2.13.2006

What’s a little persecution between friends?


I continue to be completely amazed by the rightwing religious folks in this country. The Bushistas side with Pakistan, despite its horrific treatment of women, because they back the War on Terror. Saudi Arabian women aren’t much better off, but hey, they’ve got lots of oil so we can look the other way, right? And now the fundies are praising China (China!) for adhering to "traditional values" and banning films:
China, despite its poor record on human rights and outright ban on most non-state-run religion, still holds on to some traditional values abandoned by most western nations. These values have led censors there to ban the homosexual propaganda film, Brokeback Mountain.

This is a place where religious freedom is an oxymoron and Catholic priests are beaten and arrested for practicing their faith. Where anyone criticizing the government will have their identities handed over by American companies to appease a hardline government that cannot stand dissent. Re-read that paragraph, would you? "[D]espite its poor record on human rights and outright ban on most non-state-run religion..." Is this really the type of society you want to get in bed with? Is it enough to say the enemy of my enemy is my friend, when that nation so abhors individual freedom that they legislate which beliefs are acceptable? Christians in the United States should be appalled by China’s treatment of missionaries and priests, not praising them for finding yet another minority group to oppress.

Noam Chomsky once said, "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." By praising China’s ban of Brokeback Mountain, the fundies are tacitly endorsing that nation’s clamp down on all expression—including the expression of one’s Christian beliefs. And they should be ashamed of themselves.

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annamaria at 10:21 AM

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9 Comments

at Monday, February 13, 2006 12:55:00 PM Blogger Wake of the Flood said...

You'd think that folks who spend their whole life worrying about who is in bed with whom would be a little more circumspect about who shares THEIR bed. But that would presume that these folks are capable of any kind of reflective thought.

I'm not so sure, though, that one can cite Lifesite and Interim Publishing as being representive of "the fundies". I'd never heard of them, checked their website, and noted that their columnists and contributors also tend to be folks who aren't the so-called leading people in their fields. It'd be like you and Jen being lifted up as the leading spokespersons for feminist thought. Not that you aren't articulate, but you haven't yet reached the level of "expert" in the public sphere.

 
at Monday, February 13, 2006 1:11:00 PM Blogger annamaria said...

I certainly don't mean to imply that Lifesite and Interim Publishing are experts or representative of Christians as a whole (in fact, I would argue that most Christians would blanch at Lifesite's treatment of many issues), but they seem to tap into what I see as a hypocrisy evident in most kind of fundamentalist thought*, namely that certain bad acts can be ignored so long as there is common ground on other issues (hence the examples of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia). And I find it particularly hypocritical, since Lifesite has commented regularly on the persecution of Catholic priests in China, and yet here they are praising the Chinese government for banning a film. Like you said, they seem to be incapable of "reflective thought."

*And I don't mean fundamentalist to just imply religious thought either. I take great issue with feminists like Catharine MacKinnon, who in their quest to protect women from pornography found their greatest allies in religious leaders who couldn't give a damn about feminism or women's oppression. It cuts both ways.

 
at Monday, February 13, 2006 1:15:00 PM Blogger annamaria said...

Upon further reading of my original post, I can see where the confusion stems from, Wake. I do appear to imply that Lifesite, et. al. are represtantive of "the fundies." Like I said above, that certainly wasn't my intention. I obviously could have worded it better. What can I say, I was angry and therefore not as precise as I should have been! ::slaps own hand--bad blogger!::

 
at Monday, February 13, 2006 2:04:00 PM Anonymous agci said...

Remember, correlation isn't a right wing value. The issue in their sights stands alone. The fact that China is banning a film is a cause for celebration, while all of those other little blemishes just fall to the wayside.

I'd be interested to see what other films China has banned and see if the fundies would celebrate those as well.

All of this because MEN (right wing, left wing, black, white, asian, hispanic, native american, pacific islander..forgive me if Ive forgotten anyone) arent in touch with themselves and cant separate two cowboys being in love from them being in love with other men after watching a movie.

Its like not letting your kids go to see Curious George for fear that once they are done viewing the film they will turn into fucking monkeys.

Political affiliation masks so much of the retardation we suffer as human beings.

 
at Monday, February 13, 2006 4:00:00 PM Anonymous agci said...

Inspired by the topic I set out to find a list of films banned in China. A large portion of them are chinese films that are probably threatening to the state.

The only western films I could find were Brokeback, obviously, Memoirs of a Geisha, in fears it would spark anti-Japanese reactions in chinese audiences, and most surprising, Ben Hur in 1960, for containing "propaganda of superstitious beliefs, namely Christianity." Im sure that the fundies would have their undies in a bunch if China went about banning more films of Christian nature. Wonder what they made of "Passion of the Christ?"

 
at Monday, February 13, 2006 4:01:00 PM Anonymous agci said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
at Monday, February 13, 2006 4:45:00 PM Blogger Wake of the Flood said...

AM: My post was tongue in cheek in some ways so I wouldn't get all worried and thinking I was getting on you for citing LifeSite as "official" fundies. I enjoyed your observation of the hypocrisy involved, and as you noted, this particular failing isn't monopolized by religious folks. Funny though, how political types are especially immune to recognizing when they fall into this. When President Clinton was taken to task for his sexual escapades with the intern Monica Lewinsky I truly enjoyed the display of linguistic and logical gymnastics put on by Sen. Fienstein when she was asked about how the President's actions with an intern differed from the Anita Hill case. I lost a lot of respect for an awful lot of folks when they glossed over actions that would have had me fired from every supervisory job I've held, and would have caused my current credentials to be revoked. (And don't everyone go fighting old battles here! The last comment does NOT imply support for the Republican impeachment witchhunt.)

However, remember, it is possible to applaud the good action of a rephresensible group without becoming political bedfellows. To acknowledge that Mussolini made the trains run on time is not the same as applauding his dictatorship!

 
at Tuesday, February 14, 2006 10:37:00 AM Blogger Dane meets Simone said...

Please don't become an "expert" in the public sphere. I want to continue to believe a word you say.

 
at Tuesday, February 14, 2006 12:27:00 PM Blogger Kurt said...

doggone blogger! It lost my whole well worded, incredibly insightful comment. Oh well.
Another interesting and thought provoking message, Annamaria. Thanks.
And I very much appreciate your recognition of the fringe elements on any debate are rarely in agreement with the majority.

 

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