On Double Standards

Remember when Bush was president of the US? Remember how people would make fun at him and basically call him a monkey? That wasn’t good or right; I think we can all agree on that. I personally disliked the man’s policies, actions, and his Texas cowboy impersonation annoyed me. It seemed–and in retrospect is almost certainly–a fa├žade put on to endear him to the common man, whoever that is. I think he did a lot of evil during his time as president. I don’t think he was a good president at all, and I’m pretty sure in retrospect however many years from now his time in office will be viewed as dimly as it is now.

That said, I have a right to disagree with the man. I have a right to talk about him and what he does. I don’t have to agree with George W. because I’m a Christian and he claimed to be a Christian, or because I’m supposed to be a conservative, or because he’s a world leader, or because I know a bunch of people who just seemed to like the guy through thick and thin.

They would tell me, “Dan, I know he’s got his issues, but you still have to respect him for who he is.” This is borne out in scripture as well as just making good sense. The office deserves honour even when the man filling the office doesn’t exactly engender respect. They would point to a bunch of people saying some pretty stupid things and dumping on the guy and his party and his intelligence and whatever. And they would tell me these people are doing something wrong.

I agree. So where’s that respect and tolerance now?

Where’s the spirit of respecting the office and not going around calling the president stupid, or saying he’s just a media icon, or attacking him because he’s on the wrong team? Where did that go? Or does extending the sort of grace and love to the president of the US only apply when you’re talking about the other guys? That’s the sort of double standard designed to shut other people up. I can’t really think of a better way not to have to hear bad things about a guy you like.

Having a president from the other team is really a crisis of morality for conservatives, seeing how closely the evangelical establishment is tied the conservative Republican party. It’s a crisis of, How do I act when I’m on the losing side? And from what I’ve seen, the character of Evangelical America is pretty ugly. If anything its uglier than the unwashed, unchurched masses that voted for Obama.

Which is sad. It’s another reason the church shouldn’t be involved in political brinkmanship. There’s nothing like politics to bring out the bad in some people. I know I’m like that. I said some of the same stupid things about Bush and made some pretty unkind remarks about him. I’m sorry I said those things. I should be better than that, especially as a Christian.

But I’ll repeat the question: Where’s that spirit of grace and love? If the president wins a pretty meaningless award–just as a for instance–where a lot of people agree it could have gone to someone more deserving, do you use the opportunity to make snide remarks about the man and pretty much dump a bunch of crap on him? And if so, what does that say about your character?

2009-10-09: Tweet Beat

  • L'absente by Yan Tiersen… probably the best composition I've heard since Steve Reich's "Music For 18 Musicians". #
  • I hate working with temperamental people. #
  • I's amused by the oddest things. #

2009-10-08: Tweet Beat

  • Lie To Me has really picked up the pace this season. #
  • If I could have a hundred songs like "Mad World" and "The Luckiest", I'd listen to them all, all the time. #

2009-10-07: Tweet Beat

  • Just made great creamy lemon chicken. Starts off with faint tang and creamy texture and then a really nice lemon zest burst to finish. #fb #
  • Ooooops. That email did NOT go to the right place. #
  • I've given up on #googlewave for the time being. I had a much, much more positive impression of Gmail as a tech preview. #

2009-10-06: Tweet Beat

  • Jay Leno's face actually makes me angry. I hate him, I hate his new show, I hate his old show, and I never want to see or hear him again. #
  • I'm pretty much useless here right now. #
  • What is the half-life of love? #

Things I Want You To Know

When you get older, you’ll start to spell better and use more punctuation. This is so you don’t look like an idiot kid with their idiot kid language.
Sometimes you have to let things slide, even when you think they’re important.
You’ll never have time to do all the things you want to do. You’ll end up doing easy things instead. All the things you want to do are harder than you think.
Everything can be made into a double entendre if you want to. You shouldn’t want to.
Writing things on Facebook and Twitter and your blog is a lot easier than cleaning the house. Clean the house anyways. In fact, clean my house while you’re at it, as I’m busy on my blog.
Danger is usually in your mind. You live in one of the safest periods in human history, hysteria about crime notwithstanding.
Don’t buy a Mac unless you’re a designer. Even then, ponder it deeply. Macs are made of the same plastic and metal as everything else. They fail just as often. They are not the source of your power.
Brush your teeth. Floss. You’ll never regret if you do.
Remember that the world is powered by caffeine and sugar. You know what to do.
Don’t become famous. Being famous is a pain in the ass.
Every time you read the Bible, you’ll find something in it that you never noticed before. Try Proverbs. Good place to start.
Have as few cars as possible. Drive them sparingly. Walk lots. Never buy a new car. Have comfortable shoes.
Get groceries a few times a week instead of once a month. You’ll end up buying more vegetables that way.
A vegetable-heavy stir fry is better for you than a bag of chips or an instant dinner.
The easiest way to control the ingredients of your food is to cook for yourself. Approach cooking as a fun skill to be learned. Take pride in your accomplishments and learn from your mistakes. Don’t loose heart: your mistakes will probably still be edible.
Buy a good knife. Sharpen it often. If it can’t cut a tomato easily, you’re doing it wrong.
Give money to the church even if you don’t like what they’re doing with it. It’s not your money anyway.
Kids need pets. If you have a kid, get them a pet.
Kids need sports. If you have a kid, make them kick a ball around or something. There’s all kinds of value in that.
Tea and coffee are different. Tea is light. Coffee is heavy. Tea is for the evenings, coffee for the morning. There’s no shame in adding dairy to either.
Aspartame is not evil. Some people say it is, but a crazy thing called the scientific method says it’s not.
Vaccinate your children. They’re not going to jump up the autism spectrum if you do. That’s crazy people bullshit. Not vaccinating is terribly selfish.
Always ask, “What if everyone did this?” If the result sucks, don’t do it. For instance, if everyone drove to work in a Hummer.
Don’t be afraid of wasting your time. Don’t listen to crazy people who tell you to rush through life. Chill out. Then do something rewarding.
Read poetry. Moreover, read poetry you don’t immediately understand. There’s an entire world of people who think differently from you.
Stick to your guns. But sometimes don’t.
It’s not really important if people like you, but if everyone dislikes you, you’re probably a jerk.
Don’t listen to this guy who writes things on the internet. He probably doesn’t know that much.
Common sense is crap. Like anything common, it’s worthless. It’s called “herd instinct” and one day when you find yourself in a riot, running out of store with a TV in your arms, I’ll be here to say “I told you so”.
Oxford commas. Use them. And semicolons. They’ll save your life one day.
Don’t argue with idiots. Idiocy is contagious.
Argue with idiots. Take them down a notch.
Clear out a space where you can listen to music uninterrupted. Buy a record and listen to it all the way through. Really listen.
Put your keys in the same place every time. This way you won’t lose your keys.
Don’t throw recycling in the trash bin. Try to be a good citizen.
The greatest rebellion of all is to check out of the system of rebellion altogether, but that’s the one rebellion the system won’t tolerate.
If you ever do manage to check out of the system, they’re going to watch what you do and try to sell it to other people. Don’t get mad; why should you care?