March 15, 2010

"RESURRECTION: NYT runs Obama 'cross' photo..."

Says Drudge, pointing to this "Illustration by Nola Lopez, photograph by Damon Winter." I'm not sure where the photograph ends and the illustration begins, but, either way it's quite a bizarre accompaniment to an article called "As Health Vote Awaits, Future of a Presidency Waits, Too." I don't think there's anything in the article even touching on religion... except to the extent that Obama is some kind of religion.

IN THE COMMENTS: Some of you think that the cross in this context should be understood as representing health care and not Christianity at all. (Sea Urchin said: "Well, it is a square cross, which I associate first with the picture on my first aid kit.") I hope that if you think that, you also agree — and many don't — with what Justice Scalia said at oral argument in Salazar v. Buono, the case about the cross that the Veterans of Foreign Wars built in the Mojave National Preserve, which is supposed to honor the soldiers who died in WWI:
"It's erected as a war memorial. I assume it is erected in honor of all of the war dead... What would you have them erect?...Some conglomerate of a cross, a Star of David, and you know, a Muslim half moon and star?"

Peter Eliasberg, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer arguing the case, explained that the cross is the predominant symbol of Christianity and commonly used at Christian grave sites, not that the devoutly Catholic Scalia needed to be told that.

"I have been in Jewish cemeteries," Eliasberg continued. "There is never a cross on a tombstone of a Jew."

There was mild laughter in the packed courtroom, but not from Scalia.

"I don't think you can leap from that to the conclusion that the only war dead that that cross honors are the Christian war dead. I think that's an outrageous conclusion," Scalia said, clearly irritated by the exchange.

IN THE COMMENTS: Palladian said:
There's a theory that the symbol of the red cross was painted on the baseboards of corridors in the great palaces and castles of England during the middle ages and Renaissance to deter people from urinating in those places, a common problem in those times. It was supposed that a person would not want to micturate upon the symbols of Albion and of his saviour Christ. These effluence-protected spots thereby became associated with cleanness, which led to the later use of the cross to connote sanitation and hygiene. This association eventually led to the use of the red cross as a symbol for medical practitioners, once the connection between hygiene and disease prevention was made, that is.

90 comments:

F said...

In lists of vital statistics, a cross beside the date in the citation indicates the date of death. I think that's what this is: date of Obamacare's death.

wv = valli: "into the valli of the shadow of death. . ." F

Sea Urchin said...

Well, it is a square cross, which I associate first with the picture on my first aid kit. I suppose people who had more contact with Greek Orthodoxy (I think?) or other sects that primarily use the square cross might think religiously first, but the idea was probably to invoke the Red Cross or the first aid sign.

Still a wierd illustration, though. And the illumination of his head also has the religious connotations of the halo.

I guess we're supposed to be rooting for the canonization of Obama, saint of health care.

HokiePundit said...

I'd be very surprised if more than a few people equated the cross with medicine before Christianity.

madawaskan said...

What the hell!?

Basically it's Obama on the cross with a halo-hovering over the diminished White House...


ummm

traditionalguy said...

The head of the religion as a cult figure loved by his followers comes out when Obama feels weakened by the opposition to his plans. Yet the opposition to Obama is actually being asked for when he goes after China over Taiwan, while he goes after Israel over apartments in the Old city of Jerusalem, and while he goes after the Democrat party with his Kamikaze health care take over plan. This dangerous dude wants to give every one of us some Jim Jones Cool Aid and laugh at us.

The Drill SGT said...

Maybe the Won is about to ascend bodily to Heaven?

madawaskan said...

Well the history of medicine and hospitals has been religiously based-particularly here in the U.S.

The first hospitals by a great majority were run by the religious orders.

Big Mike said...

Didn't the Times join in the criticism of a Mike Huckabee spot where a white bookcase in the background could -- if you squinted a little bit -- look like a cross? You'd think sauce for the goose, but looking at a picture as over the top as this one, you'd be very wrong, wouldn't you?

The funny thing is, the article is, by the standards of the Times anyway, a fairly balanced assessment of the risk/reward tradeoff for passage of this healthcare legislation.

madawaskan said...

And the index finger-it's sermon time!

Sea Urchin said...

What really confuses me about the picture, though, is that little white house at the base of the cross. I kind of get the thinking in drawing a cross on there (and probably bumping up the contrast of the original picture to get that pretty, pretty halo) but I do not understand where somebody thought, "You know what this picture needs? The White House. There is not enough house in this picture."


And it's just oddly placed, too. The president is going to move his elbow and demolish the whole thing at any moment now.

sonicfrog said...

I'd be very surprised if more than a few people equated the cross with medicine before Christianity.

When I saw the latest incarnation of the pic, that was my first thought.

Lincolntf said...

The 100% rate of editorial adoration for Obama by the NYT (combined with their long history of foisting fake articles, photos and even fake journalists onto the public) makes me think that it has to be deliberate. Ridiculous to the point that it's hardly worth criticizing, but deliberate all the same.
Thankfully these people never stop beclowning themselves, their only tolerable trait.

Big Mike said...

PS: If Dan Pfeiffer really does "relish the idea of Republicans running on the Tea Party mantle of repeal" then he doesn't grasp politics at all. If Republicans run on a platform of repealing whatever absurd abomination comes out of the Slaughter-reconciliation process (what a name!) and they win, then Obama might just as well resign.

And keep in mind that if there really are any benefits to be had from this plan, they won't have kicked in by November 2010 -- the only thing that will have kicked in are the taxes. And cutting taxes is not a problem for Republicans.

madawaskan said...

Sea Urchin

but I do not understand where somebody thought, "You know what this picture needs? The White House. There is not enough house in this picture."

LOL!

It's just really,really bad.

madawaskan said...

Maybe they know no one really reads The NYT anymore all they do is look at the pictures-and without the cross and White House in the picture they wouldn't recognize Obama.

rhhardin said...

Obama didn't look mad to me, when I clicked from Drudge.

Now it turns out he meant religion cross, not mad cross.

Seven Machos said...

Here's the question: what would have happened to Jesus had he "won" his last political battle instead of getting ratted out and killed? Would the story be worth telling?

Obama peaked the day before the election. The only way he could have continued with his narrative is if he had lost in a racist upset. Just like Rocky would have sucked if Rocky had won, and just like Nirvana would be washed up and lame like Pearl Jam had Kurt Cobain lived, Obama's story arc is getting suckier and less compelling by the day. No haloed photos will change that.

SteveR said...

To the extent this "One" has anything in common with that "One" it is not in the performance of miracles. For instance, if he could make the current process of trying to get a Health Care Bill passed and signed into law not look like a steaming pile of corrupt dog crap...that would be a miracle.

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

And keep in mind that if there really are any benefits to be had from this plan, they won't have kicked in by November 2010 -- the only thing that will have kicked in are the taxes. And cutting taxes is not a problem for Republicans.

Not true. Many provisions like immediate help to uninsured until exchanges are available, end of pre-existing conditions discrimination, ins companies not being able to drop you when you're sick, closing the Medicare Part D donut hole, take effect immediately.

Lem said...

I don't think there's anything in the article even touching on religion... except to the extent that Obama is some kind of religion.

The passion of the Obama.

Its like Obama is carrying a cross.. the Republicans/jews are crucifying him and the passage of health care is resurrection day.

Judas Iscariot is Eric J. Massa..
The apostle Peter is played by Rahm Emanuel.
Pontius Pilate is played by guest stars.. Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor .. depending on who's available.

Lem said...

Forgive us Obama, for we know not what we do.

Mark O said...

Matthew 4:8-10?

G Joubert said...

When you factor in that most people at the NYT are agnostic if not outright atheistic and proud of it, the mindset behind this becomes even harder to figure. Cynical is a good start.

From Inwood said...

I'd prefer The St Andrew's Cross for this deal.

(Some humorless troll will say that I'm arguing for the Confederate Flag.)

Lem said...

How about Matthew 21:13..

Obama said 'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers'.

Obama's hart is really not in the Louisiana purchase nor the cornhuskers kick back ;)

Joan said...

That photo/illustration appalled me last night. It doesn't look any better this morning. Who approved it? What possible defense can be made of it? I'd like to hear it.

From Inwood said...

Alas, how simplistic were those of us who thought from our grade school civics class that, under the Constitution’s “Presentment Clause” (Art I Sec 7), after some (much) back & forth, the House & Senate got together & submitted one bill, a real bill, to the President to sign, and (unless he “vetoed” it), upon his signature, the bill became a Law (although it could always be later amended through the same process).

Remember Schoolhouse Rock, that civic-minded Saturday morning cartoon short from the 1970s?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEJL2Uuv-oQ

It’s time to update it for the Obama Era, see Schoolhouse Barack:

http://biggovernment.com/jherricane/2010/03/14/schoolhouse-barack/

On a more high-minded note, see

The House Health-Care Vote and the Constitution
No bill can become law unless the exact same text is approved by a majority of both houses of Congress.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704416904575121532877077328.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

Where are the Libs who cried “They’re shredding my Constitution” every time a GOP Administration & Congress got a law passed?

Skyler said...

They're not even bothering to be subtle anymore in their hagiography.

k*thy said...

It actually looks like an equal-armed cross, which pre-dates Christianity. Greeks, American Indian, Celtics all put different meanings to it. With that, who knows what the artist is trying to convey.

Montagne Montaigne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Montagne Montaigne said...

Are pharmacies religious?

jwvansteenwyk said...

There is no deliberate symbolism in this photo;

These aren't the droids your looking for. You can go about your business. Move along. Move along.

WV: chonfool. A Chonfool is someone who thinks they can definitively assert the absence of deliberate symbolism. Even with a f***ing cross and the White House in the picture.

Seven Machos said...

Wherein Montagne argues for just another crazy, nutty coincidence.

Stellar. Stupid, but stellar.

jwvansteenwyk said...

The above was in response to Montaigne's ridiculous assertion, which he apparently thought better of, and then deleted.

Of course, being a liberal, he then gets even dumber, trying to obfuscate the obvious symbolism in the photograph. Are pharmacies religious? No, dummy! Not all symbols are religious.

madawaskan said...

Montagne Montaigne said...
Are pharmacies religious?

I'm almost certain you go to yours-religiously, even if it doesn't appear to be legal.

PatCA said...

Hopefully Congress will not drink his Kool Aid.

Montagne Montaigne said...

I thought better of it because I didn't notice that it wasn't just a damon winter photo. But clearly the cross refers to health care, as in RX, pharmacies, etc. which any sane and normal adult would recognize, rather than assuming that a national newspaper really wants to imply that the president is Jesus Christ. But go on, I realize nothing will ever stop the torrents of idiocy from the right.

Montagne Montaigne said...

If Obama is some kind of religion, then hating Obama and blaming every problem in the world on him is DEFINITELY a religion. And a source of revenue for hacks. And a waste of time for dupes.

pm317 said...

Judging by the size of the WH in that illustration, they are mocking him as a diminished messiah.

Seven Machos said...

Montagne first foolishly argued that there is no deliberate symbolism in the photo. He then realized, after publishing, that this was a heroically stupid and dense claim.

So, he deleted. But he couldn't just let it go, so he went the vapid, dumb, utterly substance-free snark route.

Then, still feeling a nagging sense that he looked like a drooling tool, he posted again, declaring that, indeed, it is the right that is filled with idiocy.

That about where we are?

madawaskan said...

We are simply giving you pay back.

Obviously long term memory loss is a symptom of being a Democrat.

Now that you have to play defense you want the rules that you all set up-changed.

If you think this photo art is a masterpiece by all means hang it up in your peyote smoking tent.

ricpic said...

Vomitbama has single handedly sent millions upon millions of Americans reeling back to their roots in liberty. In that sense he's a miracle worker.

danielle said...

Ann, i'm surprised you havent blogged on these yet. these are *ripe* for psychoanalysis.

http://www.gq.com/news-politics/politics/201004/rielle-hunter-john-edwards-exclusive-interview?printable=true

and these pictures:

http://www.gq.com/news-politics/politics/201004/rielle-hunter-john-edwards-exclusive-slideshow#slide=1

madawaskan said...

danielle-

o...m..g....

Big Mike said...

clearly the cross refers to health care.

Not so clearly at all. A red cross identifies medical personnel in the military (e.g., the red cross painted on the USNS Comfort) as specified in the "UN Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field." But the cross in the picture is white, and I've never seen white crosses except in Christian contexts.

The only symbol unabiguously related to health care is the caduceus.

danielle said...

madawaskan -- i know, right. ridiculous. if she's so 'enlightened' and 'aware,' why would she do this interview and these pictures ?

Peano said...

Maybe this is more appropriate?

Paul said...

Related parody: Photographer Disciplined for Snapping President at Bad Angle http://optoons.blogspot.com/2009/03/photographer-disciplined-for-snapping.html

A.W. said...

This is just follows my theory that to liberals all religion is bad... its adherents are backwards, idiotic and bigoted... unless black people are involved. Then its fine.

oh, and the white house in the pic just makes it inexcusably cheesy. Seriously, how can this ever be put in the news pages of the paper?

ken in sc said...

The fact that a cross is such a controversial symbol in our PC era has led many hospitals and ambulances stop using it and adopt a strange symbol that seems to be a blue x combined with a blue cross—looking almost like a Buddhist prayer wheel.

madawaskan said...

danielle-

The first photo-just how boring is that idiot Reille?


You can just see her struggling-ooooh let me think of something sexy.

What a loser.

madawaskan said...

Peano...

LOL!

Big Mike said...

@ken, that's not so (or at least not necessarily so). The Geneva Convention I referenced above actually forbids the use of a red cross on white background outside of its use by the Red Cross society and for marking healthcare facilities and healthcare providers in the armed forces. The use of a red cross on civilian ambulances, first aid kits, etc., is actually a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Chip Ahoy said...

The office Obama holds, considered by many the most important on Earth, is actually insignificant to the man in the minds of his slavering sycophants.

It's religious. Specifically Christian.

It's tempting. Shrink the man and enlarge the office to the point that office overwhelms and consumes the man. But I can't be arsked. This photoshop is more subversive than any satire I could contrive. In my worldview its sincerity is even more pathetic.

Within the article Baker cites Obama laughing at McConnell's advice and warning about midterm elections. His dismissive explanation is entirely partisan. It's easy to imagine the situation reversed. But compare that with, "Mitch makes a good point there. We do risk loosing seats in the midterm elections. But that's a price our party has weighed and is willing to pay in order to pass important legislation that we deeply believe is good for our country." Then, "that's what members of Congress are hearing right now on the cable shows and in sort of the gossip columns in Washington," wherein he accurately describes the bubble he's in, the glass dome, the blister. Apart from his continuing numerous speeches he's deaf to the people. Those adorable little flaps on the side of his head simply do not work when it comes to picking up the frenetic signals transmitted by the general electorate he was hired to represent. He's tuned to his own inner signal. His apparent isolation has caused him to forget who works for whom, if his unique experience has ever allowed him to know that.

Triangle Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

I like to get a $15,000 grant to do this to Obamas picture.

Mark O said...

Is she supposed to be 16 or what?

She claims that she didn't know the picture would show more than waist (waste?) level.

"Oh, Johnny. Come here and sit with Kermit and me. I'm your everlasting punishment and, oh, by the way, I'm pregnant."

Palladian said...

There's a theory that the symbol of the red cross was painted on the baseboards of corridors in the great palaces and castles of England during the middle ages and Renaissance to deter people from urinating in those places, a common problem in those times. It was supposed that a person would not want to micturate upon the symbols of Albion and of his saviour Christ. These effluence-protected spots thereby became associated with cleanness, which led to the later use of the cross to connote sanitation and hygiene. This association eventually led to the use of the red cross as a symbol for medical practitioners, once the connection between hygiene and disease prevention was made, that is.

Lem said...

@Palladian.. as the great Johnny Carson used to say.

I did not know that.

Thanks.

Big Mike said...

@Triangle Man, I followed your link and it makes the same point I did in my 12:52 comment: the Red Cross objected because of the violation of the Geneva Convention.

Again, the only use of a white cross, as depicted in the picture, is in Christian symbolism and (this was new to me) as the street name of some forms of legal, but frequently abused, amphetamines.

Daniel said...

Re update:

What?

How is an argument that a square cross is not a religious symbol relevant to this cross, which is not a square cross?

This makes absolutely no sense. And yet you just PROCLAIM that we have to agree. You've had some annoyingly condescending and despotic moments recently.

Kansas City said...

The mindset of the NYT is fascinating. I don't know if they deliberately incorporate bias into their publication, or if they only see the world through their own bias and don't recognize they are doing anything wrong. This photo/illustration is especially great because it is the same days Howell Raines publishes a column in the WPOST lecturing the world on the evil of Fox News and its lack of journalistic objectivity. You couldn't make this stuff up - the conceit and lack of self awareness of liberals like Raines.

Two short anecdotes about the NYT. A couple weeks ago, I was at a art festival in Naples, Florida and the NYT had a very nice booth soliciting subscriptions. They had a poster up with the front page of the paper. It was a 2006 front page that had 3 articles above the fold critical of Bush - one on Abuh Grahib [sp?], another one on failures in Iraq and a third on the failures of Katrina. The NTY people either are clueless about why they are viewed as liberal or they don't care.

The other anecdote is their coverage of Ned Lamont's victory over Leibrman in the primary. I happened to be in New York that next day. The Times, of course, made a hug deal of it, but they published a photo of Lamont on stage claiming victory that looked perfectly normal, except that it had blocked out the images of Sharpton and Jackson who were standing next to and behind Lamont. It was an obvious attempt to not hurt Lamont with Connecticult votes by showing the two race hustlers aligned with him. It was absolutely amazing and had to be intentional. Jackson and Sharpton were very prominent on the stage, and one would have had to go very far to find a photo where both of them were blocked.

Lem said...

Obama is like Osama..

Its a tag ;)

lyssalovelyredhead said...

The NYT cross is NOT SQUARE.

It appears that way because the bottom cuts off, leading to the assumption that the cross ends there, although the horizontal ends are shown. The bizarre little white house adds to the illusion that it is shorter.

Measure it on your screen- the distance between the start of the downward vertical line and the bottom of the picture is just slightly longer than the start of the horizontal left or right lines to their ends.

It's a Christian cross.

- Lyssa

Lem said...

I'm with you Lyssa.

Old Dad said...

No wonder the Times is going out of business. The editors are playing to their dwindling base. Yes, the photo is messianic, yes the cross is meant to simultaneously invoke Christ and the Red Cross. No, the editors do not understand that most Americans will find the picture stupid, condescending, and annoying. A trifecta!

Daniel said...

Update to my prior comment:

Althouse wrote "I hope that if you think that, you also agree"
(my bold).

I read too quickly the first time, and missed the "I hope". Still disagree with the relevance of the Scalia argument though.

Daniel said...

Lyssa, I measured, and found that it was exactly -- really exactly, to the full extent of my measurement accuracy -- square.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Daniel, I measured a couple of times and it came out the same, but perhaps screen images vary. I'll give it a try again when I get home and update.

Even so, you're assuming that the cross bottom ends at the end of the picture, when there is no reason to believe that is true, particularly given that the horizontal line clearly ends.

Trooper York said...

You know I really hate it hacks use religious symbolism in their stupid writing.

It's just really disrespectful.

Lem said...

Lyssa, I measured, and found that it was exactly -- really exactly, to the full extent of my measurement accuracy -- square.

she really said that ;)

Alex said...

ObamaCare is dead, baby dead.

Alex said...

Obama really does believe he's Jesus. So do his followers...

Triangle Man said...

@Big Mike

I was agreeing with you.

Triangle Man said...

Even so, you're assuming that the cross bottom ends at the end of the picture, when there is no reason to believe that is true, particularly given that the horizontal line clearly ends.

Actually, the cross does not extend below the image, it extends above the image. People, Obama is in front of an inverted cross!

lyssalovelyredhead said...

OK, I tried measuring on my home computer and it did come out the same on each side, so I guess it appears a little bit differently on each screen or something. Blogger doesn't give me the option to delete comments, so I'll just have to call take back on my first one. Mea culpa.

I stand by my earlier assertion about the bottome of the picture (unless it was cropped from the original pic, which might make sense given the top). If the artist wanted to go for a square cross, wouldn't he/she have made sure that was clear by showing the ends?

Triangle Man and Lem: Heh and Heh.

former law student said...

OK everyone take deep breaths.

The depicted cross is a plus sign. Christ was not crucified on a plus sign. His arms did not jut from his waist. The Romans did not waste wood from the desert to make the cross look like a plus sign -- there was just enough to support His head and a little more to list his crime.

The Christian cross is also a male fertility symbol: the cross pieces represent the testicles, and the main staff represents the penis.

I agree the caduceus would have been a better symbol because less ambiguous.

Which leaves the question: Does Red Cross Macaroni violate the Geneva Conventions? Can serving Wednesday night spaghetti be considered a form of torture?

http://marklansdown.com/pinbacks/pages/redcrossmacaroni.html

Fred4Pres said...

It is not even Easter yet!

Christy said...

Preacher man standing beside a cross. Take his photo from the waist up. What you get is that pic. Totally unambiguous to anyone who's ever been to a church service.

Big Mike said...

@fls, you raised an interesting question about Red Cross macaroni and I did some investigating. Apparently at the time the US ratified the Geneva Conventions there were some companies that had registered the red cross trademark much earlier, Johnson & Johnson being one of them and Red Cross Macaroni another. Today J&J continues to legally use the red cross on a white background in the United States, even though this is a violation of the Geneva Convention which the United States ratified in 1949, under an "interpretation" of the accords. Makes my head hurt -- I think I'll stick to mathematics, thank you.

From what I can piece together, Red Cross Macaroni probably lost its right to use the red cross on a white background in 1953. But without Lexis/Nexis I can't be sure.

But one thing still bothers me. You don't really use macaroni noodles to make spaghetti, do you?

Big Mike said...

BTW, I think your suggestion that a Christian cross is a fertility symbol is a bit off. Isn't a circle with a cross below it the symbol for female? The symbol for male fertility is a circle with a pointed arrow going up and to the right at about 45 degrees.

Big Mike said...

And I think that Old Dad is correct on all points.

Theo Boehm said...
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Theo Boehm said...
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richard mcenroe said...

In a related development, Obama plans to cement his relationship with fundamentalist Christians on Good Friday, re-enacting the crowd's demand for Barabbas by pardoning Khalid Sheikh Mohammed...

Mikio said...

Show me a person comparing Obama supporters to a religious cult and I'll show you a racist.

Conservatives like Althouse (who didn't vote for Obama, you gullible shmucks, she voted for her own blog gimmick and the appearance of bonafides behind her ceaseless criticism of him) have such enmity toward this black man who stole their country that people merely liking him is so beguiling to them that they consider it a worshipful mentality, so distant is it from their own hate.

Mikio said...

Correction: "beguiling" doesn't mean what I thought it meant. Replace with "confounding." Thanks.

John Foust said...

PhotoShop and digital photo enthusiasts, do you see what I see? Apart from the White House at the bottom, which looks like a reflection, the cross looks like a lens flare or an artifact of a rectangular element within the lens, and it has rectangular edges like it was a giant JPEG distortion, which would normally wash-out the image - yet it lightens Obama's white shirt, as if it were overlaid. Either we're seeing post-processing or a weird reflection.

former law student said...

Here, "Macaroni" is generic for pasta.