I fully realize that people get set in their ways and are reluctant to change their way of thinking. And yet... radical change does happen from time to time. Change is never easy. Change can be the hardest thing there is. Sometimes when you make big changes you lose people in your life. You might even lose your family. And I would never diminish the difficulty and sadness that this can bring. Which is why people who cannot abide denying the truth and who risk everything to pursue it are heroes. That's not overstating things. Heroes.
This morning while I was waiting to start a Zoom call with the Bitch that is Dutch, I saw a video that might very well be the catalyst for change in some people's hearts. Not all hearts, of course. But maybe some.
And for that reason, here you go (and here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@matthewkirsch621 ♬ original sound - matthewkirsch621
There's two things I have to say before I post this. The first is short. The second may take a while.
The first thing I have to say is that Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, the guy who's speaking in the video, lost his seat last November after it was redistricted. And, it's like, the guy isn't perfect... you look at some of the stuff he said and did and you're like "Whatever." But I can tell you one thing, this is the kind of man I'd rather have in public service... flaws and all... than most of the shit we get. And it's our loss. He's a lawyer, he'll be fine even if his political career is over.
The second thing I have to say is pertains to when (then) Representative Sean Patrick Maloney said "So you keep having them, we'll keep raising them." And by "you" he's referring to straight people and by them he was referring to their unwanted and abandoned kids. And it bears repeating that a big chunk of straight people are as dead-set against him being able to marry the person he loves as they are dead-set against him being able to adopt a child. You know, the same straight people who advocate for abortion to be made illegal, but would never in a million years adopt a forced-birth baby or do anything at all for that child after it leaves the womb. The same straight people who would rather an "unadoptable" child never have a home with people to care for them instead of them having a good home with gay parents. The same people who quote every lasts piece of The Bible that can be twisted to support their narrative while conveniently ignoring parts that can't. The same people who think that rules apply to everybody but them because they're "the right kind of people." The same people who have scandal after scandal after scandal proving how hypocritical they are, but still think that the "do as I say not as I do" line of thinking is valid.
You know. Those people.
People on their fourth divorce who, when presented with this video, will click the stop button the minute he says "I've been with my husband for almost 28 years because they consider his marriage to be what's "destroying the country" (a lot of whom will go into politics because trading off hate and hypocrisy is easy money).
If the "pro-life" movement was actually "pro-life" you'd think that making sure the product of forced-births had a home and family would take priority over whatever bullshit nonsense they think about marriage and adoption. But think again, because they'd rather have anything... ANYTHING... except a happy family that looks like this...
But maybe. Just maybe their kids will be able to see through the bullshit and, despite their hypocritical worldview upbringing, be able to make that change. And make it knowing that they're risking everything.
Maybe they will be able to step up and become the heroes we need them to be.
It's not that I give a shit what sexual stuff Jerry Falwell Jr. is into... it's that he has ruthlessly persecuted other people for exactly the same kind of thing he's done. And while he can claim that God has forgiven him, his wife, and the pool boy, he won't be getting one fucking iota of forgiveness for me. Pieces of shit like Falwell are responsible for creating an atmosphere so toxic that our LGBTQ youth are killing themselves rather than having to spend one more day living in it, so Falwell can go fuck himself. While his wife and the pool boy watch.
Image from Getty Images
Not that I believe for a second that all Falwell did was watch the pool boy rail his wife. At the bare minimum, his dick was in-hand. More likely he was all up in that pool boy. Or the pool boy was all up into him. Or both. Who can say?
Image from REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
And of course Falwell Jr. is claiming that all of this is a criminal conspiracy and has asked the FBI to investigate. He claims that people who were feeding information to the press were "cowardly" for not using their names. I guess it's less cowardly if you claim to do something in God's name? Well, whatever. Absolutely none of the salacious details coming to light should surprise anybody. This is just one in a long, long line of church scandals that are continuously being unearthed which feature hypocritical assholes who are 100% in the "Do as I preach, not as I do" camp.
Image from REUTERS/Scott Morgan
But what does it matter? Whenever this happens (and it happens a lot), all you have to do is say that Jesus forgives you, therefore everybody has to forgive you.
Image from Twitter
Falwell and his wife are, after all, most certainly "Very Fine People™®" and totally worth forgiving despite the fact that they have condemned their own behavior in the eyes of God on a regular basis.
Image from MSNBC
In the end, I guess there's nothing to see here. This is just another day on planet earth, and raging hypocrites being hypocritical is happening every day.
Don't play with matches... because a smokey edition Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Horror! I was very sad to learn that famed "Horror Maestro," Wes Craven, passed away. While he was most famous for his Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream series of films, I'll forever think of him as the director of Vampire in Brooklyn. This "so bad it's good" movie was supposed to be a comedy-horror film, but came up a bit short in both departments. Even so, I've watched it a half-dozen times because my love of all things Eddie Murphy has no shame. Well, that... and ANGELA BASSETT...
Rest in peace sir. Yours is a legacy that shall haunt the night for a very long time.
• Denali. At long last, North America's tallest mountain, Denali, has its name back. I'm sure President McKinley of Ohio was a great guy and everything, but it's categorically stupid that an entire mountain which he never visited and had nothing to do with him or his legacy could be renamed without permission from the native people living there. This goes for a lot of lands and landmarks around the world similarly appropriated, so it's kind of nice to see the right thing happen every once in a while. Despite objections, of course. As noted in Wikipedia: Ohio Congressman Mike Turner vowed to fight the change, commenting that "I’m certain [Obama] didn’t notify President McKinley’s descendants, who find this outrageous." Which, so far as statements go, is even more outrageous given that McKinley's two daughters died as children, thus leaving McKinley with no descendants to notify. Just another piece of shit lying politician trying to manipulate people with bullshit. What a fucking surprise.
• NEVER GIVE UP!. I cannot decide if this is good news or bad news.
• BETTY! This, on the other hand, is great news. Even if I'll have to watch the horrendously shitty show Bones to see it happen.
• Soap. Nurse Kathy is high again!
• Hypocrisy. For the handful of county clerks saying "I'D RATHER DIE THAN ISSUE A MARRIAGE LICENSE FOR GAY COUPLES"... you're not the heroes you think you are. You regularly grant licenses for divorced couples, atheist couples, and a myriad of other couples who are getting married against "Biblical principal," so you are, in fact, just a bunch of pathetic hypocrites and certified assholes refusing to do the work your job requires. If marriage equality is SO offensive that you can't bring yourself to do what you're paid to do... then quit and find something that won't go against your hypocrisy.
Or just fuck off and kill yourself so you can be the martyr you profess to be. Except I think we all know that, in reality, it's more likely you're just being an attention-whore drama queen whose words are as hollow as your true convictions. Or whatever. I dunno. Feel free to prove me wrong.
Whichever. Totally up to you. Just so long as I don't have to see your "religious liberty" bullshit hypocrisy being applied to a government job that's supposed to be independent of your faith. Something you knew when you signed up.
And... I can't see to post any more bullets because the air has gotten too smokey.
You're a typical American teenage girl who just wants a normal teenage life where you do typical teenage things and deal with typical teenage stuff. But your dad is the President of the United States, so that plan goes right out the window. Instead you lead a life that's anything but typical. Instead of going to the mall to hang out with friends, for example, you're dragged to some boring press event where your father will be... wait for it... pardoning a turkey. You don't want to spend a chunk of your day listening to dad make groan-inducing cheesy one-liners over a big bird, but you do it anyway because you're told to. Ironically this actually is a "typical teenage experience," because every teenager has to do stuff they don't want to do because their parents tell them to do it.
The difference being that typical teenagers don't have to do stuff in front of the entire country.
So you resign yourself to the fact that you have no choice but to attend the turkey thing and once again set aside your typical teenage dreams so you can live up to the unforgiving expectations of an entire country, if not the entire world. You check to see that your hair is presentable... you make sure you haven't spilled anything on your clothes... and you damn well cover up that zit that mysteriously appeared last night... this is going to be televised nationally, after all.
And then you show up to the stupid turkey event that you didn't want any part of from the very beginning... the same boring turkey event that you've had to go to for the past five years.
Hopefully your friends aren't watching this embarrassing situation.
Hopefully you remember not to pick your nose.
Hopefully it will be over with soon.
Photo by Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press
Photo by... I don't know photo by because Daily Caller doesn't credit people for their work?
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press
Whew. Thank God that's over.
Six down. Two to go.
Now back to your efforts of being a typical teenager try... trying... t...
Wow. That was kinda harsh. You did your duty to show up. Your clothes were clean. Your hair was presentable. You covered up that zit. You didn't pick your nose. You clapped in all the right places. Sure, you looked bored in spots... you were making bored faces... but this turkey thing was boring as hell. Who can blame you? You did your best to make lame jokes with a big bird look interesting, even this isn't really your thing. You'd rather be at the mall with your friends, right?
But haters gonna hate... so what can you do?
If some staffer for a Republican politician with an axe to grind wants to pathetically unleash her vendetta on a rival politician's kids, That's the way it goes, isn't it?
That's the game you signed up for, right?
Hey! Wait a minute... you didn't sign up for this! Your mom and dad did.
Oh well. You get to live in a really great house. You get to travel the world. You have opportunities that other kids can only dream about. It may not seem worth the trade-offs now, but I'm sure you'll come to appreciate it some day. Maybe.
And maybe... just maybe... next time you're forced into some boring-ass press event you will learn from your critics and live up to the lofty expectations of "class and respect" that people like Elizabeth Lauten expect of you.
Wow. That Elizabeth Lauten is really something, isn't she?
You're guessing that Elizabeth Lauten must have been a model teen, right? To be an authority on "class and respect" for teenagers, she must have been a regular Doris Day for crying out loud! Donna Reed could take lessons from Elizabeth Lauten! If only you could be like that! Perfect in every way at every moment like Elizabeth Lauten was as a teen. Forever having that perfect smile on your face like Elizabeth Lauten must have had. Always knowing the classy thing to do like Elizabeth Lauten did. Consistently ma... making... m...
So this is what she meant by "class."
Or do the rules only apply to teenagers who have a parent that's the president?
It doesn't seem right that the crazy stuff you did as a teenager should be tied around your neck for all eternity. Sure Elizabeth Lauten was busted when she was a juvenile, but should that be her defining attribute for the rest of her life? When your family has left The White House and you've grown up and started your own life, is the media going to dig up photos of you being bored at the turkey pardoning event every time you make a public attack on a couple kids whose dad you hate? Because that would be awful.
Despite her being a total hypocritical ass, you kind of feel sorry for Elizabeth Lauten now, don't you?
I mean, all she did was say some mean things to a couple of kids. Now she's out of a job.
Probably not for long though... I'm sure there are plenty of people who will make her out to be the total victim she is and give her a new job. After they let her down from that cross they've hung her from, of course.
Perhaps she'll be a new FOX "News" personality.
Because if there's anybody better at pardoning turkeys than your dad, it's FOX "News."
Best wishes to you. Hopefully you'll get a few days off before some other adult who hates your parents decides to pick over your every move and crucify you on the internet because they don't like what you're wearing or how your face looks when you're bored (SUCH a classy thing to do, by the way... I wonder how Bristol Palin dealt with this stuff?).
Oh... and good luck with that whole "typical teenager" thing you're shooting for. Let me know how that works out.
And here's that missing bullet from yesterday...
When it comes to the politics of religion, I generally remain silent because the fallout just isn't worth it. Even when I make a simple observation on the topic with no opinion whatsoever, it seems I end up with hate-mail or nasty comments. And it's not just here on Blogography. I once made the following comment on Facebook...
"Separation of church and state only seems to work one way, and that's to the sole benefit of the churches. They are given tax-exempt status so that their financial operations are kept separate from the government, as interpreted by the First Amendment, and that's fine. That's the law. But more and more we are seeing churches being actively involved in politics and government. They use their monies to sponsor candidates for public office, back legislation, contribute to lobbying efforts, and otherwise influence or control matters of the state. They are clearly not maintaining a separation from their side of the bargain. And yet there are no repercussions for them doing so. Get caught stepping over the line and you should be getting your tax exempt status revoked. But how often do we hear of that happening? Our government is tasked with upholding The Constitution and protecting the religious freedoms of the people they serve. Apparently this doesn't include protecting a person's freedom from religion. Which is why I want to vomit every time I see somebody claiming that they're being persecuted because they can't put Jesus on top of a post office... or same-sex couples can get married... or somebody says "happy holidays"... or whatever. Clearly, they have no fucking clue what "persecution" even means. Some churches have evolved into tax-free political action committees operating outside the law, and nobody does shit about it. The truth is that the only people being persecuted in this scenario are people wanting to live their lives free from religious rule and have a government free from church influence."
I ended up having to de-friend two Facebook "friends" and completely blocked a third over it.
And so I try to avoid the subject entirely, even though I think things are far worse now than they were when I wrote that five years ago. As churches and people of faith... namely, the Christian Right... feel more and more threatened by things they don't like (e.g. marriage equality), they've stepped up the persecution rhetoric to an all-time high. Many times I've wanted to write about this grotesque mockery of people who are enduring actual religious persecution... and the height of hypocrisy fueling it... yet I have resisted.
But now I don't have to write about it because somebody has written about it for me: News Flash to Christian Right: Religious Freedom Doesn't Give You the Right to Control Other People. So thank you, Robert Boston.
The only reservation I have over endorsing articles like this is the same one I always have... it does not apply to all Christians. I'm guessing it doesn't apple to most Christians. Not only that, but it could equally apply to any religious organization which feels their beliefs should dictate how other people live their lives in a society built on freedom of religion.
Or Freedom from Religion, as the case may be.
Sometimes my many years of theological studies can be more a burden than a blessing. I'll see some person proclaiming to be of a certain faith in one breath... then turn around and say or do something that violates that faith in the next. And though they don't realize their hypocrisy, I do.
And it burns.
I see this crap and my brain feels like its on fire.
As I mentioned in a previous entry, The Bible is quite clear that nobody but God knows when the end of the world is coming. Furthermore, it is my interpretation that by claiming to know for dead-certain a Rapture date, Harold Camping was declaring himself a prophet. Because if he claims to know a date that God's Word specifically states only God knows, then he is claiming to have divine knowledge... thus making him a prophet.
And now that his prophesying is obviously not true, not correct, and not divinely given by God... well, I'm afraid the future doesn't look very happy for Harold Camping...
"But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.
Deuteronomy 18:20 (New International Version)
Since God Himself has set the punishment for being a false prophet to death, Harold Camping's followers will have to kill him now won't they? At least I guess that's how it goes. I don't really know how they will reconcile that with the whole "Thou Shalt Not Kill" thing. As with everything in The Bible, that's open to interpretation.
Or I suppose I should say selective interpretation.
Because how many times have we seen people use a fragment of their holy text to justify their actions... all while violating another fragment mere passages away? They pick-and-choose what they want to believe and act upon while ignoring others because they don't really want to live according to their doctrine. They just want to live however they want to live and use pieces of doctrine to justify it.
Which is the very height of hypocrisy.
And it burns.
But suffering for other people's faith is an unavoidable consequence of humanity. And it doesn't take a prophet to see that this isn't going to change any time soon.
This morning there was frost on my windshield. Not thick enough or strong enough that I had to scrape it off, a quick swipe of the wipers and it was gone, but it was a horrifying reminder that winter is just around the corner. Not that this is a big deal to me. I've lived in a climate with winter for as long as I can remember. A part of me actually likes the snow and chilly days.
The problem is with travel. Winter makes an already shitty travel experience even worse. In some instances, much worse. You never know whether or not an airport is going to shutter, or a mountain pass is going to close, or some other craziness is going to descend like Bill O'Reilly and fuck up your day in some incomprehensibly stupid way. It's for this reason that I avoid traveling from November through February.
The fact that I already have four trips scheduled during that time is beside the point.
Which brings me to the actual point... I am sick to death of the rampant hypocrisy I'm exposed to on a daily basis...
hypocrisy |hiˈpäkrisē| • noun ( pl. -sies) • the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense.
I will be the first to admit that it's entirely my fault. I watch television, I read the news, I drop by blogs, I interact with people... all of which puts me in danger of being exposed to lethal levels of hypocrisy. You simply cannot escape it. Especially during the mid-term political elections in these here United States of America.
My first serving of hypocrisy came with breakfast as I watched a reporter interview people at a "Tea Party" rally where this elderly woman was railing hard and fast against the evils of "government-run socialized health care"... all while holding up a sign that says "DON'T TOUCH MY MEDICARE" (which is hypocrisy laced with delicious irony). I kept waiting for the reporter to ask her if she understood that Medicare is a form of "socialized medicine" (Socialism Light!) which is (surprise!) run by the government, but it never came. Instead she rambled on about how "the government can just keep their damn hands off my Medicare!" (presumably this means they aren't to hand it to her directly, but instead leave it on her bedside table?). I just sat there trying to keep my brain from exploding all while wondering if this ignorant bitch had a clue what the ramifications would be if the government puled out of the health industry altogether as she was advocating. Not only would she lose her Medicare, but all publicly-funded medical research through the National Institute of Health (from which she undoubtedly benefits) would also be lost. And don't get me started on all those government tax-break subsidies given to employers for their company health insurance programs. Honestly, it's not that I begrudge people who don't want a public option for health care, that's perfectly fine. But don't be such a hypocritical ignorant asshole while doing it.
Unfortunately, hypocritical ignorant assholes are the flavor of the day, as I got it served up for lunch and dinner too.
Lunchtime hypocrisy was delivered by the USDA "Health Pyramid" on my cereal box* which suggests 75% of our diet should be grains, fruits, and vegetables... all while knowing full well that only a mere 15% of government food subsidies go towards these consumables (75% of government food subsidies go to the beef and dairy industry, so enjoy that cheap-ass Big Mac!). It's not that I mind our government making food affordable (a boy's gotta eat!), it's just the blatant hypocrisy of telling us to eat one type of food while subsidizing another which I find hard to swallow. So to speak.
Dinnertime hypocrisy was served up by Microsoft with their Windows Phone 7 "it's time for a phone to save us from our phones" ads. I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. Taken literally, it's the very definition of hypocrisy, but I don't know that it's meant to be taken literally? So what could it be? Windows Phone 7 is so awesome that you never have to use it? From past Microsoft phone development history I'd say it's more likely that it's so unusable that you never want to use it... but whatever. I have an iPhone which saves me from MicrosoftPhone, so at least my Apple-branded hypocrisy looks good.
Hypocrisy. It's what's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
And, unlike frost on your car windows, that shit sticks like super glue and is not so easily scraped away.
*Yes, I eat cereal for lunch. Cereal is delicious, and makes the perfect meal any time!