Archive for February 1, 2010

Haiti and the Mouse that Roared

Posted: February 1, 2010 by datechguy in opinion/news
Tags: , , ,

Do you remember the movie The Mouse that Roared? It was about a country that decided that the best way to get itself into shape was to be taken over by the US after being defeated in “war” (unfortunately things get mucked for them as they accidentally win).

Apparently they haven’t much left in Haiti but they know reality when they see it

The needs are extraordinary, and the common refrain is that the Americans will provide.

“I want the Americans to take over the country. The Haitian government can’t do anything for us,” said Jean-Louis Geffrard, a laborer who lives under a tarp in the crowded square. “When we tell the government we’re hungry, the government says, ‘We’re hungry, too.’ ”

Code pink, International Answer, Hugo Chavez and the late Howard Zinn not withstanding people understand what America is and what it means. They haven’t read Eject-Eject-Eject but they know when they are starving and hungry and desperate who will help them and who exploits them. As C.S. Lewis said (and as I’ve quoted before)

The characteristic of Pains and Pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality. Thus if you had been trying to damn your man by the Romantic method—by making him a kind of Childe Harold or Werther submerged in self-pity for imaginary distresses—you would try to protect him at all costs from any real pain; because, of course, five minutes’ genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were

Rhetoric doesn’t trump reality when you are starving.

Update: American Glob reminds us that the HuffPo should be on that list too.

Update 2: Add voodoo priests to the doubter list above.

A while back I talked about Crazy Uncles, the proposition that 1% of any given population is composed of “Crazy Uncles” people who might be normal in a bunch of ways but whose views are very out there.

In any crowd you are going to have some crazy uncles. At the Boston Tea Party there were a few Ron Paul guys, at least two LaRouche guys and one vulgar sign about Barney Frank that I think crossed the line.

It added up to 5-10 guys out of 1000. The Boston Globe would have surely highlighted it…if they bothered to cover the rally.

Highlighting the crazy uncles in a group is method that the media has used to discredit movements that don’t have their imprimatur. One of my early disputes with Charles Johnson on his blog that led to my eventual banning at LGF (I posted there under my name not DaTechGuy) was my critique of his use of the Crazy uncle method to go after the Tea Party rallies.

The danger comes when you use that 1% of “crazy uncles” to reinforce your view of a group you already hate. By painting with that broad brush you don’t have to engage, your own bigotries and prejudices of the other 99%. Thus can a person sit back in the comfortable chair of affirmation. The certainty of their own moral superiority, unchallenged by the pesky facts around them…

…and that brings us to Joe My God’s post today. He has found a radio host who is a crazy uncle. A host I’ve never heard of or listened to. A host I’ll bet a lot of other Christians don’t know much about, and uses him to paint Christians with a broad brush:

Remember folks, the Christianist right is not about hatred and bigotry. It’s about the gentle redemptive love of Jesus, forced upon you at the barrel of a gun in prison as they beat the gay out of you.

According to this site 71% of Americans self identify themselves as Christians. 159 million adults (2001 figures). I have been a Catholic all my life and have spoken to Catholics and other Christians for all of my life concerning religion. I’ve heard ministers preach and been around their congregations. I’ve never heard any priest or minister advocate anything remotely like this. If I had to think of all the Christians I’ve known in my nearly 5 decades, maybe 2 might share this guys opinion and his twisting of scripture to his own ends. It is highlighted for the same reason why Chris Matthews goes after the birthers, it’s low hanging fruit and easier than going after Churches sending millions to Haiti; after all that doesn’t fit the template.

But such an acknowledgment wouldn’t support the “Christianist” template. So let’s play a game, let’s ask a few intelligent questions and invite our friends who use the term “Christianist” to enlighten us:

1. Define “Christianist”

2. Does belief in Roman Catholic Doctrine make one a “Christianist”

3. Name the protestant denominations that are by definition “Christianist”

4. If you are “bible believing” christian, does that make one a “Christianist”

5. Is the current Pope a “Christianist”, was the previous one a “Christianist”? If you answer yes to both, can you name one that wasn’t?

6. Can one by definition avoid the label “Christianist” without rejecting the Bible?

It will be interesting to hear the answer to these questions.