Archive for the 'satire really' Category

Godwin’s Law states:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.

Mike Godwin has written about the law that “its purpose has always been rhetorical and pedagogical: I wanted folks who glibly compared someone else to Hitler or to Nazis to think a bit harder about the Holocaust.”

And this is the spirit in which I’ve always understood it. There are, indeed, thought processes and rationalizations that are eerily similar to “Hitlerian rhetoric” (if I may paraphrase Stephen Fry). And so, there are times when such a comparison may be valid. But more times than not, the comparison is inaccurate and made out of sheer laziness, as though ole Adolf was a trump card.

But Godwin’s Law is mostly only applicable to political discussions. Yes, sometimes the issues are moral or spirtual, but they still have a distinct political bent to them (e.g. issues surrounding abortion). Yet the same laziness that made Godwin’s Law necessary is prevalent in many online theological discussions.

My first thought was how Matthew 7:16 gets twisted to mean that if you do one thing that I don’t like, then I am capable of reading all of your innermost thoughts and commenting on them definitively and publicly.

Or how “another gospel” (Galatians 1:9) has been twisted to mean “anything with which I disagree”.

And let’s not forget the all-purpose barn-burner: emergent (which apparently encompasses everything I don’t believe in — even when two thoughts are contradictory).

But we really need a person, not a concept.

Brian McLaren? Nah. He’s so last decade.

Rob Bell? Nah. He’s so earlier this year. Even the recent announcement of his departure from the pulpit only produced a brief ripple in all but the craziest corners of the blogosphere.

Besides which, there are plenty of people who haven’t heard of either of these guys.

Rick Warren? Now we’re getting somewhere with the recognizability factor. But more and more of the criticisms of him are either over old stuff, misinterpretation of stuff, or can’t withstand any real logic (or some combination of the three). So he’s not really a legitimate whipping boy anymore.

So who then? And then it hit me.

As an online theological discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Oprah Winfrey approaches 1.

As with Godwin’s Law, there are cases where the comparison rings true. But let’s be honest. For quite a while and probably for many years to come, Winfrey has become the poster child for “any spiritual belief that is less rigorous than my own”.

So in the words of Phil Esterhaus, let’s be careful out there — let’s not play the O-card too quickly.

Waters’ Corollary to Godwin’s Law. I’ll be over here holding my breath, waiting for the Wikipedia update.

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Here’s an example of the sort of stupidity I am talking about in my original post. From the AFA. Note how they ‘claim victory’ with the phrase: “Your actions make a difference!” and follow it up with this line of garbage:

According to Bill Chandler, vice-president of Gap corporate communications, Gap’s Old Navy division will launch a new television commercial this weekend which “has a very strong Christmas theme.”

Chandler responded to AFA last Friday, after a poll showed 90% of AFA supporters wanted to continue the boycott as a result of Gap’s initial “holiday” ad that mingled Christmas with the pagan “Winter Solstice” holiday.

Gap says the new ad will include the popular Supermodelquins proudly cheering “Merry Christmas”, and features Christmas trees, lights and ornaments as well.

In good faith, AFA is suspending the Gap boycott until it has an opportunity to view the new commercial this weekend.

As a result of your dedicated actions, we believe Gap is beginning to realize that Christmas is not just another “holiday” and will begin to advertise in a way that is respectful to Christians and Christmas shoppers.

Why does the AFA care if Jesus is associated with the Gap? Do they really think Jesus cares? I did notice, however, that you can spend $82 and get your own ‘merry christmas’ packs from the AFA. Here’s another fun page that tells us which stores do and do not say ‘merry christmas’.

Is this seriously what Jesus wants us doing with our time? Does Jesus really care if the person at Starbucks says ‘merry christmas’ or not? Seriously?!?! I’m going to purposely visit these stores that don’t say merry christmas and boycott the ones who cave into this asininity.

I’m taking Christ out of Christmas because I don’t want the Jesus I follow to be mocked any longer. Merry X-mas!

In order to provide for my family while I am in graduate school, I was provided, and accepted, a job at Blockbuster video. I believe that to an extent it was providential that I was hired at the store and I joyfully, dutifully and excellently do the work. I was hired as assistant store manager nearly to the day that I received my last severance check from my former church, the store works around my school and part-time job schedule, and I get along well with the employees I work with each day. The job is fun, I do the job well, and I am able to see a lot of people from the community every day. I am thankful, to be sure, that I was provided a job.

But the job has opened my eyes to something that they needed opened to. What I have seen is ugly, cumbersome, and frightening. I have seen American Capitalism in its fullest manifestation.

__________________

Today is ‘Black Friday.’ Today is the official beginning of the ‘Christ’mas season. Today is the day that everyone on Wal-Street looks forward to in order, and in hope, to bring to an end another year of economic worry, turmoil and disappointment.

Today is a day that the world has made, let us rejoice and spend in it.

Today is black Friday and, I don’t suppose, there is a more apropos name in the lexicon. Today is the day when all of America, joined together in a mass celebration of capitalism and freedom, will do her best to resurrect what billions in stimulus dollars, tax refund checks, and unemployment extensions have not been able to do: Drag our collective capitalist asses out of the dire misery of financial ‘suffering’ and ‘having to make cut-backs and/or do withoutness’ we have had to endure since…well, for a long time.

Today is black Friday.

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[After a bit of wrestling/internal debate, I've decided to go ahead and cross-post my guest column from VerumSerum last weekend that primarily deals with healthcare, but ultimately with issues of "right to life" and where such responsibilities ought to lie. One more note: If you don't understand satire, please read no further.]

A MODEST PROPOSAL

For Preventing the Poor Senior Citizens in America from Being a Burden to Their Children or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public

It is a tragedy today to encounter men and women who have passed by the productive years of their lives – times when they held meaningful jobs which provided the grease with which the wheels of society are oiled. Men and women who now find themselves in the pitiable situation where they are dependent upon the generosity of others to provide their ever-growing needs. Needs that, when met with increasingly sophisticated technology, will expand the duration of years in which they live in such miserable dependence.

I think it is fair to say that all parties concerned would agree that the huge number of senior citizens that must be carried on the backs of their children and society is a looming nightmare, and that their deporable state is partially the fault of a healthcare system that is going bankrupt at a time in which they need it the most. Therefore, it seems to me that whoever can find the easiest, cheapest and most fair way of rescuing these citizens from their state of dependency, and society from the burden of their care, would be owed a deep debt of gratitude.

As such, I feel that it is my duty as an American to come forward with a modest proposal that would be such a welcome remedy. A proposal that would fit well, and most logically, with plans already in motion in our fair capital, where lawmakers toil in their benevolent desire to aid the citizens of this grandest of nations, Washington D.C.

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Here you go.

Discuss.

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(or today’s “fish in a barrel” moment )

It wasn’t the main point of the post, but this still jumped out at me.  While dumping on Ekklesia Detroit Church regarding another issue, Ken the “editor” at C?N irrelevantly noted: “It seems they’ve also found time to interview Satan as well.”

Granted, that sentence has no explicit statement that Ken the editor thinks that the Satan interview video is a bad thing.  But given the track record at C?N (that nothing good can come out of Nazareth those that they criticize), and given the overall tone of the rest of the post, it’s very much within the realm of probability that Ken the editor thinks it’s a bad thing.

And frankly, I have to agree.  A video portraying Satan and his views on Christianity and the Church has no place in our faith.  Why, if we’re not careful, someone will write an entire book with this premise.  And then respected “Christian” actors will create plays based on the book.  And then “Christians” will claim to “learn” from these demonic resources.

It’s the beginning of the end, people.

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Peter,

If you happen to read this could you drop by and defend yourself. I’m not really familiar with your work but some here are and they incessantly contend that you are a heretic. I think it stems from your relationship with Phyllis but I’m not certain why they think she is a heretic either. I’ve heard her speak many times and while she doesn’t say the words I’m used to I believe she is a follower of Christ. Ultimately though; I can’t really be sure about either one of your commitments to Christ. I wish I could be though. Meaning I wish I was God.

On another note; are you related to Henry? I really like his music. However his acting is kinda creepy. I don’t know why? I think it’s because of his voice or maybe his face. Not that he’s ugly; just mean looking. He kinda scares me. Oh well. If you are related could you have him drop by also. I want to ask him what he meant by the this quote:

“If I was gay, there would be no closet. You would never see the closet I came out of. Why? Because I’d have burned it for kindling by the time I was twelve … If I was gay, at this stage of the game — age 37, aging alternative icon — I’d be taking out ads.”

In my eyes he’s obviously gay and this quote appears that he’s not but I found a blog that contends that even though he said he isn’t; he actually is. You see I have this habit of not believing actual words that people say. Unless of course those actual words are from people that I agree with telling me what the people I don’t agree with, are actually saying. I know kinda confusing but I think you could help with that.

A few more things I need you to clear up. On your blog you state:

Without equivocation or hesitation I fully and completely admit that I deny the resurrection of Christ.

What the…? Really? Are you serious? HERET…oh wait. I stopped reading at that line. Sorry about that you also say

This is something that anyone who knows me could tell you, and I am not afraid to say it publicly, no matter what some people may think…

I deny the resurrection of Christ every time I do not serve at the feet of the oppressed, each day that I turn my back on the poor; I deny the resurrection of Christ when I close my ears to the cries of the downtrodden and lend my support to an unjust and corrupt system.

However there are moments when I affirm that resurrection, few and far between as they are. I affirm it when I stand up for those who are forced to live on their knees, when I speak for those who have had their tongues torn out, when I cry for those who have no more tears left to shed.

So what you are saying is that my life, how I live it, can either confirm or deny my belief in Christ. Sounds a little like this:

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, [1] you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Oh that Jesus! So darn serious about helping the poor. If I didn’t know better I would say that he was a heretic.

Okay a few more things and then I’ve got to get back to my phylactery waxing.

You point out on your blog that you:

I also lecture in areas of moral theory, philosophical theology, mysticism and Existentialism. However my passion is to render the academic discourse accessible, interesting and useful to faith collectives.

Oh brother…I’m really concerned now.

moral “THEORY”? It’s not a theory Petey. It’s an absolute. Unless of course you are suggesting that people have certain theories about morality then of course you can lecture on that.

“mysticism”? You do know that’s code for heretic right? In these parts we’ve argued about that word forever. You may want to strike that from your blog. It just not worth the trouble of trying to explain it.

“Existentialism”? Again with the “human condition” stuff. Really is it important to understand how God interacts with us and how we should respond? Isn’t it enough to know that “He is God”? Just leave it at that. If people don’t get it, tough nuggies. Seriously!

My biggest concern about you though is that last sentence. “Academic discourse accessible”? Two words, in Latin, so you know it’s really important, SOLA SCRIPTURA buddy! I don’t need no stinking, two bit, liberal spouting, college per fessor, telling me nothin bout my Jesus. Unless of course he agrees with me. Otherwise I ain’t havin none of it. That’s all I need is somebody messing up my perfect, preconceived, theological box. I almost got excommunicated for quoting from “The Shack”. So no more of that “thinking” stuff for me. It’s just not safe to think. What if I come up with the wrong thoughts? What if the Holy Spirit took the day off and that was the exact day I chose to read “A brief history of everything”? The ramifications to my salvation could be catastrophic. No thank you.

Well thanks for your time.

Sincerely,
Chris

P.S. You don’t need to talk to Henry for me I just Wiki’d him and his last name is actually Garfield. Sorry bout that.

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I have long held to the “truth where you find it” stance — my point being that God is big enough to speak to the Christian through persons or experiences that s/he would not ordinarily expect — ya know, that whole sovereignty thing.

In raising that point here, I have been lambasted on several occasions by those who take umbrage with it.  Generally it’s been by those who state that I am saying that if person A speaks any truth, then you can believe everything that person A says.  (That’s not what I’m saying, but I’m willing to have an open mind on the issues of others knowing better what’s on my heart than I do myself.)

Let’s assume that my critics are right.  Here’s a list of “safe” places that you can get truth from:

  • Fox News — the channel that brought us the anchor-babe, whose site’s front page currently contains stories titled “Megan Fox Gets Dirty” and “Get In Bed With Marilyn” and a weekly contribution from Maxim magazine.
  • Christianity Today — the magazine that has, on many occasions, shown left-of-center theology
  • Pravda — the Russian newspaper whose translation (”truth”) is usually the height of irony

You may note that the links that I provided don’t go to the actual sites that I listed.  Rather, they go to articles on the front pages of C?N and Slice.

But feel free to go to the actual sites, too.  And feel free to consume and believe everything on those sites. They are, after all, now included in the “discernment” magisterium.

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ht: David Hayward

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I got an audio cassette in the mail the other day.  It  was unmarked, the envelope had no return address, and the postmark was illegible.  As best I can tell, it’s from a church service.  It appears to be a re-working of Fanny Crosby’s “Rescue the Perishing“.

I had to listen to it a few times to pick up all the lyrics.  I’ll reproduce them here for you.

If anyone knows anything more about this recording, let me know.

 
icon for podpress  Point Out the Perishing: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Point out the perishing, notice the dying,
Snark at them — how pithy — they won’t get on board.
Tsk o’er the erring one, trample the fallen,
Call it a ministry, it’s good in the Lord.

Refrain
Point out the perishing, notice the dying,
You don’t think like I do; you’re going to hell.

Since they have slighted Him, their fate is sealed.
It’s just too late for God to intervene.
Deride them constantly, use lots of quote marks.
They’re dead already; it’s not being mean.

Refrain
Point out the perishing, notice the dying,
You don’t think like I do; you’re going to hell.

Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that you can divine;
You know their deepest thoughts, God told them to you.
Be sure to scoff if someone says “Be kind”.

Refrain
Point out the perishing, notice the dying,
You don’t think like I do; you’re going to hell.

Point out the perishing, God called you to it.
Strength for your blogging the Lord will provide;
But He’s a little short with the finances
Ask for donations while you’re being snide.

Refrain
Point out the perishing, notice the dying,
You don’t think like I do; you’re going to hell.
Point out the perishing, notice the dying,
My God’s a wrathful God; you all are screwed.

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WASHINGTON, DCApril 1, 2009 — In an announcement that stunned the nation, Barack Obama called a press conference today to state that he is stepping down as President of the United States. Effective immediately, Hugh Beaumont will assume the role. Mr Obama also said that Joe Biden is being replaced by Ozzie Nelson. Similar replacements are taking place throughout Congress, although it is reported that Nancy Pelosi has locked herself in her office.

Given their obvious recent distaste for trusting in God, Christians can now resume trusting in their government and the renewed inherent and absolute morality of their country.

In unrelated stories, Steven Spielberg was kicked out of his country club and Michael Jordan was lynched in North Carolina today.

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