Morning No: No Better For Wear

by: Natasha Chart

Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:48

- After 8 years of Bush and Cheney, the Village is shocked, shocked! to witness an incidence of treaty enforcement.

- Forgive us our trespasses.

- It is not her responsibility to protect a privileged class by deciding who's a "real" Christian or not.

- The Dalai Lama is a feminist.

- Wealthy nations won't finance climate change adaptation and that's probably going to whack any chance at a good Copenhagen treaty before the G20 is done.

- The 2009 taser death toll stands at 36, as our police force militarizes.

- Our monopoly and theft-based healthcare system doesn't work very well at serving its ostensible purpose. Sen. Kent Conrad is surprised to learn this, having just started studying up on the issue.

- Not all Senators are similarly clueless. Al Franken, for example, knows the 4th amendment and he isn't afraid to use it.

- The morality of health care reform, part 4.

- If the Senate won't give us decent health care, we need to take drastic steps to lobby them.

Natasha Chart :: Morning No: No Better For Wear

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Morning Co mmenter finally gets an answer (0.00 / 0)
"In March 2007, a reader left the comment: "Would you folks please stop putting the word 'Christian' in front of the name 'Ann Coulter' as an adjective? Those of us who actually do practice our religion would appreciate it."

Well, wow! I'm sure that unknown commenter is flabbergasted! He just posted his question a mere two and a half years ago, and already Melissa hastens to provide an elaborate answer. That's exemplary!

Of course, despite the rush to inform her readers about her train of thought, it's the sad truth that the example is somewhat outdated. Well, the clocks in the internet are ticking faster, the blogosphere is life on the fast lane! Nobody talks about Ann Coulter anymore, except Brad Friedman, who regularly reminds his readers that this vote fraud artist still hasn't been prosecuted.

However, ok, the larger issue is still of some interest. But the story at Shakespeare's sister is a bit handicapped by a lack of context: When, exactly, is the adjective "Christian" used in front of the names of people like Ann Coulter, who, btw, isn't known to have ever been seen inside any church? Always? Well, then I would support those who say that is "belligerent shit" and obviously only serves the purpose to pick at Christians. Or only in a context where the discussion at least remotely is about religion, or the actions of religious groups? That seems to be acceptable. Sadly, the lengthy blog post doesn't provide an answer to those questions.

Instead, there's a lot of reflection about being Christian allegedly coming with a lot of "privilege". Uh huh? Shouldn't this surprising premise at least be explained? No, it isn't, but we learn that many horrible crimes and discriminations happen just "because of people calling themselves Christians". A very interesting view, I would have thought it's because some people are bigots and haterz, and that it's almost totally irrelevant how they call themselves. But alas, the author goes even further and criticizes other christians for pointing out that the offenders aren't "real Christians"! Now, imho exposing the hypocrisy, and calling for real christianity is a reasonable way of fighting those assholes, but according to shakespeare's sister, this isn't allowed.

Well, I have to admit, at this point I stopped reading because my brain signaled a problem in the input queue, a filter named 'bsdetect' had been triggered. But I guess I know enough now to come to a preliminary review: All in all, sure an interesting, timely discourse, that leaves much food for thought for those who don't have anything else to worry about! I took great care to preserve it on my null device.

Interesting point of view, though. (4.00 / 1)
It's because I don't want the responsibility of deciding who's Christian and who isn't-and I can't imagine why any Christian would want to give that responsibility to an atheist in the first place. Yes, I have personal opinions about how closely self-identified Christians of all stripes hew to their own religious text, but it's flatly not my place to kick someone out of the Christian community, even semantically.

That's pretty much it for her explanation.  The rest of the column goes on about the topic at hand in general.  It's about why she doesn't feel an obligation, inclination, or right to decide who gets to call one's self a Christian and who doesn't.  We may agree or disagree with that presumption.  (I happen to hold that Coulter and her ilk are not genuine Christians, but merely subhuman savages that, among the many lies they tell, pretend to be things they're obviously not in order to score brownie points with the deceived - and one of the things they pretend to be is Christian.)  But really, I'm not sure she's lecturing us about who we may consider real Christians so much as explaining her own refusal to label hypocrites.  I tend to agree that those who do at least try to practice the teachings of Jesus may have more credibility in recognizing false Christians and calling them out, and that they have every right to do so.  I mean, this is something of a no-brainer.  If you actually follow the teachings of Jesus, if you actually practice them or try as best you can despite the odd failure, you are a Christian.  If you simply use Christianity as a means of promoting a depraved and evil political agenda that is the polar opposite of everything Christ taught, then no, you're not a Christian.

[ Parent ]
Well, ok, Mike, she talks about why she doesn't feel an obligation... (4.00 / 1)
..but that explanation falls quite short. As I understand it, the point of the commenter was, why does Melissa dwell upon the fact that Coulter sometimes poses as a Christian? Does this explain anything, is this information in any way relevant for understanding that bitch? See, it would be the same if Melissa would regularly talk about the "blonde Ann Coulter", instead of "the christian Ann Coulter". Then she certainly would tell us that it's not her responsibility to decide if Coulter is a real blonde! That still isn't a sufficient excuse for making it look as if Ann Coulter's actions are based on her being blonde, or christian. It's simply an unfair side kick at a whole group, an obvious case of guilt by association.

Sry, but I still think Melissa totally, and perhaps deliberately, ingores the main problem. Nobody expects her to decide if Coulter is something or not, but people can expect her not to paint a whole group in a bad light by constantly mentioning the insignificant fact that Coulter pretends to be a member of that group.

[ Parent ]
As an atheist (4.00 / 1)
who has often happily made such distinctions (and took some pride in being "belligerent" about it), I nevertheless took her point about "cultural christianity".

This is indeed a "christian country", not of course in the sense of actual doctrine (let alone the lies about the Founding Fathers, who were not christians by and large), but in the general sense of what people call themselves, the way they talk, symbols and rituals, "In god we trust" and all the rest of it.

That's what she meant by a built-in christian "privilege". (Even if you're penniless, powerless, and live in a box, if you call yourself a "christian" you can still try to synthesize some feeling of cultural power. That's of course one of the main ways the corporatists enlist this teabagger rabble.)

So her point was, if you don't feel like it, why would an atheist join in with any right-propagated notion that e.g. the guy who shot Tiller isn't a "real" christian? (Never mind all the preachers and self-proclaimed christian pundits who told him to do that.) Let them worry about trying to peddle that line.

(I personally have no problem deciding based on the tactics of the moment. George Bush isn't a real christian because he's a war-monger; the Tiller shooter is, because his kind of belief is not at all extreme within what calls itslef "christianity" today. I can go either way, since it's just all nonsense anyway. It's like arguing over who's really a true "conservative"; what does the word "conservative" mean? Really, almost no one who calls himself conservative is, according to any literalistic or historical definition. Who cares? Terminology is cracked by now. Just call anyone anything which suits the political needs of the moment.)

[ Parent ]
OK, Russ, but this still is a virtual privilege, not one that comes... (4.00 / 1)
..with any real power! It's simply the "lebenslüge" of some people, the grand lie desidned to make thier lifes more bearable. It doesn't really raise them above their atheist, buddhist, jewish, etc. fellowmen in any way. So, why mention this extremely weak "priviliege" at all???

[ Parent ]
"His kind of belief is not at all extreme within what calls itself Christianity (4.00 / 3)
today?" On that note, my impulse is to feel that you're not a "real" progressive because you promulgate dishonest stereotypes for groups to which you do not belong. However, I still have to deal with the fact that you will putatively represent my ideologies to others, which is not unlike how I have to deal with disingenuous members of my faith, huh?

[ Parent ]
"An interesting...discourse, that leaves much food for thought (4.00 / 1)
for those who don't have anything else to worry about"!

Sure, because the weighing of one's own moral commitments is superfluous to committed progressivism?

[ Parent ]
No, because Melissa "weighing" her "moral commitments"... (4.00 / 1)
...doesn't really help anybody else in getting a better insight on the issue. Just my 42 mpg. Your mileage may vary!

[ Parent ]
Morning Vow: For Better, For Worse (4.00 / 1)
Activists file proposition to restore the right for same sex marriage in California:
A coalition of gay groups have filed language to repeal Proposition 8, the initiative that banned gay marriage in California.

Although larger gay groups such as Equality California have opted to wait until 2012 to challenge the ban, groups such as Love Honor Cherish,, and Equality Network have submitted the proposal for the November 2010 election.

If passed, the proposal will replace Section 7.5 of the state constitution - "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognised in California" - with "Marriage is between only two persons and shall not be restricted on the basis of race, color, creed, ancestry, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion."

The link about tasers is junk. (4.00 / 1)
For example, one of the "victims" is supposed to be Gregory Rold...

A Marion County Grand Jury unanimously found that Salem Police officers were justified in using physical force while attempting to arrest Gregory Anter Rold on May 23rd 2009. The Grand Jury also unanimously found that the physical force used by the police officers did not cause Mr. Rold's death.

Following an autopsy and follow-up testing of Mr. Rold on May 26, 2009, the Oregon State Medical Examiner, Dr. Karen Gunson, determined that the cause of Gregory Rold's death was Sudden Cardiac Arrhythmia Due to Hypertensive Atheroselerotic Heart Disease, Exertion, and Positional Asphyxiation, as well as the contributing factor of Obesity. Dr. Gunson ruled that Mr. Rold's manner of death was accidental.

A total of 15 witnesses testified before the Grand Jury, including the four involved police officers, investigating detectives from the Oregon State Police, the Medical Examiner, and two civilian witnesses. The Grand Jury also heard testimony from members of Mr. Rold's family, including his mother and brother who were eyewitnesses to the arrest.

But why believe the Oregon State Medical Examiner, or accept the unanimous verdict of a grand jury, when some some blogger with no expertise and no evidence claims Rold was killed by tasers?

Consider this: (0.00 / 0)
Would Rold still be alive if his physical limitations hadn't been so exceeded by the taser attack?

[ Parent ]
Yes (0.00 / 0)
He would also be alive if he had complied with the officers and saved his grievance(s) for the court where they belong.  

You can argue about whether or not it's fair, but the simple fact is that in America when a cop has you detained and asks you to do something, you do it.  If you don't do it, or if you resist forcefully, you can expect to get tased.  Some officers will resort to force faster than others, but when you decide not to comply you take that chance.  It all boils down to a choice that is entirely under the control of the so-called victims.

[ Parent ]
Having been in situations where cops were threatening my safety, I can safely say that's hogwash. (0.00 / 0)
Cops are not granted supreme executive power, and they do have limitations on what they may say and do to people.  The trick is to know these limitations while recognizing what one can him- or herself say and do.  Since we only seem to have the cops' side of the story, we don't know what Rold actually said or did.  What we do know is that he's dead, and his death was linked to approximately 50,000 volts of electricity being pumped through his body - and that was ill-equipped to handle such trauma.

[ Parent ]

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