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In which, out of a desire to leap aboard a train after it has left the station, I cite the Gospel According to Mark.

And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

And that is Atrios’s basic point, and it’s a God-damned shame he then has to explain himself at such length. —But since the only King James we have in the house is the Barry Moser, which is big and bulky and almost as much fun to consult as our OED, let’s go ahead and bag another Bible verse, because this, I think, is what Messrs. Drum and Nielsen Hayden and Currie and the Rev. Brill are getting at (if an especial a-theist may be so bold as to quote scripture for his purpose)—

Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

(Which is not to say one must always have charity at all times. You will slip; it’s to be expected, but not celebrated. —And you can also launch a broadside with charity, and most charitably dismast those who work against you, even burn them down to the waterline, with charity. Why are there no progressive religious voices in the mediasphere? Why has the reflexive definition of “religious” become “fundamentalist”? That’s the nut to crack. Everything else is just a game of let’s you and him fight.)

  1. Frank Wilhoit    Apr 25, 10:30 AM    #
    What Atrios should have said is that the Church has committed the ultimate crime against humanity, by hooking up with a totalitarian movement and trying to ride to power on its back; and that the just punishment for said crime is eternal banishment from the public sphere.

    It is no longer possible to profess innocent faith after what has happened. What the Church has done has discredited faith itself. Faith has become irreversibly identified with incitement to genocide, and is no longer an option for any decent self-respecting person. And if we do not have the courage to stand together and proclaim this forthrightly and consistently, and enforce it, then we deserve the torture and death that the Church has planned for us.

  2. --k.    Apr 25, 10:43 AM    #

    Which church? All of them? The whole ever-livin’ thing? Faith itself, soiled? Discarded? Rendered unfit for those we could call friends?

    Man, have I got the sweatshirt for you.

  3. Patrick Nielsen Hayden    Apr 25, 11:15 AM    #
    Yeah, those nuns down at the food bank, they sure are indecent. To say nothing of deserving of torture and death.

    Now that's what I call a useful political insight.

  4. Frank Wilhoit    Apr 25, 02:21 PM    #

    (I will reply, where customarily I would not, because you are someone whom I respect.)

    It is delightful that you should mention the nuns at the food bank, just now, when they are lobbying for legislation permitting them to refuse to feed sinners of sufficiently deep dye--see the Michigan legislature, last week.

    Anyhow, I am not about "useful political insights". I am about speaking the truth before history. No one else is listening.

    And history will not ask any of the top hundred questions that we ask among ourselves today. History will ask only one question: who opposed the Republican Party? Who opposed it soonest, most consistently, most explicitly, most forthrightly? Nothing else will matter.

  5. Bill Humphries    Apr 25, 09:40 PM    #
    Frank, what Patrick said, or quoted, applies here. The lobbying by a lay organization of Catholics to allow such discrimination shouldn't reflect ill intent by the nuns.

    My guess is that they didn't bother to ask them which poor they preferred to help.

    My other guess is that the particular lay organization may not have liked the answer they would had received from the Sisters.

  6. Dylan    Apr 26, 12:06 PM    #
    One of the best political cartoons ever:

    label is: Whatever happened to the religious left?

    picture is: Two men. One is a big hulking vein-popping redneck dude toting a loaded and cocked double-barrel rifle and generally looking like he could smash the crap out of anybody, wearing a sign labeled FUNDAMENTALIST.

    And next to him, or rather in his shadow, is a meek, diminutive little fella with glasses and a pocket protector, holding a little daisy in one hand and labeled PROGRESSIVE.

  7. steve    Aug 14, 03:20 AM    #
    aspire to create your current reality... if you sow shit you harvest shit.... make the better choice... you will always prevail... out

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