These are the folks who must be appeased, apparently. Or, at least, they loudest among them. They must not be offended. They must not be insulted. They must not be maligned. Their beliefs must not be questioned. They must be respected and deferred to.
Paula Zahn won’t do a story on them. The New York Times and the Washington Post won’t quote these emails on their pages tomorrow. If anyone in the media comes anywhere close to condemning these attacks, they’re unlikely to do more than cluck their tongues, shake their heads, and make some closing remark about how these people were “provoked.”
What Amanda and Melissa said, you can’t say and get away with it.
What’s in these emails you can say, and suffer little to no consequences.
What’s amazing is that despite their feelings about religion, both Amanda and Melissa were willing to support a devoutly religious candidate. And, at least it appeared so for a time, that candidate was happy to work with them. Both despite their differences on religion. In a way, the situation had the potential to be a bridge between the “religious left” and the “non-religious left.” A bridge that has now been effectively blown up, from what I can tell, while one side was standing on it after the other had retreated.
And just for fun, here it is as a blockquote.
Whenever the site is up, we get slammed and it goes down. I have to suspend the site until the fervor dies down. At this point, I think it might be a few hours before the Lookie Lous give up refreshing the site. In the meantime, here’s the latest post I wrote about all the “Christians” who have written me in the past week:
Update: To correct misinformation in the comments, I was not “fired”. I offered my resignation and it was accepted.
Because I had the nerve to be critical of the Catholic church’s stance on birth control and abortion—nevermind their political opposition to distributing condoms to fight HIV, a stance that has helped usher thousands and possibly millions to their untimely deaths—I’ve gotten a number of letters from people who call themselves “Christians”, as Bill Donohue also calls himself. Chrisitians are people who are supposed to follow the behavior and teachings of Jesus Christ. I mention this, because it seems to me that therefore, when Christians are contemplating an action that is morally questionable, it appears they should consult the Bible before acting.
Luckily, I happen to have a Bible laying around this house, because even though I’m not a Christian, I was an English major, and it is important to Know Your Ancient Mythologies if you are reading poetry. And I flipped to this passage that seems to have solid advice on what to do if you’ve got some asshole dragging a woman in front of an angry crowd and yelling, “SINNER!”:
The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?‘ This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?‘ She said, ‘No one, Lord.‘ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.‘
Granted, I don’t think criticizing the church for policies that hurt families and even get people killed is a “sin”, but my letter writers do. But I thought I’d bring up this story for two reasons. One, I’ve always been impressed by the subtext of the story. I suspect, strongly, that this story is part of the reason that Christianity was so attractive to women in its early days, because this sort of random misogynist scapegoating is all too real in a patriarchy, and this story must have touched a lot of women at the time, who would be impressed with Jesus’ unwillingness to play into such misogyny. In fact, from everything I understand, much of the history of Christian misogyny is one 2,000 year long backlash against early female power in the church.
I’m also impressed by how so many people who claim to follow Jesus have basic reading comprehension problems when they regard this story. (Not all—for instance, some fellow Pandagonians take their faith seriously enough to read the Bible and try to follow its precepts.) From my mailbag:
I pray that I had some small part to play in your “resigning” from the Edwards campaign you libelous fraud!
That’s from a Vivian Thomas, who also wants me to know that I’m a worthless hag.
Catholics are concerned about killing unborn children, you stupid bitch. Chop away if it suits you, but we don’t
have to accept that as moral. That’s why it’s called a religion. Look into it.
Frankly, if I were a churchy person, this “Look into it” thing would insult me, since R.R. from Tallahassee, FL is all but saying that religion is his excuse to declare his misogyny “moral” so he doesn’t actually have to think and decide what his morality is for himself.
after reading your vile screed against Catholics and the Holy Spirit, I just had to see what you looked like. (I envisioned you eyebrow-less, with no visible pupils, and a blank, dead stare.) I see I was correct about the blank, dead stare, but other than that you’re not too bad. I then thought maybe you were mad at God (and by proxy Catholics) for making you ugly, but now I’m figuring you’re just mad at him for making you a woman.
Annette D’Amato is somewhat right, that I’m angry—but not that I’m a woman, but that people like her have such uncalled for contempt for women. But I am impressed that I gave her a small bit of education. Contrary to what people have been telling her, feminists are not demons without eyebrows (she missed the boar’s teeth and snakes on our heads), but human beings.
Andy Driggers from Dallas, TX was also so moved by my criticisms of religious anti-choicers, that he wrote:
Problem with women like you, you just need a good fucking from a real man! Living in Texas myself, I know you haven’t found that real Texan yet. But once your liberal pro feminist ass gets a real good fucking, you might see the light. Until then, enjoy your battery operated toys b/c most real men wouldn’t want to give you the fucking you deserve b/c the shit that would come out of you ears.
Reminder: Donohue was claiming to be so hurt by my “bigotry”. Yet, for some reason, his supporters write me and they are more interested in telling me that my womanhood is repulsive to them. Interesting—almost as if his claims to speak for Catholicism were in fact dog whistles to scare people about women’s equality.
As I told some close friends in the days that Donohue was on the news, spraying code words about “get the feminists” (which explains why he roped Shakespeare’s Sister into this, even though she really had nothing to do with any of this—except she’s pro-equality, which is what is really what offends Donohue and all the people who gave that anti-Semite airtime), a good half of my hate mail could be summed up, “You have a pottymouth, you stupid cunt.” An example, from Paul Bernard of Scottsdale, AZ:
i like the way you trash talk i don’t particularly want to have sex with you but i would like a blow job.
Right wingers right now are pretending like sexism has nothing to do with me, which is an argument that works if you think a) men get emails about how they need to suck a dick on a regular basis and b) that there’s nothing whatsoever sexist about allowing men to curse but hitting the fainting couch if a woman does.
Bud Phelps, another person who opposes “bigotry”, as defined by right wing shill Bill Donohue.
It’s just too bad your mother didn’t abort you. You are nothing more than a filthy mouth slut. I bet a couple of years in Iraq being raped and beaten daily would help you appreciate America a little. Need a plane ticket ?
Time to wake up and smell reality—real bigots follow the siren call of the fascist right wing. Why would they even bother with liberals and all our equality and human rights and other tedious ideas?
Romanco De Leone was also moved by Donohue’s poignant claims about insulating the Catholic church from legitimate criticisms.
YOU RACIST WHORE. FAT UGLY BITCH. SUCK MY LONG COCK ASSHOLE I HOPE YOU KIDS NEVER LIVE AND YOUR PARENTS DIE A TRAGIC DEATH YOU ASSHOLE BITCH!
I HOPE YOUR WOMB IS BARREN AND YOUR CAREER PLUMMETS TO HELL YOU BITCH
But I shan’t belabor the point. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the hate mail the Bill Donohue’s “Christian” campaign against me has inspired. This is all stuff from days ago—I’ve gotten more than 100 since. Hell, from the looks of my email from last night, I’ve had more than 100 in the past 12 hours from self-proclaimed Christians who want me to know that I have hurt their feelings and this has nothing, nothing whatsoever to do with their own misogyny and tendency to witch hunt.
Edwards is now at the bottom of my list of acceptable presidential candidates.
It remains to be seen if the rest of the Democratic field will cower in fear of Amanda’s new pen pals. But thus far they’re tripping over themselves to declare their religious affiliation, and my guess is that none of them will stand up to these people. And believe me, each of them will have a chance because they’ve tasted blood now and they will want another, and they’ll go seeking it at any campaign that has a blogger on staff.