The Bible: The New Chinese Menu

Today on his radio show, Ed Schultz of MSNBC continued his often lonely fight for universal health care by pointing out the rank hypocrisy of the religious right in its silence, or worse, opposition, to making health care available to all Americans.   Quoting the bible, he spoke of Jesus’ commitment to feeding the poor, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, and healing the sick.  Given that those he was calling out blather endlessly about the “right to life,” he said, flatly and repeatedly, that those who oppose any reform that would allow the 47 million Americans who now must choose between death and bankruptcy, another choice had bought themselves a “ticket to Hell.”  Would that our President would be so bold.  Of course, the teabaggers, all of whom were reading off of FreedomWorks letterhead were quick to dispute not the issue, of course, which is self-evident, but rather the numbers, something that is especially easy when you’re armed with fake facts.  Eleven million are “illegals,” which handily throws an always popular racist appeal in with the distortion, and the rest are either flighty people who would rather buy flat screens, were only temporarily cut loose owing to (Bush-caused) unemployment, or were otherwise undeserving, leaving, wah lah, just 8.8 million “real” uninsured.  (Note the decimal, the perennial harbinger of made-up statistics…)  This 8.8 million apparently can wait, and the problem is thus mostly imaginary and certainly not pressing.

But we’ve heard all this before ad nauseam, thanks to such transparently obvious lobbyist talking points drowning out all honest discourse.  Ho, hum. More revealing, though, was the response of a Christian (sic) caller, who recognized the moral issue, but nonetheless sorrowfully admitted that continuing to let tens of thousands of Americans die each year was necessary because of what, in his small and shrinking circle of political soulmates, is the “mistrust” surrounding anything Obama might do, because he’s “not a real Christian.” (CH:  and not the right color or party…)

Christianity, according to this genius, is an “all or nothing” thing, he proudly explained even as he conveniently tossed aside several of its central precepts;  unless you hate gays and want to force women into unwanted motherhood, you might as well forget about healing the sick and all that other crap, which were probably  typos anyway.  You see, what God cares most about is hating gays and banning abortion, and is willing to put up with unnecessary deaths for random unlucky but probably hell-bound people, anyway, at least until the more important parts of his agenda are taken care of.  As an atheist, my heart swelled with pride upon hearing such nonsense.

What it boils down to for this bunch is that God exists primarily to make them feel better about their bigotry and sexual hangups, and this faggy “helping others” business is just another socialist conspiracy to distract God from His true mission.  It was breathtaking, in a way, to hear someone defend the religious right’s indifference to the real and exhaustively documented suffering of both insured and uninsured Americans by stating that he, apparently having just hung up the phone with the Big Guy himself, knew that God had other priorities.

You see, Christianity is “all or nothing” for non-Republicans, but it’s more like a Chinese menu for those on the right,  and they always order the same two dishes: gay bashing and keeping women in their place.  And of course  an hour later, they’re hungry again.

33 Comments

  1. Meremark says:

    Brilliant words, Hag, simply brilliant words.
    It’s not just what they say, but also how you sting them together.

  2. cocktailhag says:

    Fortunately, they get a lot of help with that annoying wordsmithing from their overlords; I think it’s my job (and Ed’s, which he’s preforming admirably) to read between the lines.
    All or nothing? Sheesh.

  3. dirigo says:

    Looks like our Alaska sweetie has another pair of flip flops tucked away in her steamer trunk.

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/2009/08/sarah-palin-thanks-but-no-thanks-on-that-death-panel.php

  4. Karen M says:

    This is all very good, ‘Hag, as usual, but especially that last paragraph and its last sentence.

    I suspect (suspect only, mind you) that a lot of those who call themselves Christians [sic] comfort themselves during these wild Depression/Recession days with that other red-letter quote from the Bible… something along the lines of “the poor will always be with you,” by taking it to mean that trying to “solve” poverty is utterly useless. So, why bother?!

    They very conveniently forget, in the process, the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount, and your quote from above, “Jesus’ commitment to feeding the poor, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, and healing the sick.”

    You’ve reminded me of that film about Dorothy Day I saw and reviewed last year. I’m not sure she included healing the sick, but she definitely took on the other three commitments.

    I haven’t clicked on Dirigo’s Palin link yet. I didn’t want to be left speechless or wordless… now, I’ll check it out.

  5. sysprog says:

    Oh goody, a food fight.

    I’ll give it a go.

    Right wing Catholics denounce liberal Catholics for being “Cafeteria Catholics” who sit down to a divinely inspired meal but then pick and choose which dollops of doctrine to accept.

    Catholic wingers politely sit and eat whatever’s on the table – - but then they spit out those gristly social justice and anti-war doctrines and slip them to the dog under the table.

    • cocktailhag says:

      The Church itself has already chosen sides, too, having declared abortion and gay rights “non-negotiable,” while dropping bombs on people and letting them starve were a-ok.

  6. dirigo says:

    And let us continue to pay rapt attention to our happy, wingnut super Christians about the awful, godless use of stem cells …

    http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/08/13/us-scientists-discover-powerful-anti-cancer-agent/

  7. The Doctor says:

    MY GOD!!!!!!!!! For the first time (sorry), I logged onto your blog. WOW! Very, very classy. You’re a obviously a very busy boy, indeed! Answer your phone some time…..

  8. The Doctor says:

    PS: Did my best to witness myself being covered in your mud…..no luck.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Ah, you must have missed that day. Mud has been thrown your way…. There’s one under “day job” about Bob’s place in Seattle in which you make a cameo. You should be happy that this time it wasn’t in Willamette Week. Actually, I am free this weekend. Denise, (the ex ballerina) just cancelled on me. I should be home around 4:00 tomorrow, and I’ll call you.

  9. timothy3 says:

    An excellent post, CH. You control your passion well. If only we could get the usual suspects to see this stuff as it is. I’m usually at my wits end to declare as clearly and succinctly as you what’s what in this country.
    And your post was saddening to me because it is so truthful.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Control it? I’ll have to work on that. But thanks…. I’m so numbed by the particulars lately that I’m reaching for the larger themes. It might be time for another garden or architecture piece.

  10. timothy3 says:

    Heh, well, by “control” I just mean that you don’t degenerate into a user of bad language and personal insults like moi.

  11. dirigo says:

    Stop the madness! Take women to farms and teach them about health care!

    http://www.theonion.com/content/video/advocacy_group_decries_petas

  12. The Heel says:

    Tart,
    this is your best blog, yet. Congrats.

    Let me be my smarty arty self and point out that Christianity and Socialism have common roots. The enlightenment in Europe, ultimately weakening the religious dictatorship of Christianity, created a need to address the always present problem of having a weak, sick and needy portion of society. Before, it was clearly gods will and intention to let those pathetic creatures suffer, but now, with more and more enlightened people questioning the works of god (or its existence), what was to be done with this, basically undesirable, tail end of the population?

    Well, one modern answer was the bible’s philosophy of empathy and sharing repackaged as communism / socialism in various flavors. Now replace god with government and voila, you are obligated to take care of those people.

    This was remarkably well accepted in broad circles of European societies and “experiments” were launched here and there with the most successful one being German General Ludendorff’s support of Lenin as a successful means to break Russian war efforts in 1917 via a communist revolution. Both men regarded each other as “useful idiots” – ironically both were right.

    Socialism, while a noble concept, has this great Achilles heel in its vulnerability to “freeloaders” of all kinds. It is universally tempting and human nature to accept freebies and as practical experience in communist countries has shown, socialism tends to be the “lazy people’s paradise”.

    So here, in a country that was found on the principles of “God helps those who help themselves” with a great entrepreneurial spirit and pioneer mentality, this whole concept of helping lazy people is strange, wrong and morally questionable.

    No wonder, god fearing Americans are suspicious of anything remotely pink (I guess that transcends into the world of faggots).

    If you ever have tried to reason and analytically argue with fervent Christians (a concept, I’m sure you remember from your youth), you will quickly discover that their bible is, well, a Chinese buffet indeed, you pick and chose what you like …..

    • cocktailhag says:

      Ironically, we were more “socialist” in the 1950′s, in terms of income inequality, than we are today by a long shot, and prospered through the 60′s because of it, as governments built schools, dorms, roads, etc. and union membership was many times what it is today.
      Of course it’s impossible to argue with anyone claiming to have the ear of God, so I never bother.

  13. dirigo says:

    This a satire of The Onion, and very well done albeit unintentional.

    Good production values!

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/08/christian_news_show_poses_the_real_question_on_c_s.php?ref=fpb

  14. retzilian says:

    As a practical matter, or a fiscal one, if you prefer, cheap or free preventive medicine (government subsidized and cheaply obtained like Medicare) is much cheaper over the course of time than treating sick people and diseases after the fact. This is also true of education. It’s incredibly stupid for people to complain about public-funded education when the price of ignorance is outrageously expensive.

    We should, as a smart, economically sound nation, fund both health care (that the freeloaders and others will use to prevent getting sicker or to prevent pregnancies or to prevent diabetes, etc.) and higher education.

    But, noooo. These teabaggers and idiots complain about the price of public supported plans and then blindly ignore the massive debt acquired by the war machine and the crooked banks.

    I can’t begin to enumerate the double standards of born-again Christians in regard to the poor, the sick, the downtrodden. My hypocrisy meter is already kaput.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I know the feeling. Also, it’s easy to see that Medicare Part D was simply a way to bankrupt Medicare faster, and its parlous state is an official talking point in the current argument. (if you can call it that….)

  15. sysprog says:

    Socialism? Doesn’t anybody remember what that word means?

    It doesn’t mean social welfare.

    The father of the modern social welfare state was Prince Otto von Bismarck.

    The word “socialist” doesn’t describe the Iron Chancellor.

    Though of course he’d be classified as a left of center wacko in the USA of 2009.

    What a country.

    • cocktailhag says:

      And how far Overton’s window has moved. Eisenhower and Nixon were practically Commies by today’s standards. I think that socialism, as a slogan or shorthand, has been so overused as to have really lost all its meaning. When a word can, not facetiously, be used to describe Obama, Roosevelt, Stalin and Hitler, or Canada and China, interchangeably, I’d say it’s dictionary definition has pretty much gone down the toilet.