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Friday, April 06, 2012

The comparison is striking.

Every now and then I notice something that reminds me that people differ, and often wildly and incomprehensibly, in what they regard as plausible, and what standards of evidence they impose on assertions. This, it so happens, is one of those times. Specifically, I was recently perusing the usual wretched hive of scum and villainy when I ran across a pair of headlines that were remarkable for the contrast they posed. The first refers to President Obama and something he said, or perhaps didn't say, at a recent prayer breakfast:

Or, in plain text:

Obama's gaffe reinforces doubts that he's a Christian: Jesus was merely "a Son of God," Obama said. Contrast that with John 3:16, the favorite verse of Tim Tebow and most Christians. [Emphasis original. Seriously]

Now, if you follow the link they provide, you reach an article that gives slightly more detail on what was said as well as the context:

Speaking to a group of Christian clergy at the Easter Prayer Breakfast he hosted at the White House on Wednesday, President Barack Obama referred to Jesus Christ as “a son of God.”

“It’s an opportunity for us to reflect on the triumph of the resurrection, and to give thanks for the all-important gift of grace,” Obama said of Easter, which is this Sunday. “And for me, and I’m sure for some of you, it’s also a chance to remember the tremendous sacrifice that led up to that day, and all that Christ endured--not just as a Son of God, but as a human being.”

The Christian faith teaches that Jesus is the only Son of God. John 3:16-18: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

So, just to recap: Obama, the President of an allegedly secular nation, attends a breakfast for clergy of a single religion, quotes scripture, refers to their particular deity figure in terms that assume the facticity of the Christian account, and makes a rhetorical point that the supposed "son of god" was also a mortal man- a point Christianity itself often emphasizes- and he's suddenly maybe "not a Christian" because he didn't say the. It's hard to imagine what he could have done to convince these morons that he is a Christian short of, I don't know, being anointed by Yahweh in person. But let's leave that aside.

No, the thing I find interesting here is that even though we have essentially no documentary evidence to back it up, and the bible is rife with contradictions and variations in the story, leading to the conclusion that it's more likely to be folklore than fact, Obama is being chastised for daring to suggest, however inadvertently, that Jesus might not have been the only son of god. He's still saying Jesus was a son of god, mind you, implicitly supporting the notion of an invisible friend in the sky and that one specific individual had a special relationship with said friend, he's just accidentally implying that Jesus might not have been an only child. And for that, he's a bad dude.

And then I spotted this other headline:

Or, again in plain text:

Who is Barack Hussein Obama? Is that even his legal name? What hospital was he born in? We don't know! And it should be a State's job to know, when appointing Presidential electors.

Thus, when we have tons of documentary evidence supporting the identity and origins of a man who is standing right the fuck in front of us, Conservatives can't believe it. But when we have a wild assed story about a dude with a crazy relationship to something that doesn't appear to exist, supported only by a handful of mutually contradictory stories that probably weren't all written by who they were claimed to be written by? So totally plausible that even questioning it is cause for censure.

Seriously, what the hell?

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