Friday, August 28, 2009

Wackos, Witches, and Whores: See the Difference Christ Makes?

A hearty thanks to Richard Bartholomew for alerting us to more wacky episodes in the incredible activities of Ron McRae and his Street Preachers Fellowship (SPF).

McRae, it seems, is a birther extraordinare, working to perpetuate the falsehood that President Obama was born in Kenya. He claims to have conducted an interview with Obama's grandmother that once-and-for-all proves that Obama is not legal president. Bartholomew, whom Official Street Preachers, a sub-organization, has called a "beer-guzzling liberal," writes:
The verses cited against “mixing of the races” in fact refer to stories in which foreign women led astray Israelite men into “idolatory”; the issue is not one of “race” but of religious purity. It is difficult to judge how far McRae pushes this doctrine of racial separation, although the church website also carries some articles which are password-protected for “members only”. The teaching does not appear in the extensive Articles of Faith section. It may or may not be a factor in his hatred for Obama....

McRae, a former Texas policeman who takes pride in his ability to antagonize cops until they illegally cart him away, then sue for his rights, is fond of long screeds studded with images from Martyrs' Mirror, the 1660s Anabaptist chronicle of martyrs since the time of Christ, that fill multiple sites and use words such as "howbeit" and "forsook." He is also the head of Anabaptists Churches of North America, an organization with supposed chapters in Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and other countries.
McRae has some violent, antiquated ideas about the role of women in society. In June, the organization descended on DC to protest the National Organization of Women (NOW) march. From an entry, titled "SPF Preachers Exhort the National Organization of Wackos, Witches, and Whores," on their blog (because it's just too good to not post):

The Street Preachers’ Fellowship traveled again to the Nation’s capital to preach to the NOW Parade of rebellious women, made up of 250,000 witches, whores, wackos and weight lifters who failed at being women. No commentary is needed to describe the ridiculous onslaught of failed feminism that marched through the streets of Washington, D.C. trying to be anything but a “Lady”.

“Take the millstones, and grind meal:uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh…Thy nakedness shall be uncovered,Yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance,And will not meet thee as a man…For thou shalt no more be called, The Lady.”- Isaiah 47:2-5

And while 99% of all the pastors in and around the nation’s capital did nothing, 250,000 of the liberal swine of female rebellion paraded down the middle of the streets of D.C., cursing, swearing, taking God’s name in vain, stripping their clothes off, and routinely smelling up the nation’s capital with their filthiness, whoredom and rebellion. With riot police in full body armour standing between, the SPF preachers confronted the mass of rebellious, loud mouthed riff raff that has produced the largest nation of sodomites the world has ever known.

The last time McRae and SPF made big news was when they protested the "Crescent of Embrace," the Flight 93 memorial designed for Shanksville, PA. McRae declared that the crescent was an Islamic symbol and that the memorial was being wrongly designed for the hijackers, not the victims. But McRae is an equal opportunity wrath warrior. He's demonstrated against, among others, Catholics, Mormons, gays, women, and Muslims.
If you can stomach it, check out their post on the death of Michael Jackson. And if you're yet in the mood for a little more irony, you can check out the rumor of McRae's child abuse.

Labels: , ,

Bishops Throw Out the Poor With the Abortion Bath Water.

For decades, the Catholic church has been petitioning the US government for universal health care coverage of the poor and uninsured. Yet in the past week, a number of prominent Bishops have strongly vocalized their opposition to HR 3200. Why abandon the poor now when true reform seems within reach? Abortion, of course.

At trueslant, Allison Kilkenny takes a strident look at church hipocracy.

A majority of America's poor are, after all, women. Refusing to allow women, particularly those clinging to the lowest rung of the economic ladder, access to easy and inexpensive health and reproductive services is a proven way to elevate their longevity, economic viability, and independence. Why the great hole in the church's logic? Equivocality. Life begins at conception (or maybe penetration?), they say, and any compromise of that - and here's the rub - let's women off the "whore" hook too easily. (Which makes us ask, is this really about "the baby?")

Throwing out health care reform with funding of abortion once again leaves poor women without options. Which apparently is right where society, and select bishops, want them.

Labels: , ,

Over-tested America.

Dr. Andrew Weil, author of the forthcoming book, "Why Our Health Matters: A Vision of Medicine That Can Transform our Future," writes at Huffpo today about how excessive testing has escalated medical costs but done little to improve our over-all health as a nation.

Weil writes:

Lest you think the only drawback of over-scanning is wasted billions, note that from 1980 to 2006, per-capita radiation dosage from medical testing more than quintupled. A controversial study published in the November 29, 2007, New England Journal of Medicine estimated that computed tomography (CT) scans -- the type of imaging that has grown most explosively -- administered today could eventually cause up to 2% of cancer deaths.

As with fear, greed also propels expensive, inappropriate treatment. If a clinic loses money each time it counsels a patient to control type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise, but makes a hefty profit when it amputates a foot riddled with diabetic ulcers, how long will it continue to emphasize the former?

The best practice boards proposed in HR 3200, better know to opponents of reform as "death panels" or instruments of "rationing," would help to remove financial incentives from the system and restore the doctor-patient covenant. And they could make us healthier.

Two articles that come to mind:

Barbara Ehrenreich's "Welcome to Cancerland," 2001, chronicles her own diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer and exposes the "breast cancer industry," as an "estimated $12 - 14 billion-a-year business in surgery, 'breast health centers,' chemotherapy 'infusion suites,' radiation treatment centers, mammograms, and drugs...."

And the recent NY Times article "The Cost Conundrum: What a Texas town can teach us about health care" by Dr. Atul Gawande, cited by Weil in his Huffpo piece, an investigation of medical practices in McAllen, Texas, where more is spent on health care than anywhere else in the US. With little result.