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Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15b-16a ESV)

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1/22/2005

Intolerant Tolerance 

When I get a blog host that allows it, I think one of my blog categories is going to be Intolerant Tolerance. I've done several posts on this subject, and yet it just gets worse, and more obvious. The theme seems to be, "Why don't those silly Christians get over their ignorance and realize they should all be just like us?" Sounds like tolerance for a conflicting worldview to me, doesn't it to you?

Or maybe an award. The View From the Pew Award for Incredible Intolerance. You could call it a Pewie for short. And I know who'd get one this week, thanks to Sarcasmagorical.

Michael Ventre, YOU are this weeks Pewie Award Winner!!
In my humble opinion, Jesus Christ was an important and influential figure in world history, and I respect that. Because he was a symbol of love and understanding, the term 'What Would Jesus Do?' resonates powerfully. If we all acted as Jesus would, I believe the world would be at peace, and love would wash over all of God's children.

But of course, not all Christians are alike. Many, if not most, Christians understand the true message of Jesus. But there is a frightening number of so-called Christians who can be best described as creepy, rigid, arrogant, cruel, know-it-all, pompous, obnoxious and treacherous - better known by the acronym C.R.A.C.K.P.O.T.
Now let's examine Ventre's article, because I'm concerned that HE may be exhibiting some of these symptoms -- he may be a C.R.A.C.K.P.O.T too!!

He's upset about the hoopla over the We Are Family foundation's video and tolerance pledge, and the use of popular cartoon characters in this video which is intended for use in classrooms throughout the country. He's REALLY upset about the criticism of Spongebob. I don't like Spongebob, never have -- but I do like some of the other characters, and my daughter watches some of the shows they're on. I don't like having these symbols appropriated by someone who is intent on teaching my kid that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle alternative.

The mere fact that Ventre glosses over what the real controversy is about, focusing instead on the protest over cartoon characters, is a bit creepy. It's as if he wants discussion of the issue to be deflected from where it really is -- the teaching of someone's morality to elementary school kids. If Christians were doing this, we'd be hauled into court. Because it's someone else, and someone else's morality, it's obviously OK.
The first step for the CRACKPOT Christians is to accept that they have a problem. I know programs exist that can reprogram the insufferably preachy and transform them back into normal people like the rest of us. They have to get the message that taking the Good Book, living by the parts they agree with and disregarding the parts they don’t, is a learned behavior and can be cured. They need to be taught that looking for secret messages where none exist is an urge that should be resisted.
There's the rigid part -- obviously, it's Ventre and folks like him who are right, so why should they change? WE are the ones with a problem.

For arrogant, well, just read what he has to say. He reminds us repeatedly of how tolerant he is normally, and how compassionate he is. Show, don't tell.

Anyone who is obviously as hung up on telling Christians they're sick is cruel -- religious faith is an important part of someone's life, and their psyche. Any abuse or misrepresentation of that belief is incredibly cruel.

Know-it-all, pompous -- just read the article. It's amazing that he knows so much better than someone who has actually studied the Bible what it's really all about.

Obnoxious --
I've only caught bits and pieces of SpongeBob, but I never noticed any Bette Midler playing in the background. Nor have I seen SpongeBob shopping for china at Williams Sonoma, or French-kissing another male sponge. He does, however, hold hands with his sidekick Patrick and enjoys watching the imaginary TV show, 'The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy,' so I can see why the CRACKPOT Christians might get their knickers in a knot believing that the moral foundation of our nation's schoolchildren is in grave peril because a couple of cartoon characters touched each other.
I rest my case on that one.

That leaves treacherous. This country was founded on the idea that people could hold their own religious beliefs, and were free to practice them, without interference from anyone. Ventre's belief that we should all go into a 12-step program to "cure" us of our faith is an attack on the Constitution itself! Treacherous doesn't begin to describe him!

Was that over the top? Yep. I look forward to a time when Michael Ventre decides to talk about the real issue -- that kids' cartoon characters are being used to teach them that their parents are intolerant idiots and that they should not listen to them OR their ministers about homosexuality and what the Bible teaches about it. That is what I find most offensive. I could care less about Spongebob. Discuss the facts, sir, and try to do it without the ad hominem attacks on people who actually believe in something.

{edit: Fixed a really bad sentence fragment in the last paragraph. Sorry.}
{UPDATE: Take a look at this over at Imago Dei if you want an even better treatment of the issue. Note that I'm not defending anything that Dr. Dobson may or may not have said, I'm trying to show that Christians are protesting the content of the video, not the alleged sexuality of the cartoon characters}


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