Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Business of GOD (Greed Oppression Denial)

The New York Times, Tobin Harshaw

MAY 15, 2007, 3:52 PM
A Not-So-Fond Farewell for Falwell

In the good old days when print was king, nobody spoke ill of the dead, and if someone did, nobody else would know about until the obituaries came out the next day. As we all know, with the rise of the blogosphere things have changed; still, the death of Jerry Falwell today seems to have set new heights in terms of both haste and venom.

Here is a sampling:
The friendly folk at Wonkette are typical: “At a time like this, people deserve sympathy and good wishes … except for Falwell,” the blog notes. “Over his long career as a vile televangelist building an empire of bigotry from the donations of poor people, Falwell has supported South African apartheid, called AIDS an invention of Jesus to punish gays, attacked Martin Luther King and U.S. civil rights, and blamed 9/11 on feminists and homosexuals.”

Amanda Marcotte, back at her Pandagon blog after her brief stint with the John Edwards campaign, continues to make few friends about the faithful, deciding that the evangelist’s death proves “god liked the ACLU better after all.”

Andrew Sullivan ever the reactionary, shows a sense of tact more appropriate to a bygone age: “Since I can think of nothing good to say about him, I’ll say nothing. And pray for the repose of his soul.”

At National Review’s The Corner, Jonah Goldberg wonders, vaguely, how this will affect the presidential campaigns: “The candidates will be asked to say something about Jerry Falwell. It will be interesting to see what they say.”

Steve Clemons of the Washington Note thinks it will be for the better: “The 2008 political race will be easier for me to stomach without Falwell’s meddling.”
(Yup between faith based funding fraud and Big Pharma you can be pretty sure where your money is going for the rest of your life)

So, does anyone have anything good to say? Oddly enough, Jeff Taylor of Hit and Run, the online home for Reason magazine’s loveable libertarians, finds that Falwell’s good works will continue to benefit an often overlooked group of Americans: pagans.

In September school officials at Hollymead Elementary School in , Albemarle County, Virginia, denied students permission to distribute fliers for their vacation Bible school. The Liberty Counsel, a Falwell-affiliated religious rights group, wrote a strongly worded letter, and the county school board reversed its rule. “We’re pleased the school changed its policy so quickly and correctly,” Mat Staver, the group’s founder and chairman, told the Charlottesville Hook. “The law is clear­ when schools allow the distribution of secular material, they must accommodate religious material.”

Staver noted that Muslims and Jews also could use the school’s flier distribution system. “The First Amendment is not just for the Liberty Counsel,” he said. But he didn’t mention pagans, who were soon distributing fliers that pointedly asked, “What else are people celebrating in December?” and invited students to join in a “Pagan ritual to celebrate Yule.”
Tomorrow will undoubtedly bring more charitable encomiums for the founder of the Moral Majority and Liberty University. And if you find that the Wiccans in your life are sporting frowns, now you’ll understand why.
Tobin Harshaw

I hardly think a Wiccan will be frowning, likely smiling with joy that many people will soon understand that most traditions we celebrate as christian were actually borrowed from pagan (indigenous) beliefs. It is touching to find this knowledge and finally know one's roots without the weight of government and church propaganda.


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