Monday, October 17, 2005

Mail Mondays (10/17/05)

Wow, so I got some intersting comments and emails this week. Some, I can use. Some...not so much.
So, let's get to those comments and mailings. (Remember, names are changed. )
I recently had a post on Ashley Smith and her (former?) drug habit. One astute reader commented by saying:
I remember they were mentioning Ashley Smith's problem with drugs, as though they were in the past in early stories. They also mentioned that she lost custody of her daughter due to her problems, right? So I wasn't all that shocked that she still had some around, but maybe that's just me. Do you think she should be arrested just to balance the scales of justice? Was being held hostage not enough?
Astute Reader
Here's the thing, A.R. It's not about the "balance" of justice. The problem I have is with your last statement. "Was being held hostage not enough?" Here's the thing: I truly feel bad that she was held hostage. Granted, for her trouble she received national attention, the thanks of the author of The Purpose Driven Life, and a big book deal. Now, here's the issue I have (and you may definitely feel free to disagree with me). If Smith had been a black woman, and she had been held hostage by a white man, and she had given him Crystal Meth, the country would have turned on her. It wouldn't have been, "Poor woman." No, they would have gone after her
character for having the drugs. "Was being held hostage not enough?" Let me ask you this: A man in Oregon had terminal cancer and was in a lot of pain. He smoked Marijuana to help with that pain. He was arrested and even tried. Wasn't the fact that he was dying enough? Apparently not. If you use the "Wasn't X enough?" argument, then no one should blame Ted Kennedy for what happened at Chappaquiddick. I mean two (count 'em TWO) of his brother's were assassinated. Shouldn't we leave the poor man alone? Hasn't he suffered enough? Yet, there he is, the Republican's favorite target.
Wow, that means we can't pick on Cheney (Heart thing), Bush (He was an alcoholic), Clinton (He had heart surgery), or anyone else. "Was being held hostage not enough?" No. She is now revered in some parts of the Christian community, yet she used the wrong means to do it. They focused on the whole "God" aspect and sort of undercut the use of Crystal Meth. That's not ok. That's like saying, "Jesus is great, if you don't look at his sins." Huh? "Hey, Hitler had a radical way to help Germany...if you forget about his plan to kill all the Jews." If she wasn't a cute, blonde, white girl, this would not be playing out the way it is. Should she go to jail? No. Should she be considered a hero, however? Absolutely not. When the chips are down, she's a tweaker. Plain and simple. If you're supposedly clean, you shouldn't have it in your home. Period. Find me some people in AA who keep alcohol in their home. Seriously. Maybe there are, but those who I know tell me that the temptation would be too great, regardless of how strong your faith is.
Another went all the way back to a
previous post from the beginning of September. While the post was a rambling, this person concentrated on a statement I made about hypocritic Christians. Essentially, I believed (and still do) that it is hypocritical for any Chrisitan to say that Christianity has never been as extreme as Islam. This person's response is below:
I've never prayed to a pee stain. I've never given money to a guy on TV. But I haven't cut the head off of anyone for not being a Christian. yet. Sorry The islamist extremists are extreme. And its not hypocrysy to say so.
A Good Christian
Look, I'm not disagreeing that Islam has extremists. Nor am I saying that these extremists aren't extreme. What I want to get across is that Christians have the same. People pray to a cheese sandwhich that has a Virgin Mary on it. People give money to guys on TV that say, "I'm close with God, and I can get you close too...for $100." The difference is that we only focus on the Islamic extremists now. There are Muslim and Islamic people who aren't blowing people up, but we don't really hear about them.
As for Christianity, have you ever heard of the Inquisition? You need something more current? How about all of Catholicism. You are LITERALLY eating the body of Christ and LITERALLY drinking his blood. Look up
transubstantiation. Yet, Jeffrey Dahmer was a monster? How about the Ku Klux Klan burning crosses in the name of God. Wait, how about the fact that the guys who dragged Matthew Shepard on the road were not only against homosexuals, but said God was too, so it's ok.
Every aspect of life has extremes. There are extreme sports fans, extreme political opinions, and extreme aspects of religion. It's a part of life. Christians may not blow up people yet (though hey, McVeigh did, and people might have cheered him if he hadn't killed children), but they will blow up an abortion clinic. Isn't that a little extreme?
Of course, what do I know? I believe Jesus would be great pot-head. I could be wrong.


Admin Worm said...

Leab, I'm trying to restrain myself here.

I'm glad you admit that the Inquisition occurred ages ago.

The original commenter mentioned beheadings specifically, which you then went on to compare to praying to a cheese sandwich. Not quite the same.

You go on to compare Communion with extremism. Again, not anywhere near the same, and I think you know it. You're reaching here (much as Teddy Kennedy should have reached for Mary Jo).

I don't know when the last abortion clinic bombing was. My guess is well over a decade.

Matthew Shepard's killers are not revered in the Christian community. Nor is Jeffrey Dahmer. Nor Tim McVeigh.

Violence is violence, murder is murder despite the justification or belief. I despise violent Christians just as I do violent Muslims or violent atheists.

You know I love you, Leab...but your periodic Christian-lambasting blogs disappoint me.

Leab said...

I understand Worm, but there's one other thing that I haven't mentioned yet, and I have been crafting slowly but surely for a post: Civility.
We live in a completely different type of world than the Islamic extremists. We talk alot about what makes people civil.
Honestly Worm, my overall biggest problem with Christianity (and all religion for that matter is this): It's used as a shield to protect people from really saying or doing anything. Instead of being a way of life, it becomes a way to put down someone. Instead of being about helping each other, it becomes about my God's better than your God.
That's what angers me. Yes, this is a generalization, but more and more people are using God and Christianity to change what they don't like instead of trying to help.
I truly and utterly believe that if Christ returned to Earth today, he would be hard pressed to save it.
Maybe that makes me a bad person. I honestly don't care. The actually teachings of Christ and their meanings are lost. I know that and I'm not a religious person.
Sorry if it upsets you.

Leab said...

Oh, and an abortion clinic doctor in New Jersey was attacked by anti-abortion proponents (using bats and a knife apparently) about three weeks ago.

Admin Worm said...

Leab, it may surprise you that I largely agree with your views. I take it a step further and say that the mindset extends to government as well. People figure that since they attend church on Sunday and pay their taxes, they can ignore the guy on the corner clutching the "homeless" sign.

As far as the folks who beat the abortion provider, I hope they're prosecuted to the full extent of the law, much as I wish every rapist, murderer, thief, etc. were prosecuted rather than being granted plea bargains and turned loose after a week.

You're right, civility is a dying art. We're a coarse culture. We glorify sex, violence, profanity, and prurience. Just when I think humanity can sink no lower, they go and surprise me.

Sometimes I think that's why Christ hasn't returned yet. I picture him being dragged back by God screaming "I don't wanna! Don't make me!"

Of course, there are marvelous things occurring in the world, too. But you have to search high and low for them, since incivility garners the headlines.

I don't think we disagree as much as you think, Leab...and I hope you don't think I'm ragging on you.