Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Reverend Wright: Master Manipulator

It's been 3 whole weeks since the Steeners' last post. I've been busy with finals. Robyn is more interested in reading other people's blogs. The Steeners take a brief hiatus from their normal light hearted fare to stir the political pot a little.

I was watching the news yesterday and heard Reverend Wright's remarks at a recent D.C. Press Club gathering and NAACP meeting in Detroit. The damage his remarks inflict reach far beyond Barrack Obama's campaign. Wright is a national embarrassment and a fraud. First of all, Wright spews his anti-American views and divisive, racist gospel under the guise of it being religion. Then this week in Detroit, he deflected any responsibility for his actions, saying that all of the fallout over his comments were really an assault on the "Black Church." He also had the gall to try and justify his belief that America had 9/11 coming to it by accusing the U.S. of committing terrorism overseas and saying that we are reaping what we sow, referring to scripture in an attempt to legitimize his twisted opinions.

It's really sad what passes for religion these days. People have a right to seek whatever fulfillment they want, but I think it's unfortunate that a man can stand up at a pulpit and instead of teaching the Gospel that Jesus taught concerning loving our neighbor, forgiving, etc., Wright uses his position to promote his own political views and sow dissension, paranoia, and hate. I can only imagine how fulfilling it is to go to church on Sunday and leave feeling your country is the worst aggressor in the world and people who aren't of your race can't be trusted. But that's what Wright does. Among the uplifting "sermons" Wright has preached are those accusing the U.S. of manufacturing AIDS to kill off African Americans, and our repeated acts of "terrorism" in the Middle East.

Through it all, Wright has insulated himself from any reproach. He hasn't taken a word back. And anyone who criticizes him is really attacking the Black Church, and by implication is a racist.

I'm not a racist, far from it. And I for one think Wright is a fraud and a snake oil salesman. He's a wolf in sheep's clothing, and despite what his apologists have said before, you don't have to be a member of the Black Church to have a special insight to what he's saying. Being an African American doesn't excuse his unsubstantiated and reckless claim that AIDS is a device for killing people. I fully understand, though am obviously unable to empathize with the plight of African Americans throughout our country's history. But whatever Wright's motives in spreading his message, it certainly isn't therapeutic.

He clearly has no desire to help or soothe racial tensions. He wants to exacerbate them, all under the authority of a fraudulent mandate from God.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Rest in Peace, Mr. Heston

This morning the Steeners were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of their (meaning Matt's) favorite actors, John Charles Carter, known to millions of adoring fans and stiff necked Israelites as Charlton Heston. So today, with heavy hearts, the Steeners bid farewell to one of America's most enduring film icons and staunch 2nd Amendment defenders. Let's take a look at some of his most memorable film moments.

The Ten Commandments (1956)

One of my favorite movies. The real Moses has a lot to live up to.

Planet of the Apes (1968)

This may have been Charlton Heston's first of many futuristic doomsday pics. In this masterpiece, Heston played an astronaut who, along with his companions, traveled in a "rocket ship" into space and were supposed to return to earth 1,000 or so years later only to find that they had apparently gone off course and landed on a strange planet ruled by talking apes! Drama and unintended hilarity ensue as Heston struggles against super intelligent Apes who herd, hunt, and generally treat humans (who are on the last rung of the evolutionary ladder) like animals!

In this famous "Apes" moment, the Apes are stunned to learn that their captive human can talk!

This is my second favorite sound byte from a Heston film:

The most controversial scene from "Apes" was the one at the end featuring a steamy kiss shared between Heston's character and a "darned dirty ape." Though controversial for its time, this brief, touching scene greatly accelerated the field of inter-primate research and also bred many more tender ape-human relationships.

Jane Goodall and an anonymous darned dirty ape

Soylent Green (1973)

This movie is great for two reasons, Charlton's ascot, and the very end. Arguably the most famous in Heston's "the future is going to be horrible" series, Heston plays a scientist who finds out the nasty, unpalatable truth about Soylent Green, the food of choice of billions of miserable earth dwellers in the 22nd century.

The ascot is the thing around Charlton's neck

One of the most famous lines in movie history! And my favorite Heston sound byte. Heston's character finds out the awful truth about Soylent Green! Sure it's disgusting, but what other choice is there in an overpopulated, famished world?