Monday, April 07, 2008

Hmm...

I generally am not a believer in making fun of the dead, especially the recently dead. I can understand doing something cruel, I can understand doing something pointless, but to make fun of the recently dead is an intersection of cruelty and pointlessness that is repugnant.

That said, I totally get the temptation to make "cold, dead fingers" jokes given what a point Mr. Heston made of his own death.

CC

18 comments:

ms. kitty said...

Oooooo, I hadn't gotten there yet, CC. Thanks for the reminder. I learned during the news last night that Heston had also been a strong supporter of MLK JR and the civil rights movement. He did have his moments, though I missed the one where he smote the Red Sea.

h sofia said...

What happened? Who made fun of whom? Charlton Heston is dead?

Toonhead said...

Thanks for not doing it.

Heston's views were a lot more complex than people gave him credit for and few remember his involvement in the civil rights movement.

I found it annoying that some people's hatred of conservative causes were projected upon him. One lady said she cheered for the whale in the film version of Moby Dick because she hated Charlton Heston's views. Then someone told her that it was Gregory Peck.

Hatred can truly blind.

Robin Edgar said...

:to make fun of the recently dead is an intersection of cruelty and pointlessness that is repugnant.

Well Rev. Ray Drennan, former minister of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, wasn't exactly making fun of the dead when, in a Montreal Gazette Opinion/Editorial most ironically titled 'Wrong Message', he very publicly and quite offensively expressed his "uneasiness", his "irritation", and even his "anger" at the fact that former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau's state funeral was a Roman Catholic rite. . . Rev. Raymond Drennan then went on to describe practicing Roman Catholic Pierre Elliot Trudeau's Roman Catholic funeral as a "sham state funeral" and even insinuated that it was a "meaningless" ritual by brazenly declaring that most of the rituals of the world's religions are "meaningless". Unitarian*Universalist U*Us who make fun of the dead or are otherwise offensive toward the dead risk being described as "corpse-cold Unitarians" by The Emerson Avenger.

Robin Edgar said...

For the record, the Montreal Gazette received approximately 50 letters to the editor from offended readers who expressed their repugnance at Rev. Ray Drennan's intolerant and offensive public attack of Pierre Trudeau's Roman Catholic state funeral. Five representative letters were published.

ogre said...

Make fun of him? Sick.

Now, I can entirely understand a brief aside, along the lines of "Well, I guess they can get his gun now.." but that's not what I imagine CC's referring to.

Chalicechick said...

I usually root against jerks who are willing to hurt others to achieve pointless goals, I think that means I always root for the whale.

CC
who does make exceptions when said jerks are played by Patrick Stewart. Yummers.

PG said...

toonhead,
I was aware of Charlton Heston's support for the civil rights movement, as he trumpeted it in the "culture war" speech at Harvard that got forwarded to me almost a decade ago. I find the speech fairly stupid and frequently factually inaccurate nonetheless.

Chalicechick said...

Robin, UU ministers say things I disagree with all the time.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

I don't doubt that CC but I thought that the topic of this blog post was making fun of the dead, especially the recently dead. How many U*U ministers do you know who do that? Especially when done very public forum such as a major newspaper's Opinion Editorial page. . . It is one thing for U*U ministers to say things that you and other U*Us disagree with. It is quite another for U*U ministers to be extremely dfisagreeable in ways that are unbecoming of any minister and which bring disrepute on the Unitarian*Universalist religious community. Rev. Ray Drennan did just that in his disagreeable public attack on Pierre Elliot Trudeau's Roman Catholic state funeral. To use your own words. . . that was is an intersection of cruelty and pointlessness that is repugnant. 50 people expressed their repugnance at Rev. Ray Drennan's arrogant religious intolerance and offensiveness by writing a letter to the editor. A Montreal Gazette staffer told me that the only time in recent history that rhe Gazette had received so many letters to the editor expressing repugnance was when the Gazette had run a story about notorious sex offender and murderer Karla Homolka celebrating her birthday in jail.

Chalicechick said...

I don't recall that Drennan was making fun of Trudeau so much as he was disappointed that the Government would pay for a Catholic mass.

Some people in America got upset over the US government being willing to put Pagan religious symbols on the tombstones of dead pagan soldiers. That wasn't making fun of the dead soldiers, it was a debate over to what degree that appeared to be government entangling with religion.

I can't imagine what the fuss will be like the first time a Pagan deserves a state funeral in America.

Personally, I don't think the government paying for either funerals or tombstones is a problem, but I don't think that Drennan was nearly as out of line as you and the other 49 folks do when he asked the question and expressed his own discomfort. But then, there are 1,600,000 Catholics in Montreal. I can easily believe that 49 of them were annoyed enough to write.

In America, we've had court cases over whether the government should be allowed to provide Catholic schools with secular math textbooks, for example. In fact, the debate I referred to in the first post was about whether the government should pay to rebuild a historic church that burned down.

On that last one, I would say "No." But I can certainly believe there are 50 people willing to write a letter who would disagree with me.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

:I don't recall that Drennan was making fun of Trudeau so much as he was disappointed that the Government would pay for a Catholic mass.

Well that's yet another fine example of Unitarian*Universalist DIM Thinking CC. I never claimed that Rev. Ray Drennan was "making fun" of Pierre Trudeau or his Roman Catholic state funeral. Unfortunately his anti-religious intolerance went well beyond just making fun of Trudeau's funeral. It's obvious that you don't "recall" much at all and that you are definitely speaking out of Ignorance in your effort to Minimize if not outright Deny the documented anti-religious intolerance and bigotry of Rev. Raymond Drennan. I suggest that in future you would do well to enter into a free and *responsible* search for the truth and meaning of what I say before trying to discredit it.

:Some people in America got upset over the US government being willing to put Pagan religious symbols on the tombstones of dead pagan soldiers.

Right. . . So did these people very publicly express their "uneasiness", their "irritation" and even "anger" that the US government engraved pentagrams or other pagan religious symbols on the headstones of pagan soldiers? Did they offensively object to US military chaplains performing pagan funeral rites for dead pagan soldiers including those killed in action by labeling these pagan rites as a "sham military funeral"? Did they suggest or insinuate that pagan funeral rights were "meaningless" rituals? Were any of these people U*U ministers, to say nothing of pagan U*U military chaplains. . . CC?

:That wasn't making fun of the dead soldiers, it was a debate over to what degree that appeared to be government entangling with religion.

Read what I wrote CC. I very clearly said that Rev. Raymond Drennan "wasn't exactly making fun of the dead" when he publicly and quite intolerantly and offensively trashed Pierre Elliot Trudeau's Roman Catholic state funeral in the Montreal Gazette. Rev. Ray Drennan's very ironically titled 'Wrong Message' Op/Ed piece did pretend to be a "debate" about "government entangling with religion" to use your words but that did not change the fact that Drennan's 'Wrong Message' was riddled with anti-religious intolerance and more specifically anti-Catholic intolerance. He even managed to offend a "devout atheist" with his oh so opinionated Op/Ed piece.

:I can't imagine what the fuss will be like the first time a Pagan deserves a state funeral in America.

I love the Green Man arguments you present CC. Here is a much better analogy. . . Imagine how the American public would have reacted if in November of 1963 a U*U minister had written the same words that Rev. Ray Drennan wrote with respect to the state funeral of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

:Personally, I don't think the government paying for either funerals or tombstones is a problem, but I don't think that Drennan was nearly as out of line as you and the other 49 folks do when he asked the question and expressed his own discomfort.

Maybe you should read what Rev. Ray Drennan actually wrote before shooting your mouth off CC. Unfortunately I don't have the article handy but maybe if yoi contacted the Montreal Gazette and requested a copy they would send it to you. It might be possible to access archived Gazette articles from a good university library. The date of the article was October 9th, 2000. Is labeling a deceased politician's Roman Catholic rite state funeral as a "sham state funeral" just an expression of "discomfort" or is it more properly seen as intolerance and bigotry CC? What about expressing "uneasiness" "irritation" and "anger" at the fact that an Ave Maria was sung and some people took communion during the funeral rite?

:But then, there are 1,600,000 Catholics in Montreal. I can easily believe that 49 of them were annoyed enough to write.

ROTFLMU*UO! Where did you get that statistic CC? And why do you ignorantly assume that the 50 or so people who wrote letters to the editor complaining about Rev. Ray Drennan's thinly veiled anti-religious intolerance and bigotry were all Roman Catholics? As I said, one described himself as a "devout atheist" (albeit from a Roman Catholic background) but I expect that the letter writers came from a variety of backgrounds.

:In America, we've had court cases over whether the government should be allowed to provide Catholic schools with secular math textbooks, for example. In fact, the debate I referred to in the first post was about whether the government should pay to rebuild a historic church that burned down.

Well unfortunately for Montreal Unitarians the Canadian government didn't pay to rebuild a historic church that burned down in Montreal. . . If Rev. Ray Drennan had refrained from engaging in obviously intolerant and offensive anti-religious bigotry in his 'Wrong Message' it would not have generated 50 letters to the editor CC.

Chalicechick said...

((( I never claimed that Rev. Ray Drennan was "making fun" of Pierre Trudeau or his Roman Catholic state funeral.)))

Well, you did write "I thought that the topic of this blog post was making fun of the dead, especially the recently dead. How many U*U ministers do you know who do that? Especially when done very public forum such as a major newspaper's Opinion Editorial page."

Was Drennan not the person "making fun of the dead" in what you were saying there?

And yes, observing that a politician who manages to stay in his home country by getting an expensive education while poor men his age are off fighting Nazis is having a sham military funeral is nothing new. I'm sure when George W. Bush and Bill Clinton die, people will say that, though they were dodging the Vietcong.

As for the Pagan tombstones, of course people have been publically critical of them. I'm not going through newspaper archives but for a few quick examples, this blog where the tombstones are called "a mockery" was in the first few results when I googled.

Oh, and this showed up in the New York Post.

Again, I don't think what Drennan did was the right thing to do and certianly the way he did it made UUism look bad. But I don't think his opinion itself was particularly unreasonable.

(((Imagine how the American public would have reacted if in November of 1963 a U*U minister had written the same words that Rev. Ray Drennan wrote with respect to the state funeral of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.)))

Honestly, there were hundreds of secular memorial services for Kennedy all over the country (much as there were hundreds of secular ceremonies for September 11). If somebody had said "shouldn't the state recognition of Kennedy's death really be a large secular memorial service, and then the family can pay for whatever private religious service they want," I'm sure they would have been crucified for asking the question. But however rudely they phrased the question, it's still a pretty reasonable question.

(((Maybe you should read what Rev. Ray Drennan actually wrote before shooting your mouth off CC.)))

Provide a link, and I will read it. If you don't provide a link, all I have to go on is what you wrote, so I respond to that.

(((As I said, one described himself as a "devout atheist" (albeit from a Roman Catholic background) but I expect that the letter writers came from a variety of backgrounds.)))

Shrug. It's possible. But usually the people most likely to stick up for a certain group are those who have attachments to that group.

Admittedly, the last letter I wrote to my local paper was when somebody made fun of the whirling dervishes. But in general, people write letters to newspapers about things they have a personal stake in. Lots of things we disagree with get written every day, usually when we respond to something, it's because it touched us personally.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

You are going to have to learn to deal more responsibly with facts and evidence if you ever want to be a lawyer CC. You are not doing a good job of engaging in a free and *responsible* search for teh truth and meaning of what I am saying. In fact, as usual, you are grossly misinterpreting what I say if not knowingly and willfully misrepresenting what I say. . .

:And yes, observing that a politician who manages to stay in his home country by getting an expensive education while poor men his age are off fighting Nazis is having a sham military funeral is nothing new.

That is not what Rev. Ray Drennan did CC. He described Pierre Elliot Trudeaus state funeral as a "sham state funeral" because it was a Roman Catholic ritual and for no other reason. It was not a military funeral at all. How and why you came up with that ridiculous "spin" is beyond me.

:I'm sure when George W. Bush and Bill Clinton die, people will say that, though they were dodging the Vietcong.

Really CC? You think that people will say that the state funerals of George w. Bush and Bill Clinton will be described as "sham state funerals" by people because they both dodged the draft? You are way off base anyway. As I have already made clear Rev. Ray Drennan described the Trudeau funeral as a sham state funeral because it was a Roman Catholic rite held in a Roman Catholic Church. Can you imagine how the American public would react if a Washington area U*U minister described the state funerals of any president of the United States as a sham just because the funeral was held in a church of the religious denomination that the deceased President belonged to and the ritual was in accordance with the religious beliefs and practices of the President?

:As for the Pagan tombstones, of course people have been publically critical of them. I'm not going through newspaper archives but for a few quick examples, this blog where the tombstones are called "a mockery" was in the first few results when I googled.

I do not doubt that intolerant bigots would say such things CC. The question here is whether or not a U*U minister would or should say such things.

:Again, I don't think what Drennan did was the right thing to do

Which is why it is so ironic that the piece was headlined Wrong Message. . .

:and certianly the way he did it made UUism look bad.

Indeed he did. Of course that is but one example of how Rev. Raymond Drennan has made UUism look bad throughout his career as a U*U minister.

:But I don't think his opinion itself was particularly unreasonable.

You don't think it was particularly unreasonable for Rev. Ray Drennan to publicly express uneasiness, irritation and anger that a Roman Catholic Prime Minister's state funeral was held in a Roman Catholic Church according to Roman Catholic rites? You don't think it was particularly unreasonable for Rev. Drennan to insinuate that the funeral rites were meaningless by brazenly declaring that most of the rituals of the worlds religions are meaningless? You don't think it was particularly unreasonable for Rev. Drennan to describe the state funeral as a sham?

:Honestly, there were hundreds of secular memorial services for Kennedy all over the country (much as there were hundreds of secular ceremonies for September 11). If somebody had said "shouldn't the state recognition of Kennedy's death really be a large secular memorial service, and then the family can pay for whatever private religious service they want," I'm sure they would have been crucified for asking the question. But however rudely they phrased the question, it's still a pretty reasonable question.

Yes, but the issue is not that basic question which is a reasonable question that can be asked about any state funeral but the fact that the question was posed in a way that was not only rude but symptomatic of anti-Catholic intolerance and even braoder anti-religious intolerance. As I said, Rev. Ray Drennan did not make fun of the dead but actually went well beyond doing that in publicly and offensively attacking the Roman Catholic funeral of Pierre Trudeau. Surely that is even more *repugnant* than making fun of the dead which is the point I was making. For the record I do not believe that the dead, even the comparatively recently dead are beyond criticism just because they are dead, but offensively and publicly attacking a person's funeral rites, especially when this is done by a clergy person, can be properly considered to be repugnant and Rev. Ray Drennan certainly proved that with his Wrong Message that offended many Gazette readers. I even remember some people coming to the Unitarian Church of Montreal after his attack to see jst what kind of church allowed its minister to verbally defecate over Pierre Trudeaus funeral and I recall at least a few members of the Unitarian Church of Montreal expressing their dismay to me about Rev. Drennan's intolerance that I had been warning them about for years. . . OTOH I also recall how some Montreal Unitarian U*Us and CUC Executive Director Mary Bennett expressed their approval of Rev. Ray Drennan's offensive and intolerant Wrong Message. Mary Bennett apparently believes that any news is good news for U*Us. . .

::You should read what Rev. Ray Drennan actually wrote before shooting your mouth off CC.)))

:Provide a link, and I will read it. If you don't provide a link, all I have to go on is what you wrote, so I respond to that.

You respond badly to what I wrote and obviously misread it if not deliberately misrepresented what I wrote. Be asured that I would provide a link if it was possible to do so. I am well known for providing links to embarrassing material about U*Us on the internet am I not CC?

:Shrug. It's possible. But usually the people most likely to stick up for a certain group are those who have attachments to that group.

That may be so CC but the letters were not so much defending Roman Catholics so much as expressing how readers were shocked and appalled by a Unitarian minister's religious intolerance. You seem to forget that he took a swipe at all religions in declaring that most religious rituals were meaningless. I have good reason to believe that plenty of non-Catholics wrote letters to the editor about Rev. Drennan's Wrong Message.

:Admittedly, the last letter I wrote to my local paper was when somebody made fun of the whirling dervishes.

Right. And it stands to reason that any number of non-Muslims might have done likewise.

:But in general, people write letters to newspapers about things they have a personal stake in.

Most Canadians have a personal stake in religious tolerance CC, even if they are not religious themselves. I think it is a matter of national pride and it probably has something to do with the multiculturalism that Pierre Elliot Trudeau promoted when he was Prime Minister of Canada.

:Lots of things we disagree with get written every day, usually when we respond to something, it's because it touched us personally.

Right. Be assured that at least 50 people, and probably thousands more. . . were touched personally by Rev. Ray Drennan's intolerant Wrong Message and they did not have to be Roman Catholics to be offended by it. I expect that the Unitarian Church of Montreal lost a few members as a direct result of it and it almost certainly lost a number of potential members who were offended by Rev. Ray Drennan's very public anti-religious rant.

Chalicechick said...

(((( Did they offensively object to US military chaplains performing pagan funeral rites for dead pagan soldiers including those killed in action by labeling these pagan rites as a "sham military funeral")))

I took that to mean that Drennan had said the funeral he was writing about was a sham military funeral, which I took as a reference to an upper class draft dodge.

Again, you haven't provided the letter, so I don't know exactly what he said and I don't know the context. I'm taking what you've said on faith.

And with your multiple rude denials that you said Drennan made fun one post after you said it, I'm not sure what to believe about what you're saying right now.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

::(((( Did they offensively object to US military chaplains performing pagan funeral rites for dead pagan soldiers including those killed in action by labeling these pagan rites as a "sham military funeral")))

:I took that to mean that Drennan had said the funeral he was writing about was a sham military funeral, which I took as a reference to an upper class draft dodge.

Then you grossly misinterpreted what I said which was an *analogy* CC. I have never at any time said that Rev. Drennan called Trudeau's funeral a "sham military funeral". I have always accurately quoted the Gazette article in which he dismisses it as a "sham state funeral" because of its religious nature.

:Again, you haven't provided the letter,

It wasn't a letter CC. It was a very opinionated Op/Ed piece. I have never at any time described it as a letter. I have always consistently described it as an Op/Ed piece aka an Opinion Editorial. I may occasionally describe it as an article.

:so I don't know exactly what he said and I don't know the context. I'm taking what you've said on faith.

My quotes are truthful and accurate but you seem to be just plain dreaming up your own imaginary versions of what Rev. Drennan said at times.

:And with your multiple rude denials that you said Drennan made fun one post after you said it,

Wrong. I never said that Rev. Drennan "made fun" of Trudeau's funeral. Au contraire. You misread my words, misinterpreted them or just plain twisted them to suit your purposes. When I said -

"I don't doubt that CC but I thought that the topic of this blog post was making fun of the dead, especially the recently dead. How many U*U ministers do you know who do that? Especially when done very public forum such as a major newspaper's Opinion Editorial page. . ."

I was talking about "U*U ministers" in the general sense, a "public forum" in a general sense, and a "major newspaper" in a general sense. Please note that I said "such as". I was not talking about Rev. Ray Drennan himself or his specific Op/Ed. That should be understood by the fact that my first comment stated that Rev. Drennan "wasn't exactly making fun of the dead" and that I consistently described his Op/Ed as intolerant and offensive etc.

:I'm not sure what to believe about what you're saying right now.

It's what you're saying that is rather unbelievable CC. You have repeatedly misread or misinterpreted or misrepresented my words and have made several statements that have no foundation in fact.

Chalicechick said...

Yeah, I misunderstood you, duh.

Since you're not saying that Drennan made fun of the dead, I'm not sure why you thought it was relevant to bring him up in this thread.

And I can easily answer your initial question: "I don't doubt that CC but I thought that the topic of this blog post was making fun of the dead, especially the recently dead. How many U*U ministers do you know who do that? "

With "I don't know any UU ministers who have done that or whom I think would do that."

I know you think your writing is crystal clear, but your writing is sometimes quite hard to follow, particularly given that you like to present quoted phrases devoid of context and put quotation marks around both quoted material and analogies that you are making up.

CC

Robin Edgar said...

:Yeah, I misunderstood you, duh.

More like doh! ;-)

:Since you're not saying that Drennan made fun of the dead, I'm not sure why you thought it was relevant to bring him up in this thread.

Because most people would consider his attack on Trudeau's funeral to be worse than just making fun of the dead and every bit as repugnant.

::And I can easily answer your initial question: "I don't doubt that CC but I thought that the topic of this blog post was making fun of the dead, especially the recently dead. How many U*U ministers do you know who do that? "

:With "I don't know any UU ministers who have done that or whom I think would do that."

Exactly. . . That was my point.

:I know you think your writing is crystal clear, but your writing is sometimes quite hard to follow, particularly given that you like to present quoted phrases devoid of context and put quotation marks around both quoted material and analogies that you are making up.

Well the analogy was a hypothetical quote, hence the quotation marks, but I agree that may have confused you. Usually I use quotations marks for actual quotes or to indicate that I am using a word euphemistically such as in "Humanist" when I am talking about intolerant antireligious atheists who have the gall to call themselves Humanists.