October 28th, 2011

HolyHandGrenade

Count Three And Pray

You are now entering a Lindsay Lohan-free zone.

A friend once asked me a looooooong time ago why I, as a Christian, don't have more Christian friends than I do.  I have friends who are Atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, Jewish, Wiccan, all kinds of things (no Scientologists, though.  I do have my limits), but a surprisingly small percentage of Christians.  Why?  My answer was simple -- the other religions aren't trying to jam their theologies down my throat every time I turn around or say something they disagree with.

I express my faith very personally.  I view religion as a path to enlightenment and understanding.  The vast majority of the world, though, seems to view their religious beliefs as a giant applause sign.  There's a thin line between not hiding your light under a basket and SHINING IT INTO THE TAPED-OPEN EYES OF THE WORLD AT LARGE!!!  Go on YouTube, and you will find people like Stephan Baldwin and Kathy Ireland making Statements Of Faith, declaring to the world at large that they are Christians (Ireland herself is kind of an odd notion.  The Sports Illustrated swimsuit videos used to show her studying the Bible between shoots.  I don't know, but there's just something about a woman whose picture is used as currency in men's correctional facilities talking about moralistic living that doesn't quite square with me).  I try to be neighborly about my faith, and make an effort not to be obnoxious about it.  Lots of people, though, express their faith as, "Look what I believe!  Aren't I wonderful?  Everyone give me snaps!"  It's not religious faith, it's self-aggrandizement, and if Jesus saw them doing it, He'd smack them in the head with a sock full of horse manure.

While there is some backlash against public displays of Christianity, for the most part, most people complaining that they are persecuted for Christian beliefs are spouting hot air.  Fact:  Christianity is the dominant religion in America, and those outside of it asking for some consideration and recognition are not persecuting you.  That, however, doesn't stop Christians with a persecution complex from seizing on anything they can in a desperate attempt to inflate their egos, making it seem like they are fighting some good fight against insurmountable odds.

This takes many odd forms.  The Columbine Massacre, for example -- one student, when asked if she was a Christian just before she was shot, said yes.  Okay, yes, very touching.  But she was suddenly made into a martyr for Christian faith, completely overlooking that Columbine was not an attack on Christianity but two nut cases killing anyone they felt like.  I'm quite sure she wasn't the only Christian kid killed, why don't the others get this kind of face time?  Carrie Prejean was ambushed at the Miss USA pageant, asked about gay marriage.  She said it was against her beliefs.  I disagreed with her, but whatever, that's her belief.  But then, people turned her into a cottage industry about how Christian values are punished, a cottage industry she eagerly participated in with a ghostwritten biography and a speaking tour.  Strangely, in all this talk about Prejean being a good Christian, no one mentioned the sexy pics she posed for, including nudes.  I've actually read the Bible, and at no point does it say, "And God said unto them, 'Show me your tits.'"

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in sports.  People pray for sports teams all the time.  People thank God for giving them the skill to catch a thrown object in an event that doesn't matter all the time.  And here we go again with the newest forced meme to explode on the Internet, Tebowing.

For those who came in late (or don't give two shits about any major sports, such as yours truly), this started last Sunday when Tebow's team, the Denver Broncos, played the Miami Dolphins.  The game went into overtime with the score tied at 15.  Denver had the ball, and decided to try for a field goal from 52 yards, over half of the field, away.  As other teammates cheered, Tebow went down on one knee, bowed, and prayed to God for Matt Prater to make the kick.  He did, and the Broncos won.

Side note:  let's see -- death.  War.  Disease.  Injustice.  Hatred.  Don't you think God has far more important things to do than help a football team win a game?  (This is the reason why, in an upcoming Hannah Singer story, Hannah and St. Michael are at a football game.  A player makes a touchdown and praises God for making him a champion.  A lightning bolt nearly hits him.  Hannah then hears a very pissed off Michael say, "Missed!")

There is now a web site, tebowing.com, that explains Tebowing as "to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different."  I suppose the site COULD be satirical, but I doubt it, it seems to be actually promoting Tebowing as an act of faith instead of an act of petty indulgence, and is inviting others to send in pictures of them spontaneously worshiping Tebowing.  Sorry, "spontaneously worshiping" is soooo Web 1.0.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I have nothing against people expressing themselves religiously in public as long as they aren't being obnoxious about it.  As the immortal Howard The Duck once said while watching a report of a suicide bomber, "As long as they don't take anybody else with them, I have no problem with religious fundamentalists blowing themselves up."  Where I have a problem is when people use their religion as an excuse for attention whoring.  The only thing worse is the Christians saying this is some great testimonial to populist Christian values, forgetting these are the same morons who were coning, planking, and owling their way across the Internets for a few days before they got bored.  Tebowing will last about as long as Rapturing pictures, but with far less entertainment value.

If you want to express your faith, that's fine.  If you want to take pride in it, that's fine.  But doing it with a bunch of people who made Tay Zonday a star and will forget about you once someone else does something they can seize on isn't the way to do it.
HowardTheDuckForPres

Kicking The Wheels Off The Herman Cain Bandwagon

You are still in a Lindsay Lohan-free zone.

Oh, yes!  Herman Cain's campaign is in serious trouble.  We're talking MiG fighter kind of trouble here.

I've already written about how Michele Bachmann's entire staff in NH quit on her, with one of them joining Rick Perry's campaign.  They said they left because they feel Bachmann is doing it wrong, she doesn't have a clue how to effectively campaign (proof:  heads of Tea Party organizations are saying Bachmann is making them look bad.  Nope, I'm not saying anything....).  Now, we see Cain is fucking up royal.  I mean, you want a reason to think the guy is a prick?  Here ya go:  the New York Times dug up that staffers for Cain's campaign were sent an email instructing them that, if they were riding in a car with Cain, "not to speak to him unless you are spoken to."  Holy shit, is he serious?!?  I mean, they don't even get free bumper stickers for their cars, they have to actually buy them.

In July, Bill Hemrick was asked by Cain's committee to act as financial chairman of the campaign.  (Hemrick is the founder of the Upper Deck trading card company that in 2008 was busted making counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and got their asses handed to them by Konami for it.  Two words:  background check.)  Hemrick gathered about 200 other supporters for a fundraiser at the Standard Club in Nashville, TN for Cain.  Cain didn't show up for it, even though he was in Nashville giving a speech earlier that night, but did thank Hemrick for his work.  Not only that, but Cain found a new financial chairman to replace Hemrick shortly afterwards.  Hemrick didn't find out until his replacement called him and introduced himself.  Way to appear hands-on there, Cain.  I hope you ran Godfather's Pizza better than that.

Politicians like to focus on the New Hampshire and Iowa primaries.  New Hampshire is the first primary in the country, and since 1972, whoever won Iowa eventually got their party's nomination for President.  Cain has a grand total of six paid people handling both those states.

In modern politics, money is everything.  With Rod Steele and his careless spending of the R's national campaign fund, the candidates have to raise money themselves.  Obama's war chest for the last election was over $1 bil in private donations, and he definitely didn't use all of it.  In just the third quarter of this year alone, Obama raised $70 mil for his re-election campaign.  Rick Perry got $17 mil last quarter (half of it from Texas contributors) and Mitt Romney got $34 mil in the last six months.  Cain?  According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, $2.1 mil last quarter, and only $482,000 is cash on hand.

Cain has been mostly ignoring general campaigning, focusing on a tour of southern states to promote his book, This Is Herman Cain!  My Journey To The White House (I'm waiting for the paperback edition, where they include the addendum and corrections).  He's emphasizing "Let Herman be Herman," as he told Sean Hannity when defending his confusing and stupid "smoking man" commercial.  Cain isn't bothering with any states with early voting and is flipflopping on major issues, such as abortion when he was on Stossel's show.  Most politicians research what opinions they should hold before they speak.  Cain is just shooting off his mouth like in his talk radio days, and is backpedaling when he realizes his audience is just a smidge more diverse than that now.

Cain is in the lead in national polls, but remember, polls more than a few weeks before Election Day don't mean dick.  Cain has plenty of people for his bandwagon, but no interest in actually driving the vehicle.

You are now leaving a Lindsay Lohan-free zone.