Probably your neighbor or the president or something.
The Family Research Council and the Liberty Institute—which, as you can see from their names, are wonderful organizations that anyone would agree with—have released their Survey of Religious Hostility in America. The good news is that Christianity has not been stamped out entirely; a small pocket of Americans continue to profess the faith, clinging to existence at a mere 80% of the US population. They are brave, and they are threatened. As Fox News helpfully explains:
The [report] highlighted more than 600 examples illustrating what it characterized as religious animosity shown by judges, government bureaucrats, schools and secular groups. From ObamaCare mandates that force religious entities to pay for contraception, to children being punished for uttering prayers in school, the report’s findings shocked even those who commissioned it.
Props to Ben al-Fowlkes for the link and, to a lesser extent, yesterday’s hangover. Prophetic words of Tony Perkins after the jump.
Costa Rica uses a government-funded, single-payer health care system.
I don’t know about you, but I would like to be liked. I may not be very good at it, but in my interpersonal relations I try to pander to others as much as possible. Shame and sycophancy are my watchwords. The panicked need to feel that other people like me—even when I do not like them—exerts a serious check on my behavior. Imagine how free I would be if everyone hated me. If there were no hope that anyone who knew me could possibly like me, I could act however I pleased, the way death row inmates are always filling balloons with their own feces. If I were a public jerk instead of a secret asshole, I could live a life of rare liberty, saying and doing whatever I pleased with no regard for decency or the feelings of others. Today is Friday, and our link roundup contains a bunch of people like that.
Fox and Friends hosts Steve Doocey, Greta, and The Wang
The genius of Fox News lies in its insistence that it is not a propaganda network. It’s right there in the tagline: fair and balanced, a motto which Fox News staffers and on-air personalities obey with unshakable fidelity, as indicated by their smile-like facial grimaces above. Fox News is neither fair nor balanced. Its whole marketing strategy is to flaunt a conservative bias, which is a smart way to secure one of two demographics in the United States that continually feel persecuted by an imagined mainstream.* That’s clever, but what’s brilliant is the constant, monolithic insistence that the network is not just honest and ethical, but the only honest and ethical news source on television. It’s an audacious doubling down on a proposition that everyone, Fox fans and critics alike, knows is a lie. That makes it thrilling to the conservative faithful and infuriating to everybody else, with only old people and your barber in the middle. But today’s discussion is going to ignore the existence of those Fox News viewers who actually believe the network is fair and balanced, on the grounds that such people are too dumb to influence the physical universe, much less American culture. Evidence after the jump.
A Russian burger establishment that bears no relation to McDonald's
If you’re like me, you keep a mental list of just events that might happen at any moment. Rick Santorum’s daughters will go to Smith. Candlebox will apologize. Everyone in the customer service department at Bank of America will leave his job to become a prostitute. Cats will have to work together. There are probably more pressing injustices than those, but I will take rectification where I can get it.* The thing about sudden conversions and comeuppances, unfortunately, is that they seem about to happen a lot more than they actually do. For every Mr. Scrooge there are a Richard Nixon and a T-1000, clutching their dicketry unto the very embrace of the grave. This week’s link roundup is full of near misses at the right thing. To someone who knew nothing of our culture, they would be indistinguishable from spontaneous expressions of goodness. To us, they are right form with exactly wrong content, like an ice sculpture in the shape of a hug. Won’t you almost feel elation with me?
Fox News vice president Bill Sammon experiments with combinations of muscle movements that might yield a human smile.
An audio recording has surfaced from a 2009 Mediterranean cruise in which Fox News vice president and Washington coverage chief Bill Sammons admits to starting the rumor that Barack Obama is a socialist back in 2008. “Takes credit for” might be a more apt rendering of his demeanor. But, Sammon adds, he didn’t actually think it was true. Thank god, right? As long as the programming directors of the most popular 24-hour news network in the country don’t believe the descriptions of events they present to the public, someone will still be in a position to make decisions for the American people. It just won’t be, you know, us. Ain’t-I-a-dickens Sammon quote after the jump.