December 22, 2006

Quick Notes

Filed under: The fine art of political discourse — by lahar @ 9:57 pm

No, I’m not dead. My internet access has been spotty lately.

I would be remiss if I didn’t note the following bits of idiocy. First, we have Virgil Goode (R-VA) going nuts over Keith Ellison’s (D-MN) religion not being on his ‘approved’ list. Of course, some other people and likely many other people have talked about it and said things better than I could have.

It’s refreshing to see Ellison taking the high road here instead of slamming Goode. I also get a kick out of Goode’s seeming conflation of immigration with Ellison’s Islamic beliefs, given Ellison was, uh, born in America, as are most black Muslims.

There’s also the Parents’ Television Council’s claim that FOX is the ‘most anti-religious network on television’. Particularly telling is their criticism of the Simpsons for depicting organized religion in the same satirical light as just about every other institution in society, particularly when the Simpsons are about the only family on TV who regularly go to church.

Religion was portrayed more negatively than positively, but only slightly more so. Negative portrayals led positive ones by 35% to 34%.

But certain types of religious references were overwhelmingly positive. By the PTC’s own measure, “simple expressions of faith” were depicted positively nearly 70% of the time. By contrast, “institutions and doctrine” negative nearly 50%, as described by the PTC, though several of the references cited fall under the heading of broad comedies, including Fox’s animated shows.

The thing that gets me here is that the PTC has some trouble differentiating between religion itself and the institutions who use it as a stick to get their way in social and political matters. As a veteran of the war the PTC waged on pro wrestling a decade back, that doesn’t really surprise me.

Happy Solstice, everyone.


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