Okay, obviously nobody can resist a video of uber-atheist Christopher Hitchens being waterboarded. Vanity Fair has apparently resorted to making bad YouTube videos in order to promote itself–in this case, the Hitchens article “Believe Me, It’s Torture.” But I have questions for Christopher, starting with: Do you always get waterboarded by guys dressed up like cat burglars? And couldn’t you just climb onto the board? Why do you have to be bound like a paralysis victim and then lifted on and off it? Did you get waterboarded while drunk or something? Come to think of it, maybe you could have lasted more than 10 seconds if they’d used vodka instead of water when they were sprinkling you out of that Clorox bottle. And that’s another thing: it looked like they sprinkled about, oh, two fingers of a shot glass worth of Evian water through a towel. Is that really all it takes? Maybe I’m in favor of waterboarding after all. You think you’re drowning but there’s no way in hell you could even get wet. Those who’ve watched the video know that Hitchens was given a safety word if he wanted to abort the demonstration, but contrary to rumors on the blogosphere, that word was not “Jesusislord.”
Anglican Steel Cage Death Match Might Be Postponed
They won’t be singing Kumbayah this week at the Lambeth Conference, the every-ten-year meeting of the entire Anglican communion, especially since 200 bishops will be boycotting the event, including my recent dinner companion, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, who used the word “apostates” to describe some of his fellow clerics at the recent Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem. The conservatives all but admitted they held GAFCON to intentionally upstage Lambeth, declaring themselves a “church within the church” that was tired of complaining about liberal doctrine that the church leaders are obviously loathe to change. But N.T. Wright, the respected Bishop of Durham who’s on the short list to be the future Archibishop of Canterbury and who once made the mistake of giving an interview to the Door’s own Becky Garrison, called the GAFCON movement “strange in form and uncertain in destination,” and encouraged the renegade bishops to reconsider and bring their “rich experience and gospel-driven exuberance to the larger party where the rest of us are working day and night for the same gospel, the same biblical wisdom, the same Lord.” Some of the conservatives will indeed show up at Lambeth, but they don’t wanna sit next to the gay guy. And the Archbishop of Canterbury appears to be floating a last-ditch effort to make the theocons happy: he’s creating a cadre of “superbishops” to supervise churches that object to being led by a female–because, oh yeah, there’s that problem, too, the fact that 14 years ago the Anglicans started ordaining women and now they’re about to have the first female bishops. No wonder several of the Anglican dissidents were recently seen darting in and out of offices at the Vatican. In 1994, 500 Anglican priests became, overnight, Catholic priests. Benedict is hoping for a new harvest. And, by the way, the first superbishop was created in the 1970s, by Monty Python.
Barack Loves Jesus Again
Uh oh, Barack Obama was using the phrase “personal commitment to Christ” last week, and we know what happens when the Obamameister starts getting all evangelical on us–he ends up interpreting scripture. Fortunately, he hasn’t given us any more exegesis lately, but he did come out for expansion of the Bush administration’s faith-based programs. Would that be the same programs that, uh, were roundly condemned as failures after special assistant to the President Doug Wead was drummed out of the White House for making secret tapes of the Prez? Yes, they would be, but that had nothing to do with the original vision of the programs, as Jim Wallis of Sojourners explained in a virtual endorsement of Obama during the same week that Obama’s handlers explicitly stated that they were seeking the support of the “religious left.” They were seeking it, by the way, in Zanesville, Ohio, hometown of Zane Grey, holder of the all-time record for novels made into movies (over 200), and not a member of the religious left. If this goes on much longer, Obama will be in danger of saying something akin to Howard Dean’s comment in 2004, when asked what his favorite New Testament book was. If you’ll recall, the answer was Job. There wasn’t much spin for his handlers to put on that one.
Last Time the Romans Showed Up, the Trojans Lost
The Popemobile is in Australia this week for World Youth Day, and our sources in the Anglican church tell us that there’s an organized effort to drop condoms on the Pope’s head. So far there have been no papal condom showers, but if they do go through with it, I hope they’re not ribbed condoms. After all, he’s an elderly man.