"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: American Orthodoxy

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

American Orthodoxy

Tell me you don't find this funny.


  1. Exllc,

    I laughed at your terrific right on comment. I didn't laugh at all at the video clip.

  2. Did you find it unfunny because you identify with the Christian Coalition types?

  3. Ilmarinen...

    I don't particularly identify with them at all.

    Humor is very difficult to pull off when it has to be technically explained. It struck me as a piece with an anti-religious agenda that was searching for new material and ended up with basically old themes. The fear of the Christian coalition is an irrational one and stays alive out of ignorance and it's easy to get a laugh.

    I have observed some of the more recent comedy news programs and don't find much in them, at any rate. Our popular culture disagrees with me and there is a large perentage of people for whom it is their major news source.

    Did you find it funny, and if so how do you explain it?

  4. I enjoyed it but didn't laugh. I also agreed with the main critique. When I read the Bible or historical Christian writings, the thought keeps going through my mind that these old writers wouldn't recognize or identify with much of the rhetoric from today's American religious right.

  5. Colbert's humor is acidic. Poison, not feathers. If you can't see that what he is skewering is much broader than the Christian Coalition, I'm afraid you have something stuck in your back.

    Something apropos from Bill Moyers (from a speech at Union Theological Seminary): "People of faith have always tried to bring their interpretation of the Bible to bear on American laws and morals . . . it’s the American way, encouraged and protected by the First Amendment. But what is unique today is that the radical religious right has succeeded in taking over one of America’s great political parties—the country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is—and they are driving American politics, using God as a a battering ram on almost every issue: crime and punishment, foreign policy, health care, taxation, energy, regulation, social services and so on. "

    "What’s also unique is the intensity, organization, and anger they have brought to the public square. Listen to their preachers, evangelists, and homegrown ayatollahs: Their viral intolerance—their loathing of other people’s beliefs, of America’s secular and liberal values, of an independent press, of the courts, of reason, science and the search for objective knowledge—has become an unprecedented sectarian crusade for state power. They use the language of faith to demonize political opponents, mislead and misinform voters, censor writers and artists, ostracize dissenters, and marginalize the poor. These are the foot soldiers in a political holy war financed by wealthy economic interests and guided by savvy partisan operatives who know that couching political ambition in religious rhetoric can ignite the passion of followers as ferociously as when Constantine painted the Sign of Christ (the “Christograph”) on the shields of his soldiers and on the banners of his legions and routed his rivals in Rome. Never mind that the Emperor himself was never baptized into the faith; it served him well enough to make the God worshipped by Christians his most important ally and turn the Sign of Christ into the one imperial symbol most widely recognized and feared from east to west. "

    There's a lot more over at Theocracy Watch. In sum, not irrational, not anti-religious, but principled outrage.

  6. Free...

    I have observed in American politics the anger level rising significantly when the right of center religious people started to organize. Before then... not much anger... Why?... the left of center was using faith to advance their agenda. Reasoned dissent when the left does it and theocracy when the right does it. Double standard??

    Moyers presents himself as this nice soft-spoken southern gentleman and is one of NPR's great go-to guys on this issue. Yes, the "radical religious right has succeeded in taking over"???? Please... can you not see that the language is in itself inflammatory and serves to get the lefties to put the old check in the envelope... "Ayatollahs", "Demonize", "mislead", "misinform", "political holy war". This is not language of a rational discussion of the various political views. The words are carefully selected to paint a medieval picture of Republicans. It is the language of hackery... plain and simple. Coming from Bill Moyers, a very bright man, who should know better is precisely why us folks right of center make the case of bias.

  7. I didn't find it funny either, so I guess I must have whatever it is stuck in my back.

    I also don't find anything of value in Moyer's splutterings.

  8. Many Trails Home12/06/2006 10:14:00 PM

    Happy Finnish Independence Day. I wouldn't mind it if we got back to discussions of whiskey merchants and whoremongers! MTH

  9. Well, I've been thinking about this and have gone back and forth about it. I have to agree with Ilmarinen. Here's why:

    The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. "The kingdom of God is within you". Luke 17:21 It is not to establish God's kingdom on earth (Christian Reconstructionism, Dominianism, Theonomy). Even Jesus' disciples had a hard time understanding this.

    That said, the video still makes me uncomfortable and I think is sacrireligious.

  10. lol! make that "sacrilegious"!

  11. Stylux, perhaps you are forgetting these reasoned, rational appeals:

    "The people who have come into (our) institutions (today) are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have.... The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation." Pat Robertson

    "You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist. I can love the people who hold false opinions but I don't have to be nice to them." Pat Robertson

    "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." Pat Robertson

    (Straw man! I can hear you protest. Pat Robertson does not exemplify the Right.)

    "No, I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." George H. W. Bush

  12. Free...

    It seems as though we agree here that the Moyers commentary is on the same plane as the TV evangelists.

    It is nice to find common ground.

  13. Wha? George Herbert Walker Bush is a televangelist? He did recently weep on TV, but those tears seemed genuine. (Felt sorry for the guy. But was he mourning the loss of Jeb's 1994 election or of Junior's, uh, war?)

    No, I would never put Pat Robertson ("there is no such thing as separation of church and state" "Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians") and Bill Moyers “Democracy belongs to those who exercise it" on the same plane. Or bus, or bicycle.

  14. I thought this was particularly funny, and believe that I can find it funny and still love and trust in God. After all, He must have a sense of humor...look at the animals he's created, like meerkats and duck-billed platypus and sea otters!

  15. Re:BS

    I like Colbert and Stewart.
    You do not have to agree with
    with every thing they say but we
    sorely need more BS detectors
    and religous beliefs should not
    be exempt.

    How can you call criticism of
    the likes of Jim Jones,the Waco
    kid and the space ship advocate
    sacrilegious. BS detection by
    some of the followers might have
    saved lives. The suicide of
    consenting adults is one thing
    taking babies is murder.

    Of course the above pales in
    comparison to some of the past
    deeds of some of todays major

    The height of BS now in our
    National News and TV are the
    antics and love life of Cruise,
    Pitt,Hilton ad nauseum.Keep such
    antics on ET Tonight or the rags
    on grocery checkout counters.

    Another example is the recent
    timidity of the National Press
    and TV with the Denmark cartoons.
    Ownership of press and TV stations
    by only a few conglomerates of
    course is the cause with their
    eye on the bottom line.They do
    want to offend any potential

  16. Re :BS
    Correction:"they do NOT want to
    offend any potential consumers"

  17. I thought it was funny.
    And I still love God.

  18. you don't find this funny