Thursday, September 14, 2006

Intolerance in Rosieland

My favorite TV show of all-time is "M*A*S*H". Every episode was great; never a stinker. In daily reruns, it's still the best show on TV.

Near the end of the series, Hawkeye and B.J. get tanked at Rosie's Bar and decide to form their own sovereign nation, which, in honor of Rosie, they name "Rosieland". Funny stuff.

It seems that professional personality Rosie O'Donnell lives in her own reality, which we could also call "Rosieland". Apparently, a few days ago on her ABC program "The View", O'Donnell argued with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck (from "Survivor") about the War on Terror, which is fine. Argue away.

The problem was that O'Donnell made the claim that, "Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam." Now, a key question to Miss O'Donnell could be, "How do you define 'radical Christianity'?" Given her comments later on the program, it seems that radical Christians to Miss O'Donnell are Christian folks who don't agree with her.

Should this surprise anyone? A darling of the "Big Media" and Hollywood, Miss O'Donnell isn't a bad representative of those two elites, which are both extremely anti-Christian (particularly anti-Roman Catholic and own denomination, typically left-wing, is usually spared their venom). This at the same time that country-pop group the Dixie Chicks are using extreme profanity in reference to the president, and talented actor Sean Penn refers to the president as "Beelzebub". Has the radical Left lost any sense of respect and proper, constructive discourse?

The truth is that the Left, which believes itself to be open to a diversity of viewpoints and accepting of dissent, is extremely intolerant. One of my favorite political quotes comes from the great English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge: "I have seen great intolerance shown in support of tolerance." Welcome to Rosieland.

Now, to be fair, some folks on the Right make a lot of stupid statements. Pat Robertson, for instance, has said some things in recent years which should make you scratch your head with bewilderment; neither side has a monopoly on stupidity.

But when Mel Gibson, a conservative Roman Catholic, went on a drunken, anti-Semitic tirade, for which he ought to be ashamed, it was the lead story on the news for days. The media asked, "Will he ever be able to work in Hollywood again?" It seems that the Big Media has given Miss O'Donnell a pass for her own stupid remarks which, like Mr. Gibson's words, show a remarkable level of intolerance.

Liberal political analyst Bob Beckel said, concerning Miss O'Donnell's remarks, that they were, "...not very illuminating..." and "...dumb...", going on to say, "If you're going to have idiots on the left, you've got idiots on the right." He is absolutely correct, and if the Left is smart, they'll have more folks like Beckel speaking for them, and fewer people like Rosie O'Donnell.

Here is the clip in question from "The View"...

For a news report on the incident, click here.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I think Rosie is refering to extremism, and not top mainline christianity. Extremism in christianity is a one really agues it. And it is just as dangerous as radical islam. For every Osams, we've got a Jim Jones or David Koresh. Comments like Pat Robertson's often absurdisms, and Santorum's gross misunderstanding of even basic christian morality (comparing homosexuality to bestiality is a long shot by any standard)puts a lot of folks off. Again, extremism is a danger in any religion. Those of us in the mainstream have to work harder to keep the face of Christ at the forefront ratherthen the face of Jones, Koresh, Robertson or Santorum.

Keith H. McIlwain said...

Well, Pat Robertson and Sen. Santorum are hardly "extremists", particularly when compared to Jones and Koresh, and especially when compared to Bin Laden and his crew. They are certainly very conservative, but neither has killed anyone, a la Jones, Koresh, and Bin Laden. Folks pick on Pat Robertson when he says dumb things, and that's OK, or they pick on Sen. Santorum because he's Roman Catholic, which is more concerning, of course.

The big difference is that even Jim Jones and David Koresh, as messed up as they were, never authorized the kind of murderous "jihad" we see from the current Islamic extremism.

Additionally, mainstream Christianity recognized that Jones and Koresh had gone so far either to the right (Koresh) or to the left (Jones) that they were no longer legitimately "Christian"; they were some new off-shoots. Sadly, I've heard little of that kind of claim from mainstream Islam re: Bin Laden. But Pat Robertson and Sen. Santorum, while on the right, are still comfortably mainstream in terms of Pentecostalism (Robertson) and Roman Catholicism (Santorum).

So, if Rosie means Sen. Santorum or Pat Robertson when she refers to extremism, then my point is proven...she's way out of touch, because there's no evidence to suggest that either Robertson or Santorum have ever been directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people, a la Bin Laden.

Except in Rosieland.

So, the intolerance of Rosieland is pretty self-evident.

Anonymous said...

While Santorum's and Robertson's beliefs may be mainstream (only they know for sure), the comments they make are not. Robertson advocating assasination of world leaders...thats extreme. And it is hardly a comment that adhere's to his denomination. It was outside those beliefs. Santorum equating homosexuality to bestiality...thats extreme. It is not the position of the Roman Catholic church by a long shot...I know...I am a Roman Catholic.

It's their silly remarks and poorly thought out comments that make them lousy examples of christianity. Granted, they haven't gone the route of Koresh or Jones, and certainly not the route of bin Laden. But bad examples of christians are stuill bad to those of us trying to do our best.

When Mahatma Gandhi was asked if he believed that Christ was the son of God, he replied thusly:

"In order for me to believe in Christ as the redeemer, his followers would first have to show me that they are redeemed."

Thats the Robertsons and Santorums he's talking about...

Keith H. McIlwain said...

The intolerance of Rosieland remains self-evident, regardless of whether or not you (or I) agree with Sen. Santorum's Roman Catholicism or Pat Robertson's Pentecostalism.

Anonymous said...

Again, it's not fair to lump all catholics in with Santorum. His view that homosexuality is comparable to bestiality is not catholic teaching. It is far outside the mainstream of catholic thinking and, quite frankly, shows an obvious ignorance on the part of the Senator. It is not catholicism that Rosie was referencing, but rather those views outside mainstream churches, like Santorum's. Just like extremism in any faith, it is potentially dangerous.

Keith H. McIlwain said...

A lot of Roman Catholics hold views contrary to denominational teaching, on sexual issues or abortion; does that make them extremists? Certainly not. Sen. Santorum is a Roman Catholic, not an extremist a la Bin Laden or Jim Jones. Big difference between a Roman Catholic and Bin Laden or Jones.

Michael said...

It would seem to me that extremist Christianity in its truest sense would be more like the extremist Christ who upset the cultural norms of Judaism. A Christian who is not extreme in some sense of the practice of his faith and/or religion is not really living the faith at all, hence the Revelation warning to the "lukewarm" church.

"Extremism" just does not fit with those who genuinely practice their faith whether it be Islam or Christianity for what constitutes "extreme"? "Zealous" might be a better term within the confines of the teachings of a particular religion, but it is not fair to Islam and genuine practitioners of that faith to refer to bin Laden as Islam at all. He is not "extreme"; he has only managed to take a particular religion hostage and lamely attempt to justify his murderous agenda. There is indeed religion in his life, but there is no faith.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Christ does call us to be extreme. However, not so extreme that we actually kill, as in Jones or Koresh, or didtort Christ's message, as is so often done by Robertson et al. There is a lot of good that can be done for Christ in trying to lead a good life, being kind and understanding to others, etc. A chritisn example is important. And I worry that the Santorum's of the world drive people away from Christ with their vastly incorrect theology, rather than setting an example of what a Christ-centered life truly is.

Keith H. McIlwain said...

I would disagree with you in that I don't think Roman Catholic theology (which is believed and practiced by Sen. Santorum as well as many other people of and out of politics) drives people away from Christ; it may not be perfect or flawless, but it is still a distinctly Christian theology. Sen. Santorum seems fine to me as a Christian example...devoted husband and father, sincere person of faith, etc. There may be something about him I don't know, but I can't think of anything in his lifestyle that isn't faithfully Roman Catholic (and therefore Christian).

I'm also not sure that Pat Robertson, despite the stupid things he says from time to time, has distorted Christ's message. Granted, I'm no expert on Pentecostal/charismatic theology, nor on Robertson, but nothing comes to mind. Especially not when compared to the way(s) in which Bin Laden et al have (hopefully) distorted the real message of Islam.

Again, Jones and Koresh are the closest correlation we have to Bin Laden, not Pat Robertson or Sen. Santorum (or Sen. Kennedy or Al Sharpton, etc).

Anonymous said...

I never, ever said:

Roman Catholic theology...drives people away from Christ.

I never even suggested that. It is dishonest of you to suggest so. I stated that Santorum's warped sense of catholic theology, particularly the catholic attitude regarding homosexuality, drives people away from christianity and Christ. Santorum's view on homosexuality is not the sanctioned Roman Catholic view. That's just a fact. While the catholic church does not sanction homosexuality in any way, it does recognize the differences between homosexuality and bestiality, or homosexuality and pedophilia, or whatever. Santorum sees no difference. He is entitled to his views, of course, but do not call them catholic. Keith, please be honest in your comments. Do not say I suggested something that I didn't, particularly about my denomination...which you are not a part of. If you have a misunderstanding of catholic theology, either read up on it or leave it alone.

Keith H. McIlwain said...


Sen. Santorum is a faithful practicing Roman Catholic who agrees with his denomination re: abortion, homosexual behavior, and a host of other things (and probably disagrees with it in other areas). He never said that bestiality=homosexuality is Roman Catholic dogma, but did say (I believe) that both are considered sinful behaviors, equally unacceptable to the Roman Catholic Church..."sexual sin is sexual sin" kind of thing (I don't personally agree with that, but the RCC has a right to its views, as does Sen. Santorum). From what I've seen, the folks who are really "anti-Santorum" out there dislike him because of his religion. If there's more, I haven't seen it (though I concede that it may exist).

Remember that the point of my original post was the intolerance of the Left regarding people with whom they disagree, such as the Roman Catholic Church and many evangelicals. I think my point's been proven.

You're free to disagree.

Anonymous said...

You impled quite plainly that I was somehow anti-catholic because I rightly point out where Santorum differs from the vatican. His position on homosexuality is not the catholic position as stated clearly in the documents of Vatican II. You can say it is, but that would be dishonest on your part.

Those who oppose Santorum do not oppose him because of his faith. He is opposed because, quite frankly, he is not a good senator. In the opinion of many. he has done little good for our state or the country. In the opinion of many, he just isn't a good man. You are free to disagree and cast your vote as you see fit. But saying something false (like Santorum's position on homosexaulity is the same as the Vatican's) will not make it true. You are either grossly misinformed on catholic views or just outright lying.

Be honest. That's all I'm asking.

Keith H. McIlwain said...


Again, Sen. Santorum is 100% "guilty" of being Roman Catholic, and believing the RCC when it comes to many of its positions (once again, I'm not sure about all). Yes, I definitely think that much of the anti-Santorum stuff is anti-Roman Catholic; Sen. Santorum isn't the first politician to deal with anti-Roman Catholicism, and, sadly, probably won't be the last.

I'm not sure how his positions on homosexual behavior (he's against it), "gay marriage" (he's against it), or abortion (he's against it) differ from Roman Catholic teaching. I don't think that Sen. Santorum is for any of those things (but could be wrong). If the position of the RCC differs from the Senator's on those issues, I'm not aware of that. The only evidence that's been presented that "he's not a good man" has been, to date, his positions on these big social issues...which are RC positions. I firmly believe that the Left is anti-Roman Catholic, and Sen. Santorum is a good example of that. I'm certainly entitled to that opinion...if you're tolerant enough to allow it. Remember the point of the post to begin with? The prosecution rests.

Anonymous said...

The issue is your tolerance, not mine. You seem to be intolerant of anyone with a differing view. I am perfectly fine with any view Santiorum or you or anyone has. It is your legal right to believe whatever you want. The issue is that you suggested that I am anti-catholic. Personally. It was in your ususl passive-aggresive demeanor, but the implication was there. Your implication is that I am an anti-catholic catholic. That is personally insulting.

As far as Santorum's views, you continue to ignore the truth. His views on homosexuality are not the views of the catholic church. Yes, both oppose gay marriage. But the catholic church recognizes a difference morally in what 2 consenting adults do as opposed to an adult and a child, or an adult and an animal. Santorum does not recognize such differences. These are not the same views and ignoring that will not change the truth, no matter how much you apparantly want it to.

I've asked you to deal in truth. I'll ask yet again. Accept the fact that Santorum's views differ from the catholicchurch's views. You are free to agree with Santorum if you like. I choose not to. As I've said, he's just not a good man, in my opinion. And that has nothing to do with his faith. Saying that it does is ridiculous.

Were you against Clinton because of his faith? Your implication is that those who oppose Santorum do so because of his faith. You don't allow for simple, honest disagreement. It isn't a faith issue. But you keep trying to make it one. That is the tactic of the right...divide, divide, divide. Just say some like Santorum and some don't and be done with it. Stop trying to divide.

Keith H. McIlwain said...


Talked to a priest today at the hospital (both of us were waiting with families while folks were in surgery). Asked him, off the cuff, about Sen. Santorum and whether or not his views on these issues are RC. He said that they were and explained a bit before we moved on to another topic. So, he confirmed what I had thought was common knowledge.

I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that the views of Sen. Santorum on these issues diverge from those of his denomination; an authority confirmed my take to me. You're asking me to take your word for it that the senator and the priest are mistaken.

Maybe you should look into it a bit more first. I may not agree with Sen. Santorum or with the RCC, but they are free to hold their opinions whether or not I agree. Maybe you can talk to your priest for some clarity; that's about all the more I can say or suggest.

Keith H. McIlwain said...

And I don't believe you to be anti-Roman Catholic, though many others on the radical Left are, in my view.

Anonymous said...

a quote from the Vatican News Service, May 2004:

"Santorum has criticized Catholic politicians who espouse liberal views on social issues, while praising President Bush as "the first Catholic president of the United States." Bush is a Methodist, unlike former President John Kennedy … He is, however, an unwavering conservative, and that is good enough for Santorum.

"Santorum is free, as he should be, to use his religious beliefs to guide his political beliefs. His problem is that the complete tenets of Roman Catholicism are awfully hard to reconcile without some cognitive dissonance. If Santorum took a hard line against abortion and euthanasia and homosexual acts, but also against the death penalty and nuclear weapons and wars of retribution, as do "seamless garment" Catholics, then his views on sexuality and homosexuality would reflect the odd amalgam of radical and puritanical within the teachings of his church.

"The senator falsely represents the tenents and dogmas well established by the Church; that 2 consenting adults engaged in a homosexual relationship, while sinful, are obviously in a different realm of sinfulness than sexual sins involving children or zoophilia, neither of whom can be said to consent.

"But Santorum is hardly a critic of the death penalty or of any war. Like many Catholics-and many non-Catholics-he has chosen from his religion's dogma what he wants to hear and ignored the rest. He may not want to admit that he, too, is a cafeteria Catholic, but his public pronouncements belie him. Ultimately, Rick Santorum is no better a Catholic than myriad Catholics who attend only Christmas and Easter services."

Keith H. McIlwain said...

Well, that's one opinion. But the commentator suggests that if one doesn't agree with the RCC on all the issues, they are " better a Catholic than myriad Catholics who attend only Christmas and Easter services." That's you, too. Take offense at the commentator's Pharisaic opinion, not my concerns that the radical Left is at times anti-Catholic and intolerant. You're barking up the wrong tree; I think it's OK for one to dissent...the commentator you cited doesn't. That aside, I also believe that many of those who are anti-Sen. Santorum oppose him because he is Roman Catholic regarding abortion and homosexuality. Feel free to disagree.

Anonymous said...

The issue is not whether or not I dissent. The issue is that Santorum clearly dissents from catholic teaching. Again, it's just a fact.

I'm sure many who oppose Santorum do so because he opposes their view on issues like homosexuality. But my point all along has been that Santorum's view...which he is free to not the view of the catholic church. It just isn't.

By your thinking, Hillary Clinton being a Methodist, her views are all Methodist views. But we both know that is not the case. She differs from the Methodists on many issues. And that's fine. Santorum differs from the Catholics on many issues. And thats fine. One of those issues is homosexuality. He goes his own way on that, which is certainly his right.

Whether or not he is disliked for having the views he does or because he simply attends catholic mass is a matter of opinion. Kerry attends mass; was he hated for being catholic? How about Ted Kennedy? Hardly. Yet they are no less good catholics than Santorum. Santorum is opposed by some because he is a far-right conservative; he is opposed by others because he has been an ineffectual representative of PA; he is opposed by others because, I'm sure, he keeps saying dumb things (like his absurd quotes after Hurricane Katrina). He is opposed for many reasons. But there is no evidence...hard support any claim that he is opposed on the basis of a religion. It may still be your opinion, and that's fine. But make sure you present it as such.

Keith H. McIlwain said...

Everything on my blog is my opinion; no need to justify that.

Hillary Clinton's positions are probably identical to the UMC on most issues, possibly every issue. I can't think of where they disagree (they indeed may, but nothing comes to mind). Remember, the UMC is quite left of center, politically-speaking.

Sen. Santorum and others are disliked/opposed because of their Roman Catholicism...homosexuality and abortion being the two "big" issues for many. You don't have to agree.

My point, which you have helped prove, had to do with the intolerance of the radical Left. That point remains accurate; you're free to disagree.

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