November 25, 2006

"I mean no disrespect."

Says Andrew Sullivan, chided by a Mormon for his post about Mormon undergarments. Here's the post. Do you buy "I mean no disrespect"?

ADDED: And here's an earlier post. Sullivan is so sure of himself on the subject of religion. He seems to think he knows just where it's right to dish out contempt about religion. But his contempt is mostly for religious people who he thinks are too sure of themselves. [ADDED: But that is exactly his character flaw.] In this case, it seems that Mitt Romney's opposition to gay marriage makes it morally upright for Sullivan to attack Mormons:
Mitt Romney will surely provide a fascinating glimpse into the Christianist mindset in the coming two years. He will be the candidate for the Christianist right, but he's not a Christian. And many Christianists may well recoil at the man's Mormon faith.... I'm sorry if I have little sympathy for Romney's plight. Live by fundamentalism; die by fundamentalism.
I wonder how many people "recoil" at Sullivan's sanctimonious pronouncements about "Christianists." He's become so devoted to that word of his. Does he not notice how snide and hostile it feels even to people who are not fundamentalists?

AND: I just noticed that last-linked post is titled "The Mormon Question." Wow. Is that tone deaf!

ONE MORE THING: The word isn't "sacreligious," as Sullivan has it at the first link, it's "sacrilegious." The word is not related to "religion":
Sacrilege’s Latin etymon was formed of sacer, “sacred” and legere, “to gather or steal”; sacrilege is “the stealing of sacred things” or doing other violence to them.
AND ANOTHER THING: Lest you freak out and think that last thing is meant as more of a put down of Sullivan than it is. I'm just talking about etymology and spelling.

AND: Glenn Greenwald is such an idiot. Am I supposed to respond to this foolishness? Glenn, you moron, in case you didn't notice, Sullivan is mocking Mormons in general. That's what bothered me. I don't object to the word "Christianists" if it is used fairly to refer to something that is the equivalent of "Islamists." I use the word "religionists" myself. See here, here, here, and here. Words like this mean something and have a place. The key is to use them in the right place. I criticize Sullivan when he shows a hostility toward ordinary religious people who aren't trying to bully their way around the political world. There are distinctions to be made here. Why not take a little trouble to try to understand the person you are criticizing before you write, you disreputable slimeball? (And your writing is putrid.) [But I do love the pathetic jealousy of your post title.]

EVEN MORE: From the good Glenn, Glenn Reynolds, linking here:
WELL, YES. Glenn Greenwald is extraordinarily lame, even when he's writing under his own name.The problem with the term "Christianist" isn't that it adds "ist" to the end of a religion. It's that, by parallelling "Islamist," it is a deliberate attempt at conflating people who oppose gay marriage -- or, apparently, Madonna's schlocky posturing -- with people who blow up discos and mosques, and throw gay people off of walls. That's the kind of execrable moral equivalence engaged in by the Soviets and their proxies, and it's the sort of thing that Andrew Sullivan used to oppose eloquently, before he started to engage in it himself.
Indeed. And it should be noted that using "Islamist" is a way to avoid using the word "Muslim." The idea is to distinguish a dangerous subgroup from the much larger group of ordinary religious people. I see "Islamist," "Christianist," and "religionist" all as useful terms to refer to political actors who rely on religious ideology. But the usefulness of the terms depends on making careful distinctions. You have to be careful not to drift over into the expression of hostility toward a religious group, as I believe Sullivan has been doing with Mormons. More generally, he simply is so hot about the gay marriage cause that he apparently really is willing to express contempt for the groups that stand against it. I support gay marriage and am much more socially liberal that most religious people, but I think it is terribly important to be respectful toward people with religious beliefs.

UPDATE: I have a new post on the subject here.

230 comments:

1 – 200 of 230   Newer›   Newest»
Old Dad said...

Of course he meant to be disrespectful. Mitt Romney is on the wrong side of the gay marriage issue. Mitt Romney is Mormon. Therefore in Sullivanland, all Mormons are fair game.

downtownlad said...

Mormons are looney members of a cult.

Please tell me, who SHOULD respect Mormons? Not me.

Troy said...

Mormons certainly are queer. I mean no disrespect of course.

john(lesser) said...

St. Andrew decides who has the right to say they were disrespected. It was a power bestowed on him by God.

Anonymous said...

It would have sounded better if he hadn't finished with "You wanna play by the rules of theoconservatism? Then deal with the consequences" as though the everyday members of the Mormon Church are "playing by the rules of theoconservatism" by simply going about their lives, living their religion. Also, that sentence hardly lets Sullivan off the hook, unless he is asserting that his boorish and tactless behavior is somehow a natural "consequence" of some politician somewhere using religion in his political arguments. Isn't he just saying "Hey, deal with the fact that anytime someone brings up religion, I'm going to be an ass."

In fact, the whole thing's better translated as "I mean no disrespect, but I mean no respect either. Really, I could give a crap about your feelings, Mormon-Christianists."

Troy said...

Sullivan means disrespect in most recent arguments he makes on almost any topic since he usually resorts to caricature and ad hominem. It's too bad because he used to be readable.

john(lesser) said...

Downtownlad, try this; Homosexuals are ******. Who should respect them? Not me.

You strike me as the type to go from oppressed to oppressor instantaneously.

downtownlad said...

lesserjohn - Find me one place where I ever said that people have to respect gays? I mean - I have zero respect for you and never will.

I just want equality before the law. I could give a rats ass if a bunch of alien, space-invading cult like the Mormons have respect for gay people. But when the moronic Mormons decide that they want to start micromanaging my lives, simply because I am gay, something I have never done to them, then sorry - it's war. And I will use every chance I have to insult their cultish beliefs.

Including their underwear.

Jim said...

Hey, the Christianists show no respect for Satan or atheists. As an atheist scientist and civil libertarian, I consider it a personal obligation to deliberately offend all who pretend to ascribe special meaning to numbers like 666, dates like Friday the 13th, incantations like the Pledge of Allegiance and clothing like Yarmulkes and underwear.

Joe Baby said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joe Baby said...

I found this entry to be pretty funny.

To sum up:

Madonna is closer to Jesus' authentic teachings in this respect than many Christianists.

By the way, credit to Mrs. Joe Baby for the best line I've heard re: Madonna and the Crucifixion controversy: "If she were really tough she'd use real nails."

downtownlad said...

Sorry - I forgot to mention that Mormons are also a bunch of white-supremacist polygamists.

That shouldn't be forgotten.

reader_iam said...

Sheesh, was there an Early Bird Special on broad brushes at the local True Value this morning?

reader_iam said...

Of course, Andrew was mocking the prescribed clothing. It's clear it made him feel good all under!

But honestly, I don't think it's something to get one's knickers in a twist over, or one's panties in a bunch, or ...

jinnmabe said...

Ann mentioned that Sullivan is so sure of himself when it comes to religion, and it appears downtownlad suffers from the same affliction. that's why it's so funny that Sullivan would take the word of a Catholic priest on whether or not Mormons are Christian (side question: can you be a Christianist if you're not a Christian?) apparently unaware of the years-old debate between Mormons and their "you're not a Christian no matter what you say" detractors, and downtownlad includes "a bunch of alien, space-invading cult like the Mormons" in his rant. I guess it's easy to be sure you're right when you are more or less completely ignorant on the subject.

-Peder said...

Hold on a second. Over here in Minneapolis we just elected the first Muslim to congress. Virtually all of the very real criticisms that were leveled at him during the campaign were shrugged off as just anti-muslim carping or something. But now we see that mormons are fair game? How does that make any sense at all? Do we only respect cultural differences from non-white people?

Simon said...

The very term "Christianist" implies the painfully point-missing premise that "you can believe anything you want, as long as you don't talk about it or let it influence your vote, views or conduct outside of the walls of your own home" that many on the left seem to take towards Christianity.

Gerry said...

Gary: Look, maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe Joseph Smith did make it all up, but I have a great life. and a great family, and I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don't care if Joseph Smith made it all up, because what the church teaches now is loving your family, being nice and helping people. And even though people in this town might think that's stupid, I still choose to believe in it. All I ever did was try to be your friend, Stan, but you're so high and mighty you couldn't look past my religion and just be my friend back. You've got a lot of growing up to do, buddy. Suck my balls. [turns around and walks off. All four boys just look at him in wonder, even Cartman.]

Cartman: Damn, that kid is cool, huh?

reader_iam said...

can you be a Christianist if you're not a Christian

Sure, if Christianist is really a code word having more to do with politics and political ideology than anything else, really. (Which, if you think about it, is loosely the same way that Islamist versus Islamic, is used.)

The whole "-ist" thing has to do with conjuring up shadows of fascIST, anyway, and the threats and fears--inchoate and choate--associated with THAT word. We all know that, don't we? It's not really about describing the particulars of a religion or accuracy in that department.

(All that said, I'm not saying Mormons are Christianists, Christians etc. etc. etc. or not. I'm talking strictly words in the "rhetorical tools/weapons" sense here.)

VICTOR said...

I wonder how many people "recoil" at Sullivan's sanctimonious pronouncements about "Christianists

This is a great word!

downtownlad said...

If Morons and Christians and Muslims want to teach hate as their primary value and then demand that we "respect" that hate in the interest of cultural understanding - I call bullshit.

Teach hatred all you want. But I will never respect it. And I'll return that hatred right back.

But let's not forget who started it. And at least I don't lie (unlike the Christians and Morons) about what my real beliefs are.

Anyone who believes the Earth is only 6000 years old is not worthy of any respect.

Joan of Arc said...

What's really funny is that the banner ad above the post about Mormon underwear is for a sexy bra.

Joe Baby said...

From South Park's "All About the Mormons" episode:

Gary: (to Stan) Look, maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe Joseph Smith did make it all up, but I have a great life and a great family, and I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don't care if Joseph Smith made it all up, because what the church teaches now is loving your family, being nice and helping people. And even though people in this town might think that's stupid, I still choose to believe in it. All I ever did was try to be your friend, Stan, but you're so high and mighty you couldn't look past my religion and just be my friend back. You've got a lot of growing up to do, buddy. Suck my *****. (walks away)

Zeb Quinn said...

If his instincts are that Romney's Mormonism will factor into his electability, then he's got a point there, were he to leave it at that. Other than amongst the cohort of his fellow Mormons, the issue of Romney's Mormonism lies somewhere betwixt a mixed bag at best and a downright political liability at worst. Including among the Christian right.

And of course he was being disrespectful.

dearieme said...

The Mormons seem to me to be as entitled to be called Christians as the Catholics.

Gerry said...

reader_iam,

It is exactly the allusion Sullivan is shooting for-- to conjure images of Islamists when talking about holders of certain religious and/or political beliefs.

The fact that you do not see Evangelicals blowing themselves, and innocents, up willy-nilly is beside the point to Sullivan, who acts in a malicious manner to demonize those with whom he has a political disagreement.

But, hey, in this day and age, apparently whatever works is what goes. I find that to be sad, but in the words of Alvin Lee, "I'd love to change the world, but I don't know what to do. (So I leave it up to you.)"

Paddy O. said...

"But let's not forget who started it."

Who started it? Are you kidding me? Christian sexual ethics began in the Roman Empire, bouncing off Jewish sexual ethics which began, wow, a rather long time before that, in cultures that celebrated all kinds of expressions, some of which all of us would still agree are odd.

Christians were responding to what they saw as a disordered pattern of life -- and were extremely good at reaching out to those who were broken by the excesses of that era.

That the corruption leaked in and really mangled the leaders of the church itself over the next centuries and beyond doesn't replace the fact that Christians were themselves burned alive on large griddles because they decided to have a different view on all manner of topics. The earliest writings have nothing about grasping for political power at all, but after a few hundred years of getting periodically rounded up it seemed a more efficient course to go ahead and recruit a potential emperor. This, of course, entirely reshaped everything -- society, history, the church -- and not all for everyone's benefit.

So, like with most problems in our era, I blame the Italians, and somewhat the Greeks, but mostly the Italians.

I definitely understand your own passion and your own interests, yet can't help think your returning hatred for the hatred you have felt is counterproductive. This is especially since the folks you are hating need to be convinced so they will stop voting for marriage amendments.

knoxgirl said...

Does he not notice how snide and hostile it feels even to people who are not fundamentalists?

I agree, and I am getting pretty concerned about the ugly tone some of those on the pro-gay marriage front are taking. There's increasingly a lot of hostile "Christianist" and "breeder" language thrown around. This might be satisfying, but it could become the biggest obstacle to acceptance. When you start throwing around "broad brush" (hat tip: readeriam) insults that basically apply to 90% of the population, give-or-take, you will alienate that population. Your political movement is dead.

*Provided Rosie O'Donnell doesn't sabotage the entire gay-rights movement, single-handedly.

VICTOR said...

knoxgirl makes a great point:

[I agree, and I am getting pretty concerned about the ugly tone some of those on the pro-gay marriage front are taking. There's increasingly a lot of hostile "Christianist" and "breeder" language thrown around. This might be satisfying, but it could become the biggest obstacle to acceptance. When you start throwing around "broad brush" (hat tip: readeriam) insults that basically apply to 90% of the population, give-or-take, you will alienate that population. Your political movement is dead.]

The dialogue between "us" and the "islamofascists" can benefit from this thinking. Granted it's not a political movement or exchange -- it should have a political component. Bringing out the moderates within the groups certainly has a political component. This type of language often inhibits dialogue.

tjl said...

It's wasted effort to parse the meaning of anything Sullivan writes these days. Ever since the Massachusetts SJC handed down the Goodridge opinion, he's been almost completely incoherent.

Anonymous said...

Ann, it seems a bit unfair to say that Sullivan is merely "dish[ing] out contempt about religion." He is, in his Sullivanesque way, making a rather important point. If 43% of Americans are truly opposed to voting for someone simply because they are Mormon, that is disastrous for Romney's prospects. It may be unfair, and it may not be enlightened, but it is exactly these sorts of customs and history that make so many Americans wary of Mormonism. If I recall correctly, the oft-quoted "South Park" episode in the above comments also spent the entire episode reviewing the story of Joseph Smith with a background chorus of people singing "dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb."

Also: Sullivan's "I mean no disrespect" quote was referring to the actual posting of the pictures of the underwear, which the reader had called "sacreligious and offensive."

jpe said...

The whole "-ist" thing has to do with conjuring up shadows of fascIST, anyway, and the threats and fears

Um....no. An "ism" is a political ideology. So "christianist" means the appendage of political ideology to religious dogma, wherein disputes over the former are resolved on the terrain of the latter. (see also: "Islamist")

It's a precise, useful term that captures those people that use the same logic as Dominionists but come up short of their ideology on the craziness scale.

Zach said...

From the third post linked:

Your original assertion was correct: Mormons are NOT Christians, because they do not baptize in the name of the Triune God. his is the basis upon which all Christian demoninations (including RC's) baptize and recognize each other's baptism.

So the definition of Christian now relies on the formula used in the baptism? As opposed to, say, believing in the personal divinity of Jesus Christ as the son of God?

Could Mr. Sullivan, or many of us here, produce the formula by which they were baptised on demand? Perhaps the priest coughed at a crucial moment, and we're only 2/3 Christian.

I know very little of Mormon teaching, but within very broad outlines, I am inclined to take a person's own word for their religious beliefs. Relying on technicalities to unilaterally draw such a distinction seems disrespectful if not outright bigoted.

jpe said...

There's increasingly a lot of hostile "Christianist" and "breeder" language thrown around.

Even on a nominally moderate blog like this, the loathing of gays is palpable. Sometimes hostility is warranted, and I'd suggest that, vis-a-vis mouthbreathing homophobes, it generally is.

Most people that aren't homophobic likely understand this, so the political damage caused by calling the breeders out is minimal. (note that I'm straight: I'm not, however, a breeder, inasmuch as I don't think the entire point of marriage and/or life is to make babies [or to 'have a quiver full of children,' in the uniquely creepy lexicon of breeders])

chickenlittle said...

Something got inside Sullivan's head about a year or so ago- I think it came in through that little botoxed-looking aural sphincter his caricature sports on his webpage. (and I mean no disrepect for Terry Colon).

Sullivan used to stand for a lot more, but the whispered shouts of "defend us first" from his gay constituency overcame his own better senses. A pity really.

Simon said...

trogdor said...
"If 43% of Americans are truly opposed to voting for someone simply because they are Mormon, that is disastrous for Romney's prospects."

That depends on how that 43% usually vote, doesn't it? If that 43% is part of the half of the electorate that doesn't bother to show up on election day, or are part of the chunk of society that's going to vote for Hillary anyway, it's no skin off of Romney's nose. The question is what fraction of Republican voters and potential Republican voters would never vote for a mormon. And it may not even be a question of whether they would never vote for one - the question for the relevant sample group may be, "would you rather have a mormon President, or Hillary?"

Anonymous said...

Just a phrase or two after "no disrespect" Sullivan says It's a largely irrelevant issue. , thereby contradicting himself. If the issue is irrelevant, why did he bother to post about it in the first place? And why did he further make the effort to post the photo?

He even went so far as to admit that photos were from Wikipedia, giving further evidence of his own carelessness -- I mean, how tough is it to look something up in the wiki before posting a snide little commentary on it? Sullivan's not just obnoxious, he's lazy.

If he didn't think that the Mormons should be held up to mockery for their undergarments, he wouldn't have posted in the first place.

Kurt said...

I once made a left-wing activist friend very uncomfortable by calling him on the intolerance of his regular tirades about the looney mormons. He justified these by saying that his grandfather had told him how insular and unhelpful the mormons were to no-Mormon ranchers in the area, which sounded, to my ears, not too different from the white racist who claims that he hates black people because his grandfather told him how bad they are. But as we live in Nevada, I didn't even have to make that point to make him uneasy: I only had to ask him what our state's senior Senator, Harry Reid, would think of him if he knew that he regularly went off on such tirades.

George said...

Found in My Grandmother's Attic:

TV Guide
June 28, 1968
Friday, 10 p.m.

Star Trek:
Tonight’s Episode: “Knights of Good-Bye.”

A mercy mission to the smokin’ hot planet Terrigarr is interrupted when three leaders from ancient Earth history—Abraham Lincoln (John ‘Big Bomber’ Kerry; bass), Jerry ‘Persian Spacetime Continuum’ Garcia (Michael J. Pollard; lead), and Col. Mustard (Nguyen ‘Night Train’ Cao Ky; harmonica)—lure the Enterprise into a 48:38 5/11/72 ‘Dark Star’ master soundboard cassette>DAT>CDR; EAC'ed/SHN'ed & “Magic Hat” seeded to Etree by Clint ‘Drink the Tranya’ Howard (Andrew Sullivan). And leave it on!!

reader_iam said...

jpe:

Um... you missed the the spirit of my comment, and the point. And don't "um" me about language, especially with your rather laughable and simplistic assertion that "Christianist" has a precise meaning, the one you offered or otherwise. It's primarily used as a rhetorical weapon, not for its so-called descriptive qualites. I call bullshit if you're maintaining anything else.

There is a lot of palpable warmth toward and support of gay people on this blog, too--starting from the source, the hostess. A lot. It's just that some people seem to want to focus ONLY on the commenters who appear "hostile." Fine. Utterly their prerogative.

But it's utterly mine to get pissed as hell once ina while about sloppy, indiscriminate references to "mouth-breathing homophobes" as if that's even a remotely fair or accurate description regarding a notable number of other readers here, including me.

And the phrase "calling breeders out" is annoying, especially because--ONCE AGAIN--it's so broad brush and it's specifically meant to be dismissive and insulting, as mostly used. I can understand why people use it, but that doesn't mean I can't (usually quietly) dislike it. AND NO, that doesn't make me a homophobe, or a member of "Quiverful" or anything else--though it's possible that people with an axe to grind might CHOOSE to think so.

God, you're smug.

Freder Frederson said...

You know it is hilarious that Mormons get all bent out of shape when other people say they are not Christians. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Mormons believe that they are the only true Christians and that all other people claiming to be Christians are apostates. And the Catholic Church is the worst of all. The Pope is no better than the devil incarnate.

Of course the Mormons are so damn polite that they rarely mention their disdain for every non-Mormon on the face of the earth in mixed company, and they will even avoid discussing it. But dig around at their web site and it is there. They are coy but you will find they consider all other Christians to be apostates.

john(lesser) said...

downtownlad; Do you even know any mormons? Did you learn everything you need to know by reading Under the banner of Heaven? Your hostility and intolerance are laughable.

As far as Mormons being white supremacists, now you have proven yourself to be a fool. Mormons spend the best years of their life traveling to every corner of the globe to preach their particular brand of faith.

Here is one problem. The History of Joseph Smith and bigamy does not jibe with the reality of modern Mormon life. If you had ever met one, you would realize they are some of the most humble, hardworking, decent people you could ever come in contact with. Unlike the selfish, meth using, disease spreading, tribe you belong to, Mormons actually make the world a better place.

reader_iam said...

Unlike the selfish, meth using, disease spreading, tribe you belong to

Great. An actual mouth-breathing statement to encourage the jpe's of the world.

What an asshole. A willfully ignorant asshole.

You know what? You people deserve each other: flip sides of the same damn coin.

reader_iam said...

... encourage the jpe's and dtl's and etc....

john(lesser) said...

Listen reader_iam

I will take homosexuals one at a time and treat them individually. If downtownlad wants blanket statements, he will get them. Feel free to refute my intentionally bigoted description of gay society.

john(lesser) said...

besides, what is a jpe?

downtownlad said...

Mormonism, and any religion for that matter, is a CHOICE.

Religion is not immune from criticism. Don't want to be criticized for being a Mormon? Then choose not to be one. Otherwise, be prepared to here your silly beliefs (Mormon underwear!) mocked.

john(lesser) said...

Backing away from your statement the Mormons are white-supremacist polygamists? or just moving the goalposts?

john(lesser) said...

Look at me! I was born this way! You are like a parody.

As to anybody besides downtownlad I offended earlier with my hostile remarks, I apologize. I guess I was trying to make a point with a sledgehammer. That usually doesn't work out so well.

paulfrommpls said...

Yes - snide, hostile, and near the heart of the problem of liberal 'avoidance' thinking and tactics.

I've e-mailed him about how hideous I find that word. He mailed back once in curt fashion and said "then read something else," or words to that effect, which is a stupid, avoidant answer in itself. Not to mention condescending, and yet also reflective of another variety of left-side intellectual shortcoming: assuming I'm complaining because it's me that's hurt. It's not me. It's all of us. If I stop reading - and I have, mostly - that does nothing to address the reasons I despise the word.

I haven't read any other comments, by the way. No time. Less interest. (I'm kidding.)

jpe said...

besides, what is a jpe?

They're "initials."

Gosh, reader_iam, you get mighty angry when people call out homophobes.

Um... you missed the the spirit of my comment, and the point.

I corrected you, so let's move on.

Ann Althouse said...

trogdor: "Sullivan's "I mean no disrespect" quote was referring to the actual posting of the pictures of the underwear, which the reader had called "sacreligious and offensive.""

Is there something about my post that indicates I don't realize that?

jpe said.."Even on a nominally moderate blog like this, the loathing of gays is palpable..."

Could you possibly think of anything that would more perfectly show how little familiarity you have with this blog? You are one of the lamest commenters ever. You are completely dishonest. Shame on you.

As to whether religion can be criticized -- dtl's question -- I think it can -- and that it deserves a lot of criticism. But the way you choose to criticize it is also subject to criticism. I criticized Sullivan for the disingenuous assertion that he meant no disrespect, for using the mockery of religion for a single-minded political end, and for cloaking himself in superiority for his own religiosity.

john(lesser) said...

Ah, sorry. I missed your comment.

Joe Baby said...

Sheryl Swoopes says she was not born a lesbian...hence she made a choice, ergo I could mock her? How silly.

And how utterly anti-relationship to think so. Knowing folks beliefs, motives, and rationales must seem so easy. Like Bush looking into Putin's eyes.

Upon hearing how easy it is to hate because others have, I think of this:

Bob Sweeney: There was a moment..like this. when I used to blame everything and everyone... for all the pain and suffering and vile things that happened to me, that I saw happen to my people. Used to blame everybody. Blamed white people, blamed society, blamed God. I didn't get no answers 'cause I was asking the wrong questions. You have to ask the right questions.

Derek Vinyard: Like what?

Bob Sweeney: Has anything you've done made your life better?

downtownlad said...

Ann - I agree with your point. I certainly think Sullivan is right to be criticized in this matter.

He wants to attack religion while expecting us to respect his own religious beliefs.

Phooey. He can't have it both ways. If someone wants to attack the silliness of Sullivan's religious beliefs, fine by me.

I'm normally a live and let live type of guy. Leave me alone and I'll leave you alone and I'll keep my beliefs to myself. That's why I usually don't tell people who believe in astrology that they are dumb directly to their face (unless I've had a beer or two), even though those beliefs ARE dumb. But if they start attacking me for not belieiving in astrology, then you're damn right that I'm going to mock their beliefs not only to them, but to their friends, family, and acquaintances as well.

That's how I feel about religion right now. They've chosen to not only attack the way I live (which is fine), but to change laws that make me a second class citizen in my own country.

Religion is unintellectual at its core. It's about time we start showing to the world that every religion is built on a heap of lies, story-telling, and myths.

The only difference between Christianity and Greek Mythology is that the Greeks could tell a much better story.

john(lesser) said...

Your problem downtownlad, Is you think people need religion to be intolerant. We don't. I guess both of us have proven that on this thread in our own way.

Jim Hu said...

The atheist scientist signed as jim above is not the same as this atheist scientist, and he does not speak for me.

IMO, "respect" in this context means civility, not admiration, and Mormons, gays, atheists, Muslims, Jews, Christians, and others all deserve civility as groups. I would not say downtownlad et al. should respect mormons or anyone else even in the sense of offering civility, if "should" means that we should prescribe respect.

But if he gives a rat's patootie about the admiration of others like me, he should think about the civility he displays to those he disagrees with. I doubt that he cares or that he will. Habits are hard to change.

What is particularly sad to me about Sullivan is that I used to read him because his arguments had content as opposed to just bile... and a lot of his arguments for gay marriage were what convinced me that full marriage is more appropriate than civil unions. What made those arguments compelling to me was how they made me think about what it would be like to be gay, and how straights who ask gays to not display their homosexuality display their heterosexuality without even knowing it. In other words, his arguments had empathy.

When dtl says "Mormonism, and any religion for that matter, is a CHOICE.", the irony is unbelievably pathetic. That is, after all, what many opponents of gay rights believe about homosexuality (notwithstanding the evidence for genetic components). Even if it is not coded in their DNA, most members of religions inherit their religion from their parents. They don't choose their parents, any more than dtl chooses his genes.

FWIW, I don't care if gayness or religion is a choice or genetic. I think homosexuals, religious people, atheists and others all deserve civility and human rights either way.

downtownlad said...

I never said that John. I'm intolerant of a lot of people. I thought that would have been obvious by now.

And that basically boils down to "I am intolerant of those who are intolerant of me". I'm pretty much tolerant of everyone else.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Have Althouse commenters completely lost their senses of humor? There are aspects of all religions that are funny. A Mormon friend of mine called this garment the "magic underpants" because its a funny tradition. So are the costumes and traditions associated with other religions. So are many, many aspects of gay culture.

I thought Sullivan's reaction to the magic underpants was funny and natural. And I thought the Mormon reader's comment was thoughtful and educational. No need to read unnecessary offense into it.

Anonymous said...

You know, dtl, religious Jewish men wear biblically mandated religious garments as well, and in the morning they pray with tefillin, also known as phylacteries, on their arm and forehead, which can be really weird looking and offputting to people unfamiliar with them.

Go ahead. Why don't you show your liberal spirit and mock them, too.

What's the ridiculous thing about the Mormon underwear? That it shows a commitment to modesty - and that is just too outrageous in this day and age?

The didactic point appears to be that modesty is such a difficult virtue to acquire that one needs constant physical reminders of it - and that the internal, one hopes, will eventually conform to the external practice.

It's really a fairly common practice in religious instruction, though not a particularly important value in the modern POV.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt said...

Oh dear-Sullivan disrespected Mormons. Because Mormons are so utterly respectful of other's religions. Going around knocking on doors trying to convert people to Mormonism, they must have learned to react respectfully should others come to their doors. But, perhaps not: http://my.break.com/media/view.aspx?ContentID=185806&

Anonymous said...

Sheesh, was there an Early Bird Special on broad brushes at the local True Value this morning?

Oh, yes! It was a private sale for certain select high-volume customers only, though, as you have undoubtedly figured out by now ;-)

As for the actual subject at hand, I'm hard-pressed to add anything to what Ann has already written, in her post and here in the comments. About the only thing that comes to mind is that Sullivan's shrieks reinforce my opinion that almost every thought he expresses revolves around, or is dictated by, his lower anatomy.

john(lesser) said...

Downtownlad, your argument boils down to "they did it first!" It is childish. What happens when you meet a Mormon who is respectful and tolerant of you, not to mention deserving of your respect for being a fair, decent and productive member of society? Will you afford them "tolerance" then? Or will you keep speaking truth to power?

Gerry said...

downtownlad said:

"I'm intolerant of a lot of people. I thought that would have been obvious by now."

It was.

The only thing not obvious is why a sentient human being would be seemingly proud of this.

downtownlad said...

You know, dtl, religious Jewish men wear biblically mandated religious garments as well, and in the morning they pray with tefillin, also known as phylacteries, on their arm and forehead, which can be really weird looking and offputting to people unfamiliar with them.

Yup - it's completely silly. And they have sex through a sheet as well. I do make fun of them and I'm ethnically Jewish. You wouldn't catch me dead wearing that stuff. And the tradition of Hassidic Jews to wear 18th century Polish clothing is rediculous.

I'm not afraid to mock people - I don't care who they are. And Hassidic Jews are some of the most intolerant people out there - encouraging their flock to stab and kill gay people - they are totally worthy of criticism.

Gahrie said...

sayeth downtownlad: And that basically boils down to "I am intolerant of those who are intolerant of me". I'm pretty much tolerant of everyone else.

Translation: I'm an asshole unless you agree with me.

Anonymous said...

DTL wrote:

Religion is unintellectual at its core. It's about time we start showing to the world that every religion is built on a heap of lies, story-telling, and myths.

Or maybe you just haven't read any serious theology. Or studied the Talmud.

There are tomes and tomes of intellectual religious works.

Perhaps you are too uninterested and close minded to realize that.

Or maybe you don't know what intellectual means and you are confusing it with science.

Furthermore, there are also tons of works of literature and art as well as religion that are built on myth and storytelling - that are considered to be among the most profound works that we have available to us.

Perhaps you are merely closeminded to people who don't share all your assumptions in life.

downtownlad said...

Alcibades - The Old and New Testament are about as intellectual as Dianetics.

Now smart people can debate the Bible all they want. But they're still debating something that is at its core a myth.

At least when people discuss Shakespeare - the premise is that is fiction, so at least they are being intellectually honest.

Gerry said...

Gahrie--

I am guessing he's still an asshole even then.

Peace!

Mack said...

I wonder how many people "recoil" at Sullivan's sanctimonious pronouncements about "Christianists."

Every day, Bill O'Reilley -- a moderate conservative -- gets on TV and raises hostility toward "secular progressives." Where's the sympathy for that? We're supposed to understand?

Sullivan is so sure of himself on the subject of religion. He seems to think he knows just where it's right to dish out contempt about religion. But his contempt is mostly for religious people who he thinks are too sure of themselves.

I don't speak for Sullivan, but my problem with over-confidence in religion is that people only believe it in the first place on personal faith. This is what bothers me about their willingness to run other people's lives based on it.

That doesn't mean I'm an intellectual pacifist, though, or that I should hold my tongue on every stupid thing I see. It certainly doesn't mean you can't make fun of anything "religious."

Sullivan has actually made that position pretty clear -- as long as people want to force their religion on others, there isn't any choice but to criticize their basis for doing so.

Joseph Hovsep said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gerry said...

"Every day, Bill O'Reilley -- a moderate conservative -- gets on TV and raises hostility toward "secular progressives."

Argumento ad O'Reilleyum? Can argumento ad Coulterum be far behind?

Somewhere else I saw a neat quote: "The central principle of spin: However bad the trouble you're in, you can generally make the other side look worse."

Anonymous said...

Every day, Bill O'Reilley -- a moderate conservative -- gets on TV and raises hostility toward "secular progressives." Where's the sympathy for that? We're supposed to understand?

Yeah, because very day the NYTimes and media of its ilk and all the network news shows, including the news magazines they produce, does precisely the same thing towards conservatives.

Why shouldn't there be countervalent voices in society? What's so big and scary about that?

Icepick said...

Um....no. An "ism" is a political ideology.

Ah, so atheism and agnosticism are political ideologies. Got it. But what about squism? Or jism? Are they also political ideologies?

And Ann, I don't think there's any point in taking Sullivan seriously on any religious issue. Every day, it seems, he's shocked to discover that the Pope is Catholic.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Thanks for the etymology of sacrilegious. I had never been exposed to that before and have probably misspelled in numerous times.

(as I misspelled it the first time I posted this comment)

Cedarford said...

Peder - just anti-muslim carping or something. But now we see that mormons are fair game? How does that make any sense at all? Do we only respect cultural differences from non-white people?

Islam is a religion that came out of the white Semitic peoples. The vast majority of it's believers are caucasians.
******************
Downtownlad - Teach hatred all you want. But I will never respect it. And I'll return that hatred right back.

Yes, you do, in fact downtownlad - you personaly being a great example of the hostile gay community that responds with venom and invictive to anyone that takes exception to the effort to shove the gay agenda down the rest of society's throat.
And on that premise, here's a little of your own medicine back. You can hate Muslims and Mormons all you want, Downtown...they are not the ones dying like flies from disease-spreading sexual practices. And I personally think the 600,000 dollars insurers and taxpayers will shell out to keep a HIV-infected gay or drug addict or partner of one going over the course of the disease is a gay lobby-pressured misallocation of scarce national health care resources that could be better used elsewhere.

And you shouldn't be so harsh on the fag stoners of Islam. The Muslims are noted pederasts like gays are. Perhaps the Muslims can give your community some tips on "safer ways" of boy-prodding.
*****************
Knoxgirl makes a good point. Agree the gay agenda people are making a big mistake in their strident dissing of 90% of the population and that 90%'s deep-held culture, morality, faith and beliefs. Any small minority that alienates and deliberately antagonizes the majority loses power, place, even security, eventually, in most societies.
****************
The fact that 43% have doubts about a Mormon President only shows a certain leeriness from lack of familiarity. It has not been an impediment to voters in non-Mormon areas electing Udalls, Romneys, or other LDS adherents. In the Romney's case, Governor of Michigan where Mormons were rare, in Mitt's case, the 2nd most Catholic state in the country. The South, mentioned as a problem area for Romney - may warm to him because he is anchored in traditional family values in a way that Hillary and Rudy cannot ever be.

In 1968, when George Romney ran for President, the Governor of Michigan's religion was not a media focus.

I imagine that most people rather liked the image of the Salt Lake City Olympics and the City's well - presented people.
And of Mormons now having a reputation of being positive, contributing Americans with few of the dysfunctions besetting many other groups of Americans.

I've known and worked with Mormons and regard those I've met with respect and affection.

john(lesser) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
john(lesser) said...

I was accused earlier of being the different side of the same coin for holding up a mirror to Downtownlad's own bigotry. O'Reilly really is a much better example because he frames his own hostility to secular progressives in the exact same language as Downtownlad. "I am only intolerant of intolerance."

downtownlad said...

Well Cedarford - at least when I criticize Mormons, it is based on their beliefs.

You choose to hate gays, yes hate them, for lies that you choose to spread about them (gays are pedophiles, etc.). Lies with a specific purpose of trying to drum up violence against them. The same way Mel Gibson chooses to drum up hatred about Jews, as the Christians have done through the millenia.

And you wonder why I call you a bigot? Well all anyone has to do is look at your last post to see why.

If I'm intolerant of Christianity, it's because all Christians believe the exact kind of hateful propaganda that you just stated.

downtownlad said...

I imagine that most people rather liked the image of the Salt Lake City Olympics and the City's well - presented people.

Oh right - the most corrupt Olympics ever. Perhaps people should Google the whole bribery scandal and the Salt Lake City Olympics.

http://www.cnn.com/US/9901/08/olympic.bribes.03/

How Christian of them.

reader_iam said...

all Christians believe the exact kind of hateful propaganda that you just stated

ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT, those first three words.

As to the "hateful progaganda" to which you refer, I, too, would characterize is as exactly that.

downtownlad said...

Well reade_iam - the number of "Christians" who just repudiated Cedarford's bigoted remarks (where he calls for all people with AIDS to have their medicine removed so they will die) has been exactly ZERO.

I stand by remarks.

There are only a few Christian denominations that are not hateful towards gay people - the United Church of Christ, Episopalians, etc. - and we all know that they are not "real" Christians anyway.

reader_iam said...

exactly ZERO.

You just responded to one.

reader_iam said...

In fact, as I follow the charming arc of this thread, I am at my church, putting together a 12-page newsletter, which, no doubt, is just jam-packed with hateful propoganda.

reader_iam said...

"propaganda"

I actually copy-edit newsletters, etc. ...

john(lesser) said...

Olympic Corruption as evidence to the lack of character of the Mormons?

I can't believe I was sucked into an argument with you.

Any hatred or prejudice you have encountered in your life is well deserved. Golden Rule and all that.

Anonymous said...

Well, Cedarford, you will undoubtedly be very happy to know that after 10 years of treatment, at a cost of approximately $187,000, those drugs quite working for me, for a savings of $413,000! Imagine that.


DTL: You assume most people read Cedarford's remarks. I think most people skip over them. There is also a tendency to ignore everything that is being said when almost directly involved is busy throwing mud every which way.

Anonymous said...

Downtownlad, equating one drunken rant (to a very, very small audience) on Mel Gibson's part to "drumming up hatred about Jews" is nuts. Or are you referring to the uproar that surrounded the supposedly anti-Semitic Passion of the Christ? Because that was nuts, too.

Feder, you've surpassed yourself with this one: And the Catholic Church is the worst of all. The Pope is no better than the devil incarnate. Seek professional help, dude.

Re: rebutting Cedarford -- any response at all will just encourage him to post more, so I just ignore him. It's impossible to engage with such a person in a constructive manner.

Terry Ott said...

I might be one of those who would not vote for a Mormon for "high" office, one that has a significant influence on social policy, economics, foreign affairs, education, etc. I say "might be" because I have never given it much thought.

If not, why not? Same reason I would be loathe to vote for any "super religious" person. Someone who can fall into such mythology and flimsy doctrine, and get excited about it, sometimes to the point of "culthood" is worrisome. It provides a window into how their brain works, and when they are being elected to put intellectual horsepower into decisions made on behalf of "us", that scares me. What else might they decide is worthy of our collective support/allegiance?

As for the point that Mormonism teaches being a nice person and all, so? I don't religion to guide me into that. I just do it because it seems to be the way things are supposed to be for the greater good, and ultimately for me and how I feel about myself. Put another way, don't most of us have a built in moral compass?

Anonymous said...

No, Ann, I'm not buying at all and here's why. Sullivan ended his post with the sanctimonious pronouncement, You wanna play by the rules of theoconservatism? Then deal with the consequences.

Well, Andrew, if you think the 'rules of theoconservatism' are so loathesome, why are YOU so quick to adopt their over-heated rhetoric, the imputations of bad faith to anyone who dares disagree, and lapses into nudge-nudge wink-wink innuendo that rapidly becomes tiresome in teenage boys, let alone something pretending to be a serious examination of a serious candidate for the presidency?

I'm seriously thinking about deleting Andrew Sullivan from my RSS feed, because life is too short to waste time on hysterics of any stripe. And that, Mr. Sullivan, is the consequence you're going to have take, if you want to play by the rules of blog-gutter.

Clarey watcher said...

I used to be a regular reader of Sullivan's blog. It makes me sad. He's an awfully bright guy but asometime back there he lost it with George W. -- which is a fine, perfectly reasonable position -- and then seems to have moved on to losing it in general. It's like he refuses to throw his hat in with anyone now -- also a fine, reasonable position -- but in order to convince himself he has not changed ideologically one whit (which seems an odd thing to want to convince oneself of) he keeps trying to crack conservatism and Christianity around his own frame, and his blog now seems to try harder to do that -- and to post the occasional '80s music video -- than to do the kind of insightful commentary at which he used to excel. He and we would both benefit if he took a year off blogging and came back the guy we knew back in '00, albeit with political convictions matured/changed/whatever however they may have.

Liam Colvin said...

Andrew Sullivan: the "thinking man's" Lou Dobbs.

I don't know why I find that funny. I just do...

Joe Baby said...

The idea of a built-in moral compass sounds like a natural law argument, straight outta Aquinas.

dtl's Utopia of a world without religious nutbags and their dastardly influence would leave us with what as moral groundings? Modern philosophers?

God help us. ;-) Peter Singer advocates that a baby could be killed within 28 days after birth. A healthy baby, that is. I'm rather glad there are differing views on such matters. If the vast majority of pro-life views spring from the taproot of religion, that's a rather damning charge about secularism, in my opinion.

Hats off to PETA. They seem to be the main pro-life group that consistently argues against use and for humane treatment yet without a religious foundation. Now if they expanded such ideals to even their own members, that would be a true advance.

AJ Lynch said...

Isn't there a picture going around of Sullivan jumping the shark? If not, is there anyone out there who is good at photoshop who could post one here.

As to Romney, he is a governor from a very small liberal state. At best, he might make the ticket as a VP. So no one should care much about Romney except fot the the loony Sulivan who can' t resist bashing the man's religion like some gay knight run amuck.

Mack said...

Well, my point wasn't that O'Reilly is worse than Sullivan. I don't think either of their rhetoric is out of line, or that their rhetoric victimizes anybody.

I criticized Sullivan for the disingenuous assertion that he meant no disrespect, for using the mockery of religion for a single-minded political end, and for cloaking himself in superiority for his own religiosity.

Well, he's being a little flip here, but I'd actually say Sullivan is more willing to take criticism of his religious beliefs than possibly any other individual I've seen. He's often made a point of publishing the most eloquent criticisms of his religious beliefs that he gets.

Freder Frederson said...

Feder, you've surpassed yourself with this one: And the Catholic Church is the worst of all. The Pope is no better than the devil incarnate. Seek professional help, dude.

Oh, I'm sorry the Catholic Church is only the whore of Babylon.

1 Nephi 22:14:
And every nation which shall war against thee, O house of Israel, shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. And all that fight against Zion shall be destroyed, and that great whore, who hath perverted the right ways of the Lord, yea, that great and abominable church, shall tumble to the dust and great shall be the fall of it.

1 Nephi 13:5-6:
And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity. And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.

"Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the "whore of Babylon" whom the Lord denounces... as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. And any person who shall be so wicked as to receive a holy ordinance of the gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent of the unholy and impious act. If any penitent believer desires to obtain forgiveness of sins through baptism, let him beware of having any thing to do with the churches of apostate Christendom, lest he perish in the awful plagues and judgments, denounced against them. The only persons among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who have authority from Jesus Christ to administer any gospel ordinance are those called and authorized among the Latter-day Saints. Before the restoration of the church of Christ to the earth in the year 1830, there have been no people on the earth for many generations possessing authority from God to minister gospel ordinances. We again repeat. Beware of the hypocritical false teachers and imposters of Babylon!
- Apostle Orson Pratt The Seer, Vol.2, No.4, p.255

Mack said...

Interesting tidbit from the official Mormon handbook, something they keep very well hidden:

The Church opposes same-gender marriages and any efforts to legalize such marriages. Church members are encouraged "to appeal to legislators, judges, and other government officials to preserve the purposes and sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and to reject all efforts to give legal authorization or other official approval or support to marriages between persons of the same gender" (First Presidency letter, 1 Feb. 1994; see also "Homosexual Behavior" on this page).

Not only does the Mormon church oppose gay marriage, but it specifically admonishes its members to work politically to prevent it.

It's not just a religion; it's a political platform. If I could ask Romney a question, I'd ask him whether he considers that binding.

Pogo said...

Sullivan's "I mean no disrespect." is one of those statements best understood by assuming the opposite.

Plus, it's easy mocking a religion that doesn't stone gays, strap bombs to grandma's chests, or fly planes into buildings. Now, if he'd actually mocked islam for goofiness, Sullivan would've garnered my respect.

It ain't brave to pick on a group that tends to forgive you rather than kill you.

Cedarford said...

One thing I remembered after last posting was that not only did George Romney run without a fuss about his religion, but so did darling to the liberals and environmentalists - "Mormon Mo'" Morris Udall.
The fuss on religious bona fides is clearly ascendent after their era.
I blame gay and abortion politics as well as the reactive rise of the Religious Right to the war declared on America's institutions and culture by the secular progressives. We talk as if Mitt Romney's religion is somehow a mayor issue when 30 years ago it was a non-factor for two other Mormons that ran.
*******************
Trivia - Gladys Knight is a Mormon.
*******************
downtownlad continues his hissy fit - Lies with a specific purpose of trying to drum up violence against them. The same way Mel Gibson chooses to drum up hatred about Jews, as the Christians have done through the millenia.

Only if you believe the Gospel and the grudging Jewish admission that the Sanhendrin indeed had Christ killed as a heretic - are "lies" themselves.

What Gibson put to film, whether you dislike the guy or not, was true to what his faith attests to. The Passion as it was written to have happened. The Sanhedrin reacting as documented they did with countless heretics.

And the connection and prediliction of gays for pederasty, not pedophilia, is well-established. It is not "spreading hate" to state the truth. It is just stating the truth.

And straight men have clear attraction to a hottie like Brittany Spears at 17. It is just that gays lack many of the constraints normal society places against straight men acting on their attraction - and furthermore have developed an ethos and subculture that in fact glorifies and accepts chickenhawking and seeks to rehabilitate the reputation of past notorious pederasts like Oscar Wilde as victims of prejudice and "bigotry".

Love of lads???? Something you have in common with the Muslims. Although Muslims appear more sanitary in practice. That famous thoughout history Muslim-Gay bond of mutual attraction for "hairless, smooth-cheeked young boys". (All 4 cheeks.)

You may also be interested, as a Jew, with researchers noting a significantly higher frequency of homosexuality in Jewish males. And the focus on looking at Jews genome patterns for further insight, even understanding the genetic causation of "gay from day 1" homos vs. the cultural ones, like Greek and Prussian army practices..

Finding the "gay gene" or what genes make it more likely that homosexuality is expressed may one day allow us to fix it via gentic medical intervention. If homosexuality is regarded as a sort of birth defect like cystic fibrosis or muscular dystrophy that parents wish not to occur in offspring anymore.

******************
BTW, my advocacy on reallocating medical dollars society dishes out is a personal preference for loud-mouthed little gays like you to shut up and focus on figuring out how to bugger one another without spreading disease and expecting the rest of us to pay for you and the drug users....Instead of the multibillions disbursed "non-means tested" free AIDs care to sometimes quite wealthy gays - a very disproportionate share of medical care dollars. Or of gov't R&D dollars that go into AIDs research rather than far more widespread afflictions that kill far more people. Hogging medical care and research taxpayer dollars was an early accomplishment of the gay organizations - but one that diverted medical resources from far more cost-beneficial work and care of other diseases.
Screw yourselves in the ass all you want for all I care - just don't expect the straights to pay for the consequences of your recreational activities (sans creation, 'natch).

tjl said...

"You assume most people read Cedarford's remarks. I think most people skip over them."

It's occasionally useful to read something like Cedarford's posts to remind yourself that even in this PC-ridden age, there are still a few unashamed bigots out there foaming at the mouth.

It gets much easier to understand DTL's excesses, not to mention Sullivan's, after reading Cedarford's prescription that AIDS patients should simply be left to die.

reader_iam said...

Internet Ronin:

I'm not exactly sure how to respond to your last comment, which is why I didn't earlier. I suspect there might be others in the same situation.

I am very sorry the drugs have stopped working for you.

To me, at least, it's worth every penny that we're putting toward finding other drugs or treatment modalities. (I blogged about one not so long ago, which involved people in the same situation as yourself; I'll have to find that link.)

Cedarford's comments must have especially....resonated with you, and I'm sorry that my own reactions here contributed to a tone that apparently made him feel free to unleash them.

That's all I can think to type. But I feel sad.

Hanging Chad said...

It's not just a religion; it's a political platform. If I could ask Romney a question, I'd ask him whether he considers that binding.

I bet no other President has ever been asked about deification and exaltation. That is more pertinent to a Presidency than undergarments, in my opinion.

Cedarford said...

Mackan - Not only does the Mormon church oppose gay marriage, but it specifically admonishes its members to work politically to prevent it.

It's not just a religion; it's a political platform.


Don't be a muttonhead.
Every ideology or belief involves and expects actions to be undertaken on behalf of followers.

Christians believe murder is wrong, therefore they are encouraged to petition secular rulers to make the murder punishable by very harsh penalties.

Rotarians believe corruption is destructive of business and society, therefore they want strong laws against it.

Political platforms?
No, muttonhead...just manifesting faith or organizational ideology through actions.

Read the Talmud, Qu'ran, New Testaments sometime on matters of the temporal world...or any organization's Charter on what menbers should do to strengthen and propogate their beliefs.
Duh......

dklittl said...

It ain't brave to pick on a group that tends to forgive you rather than kill you.

That maybe the most loaded statement I've heard on this blog. First because there is no religion that has been more mocked and ridiculed in this country in recent times more than Islam. Hell, read Andrew's archives and you'll see plenty of mocking and revulsion for Islam.

And so what Mormon's are nice people. I've met a few Scientologists who are nice as well as some Rastafarians with great senses of humor, especially when they're high. The notion that somehow, all of these other religions can be easily mocked but Mormons with there completely made up tales, magic underpants and fondness for slavery should somehow be elevated above all others except Christianity doesn't work for me.

Fitz said...

The bizarre thing about Sullivan’s thinking is he’s constantly billed as if he’s a conservative & A Catholic. Well, perhaps among Manhattan-ites he is, but that just goes to show.

Now I consider myself both conservative, & I know I’m Catholic. Involving the latter – It’s a belief system. One can recognize even shadows and reverberations of authentic Catholic thought. I’ve never picked up a trace of it in Sullivan’s writings. I think theses two C’s simply are a original positioning headline used in order to be contraireian. At this point the idea seems simply bizarre and misplaced.

Anonymous said...

reader_iam: Oh, no! Talk about the law of unintended consequences! Please, don't feel sad. I only mentioned it because, as most us know by now, cedarford can be so unsufferable that it might be fun to let him know that someone was helping keep those health care costs down for the really important diseases and maladies: you know, the ones he and his loved ones have or may have.

In the process, it was probably a bit more self-relevatory than intended, and I just as probably would have deleted it after a moment's thought, but, after switching to google sign-in a few days ago, I discovered that those handy-dandy trash cans, among other things, had disappeared ;-)

As for the meds, the deal is that I am now resistant to all but 1 within a certain class (there being 3 classes). Any changes require changing 2 classes, so the risk of becoming resistant to all within that class is greater than the threat to my health at this time, given current blood test results (which are pretty good).

So, thanks for your concern and please don't give a second thought about whether the conversation drifted that direction because of something you wrote! I'm behind you all the way on this one.

(BTW, anything addressed to @internetronindotcom gets to me.)

(Apologies to all for the digression)

Anonymous said...

tjl: True. And I do occasionally skim them, which is how I missed that particular section until DTL mentioned. But, like Joan, these days, I try not to respond - it only encourages him ;-)

Mack said...

Cedarford,

You don't deserve a civil response, but I'll give you one anyway. I said it's a political platform, because it is. "[A]ppeal to legislators, judges, and other government officials to preserve the purposes and sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman." If you want to say all religions are political platforms, then you can make that argument, and I probably won't argue the point. In my view, however, to make an official church position which specifically tells people to lobby their congresspeople makes the politicization of Mormonism entirely explicit in an extremely stark way, and completely demolishes the idea that this is merely a personal faith which shouldn't be criticized.

As a side note, your rhetoric doesn't seem to be working very well here. Maybe you should try a different approach?

Palladian said...

"Screw yourselves in the ass all you want for all I care - just don't expect the straights to pay for the consequences of your recreational activities (sans creation, 'natch)."

Cedarford, you are a disgusting individual, a vile anti-Semite and bigot. While we're busy fretting over whether Michael Richards is a racist, we have someone far worse here in our midst. I don't know why Ann allows you to comment here. You make the place far worse than any of our more obnoxious trolls have ever done. But I mean no disrespect.

Anonymous said...

Like Sullivan, I was raised a Catholic and thus some things were ingrained (so to speak), so I'm wondering if anyone else thought it was pretty odd for someone who believes in transubstantiation to be lecturing other religions about their unusual practices.

Just trying to lighten things up. folks!

Ann Althouse said...

Palladian: He used the technique of writing something so long I didn't read it. But in the end long comments are a big distraction.

Cedarfod: Listen to Palladian. He's very sensible. You could learn something.

john(lesser) said...

Internet Ronin, being raised Catholic , I am sure you know transubstantiation isn't even half of it.

I am not really sure what Althouse (I am trying to follow the rules)was getting at with this post, but I do know what drew me to it like a moth to a light bulb. I never became a fully formed Catholic, as I found the religion superstitious at an early age. Funny thing happened as I grew older. The crazy superstitions became less important, and the happiness and well being of the congregation, more so.

I have become quite the reactionary to anyone who blames the current situation of human suffering on religion. There is a mountain of evidence pointing to religion as a stabilizing force in society, yet it is portayed as the refuge of fools, the fountain of bigotry, and the harbinger of the end of times.

Anyways, your post made me feel especially guilty about the hateful language I used earlier. I can offer up the weak defense that I was trying to hold a mirror up for downtownlad to see, but that is no excuse. I apologize.

stephenb said...

Ann, er...Althouse said: ONE MORE THING: The word isn't "sacreligious," as Sullivan has it at the first link, it's "sacrilegious." The word is not related to "religion":

And then she expounded: Sacrilege’s Latin etymon was formed of sacer, “sacred” and legere, “to gather or steal”; sacrilege is “the stealing of sacred things” or doing other violence to them.

And now I say: Of course the word is related to religion. What are sacred things? One of the OED definistionst reads thus: 5. a. Secured by religious sentiment, reverence, sense of justice, or the like, against violation, infringement, or encroachment. And before you say that that's only one definition, I'll save you the trouble and let you know that the vast majority of the other definitions mention religion or a deity.

dave said...
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john(lesser) said...

BTW, Greenwald's ripping you a brand spanking-new asshole, lady

You mean that in a derogatory sense, right?

Alright, alright, I will stop. I just can't help but tease the Party of Tolerance when it comes to facing their own fears.

tjl said...

dave is back. At first it was hard to recognize him without his usual garland of f's.

Cedarford said...
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Ann Althouse said...

StephenB: Cool your jets. I was obviously talking about etymology!

OhioAnne said...

Although I have heard of Andrew Sullivan, today is the first time that I have actually read what he's written ... and will most likely be the last. Romney isn't much of a threat in the coming 2008 election and so Sullivan's hysteria on the issue makes no sense.

I wanted to comment on Mackan's post, however ...

Interesting tidbit from the official Mormon handbook, something they keep very well hidden:

Well, in nearly 30 years, I have yet to be given any handbook, but your "tidbit" is hardly "well hidden". I'm curious why you couldn't simply state your comment without the sensationalism. The LDS Church has an extensive website and makes no secret of the Church's beliefs.

My membership in the Mormon church does not invalidate my American citizenship. I have the same right to contact my legislators over any issue that I choose that a lobbyist, a CEO, a Catholic, a Rotarian, or an anarchist does.

However the sentence you quoted says "Church members are encouraged ...." .... not admonished as you later indicated.

In nearly 30 years, I have never been told once by any church leader how to vote ... only that I have a responsibility to vote. In fact, every election year comes with a reminder from the church that it will NOT endorse a specific candidate or platform and that any church member who uses church resources (ward address lists for example) for a specific political candidate will face sanctions.

So is Mitt Romney bound by the Church's position on the subject? Is the current Minority Leader (and future Majority Leader) Harry Reid bound by the same position? Both are members of the same church but don't hold the same views. I would say the answer to your question is "no".

john(lesser) said...

Ohioanne; apparently it works like this. Non-religious people are encouraged to vote in accordance with their beliefs. Religious people should vote in spite of them. Separation of Church and State, or something.

Anonymous said...

Pogo wrote:
Sullivan's "I mean no disrespect." is one of those statements best understood by assuming the opposite.

Indeed - it's the 21st version of "I have nothing against blacks/gays/Jews etc., some of my best friends are black etc., but..."

Anyway, I've taken Sullivan off my RSS feeder because if I wanted to read a lot of infantile sniggering about Mormon underpants and isn't the Pope surrounded by a lot of pretty young men... Well, life is short and my blogroll is quite long enough without reading 'theocon' rhetoric in liberal drag.

Cedarford said...

Ann - I can shorten my posts if that is your preference. I thought my segmented posts with a ******* between topics broke them up adequately. I guess not.
As for Palladian, the only thing I've learned from him is the rather odd newfound assertion of moral superiority of those pushing the gay agenda.

Palladin - As another gay activist habituated to demonizing others that disagree with you and attempting to garnish yourself some strange narcissistic self-puffery of having the only valid, correct beliefs....

I laugh at you.
Get over yourself and your hissy prissy fits.

Twaddling little drama queen.

AIDs is a preventable disease. It's victims are due no more and no less government and taxpayer support, than any other American.

I also don't support diversion of medical resources from other critical needs to fully fund liver transplants for lifetime alcoholics.

Grow up and frame your arguments like an adult. Only petulant twits toss out the old "anti-Semite" "bigot" charges at anyone who has a different opinion than you do. Like with racist, the charges that could once silence a room, strike fear in the innocent to cumpulsively explain themselves, or motivate 100's of good little Lefties into - shock! outrage! - are stale and they have lost their power through overuse and over-broad application.

"The whole workd is anti-Semitic!"
DTL - "All Catholics are bigots!"
"Hispanics and blacks are homophobic, anti-Semitic bigots!!!"

"90% of America is evil and prejudiced!!"

Yeah, right...

*Gives Palladian a pederast-like head pat, and moves on.*

Palladian said...

"
Palladin - As another gay activist habituated to demonizing others that disagree with you and attempting to garnish some strange self-puffed sense of moral superiority about yourself...(Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

I laugh at you.
Get over yourself and your hissy prissy fits.

Twaddling little drama queen."

First of all, spell my username correctly before insulting me, lest you appear more of a stupid twat than you already do. I'll repeat what I said here and other places: you're a vile anti-Semite and bigot of the worst kind. No one here likes you, nor cares what you say except that we want you to go away and quit fouling up our discussions with your stench.

That you would laughably assert that I'm a "gay activist" demonstrates that you have a reading comprehension level below even pea-brained pinkshirt "dave", whose automated, irrelevant ravings are like a fresh breeze when compared to your stale, stinky pong.

So scram, little Buchanan butt boy. And don't ever touch me, even textually, again.

Kev said...

Jim Hu: "IMO, "respect" in this context means civility, not admiration, and Mormons, gays, atheists, Muslims, Jews, Christians, and others all deserve civility as groups."

Actually, there'd probably be a lot fewer problems in the world if we concentrated more our treatment of people as individuals instead of as members of groups.

Just a little something to chew on here...

downtownlad said...

You assume most people read Cedarford's remarks. I think most people skip over them.

Perhaps. But I think the Bible is pretty clear about gay people - it pretty much says that they are an abomination and should be put to death.

I've heard plenty of religious people try to reconcile that (along with dozens of other barbaric statements in the Bible) with their faith, by saying that the Bible doesn't "really" say that. But I won't have any of it. I agree with the Bible-belting fundamentalists that you can't be a "real" Christian while still being gay, that you can't be a "real" Christian unless you believe that wives should be suvservient to their husbands, etc. So that's gone a long way towards convincing me that the Bible is all hogwash, because I don't believe that wives should be subservient to their husbands and I don't believe in slavery, etc.

I think agnosticism or desim is pretty much the only rational way to go.

I do look at people as individuals. But when you say you are a Christian, you are saying that you believe the Bible to be the word of God. If you don't think that - then sorry - you're a fake Christian. You can't pick and choose which parts of the Bible are true just to suit your conscious.

nypundit said...

a lad from downtown said:
Yup - it's completely silly. And they have sex through a sheet as well. I do make fun of them and I'm ethnically Jewish. You wouldn't catch me dead wearing that stuff. And the tradition of Hassidic Jews to wear 18th century Polish clothing is rediculous.
I can assure you that your statement about couples having sex through a sheet is totally erroneous. Unless you are policing people's bedrooms (and here I thought you were against that...)

john(lesser) said...

It amazes me that a serious non-religious person could consider themselves an honest arbiter to the motives of someone that is religious. For downtownlad to do it, not so surprising.

Elizabeth said...

the hostile gay community that responds with venom and invictive to anyone that takes exception to the effort to shove the gay agenda down the rest of society's throat.

Cedarford, with practice, you can learn to relax those throat muscles and we won't have to shove.

Anonymous said...

Idiot, foolishness, disreputable slimeball, pathetic, putrid. Formidable law blogger.

Elizabeth said...

internet ronin, that's bad news. I'm sorry to hear it.

reader iam, thanks for continuing to be a genuine voice of reason.

downtownlad said...

It amazes me that a serious non-religious person could consider themselves an honest arbiter to the motives of someone that is religious. For downtownlad to do it, not so surprising.

Wrong. It was the Christianists who started this, by saing that people such as Andrew Sullivan weren't "real" Christians. Heck - even the Pope has said you can't be openly gay and Catholic. Episopalians are Christians in name Only. Same with the United Church of Christ.

I'm agreeing with you. I don't believe you can be a real Christian unless you believe everything in the Bible verbatim. The Bible that says slavery is good. The Bible that calls for the death penalty for using the name of God in vain. The Bible that says adulterers should be put to death. That's what "real" Christians believe. And I believe them!

I don't see what the issue is. Are you just upset that I'm pointing out to the world what Christianity actually calls for?

I can start quoting the Bible if you're really interested. People are always hurling Bible quotes at me. I like to throw them back. Here's one:

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ...."
..........Ephesians 6:5

One Bite at a Time said...

What Sully said: "And many Christianists may well recoil at the man's Mormon faith.... " He's clearly not using the word "Christianist" as a reference to Mormons. He even gets more specific by referring to the group as the "Christianist right'" and, later, he calls them "fundamentalists."
What Althouse said: "I wonder how many people "recoil" at Sullivan's sanctimonious pronouncements about "Christianists." He's become so devoted to that word of his. Does he not notice how snide and hostile it feels even to people who are not fundamentalists?"
What Althouse later said: "Glenn, you moron, in case you didn't notice, Sullivan is mocking Mormons in general. That's what bothered me."
That's a pile of crap. Althouse got caught using a double standard, period. She can use the word "religionists," but Sullivan can't use the word "Christianists."
That's a dumb argument, plain and simple. And Greenwald pointed it out. And all Althouse could come up with was that he's a moron and he writes badly. Don't forget, Ann, about how his momma wears Army boots, too!

Kurt said...

Well, downtownlad, while I respect your lack of patience for those who try to say that the Bible doesn't mean all the things it says about homosexuality, to say that one couldn't or shouldn't consider themselves a Christian without accepting everything the Bible says verbatim is taking it a bit far. By your standard, I wonder if even St. Augustine could be considered a Christian, for as he writes in Of Christian Doctrine, there are too many contradictions and problems inherent in the Bible for a literal reading to suffice. For that reason, he was one of the most influential clerics in establishing Christian hermeneutics which still influences the theology of not only Catholocism, but other denominations, as well.

Ann Althouse said...

I didn't say it's always wrong to say Christinists. I said Sullivan uses it too much, too indiscriminately, and that it sounds hostile to ordinary religious people.

As far as my hostile words for Greenwald are concerned: they are utterly justified. The little creep has no compunction about attempting to destroy my reputation any way he can think of. He deserves much worse. Plus he's just a bad writer. It's a pain to read what he says about me. Usually, I don't even bother because it's boring (even when it's about me).

pr9000 (paul) said...

downtownlad -- you said But I think the Bible is pretty clear about gay people - it pretty much says that they are an abomination and should be put to death.

my only responses:

"for god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." john 3:16

also,

"Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

'"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"'

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Matthew 22:34-40

those are just about the two most important passages in the new testament ... so i'm not at all sure that christians would agree with your comments above.

john(lesser) said...

And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. Ephesians 6:9

Don't play games. It isn't cute. "Real Christians" do not believe in slavery, or the death penalty for adultery. You can try and stop time, but even if you succeed, you will find yourself in bed with the same Young Earth Creationists you despise so much.

downtownlad said...

The Bible says lots of things. Many of them are evil (pro-slavery), many of them are good (love they neighbor).

But you can't have it both ways.

The Bible is full of contradictions.

The only RATIONAL thing to believe - is that the Bible must be false.

Seneca the Younger said...

Why not take a little trouble to try to understand the person you are criticizing before you write, you disreputable slimeball?

That's pretty much the definition of a self-answering question, don't you think?

pr9000 (paul) said...

oh yes. the book has contradictions, so therefore it must be 100 percent false in its entirety ... not unlike a mathematical equation.

it's the only rational way to look at it.

excuse me while i go outside and burn my bibles.

john(lesser) said...

It is so easy to get you to back away from statements said with such certainty. Roguish, yes. Charming, no.

downtownlad said...

When a mathematical equation has contradictions - you go back to the drawing board.

And this is coming from a mathematician.

pr9000 (paul) said...

but religion is not mathematics, and i think that's my point ...

yes, the bible has contradictions. and because a book is not an equation, having one section contradict another does not mean that we must necessarily declare them to cancel each other out. it's not like football, where you can have offsetting penalties.

i was raised in a pretty fundamentalist denomination (baptist); i was taught that christ came to give humanity a new testament, and that it would necessarily conflict with things taught in the old testament.

i take His word, and the passage from Matthew that i quoted, to be my lodestar, and i think many, many christians do the same (though, again, i might be missing another verse or two here or there).

ROBERTO said...
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downtownlad said...

Well if the Bible helps you live a better life and gives you satisfication - that's all well and good.

My problem with religion is when you start forcing it on myself and start passing laws that make my life a lot more complicated than it already is.

Christianity does not look so loving from my side of the fence. It looks like a pit bull.

john(lesser) said...

Greenwald's sockpuppets just wreak of tolerance and civility, no?

pr9000(paul); downtownlad's world has no room for growth. imperfection means we start over. From the beginning.

Gerry said...

Nice update. Glenn's comment sounds pretty much like one I made upthread.

"You have to be careful not to drift over into the expression of hostility toward a religious group, as I believe Sullivan has been doing with Mormons."

Let me correct that.

"You have to be careful not to drift over into the expression of hostility toward a religious group, as I believe Sullivan has been doing religious groups." (Bugger, it does not let commenters use <s>

Palladian said...
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Palladian said...

Yes, I was waiting for Greenwald's tolerant, intellectual, "liberal" audience to come over here and start throwing vile, misogynist insults around.

pr9000 (paul) said...

downtownlad -- can't say i disagree with your assessment, but keep in mind that there are many, many christians out there who could give a damn about who you sleep with, choose to love, etc.

as my pastor often says, the best evidence against christianity often times is christians themselves.

i guess i'm only posting this to make sure you understand that point. what you do with it is totally up to you ... but don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Semanticleo said...
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Gerry said...

"Outhouse"

I see we have reverted back to grade school.

Paul Zrimsek said...

He will be the candidate for the Christianist right, but he's not a Christian.

This is rather a new departure in theocracy, innit? Usually theocrats want someone of their own religion at the top. If the Islamists ever get that Caliphate of theirs, I'll be pretty surprised if they put a Buddhist in charge of it.

downtownlad said...

downtownlad -- can't say i disagree with your assessment, but keep in mind that there are many, many christians out there who could give a damn about who you sleep with, choose to love, etc.

And my point is that they aren't real Christians. Hugh Hewitt said so, so it must be true.

Jim Hu said...

Kev wrote:
Actually, there'd probably be a lot fewer problems in the world if we concentrated more our treatment of people as individuals instead of as members of groups.
Indeed. I guess the point I was trying to make is that membership in the groups I mention is not a sufficient marker for anything about them as individuals to justify reducing them to a caricature of the group. Upon reflection, there are groups where I would not have a problem of tarring all members with a broad brush, e.g. the Klan, Al Qaeda, the Aryan Nation.

Jim said...

Given that there's no justification for, say, banning gay marriage that doesn't involve fundamentalist Christian doctrines of dubious validity (are we gonna bring back the death penalty for eating shrimp and wearing cotton-polyester blends, too?), I think "Christianist" sums it up pretty well.

SMGalbraith said...

there are groups where I would not have a problem of tarring all members with a broad brush, e.g. the Klan, Al Qaeda, the Aryan Nation.

Not to mention those monsters in the League of Women Voters.

Just a diabolical bunch of savages.

(Okay, we all needed a little palate cleanser to keep things from getting too heavy. No?)

SMG

One Bite at a Time said...

Oh, I see, I missed your real point--which apparently is that pointing out your lapses in logical argument is a clever scheme by Greenwald to destroy your reputation. The gall!
I went back and reread "Glenn, you moron, in case you didn't notice, Sullivan is mocking Mormons in general. That's what bothered me." After reading it over a second time how could I have possibly missed that it clearly meant "I said Sullivan uses it too much, too indiscriminately, and that it sounds hostile to ordinary religious people." Those two sentences are practically the same! Now that I understand, Greenwald really does deserve worse--much worse!

The Exalted said...

the underpants are silly. anyone who takes them seriously is a silly person.

end of story imo.

tjl said...

"And my point is that they aren't real Christians."

DTL, branding all believers as automatic bigots is deeply unfair; it's also poor strategy to artificially multiply the number of our enemies. Real bigots do exist (see Cedarford) but they are collectively outnumbered by the indifferent and by those who wish us well. Why not try to find some common ground with those who may not agree with you in everything, but do believe "let him without sin cast the first stone."

pr9000 (paul) said...

hugh hewitt ... LOL.

that's the first laugh i've had all day. :)

downtownlad said...

tjl - I'd like to see religion exposed for the fraud that it is.

The more that religion can be associated with loonies, the easier it will be to persuade rational people to abandon it.

I used to have nothing against religion, but the actions of religious people over the last few years have turned my adamantly against it. I assume they wanted a fight. I'm happy to return the favor.

Dr. Limerick said...

The problem with Mormons isn't their beliefs. It's that wherever Mormons reach a critical mass, de facto Mormon theocracy follows. Christian fundamentalists, who want their own theocracy, naturally will oppose Mormon candidates for high office.

Mr. Snitch said...

All the Catholics
Hate the Protestants
And the Protestants
Hate the Catholics
And the Hindus
Hate the Muslims
And everybody hates
The Jews.

jpe said...

But his contempt is mostly for religious people who he thinks are too sure of themselves. [ADDED: But that is exactly his character flaw.]

This is simply wrong. Sullivan has gone into the term in some depth. At best the above shows intellectual dishonesty.

jpe said...

Given that there's no justification for, say, banning gay marriage that doesn't involve fundamentalist Christian doctrines of dubious validity..., I think "Christianist" sums it up pretty well.

Indeed. And the shrieking but weirdly substance-less protestations to the contrary only reinforce that. When there's only anger and emotion but no argument in response, one can be fairly sure the nail has been hit on the head.

reader_iam said...

The more that religion can be associated with loonies, the easier it will be to persuade rational people to abandon it.

There's real irony buried in that statement, if only you would see it.

Paddy O. said...

"I see "Islamist," "Christianist," and "religionist" all as useful terms to refer to political actors who rely on religious ideology."

Useful indeed. Now we need a term to describe political actors who rely on sexual ideology. Clearly there are those who are exclusively driven to create a power structure that furthers their own sexual beliefs. There's no term for that yet, but it would be handy.

As far as religion being a place for loonies, I'm reminded of the post not too long ago featuring Billy Graham. I think in a loony ranking between Graham and Sullivan it wouldn't be religious that is considered the loony side.

Jack Boo said...

Hey, it's not like gays are exempt from the funny underwear club...

http://www.bodyaware.com/MZ-showdetail?itemid=C017&returnurl=MI-DD&returncap=Return+to+the+gallery&returnpro=default&cid=C9886.08MQ&dtind=39046.9193315741

Anonymous said...

First time here; directed via the Greenwald post. Wow: wotta discussion. Flabbergasted to come across Matthew 22 true pinnacle of western wisdom lit in the thick of such a back and forth. Want to give dtl a hug. And a question to the Xtians here: is there any loophole in the available dogma or exegesis for a sort of limited ie selective Rapture? Apotheosizing the X-ist wing to some better place thereby bettering the lives of us survivors below? arm in arm with the men and women of faith for whom love thy neighbor as thyself is job one

john(lesser) said...

Quinto; it took me a minute to parse your comment, but I think I might have found an actual thought in it.

All I can say is don't worry. Contrary to what Jon Stewart tells you, the "Xtians", or 99% of them, are not waiting for the Rapture.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Loving thy neighbor as thyself is a piece of cake once you've purged all those ideologically incompatible neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Touche P.Z.

Anonymous said...

Touche P.Z.

ROBERTO said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pogo said...

It's passing strange when Sullivan and sock-puppet extraordinaire Greenwald demonize the very folks who might in time agree to abide by gay civil unions, and miss the actual murders of gays done in the name of religion.

The former, the Christians, might yet come to terms with gay unions (but likely not marriage). The latter, Muslims, instead want gay men stoned to death.

So who do Sullivan and Greenwald write about? Not those that would kill them, but those who might fight for them. (And about Althouse, for reasons that escape me.) Strange indeed.

The left is always looking for fascism in the US, yet it keeps it popping up elsewhere. And they are always the last to recognize it. Worse, they ignore obvious anti-West activities, thinking themselves liberal, or diverse, or multicultural. Or something non-Western.

I'll have to lump "Christianist" in with "breeder" and other key words which, when used, serve as accurate signals that the writer or speaker is incapable of reasoning, and rides the Philosophy Short Bus. But I mean no disrespect, so, you know, no foul.

Birkel said...

I'm really glad Ace of Spades HQ banned DowntownLad and Cedarford. They are not missed.

Professor Althouse, I admire your intellect and your wit. But more than that I admire your incredibly long fuse and your justified anger when that fuse is consumed.

My best regards to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, just got back to this...

I don't doubt that you realized that, but I thought your post was a tad misleading: you paraphrased Sullivan's response to the reader, not citing the specific objection to the photo, then invite your audience to read his entire original post and comment on how respectful it is as a whole.

simon- My impression from the poll is that an even larger portion of those who have tended to vote Republican--i.e., conservative Christians--were opposed to a Mormon candidacy. But even if that weren't the case, and Romney won the primary, he would still have to face the general electorate. I'm not saying that his win would be impossible, just that his religion is a likely handicap.

I think that a discussion of Mormonism brought about by Romney's run would benefit greatly from humor and curiosity. Bickering about how sacrilegious and/or respectful that discussion is will not help either side's case.

Slac said...

I prefer Christofascist.

john(lesser) said...

I never understood "breeder" when it came from an adult. When a kid says it, I think it is cute, like a wannabe Punk rocker. When an adult says it, I know the speaker literally spits on their parents.

As far as the Left attacking moderates who do not toe the party line when true extremists get a free pass? I used to think it was cheap grace. Later, I thought "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" makes sense. My latest theory is that repetition has won and small minds have succumbed to the very lies propagated from within.

Anonymous said...

One more thing, sorry, Ann!

If "Islamist" referred to "Islamic terrorists," perhaps the term "Christianist" would be inappropriate. But the dictionary definition for "Islamism" is as follows: "An Islamic revivalist movement, often characterized by moral conservatism, literalism, and the attempt to implement Islamic values in all spheres of life." Wouldn't you agree that Sullivan's "Christianists" often try to do the same thing, albeit with Christian values, and (generally) without bombs?

The Exalted said...

pogo,

because there are worse men outside the usa then inside it, glen and sullivan are not allowed to disagree with americans?

take your own wisdom then chap.

Anonymous said...

Plus he's just a bad writer. It's a pain to read what he says about me. Usually, I don't even bother because it's boring (even when it's about me).

Wow, incredibly weak, even by your low standards, Ann. Can't argue with an actual practicing lawyer? Thank whatever Christanist God you worship that you have tenure and you don't have to compete in the free market.

That's the most (not not nearly only) unintentionally funny thing about you and Reynolds in my book.

john(lesser) said...

The exalted; Greenwald and Sullivan are free to disagree with whoever they want. When they attack moderates and turn a blind eye to extremists, they will get called out for it.

Palladian said...

I wonder how many of Greenwald's followers who come over here to chew sour grapes are actually Greenwald himself? 50%? 65%? Why, otherwise, would they always talk about Ms. Althouse's tenure? Why would an otherwise disinterested commenter focus on that so much?

Birkel said...

rorschach,

Which bar did Gleen Grennwald pass to practice in Brazil. Do, tell.

Anonymous said...

Having read this post, and then Glenn Greenwald's, which you link to, it is difficult for me to believe that you are actually a professor, let alone at an institution such as the U of W. Having taught at the university level, I can't imagine--while advertising my position as a professor--posting such unthoughtful meanderings for all the world to read. Greenwald's articulate and reasoned (if long) post highlighting the glaring inconsistencies and troubling bias in your post contrasts sharply with your ad hominem attacks and lack of any sustained argument. If you are a professor, I'd say you owe it at least to all of your potential student-readers to respond to Greenwald's post with a critical argument defending your position and taking his on directly, point-by-point. I don't mean any offense (and I actually do hope that you can buy that because it's meant sincerely) by this comment. It's just dismaying to find someone in your position lowering the caliber of any discussion to this level.

Birkel said...

I find it quite remarkable, Professor Althouse, that so many people find it their job to tell you how to do things on your own blog. People cite the fact that you're a professor as if this gives them authority over you.

It's strange.

What drives these people? I wonder.

Mack said...

Ohioanne,

The reason I said the Mormon church hides their handbook is that they actually filed a well-known copyright infringement suit to prevent its dissemination on the internet. This looks like a good summary of the litigation. You can still find the handbook, but you actually have to look pretty hard.

As to Reid, I think he's made his independence pretty clear. Romney's recent pushing on the issue makes me wonder. When he belongs to a group that explicitly politicizes the issue, though, I see no reason not to ask him.

Otherwise, I agree with Althouse that Greenwald bringing her tenure into it is petty, arrogant, and deserves being called out, even if his point was valid. I'm constantly amazed at how cars and internets turn so many people into a-holes.

Dominion said...

As far as my hostile words for Greenwald are concerned: they are utterly justified. The little creep has no compunction about attempting to destroy my reputation any way he can think of. He deserves much worse. Plus he's just a bad writer. It's a pain to read what he says about me. Usually, I don't even bother because it's boring (even when it's about me).

What a brilliant counter argument. I stand amazed at your ability to ignore every point Glenn made in order to gratuitously insult him. That type of intellectual honesty simply can't be found in a cereal box!

David Manus said...

downtownlad: classic troll behaviour. Posting inflammatory, outlandish and over-the-top statements to get a response from other posters, adding zero to the conversation, and either ignorantly or intentionally adding false and distorted info (does he have Mormons mixed up with Scientologist?)- when ignored, he continues to add more and more outrageous baiting posts to try to get a reaction. He is not using reasoned debate or trying to convince anyone of the validity of his point, he is just making idiotic and hateful statements in the hopes someone will notice and play flamewar with him. He's trying to hijack the conversation with his childish taunts.

I'll feed the troll one time just to give him some hard truths to chew on.

Trolls are usually sociopaths, and continually posting on a board just to try to get a rise out of the regular readers is psychotic behaviour. I post on lefty sites, but I try to use reasoned debate and facts to argue my point, not just throw insults and falsehoods around so people will abandon the debate to flame me.

You sir, are a troll and I'm willing to bet a very unhappy person, and with a lot of time on your hands to boot.

Sucks to be you, huh?

Palladian said...

"Having taught at the university level, I can't imagine--while advertising my position as a professor--posting such unthoughtful meanderings for all the world to read."

Unthoughtful Meanderings is a good new name for Greenwald's blog.

"If you are a professor, I'd say you owe it at least to all of your potential student-readers to respond to Greenwald's post with a critical argument defending your position and taking his on directly, point-by-point..."

Trying to find the "points" of Greenwald's arguments is like fishing quarters out of a sedimentation tank at a sewage treatment plant- the reward simply doesn't seem worth fishing around in the slurry, does it?

Bee said...

Now we need a term to describe political actors who rely on sexual ideology.


PaddyO,

How about "Sexualist"

Theo Boehm said...

Wow! Looks like the traditional post-Thanksgiving Dispute with Other Blogger™. Comes complete with personal invective, sock puppetry, nasty comments, and lack of capitalization.

Last year it was, like Seinfeld, about nothing—Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year we have substance: Religion and Politics. And not just any religion, but everyone's favorite, Mormonism! WAY better than some silly balloon and lamp post. Of course the current disputant doesn't compete with last year's in terms of sheer nerve and industrial-strength venom, but we can't have everything.

You know, I'm a great fan of this blog. Been reading it for years. I was up for a midnight snack, my laptop beckoning from the dining room table, so I had to check it out. I was thinking of a comment on the podcast, but stumbled across this thread instead. It gave me a little frisson to anticipate an amusing, intelligent discussion about why Mitt Romney is so irritating. What we got was the usual dreary riot. What did I expect?

I'm going to finish picking a bit more white meat off the carcass, find some cranberry sauce, and leave you all to hurl cobblestones at each other.

And now it's back to bed, where I do fear a midnight snack-induced nightmare of Mitt Romney in his underwear.

OhioAnne said...

The reason I said the Mormon church hides their handbook is that they actually filed a well-known copyright infringement suit to prevent its dissemination on the internet. This looks like a good summary of the litigation. You can still find the handbook, but you actually have to look pretty hard.

First, Mackan, thank you for your reasoned response. Also, thank you for identifying WHAT you were referring to by the Church Handbook.

A short explanation is due here ... In the LDS Church we do not have paid clergy. Until recently, my Bishop was a retired school teacher turned gift shop owner. The Bishop before that was a practicing Civil Engineer.

The "handbook" is simply a guide as to "how to" run the ward/branch for people with no formal training or education on how to do such a thing. When I go to church this morning, I will be in a congregation with a least a dozen people who access that book regularly. A state secret it isn't - and, after learning WHICH book you were referring to, I know have to laugh at Tanner's "secret agent" reference to how they got their original copy. BTW, finding sections of the handbook were no difficult at all - the "super-secret" section the Tanner's referred to took less than a minute.

But why is it difficult to find the WHOLE handbook? Because its' COPYRIGHTED. The Tanner's pushed the limit on "fair use" to the point that the church had a copyright violation case.

Now it appears to me that we have a number of published authors commenting on this blog (and, of course, our hostess). Are you suggesting that defending your copyright means that you have something to hide?

Now the Tanners' claim they provided the service because the church doesn't want people to know they can resign their church membership rather than simply resign. They further claim that they are providing the service to people who don't want to talk to any person associated with the church but want to resolve the situation.

Well, if those people talked to virtually any members of the church old enough to understand the concept, they would be told that resignation of membership is considered preferable to the need to excommunicate anyone. However, since the Tanners have devoted their lives to "rescuing" people from the LDS church it really wouldn't do them good to have that bit of information find out.

As to Reid and Romney .... I do not object to the question being asked of Romney nor do I doubt that he would. What I was pointing out was that the Reid differs sharply with Romney but both are members in good standing of the same church.

Romney's recent pushings on the issue actually involve a constitutional issue. All he is attempting to do is get the Massachusetts state legislature to vote on an issue that has been brought before them and that they chose to "run out the clock" on rather than go on record. If they vote, he just as easily lose as win that particular fight.

Pogo said...

Exalted said something fairly goofy: "because there are worse men outside the usa then inside it, glen and sullivan are not allowed to disagree with americans?"

Well, no. Only illogic would permit that sort of fallacious argument. Here's a more reasoned summary:

Because there are murderous men who wish to kill gays (and many others) in the name of religion, then Greenwald and Sullivan are fools to make enemies with those oppose gay marriage in the name of religion (but won't stone gays to death, or have walls crush them, and even support gay unions). Neither man seems able to tell a potential friend from a real foe.

Yours is pithy, but erroneous. Like Sully and Glen.

Ann Althouse said...

Birkel said..."I find it quite remarkable, Professor Althouse, that so many people find it their job to tell you how to do things on your own blog. People cite the fact that you're a professor as if this gives them authority over you."

It's the old "you, a law professor!" argument. This makes me realize that I don't see that as often as I used to. If there is one argument I always resist, it's the one that says I ought to restrict myself to a professorly style. If I took that advice, the blog wouldn't be fun to read and, when I had opponents, I'd be fighting with one hand tied behind my bag. This blog is an experiment in writing, an artistic project for me. It's not about writing like a law professor. In any case, lawprofs aren't the stuffy, dull people imagined by the people who keep telling me to write like a law professor.

As for tenure, it's earned and, once earned, it brings freedom. That's the idea. If my having tenure confounds you, good! It's one more way I intend to mess with your mind.

Mike said...

Does it matter if Andrew meant to be disrespectful? I, along with thousands of others, stopped reading his blog about two years ago when he seemingly went off the deep end. At this point, I'm not sure why we bother to critique anything he writes. He doesn't represent any coherent view of the world (left or right) and responding to his sloppily argued assertions implies a respect for his opinion that he has not earned and does not deserve.

nedludd said...

Sully still hasn't gotten over the fact that the Colege of Carinals elected a Catholic Pope and not him.

Downtownlad, you lose support for your side every time you open your mouth. I really don't care about gay marriage other than when/if it happens I want it to be legislated not court inflicted. I don't give a damn if someone is sleeping with three women, a german shepard and a male midget in a wading pool full of Jello brand chocolate pudding to the sounds of "Rock Me, Amedeus" played by a transexual seal on bike horn. My business partner is gay. I just don't care.

I do get annoyed, however, when someone like you comes along and says I am a bigot because I go to church on Sundays, or labels me a breeder, or braqs about what an intolerant asshole they are. You lose my support and make me indifferent. You will not get the advances you demand by yourself, you will need the goodwill of your Christianist breeders and others, or you will lengthen the battle far more than it needs to be.

Don't be a total asshole. Time and demograghics are on your side, unless you continue in your best Oral Roberts/ Pat Robertson routine and turn off would be supporters.

Birkel said...

Professor Althouse,

You used a you in your final paragraph that struck me as quite odd. I hope you didn't take it that I found tenure or any other matter related to your job confusing. Rather, I find the people who make arguments about how you should argue confusing.

I'm sending an E-mail your way for further discussion.

jakemanjack said...

In any case, both Greenwald (wow, he is an idiot) and Sullivan are rabid Homosexualists.

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