Archive for September 6th, 2010

September 6, 2010

“God has no Grandchildren”

by Vince

So goes the old evangelical fundamentalist saying (see John the Baptist). Insert Franklin Graham (son of Billy) and his pernicious remarks against Barack Obama. Randall Balmer has some words:

One of the mottos of evangelical Christianity (the faith that Graham espouses) is that “God has no grandchildren.” I heard that refrain many, many times as I was growing up within evangelicalism in the 1950s and 1960s. The purpose of that statement was to impress upon young people in particular, but everyone in general, that a person’s religious identity derived from claiming the faith for himself and was not ascribed by birth.

Preachers hammered this message home, even to the point of ridiculing those who believed otherwise; those who believed that having been born into a Christian household made you a Christian. “God has no grandchildren,” the preacher would thunder, hoping thereby to encourage impressionable young people to make their own professions of faith. Very often the preacher would add a corollary to this rhetorical strategy, meant to underscore the ridiculousness of the claim that religious faith was somehow hereditary. “Just because you live in a garage,” the preacher would taunt, “doesn’t make you an automobile.”

This came back to bite him big time.

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September 6, 2010

Propaganda Candy

by Vince

Conor Friedersdorf breaks down the above video:

Aside from being totally ahistorical, the song is very catchy, and I’m sure it’ll be an effective propaganda tool.That’s enough for a lot of people who know better to embrace it. The irony is that one could write completely true lyrics that made the case against an overweening federal government, invoking everything from drug laws to the health care bill to No Child Left Behind, and it would be even more powerful for being correct. But that would require more thought than lazily relying on a convenient narrative, and when political allies applaud one another regardless, where’s the incentive to do better? Thank goodness the actual Founders came so much closer to sound arguments and accurate grievances in their declarations. Obviously that generation produced its share of nonsensical propaganda too, but the most consequential writing passed down is so much more than that.

Since I have generally been away from the computer this weekend, this was the first time I saw this video. It packs a lot of punches from start to finish and is worth a critical look.