Adventures in Jew-Baiting

|

Only two positive outcomes have been born out of the John Edwards/blogger scandal—or as former Reasonoid Tim Cavanaugh dubbed it, White-Hot-Sticky-Holy-Spiritgate. One is the diminishment of candidate Edwards. The other is hilarity. And much of those humor is rooted in the antics of Catholic League president/pope/taoiseach Bill Donohue, who has skin roughly as thick as rice paper. Donohue has a problem with people pointing out an old anti-Jewish rant he foisted on that elite class of citizens who watch MSNBC.

Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK? And I'm not afraid to say it. That's why they hate this movie. It's about Jesus Christ, and it's about truth. It's about the messiah. Hollywood likes anal sex.

This is obviously loony, but Donohue gets very angry when people toss those words back at him. MSNBC host Keith Olbermann did that on Monday, in his typical Murrow-on-roids manner.

Another guest pointed out that three years ago Mr. Donohue himself had said, quote, Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews, who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.

Mr. Donohue responded, I'm not going to put up with it. It's not the issue here, or I'm not the issue here. Yes, you are pal. Vulgar, trash talking bigotry can transcend race, religion, creed or color.

Wow! How will Donohue come back from that? Pretty moronically, actually.

On July 31, 2006, Olbermann interviewed Tom O'Neil, a Hollywood observer, and in the course of discussing Mel Gibson's drunken anti-Semitic rant, O'Neil wondered aloud whether Mel could come back from this incident: 'I don't see how Mel rallies from this, especially in Jewish Hollywood.' A few seconds later, Olbermann said, 'And let's clarify so nobody puts you on that list of folks who said things. When you said Jewish Hollywood, you meant the Jewish community in Hollywood, not Jewish Hollywood.' O'Neil answered affirmatively. So let's clarify for Olbermann's sake. When I referred to Hollywood being run by secular Jews, how is this any different from what O'Neil said?

Let's clarify for Donohue's sake: The part about hating Christianity. Come on, he obviously knows that pinning all media mockery of Catholicism on Jewish hatred of Christians feeds into all sorts of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Why keep blogging this? Who cares about John Edwards? Well, I don't, not anymore, after he blew a chance (mainly by not stopping Amanda Marcotte from blogging at Pandagon anymore) to smack down a clownish, paranoid shakedown artist who is to Catholics what Al Sharpton is to African-Americans. Donohue doesn't usually dabble in politics, but in entertainment, demanding the scalps of comedians and artists who dare to make fun of the Catholic Church, famous Catholics, or communion wafers. He's called for Penn Jillette to be fired for joking about Mother Teresa. He called Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the latter of whom is, yes, a secular Jew) "bigots" and demanded Comedy Central pull an episode of South Park which parodied stigmata, which the channel did.

Donohue gets away with a lot of this crap because networks (and politicians) see him as a representative of "religion," and they fear repeats of the Last Temptation of Christ protests. Well, he's not a representative of religion. He's a fringe activist who denies that the Catholic Church had a "pedophila crisis." Yes, that Catholic Church, the one that's investigated claims that more than 4000 American priests sexually abused children, claims that they had previously covered up, including some against Edward Dudzinski, the priest who baptised me.

Fired blogger Melissa McEwen says the Edwards affair was "a win for no one." Insofar as it handed Donohue a victory, sure. But it can still be a win, if his wacky beliefs and statements get more play and Donohue inches a little closer to laughingstock status.

NEXT: Hardhatsploitation

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “Let’s clarify for Donohue’s sake: The part about hating Christianity.”

    And the part about the Jews running things. And the part about hating Jesus. And the part about hating truth.

  2. And the part about liking anal sex.

  3. …claims that more than 4000 American priests sexually abused children, including Edward Dudzinski, the priest who baptised me.

    That explains a lot actually. NTTAWWT

  4. He’s called for Penn Jillette to be fired for joking about Mother Teresa

    He has that power? I hope he doesn’t see this then:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO_4ssKtywg

  5. Speaking of Jew baiting, Al Franken is officially running for Senate. I guess as long as he doesn’t want to be sworn in on the Torah, all it good, right? Right?!

  6. I wonder if Hollywood is a top or a bottom?

  7. Maybe Norm Coleman can beat Franken over the head with that plaque that was supposed to hold George Galloway’s head.

    Ever see someone climb on a diving board, yell “Look at me! Look at me!” and then execute an ear-splitting belly flop?

  8. Whenever I hear or read Donahue, I’m taken back to my teenage years when I too was belligerent arch-catholic conservative. While I did and still do have a major problem with antisemitism (seeing enough Holocaust documentaries when you’re a kid does that do you) I didn’t sound all that different that this asshole. I once called a girl a “whore” during a sex ed class because she defended pre-marital sex. I would rail about abortion, condoms, gays, and the liberal-run “anti-Christian” media whenever I had the chance.

    The more and more I think of this fucker, the more and more I hate him and bigotry for which he stands for. I hate him because if it weren’t for a few events in my life (going to college was the major one) I would probably would have continued right down the right-wing path and ended up as bigoted an ass as Donahue, Pat Buchanan, Mel Gibson, and yes, my father.

    Looking back on it all, I have to say that people like Donahue make me feel good to be a “recovering Catholic/born-again atheist.” No regrets, not ever.

  9. You’re a CATHOLIC?! Holy Jesus!
    Pfft. I’ll never read another Weigal post again.

  10. Norm Coleman has always been a “hold up my finger to see which way the wind is blowing” type of a pol since he’s been in college politics.

    By November ’08 he’ll be as anti-war as Murtha or Feingold.

    (My prediction: Franken in a walk – he’ll remind people of Wellstone.)

  11. I gotta agree with Hollywood on this one: anal sex is more interesting then the messiah.

  12. You’re a CATHOLIC?! Holy Jesus!

    Actually, I’m now a Methodist. Guess why?

  13. It’s funny, because Franken has always been a silly comedian. The “serious thinker” pose he struck on the cover of “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot” was a gag. Of course he’s not really a serious political thinker – he’s clowning in the role.

    Except now he’s not clowning.

    Which is not to say he’s not a clown.

  14. Your dad is Jewish?

  15. David, you should have stayed in the Catholic Church and told everyone else to leave.

    Shit, I suspect that 75% of Catholics are only Catholics because they think everyone else should leave. The only thing that the 75% agree on is that the other 25% are smoking something.

  16. David Weigel | February 14, 2007, 4:43pm | #
    You’re a CATHOLIC?! Holy Jesus!

    Actually, I’m now a Methodist. Guess why?

    You like anal sex?

  17. The other, purely grammatical way the two statements are different is that the other speaker, when prompted, specified that he was talking about that subsection of the Hollywood community that is Jewish, while Donohue’s statement can’t be read in any other way than as a statement that ALL of Hollywood is under the yoke of ZOG.

    “That portion of Hollywood that is Jewish will be angry at Mel Gibson,” is a different statement than “The filthy Jews run all of Hollywood while they skulk in their lairs hating Christianity, twirling their moustaches and planning ways to undermine the truth!”

  18. Well, I don’t, not anymore, after he blew a chance (mainly by not stopping Amanda Marcotte from blogging at Pandagon anymore) to smack down a clownish, paranoid shakedown artist who is to Catholics what Al Sharpton is to African-Americans.

    ???

    She had already made her statements, why would Edwards insisting she not blog there anymore make them magically disappear?

  19. Some day, thoreau, there will be a Catholic politician with the stones to point out how out of touch the heirarchy is with Catholic voters.

    You know what Kerry should have said when he was attacked by people like Donohue about his support for abortion rights? “Yeah, Cardinal Bernand Law used to tell me the same thing.”

  20. “Actually, I’m now a Methodist. Guess why?”

    Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr in “Cannonball Run”?

  21. Yes, joe, but 74.9% of us will still think that he’s a heretic for one reason or another. So will the other 25%.

  22. She had already made her statements, why would Edwards insisting she not blog there anymore make them magically disappear?

    After Edwards announced he wasn’t hiring them but the fresh talk “wouldn’t be tolerated,” the campaign let Marcotte keep blogging on Pandagon, where she reviewed the movie Children of Men, wherein she made some more comments about religion and took more heat.

  23. Some day, thoreau, there will be a Catholic politician with the stones to point out how out of touch the heirarchy is with Catholic voters.

    You know what Kerry should have said when he was attacked by people like Donohue about his support for abortion rights? “Yeah, Cardinal Bernand Law used to tell me the same thing.”

    The problem with this to my non-Catholic mind is the reaction most Protestants have when hear this, namely: “Then why not leave the Catholic Church?” At some point, church doctrine is so antithetical to what you believe — pro-life, anti-gay, anti-handjob, self-administered or otherwise — that it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to stick with it. Most Lutherans would, if their pastor sounded like a raving lunatic to them, either move to a different Lutheran church or to an Episcopalian or Presbyterian one.

  24. Bill Donohue seems like one of those guys who always has little gummy bits of spittle in the corners of his mouth.

  25. The problem with this to my non-Catholic mind is the reaction most Protestants have when hear this, namely: “Then why not leave the Catholic Church?”

    We Catholics are a stubborn bunch. Protestants gave up too easily.

  26. Is it just stubbornness, or is there something about Catholicism that you do value over mainline protestant denominations?

  27. Josh,

    The answer is that the Church is not the heirarchy.

  28. Josh,

    Why don’t conservative American Catholics move to El Salvador, where the laws are much more in line with their beliefs?

    Because they’re Americans, and they don’t want to stop being Americans. Being an American is something that matters to them.

    And they don’t feel any less American when liberals control the government.

  29. …he’s not a representative of religion.

    Well, I think we can safely say that is true of any religious adherant, given the general diversity within each religion.

    _____________________________________

    If the Dutch war for independence against the Sapnish crown is any indication, Protestants too are a stubborn bunch.

  30. Josh,

    Most religious people haven’t historically switched because that was the belief they were born into. It is an issue of psychology and sociology. Indeed, a lot of work demonstrates that religious belief comes first for most people and then efforts to jusitfy it come later. It takes some fairly corrosive stuff to undermine that socialization.

    So, in an increasingly secular society where larger portions of the population aren’t socialized into a religion at all or in a “serious” manner it isn’t surprising to see no or weak allegiance to religious belief amongst a larger class of the population.

  31. Exactly what constitutes an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory? Does alledging that Israel had a hand in 9/11 count?

  32. Why don’t conservative American Catholics move to El Salvador, where the laws are much more in line with their beliefs?

    Because all of their friends, family, and jobs are in the US? If this is the reason for staying Catholic too, that’s perfectly fine. This isn’t an attempt at a gotcha, it’s a legitimately curious question.

    I wouldn’t stay in a religion that was at odds with my basic notions of fairness and individuality. Many Catholics do — is it out of habit? Out of a belief that it should and can be reformed?

  33. Josh

    Catholics stay because it’s the one true church.

  34. Ed,

    Exactly what constitutes an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory?

    Oh, I don’t know, such hoax works as The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion.

  35. The Protocols are a hoax???

  36. It’s because Catholic girls are hot, and going to Mass is a great opportunity for scoping out chicks.

  37. Josh,

    “Because all of their friends, family, and jobs are in the US?” Belonging to the Church, especially if you are a long-time communicant as a parish, forms its own bonds.

    “I wouldn’t stay in a religion that was at odds with my basic notions of fairness and individuality.” The proclaimations of the heirarchy are not the religion. Particularly in the field of politics. Non-Catholics, and quite a few Catholics, often misunderstand (or misstate) the limits of the infallibility doctrine.

  38. It’s kind of an ethnic thing, too. For me, being Catholic is part of being Irish.

  39. Does the theory that the US secretly gave Israel the bomb count as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory?

    I am not saying the US did, but I think it is a theory worth considering. Is considering it anti-Semitic (because of the close connection between Israel and Judaism)?

  40. I think Donohue is wrong to implicitly ignore the Gentile moviemakers, like Tarantino, who are as culturally corrupt as one might like.

    Attributing superior virtues to Gentiles which they do not in fact possess is pretty much the definition of Jew-baiting.

    Under this definition, of course, Thomas Paine was a master baiter:

    https://reason.com/blog/show/118665.html#641781

  41. For many (most?) religious adherants official religious doctrine isn’t particularly important as an intellectual matter. A perfect example of this is the religious wars of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, where folks slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people over doctrines in significant part because it was religion as community solidarity that was at issue.

  42. “Does the theory that the US secretly gave Israel the bomb count as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory?”

    I don’t think so. But the theory that Israel controls the American government might be. Didn’t a lot of people think the Vatican would control the government when Kennedy was elected. That was anti-Catholic (maybe anti-Irish) to be sure.

  43. Does the theory that the US secretly gave Israel the bomb count as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory?

    yes, especially because it comes in a package with other antisemitic conspiracy theories.

  44. Is a Jew-baiting like a bear-baiting?

  45. Props to Joe for defending the Church!

  46. yes, especially because it comes in a package with other antisemitic conspiracy theories.

    If it turns out to be true then would that make all the theories in the package true, too. Not sure how this package thing works.

  47. Because they’re Americans, and they don’t want to stop being Americans. Being an American is something that matters to them.

    That, and the certain rush one gets from foisting one’s notions of right and wrong on others.

  48. “Actually, I’m now a Methodist. Guess why?”

    “You like anal sex?”

    That’s the same reason Hillary usually gives.

  49. South Africa and Israel worked jointly on the atomic bomb. Conspiracy theory has it that SAs nukes are now in Taiwan. If true I wonder if they have the ‘nads to use ’em?

  50. You’re a CATHOLIC?! Holy Jesus!

    Actually, I’m now a Methodist. Guess why?

    How do you feel about Rent?

  51. “Props to Joe for defending the Church!”

    Props to Akira, who is apparently a conservative Catholic, for acknowledging that “the hierarchy” is not “the Church.”

    People like you, Akira, who don’t let political and social disputes interfere with Catholic solidarity, are why I haven’t left.

    Peace.

  52. “Actually, I’m now a Methodist. Guess why?”

    Because you find the acting in movies made before 1950 too stagey?

  53. I like it, joe.

  54. C’mon, highnumber! Let the folks in the last row see it!

  55. You know what Kerry should have said when he was attacked by people like Donohue about his support for abortion rights? “Yeah, Cardinal Bernand Law used to tell me the same thing.”

    Now THAT rocks.

  56. The proclaimations of the heirarchy are not the religion. Particularly in the field of politics. Non-Catholics, and quite a few Catholics, often misunderstand (or misstate) the limits of the infallibility doctrine.

    Especially if you are relatively nomocratic about governance, the way libertarians are.

  57. “Exactly what constitutes an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory?”

    Oh, I don’t know, such hoax works as The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion.

    That didn’t exactly answer the question, but the Protocols forgery certainly is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. Its subject was Jews, and the Protocols forgery was first brought to the attention of the world and published by Sergye Nilus, a pronounced anti-Jewish racist. It’s fair to assume that he did so in order to engender antipathy toward Jewish folks.

    Does the theory that the US secretly gave Israel the bomb count as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory?

    No, cuz the subject is the Israeli government (and the US government). Governments engage in conspiracies frequently. Should we refrain from investigating the actions of the Israeli government cuz that government is run by Jews? Of course not. Now anti-Semites might well use actions/and alleged actions by the Israeli government, and theories about the same, for their own racist ends. But that does not justify dismissing consideration of theories about those actions and alleged actions as out of hand at all. Of course there might be other good reasons to dismiss certain conspiracy theories.

    Does alledging that Israel had a hand in 9/11 count?

    No. For all of the above reasons.

    Now there is overwhelming evidence that the Israeli government had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks and failed to tell us.

    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j100402.html

    http://www.antiwar.com/israeli-files.php

    I know of no evidence that they had any role in their facilitation, but let’s say that it was revealed that the Israeli government marshaled the attacks; it still wouldn’t justify antipathy toward even the Israeli population in general, let alone Jews in general. In fact, blaming Jews in general for the actions of the Israeli government is not only racist; it’s really absurd since there are so many Jews who oppose the Israeli government.

  58. Of course there might be other good reasons to dismiss certain conspiracy theories.

    well, then, should we refrain from investigating how Israel got the bomb because it could prevent the US from getting on a “high horse” when North Korea and Iran try to acquire the same?

  59. ah, rick, you’re reliable.

  60. Adventures in Jew-Baiting

    The real problem with Jew baiting is it just doesn’t work as well as night crawlers. Or even Cheese Whiz.

  61. edna:

    “yes, especially because it comes in a package with other antisemitic conspiracy theories.”

    Dave W:

    If it turns out to be true then would that make all the theories in the package true, too. Not sure how this package thing works.

    Good answer, Dave W, As Ayn Rand observed, the “package thing” is illogical. It doesn’t work.

    Also, how often have we seen this type of implication?: “The Israeli government or the neocons are Jews or mostly so and they did this, therefore Jews are (something bad)”.

    Regardless of the truthfulness of the first part of the statement, the second part doesn’t follow. It’s the second part that should ALWAYS be challenged.

    Full disclosure: I’m not a Jew or Catholic or even a Methodist. I’m not follower of any religion.

  62. edna,

    If it is proven that Israel got the bomb from us, will it be anti-semitic and/or a conspiracy theory to say so?

  63. Dave W:

    well, then, should we refrain from investigating how Israel got the bomb because it could prevent the US from getting on a “high horse” when North Korea and Iran try to acquire the same?

    I was talking about meritorious reasons of truth and logic, not expediency.

  64. joe

    Once upon a time I didn’t make the distinction betwixt “heirarchy” and the “church.” To me it was one in the same, and it still is to most of the Catholic members of my family. For instance: Whenever he went to Mass, he’d alway go on a right-wing tirade when he saw a parishioner’s car that had BOTH an anti-abortion and a Clinton/Gore bumper sticker. Why? Because according to him, Holy Mother Church says abortion is murder and no true Catholic would vote for a pro-choice president.

    I left the RCC after 25 years mainly because, thanks to college, I no longer believe in the supernatural. Also, because I actually found out that there was a world outside of the one-horse town where I grew up and discovered that the people who my father would proclaim were on their way to Hell (e.g. homosexuals, atheists, “fornicators”) were not the evil, baby-eating, bastards he made them out to be.

    While some of my Catholic friends still joke I’ll be a one of them for life due to baptism, I shock the dust of the church off my feet long ago. I’m not going back.

  65. Neu Mejican,

    Only one of the items (Odigo) in the link that you provided is germane to the case that the Israeli government had foreknowledge that is contained in the links that I provided.
    See also:

    “Terror Enigma: 9/11 And the Israeli Connection” by Justin Raimondo

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0595296823/associatizer-20/

  66. I know this is picky, but Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare’s Sister wasn’t fired. According to her own post, she quit because she was getting death threats and threats to her family. Nice friends Mr. Donahue has.

  67. Karen,

    I thought that former Bananarama singer/songwriter, Siobhan Fahey, called it off.

  68. Good God, 67 comments and not one shout of props to David for his gratuitous (but brilliant) gaelic allusion!?!

    Buy that man a Guinness.

  69. …And that’s enough to post a Bananarama vid! They were so good!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mugexOuw-W0&mode=related&search=

    Here they are in one of their earliest ones with with Fun Boy Three doing “It Ain’t What You do” Dig this!

  70. Will someone please take joe’s keyboard away?

    I can’t even read this nblog anymore because he infests any even halfway decent thread with his trollery. If I wanted to read DailyKos, I would.

    It’s really exhausting trying to find joe-less threads around here. I think he has some sort of computer program.

  71. If it is proven that Israel got the bomb from us, will it be anti-semitic and/or a conspiracy theory to say so?

    if it is proven that santa claus is the creation of a zionist mercantile conspiracy in search of mind control over the goyim for zionist ends, will it be anti-semitic and/or a conspiracy theory to say so?

    if you want to blame the french, go ahead.

  72. edna wins.

    Rick Barton, I don’t get the bananarama reference, although they were huge when I was in college and therefore should understand.

  73. joe,

    If you have a problem with Catholic opposition to abortion and homosexual behavior, your problem isn’t with the hierarchy, it’s with the Scriptures and 2000 years of Catholic tradition, not to mention the preceding 1000 years of Jewish tradition on those issues.

    Luckily, as Americans, if we don’t like the way our govt is operating, we have the option to change our government rather than leaving the country. The Church, on the other hand, isn’t a democracy, it’s take it or leave it. Eternal truth is not subject to majority vote or even consensus.

  74. Donohue is no taosiach, he’s an spailp?n f?nach in my book.

    I took an undergraduate History of ConLaw course from Virgil Blum, S.J., way back when. Donohue wouldn’t be fit to brush the man’s biretta.

    I like to tell my Catholic friends that I quit “The Church” over a theological dispute.* When I have argued with “Cafeteria Catholics” that they would be much happier finding another spiritual home, I could not believe how adamant some of them are about staying within The Mystical Body and fighting to change it. Those brought up Protestant, or in some non-Christian faith without an ecclesiastical hierarchy may not understand the value the Catholics put on the organizatonal and dogmatic unity of Christianity. The Great Schism and the Reformation are seen as the regrettable actions of some sincere but misguided heretics, corrupt politicians and suborned clergymen. The modern ecumenical movement may seem to paper this over, but Rome really does think that all Christian churches should reunite, and conform their doctrines to the Official Version. The rank-and-file tend to have similar views about joining a competing branch of Christianity. There’s even the phenomenon described by Michael Harrington, a self-described “cultural Catholic,” who, while a heretic or even an atheist, doesn’t want to be cut off from the community he grew up in.

    Compare and contrast these behaviors with that of folks you know who seem to belong to the “wrong” political party. “Liberal” Republicans and “conservative” Democrats often stay in the party they were raised in for practical reasons, such as the ability to vote in primary elections in constituencies dominated by that party, but cultural connections can be important, too. The participants on this board, many of whom have changed ideologies and/or parties, if not religions, are no doubt atypical in our willingness to cut such ties.

    Kevin

    *The RCs believe in a god or three, and I had come to not believe in any.

  75. Weigel, you’re pathetic. First Jews do run HollyWeird

    Second, the top grossing movie of 2004 couldn’t get the backing of one Major HollyWeird studio. They all blackballed Gibson and his movie.

    Finally, folks are getting fedup with Jews whining about anti-semitism. The latest being Mitt Romney announcing his White House in front of the Henry Ford building. No matter what one thinks of Ford, he is an American icon. You should stick to blogging over at Andy Sullivan’s joint

  76. Karen, Shakespeare’s Sister was a duet in the ’90s. One of the founders, Siobhan Fahey, used to be in Bananarama. You might’ve heard their hit, “Stay” in 1992. It was fairly big back then. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve got their CD somewhere… Complete aside, which BBQ restaurant in Austin was it that you were recommending for their vinegary-sauce? I do miss the BBQ there: Kreuz, Salt Lick, catching concerts at Stubbs…

    Agree with the idea that criticism or examination of Israel’s policies does not equal anti-Semitism by itself. I do think that Israel takes a lot of grief for behavior that is restrained by the standards of the region. I can only imagine our reaction in the US, if suicide bombers were on the NY subway, or if bandits in Mexico were lobbing rockets at El Paso. Look at how nuts we went over the lite-brites in Boston; I think our law enforcement would have many of the same or more excesses that we currently criticize Israel for, if we had their level of terrorist violence. Whether the heightened scrutiny of Israel’s behavior is due to comparing Israel with other liberal democracies instead of its surrounding countries, or whether it’s due to the perception that Israel is no longer an underdog, or some other observer bias, I’ve no idea.

    I tend to agree with edna in that the French seem to bear the lion’s share of blame for Israel’s acquiring the bomb. It seems the US didn’t learn about the Dimona reactor until 1960, and when we found out, we were not supportive. The Kennedy admin. was downright hostile to Israel building both Dimona and the bomb. Kennedy demanded semi-annual U.S. inspections of Dimona to ascertain whether the Israelis were sequestering nuclear material. Then Kennedy got shot and LBJ had different priorities. Most of this I found on nti.org and fas’s plug for Avner’s Cohen’s “Israel and the Bomb.” I’ve not read it, but it sounds very interesting.

    There have been assorted U.S. misplacements of HEU and other nuclear materials over the years; it’s alleged that some of this went to Israel. Conspiracy theories are just good clean fun…

  77. Ironically, I’m watching the “Holier Than Thou” epeisode of P&T: Bullshit where Donahue makes all manner of excuses for theological S&M freak Mother Theresa’s shady dealings with Charles Keating and “Papa Doc” Duvaliers.

    If you think the man is an asshole by his organization’s press releases, just wait until you hear the verbal diarrhea that spews from his cake-hole.

  78. crimethink,

    …it’s with the Scriptures and 2000 years of Catholic tradition, not to mention the preceding 1000 years of Jewish tradition on those issues.

    Even if I were to accept this claim, tradition by itself is no reason to follow a particular doctrine. Indeed, lots and lots of traditions associated with Christianity have fallen by the wayside over the years, so…

    The Church, on the other hand, isn’t a democracy, it’s take it or leave it.

    Or take it. After all, any religious organization is no more ultimately than its membership. In other words, if enough Catholics want female priests some day you’ll have female priests in the Catholic Church.

  79. crimethink,

    BTW, I’d like to note that in at least some Jewish traditions (why is that people treat Judaism as a monolith?!) abortion before the 40th day was appropriate in some circumstances (namely for the health of the mother and like medical reasons).

  80. Or take it. After all, any religious organization is no more ultimately than its membership. In other words, if enough Catholics want female priests some day you’ll have female priests in the Catholic Church.

    Yeah, it’s always good when sick asshole religions get their balls cut off. Come on, Islam!

  81. Will someone please take joe’s keyboard away?

    I think that joe’s comments are usually very thoughtful, even when I find those comments to be incorrect, which I often do when the topic is domestic (especially economic) concerns.

    He’s intellectually honest and good at pointing out inconsistencies. I think that his presence around this splendid place tends to sharpen our prevailing libertarianism. Also, joe seems to have a better appreciation for capitalism and other liberties than most liberals do. He’s witty and he’s a nice guy. I’m glad he’s around.

  82. “Eternal truth is not subject to majority vote or even consensus.”

    then how in the bloody hell do theological disputes get settled?

    which nicean creed is the eternal truth?

  83. dhex,

    You are right of course. It is even the case that the Bible as we know it today was created by the working out of a ‘debate’ – a consensus was come to amongst religious adherants (at least those with a voice in the matter). Then again, they also attributed works like Hebrews to Paul, though it is probably the case that he didn’t write Hebrews. Then there is the issue of how “Mark” actually ends (what, there are like eleven different possible endings right?) all the contradictions between the various canonical gospels, etc.

  84. Under this definition, of course, Thomas Paine was a master baiter:

    That he was. Honest though.

  85. Or even Cheese Whiz.

    That will get you a philadelphian every time

  86. Karen,

    As Gray Ghost pointed out, Shakespeare’s Sister was also founded by Siobhan Fahey, who used to be in Bananarama. Did you enjoy the vid that I linked to?

    edna wins

    No way! Her answer:

    if it is proven that santa claus is the creation of a zionist mercantile conspiracy in search of mind control over the goyim for zionist ends, will it be anti-semitic and/or a conspiracy theory to say so?

    …to joe’s:

    “If it is proven that Israel got the bomb from us, will it be anti-semitic and/or a conspiracy theory to say so?”

    …is no answer at all cuz it’s impossible for the premise in her question to be proven true since it’s nonsense, while the truth of the premise in joe’s question is open. edna committed some type of fallacy. I thought that I knew which one but I looked it up and I was wrong. Anyone know? (No offence, edna)

  87. Conspiracy theories are just good clean fun.

    More than that; they’re an invaluable tool for understanding real politic. Political power is often transmitted via the machinations of hidden collusion and miss-direction. Often, conspiracy theorizing is the only way to apprehend political reality.

    I think we need to engage in conspiracy analysis to understand political power. We need to ask the question; who benefits? I like Rothbard’s extension of common sense conspiracy analysis from smaller political situations like the collusion of labor and management to enact tariffs, to larger things like entry into war, the creation of the Fed. etc.

  88. Rick, the problem with Banannarama vids is that it sucks when the new stuff is old.

  89. Ha, ha, ha. Read up on the history of the early Christian Church and then come and back and talk to me about “one eternal truth.”

    Yeah, you guys weren’t democrats. You WIPED OUT the other competing voices of Christianity. Ever heard of the Gnostics? Go read up on on the sects that Augustine was frothing at the mouth about–the Donatists et. al. See how nicely your “Christian church” treated them.

    And that was even before the early popes.

    God, Christians piss me off.

  90. I can understand Einstein’s way of thinking about God – that is accepting the “God of Spinoza.” I don’t take that position, but it is a position I can understand.

    I do not get the notion of a “personal God” working in human history, handing out sacred texts, etc. I mean the latter claim ought to bring up some obvious questions: for example, why is God waiting until just a few thousand years ago to hand out sacred texts?

  91. Wine Commonsewer,

    Which makes the old stuff in this case, like 25 yrs old! But I’m ok with it. I just keep living (musically) in the 80’s (and late 70’s).

    Here’s another one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n6chxpEINs

  92. why is God waiting until just a few thousand years ago to hand out sacred texts?

    Cuz she’s been stoned and feeling a tad lackadaisical?

  93. God, Christians piss me off.

    Well you’re talking to the right (non?) person.

  94. “Cruel Summer” is Bananarama’s best song.

  95. Their cover of “Venus” was good too.

  96. Yeah Stevo, both are great. I like Cruel Summer better to.

  97. …just wait until you hear the verbal diarrhea that spews from his cake-hole.

    Shouldn’t that be Communion-wafer hole?

  98. More than that; they’re an invaluable tool for understanding real politic. Political power is often transmitted via the machinations of hidden collusion and miss-direction. Often, conspiracy theorizing is the only way to apprehend political reality.

    It is funny watching someone like Weigs, born while Bananarama was on the charts, coming of voting age during 9/11 and really coming into his own during the 2004 election cycle, talk about “conspiracy theories.” The etiquette of the aughts has slapped blinders onto his political consciousness.

    It is like Watergate or The Gulf Of Tonkin never happened for him.

    Hopefully he will enter a Blue Velvet phase soon and realize that things are not always what they appear to be.

  99. crimethink,

    Stoned any “sodomites” lately?

    Didn’t think so.

  100. “Will someone please take joe’s keyboard away?

    I can’t even read this nblog anymore because he infests any even halfway decent thread with his trollery. If I wanted to read DailyKos, I would.”

    What kind of a pussy gets this upset about seeing someone who disagrees with him?

  101. God, Christians piss me off.

    They piss you off? How do you think Jesus would feel?
    I’m not talking about strictly today’s Christians. He’d be annoyed with Peter and Paul’s behavior in the years following his death.
    Yes, death. The dude died. He wasn’t a deity. He never claimed to be. Suck on that, Christians.

    If you like Bananarama, thank Paul Weller. He signed them to his label.
    If you don’t like Bananarama, don’t blame Paul Weller. That was years ago. Everybody gets a few missteps, right?

  102. Why don’t we all just convert to Scientology and wait for the aliens to come and reunite us with Elvis, Tom Cruise (pre-body snatchers), and maybe even Jesus?

  103. Highnumber:

    Paul Weller is fantastic. But just like Bob Mould, his solo/later projects are only okay 🙂

    Rick – thanks for the vids!

    Backatcha -thanks to inspriation from High#.

    That’s Entertainment by the Jam

    Going Underground

    News of the World

    couldn’t find “Away from the Numbers”, my favorite…

  104. Anyway, from my interpretation of how Christianity / Catholicism came to be (in simple terms): Judaism was the predominant religion back in the day. Jesus was allegedly born to a virgin mother. Claims were made as to his “holyness”. And, so, a new religion was born, this one incorporating many of the Jewish beliefs, but veering here and there as to include Jesus.

    Just curious. Why is it that according to some Christians, there is no way into heaven except through Jesus? Are they really so ignorant as to believe that their fairly new (comparable to Judaism) religion has claim to the entire kingdom of heaven? Whereas Judaism claims that all “good” men (and women, of course), regardless of religion, are entitled to their share of heaven. I just don’t see the logic behind the Christian way of thinking.

    If there is a God, why would only Jesus worshiping Christians be accepted into heaven? What about all of the other people in other nations that have never even been exposed to Jesus / Christianity? It just doesn’t make sense…to me at least.

  105. Just as a footnote: I am not condoning any specific religion. Just curious on the Christian belief system.

    …and I am not Jewish…not that there’s anything wrong with that…:)

  106. edna,

    You consider a Zionist conspiracy to create Santa Claus to exist on the same plane of plausibility as our transfering military information to an allied state?

    I think that’s just loopy.

  107. VM,

    Boo! Boo to you!
    Everything Weller does is wondrous.
    Seriously. If you haven’t already, check out his most recent – As Is Now. Most excellent, and available on eMusic.

    Weller at the Vic 2/13/2003 – one of the 5 best concerts I’ve ever been to. I was maybe 6 feet from the man when he sat at the electric piano and played “What’s Going On.” Whoa.

  108. High# – 🙂

    Mrs. Moose is also a Weller fan across the board.

    Thanks for the rec! Will check it out.

    (I don’t remember why we didn’t go)

  109. “What kind of a pussy gets this upset about seeing someone who disagrees with him?”

    joe, according to my research, that would be 96.72% of all internet users.

  110. and seriously, the gnostics – a widely disparate group of religious sects – were generally not the sort of group any modernist would want to hold up as having been a loss for pluralism and modernity, mythologizing about their supposed progressiveness aside.

    though it is a good example of how the eternal truth generally seems to be constructed by committee, and how those committees often have knives and other sharp, pointy things. (a better example in this case would be the cathars, if you want to pick a relatively benign sect – by modern standards – that was persecuted into non-being.)

  111. High# – excellent reviews, too!

    Dhex: what about the gnostics? I got lost in the sentence. (/kicks pebble, wipes away cheetos dust)

    The line about eternal truth and committees is pure gold! “I can tell you’re looking for a way to live/ where truth is determined by consensus / full of codified, arbitrary directives/ come join us”

    two snaps and a circle for you, Sir!

  112. One other thing Weigel, the Catholic Church doesn’t have a pedophilia problem. It has a homosexual problem. The Priests weren’ molesting young children. they were going after 12-18 boys

  113. Hey VM,

    I dig Going Underground. Saved it to my faves. Thanks!

  114. Weller may have been a socialist then, but “Going Underground” is the best political song since “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

  115. “Dhex: what about the gnostics? I got lost in the sentence. (/kicks pebble, wipes away cheetos dust)”

    well, a lot of gnostic sects were body negative that makes the ted haggard brigade look healthy and accepting of their sexuality.

    if the demiurge (the thing/force that created the material world) is an asshole, the then the body is the produce of an asshole – i.e. shit – and should be neutered and denied from reproduction. how much this followed in actual practice, well, that depends on the sources you read. and of course not all of the sects grouped under “gnosticism” were entirely body negative.

  116. gotcha. Thanks!

    High#: Lords of the New Church have this good political showing, too.

    Open Your Eyes

    Or Bad Religion’s

    American Jesus

  117. Bad Religion lyrics = good stuff
    Their oozin’ aahs were real good too.
    Never got into Lords of the New Church.

  118. dhex-

    I’m reading a book about the gnostic gospels right now. What’s interesting is that some of them appeared to believe that the more mainstream (or whatever you want to call it) brand of Christianity was “good enough” for most folks, and that gnostic teachings were only for the “truly enlightened.” That would imply that some of them believed the teachings of the Roman Church were “noble lies” told for the sake of the masses.

    Hardly a progressive, egalitarian approach.

    Of course, like you said, there were many gnostic sects. The “noble lie” angle seems to be the province of those who believed in a “second God” higher than the God of the Old Testament.

  119. thoreau – which book?

    (i want to gently bump it and fire corn syrupy knowledge into my brain)

  120. I just reread Honest to Jesus. It’s an effort to separate Jesus, “the humble Galilean sage,” from the mythological Christ. Great book, but if one takes the Jesus Seminar’s work seriously, it is difficult to call oneself a Christian. Their scholarly efforts to separate what Jesus can reasonably be thought to have said and done leaves little room for the worship of him as something more than a man.

    Anyway, the book goes into the non-canonical Gospels. It does not get very deeply into the Gnostics themsleves, but it does touch on them. If you are reading about the Jesus outside of the canon, you may find it interesting.

  121. dhex-

    “The Gnostic Gospels” by Elaine Pagels.

  122. pagels has done some good stuff. her book on satan is cool.

  123. Great book, but if one takes the Jesus Seminar’s work seriously, it is difficult to call oneself a Christian. Their scholarly efforts to separate what Jesus can reasonably be thought to have said and done leaves little room for the worship of him as something more than a man.

    Scholarly my ass. Their methodology is only a slightly more sophisticated version of Thomas Jefferson’s “of course Jesus wouldn’t have said anything like that” approach to determining what Jesus said.

  124. VM,

    I don’t know about Paul Weller (never heard of him), but Peter Weller (are they related?) of Robocop, Buckaroo Banzai,, etc. fame is an excellant classicist. 🙂

    ___________________________

    On gnosticism:

    Gnostics generally believed that there were two Gods, an inferior God who created the Earth, etc. who was evil or at least an inferior God who could not bring salvation from the situation of the soul in this corrupt body, and a God of salvation. Most also seem to have argued that there was knowledge to be gleaned from various texts that would lead one to understand how to end this corrupt union of body and soul – read the Gospel of Thomas for hints, etc. of this sort of reasoning.

    thoreau,

    It is fair to say that at least some gnostics believed that not everyone had the ability to understand these texts. Which may speak to the nature of the souls. If they have one.

  125. highnumber,

    I accept the now fairly old notion (first discussed – in modern times at least – by Albert Schweitzer) of Jesus as an apocalyptic preacher. Which makes him just like a ton of other figures of his time.

  126. Have you read the book, Seamus?
    I don’t know their work beyond that. While the methods described in there do include an element of “we doubt he would have said that,” they do that by cross referencing the available source material and eliminating pieces that are incongruous. I think their direct line to God was cut off in the 90s and the time machine doesn’t go back more than 4 or 5 months yet. How can they decide what were likely Jesus’ words and deeds?

    Grotius,

    The book addresses Jesus’ connection to John the Baptist and apocalyptic Judaism. The author, Robert W Funk, believes that Jesus was a follower of J the B before Jesus started his own public ministry. He supposes that Jesus left the apocalyptic movement and struck out on his own with a faith or philosophy that had no trace of apocalypticism. The words that they have supposed to be Jesus’ actual words do not speak of an end of time or a savior.

  127. Hi Grotius:

    They aren’t related 🙂

    And thanks for the further enlightenment about the Gnostics!

  128. Philip K Dick, somewhat in his novels but mostly in his exegesis, wrote extensively about Gnostic beliefs. That was during his nuttier phase.

  129. the 2nd valis book is basically a gnostic fairytale. (it’s my least favorite of the three; i wish pkd had dropped the science fiction gloss at some point and just written books.)

    if you’re having that kind of experience, gnosticism provides a decent starting point for explaining why the universe seems both insane and timeless.

  130. highnumber,

    I’d say that is pretty much the scholarly consensus on the “historical Jesus” (whether the guy actually existed or not, well, that is up for debate).

    Yeah, Jesus (and I am not the first person to point this out by any means) could have identified with any number of the “schools” of thought at the time, yet he chose to associate himself with John the Baptist, an apocalyptic preacher. Also Mark (the earliest known gospel – ~70-75 CE) is studded with references to the very soon to come apocalypse.

  131. Corrrection & Addition:

    thoreau,

    It is fair to say that at least some gnostics believed that not everyone had the ability to understand these texts. Which may speak to the nature of their souls (that is the souls of those who could not properly understand the texts). If they have one.

  132. Hardly a progressive, egalitarian approach.

    I seem to recall that “gnosis” means “revealed knowledge” or something like that, and that gnostic religions are all about secret knowledge that is shared among a relatively select few. IIRC.

  133. Stevo Darkly,

    Well, in one sense the Christological tradition that was forged into the dominant form of Christianity is egalitarian in that accepts anyone (in theory – in practice, lots and lots of those who converted faced persecution and the like by their now fellow communicants) into the folds of the community, yet the creation of a hierarchy in the church undercuts this egalitarianism. Indeed, attempts to enforce these hierarchies (I see them as human created of course) – for example, the Petrine Doctrine – are significant factors in many of Christianity’s schisms.

  134. Grotius,

    The book posits that Jesus came with a new philosophy, but, in his absence, his followers reverted to the trendy messiah oriented apocalypticism, and wrote their Gospels to shoehorn Jesus into that movement.

  135. highnumber,

    I see. Does the author draw on the decreasing use of apocalyptic statements, etc. in the canonical gospels (from Mark to Matthew to Luke to John) to make this argument?

  136. No. To simplify, Matthew and Luke are rewrites of Mark with different agenda and information from another source added. Non-canonical Gospel Thomas seems to use the same source as Matthew and Luke. Thomas was what they call a “sayings” Gospel. It has no miracles, no Passion, no narrative at all. This source that Thomas, Matthew, and Luke share is called “Q” (from German “quelle”). Q has been theorized to also be a sayings Gospel. Presumably, right after Jesus died, his sayings were collected in this Q. Over time, his followers ascribed more and more divinity to Jesus transforming him into the eschatological prophet we know today. The Gospels were written as this took place.

    John is a slightly different beast (most Gnostic of the canon and probably the least historically reliable).

    You haven’t read any of the historical Jesus stuff post Schweitzer?
    I’m not a Christian and haven’t set foot in a Christian church for anything but ceremonial events for friends and family for many years, but I find that Jesus the man was a fascinating figure and becomes only more so as the veneers of religionists are stripped away.

  137. highnumber, I think most of what you said is a matter of consensus. Mark has priority among the synoptics, they all drew on collections of sayings (probably something like Q), and John is crazy and Hellenistic and late.

    But I don’t think the idea that Jesus wasn’t really an apocalyptic preacher gets any support from all that consensus stuff, and I don’t think it’s very plausible in any case. I mean, how are we supposed to make sense of Mark without supposing that Jesus preached about a Kingdom of God coming soon that everyone needed to prepare for and spread the word about? That’s like 90% of his shtick. Is the book putting a lot of stock in Thomas or something?

  138. Dave2,

    Even Mark was written a generation after his death. Paul never met him, but his writings are the earliest Christian texts. Already by the time Paul had assumed a position of great importance, the movement had changed.
    As far as making sense of Mark, it makes sense if you consider that the Jesus movement, which was difficult to circumscribe, died out not very long after Jesus’ death, and Christianity, an apocalyptic faith rose after that.

  139. I’m thinking Mark and Q are pretty much all we have to go on when getting at the historical Jesus. What else are people relying on? (The Gospel of Thomas? Paul’s letters?) I certainly don’t know of any evidence pointing towards a distinction between ‘the Jesus movement’ and ‘Christianity’.

  140. highnumber,

    No. To simplify, Matthew and Luke are rewrites of Mark with different agenda and information from another source added.
    Non-canonical Gospel Thomas seems to use the same source as Matthew and Luke. Thomas was what they call a “sayings” Gospel. It has no miracles, no Passion, no narrative at all. This source that Thomas, Matthew, and Luke share is called “Q” (from German “quelle”). Q has been theorized to also be a sayings Gospel. Presumably, right after Jesus died, his sayings were collected in this Q. Over time, his followers ascribed more and more divinity to Jesus transforming him into the eschatological prophet we know today. The Gospels were written as this took place.

    This is all pretty standard stuff.

    You haven’t read any of the historical Jesus stuff post Schweitzer?

    Yes, I have. Lots of it. Anyway, most scholars remain convinced that he was an apocalypticist; though much of Schweitzer’s specific arguments have been rejected.

  141. Lots of scholars approach the study of Jesus from the point of view of Christians, presuming the truth rather than questioning every little bit.
    That’s how I see it, anyway.

    I’m off to visit friends in sunnier climes.
    Talk to y’all next week!

  142. highnumber,

    The dominant view amongst scholars is that he was an apocalypticist; that is certainly true in the U.S.

  143. I knew this sounded familiar:

    December 9, 2006, 5:28pm | #

    Guy Montag,

    One of the reasons for political conspiracy theories is political conspiracy. It does happen. When we debase conspiracy analysis, we’re throwing out an invaluable tool for understanding real politic. Political power is often transmitted via the machinations of hidden collusion and miss-direction. Often, conspiracy theorizing is the only way to apprehend political reality.

    I think we need to engage in conspiracy analysis to understand political power. We need to ask the question; Who benefits? I like Rothbard’s extension of common sense conspiracy analysis from smaller political situations like the collusion of labor and management to enact tariffs, to larger things like entry into war, the creation of the Fed. etc.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.