To save me from people even crazier than myself....
There are three things you can do on a blog that are guaranteed to get you a response from the unhinged; criticize their heroes, criticize their politics, and criticize their religion. When you post something that happens to criticize all three at once, you're pretty much asking for an inbox full of either the most hateful bullshit imaginable, or the biggest laughs you've had in while.
I've committed the cardinal sin of having a go at the Tea Party folks the other night, in particular, the one's who believe that some guy who got himself nailed to two pieces of wood is some sort of deity. Worse, I made the further mistake of mentioning a) Conservatives and b) Sarah Palin in the same post, and well, hell...that makes me the next best thing to Anti-Christ.
Now, before anyone thinks that this blog has a grand following, or some sort of impact upon the Internet, you need to know two things:
1) This page probably averages about 100-120 hits a day. On a very good day. Considering that nine months ago it was averaging barely 2 hits a week, my influence is widening, but not astronomically; I'm not Instapundit, or Lucianne.com or even Andrew Sullivan. You'd have to search very hard to find this page, and chances are, you'll come across it completely accidentally long before you find it on purpose.
2) The only way you ever will find this blog -- on purpose -- is if you've stumbled upon it before, someone has recommended it, or you do a lot of internet searching upon specific topics. So, if you entered "Sarah Palin" into your Google-thingy, this blog probably pops up, assuming there's something including the tag "Sarah Palin" in it. Depending upon how recently Sarah's name appeared in the blog, I'll either be near the top of your search, or buried somewhere on Page 51 of your search results.
Apparently, this is how the Person Who Sent Me The Most Annoying E-mail I've Gotten In Years found this blog; he must have been searching for Sarah, Tea Parties, et. al. more or less within a short time of my post... and boy, was he pissed about what he read.
But, he managed to remember that he was "A good Christian Man", and no profanity was used in his response to what he took as an attack on Christianity and Social Conservatism, but mostly as an attack on Sarah Palin.
For the umpteenth-thousandth time; Sarah Palin gives me a hard-on. That woman is everything you could ever want in a political candidate: she's a looker, she's not condescending, she has obvious smarts, what she lacks is the polish (the thick layer of refined bullshit) of the seasoned politician and campaigner -- but that is part of her overall charm. I cringe, however, every time she makes a reference to the Hanging-from-the-cross-guy because I'm convinced that people who are capable of falling for religion are capable of making incredible leaps of illogic, and the last thing I want in a President is that sort of blind belief in something that cannot be proven. So far as I'm concerned, if God exists, She's a capricious little bastard, like a rotten 8-year old sitting atop an anthill with a magnifying glass on a sunny day, waiting for us little ants to pop our heads out of the hole.
If you believe in the sort of God that can claim responsibility for September 11th ("It must be a part of God's Master plan...God works in mysterious ways..."-- or if you were the Saudi Terrorist -- "God said I have the right to slaughter thousands because I can't get a blond girl to do the nasty with me..."), while simultaneously denying that She had any part in it ("Man was given free will, and he doesn't always use it wisely or for good..."), then you are capable of a sort of mental gymnastics that I can't even begin to comprehend -- and would prescribe medication for. Only you call it "Faith".
This is what makes you dangerous to people like me; You'll swallow anything. Given time, it's not inconceivable that people like this, given political power and convinced of the "holiness" of their cause, would turn this country into it's own version of Iran or Afghanistan by chipping away at our liberties if (when) they conflict with Scripture. I thought we were supposed to be killing Muslims so that doesn't happen here; Did I miss the memo, or something? Many of these Far Right lunatics make a hell of a lot of noise about their own freedoms (especially their religious freedom), but they wouldn't hesitate to create a Federal police force empowered to peek into people's bedroom windows, just to make sure no one was engaged in a sexual act proscribed by Scriture.
Don't get all indignant; you know you want to, and would love to -- if you could get away with it.
Anyways, the letter. What makes it so annoying is that I have tangled with this sort of mental midget before. You find them all over the (Small 'c'-) conservative websites, like FreeRepublic, and they all operate in the same way; they take issue with something you've said, asking you where you come off saying something so offensive and outrageous. They then say they respect your First Amendment right to freedom of speech, but that you should have more respect for God, because that Right is granted by God, and you should have better taste and not clobber Her over the head with it.
Actually, I don't recall any passage in the Bible where God says "You have the right to...". There's an awful lot of "Thou shall.." and "Thou shall not...", but no "Thou may...". God was great at giving commands -- not so much at granting liberties -- so I would say that the argument that our Rights are granted by God is a load of hogwash (it's a construct of 17th century political philosophers looking for an argument to counter the premise of the Divine Right of Kings) . Somehow they always miss this strange disconnect between rights and commands and what God intends. I guess if it's something they love or value, then it derives from God, and if it's something they detest, it's an abomination of Man. Go figure...
Anyway, the letter follows a formula that I've seen a million times before; the correspondent states his opinion about what you've written and why God says it's wrong. To belabor the point, he then quotes a verse from Scripture. People who can quote Scripture are sanctimonious assholes, and it's one reason why I don't want them anywhere near a position of responsibility, because it almost never fails -- the quote NEVER has anything to do with the original point. It's put in there to a) lend some sort of authority to an inane argument, b) confuse the shit out you, and c) is supposed to punctuate the argument so as to imply that you've been knocked to the rhetorical canvas, no matter what counter-argument you bring -- you'll never overcome the Wisdom of God. You've been served, you Heathen Bastard! The longer the argument the more this pattern repeats itself, with the sources for the quotes becoming ever-more obscure, and the quotes themselves further removed from any context, so that you get a letter which reads something like this:
I really disagree with your contention that God does not exist. I know He does, because he's answered my prayers many times before (I wonder, if this guy has such an "in" with the Almighty, why didn't pray for several billion dollars, and why is he lurking the internet after 4 a.m. writing letters of complaint to obscure part-time bloggers?). God is a loving, caring being who truly loves us all, even though He did Flood the Planet, and invented cocaine and AIDS and put New Orleans thirty feet below sea level -- and He let ABBA live, too -- but he Loves us all. Even those who doubt his presence in our lives, for as the Bible says
...Yea, for unto the third generation, the goitered scrotum shall be the mark by which they are known to all Nations, and verily, I say unto you, that thou who dost not keepeth the Sabbath with beer and salty snacks, being naughty in my sight, shall have brown, itchy patches upon the ankles and elbows, and be tormented by a plague of dandruff as the Pharohs of Old...It is as the Lord hath commanded... Book of Englebert, 3:17...
You know, we Christians are the butt of all sorts of jokes and slander in today's day and age, mostly because we're a forgiving people who will never fight back against our tormentors. We are getting sick and tired of it, but never do anything constructive about it except write indignant letters because Christ taught us to forgive our enemies. Like the Bible says:
...and give unto thy Enemy the right of counsel, and perhaps an enema. Bring him thy sugary cereal, they neighbor's ass, thy rod and thy red-headed concubine, so that he may stand before the judgement of God with a balanced breakfast in his belly, and fully knowing his shame..." Book of Roger, 4:26...
Why is it that you feel we are some kind of threat to you, that you must speak against us? We only wish to live quiet, decent lives, in a country where our values are respected, for as the Bible says:
...looketh not into thy neighbors condo; for there is only sin inside... for there man lieth with woman and the beasts of the field, and perhaps he eateth crackers in his bed. Thy eyes shall not behold the refrigerator, full of the Lord's bounty of beer, guacamole and day-old fried chicken. Thou shalt not ringeth the doorbell and beggeth for a cup of sugar from such Heathens, for surely the Lord shall smite thee..." Book of Three Dudes in a Drunken Stupor, 12:10.
You should apologize to all the good Christians you have offended, and Pray to the Almighty for forgiveness and guidance. I can tell your soul is dark and in need of his Cleansing Love...."
Actually, I'm constipated and could use some Cleansing Bran, but the less you know about that...
Yeah, like I'm going to take advice about my "soul" from someone who gives money to a preacher he saw on television? I'm taking advice from a guy who can't even write a letter without constantly referring to a book?
You know, Mao had a book once, and everyone quoted that, too. It didn't mean he had all the answers.
To answer the complaint, I'm not anti-Christian, having been raised and educated as one. I have no issue with most aspects of Christian philosophy, either, just with Christian theology and mythology -- and the people who can't make the great mental leap necessary to separate both from their politics and the realities of everyday life. Your faith is a personal issue, please keep it that way.
This is why Muslims are so incredibly fucked up, and remain, mentally, mired in 7th Century Desert Nomad culture and incapable of solving their problems without resort to fatwas and high explosives.
We're better than that.