Monday, January 02, 2006

Religion Pimps

Photo: Courtesy of Stalin The Shark

When Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton shows up at an event, you know something related to "race" has transpired and they are capitalizing on someone's misfortune to stroke their own egos. Many Republican bloggers have a name for these guys -- "race pimps" and "race baiters". Presumably, they use these terms to describe those who pimp the race card for personal gain. With respect to Jackson and Sharpton, the description is appropriate. They are slime. They transform serious tragedies into public spectacles.

The problem I find with those who slap the "race pimp" label on Jackson and Sharpton is their broad willingness to affix that derogatory label to any person who suggests that racial animus is at play in a given incident, whether it was the shameful response to Hurricane Katrina or the Rodney King beating. According to the labelers, nothing in America has to do with race and anyone who suggests otherwise is a race baiter.

The response to Hurricane Katrina had nothing to do with the fact that the worst flooded areas were the poorest, blackest areas. When a tourist in New Orleans filmed police beating the snot out of a Black man on Bourbon Street for no apparent reason, the labelers sighed in relief that the victim did not suggest that the police were racist. On to the more mundane, Star Wars I was defended against claims of racism notwithstanding the fact that everyone evil or stupid had an accent and all others spoke properly. Nope. Americans are not racist. That was a long time ago. Get over it. Move on. Stop race baiting.

Strangely enough, however, the labelers who deny that anyone in America has a racist bone in his body are convinced that Christians are being persecuted by atheists in America. Atheists are currently persecuting Christians in America, as the nonsensical story goes, by saying happy holidays, by suggesting that intelligent design is not science and by not allowing a plaque of the Ten Commandments inside a courthouse. Let's summarize. Whites, who are holding onto majority status by the skin of their teeth, have no racists among them, especially no racial animus toward Blacks who make up approximately 12 percent of the population. Atheists, a maximum of four percent of the population (but probably much less) are successfully persecuting the 96 percent of America who are Christians.

I have a name for this stupidity -- "religion pimping" -- those who pimp the religion card for personal gain.

Undoubtedly, there are instances where Christians are offended by someone or something somewhere in the nation, but it is bewildering to comprehend the irrationality behind the suggestion that Christians are being persecuted in a nation that is 96 percent Christian (the percentage varies depending on who you talk to). Persecution is defined as "punishment or harassment usually of a severe nature on the basis of race, religion, or political opinion." Ask a Jew from Germany, Russia or Poland what persecution is. I guarantee you it will sound nothing like what the preppy, self-indulgent, bags of hot air on Faux News are whining about.

Stripping the veneer of religious pimpology, you will see nothing more than a group of people claiming persecution because they are not getting their way (the image of an unruly 5-year-old in a sandbox comes to mind). Sorry religion pimps, but not getting your way is not severe punishment or harassment, even if it feels like that. Not being allowed to reconstitute intelligent design as science is not part of the definition. Not banning gays from getting married is not punishment. And saying happy f'ing holidays is not persecution!

Last I checked, holiday means holy day. Holidays plural means more than one holy day. Since Christmas and Hanukkah generally fall within the same two-week period and since both are commercialized shadows of events that once resembled religion, one can only assume that the holidays (plural) to which Target, Wal-Mart and various cards refer when saying "Happy Holidays" are Christmas and Hanukkah. I have yet to understand how it is persecution to acknowledge Hanukkah? Why don't the religion pimps admit they hate Jews and get it over with? If they had an ounce of sincerity about all that Judeo-Christian heritage, we-love-Israel crap they babble about, the religion pimps would be the ones demanding that everyone else say Happy Holidays in order to bond with their Jewish brothers and sisters in their shared heritage of commercialized holidays. But, alas, that is not the case.

If you find persecution of Christians in a happy holidays card, click here to become a member of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition. I am sure they will be more than happy to add religion pimps to their ranks of race pimps.


At 7:43 PM, January 02, 2006 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

Oh no - the war on christers is very real indeed. Is now the right time to let you in on the secret liberal conspiracy to do some actual persecution? It's my understanding that we've rented stadiums in all major cities to feed the christers to the lions, so they can finally complain about something real. We do this for no reason other than, hey, we're bad people.

Unfortunately, there is presently a lion shortage, leading to delays, alas. In the interim, I can probably get you tickets for when Pat Robertson is fed to rabid were-armadillos at Madison Square Garden; from what I hear from the ACLU and other corporate sponsors, that should sell out quickly.

:-), StS

At 8:00 PM, January 02, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

My "leak" at the ACLU told me that feedings were supposed to be done at all the bowl games on new years day -- the liberal MSM decided new years day would get better ratings -- but the lion shortage thwarted their plans. Do not fret comrade sharky, the atheists will fight on.

At 9:34 PM, January 02, 2006 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

Well, I certainly hope so; I am looking forward to hearing Pat Robertson shriek in agony as his withered flesh is torn from him by hungry flesh-eating weasels. I hear the lions felt he was beneath their dignity, so the organizers had to find some less picky carnivores.

If I consult the database, by the way, it appears that John Gibson is scheduled to be sodomized by a tribe of angry Afghan goatherds. That'll be pay-per-view, alas.

:-), StS

At 10:12 PM, January 02, 2006 , Blogger Reign of Reason said...

I heard rats wouldn't even f*ck with Robertson... It would be redundant...

At 10:37 AM, January 03, 2006 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

Good stuff. I agree 95%. I would only say that there is a certain level of ultra-consumerism and over-sexualness that is getting a little out of hand. But that's a war on everyone, not just Christians.

At 10:43 AM, January 03, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

What's the 5% you find disagreeable?

At 11:37 AM, January 03, 2006 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

The 5% is this: the Christian criticisms of current American trends are not 100% off base. There is not a war on Christianity, but there is a war on family, in my opinion. This is basically due to a media-baked consensus on a few issues. I do agree with Christian conservatives about certain things, mostly related to public decency and the centrality of family in life. After all, every society has its limits. So I agree with them on things like television being too sexual, abortion and a few other things.

At 11:42 AM, January 03, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

I agree with the religious people on some of the points (although we disagree on how to improve things) just like there are instances when Jesse and Al have something valid to say. One of the points of this post, however, is that the decline in decency does not equate to persecution of Christians. Trivializing the meaning of persecution, as they have done, really does an injustice to those around the world who really are being persecuted.

At 12:44 PM, January 03, 2006 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

Well, persecution can come in many forms. You don't have to be fed to lions to be compromised. Persecution can be psychological as well, and that's probably how they feel.

For example, you may (or may not) feel that that media "persecutes" the antiwar folks or the people that seek truth in the media. By having your wholesome news options limited to Democracy Now, aren't you being persecuted in a way??

At 3:38 PM, January 03, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Persecution is defined as severe harassment or punishment based upon a political opinion, religion or something else. I don't think I am being persecuted if Democracy Now is the only news outlet I find credible. Persecution can be psychological but, going back to the religion pimps, they are not being persecuted because people do immoral things or otherwise disagree with them.

At 3:40 PM, January 03, 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. I was just using an analogy. Seeing if you'd take the bait. :-)

At 5:17 PM, January 03, 2006 , Blogger mrsleep said...

Bombs away & II.

Interesting discussion. I admit that I have tired a bit lately of trying to reason with those people that refuse to listen to reasonable arguments. When you present a reasonable argument, and all you get back is Moonbat's, Gays, Unions, Bush hater, Clinton's fault, etc, it makes you angry.

II, I understand your premise, and I understand B.O.B.'s response too.

My disagreements with the Christian Right is they want it both ways. They do have some reasonable positions, but they have the unreasonable and totally illogical ones as well. Any attempt to address the unreasonable/illogical is viewed as an ACLU lead, lefty, godless, secular attack, or they totally ignore the hyprocracy of the position.

I know this is an overly broad far reaching statement but it holds far more water than it leaks out.

B.O.B. A war on the family is a strong choice of words. I don't see any overt effort at undermining the fabric that holds society together, but I do agree that I don't like the general degradation of morals, or the permissiveness of all forms of media.

I don't agree that is should necessarily be characterized as a religious argument.

You can go back generation after generation for centuries and you probably would hear the same complaint.

The Right lacks principles and backbone. Jeff Gannon's lifestyle, proclivities, and access to the Presidents inner circle, and zero howling from the Right? No child left behind? Look at the results, and no howling? It's all overpaid teachers fault? Gimmee a break.

I don't agree with lot's of people, but if they stand by their principles (like them or not) then I respect the hell out of them.

We have way too many interest groups (Christians among them) posturing on principles but at the end of the day, some of those very principles vanish.

At 1:12 PM, January 04, 2006 , Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

01 04 063

Hey II: Glad to see that you are back with the same fire (plus some) as before. :)

At 1:17 PM, January 04, 2006 , Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

01 04 06

BTW: I do think that NEWDOW is trying to war with the Christians if only in matters of principle. He wanted the City of Redlands to remove the cross from their city seal (incidentally called "The City of Churches"), he wants "In God we Trust" removed from the currency, and now he is going on a campaign to change all of the city names in CA that have SAN in them (because of the Catholic history). Now, what I have always wondered about is if the state can endorse theism but NOT a specific religion, or simply not theism or religion at all. I feel like Mr. Newdows claims may have some validity but he is basically trying to shake up the pot and cause discord. The spirit that he goes on his tyrades is also somewhat hateful towards those who are religious. I also think that changing the city names is ridiculous because they are rooted more or less in the history of that city or mission and have nothing to do with endorsing religion. Sorry for rambling, but while I do think some conservative Christians DO have a double standard, I also see that there are folks out there who do not like them!

At 2:01 PM, January 04, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Hi MSR -

Newdow obviously has a bone to pick with religion, but he has every right as an American to use the judicial system to see if any of his arguments hold weight. That is not persecution.

The point of the post, and I hope it came through, is that there are always going to be people who disagree with you or whose morals are offensive to yours. That doesn't mean one is being persecuted. the Neo-Christcons are no different than Newdow. Indeed, they are two sides of the same coin. He's finding oppression by religious people in strange places and Neo-Christcons are finding oppression of religious people in strange places.

I also find the double standard with which these Neo-Christcons dismiss claims of racism beyond offensive considering their willingness to find "persecution" in everything. It's another example of the patent hypocrisy they are pushing in their war on sanity.

At 5:18 PM, January 04, 2006 , Blogger d nova said...

good piece.

but it's not quite as simple as "claiming persecution because they are not getting their way."

these folks are phobic. a phobia is a conditioned anxiety disorder. they've been programmed by repeated association of something harmless (like liberals) w/ something threatening.

racism n antisemitism are phobias, tho i'm not sure shrinks know it. when it became too widely unacceptable 4 them 2 b racist or antijewish, powerseekers looked 4 other fear sources: feminazis, ecoterrorists, libs o course, world govt, gun control, whatever.

it's the focus o my blog phobizone.

At 9:23 PM, January 04, 2006 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

There's something to the phobia concept; certainly, it seems there's a mental imbalance of some sort involved. I mean, rationally, when you have megachurches all over the place, TV stations, radio programs, newspapers, web sites, shopping malls and frigging dedicated vacation resorts tailored to christers, with your guy sitting in the white house and the congress bending over backwards to do what you want, persecution seems a bit far-fetched.

And the thing is that these people genuinely believe they're being persecuted, if you ignore the obvious media whores like Bill O'Dildo who scream persecution because their paycheck depends on it. I think there's some validity to a phobic theory to explain that; good call.

:-), StS

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At 4:02 PM, November 28, 2006 , Blogger Sir-Almighty-Sir said...

I am happy that you would write about Pimp-religion. But I would have to say that like business pimpology has a wide rage of definitions. To deny this is to be prejudice towards pimps or pimpology. I have a qquestion. In the light of businesses who operate solo on the purpose of misleading and stealing, is it right to say that all businesses are bad? NO! You will not say that. Is it right then to look at people that call themselves pimps as someone evil or bad? If you do then I would say shame on you! You have no intelligent reason to do so! It was in the name of business that slavery was designed. Shame on you if you say all business is bad also! Pimpology is business. Believe it or not it was first the black man way or style. It is all about expressing oneself the way one pleases. To be a pimp is to be a business man or woman. What type depends on the person. The same as a business person. It is really funny that intelligent people still refuse to accept those that are different. Black or White we are all people. I preach the word of God and faith. What is my foundation? I believe that God is in the temple of the heart of everyone. I would only say this further of Pimps or Pimpology: The reason it is such a dreaded thing is because it was a black thing. Freedom of religion and speech was not always hear especailly for blacks. If I say I am a pimp or believe in pimpology, based on the fact that we have this freedom of speech and religion, then I deserve the right for people not to assume anything about me being a pimp, or my Pimp-Religion without first understanding me because I just might have a different definition and cause. But if you prejudge you deny this freedom in me. The question is:

Is it because I am a Black Man?

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