Thursday, February 12, 2009

Barney Zwartz, Pastor Danny, Fundie Fruitloops, Peter Costello, First Dog on the Moon and blame Miranda the Devine for everything

(Peter Costello in ecstatic, divine contemplation of heavenly forces at work in parliament, and also in the Catch the Fire capers of Pastor Danny, with assistance from John Howard, foreground)

Poor old Barney Zwartz, religion editor for The Age, makes the mistake of thinking you can have a serious theological argument with a prat like Pastor Danny of Catch the Fire ministries when the benighted pastor says the Victorian bushfires are a punishment from god for abortion law reform (based on that new fangled, unChristian, unIslamic notion that women should be in charge of their bodies).

The hapless Zwartz contends in Failing to understand the nature of an understanding God that Pastor Danny is displaying colossal arrogance to presume to speak for God, and then spends most of the article speaking for his kind of god, which if not arrogant at least may be deemed to be logically stupid. (I do very much doubt that his vision is from God. Well how would you know Barney, have you talked to God lately and did he answer?)

There's nothing like seeing a soft cock Christian liberal go up against a hardened fundamentalist extremist. Confronted by the realities of old testament thinking, they always rush off to the new testament, clucking and tutting as they go.

Do such Christians really believe God punishes the innocent to teach the guilty? asks a rhetorical Zwartz. Well yes, if they read the Bible from cover to cover, as it seems Zwartz has failed to do. Let's just take one example by starting with the first book, namely Exodus 34:7: 

... yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.

Well you could hardly say innocent children deserve a bollocking for what great grandpappy did, could you? Won't someone think of the children?

I could go on and on at tedious length, but this isn't a prayer meeting. You see all the tosh that Pastor Danny spruiks is there in the good book, and amenable to any spin you might put on it, even by bowling left arm over the wicket with a googly tweak. It's always a shock when extremists confront people with what's actually in the Bible and try to literally follow its words. But surely, surely, the good lord can't have meant that? (You know the bit about raping and enslaving the women of your enemies?)

What's more, Zwartz elides over the most interesting bit. Pastor Danny fruit cakes are a dime a dozen - they're all over the south in America, like threepenny coins in Christmas puddings - and they all have a penchant for notorious baiting statements, like the notion that it was gays who brought Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans. 

Zwartz barely finds time to mention that Pastor Danny has been supported by Peter Costello, and John Howard for that matter. Yep and now the fundie fruitloop has come back to bite him on the bum, and get liberal Christians all agitated.

Okay, if Pastor Danny is a fundamentalist fruitloop,  blessed by visions and dreams and an unhinged god, that's understandable. Just do what you need to do to get to heaven and all will be well. Smote the righteous with a wild kind of justice.

But just where does that leave the smarmy, smirking Peter Costello? He's supposed to be balanced and capable, the very model of a modern major treasurer. Yet he encourages fruitloops? That's why I've opened this piece with my very favorite picture of the smug Treasurer.

And for a closing picture, how about this cartoon by First Dog in the Moon with his thoughts on whose to blame for everything? He really is turning into one of the best cartoonists going round, and he's the best reason for visiting Crikey ( so head over there for the original at a readable size. 

Sure there's a lot of nonsense on the site, but they're about the best web equivalent of the long lost and sadly missed ratbaggery of Nation Review. And First Dog is what Leunig once was, before he went all fey and Mr Curly, like a leprechaun with a taste for hundreds and thousands sandwiches. And they need the clicks because it sure looks like advertising ain't doing much for their revenue stream.

By the way, I knew it was Miranda the Devine's fault. Just on her own she's lowered our average national intelligence to below the fifty mark. We're all doomed.

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