December 03, 2015

#PrayerShaming meet #AtlanticShaming and #hypocrisy shaming

Atlantic Monthly Managing Editor Emma Green decides that, rather than chide GOP presidential candidates for saying "prayers for the families" banal platitudes after the San Bernardino mass shooting (and the Colorado Springs mass shooting, and surely after the next mass shooting to come), she's rather bash Democrats who call for actual action, like, you know ...

Gun control.

Rather than salute their calls for action, when any of them mocks GOP presidential candidates and other elected officials for NOT calling for action along with "prayers for the families," she calls them

"Prayer shamers."

It's the worst piece of dreck I've seen come from that mag for some time, and that's a magazine that has the confusing neoliberal-libertarian-mushy conservative triangulations of Conor Friedersdorf on its pages.

And, it's not from a staff writer, or a freelancer, it's from its managing editor. (Hat tip to Brains and Eggs for alerting me to this particular dreck.)

But, wait, it gets worse.

On her Twitter feed, to support her contention about "prayer shaming," she retweets the like of noted homophobe Rod Dreher:

Dreher wrote this dreck, starting with mischaracterizing the New York Daily News' cover page reaction to San Bernardino.

First, the cowards part is true, as none of them will stand up to the NRA. That's even though many religiously conservative would be OK with more gun control.

Green even admits that factor, then tries to pretend this is about prayer shaming in general.

Well, if you want to open that can of worms ...

In small towns across this country, with senseless murders, and murder-suicides, people still utter the same platitude: "Prayers for the family."

What? No prayers for "more gun control"? No prayers for "better mental health services" in the case of murder-suicides? No prayers of anguish of "why do you let this happen, god"?

No, we never hear about such prayers.

Nor does Green note other counterexamples, like Jews in the camps saying they lost god because he wasn't there.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, bemoans this becoming yet another part of the culture wars. He even bemoans the shallow prayers of politicos. He doesn't mention, though, that they're almost all of the same political party. Nor does he mention that his denomination has contributed heavily to said culture wars.

Meanwhile, Green herself is quite Catholic. She's not neutral on the religiosity in America issue, having in the past tried to massage the rise of the nones.

And, as a 2012 Georgetown grad, The Atlantic hiring a 20something as managing editor shows how fiscally cheap the magazine is, the Peter Principle again at work in the media industry and more.

Meanwhile, whether conservatives praying for better gun control or alleged liberals wanting more action on gun control?

Preznit Kumbaya keeps talking about, and threatening, to do what he can by executive order if Congress won't act. Well, his threats look ever more hollow, even though there's a lot he could actually do by those executive orders.

He could do even more than that. For example, he could have OSHA do slow-walk, white-glove inspections of every guns and ammo manufacturer in the US until their owners tell the wingnuts to do more on gun control.

And, it's not just guns, on the GOP and mindless, heartless, rote "prayers for ... " nonsense.

Take GOP presidential candidates and other elected officials saying "Prayers for the families" when more and more natural natural disasters are exacerbated by climate change.

Are we supposed to not critique their opposition to climate change legislation and treaties? Is that too "prayer shaming"?

So, Emma, with you and your seemingly Peter-Principled appointment, maybe you should note:
1. The particular prayers deserve mockery, especially when uttered by public officials;
2. Democrats aren't prayer shaming; they're hypocrite shaming;
3. This isn't a one-off. Per a tracker, the U.S. is averaging a mass shooting a day this year. And time, after time, after time, all we hear is "prayers for the families" or "thoughts and prayers." And that's not all. When the case involves a white, Religious Right, conservative Christian terrorist, like Robert Lewis Dear last week, those same GOP presidential candidates and their allies deny that these people are exactly who they are.

On that point, it's not just politicos. Despite evidence that Dear has a history of anti-abortion violent thoughts or more, and the "no more baby parts" quote was certainly inspired by the Center for Medical Progress Regress' surreptitious filming of Planned Parenthood, followed by lie-narrating editing of that video, Dreher claims there's no connection between Christians (while ignoring there's the Religious Right, then there's other Christians) and Colorado Springs.

Dreher then goes on to raise a straw man. Many liberals also agree that it's not just gun control. I'd say it's attitudes about guns in general that's a problem. And the lauding of violence in American society, which includes the Fox network, which arguably, even while Fox News sucks up to conservatives, runs the most anti-"values" programming of any of the four major broadcast networks.

So, the real shame is to Emma Green for writing an article with so little nuance. The second real shame is for The Atlantic continuing to slouch to Gomorrah with a hiring like this. Is Ta-Nehisi Coates a "token" of actual liberal good sense or what? (Hope you're getting paid well, as well as getting a good platform, my man.)

Maybe Atlantic is slouching toward the Gomorrah of clickbait with this, too. But, since I use Ghostery to block its cookies, and AdBlock Plus to block its ads, and put a "no follow" on linking to it, clickbait don't work, baby.

And, now that I have learned a few more nuggets about her, Green may actually be a conservative Catholic culture warrior who hasn't revealed that yet. Maybe she even agrees with Dreher's homophobia.

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