Friday, October 17, 2008

International Dispute

Hans, who hails from France, apparently thinks I'm being condescending.

His issue is with me is that I referred to a Palin supporter as "trash." Let me put this in context. This week I posted a video of a Palin rally, where a Palin supporter said she didn't support Obama because he thought white people were trash.

"I don't like the fact that he thinks us white people are trash," she said. "We're not trash."

I disagreed. She sounds just like every other white trash person I know who trash-talks Obama with statements so obviously rooted in prejudice. And I said so. If it smells like a piece of white trash and rolls like white trash then it's white trash.

Hans thought that was mean. He said I had no business calling anyone trash.

This sparked an exchange between us, during which I chalked his confusion up to cultural differences. Unless you've been around white trash, then don't be so quick to take things out of context, I told him.

His response sought to prove that he did, indeed, understand:

ook here: the mentality you describe exists anywhere, in any ethnos. Including parts of France. What I do not agree with is describing people as trash because of it.

I've had people, whom otherwise I would had trusted on grounds of religious sympathy, distrust me, whether it is because I am from a Protestant country, or because I speak fluent English and can converse with English speaking tourists, or because I fled my country, or because I live on the streets and beg rather than work hard with my fists and arms. I am "frog lover" as that lady would probably call me, but the "frogs" distrust me because I am also "ami des rosbîf" (yup, Frenchies call English roastbeefs=rednecks), and because my folksong repertoir is more anglophone than francophone. I can sing (or could before the colds strained my voice) things like Waltzing Matilda or In Dublin's Fair City or Scotland the Brave: but if I cannot sing either Brel or Brassens, I do not count as a real street singer around here. Especially since I do not play the guitar.

I am a composer, but since this has so far not landed me with success or money, some people will just give me no credit for it.

Wow, I thought. Good point. And then he went and ruined it by going all French Fundamentalist on me:

God decides ultimately who is trash and goes to Gehenna. Yup, the Hebrew word for hell also is the name of the refuse heap outside Jerusalem. Which is reason enough, knowing as we do NOT beforehand who goes there, not to describe people who are alive like that.


Well, here's my response to that:

Hans, you're quite welcome to come here on my blog and disagree with me. But again you simply do not understand.

There is a term used called "white trash" to describe ignorant people who remain uneducated by choice. They're generally a hateful lot, and the only way to elevate themselves is to look down on those they believe God created as Lesser Beings, i.e., the blacks, Muslims or even other Christians who don't hold their narrow interpretation of the Bible.

It's an expression, Hans.

But even so, I find it sadly ironic that you express indignation over an expression while admitting belief in a God you say will one day throw nonbelievers into some burn pile. And for what, Hans? For rejecting Him? For being of a faith other than Christianity? For being born into circumstances so brutal that they were never able to muster belief that there was some Benevolent Watcher who loved them or cared one whit about their lives?

For the life of me I can't understand why you are upset that I refer to someone as trash when you admit to worshipping a being who has deemed a large part of humanity disposable.

What would you call those people got cast into your Gehenna, Hans? They were born as innocent as you, but somewhere between innocence and death they lost their way. Would you call them trash? No? Your God does.

And if you really, truly believe that - and it's baffling that an intelligent person would - then you're condoning an injustice that goes far beyond some perceived verbal insult.

What's the French word for "irony?"


Andrea said...

I agree, he went off the deep end there. It could've been chalked up to cultural difference before that point.
You raise a valid point about the human burn pile, and I'd add an additional insight: what offense could possibly merit eternal punishment? Not a thousand years, or a million years, but forever.

At any rate, Muslims believe that only God knows who is going to Hell and who isn't, so you might be screwed no matter what you do.

Morgan said...

All religion is just ridiculous. It's like you and I were discussing the other night, Andrea. We didn't exist before we were born and have no consciousness of that time. We have no idea of what is to come after we die. All we really can count is NOW, this day, this hour, this moment.

It seems the greatest sin is to waste the time we've been given to hedge our bets for the afterlife, and all based on the fear of some God who may only let part of us live to torture it for eternity.

Andrea said...

It's worse than that actually, because God knows the future and is creating millions of souls that it knows will never end up in heaven. If this deity wants to be loved by homo sapiens so badly, why not create only those that will wind up with it in the end?

Ahh, clarifies so many things.

Anyway, this Hans guy is defending an old bigot who probably hates him for being European anyway.

Andrea said...

anyway anyway - crap lol

We could all take a lesson from your "international sexual relations" naughty post ;)

Hans Lundahl said...

irony is ironie
I am not French

if you do not believe in Hell, either for unbelievers (if by choice, esp) or simply bad (whether believing or not) the word "trash" will not carry less hateful connotations to you than to me who do and who know what Gehenna means

nevertheless, I do not think anyone likes the expression applied to themselves

as for creating people who will not end up in heaven, well, the meaner sort will at least have dealt out some lessons to the others about what behaviour to avoid ...

Morgan said...

I pointed out to Hans that were he to go to an Ohio Palin rally he'd have been pelted to death just for being French. And he'd get no points for being a tolerant Frenchman, either. In fact, that would only make him more suspicious to the White Trash who showed up to cheer on McCain's Vagina.

And somehow I don't expect Hans to request admission to Naughty Bits. To do so would mean to risk angering God and ending up on that trash heap his Heavenly Father has planned for us.

And as you pointed out, Andrea, with more being born all the time that's going to make for one big-ass bonfire.

Hans Lundahl said...

pralnt d'ironie ... a comment on what to me seems like hate speach, but then the C word might be just a figure of speech, though last time it applied to married folk who gave birth to "undesirables" was in Sweden 1935 - 1972 and in Germany 1936 (yup, Hitler copied our Per Albin) - 1945

Hans Lundahl said...

parlant, of course

Andrea said...

"Sinner," "lost," and "damned" are worse expressions. Again, I'm sure the old woman has some colorful labels to apply to anyone who isn't American, white, and Christian.

Some people are actually not afraid of fictional places.

And that last comment...meaner sort, lessons, behavior to avoid....what the fuck?

Morgan said...

Or, Hans, you could actually address our points.
If you decry hate speech, how is it that you can worship a God who is planning to incinerate undesirables? It seems strangely contrary to your obvious desire for social justice.

No straw man arguments, please, just a direct answer.

Of course, if you find yourself unable to defend your God's disdain for the undesirables he's created I fully understand. I sure wouldn't want to be in a decision of defending something like that. Hitler has nothing on Him.

Morgan said...

Andrea, Hans can't address our points, so it seems he is using a straw man here instead. But likening my use of the phrase "white trash" to - I'm assuming - the word "cunt" he is seeking to marginalize us and deflect the indefensible statement he's made about how sinners deserve to be thrown away like rubbish.

Andrea said...

I assumed it was 'cunt' too....what a bizarre connection to attempt.

Morgan said...

He can exalt hell but can't say "cunt."
Go figure.

Christopher said...

My head is spinning. I keep thinking of the final chapter of Julian Barnes's book A History of the World in 10 and 1/2 Chapters where he ends up in Heaven and is surprised that find that everyone else is there too. Even Hitler. He asks a woman why even such evil people end up in Heaven and she says something like, "We get that question a lot. Not a very Christian attitude, is it?"
I suspect Barnes is going to Hell for writing that. I plan to ask him about it when I get there.

Anonymous said...

Bunch of white guilt, if you ask me.

I think you'll find the majority of Christians throughout this world are not, in fact, white. And most will believe in the trash heap of hell where unbelievers get disposed of.

Not a kind way to put it, I know. Seriously though, I'm just glad I'm not one to judge, as I'd have torched this place years ago.

Anyway, your site is interesting...and that's coming from a Christian libertarian mostly pacifist.

Morgan said...

Christopher, we have some neighbors who are Jehovah's Witness. They have informed me that it is God's plan to take 144,000 faithful to heaven where they will help God rule the rest of us left behind on Earth.

When they told me, I was like, "Really? That's your reward? To be stuck in middle management for eternity? You can't get promoted because the upper management position is taken by God. If you get demoted it means being sent back to hang out with the sinners."

I told them I planned to be just bad enough to stay out of heaven. I have never wanted to be in middle management.

Morgan said...

Metaljaybird, welcome!

You are right; there are plenty of Christians in the world. I concede that all of them are not of a fundamentalist bent. Most of the ones I know take a live-and-let-live attitude. I don't have a problem with them.

It's the fundamentalists ones who freak me out and I know they aren't all white, either. There's a whole Rainbow of Stupid out there.

Like you, I believe I am best left without Ultimate Power. I would have carried the lighting fluid for you.

laughingwolf said...

without going into it much, i stand with you and andrea... chris, i'm not too sure about :O lol

and mj shows a lot of intelligence....

Lu' said...

Damn and I don't mean that in the way one might think. I agree on the white trash descritpion by you Morgan. It is definately a state of mind. Lets not get into appearance, ha!

Andrea said...

Oh, I'm not too sure about this "Chris" guy either. I think he's up to something. Keep an eye on him...

How about this: no matter what you believe, most of the world disagrees with you! Yipee!

Christopher said...

This "Chris" guy sounds like a shady troublemaker. His philosophy sounds like this is Hell, nor has he left it.

To be stuck in middle management for eternity?

Better to serve in Hell than reign in Heaven. Anyway, Hell sounds like the place where all the interesting people are going. I'll put up with eternal suffering and punishment if I can score a seat between Oscar Wilde and Sylvia Plath.

thimscool said...

Someday soon you will all regret your cavalier disdain for the scathing fate that awaits you.

Sinners in the hands of an angry god... Like spiders ye are, dangling over the eternal fires that will consume your vile souls for the ages!

<*thump* drops paint thinner on floor and sniggers uncontrollably...>

Hans Lundahl said...

Who says Oscar Wilde is in Hell? He expressed remorse for the sodomy part at least once (Ballad of Reading Gaol, I think it was the foreword or something). A Catholic priest was taken to his death bed and gave him extreme unction.

Christ told some Jewish cities that Sodom and Gomorrah were getting to Heaven before them and that seems to be coming true.

Morgan said...

There are spiders in hell, Luke? Well color me ecstatic. I love spiders.

And all of you, listen up. Thus spaketh Hans: Oscar Wilde renounced his godless buggery and therefore may not be consigned to the trash heap. So there's hope for the rest of us perverts, homos and rampant totties. All we have to do is time our repentance for the last moment and we will be saved.

Glory!! So live as you want and repent at the last moment. It's your Get Out Of Hell Free card.

And people wonder why I can't take Christian literalists seriously.

And Hans, I mean no offense. You seem like a nice guy. It's your philosophy that I find completely whacky.

laughingwolf said...

amen to that, morg....

[i AM allowed to say that, no? :P lol]

Morgan said...

Anyone is allowed to say anything they want here. They just aren't guaranteed that everyone (or anyone) will agree with them.

In other word, it's all good. Even if it doesn't all make sense.