Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A few things that drove me crazy this week

1. At work I worked on some of the wording for a brochure we are creating to advertise a conference. The ad we were working on had several photos, including a prominent one of a hand holding a cross - a rather striking photo. The woman I was working with pointed at the photo and said that she didn't like it, it seemed "denominational". I had no idea what she meant but in general I am a peacemaker and didn't think the photo was necessary to the design, and agreed that it could be replaced. When we went over the design with someone else, he also pointed to the photo and referred to it as the "Catholic photo" that we certainly wouldn't use.

What? *shakes head*. I thought about it when I got home and am increasingly bothered by this. Why is an image of a cross on a chain considered Catholic, and why is a Catholic image considered unacceptable? I find THAT to be unacceptable. Urgh.

2. A friend told me last week that last year he was sure Obama was the anti-Christ, but this year his popularity has dropped so he must not be. *shakes head*. What bothers me most about this statement is that I think the fear and suspicion of Obama is common in much of conservative evangelicals, and that it is firmly based in rumors and false accusations rather than anything true at all. It drives me crazy.

On that note, I read this statement in an article in TIME about people in Pakistan and their feelings and attitudes about the US.
From the Pakistani army barracks to the roadside chai stands along the Indus River where truckers gulp down cups of muddy tea, anti-Americanism is roiling across the country. It is whipped up by the often sensationalist, ratings-hungry Pakistani TV news talk shows — think of Fox News cranked up to full volume, in Urdu. It resounds from the mosques, in virulent anti-U.S. sermons during Friday prayers.

Here's a sample of a few conspiracy theories making the rounds: the U.S. military has a secret plan to seize Pakistan's nuclear arsenal; more than 9,000 agents of Blackwater, the U.S. security company, now called Xe Services, are roaming the country like bogeymen, at the CIA's behest, kidnapping people and setting off bombs that are later blamed on Pakistani Taliban militants; B-52 bombers are constantly circling the skies over Pakistan, waiting to strike when the signal is given (to strike what is never exactly clear from the rumors).


Jaimie said...

Agreed. God has not given us the spirit of fear but the spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind.

Mason said...

I spend much of my time in a bastion of conservativism as well, and see much of what frustrated you firsthand. The reaction to Catholicism or even slightly differentiated Protestantism is so disheartening, narrow-minded, and historically unaware that it does, as you said in your comment, can make our branch of the faith pretty unappealing sometimes.
As for the political end of things it's just getting out of hand, and after some research I've done recently I can say the Tea Party and Palin scare the hell out of me. Not in a Antichrist-conspiracy way, in a backwards and ignorant way. Sigh... Canada here I come.

Anonymous said...

This has been my expeience in regards to Obama. I get emails forwarded to me on a regular basis from friends and family members about how america is going to hell, fulfilling biblical prophecy, and about how we should be the 'light on a hill.' I shake my head like you on a regular basis! I now am viewed by most of my family and friends as radical or "thats just Kurt for ya..." etc. Lets get off conspiracy theories and start being kingdom people... liberals and conservatives alike! Good post :-) -- KURT

Capri said...

Yes! Thanks! It's refreshing to find a few voices of common sense among the forwarditis-aflicted masses on the net who are outshouting the sensible non-left, making things far worse than better for anyone. That anti-Christ stuff is complete bull, and though I don't support Obama because of his belief in the green movements - human-caused climate change - I certainly do not support all the far-right rumor milling and chain letter activity out there that basically screams "If it's Obama, it's pure EVIL! Save the world and pass on this chain letter!" The far-right are actually asking for ridicule by the left whos politics are just as skewed, only they aren't running as scared as the far-right because a democrat is the US president currently, and for some reason I can't wrap my head around, so many people who are non-left, from moderates to the far-right are addicted to chain letter forwards. Christians and women are especially prone, and that drives me mad. And it seems so many places on the net where fwds are debunked "fact-checked" and ranted against, there are rarely Christians who are as vocal against these fwds as non-Christians, and the fwds seem to give non-Christians any opening to jump at the chance to disparage Christianity itself along with or rather than the forwards. Argh!

Troy said...

I am in a weird position in that many of my friends and coworkers are nominal Christians and that most of my family is conservative in the way you are discussing. It is frustrating to hear the things that are said and sometimes very hurtful.

"A friend told me last week that last year he was sure Obama was the anti-Christ, but this year his popularity has dropped so he must not be." That's the kind of thing that many of my friends and coworkers hear and never forget, drawing some easy conclusions (which are WRONG but how would they know evidence-wise?).