Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Caricaturization of American Morality

Caricatures affect how we see and react to the world around us. It's nothing new, the caricature. It has been used in politics by way of the political cartoon  for perhaps centuries. But the cartoon was only a type and shadow of the real influence that would arrive with motion media. The Church's overall image has suffered seriously with the advent of moving image caricatures. Caricatures paint an unrealistic picture of the Church and her people by accentuating negative aspects, both perceived and real while down playing or ignoring positive aspects.
This has in two ways built a wall between the Church and the culture it serves. The first, and by far the worst way is by distorting how Christians see themselves. One example of this can be found in the book "UN Christian", by David Kinnaman. (1) Kinnaman tells of A church in the Los Angeles area that did a five-week series of talks called "Confessions of a Sinful Church". To promote this event a team passed out postcards at local college campuses with a list of five apologies by the Church:
  1. We're Sorry for Our self-Righteousness and Hypocrisy.

  2. We're Sorry for Our Endorsement of Slavery

  3. We're Sorry for Our Mistreatment of Homosexuals

  4. We're Sorry for the Medieval Crusades

  5. We're Sorry for Saying the Earth Is Flat

Kinnaman doesn't elaborate on the content of these talks but the questions themselves seem to apologize for a portrait of the Church painted through the use of caricatures by men whom Jesus prophesied would hate and persecute her. (2) As a result these apologies appear pathetic. They center around a distorted view that the Church sees of herself when she buys into the assertions of a caricature that is at best a misunderstanding, and at worst hate filled and intentionally twisted. Perhaps it would be better if the Church apologized for seeing herself through the eyes of her accuser rather than the eyes of her Groom.
Secondly is the wall that exists because of the caricaturized picture that the culture has adopted of the Church. This is more understandable because the Church is supposed to be a light to the culture it serves and as Jesus said, men love the darkness rather than the light. (3) As a recovering heathen myself I personally garnered great comfort in pointing my finger at the failings and presuppositions I had of the Church and it's people. This of course allowed me to ignore my own failings rather than seek redemption.

(1) Un Christian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, Baker Books. Page 55-56
(2) John 15:18-20
(3) John 3:19

Friday, March 6, 2009

She called 911, So

Latreasa Goodman is in trouble with the Ft Pierce police because she called 911 three times on March 4th because McDonald's was out of Chicken McNuggets. At first glance this would seem outrageous, but this is one time I'm agreeing with the perp.

There's a couple of things to consider here. It is the policy of the McDonalds in question that all sales are final. Goodman ordered her McNuggets, and as is the custom, paid before receiving her order. I suppose in the yellow McWorld of Ronald McDonald that constituted a sale but there's one problem; the restaurant didn't have any McNuggets to sell that day. The store was happy however to give Goodman something else on the menu but refused to return her money.

Granted, this is no reason to call 911 but consider her circumstances. She was probably educated in a government school where it was drilled into her head for six hours a day for practically her entire life that the government was the solution to all her problems. Furthermore she was likely not taught anything about how government works and what to do when a huge gigantic worldwide chain store basically steals her four dollars and ninety eight cents.

In addition to this, I'm sure she has cable TV and has seen this on the evening news. Perhaps, given Ft Myers' proximity to Ft Pierce, she was actually there when the video below was taken:

It no doubt is a new day and change has come. There is a man in the White House who obviously cares about the plight of people like Goodman, so perhaps he will personally step in and solve all her problems.

McDonalds on the other hand is trying to turn this notoriety into free commercial time for their tasty McNuggets. They have agreed with her that they had done wrong and offered to refund her money, plus a free meal. I'm not one to side with trial lawyers normally but with this is one I wouldn't mind seeing one take a nice little bite out of McDonald's year end financial statement.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

An Addition to TNWOA Dictionary

Moderate-Always a Republican and best described as thus: Consider if money were principles. Someone tries to steal a hundred bucks. When caught the thief says "OK I'll only take fifty and we both will be winners; you won't look greedy and I still get something out of the deal." A moderate thinks this is a good idea.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Conservative's Perspective

So Bob wakes up in the morning after a night with a prostitute. He goes down town, walks into a bank and robs it. In the process he murders four women after a hostage crises develops. Incredibly, he manages to get away with millions and on the way home stops by a Circle K to pick up a couple of copies of his favorite porn magazines. While there he notices a kid in the store slipping a piece of bubble gum into his pocket. He meets the kid outside and tells him that stealing is wrong.

Question: Given the circumstances surrounding the kid's accuser, was stealing wrong for that kid?

In the world of present day politics, maybe not. We can expect to hear in the coming days an "everybody does it" defense for broken campaign promises. This will serve only to muddy the waters because even though this might be true to some extent, read my lips when I say this, it always seems worse when a certain Party is guilty of it. The idea that breaking campaign promises is bad for America is thus averted.