30 May 2008

The War Prayer

Perhaps I'm lucky. One of the strongest tenants of the Catholic faith impressed upon me as a child was, as Ma' would say: "Would you like it if they did that to you?" (It's also a belief woven into Hindism, Islam, Buddhism and various other practices.) These weren't matters of devotion or adherence to a certain dogma, these were matters of the simple truths of human decency and humanity. Two Golden Rules (paraphrased):
  • Love God
  • Treat people the way you would like to be treated

Neither are impossible concepts to get your head around (even for people who debate the capitalization of the word "God.")

When praying for a win in the little league quarter-finals, you're also praying for a loss in the little league quarter-finals for the other team. Unacknowledged of course (or under-acknowledged, at best), and logically there has to be a winner and loser for there to be a competition. But why would you wish on someone that which you are praying to avoid, through prayer?

I'm not saying everyone should throw the game and let the other guy win (a misappropriation of another very important parable in the Bible.) What I'm saying is that calling on God in defense or praise of strategic competitive goals does not only contain easy to ignore negatives reactions, it is antithetical to the standards of the Golden Rules that were so generously preached and mostly observed by the people I feel lucky to call my family.

Wielding "God" as an ideological or tactical tool to gain a desired competitive result, be it a baseball win or war is indefensible. God's lessons are not about victory. The Bible taught me that Jesus cared not so much about leprosy as a disease, he cared about leprosy and how it affected the leper. The rest will follow.

That being said, courtesy of Mark Twain, this seems to be "going viral" and I think it's a good thing.

It reads just fine without the well conceived animation.

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."

(h/t to slacktivist)

Oh, and btw, anyone hiring?

[UPDATE: BTW, I'm an athiest.]

17 May 2008

Feel good hit of the summer. . .

It would warm the cockles of my dance-club-hating-heart to know this is making the rounds in the weekend roofie grind-fests that are American dance clubs.

Music courtesy of RevoLucian. Priceless.

01 May 2008


So, Presidential hopeful John McCain was thrown a 'social curveball' on Thursday.

[MARTY] PARRISH: This question goes to mental health and mental health care. Previously, I’ve been married to a woman that was verbally abusive to me. Is it true that you called your wife a cunt?[*]

Balls. (I'm not sure what it has to do with "mental health care," however.) If there is an award for the best question asked of a Presidential candidate this election cycle and this doesn't win, the fix is in. Maybe it was not the most appropriate question, but even that is somewhat debatable given the direction this current cycle is headed.
“This is about character,” Parrish said, when reached by telephone afterward. “And in a moment of intemperance, he called his wife the most despicable name a person can call a woman."

Yeah, that's a crowd-pleaser of a word if there ever was one. Either way, it takes a titanium pair to get up in front of mixed company and say that word, never mind in a question to a candidate for the highest office in this cursed land.
MCCAIN: Now, now. You don’t want to … Um, you know that’s the great thing about town hall meetings, sir, but we really don’t, there’s people here who don’t respect that kind of language. So I’ll move on to the next questioner in the back.

Credit where credit is due: That's the one of the classiest non-denial denials I've heard in a long time considering the setting and the question posed to Mr. McCain.

Mr. Parrish, by the way, is a Baptist minister. Make whatever you want of that.

Of course, in our current police security state, Mr. Parrish was briefly detained and questioned by the Secret Service. I'll bet if he had used one of those cute illusory phrases or metaphors, only the tackiness would have been noticed and the Secret Service would not have even cared.

* For the love of Christ, do you think people could actually spell-out the explicative when it relates to the story? Nobody's mother is going to die a thousands deaths because you used (and correctly represented) the word "cunt" in your newspaper article or blog post. Highlighting a specific word that was uttered by someone is not the same as invoking that word in a pejorative fashion. Especially when said word is the whole fuckin' reason you wrote the Goddamn article/post in the first place. Nine out of ten times we're gonna know what you are talking about and actually seeing the letters in the proper sequence is not going to significantly change that fact.

Although, if you want to use the word "cunt" as an invective noun directed at a woman? Well, you're on your own with that.

With that in mind and somewhat without context: