August 26, 2012

"Now that Tampa is out of harm's way, mostly from Isaac, I'm alarmed to see what might happen in New Orleans."

"Head's up, all you central Gulf Coasters!" says MadisonMan, in the comments on the Crist thread, and Meade points me to this map, showing the predicted storm path as of 11 EDT:



First, MadisonMan's syntax makes me see a joke I don't think he intended. "Now that Tampa is out of harm's way, mostly from Isaac..." Didn't he only mean to say "Now that Tampa is mostly out of harm's way from Isaac"? Or did he mean to say that Tampa is still in harm's way? The major harm aimed its way was Isaac, and that's now going elsewhere, but Tampa is nevertheless in the path of the approaching the GOP convention.

But, anyway, let's move on to those people who have thought it was acceptable and funny to joke about God taking aim at the Republican convention. For example, at the Isthmus forum, which I linked to in the Crist thread, a commenter using the pseudonym Henry Vilas said "I wonder if Pat Robinson will claim that God is sending a hurricane to Tampa in order to punish the GOP."

Notice that Vilas is himself thinking of the hurricane as God's punishment, but he dredges up "Robinson"[sic-- it's Robertson] to put the vile observation into the mouth of someone who is not a liberal. But liberals were not refraining from joking about God's wrath aimed at the GOP. Remember that Dana Milbank's column.

Of course, the liberals are only joking about God. God is a joke. Robertson was (presumably) genuinely wondering about the things a God he believes in might do to punish sinful human beings. I don't know which is worse, but if you care about sin — or good and evil — you should give priority to the things you do, not to whether other people are offending God (and how God is assessing and reacting to these various offenses). If a hurricane is coming, that's a serious matter, and real people are in danger. That's not great material for your political jokes, even though it just seems so delicious that a hurricane is was pointed at the GOP convention.

And, I know, I'm violating my own principle in saying that you should look to your own sins. So let me slink away and contemplate my own offenses against The Creator.

68 comments:

Chip S. said...

I read MM as saying that the convention was also threatened by violent protesters, whose presence would be diminished by the hurricane threat.

rhhardin said...

If a hurricane is coming, that's a serious matter, and real people are in danger.

I always enjoyed hurricanes.

Cool wind, trees down, no school.

chickelit said...

Or did he mean to say that Tampa is still in harm's way?

You need a weatherman to tell you which way a political skirt blows?

edutcher said...

Your point about one's own sins is well-taken and a central point of Christianity, IMHO.

And, yes, I see Madman's gag and I think he saw it, too.

As for Vilas' since God is delivering Tampa, I guess Robertson will say God is on the republicans' side this time.



Original Mike said...

I blame Bush.

Leo said...

Given Pat Robertson's views on homosexuality and the fact that the Republicans aren't fighting to overturn Lawrence v Texas. Shouldn't he be doing so (to be consistent)?

Meade said...

"So let me slink away and contemplate my own offenses against The Creator."

Althouse and her followers being expelled from the Garden of Bloggen to the Land of HuffPo.

mesquito said...

Even it it had directly hit Tampa (very unlikely btw), it was never going be stronger than a Category One. I've never seen so much bullshit handwringing.

edutcher said...

Meade said...

"So let me slink away and contemplate my own offenses against The Creator."

Althouse and her followers being expelled from the Garden of Bloggen to the Land of HuffPo.


Too bad Chip Ahoy didn't think of that. We'd have an animation of Ann and Meade moving across the dester wastes of Montana.

Ann Althouse said...

@Meade What a painting!

I never thought of the Adam and Eve clan as looking like a bunch of Neanderthals. It's something to think about.

Where did all these full-size adults come from? It's one thing that Adam had to start out as a full-size adult. But then Eve... basically a newborn in grown-woman size, set there to have sex with the slightly older baby, Adam. Then both are punished really severely even though they performed much better than any baby I've ever heard of. Never a moment of motherly love. No one ever even showed them where to go to the bathroom.

They have a couple children. One kills the other, and then Cain goes off into the Land of Nod with all these other characters. Where did all these people come from?

Quite aside from all the other problems with taking the Bible literally, how do you get through the first couple pages without complaining about the quality of the fiction?!

But I love the painting. It's so absurd. As they say: using absurdity to illustrate absurdity.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

When an earthquake hits Iran and hundreds are (tragically) killed my reaction is this-- I don't think God is punishing them, but I really hope that the Iranians believe He is. Democrats may be amused to think God hates Republicans, but we Republicans know He is on our side.

avwh said...

Who's Pat Robinson??

Paddy O said...

"Where did all these people come from?"

This was one of my earliest Bible problems. Well, more specifically "What's up with Cain's wife?" I remember asking pastors this question again and again. They all gave one form or another of pretty deficient answers (usually involving substituting more acceptable extrabiblical ideas than what might otherwise be assumed).

This question was one the driving forces for me to get educated on Biblical studies myself and not trust other people nearly as much.

I've come up with an answer that satisfies me but that doesn't mean there's a good answer to be had.

"how do you get through the first couple pages without complaining about the quality of the fiction?"

Mostly by realizing that those narratives have a goal, and the goal isn't pure entertainment, but to specifically be a contrasting narrative to other creation myths, establishing the God of the Israelites as a specific kind of God and a specific kind of God who is, literally and ultimately, in charge of everything.

garage mahal said...

Having a convention based on which way the wind blows is so appropriate for a convention held for Mitt Romney.

victoria said...

Garage

Good comeback. Too true, however.


Vicki from pasadena

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

They have a couple children. One kills the other, and then Cain goes off into the Land of Nod with all these other characters. Where did all these people come from?

Genesis 5 says the kids had more kids.

Quite aside from all the other problems with taking the Bible literally, how do you get through the first couple pages without complaining about the quality of the fiction?!

But I love the painting. It's so absurd. As they say: using absurdity to illustrate absurdity.


It's not fiction, it's allegory.

PS What most people know and the full story are 2 different things.

gadfly said...

It is all NOAA's fault. Last year at this time Tropical Storm Irene was called a hurricane with sustained winds of only 35 mph.

Going into the Gulf, Isaac remains a tropical storm not a Category 4 or 5 hurricane.

So the Isthmus is wrong AGAIN and God favors the Republicans, don't cha know?

Lyle said...

The right side of a hurricane is the strongest side of a hurricane. So based on the models the redneck Riveria is going to get it.

It may continue to track westward until New Orleans or Louisiana gets it.

At least it isn't a category 4 or 5.

Ann Althouse said...

"Mostly by realizing that those narratives have a goal, and the goal isn't pure entertainment, but to specifically be a contrasting narrative to other creation myths, establishing the God of the Israelites as a specific kind of God and a specific kind of God who is, literally and ultimately, in charge of everything."

That is: The text itself makes it blindingly clear that we should not take the text literally. You're hit over the head with this by page 2.

Ann Althouse said...

And yet...

edutcher said...

garage mahal said...

Having a convention based on which way the wind blows is so appropriate for a convention held for Mitt Romney.

Watch what happens in Charlotte. Since they haven't got enough money to pay for 4 days, we can only assume we'll see a video of Choom's acceptance while he's off at another fundraiser.

harrogate said...

Thanks for clarifying which sorts of political jokes are ok. If it involves people's lives being put in danger, the joke=inappropriate. Why, I remember when you skewered Bush for pretending to look under his furniture for WMDs. And who can forget the time you called out mcCain for singing "bomb bomb bomb Iran"? Ah, memories. And none of this is to be confused with Mitt joking about Obama's birth certificate. C'mon, Mitt was jus funnin'!

All that said and more in earnest: Yeah, the hurricane-coming-for-the-GOP convention meme was pretty stupid by all accounts.

bagoh20 said...

Why does God hate the Gulf coast?

Ann Althouse said...

"Why, I remember when you skewered Bush for pretending to look under his furniture for WMDs. And who can forget the time you called out mcCain for singing "bomb bomb bomb Iran"? Ah, memories."

You're being sarcastic as if I didn't. But what if I did? Would you know?

Do some research.

Rabel said...

"Why does God hate the Gulf coast?"

I think it's the casinos.

Mississippians woke up this morning, saw the new track map and collectively said "Well, shit."

Methadras said...

Let's see if our hard earned tax dollars in that newfangled hurricane wall was worth it.

bagoh20 said...

All this anger at the Gulf started with Ponce de León digging through God's medicine cabinet looking for free Viagra.

It must have been exciting to live before science and skepticism wiped out the dream of discovering wonderful miracles and riches just by going places nobody has come back from. It can suck to know too much. Right Obama fan?

rick said...

Garage said: "Having a convention based on which way the wind blows is so appropriate for a convention held for Mitt Romney."

Not bad, Garage. But you could have at least acknowledged Choom waited until year 4 of his presidency to evolve on gay marriage. And earlier, to extend the Bush tax cuts. And to keep Gitmo open. And to extend and expand the Patriot act. And to bomb civilians via drones. And to expand the Iraq/Afghan war(s) to include Pakistan.



harrogate said...

Ann,

"would you know?"

Upon doing the research you suggested, I admit the answer must be "no." I stand corrected and apologize regarding the McCain joke. I cannot find anywhere where you call out Bush for joking about WMDs but if you say you did that is good enough for me as well.

The Crack Emcee said...

...let me slink away and contemplate my own offenses against The Creator.

Meh. Since there is no God, it's better to contemplate offenses against believers and whether they're worth it. For instance, when I'm blasting religion here, I think of Traditionalguy a lot - the best kind of religious person you can find - trying to make sure that I take a blowtorch to the belief and not the person. The hypocrite phonies don't matter, but for the consistent ones, I'll do what I can.

I think it's interesting, after all these years, that more people, here, don't take a lesson from Tg and I. That there can be agreement - and even love - between those of faith (if it's real) and the faithless. I'm not trying to take Jesus from him and he's always made sure I have a vision of His love - why wouldn't we get along?

Compare our approach to those who are compelled to defend a supposedly-omnipotent being, or the atheists who have a stick so far up their asses they attempt to wipe phrases like "Heaven knows" from their (and anybody else's) vocabulary. It's just sick.

Traditionalguy is my friend. And if he had a church I'd attend it, and - if he wanted me to - even give them some of what he hysterically calls my "John The Baptist" routine.

In the end, it really comes down, as most things do, to ethics and morality - not language, or even beliefs, or anything else (it doesn't surprise me that his view of NewAge comes closest, to mine, than probably anyone else on this blog) - but whether or not your heart is, recognizably, in the right place:

In our chests, beating, and STRONG,...

David R. Graham said...

No one offends the Creator. To think so is anthropomorphic. Only oneself can be offended. Scripture saying God is represents the image oneself sees in a mirror apotheotized.

David R. Graham said...

There is no religious or theological thinking or believing when one accepts the subject-object split as real.

harrogate said...

Crack, that's nicely said.

Titus said...

I expect to see many vaginas at this convention.

Hide the penis.

This election is all about the vagina, everything else is bullshit.

Darcy said...

No, you got it exactly right, Althouse.

MayBee said...

Jennifer Granholm ‏@JenGranholm

R convention delay due to Isaac: I guess God has ways to shut that whole thing down
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Former Governor Granholm is also a lover of the God humor

Paco Wové said...

"Who's Pat Robinson??"

Ditto.

rhhardin said...

It might be random.

I have a bunch of Limbaugh shows automatically saved on the HD ...

$ cd /cygdrive/g/rush
$ ls|wc
1292 1292 25840

1292 of them, to be exact.

Sometimes on weekends I play the first 18 minutes of 20 random shows, thus getting the day's lead monologue.

Today I got three guest hosts in a row.

What are the odds of that?

It might be a message.

Alex said...

If a God exists, he's on another plane of existence. Maybe he's a scientist and we're bacteria to him in his experiment.

ricpic said...

Hey, this'll give Barry a chance to save New Orleans and get in one last poke against Bush at the Dem convention.

ricpic said...

If Barry saves New Orleans will it mean America is better off with Obamachimp than it was with Bushchimp?

MadisonMan said...

(laugh)

Well, or course I meant mostly out of harm's way, because it qualifies the forecast ;)

There is a tremendous amount of very very warm water in the northern Gulf. That's bad for the Gulf Coast states if you want a weak hurricane. Here's hoping for lots of wind shear to prevent a big intensification.

Surfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Surfed said...

Surf's up. The Ft. Pickens left hand point break is gonna' be firing. But this old man is giving it a pass. Hurricane swells are a young man's game. 60 year old geezers like me just get in the way...

Nick Carter M. said...

www.godandscience.org

bgates said...

And none of this is to be confused with Mitt joking about Obama's birth certificate.

Why would it be?

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

garage mahal said...

Having a convention based on which way the wind blows is so appropriate for a convention held for Mitt Romney.

For stuff like this to work, one would have to presume there's an alternative that would satisfy those who oppose his political views. But if he has shown political flexibility in light of circumstances, like a legislature that can override his veto, he's a flip flopper. Otherwise he's thought of as an ideological political hard ass. Big whup...

So your guy's the ideological, ineffective political hard ass ...(stick out tongue for appropriate maturity effect)...

marklewin said...

Of course, the liberals are only joking about God. God is a joke. Robertson was (presumably) genuinely wondering about the things a God he believes in might do to punish sinful human beings.... I don't know which is worse....

Although it may not have been intended, I found this to be insulting to Pat Robertson and those who share his view of God.

.... So let me slink away and contemplate my own offenses against The Creator.'

I also took this last remark as not taking seriously, almost mocking, the weighty notion of sin and self-examination.

Paddy O said...

The text itself makes it blindingly clear that we should not take the text literally.

That's likely the case. The modern era had much of a sharper line drawn between the figurative and literal, forcing people to somehow take a stand on one side or the other. That's not likely how it was meant to be read.

There's literally and then there's literally. It's a narrative with a specific goal. Take it seriously and don't get distracted from the main point by getting caught up in the non-essentials.

Martha said...

As we in New Orleans approach the 7th anniversary of Katrina, I pray to God New Orleans is spared.

Tampa and the Republican Convention dodged disaster.
Hope and pray New Orleans does too.

Mayor Landrieu just declared a State of Emergency.
There is not yet panic in the air but people are preparing for evacuation.

Roger J. said...

Martha--it sounds like your Mayor (unlike the excrable Nagin) is taking this seriously. The timeline in the NO emergency management plan, last I looked is 72 hours prior to landfall. Takes time to move people and prepare. Best of luck with this one.

bbkingfish said...

Here's another howler...

"Notice that Vilas is himself thinking of the hurricane as God's punishment, but he dredges up Robinson (sic) to put the vile observation into the mouth of someone who is not a liberal."

As though Robertson, Falwell, and others havn't make nearly identical statements before!

C'mon, Ann. Lots of people remember events that happened long ago...even way back before the GOP invented the Tea Party in 2010. If you really have no clue as to which party more frequently claims a direct knowledge of the will of the Supreme Being, I suggest you tune in coverage of the RNC this week.

Big Mike said...

Even if Isaac turns into another Katrina (i.e., a Cat 3 that hits Nawleens) Isaac won't be another Katrina because (1) Fugate is not Michael Brown, (2) Jindal is vastly more competent than Blanco, (3) Mitch Landrieu is better than Ray Nagin (not that I know much about Mitch Landrieu, but anybody is better than Ray Nagin), and (4) President Obama won't come anywhere near the city, so no one will be able to concoct a ridiculous story about how detached he is the way they concocted a story about Dubya.

MadisonMan said...

So in the news conference with Landrieu, who the heck are all those other people behind him -- mostly women -- just standing around?

Have they nothing better to do?

Ambrose said...

This could be difficult for our President. As we know, the President is directly and personally responsiblfor anything bad that happens to New Orleans as a result of hurricanes.

leslyn said...

So...God's got to be protected from a joke.

Preachy, much?

leslyn said...

Titus, they won't be playing hide the penis at the TNX unless it's with the hookers and stripper's, who are looking forward to it. They get so much more business from the party of "family values" than they do from the Dems.

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leslyn said...

Titus, they won't be playing hide the penis at the RNC unless it's with the hookers and strippers, who are looking forward to it . The party of "family values" spends much more on them than Dems do.

Michael said...

@Ambrose. "This could be difficult for our President. As we know, the President is directly and personally responsiblfor anything bad that happens to New Orleans as a result of hurricanes."

Only Republicsn presidents. Obama has a rain slicker ready in the event he has to be there the day after (or possibly the day before) to be our man on the spot. Mr. Help. If he thought it would hot New Orleans he would be ther now.

marklewin said...

leslyn said...
So...God's got to be protected from a joke.

Preachy, much?

I suspect that Ann doesn't believe God needs the protection, rather, people who believe in God might feel harmed by those who are mocking their beliefs.

leslyn said...

"...mocking their beliefs." What mocking? Are you serious?? Does P R have some kind of divine dispensation against his name being used in a joke? Or do you think God has no sense of humor, so neither should we?

leslyn said...

@Titus, there won't be any playing hide the penis at the RNC unless it's with hookers and strippers. They're looking forward to the extra income. The party of "family values" plays and pays so much more than Dems do.

[Third post's the charm.]

Lindsey Meadows said...

I read the entire thread. I can pray that I get back the time I just wasted.

This appears to be a basic lesson in blogging; write a tedious and unfocused intro/topic and watch the masses paw around in the dirt trying to figure it out.

Meade said...

Can you say that again, Lindsey Meadows. As if your name is really Lindsey Meadows. This time, try to be concise and clear instead of unfocused and tedious. Thanks.

MadisonMan said...

tedious

Weather is never tedious.

Paddy O said...

"watch the masses paw around in the dirt"

First we prefer the term:
עַם־הָאָרֶץ

Second, we're all just victims of the curse. Pawing around in the dirt is what we do when we've been kicked out of the garden.