Observations by and for the vaguely disenchanted.
Risking the wrath of the whatever
from high atop the thing.
The Family Research Council is either adorably oblivious,
or their PR outfit is just plain evil.
Variations on a theme:
When this man smiles, a fairy dies:
Speaking of smiles:
(YouTube video: formerly captive ducks see water for the first time).
Quotes of the day- Arthur Miller:
Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in American theatre, writing dramas that include plays such as All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), and A View from the Bridge (one-act, 1955; revised two-act, 1956).
Miller was often in the public eye, particularly during the late 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, a period during which he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee, received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Prince of Asturias Award, and was married to Marilyn Monroe. (Click for full article)
A character is defined by the kinds of challenges he cannot walk away from. And by those he has walked away from that cause him remorse.
A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.
A suicide kills two people... that's what it's for.
An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted.
Don't be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.
Few of us can surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that The State has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.
He's liked, but he's not well liked.
I believe in work. If somebody doesn't create something, however small it may be, he gets sick. An awful lot of people feel that they're treading water- that if they vanished in smoke, it wouldn't mean anything at all in this world. And that's a despairing and destructive feeling. It'll kill you.
I figure I've done what I could do, more or less, and now I'm going back to being a chemical; all we are is a lot of talking nitrogen, you know...
I love her too, but our neuroses just don't match.
If a person measures his spiritual fulfillment in terms of cosmic visions, surpassing peace of mind, or ecstasy, then he is not likely to know much spiritual fulfillment. If, however, he measures it in terms of enjoying a sunrise, being warmed by a child's smile, or being able to help someone have a better day, then he is likely to know much spiritual fulfillment.
If I have to be alone I want to be by myself.
Immortality is like trying to carve your initials in a block of ice in the middle of July.
It is time, I think, that we who are without kings, took up this bright thread of our history and followed it to the only place it can possibly lead in our time- the heart and spirit of the average man.
Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.
The apple cannot be stuck back on the Tree of Knowledge; once we begin to see, we are doomed and challenged to seek the strength to see more, not less.
The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.
The enemy is within, and within stays within, and we can’t get out of within.
The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds came home to roost.
The wedding of Christianity or Judaism with nationalism is lethal.
The world is an oyster but you don't crack it open on a mattress.
There might be a dragon with five legs in my house, but no one has ever seen it.
Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.
When any creativity becomes useful, it is sucked into the vortex of commercialism, and when a thing becomes commercial, it becomes the enemy of man.
When the guns roar, the arts die.
Where choice begins, Paradise ends, innocence ends, for what is Paradise but the absence of any need to choose this action?
Why is betrayal the only truth that sticks?
Without alienation, there can be no politics.
Work a lifetime to pay off a house- You finally own it and there's nobody to live in it.
You can quicker get back a million dollars that was stolen than a word that you gave away.
You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away- a man is not a piece of fruit.
You specialize in something until one day you find it is specializing in you.
|Column A||Column B|
|I am not allowed to go to a religious service of my own choosing.||Others are allowed to go to religious services of their own choosing.|
|I am not allowed to marry the person I love legally, even though my religious community blesses my marriage.||Some states refuse to enforce my own particular religious beliefs on marriage on those two guys in line down at the courthouse.|
|I am being forced to use birth control.||I am unable to force others to not use birth control.|
|I am not allowed to pray privately.||I am not allowed to force others to pray the prayers of my faith publicly.|
|Being a member of my faith means that I can be bullied without legal recourse.||I am no longer allowed to use my faith to bully gay kids with impunity.|
|I am not allowed to purchase, read or possess religious books or material.||Others are allowed to have access to books, movies and websites that I do not like.|
|My religious group is not allowed equal protection under the establishment clause.||My religious group is not allowed to use public funds, buildings and resources as we would like, for whatever purposes we might like.|
|Another religious group has been declared the official faith of my country.||My own religious group is not given status as the official faith of my country.|
|My religious community is not allowed to build a house of worship in my community.||A religious community I do not like wants to build a house of worship in my community.|
|I am not allowed to teach my children the creation stories of our faith at home.||Public school science classes are teaching science.|
If you answered "yes" to any of the questions in column A, perhaps your religious liberty is indeed at stake. You and your faith group have every right to now advocate for equal protection under the law. But just remember this one little, constitutional, concept: this means you can fight for your equality- not your superiority.
If you answered "yes" to any of the questions in column B, then not only is your religious liberty not at stake, but there is a strong chance that you are oppressing the religious liberties of others. Please review the tenets of your faith, especially the ones about your neighbors.
Rev. Emily C. Heath
Clergy, United Church of Christ
Quotes of the day- Robert Green Ingersoll:
Robert Green Ingersoll (August 11, 1833 – July 21, 1899) was a Civil War veteran, American political leader, and orator during the Golden Age of Freethought, noted for his broad range of culture and his defense of agnosticism.
Click here for Rev. Don Beaudreault's sermon, "Thank God for Agnostics: A Celebration of the Life of Robert Ingersoll.
A college is a place where pebbles are polished and diamonds dimmed.
An argument should not depend for its force upon the name of its author. Facts need no pedigree, logic has no heraldry, and the living should not awed by the mistakes of the dead.
An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures. Certainly he ought not so to act that laws become necessary to keep him from being laughed at. No one thinks of protecting Shakespeare from ridicule, by the threat of fine and imprisonment.
Blasphemy is what an old mistake says of a newly discovered truth.
Christianity has such a contemptible opinion of human nature that it does not believe a man can tell the truth unless frightened by a belief in God. No lower opinion of the human race has ever been expressed.
Churches are becoming political organizations... It probably will not be long until the churches will divide as sharply upon political, as upon theological questions; and when that day comes, if there are not liberals enough to hold the balance of power, this Government will be destroyed. The liberty of man is not safe in the hands of any church. Wherever the Bible and sword are in partnership, man is a slave.
Courage without conscience is a wild beast.
Each nation has created a god, and the god has always resembled his creators. He hated and loved what they hated and loved, and he was invariably found on the side of those in power.
Every pulpit is a pillory, in which stands a hired culprit, defending the justice of his own imprisonment.
Few rich men own their own property. The property owns them.
For thousands of years people have been trying to force other people to think their way. Did they succeed? No. Will they succeed? No. Why? Because brute force is not an argument.
Give me the storm and stress of thought and action rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will but first let me eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.
Great virtues may draw attention from defects, they cannot sanctify them. A pebble surrounded by diamonds remains a common stone, and a diamond surrounded by pebbles is still a gem.
Hope is the only universal liar who never loses his reputation for veracity.
I am not so much for the freedom of religion as I am for the religion of freedom.
I am the inferior of any man whose rights I trample under foot. Men are not superior by reason of the accidents of race or color. They are superior who have the best heart— the best brain
I belong to the Great Church which holds the world within its starlit aisles; that claims the great and good of every race and clime; that finds with joy the grain of gold in every creed, and floods with light and love the germs of good in every soul.
I cannot believe that there is any being in this universe who has created a human soul for eternal pain. I would rather that every god would destroy himself; I would rather that we all should go to eternal chaos, to black and starless night, than that just one soul should suffer eternal agony.
I cannot see why we should expect an infinite God to do better in another world than he does in this.
I suppose it can be truthfully said that Hope is the only universal liar who never loses his reputation for veracity.
If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane.
If there be an infinite Being, he does not need our help- we need not waste our energies in his defense.
If we are immortal it is a fact in nature, and we are not indebted to priests for it, nor to bibles for it, and it cannot be destroyed by unbelief.
Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows.
In all ages hypocrites, called priests, have put crowns upon the heads of thieves, called kings.
In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments- there are consequences.
In the republic of mediocrity genius is dangerous.
Intelligence is the only moral guide.
It is contended by many that ours is a Christian government, founded upon the Bible, and that all who look upon the book as false or foolish are destroying the foundation of our country. The truth is, our government is not founded upon the rights of gods, but upon the rights of men. Our Constitution was framed, not to declare and uphold the deity of Christ, but the sacredness of humanity. Ours is the first government made by the people and for the people. It is the only nation with which the gods have had nothing to do. And yet there are some judges dishonest and cowardly enough to solemnly decide that this is a Christian country, and that our free institutions are based upon the infamous laws of Jehovah.
It is incredible that only idiots are absolutely sure of salvation. It is incredible that the more brain you have the less your chance is. There can be no danger in honest thought, and if the world ever advances beyond what it is to- day, it must be led by men who express their real opinions.
It may be that ministers really think that their prayers do good and it may be that frogs imagine that their croaking brings spring.
It seems to me that if there is some infinite being who wants us to think alike he would have made us alike.
Justice should remove the bandage from her eyes long enough to distinguish between the vicious and the unfortunate.
Labor is the only prayer that Nature answers; it is the only prayer that deserves an answer- good, honest, noble work.
Martyrdom, as a rule, establishes the sincerity of the martyr- never the correctness of his thought. Things are true or false in themselves. Truth cannot be affected by opinions; it cannot be changed, established, or affected by martyrdom. An error cannot be believed sincerely enough to make it a truth.
Ministers say that they teach charity. This is natural. They live on alms. All beggars teach that others should give.
My principal objections to orthodox religion are two- slavery here and hell hereafter.
Nature never prompted a loving mother to throw her child into the Ganges. Nature never prompted men to exterminate each other for a difference of opinion concerning the baptism of infants. These crimes have been produced by religions filled with all that is illogical, cruel and hideous.
No man can blaspheme a book. No man can commit blasphemy by telling his honest thought. No man can blaspheme a God, or a Holy Ghost, or a Son of God. The Infinite cannot be blasphemed.
No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.
One good schoolmaster is worth a thousand priests.
Our civilization is not Christian. It does not come from the skies. It is not a result of "inspiration." It is the child of invention, of discovery, of applied knowledge -- that is to say, of science. When man becomes great and grand enough to admit that all have equal rights; when thought is untrammeled; when worship shall consist in doing useful things; when religion means the discharge of obligations to our fellow-men, then, and not until then, will the world be civilized.
Reason, Observation and Experience- the Holy Trinity of Science- have taught us that happiness is the only good; that the time to be happy is now, and the way to be happy is to make others so. This is enough for us.
The churches have no confidence in each other. Why? Because they are acquainted with each other.
The clergy know that I know that they know that they do not know.
The Emperor Constantine, who lifted Christianity into power, murdered his wife Fausta, and his eldest son Crispus, the same year that he convened the Council of Nice to decide whether Jesus Christ was a man or the Son of God. The council decided that Christ was consubstantial with the father. This was in the year 325. We are thus indebted to a wife-murderer for settling the vexed question of the divinity of the Savior.
The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.
The hands that help are holier than the lips that pray.
The idea of hell was born of ignorance, brutality, fear, cowardice, and revenge.
The infidels have been the brave and thoughtful men; the flower of all the world; the pioneers and heralds of the blessed day of liberty and love; the generous spirits of the unworthy past; the seers and prophets of our race; the great chivalric souls, proud victors on the battlefields of thought, the creditors of all the years to be.
The inspiration of the Bible depends on the ignorance of the person who reads it.
The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.
The superior man is the providence of the inferior. He is eyes for the blind, strength for the weak, and a shield for the defenseless. He stands erect by bending above the fallen. He rises by lifting others.
Theism is the only legal form of insanity.
There is no slavery but ignorance. Liberty is the child of intelligence.
This crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves.
To persecute the intelligent few, at the command of the ignorant many- that is blasphemy.
We are satisfied that there can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven.
Who can over estimate the progress of the world if all the money wasted in superstition could be used to enlighten, elevate and civilize mankind?
Whoever has an opinion of his own, and honestly expresses it, will be guilty of heresy. Heresy is what the minority believe; it is the name given by the powerful to the doctrine of the weak
Whoever increases the sum of human joy, is a worshiper. He who adds to the sum of human misery, is a blasphemer.
Why does this same God tell me how to raise my children when he had to drown his?
On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being.
But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.
I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?
And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism."
The Daily Show remembers 9/13... the day we started forgetting...
Recent late-night political jokes, from Daniel Kurtzman's Political Humor Blog on About.com.
President Obama is on a bus tour to talk about jobs, and it turns out
the bus was made in Canada. If he were a real American that bus would
have been made in China. USA! USA!
Obama said the housing market may not pick up again for another year or
longer. On the bright side, President Obama now has nine people
interested in his house.
Michele Bachmann said that when she is president, gas prices will come
down to less than $2 a gallon. When asked how she'll make that happen,
she said she'll hunt down the CEO of Exxon and stare at him.
A new survey has Rick Perry ahead of Mitt Romney by 11 points, and
Michele Bachmann is five points behind him. I think it's going to come
down to who wears the most flag pins.
Perry is an attractive candidate for many conservatives, because he
wants smaller government, to cut national spending, and he knows how to
fire a grenade launcher. He's like the Sarah Palin of politics.
Rick Perry was once a Democrat. Just once, in college. He was
Donald Trump may be running for president, and why not? He's got that
everyman quality that we can all relate to.
Rick Perry is now the front runner. Of course they're letting him run in
front. Because he's the one with the gun.
There is no coordination between Colbert Super PAC and the Perry
campaign; that would be wrong and illegal. They are as separate as
church and state under a Perry Administration.
It's never enough for the media. They're like children: 'Mom, can I get
a Paul Ryan?' 'I just got you a Rick Perry! And you already broke your
Michele Bachmann. And before I get you anything else, where the f**k is
your Ron Paul?'
Mitt Romney said he was in Iowa when he was actually in New Hampshire.
He explained, 'I accidentally mixed up my sea of white people.'
The White House sent Vice President Joe Biden to China today. So now we
owe them a trillion dollars AND an apology.
Newt Gingrich, who came in eighth place in the Iowa Straw Poll, said
he's 'not dead yet.' Then he was invited on 'Dancing With the Stars,'
and he said, 'OK, now I'm dead.'
A study showed that every hour of TV you watch after the age of 25
shortens your life by 22 minutes. That doesn't sound too bad to me.
You'd probably watch TV with that 22 minutes anyway.
President Obama is touring the country in a bus, because nothing
inspires hope in the economy like the president riding in a bus.
Republican front-runner Mitt Romney is mocking Obama's bus caravan,
calling it The Magical Misery Tour, which is sort of funny coming from
the President of the Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hair Club for Men.
President Obama's new slogan is: 'I Thought We Could, but It Turns Out
the Other Guys Are Assholes.'
Michele Bachmann won the Iowa Straw Poll. She said she hasn't been this
excited since she won last year's 'Who's Crazier Than Sarah Palin'
Tim Pawlenty announced that he's dropping out of the race for president.
Pawlenty said he wants to spend more time with his family because even
they don't know who he is.
Canada imposed a ban on trade with North Korea. No more hockey highlight
DVDs for Kim Jong Il.
The NYPD created a new unit that will use social media sites to catch
criminals. Criminal caught on Facebook and Twitter will be arrested,
while criminals caught on MySpace will be told about Facebook.
Michelle Bachmann paid $30 each for 6,000 voting tickets in Iowa and got
4,800 votes, so 1,200 people stole her $30. It's funny that someone who
doesn't believe in government handouts paid 6,000 people to vote for her.
Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race for president, saying he wants to
spend more time lacking charisma with his family.
Now that Pawlenty is out, the big question is whether Bachmann or Perry
will get his supporter.
In Iowa in her tent Michele Bachmann had Randy Travis and a petting zoo.
Of course you were only allowed to pet animals of the opposite sex.
Michele Bachmann's victory in the straw poll may have had something to
do with her helping her supporters pay for their $30 voting ticket- by
paying for their voting ticket. Bachmann paid $180,000 to hand out 6,000
tickets, and she got 4,800 votes. She got a commanding 80% of the votes
she paid for. I think this proves she can win if she can get 50 million
voters into a field, fill them with barbecue and let their children pet
He's not George Bush on steroids. Rick Perry is what happens if Lex
Luther distilled down George Bush essence in a laboratory and crossed it
with gun powder and semen from the finest thoroughbred in Lubbock, and
then strapped that concoction onto a nuclear missile and shot it into
the f*cking sun! And then, waited, waited, waited, until one day, on the
anniversarry of the Alamo, a solar flare, yada yada yada, Rick Perry!
If all of Jon Huntsman's supporters met at the Ames, Iowa Quiznos, the
fire marshal would say, 'yeah, that's fine, there are some more seats in
Michele Bachmann was asked if she was a submissive wife. She said no,
but her husband is.
President Obama will begin a three-state bus tour. I believe the three
states are confusion, delusion, and desperation.
The Republicans had their big debate in Iowa. You know who the winner
was? Anyone that didn't watch.
Newt Gingrich made a surprise announcement. He's still in the race.
It's the 76th anniversary of Social Security. I mention it because
there's no guarantee that there will be a 77th.
General Mills is releasing new lip balms that taste like Cinnamon Toast
Crunch, Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms. Or as Joe Biden put it: 'Nice.
They should make one for Lucky Nuts.'
A new survey revealed that being an IT guy is the most hated job in the
country. Or as President Obama put it, 'Wanna bet?'
The federal government has a new plan that will let people send texts to
911. Yeah, it's a little frustrating when you try to text 'Burglar!
Please hurry!,' and it auto-corrects to 'Burger, please. Hungry.'
Some political analysts are saying that President Obama is making many
of the same mistakes that President Bush made. Obama said, 'That's
ridiculous, and if you'll excuse me, 'Spongebob' is on.'
Nancy Pelosi has named the final members of the committee charged with
reducing the debt. Unfortunately, the committee includes MC Hammer,
Willie Nelson, and Nicholas Cage.
President Obama took campaign workers out for burgers yesterday and left
a 35 percent tip. Man, that guy is so generous with China's money.
After all the rioting in London this week, officials are worried that it
could mean security problems for the Olympics next year. On the bright
side, the guy running with the torch will just blend right in.
During a call with investors, Rupert Murdoch said that News Corp made
$2.7 billion last year. Murdoch said if investors had any questions,
they should contact him by leaving a message on their own voicemails.
Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are both Mormon. One of these guys could be
our next president. The other one is Jon Huntsman.
We need God's forgiveness- or at least China's.
It has been a crazy week for stocks. First down, then up, then down, and
today they are up again. It's like trying to follow Gary Busey when he's
off his meds.
Again, one must ask- why are the clearest, most direct interviews performed by a comedian on a fake news show?
Stewart probes Huckabee's support of radical evangelical minister and discredited historian David Barton, who claims- despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary- that the Founders intended the United States to be a Christian theocracy. Stewart also questions why Huckabee- who is always reasonable and self-effacing during his Daily Show interviews- promotes Barton's extreme ideas when addressing his conservative base.
This is part three of three of the interview; consider watching them all. It's one of Stewart's- and Huckabee's- best efforts.
It also features two Stewart observations that made it to my quote database:
"As someone who is not Christian, it is hard for me to believe Christians are a persecuted people in America... maybe, God willing, one of you will rise up and get to be President of this country; or maybe 44 in a row."
"We need religion to give grace and comfort to a world torn apart by religion."
"I've covered politics for a long, long time, but this is the first time
witchcraft has ever come into it."
-Bob Schieffer, host of CBS' "Face the Nation", on Christine O'Donnell's candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
Article VI, paragraph 3 of the U.S. Constitution states, "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
The "no religious test" clause of the Constitution is pretty clear; it's the only time the word "ever" appears in the document. Which means, as strange as it may seem, that O'Donnell's "dabbling" should not be an issue in her campaign.
As far has her being an unqualified Looney Tune who appears to live in a demented reality of her own creation... well, have at it.
And thanks, Delaware Republicans, for giving the Democrats the senate seat in November.
It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to
himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving,
it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe.
Outrage over Atheist's Plans to Build Vacant Lot in Jerusalem
(posting in reddit.com's self.atheism forum)
"Fox (News) tells us the terrible thing about this Kingdom Foundation... it's a very bad guy, but they never mention this fella's name. And they never showed this fella's picture. And they certainly never mentioned the fella they're talking about is part owner- of their company! Did the gang at Fox and Friends genuinely not know the head of the Kingdom Foundation's name and the fact that he is one of their part owners, or were they purposely covering it up because it did not help their fear-driven narrative?"-Jon Stewart
"If they're not as stupid as I believe them to be, they are really ******* evil."
"And if they're not as evil as I think they are, they are stupid."
"We're talking potatoes with mouths."
In principle, at least:
"Tragedy has been and will always be with us. Somewhere right now, evil people are planning to do evil things. All of us will do everything meaningful, everything we can do to prevent it. But each horrible act can't become an ax for opportunists to cleave the very Bill of Rights that binds us. America must stop this predictable pattern of reaction. When an isolated, terrible event occurs, our phones ring, demanding that the NRA explain the inexplicable. Why us? Because their story needs a villain... That is not our role in American society, and we will not be forced to play it. If you disagree, that's your right. I respect that. But we will not relinquish it, or be silenced about it, or be told 'Do not come here, your are unwelcome in your own land.' "-Charlton Heston
"Thank you, Charlton Heston. Of course, he was speaking out after another tragedy, when people on the left had demanded that the NRA, out of respect to the recent victims of Columbine, not hold their scheduled NRA convention in Denver, near the site of the tragedy. And by the way, I'm sure that I would have been one of those people: painting too narrow a picture, connecting irresponsibly the actions of two psychotics to an entire group of reasonable people expressing their Constitutional rights... the point is, I was wrong and Heston was right. And if you replace NRA with Muslim community and second amendment with first amendment, he's still right."-Jon Stewart, on The Daily Show, which is, inexplicably, still the best source of unbiased news and cogent commentary on cable.
The Daily Show clip above reminds me of what I wrote when Heston died two years ago.
Charlton Heston initially made his mark portraying Moses and Ben Hur. Most recently, he's remembered for his tenure as NRA president and the comment about prying his rifle from his cold, dead hands.
Heston was a man who did not wear his beliefs like seasonal sportswear. He did not parrot the official party line or mindlessly repeat the neocon talking points du jour. His famous sound bite overshadows his true legacy: a conservative whose dedication to dignity, manners and reasoned discourse should be adopted by those of all ideological leanings.
Whenever I heard him speak at length- not the snippets pulled out of context for cable news, but in full conversations with qualified interviewers- he accomplished something that very few conservatives have been able to do. He made me think about my position, review the logic that he used to arrive at his different viewpoint and- in some cases- reconsider my stance. He rarely, if ever, actually changed my mind. But in eloquently stating the opposing view, he made me respect it and seek potential areas of compromise.
He didn't accomplish this with ad hominem attacks, alliterative or rhyming jingoism, macho bluster, or any of the other quasi-intellectual blunt instruments typically employed in what passes as discourse these days. And no one would have been better at it. Who else but Heston, True Lies director James Cameron noted, could play someone "who can plausibly intimidate Arnold Schwarzenegger?"
Read and listen to Heston's famous Winning The Cultural War address to the Harvard Law School Forum. While you may not agree with everything he says, you must agree it is a quintessential example of what free speech and political discourse should be in this country."
I don't know whether he would have backed the Tea Party movement given the suspect nature of its "grassroots" support. But I suspect the group would gain a lot more credibility if it followed Heston's advice:
"Well, the answer's been here all along. I learned it 36 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people.
"You simply disobey. Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently, absolutely. But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don't. We disobey the social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom."
Heston was a gentleman and an American. We've lost a great guy.
"Political correctness is just tyranny with manners. I wish for you the
courage to be unpopular. Popularity is history's pocket change. Courage
is history's true currency."
"...the government can no more encourage citizens to pray than to "fast during the month of Ramadan, attend a synagogue, purify themselves in a sweat lodge or practice rune magic."
Categories: Church and State