Strange Fruit, Rotting on the Ground

For the past month or so, I’ve been working on a class on medieval Christianity and before that I was dealing with a full load of four courses. It was my intention to do a number of posts on various aspects of the medieval church, but recent events have caused me to change my plans.

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Lester Maddox: Christian, American, Governor, Segregationist

Yesterday, I went to the Atlanta History Center to see the new “Atlanta in 50 Objects” exhibit. Most of the choices were predictable, but still interesting: a copy of “Gone With the Wind,” White and Colored signs from the Jim Crow era, the old school Pink Pig that used to be at the downtown Macy’s, MLK’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, funerary from Oakland Cemetery, etc. However, there was one entry that really surprised and interested me: the “pickrick” (i.e., axe handle turned club) that Lester Maddox used to chase black civil rights protesters away from his restaurant, the Pickrick Cafeteria:

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/government-politics/lester-maddox-1915-2003

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/25/us/lester-maddox-whites-only-restaurateur-and-georgia-governor-dies-at-87.html?pagewanted=all

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What Do People Do With the Latin Mass?

In my continuing response to Msgr. Charles Pope’s piece about stagnating attendance numbers at Latin Masses (http://www.ncregister.com/blog/msgr-pope/an-urgent-warning-about-the-future-of-the-traditional-latin-mass), I decided that it would be useful to examine what Latin Mass advocates do with their preferred liturgical form and what they hope to achieve by increasing the number of Latin Masses available to the public.

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Separated Brethren: Black and White Christians

There’s an old movie of the “so bad it’s good” variety called The Thing With Two Heads (1972) that could be interpreted as a bizarro world allegory about American race relations. In this film,  a rich, racist white man is dying of cancer and demands to have his head transplanted onto a healthy body. The doctors oblige, but the only body available is that of a wrongfully accused black death row convict. Hilarity ensues, and we have the perfect analogy of race in America: a two heads on a single body, constantly beating itself up:

http://www.1000misspenthours.com/reviews/reviewsn-z/thingwithtwoheads.htm

Of course, race in America is more than black and white, so maybe a better analogy might be a hydra with self-destructive tendencies. Nonetheless, the thing with two heads is a good way of thinking of race in the South, which is still largely a black and white affair.

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Who Are the Good Samaritans?

Well, it’s time for MLK Day again, and our friends at the League of the South (known as LoSers on this blog) what to know why we can’t go back to the “good old days” when this weekend was used to commemorate Robert E. Lee’s birthday:

If you celebrate Martin Luther (Michael) King, Jr. Day instead of Lee-Jackson Day, then you are a moral idiot. King was a philanderer, a plagiarist, and a Communist sympathizer (if not an outright Communist). Both Lee and Jackson were both fine, upstanding examples of Christian manhood.

http://leagueofthesouth.com/celebrating-lee-and-jackson519/

There are a lot of things I could say about this passage, but I’ll leave it to Frederick Douglass to explain, as he had a very intimate knowledge of the behavior of these paragons of “Christian manhood”:

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Terrorism, In Brown and White

Two weeks ago, Paris was rocked with a number of coordinated terrorist attacks by ISIS fighters. Two days ago, a “lone wolf” engaged in a prolonged shootout with police in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While the former has been roundly condemned by almost all Americans as nihilistic barbarians, regardless of their political orientation, the latter is seen very differently, depending on how you feel about abortion.Some on the right like Carly Fiorina have been “Not All Pro-Lifers” while others like Donald Trump have simply dismissed the shooter as some random maniac who in no way represents mainstream conservative opinion on anything:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/11/29/gop-candidates-condemn-planned-parenthood-shooting-but-dismiss-link-to-antiabortion-rhetoric/

The Friendly Atheist has compiled a bunch of tweets from users celebrating the shootings:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/11/28/pro-lifers-take-to-twitter-to-praise-planned-parenthood-shooter/

Clearly, terrorism isn’t terrorism when it’s being used by a cause one approves of.

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