The Ongoing Struggle to Save NOM! Teabagging, also!

LOLcats, fight for your right to NOM NOM NOM! Also, teabagging FAIL! @nomtweets can suck it #savenom

My mom-in-law and sister will be wondering what this is about if she happens to read this post. Where to start?

It’s just this Internets thing, you know?

Maybe I’d better put the rest of this behind a “MORE” link. See you after the jump, as the cool kids say…
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Buy Pepsi, Piss Off The Fundies

As seen at Pam’s House Blend:: The American Family Association has nothing better to do than harrass Pepsico:

Here’s four good reasons I’m going to buy more Pepsi products… no, make that five good reasons.

  1. Pepsi gave a total of $1,000,000 to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) to promote the homosexual lifestyle in the workplace.
  2. Both HRC and PFLAG supported efforts in California to defeat Proposition 8 which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. HRC, which received $500,000 from Pepsi, gave $2.3 million to defeat Proposition 8.
  3. Pepsi requires employees to attend sexual orientation and gender diversity training where the employees are taught to accept homosexuality.
  4. Pepsi is a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

5. Buying PepsiCo brands will not only show support for their inclusive and enlightened policies, it will really piss off Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association if their boycott backfires.

The sex-obsessed, reality-rejecting fundamentalists led by Wildmon are issuing a clarion call for a ginormous boycott of all things Pepsi, because the soft-drink conglomerate refused to be blackmailed bullied into cancelling their financial support of P-FLAG, a well known national support group for families and friends of gay people, and for failing to be bigots and asshats and get all discriminatory towards employees and their loved ones who happen to be gay.


Check out this extremely bland, factual and polite “FOAD” letter that a PepsiCo spokesman wrote to the Wildmon people after they complained about Pepsi’s social activisim and financial support for gay civil rights initiatives, in addition to their enlightened workplace policies. Note that the quote sticks to the company employee diversity initiative – way to stay on message AND tell your whirly-eyed cherry-picking God-botherer where to go!

Response from Paul Boykas, director, public policy to Donald E. Wildmon (November 18, 2008):
I’m responding to your letter to our Chairman. In 2008, the PepsiCo Foundation awarded a grant to Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays to support a national program specifically designed for workplace environments.

The initiative seeks to promote further understanding and equality in the places where people spend much of their time at work.

Among the values promoted by the PepsiCo Foundation is ensuring a work environment that is respectful and where associates are valued for their contributions. I hope this helps clarify this grant by the PepsiCo Foundation.

Typically, we have Sprite around the house, but Pepsi’s only lemon-lime drink is (gag) Sierra Mist: sorry, but the Sprite stays. We both prefer Pepsi to Coke but haven’t had stocked the fridge with it lately. Maybe I’ll try some of the no-caffeine stuff.

I can get on board with the rest of my personal anti-boycott, fortunately. Although David will enjoy the occasional Mountain Dew, I’ll have to settle for a frosty Mug root beer or a full-on Pepsi, or maybe a Frappuccino when the weather warms up. I do like the SoBe ready-to-drink “teas” and “juices” (especially that Wisdom one that supposedly chills you out: let’s hear it for the placebo effect). Also in the Pepsico portfolio: various Quaker Oats products and Frito-Lay snacks (such as the Tostitos we have to have on hand, and the Sun Chips I occasionally have at lunch during the week).

Yeah, not a lot of healthy stuff aside from maybe the Quaker Oats and the Sun Chips. Oh, well. It’s for a good and joyful cause!

Schismatics Again: Why Wheaton? Why Not Quincy or PA?

It seemed like things had been starting to move on the “Episcopal split” front, what with dioceses like Quincy, Ft Worth, and Pittsburgh shaking the icky liberal dust from their sandals. It seems like such a terrible waste of everybody’s time and talents. But then, I forget: homosexxxuls are teh evul! They do not deserve to live, let along marry! The Devil is constantly going about tempting people to decorate with pink flamingo accent pieces and sing show tunes!

Anglican Primate ‘Disturbed’ by New Rival Body|

Nevertheless, breakaway Anglicans have expressed little hope that the current church bodies in North America would get back in line with orthodox Christianity and Anglican tradition. The Common Cause Partnership plans to unveil their draft constitution and affirm their stance at an evening worship celebration on Dec. 3 in Wheaton, Ill.

Why is it these angry Anglicanists – there, I coined it myself – always seem to have their renewal whoop-de-dos in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago? Why not in a venue they still claim as theirs in “friendly” territory: Quincy, Ft Worth, Pittsburgh, or San Joaquin?

Why? Because there’s money and support from well-funded Evangelical bodies in the Wheaton area? How long are the Anglo-Catholics going to put up with the Evangelicals, and vice versa? High Church and Low Church don’t really see eye-to-eye on a number of matters, and there are often hints that the highest-profile leaders are jockeying for position. Also, there’s definitely an aspect of “in your face, Chicago” because our previous Bishop, William, voted to sustain Bp. Gene Robinson’s election. Methinks that conflict and drama are essential to their plans, too – no conflict means no publicity, and no publicity means people lose interest as the movement appears to become less viable.

I ran into some old friends, who left the old Holy Moly a few years ago, while my husband David and I were at REI today. It’s always a bit uncomfortable when I see them, because they left pretty much because the vicar was too much Teh Gay when preaching and speaking. I don’t know if they found another church home; we’re friendly when we see each other, but I’m not comfortable enough to ask them flat out. A number of other former parishioners didn’t come along to the new church after the closure and merger, and I now seem them only at the occasional funeral. They probably feel that we left them, or we made it seem it was “our way or the highway.”

It’s a difficult thing. The Bible does condemn various kinds of homosexual behavior, but Jesus Himself was silent on the subject, choosing instead to condemn (heterosexual) adultery and the uncaring rich. Meanwhile, He hung out with tax collectors and other riffraff. Who are we to exclude any group by name, when He didn’t?

More discussion, and plenty of accusatory “you liberal Episcopalians aren’t really Christian” commentary here.

Speaking to the Soul: Talents Great and Small

I don’t usually do anything remotely approaching scholarly discussion of the Bible, ever, but today’s Gospel reading is one that I find interesting and troubling.

Here it is, starting from the part where the slave who was given one talent and hid it away, and now has to explain to the Master why he didn’t “double his investment,” so to speak:

Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, `Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, `You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.‘ ” The Lectionary Page: Proper 28…Nov. 16

Here’s the scholarly, dare I say it – rationalist explaination of this parable, from Episcopal Cafe:

Speaking to the Soul

Now we need to look at the shadow side of this parable [of the talents]: the third slave who was given only one talent and did not do anything with it. Here is a somber warning without doubt. There are two ways of being unfaithful. There is the “hot” way, which is to abuse our powers and use them destructively. This is the sin of commission. Then there is the “cold” way of being unfaithful, which is to do nothing at all and therefore neglect and abort one’s potential. . . .

[It] may have been that the smallness of his talent led him to conclude that what he did with it did not matter. If I believe anything at all, it is this: in God’s universe, there is nothing that is insignificant. The great things were first of all little things that were lifted up to God in reverence and gratitude, and then used to the fullest. It is a mistake to confuse size with value. . . .

Now that is all well and good – the slave given one talent is castigated for not trusting his Master, and for not trusting himself to succeed at making it grow into two talents. But what often bothers me with this passage is first of all, the one talent is taken away from the slave, and given to the more successful of the other two slaves. Which, in a way, seems uncomfortably like “taking from the poor and giving to the rich” to me. In my mind, I identify the third slave with the poor, who have so little to begin with, they can’t afford to put their small amount of money to work for them, feeling the need to hoard it instead. Also, the advice to “give your money to the bankers” may or may not be wise depending on your interest rate or the financial health of your local savings institution, in these uncertain days – substantial penalties for early withdrawal, minimum deposit penalties, and all that! But I’m also troubled by the thought that this Gospel is used to support the doctrine of the Prosperity Gospel, and to justify blaming the poor for their poverty because they’re lazy, wicked, worthless… is that a dog-whistle inaudibly setting my teeth on edge?

However, no matter how troubled I am by this passage, there’s always somebody of the ultra-conservative bent who will take it to extremes of analysis that are simply astounding.

While casting around for a conservative or fundamentalist response to this reading, I came across this little gem from a well-known site full of yapping, basement-dwelling right-wing attack pups. A pastor posted a well-written sermon, describing God as a “good and gracious Master” and calls on us to be faithful stewards, doing such good works according to the talents given to us by our Creator, rather than being damned by our own unbelief like the third slave. That’s fine, a well-reasoned response.

But one of the first comments at the well-known site, to which I will not link, somehow turns it into Yet Another Condemnation Of The Gays. The reference to the protests is to the current anti-Prop 8 protests that took place Saturday all over the country. Note that there is no previous mention in the thread or in the sermon about gay people, yet the protests are now cast as “making war on God’s children.” The stupid, it is everywhere:

It’s interesting how the Gays in this country are now protesting, not realizing that this country is only blessed because of the contributions of Christians, to the philosophies that are the foundation of our constitution. Unfortunately, people do not understand that all blessings come through God and his son Jesus when people follow his teachings. Even people who live in wickedness are blessed only because of the goodness that coexists. These people are making a grave mistake by declaring war on God’s children. It says in the bible, that when it rains and the fields are watered both god’s people and those not god’s people benefit. Look what happened to Germany when they declared war on his children, look where it ultimately got them? It was only because of the intervention of the United States after the war, that they were delivered from that hell. Our nation was founded on the principals of Christianity. Those people should never want to find out what it would be like if they ever got their way. They don’t want to know, no they don’t!

Huh? This was about faith, in God and in one’s God-given talents. Not about spiritual warfare, wicked gay people, or Nazis.

Anyway, I’m still bothered that the whole rationale for the Prosperity Gospel seems to be made on the backs of the poor. But that’s enough bad Bible scholarship for me today. I turned in my packets of orders for Fannie May candy, and I’d classify myself as a two-talent steward, rather than a five-talent steward, as I was reluctant to flog the candy aggressively at work this last couple of weeks. But I got four or five orders in, and I’m okay with that.

Only Connect: Holding together but going nowhere

Only Connect: Holding together but going nowhere

From our viewpoint the bishops talked in secret little groups in their ‘big top’ surrounded by a ring of police and only emerged once to go to London to tell society how wicked it was not to do more about the debt. Many of us had worked in or visited Africa and experienced the poverty. We do all we can to press for justice and support the aid agencies but we also know about violence against women in Africa and the persecution of gay people. They are the real victims and scapegoats in this whole process.

The Economist Covers The Anglican Angle

The Anglican Communion | The high price of togetherness |

On the brighter side from the Communion’s viewpoint, some Americans who went to Lambeth do now have a better sense of the social and political constraints on bishops in traditional societies. One African bishop recalls that after news reached his country of the gay-friendly stance of America’s bishops, a senior Muslim asked him, in bewilderment, whether he too had ceased to be Christian. “I came to understand as never before that there are places and cultures where it is not possible to discuss [homosexuality],” said Bishop Jeff Lee of Chicago.

Wow, my bishop gets quoted in The Economist. Yay, Bish! Your videologs rocked!

Elsewhere in the article, the problem of conservative parishes marooned in liberal American dioceses is discussed, in connection with the cross-border poaching problem. But the problem of liberal parishes marooned in conservative American dioceses is not worthy of discussion, and neither is the problem of gay Anglicans marooned in countries where there are laws on the books that make homosexual acts punishable by death. Hmm.

Unitarian Chuch Shooting Motivated by Hatred

The Lead

The man who attacked the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church during church services yesterday was said by local police to be motivated by hatred. The congregation’s web site says that they have already begun a healing process that will include a debriefing for those present at the shooting and a community candlelight vigil for those killed and injured.


A man who the police say entered a Unitarian church in Knoxville during Sunday services and shot 8 people, killing two, was motivated by a hatred for liberals and homosexuals, Chief Sterling P. Owen IV of the Knoxville Police Department said Monday.

What a terrible shame.

What’s Up With Wheaton?

The Christian Century reports on the very complicated situation in the Wheaton/Glen Ellyn area, where a series of splits amongst former Episcopalian parishes are laid out pretty fairly. What’s odd is that the writer doesn’t reference the new bishop of Chicago, only quoting or interviewing our retired Bishop, William Persell.  But it’s apparently not completely about Teh Gays. It’s originally about Teh Wimminz. And the faith once delivered, etc.