish and culty weirdness may look as dated as Logan's Run."

...Wow. Really?

Is Ms. Newitz's life SO sheltered that she doesn't see that there is GLOBAL conflict? Radical Muslims targeting ALL faiths? And she thinks, as so many do, that Obama is somehow going to calm all world conflicts, and unite us in peace and harmony?

I'm sorry, kids. It's not going to happen. And it's the peak of naivete to buy into that. Because like it or not, we have enemies that are even now burning Obama in effigy and still crying out "death to America." That's not going away. Not in four years, not in eight, maybe not ever.

Come back to the real world, Annalee. It's scarier, sure, but it's still worth living here.

4)

This is just freaking ridiculous. Not on par with the idiocy above, but still ridiculous. Thanks, Manders.

13 comments:

LeLe said...

I think we've been reading the same blogs today, my friend. My head hurts too. I don't think I can add anything to it b/c I agree with everything you say.

Trav said...

1. I know, right? This is not the first time I have heard this point presented in the abortion debate, yet it always shocks me. Of course it is "financially beneficial." Good thing it isn't a fiscal issue. Until we start trading our moral and ethical values for fiscal ones, the point is irrelevant. Should cannibalism be grounds for dismissal in murder cases since it is less wasteful?

Damn.

2. I intended to post a link (and my associated reaction) to this article last week, but never found the time. I was surprised, but more than anything else I was embarrassed, Dave. This study proves that we Christians are not only lazy, we can be pretty stupid as well.

A Christian that doesn't believe the Bible? Just wow.

3. Sorry, I've got nuttin. I haven't watched BSG in years. I used to catch a few bits and pieces of the first season when I wasn't in school, but only when Toni let me have the remote.

As for Obama the Great, you should know that even his supporters are getting tired of hearing about him in the news.To quote The King, we need "a little less conversation and a lot more action." I don't recall seeing anyone burning him in effigy yet, though.

Obama, not Elvis.

4. The video wouldn't play for me. Somehow, I think it is for the best.

5. (not shown) When you gonna get your Haloscan comments back up, yo?

Dave said...

Trav: re: #3, I direct your attention to things like this: http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//090113/ids_photos_wl/r1847268956.jpg/


this:

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//090118/ids_photos_wl/r3971600501.jpg/

and this:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5510665.ece


Re: #5. I don't know. I'll get around to it. Now that I've been lazy and let Blogger's commenting run for a while, i'm loathe to put out the effort--yet i still don't want to "lose" the comments from previous months. I don't know. we'll figure something out.

Trav said...

I realize that there are people out there who hate the United States and everything we stand for. (It's not like we have been making very many friends over the last few years.) I wasn't trying to imply that Obama has no enemies. Even in our country, among our own citizens, I am sure there are many people who wish the man ill. Evil can't be voted away.

But Obama is enjoying the highest approval rating of any U.S. president, all around the world. That gives me a little bit of comfort, anyway. People are more apt to trust, follow, and listen to the people they like.

Dave said...

Oh, I don't dispute the approval rating. He's very popular right now, and should use that capital to make some really tough but necessary decisions.

In my original post, I said that our enemies are burning him in effigy, contrary to Ms. Newitz's rosy outlook of inter-religious peace and kumbaya. That's what I was addressing, and the links were in support of that argument.

Trav said...

It looks like we both agree: Ms. Newitz needs to pull her head out and wipe her eyes. The picture she paints is a target to aim for...certainly not a snapshot of our current situation.

Kelly said...

I only have a comment about the cookie monster video. To be a father who's daughter loves Cookie Monster, it is VERY helpful to promote eating healthy food by a blue furry monster on her favorite tv show. Elmo and Cookie are her favorites so if they promote healthy food eating, it just helps Hayden to want to eat vegetables. Because believe me, it is hard to get her to eat them on her own or even with us telling her to eat them.

I thought all of the rest of the post was unimportant.

Hahaha, just kidding, the other parts were important. I just don't know enough to comment. So I will just end by saying that this post needed more cowbell.

Trevor said...

Granted BSG has its left leaning, it has actually presented both sides well. I do not see the last ten episodes as a commentary on politics right now. People have to remember that filming for the "last 10" was completed before the election. This commentary about the upcoming mutiny on BSG is reading into it way too much. I believe the writers are just aiming to end the story well. They are not going to blow 4 season of show by restricting there writing to current political events. They were heading to an ending and that ending was written before the Presidential election really even heated up.

Houston or bust for the series finally.

Trevor said...

By the way. Pelosi is the Wicked Witch of the West.

Trevor said...

By the way, again. American Christians must have Reformation before Revival.

Jill said...

About Nancy Pelosi: I think she's been reading too much Jonathan Swift...

Dave said...

Trev: Love you dude. And that's a good point about the filming.

Jill: Nice observation.

Kelly: I recognize the importance of proper diet (no really, I do). My concern is that you are selling out a beloved children's icon of thirty-plus years. Cookie monster eats cookies. Period. You could play it as "Oh, Cookie Monster, don't you know that we should eat other foods?" "But Cookie Monster only eat cookie!" Etc. I should totally write for Sesame Street. That would be awesome.

Rant over. Positive posts for tomorrow.

Plus, as promised, K, in the next week, I'll start doing the "greatness of America" series.

Trevor said...

I get upset when people dis on the Cookie Monster. People are trying to blame their irresponsibility, lack of moderation, and poor parenting on the Cookie Monster.

"Cookie sometime food. Vegetables anytime food. SOMETIME IS RIGHT NOW!!! MMMMMGOBBLEMMMGOBBLEMMMM!!!"