Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Lions, Tigers and Bears! Oh My!

I’m working late tonight on a critical issues analysis for a wind farm project in (where else?) Kansas {laugh track}.  So for a little distraction/break I pop over to facebook, and the status message for some girl I went to high school with catches my eye.

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Something wicked this way comes.

You know, the kind of ‘friend’ you only just barely recollect, but accept their ‘add’ request to avoid the guilt of denying them.  Hey, they were obviously kind enough to remember you, right?  Anyway, from some of the things on her wall (e.g. Sarah Palin supporter, consistent negative votes in Obama related polls, and lots of Jesus bling) I can safely gather that she’s probably a Republican.  Oddly, this 12-second recon of her online persona tells me more about her than I’ve ever known.

Anyhoo, her status says:

I ordered [our daughter] her first “grown up” Bible last week. She has been using a toddler’s bible, but she is at the age where she is needing a real Bible for Awana, sunday school, and Jr Church. We received it before Awana tonight. It is bright pink and she loved it. She hugged it and cried when she took it out of the box. I bet Jesus was smiling seeing her pure joy at his gift to us!!

Is it just me, or is this weird?  This new pink Bible sounds like a new bicycle.  Does a Toddler’s Bible have some kind of training wheels?  If you’re a teenage christian boy, does your bible look like an XBox 360?  What’s Jr. Church?  Muppet Babies for Jesus? Seriously though, this indoctrination stuff creeps me out. It’s like an irony supernova:  these are the kind of people inhabiting the conservative right who were worried (nay, fucking terrified) about Obama indoctrinating their children with a 17-minutle long ‘school is cool’ pep talk.

For your edification (and pure lulz), here are a sample of the comments from what are (unlike me), her real friends:

How awesome! I just bought our son an Adventure bible. He loves it although he is not quite ready for it yet! I love hearing him recite his scriptures!

How adventurous!  Why wait to impose theology until they can think independently, AMIRITE?!?  Ready or not, here comes Jehovah!

I got one through Parable online. It is a NLT for girls and they also have one for boys. I thumbed through it real quick this evening and it looks like it will be great when she learns to read.

I’m curious how many stages of Bible one must go through before you can even read? Oh, if you (like me) were wondering what Awana is, here’s the skinny:

Equipping Churches and Parents to Raise Christ-Following Kids for Life

Awana helps churches and parents worldwide raise children and youth to know, love and serve Christ! We do this through:

Fully integrated programs for ages 2 to 18

The best evangelism tools to reach unsaved children, youth and families

Teaching that builds an enduring biblical faith

Resources bringing churches and parents together to disciple the next generation

Initial and ongoing volunteer training

Healthy mentor and peer relationships

Dynamic fun for children, teens and adults alike!

They even have an online store, where you can purchase cool “Leader Uniforms” like these (because nothing brings you closer to salvation than being confused for a Chuckie Cheese employee):

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Nothing rhymes with ‘orange’.

…and Obama is raising a socialist army?  Think about it, if this girl’s comment were from a Muslim, and about the Koran, and they were urging one another to visit the Madrassa gift shop, these “Christians” would shit in their saintly shorts. Fundies of every stripe give me a serious case of the willies.  Now, I’ll wrap this up so I can get back to work on that critical issues analysis in support of a wind energy project that, more than likely, right wingers would oppose (on account of global warming being a hoax and all).  Believe it or not, all the wind that doesn’t become Auntie Em’s twister can be turned into electricity. One final thought:

Wizard of Oz: Why, anybody can have a brain. That’s a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven’t got: a diploma.

Amen, Brothers and Sisters, Amen.


  1. Another great bulletin from the far frontiers of facebook and the fundamentalist fringes.

    I love these updates. It’s like visiting an alien civilisation with a knowledgeable guide.

    You should keep writing more of these, and then combine the essays together in a book called the Archaeology of Wingnuts or something.  

  2. Don’t think there were quite as many product offerings when I was a kid, but if there had been I’m sure my Mom would have done all she could to see that I benefited from access to as many as possible.  ‘Course we were among the left-wing Christians, but the logistics are the same.

    In my day the most powerful tools were the Christian Comics.  There is nothing like your favorite cartoon characters witnessing to enlighten young minds.

    Throwing in a sports hero or two doesn’t hurt:

    That one made me root for the Dallas Cowboys for most of the Seventies.  There are more at the link and a good writeup on the history of Spire Comics, no doubt part of the early model for the contemporary Christian Children’s Products market.

    With our youngest now seven years old now we may have blunted my mother’s attempts to deliver indoctrination material into the household, but we still keep our malware subscription current.  Through a wealth of honest good intentions she had repeatedly tried to introduce what to Donna and I are rather horrific shameless articles of indoctrination (my least favorite being Veggie Tales – an insidious product line that often buries the Christian programming where casual parental attention may miss it).

    A little casual digging on Veggie Tales produces this gem:

    FREEHOLD, IOWA – “Veggie Tales is not Christian!” yelled Pastor Deacon Fred as he burst into the Landover Baptist Baby Jesus Day Care Center last Friday afternoon. He was followed by four deacons who kicked veggie toys out from the hands of youngsters and smashed them to pieces. “Now gather up what’s left of that trash and BURN IT!” Deacon Crenshaw told the children.

    Pause to visualize that scene, and think about how traumatizing that moment would be for a bunch of confused and terrified toddlers.

    With the release of “Larry, The Singing and Dancing Cucumber” toy just a few weeks ago, it’s become quite clear that the Veggie Tales Corporation is involved in a more sinister agenda. Either that, or they just hired an army of priests and homosexuals to head their product development team. Christian experts believe that, like Mr. Potato Head, this could be yet another attempt by liberals to force their evil “tolerance” into True Christian homes. Larry the Dancing Cucumber could be even more dangerous than Mr. Potato Head since it comes with a “choking hazard” clearly printed on the outside of the box. “The choking hazard is a direct acknowledgement that the Veggie Tales Corporation believes that a child will be naturally inclined to place the toy into his or her mouth,” said Pastor Deacon Fred.


    Pastor Deacon Fred explained, “Now, we’re all for getting kids saved and indoctrinated, but some Christian psychologists tell me that the children who watch these videos believe that when they arrive at the Pearly Gates, they’ll be greeted by a talking tip of asparagus who will usher them into an eternity run by a giant tomato and a thousand pieces of flying celery. . . and then there’s that dancing cucumber. If they made that vegetable the devil, we might not be as concerned.”

    While I know many (many many) Very Christian folks and they are often absolutely wonderful people raising kids who will likely also be decent folks, it would be insincere for me to say that I am at all comfortable with the indoctrination process that is normal for children in those cultures.  But having been one of those people myself, I cannot see any possibility or reason why they would ever not do exactly what they are doing – I would if I were them.

  3. of children “brainwashing”. When they object, I usually ask if “indoctrinate” is acceptable. If they answer in the affirmative I tell them that it is a synonym for brainwashing.

    What is amazing to me is that some people manage to break free from that brainwashing. I guess I shouldn’t be so judgmental about people believing unbelievable things when you think of how strongly they’ve been indoctrinated into those beliefs. I suppose that is one reason more atheists aren’t evangelical about atheism. They realize that it is mostly a waste of time.

  4. HappyinVT

    religious person.  I believe in God but not organized religion.  I don’t really have anything against it I just think too many people use religion and their beliefs as justifications (think those in the anti-choice crowd who think it’s okay to murder a doctor who performs abortions because it’s God’s work).  To be fair, a lot of religious people do wonderful work that largely goes uncredited because, like, that’s what you’re supposed to do.

    I did not grow up in a religious household.  My older sisters were confirmed Catholic but my brother and I were not.  I’ve always assumed that my mom quit the church after my father passed.

    Anyway, such things are probably in the eye of the beholder.  People active in their religion would see nothing wrong with having a child excited to receive an age-appropriate Bible (didn’t know they came in fashion colors).  I’ve seen kid’s books that tell famous stories from the Bible but didn’t know Bibles actually came in toddler lingo.  (Don’t have kids, either.)

    The whole uniform thing throws me, though.  Is that like a Bible study parochial school outfit?  Do kids get to wear them, too?

    I guess my wish is that kids get to make their own decisions about their beliefs.  At what age that should take place is beyond me (in my kidless state).  Something tells me the parents who wear uniforms and/or buy Bibles that progress from toddler to pre-teen to teen to adult are probably not likely to condone a whole lot of exploration of differing beliefs.  That is a shame.

  5. Shaun Appleby

    And scary.  I am mourning the loss of my pet Witnesses, they used to come around fortnightly to preach their somewhat eccentric version of the Gospel but I admired their faith.  They are retiring to Lithgow, poor things.

    I really liked arguing scripture with them having read the Bible in the context of ancient mythology and literature.  I’m pretty conversant on the archeology and historiography of the texts and equally opinionated about the evolution of monotheism, from a pagan perspective of course.  They seemed to enjoy it too so we used to sit on the verandah sometimes and deconstruct it over tea.  I’ve always thought that everthing following the Synoptic Gospels was basically revisionist rubbish.  Paul was a lawyer, after all.  And Revelations is the insanity clause for every religious fringe that Christianity ever produced.

    But it all comes down to the First Council of Nicaea when they sorted through the entire corpus of apocryphal texts for the Reader’s Digest condensed version of the New Testament we now ‘enjoy.’  History offers such a panoramic view of our Quixotic world.

  6. sricki

    about getting weepy over a pink Bible. Seems a bit silly — even contrived. Dunno. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe that is perfectly normal for devout, god-lovin’ Christians. I can’t pretend to know, and I can’t pretend not to be biased.

    I don’t know how most religious families are, but mine really didn’t mess with me too much when I rejected Christianity. I didn’t, like, get “in trouble” or anything. Now, I told them I was a dirty heathen (heh) when I was 13, and they did not let me quit acolyting. I continued to acolyte for the remainder of my junior high/high school career, and even had to give a sermon before the church my senior year, just before I graduated. My parents’ argument was that I had a responsibility to fulfill my duties to the church and the community, regardless of whether I personally believed in god or Christianity. I just went with it and didn’t bother complaining. I actually like church a lot — well, Catholic and Episcopal services anyway. I am attracted to the ritualistic aspects. And those two denominations, at least, have especially lovely, ornate services. I am not overfond of Baptist/Methodist services, and I HATE “contemporary” churches.

    I love going to synagogue as well, but I haven’t been to a service in many years. I will probably be spending some time in a mosque for a project this semester, so that should be interesting. Theology in theory interests me — I just don’t like it as applied in real life.

    My parents say they still pray for me every night. And my grandmother says, “Once you are baptized, you forever belong to Jesus Christ.” So perhaps part of the reason they don’t mind my heresy  is that they think I’m saved and will come back to god in time. Meh. Whatever makes ’em happy.

    As a side note, one component I hate most about my mother’s argument that it is better to be a believer than not is the “fear” aspect. And I wonder whether a lot of Christians (religious people in general?) keep their faith, at least partly, out of fear. She uses Pascal’s Wager as a justification to believe in and worship god. Basically, she figures that if she believes in god and is wrong, no harm done — but if she doesn’t believe and is wrong, she will go to hell. So it’s a safer to buy into religion. That has always struck me as… wrong somehow. Unprincipled and cowardly in a way. But again, maybe that’s just me.

  7. NavyBlueWife


    Me want to be a Jeebus princess too.

    Really though, I wonder who wrote the International Children’s Bible…those people surely do not have to call collect to the big MAN upstairs.

  8. creamer

    Is it like having issues with Nessie or Bigfoot? Is an Atheist with a rigid non belief of anything he can’t touch any different than an overly pious evangelist who believes everything that happens is gods will?

     I’m a skeptic of organized religion. I was raised in a Methodist church, and came to understand God as one angry dude. It always seemed to me that a being so powerful and omnipotent would be above all the human emotions that the bible paints him with. I’m also a recovering drug addict, and my experience with AA leaves me with a healthy skeptisim of non-belief. I still attend a Christian Reformed church with my wife and boys, with a clear understanding with my wife that our sons will not be indoctrinated but allowed to develop their own views as they get older.

     My own intrest have lead me to explore non-dualism though time constraints have inhibited me. I’m inclined to associate existence with somthing greater than you or me, but open to somthing that I don’t presently understand.

  9. I’m somewhat anti-religion. One of my pet peeves with religion is that religious people claim to be more moral than non-believers and yet they are the ones that are doing good deeds or acting moral because of fear of offending some higher authority. This, in my opinion, makes their actions less admirable. However, in the interests of fair play, I have to give credit when credit is due. This video shows the best of religious motivation based on love of others instead of fear of God.

    h/t to Andrew Sullivan

    Camp Barnabas from Steve V on Vimeo.

  10. Shaun Appleby

    Since we seem to be running out of margin room I’ll post this here rather than find myself ‘up against the wall.’  Here’s my take, in a Jungian sense, on the nature of Godhood and our human relationship with the ‘unknowable.’

    From a mythological-historical viewpoint human culture has moved through three, at least, distinct theological periods.  The ‘chthonic,’ the matriarchal and the patriarchal.  The chthonic is the ‘things that go bump in the night’ school of religious belief, appropriate to a culture with a low life expectancy and a sense of victory in surviving to greet the new day.  We still bear a strong affinity to this tradition with bonfires, drums and other base chakra activities, frat parties and nightclubs no exception.  That cannabilism and human sacrifice was a regular component of this stage of our development is wholly appropriate, if regrettable.

    The matriarchy lifted our event horizon to the lunar cycle and was an aesthetic as well as technological revolution.  I’m guessing human beings understood the nature of conception, the finer points of herbal medicine and the cycle of planting, among many other things, during this time.  This period is largely concurrent with the Neolithic Revolution and is alive with poetry, music and mysticism.

    As empires grew, and conflict trumped conciliation in matters of geography, the solar cycle emerged as the appropriate planning unit of measure for human civilisation.  Military campaigns required a lengthy development cycle.  And in Medea, with Zoroaster, and elsewhere, not least of which Akhnaton and the prophets of Israel, Sol emerged as the dominant and omniscient presence of divinity. A condition which has largely remained intact to this day, in our theological tradition.

    Day-Month-Year/Earth-Moon-Sun a very simple and self-evident progression.  But in recent centuries/decades we have expanded our Universe exponentially.  Institutionalised religion has failed to keep pace, only recently excusing Copernican heresies.  Locked in time like insects in amber.  In historical times it was necessary, because of the multitude of believers and the unity of our solar system’s sole star (‘Sol,’ get it?), that an heirarchy of priests was required to manage the queues and provide sacraments and benificences in appropriate if miserly portions.  As usual where human intercession is involved, the rot set in.  Our notional conceptions of divinity have hardly evolved much from this poit, so what’s next?

    Well, accepting the ancient and sacred notion that a star is celestial divinity, which seems about as far as we can go given our current fascination with ancient text as the innerant word of God, we actually have an embarrasment of sacred riches.  In our own local galaxy alone there are stars in number exceeding our own humble Earthly human population and more discovered every year.  There are probably sufficient divinities to share some, or many, with the dolphins, whales, chimpanzees and elephants as well, if they require them for their theological needs.  We may each, as independent and actualised spiritual identities, in our own humble lifetimes, have a divinity each to ourselves.  Perhaps a coterie.  By present astronomical predicitions Universe-wide we are, in fact, heavily outnumbered by the very same celestial entities, enshrined in our cultural experience as ‘gods,’ by a considerable order of magnitude.

    Now that is my kind of paganism.

  11. fogiv

    Just bopped onto facebook for a peek.  here’s the status of a different person (not the one that inspired this diary; same circle of ‘friends’ though):

    Trying to remember to place my hope and trust in the Lord

    Someone gets curious, asks:

    what happened if I may ask?


    Just having a rough month…have a tendency to to try to rely on self instead of God.


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