Restraining the religious right.

Yesterday on NPR’s All Things Considered, I heard a story about a coalition of conservative women’s groups that threw a banquet in support of John Ashcroft’s nomination for attorney general. I think you can find a link to the audio file here:

Unfortunately, I don’t have speakers on my PC, so I can’t listen to the file and transcribe this exactly, but please be assured that I am not exaggerating in this paraphrase. (Perhaps some nice person who does have speakers can transcribe the comment for me.) One woman said, about Ashcroft’s opponents, that she felt like lunging across the table and tearing their throats out with her teeth. . . but, she said, there’s a book that prevents her from doing that. The book, the reporter helpfully tells us, is the Bible.

Well, now. She isn’t stopped by the belief in a free exchange of ideas. No. She isn’t stopped by a respect for the opinions of all people, even those who disagree with her. Nope. She isn’t stopped by an inherent and universal respect for the sanctity of human life. No-sirree. She is not stopped by her mother’s voice telling her that it’s not nice to bite people. Uhn-uh. She isn’t stopped by the fact that having the cartilage from someone’s windpipe stuck between her teeth might make her smile less attractive.


She’s prevented from ripping someone’s throat out with her teeth by. . .

The Bible.

Well, all I can say is, thank Gawd for the Bible, then, if it’s the only thing that keeps rabid conservatives from committing viscous and inhuman attacks against any person who dares to oppose their political goals. Thank Gawd. (No wonder the religious right thinks you can’t have morality without religion–they don’t have it, so why would anyone else?)

I think she was refering to the fact that there was a very large bible in front of her… actually physically preventing her from leaping across the table. But that’s just my thoughts on the matter.

LOL You could be right. . . it was radio, after all. Lovely image. Thank you.

And what about the Religious Left? Why are we always ignored–because we’re NICE?

You bet – nobody wants to hear about nice people. We want raving lunatics.

There’s a religious left? Really?

Besides, as far as the OP goes, clearly the Christian thing to do is kill everyone who doesn’t understand that this man’s nomination is a Very Good Thing[super]tm[/super] :rolleyes: :eek:

[sub]oh no! smilies in the pit![/sub]

::: slinks away sadly, thinking his life is a waste ::::

Polycarp, I’m not sure which comment is making you slink off. But you of all people know that the moderate and liberal Christians, the ones who seek to follow Christ and gently encourage their brothers and sisters to do the same, do not and will not, ever, receive the kind of press the nutballs do. As JeffB said, we want to see the loonies, in everything.

You loving, caring Christians make us uncomfortable, even those of us who are self-professed Christians. We don’t want discomfort, however much we may need it. We want to see people and things that do not make us uncomfortable–people like those in the OP, that we can ridicule.

Now, Poly…do’t go! No, don’t…don’t take the car! You’ll kill yourself!

No, really, Poly. It was a joke. And even though this is the pit I hope I can make you feel a little better: you’ve improved my views on Christianity tremendously.


It’s just like we were talking about in Esprix’ thread. Y’all just need to be a little less “nice” about things. :wink:

Lawsy, lawsy.

I never thought I’d be glad that these whackos don’t usually bother to read the old testament. Think how fat that woman would be if she know that the Big Guy Upstairs ™ does not seem to have many objections to the killing of unbelievers, particularly during war. Then again, how many calories can there be in a windpipe? Seems like the neck muscles would be pretty lean, too.

You can slink over here, Polycarp. :wink: I like nice guys.

Indeed. Who wants sticky pools of alien gunk all over the place anyways? :wink:


I guess if we have to live in a society with people who are as morally underdeveloped as the woman in the OP (and I become more sure we do every day), then maybe we ought to be grateful for anything that prevents them from behaving like savages. Even if it is something as crappy as the Bible. Too bad the Bible can be used as an excuse for unspeakable evil as well as being a force for good. That’s the problem with basing your life around a set of absolutes: sounds good in theory, but never works out in practice.

Now, now, don’t take on so, Poly.
:::pats hand, back, prepares motherly lecture:::
Ever consider that Christianity is one of simplest but toughest religions? Behavior isn’t enough; what people tote around in their hearts counts more. Nothing tougher than that, now is there?
That Twain reprobate got it right: you can’t pray a lie.

Anyone who could spew that kind of hate over a political appointment, and do it in the name of Christ, well…it was a lethal self-indictment, unconscious or not, but it’s hoopla. Don’t let your ears droop and your tail drag over this.


I keep forgetting to click the “disable smilies” button.
:::gnashes teeth:::
Please overlook the jarringly inappropriate puke-green braying smilie face.

All things considered (excuse the phrase), I’m slinking off now.

*Originally posted by tisiphone *

Ack. Add another word to Poddy’s “Never To Be Used Without Looking It Up First” list.

Uh, Polycarp, I hope you aren’t mortally offended. I do realize that this woman isn’t representative of all Christians, or even of all conservative Christians. That’s part of the reason that I put it in the Pit rather than a more toughtful forum where I’d be harder pressed to justify my generalizations. It was a thoughtless (I hope) comment made by one lady who was probably drunk with all the media attention she was being given and if she has a shred of humanity at all I’ll bet she wishes she never said it, despite the applause and cheers her comment was greeted with . . . but in my mind it resonated with certain generalizations that certain members of the Right make about my own little persecuted minority.

Hey, maybe if you guys in the religious left would be more controversial, like loudly proclaiming your respect for persons of all creeds—er, no, wait, that won’t work. Or, maybe, your feeling of brotherhood toward your fellow man–whoops. . . that’s not going to be very controversial, either. Trumpet your support of social programs and education–darn it! Uh, maybe you should just concentrate on soundbites that piss off the right???

Poddy, Poddy, I am sorry!! – especially since you cared enough to bring this up in my rant on opinionated people at

My “depressed sulk” post above was associated with the idea that the religious right gets all the press, to the extent that dogsbody mock-suggested total oblivion to a religious left. It was quasi-tongue-in-cheek (though about 20% serious – January blues combined with a sense that no matter how much one tries to show the sort of compassionate and accepting belief that I have, the Pharisees get all the good lines). I did not post again to say so because I was so deeply touched by the posts trying to comfort me.

But you are 100% correct about that obnoxious woman, and the others like her. I fail to understand how people like that can read the Gospels without cringing – though it’s pretty easy to be blind to your own faults, I’ve found over the years, until they’re brought home to you forcefully by circumstances.

And I do deeply regret that my emotional reaction and general disgust at that sort of allegedly Christian behavior hijacked your thread and disappointed you so.

[Al Bundy]

The book is her family cookbook. Y’see, years of good Christian eatin’ has left her with a good Christian potbelly, so now “lunging” is out of the question. The best she can do is “ooze” across the table.

[/Al Bundy]

I while back, i saw a whole family of moderate Christians who believed that even pagans should be allowed to worship in peace. The were on the news standing, apart form any others, outside of a house which was nearly surrounded by hordes of other mote rabid rightwing christians who were doing their best to prevent and disrupt a Pagan religious ceremony. The family was there to show the world not all christians are assholes and to show their children that the Pagans worshipping posed no threat to their own christianity.

lee, two uplifting things there: Moderate people demonstrating that they are, in fact, moderate. That’s cool. The media reporting it, that’s almost too good to be true. There might be hope yet.

S. Norman

Thanks, Polycarp. I feel better now. Since you’re one of the people 'round hear who’s made an effort to reach out and welcome me, and because you always have thoughtful and interesting things to say in response to my posts, I was very troubled that I might have offended you with my vitriol. Thank you for clearing that up.