-->At times the "opposition" has some cogent points to make about us Christians. Perhaps we had better listen.
Here are synopses of two op/ed pieces by extremely liberal, mostly Bush-hating NY Times columnists. The first is by Maureen Dowd, written
on November 14, 2004.
She begins by saying,
You'd think the one good thing about merging church and state would be that politics would be suffused with glistening Christian sentiments like "love thy neighbor," "turn the other cheek," "good will toward men," "blessed be the peacemakers" and "judge not lest you be judged."
Yet somehow I'm not getting a peace, charity, tolerance and forgiveness vibe from the conservatives and evangelicals who claim to have put their prodigal son back in office.
-->I think you get the drift. It seems as if we are giving the secular world too many opportunities to see us Christians as hypocrits.
I'm getting more the feel of a vengeful mob - revved up by rectitude - running around with torches and hatchets after heathens and pagans and infidels.
One fiery Southern senator actually accused a nice Catholic columnist of having horns coming up out of her head!
The Christian avengers and inquisitors, hearts hard as marble, are chasing poor 74-year-old Arlen Specter through the Capitol's marble halls, determined to flagellate him and deny him his cherished goal of taking over the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"He is a problem, and he must be derailed," Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, told George Stephanopoulos.
Sounding more like the head of a mob family than a ministry, Dr. Dobson told Mr. Stephanopoulos about a warning he issued a White House staffer after the election
that the president and Republicans had better deliver on issues like abortion, gay marriage and conservative judges or "I believe they'll pay a price in the next election."
-->Then she gets around to Dr. James Dobson and quotes the interview he gave to George Stephanopoulos, the same interview I blogged about in horror a few weeks ago.
Ms. Dowd writes,
Mr. Stephanopoulos asked Dr. Dobson about his comment to The Daily Oklahoman that "Patrick Leahy is a 'God's people-hater.' I don't know if he hates God, but he hates God's people," noting that it was not a particularly Christian thing to say about the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. (Especially after that vulgar un-Christian thing Dick Cheney spat at Mr. Leahy last summer.)
"George," Dr. Dobson haughtily snapped back, "do you think you ought to lecture me on what a Christian is all about?" Why not? The TV host is the son of a Greek Orthodox priest.
-->The second column is by Frank Rich , The Times arts observer.
It was written on November 28, 2004
He starts by describing the Monday night Football commercial.
If we are to believe the outcry of the past two weeks, America's youth have been defiled en masse - again. This time the dirty deed was done by the actress Nicollette Sheridan, who dropped her towel in the cheesy promotional spot for the runaway hit "Desperate Housewives" that kicked off "Monday Night Football" on ABC. "I wonder if Walt Disney would be proud," said Michael Powell, the Federal Communications Commission chairman who increasingly fashions himself a commissar of all things cultural, from nipple rings to "Son of Flubber."
The mainstream press, itself in love with the "moral values" story line and traumatized by the visual exaggerations of the red-blue map, is too cowed to challenge the likes of the American Family Association. So are politicians of both parties. It took a British publication, The Economist, to point out that the percentage of American voters citing moral and ethical values as their prime concern is actually down from 2000 (35 percent) and 1996 (40 percent).
To see how the hucksters of the right work their scam, there could be no more illustrative example than the "Monday Night Football" episode in which Ms. Sheridan leaped into the arms of the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens in order to give the declining weekly game (viewership is down 3 percent from 2003) a shot of Viagra. From the get-go, it was a manufactured scandal, as over-the-top as a dinner theater production of "The Crucible."
-->Now listen to the real statistics of "outrage" that Mr. Rich presents:
Though seen nationwide, and as early as 6 p.m. on the West Coast, the spot initially caused so little stir that the next morning only two newspapers in the country, both in Philadelphia, reported on it. ABC's switchboards were not swamped by shocked viewers on Monday night. A spokesman for ABC Sports told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he hadn't received a single phone call or e-mail in the immediate aftermath of the broadcast.
--> Mr. Rich now goes into the sad attempts of so many Christians and other conservatives to convince authorities of their views by bogus email campaigns.
Mr. Owens's agent, David Joseph, says that the flood of complaints at his office and Mr. Owens's Web site also didn't start until more than 24 hours after the incident - late Tuesday and early Wednesday. Were any of these complainants actual victims (or even viewers) of "Monday Night Football" or were they just a mob assembled after the fact by "family" groups, emboldened by their triumph in smiting "Saving Private Ryan" from 66 ABC stations the week before? Though the F.C.C. said on Wednesday that it had received 50,000 complaints about the N.F.L. affair, it couldn't determine how many of them were duplicates - the kind generated by e-mail campaigns run by political organizations posting form letters ready to be clicked into cyberspace ad infinitum by anyone who has an index finger and two seconds of idle time.
But there's another, more insidious game being played as well. The F.C.C. and the family values crusaders alike are cooking their numbers. The first empirical evidence was provided this month by Jeff Jarvis, a former TV Guide critic turned blogger. He had the ingenious idea of filing a Freedom of Information Act request to see the actual viewer complaints that drove the F.C.C. to threaten Fox and its affiliates with the largest indecency fine to date - $1.2 million for the sins of a now-defunct reality program called "Married by America." Though the F.C.C. had cited 159 public complaints in its legal case against Fox, the documents obtained by Mr. Jarvis showed that there were actually only 90 complaints, written by 23 individuals. Of those 23, all but 2 were identical repetitions of a form letter posted by the Parents Television Council. In other words, the total of actual, discrete complaints about "Married by America" was 3.
Such letter-writing factories as the American Family Association's OneMillionMoms.com also exaggerate their clout in intimidating advertisers. They brag, for instance, that the retail chain Lowe's dropped its commercials on "Desperate Housewives" in response to their protests. But Lowe's was not an advertiser on the show; the advertiser who actually bought the commercial was Whirlpool, which plugged Lowe's as a retail outlet for its products under a co-branding arrangement. Another advertiser that the family-values mafia takes credit for chasing away, Tyson Foods, had only bought in for one episode of "Desperate Housewives" in the first place. It had long since been replaced by such Fortune 500 advertisers as Ford and McDonald's, each clamoring to pay three times as much for a 30-second spot ($450,000) as those early advertisers who bought time before the show had its debut and became an instant smash.
"Desperate Housewives" is hardly a blue-state phenomenon. A hit everywhere, it is even a bigger hit in Oklahoma City than it is in Los Angeles, bigger in Kansas City than it is in New York. All those public moralists who wail about all the kids watching Ms. Sheridan on "Monday Night Football" would probably have apoplexy if they actually watched what Ms. Sheridan was up to in her own series - and then looked closely at its Nielsen numbers. Though children ages 2 to 11 make up a small percentage of the audience of either show, there are actually more in that age group tuning into Mr. Cherry's marital brawls (870,000) than into the N.F.L.'s fisticuffs (540,000). "Desperate Housewives" also ranks No. 5 among all prime-time shows for ages 12-17. ("Monday Night Football" is No. 18.) This may explain in part why its current advertisers include products like Fisher-Price toys, the DVD of "Elf" and the forthcoming Tim Allen holiday vehicle, "Christmas With the Kranks."
Those who cherish the First Amendment can only hope that the Traditional Values Coalition, OneMillionMoms.com, OneMillionDads .com and all the rest send every e-mail they can to the F.C.C. demanding punitive action against the stations that broadcast "Desperate Housewives." A "moral values" crusade that stands between a TV show this popular and its audience will quickly learn the limits of its power in a country where entertainment is god.
-->It isn't that we don't have the right ideas. It's the fact that we so often use bogus means to accomplish and communicate them. And, so often we come across arrogantly (are you listening Dr. Dobson?). So, thank goodness we have these liberals to keep us on our toes...that is if we really want to listen.
TBN Founder Paul Crouch Dies
3 days ago