Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Of Bad Jokes and Papal Tweets

From Pete at Et Cum Spiritu Tuo: Sarah Palin told a rally that if she were in charge, waterboarding would be the way we baptize terrorists. Well, this is one of those stories every blogger is required by federal law to comment on. The Bear would love to find a way , any way to come down on Sarah's side. But...

  • It makes a joke out of a sacrament.
  • It revives the calumny of baptism by force.
  • It was from a prepared text as an applause line, i.e. premeditated.
  • It could not have been better calculated to unnecessarily inflame opponents.
  • It makes light of enhanced interrogation techniques, which, no matter how you feel about them, are hardly the stuff of jokes.

Now, if you want real humor, here is a story about those merry Moslem pranksters in Syria forcing a Christian to convert, then -- wait for it -- sawing his head off anyway!

Story with link to video -- which is very graphic should you wish to click on the video itself there -- is here.  Of course, it won't get .01% of the attention Sarah Palin's bad joke will. That's because we have our priorities straight!

Meanwhile, as we show everyone what decent fellows we are, wot wot? the Democrats will rally 'round their guy, despite new revelations that pushing a You Tube movie was a deliberate attempt to blame the administration's failures in Benghazi on a silly Mohammed movie no one had heard about.

In Other News... Papal Tweets!

"We must not let ourselves fall into The Vortex of Pessimism. Faith can move mountains!"

Could the Holy Father be having a little fun with the Bat Christians? Come on, you're going to tell the Bear that the Real Catholic / Church Militant TV flagship program doesn't ring a bell at whatever desk in the curia where they write tweets and monthly intentions? "If this is the way you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few of them," St. Teresa of Avila allegedly complained to God once. (The higher-ups didn't appreciate her apostolate, either.)

That's what you get for your ultramontanism, Michael.

Also, "Inequality is the root of all social evil."

The Bear supposes if you add: "if the words 'inequality' and 'social evil' mean whatever I say they mean," sure. Otherwise it appears that the Holy Father is saying,

There are two kinds of evil. Evil Evil and Social Evil. The second can be cured by making sure everyone is the same. Since I'm not crazy, I'm obviously only talking about material goods. Obviously, some are smarter, some better at ping-pong, etc. But if everyone had the same amount of money, material inequality would be eliminated and so would the social ills -- prostitution, divorce, drug addiction, suicide, child abuse, hunger, loneliness, youth unemployment, etc. -- they cause.

Yes, there are social evils, but, with all due respect, they are not caused by the lack of some equality there never was, nor ever shall be. So if the Bear might have the temerity to amplify:

"Catholicism is too complicated for twitter."

Because within a week, Original Sin would guarantee inequality was back, and along with it, the social problems that never went away with the imposition of equality. The money Billy Meth-head got wouldn't go to feed his hungry kids, but into his pen-and-foil meth pipe, because Billy Meth-Head is still Billy Meth-Head. Joe Businessman already committed suicide last week with 100 times the money he gets under the Vatican Redistribution Program, so money apparently isn't the cause of all social ills. In fact, maybe all social ills are caused by a lack of the one thing the Pope can actually give! Catholicism! (Not to mention the police state necessary to secure equality might not want to go away.)

Twitter can only oversimplify.

How about just tweeting a scripture verse chosen at random and condensed for everyone to meditate on. That would be edifying and potentially fun. "This he did, walking naked and barefoot." (Isaiah 20.2)

Okay, maybe twitter is another idea whose time has not yet come.


  1. That the Holy Father is on Twitter was always a Near Occasion of Cringe for me.

    1. Better just avoid the Church altogether and bunker down in your Bubble ;-)

  2. FYC, I would offer this well-worded and well-thought-out varying viewpoint by the great Mundabor in re. your first point....

  3. The piece seems strained IMHO. A baptism by fire is clearly an analogy, so of course no one is going to be upset. A baptism by waterboarding is just a sort of pun, really. It does not mean a life-changing experience of initiation, as in coming under fire for the first time, so you can't use that as a defense. Baptism is by water, so there is really no comparison. Also, I don't know that baptism by fire was ever used for cheap laughs (not that the Bear has anything against cheap laughs). I have more reason than most to dislike Islam and its more energetic adherents, but I don't think you can salvage the remark. It's not the end of the world, and I'm certainly not going to go all Mark Shea over it, either. I agree that we throw our people under the bus, while the Democrats don't. But that's because we may aspire to be better people. I certainly think one can comment unfavorably on Palin without being motivated by weakness or undue sensitivity, rather a larf as applied to the Bear. My ear is exquisitely tuned to American politicians and her writer thought it would get a laugh and look tough, and, apparently, so did she. If it works for her, fine. But since I am required by law to comment (upon pain of having my license to blog revoked) I do think it is unfortunate for the reasons originally stated. But thanks for bringing it to my attention. I was wondering how defenders would spin it.

  4. P.S. to stop the dastardly sneak attack in Afghanistan on March 1st of last year, the Bear would have cheerfully waterboarded any number of terrorists, and ripped jawbones until they piled around him like watermelon rinds.

  5. "...and I'm certainly not going to go all Mark Shea over it, either."
    heh....EXCELLENT line! :)

    and as to your P.S. post....I knew I liked this bear :)

  6. ditto..i have looked at shea. he blames the whole right for this

  7. How do you stomach that place, Pete? You have to be a saint!

  8. I know. I decided his self-righteousness was too much for me some years ago...I peek back now and then...and go nuts. One must be a Catholic as Mark Shea dictates, you know. I think the Occupy Wall St has moved in there too.

  9. P.S. I watched "The Americans" last night. Too busy to write much today. Boy FBI intelligence guys are as slow as any federal worker. (We used to have our "union breaks" at my state job years ago!) They plug away slowly, while commies hatch and complete a new plot each week. The US is lightyears behind. The over-arching theme is getting (USSR) and protecting (US) stealth technology.

  10. Do you think the writers know how much credit they're giving Reagan for ending the Cold War?

  11. Sshhhh...don't tell them!


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