Thursday, September 22, 2005


"You know, something we -- I've been thinking a lot about how America has responded, and it's clear to me that Americans value human life, and value every person as important. And that stands in stark contrast, by the way, to the terrorists we have to deal with. You see, we look at the destruction caused by Katrina, and our hearts break. They're the kind of people who look at Katrina and wish they had caused it. We're in a war against these people. It's a war on terror. These are evil men who target the suffering. They killed 3,000 people on September the 11th, 2001. And they've continued to kill. See, sometimes we forget about the evil deeds of these people."

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

America's Real Threat

Now that Bushco's Justice Department and FBI have defeated terrorism, busted all the meth labls in Red States (and sated all Red State meth addicts' jones), derailed corporate malfeasances, and busted government officials that illegally and treasonously leak classified information to the press for political gain, it's time to focus in on the pox that REALLY undermines America's pillars of normalcy, stability, morality: consenting adults watching consenting adults doing what consenting adults do. That's right: legal pornography!

Guess soon I won't be able to watch these two have at it.

And to think, Alberto Gonzalez would tell you this has nothing to do with appeasing the Talibamericans opposed to his SCOTUS appointment. Nothing.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Please Read This Essay in Today's NYTBR

When it comes to organized religion, especially as wielded by irreligious fascists like the crooks and assholes you can name as well as me, and especially when MY LIFE is affected by their doltish, slobbering, hallelujahing followers, I'm beyond atheism. Atheism implies a direct rejection of an intelligible God. The God these evangelical fools worship isn't worth the time to spiritually reject.

Which is not to reject Christianity of worthiness of an atheistic rejection. The best class I ever took in college was a grad school theology class on Feminist Theology. The teacher had the best pedagogical skills of any teacher I ever had. He was a devout Catholic and a devout Liberation Theologian and an equally devout postmodernist/poststructuralist, and among the many theologians he had us read - Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Mary Daly, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth - was Reinhard Niebuhr. What these theologians - not one for-profit preacher among them - had in common was not a consensus on belief (they would argue there IS no consensus on belief possible, just an honorable effort to reach consensus) but an understanding that the act of belief is a constant, honorable, personal struggle. They also believed that just as an individual must strive to bring justice to one's own life, so must a country, and all countries, struggle to bring justice to all people. These theologians believe that religion and theology should be liberating and Liberal, and that its success lies in creating enlarged individuals that establish generous communities and nations, not diminished drones that desire totalitarian discipline and darkness.

From Arthur Schlesinger's Forgetting Reinhold Niebuhr in today's New York Times (direct quotes from Niebuhr):

"Nations, as individuals, who are completely innocent in their own esteem are insufferable in their human contacts."

"Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary."

'Like all God-fearing men, Americans are never safe "against the temptation of claiming God too simply as the sanctifier of whatever we most fervently desire." This is vanity. To be effective in the world, we need "a sense of modesty about the virtue, wisdom and power available to us" and "a sense of contrition about the common human frailties and foibles which lie at the foundation of both the enemy's demonry and our vanities." None of the insights of religious faith contradict "our purpose and duty of preserving our civilization. They are, in fact, prerequisites for saving it."'

"If we should perish, the ruthlessness of the foe would be only the secondary cause of the disaster. The primary cause would be that the strength of a giant nation was directed by eyes too blind to see all the hazards of the struggle; and the blindness would be induced not by some accident of nature or history but by hatred and vainglory."

How valuable it would be to debate this vision of theology rather than the false, easily reputed, hypocritically based, corporate, Fascist, anti-intellectual, made for fools brand that is taking over school boards and seeking to Talibanize America. The article is called "Forgetting Reinhold Niebuhr." It is a welcome reminder of what theology can be, even if you disagree with most of it. It is theology worthy of not believing in.