A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Friday, August 20, 2004

Capitulation, Transubstantiation, and Stone Cold Rage

Today's post was going to be an Alliance filthy lie assignment, but then I made the mistake of reading the news. I still plan on spending my lunch hour creating filthy lies, but I found three things on Fox that I want to blog about this morning:

Capitulation

It looks like The Zoo's favorite Shiite malcontent might surrender after all. Of course his decision is all "... to appease the Iraqi people ..." and has nothing to do with the bloody attrition of his militia, his hopeless military position, and the steadfast demands of the Iraqi government for his unconditional surrender.


Clearing Out the al-Sadr Militia (Fox Photo) Posted by Hello

I have no doubt that the Iraqi people will indeed be happy that al-Sadr and his brigands are out of the Imam Ali shrine, but I'm skeptical (to say the least) that this was a motivating factor for Moqtada. In reality he had no choice but to capitulate or die, and it's just a happy accident that he'll appear magnanimous to some Iraqis when he hands over the shrine.

What remains to be seen is if he actually abides by the terms of his surrender this time - and faces obscurity as a very minor player in Iraqi politics - or once again uses the cease-fire to inflame anti-Americanism, stockpile weapons, and regroup his forces. I know where my money is. Stay tuned.

Transubstantiation

The wise and compassionate Catholic church once again impresses us with its kindness for the afflicted. Gluten intolerance apparently means one is unworthy to take part in Catholicism's most important community-affirmation ritual; the wheat stalk points the way to acceptance.


Thou Shalt Not Have Gluten Allergies (Fox Photo) Posted by Hello

Now I happen to have grown up Catholic, and I've also studied Theology a bit. Catholics believe in transubstantiation, the mystical transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. See if you can follow my logic here: It is central to the entire communion ritual that Catholics believe they are not actually eating bread and wine when they accept communion, but instead the literal body and blood of Jesus. So why then does it matter that Haley Waldman's wafer was rice instead of wheat before the transubstantiation? After the ritual it became the body and blood of Christ - unless we ludicrously assume that God can transform one grain but not another - which Haley then consumed per the usual tradition. The very idea that "bread type" is a central issue here is logically inconsistent with belief in transubstantiation. If one truly believes that bread and wine become flesh and blood then Haley's communion was perfectly valid regardless of how the bread started out; if one does not believe then it calls the entire communion ritual into doubt ... at which point who really cares whether it's rice or wheat wafers?

Inflexibility and logical inconsistencies like this are among the many things that drove me from the church. The pampered old farts in Rome are far too concerned with cash flow and rigid adherence to doctrine, and not nearly concerned enough with the needs of the real people who comprise the faith. Golden Jackass Award to The Vatican!

Stone Cold Rage

I have fantasies about catching a child killer and beating him until he is dead, dead, dead. I can't help it; our impotence in preventing this scourge upon our civilization is beyond infuriating, and whenever it happens my mind drifts off into "If I Could Do Something About It" land. Well, the body of seven year-old Patricia Ann Miles was found today. An innocent little girl who went to the store for a bottle of soda and a candy bar, and ended up dying - terrified and confused, probably - at the hands of some sick, evil, twisted fuck who deserves nothing but the most extended and painful death possible.

Anyone who would intentionally harm a child may take what follows as the direst of warnings: You are a wolf who preys among innocent lambs and you think this makes you powerful. But what you don't understand is that not all men are sheep; there are those of us who are the human equivilent of Border Collies, Sheep Dogs, or German Shepherds. We are not so easily fooled or cowed as your victims - you sniveling, scavenging, inhuman wretch - and when one of us gets his or her jaws around your throat the only thing you will taste is your own miserable blood as it fills your lungs and grants you a death far more merciful than the one you actually deserve. And in your mind will exist the certain knowledge that humans everywhere rejoice in your demise, and that any Gods which might await you beyond death's door will be both mighty and terrible in their vengeance.

Keep looking over your shoulder you cowardly dingo, because one day my face will appear there and it will be the last thing you see. Believe this as you believe the sun will rise tomorrow.


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