Posts from October 2002

Evil in the name of

Evil in the name of God
: I got a letter today from the National Council of Churches calling on me to call on the the government to exercise restraint regarding Iraq. Now I have no problem with that in and of itself. During the Vietnam war, I thought churches should have been stronger voices for peace; if a church does not speak for peace, who will?

But I do have a problem with churches not condemning terrorism committed in the name of Islam — evil committed in the name of God. If churches do not condemn evil, who will?

I fear this is just the tip of an Islamically Correct movement we see growing before our eyes: It’s not nice to be mean to Muslims, even though it has been Muslims declaring war on the world. It’s not nice to expect Muslims to condemn terrorism done in their name — and to be suspicious of them if they do not.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I expect religious and political Islamic leaders to condemn terrorism and to do everything possible to stop it. If they do not, they are as bad as the terrorists.

But now this letter from the National Council of Churches (of Christ in the USA — the full title) inspires me to call on every religious organization to aggressively condemn terrorism — especially terrorism in the name of religion. I cannot find such a statement on the National Council site. I find them scolding Jerry Falwell for being mean to Muslims. I find them complaining about security’s threat to civil rights. I find them defending and trying to free Muslims held after 9.11.

I do not find them calling on their fellow people of God to stop the Islamic World War, to stop terrorism, to end this evil.

I’m not saying that churches favor terrorism, of course. I’m not saying that Muslims favor terrorism. I am saying that I expect more of them; I expect them to fight terrorism with their best weapon: God.

If churches do not condemn evil, who will?

Six feet over: Been spending

Six feet over
: Been spending too much time (any time is too much) in a funeral home this week.

While biding (notice I did not say killing) some time, a funeral director took me into another room to show off his rental cremation casket. Here’s how it works: You rent the casket but don’t see that under the padding and lace, there’s a cardboard box and at the foot-end of the casket are hooks and hinges that let you just flip it down so you can push the box out. “You just push him out,” the man says, proudly.

I nod, appreciating the latest in business innovation.

And then I can’t help myself. I mention that renting used caskets was a plot point in Six Feet Under. Before I can ask the obvious if awkward question, the man answers: He loves the show. “I sit there giggling,” he confesses. He says it’s true, even educational.

My job is looking better, isn’t yours?

Sharp: Watch for a trend

: Watch for a trend in designer-name phones. Fierce Wireless, a newsletter, reports that Nextel is introducing a Swiss Army phone:

Nextel Communications yesterday announced what may be the coolest development for the smart phone segment: the Swiss Army phone. The new handset, officially called the Nextel i90c Swiss Army Special Edition, is a Motorola manufactured unit that Nextel has co-branded with Victorinox, the famous maker of Swiss Army knives. Victorinox helped design the device, which features a translucent red plastic shell and a red screen backlight and comes equipped with text versions of “The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook” and a first aid manual. The i90c also comes with a Swiss Army knife and will be available November 1 for $250.

A blog too far: With

A blog too far
: With all due respect to Glenn Reynolds — which is a great deal of respect, indeed — I have to join the chorus of those who complain that he went too far with this smart-assed caption under a picture of Bill Clinton and Walter Mondale greeting each other with smiles and laughter at the memorial service for Sen. Paul Wellstone.

I’m helping to arrange a funeral right now and I shudder to fear that someone will think ill of me when I greet friend and family with a smile in a time of tragedy, when smiles are needed most.

Come on, Glenn: Clinton and Mondale like each other. That’s allowed, even at funerals, even among politicians, even liberals.

This is the kind of snippy and immature post that gives our ‘sphere a bad name. It is not the kind of thing you would see in most newspapers; it is the kind of thing someone would think of writing until an editor with a cooler head and wiser perspective said, “You don’t really want to say that, do you?” And the person who wrote it would say, “You’re right. Thanks, I needed that.”

Listen to your chorus of complainers on this, Glenn. They are your editors.

: And thanks for asking.

Reality: The Movie: Howard Stern

Reality: The Movie
: Howard Stern said this morning that the success of Jackass will lead to a new trend: reality movies. Howard looks forward to Survivor: The Movie because they can lose the ‘kinis. Robin would buy a ticket to Bachelor: The Movie. I’d see The Osbournes: The Movie.