Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Now I Ain't Saying ADF Lawyers Are a Huge Disgrace/ but They're Worse Than the Ones Who Ambulance-Chase/"

Hat's off to Jesus' General for bringing this to my attention: The James Dobson-founded Alliance Defense Fund fights in court to defend a boy's right to have his mother dress him funny:

Pennsylvania School Says Devils and Witches Are OK, But Jesus Has to Go...

Sometimes a story occurs that illustrates how much of a toll the attacks by the ACLU and its allies have taken on Our First Liberty – religious freedom.

Yes, that's what the ACLU does, fight to take away people's freedoms.

The Abington School District (in Philadelphia) -- ironically the same school district that was a party in the 1963 Supreme Court decision, Abington Township v. Schempp which invalidated any school-sponsored devotional study of the Bible in public schools – didn't stop having a district-wide celebration of Halloween

Yeah, what is up with that? After all, All Hallow's Eve (the eve of All Saint's Day) has been a recognized a Christian holiday since Pope Gregory IV (although it has been recognized as a secular holiday since the invention of candy corn).

Officials at one school, Willow Hill Elementary, required that students wear a costume at school on Halloween if they wanted to participate in the festivities. For one ten-year-old that created a quandary. He and his mother weren't comfortable promoting Halloween and its pagan elements, but he didn't want to be sequestered from the event.

"Halloween and its pagan elements"? What a load. I'll have you know that crass-commercialization is just as Christian as frivolous lawsuits, political lobbying, and that thing about the guy who died on a lower-case letter "t" (I can't really recall that much about it at the moment, but I remember him doing something important. Not as important as stopping gay-marriage, mind you, but pretty darn close).

So, instead of dressing up like a devil or a witch, like other students did, he chose to come dressed as...

He chose to come dressed as what? A doctor? A knight? A hobo? Spiderman? Batman? Robin? Nightwing? A giant hamburger? A slice of pizza? Wolverine? Elvis? Black Panther? Abraham Lincoln? Sonic the Hedgehog? Darkwing Duck? A reporter? The Pink Panther? Magnum P.I.? Mickey Mouse? Donald Duck? Goofy? A Cowboy? Megaman? Protoman? The Flash? Napoleon Dynamite? Goku? Optimus Prime? A Dinosaur? Ronald McDonald? The Kool-Aid Man?A Fireman? Mario? Luigi? Sherlock Holmes? A Power-Ranger? Kermit the Frog? A Pokemon? Green Lantern? The Green Arrow? The Green Hornet? Kato? Chewbacca? Big-Bird? A Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtle? Luke Cage? Charlie Brown? Kanye West? Barry Bonds? The Incredible Hulk? The front-end of a horse? The rear-end of a horse? A clog in the American legal system that keeps more serious cases from ever seeing the light of day?


Wow, I was right. Kanye West it is.

He met the requirement of dressing up in a costume, while not promoting beliefs contrary to his faith.

Like how he avoided promoting Satanism by not dressing up as Satan, how he avoided promoting masked-vigilantism by not dressing up as Batman, and how he avoided promoting the belief that cars turn into robots by not dressing up as Optimus Prime. And let's not forget how, by refusing to dress up as Sonic the Hedgehog, he avoiding promoting the satanic lie that "there's nothing cooler than being hugged by someone you like..."

The student was told that his costume violated the school's unwritten "religion" policy. School officials told his mother that the costume would be OK, if he removed his crown of thorns and didn't identify himself as Jesus, but as a Roman emperor instead (and perhaps missing the irony that the Romans were persecutors of Christians and that crucifixion was the emperor's ultimate method of execution!).

So a kid having to wear a different costume than what his mom made for him as an outward display of perceived-persecution-inducing piety to school is like the Roman Empire's persecution of Christ and his early followers?

Wait... Did you hear that sound? It sounded like our precious Lord and all the martyred saints at his right hand throwing-up all at once.

ADF legal counsel Matt Bowman has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, alleging that the school district engaged in "viewpoint discrimination" when it censored the young man's costume. A copy of the complaint can be read at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/EDTComplaint.pdf.

"For the school principal to censor this young student because he was dressed as Jesus is patently ridiculous," said Matt. "It's just another demonstration of how hostile to Christianity some public school officials have become. It is unconstitutional to single out Christian students in this way for censorship."

I actually agree with this part. It is stupid to keep a kid from coming to school dressed up as Jesus for Halloween. He should enjoy it while he can. Because from the look of things he'll most-likely drop his faith like a hot-potato when he reaches high-school and one of his friends will show him one of those crappy "New-Atheism" books with titles like "Up Yours, Lord: Why God is a Non-Existant Doody-Head and How Not Being an Obnoxious and Alarmist Atheist Will Result in You and All You Love Being Molested By Pedophile Priests, Gang-Raped by the Republican Party, and Blown Up by Bearded Men Desperate for 72 Un-Tapped Asses (or Raisins, the Translation is a Little Iffy)!" and discovers that he can masturbate guilt-free. Then if his old costume still fits him that October, he can dress up as Jesus once again, but this time with the ADF not exactly being as supportive.

Now for all you parents out there who also want to either whore out your kids' childhoods to justify your own personal martyr-complex, or want to make attending your spouse's friend's Halloween party even more awkward, I present to you Tools For Tools (of Christ): Halloween Edition (wardrobe provided by Annie's Costumes.com):

Jesus Costume

Includes: Long sleeved knee length dark brown gown and rope belt. Available in One Size (fits up to jacket size 44).

Sells for $43.95.

I change my mind, I think I'll go as Friar Tuck instead.

Moses Wig & Beard Set:

Sells for $29.95.

Leprosy not included.

Joseph/Moses Costume
(Note: colors may vary)

Includes: Long sleeved full bodied under gown with knee length sleeveless over robe. Available in One Size (fits up to jacket size 44).

Sells for $69.95.

Mary Costume

Includes: White floor length dress with flared sleeves and light blue head shawl. Available in One Size (fits up to dress size 12).

Sells for $59.95.

Once again scholars dispute Christ's lineage. Is Jesus descended from Joseph or Moses? However, the case for the Virgin Birth is strengthened:

"See, I have a wife and kid, that makes me completely heterosexual."

"He's not yours, Joseph."

"Completely heterosexual. Dr Nicolosi says so."



Also remarkable how back then animal feeding trofts very much resembled cribs.

Shepherd Costume

Includes: Off-white under robe, royal blue overcoat and rope belt. Available in One Size (fits up to jacket size 42).

Sells for $29.95

That man is no longer a shepherd. His anger at the death of his sheep-herding comrades has unlocked his true power. He has finally become, a SUPER-SHEPHERD!

Shepherd #3 Costume
(Note: colors may vary)

Includes: Floor length robe, knee length vest, white mantle with black headband and rope belt. Available in One Size (fits up to jacket size 44).

Sells for $79.95

"Hey Annie? What do you want us to do with all these old 'Bloodthirsty Arab Sheik'-costumes we can't sell anymore on account of them being too offensive?"

Blue Wiseman Costume

Includes: Blue panne velvet robe w/ silver lamé trim, matching hat and silver lamé belt. Available in One Size (fits up to jacket size 42).

Sells for $29.95.

What can I say, following stars across deserts will do that to you.

Purple Wiseman Costume

Includes: Purple robe w/ gold lamé trim, matching headpiece and gold lamé belt. Available in One Size (fits up to jacket size 42).

Sells for $29.95.

Let me guess, this is the one who brought the myrrh.

Gladiator, Fighter to Death Costume

Includes: Black polyester shirt, black cape, armor skirt, gold & silver helmet,
chest and shoulder armor and decorated shin and wrist guards.
Available in One Size Standard (fits up to jacket size 46).

Regularly: $59.95. On Sale for: $47.95.


Crown of Thorns:
An adjustable crown of brown flexible plastic 4 yards in length. Can be wrapped to fit any size head. Sells for $10.95.

Latex Whip & Spike Scar Sheet:
Includes: 6 assorted length latex whip scars, varying from 6" to 17". Also included are 6 nail scars for the hands. Both type of scars are very realistic. Sells for $11.95.

Stage Blood:
Many feature films have used Ben Nye's blood exclusively. Realistic qualities include vivid coloring and Medium flowing viscosity. Peppermint flavored and safe in mouth. May stain some fabrics and surfaces; test before use. Applications: 12-30 per ounce. Available in .5oz., 1oz., 2oz., 4oz., 8oz., 16oz., and 32oz. sizes.

Thank you, Mel Gibson, for reminding us that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Four Fingers...

Slacktivist hits the bulls-eye about modern-day Evangelicalism's obsession with homosexuals:

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to us all," St. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

If you're a preacher, and if you possess the slightest bit of self-awareness, that's problematic. It means that preaching against any temptation or sin implicates your entire congregation and yourself as well. That can be really uncomfortable for all involved. Pick any of the seven deadlies or the 10 commandments and you risk alienating everyone in the pews and exposing yourself as less than perfect. Awwwk--waaard.

But lately, many American evangelical preachers think they have found a loophole: Homosexuality. Here is a temptation that does not seem to be common to us all. It seems to be the perfect "sin"* -- the perfect safe target. Straight preachers can rail against it without worrying about exposing themselves as hypocrites or, even worse, as fallible humans just like everyone else. And statistically speaking, most of the congregation will be able to say "Amen" without squirming or feeling the least discomfort. It's all win.

Can't wait for part two.

EDIT: Here's part two.

Monday, October 15, 2007

EMB: One...Two... Freddy's Coming for You...

Before I get started, I just want to show you a critical review of Every Young Man's Battle done way back in 2005 by Amber Rhea. Here's quick snippet from when Fred & Steve talk to a teenage girl:

I remember the time when a guy I really liked tried some things that made me uncomfortable. I asked him to stop, but he persisted. Finally, he just wore me down and I eventually gave in. He had weakened my defenses.

Okay, this is the kind of shit that seriously upsets me. Cassie, I've got news for you, hon: that wasn't "weaking your defenses," that was rape. And what is most disturbing is that the chapter just continues along, with some stale verbiage about how it's not manly to push your girlfriend's sexual boundaries. They had an opportunity to take a real stand here, and say, "Hey, fuckface, when you 'push your girlfriend's sexual boundaries,' you're committing rape, and you should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. You're a goddamn rapist, you cowardly little shit." But they didn't.

Scary shit, man. Scary shit. Thumbs up for Amber.

Every Man's Battle:
ch2, pg 16-20

Fred tells us he attended a marriage class taught by a Joel Budd.

It wasn't long before I realized that I knew nothing about treating women properly. Perhaps it was because my mom and dad were divorced, and I never saw a loving relationship modeled at home. More likely, however, it was because of my own selfishness and sexual sin. Everything I knew about women came from one-night stands and casual dating relationships.

The criticism of one-night stands I understand. But "casual dating relationships"? What's wrong with dating? I mean that's what Archie does with Betty at Pop Tate's Choklit-shop.

And here's the grabber: Fred Stoeker still doesn't know how to treat women properly. You see, Freddy here is a member of Promise Keepers, and he wrote a book that says... well, let me just let mental health counselor Susan Hall explain in her article "The Theology of Domestic Violence" where she mentions Arterburn & Stoeker's other book: Every Woman's Desire* (aka Every Man's Marriage):

Colluding with the socialization I’ve described above is the general culture of much of Christianity, where men have not only the cultural right but also the mandate to practice sexist power differentials that promote the creation of the docile, submissive, and dependent woman described as “ideal” by clergy. In a survey I did of evangelical self-help literature, I found peppered throughout the texts metaphors, language, and analogies of hierarchy, domination, and subordination. One popular men’s book [Every Woman's Desire] uses a master and bondservant analogy, and, although the authors are asking the man to consider his wife his “master,” it is nonetheless problematic because it normalizes relationships built on power differentials rather than on mutuality. The authors’ analogy breaks down anyway when they later reaffirm that men are the “Chief Tiebreakers” in the family, once again justifying male dominance within the Christian home.

This is far from an isolated case. In their fervor for “male headship,” evangelicals all over the United States are buying books that purport to make men stronger and more spiritual than their wives. The Silver Medallion Award–winning text mentioned above advises men in the way of becoming the spiritual leader of the family, directing men to “develop the deepest knowledge of God’s Word,” “become the best at submitting to Scripture,” “be the most comfortable with worshiping at home,” “be the most consistent in your prayer and devotional life,” and “be the quickest in the family to forgive and ask for forgiveness”9 (emphasis mine). The message is clear: A man is to note his wife’s capabilities and competencies and then outstrip her in every arena if he is to provide leadership in the home.

This model, with its requisite winner and loser, creates an environment in evangelical homes where women are set up for the humiliation of being one-down. Because women are discouraged from outshining their husbands, they often go undercover when they are more knowledgeable or passionate about Scripture or spirituality. And when a man cannot become one-up by his competence or so-called spirituality, he often becomes violent in order to establish his dominance. If a female is not inferior to him, his culture claims that he is an inadequate man and leader.10

Anyhoo, back to the book: Fred tells us that he didn't date that year under Joel's teaching. He then began to suffer from a condition I myself have discovered by observing other single Christians and am hoping to one day get published: Matrimorny.

Matrimorny ("matrimony-horny") is a somewhat common condition among single Evangelical Christian men. You see, Holy Sanctified Christian testicles fill themselves with sperm at roughly the same rate as secular godless heathen testicles; but unlike secular godless heathen testicles, Holy Sanctified Christian testicles are only to be drained within marriage or while unconsciously humping one's mattress in the REM sleep stage. Thus the Evangelical Christian man has just as strong a desire to mate as a heathen does, but does not openly admit this as it would cause him to appear less spiritual in the eyes of his brethren. So when speaking about past instances where he has experienced matrimorny he will not say something along the line of "I needed a girlfriend" or "Boy, did I ever need to get laid", he will say something like:

I prayed this simple prayer: "Lord, I've been in this class for a year and learned a lot about women, but I'm not sure I've ever seen these things in real life. I've never really known any Christian girls. Please show me a woman who embodies these godly characteristics."

I wasn't asking for a date, girlfriend, or spouse. I just wanted to see these teachings in practice, in real life, that I might understand them better.

Which is pretty much what Fred Stoeker says in his book. Well, actually it is what he says in the book.

God did far more than that. One week later, He introduced me to my future wife, Brenda, and we fell in love.

"Brenda, this is Fred. Due to his poor exegesis of Matthew 5:27-28, he can't ejaculate without crying, see if you can help him with that. Fred, this is Brenda. Don't worry, Batman is on his way, and he's bringing the antidote with him."

Fred tell us that Brenda and him decide not to do the nasty before the legal contracty. It's their choice, I can respect that.

She was a virgin--and I wished I were.

There's still the butt, Freddie. Or did...? Nevermind. None of my business anyways...

We did kiss, however, and whoa! Our lip smacking was wonderful! It was my first experience of something I would discover far more deeply: the physically gratifying payoff that comes from obedience to God's sexual standards.

"And that's like twice as good as the kind you get from using an Arab-strap."

In a song made popular during my senior year in college, the singer mourned how it used to feel when a kiss was something special. The lyrics from that song resonated sadly with me because, at that point in my life, a kiss meant nothing to me. It was a joyless prerequisite on the path to intercourse.

Now, too all my fellow men out there, take note. If you're writing a quasi-autobiographical book and yet for some weird reason want to present yourself as The World's Worst Lover, be sure to describe a kiss as being a "joyless prerequisite on the path to intercourse". Oh, and be sure to use phrases like "lip-smacking". Seriously, not even Andy from The 40 Year-Old Virgin spoke like this. "Lip-smacking"? What's next, "a bag of sand"?

Fred tells us he spent his early married life living by the three C's: Church, Clean-living, and Corn (he actually lived next to a corn-field, which does somewhat explain the creepiness).

If you want the details on their early relationship, I recommend you read the beginning of Every Man's Marriage (which you can read for free here). Long story short: They met when Fred's step-mom set up him and Brenda on a blind-date (or "blind-courting", whatever it was). Shortly after meeting Brenda in Church, he heard a voice in his head tell him that he will marry her (and actually tells her about it later that day). He marries her seven months after meeting her and is surprised that his marriage has a freaking buttload of problems (which I believe bears a striking similarity to the plot of the latest Farrelly brothers movie). He even lost his temper on their wedding night (perhaps another bad case of "divine intervention", I hear they have pills for that now). Ah Fred, you're a walking Romantic comedy.

Then this pops out at me:

By worldly standards, I was doing great. Just one little problem. By God's standard of sexual purity, I wasn't even close to living his vision for marriage. Clearly I'd taken steps towards purity, but I was learning that God's standards were higher than I'd ever imagined and that my Father had higher hopes for me than I had dreamed.
(Emphasis mine)

I've heard something like this before, but where? Oh well, the important thing is that he grabs on tight to his newfound purity, or Jesus is going to write him a letter detailing his every mistake.

Fred, the good Christian that he is, once again pisses his tears of pompous self-loathing over Christ's sacrifice as he did in chapter one.

People around me disagreed, saying "Oh, come on! Nobody can control their eyes and mind, for heaven's sakes! God loves you! It must be something else." But I knew differently.

My prayer life was feeble. Once my son was sick and had to be rushed to the emergency room. Did I rush into prayer? No, I could only rush others to pray for me... I had no faith in my own prayers because of my sin.

My faith was weak in other ways as well. As a full-commission salesperson, if I lost a number of deals to the competition, I could never be sure if those setbacks weren't somehow caused by my sin. I had no peace.

I was paying a price for my sin.

I don't really know about the prayer, but the sales? This guy suffers from erectile dysfunction, it's divine intervention ("That's never happened to me before, I'm so virile"); he loses a sale at work, it's divine intervention ("It's not like I lost the sale"). He acts as if his "sexual immorality" is his only flaw/weakness.

My marriage was suffering as well. Because of my sin, I couldn't commit 100 percent to Brenda out of fear that she might dump me later. That cost Brenda in closeness. But that's not all. Brenda told me she was experiencing dreams in which she was being chased by Satan. Was my immorality causing spiritual protection to be taken away from her?

My Wife was paying a price.

Wait wait wait! Brenda is the "pure" one right? The one who doesn't struggle with "impurity"? Why is she being punished by God allowing her to experience these horrible late night pizza-induced demonic attacks? How exactly does Fred provide "spiritual protection" for his household? Why does Brenda even think he needs him in this way? Is Fred's penis shaped like a cross? does he have a Cruci-dick?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's anything in the Bible about the husband's "purity" protecting his Christian wife from demons.

"Fred, this is God again. There's something I forgot to tell you about Brenda. Her favorite movie is Nightmare on Elm Street, which she believes is a docu-drama."

Another interesting thing is that in Preparing Your Son (pg 177) he writes about "the laws of sowing and reaping" (actions and consequences):

Sometimes we think our poor crop is a direct punishment from God. But God isn't looking for a chance to nail us. When we sin sexually, God doesn't jump from his throne in a rage and bellow, "Okay, now you've done it! I'm going to give you an addiction you'll never squirm out of!"

No, in most cases He doesn't do anything to punish us at all... When problems crop up for us, they usually grew naturally from our own choices.
(emphasis mine)

Wow, Fred kinda pulled a 360 there, eh.

Some more blah blah blah-ing on how his church was suffering because he couldn't serve in it because of his sexual sin. blah blah blah ad inserts blah blah blah female joggers...

Every week I'd vow to to avoid watching R-rated "sexy" movies when I traveled, but every week I'd fail, sweating out tough battles and always losing.

"And in these movies they would say things like 'I'm going to have lots of sexy sex with you.' and she says 'Me so horny, me love you long time!' and then he's nailing her and she's like 'Augh! You're nailing me. Cool.'"

What's even funnier is what qualifies as a "sexy" movie in Fred's eyes. More on that next time. ;)

*I myself have not yet read the tranny of the "Every Man" series, but if what Susan Hall saying about the book is accurate, it causes me to scratch my head. Fred, at least when writing this book, seems to believe that women are immune to porn and sex addictions and don't "struggle" with "impurity" as men do. So he, in this way, could be acknowledging his wife's superiority in this regard. But then again, later in the book we hear quite a bit of bitching from Fred&Co. about wives who selfishly decide to deprive their husbands of gratification for the silliest reasons, like headaches, morning-sickness, and being too busy with a career outside the home.