Things to Read

1. Color me completely unsurprised that Mike Tyson believes a woman might need to be fucked in a way she might not agree with as a means of threatening her. I guess I’m supposed to find that funny because Sarah Palin deserves to be run down, but I do not. I find it gross and, as stated, unsurprising.

2. I love Geena Davis.

3. I agree with Jay here, but I think there are two other things to point out. A. If churches could do more, presumably at least some of them would already be doing more, since people’s lack of healthcare is a huge issue. And yet, here we are. People don’t have insurance and they die because they don’t have insurance. If more people don’t have insurance, churches aren’t going to be able to magically do more than they do now. But also B. When I have participated in this conversation in the past with Christians, I sometimes feel like they are angry that they’re being cheated out of chances to be charitable. Like if the government steps in to make sure everyone has health insurance, some Christian is getting shafted because he or she doesn’t have the opportunity to give charity to someone. But it’s not the government’s responsibility to make sure that Christians have enough to do. And it seems obvious to me that this could get into some church/state issues. Hell, it probably already does. Christians should be nervous about the idea that the government would decide anything was the church’s job and not the government’s, since that, by definition, includes the government deciding what’s the proper role of the church.

4. I really loved this interview, even if it ends on a note of “We’re all going to die.” Hint to people worried about secular and sacred apocalypses: we are all going to die. Just probably not at the same time.

5. I have now been convinced to read the Sookie Stackhouse books, which I believe is the first indication that I’m using my library card for evil as well as good.

8 thoughts on “Things to Read

  1. I read the first Sookie Stackhouse book when it came out. I guess I liked it, but not enough to pick up the second one? Because I didn’t think about them again until the show started. This past summer I read ALL of the Sookie books and loved them. They aren’t without their problems (storytelling, structure, characters acting out of character, inconsistency in history from one book to the next), but I devoured them. And quite honestly, without Alex Skaarsgard in my head as Eric I probably wouldn’t have made it past the second or third book. But man, once he’s Eric in your head an din the books, it’s sooooo worth it. Book 4 remains my favorite. I just re-read it after finishing all 11. I haven’t yet watched season 4 of True Blood because I kind of want to keep the book in my head forever. I think maybe Pam and Eric are the only reasons to read the book (I do like book-Sookie better and Hoyt, Jessica, Lafayette and Tara don’t really exist in the books). But I think they are also most of the reason to watch the show.

  2. When I have participated in this conversation in the past with Christians, I sometimes feel like they are angry that they’re being cheated out of chances to be charitable.

    As someone who spent a couple years as the chair of her church’s Outreach Committee, let me say: churches are OVERWHELMED with requests for assitance. This is why Nashville churches pooled their resources and created Rooftop, to help people who couldn’t pay their rent or mortgage.

    The reality is, in times of economic stress, congregants do not give as much to the pay light bill and the staff salaries and everything else needed to keep the church doors open, let alone extra for benevolences. Anyone who actually is a member of a church knows this. You cannot attend a Sunday worship with any regularity and not hear a constant littany about how financially strapped the church is. And you cannot hear that every week and walk away thinking, “gee I know, we need to help pay the medical bills of our city’s poor!”

    I may be stepping out on a limb here (one dripping with sarcasm), but anyone who says they they don’t want government to step in because then they’d be cheated out of a chance to be charitable is not an active member of a church. I’d say they are an idiot repeating conservative talking points and don’t live in the real world.

    Just a guess.

  3. Well, no, some of them are also upset about having their tax dollars go to help people who aren’t in their church, or to help with things they don’t approve of, or without the chance of getting to preach at them with their particular church’s preachings.

  4. I wish I had the background of positive church experience that y’all do, where church people actually WANT to help others in the community. I come from a denomination in which one area church actually broke apart over sending funds to that particular denomination’s *sponsored* regional orphanage. Some of the better-thans discovered that there were (cue the gasp) illegitimate children being left there, and they flat-out refused to send money there anymore because they “just couldn’t support that sort of behavior.” (As if the children didn’t need to eat and be clothed.) A handful of decent folk in that congregation left, as a result, and started their own church and gave to the orphanage, no questions asked. Lest you think that was an isolated incident, this same better-than church openly castigated from the pulpit and then disfellowshipped a couple of members, who were also local elected officials, over their package-beer sales votes a few years ago.

    A same-denomination church I formerly attended, after doing its level best to ignore the changing neighborhood around it in its quest to save souls (apparently your soul is only worth saving if it’s white in America or of color in Africa), is now baffled at its dwindling membership and the fact that it can’t sell its ivory tower so it can flee to the suburbs. The new neighbors may not have much money, but many of them would be proud to attend, and possibly join, the church, if only they’d been invited. Some have asked for help at the door of that church, when they lost jobs or their kids were sick, and have actually been turned away.

    I agree with SB’s points (as well as the other wise folks here), especially about churches being swamped with requests with limited budgets, but I must add that there are indeed active church members saying things like “being cheated out of a chance to be charitable.” The ones I know are utter and complete hypocrites *and* have co-opted those “talking points” while they turn away needy souls, but they are saying it.

    I guess you have an idea now why I am not a member of the denomination in which I was raised.

  5. When I have participated in this conversation in the past with Christians, I sometimes feel like they are angry that they’re being cheated out of chances to be charitable.

    You must be hanging around with a completely different group of Christians than I am. Because this has *never* come up in any conversation I have ever had with other people of faith.

    The first 5 or 6 Sookie books are pretty good. And then they all start to run together.

  6. grandefille,

    Holy cow, that is the saddest story I ever heard. I cannot imagine a church splitting apart over caring for needy children. Jesus wept, indeed. But I shouldn’t be surprised. When Jesus said “the poor will always be with you” that is exactly what he was talking about. Humans are flawed, a thousand ways to Sunday.

    And that is the point we DFH lefites have been making. Those people who think charity should be sufficient to care for all society’s woes don’t live in the real world where people give to what THEY care about, not where the need lies. Two completely different things.

  7. you gotta love this though:

    Had Tyson used this language to attack virtually any other person in public life, he’d be vilified on the front page of the New York Times. But you won’t read these quotes in the Times.

    …suggesting some great liberal agenda on the Times part. Because it couldn’t possibly be that the NYT just doesn’t think a retired boxer’s opinions on Sarah Palin are terribly important.

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