“Prayer Shaming” Is the New “War on Christmas”

Tweets like this have prompted howls of outrage from the tenderer blossoms among conservative Christians (i.e., all of them):

The more panicky among that set see “prayer shaming” as yet another Satan-inspired attack on their religious liberty and an opening salvo in a larger movement that will ultimately drive Christians back into the catacombs to paint crude fishes on their chests.

But it’s not just hysterics like Dreher and self-awareness deficient hypocrites like the Erickiest Erick of Them All who came down with a raging case of the white-hot fantods. The Atlantic’s Emma Green published a remarkably stupid column on the outrage of prayer shaming:

There are many assumptions packed into these attacks on prayer: that all religious people, and specifically Christians, are gun supporters, and vice versa. That people who care about gun control can’t be religious, and if they are, they should keep quiet in the aftermath of yet another heart-wrenching act of violence. At one time in American history, liberals and conservatives shared a language of God, but that’s clearly no longer the case; any invocation of faith is taken as implicit advocacy of right-wing political beliefs.

It should be noted that those assumptions are Green’s. They aren’t shared by me, and in all likelihood, they aren’t shared by all of the people Green has called out as “prayer shamers.” However, if Green wants to lay blame for some folks’ belief that the most ostentatiously Christian among us are conservatives, maybe she should start with the Christian fanatics who’ve seized control of the Republican Party and used legislative channels to impose their theocratic views on the rest of us.

But that’s not what makes Green’s column so astoundingly obtuse. Rather, it’s this: She’s ignoring the context that produces the “prayer shaming” she decries, i.e., the fact that we’ve had about as many mass shootings in 2015 as we’ve had days of the year, and that we’re goddamn sick and fucking tired of hearing the people who could take concrete action to address this sorry state of affairs offer “thoughts and prayers” and nothing else.

It’s not the “thoughts and prayers” that are the problem — it’s the “nothing else.” That should be obvious to a toddler, let alone a managing editor at The Atlantic.

ETA: And another thing:

MATTHEW 6:6: But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Shorter Jeebus: Stay off Twitter, assholes!






203 replies
  1. 1
    oldster says:

    Yeah, I really was disappointed that the Atlantic printed something that stupid.

    They usually do better work than that.

    (Of course, Jeffrey Goldberg. But at least sometimes Jim Fallows will come right out and tell him how wrong he is.)

  2. 2

    Has the Atlantic always been this bad. Its more unreadable than Slate these days.

  3. 3
    Joshua Norton says:

    I’m sure they’d be overjoyed if the only thing their Dr. ever offered them was his “thoughts and prayers” every time they were sick.

  4. 4
    Calouste says:

    Talking about the shooting, Wikipedia gives the following summary of things I have seen mentioned elsewhere:

    A coworker of Farook said he went to Saudi Arabia in the spring for about a month and married Malik there after meeting her through the internet. Family members reported that the two had a six-month-old daughter

    That seems to imply that Farook married Malik when she was already 6 months pregnant, possibly from somebody else.

  5. 5
    Kryptik says:

    And the best part is people will still act like The Atlantic is is still somehow ‘liberal media central’ and all sort of bullshit to drown the site in right wing froth.

    Ever and anon, this country seems wired for the right wing.

  6. 6
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    I blame the Romans. If ony they’d had hungrier lions. Alas, we humans are susceptible to many brands of superstition and cult-like persuasions.

  7. 7
    MomSense says:

    attacks on prayer

    I hate these fucking people. Prayer is not under attack. Prayer is not a substitute for passing legislation that could save lives. Pray away Speaker Ryan–and then pass some damned legislation so we don’t have to keep living with this terror.

  8. 8
    piratedan7 says:

    the thing is, there are many Christians out there (and Jews, and Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists etc) that are doing good deeds on a daily basis. Actually doing things like running homeless shelters, building houses, manning community food kitchens and we rarely hear from those people because they’re actually DOING things. Instead we have these once-a-sunday types who think that all of their sins are absolved because they sit in a pew for a couple of hours every other Sunday and have a family Bible sitting on a doily on a nice occasional table sitting in the hallway. Who use their religion as a badge to feel holier than thou who feel no more connection to us than our commentariat does to the mob that frequent MTP.

  9. 9

    The people treat prayer like a magic chant that will change events.

  10. 10
    Mike in NC says:

    There’s a reason I canceled my subscription to The Atlantic several years ago.

  11. 11
    MomSense says:

    @piratedan7:

    But the same congress critters who only want to think and pray about mass shootings will sponsor and vote on legislation to repeal health care or stop abortions. They don’t say our thoughts and prayers are with the people who have to buy “job killing ObamaCare” and leave it at that. They have taken 50-60 votes on repeal.

  12. 12
    RSA says:

    James 2:26: For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

  13. 13
    dr. bloor says:

    @oldster: The Atlantic jumped the guy who jumped the shark years ago.

  14. 14
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Calouste: The accounts I’ve read say that the couple had been married for two years. Also that they dropped off their six month old daughter with grandma and told her they had a doctor’s appointment then went off on a rampage. We’ll just have to wait for accurate information to emerge. There’s something about the fact that they had a six month old that makes no sense to me. How long can post-partum depression last for a woman? Post-partum depression plus an ongoing grudge at work for the husband? Just have to wait – none of this is making any sense to me.

  15. 15
    Chris says:

    Repeating what I just wrote in an earlier thread, the ironic thing is that on Facebook and Twitter, I saw plenty of truly unhinged “prayer shaming” three weeks ago after the incident in Paris, with wingnuts seeming actively pissed off at candlelight vigils or prayers for Paris because what we really need is… well, you know the rest.

    Speaking for myself, I have no problem with “prayers for X” – for plenty of people, it’s about all they can do and emotional support isn’t a waste (living in Washington on 9/11, I certainly appreciated the candlelight vigils that cropped up as far away as Tehran. I know my sister in Paris appreciated the equivalent demonstrations of support this time around).

    The New York Daily News “God isn’t fixing this” headline, however, was perfectly appropriate because the “praying” people it was quoting were not ordinary citizens. They’re all people in positions of power who could do a great deal more than just pray about this. But they won’t.

  16. 16
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    Thing is, it’s cruel, hypocritical and useless holier-than-thou nonsense like this that has been driving more and more people of faith away from the church than “prayer shamers” ever will.

  17. 17
    a different chris says:

    Has anybody tried sacrificing, I dunno, a goat? Or maybe a chicken? (I’m not religious, I don’t know which species would be appropriate for reducing gun violence, sorry)

  18. 18

    @Felanius Kootea: The target feels very bizarre to me. It isn’t high profile or associated with something religious or ideological.

  19. 19
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @MomSense: Framing inaction on gun control legislation as an attack on prayer (and by extension, people of faith) is a great way to deflect and change the topic from gun control. Let’s see if it works this time.

  20. 20

    “Our thoughts and prayers” and “thank you for your service” is basically, “go away, we can’t deal with the reality of you”

  21. 21
    FoxinSocks says:

    Opponents of gun control are just using this as a distraction. Turn themselves into victims rather than do something to stop the senseless killing. FYI-I plan on calling all my Congress critters today and demanding major gun control reforms.

  22. 22
    scav says:

    If their prayer, their lily-white uncallused hands prayer, is so all-fired the one unique best solution to all the world’s actual concrete problems, then why the hell are’t they bringing all the refugees and dangerous toddlers into their communities and praying really hard at them?

  23. 23

    @a different chris: Virgin. I’m fairly certain this requires a virgin and a volcano.

  24. 24
    Botsplainer says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    Fuck the people who say they’d kill Baby Hitler with a time machine.

    I’d dial mine to shortly before “0”, learn Aramaic and hand Joseph a rock while saying “does she really think you’re stupid enough to fall for that shit story?”

  25. 25
    maurinsky says:

    Thoughts and Prayers by Anthony Jeselnik

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FLGEr1zJYo

  26. 26
    Chris says:

    @FoxinSocks:
    Opponents of gun control are just using this as a distraction. Turn themselves into victims rather than do something to stop the senseless killing.

    Remember the terrorist attack at the Giffords rally, after which all Sarah Palin could talk about was the “blood libels” that were coming for her?

    They gotta be the baby at every christening, the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral.

  27. 27
    JPL says:

    I’m infuriated that the right is trying to blame a religion on yesterday’s massacre but ignored the religious connection with the Planned Parenthood massacre.
    Mike Luckovich talks about doubling down.. more prayers

  28. 28
    scav says:

    @Felanius Kootea: Oh, and this atrack on “people of fath!” rings slightly hollow as they’re attempting to drive “people of (other) faiths” out of the country and even back into war zones.

  29. 29
    Southern Goth says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    Pilates could have just given Jesus community service.

  30. 30
    BGinCHI says:

    My favorite part of the New Testament involves rich men and eyes of needles and hell.

    Funny how they never talk about that verse.

  31. 31
    Lit3Bolt says:

    Reprinted from that Atlantic comment feed, which is a cesspool that puts a Southern Alabama open air septic tank to shame.

    Yay, more link-bait hack writing from The Atlantic.

    Let’s compare and contrast who’s praying in which situation.

    People in mass shooting situations, helpless as they wait inside their locked offices.

    versus

    Politicians with bodyguards in secure locations who are employed by us, the citizens of the United States, and who are sworn to serve and protect the public good.

    No one’s shaming people on an airplane in freefall for praying. We’re shaming politicians who leap to “thoughts and prayers” tweets and offering moments of silence at lunch and other pitiful, meaningless gestures that are not meaningful policy that addresses an unique and real deadly phenomenon.

    But keep Slate-ing it up, Atlantic. It’s so edgy and hip to be a concern troll after every mass shooting in America. It beats actual journalism. That’s boring.

  32. 32
    Chris says:

    @JPL:

    First they loudly denounce any association between the Planned Parenthood shooter and his religion.

    Then they loudly the religion of the San Bernadino shooter.

    Then, they start sobbing about how their religion is under attack.

  33. 33
    Cacti says:

    I’ve always subscribed to the Robert Ingersoll school:

    The hands that help are better far than lips that pray.

  34. 34
    MomSense says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    It is classic deflection. Anyone who has dealt with a controlling and/or abusive relationship recognizes this behavior.

  35. 35
    sigaba says:

    @RSA: Most American Christians are Protestant and taught explicitly that Good Works do not merit salvation. Luther actually tried to have the Book of James cut out of the Bible because of that very verse.

  36. 36
    RSA says:

    Republican politician: Can I count on your vote?
    Constituent: How about a prayer instead?

    That would be nice to see.

  37. 37
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @scav: The whole phrase “people of faith,” especially when self-applied, strikes me as a sneery perversion/arrogation of the phrase “people of color.”

  38. 38
    marduk says:

    Seriously. Praying for the victims is literally the least you can do.

    For many of us it may also be the most we can do.

    But that’s not true of our legislators. And that’s why people respond to their prayers with anger, mockery and disgust.

  39. 39
    Chris says:

    @Southern Goth:
    Pilates

    They had yoga in ancient Palestine?

  40. 40
    Jeffro says:

    “God helps those who help themselves” – not in the bible, but it certainly should be.

    I do greatly appreciate the D candidates’ willingness to stand up and demand that something be done, that action actually be taken here. It’s unacceptable that this happens every single day in America. How can the NRA support terrorists’ ability to buy guns unchecked?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7dBBCHYcZs

  41. 41
    ellie says:

    I love that passage from Matthew. I like to throw it in smug religious faces.

  42. 42
    Calouste says:

    @sigaba: I’ve always found it ironic that one of the beefs Luther had with the Catholic Church was that you could pay to get absolved from your sins, and that large swats of Protestantism have evolved into something where you don’t even have to do that.

  43. 43
    Eric U. says:

    Is Fallows still there?

  44. 44
    Chris says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    The whole phrase “people of faith,” especially when self-applied, strikes me as a sneery perversion/arrogation of the phrase “people of color.”

    It’s also fairly disgusting considering the way the religious right treats the vast majority of “faiths” practiced in America.

  45. 45
    a different chris says:

    @Southern Goth: The Crucifiction was just that, a False Flag attack meant to besmirch the honest hard-working Romans. Just like the ‘suicides’ in Gitmo & Abu Ghraib, a form of asymmetric warfare. /alexjones

  46. 46
    scav says:

    One of my current fun details about Luther and that church door is that he used it because it was essentially the school bulletin board.

  47. 47
    elmo says:

    For the longest time, my vanity license plate read “Mathew6.” You would not BELIEVE the numbers of people with Jesus fish on their cars who would smile and wave as they passed me, never realizing that my license plate was explicitly telling them to shut the fuck up about Jesus.

    We atheists know the Bible better than the fundies do.

  48. 48
    Chris says:

    @Calouste:

    I’ve always found it ironic that Martin Luther was all about sola scriptura (“Christianity = the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible”), yet chose to edit six or seven books out of it. “The Bible is the perfect word of God. … Okay… NOW it’s perfect.”

  49. 49
    Joel says:

    @oldster: The Atlantic has any number of dumbass articles floating around. Usually they don’t frontpage them, though.

  50. 50
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Chris:

    The New York Daily News “God isn’t fixing this” headline, however, was perfectly appropriate because the “praying” people it was quoting were not ordinary citizens. They’re all people in positions of power who could do a great deal more than just pray about this. But they won’t.

    Damned straight.

    I am a born-again Christian. I have known the Lord for 45 years. And I am just as pissed as Chris Murphy is that these Bible-thumpers will ‘pray’ for the victims of carnage, but never lift a finger to try to prevent some of it in the first place.

    Not that they will care (though by their own lights, they should), but Scripture condemns them: “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:15-17, if you’re interested.)

    Can’t see that it makes any difference if we’re talking about people needing clothes and food, or about people needing to not get shot. Those God-botherers can pray that there are no more shootings, or they can get off their asses and pass laws making it harder to get guns and carry them around in public. The apostle James says they can demonstrate their faith by doing the latter.

  51. 51
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @MomSense:

    Prayer is not under attack.

    Oh, it is now. Just not Christian prayer.

  52. 52
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: What you said….a million times YES.

    The sickening hypocrisy and the disconnect between Christian beliefs and the actions of Christians led me to leave the Catholic Church. FYI, I was the last practicing Catholic on my side of the family [parents and four children], and my wife was the last practicing Catholic on her side of the family [parents and six kids], and my two daughters are out too.

    The substituting of prayer for actually doing anything drives me nuts. What a con.

  53. 53
    A Ghost To Most says:

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities”
    -Voltaire

  54. 54
    RSA says:

    @sigaba:

    Most American Christians are Protestant and taught explicitly that Good Works do not merit salvation.

    I knew there was something about that… Thanks for making it clear. (I was raised Catholic, which means someone else was always in charge of interpretation. :-)

  55. 55
    Botsplainer says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    Thing is, it’s cruel, hypocritical and useless holier-than-thou nonsense like this that has been driving more and more people of faith away from the church than “prayer shamers” ever will.

    It did me, and mine isn’t generally an asshole church.

  56. 56

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    The target feels very bizarre to me.

    Not to me. It’s a personal target, presumably chosen because it was Farook’s employer. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Christmas party was chosen as a target because he felt he was being discriminated against because of his religion.

  57. 57
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    How long can post-partum depression last for a woman?

    What makes you think she was depressed? What makes you think she was mentally ill in any way. That we instinctively buy into the mental health framing gives the GOP a free pass on guns for everyone. See, the problem isn’t the easy access to AR-15s, it’s mental illness – go call NAMI and leave the NRA alone.

    Some people are just pissed off enough to go shoot up a conference room. Maybe they were being ridiculed for their religion or heard one too many terrorist jokes. I’m not excusing the behavior or blaming the victims, but lots of people commit murder that aren’t mentally ill. And they aren’t evil, which once you adopt that frame you admit you are powerless against – they’re just bad people. Some people simply should not be allowed to have a gun.

  58. 58
    gelfling545 says:

    As I have mentioned before I was educated at a Catholic girls’ school. As I recall, it is sinful to ask God to do by extraordinary means what he has already provided you with the ability to do by ordinary means.

  59. 59
    Betty Cracker says:

    @low-tech cyclist: Very well said.

    @elmo: That’s awesome.

  60. 60
    Patrick says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Not that they will care (though by their own lights, they should), but Scripture condemns them: “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:15-17, if you’re interested.)

    Why don’t the so called Christians spend as much time on that scripture as they do about their outrage about gays and abortion? And why do they demonstrate outside PP but not outside gun stores?

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    A Fresh Set of Official Images from Sundance-Bound Barack & Michelle in ‘Before Sunset’-Style Romance, ‘Southside With You’

    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act

    December 2, 2015 at 5:13PM

    Here are new official images from “Southside With You,” the project that is being sold as a “Before Sunset”-style film (in short… man, woman, lots of mostly profound conversation over a specified period of time), which takes place entirely in one day, set during the summer of 1989, when one Barack Obama (then a first-year Harvard Law student) took his future wife, Michelle Robinson (an associate at a Chicago law firm), out on a first date, which included a tour of Chicago’s South Side.

    The future couple also caught a screening of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” – something the president has talked about previously. I assume that moment in time will be incorporated into the script.

    The film, which is directed by Richard Tanne, from his own screenplay (co-developed with co-star of the film Tika Sumpter), will make its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival next month, in Park City, UT.

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/sha.....u-20151202

  62. 62
    Seanly says:

    Well, if I had Facebook friends posting about thoughts & prayers and I made those comments about their posts, I would be a great big jerk. The people who need to be called out are part of our government or want to be President and use the thoughts & prayers are a shield against doing anything about the horrific mass shootings that are a daily occurrence. It’s not the giving thoughts & prayers that is under attack but that many of the folks tweeting them elect not to do anything so we don’t have tweet so much about these events.

  63. 63
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Chris: Theres a great quote by Erasmus about Luther replacing the Pope in Rome with the Pope in Wittenburg.

  64. 64
    Cacti says:

    For a real example of prayer being under attack.

    French government likely to close more than 100 mosques.

    Story from Al-Jazeera.

    And this is why we have freedom of conscience enshrined in our First Amendment. Otherwise, our Republican Congress (and a fair number of cowardly Dems in all likelihood) would be attempting the same thing.

  65. 65
    J R in WV says:

    I just want to say how much I love the commentariat here at Balloon-Juice. Level headed, common sense, etc.

    Thanks all of you, every one.

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Is Throwing Anyone Within Arm’s Reach Under the Bus
    He’s determined that someone else will go down for the city’s mishandling of the Laquan McDonald shooting.
    BY CHARLES P. PIERCE
    DEC 3, 2015 @ 10:28 AM

    Over the past two decades or so, I’ve decided that there is no more inexcusable a figure in our national politics than Rahm Emanuel, who is, for the moment, the mayor of Chicago, but also someone who, throughout his entire career, has made it quite clear that he believes political power derives from being as much of a dick as possible to the people who ostensibly are on your side. He is angry and profane, but he also remains utterly graceless and completely without charm. He alienated enough people while he was working for Bill Clinton that his tenure in the White House was shorter than it would have been otherwise. In 2006, when Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy delivered the Democratic Party a whopping victory in the midterm elections, he climbed over the people who did the real work to claim credit for the landslide. (And he succeeded: he is what passes in the political elite for a “tough guy” because he says “fuck” a lot. Google “Rahm Emanuel 2006” sometime.)

    He was insufferable as a member of the House of Representatives, where the standards are designed by the Constitution to be pretty damned high. His hiring as White House chief-of-staff was probably the worst personnel mistake the Obama Administration made in its early days. As mayor of Chicago, he’s managed to be so horrible to the city’s public school teachers that a couple of them went on hunger strike. He got re-elected because he strategically has not been a dick to anyone who would contribute a fat check to his campaigns. Now, though, he has his ass in a crack because the Chicago Police Department is running amok (again), and it looks like Emanuel put his re-election prospects ahead of telling the parents of Laquan McDonald how their son came to get shot 16 times by a Chicago patrolman.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-po.....-mcdonald/

  67. 67

    @Cacti: Closing mosques will just drive the religion underground. Shutting down/ destroying houses of worship will achieve nothing.

  68. 68

    @sigaba:

    Luther actually tried to have the Book of James cut out of the Bible because of that very verse.

    Did he try to censor Matthew 25, too?

  69. 69
    Tommy says:

    My cousin got really sick a few weeks ago. I mean death bed sick with child in uterus. I am happy to say she is better and her kid, well he is well. But we only learned of this via online sources and it was god this or god that. I recall saying to my parents, they are asking me to convert and the power of god saved Laurie, but nowhere do they give a shout out to the nurses and docs that saved her live.

  70. 70
    Cacti says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Closing mosques will just drive the religion underground. Shutting down/ destroying houses of worship will achieve nothing.

    And it hands Islamist groups a terrific PR point about what “freedom” really means in the nations of the west.

  71. 71
    Bill says:

    It’s not the “thoughts and prayers” that are the problem — it’s the “nothing else.”

    “Nothing else” is the bigger problem. But “thoughts and prayers” are a problem as well.

  72. 72
    pluege says:

    “any invocation of faith is taken as implicit advocacy of right-wing political beliefs.”

    and THAT is exactly the fault of the non-right wing Christians who have been silent for decades while the right wing has used and abused the Bible and the teachings of Jesus for their indecency and their political ends. Shame on everyone of you that has been silent for letting that happen and for not standing up for what Jesus actually said while right wing shysters manipulated his words and the word of God as written in your Bible. You reap what you have sown.

  73. 73
    Tommy says:

    @rikyrah: Oh I am with you. I live downstate IL so I kind of have this hatred of Chicago. We’re born with it! I got through his press conference the other day and it made me sick to my stomach. As a liberal I watch him and think that is not me.

  74. 74
    D58826 says:

    From the businesswoman who preternts to be a serious candidate for president

    Asked about the matter on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, dismissed the effort as a half measure that didn’t get to the root of the problem.
    “That’s kind of a red herring, honestly,” she said. “If somebody is a suspected terrorist on a watch list they can be indicted at any time. And once you are indicted you cannot own a firearm. So let’s enforce the laws we have. Let’s start with that.” “My best friend’s husband was on the watch list for years, it was a complete mistake,” she said. “He also happened to be a gun owner. If I had utter faith in the competence of government I might agree with that, but do you? I don’t. The government screws up all the time

    All of which raises several points.
    1. closing the loop hole is not a magic bullet. Its just one step in many aimed at reducing gun violence.
    2. If there is a problem with how people get on the no-fly list, then fix that problem. It would stiullbe a problem if all the guns in American suddenly turned into marshmallows.
    3. ‘Indict the people on the no-fly list’? If they haven’t committed a crime, then indict them for what? maybe we don;t like how they wear a beard? There are 700k names on the list IIRC.

  75. 75

    @elmo:

    We atheists know the Bible better than the fundies do.

    Sure. That’s because “fundamentalism” isn’t about getting back to some true, Bible-based version of Christianity. It’s about quote-mining the Bible to justify the “fundamentalists'” regressive social positions.

    ETA: Waaah! New post numbers! Do Not Want!

  76. 76
    MomSense says:

    Woah the site is now YOOGE. Anyone else seeing this?

  77. 77
    Calouste says:

    @Cacti: You conveniently left out a few bits from the article:

    “According to official figures and our discussions with the interior ministry, between 100 and 160 more mosques will be closed because they are run illegally without proper licenses, they preach hatred, or use takfiri speech,” he said.

    Takfiris are classified as Muslims who accuse others of the same faith of apostasy, an act which has become a sectarian slur.

    “This kind of speech shouldn’t even be allowed in Islamic countries, let alone secure countries like France,” El Alaoui, who became the first Muslim prison chaplain-general in 2005, said.

    Felix Marquardt, a Parisian Muslim and cofounder of the al-Kawakibi Foundation, which works towards Islamic reformation, also said that he expects more mosques to be closed soon.

    “It hardly comes as a surprise to me that there are mosques that absolutely deserve to be closed in France,” he told Al Jazeera.

    He said that he has joined the Islamic prayer in several French cities “and been shocked of what I’ve heard”.

    Seems that the French Muslims interviewed by Al-Jazeera don’t have a problem with shutting down unlicensed, radical mosques.

  78. 78
    benw says:

    @MomSense: I see that someone gave the comment numbers some POP.

  79. 79
    scav says:

    @Tommy: They’d be slightly miffed if during the workplace shooting at their office we sent squads of highly kitted out (Gold edged Bibles with Leather covers!) Power Prayers! instead of SWAT teams (even the extra shooty ones).

  80. 80
    MomSense says:

    @benw:

    It’s a bit less yooge now. The numbers were about 58 font size.

  81. 81
    dedc79 says:

    I’m coming around to the view that there won’t be progress unless we revise the 2nd Amendment. And to those who say “Not gonna happen,” it’s not like anything’s happening now anyway.

    Some dems propose to permit the CDC and NIH to study gun violence, and the NRA treats it like a direct assault on the 2nd amendment anyway, so why not try to fix the problem at its source? Let’s come up with some good language (I recall some pretty good suggestions being circulated in prior comment threads), find sponsors in Congress and get moving. I think, if nothing else, it would be helpful to have a simple proposal for the entire movement to rally around.

  82. 82

    Aren’t the conservatives always telling us that marriage is the solution to all problems. So how do they explain a married couple going on a shooting rampage.

  83. 83

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Those God-botherers can pray that there are no more shootings, or they can get off their asses and pass laws making it harder to get guns and carry them around in public.

    As far as I can tell, they aren’t even praying for fewer shootings; they’re praying for the victims of the shootings, i.e. asking God to help clean up the mess.

  84. 84
    Patrick says:

    @D58826:

    If I had utter faith in the competence of government I might agree with that, but do you? I don’t. The government screws up all the time

    Carly Fiorina doesn’t think to highly of our military, does she?!

    BTW – Private businesses screw up all the time as well. Carly Fiorina, if anybody, should know that…

  85. 85
    HRA says:

    I just had the moment of thought which may be wrong. A practicing Muslim being invited to a holiday party puzzles me. You can label it as holiday party although there could be some display of Christmas in the room. As I did write, I could be wrong. Be gentle please.

  86. 86
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Obama speaking now on shootings.

  87. 87
    Chris says:

    @Seanly:
    Well, if I had Facebook friends posting about thoughts & prayers and I made those comments about their posts, I would be a great big jerk.

    I don’t even have the patience to do that. I’m too exhausted and exasperated to talk to these people anymore, which is why almost all of them have ended up unfriended in the digital world, and if I find out someone’s a conservative in meatspace I’m very unlikely to try to be friends with him.

    (The only exception I can think of is, of all things, a Ron Paul voter. It helps that the guy has an extremely eclectic and out-of-mainstream belief system – for some reason, people like that seem drawn to Ron Paul, a Rohrschach test onto which anyone who doesn’t feel liberal or conservative projects his own beliefs – which means that as much as we disagree, we kind of end up hating most of the same people).

  88. 88
    scav says:

    @Patrick: What is this?! Free Enterprise Shaming!? Is there No Bottom to this Den of Iniquity!?!

  89. 89
    WereBear says:

    @Felanius Kootea: One thing is for certain: nothing the Right Wing wants to do about it would do a proton of good.

  90. 90
    Skippy-san says:

    And its beginning, just as I was afraid it would. The conservatives are characterizing this as a terrorist attack , so to them, its a get out jail free card on doing anything about America’s fucked up gun laws.

    These people are mole people.

  91. 91
    Wordpress Developers says:

    @benw: Due to many comments, thought I’d improve readability. I’m sure that will activate additional complaints, etc.

    Note – I don’t plan to read these threads for feedback, so please post such commentary in the Site Maintenance page under About Balloon Juice.

    I know there are intermittent issues:
    1) mobile site showing “old content”. Mobile site sometimes re-directs to unsavory websites, etc. We are fighting this beastie. (mobile site has a few issues right now, and it’s possessed so that changing settings doesn’t take, either from the front or back-end)
    2) RSS off and on. Still trying to lock it down.
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    Again, please post issues in normal comments all you want, but do me a favor and copy and post that content in the Site Maintenance thread so I can see it all in one place!

    Thanks, Alain

  92. 92

    I’m a little embarrassed. Last night on the Twitter machine I got taken in by the second suspect being Taayeem bin Ardogan. It pisses me off because I think I have a pretty good bs detector. Somebody had a freaking screenshot of the SBPD giving this name out as the second suspect.

  93. 93
    ThresherK says:

    As a lifelong Nutmegger I’m doubly proud of Chris Murphy.

    First, because going from the scoldy, whiny tone of Blowmentum to merely neutral is welcome, in the “I stopped hitting my knee with a hammer” way.

    Second, Murphy’s shown himself a few times this year to provide a bit of needed sass.

  94. 94

    Matt 6:5 is the more relevant verse.

    Her baby registry is still online. For some reason that’s a real gut punch.

  95. 95
    ChristianPinko says:

    To paraphrase Thomas Merton: What is the use of tweeting that our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of mass shootings and then refusing even to support research into possible ways to reduce gun violence. This, I would think, would certainly be what the New Testament calls “mocking God”—and mocking God far more effectively than the atheists do.

  96. 96
    🚸 Martin says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Aren’t the conservatives always telling us that marriage is the solution to all problems. So how do they explain a married couple going on a shooting rampage.

    Not Christian. That’s easy.

  97. 97
    elmo says:

    @HRA: Here in my firm in Northern Virginia, we have at least three or four Muslims at our corporate office. Maybe five or six – I’m not sure I know all the payroll clerks. We have a Holiday Party every year, usually on the last Thursday before the Christmas week. It’s a good one, at a swank restaurant (there’s an upper floor that we take over), open beer & wine bar (at a lunchtime party!), great food, and a “white elephant” gift exchange. And of course the Muslims are invited. And they come, and by all appearances have a good time with everyone else.

  98. 98

    @D58826:
    TBH, the whole thing about preventing people on the terrorism watch list from having guns is 1% policy and 99% politics. It’s about forcing people on the right to choose between anti-terrorism and pro-gun absolutism.

  99. 99
    Brachiator says:

    @Skippy-san:

    And its beginning, just as I was afraid it would. The conservatives are characterizing this as a terrorist attack , so to them, its a get out jail free card on doing anything about America’s fucked up gun laws.

    It is still very early in the investigation of this tragedy. Speculation, reaction to speculation, and commentary, especially from politicians, based on speculation is meaningless.

    On top of all this, the NRA and their enablers have a PR machine that is devoted to diverting attention away from anything except their “guns are good BS.”

    @mai naem mobile

    I’m a little embarrassed. Last night on the Twitter machine I got taken in by the second suspect being Taayeem bin Ardogan. It pisses me off because I think I have a pretty good bs detector.

    Twitter (and Facebook and its ilk) ain’t the news, a source of news, and should be taken with not a grain, but a mountain of salt.

  100. 100
    Face says:

    @Botsplainer: Um…what, uh…exactly….would you be asking Joe to do with said rock?

  101. 101
    Gimlet says:

    From “The Hill”

    Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday warned against the Democratic push for new gun control in the wake of a new mass shooting in California.

    “There are law-abiding citizens whose rights we don’t want to trample upon,” Ryan said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

    “I think we can protect our civil liberties while also giving us the tools to prevent these kinds of terrorist attacks from occurring. We are a free society and we don’t want terrorists to make us take away our freedoms from ourselves.”

    During a separate interview on CBS’s “This Morning,” Ryan said the prevalence of mass shootings in the U.S. shows the need to reform the nation’s mental health system.

    “What we have seen is a theme of mental illness,” Ryan said.

    “We need to fix our mental illness laws and policies. They’re outdated. That’s something we’re working on right now.”

    Ryan also pushed for legislation addressing mental healthcare after a shooting last week at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo.

    He has called for appointing a new assistant secretary for mental health and says Congress should remove restrictions on Medicaid payments for certain mental healthcare.

    “What happened is appalling, and justice should be swift,” Ryan said of the Nov. 27 attack in Colorado that killed three people. “Clearly we can do more, and one common denominator in these tragedies is mental illness.”

  102. 102
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Cacti:

    And this is why we have freedom of conscience enshrined in our First Amendment. Otherwise, our Republican Congress (and a fair number of cowardly Dems in all likelihood) would be attempting the same thing.

    They’ll do it anyway if they can get a Republican into office. The Constitution is a piece of paper and it has no effect unless somebody enforces it.

    Even before this attack Trump was saying he’d shut down mosques and label Muslims with a special ID, and specifically urging “taking out” innocent relatives of terrorists (after Ted Cruz had boasted of greater willingness to kill civilians overseas); I’m confident one or the other will be talking about rounding them all up into concentration camps within a couple of weeks, and going up in the polls some more. The time is ripe for the US to become a truly fascist state and I don’t see a clear way out of it.

  103. 103
    Southern Goth says:

    @Chris:

    Verily.

    And on the third day, Jesus rolled.

  104. 104
    piratedan7 says:

    @WordPress Developers: just as a FYI, updated the latest site maint. thread with an update. Ty for the firefox fix, site navigation is much smoother now. tyvm.

  105. 105
    Mike J says:

    @Patrick:

    Private businesses screw up all the time as well. Carly Fiorina, if anybody, should know that…

    The real problem starts when private enterprise doesn’t screw up.The government can and does make mistakes, but for the most part it is trying to make the lives of citizens better. Private enterprise is trying to make its shareholders better at the expense of everything and everybody else.

  106. 106
    Snarkworth says:

    @🚸 Martin: The post-partum angle is perfectly legitimate as we speculate about the woman’s motive. It’s not buying into the Right’s “mental illness” meme to raise the question. He may have been motivated by some kind of workplace vengeance, but her motive is unusual. Another possibility is an extreme adherence to the Obey-Your Husband tradition.

  107. 107
    trollhattan says:

    @MomSense:
    I’m seeing big ol’ comment numbers with drop shadows, but text seems normal.

  108. 108
    The Golux says:

    @ThresherK:

    As a lifelong Nutmegger I’m doubly proud of Chris Murphy.

    Seconded by another lifelong Nutmegger. I was delighted when he trounced the Shrub-hugging Nancy Johnson for his House seat, and he’s proven less reliably Likudnik more reliably progressive than Dick Blumenthal.

  109. 109
    opiejeanne says:

    @Tommy: This.
    Many years ago, when we had fewer children, a group of friends from our Methodist church took shifts after we got home from work to keep a new business going after another one of us injured his hand horribly. He had just started a carpet cleaning company and had contracts that needed to be fulfilled, and we took turns cleaning carpets at restaurants and various other businesses for several weeks.
    When he was healed, he got up in church and thanked God for keeping his business alive. No mention of the work a dozen of us had put in, not one peep, and it really rankled.

  110. 110
    rikyrah says:

    ‘Pressure Point’ – Sidney Poitier’s Overlooked “Roots of Racism” Drama – Coming to Blu-Ray/DVD in Feb.
    By Sergio | Shadow and Act

    December 2, 2015 at 12:45PM

    Like a lot of actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Sidney Poitier’s movie career is made of popular hits, some box office flops, a really bad film here and there, and, from time to time, some little-known, overlooked or forgotten films that deserve a second or even a third look.

    One of those films is the 1962 drama “Pressure Point,” produced by Stanley Kramer, who later went on to direct one of Poitier’s most popular films, such as “The Defiant Ones” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” “Pressure Point” was directed by the truly unique Hubert Cornfield, the son of a movie studio executive, who was a close friend of the French directors of the New Wave of the 1960’s, such as François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Goddard. Cornfield directed only six films in his career, from the mid-1950’s to late 1960’s, of which “Pressure Point,” and his very strange 1969 thriller, “Night of the Following Day” with Marlon Brando, are his two best films. He later directed a lot of French TV during the 1970’s before leaving directing for good.

    But “Pressure Point” is truly something else. Very unusual and quite daring for its time, the film actually is just as relevant today as when it came out, and perhaps even more so. A lot of films have dealt with racism, but what films you can name that focus on the causes of it?

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/sha.....b-20151202

  111. 111
    Skippy-san says:

    You should read this-it is the delusional thinking and attacks on those who want to see action in a few paragraphs. The comment section will make you weep. http://cdrsalamander.blogspot......ss-of.html

  112. 112
    JPL says:

    @Gimlet: I saw the interview on CBS. Ryan wants those on the no fly list to be able to buy guns. He feels there could be an error that prevents someone from flying.
    Neither Charlie or Gail seemed pleased with his answer. I so wish someone would say that voting is a right but you have no problem passing laws making it more difficult to vote.

  113. 113
    MomSense says:

    @trollhattan:

    It was a momentary thing. The whole site, post, comments, etc took up my entire monitor. Now it is smaller.

  114. 114
    Benw says:

    @WordPress Developers: not a complaint, I figured you’re just keeping us on our toes. :)

  115. 115
    Patrick says:

    @Mike J:

    We get the government we deserve. If we aren’t willing to fund it, it won’t perform as well. Governments in Western Europe perform much better in many ways than the US government because they are willing to fund it properly. On the other hand, we have the strongest military (part of our government) in the world because we are willing to fund it.

  116. 116
    Wordpress Developers says:

    @MomSense: The server seems to have having some issues with sending out incomplete CSS (styling info) right now. I suspect it’s because our caching tool is off because of issues, and so the server isn’t compressing that stuff and so it’s working a lot harder to send uncompressed stuff and it hiccups when under load. Again, my suspicion, but we’re sort of limping along right now, without the power of that to speed things up and make it easier on the server, use less bandwidth, etc.

    – Alain

  117. 117
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Closing mosques will just drive the religion underground.

    This. Look at the example of the former Soviet Union, or 1970’s-1980’s Poland. I know someone who was secretly ordained as a priest in Communist-era Ukraine

  118. 118
    Patrick says:

    @Gimlet:

    “There are law-abiding citizens whose rights we don’t want to trample upon,” Ryan said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

    Time after time, they are law-abiding until they are not. And what about the rights of the rest of us who want to live in peace and not have to fear these idiot gun nuts whenever we leave our home?

  119. 119
    MomSense says:

    @WordPress Developers:

    No worries. It was just kind of funny when it happened.

  120. 120
    NickM says:

    I just was talking to a pretty liberal co-worker and he said that it looks like the attack was terrorism. Well, I said, it looks complicated. It could be a workplace thing. He said, no, they were Muslims, they had bombs – must be terrorism. I said the Combine guys had guns and bombs and they weren’t necessarily considered terrorists, but I gave up. I said let’s wait and see.

    And then I saw on FB a neighborhood nincompoop was all like “Thanks, Obama.” Yesterday – no thanks, Obama because yesterday I guess it looked like a rwnj who went off (and it still may be, in a sense). I started to try to engage but then I thought — why fucking bother, and I just unfriended them. Life is too short.

  121. 121

    @Mike J:

    Private enterprise is trying to make its shareholders better at the expense of everything and everybody else.

    I don’t think that’s quite correct. Private enterprise is trying to make its owners better off, but that doesn’t necessarily come at the expense of everyone else in the system. The whole point of a market is that both sides can come out better off after a transaction. Many business owners aren’t even trying to screw over their employees and customers, if only because they see treating them decently as the best long-term business strategy.

  122. 122
    Kryptik says:

    @Patrick:

    Those rights never seem to matter when it comes to religious freedom and assholes wanting to treat people like second-class citizens because they look or sound like they belong to a certain group.

    But you know what, that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that guns are treated like they have more rights than actual people. Assholes like this aren’t really mad about the rights of gun owners. THey’re mad about the rights of guns.

  123. 123

    Just checked BBC, Chennai (formerly Madras) is deluged with floods, highest recorded rainfall ever. Even the airport is flooded. More rain is on the way.

  124. 124
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @🚸 Martin: The fact that she carried a child for nine months and six months after her daughter’s birth pretty much gave up on life. I’m not buying into the NRA’s framing. I know a woman who was not okay after the birth of her fourth child in four years – husband noticed she was acting strange but did nothing then neighbors called the police because she was walking nude around the neighborhood while he was away at work. He’d taken two weeks of paternity leave then gone back to work. She wasn’t violent but they linked her behavior to post-partum depression. She almost lost her job (in the medical field) because of it.

    Incidentally, I remember reading a NY Times article two weeks ago on ISIS brides that noted that jihadi’s wives are instructed to use birth control because fighters with children are not dedicated to the cause, so the religious terror angle that some outside BJ are making also doesn’t fit.

  125. 125
    WereBear says:

    @opiejeanne: When he was healed, he got up in church and thanked God for keeping his business alive. No mention of the work a dozen of us had put in, not one peep, and it really rankled.

    It would! It’s a bizarre mindset. And drives the good people away from such churches.

  126. 126
    D58826 says:

    GOP is already starting to blame radical Islam even before the facts are in. But why should that stop the GOP. The fact that the two shooters are Muslim will drown out any other information. As soon as I saw the names of the shooters and I knew Trump/Cruz/Ryan would ride the ‘radical Islam’ the leading cause of all problems.

  127. 127

    @🚸 Martin:

    I think it’s fair to say that people who abandon their six-month-old baby to go on a shooting spree have something wrong with them. It may not be a diagnosable mental illness (more like a personality disorder), but that’s just not something that normal, healthy people do.

    As far as “thoughts and prayers” from politicians go, does the learned helplessness of Republican politicians strike anyone else as being truly bizarre? They really don’t seem to realize that there is shit they can do. It’s even beyond refusing to do their jobs at this point. They have completely convinced themselves that they can’t pass legislation or regulations because it’s somehow morally wrong for the government to DO things, so all they offer is hand-wringing and “thoughts and prayers.”

  128. 128
    boatboy_srq says:

    @MomSense:

    Prayer is not under attack. Prayer is not a substitute for passing legislation that could save lives.

    Agreed. Prayer itself is not under attack, and that needs to be made abundantly clear. Prayer as a substitute for meaningful action, though, is – and should be – called out anywhere it’s used to avoid actually doing something about the problem.

    In a way, though, the “prayer under attack” response is a positive sign: it’s worthwhile to make the prayerful-but-otherwise-inactive feel uncomfortable with their philosophy, since that philosophy is what makes misery, misfortune and death so commonplace.

    @Chris: @low-tech cyclist: Ditto. It’s absolutely shameful that people so convinced they hear Him are busily closing their ears and minds to the clear and explicit instruction He gave them about caring for one another and not making empty words the core of their practice. Especially:

    Not that they will care (though by their own lights, they should), but Scripture condemns them: “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:15-17, if you’re interested.)

    As others have pointed out, Luther was big on “faith alone” versus the Catholic/Orthodox “faith plus works” salvation path – but Luther’s reasoning was that faith triggered works (especially since misapplications such as the selling of indulgences were common in Catholicism) and therefore the admonition would not be necessary. Luther’s philosophy was colored by Catholic misuse of the works admonitions to enrich the Church without actually helping people: the medieval/Renaissance Catholic clergy were obscenely wealthy, and allowing “sinners” to buy their forgiveness – thereby making the Church wealthier – was doing at least as much harm as good. It’s doubtful that he had any expectation that the PWE/Prosperity-Gospel angle would develop such a following – or that “faith alone” could translate into the practices we see in Xtianity today.

  129. 129
    Peale says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Read above. Most of these mosques will reopen once they get their paperwork in order. They are already technically operating “underground.”

  130. 130
    Kryptik says:

    @NickM:

    just was talking to a pretty liberal co-worker and he said that it looks like the attack was terrorism. Well, I said, it looks complicated. It could be a workplace thing. He said, no, they were Muslims, they had bombs – must be terrorism. I said the Combine guys had guns and bombs and they weren’t necessarily considered terrorists, but I gave up. I said let’s wait and see.

    And then I saw on FB a neighborhood nincompoop was all like “Thanks, Obama.” Yesterday – no thanks, Obama because yesterday I guess it looked like a rwnj who went off (and it still may be, in a sense). I started to try to engage but then I thought — why fucking bother, and I just unfriended them. Life is too short.

    God help me I run into this too much. I’ve given up on personally advocating on things anymore because all that seems to happen is either nobody budges or they go further rightward on their positions on EVERYTHING out of spite for the issue that came up, never anyone getting convinced leftward on anything. And simply fighting harder and longer to appeal to the better angels of people have only gotten me labeled as one of the worst devils

    At this rate, I’ve all but resigned myself to the near future of nigh-universal hatred for Muslims and Muslim look-a-likes/sound-a-likes at this rate. It’s not gong to get any better any time soon no matter what’s done. Call it cynical, nihilistic, defeatist, whatever. IT’s what I’ve been seeing and it’s only been getting worse and worse.

  131. 131
    Calouste says:

    @HRA: The Muslims I knew in the UK didn’t have a problem with coming to the office Christmas party. I’ve also heard of Muslims inviting non-Muslims to celebrate Eid. They’re parties, let’s just have fun and enjoy them.

  132. 132
    D58826 says:

    @JPL: and flying is most assuredly not a right!!!!!

  133. 133
    WereBear says:

    @Roger Moore: Many business owners aren’t even trying to screw over their employees and customers, if only because they see treating them decently as the best long-term business strategy.

    Just who are these people? I’m seeing less and less evidence of such. I made bacon this morning and it’s all scraps pressed together and difficult to cook. And this isn’t bottom of the barrel, it’s a mid-range brand that was fine a few months ago.

    All around me applicances break down in mere months, new furniture falls apart, and customer service in most places are circles of hell on both sides.

    It’s like being caught in some science fiction version of entropy.

  134. 134
    opiejeanne says:

    @Skippy-san: CNN was being so stupid last night, saying that they didn’t know if this was international terrorism or a lone gunman, when we already knew there was more than one person with a gun, but the “lone gunman” wording is code for “white guy” as is the title “American” being used as code for “white guy”.

    It was infuriating.

  135. 135
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I just read Greg Sargent’s write up of how the GOP is advising candidates to tap into Trumpism, I think is their phrase. Near the top of the list is that Trump understands how frustrated real Americans are with “political correctness”. Thank god those Heartlanders have the likes of Glenn Thrush and Emma Green to protect them from people snarking on Senators like Ron Johnson and Kelly Ayotte.

  136. 136
    Bruce K says:

    Some people are in a position where prayer and well-wishes towards those left behind are all they have the ability to offer. Not the will, but the ability. They’re doing all they can, even if it’s not much.

    The people running for President of the United States are not nearly so limited in what they can do. And a number of them, based on their history, have actively made the situation worse, so they’d actually be improving their stances if they were to offer nothing but prayer.

  137. 137
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Felanius Kootea: It’s rare, but I think there have been instances of women with young children engaging in suicide bombings (not here, but in Russia and Israel, IIRC). I have no idea what motivated the couple in SB, of course. It doesn’t seem to neatly fit into any box, but I expect we’ll know sooner rather than later.

  138. 138
    scav says:

    if it weren’t for the rest of the world, I’d be hard pressed to distinguish the definition of “Terrorism” from “Second-Amendment Solutions attempted by Brown People”. It certainly seems the Red-Blooded ‘Merkan definition.

  139. 139
    boatboy_srq says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Those God-botherers can pray that there are no more shootings, or they can get off their asses and pass laws making it harder to get guns and carry them around in public. The apostle James says they can demonstrate their faith by doing the latter.

    Actually, that’s Paul, writing to James, not James himself. We could do without a number of Paul’s screeds (repressed misogynistic homophobic pr!ck that he was), but this epistle definitely needs more attention. The FundiEvangelist Xtians make much of Paul’s other epistles (to keep women BPIK and submissive to their fathers/husbands/brothers, among other misuses); high time they paid attention to other things he said.

  140. 140
    Patrick says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Private enterprise is trying to make its owners better off, but that doesn’t necessarily come at the expense of everyone else in the system. The whole point of a market is that both sides can come out better off after a transaction.

    It depends on how they are regulated. If a business can market a product at a lower price, but by doing so ruins the environment, then perhaps seller (owner) and buyer comes out ahead. But what about the rest of us…

    One (out of thousand of examples) example is BP and their enormous oil leak a few years ago.

    My initial point was that it is absurd to bash the government (which Fiorina doesn’t want to fund anyway) and then pretend that private business is flawless.

  141. 141
    Brachiator says:

    @Patrick:

    If we aren’t willing to fund it, it won’t perform as well. Governments in Western Europe perform much better in many ways than the US government because they are willing to fund it properly.

    Things are much more complicated than you suggest, especially when you consider the parliamentary deadlocks, shutdowns, and collapses of European governments. In 2010 – 2011 Belgium didn’t have a formal elected government for 589 days because the last election did not give any party a majority, and no coalition could be brought together to form a government.

    On the other hand, we have the strongest military (part of our government) in the world because we are willing to fund it.

    Our military is bigger than almost anybody else’s, with a huge amount of waste. And for some it’s a sacred cow that must be massaged with money even if the result is inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

  142. 142
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @HRA: According to the LA Times (quoting a co-worker), he attended the holiday party last year (held in the same location) and didn’t seem to have a problem with it then. He’d worked there for five years. Apparently they had a baby shower for him at work and he went on paternity leave after the birth of his daughter. While reports say he left this year’s holiday party after an argument, there is nothing about whether the situation at work had changed for him since he returned from taking paternity leave.

    I have Muslim co-workers who’ve participated in holiday parties including secret Santa gift exchanges. The San Bernardino situation just makes no sense.

  143. 143
    Woodrowfan says:

    A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religious man replies, ” no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”

    Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”

    With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God. He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to God, I thought you would grant me a miracle!” God said , “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, I sent you three boats and a helicopter.”

  144. 144
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): “I think it’s fair to say that people who abandon their six-month-old baby to go on a shooting spree have something wrong with them.”

    Please allow me to fix that for you:
    People who go on a shooting spree have something wrong with them.

  145. 145
    blueskies says:

    @Botsplainer: To the extent that any of it is historical, your real beef is with Paul. He used the ministry and execution of a blue-collar philosopher to market a new religion. Jesus was long dead by the time “Christianity” was produced.

  146. 146
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @scav: It certainly seems the Red-Blooded ‘Merkan definition.

    True. I was thinking last night that Syed Farook was living the American dream. A decent gubmint job, a wife, a baby, a Yukon, a shitload of guns and ammo, some explosives, some “tactical” gear. What could be more American?

  147. 147
    Patrick says:

    @Brachiator:

    I have lived there so I speak from personal experience. Just as an example, here in the states, it is much for time-consuming to get answers from the government if you have questions regarding Medicare or the IRS or whatever. In Europe in general, there is much better funding for these resources and you get answers quicker.

    Waste or not, our military is the strongest in the world because of funding.

  148. 148
    Gin & Tonic says:

    OT, but more FIFA officials arrested in the pre-dawn hours at the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich. At this point I’d think anybody else on the FIFA executive board might want to get a note to their travel agent.

  149. 149
    Mike J says:

    @blueskies: Then you have to take into account that Paul didn’t actually write most of the Pauline epistles. Even the ones he did write were letters written to one church suggesting answers to problems that particular church was having, not necessarily as advice that was universally applicable.

  150. 150
    MattF says:

    @Gin & Tonic: No kidding. If I was a corrupt soccer official, I’d think twice about staying in that hotel.

  151. 151
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Prayer is the Christian equivalent of the Ghost Dance. Every bit as effective, too.

  152. 152
    Cacti says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Even before this attack Trump was saying he’d shut down mosques and label Muslims with a special ID, and specifically urging “taking out” innocent relatives of terrorists (after Ted Cruz had boasted of greater willingness to kill civilians overseas); I’m confident one or the other will be talking about rounding them all up into concentration camps within a couple of weeks, and going up in the polls some more. The time is ripe for the US to become a truly fascist state and I don’t see a clear way out of it.

    Even in this thread, we have an apologist declaring that the only mosques being closed are “radical” and not properly licensed.

    Thanks but no thanks on the state licensing of acceptable belief systems.

  153. 153
    jl says:

    We should pray for the sanctimonious hypocrites too. That would be in the Christmas spirit.

    It is un-Christian, and I think un-Buddhist also to refuse sincere well-meaning prayers.

    I readily accept the prayers of sanctimonious hypocrites, even if I disagree with them on most everything.

  154. 154
    gex says:

    As usual with them it is about them lashing out rather than reflecting on their behavior. They are much less upset about being racist than they are about being made to feel bad about being racist. They are much less upset about enabling and inciting gun violence than they are about having it pointed out that they do nothing.

  155. 155
    jl says:

    OG Harry Reid, Obama’s Senate muscle, will take their mind off damn liberals merely suggesting prayers.

    Reid Calls NRA A ‘Quasi-Militant Wing Of The Republican Party’
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....t-wing-gop

  156. 156

    @WereBear:

    Just who are these people? I’m seeing less and less evidence of such. I made bacon this morning and it’s all scraps pressed together and difficult to cook. And this isn’t bottom of the barrel, it’s a mid-range brand that was fine a few months ago.

    Most of the places that behave that way are smaller, local businesses. My favorite local restaurant knows perfectly well that they depend on repeat business. They know they are only going to get it by treating their customers decently, and they also appear to know that part of treating their customers decently is hiring competent long-term staff who will know what the customers like. There are plenty of place like that. The key is that they’re mostly run by people who are interested in their line of business first and being management second. The moment you have to deal with professional management, you need to start counting your fingers.

    And BTW, if you want great bacon, try Father’s Country Hams. They’re pricey compared to the supermarket brands, especially because you have to pay shipping, but you get quality for your money. It’s a traditional country bacon, cured and smoked to the point you don’t need to refrigerate the unopened packages. It’s also at least twice as salty and five times a smokey as supermarket bacon, so a little bit goes a long way, flavor-wise.

  157. 157
    Suzanne says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): A personality disorder, if recognized in the current DSM, is a mental illness.

    I think it is worthwhile to consider when we talk about these shootings and mental illness to be more consistent in our definition of mental illness. Those in the profession of behavioral healthcare often note that 1 in 4 Americans will suffer from mental illness in their lifetimes; this includes personality disorders, mono polar depression, eating disorders, etc. But when we talk about mass shooters potentially having mental illness, the tendency is to define it more narrowly—usually to the stereotypical psychotic disorder.

  158. 158
    Calouste says:

    @Brachiator: Even though Belgium didn’t have an elected government for more than 500 days, the functions of the government still kept working under a care-taker government. In the US, even if we have a properly elected government it is no guarantee that its functions are executed if the WATB’s in the Republican party are having a tantrum.

    Yes, government functions in Greece (and probably other countries) have been shut down due to financial crises that have longstanding causes. But in the US we have a party that actually wants to create immediate financial crises that are very well avoidable.

  159. 159
    MattF says:

    Not surprisingly, there’s a Wikipedia article on The Efficacy of Prayer.

  160. 160
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT: Some group of Jewish Republicans is hosting a big candidate cattle call today. The tweets I’ve seen suggest some pretty awkward pandering and posturing. Li’l Marco, like the good schoolboy he is, seems to have hit every talking point, and Lindsey Graham is going to change his last name to Netanyahu. Then there was this

    ‏@ JohnJHarwood
    Trump to Republican Jewish Coalition: “I’m a negotiator like you folks.”

    I think this will finally be the end of Trump! Oh, wait, not really.
    ETA: I doubt this will hurt him in Iowa or NH, but my god
    John Harwood ‏@ JohnJHarwood 16m16 minutes ago Staten Island, NY
    Trump saying he understands if Republican Jewish Coalition doesn’t want to support him: “You want to control your own politician.”
    Trump to Republican Jewish Coalition: “I don’t want your money so therefore you’re probably not going to support me.”

  161. 161
    Calouste says:

    @Cacti: I was quoting French Muslims from the article you linked to. Are they apologists too?

    Oh, and go fuck yourself, but I think I’ve already told you that before.

  162. 162
    gvg says:

    I think the GOP candidates have learned helplessness because their voter base will punish many logical solutions and also because I think there is more than one subset of fanatics with purity views in their base. It’s like they have multiple abusers with different triggers. I also think this happened gradually and many of them haven’t actually realized what kind of relationship they are in.
    Many of their potential voters are actually fine with nothing being done.

  163. 163
    NotMax says:

    Fail to discern how “our prayers are with you” and nothing else differs as a response from the zealots* who deny their child necessary surgery and rely solely on prayer.

    *Glaring exception being that they are subject to legal intervention/penalties for deliberate failure to act.

  164. 164
    Cacti says:

    @Calouste:

    I was quoting French Muslims from the article you linked to. Are they apologists too?

    Oh, and go fuck yourself, but I think I’ve already told you that before.

    Cool story.

    And Ben Carson thinks the GOP is great. Ergo he speaks for the thoughts of all US racial minorities.

  165. 165
    Peale says:

    @Cacti: And the appropriate, measured response to attacks in January and October this year is?

  166. 166
    jl says:

    Story on front page of TPM today on doctors’ petition delivered to Congress to end ban on federal funding of research on gun violence, just hours before the shooting.

    Sad and sickening situation.

  167. 167
    MattF says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It sounds like he’s working with a checklist of offensive stereotypes. Not that I have a lot of sympathy for members of a ‘Republican Jewish Coalition’…

  168. 168
    scav says:

    @jl: Refuse them? They can pray all they want. The question that is being asked is what are they going to do. The waters are rising, we’ve already lost a lot of people and instead of filling sandbags or bailing or helping others to higher ground, or even arguing about the best place to build a dam or how to best organize a buket brigade, a chosen few are offering their thoughts and prayers as sole, vital and unassailable contribution. Prayer with shovels in hand would be a little less irritating.

  169. 169
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @MattF: they gave him a standing ovation. I guess I’m too politically correct

  170. 170
    Peale says:

    @MattF: “Hey – you guys control the media. And I want attention. A match made in heaven. As you’re counting your money, you might want to throw an endorsement my way.”

  171. 171
    Cacti says:

    @Peale:

    And the appropriate, measured response to attacks in January and October this year is?

    A heavy-handed crackdown on the freedoms of religion and association of minority groups.

    Just as Donald Trump suggests in his campaign speeches.

  172. 172
    WereBear says:

    There isn’t any reason for anyone to be kitted out like an army of one, is there? Can we at least start there?

  173. 173

    @Suzanne:

    I usually think of it as “treatable or not?” Psychosis, mood disorders, even OCD can be treated. For the most part, personality disorders do not respond to treatment (though there is a new group therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder that seems pretty promising).

    The small bits that have come out about this sound like the Columbine dynamic, where you had a person with a mood disorder who was drawn in by a person with a personality disorder, with disastrous results.

  174. 174
    opiejeanne says:

    @WereBear: He took his family and left, joined the execrable Assembly of God in that town. I don’t know if all AoG churches are execrable, but that one was. They had fairly regular book burnings, urging children to throw toys like E.T. on the fire because it might draw them away from their parents and God.

  175. 175
    gogol's wife says:

    @MomSense:

    I’m a Christian, I go to church every week, I pray all the time — and I PASSIONATELY SUPPORT MY SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY FOR HIS ABSOLUTELY ON-POINT TWEET!

  176. 176
    gogol's wife says:

    @scav:

    And they are people who are actually in a legislative position to do something about it, unlike most of us.

  177. 177
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Southern Goth: His name was pilatUs, but funny typo.

    Been boning up on my period of Classical Antiquity. Apparently Ol’ Pontius was a wingnutty asshat who paraded Roman soldiers through the Holy of Holies among other provocations and in fact was a lot of the reason that radicalized Jerusalemites staged a rebellion after he was gone. A real peach, IOW.

  178. 178
    gogol's wife says:

    @marduk:

    This.

  179. 179
    scav says:

    @gogol’s wife: Even if we can’t enact legislation, we can at least have the moral backbone to have an opinion and honestly express it and not hide tacit acquiescence behind a pious flapping of clasped hands.

  180. 180
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Roger Moore: There was a claim out there they were giving awards which is something often done at office Christmas parties.

    I think it’s likely that someone he had a grudge against got an award or he didn’t get an award, and at that point he stormed out.

  181. 181
    gogol's wife says:

    I just sent a message to Senator Murphy expressing my support.

  182. 182
    Peale says:

    @Cacti: So you’ve got no answer. Let’s just change the topic to how we’d be much better off if the French and English would have divided up the Ottoman Empire better. Note the lack of jobs for working age youth in France and move on. Obligatory “If we do anything, the terrorists win.”

  183. 183
    Cacti says:

    @Peale:

    So you’ve got no answer. Let’s just change the topic to how we’d be much better off if the French and English would have divided up the Ottoman Empire better. Note the lack of jobs for working age youth in France and move on. Obligatory “If we do anything, the terrorists win.”

    Collective punishment for the browns, more bombings, etc.

    But this time, it will definitely work.

    ;-)

  184. 184
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @boatboy_srq: FWIW, I believe most scholars believe that letter to Timothy is spurious. So Paul’s off the hook for that.

    The big problem for orthodox Xtians with Paul is that Paul’s Christianity is not the Christianity of the Gospels. In fact his letters only got wide circulation, I believe, when Marcion “the heretic” was in a big row with other church leaders over some typical arcane stupidity that they used to feud about.

  185. 185
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    OT, but more FIFA officials arrested in the pre-dawn hours at the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich. At this point I’d think anybody else on the FIFA executive board might want to get a note to their travel agent.

    Arrested in Switzerland? Ohhhhh, that is some delicious Schadenfreude. Joie de scandale. Gioia de scandale. Omnomnomnomnom.

  186. 186
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mike J: And then there are the suspected interpolations. To very conveniently win a point for somebody later–see! Paul said it! It’s written between the lines in tiny text because of the copyist got distracted, really!

  187. 187
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cacti: The licensing is amusing because that is how Christianity started in the Roman Empire. Trying to fly under the official radar. Romans didn’t have a right to free assembly and anything from a religious org to a dinner club (and the Mithraic mysteries, according to their midden heaps, were apparently both) needed to be licensed. Early Christian meeting places were really pathetic and tiny.

  188. 188
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @opiejeanne: Assemblies of God are pretty much worst of the worst without going full bore Christian Identity.

    There’s one sorta close (too close) to Gainesville. Got some horrible stories of lives they’ve ruined.

  189. 189
    rollSound says:

    The next time a gun-nut claims to be “Christian”, I’ll need him to explain to me how the Second Amendment overrules the Sixth Commandment.

  190. 190
    maurinsky says:

    I had a non-political co-worker today say we should bomb the entire middle east and kill all Muslims because of the shooting in San Berdoo yesterday. She was not talking to me, but I had to intercede and say “I know you don’t really mean we should commit genocide (or kill off everyone just for their religion) for a shooting that we don’t even know the motivation for it, right?” She said she was just angry, and yeah, I am too.

    Of course, we may never know the motivation, since they are dead.

  191. 191
    Brachiator says:

    @Patrick:

    I have lived there so I speak from personal experience.

    Doesn’t demonstrate that you know about the budgets of all the governments of Europe and the EU. I am not trumpeting USA! USA! but your claim lacks credibility.

    @Calouste:

    Yes, government functions in Greece (and probably other countries) have been shut down due to financial crises that have longstanding causes. But in the US we have a party that actually wants to create immediate financial crises that are very well avoidable.

    Very true, but are the governments of Greece, Italy, even Portugal, quick examples, well funded? I don’t think so.

  192. 192
    glory b says:

    These guys prayers have already been answered. They have the power, agency and ability to change this if they wanted.

    They’re like the joke about the drowning man and the raft, boat and helicopter.

  193. 193
    glory b says:

    @MomSense: I’m soooo stealing that one.

  194. 194
    Brachiator says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    OT, but more FIFA officials arrested in the pre-dawn hours at the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich

    FIFA. Rhymes with Thiefa.

    I wonder if there will ever be a similar blow-up involving the International Olympic Committee? That seems like another den of thieves.

  195. 195
    Bulletin 1147 says:

    Breaking news-

    Thoughts and Prayers were killed in a mass shooting today, along with three other platitudes. This comes less than twenty four hours after the shootings in San Bernardino, California, where Thoughts and Prayers were completely useless in preventing that tragedy, or any of the other hundreds of mass shootings this year.
    Seven clichés were also wounded in the attack.

  196. 196
    Suzanne says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Well, we need to be consistent. And “treatable or not?” is not a legal or medical definition that’s recognized anywhere that I know of. Hell, I’m not even sure if it matters. If someone has a DSM-recognized disorder but isn’t getting treatment for whatever reason, and they commit a crime, I’m not convinced that they don’t deserve mental health treatment rather than prison.

    I just am really uncomfortable with the reflex on both sides to categorize people as mentally ill or not depending on when it feels convenient. Normally, I hate “both sides do it”, but in this case, it’s really true.

  197. 197
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Brachiator: Those governments are not well funded under the Euro; if they had remained on the drachma, lira or peso that would very likely not be the case. Again the problem there is domestic policy and fiscal policy are being dictated by different entities with different priorities and differing levels of both accountability to and concern for the citizens of the affected countries.

  198. 198
    jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    @benw: @blueskies:

    Exactly, Rabbi Yeshua was a Jewish reformist around whom Saul of Tarsus built a mystical cult.
    Ironically, before his “conversion”, Saul was notorious for persecuting the followers of Yeshua. I sometimes suspect that there are some parallels between L. Ron Hubbard and Saul of Tarsus.

  199. 199

    @Suzanne:

    Some DSM-recognized disorders don’t have treatments, though. There is no pill you can take, no therapy you can undergo to develop empathy if you have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. So now what?

    I know conservatives want to only talk about mental illness to avoid talking about guns, but we have to have both conversations simultaneously. In this country, you can’t talk about mental illness without talking about guns, and you can’t talk about guns without talking about mental illness. They’re inextricable from each other, no matter how much the NRA wants to pretend otherwise.

  200. 200
    Calouste says:

    @Brachiator: Tax dodging is a national sport in those countries. In a simplified summary, trust in the government there is low, and one of the major historical causes is how those countries got screwed over by the British and Americans after WWII because they found it more important to keep the commies out than to create a democracy, so they let the fascists (back) in power.

  201. 201
    smintheus says:

    More pointed to quote James 2.16-17:

    If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

    ETA: As low-tech cyclist already pointed out.

  202. 202
    Bitter Scribe says:

    @Joshua Norton: Or they’d be Christian Scientists.

  203. 203

    […] That’s the framework in which I found myself gagging and raging at the nonsense behind this “prayer shaming” horse hockey. […]

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