The Passion of the Joel

I’m not ashamed to admit I that I like Joel Connelly. Sure, he’s a curmudgeonly old curmudgeon with a penchant for repeating the same old jokes and stories again and again (and again), and yeah, as a writer, he’s one of those persnickety old-timers who apparently believes that Strunk & White was carved in stone by the almighty hand of, well, Strunk & White. And then there’s his wistful nostalgia for the mythical days of statesmanlike bipartisanship. Oy.

But Joel’s also a walking encyclopedia of Northwest political lore and a deft practitioner of the lost art of the follow-up question, and unlike the rest of our local media’s persnickety curmudgeons and curmudgeonly persnickets, he respects us unruly whippersnappers enough to actually engage with us… sometimes passionately.

Take for example his column today at SeattlePI.com (or, “coloooom” as Dwight Eisenhower used to pronounce it), in which Joel attempts to slap me and Erica for our “anti-religious bigotry.” At least it shows he cares.

Militant secularists in the Internet estate are demonizing the former KIRO-TV anchor and candidate for King County executive. David Goldstein, on his Web site Horsesass.org, sneered at Hutchison for her Honolulu prayers, and witness that the prayers were answered with the message that God wanted her both “professionally ready” and “spiritually ready for the next step.”

“What is this thing with Christians praying for touchdowns, and lottery tickets and news anchor jobs, and thinking that God doesn’t have more important things to do than answer their petty, materialistic prayers?” Goldstein wrote.

Huh. I think I snickered more than “sneered” at Hutchison getting down on her knees and asking God “Why aren’t you doing this for me?” in regards to a coveted job promotion that wasn’t happening, but regardless, I think I raised a valid theological question.

I mean, what is it about this Santa Clausification of God in which earthly rewards are lavished upon those who pray (to the right God, in the right way), and at what point does this brand of religious devotion border on mere magic?  I’ve read my Max Weber, and I understand the Calvinist ethos in which our material success here in this life is supposedly a reflection of our eternal glory in the next, but I don’t need to accept or respect it. Praying for a weeknight anchor job just strikes me as petty and narcissistic, and voicing that opinion is not an act of religious bigotry. Perhaps Hutchison is one of the millions of her fellow Christians who absolutely believe that I am going to burn in Hell for all eternity, simply because I refuse to accept Christ as my savior; would it be religious bigotry for me to question that particular religious tenet as well?

Whether Hutchison actually talks to God, and whether He actually answers back in His own voice—as in, “And He told me something then that I have never forgotten…”—or whether her reported conversation with the Lord was merely meant as a metaphor for her own internal dialogue, I don’t know. But when she uses this anecdote to talk about how being “spiritually ready” is more important than being “professionally ready,” I think it a reasonable springboard to a discussion of how professionally unready she is for the job she seeks.

If Joel wants to get his undies in a knot over such blunt theological discourse, that’s up to him, but when he argues this Christians-as-an-oppressed-minority bullshit, I’m totally unapologetic.  First of all, to even imply that my opposition to Hutchison is based on religious bigotry is patently ridiculous when I’ve been such a famously unrepentant fanboy of Ron Sims, an openly devout Christian himself. It’s not their faith that sets them apart in my mind, but how Hutchison, through her association of with the Discovery Institute, endorses the dominance of a Christian theistic world view in the public sphere.

Second, from my perspective as a non-Christian in a nation dominated by Christians, Joel, I’m not sure you understand how incredibly overbearing, intrusive and insulting your people’s incessant proselytizing can really be.

Missionaries are allowed to come to my door to tell me that I’m going to burn in Hell for not believing what they believe, and that’s okay. Preachers are allowed to go on television and tell me that I’m going to burn in Hell for not believing what they believe, and that’s okay. Rev. Ken Hutcherson is allowed to come on my own radio show and tell me that I’m going to burn in Hell for not believing what he believes, and that’s okay. But publicly critique their crazy religion, and apparently that’s off limits.

Or, God forbid, publicly embrace my own atheism, and that makes me, in Joel’s eyes, a “militant secularist.” Talk about a double standard.

The truth is, Joel, as both a Jew and an atheist, I’m the oppressed minority, not you or Hutchison or any of your Christian brethren. I’m the one your people are so convinced is condemned to hellfire (except, technically, for the Catholics, who officially grandfathered us Jews into Heaven under Vatican II), and honestly, if they believe their benevolent Lord would have me tormented for all eternity in the next world, how can I trust them to treat me with respect in this one?

Tell me Joel, in all your years of covering politics, how many overtly open, self-proclaimed atheists have you ever known to be elected to Congress? And how many Bible-thumping Christians? Now tell me, in the political realm, who is the real victim of bigotry here?

As for Joel’s other critique, that I am a brazen sexist:

Goldstein is also brazenly sexist in his treatment of Hutchison. He calls her “Suzie” and headlined his commentary: “Susie talks to God.”

That’s just plain silly. As Erica pointed out in her own response to Joel, that’s what Suzie’s close friends call her, and in fact I was merely mimicking what her close friends and fellow far-right-wingers David and Peggy Boze called her on air (as in, “Hey Suzie… you are our Sarah Palin”). Similarly, my close friends call me “Goldy,” which is an admittedly faggy nickname for a grown man, yet I don’t consider it anti-gay to hear it come from even total strangers.

In referring to Hutchison’s job as director of the Charles Simonyi Fund for the Arts and Sciences, he has called her a “philanthropic kept woman.”

Yeah, sure, that snide quip comes off as a little sexist, I’ll give Joel that. But it sure was funny, so I stand by it 100 percent.

But all this misses the point, which is: are Hutchison’s religious beliefs pertinent to her campaign for King County Executive? Joel emphatically says “no.” Erica and I say “yes”… not because we are religious bigots, but because we rightly fear that Hutchison would attempt to use the office to impose her values on others in a way that the equally Christian Ron Sims never did. Indeed, even those issues, such as Intelligent Design, which on the surface appear to have no bearing on the duties of the county executive, offer voters a useful glimpse into the candidate’s character and competency, yet Joel would apparently consider such a discussion off limits if she came to the issue from of a position of faith.

Had Hutchison rejected the science of evolution due to a cognitive deficit resulting from an unfortunate boating accident, I suppose even Joel would agree that voters had the right to know, and the right to reasonably question whether her head injuries might similarly impact her capacity to grapple with other complicated issues. But reject evolution from a position of faith….

Yeah… I better pull back from that analogy before I prove Joel’s premise.

The point is, Hutchison’s presumed opposition to abortion, her rejection of evolution, and her financial support of candidates who oppose even birth control, are pertinent campaign issues, however relevant they are to the duties of the executive, because they speak to her values, her intellect, and most of all her willingness and ability to decide complex issues based on the facts, rather than her faith.

Ironically, for all his fury, I think it’s safe to say that Joel, Erica and I are on the same side in this race, and that none of us wants to see the woefully unprepared Hutchison win office. Which briefly brings us to one last point of Joel’s, that of strategy.

Charles Darwin is not an issue in deciding how King County will better deliver services, cope with budget deficits and manage growth in a place of great beauty where 1.6 million people live.

[…] Instead, we should ask a question she didn’t answer at Thursday’s debate: Will Hutchison try to change (read dismantle) King County’s urban growth boundaries? Will the Building Industry Association of Washington find in her a willing ally? Hutchison has excoriated the county’s Critical Areas ordinance as a scourge on rural residents. “It tells citizens who own land how they will use it,” she told a Bellevue debate on Thursday.

OK, but how do you protect endangered salmon populations and keep building in flood plains?

Problem is Joel, people don’t vote for issues, they vote for people. And with the latest poll showing Hutchison still attracting support from 28% of Democrats and 18% of liberals, there are clearly plenty of voters who haven’t yet gotten to know Hutchison well enough.

So you stick to the issues Joel, it’s the responsible thing to do, while I do my thing and drag Hutchison through the muck. My muckraking may not be as noble as your pursuit, but after all, it’s the only time the persnickety curmudgeons seem to pay much attention to anything I write. Even, alas, lovable persnickety curmudgeons like you.

Comments

  1. 1

    mark spews:

    If she did win she couldn’t fuck up any worse than Sims. We could only go UP from here!

  2. 2

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    “Charles Darwin is not an issue in deciding how King County will…”

    You are dead wrong Joel. What would you say about a professed anarchist filing for elective office? I bet you’d jump all over that one.

    Would you be asserting such tripe if Hutchison was a professed nazi? Was a member of Stormfront? Misguided private beliefs that get translated into public policy can have disasterous results. Didn’t you learn ANYTHING from the 20th century? Hayzus fuck, man. You lived through nearly all of it, didn’t you?

  3. 3

    nolaguy spews:

    Would Goldy have written the same article if Suzie was a muslim praying to Allah for a job?

  4. 5

    YellowPup spews:

    N: I always thought the Eisenhower joke was a pun on “calumny,” I guess I wasn’t familiar with the alternative pronunciation. That makes it even less funny.

    In any case, I was totally baffled by Joel’s exception-taking about Goldy’s presumed assault on “quiet reflection” and all that.

    Nothing Goldy said suggested anything wrong with prayer, or with deep faith, but I think he is on to something when he points out that treating God like an inter-galactic, karmic cash machine trivializes religion.

  5. 6

    proud leftist spews:

    Goldy,
    First, there ain’t nothing wrong with Strunk and White. I wish that more posters here were familiar with those old boys.

    Second, as a Christian, I’d have to say that Goldy’s politics reflect Christian values far more than what Susie Hutchison espouses. Praying for touchdowns, promotions, and earthly bliss is, simply wrong. Moreover, it is offensive. Christians are to quietly do good works, and to pray behind closed doors. I am a liberal because I am a Christian, not that there are not innumerable other reasons to be a liberal. Giving a shit about others produces liberalism. Locking one’s doors and one’s mind to the rest of the world produces what is today’s Republican Party. God forgive them.

  6. 7

    SJ spews:

    This is not simply a matter of whether Ms. Hutchinson believes in some abstract Deity or in the solace of prayer. She is certainly free to pray to Jesus that no floods will come or that next year’s swine flu will be mild. I would rather elect someone who puts their full confidance in science.

    There is another example that concerns my own profession directly. Francis Collins, the nominee for Director of the NIH, has a set of beliefs a lot like Hutchinsons’s (though he is also a lot better qualified as an administrator and scientist). As a devout Roman Catholic he believes that the host is the flesh of God and that Jesus is going to welcome his spirit into heaven. He even runs an evangelical website to explain all this and is cited by the DI folks as a supporter.

    Unlike Ms H, Francis does have a good rfecord of scientific administration and his Christianity may help him in selling what we do to the radical religious members of congress. Still, many of my colleagues (as well as I) are uncomfortable with his his having the authority to spend or not spend research dollars on such ethical issues as the creation of life or therapeutic abortion to cure genetic disorders. Worse, knowing that he does believe in magic casts doubt on his credibility a a scientist.

    As one specific example, Francis’ own website is opposed to the application of evolutionary theory to behavior. How will he deal with grants that attempt to identify the genetic basis of human society?

    Of course Ms. H’s job involves less science than does Dr. Collin’s. But, her evangelism raises other concerns. Like Goldy, I am offended by evangelicals. I have absolutely no concern about what they do in private but their publoic activities, their need to dominate the public space IS oppressive. Can I be convinced tghat she will keep her Jesus out of government the way Ron Sims did?

  7. 8

    ArtFart spews:

    @6 That’s the real point. It’s not just that Hutchison is a self-proclaimed Christian. It’s that her other actions and associations give evidence that her “Christianity” is similar to that of those have made such a mess of America in eight short years. These are “Christians” who send 100,000 American troops to lay waste to a foreign land because they thing God told them to. These are “Christians” that think it’s their purpose on Earth to convert all the rest of us to their particular brand of “Christianity”, some of which includes accepting dogma that defies science and common sense.

    The problem with Susan Hutchison isn’t that she’s Christian. It’s that she and her supporters are using the cover of a “non-partisan” race in hope that people will vote for her who wouldn’t if they knew what she really is–a rock ribbed, hard-over neoconservative whose goal is to take a meataxe to everything that progressives have tried to accomplish in King County over the last thirty years.

  8. 9

    SJ spews:

    @8 ArtFart well said!

    I have a number of very devout friends. BUT, their beliefs do not include a need to convert others or make the world live their way.

    A few weeks ago I encountered two women who were not only devout but convinced that they needed to change my beliefs or I was doomed. When I upbraided them, they accused me of being a bigot!

    I see nothing wrong with being bigoted against that sort of religion.

    Does anyone imagine that a militant atheist .. no matter how well known from TV .. could run for Executive?

  9. 10

    Dengle spews:

    SJ – i wish you well in your walk with Christ. However, are you not a progressive and not a liberal? I believe you have stated that in the past.

    “Giving a shit” means you want to tell them what to do or how to live? What about giving a shit about them as people and telling them that they can make their own decisions and thus can live by them. Teach folks that the Government and the collective shouldn’t tell you how to live your life. Or is giving a shit about people telling them that they can’t make it because of someone else and thus they will always be a victim?

    How do most of you feel about personal freedom? Is it ok as long as you do what the governement says?

    Remember at the end of the day, it is you that will stand before God and answer for your life. As a sinner I know that is daunting, but i also know that Jesus died on the cross to save me from eternal damnation.

    An interesting discussion and back to Hutchinson….not sure about her. But because she’s a Christian shouldn’t disqualify her, but to some here you think it would. Funny huh…..so tolerant.

  10. 11

    proud leftist spews:

    8
    Amen, brother. You say, “These are ‘Christians’ that think it’s their purpose on Earth to convert all the rest of us to their particular brand of ‘Christianity’, some of which includes accepting dogma that defies science and common sense.”

    I don’t believe the Christian message–the Gospel, for God’s sake–is advanced by denying science. Facts are facts. Christians must deal with facts. That’s what Christ told us to do. Idiocy, which Sarah Palin and Susan Hutchison proclaim, is not a Christian value.

  11. 12

    Dengle spews:

    ArtFart….go suck ass. Do you know any Christians? Do you feel threatened? Are you a christianphobe? I wonder if you think all gay guys are trying to turn you?

    As for progressivism….no thanks. I believe in freedom. I don’t want you telling me what is the right thing to do. Progressivism is at odds to the Constitution too…..darn freedom thing again. But then back to your view that you are free to do what our dear leaders say you have to do. That sounds like a great way to live.

  12. 13

    Dengle spews:

    Again….interesting discussion….the Sims aspect was interesting too….why not the same hate for him? Why? Because of his policies. so it’s not that someone is Christian or not….it’s whether they believe in the individual or the collective.

    That is an interesing discussion. SJ….I use to wonder if it’s my walk with God or is it my churches walks and i’m part? However, I know now after many years and by spending time with my dying grandmother that iit is mine as I decide to take that walk.

  13. 14

    demo kid spews:

    @7-9: That’s rich. Again with the Collins bullshit, SJ? At least you’re up front about being a bigot now!

  14. 17

    spews:

    This is what I wrote yesterday in a different thread. This was well before wrote Goldy wrote this post:

    “19. Troll spews:
    I was the first one to call Goldy sexist for calling Susan Hutchinson “Suzie.”

    Prediction: Today, Goldy will try to rebut Connelly. Goldy will write a new, long post, denying his sexism. He’ll deny everything Connelly said in his column.

    Just watch.

    What a weasel.”

    07/17/2009 AT 6:57 AM

  15. 19

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Erica the admitted thief..
    Perhaps she needs Christ in her life??
    She is a rebel with no moral ground to criticize those of faith.
    She steals other people’s stuff!

  16. 20

    spews:

    @19

    What did Erica steal? Can you provide a link?

    Does anyone know if Goldy has a record? Has anyone ever checked, either here, or in PA?

  17. 21

    Chris Youngers spews:

    Santa Clausification. I’m going to try to use this phrase in the next week. Thanks for this post.

  18. 22

    spews:

    Gregoire is just as religious as Hutchinson. Funny how Goldy doesn’t belittle people from his own party who are fundamentalist Christians.

    Fucking coward.

  19. 23

    Strunk & White spews:

    Goldy, omit unnecessary words, ok?

    Your post has over 1,600 words. It’s twice as long as the average Times opinion piece of 750 words.

    Edit, please!

  20. 24

    spews:

    Didn’t Goldy once claim to be “one of the leading journalists in the northwest?” If that’s true, why hasn’t he mentioned the passing of Walter Cronkite?

  21. 25

    YLB spews:

    Religious wingnuts confuse the Almighty with Santa Claus.

    It’s been way too easy (for me anyway) to overlook this.

  22. 26

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    I’m afraid that religion is something that will always be with us. It’s like going to an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet: we’re all going to overeat.

    If we could magically eliminate all religions today and erase their memory from every-one’s minds, within a few years, we’d “invent” other religions to take their place. Religion is just something we’re hard-wired to have to explain everything.

  23. 27

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    clueless wonder

    Religious wingnuts confuse the Almighty with Santa Claus.

    Wrong again monomaniacal stupido.

    You confuse them and try to pin your stupidity on us whom think right. One (Santa Claus – the jolly old haired white guy) is a figment of your imagination, the other (Jesus, the Son of God) is the Creator of the Universe. Puddy hopes when you figger that it out it ain’t too late for your soul.

    See ya chronological idiot!

    Wait for it, as a dense as spent uranium idiot named rudeASS will be appearing from under his rock shortly

  24. 28

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    proud leftist, son of a preacher man barfed dis:

    “These are ‘Christians’ that think it’s their purpose on Earth to convert all the rest of us to their particular brand of ‘Christianity’

    Where are you confused? Matt 28:19&20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Wait for is cuz some peeps from Philadelphia including Ivan may not believe in the New Testament.

    They are doing Jesus’ command. Thou shall not kill is still a viable commandment to many of us whom think right. Just because you think killing an unborn baby is not killing doesn’t change the opinions of others. So how do you reconcile your religious beliefs with your fellow HA Atheist Progressive Libtardos proud leftist?

    BTW Ivan, are you from the inner city or a burb boy like Goldy and Lee. Puddy from da inna city!

  25. 29

    YLB spews:

    Fool @ 27

    Then why did Hutchison pray for a promotion?

    Do you doubt some of your kind (knee jerk chimp-followers) have ever prayed for jet-skis or an ATV?

    Of course you do. Being delusional comes natural to you.

  26. 31

    YLB spews:

    Thou shall not kill is still a viable commandment to many of us whom think right.

    Except when it’s upon the orders of those who “stink right” in the White House, i.e. Chimp and Duck!

    and torture unto death as was the case with iceman or “Mr Frosty”???

    http://www.harpers.org/media/i.....ceman1.jpg

    That’s perfectly fine with those who “stink right”.

  27. 32

    ArtFart spews:

    @9 There’s an intrinsic problem with evangelism in a pluralistic society. To some of these folks, exercising their “freedom of religion” means being able to “save” (i. e. convert) everybody else, by whatever means available, the very least of which is pestering. The worst is fighting to bend the power of government to forcibly impose their will on the rest of us.

    If the practice of their religion is specifically defined as meddling with the way others exercise their own beliefs (or for that matter, a lack thereof) we have an unsolveable paradox.

  28. 33

    ArtFart spews:

    @12 Your response pretty much speaks for itself. To paraphrase Dave Allen, “Good day, and may your God go with you.”

  29. 34

    SJ spews:

    @10 Dengle

    Thanks for the thoughtful post.

    You illustrate my concern. You believe that Jesus exists and that he demand belief in himself, lack of that belief leads to horrid consequences.

    A devout Muslim would have a similar take on this issue. According to the Quran, she would KNOW that I was damned if I did not accept the rule of Shariya law.

    Russel, the philosopher, said this sort of belief has been the source of vast harm.

    I DO have a bias against any belief system that does not accept my rights to believe and practice according to my own traditions. My bias goes further. I am prejudiced against people whose beliefs violate science. I would not want Francis as MY doctor because his views of my welfare include heaven. I would not want Susan as the manager of my estates because she “knows” that God will interve in how the rivers flow.

  30. 35

    SJ spews:

    @ 11 “Christians must deal with facts. That’s what Christ told us to do.”

    err ahhh, where does Jesus say this?

  31. 36

    SJ spews:

    @15. proud leftist

    12-14
    Try to express yourselves in some kind of coherent manner. Make a freaking point.

    Good luck! Demo Kid is sort of the mirror image of the Troll. I think he is more interesting in spewing insults than fostering discussion.

  32. 37

    SJ spews:

    Puddy

    You confuse them and try to pin your stupidity on us whom think right. One (Santa Claus – the jolly old haired white guy) is a figment of your imagination, the other (Jesus, the Son of God) is the Creator of the Universe. Puddy hopes when you figger that it out it ain’t too late for your soul.

    1. grammar .. WHO not WHOM.

    2. reality … Jesus is the official deity of the Roman State created by Emerpror Constantine. Sanata is the commercial entity created by Macies to sell stuff. Youe choose.

  33. 38

    SJ spews:

    @ 32 ArtFart

    If the practice of their religion is specifically defined as meddling with the way others exercise their own beliefs (or for that matter, a lack thereof) we have an unsolveable paradox.

    well said!

  34. 39

    SJ spews:

    BTW

    As Goldy knows, I have criticized himn for taking on Joel in this way. Joole is a good person in no large part BECAUSE of his religion.

    Dissing Hutchinson because she believes Jesus died for her sins would be irrelvant if, like Chris Gregoire, Suzie kept her beleifs out of her public life. OTOH, why does it matter tyo me if SH prays for guidance in her career and even gets answers? I know a lot of folks who sit down with a scotch when they have to make a decision!

  35. 40

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Jesus is a deity of the Roman State? Come on Seattle Jew… Jesus said: “Before Abraham was I am.” Jesus said I and my Father are one.” Jesus also said when you confess Him to others He will confess you to His Father in Heaven.

    BTW Puddy uses whom for a reason. Can ya figger it out SJ? Snide comments are not acceptable answers.

  36. 41

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    clueless wonder first axked:

    Religious wingnuts confuse the Almighty with Santa Claus.

    Then his retort was

    Then why did Hutchison pray for a promotion?

    So asking for a promotion can only from Santa Claus?

    Not only are you delusional, but you’re worse than clueless. Please tell us, are you praying to Santa Claus for your next job you fool? Maybe it’ll be wrapped all nice and neat.

  37. 43

    demo kid spews:

    Demo Kid is sort of the mirror image of the Troll. I think he is more interesting in spewing insults than fostering discussion.

    No, not really. I’m just stating that you’ve been spreading that Collins bullshit everywhere you go, even though it is completely unfounded and irrelevant to this conversation.

    I’m just glad that you admit to your prejudice. But why exactly should we take you seriously when you express that same level of close-mindedness with atheism?

  38. 44

    YLB spews:

    41 – You’re as dumb as a pebble.

    My understanding of your religion is that you pray for the redemption of your soul for that is eternal.

    You ask Santa Claus for worldly trinkets like putting your glamour puss on the tube during the week.

    You’re such an idiotic fiend. If you lived in King County you’d vote for Hutchison in a heartbeat if only for the religious claptrap rhetoric and the smell of Simonyi’s money.

  39. 45

    spews:

    I believe in God. I have seen His hand at work. Why, just last week, He helped my brother pass the motorcycle driving test so that my brother could get a motorcycle. My brother prayed, “Lord, if this is your will, help me pass this test.” And he passed the test. There are people who scoff at the idea of God hearing and answering prayer, but I have proof.

  40. 46

    Zotz spews:

    Pudpuller!

    Pudpuller, pudpuller
    Pullin’ his pud
    Thinking of Jesus
    He’s such a stud!

    Pudpuller, pudpuller
    Pullin’ his pud
    Thrusting ol’ Jesus
    DEEP in his bud…

  41. 47

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    clueless wonder added:

    My understanding of your religion is that you pray for the redemption of your soul for that is eternal.

    Wrong again idiot.

    You ask Santa Claus for worldly trinkets like putting your glamour puss on the tube during the week.

    Wrong again moron.

    Keep up the monomaniacal mantra!

  42. 48

    Daddy Love spews:

    what is it about this Santa Clausification of God in which earthly rewards are lavished upon those who pray (to the right God, in the right way), and at what point does this brand of religious devotion border on mere magic?

    I think I know basically why. Today is much like the end of the LAST century when also we had a bunch of rich robber barons looting our country and exploiting our workers. Now, as then, the conservative clergy are ever on the alert for a way to ingratiate themselves with the money men. Thus they develop and promulgate the “prosperity gospel,” which has the dual benefits of:

    1. Providing a quasi-religious justification for greed, waste, oppressive labor policies, and so on.
    2. Convincing the rubes that God wants their oppressors to be in that position, so opposing them, say by organizing workers, is working against God’s will.

    Back in the 19h century they were also big backers of so-called “social Darwinism,” which posits that those who lie, cheat, and steal their way to the top are superior beings. Sound familiar?

  43. 49

    Daddy Love spews:

    It so doesn’t matter whether or to whom SH prays.

    It does matter that she has never run anything more complex than a foot race, and that she is hiding her extreme right-wing views from the electorate in the hopes of riding her high Q factor to a position in which she would pretty certainly fail spectacularly (all the while, no doubt, blaming liberals and the press).

    If she were running for Governor of Alaska I would still think she was deceptive and unsuitable but I don’t live there so c’est la vie. King County is a far different matter. Kinda looking for experience, competence, and truthfulness.

    SH is Sarah Palin without the governmental experience. Good call, GOP. Bankrupt again.

  44. 50

    SJ spews:

    @49 Puddy

    Yes, Jesus was selected as the deity of Rome by the Emperor Constantine. The books you use, were collected and selctred by a copuncil of state and approved by the pagan (and poorly educated) Constatine as the official dogma of his state and remain exactly that in the person of the office of high priest of Rome, also known as pontifex maximus .. or pope.

    As for what Jesus said or did not say, as a non Roman I have no more reason to believe the official texts of Constantine than I do to accept the dogmas of Stalin, the Mahabarata, Henry VIIIth, Mary Baker Eddy, or the Scientologists.

    Given what history and archaelongy tell us about the early first century, I suspect the only folk who wouild be more shocked by Christianity than Jesus followers would be Jesus himself.

    As for you poor grammer, who am I to talk?

  45. 51

    SJ spews:

    @43 Demo Kid

    I am not really interested in the trading of insults part of blogging.

    Anytime you want to actually discuss an idea, I am happy to do so. For that matter, the beer is always on the table too!

  46. 52

    SJ spews:

    49. Daddy Love:

    “SH is Sarah Palin without the governmental experience. Good call, GOP. Bankrupt again.”

    You make an important point here.

    What is worse about Bush and Palin, and if Goldy is correct about Hutchinson, is that the depth of their beliefs prevents them from thinking clearly about other’s ideas. That is enough to make them unfit for office.

    I do not want a leader or executive whose religion … even atheism .. is so dominant in their lives that they can not learn from others.

  47. 53

    YLB spews:

    Keep up the monomaniacal mantra!

    I speak my mind. I never follow your orders.

    Carry on. Right wing FIEND!

  48. 54

    YLB spews:

    Hmmm. One could take the comment at 37 as SJ coming to my defense. I won’t be so presumptuous but considering perceptions to the wingnut are more often than not “reality” (real scare quote there) and given the past blatherings of the fool I call Stupes?

    Gee Stupes looks like you’ve been proved WRONG again! LOL!

  49. 55

    spews:

    Mr. Goldstein, these Internet tubes are amazing things. Mr. Connelly’s piledriver of a rebuttal to your anti-Christian comments was highlighted on a website I frequent; following the link, his article linked to your site, so I thought I’d read your comments straight from the horse’s… mouth. And my, were they illuminating.

    Your protestations only served to reinforce Mr. Connelly’s point. By all means, critique Christianity every chance you get–but keep in mind that legitimate critique is far removed from the mockery you publish here. Your embrace of atheism not only makes your attacks on Christianity all the more predictable, but also makes your appeal to oxymoronically being both “a Jew and an atheist” all the more pitiable. You may have Jewish ancestry, but you cannot be a Jewish person (by belief) and an atheist simultaneously; such an appeal as you make is disingenuous on its face.

    Between your follow-up diatribe and the observations of your comrades here, you clearly illustrate that atheism is the “crazy religion” in this discussion. Or any other discussion, for that matter.

    You and yours have no answers, yet you attack those of us who do. Why?

    –Mike

  50. 56

    SJ spews:

    @55 Who is a Jew

    Goldy, SJ, my kids, my parents, Nadine Gordimer, most Israelis ..

    sorry, WE do not have a rule about believing in your God.

  51. 57

    SJ spews:

    @57 Bratton

    You and yours have no answers, yet you attack those of us who do. Why?

    First you can not really think Goldy has No answers? THAT would shock lots of folks!

    Second, I will nto answer for him but from my POV, YEH! I would attack any believer whose reality can hurt me. You want specifics?

    1. Anyone who believes in the literal sto0ry of creation or intelligent design ought not to be allowed to teach biology, geology, chemistry, physics, or (ancient) history.

    2. Anyone who believes that there is a source of law other than what humans have written ought not to be allowed to serve as a judge.

    3. Anyone who believes that “the next life” is more imnportnat than this one ought to be examined carefully before being given any responsibility as a police officer.

    Beyond that? I would vote against anyone of any religion who feels they have the right to impose their religion on others.

    Going for the brass ring? I am personally offended by Christians who accuse my people of killing their God.

    Enuff?

  52. 58

    SJ spews:

    Change of Tone

    Given the contacts Hutchinson has and the lack of real media in Seattle, could she just buy the election?

    What is the price of County Executive today? Can Charles or the DI up with a million or two?

  53. 59

    Don't you think he looks tired? spews:

    You mention “Hutchison’s job as director of the Charles Simonyi Fund for the Arts and Sciences”. I just happened to look at the cover flap of “The God Delusion” and discovered that Richard Dawkins was the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. We may be hasty in assuming Charles has any connection to the Discovery Institute other than that they both employed Susan Hutchinson. But maybe Goldy knows more.

  54. 60

    spews:

    In the fashion of many here, let me preface my own comment by saying many of you seem to be morons. My own comment is that from the point of view of political strategy, I think it would be immensely helpful if there was more discussion in the media and blogosphere of Susie’s positions on the issues, and/or her unwillingness to share them with us.

  55. 61

    Quincy spews:

    This is one of the best discussions I can remember reading on HA in a long, long time. I may have to start reading regularly again. I got nothin’ to contribute at this time, though. But keep it up!

  56. 62

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    9. SJ spews:
    they accused me of being a bigot!

     
    Considering how often that happens, it can’t be a surprise to you anymore.

  57. 63

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    41. Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:
    Please tell us, are you praying to Santa Claus for your next job you fool? Maybe it’ll be wrapped all nice and neat.

     
    Why do you believe that Santa Claus would help out ylb?
     
    Maybe one of his fellow left-wingnuts on this blog will offer him a job.
     
    Or since they have been reading his dribble, they probably wouldn’t hire him either.

  58. 64

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    44. YLB spews:
    My understanding of your religion is that you pray for the redemption of your soul for that is eternal

     
    How did you come to this understanding of his religion?
     
    [ ] studied it in school
    [ ] attended church on a regular basis
    [ ] discussed it with religious leaders
    [ ] read about it on dailykos

  59. 65

    SJ spews:

    @60 Howie

    I agree with you. Between the fuss over her fundamentalist connections and her own lack of specificity on why (other than God’s will) she wants the job, there is little to discuss.

    Maube she can ask her God to manifest himself as a miracle to prove his will!

  60. 66

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    49. Daddy Love spews:
    It does matter that she has never run anything more complex than a foot race, and that she is hiding her extreme right-wing views from the electorate in the hopes of riding her high Q factor to a position in which she would pretty certainly fail spectacularly

     
    Replace “right-wing views” with “left-wing” views and you’ve got the obama.
     
    If electing someone to the office of president that had zero executive experience was a good thing why are you whining about this person?
     
    Why the double standard?

  61. 67

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    52. SJ spews:
    I do not want a leader or executive whose religion … even atheism .. is so dominant in their lives that they can not learn from others.

     
    Yet you voted for the obama that is against gay marriage because of his religious beliefs.
     
    Priceless.

  62. 68

    SJ spews:

    Birds of a Feather

    Gettin back to the thread, I just realized something about Goldy’s last paragraph:

    So you stick to the issues Joel, it’s the responsible thing to do, while I do my thing and drag Hutchison through the muck. My muckraking may not be as noble as your pursuit, but after all, it’s the only time the persnickety curmudgeons seem to pay much attention to anything I write. Even, alas, lovable persnickety curmudgeons like you.

    With a few words changed:

    So you stick to the issues Goldy, it’s the responsible thing to do. Your … muckraking may not be as noble as Joel’s pursuit, but after all, it’s the only time the Joel seem to pay much attention to anything Goldy, a lovable persnickety curmudgeon much like Joel himself.

  63. 69

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    SJ

    Poor grammar is Puddy’s way of enjoying life here on HA. As you know when you build large systems, one has to document their attributes. Puddy writes perfect English when getting paid to do so. Puddy lets his Philly inna city hair down on HA Libtardos.

    Yes, Jesus was selected as the deity of Rome by the Emperor Constantine.

    Puddy knows all about what happened in the third decade of the fourth century AD.

    The books you use, were collected and selctred by a copuncil of state and approved by the pagan (and poorly educated) Constatine as the official dogma of his state and remain exactly that in the person of the office of high priest of Rome, also known as pontifex maximus .. or pope.

    But what does that have to do with what He did in His life in the first century AD? How HE treated people, His miracles, His Life, His Death? You are trying to add some biases to what He did by saying someone chose what to write without saying God guided their hand in what to choose!

    As for what Jesus said or did not say, as a non Roman I have no more reason to believe the official texts of Constantine than I do to accept the dogmas of Stalin, the Mahabarata, Henry VIIIth, Mary Baker Eddy, or the Scientologists.

    The “official texts as you call it were in languages other than Latin or “Roman”. Puddy notices you didn’t cjoose Margaret Snager or Oliver Wendell Holmes, two progressive heroes of the Eugenics Movement.

    Given what history and archaelongy tell us about the early first century, I suspect the only folk who wouild be more shocked by Christianity than Jesus followers would be Jesus himself.

    Why you think this? Just because you read someone’s opinion and it made sense? You really don’t think the Hand of God was acting in which books are included and which books were discarded?

    SJ have you seen this DVD Set? Puddy doesn’t own it or Puddy would gladly share it with you. http://www.amazon.com/Against-.....B000GNOGDI. There are stories which demonstrate in the 1973 War the Hand of God was apparent.

    I do not do this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations, to which you came Ezekiel 36:22

  64. 70

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    clueless wondermoron responds to Puddy’s Keep up the monomaniacal mantra!

    I speak my mind.

    What a fool! That’s why you were determined to be monomaniacal by your peers!

    Now that was

    Toooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    Damnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

    Funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnny

  65. 71

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    SJ, did you cum to clueless wondermoron’s defense?

    One could take the comment at 37 as SJ coming to my defense.

  66. 72

    YLB spews:

    71 – Heh. Why does he have to ask? Supposedly this moron is never wrong. He spouts his bullshit and it is so because of the direct connect with the man upstairs.

    Such a narcissistic fool!!!

  67. 73

    SJ spews:

    @69 Puddy ..

    You are side stepping my points.

    IF you take the Roman version of events to be God’s word then there is no argument, but why would anyone want to do that? Faith? Faith in God is very different than faith in all the details in the Official Roman Bible.

    It seems to me that the happy middle comes to those who beleive in your jesus, even in the personal sacrifice and dvivnity, but see the texts as imperfect, human constructs.

    KOne result of this is to delete a lot of the hateful stuff from Chrisianity, starting with the antismeitism of the Roman anger at the Jews (including Nazarenes) who led the single most impressive revolt against the Empire.

  68. 74

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    You are HA clueless wondermoron. Don’t fergit now…! Puddy asks SJ about that comment clueless wondermoron, because SJ could have some compassion for you or as he told me at a DL meeting you are not worth his time. So we’ll see if he changed his mind on this comment.

    Narcissism? This is your latest attempt chronological idiot? Man, you are straining your limited vocabulary with you insipid vapid rants.

  69. 75

    SJ spews:

    @37

    One could take the comment at 37 as SJ coming to my defens

    Puddy

    Sorta. I have no objection to people praying to Santa. Actually, the Santa persona of Jesus is one of his most appealing traits. Judaism, Theravada and Islam really miss out by not having a Santa. Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity .. perhaps because they are all polytheistic at some level, have an advantage in being able to postulate Santa Gods .. at the expense of also having Devils!

    Cross posted at SJ!

  70. 76

    SJ spews:

    Puddy

    Given what history and archaelongy tell us about the early first century, I suspect the only folk who wouild be more shocked by Christianity than Jesus followers would be Jesus himself.

    Why you think this? Just because you read someone’s opinion and it made sense? You really don’t think the Hand of God was acting in which books are included and which books were discarded?

    Why? Because I can read. Wwe have LOTS of accounbts of the era from sources bot under the Roman Church .. Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus ….

    Among claims of the Rioman Church that would shock Jesus:

    1. reoplacement of the Sabbath would worship ion the day of the SunGod.

    2. Establishment of a Roman priesthood

    3. Deification of Jesus himself.

    4. The virgin birth story.

    5. The claim to be of the house of David.

    6. Denial of the validity of the Law. Where in the CB does Jesus eat pork?

    BTW, the new testament was NOT based on mansucripts written in Latin. The major language under Constantine was Greek. Jesus likley spoke Greek and Aramaic. He would have found the idea of a holy text written in a language most people could not speak as opposed to the vernacular of his day or the accepted language of the Deity (Hebrew) bizarre. Of course, a Roman State document wold be writtne in the official language of the effin Roman State.

    My own take on Jesus is very different. I think the story is a composite of events and people who led the first non violent resistance to imperialism. Jesus, Ben Zakai, Hillel … seem to me to have lots in common with MLK or Gandhi!

  71. 77

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Okay, SJ you can accept clueless wondermoron praying to Santa as his deity. Well he’ll have to pray to someone to get a job. After all he’s already failed at chronology.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  72. 78

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    SJ Interesting comments. Mrs Puddy would like this part…

    1. reoplacement of the Sabbath would worship ion the day of the SunGod.

    You and Puddy agree on this. The Catholic Church took it upon itself to change the Sabbath to the Venerable Day of the Sun.

    2. Establishment of a Roman priesthood

    Yes, and even in the Gospels Matt 23

    6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. Puddy realizes verse 10 really upset’s headless lucy and his racist thoughts.

    3. Deification of Jesus himself.

    He is the Son of God. Even the HA Christian Libtardos who identified themselves here agree to this.

    4. The virgin birth story.

    You don’t think God can do anything He wants? You limit the power of God.

    5. The claim to be of the house of David.

    As defined in Matthew and Luke.

    6. Denial of the validity of the Law. Where in the CB does Jesus eat pork?

    No where does it say Jesus at pork. Neither do you or Puddy.

  73. 79

    SJ spews:

    6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. Puddy realizes verse 10 really upset’s headless lucy and his racist thoughts.

    1. The rabbinate did nkot yet exist at the time of Jesus, though it was beginning. Rabbid and their predecessors, the sages, has and have NO priestly powers.

    3. Deification of Jesus himself.

    He is the Son of God. Even the HA Christian Libtardos who identified themselves here agree to this.

    Reread the first commandment

    4. The virgin birth story.

    You don’t think God can do anything He wants? You limit the power of God.

    1. Reread the first commandment
    2. I am not omnipotent.

    5. The claim to be of the house of David.

    As defined in Matthew and Luke.

    As defined in Judaism then and know, “house” is paternal. If Jesus was not born of Joseph he could not be of the house of David.

    6. Denial of the validity of the Law. Where in the CB does Jesus eat pork?

    No where does it say Jesus at pork. Neither do you or Puddy.

    1. I certainly do eat pork.
    2. Do you eat muilk and meat, shellfish?
    3. If this law is still valid, then so are ALL the other 613 mitzvot. These include no images of God (no Jesus statues or pictures), non-Jews are NOT suppozsed to follow these mitvot .. unless they convert. So why would you avoid pork unless you wanted to follow all the mitzvot?