Religion in the Big Tent

As has been widely documentedelsewhere, the Catholic League's William Dononhue holds opinions that would make good right-wing blog copy had he a more clever way with words. I can't quite get over the fact that is a man who blames Mel Gibson's anti-semiticisms on him being liquored up, Michael Richards' racial outbursts on him being upset, and Isaiah Washington's anti-gay slurs on him being ticked off -- in the very statement he puts out as a condemnation of bigotry. As for Edwards, well, people who he hired then hired Amanda Marcotte, and he no choice than to stand by her. A decent boss doesn't fire a new employee for something that he should have known about her all along -- in fact, the very thing he brought her into his employ to do. It's not as if Amanda had little boys squirreled away in a closet somewhere. These were her public writings posted on the Internet and signed with her very name. For my money, I would have preferred Edwards had gone with a simple "I hired her. I'm okay with it. Move on." But at least he seemed to understand that he was the target of a political hit by a political actor, did a decent job defending himself.

That said (here it comes), Amanda of course has all the freedom in the world to write every last hot, white, sticky word she posted. God bless America! But to then claim 'hey, just kidding, -- it was never anyone's intention to "malign anyone's faith"' seems to me an unfortunate dodge. Bigot is an ugly word. And it's absurd to claim to know that Amanda is anti-Catholic deep within her soul because of a few blog posts. But in her writings she certainly warmly embraced the tactic of mocking that faith. To pretend otherwise is to run away from a nut that does need to be cracked at some point: have we made the Democratic tent big enough to welcome religious activists without constantly snickering behind their backs? Right now we're seeing more and more American Christians connecting the dots between global warming and being stewards of the earth. Right on and keep it coming. Whether someone really thinks that they're eating the body and blood of their messiah is far, far less a concern to me than whether they walk the walk of a social teaching that condemns inequality and champions justice.

Tags: Amanda Marcotte, Democratic Party, John Edwards, religion (all tags)

Comments

21 Comments

While Bill Donohue hyperventilates about ...

...supposedly "anti-Catholic bigots" you can bet that John Edwards is going to keep talking about the need to help the poor.

Which one is talking about what Jesus cared about?

by MeanBoneII 2007-02-09 09:15AM | 0 recs
I can't agree

But in her writings she certainly warmly embraced the tactic of mocking that faith.

She mocked misogyny, if we're talking about what I think we're talking about.  Are you saying that misogyny is a necessary part of Catholicism?  If you are, then that is a bigoted statement.  

And yes, I know that misogyny has been a part of historical Catholicism, but I also know that

1. religions change (that's why they have a history)

2. American Catholics don't all toe the (Roman) party line

Mocking the application of some doctrine to law isn't only permissible, it's a necessary part of resisting theocracy.  I've even seen religious people do it.  
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by Grand Moff Texan 2007-02-09 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: I can't agree

Amanda, not mocking that faith, but only mysogyny:

"Do women, inferior beings to men in the eyes of Jeebus, have agency?"

http://pandagon.net/2006/11/13/feminists -for-life-on-the-subject-of-choice-freed om-is-wasted-on-women/

"Are you saying that misogyny is a necessary part of Catholicism?  If you are, then that is a bigoted statement."

by commissar 2007-02-09 10:00AM | 0 recs
Yes, that's a perfect example, Commissar

You may be getting confused by its sarcasm, but that's about what I expect from you.  From the perspective of a mysogynistic [sic] religion, women are inferior beings with no agency, meaning they cannot create.  

Sarcasm and rhetorical questions are a perfect way to confront such bigotry.  

Sad that you can cite but you cannot read.
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by Grand Moff Texan 2007-02-09 10:25AM | 0 recs
I hired her. I'm okay with it...

"I hired her. I don't have to agree with everything everyone on my staff ever said or believed. Get real. Move on."

by Jeff Wegerson 2007-02-09 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Religion in the Big Tent

I smell a future Amy Sullivan column recycling most of these talking points.

I also didn't realize that when The Onion published an article called "E-Meters Said to Measure Human Gullibility," they were engaging in very real and hurtful hate speech against Scientologists.

by norbizness 2007-02-09 09:25AM | 0 recs
Let's fight the real enemy: Donohue

Let's go get Bill Donohue --  either via the IRS or the NY State AG.  (Scroll down for more info.)

The IRS can take away his tax-exempt status.  But the NYS Attorney General's office can shut him down, PERIOD -- and very quickly.

by Phoenix Woman 2007-02-09 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Religion in the Big Tent

what were the context of her comments?

by bruh21 2007-02-09 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Religion in the Big Tent

the context of her comments?

read them yourself

here are 461 Google hits for "Jeebus" at Pandagon.net

http://www.google.com/search?q=jeebus+si te:pandagon.net&hl=en&lr=&c2 coff=1&safe=off&as_qdr=all&s tart=50&sa=N

I guess directing you to read Amanda's own posts make me a right-wing smear merchant.

by commissar 2007-02-09 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Religion in the Big Tent

actually the context is not a single word - the context is why is she making her comments, and to whom is she directing them, and for what purpose? Just like the context of watching Borat would not be that he is really believing that all women should be raped.

by bruh21 2007-02-09 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Religion in the Big Tent

If you can't figure out the "context" of Amanda's comments by reading her blog, then I can't help you.

by commissar 2007-02-09 10:18AM | 0 recs
Since you can't tell the difference

between Jeebus and Jesus, you are an accidental joke, which only makes you funnier.  

How did you get dumber since the last time I fisked you?  Varnish?  Blows to the head?  Join a cult?
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by Grand Moff Texan 2007-02-09 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Religion in the Big Tent

i asked the question rhectorically. sorry didn't know I was dealing with an idiot who doesn't understand such things. It makes sense why you are incapable of understanding contextual issues now.

by bruh21 2007-02-09 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Religion in the Big Tent

The troll has its talking points and that's about it.  

Oh, and speaking of troll, I have some due diligence of my own to perform.
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by Grand Moff Texan 2007-02-09 10:34AM | 0 recs
It's more her Al Shaprton moment

with the Duke lacrosse team that is more disturbing. Pretty clear now that the prosecutor is a criminal and the case a total fraud similar to Sharpton and Tawana Brawley.

But as you say, she can anything she wants, the embarrassment in all this is for Edwards who was clueless on what the bloggirls were writing and was using them to curry favor with the whitemanopshere (another thread here) to show how hip he was and instead showed that he was clueless on it, never read what the ladies wrote, just was looking for a name.

You know that if Edwards staff had gone to him about hiring the ladies and provided examples, the catholic stuff, the auto-fellatio laugher, he'd have said..."No way...are you nuts!".

It's still a puzzler what you hire a blogger to do in a political campaign if not blog in which case, who wants to read what they (the now employed by the campaign blogger) had to say? I'd could see having the campaign monitor the blogs and pop in with factual info/corrections in threads about their candidate but why hire a "commentator" for that?

Conversely, I could Obama campaign hiring Farouk Olu Aregbe as their blogger because the guy's web work is online organizing for Obama.

by BrionLutz 2007-02-09 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Religion in the Big Tent

"Have we made the Democratic tent big enough to welcome religious activists without constantly snickering behind their backs?"

You've fallen into a trap. As some joker said, "Outside of issues relating to corruption, Democrats must never criticize each other in the same manner that Republicans criticize Democrats."

You've internalized a right-wing attack. 'We,' if by 'we' you mean the Democratic Party, are overwhelmingly religious. Our leaders are openly, often ostentatiously, religious, and the great majority of our members are religious. I'm not sure exactly who's 'snickering', and I'm damn sure that nobody's doing that 'behind anyone's back.' We're Democrats, and we're Americans: we can disagree, loudly and openly, with our friends, allies, and fellow activists.

The real question is: ""Have we made the Democratic tent big enough to welcome diverse, even opposing, beliefs, while working together for common goals?"

That's an okay question. Can a devout Catholic feel welcome in our tent? Can a hardcore athiest? A Muslim? A transsexual? Will we support all the above for political office? (Okay, that's not fair: of course we can't support an athiest! They're dirty.)  

If you took every Democrat who agreed with Marcotte and combined them into one super-anti-religious-activist (which, to be uncharacteristically fair, I don't know that Marcotte is), they still wouldn't have as much power as 'religious activists'.

So the right-wing frame notwithstanding, the question really isn't 'are people of faith welcome in the Democrat Party?' People of faith comprise the majority of the Democratic Party, while people who snicker too loudly find themselves in danger of losing their jobs.

The question is--well, one of them anyway--how can we criticise religious (and I'd also say 'ethnic') people and institutions without expressing bigotry toward people of that religion or ethnicity? This is extremely sensitive, obviously. The Catholic Church, Israel, William Jefferson ... all of these deserve harsh criticism, and in every case there's a line beyond which lies bigotry. Even factually-correct criticism can become prejudice. So I agree there's a crackable nut, here: but it's very little to do with the 'are people of faith welcome in the Democratic Party' frame that the right loves so well.

by BingoL 2007-02-09 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Religion in the Big Tent

File under "HUMOR"

"Edwards to keep bloggers who regret anti-Catholic postings on Web"

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/02/0 9/america/NA-POL-US-Edwards-Bloggers-200 8.php

Amanda "regrets" her anti-Catholic postings. :)

by commissar 2007-02-09 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Religion in the Big Tent

Amanda "regrets" her anti-Catholic postings. :)

Actually, that's not what the article says, and that's not what she said ... yesterday.  

Do try to keep up.
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by Grand Moff Texan 2007-02-09 10:33AM | 0 recs
Shorter Nancy Scola

"I think William Dononhue is a dumbass, but I trust his characterization of Amanda's views nonetheless."

by Drew 2007-02-09 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Religion in the Big Tent

Jesus got crucified, and you don't hear him whining about it non-stop. There's no reason Catholics, or indeed people of any religion or none, shouldn't be able to deal with a bit of mockery.

by Englishlefty 2007-02-09 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Religion in the Big Tent

Of course this statement:

"Whether someone really thinks that they're eating the body and blood of their messiah is far, far less a concern to me than whether they walk the walk of a social teaching that condemns inequality and champions justice."

can be construed as:

"I will tolerate christians as long as they agree with me". That's how I took it.

by Guardian 2007-02-09 07:45PM | 0 recs

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