Archive for May 19th, 2006

Creep: David L. Green

Today’s creep, David L. Green of Missoula, is admittedly a minor one. Contrary to Dave Budge’s assertions that I’ll label anyone a “creep” who’s “not of his ilk on the reproductive rights issue,” I reserve creep status for…well…creeps, people who are close-minded, bitter, and who work to stir up hate or violence.

Let’s look at the lineup:

Jack Wells: State legislator who supports concealed weapons, militias, and the word “squaw.” That is, a racist supporter of right-wing extremists.

Kelly Wood: Said “Brokeback Mountain” was supporting a hidden gay agenda and used shabby stats to tell us gays were amoral sex fiends riddled with disease and prone to pedophilia.

Ralph Nader and Bill Napoli: The South Dakota state legislator whose anti-abortion stance seems to be fueled by violent rape fantasies, and the grandstanding “rebel” who enabled the movement that spawned him.

Bruce King: Equated the “Vagina Monologues” with porn; apparently feels that sexuality belongs solely to men.

Ethel Fay Jordan: Apparently feels that good Christians should demonize homosexuals because of six Bible verses in which Christ never says a word, and which are probably largely the result of prejudiced translation. So much for love and charity.

Joel Olinghouse: Accuses “liberals” of making stuff up about his President and the Iraq War and, weirdly enough, of wanting to enact an Aryan master-race plan of eliminating “mentally or physically challenged [children]”. And you wonder why the country is bitterly split along political lines.

Jenny Erickson: Says Montana’s anti-bullying policy shouldn’t include mention of gay children. Need I say more?

bob t: The worst of the lot, a commentator over at “What’s Right…” (go find your own link) who called Arabs “savages” and “quasi-humans” and called for their elimination by nuclear bomb.

Martin Weinstein: Believes that freedom of speech should be extended only to those who have nice things to say about the government, and argues that unfettered liberties lead to Nazi or Stalinist states. Oh, and liberals are allied with Islamic terrorists.

Mike Dey: Claimed that raising children out of wedlock was “dangerous” to society. Are single parents the new terrorists?

Nativist immigration foes: The slew of racist-spewing opponents to Mexican immigration who crawled out from under their rocks to leave comments at the Billings Gazette.

It takes quite an effort to land on my creep list. Dave Budge has nothing to worry about. Despite our many differences and childish swipes at one another, Budge wants nothing but good for this world.

Anyhow, today’s creep writes in to the Missoulian to attack David James Duncan and his new book on Christianity, “God Laughs & Plays” (of which I’ll write more later):

This letter is in response to the article appearing on the front page of the Missoulian on April 16, regarding David James Duncan. Duncan believes that the United States is in a national psychosis due to the two-headed beast of neo-con politics and Christian fundamentalism.

Duncan is the one suffering from a lasting mental disorder as evidenced by his modern liberal-eco paradigm. He is upset that Jerry Falwell appeared with Karl Rove, which apparently indicates a nefarious intermarriage of politics and religion promoting the idea that President Bush has a divine mandate to govern. Love is lacking in Christian fundamentalism, asserts Duncan, and in all fundamentalism for that matter. Christianity has been hijacked by self-serving, manipulative, cynical political operatives. Self-certainty by a Christian is not good. This is all pure poppycock.

Neo-cons advocate a free market economy with minimum taxation, limits on social welfare, a strong military and governmental policy that respects the importance of traditional institutions such as religion and the family. Duncan apparently believes that this program is being promoted by just cynical political operative that constitutes a threat to all that is wise and spiritual. This is totally laughable.

Duncan selectively quotes Jesus to promote his view. Jesus said in John 14:16, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." I wish to point out that so-called fundamentalists can be forgiven for having faith that Jesus meant what he said and promote that statement. If Duncan was so wise he would realize that some people actually take that assertion by Jesus seriously and in so doing they do not constitute a danger to the Republic.

No country stands for freedom and liberty like America. The ideal of America is the hope of mankind.

(You can always tell when a freeper is in trouble when he makes up terms like "modern liberal-eco paradigm" in an attempt to "balance" the debate and make himself sound smart. What the h*ll does this mean anyway?)

First, launching an ad hominem attack, accusing Duncan of having a “mental disorder” is not a good way to advocate for your version of Christianity. If Green had actually read Duncan’s book, he’d see that Duncan consciously avoids letting hate dictate his attacks on neocons and fundamentalists. Instead, the book is a gentle, pleasant feel-good suggestion to use Christianity to defeat modern conservatism.

Next, Green’s defense of neocons is…well…wrong. Neoconservatism is an ideology surrounding foreign policy. Period. (Incidentally Duncan gets this wrong, too.) Neoconservatism is the school of thought that advocates the use of America’s overwhelmingly superior military force to spread democracy throughout the globe. Iraq is the first step: according to neoconservative thought, installing a democratic state in Iraq would create a “domino effect” throughout the region, spreading democracy by popular uprising supported by US force and creating open markets and stable, peaceful governments throughout the Middle East. (In other words, it's a dumb-*ss ideology.)

They are not small government, free market tax resisters. Most neocons couldn’t care less about conservative social “values” of Christianity, family, gay-hating, and so on. H*ll, a good chunk of them are automatically disqualified from belonging to the Great White Society because they’re Jews – Wolfowitz, Perle, etc.

And even if these were the tenets of neocons, they’re still repulsive or at least un-Christian. Free market, social-welfare-disdaining activists hardly embody Christ’s message of caring for the weak and poor. And fundamentalist morality is an elegant code for saying the US should be white, straight, suburban, and wealthy. Forget tolerance, empathy, understanding, and compassion. These values are for p*ssys. Like Christ, for example.

Finally it’s ironic that Green quotes John 14:16, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." I think in his book Duncan is saying that people should follow Christ. Thus Duncan’s disdain for hate, for separatism, for racism, sexism, homophobia, war, and environmental degradation, all “values” that the current Republican party and their followers excel in.

The issues that Christian fundamentalism pursues the most are abortion, homosexuality, and plain ol’ sexuality. However, none of these seem to be major concerns of Christ himself. If anything, Christ was most concerned by social inequality. Poverty is his gig. Suffering. Why is it that conservative Christians eschew battling economic inequality in favor of picking on minority groups and women?

Um…maybe because truly following Christ might entail reconsidering modern America’s consumerist lifestyle? Christian fundamentalism allows Americans to consider themselves on a “mission” and part of a “destined” or “chosen” people without actually having to make any material, psychological, or emotional sacrifices.

David James Duncan objects.

Links…

Matt Singer links to Jon Tester’s health care plan. If you’re a Montana voter, go read it.

New West’s Pete Talbot tells of an encounter with a number of trial lawyers reluctantly supporting Morrison. Ugh. So Morrison has all the money because he’s a vindictive SOB? You know…I like that Morrison makes health care his highest priority. I admired how he handled himself in the Missoula debate. But…but…it’s stories like these that leave me cold.

Orcinus on the “Brown Peril,” and how the hyperbole about Mexican immigration is recycled racism.

Jonathan Singer’s interview with Russ Feingold.

Speaking of Feingold, he upbraids Specter on the Senate’s pathetic attempt to revive gay marriage just in time for the mid-terms. Should Feingold be a 4&20 blackbirds “hero”? I’ll mull it over…

Jack Cafferty calls Specter and his ilk, “the lunatic fringe,” for their anti-gay bill.

Speaking of dumb and racist Senate legislation, that Congressional body voted to make English the “national language.” What’s with these people anyway? Aren’t Americans those who live here, not just white English speakers?

Livingston, I Presume flaunts her opposition to the Senate’s proposed gay marriage ban.

Pat Roberts, meet Patrick Henry.

A Harper’s report details how pessimistic CIA field reports from Iraq were “angrily rejected” by the White House and the agents making them were replaced or shunted aside. I’m with Kevin Drum: “Am I a bad person if I barely even react to this kind of thing anymore?”

The Daily Kos has a detailed report on California Rep. Richard Pombo’s links to Jack Abramoff, including the Marianas Island scandal, which involved Conrad Burns, too…

Dan Savage points out the Catholic Church’s hypocrisy in its objections to the recently released “Da Vinci Code.”

US Senators punted when given the opportunity to grill Hayden during confirmation hearings for his appointment as head of the CIA? I’m shocked! So much for the Republic.




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