Location: United States

Friday, May 06, 2005

The Language of Un-Reality

“He’s really giving a hundred and ten percent!”

What a freaking lie! It is impossible to give more than a hundred percent effort, yet this blatant lie is said probably a thousand times a day. Usually, it is by some air-headed sports announcer. In the realm of the world’s problems, it’s pretty far down towards the bottom. As a symptom of the world’s problems, it ranks higher every day.

Father Jake relates the story about the East Waynesville Baptist Church Pastor Chan Chandler. Pastor Chan, it seems, views voting for non-Republicans as a sin that ranks right up there with blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Those who did not vote for President Bush, it seems, were told they would have to leave the church or repent. So maybe voting for John Kerry is actually one rung below cussing the Holy Trinity.

I’m not surprised by the action. I’m almost certain that Pastor Chan is not the only member of the ant-Biblical Right to embrace fascism within the church as well as without. I spent a significant part of my childhood in a church that didn’t even recognize baptism from other churches, so extremism is nothing new in my experience. If this was all there was to the story, I’d be inclined to simply blow it off as just another whack-job running another group of whack-jobs (you see, Baptist pastors hold their position by majority consent of church members).

What bothers me is the Pastor’s insistence, “the actions were not politically motivated.” That has to be a newest entry to rank somewhere between “I’ll pull out in time,” and “You can’t get pregnant your first time.” The Pastor wants to identify people according to who they voted for and then specify one group for prejudicial action. The only way that can not be politically motivated is if you don’t believe the election was politically motivated in the first place.

Like the sportscaster inventing an extra percentage, Pastor Chan is trying to invent an extra part of reality where punishing someone for their vote is non-political. It is a denial of reality to defend what is otherwise a blatant power play. Pastor Chan is the type of person I left the church many years ago because, quite frankly, I don’t want to be associated with people that hypocritical. However, these people (like Gene Herr, the pharmacist who refuses to give rape victims post-coital contraception) are not content to rule their church. They want to rule the world as a fascist theocracy.

Pandragon provides another example. She rightly heaps scorn on the idea that putting a condom on a cucumber is somehow pornographic. The story comes from a column by Mona Charen who shows how out-of-touch she is with reality by claiming that everyone knows how to properly use a condom. The fact is that improper use is the number one cause of condom failure. The fact that unrolling a condom over a cucumber dispels the myth that they are too small for some guys and may therefore actually save the lives of a few young women along the way just doesn’t seem to enter into her view of reality.

This is the same problem that is forcing the ongoing dust-up in Kansas. Dan Skinner does an excellent job of showing how the whoring of our language is becoming an official position of the Anti-Biblical Right. It’s almost as if they are making a pre-emptive strike against the parts of the Bible they don’t like so people can’t do things like hold them Biblically accountable.

The result is a constantly shifting view of reality, a la George Orwell in 1984. We already see this in attempts to portray Social Security as a wealth-building program rather than the social insurance it was always intended to be (thank on Motherlode at No More Apples for the research). We see it in Bill Frist’s insistence that he is not asking Senator’s to do anything out of the ordinary by confirming extremist judges.

Many years ago, psychotherapist Bill Glasser made more than a minor splash with his book Reality Therapy by insisting that a therapist’s primary job was to help people deal with reality. He rejected his Freudian training in favor of actively trying to help people identify and come to grips with their problems as they really effected their lives. Politics, and religion, is badly in need of a Bill Glasser to force reality upon an unwilling populace.


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