I know it's a common belief down here in the South that feminists hatch from eggs laid by
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Satan as he frolics across the countryside looking for unsuspecting fiddlers and bluesmen whose souls need stealing.
But I have a mom.
She's a wonderful person who spends much of her time going "Oh, Betsy" or "Your father will flip his lid if he sees four people in your bed. Send them home before he gets out of the bathroom." (Kidding, Mom.)
Anyway, I bring my mom up because she is a good Christian woman and she will often do this ridiculous thing where she'll be telling you some story of the most vile, depraved human being you've ever heard existing in real life, like (and obviously, I'm making this next part up) "Well, one of the men in our church? He was dressing up like a clown on weekends, going to the park, and beating puppies to death with a chainsaw in front of children!"
And then she'll pause and say, "Well, you know, I smacked your brother on the butt once with a wooden spoon when he was putting boogers in the cookies, so you know, we're all sinners, we all fall short."
As if the two acts are somehow comparable and anyone who's done any kind of minor sinning--like smacking a bratty kid with a spoon once--needs to have some compassion and understanding for the major habitual chainsaw-wielding, puppy-killing sinners.
So, imagine my surprise when I saw Jeff Woods reporting something similar out of Paul Stanley's mouth.
(Speaking of Woods, did y'all catch this post
? I could not have been more delighted. More like that and I'm giving him a couple of old bras of mine to burn, just because you know how boys like weird initiatory rituals and we don't really have any official ones for feminism. Bra burning's about as close as we come.)
Okay, so Woods reports
Stanley as saying
I have been criticized lately for the positions I have advocated in the
past, the pro-family positions, moral positions, whatever, whatever I
stood for and advocated I still believe to be true. And just because I
fell far short of what God's standard was for me and my life doesn't
mean that that standard is reduced in the least bit. It was interesting
that Planned Parenthood is attacking me for I guess talking about my
views on sex and whether it should or should to be outside of marriage,
that is what it is. My sin in that again does not negate the fact that
God sets a high standard for us and we all need to strive to reach that
standard although in a sinful nature it's very hard to do so.
Now you can see that same language that my mom uses, that "fall short" standard. So, my initial reaction was "That skeevy jerk is using this language, that phrase, to try to appeal to people like my mom, who don't actually ever fall that short." I mean, shoot, my mom might not live up to her hopes for herself or what she thinks her god requires of her, but she tries. Unlike Stanley, who seems to believe that "not even attempting" equals "falls short."
And it kind of pissed me off and grossed me out, that he would do this stuff that most Christians would never in a million years do, and then use this language to camouflage himself so that he could move back into the protection of the flock.
Okay, it still pisses me off.
But I've been thinking about this paragraph for days now and I think there's something important here.
See, as a liberal, I, too, believe that people screw up. So, I'm with Stanley there. Did he screw up? Yes. Do I appreciate that Stanley is a religious man? Actually, I do.
But what it looks like he's insinuating is that the gulf between us is is that I believe that religious belief is an agreement between believers and their god, and that this agreement often requires the believers to attempt perform extraordinary feats that a non-believer with the exact same characteristics could not perform and Stanley seems to believe that religious belief is an agreement between believers and their god to inflict their agreement on everyone.
I'm sorry to harp on this, but I think it's important to say it out loud because I think this is one of those cases where people do not realize they're actually talking about different things.
See, because some of us want to only bother to make laws to impede things we want to stop. Others of us want to make laws against things we want to punish; we don't care if the behavior actually stops, so long as it sucks to get caught doing it.
I, and others, look at Stanley and say, "How could he, knowing human sexuality is a powerful force that can't be stopped, still advocate for legislating against it?" How can he not learn from this that his position is ridiculous?
But from Stanley's perspective, this whole thing must just be confirmation that his worldview is correct--that sinners can carry on, but that they will be found out and punished.
Just like he has been.
His system works. It just proved itself again. Why would he, or anyone else who thought like him, reconsider in the face of this?