Thursday, September 23, 2010

Homophobic Pastor Accused Of Coercing Young Followers Into Homosexual Acts, World Unsurprised

Hi everyone. You might have noticed the non-blog post last night. I couldn't handle it, people. The show was, what's the word? Oh yes: bad. Plus I was very disappointed in our Anderson Cooper. When it comes to moderating panels, he doesn't exactly have the best track record (no secret here--ask around). But! Lately I had noticed an improvement in this area.

Whereas before I sometimes pondered whether he still had a pulse, suddenly he was all like, "game on, bitches!" (Perhaps not an exact quote. Ahem.) I was proud of the little Silver Fox. But last night he went back to his pulseless ways--a relapse! Now I feel like I have to take his chip away. Sad face.

Anyway. I suppose he'll just have to earn it back. Tonight we are blissfully without any mention of Christine O'Donnell. Don't get me wrong, yay for keeping her honest, but Delaware ain't the only game in town--and she's pretty behind in the polls. So! Let's get on to the new bit of fun: an anti-gay pastor turning out to maybe be kinda gay. We are shocked by this. Shocked!
  • At this point, I think I've lost track of how many times we've heard this song, but the most recent hypocrite is Bishop Eddie Long of Birth Missionary Baptist Church. You guessed it--a megachurch where anti-gay rhetoric is not out of the norm. The story goes like this: three male followers (or "spiritual sons") of Long are suing him for allegedly enticing them with money and gifts in exchange for sexual favors. Part of the evidence includes some creepy muscleman pictures the minister apparently took of himself and sent to another spiritual son.
  • Would you like a sampling of Long's spiel? Sure you would. "And the problem today and the reason why society is like it is, is because men are being feminized and women are becoming masculine." Another--quite possibly my favorite: "And everybody knows it's dangerous to enter an exit." I can't even. What is there to say to that?
  • Our anchor stresses that right now everything is just allegations. I hope it's all true, not just for the schadenfreude, but because I'd hate to see homophobia being combatted in such a dishonest way. Not exactly helpful.
  • To discuss all this, we're joined by the disgraced Ted Haggard and Pastor Troy Sanders. I've kinda surprised myself in that I think I have a soft spot for Haggard. I just can't bring myself to hate him. He's pretty clearly gay (or at least has gay tendencies), and he pretty clearly thinks that's a sin, which probably means he hates himself enough for the both of us. Doesn't mean I won't call out his bullshit though!
  • Haggard on pastors who struggle with gayness: "It's just like any ideal. We have police officers that get speeding tickets. We have people in Congress that write our tax legislation that don't pay their taxes." Dude, minding your own business and living your life the way you were born is not equivalent to a speeding ticket. Back me up on this, Anderson. "But Pastor Ted, there is a difference between, you know, somebody saying you should obey the law and you get a speeding ticket and somebody preaching something which is completely antithetical to a deeply-held, something that is intrinsic." Okay, I cleaned up our anchor's quote there a bit since he took forever to spit it out. ZOMG, how do I word this to maintain my balance cred?
  • Then we get into this Battle of the Bible Verses, with Pastor Troy acknowledging that we already pick and choose what we want to believe, and Haggard acknowledging that his church would really like to believe that being gay is a sin. So...yeah. This is pretty much what it comes down to with religion: you have to choose an interpretation. Personally, I choose not to impose torment and pain on an entire group of people, but you know, I'm kooky that way.
  • Pastor Troy: "As preachers of the gospel, we stand up and we present a gospel that is either inclusive or exclusive. We make that choice"
  • Haggard: "Well, that's what you're saying, and that will work for your church and your congregation. But there may be a congregation down the street that wants to apply some different verses." Yeah, Pastor Troy. Love and acceptance? What kind of crap are you preaching? Why are you so intolerant of intolerant churches, hmm?
  • Then we get into talk about living your life truthfully and whatnot, with Haggard I think feeling a bit of pressure: "But here's what I'm saying. Those who independently chose to call me on the carpet were not helpful. It was those who loved me, helped me, comforted me. And this type of broad-based, generalized analysis of people outside your group is not what's helpful to him or to the process." Um, Ted? Exposing your hypocrisy really wasn't about helping you.
  • Pastor Troy: "And what I'm saying is, it didn't take a scandal for me to come out and walk in truth. I called myself on the carpet and others." Oh, snap.
  • That was about it. A pretty good segment. Would have liked Anderson to jump in more, but oh wells. Also, a bit of rough editing at the end there. Anyway, this will no doubt be discussed on the interwebs tomorrow. Because, well, because. Segment below:

  • Republicans have recently unveiled their fancypants new Pledge to America and guess what. Party like it's 1994! Yeah, this is basically Contract with America 2.0: Still Sucky. So! Even though Obama was at the UN today, we're apparently using this segment to hear from Paul Begala, Erick Erikson, and J.D. Hayworth. Great. A beltway democrat, tea partier, and crazy person. Glad to see I'm represented again! You know what? Screw this. Just watch Jon Stewart, y'all. He tackled this subject much better.
  • Sanjay Gupta finished up his series on medical mysteries. There was both good news and bad. Sally got a diagnosis (amyloidosis), but now she has to deal with the disease. As for little Kylie, they still don't know. Admittedly, when I heard the first few notes of "Wonderful World," my schmaltz flag went up, but since it was related to a quote, I will stand down. It was a well-done series. I don't actually see the video for this last part (CNN sucks at this sometimes), but I'll try to add it if they put it up later.
  • Today the top ten CNN Heroes of 2010 were announced. Now, normally I would say that I respect the network for putting effort into a quality program because it's the right thing to do, and not necessarily because it's a ratings bonanza. But I am not saying that, because the last time I said that about a special (Planet in Peril), they stopped making them. So there. Our anchor gives us a little tutorial on how to vote for the heroes because...we're not smart enough to work the interwebs? I don't know. Below you will find an update on how last year's hero, Doc Hendley of Wine to Water, is helping Haiti.

  • The "shot" tonight is Katy Perry being too scantily clad for Sesame Street. Elmo will never be the same. What's that Joe John's? Are you trying to do that thing where they play footage of Anderson in the hopes of getting a reaction out of him? Oh Joe. Erica Hill you ain't. But points for the effort--the awkward effort. For those who haven't seen it, here's our anchor in all his grouch glory. (Another panel!)
  • The show was better tonight. Only the politics panel made me want to stab my eyes out. Improvement! Everything else was actually pretty good. Okay 360, can you please just do fact-y political coverage? Please? There's a whole mess of races you could be tackling. Like, you know how you always do the whole shiny horse-race thing? Maybe do the opposite of that this time, and actually inform your viewers of the facts that they need to know before stepping into the voting booth. Just a suggestion! XOXO

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