Faith Restored

Now we know that there is, apparently, more gold to be mined in the hills of homophobia and ignorance that A&E has leased from self-described rednecks from Louisiana, folks who shout their love for Jesus every chance they get, but more than likely will be much more careful in the future about just who they share their theological and historical and God-blessed insights with.

In any case, the thing is done. The corporate hoes at A&E think they have it figured out: disavow the family’s views (“they are not the views we hold,” the hoes said), then “launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting, unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people,” and then get back to money-making, especially now that the rednecks and fellow-traveling rednecks, including evangelical spiritual rednecks, are more eager than ever to show their approval by parting with more of their in-G0d-we-trust mammon to purchase “Hey! Get Merry” Duck Dynasty Christmas jars or “Redneck Approved” Duck Dynasty pint glasses. That latter offering comes with a side-view portrait of the patriarch saying, “Where I live, I am 911.” And I thought all this time that Jesus was the First Responder.

I found this headline on the Jesus-fearing, God-loving, Allah-hating website Breitbart:

christians rejoiceIf you, like me, were wondering exactly what it is that Christians are rejoicing over, it didn’t take long to find out. President of the ultra-Jeezussy Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, shared his hallelujahs with us:

Perkins said it is “good news for Christians who feel like they have to suppress their faith and their belief in the Bible.” According to Perkins, it shows that, if you stand up to these “cultural bullies,” eventually they have to back down. Perkins explained that there are people from red states that are “very deeply” concerned with moral truths. “They are Christians who want to live out their faith” so the cultural elite like A&E and GLADD are going to have to recognize they are not going to change what they believe in.

Translation: All you Bible thumpers and trumpeters out there, hold fast to your hate-the-sin homophobia, back it up with a little New Testament gibberish, and then watch the profit-makers melt in the face of your “moral truth$.”

Meanwhile, speaking of faith, my faith in corporate America has been restored. Hallelujah.



  1. It’s like King B said, commenting on your last post on this subject. Religious tribalism is thriving. I think it’s a meme and it has evolved here in America more than in Europe. In the Middle East it is on display between Shiites and Sunni’s, most prominently in Syria. Will humanity ever outgrow it?


  2. LisaF

     /  December 29, 2013

    In my opinion this was always a public relations stunt. What worries me is how many people watch this show, I must be from another planet.


    • You and me both, Lisa. I just don’t get it. I think the show’s content is obviously contrived and even given that it is contrived, it isn’t very amusing. At times it is embarrassing. You and I are on the same planet it seems.


  3. ansonburlingame

     /  December 30, 2013

    Three blogs in a row on the Ducks. One would think they will cause the demise of America. Well at least they will probably be sober when they bring us all to our knees!! No drugs or alcohol in that family.

    BUT, I share your concern for folks that make all the religious (not really Christian in my view) noise about homosexuality. I recently read, somewhere, what Christ himself had to say on the subject, according to the Bible. ZERO was what Christ had to say about gays, ZERO. He did not praise or condemn them, period. All the uproar over homosexuality seems, based on my very limited review of the Bible on that subject seems to have come from Paul. And taken into context, even he was complaining about Roman licentiousness in general it seems to me, not homosexuality in particular. He didn’t like Roman orgys and had something to say on that subject.

    But if I had to pick homosexuality or Democrat over spending and ever increasing debt accumulation, well I would pick the latter as a much greater concern than who one picks for a sexual partner, as far as American prosperity is concerned. And then there are such matters as to how best decide matters related to war and peace, foreign relations, how to deter “bad” guys, and what to do about heterosexual “slugs” always asking for more money for other people and not working to earn it themselves.

    Top it all off and look at public education, a factory producing more and more people that demand more and more from government and fail to achieve the basic skills needed to produce more and more for themselves.

    All that makes homosexuality and even discrimination (white against black or the reverse thereof) pale in significane as matters of real concern in America today!!



    • Just now catching up with the comment section. I saw your post here and, well, I just don’t understand why you continually fail to empathize with others not in your shoes, or who have not walked the paths you have walked. I believe (or at least hope) you are better than this post indicates.

      You expressed your concern regarding “what to do about heterosexual ‘slugs’ always asking for more money for other people and not working to earn it themselves.” Then you added:

      Top it all off and look at public education, a factory producing more and more people that demand more and more from government and fail to achieve the basic skills needed to produce more and more for themselves.

      All that makes homosexuality and even discrimination (white against black or the reverse thereof) pale in significance as matters of real concern in America today!!

      First, your ridiculous indictment of public education would require a much longer response than I am prepared to offer at this point. Suffice it to say that to claim public schools are factories that produce an increasing population of moochers is insultingly outrageous.

      Second, you and your right-wing friends—most of whom have at some time or another benefited in some way from the help of others—have this strange fixation on the relatively small number of non-working adults who get relatively ungenerous government benefits for a relatively short period of time. I just don’t get what that fixation is all about, especially while the moneyed class is making off with the country’s wealth and trying to use some of it to bend the nation’s political will to theirs.

      Third, because of your strange obsession with the poor “slugs” who get government help, you then fail to imagine just what it would be like to be discriminated against as a homosexual or an African-American. I would bet that if you had ever suffered from institutional and structural discrimination, such as getting fired from your job for being gay (or for merely being perceived as a gay person), you would feel differently. I would also bet that if you were ever told you couldn’t piss in a white toilet because the law suggested you were some kind of inferior being, you would most definitely not say that such things would “pale in significance” to “Democrat over spending.”

      Alas, though, you have enjoyed, as a white man in a white-dominated culture most of your life, the relative privileges of that position, and you now fail, as that same white man, to understand or appreciate what every person who has ever suffered from law-blessed discrimination feels in their very bones.

      And that is too bad for you personally, even though it is problem you share with many white conservatives these days. And that sad fact, that so many white folks are so cynical about the country we all claim to love, makes it too bad for all of us.



  4. Anonymous

     /  January 1, 2014

    AB, Over time I have read your posts concerning public education. Having one child in HS and another in Middle school I have come to a completely different opinion. I say the biggest problem is with the parenting more so than the schools themselves. I know plenty of affluent families that choose Joplin HS over private schools because of the various programs they offer and their kids do very well. I myself have chosen JHS due due its Jet 14 program that my children are interested in. The schools have more than adequate technology in my opinion. A chemistry book or an algebra book is the same in a private school or a public school. A bad teacher can be overcome by a strong parenting. If a parent stays involved I would say most schools would be more than adequate.
    The failure in most schools seems to be the bottom half of the kids. I do not see this problem getting any time soon. It seems to be more of an economic problem caused by too many single parent homes. The schools are filled with too many children who are simply dropped off by parents who simply have no involvement beyond actually dropping them off. I am sure you saw this in your time in public education that you have referred in the past. Teachers are simply asked to where too many hats in my opinion, including that of social worker.
    I find it ironic that many people I know that are in an uproar over gay marriage have been divorced more than once themselves. I say when heterosexuals start respecting marriage, then I will listen to their gay marriage concerns. Until then, the strong families (of all races) will continue to thrive while the rest will fall further and further behind. How to reach these parents will be the difficult part.



  5. ansonburlingame

     /  January 2, 2014


    Your comment deserves much discussion for sure, far more than can be accomodated on this one blog in comments. But be assured that I have seen the transition of kids from TJ, an “elite” private school, to Joplin Public schools. The real consequences of that change is noticable in the four grand children that I have seen do so, as well as some of their friends, all “rich family friends”.

    The best example I offer is for a current sophomore in HS, a brilliant 16 year old, but a very disgruntled one as well. She is bored silly in JHS and complains all the time about teachers, coaches, administrators, you name it. As well this is a girl who drives a Mercedes Benz (a used one) to school each day. Recently we found that she is cutting classes as well!!!

    Up through middle school, she was challenged to her limits in TJ, as was her older sister and older brother. Now she is bored, cutting classes, etc. and who knows what might happen next. As well, her older sibilings made the transitions, as did this sophomore, because TJ demanded “too much homework” from them. It is deeper than that, but you get my point, I hope.

    But so what as you correctly point out that the REAL problem is the bottom 50% in JHS. That is where the rubber really meets the road in terms of providing quality and quantity in our system of public education. I have more “war stories” on such kids than a WWII veteran might have in real war stories. It is a f….. mess, to say the least.

    You briefly mentioned chemistry text books, all text books being the “same” so to speak, and I agree. The PROBLEM, a real problem, is today in a chemistry class at JHS there is NO TEXTBOOK (or any sort) in use!! No text book to hold, no text book offered online, no text book in use period for a chemistry (or general science and maybe even physics) class. Now you tell me how to really learn science without a text book to study? Beats the hell out of me for sure.

    One final point. How would YOU teach a “marginal kid” enough to pass freshman general science if the kid cannot multiply 2 x 1/2 = and get the correct answer consistently? Care to guess how many freshmen in JHS are still mired in elementary school math ability? I have no idea and I don’t believe JHS does either, accurately. And if they do know the answer, they are keeping it very closely held.



  6. Anonymous

     /  January 4, 2014

    AB, Agreed that this is a very complicated issue. As far as your reference to TJ, it would be great if all kids could go to a school like that but you know as well as I do that it is not financially possible, particularly for a single parent home. I do know of some of the boredom that former TJ kids see in JHS from my kids witnessing it. I do believe that JHS offers college course for such kids though. If they are beyond that, then I guess that creates an entirely different problem. Perhaps they belong in a college and not a HS. A good problem to have in my view!
    As far as the “chemistry book” you may be correct that they do not have one since all the JHS kids are on lap tops now. Chemistry was chosen randomly, it could be any subject. Either way though, there is a vast amount of resources on line for families to use now to get information if the will is there. I just do not like the bashing of all public school employees that we see today. Education should start in the home, not at school.



    • I’m going to butt in here and say a couple of things.

      Yes, Kabe, without good parenting, educating kids in any school, not just public schools, is exceedingly difficult, if not next to impossible. It is a near certainty that if a kid has interested parents, he or she will not be failing in school.

      And to assume, as Anson seems to assume, that because there is no physical chemistry book at the center of classroom instruction that therefore that instruction is inferior, is, well, unsound reasoning, if not outright ridiculous. We are talking about high school here, not a college environment. I can’t see any reason why, used wisely, computers can’t substitute for textbooks when teaching rudimentary concepts to high schoolers. The problem again comes down to what the parents are doing to ensure their kids are doing the work they’re supposed to be doing and when they are supposed to be doing it, not at the end of the semester when grades are about to be revealed.

      Finally, there is reason to be concerned about the way our education system is not working for too many kids these days. I have marveled at how unchallenging was some of the work my own kids were asked to do in high school. Heck, I can look back at my own high school experience (mid 1970s) and see the same sort of thing. I had good teachers and not-so-good teachers, but I can tell you that the level of effort a kid (again, often via parental insistence) puts into his or her education matters more than anything.

      And I can also tell you that class size matters, no matter what some folks want to say. My daughter, who teaches high school honors English to sophomores, has almost 180 students (spread out over 5 classes). You tell me how she is supposed to adequately educate 180 kids in the short time they are in her presence, along with grading the required number of writing assignments, etc.? Add to that problem the fact that her pay and benefits have been slashed–she has a Masters degree that she is still paying for at 38 years of age–and she does a lot of school-related work at home at night and on the weekends. If that’s not bad enough, she turns on the TV and hears conservatives bash teachers’ unions for all the problems in our schools.

      It’s utter nonsense.



      • Anonymous

         /  January 6, 2014

        A couple of final thoughts here. AB has mentioned the merits of T.J., and I assume he is implying that privates schools are superior to Public schools. Now , if we could take the bottom students from JHS and place them into a T.J. without changing anything else from the lives of these kids, does anyone think they would fare any better in that environment? Does anyone think it would not have a negative effect on the current students at such a school?
        It seems to me that most of the bashing of the public school system is done by those who seem to have an agenda to put more students into faith based schools. ( I do not include AB here)



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