Daily Links: Conspiracy Edition

There’s a hint of conspiracy in the air.

A conspiratorial gesture from President Obama, whose administration blocked television access to the panel on both campaigns’ religious outreach last Friday. As Sarah Posner’s article does well to point out, it’s hard to deny you’ve got something to hide when you’re actively hiding it.

From the current president to a former one: JFK. And no, I’m not talking about the shady knoll. Leslie Gelb at Foreign Policy has an article in the November edition that talks about the details surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis. The details don’t match with common perception of the event. And, at least according to Gelb, that’s intentional.

Politicians can’t have all the fun, though. Check out this handy voting guide from the Freedom and Faith Coalition. Wow, how convenient! I can vote without thinking for myself! or vetting the sources of my information (but seriously, check out their sources). Also, what’s a non-profit based in Georgia doing releasing a voting guide for the state of Virginia? Something’s fishy…

This one doesn’t just sound like a conspiracy: A lesbian couple in Vermont adopted a baby. They split when one became a conservative Christian and, at the same time apparently, a heterosexual. Then the story gets a little complicated…and ends up with the baby and the Conservative Christian being sheltered in Nicaragua by a network of shady Mennonites so that the child is not exposed to her lesbian mother. Check out the details here.

More mainstream Mennonites are clamoring to make sure they’re not outdone. Read the story of one Philadelphia church that has been systematically ostracized from the larger Mennonite network for its tolerance of homosexuality.

And what ever happened to Singles Ministry? Did the conspiracy happen when the ministries were well attended, or after? Or is this whole conspiracy metaphor wearing really thin? I thought it could be applied to anything. Like the sexual revolution which, according to a Crisis Magazine contributor, “destroys the common good by undermining families and rotting whole neighborhoods from within.” If you’d rather not read the whole article, I’ll paraphrase: Dirty hippies got together, took over the country, and instilled us all with immoral social values that tolerate divorce. His cousin Danny’s parents got divorced. Because of that divorce, Danny ended up being angry and bitter. Because he was angry, Danny may or may not have ended up being gay, bisexual, or at least a little bi-curious, but that’s not polite to talk about – it’s only appropriate to vaguely reference in a weird, unaware way. Anyway, Danny then ended up with a woman much older than him, who died. He wasn’t in love with this woman because their relationship was unorthodox and thus deluded. No, hippies made sure that it was unhealthy and he was unhealthy and now we’re all unhealthy. And Danny’s sad. Or maybe. He doesn’t talk to his family anymore, not because they picked on him when he was young (which they did mercilessly) or because they don’t understand him, but because of what hippies have done. Bad hippies and their “anti-culture of faithlessness.”

Don’t think the Protestants are the only religious people involved in creating and maintaing the conspiracy network, either. The Catholic Church, your one-stop conspiracy shop, is in on the act. Saturday marked the 24th Anniversary of the Church-sanctioned carbon-dating of the Shroud of Turin…dating which suggested the shroud was only about 700 years old. However, the Church has since refuted that testing by claiming that it wasn’t the actual shroud that was tested. Last December, Italian scientists working with the “actual Shroud” claimed that the image on the shroud was formed by electromagnetic energy, which no artist could have accomplished. We here at The Revealer are preparing to hold our breath and wait for Dan Brown to step in and clear this one up.

When the political pendulum swings left, there’s still a discernible corrupting touch of collusion clinging to affairs. By now we’re all familiar with the on-going conspiracy on the part of the “left-wing liberal media” looking at all turns to discredit gentlemen like Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck, but has anyone stopped to think about how what the media produces gets classified and archived? That’s right, I’m talking about the librarians. And they’re, evidently, a sneaky bunch. To the point where the Library Journal has published an article entitled “Librarians Decide What is Reality.” If they’ve really pulled off that feat, though, they should tell someone so the rest of us can stop trying. Also, check out the “reality” they’ve constructed vis a vis young-earth Creationism in the links above.

Conspiracy is not just an American problem, either. On “the Immanent Frame,” check out Hussein Ali Agrama’s take on the apostasy case of Nasr Abu Zayd, and what he calls “the determination of genuine religiosity in terms of ulterior motives [as] a practice of suspicion.”

What’s more, the international conspirators are sending one of their minions to take over one of America’s flagship publications, The New York TimesThis interview with Briton Mark Thompson, the soon-to-be president and CEO of the business side of the Times, charts his relationship with his own Catholic faith and his opinions concerning reporting on religion.

Quick! Before real paranoia sets in, go check out the recipients of the SSRP’s New Directions in the Study of Prayer grants. It’s a long list of really smart people doing way smarter things than massaging a wide variety of religious news to fit a particular theme purely for their own amusement. It’s probably more worth your time. Which is why I only mention it now.

Image: courtesy the U.S. Treasury.  If you fold it just right, you will know all the secrets of the world.

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