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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Sunday, April 30, 2006

"Trust Me, I'm RIGHT, I'm always right about everything"

If there's one thing about being a progressive that distinguishes itself from being conservative, it is the acknowledgement of being wrong sometimes. I have been wrong before (gasp!), in fact, I would consider my dripping sarcasm towards AiG to be proof of that. (I am patiently waiting for the FBI to show up at my door, in regards to this post on the AiG.) While I think they deserve it, as they do even worse to non-believers, I cringe to think that I stooped down to their level of abject vitriol. It pains me to think that what I sent them is correct, but it is over the top in-your-face correctness. When was the last time a conservative said "oops." Yeah, I cannot remember anytime either. So, it must be nice being right all the time. Even when you're wrong, simply yell out "traitor" or "unpatriotic" towards the person pointing out your mistake, and that automatically turns the mistake into sacrosanct truth.

It is very difficult being wrong, you must not just admit to it, but you must do something to make it right. That is not easy. Like the president says, "its hard work." Not only that, but when you know that it possible you could be wrong, you try to make sure that you're not wrong. In other words, you fact check, you look at varying viewpoints, and you try to dig out the truth, before you open your big fat mouth.

Well, with that in mind, I've stuggled with how to present my piece on Annie Angel. I do not want to do a hack piece, as much as I would like to (yes, there is a back story here, and I will get to that in a moment). But I still have this desire to point out the silliness in the Big Picture that we know as Christianity.

What constitutes Christianity? Is it simply believing that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, or is there more to it; actions and life-changing aspects to it as well. The New Testament is very unclear on this controversy. Paul, in Galatians 2:16 tells us that works justifies nothing, only through faith in Jesus is one justified. But then in James 2:26, we learn that faith alone is dead, works is also required for salvation.

Christians, are almost as vicious towards opposing doctrines of other Christians as they are towards non-Christians. All based on what is necessary to achieve salvation. What beliefs are required, what works are forbidden and what works are crucial. The Catholic/Protestant divide alone shows this to be true.

This brings us to the hallowed Annie Angel. There are actually two questions regarding her. The first being is she a "real" Christian, or just a parody of Christian beliefs. The second is if she is not a parody, then can her Christian doctrine be considered Christian at all? At issue is her copious use of profanity, and her acerbic hatred spewed forth upon anyone she doesn't agree with. Maybe profanity is a valid debate tactic for 12 year olds, but for an adult it is nothing but an admission that there is no substance behind your argument. When it comes to hatred; hating those who disagree with you shows a lack of self-control, and all that is rotten within humanity. I'm not talking about hating those who wish to destroy you, like al Qaeda, I'm talking about hating people who disagree with you on matters of philosophy/policy. It is an irrational hatred.

The use of vulgarity lends itself to parody very easily. But irrational hatred is very difficult to fake and mock. Thus I think it is doubtful that Annie is a parody site. I think she means what she says, down to the last sexual euphamism.

Consider her "flagship" post, 'How To Be A Good Christian Wife'
"ALWAYS serve fresh orange juice. Only whores use frozen."
"Never initiate sex yourself. Only whores initiate sex."

The first quote sounds like a parody, the second is Biblical and is actually common in fundamental Christianity. Then look at her profile:
"Hi my name is Annie, I'm a 36 year old fitness professional and I love Jesus. Do you? Jesus loves you and He doesn't want you to burn in Hell. Right now you are damned, unclean, your soul is a filthy rag and your future is doomed. Let Jesus into your heart and you will find eternal life"

That sounds genuinely Christian. This is not to mention that the only book she lists is the Bible(KJV). I found that rather amusing, as she is wholly ignorant of its contents, and one could easily surmise that she had never even read it for herself (although that is only a guess based on her lack of knowledge on what the Bible does say.) Annie never quotes the Bible, or even links to quotes of the Bible. She never uses the Bible at all in any of her Christian writings. That is odd, coming from such a strict Christian.

So is she a parody?

I think not. She possesses all the hallmarks of a real Christian, contradictions intact. Thus, she is not a parody, but that her actual beliefs is a parody in and of itself. That is where I and many others, got hung up. She was/is serious, but her views are just so horrid, that they cannot seem truly hers, even though they are.

That was my view. But I needed help on figuring it out for sure. So I asked an honest Christian, one I know to be a true believer, Bryan, of The Narrow. He tended to agree that she was not a parody site, but that her views were a parody of actual Christianity. I agree. Bryan wrote me in email:
"I don't really know what to say about this. I went and read several
of her posts and I have to say, if she is representative of the
Christian faith, I certainly better reread my Bible, b/c I've missed
the parts that say it's ok to demean others, engage in ad hominem
attacks with vulgar language and generally have a very dim outlook on
life."


This answers our second question as well. She does not fit in with what it means to be a real Christian, according to a real Christian. Bryan is correct, there is much in the Bible that discounts her views. For example:
Matthew 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you" [NKJV].
Matthew 22:38-40 "38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[a] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”" [NKJV]
1 Timothy 1:9-11 "9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust." [NKJV]

As a Christian, Annie seems wholly unaware of these well-worn Christian passages. She does not even like being reminded of them. At this point I would like to share my "beef" with her. To a post she wrote, I merely quoted the above passages, and made the remark she needs to follow the dictates of the Bible, if she wants to be a good Christian. For that accurate description, she blasted me with profanity, wild accusations, and utter comtempt. Certainly not the behavior of an actual Christian. See this thread (near the bottom) at Sadly, No! for more on this.

So.. I am going out on a limb here and calling her the genuine article and not a parody. But her doctrines are so out of line with even other fundamental Christians that they cannot take her seriously either. I may be wrong here, and if I am, then I apologize to all real Christians out there for placing her firmly on your side. But I just cannot help but call her the real deal.

Somehow it just feels good to point out the fruits of the doctrines and politics of conservative Christianity as embodied in Annie Angel.

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