Summing Up The Voter Fraud Situation

So what I’m hearing is:

  • On the Democrat side, some people may have been registering fake people to vote in Ohio. This could be because they intend to fraudulently cast votes, or it could be because they are being paid per voter they sign up and are trying to beef up their payout.

On the Republican side, we have…

  • Nationwide efforts to worsen already difficult voting conditions in poor, urban, minority (Democratic) areas by means of an army of “poll challengers” there to make sure any possible vote is blocked

  • many thousands of ballots for Democratic areas in Florida “conveniently” lost in the mail

  • Republican officials in Wisconsin denying Milwaukee adequate ballots on the theory that they could be used fraudulently

  • attempt to throw out Ohio new-voter registrations (largely anti-Bush) by a Republican bureaucrat in Ohio on the basis that they were printed on the wrong kind of paper (failed)

  • Directly Republican-funded organizations explicitly instructing their operatives to inquire about people’s party preference before offering to register them to vote, and only offering to sign them up if they’re Republican, and if they inadvertently sign up some Democrats, they shred their registrations so they’ll show up to vote and find they’re not registered.

  • The above organization lies about who they represent and what they’re doing.

  • Republipundits everywhere alleging Democratic voter fraud left and right on slim to no evidence, in a classic case of projection

  • Fraudulent “urgent advisory” letters in heavily Democratic areas of Ohio telling people that if they were registered to vote by a left-leaning organization they were probably registered illegally and they will not be able to vote this year.

Oh, you hadn’t heard about that one? The picture’s really priceless.

More Greeley

Greeley’s got a great piece on his own site called why I am still a Catholic. Neat stuff. Precisely this sort of thing is why I intensely dug Greeley when I happened across his work at a fairly difficult time of my life. I imagined that most Catholics were like Greeley and that maybe I should become a Catholic because of that. It did not quite end up happening, for various reasons.

A.M. Greeley on Mel Gibson’s Passion vs Christ’s

I really, really liked Andrew M. Greeley in the mid-90s. Haven’t read anything by him too recently but I happened across something in the course of some bbs conversations. This is from an article by him quoted here in its entirety after it was sucked behind the “paid archives” wall of the Chicago Sun-Times. The bulletin board it was quoted on is full of angry responses. The article is kind of nice. You don’t see people taking on Anselmian soteriology in public much. At least I don’t!

‘The Passion of the Christ” is a celebration of the bloody suffering of Jesus, a fundamentalist interpretation by a man who rejects the Vatican Council. It is not, contrary to claims, a literal interpretation of St. John’s Gospel but is based on the ”revelations” of a 19th century mystic. It is a film about torture, legitimated because it is the torture of Jesus. ”Passion” is a glorification of sado-masochism.

For most of the first millennium of Christian history, the church spread a veil of modest discretion over the physical suffering of Jesus. It respected the privacy of his final hours and celebrated the empty crucifix as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus (an event that is noted only weakly and vaguely in Mel Gibson’s conclusion). The Greek churches even to this day resist sensationalist presentations of the suffering of Jesus. However, in the Middle Ages, the Western church gradually put the corpus back on the cross, though it did not present Jesus as naked, as he in fact would have been. The cult of the physical suffering of Jesus became especially strong during the Renaissance. It was not always a completely healthy devotion as the cult of the flagellants demonstrated.

Crucifixion was a cruel form of execution. After the slave revolution of Sparticus, 30,000 slaves were crucified along the Apian Way. The death of Jesus was not unique in its cruelty, however horrible it may have been. Whether our modern methods of execution are any more humane might be an open question. It was typical of everything in the life of Jesus that he chose to be united in his death with the poor and the oppressed, a point Gibson seems to have missed.

Those religious conservatives who seem to delight in how much Jesus suffered are certainly correct that his sufferings were terrible. Those who say the sufferings were absolutely unique to him simply display their own ignorance of history.

Gibson showed his hand in his interview with Diane Sawyer when he said that because the gates of heaven were closed by the sin of our first parents, Jesus had to suffer to open them again. This metaphor, which my generation heard often in grammar school, is a poor adaptation of the teaching of St. Anselm, who proposed that the suffering of Jesus paid the blood price to satisfy God and free us from our sins. Anselm’s theology is not Catholic faith. It has caused a lot of misunderstanding among Catholics who absorbed it in their youth.

One may wonder what kind of God it would be who would demand such a price from his beloved son. Is this the same kind of implacably forgiving God whom Jesus preached about in his life?

We all must suffer; we all must die. Death, no matter how brief or how protracted, is horrible. Do those who die after a prolonged battle with cancer die any less horribly than Jesus? What does his death say to all of us who must die? One will watch ”The Passion of the Christ” in vain for any hint of an answer to that question.

The lesson of Good Friday, properly understood, is that God suffers with us. Like every good parent, he suffers when his children suffer. When Jesus hung on the cross, God (the person was the Second Person of the Trinity) made common cause with the Iraqi peasant shot in the back and tossed into the pit to be consumed by fire. God cannot prevent our sufferings, but he suffers with us.

Isn’t God above all suffering? One can only reply that the God of the Hebrew Scriptures presents himself as suffering with his people. Good Friday is good precisely because on that day God identified himself with his people. ”Christ,” as Annie Dillard writes, ”hangs on the cross, as it were, forever, always incarnate and always nailed.”

That fundamental flaw that St. Paul describes as the struggle between what we want to do and what we actually do (and which St. Augustine dubbed ”original sin”) is our fear of our own mortality. We do those things that we know we shouldn’t do because we are afraid of death. On Good Friday, God did not take away death, but he did absorb our God-forsakenness and promise that when it is time to die, he will die once again with us.

And With It His Power

Decapitation’s not just for hostages in Iraq anymore.

DETROIT – A factory worker attacked and killed a fellow employee with a sword the suspect apparently made himself at the metals plant where both men worked, police said Thursday.

Witnesses told police the 30-year-old man had complained he was being bullied by another worker at Peerless Metals, which makes metal powders used in automobile brakes.

The suspect had been working on the sword for several days, apparently at work, and when he finished Wednesday, he struck the 40-year-old victim in the neck, nearly decapitating him, said police spokesman James Tate.

The suspect ran away but later returned to the factory. When police arrived, he was having a beer, authorities said.

No names were immediately released.

stop picking on me/because I’m a geek
I’m strange to you, you’re strange to me
but one of these days/I’m gonna pack heat
your brains on the wall, my face, my face on TV

mc chris, “geek”