Greetings from Colorado Springs
Hi folks! It turns out that the Focus on the Family Ministry has a “weekend furlough” program, so I have a spare moment to check in on the blog from out here in lovely Colorado Springs. They limit us to half an hour on the Internets, though, because here at Focus on the Family, they like to keep the focus on the family. Actually, our unofficial motto is “it’s the patriarchy, stupid” – but of course I can’t say that in public!
Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that there’s no cause for concern about me or my state of mind, and that my hosts are treating me well. Not quite as well as my other conservative hosts back in September– let’s just say there’s a lot less single-malt flowing around these parts– but quite well nonetheless. And before I go back in for Week Two of the program, they’d like me to say a few words to the readers of this most humble blog.
First, you liberals and progressives and leftists and Communists have to stop vilifying “Christians.” It’s counterproductive and wrong. Christians are not responsible for George Bush’s election. Christians are not intolerant; Christians are not ignorant. Christians are actually filled with agape; they work among the poor and the downtrodden, they give up all hope of material gain in this world, they turn the other cheek when they are struck, and they always do unto others as they would have others do unto them.
So you liberals need to distinguish between Christians and CHRISTIANs. Out here in Colorado Springs, we don’t have much use for most of that garden-variety Christianity stuff. Who needs a vow of poverty when you’re trying to establish a media network? Who needs agape when you’re counting down to the Apocalypse? No sir, there aren’t any of those Christians around here. Instead, we prefer to think of ourselves as
Homophobes for a
Inquisition of the
In the future, please get that straight and keep it straight. Lay off the Christians– they’re completely innocuous people. When you want to criticize the ascendant religious right, say “CHRISTIANs” or “Creationists and Homophobes” for short. We’ll know who you mean. And then we’ll come and get you.
Second, liberal-progressive-etc. writers like Rick Perlstein and Frank Rich have to stop claiming that we didn’t swing the 2004 election to the right. Don’t you people get it? It just doesn’t matter if the religious-conservative vote didn’t change appreciably between 2000 and 2004. No one wants to hear about your fancy-schmancy “number crunching” and your elitist “regression analyses.” That’s exactly the kind of talk you’d expect from the reality-based community. But the reality-based community is less relevant to American politics right now than Eugene V. Debs, folks. Here at FOF, we know that semiotically (though Dr. Dobson doesn’t exactly put it that way), we won, and we won big time. We are Gonna Get Paid (though Dr. Dobson doesn’t exactly put it that way, either) and all you liberal wonks and all your liberal media can go to H E double hockey sticks.
And that’s why– last but not least! – we’re taking back this country. First, we’re going to take away one of your favorite liberal words. Ask your George Lakoff if you don’t believe me! As soon as the election returns were in, Karl Rove began to speak of creating a “hopeful and decent society,” and William Bennett wrote, in the pages of the National Review:
Having restored decency to the White House, President Bush now has a mandate to affect policy that will promote a more decent society, through both politics and law.
Do you know what that means, people? That means we mean we’re going to lock you gays and lesb***ns back in the closet or run you right out of town, right alongside the abortionists in their tar-and-feather overcoats. And don’t give me any grief about Bill B.’s private little vices. They’re all right with us, because we know he’s saved.
Now, why did we pick the word “decent” for this phase of our crusade, you ask? Because quite honestly, we’re sick and tired of hearing you people say to us, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” I mean, we heard it about Abu Ghraib, we heard it about the Swift Boat Vets, we heard it when Jim DeMint said that gays and lesb***ns should be barred from teaching positions, we heard it every time Dick Cheney opened his mouth. We heard it every gosh-darn week this past year from you liberal “decency” mavens, always whining about something and always claiming to be “decent people” simply because you have this amoral “liberal” attitude about the sexual practices of consenting adults. Well, we’re not going to stand for it a moment longer. Next time you ask us if we have any “decency,” we’re going to say, “darn right we do– that’s why we have an American Decency Association.” And we’re going to make sure– through both politics and law– that we purge this land of degenerates like you.
Oops, my half hour is up. See you all later! And don’t forget to repent while you still can!
Fans are wondering: Will you now be able to get tenure at an elitist liberal(-arts) university talking like this?
Perhaps so, as long as you still use “semiotic”
hmmPosted by jw on 11/13 at 06:18 PM
I use the term “Christianists” to describe politically reactionary and repressive Christian activists. By analogy with Islamicists, who are likewise distinguished from people who merely practice Islam in the privacy of their own faith.Posted by John Shaw on 11/13 at 10:59 PM
One of the beautiful things about your satires is the seemless flow of (il)logic. You do such a neat job of weaving in the absurdities of the real folks you’re satirizing with your own hilarious fantasies that I often can’t tell which is which. So, please, please tell me that William Bennett didn’t really write that Bush has restored honor and decency to the White House. Please tell me that was one of the crazy things you made up. Please tell me you created that fake National Review page yourself.
Obviously, satire, irony, logic, appeals to decency, and even actual Christian teachings have no effect on these people. They are hopelessly corrupt. By the way, I’m pretty sure that when Dobson says he expects to be paid, he means paid. In cash. They’re casting dice to divide the spoils.
But *they* aren’t most Christians and I think it helps if we don’t even use the word to talk about them. I like Josh Marshall’s “radical clerics.” Meanwhile, liberal Christians need to keep pointing out to the Christians who think they’re voting for God’s side when they vote Republican that there’s a contradiction there. I seem to remember the nuns saying something about not storing up treasures on earth…
Keep up the good work, Michael, but please no more jokes like the Bennett thing. Too true to life, and too depressing.Posted by Dave Reilly on 11/14 at 04:03 AM
... I spent a week in Colorado Springs on day.Posted by on 11/14 at 05:48 AM
Useful new term:
TheoconsPosted by on 11/14 at 06:46 AM
Wait a minute, were supposed to “say “CHRISTIANs”, and not say “Christians”? How do we do that? We need a pronunciation guide!
I expect the correct way to say it is going to involve bellowing and lots of spittle. Or maybe a prim pucker and lots of hissing. Are there also regional variations in dialect?Posted by PZ Myers on 11/14 at 08:45 AM
Please warn your CHRISTIAN friends there at the conference that if aWol gets his way and implements Grover’s bathtub policy to do away
with the safety net, those churches are going to have to commit a whole lot more charity, what
with all the poor and seniors being thrown
upon their good graces.
I can’t decide between christianists and theocons. Both are very good words.Posted by on 11/14 at 08:46 AM
I think you’re losing it in Colorado Springs home of the USAF. Beside they’re are more important things than Christains or even CHRISTIANs.
enough of a leadup--here’s my pitch;
Forget the red state/blue state talk.
(approved for light weekend reading)
I fear the Dems are too caught up in Red state/blue state talk. The key to election success is “who” not “what”. And speaking of who, I agree with y’all about not running Hillary Clinton. Hillary’s negatives are way too high and being a wronged women/victim type will not win it. (See below). If the party of doom is running Condoleezza then Hillary might be OK but she’d lose for sure.
So , who?
The repubs have shown us the way!!! Reagan, the great B actor that he was, memorized scripts perfectly and for years listened to whatever GE told him. Bush II, after a life of drunkenness and debauchery, resurrected himself, plus, he listens attentively to his black box. (in both cases having rich backers helps)
The best person is some rehabilitated lightweight actor/talk show host. Pee Wee Herman? David Crosby? Arnold would be good ‘cept for his Austrian nazi background plus so far he is a repub. Jon Stewart? Leno might be looking for work. Four years is a long time—someone out of AA, rehab, ex-priest reformed rapist or future SNL type just might fit the bill. Then you need some heavy to feed him his lines.
Dr. Wu is not interested in the PresidencyPosted by on 11/14 at 08:57 AM
One little slip up with this one. Bennett’s a Catholic and in the eyes of most Evangelicals wouldn’t be considered human, much less Christian. The filthy Papists are heathens, don’t you know.Posted by Melanie on 11/14 at 11:25 AM
Yeah, but Bennett is one of those useful Catholics.Posted by PZ Myers on 11/14 at 12:12 PM
Don’t forget the Opus Dei crowd! They’re also very useful. Sam Brownback for President, anyone?Posted by Michael on 11/14 at 01:02 PM
Oh baby, I am so all about Focus On The Family! Last week I checked out ”The Willful Child” by Dobson hisself. If you’re up for some steamy man-on-dachshund mano a paw-o, click on the “Look inside this book” link.
It gave me the Santorums!Posted by on 11/14 at 02:18 PM
I think Dobson would have gotten alone well with St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, founder of Opus Dei, who says (among other pithy things: “A soul whose immediate superior was a rough and irritable type was moved by God to say: ‘Thank you, my God, for this truly divine treasure: where could I find another who gives a kick for every kindness?’” The dachshund should be thankful, dammit!Posted by on 11/14 at 06:21 PM
i like the word theocroligopoly. sounds like an extinct reptile, which gives me hope for the future.Posted by random on 11/14 at 08:20 PM
Do undo others first, lest they first undo you.
I’m working on the tenets of Theoillogy-- musing my religion. The central doctrine will be the Twenty Suggestions, and We’re open to suggestions for Suggestions.Posted by on 11/15 at 12:19 AM
It’s time to organize an insurgency of liberation theologists--also known as Christianistas--against the CHRISTIANs. They can be funded by frankincense and myrrh trafficking.Posted by on 11/15 at 04:57 AM
From my vantagepoint, the crux of the matter involving CHRISTIANs seems to be phenomenological in constitution.
Consider - when you are writing with a pen, how much do you think of the pen while writing? If you are like most people, very little. The pen becomes an extension of yourself, a tool, fully apprehended, and yet completely dissolved into your own phenomenological being.
Similarly, CHRISTIANs and their leaders have grasped on to religion as a tool. It is imperative that we attempt to demonstrate that such a grasping will ultimately result in the annhilation of religion that they would clutch. CHRISTIANs in and of themselves are not the problem, it is the stance that they take towards their religion.
Let’s take a page out of their book - love (and more importantly educate) the sinner, hate the sin. Religion needs to be liberated from the clutches of the Dobsons and Falwells who use it as little more than a political tool if a true religious ethic is to become a vital force again. Meanwhile, we need to be conscious of the fact that plenty of people probably don’t understand the phenomenon that is occuring, and can be educated. I can’t believe that 51% of this country is beyond reach. 2008 is about who, insofar as the Dems better put up someone that can follow this approach and reach out to people.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your proseltyzing!Posted by on 11/15 at 08:04 AM
It’s great to hear from your self-imposed hiatus Micheal, and it’s great to hear that you’ve open yourself to the truth of the higher power. So have I! I’m so converting to Christianity. I’m going to covert the fuck out of it!
It’s so awesome! When ever I worry about things, from the hopelessness of the Iraqi war to quality of my phenomenology paper, I just tell myself “Jesus will lead me!” Then I get drunk, confident in my faith, unshaken by the ‘negativity’ of non-believers. Write that paper Jesus!
Maybe this seems unfair, but don’t worry. God will make you burn for eternity, unless you admit I’m right. Don’t want to? Well, enjoy Hell!
Wow, being a born-again rules!Posted by on 11/16 at 12:20 AM
Can someone affirm that the american decency association is a satire site? It can’t be real, can it?Posted by on 11/16 at 06:14 AM
I repent while I still can? Am I saved now? I know I don’t have to do any good works, since I accepted Jesus as my Lord, so I am OK with all that torture stuff and kids starving and old folks not being able to afford medicine.
And if otu of the huge kindness of my heart I give my holey clothes to Goodwill, I expect those porr folks that get them to be grateful. After all, I don’t have to give away clothes, I can make rags out of them instead, and charity is good for you.Posted by on 11/16 at 06:41 AM
oops typos galore
but that’s ok
I am saved
I don’t need to previewPosted by on 11/16 at 06:43 AM
As I understand Dobson’s teachings on child-rearing, children are born with the seed of evil, and that seed needs to be beaten, bound, and thrashed into non-existence before it can sprout into the blossom secular humanism. Well, who can argue with that! but the heathens among us that believe humanity is inherently good, or at least inherently neutral.
Spank away, Jim! Discipline the Ba’al out of your spawn. Crush them with your iron authoritarian glove… If they don’t grow up to be serial killers, they’ll most likely become stalwart social progressives. Keep up the good work!Posted by on 11/16 at 09:08 AM
Hi Michael and forum,
This is a great blog. The cause is so important. I am devoting considerable time and energy to the cause of progressive Christianity. We have the Good News. Very Good News! We need to be the true evangelical movement! Perhaps you could check out my blog and add it to your blogroll. Thanks.
The 8 points of the center for Progressive Christianity makes sense to me—http://www.tcpc.org --
Of course, though, there can be no comparison to the incredible loving and compassionate work of Focus on the Family!!
love-johnPosted by John on 11/16 at 01:00 PM
do check out http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/
a look into the ‘body politick’ (see the ‘cartograms’
All we need to do is extract the dna and hey presto: the true religion (or possibly the cancer) will be there for all to see. The CHRISTIANs are invading, infecting the christian body. My surgical hands are itching again… (do I really need to wear gloves? etc...)Posted by on 11/16 at 01:39 PM
You forgot the Feminists and the ACLU from your Falwellian list of people to tar, feather and send back to the closet.
Also, being saved and Born-Again means never having to say you are sorry. Surely the Focus on Family Ministry have informed you of this? No matter what you do, God’s had directs you, personally. Hence you can do no wrong and everything you do, no matter how despicable, is Christian. Every now and then, when I am feeling depraved and depressed, that idea of infallibility attracts me and I ponder conversion. I might lose all my family and friends but I would gain all the Red States. But, Shaitan stays me away.
I have eradicated “decent” from my Cybelle’s Dictionary of Relevant Words. I have, however, bolded the word “descent”. That seems a more relevant and operative word for the next four years.Posted by on 11/17 at 05:53 AM
That should be God’s hand. Not God’s had. Should have previewed. Sorry.Posted by on 11/17 at 05:55 AM
I think your stay with the FOF brotherhood should be very educational, not to mention, inspirational for you.
Now, when you were hanging out with Grover and the boys in September, you have to realize that what you were really around was the pragmatic, opportunistic, and reckless side of the electoral machine; People who would have sold their mothers down the drain if it meant winning 270 EV’s. People who couldn’t give two s**** whether or not government kept running pretty much as it is with or without the social welfare state or civil liberties as long as they got to keep their jobs.
But Colorado Springs is different. With the election dispensed with, and with the party hacks back in DC, you’re having a chance to be around that rarest of species--The True Believers. The True Believers appreciate electoral victories as much as the next guy, but while we can laugh with Thomas Franks about the questionable sincerity of, and the failure of the conservatives to actually achieve the rhetoric they just sounded three weeks, ago, Michael, the folks at FOF REALLY WANT TO DO THAT SHIT--ALL OF IT. Eradicate Social Security, ban abortion and criminalize those who give and receive it, imprison gays, make drug possession and secularism punishable by death, eliminate the tax code, Pell Grants, Medicare, Medicaid, and make the country as much like Mississippi as they can.
Yeah, I said it. Mississippi. If the Bushies and CFG can mock Massachusetts and the coastal states, then we can put their states front and center.
P.S. watch out for the air force academyPosted by on 11/17 at 09:01 AM
Let’s not kid around or waste time yakking here… I’m putting together an interventionist team to go get Michael. Maybe Tuesday or Wednesday… You game?Posted by Bean on 11/21 at 05:32 PM