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Friday, November 04, 2005

O RLY?



What was that? O RLY?

Jesus and the Gays

My Dad sent me an e-mail someone forwarded him about a guy getting annoyed by gays on TV. Judge for yourself if it sounds authentic:

AN ABC MESSAGE YOU HAVE TO READ
If more of us took a stand maybe we could have some decent TV programs.

Jim Nugent is a coach in Childress, Texas.

Jim writes:

My name is Jim Neugent. I wrote to ABC (on-line) concerning a program called "THE PRACTICE." In last nights episode, one of the lawyer's mothers decided she is gay and wanted her son to go to court and help her get a marriage license so she could marry her 'partner.' ! I sent the following letter to ABC yesterday and really did not expect a reply, but I did get one.

My original message was:

ABC is obsessed (or should I say abscessed) ! with the subject of homosexuality. I will no longer watch any of your attempts to convince the world that homosexuality is OK. THE PRACTICE can be a fairly good show, but last night's program was so typical of your agenda. You picked the 'dufus' of the office to be the one who was against the idea of his mother being gay and made him look like a whiner because he had convictions. This type of mentality calls people like me a "gay basher." Read the first chapter of Romans (that's in the Bible) and see what the apostle Paul had to say about it.... He, God and Jesus were all 'gay bashers'. What if she'd fallen in love with her cocker spaniel? Is that an alternative lifes tyle? (By the way, the Bible speaks against that, too.) --Jim Neugent

Here is ABC's reply from the ABC on-line webmaster:

How about getting your nose out of the Bible (which is ONLY a book of stories compiled by MANY different writers hundreds of years ago) and read the declaration of independence (what our nation is built on), where it says "All Men are Created equal," and try treating them that way for a change! Or better yet, try thinking for yourself and stop using an archaic book of stories as your lame crutch for your existence. You are in minority in this country and your boycott will not affect us or our freedom of statement.

Jim Neugent's second response to ABC:

Thanks for your reply. From your harsh reply, evidently I hit a nerve. I will share it with all with whom I come in contact. Hopefully, the Arkansas Democrat Newspaper will include it in one of their columns and I will be praying for you.
- -Jim Neugent

Note: Wouldn't Satan just love it if people stopped using the Bible for a crutch? Please resend this to everyone in your mailbox.


-- Thanks, Jim Neugent

I wonder if the person from ABC considered how many people would read this e-mail!

This is one we should definitely pass on.


This was my reply to my Dad, but it's more directed towards Jim Neugent and his ilk:

Oh ho ho! Dad, you know I just gotta open my big mouth on this one....

Here's the passage that most Christians cite as proof of God's feelings
about homosexuals.

Romans 1:26-27:
"For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions: for their women exchanged the natural use for that which is against nature. And in the same way also the men abandoned the natural use of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error."

Taken out of context, it sounds pretty bad, but chapter one lists a lot of other grievous sins, including many sins common to the individual human experience. Who among us hasn't disobeyed our parents? Or been boastful or arrogant?

Unfortunately, this condemnation of homosexuality is swiftly followed by Romans 2:1-4, which carries what I think is part of the true message of
Christianity:

"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?"

Paul isn't singling out homos in chapter one. He's saying shut up, don't judge. You worry about you. He singling us all out, telling us that we're all equally sinful, equally screwed, unless....well, you know the story.

We have to be suspicious of Paul anyway. In 2 Peter 3:16, we're warned:
"(Paul) writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction."

Jesus, who probably should be the ultimate authority in the religion that takes his name, says in Luke 6:37:

"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven."

And Jesus also gives comfort to millions of gay Christians across the world with these words, from Luke 6:22-23:

"Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way."

I think it's somewhat funny that someone taking religious offense to the portrayal of a gay person on TV can't even get the theology right. I also think it's an exaggeration to say that anyone employed by ABC would reply to an e-mail in that manner. (That's just not how corporate America is run. Two words: Legal department.)

But that's just me...always thinking.

Love ya,

James


My Dad's reply:

James,
I'm glad that you are a vary deep thinking person. You have gotten the message better than most. The Christian concepts that you so beautifully explained are often missed by far too many church goers. You might want to forward this whole thread to your mom. I'm sure she would be as proud of you as I am.
Love
Dad

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Najaf Vignette

I’m sure I posted this before, but I’ve done a little editing.  So here it is for the first time again.


Najaf

     “You see him?” Jurgen asks, jabbing a finger in his eye.
     “No,” Petrosky says.  “Do you?”
     “Fuck no.  I got something in my eye.”
     Petrosky taps me on the helmet.  “Yo, Dietz.  You see those fuckers?”
     I squint, thinking that will help me see better.  But all I can see is stone tombs shrouded in smoke.
     “Nothing,” I say.
     “Then who the fuck is launching rockets at us?”
     But then I see movement, a flash of clothing and black hair darting between two stone tombs.  I fire in that direction and knock a few chunks of stone off the tomb but miss my target.
     “Fuck!” Jurgen shouts.  “I can’t see shit.”
     I look at him and see the blood running down his cheek.  He’s rubbing his eye but doesn’t seem to notice that he’s bleeding.  I slap his wrist to knock his hand away and grab him, looking into the wound where his eye should be.
     “You’re hit,” I say.
     “Bullshit.  That rocket didn’t even come close.”  He moved to rub at his eye again, and I swatted his hand away.
     “Don’t touch it,” I tell him.  “You got shrapnel in your eye.”
     “Holy shit,” Petrosky says when he sees Jurgen’s face.
     Jurgen’s face goes slack and his good eye looks at us, first at Petrosky, then at me.  “Fuck you,” he says.  “Don’t fuck with me.”
     “Medic!” Petrosky yells.
     “No way, man,” Jurgen says, drops of spittle flying off his lips as he hurls out the words.  “No fucking way.”  He’s pissed because his combat effectiveness is compromised, not because he lost an eye.  There will be time to be mad about that later, when he had to find work blind in one eye.  Right now he just wants to kill.  That’s his job.  
     A medic comes over and takes a look at Jurgen’s eye.  The whole time Jurgen is shaking his head, denying his new reality.  “No fucking way.”  The medic jabs him with morphine just to shut him up.  It takes about a minute to hit him and then he goes rubbery.  The medic grabs him by the belt and carries him on a shoulder out of there.  
     “That’s fucked up,” Petrosky says after they evacuate.  I’m not sure if he’s talking about the medic’s questionable ethics or the petty brutalities of war but I nod in agreement.
     We’ve both seen worse injuries, but this one was stupid.  The rocket had hit the tomb, way over there, far from anyone.  The explosion obliterated the roof of the tomb, scattering bones and rubble in a ten foot radius, showering us with pebbles and dust.  A small piece of rock, a splinter really, ricocheted at just the right angle to hit Jurgen’s eyeball.  It was so fast, he didn’t even have time to blink.  
     The hajjis launch another rocket at us.  We hear the whoosh a split second before it hits.  This one is a little better aimed than the one that got Jurgen, and it blows the legs right out from under Timmons and hits Culley  right in the chest, shredding him in a thousand blood-soaked pieces.  Timmons screams and tries to crawl away on what remains of his knees.
     Petrosky stares at the scene for a moment, his jaw hanging down, his face streaked with blood spatter.  His takes cover behind me, breathing hard.
     “I’m gonna get these fuckers,” he says.  He wipes Culley’s blood out of his eyes.
     “Come on,” I say.
     We scramble over a mound of dirt and creep low beside a sandstone tomb.  The walls are only about waist high, but it’s a lower position and when the hajjis pop up to shoot rockets at us they leave themselves completely exposed to return fire.
     “They’re reloading right now,” I whisper.  “Wait till they fire one more.”
     “Fuck that,” Petrosky says.  “Let’s go now.”
     I put a hand on his chest and look over the edge of the tomb.  Scrambling around in the dust about twenty yards away, I see a group of hajjis, one, two, three, four.  They’re wearing t-shirts and slacks, more Old Navy than Osama Bin Laden.  There’s a pair of mean looking guys with beards on the RPG, one loading, the other shooting.  Two younger guys hover behind tombstones, spraying useless death blossoms with their AK-47s.  There could be more, but those are the only ones I see.
     “Here it comes,” I say to Petrosky and we duck behind the stone tomb, watching for it over our heads.  Before it explodes, I gesture to Petrosky and he nods.
     “Take those AKs out first,” he yells as the rocket explodes behind us.
     In another second, we’re running, zig-zagging through tombs and bomb craters.  We draw some fire from the AKs but they’re kids, no more than eighteen, and their aim is terrible.  The bullets kick up the dust and chip divots out of the walls of the stone mausoleums, but none come even close to us.
     We converge on their position, Petrosky and me, followed by Graves and Padilla and Miller.  I take out one guy, then aim at his partner but Graves has already blasted him.  He falls, his hand going up to feel the hole in his jaw.  Padilla and Miller take out the rest of them in one sustained burst of fire from their M4s.  
     I stand there, gulping air and looking at the man I just killed.  His head falls to one side and his unfocused eyes stare up at the sky.  I take in a deep breath but smell all the shit and blood and it makes me choke.  I cover my nose with my free hand and turn around.  
     Graves is kneeling beside the man he killed, but instead of being repulsed by the dead like I was, Graves is talking to his kill, his voice a quiet whisper.  “The jihad’s over for you, my friend,” he says, closing the dead man’s eyes with two loving fingers.  “Yasser Arafat is going to kiss your Mommy’s cheek and shake your Daddy’s hand, but you won’t see another day.”  Graves catches me staring and looks up at me, stroking the dead haji’s cheek.
     “What’re you doing?” I say.  “He’s fucking dead.”
     “He can hear me in hell,” Graves says calmly, his eyes flaring.  I let it go.
     We stack the bodies together, then start poking through their stuff.  We find a box of RPGs, enough ammunition for the AKs to clear a forest,  some bottled water, a ruffled Koran with a few pages missing, half a cigarette, still burning, rolled from the missing Koran pages, and some French porno mags.  The women are all pale with hairy pussies and sagging boobs, but Petrosky and Miller argue over them and eventually take a handful a piece, leaving the tattered spoils on the ground.  The scraps blow in the dust, a breast here, a bit of thigh there.
     “Drop your dicks, shitheads,” the sergeant says.  “We’re moving out.”

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Noam Dumbsky

I just read this Guardian story about Noam Chomsky and I have to say I'm quite pissed.....at Chomsky. I've been accussed of being a Chomskyte, but the truth is, I don't know much about the guy except for the fact that Zach De La Rocha (formerly of Rage Against the Machine) adores him. From that I could have guessed that he was a wing-nut, but to actually suggest that the Srebrenica massacre in July 95 was exaggerated proves the point. 7000 muslim men and boys disappeared off the face of the earth in less than a week. They are still finding the bones. To call this a massacre is not exaggeration. It's the most appropriate phrase, since "genocide" may be overstating it and "wholesale mass murder" is definitely an understatment.

Chomsky is a dick. And he's an idiot too. Sure, General Lewis Mackenzie (a Canadian who was the UN's man in Sarajevo) has said that most of the stories of atrocities should be taken with a grain of salt. But to use that as proof that there was no massacre is absolute nonsense. First, Mackenzie was known to have a pro-Serb bias and was often flustered by the amateurs in the Bosnian Muslim government. It's only natural that he would downplay any wrongdoing by his buddies. Secondly, anyone who has studied Bosnia will know that the whole region suffered from a tragic snow ball effect. At the time, Bosnia was a morass of illogical fear and paranoid suspicion. Rumors and innuendo about massacres, unverified but easily believed by a besieged population, actually inspired very real ones.

In this case, and in perhaps many others I suspect, Chomsky doesn't know what he's talking about.