Wednesday, May 30, 2007

An Open Letter to my Extra-sensitive co-worker

Seriously, you'll do fine on your exams. And if you don't, then I'm screwed.

There--updatey enough for you?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Torturing Christ

I recommend reading Glenn Greenwald's posts on Salon daily, but if you don't have time (they're longish), at least go read this one. He highlights the bizarre hatred of Muslims from right-wing commentators and rips apart its illogic.

But I want to pose a question based on info he focuses on. According to a 2005 Pew poll, a majority of Catholics and almost a majority of white protestants and evangelicals support torture of suspected terrorists. (Please note: the poll question used the words "torture" and "suspected," so there's no hedging about "enhanced interrogation techniques" or 24 scenarios with Jack Bauer.) Here's part of Greenwald's take (I'm using asterisks instead of quotation marks):

***Note that majorities of white Christians want to torture not merely actual terrorists, but they also want to torture "terrorist suspects" as well, i.e., a group that almost certainly includes perfectly innocent people.

And majorities of white Christians -- Catholics, evangelicals and protestants -- believe in torture not merely in the improbable-in-the-extreme "ticking time bomb" scenario; rather, they believe in torture as a matter of course (i.e., more than "rarely" -- either "often or "sometimes"). (By stark and revealing contrast, "secularists" oppose torture in far greater numbers). Think about how depraved that is: what kind of religious individual affirmatively believes that people should be routinely tortured, including people who have never been proven to have done anything wrong?***

I'd like to emphasize the phrases "perfectly innocent people" and "people who have never been proven to have done anything wrong." Isn't that the defining story of Christianity, that a perfectly innocent person is tortured so the rest of us are saved against our sins? I'm not arguing that Christianity necessarily leads to support of torture, but the connection is interesting (and one I'm sure others have noted before). The sacrifice of Christ, if you believe in the story, seems simultaneously distant and immediate--envisioning it is a purely imaginative act, but there's also The Passion of the Christ and innumerable paintings of Christ on the cross. I wonder if that simultaneous distance and immediacy is somehow related to the widespread approval of torture among Christians in that poll.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Olive is sad, Olive is happy

My poor dog has a cone on her head as she recovers from minor surgery. She's not all that pleased right now, but she's making the best of it. Sorry the pictures are blurry and grainy. I'm not good with our digital camera.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Maybe it's the concussion talking

So, as several of you have pointed out to me, I haven't updated the blog in a while. Below is a list of reasons I haven't been posting. You may choose to believe any or all of them. But you have to choose.

  • I've been praying very hard for God to lighten the earth of a religious blowhard. Finally worked.
  • I had an incomplete grade to take care of.
  • I think of my blog as an extension of my penis. And, um, well. . .
  • I've been busy reading for comps.
  • I think of my blog as an extension of my hair. And, um, well. . .
  • I'm going to be in Prague this summer, and I've been getting various things done in preparation.
  • Have you seen Planet Unicorn?
  • Seriously, have you seen Planet Unicorn?
  • Bill Simmons's columns have been better lately.
  • Two words: Blitz Scrabble. (Which leads to lots more words.) Addictive like spearmints. No, like heroin spearmints.
  • I've been watching the Prank War and waiting for one of these guys to murder the other. (If you go watch the videos, watch the oldest one first.
  • I just haven't felt like it, okay?
  • I got clip-on fingernails, and typing is much more difficult now.