Monday, February 26, 2007
Enjoyers of Fine Things,
After the recent Academy Awards I again heard a lot of conservatives complaining about the "Hollywood elites" and liberal entertainers in general. We've all heard them hiss at Barbara Streisand and The Dixie Chicks to, "Shut Up and Sing." For years they have thundered that "Hollywood is out of touch!" One conservative announcer (lamely) joked about "Hollyweird." Do they have a point? Should Hollywood (and entertainers in general) not comment on politics and instead stick to whatever it is they do best? Let's continue, shall we?
Wasn't Ronald Reagan a Hollywood actor? I believe he was. In fact I think he made a hysterical, well-received 1951 movie with a monkey named "Bonzo!" Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha - I love funny monkeys! He was also the President of the United States from January, 1981 until January, 1989. He was (and remains) a beloved hero among conservatives even though he is now, well, a skeleton. Academy Award winner (for "Ben Hur") Charlton Heston was the revered president of the NRA for many years. Toby Keith is a hugely successful country-music star (just like the Dixie Chicks). He performs songs which encourage such American diplomacy as, "Put a boot in their ass. It's the American way." Reagan and Heston were members of the "Hollywood elite" and Toby Keith does the same thing for a living that The Dixie Chicks and Barbra Streisand do. So why didn't conservatives ever tell Reagan or Heston to "shut up and act" or tell Toby to "shut up and sing?" Well, because they happened to agree with these particular entertainers.
So it clearly follows that conservatives have nothing against celebrities per se as long as they agree with their views. But, if this is not the case, the performers instantly become un-American and should shut the fuck up, free speech be damned. Seems a bit hypocritical but surely the conservatives draw the line here. There can not be any further examples of such hypocrisy, can there?
Conservatives routinely condemn homosexuals as "sinners" because (simply stated) the Bible declares this behavior sinful. It's pretty straightforward, right? No hypocrisy here, ya' damned long-hairs! Jerry Falwell is a Christian hero for, among other reasons, speaking out against gay sinners and encouraging them to sign up for the highly-effective therapy that seamlessly turns gay people "straight." But hold your horses! Jerry Falwell weighs (conservatively) 300 pounds. He is, without question, morbidly obese. "So?" you may say, "It's the American way." But isn't Gluttony one of the seven deadly sins? It sure is! Why isn't Falwell (or other Christian preachers) consistently condemning heavy people, like those making up 70% of their congregations? Doesn't the Bible cry out for "conversion of the heavy" or is the sin of homosexuality the only one that needs to be addressed? Seems a bit hypocritical (just like the Hollywood thing). But could there be more?
Conservatives, in general, approve of the death penalty but abhor abortion. They cherish the "sanctity of life" but not when it comes to murderers. Hypocritical? They'd say no because the Bible states something about "an eye for an eye." I really gotta' read the Bible or get the Cliffs' Notes soon, but doesn't the Good Book say something along the lines of "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"? Yep, I do believe it does. So why support the death penalty with such self-assured vigor? Isn't the the Bible, at the very least, unclear on this issue?
So the conservatives feel comfortable condemning gays and supporting capital punishment because the Bible (sort of, sometimes) supports these views. But they couldn't care less that the Bible condemns fat people and urges forgiveness for all, even for murderers. Claiming to honor the "word of God" but then applying it only in a fashion that is convenient to yourself is the height of hypocrisy. In fact, if you repeatedly (and knowingly) ignore sections of a religious text you claim to believe in, while quoting different sections to lash out at others, it is not only pathetic, it's evil. And don't claim that you are simply "weak like everybody else," if you continue to condemn others while excusing your own behavior year after year after year. Follow your Good Book faithfully or throw it away!
Red states, don't condemn "celebrities" if you're willing to listen (and cherish) some of them. And don't claim the Bible is the final word if you blithely ignore huge sections of it. God doesn't like such behavior. But I forgive you. And don't forget to apologize to the Dixie Chicks. After all, they were right!