Part 12: Oh What a Lovely War

Sundays With The Christianists: A ‘World History’ Textbook To Make The World Safe For Theocracy

Beast Jesus is kind of modernist, maybeWelcome to the 20th Century, time tourists! Our 10th-grade textbook for homeschoolers, World History and Cultures In Christian Perspective, would like to remind you that while science and technology are developing like crazy in this new century, the world remains a very very sinful place that has unaccountably failed to adhere to the unchanging norms of Biblical Christianity, at least as they are defined by textbook publishers in Pensacola Florida in 1997:

Civilization had progressed so far by the beginning of the 20th century that it seemed the world could only get better and better. Little did people realize that on the horizon loomed two of the greatest wars the world had ever known.

“Foolish Hu-mans!” you can almost hear the editors laughing.

And of course, we all know why Europe stumbled into World War I: the tangled alliances, nationalist desires, and conflicting aspirations of the leaders, combined with a technological and economic sophistication that made war far more deadly than anyone could have imagined, right? Well, sure, that stuff entered into it, of course, but there were also bigger forces at work, you see:

the tensions caused by two centuries of anti-Biblical philosophies had set Europe on a seemingly uncontrollable course toward war. Strong feelings of revolutionary nationalism, the result of spiritual decay, caused some European powers to seek the annexation of areas inhabited by people of their own nationality.

Go, o soldier and fulfill your duty! Christ, the Good Shepherd watches His flocks. Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heavenTo make matters worse, Germany was not only expansionist and well-armed, but

“Many German people had by this time rejected all but an empty form of their Christian heritage and had accepted modernism almost without question. The vacuum created by this rejection of true Christianity was destined to bring terror and destruction to Germany.”

As the patriotic postcard to the right suggests, many Germans were also so completely deluded as to think that Jesus would bless their soldiers on the way to the front! They were apparently unaware of just how hollow their faith actually was.*

Unable or unwilling to sustain this nonsense about spiritual decline beyond these passages on the prelude to the Great War, the textbook then settles into a pretty accurate narrative of the war’s events, leaders, and tactics. It’s almost as if they handed that section off to, like, a historian or something, but forgot to pass along the memo about the necessity of moralizing on every turn of events.

You will also search in vain for any mention of the single most Christian moment of the war, the “Christmas Truce” of 1914, when British and German troops in many places along the Western Front spontaneously stopped fighting, came out of their trenches, and exchanged gifts and sang Christmas carols together. They even played enthusiatic games of “foot-the-ball” and shared their rations with each other. Talk about an inspiring tribute to the Prince of Peace! But of course, it was unauthorized, a spontaneous application of basic human decency by soldiers acting without guidance from the higher-ups — and the officer corps on both sides took pains to prevent it from happening again. No doubt if the event did make it into the textbook, it would be an example of rebellious free-thinking in defiance of Godly authority. (If accounts of the spontaneous truce can bring a tear to an atheist’s eye, then it couldn’t possibly have been a good thing, now could it?)

Once the war is over, preaching takes over the historical reins. We learn that the “most profound effect of World War I was its impact on the spirit of mankind”:

Before the Great War, people believed in the inevitability of human progress and the triumph of Western civilization. The war shattered this idea, and instead clearly illustrated how false the concept of “continual human perfection” was. The only explanation for the horrors of World War I was the Biblical doctrine of man’s sinful, depraved nature, and the only solution was in Biblical Christianity.

The weird thing is that we kind of agree with part of this analysis, a little, because back in our undergrad days we watched Robert Hughes’ brilliant TV series on modern art, The Shock of the New, which focuses more on the secular and creative aspects of that disillusionment, and makes the argument far more convincingly, not to mention entertainingly. We read the book, too.

In any case, we learn not merely that the only possible solution to the horrors of war was “Biblical Christianity,” but that humanity foolishly pursued political approaches instead, because of the whole depravity thing. Woodrow Wilson — in this textbook merely the ineffectual proponent of the failed “14 Points,” not the GlennBeckian archfiend of Progressivism — was a big dope who was “convinced that peace could be attained through human efforts” and gave us the League of Nations, which “looked like the final solution [yes, they went there] to world peace” but would merely

become just one more of man’s futile attempts to impose peace on people whose hearts are at war with each other.

Even with the tut-tutting about how human attempts to bring peace are inevitably futile, the editors’ hearts don’t really seem to be in it here; it’s as if they had themselves a good righteous rage against communism and were left tuckered out, with little to sustain them as they build up steam for the task of taking down Freud, Bertrand Russell, John Dewey, John Maynard Keynes, and other nasty 20th-Century liberals in the next chapter.

* We think that “spiritual decay” is, for this textbook, something like “toxins” for fans of alternative medicine: It’s a vaguely-defined Seriously Bad Thing that they are completely sure is causing systemic damage, even though it can’t be explicitly identified, and it can only be gotten rid of by a good purge.

Next Week: “20th-Century Liberalism: Retreat from Authority and Responsibility.” Yes, that is literally the chapter title.

Check out Wonkette on Facebook and Twitter, and, if you don’t think it’s too long a way to Tipperary, Doktor Zoom is on Twitter too.

About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom
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    1. thatsitfortheother1

      Jeezus Chicken.

      It's only made of chicken assholes. When people get their meal they say "JEEZUS!"

  1. memzilla

    I keep hearing this term "spiritual decay." Is that like radioactivity? So what is the half-life of a spirit, anyway?

    (Yes, the answer is .5 liter).

  2. Dudleydidwrong

    The horrors of World War I were a severe slap in the face of Western nations. But did the crew of "writers" consider that all of the nations that got things going were so-called Christian nations? "If it ain't our brand of Christianity, it ain't worth havin'."

  3. glasspusher

    "Empty forms" of Christianity are easier to fill in, and don't for a moment think that the folks writing this textbook didn't benefit from Martin Luther either. So there.

  4. One_Man_Band

    Modern art!? Art should only consist of naked, fat baby Jeebuses. And maybe an occasional fat baby angel with some wings and a piece of cloth artfully hiding their naughty bits as they fly around. But that's all.

      1. tessiee

        I always wondered about that. If angels are the souls of dead people after they go to heaven, cherubs are… dead babbies?

        1. BerkeleyBear

          Nah, totally different ideas. The cherubim and seraphim are different species than humans, and it was only fucked up Renaissance artists who decided to turn the "awesome" lesser choir of angels (in the sense of God's kickass minions) into soft little chubby boys.

          I really have no idea where the humans becoming angels bullshit started, but it ain't in the Bible. Same place as the intercession of saints I'm guessing as yet another way of trying to jazz up the idea of an eternal life without any of the fun stuff like lust, gluttony, sloth, etc.

          1. MosesInvests

            Cherubim are actually sphinxes, or griffins. They were guardian spirits in ancient Middle Eastern mythology.

          2. Negropolis

            The description of cherubim and seraphim in the bible are just awesome. Tons of wings, many faces, animal parts…something straight out of science fiction.

    1. FeloniousMonk

      According to the link, " the quality of larger bottles are relatively inferior". So, yes: more spiritual, more decay.

      1. Lascauxcaveman

        But it warms the cockels of my post-Xtian heart that for my annual Xmas party I can buy stonking big bottles of wine named for my two favorite wise men, Balthazar (12 liters) and Melchior (18 liters!)

        1. sewollef

          When I was a kid back in the olde country [around 11-years-old], I thought The Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church were two different teams. One of 'em dour, choir-boy molesting English catholics and the other, Italian ragazzo del coro molesting catholics.

          A bit like Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in football [soccer to you American heathens].


      "Through the auspices of the gun, man is relieved of responsibilities-placing his faith in sister machine gun, brother bomb." – Jim Marcus

  5. Mittens Howell, III

    "They even played enthusiatic games of “foot-the-ball” Jesus highly encouraged foot and testicle play as a way of expressing love for your fellow man.

  6. Mumbletypeg

    The only worse scenario I can imagine next to being trapped in a course utilizing these Beka™-brand comedy-of-terrors is that one evangelical choir singer I once had pointed out to me at a church service — had his own dental practice, I was told, and as I watched him sing into his odd pastel-colored, ice-cream-cone shaped microphone, my companion further added "Yeah, he sings to his patients as he works on them!"
    Which could be slightly less agonizing than being preached to while being mandibly tortured by this Dr. StrangeChristian, I supposed, but not by much.

    1. tessiee

      "his odd pastel-colored, ice-cream-cone shaped microphone"

      It's even worse than you suspected.
      That was his vibrator.

  7. PubOption

    I assume that chlorine, mustard gas and phosphorus were evil as products of godless science, and not because of their aplication.

  8. JustPixelz

    As the patriotic postcard to the right suggests, many Germans were also so completely deluded as to think that Jesus would bless their soldiers on the way to the front!

    Regarding the illustration of Jesus standing next to a cross: I can't believe he fell for it again.

    Napoleon said: God favors the side with the best artillery. (I learned that from playing Modern Warfare 2 on XBOX — who says those games are a waste of time.)

    Pretty sure Jesus wasn't blessing so much as he was saying "hasta luego".

  9. JohnnyQuick

    When we get to the 30s, I'm betting that all of the Catholic right-wing dictators of Europe (Hitler, Mussolini, Franco) are going to be referred to as atheists. Because while the people who wrote this are no friend of Johnny Pope, they want to be damn sure that the 'greatest evil of all time' gets blamed on those who would dare not fear God-man.

    1. Lot_49

      And yet the good Lutheran and Catholic soldiers of Herr Hitler's armies were bravely fighting Godless, atheistic communism. How could they possibly have been defeated? And how was it that the greatest battles of Dubya-Dubya Two were fought on the Eastern Front? And that it was old Joe Stalin who defeated Fascism, not Patton and Eisenhower?

      Oh, sorry, I forgot we're not supposed to say that.

    2. malsperanza

      Hitler abandoned Catholicism pretty early on, although that didn't stop the Vatican and a lot of Catholics in southern Germany and Austria (and Italy, and Poland until oops) from enthusiastically getting with the program. Toward the end, he was thinking of jettisoning Christianity on the grounds that Jesus was a Jew, so that wasn't gonna work. He had some idea about reviving the Germanic gods. This proves that atheism, polytheism, and dingbat invented religions are all forms of Nazism. Hey, they dint name it GOD-WINS law by accident, ya know.

      1. MosesInvests

        The good Catholics of Lithuania massacred almost all the Jews there (including a bunch of my relatives), and the puppet government of Croatia was fully supported by the Bishop of Zagreb and priests served as cabinet ministers.

        1. glamourdammerung

          And then there is the whole pesky issue of the Catholic Church having so many people involved in helping those poor, persecuted Nazis get to South America.

        2. JohnnyQuick

          I had relatives in the same area, and I think they died. Basically, my grandmother had been writing them, and then at a certain point she got no responses.

  10. Fairtackle

    The only explanation for the horrors of World War I was the Biblical doctrine of man’s sinful, depraved nature, and the only solution was in Biblical Christianity.

    Because nothing says "world peace" like religious absolutism …

    1. Defeatably_Joe

      Not to mention that Biblical doctrine is perhaps not the shining counter example for "the horrors of war":

      Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Hold out toward Ai the javelin that is in your hand, for into your hand I will deliver the city.” So Joshua held out toward the city the javelin that was in his hand. As soon as he did this, the men in the ambush rose quickly from their position and rushed forward. They entered the city and captured it and quickly set it on fire.
      The men of Ai looked back and saw the smoke of the city rising up into the sky, but they had no chance to escape in any direction; the Israelites who had been fleeing toward the wilderness had turned back against their pursuers. For when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city and that smoke was going up from it, they turned around and attacked the men of Ai. Those in the ambush also came out of the city against them, so that they were caught in the middle, with Israelites on both sides. Israel cut them down, leaving them neither survivors nor fugitives. But they took the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.

      When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai in the fields and in the wilderness where they had chased them, and when every one of them had been put to the sword, all the Israelites returned to Ai and killed those who were in it. Twelve thousand men and women fell that day—all the people of Ai.

      –Joshua 18-25

          1. glasspusher

            I highly recommend doing songs on a guitar that were originally done on the piano. Really gets you working on chord changes. Try “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”

    1. deanbooth

      Dobie Gillis came up last weekend: The announcer for the Ohio State game on ESPN was a woman. I got nothing against that, of course; she was fine, yada, yada. I mentioned to Mrs. deanbooth that she sounded like Dobie Gillis's girlfriend. Mrs. deanbooth is too young or TV-sheltered to understand.

      Who can explain why such a TV show made such a lasting impression on 7 year-old me?

    2. Doktor Zoom

      Get thee to a bookstore and read Tom Carson's absolutely brilliant Gilligans Wake, a metafictional tour de force that reimagines the lives of the castaways into something rich and strange. It is simply one of the funniest, smartest, strangest books I've ever read.

      (The Skipper reminisces about his days as a PT Boat captain, and his run-in with that grandstanding Kennedy kid… Lovey Howell remembers shooting heroin with Daisy Buchanan… Ginger was a sex toy for the Rat Pack.. And the Professor is a sort of CSM from the X-files, secretly behind any number of world events. And the whole thing may be the fever dream of one MG Krebs, confined to a psych ward)

  11. JustPixelz

    "The vacuum created by this rejection of true Christianity was destined to bring terror and destruction to Germany."

    But not before it brought terror and destruction to das Juden who are notoriously not Christians. But from the Christianist perspective, WWII happily led to creation of modern Israel which they lurve because it hastens the day when all the non-believers get disintegrated.

  12. Blueb4sinrise

    Kingdom Cum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    If whole kingdoms had cum, probably a lot of war could have been prevented.

    1. The_Lucky_Wife

      My grandma called it The First War, as it was the first she remembered, and to her, there was nothing great about losing her only brother because of the war. Of course, she called WWII The Second War, and had to endure her only son going away to fight that war. He came home, but she never did see anything great about war.

    1. Tommmcatt_Again

      If God's on Team America, where does that leave Isreal and Vatican City?

      We've been double-teamed by God!!!!!!!

      1. zyxomma

        Perhaps that's true, but Jim(my) Webb wrote it. I saw Webb attempt to perform MacArthur Park on a talk show. He screwed up and started over. Didn't stop him from writing hit after hit (5th Dimension, Glenn Campbell, Linda Ronstadt, many more)

  13. The_Lucky_Wife

    Oh goody! We are nearing the Great Depression and New Deal years. I can't wait for this textbook to explain how FDR was a godless commie who not only destroyed any attempt for the free market to correct itself after the stock market crash in 1929, he is somehow responsible for WWII. OK, I'm sure they will blame Hitler, but he will morph into a godless commie, in spite of being a Christianist who hated commies. The point will be that godless commies started WWII because they couldn't fix the economy fast enough during the Great Depression.

      1. The_Lucky_Wife

        No, I live in South Carolina, where many Christianists live. As bad as FDR was, to them, Obama is worse. When they update the book to include the Obama presidency, THAT would be the best part.

        1. Doktor Zoom

          Sadly, the third edition (2010) says nothing more about Barack Obama beyond noting that he was elected in 2008 and is the first black POTUS.

  14. PubOption

    Dok, I would be interested to know Beka Books opinion of General Douglas Haig. Haig as the Butcher of the Somme appears in most conventional and/or leftist narrative, but there is an alternative version which claims that he was only using the resources available, and if he had 19,000 fewer resources at the end of the first day, so be it.

  15. weejee

    two centuries of anti-Biblical philosophies had set Europe on a seemingly uncontrollable course toward war

    OFFS !! Except for a few weeks really, here and there, Europe has been at war since the Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons were making with the shoot-out at the OK Corral er Chorale Cave. With rocks too, not with f*ing votes.

      1. malsperanza

        I envision enraged minimum-wage bakery-counter staff chasing their own customers with cake knives to confiscate their cell-phone photos. It's called Customer Service, foo!

        Not to mention that the copyright on the cake makes it an infringement to create a copy of that cake, but the copyright on the photo of the cake doesn't belong to the store; it belongs to the photographer. Yay for unenforcible and incoherent copyright law, brought to you by the free market and Rep. Sonny Bono (R-Tree).

  16. TribecaMike

    As proponents of "intelligent design" might counter, the complexity of a Luger P08 pistol implies a designer.

    1. ttommyunger

      No finer example of art, function, craftmanship and beauty than a pre-war '08. I've never owned one, 'cause they're not a practical weapon, but I admire them immensely.

        1. ttommyunger

          And they don't hold a candle to the original. One can tell immediately just by the feel of in ones hand.Sent from the Field, not in Garrison.

  17. tessiee

    "And of course, we all know why Europe stumbled into World War I: the tangled alliances, nationalist desires, and conflicting aspirations of the leaders, combined with a technological and economic sophistication that made war far more deadly than anyone could have imagined, right? Well, sure, that stuff entered into it, of course, but there were also bigger forces at work"

    Homer: Oh, no! This isn't about Jesus, is it?
    Reverend Lovejoy: EVERYTHING is about Jesus.


    the problem of belief is inevitably tied up in the problem "believe me" and "you don't believe me" and "believe me or else" and of course "bitter clingers and their guns." this extends not to hillbillies and those who love them, but also to anyone who has never sat down on the kybo and had a good long read of calvin and hobbes. just sayin' ..

  19. MiniMencken

    The Ottoman Empire entered the Great War on the side of the Central Powers. How does that get worked into this narrative?

  20. not that Dewey

    Bertrand Russell, John Dewey, and John Maynard Keynes, all in the same chapter? I think I just Romneyed in my pants a little bit, from the excitement and anticipation.

  21. Schmegeg

    I guess they can't say anything bad about militarism, judging from the fact they are all probably neocons.

  22. deanbooth

    Oh, I thought you meant

    Mutant X, Season 1, Episode 1: The Shock of the New
    A mutant empath on the run from mysterious government agents is rescued by a team of fellow "New Mutants" – the group known as Mutant X.

    This was the result of WWI, too, I think.

  23. actor212

    “20th-Century Liberalism: Retreat from Authority and Responsibility.” Yes, that is literally the chapter title.

    Hang on…how is it possible to create both a nanny state and a retreat from authority???

  24. Lot_49

    What about Freud, Marx and Einstein, those three Jews who ruined everything? Honestly, you'd think editors of this book didn't rally understand what made the 20th Century the bloodiest and most awesomely uncertain century of all!

    BTW: did the entire NYT crossword today, with no Googling or other intellectual prostheses. Here's a hint: 115 Across is "saucier."

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Dude, we spent the last three weeks on Marx. Freud and his "pseudoscience" (you just gotta love creationists using that word!) is up next week. Einstein, oddly enough, gets a free pass, as we have evidently found one of the few fundie publishers that can tell the difference between "relativity" and "relativism." (Plus he helped the USA get the Bomb, so he's a good guy)

  25. ttommyunger

    As weird as this may seem, Rightards would easily believe that painting it they were told the troops were IDF marching into Gaza.

  26. Joshua Norton

    become just one more of man’s futile attempts to impose peace on people whose hearts are at war with each other.

    Well, that little tidbit sure sucks the stained glass out of the windows.

  27. not that Dewey

    So, Liberalism is simultaneously a Retreat from Authority AND the Greatest Tyrannical Force Ever Known?

    1. BlueStateLibel

      The GOP has apparently become the official Quantum Physics Party and now routinely change positions depending on what side of the argument they're on. Expect this to continue far into the future.

  28. Katydid

    Bob Dylan:

    In a many dark hour
    I've been thinkin' about this
    That Jesus Christ
    Was betrayed by a kiss
    But I can't think for you
    You'll have to decide
    Whether Judas Iscariot
    Had God on his side.

    So now as I'm leavin'
    I'm weary as Hell
    The confusion I'm feelin'
    Ain't no tongue can tell
    The words fill my head
    And fall to the floor
    If God's on our side
    He'll stop the next war

    1. TribecaMike

      I got a big kick out of what Dylan said last month in Rolling Stone about charges of plagiarism:

      "Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff. It’s an old thing — it’s part of the tradition. It goes way back. These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you’ve been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified. All those evil motherfuckers can rot in hell."

      1. YasserArraFeck

        Speaking of Rolling Stone, I feel moved to drop a quote from the Rolling Stones, because (i) I'm on a Stones kick right now, (ii) whatever, and (iii) also:
        I stuck around St. Petersburg
        When I saw it was a time for a change
        Killed the czar and his ministers
        Anastasia screamed in vain
        I rode a tank
        Held a general's rank
        When the blitzkrieg raged
        And the bodies stank
        Pleased to meet you
        Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
        Ah, what's puzzling you
        Is the nature of my game, oh yeah
        I watched with glee
        While your kings and queens
        Fought for ten decades
        For the gods they made
        I shouted out,
        "Who killed the Kennedys?"
        When after all
        It was you and me

  29. Chichikovovich

    Many German people had by this time rejected all but an empty form of their Christian heritage

    And even worse: many German people weren't Christians at all! The textbook writers are no doubt happy that the problem of those people was finally solved.

  30. GeneralLerong

    That cake is really supposed to be Christ, instead of…oh, I dunno…a cheerful Cro-Magnon?

    [one minute later] Googled "Jesus Cake." You should do that, too.

      1. GeneralLerong

        I need to start hanging out at livelier internet bars, 'cause I missed this truly hilarious story. Thanks!

  31. poorgradstudent

    The whole Augustinian idea of "original sin" always struck me as bizarre, especially when you try to apply it to social issues and politics. If the innate nature of everyone, even the saved, is irredeemably corrupt, then what's the point of doing anything except resign yourself to a lifetime of solitude, fasting, and prayer like a very old-school monastic? Sure, you can talk about "following Scripture" in your political doings, but even then your interpretations of God's word might be tainted. And yet it's secular humanism that's supposed to be nihilistic?

    I like how Michael Grant puts it in his (highly recommended by me!) Fall of the Roman Empire: "It is true that [Pelagius] disliked the current spiritual inertia, and perhaps the whole social system that lay behind it, so much that he even spoke warmly in favour of monasticism. Nevertheless, his doctrine of the will at least wanted people to try. Augustine's philosophy, on the other hand, led to fatalism."

    Anyway, it's why, despite things like Bob Jones University, I genuinely feel bad for people who grew up with Calvinist theology. If only Pelagius had been the better writer…

    1. Negropolis

      If you ever have the pleasure of traveling the hinterlands of Grand Rapids, you'll see the physical manifestation of the living dullness that is Calvinism. I have a very strange admiration of it, as I believe it to be far more accurate and honest attempt at the original teachines of the New Testament, particularly as opposed to the Southern "Gospel of Wealth" bullshit. But ,goddamned if this stripped-down version of Christianity isn't boring, drab and fatalistic as all hell. I'm just glad that the Dutch back in the Netherlands evolved into a nation with more color than their brethren back here in the states.

  32. decentcitizen

    What's the point in home schooling if you can't teach your kids the fucked up things you believe?

    1. decentcitizen

      If you ask me, this is the true "original sin" . You burden your children with the same morally compromised, emotionally convenient "reasoning" that has been your personal crutch for your all your inadequacies, and applaud as they go on to create amazing portraits of Obama setting fire to the original draft of the Constitution.

  33. TribecaMike

    "Before the Great War, people believed in the inevitability of human progress and the triumph of Western civilization."

    Except for shorter life spans, high probability of dying at birth or within the first year, non-existence of antibiotics, low wages, and often deadly work (and living) conditions, life was just one big 24-hour party. That is, if you were lucky enough to survive the frequent minotaur and roc attacks.

  34. a_pink_poodle

    The only explanation for the horrors of World War I was the Biblical doctrine of man’s sinful, depraved nature, and the only solution was in Biblical Christianity.

    I thought it was because both sides were using increasingly obsolete tactics with increasingly advancing military technology. A line volley may have worked when muskets took four days to load and couldn't hit the side of a mountain, but not with machine guns that could shoot at a far higher speed and with more accuracy, much of which was lost in the ridged military structure of European armies around the turn of the century.

    1. Spurning Beer

      Two things. Pensacola is only technically in Florida. It's closer geographically and culturally to Alabama and Mississippi than it is to anything you'd recognize as Florida-like.

      And second, even for the deep south, this place is a hotbed of fundamentalist extremism. Pentacostals are the religious moderates here. Fanatics shout scripture into bullhorns at intersections here. My favorite local bumpersticker reads, "IF IT AIN'T KING JAMES IT AIN'T BIBLE."

      1. Negropolis

        It's a distinction without a difference. Florida is Florida all the way through from the incompetence in Miami-Dade and Broward up to the Redneck Riviera. It's simply crazies of difference flavor.

  35. Negropolis

    Poor Archduke Franz Ferdinand. He Czeched himself, which ironically had the effect of wrecking himself, poor guy.

  36. Negropolis

    I know Progressivism meant something a bit different, back then, and that times were different back then. But, I have a hard time even then calling someone as racists and xenophobic as Wilson "progressive." His racism was even notable for the time he was in. Such isms can't legitimately abide with or in one another. You can't have good government if it seeks to shut out entire populations.

    1. memzilla

      I won't defend racism, but I will say that, at the time, white people were just barely beginning to stop being so hateful to other white people — Italians, Jews, Irish, Catholics, slum dwellers, the rural poor, Northerners vs Southrons, et al. You can't stop being racist until you stop hating large segments of people who share your own skin color, and that is an incremental step that takes time and a couple generations.

      Wilson was of, and in, that time of transition. But still Southron.

      And 1917 was 40 years — a couple generations, IOW — away from the Civil Rights Act of 1957 which passed largely due to the efforts of Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson.

      "Progressive" in 1917 had more to do about economic policy — unions, fair treatment for farmers, gold vs. fiat currency, trust-busting — than social policy… but of course the two are inextricably bound up in one another.

      1. Negropolis

        Like I said, I know what progressivism meant in that era, but, again, Wilson's racism and xenophobia was even a bit of a surprise to a lot of folks even of that time, enough so where it is notable to bring it up. He'd instituted segregation in certain areas of the executive branch and government departments and agencies where it hadn't existed for decades.

  37. Isyaignert

    Oh FFS, that cake so reminds me of my unholy relationship with my holier-that-thou mother. I am a Christmas baby and my mother would always bring a cake to every Christmas gathering that said, "Happy Birthday Baby Jesus and 'Isyaignert." Imagine how I felt as an ignert five year old having to compete with his Jeezuzness. FAIL. Now, that I'z all growed up, every fukkin' Xmas, I get together with other Xmas babies and we have a "Jealous of Jesus" party with no red or green or Christmas crap allowed!

    1. memzilla

      Every Christmas baby should be informed, as early as possible, of the 11-month free tax deduction that their birth gave their parents, and demand their piece of that, along with a free Obamaphone.

    2. decentcitizen

      I on the other hand was born just after Christmas but it seemed xmas so tuckered my parents out I never managed to get a birthday gift or party – just happy merry Xmas birthday gift.

      1. Isyaignert

        Oh sweetie! I so feel your pain. You poor dear, I hope you've found solace in the snow-covered trees and whatnot.

        OT but when my husband (read: Prince Charming) asked my birthdate, I told him it was 12/21 and he said, "That's my favorite day of the year!! I thought he was just being very smooth, but turns out it's true -he loves it because it's when the days start to get longer!

  38. DahBoner

    If only these people had listened to the wisdom of the goat-herders who wrote the Bible and realize that the earth has four corners, and thats the TROOF…

  39. outragedcitizen

    "… The vacuum created by this rejection of true Christianity was destined to bring terror and destruction to Germany.”

    Yep, life was so much better when true Christianity reigned supreme in Germany, (as well as Spain, France and England) and the enlightened Christians were running around torturing, hanging and burning all those heretics and witches.

    Yeah, good times!

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