JESUSLAND - With the Bush administration gone, access to the White House by religious fundamentalist leaders is likely to be sharply curtailed, though the public is unlikely to know by just how much until the court-ordered release of White House and Cheney residence visitor logs has been accomplished.
But all that pent-up religious fervor undoubtedly needs some sort of release, so the Very Religious are likely to fall back to pre-Bushian positions, bearing in mind that with the American economy in virtual collapse, screeds about how moral the free market is are not likely to find much of an audience among Obama supporters, stock market investors or anyone with a 401K.
So yes, that's right: It's time to haul out the "Abortion Is Murder" placards again - but abortion protest ain't what it used to be, because who knew how much the very language of abortion rights has changed since 2001?
Certainly, Krispy Kreme doughnuts didn't; they just thought they were being patriotic in offering a free doughnut to every customer on Inauguration Day, but check out how they phrased it:
"Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. is honoring American's sense of pride and freedom of choice on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20. By doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies -- just another reminder of how oh-so-sweet 'free' can be."
Can you pick out the one phrase Krispy Kreme probably shouldn't have used? Right-wing religious nutjob Judie Brown of the (very) Catholic American Life League could!
Here's their propaganda screed:
"KRISPY KREME CELEBRATES OBAMA WITH PRO-ABORTION DOUGHNUTS
"Washington, DC (15 January 2009) - The following is a statement from American Life League president Judie Brown:
"The next time you stare down a conveyor belt of slow-moving, hot, sugary glazed donuts at your local Krispy Kreme, you just might be supporting President-elect Barack Obama's radical support for abortion on demand - including his sweeping promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as soon as he steps in the Oval Office, Jan. 20."
Brown then quotes Krispy Kreme's press release and continues:
"Just an unfortunate choice of words? For the sake of our Wednesday morning doughnut runs, we hope so. The unfortunate reality of a post Roe v. Wade America is that 'choice' is synonymous with abortion access, and celebration of 'freedom of choice' is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand.
"President-elect Barack Obama promises to be the most virulently pro-abortion president in history. Millions more children will be endangered by his radical abortion agenda.
"Celebrating his inauguration with 'Freedom of Choice' doughnuts - only two days before the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to decriminalize abortion - is not only extremely tacky, it's disrespectful and insensitive and makes a mockery of a national tragedy.
"A misconstrued concept of 'choice' has killed over 50 million preborn children since Jan. 22, 1973. Does Krispy Kreme really want their free doughnuts to celebrate this 'freedom'?"
Wow! Who knew? So offering customers "freedom of choice" about what free doughnut they'd like is "mak[ing] a mockery of a national tragedy"??? So every time I go into a restaurant and the waiter hands me a menu and asks me, "What's your choice?", he's really asking me if I support abortion rights? And "lord" help me if I respond that I'd like a cut of USDA choice beef and a baked potato - I might be putting some naïve teenager under the knife at Planned Parenthood!
Or as whacky Judie apparently put it to the Krispy Kreme execs:
"The use of the phrase 'freedom of choice' is unmistakably a pro-abortion phrase to pro-life Americans. It is a phrase used over and over again by those who favor abortion. Therefore, if your company truly did not intend for that phrase to be an endorsement of a pro-abortion agenda, it is only right that you say so publicly and apologize to pro-life Americans, who are among your customer base, for making a terrible public relations error."
She apparently also had to explain The Way Things Are to her own followers:
"But for those who do not understand why we took the company to task in the first place over this misuse of words, let me take a moment to explain the thought process that went into our decision to bring this to Krispy Kreme's attention in the first place.
"First and most important, there is no doubt if one does a web search for the term freedom of choice, one finds that the phrase has become inextricably linked to the pro-abortion movement. It is one of those terms that has been co-opted by activists who argue repeatedly that nobody is 'pro-abortion,' but everyone is in favor of 'freedom of choice' ...
"Clearly, the simple word 'choice' has been clandestinely high jacked [sic] in recent years; the word that once meant the ability every single human being has to make decisions has now morphed into a word that can also represent the alleged right of a mother to take her preborn baby's life. After all, they say, it is her 'choice.'
"This is why all of us at American Life League are so conscious of the dubious ways in which the word and its attendant phrases are used....
"We acted on Krispy Kreme's promotion and release for two reasons:
"1) Out of concern that use of the phrase by a national company of Krispy Kreme's celebrity and popularity would contribute to social acceptance of a 'freedom of choice' - thus making the work of those pushing the pro-abortion agenda and the 'Freedom of Choice' Act in particular that much easier.
"2) To showcase the importance of language in the cultural battle we are both fighting and to highlight the undeniable connection between the current meaning of 'freedom of choice' and the culture of death. The diligent work of pro-aborts over the years has made abortion palatable precisely because they have been able to frame their case in terms like 'freedom of choice.' We must not contribute to the pro-abortion PR campaign by advancing their talking points. It is high time to remind everyone that 'freedom of choice' is nothing more than a benign, even noble, sounding name for genocide."
JESUS CHRIST! IT'S A FUCKING DOUGHNUT!!!! ARE YOU CRAZY???
Needless to say, the Krispy Kreme execs got the message and responded immediately - 'cause who knows how many church and civic organizations might stop buying their doughnuts from Krispy Kreme if someone took whacky Judie seriously? And miracle of miracles, Krispy Kreme's management issued a revised press release, removing the phrase "freedom of choice" and carefully adding, "The Inauguration Day promotion is not about any social or political issue."
However, the company will now sell its doughnut holes under the label, "Aborted Doughnut Fetuses."
(Okay; I made that last part up.)
And for those who don't yet understand how insane some of these "pro-life" whackjobs are, check out their article on how, "The Birth Control Pill Contaminates Relationships ."
"At a young age, many women start imagining who their Prince Charming will be: what he'll look like, what interests he'll have, if he'll have a sense of humor and so forth. However, it's very unlikely that Prince Charming will literally come galloping in on a horse and sweep us off our feet. In fact, ladies, listen up, or chances are fairly good that you could end up with someone who is a complete loser and not your type at all ... that is, if you're on the birth control pill...
"A chemical attraction can occur between a male and a female as a result of hormones called pheromones, which are exchanged through the olfactory nerves - that is, our sense of smell. The more a male and female are biologically compatible (able to reproduce with each other), the more likely they will be attracted to each other...
"In August, scientists at the University of Liverpool published a new study showing that the birth control pill can dramatically affect this natural phenomenon. The study found that 'when the women started taking the pill, their preferences shifted towards the scent of men with more similar genes to their own.' ...
"A similar study was conducted in 1995 by a German researcher, Claus Wedekind, at the University of Bern in Switzerland... The women who were not on the birth control pill 'preferred the scents of men socially regarded as desirable potential mates... However, women using oral contraceptives reversed [italics in the original] their preferences and chose inappropriate partners.' ...
"So, if you're a woman seeking the man of your dreams, you probably won't find him if you're taking the birth control pill..."
Biologist P.Z. Myers, who runs the "Pharyngula" blog on the University of Minnesota's scienceblogs website, came across a document detailing how the Catholic Church handles various types of sins. Turns out that some of them can be absolved by any old priest, but some can only be forgiven by a "high-level Catholic tribunal" or the Pope himself. Here's a partial list.
Sins Any Priest Can Forgive:
* Genocide (killing the entire population of a given race, sect or territory)
Sins Only The Pope Or His Tribunal Can Forgive:
* Attempting to assassinate the Pope
* Revealing the content of a penitent's confession
* A priest engaging in sexual intercourse (gay or straight)
* An abortionist taking the vows and becoming a priest
* Defiling the Eucharist, "which Catholics believe is the body and blood of Christ, is also considered a sin of extreme gravity and one which is on the increase, the high-ranking members of the tribunal said."
That last bit is particularly interesting to Myers, who last July managed to obtain a communion wafer ("the Eucharist") from one of his fans, and according to the same article, "pierced it with a rusty nail. Then I simply threw it in the trash."
Comments the author of the article, "Such sins, which can only be dealt with by the Pope, acting through the tribunal, bring automatic excommunication from the Church. If the Pope decides to grant absolution, the excommunication is lifted."
Of course, Myers isn't a Catholic and couldn't care less whether the Church excommunicates him ... but he does note with a bit of irony, "[A]ren't their priorities a little screwed up that they consider genocide a lesser offense?"