Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Standing With our Blog Pals

by Tom Bozzo

I like a lot of what John Edwards has to say, voted for him in the 2004 presidential primary (and again in the general election), and might have considered doing so again in '08. But if he's inclined to leave his campaign staffing decisions to lunatics like the perpetually aggrieved Bill Donohue and Michelle "Internment of threatening ethnic groups is a good idea" Malkin, probably not so much.

That the use of R-rated language on blogs by Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan (a/k/a Shakespeare's Sister) should be newsworthy at all should be taken as a sign of impending doom. With thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars down the Iraq hole, not to mention the prospect of breaking the planet, and a host of "little" policy matters like the Bush administration's insistence that our lives are made better if more of us weigh the price of an office visit before taking our kids in to be checked out for ear infections, it's hard to think of a subject that is less in need of mass-media airing (via Digby) than the language used at Pandagon and Shakespeare's Sister — both linked in the sidebar.

Shouldn't Dick Cheney's famous F-bomb have eliminated this fake controversy once and for all?

Addendum: If you are going to imply, like commenter "Some" (and from a position of anonymity [*]), that given the state of the world it is somehow worth your while getting worked up over what Some Blogger says about the Immaculate Conception, you are making my point.

* To be clear, the commenter was in compliance with our occasionally stated blog policy that commenters need only identify themselves with a handle. Trolling comments (particularly of the anonymous ad hominem form) are subject to deletion at my sole discretion, signed or unsigned.

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Surely you don't believe the language is the issue? It's the utter contempt for free expression of religious beliefs that have most people fuming over this.

If people like these are your "pals" you're overdue for some serious self-examination.
Some, your argument would work better if either blogger had suggested that anyone not be allowed to freely express their religious beliefs. Are you suggesting that Marcotte and McEwan don't have rights of free expression?

As it happens, Catholic teaching regarding contraception is so widely flouted by the faithful as to hardly form the basis for a charge of anti-Catholicism, no matter how vituperative the wording. As for the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, I can't help but agree with a general proposition that it reflects a "my mother, not being a virgin, is therefore a whore" pathology that comes out of the Catholic hierarchy's pronouncements on the role of women. As for McEwan, explain to me how she's wrong (not just using "inflammatory language") by referring to the WPE's "wingnut Christofascist base."
Marcotte was certainly attempting to actively interfere with expression of religious beliefs. Any search for her name and "Dawn Eden" should make that obscenely clear.

Sure, she has a right to expression as well. And I guess I should've made it more explicitly clear that I wasn't simply talking about the two women; it's the fact that Edwards and his people hadn't vetted their candidates sufficiently, or, worse, hired these bigots (who have deluded themselves into a belief that they're engaged in a war against "fascists") expressly BECAUSE of their views on the faithful. What they wrote in the past is (one might assume) what got them hired. And that's a rubberstamping of their beliefs by the Edwards campaign -- or, at least, it's not a denial of one.

Now, he's gotten rid of these openly hostile people, and I'm willing to chalk it up as an honest mistake on his part. But the fact that the people responsible for making the hire felt that what they (presumably) read was OK doesn't make me more confident in Edwards's ability to delegate effectively.

Your reading of the basis for the Immaculate Conception is way off the mark. Its sole purpose is to show the full divinity of Christ, and while Mary gets a significant amount of praise for her chastity, it's willfully ignorant to say that the Catholic Church considers every mother a whore. Come on, you can do better than that.

(BTW, nice sideswipe at me in the post. Coming "from a position of anonymity" doesn't weaken my position; I'm a reader, no blog of my own, but I have a Gmail account, and that apparently gives me access to comment on Blogger-based sites.)
By using a handle, you meet this blog's policy (which usually doesn't need to be restated) that commenters use handles, not necessarily their real name, to identify themselves. Your anonymous claim of my need for self-examination was what I was gunning for there.

Marcotte indeed has a long record of sharply criticizing Dawn Eden, but that's a far cry from "interfering" with Dawn Eden's expressions of regret for her NYC rock-n-roll life, which seemingly have been unabated.

More broadly, you're doing violence to the term "bigot" by describing what Marcotte and McEwan write in such terms. They're unsparing with respect to certain views of sexuality (women's in particular) that they view (with good reason, overall) as bad for women, along with supporting doctrines. That's hardly a broad-based attack on the "faithful" or intolerance of religious beliefs.

I'm perfectly aware of the text of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception -- my comment was with regard to the subtext. I don't remotely have time to get into the tortured logic of the Church's separate-but-sorta-kinda-equal views of the roles of men and women.

As for the Edwards campaign, apparently there's no official disposition yet, so one of us may be happier depending on whether they decide to let this kerfluffle blow over.
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