Archive for January 16th, 2009

Purpose-Driven Bigotry

Apparently “Purpose-Driven” is a synonym for homophobia and anti-semitism:

In late March 2008, as announced by Rick Warren’s publicist A. Larry Ross, Uganda became the second official “Purpose Driven” nation on Earth, following Rwanda. Sometime during the year Uganda also gained the dubious distinction as a nation that distributes state-sanctioned anti-Jewish propaganda to school children. Up to one million copies of Manga Messiah, which features a basic mis-representation of Biblical scripture giving readers the impression that the Jewish Pharisees were in league with Beelzebub, will be distributed in Uganda with the apparent blessings of the Ugandan Ministry of Education and Uganda’s First Lady Janet Museveni, who has participated in Rick and Kay Warren’s HIV/AIDS conferences.


As I wrote late last May 2008 at the Huffington Post, “For several years now, I have been tracking and studying the covert aspects of Christian Zionism… [the publication of Manga Messiah] suggests the historically covert anti-Semitism within American Christian Zionist culture is mutating, changing and entering a new phase: the anti-Semitism is becoming overt.”


[T]he wholesale quantity of copies of Manga Messiah flowing to the central African authoritarian nation is not an organic expression of upwelling anti-Jewish attitudes among common Ugandans; anti-Semitic attitudes are being incited by the Ugandan government and the Ugandan Anglican Church.

The Manga Messiah comic books are being distributed through the official apparatus of the Ugandan state, which is slated to provide Uganda’s school children with one million copies of the Manga comic, apparently as an adjunct of Uganda’s literacy program.

The ( Anglican ) Church of Uganda appears to be entering the anti-Semitic literature distribution business on an even larger scale, with NEXT, Inc., which distributes Manga Messiah, reporting that  the Church of Uganda has requested ten million copies of the comic: enough to provide, along with the Ugandan state distribution to school children, to almost fifty percent of Uganda’s entire population.


When I brought the comic to the attention of Political Research Associates’ senior analyst Chip Berlet, Berlet categorized Manga Messiah as “[a] colorful comic training manual for motivating young leaders of the next pogrom against Jews. Not just offensive — ghastly and horrific in content with a clear enemy scapegoat identified for venting apocalyptic religious bigotry.”….

Chip Berlet  is not alone in his assessment that Manga Messiah betrays an ugly anti-Jewish slant. As a story by journalist Tom Baker, published  June 28, 2008 in central California’s Modesto Bee, quoted Japanese popular culture scholar Prof. Deborah Shamoon of Notre Dame University, “I think the representation of Jews is appalling.”


Manga Messiah both presents an ugly caricature of Jewish ethnicity and and depicts Jesus as non-semitic. But the comic also twists Biblical scripture in a highly deceptive manner which associates the Jewish Pharisees with the devil, represented in Manga Messiah by Beelzebub.

The association of Jews with the devil, and the depiction of Jews as human-devil hybrids with demonic features such as horns, is one of the oldest and most enduring forms of anti-Jewish attacks. It may be the earliest of anti-Jewish memes and traces back to at least to the second century A.D., predating even one of the most outspoken early Christian purveyors of anti-Jewish invective, St. John Chrysostom.


The distribution of Manga Messiah in Uganda is an especially notable  attempt to flood a country with anti-Semitic literature but by some reports Manga Messiah has also been distributed in mass quantity in Guatemala and the Philippines.

A recent story by journalist Max Blumenthal noted, Uganda is characterized by a ferociously anti-gay climate, fed by Ugandan politicians and religious leaders, and incited by an activist tied to Rick Warren, pastor Martin Ssempa.

As Rabbi Eric Yoffie, leader of the largest branch of American Judaism, reminded an American Jewish audience of over 5,000 in November 2005,

“We cannot forget that when Hitler came to power in 1933, one of the first things that he did was ban gay organizations,” Yoffie said. “Yes, we can disagree about gay marriage. But there is no excuse for hateful rhetoric that fuels the hellfires of anti-gay bigotry.”

There’s samples and a lot more detail about the Manga Messiah comic at the link.  It really is horrible stuff.  Rick Warren is in bed with nasty, nasty people.

3 comments January 16th, 2009 at 11:22pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Racism,Religion,Republicans,Teh Gay,Wankers

Wait, Which Country Was He Talking About Again?

Dubya gets right to the heart of the problem in his farewell address:

The battles waged by our troops are part of a broader struggle between two dramatically different systems. Under one, a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience, and marks unbelievers for murder. The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God, and that liberty and justice light the path to peace.

I think he might be exaggerating a little bit about conservatives marking unbelievers for murder, but otherwise I think he’s spot on.

January 16th, 2009 at 09:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Afghanistan,Bush,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Iraq,Racism,Religion,Republicans,Sexism,Teh Gay,War

Epic Perspective Fail

There may be scenarios where strip-searching a 13-year-old girl is an appropriate and proportional response, but I’m pretty sure that suspicion of ibuprofen possession is probably not one of them.

Justice Alito may disagree.

January 16th, 2009 at 06:55pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Wankers

Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

This week’s quote is from Drunken Angel, a 1948 Kurosawa film I have no recollection of watching:

Times have changed. No one would have dared to be that vague four years ago.

And, of course, there’ll be other Speaker Of The House’s cats…

It is necessary to watch the whole thing to get the, ah, full effect.

January 16th, 2009 at 11:18am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

To Sir Obama With Love

Today’s NYT has a bunch of letters from schoolkids to Obama:

Dear Sir Obama,

These are the first 10 things you should do as president:

1. Make everyone read books.
2. Don’t let teachers give kids hard homework.
3. Make a law where kids only get one page of homework per week.
4. Kids can go visit you whenever they want.
5. Make volunteer tutors get paid.
6. Let the tutors do all the thinking.
7. Make universities free.
8. Make students get extra credit for everything.
9. Give teachers raises.
10. If No. 4 is approved, let kids visit the Oval Office, but don’t make it boring.

— Mireya Perez, age 8, San Francisco

Dear Obama,

If I were president I would have fun, because I could run fast.

— Kenja Zelaya, age 6, Los Angeles

Dear President/Mr. Obama,

The best thing about living in the White House would be running around like a maniac. The thing I would like least is the work.

— Holly Wong, age 9, San Francisco


Dear President Obama,

Here is a list of the first 10 things you should do as president:

1. Fly to the White House in a helicopter.
2. Walk in.
3. Wipe feet.
4. Walk to the Oval Office.
5. Sit down in a chair.
6. Put hand-sanitizer on hands.
7. Enjoy moment.
8. Get up.
9. Get in car.
10. Go to the dog pound.

— Chandler Browne, age 12, Chicago

Dear President Obama,

If I were president, I would tell people to not talk too much. It wastes time. I’d also say to war: no more, no more, no more!

— Catherine Galvan, age 6, Chicago


Dear Pres. Obama,

Good job on winning. I heard about Area 51. I wanted to ask you if there are any U.F.O.’s there. I think that you should tell people in public the truth about Area 51. You would just maybe say, “That we will take care of it.” And do it.

— Edwin Jara, age 9, New York

Dear President Obama,

Could you help my family to get housecleaning jobs? I hope you will be a great president. If I were president, I would help all nations, even Hawaii. President Obama, I think you could help the world.

— Chad Timsing, age 9, Los Angeles

I particularly like the one about Area 51…

1 comment January 16th, 2009 at 07:31am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Obama

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