Fat Steve's Blatherings

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Meanwhile, back at the Strib

      I happened to glance at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's editorial pages for yesterday and today, and for a wonder I learned something.  This wasn't easy, as the Strib's editorials are usually 99.44% liberal imbecilities.  I'm going to start off by bashing them, so those of you who find that boring are advised to skip to the ***** near the end.

      On Wednesday, there was the expected liberal complaints that Benedict won't modify the Doctrine of the Catholic Church to conform to whatever liberals think is a good idea today.  That was only to be expected, and, given the delay in publishing a newspaper has, boring as all hell.

      Digression: there's a great science fiction novel, Weapons of Choice, in which a naval battle group from 2021 gets sent back in time to 1942.  The cultural clashes are rather extreme, as when for example a black Marine colonel from the future has to tell a white southern Marine sergeant from the past that regardless of color of the person who is in the uniform, the sergeant will show the wearer the respect due a Marine, or he, the colonel, will personally put him in the hospital.  I can't help but wonder how the Strib editorial board would have responded in 1976 to the editorials of 2005.

      But the Strib comes through!  It didn't only express its disappointment that the Catholic Church isn't a subsidiary of MoveOn.Org, it also expressed it's disappointment that Benedict probably won't be:
a religious figure, any figure, [who] might emerge to help heal the world's agonizing conflicts being waged in God's name.
      And what are these conflicts?
Global terrorism is only one example. Age-old rivalries in the Middle East and South Asia are another. Africa suffers an epidemic of religious brutality. In Uganda, just to name one instance, the spiritualist leader Joseph Kony tells his followers in the Lord's Resistance Army that his direct line to God and the Bible justifies the butchery of cutting off civilians' lips, hands, nostrils, breasts and other parts as a normal consequence of civil war.
      You see, you can count on the Strib!  They'll die before they mention the brutalities being committed in the name of Islam, but they'll find some obscure and allegedly Christian madman to criticize.  And although the conflict in Uganda has been going on for thirteen years, they'll only mention it now, when a new Pope is selected.  Apparently, Pope John Paul the Great wasn't supposed to work on that conflict, much less secular leaders like President Bill the Unzipped.

      But less you think that mass murder and mutilation is the only problem Benedict won't measure up to handling, the Strib notes other grave religious threats to the world:
America's religious conflict is far more subtle, but important nonetheless as conservative religionists tear away at the precarious wall separating church and state. Catholicism, meanwhile, continues to lose ground in some of its strongholds -- to evangelicals in Latin America and to apathy in Europe, where the church's social doctrines are taken as irrelevant to most people's lives.
      I must say, this is the first time I've ever seen "subtle" used to mean "non-violent and legal."  And note, with admiration, the use of "conservative religionists" instead of, say, "orthodox Christians and Jews."  I don't think I could have come up with a phrase as sneering, bigoted, and stupid as "conservative religionists" to save my life.

      And the paragraph's treasures aren't exhausted yet.  There are two errors of fact and two more stupidities to look at.  First, the "precarious wall separating church and state" is a figment of their imagination.  When the Constitution was ratified, seven of the thirteen colonies had some sort of state support for one or more religions.  The First Amendment was passed to make sure that the federal government didn't touch religion, or the state governments laws favoring various religions.  The "wall" was erected in the twentieth century, by Supremes who thought it ought to be there.  And the Strib calls the wall "precarious" because they fear their drive to expel religious beliefs they don't agree with from public life might be stopped, or even reversed.

      As for the Catholic Church losing ground to evangelicals in South America, well, I know just enough about this to know the Strib doesn't know what it is talking about.  But let's pretend the Church is losing followers in the Americas.  South America was the birth place of "liberation theology," the doctrine that Jesus Christ was really a Marxist.  Evangelical protestants are a variety of those terrible "conservative religionists" the Strib disapproves of when they pollute the U.S.A.  So, the Catholic Church in Latin America turns to left wing political doctrines, and the conservative Protestant sects take followers away from it.  What to do?  Turn the Church left-wing worldwide!

      As for Europe, let's take note that many Protestant Churches there have turned left already.  How are they doing?  They've lost even more parishioners than the Catholics.  Yoohoo, Strib editorial writers, how many hours a week do you spend in religious activities in churches that spout the latest liberal Democratic line?

      In today's, Thursday's, editorials, we start with something approaching sense.  The city is considering building a wi-fi network to provide cheap Internet access to everyone everywhere in town.  The editorial notes the technical uncertainties, the business uncertainties, and the general questions of how it would work:
Whatever Wi-Fi's appealing present-day cost and future potential, it does not transcend the principles that cities and their residents get what they pay for -- and must pay for what they get. As this ambitious proposal goes forward, its balancing of complicated interests will bear very careful scrutiny.
For a moment, you think someone has replaced them with sane people.

      Fortunately, they come through for us in the liberal stupidity department:
Though Minneapolis has far better broadband availability than Philadelphia, it shares the goal of extending access and lowering costs as a way to bridge the "digital divide." But that task requires additional assistance to Internet nonusers hindered by barriers of income, education, language, age and disability.
All segments of the population aren't downloading pornography at the same rate, so there's something wrong that has to be fixed.  TA DA!  The government to the rescue!  The possibility that people of different incomes, education, language, age, and 'disability' might not, on the average, be equally interested in high speed wireless internet access never occurs.

      ***** I won't fisk the rest of the mush head non-thinking on the editorial page.  I've gotten bored.  But I will share the thing I've learned.  In an editorial criticizing the Bolton nomination, they refer to his "neo-conservative" agenda.  I've wondered before why we've seen the spread of the term "neo-conservative" to mean Bush supporter, but today I figured it out.  It's just the new liberal swear word.  Calling a person "conservative" in a political context doesn't have the bite it once did.  Also, "conservative" doesn't imply 'goddamn Jew.'  The Strib called Bolton "neo-conservative" because it's the worst thing they can say about him with straight faces.

      Thanks, Minneapolis Star-Tribune for clearing that up.



  • Thanks for advising me to skip down and thanks again for the insight. Neoconservative=Bush supporter=generic bad thing.

    By Blogger Ralph, at 9:38 AM  

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