God's Politics

God's Politics


Diana Butler Bass: Don Imus, Duke Lacrosse, and Our Pornified Culture

posted by gp_intern

While most of the media has been consumed by Don Imus’ racial slur against the Rutgers women’s basketball team, I have been thinking about that other case: the case of the Duke lacrosse players.

My friends will probably laugh, because, for the sake of full disclosure, I went to Duke. But more than familial loyalty has me contemplating the Duke lacrosse case. The contrasts between it and the Imus situation – contrasts that emerged when the two stories collided in last week’s media cycle – are worth exploring as revelatory about our culture.

The Imus case seemed pretty clear. The foul-mouthed (but admittedly funny and often politically insightful) talk show host attacked a group of girls, demeaning them on the basis of both their race and gender. When they deserved praise for their accomplishments (one of which was to beat the Duke women’s basketball team – a fact over which I’m still stewing!), Imus debased them with sexual contempt. The young ladies – and they proved themselves ladies – reacted with grace. Although Imus lost his job, the situation was surprisingly redemptive as the women demonstrated the power of practicing forgiveness.

But the Duke story is a bit murkier. This morning’s Washington Post ran a story comparing the case of the Duke men to that of the Rutgers women, focusing on the media’s failure to apologize to the men. The media owe the young men an apology for their rush to judgment. However, as I listened to the press conference in which they were exonerated, one line (from the North Carolina official who cleared them) struck me: “LET ME REPEAT, THESE BOYS ARE INNOCENT.”

Yes, they are innocent: innocent of rape, kidnapping, and sexual assault. Completely innocent of any crime. Undeserving of prosecution, injury, and innuendo.

But they were not morally guiltless. After all, the team hired a stripper to perform for them; they (appeared to have) watched an act of live pornography. Unlike the innocent Rutgers women, the actions that led to the media assault against the Duke men were, while not criminal, hardly praiseworthy. Although few have said so, the men were engaged in pornography. Pornography created the climate in which a false accusation could occur and be believed by a good number of smart people. A rush to judgment? Yes. But an illogical imaginative leap? Probably not.

That is what I suspect has led to the media’s strange silence. I do not think, as some commentators have supposed, that this is an incident of reverse racism – apologizing to the black (and two white) women while ignoring the case of the white men. Instead, the Duke case seems to point in another direction: the tacit acceptance of, and inability to intelligently address, pornography as an important social issue. It is hard to apologize when there exists awkwardness about something that is morally wrong but legally permissible – and economically profitable.

In her insightful book, Pornified: How Pornography is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families, Pamela Paul traces how pornography has been “mainstreamed” into American culture, with devastating effects on society. She says that pornography functions beyond “right” and “left” arguments: “Most people don’t talk about whether they’re ‘for’ or ‘against’ pornography anymore.” As Ms. Paul writes, “Through complacency and carelessness, the majority of Americans shrug or laugh off the issue as inconsequential and irrelevant to their lives.” But, as her work shows, pornography is an “alienating product of a consumer culture.” Its social costs are enormous – especially to young adults whose lives, intimate identities, and relationships are being shaped 24/7 by a culture of easy and crude sex.

The Rutgers and Duke stories are not only about race and gender. They are about pornography. As a result of the Rutgers case, some journalists promised to address the pornographic tendencies of rap and hip-hop. But what about pornography in general? Can we sensibly critique – and offer sound policy solutions regarding – the pornified culture? A culture where privileged men can think it is acceptable to hire a poor black woman to perform sexual acts for them? A culture where adult entertainment companies, X-rated Web sites, and “gentlemen’s clubs” rake in huge profits?

Both the Rutgers women and the Duke men are victims of pornography – the women were overt victims (don’t forget the woman in the Duke case); the men victims of culture that stresses control over women and easy sexual gratification. It is tempting to see the men only as perpetrators of a sin (hence the silence); yet that seems too simplistic. The lacrosse players “bought” an idea about porn and sex that has been culturally “sold” to them. Ultimately, pornography victimized them all – their self-esteem, sexuality, gender identity, wholeness, and in these two cases, public reputations.

This is not a liberal or conservative issue; a black or white issue; or a male or female one. It is not even a Christian or secular one. Contemporary pornography whittles away at our humanity, the goodness of intimacy, and the love of beauty. Pornography turns people into products that others consume for profit or pleasure – and not just the audience or actors who “have a choice.” Pornography affects all of us. Maybe we should ask the young women and men in both cases how their lives have been changed by pornified culture.


Diana Butler Bass (www.dianabutlerbass.com) holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University. She is the author of Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith (Harper San Francisco).



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js

posted April 16, 2007 at 9:28 pm


Diana, Thanks so much for the post. The quote I kept hearing this morning bothered me, “They are innocent.” The Duke players maybe not guilty, but they are not innocent.



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Adam Omelianchuk

posted April 16, 2007 at 9:41 pm


This may have been the best post on this blog I’ve read yet.



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Carol Luther

posted April 16, 2007 at 9:45 pm


You have accurately named a problem that is far more important than most people can even begin to dream. Love is one of the things that builds human trust and community. When the gift of love is cheapened and sold as crude sex, the individuals involved are not the only victims.



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Mike Hayes

posted April 16, 2007 at 9:55 pm


I agree with the thought that we should be concerned about the seeming greater and greater acceptance of pornography in our society; however, considering the consequences the players faced had the charges not been dropped, I also think we should acknowledge the importance of the process working the way it should…It worked slowly, in this situation, but better that than for the players to have continued to be subjected to being wrongly accused… or found guilty and years later to be released… as does occur with our justice system… 13 times in Illinois in convictions of innocent persons of the crime of murder. Just writing this makes me think how important it is to serve on a jury, and how little training we have for this truly huge responsibility. What is “reasonable doubt”? Shouldn’t potential jurors in criminal cases be given some examples of what that is… and what it is not? But, I agree with the concept Diana raises in her post… our society is becomming too accepting of pornography.



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Eric

posted April 16, 2007 at 10:01 pm


Excellent comments Diana. The Duke guys aren’t guilty of a crime but they certainly didn’t act like gentlement. And neither did the stripper act like a lady. As much as I hate to quote her, Ann Coulter made a good comment: “You can severely reduce your chances of having a false accusation of rape leveled against you if you don’t hire strange women to come to your house and take their clothes off for money. Also, you can severely reduce your chances of being raped if you do not go to strange men’s houses and take your clothes off for money.” Unfortunately, a large portion of the media has lost any sense of moral condemnation. Of course, if you make a large portion of your money selling sex, then it looks hypocritical to criticize the actions of the Duke students.



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Steve Thorngate

posted April 16, 2007 at 10:03 pm


Pornography is famously the only issue to unite religious conservatives and feminists–for different but equally valid reasons (i.e., porn both harms relationships/families AND exploits women). Liberal (and largely academic) movements to reclaim porn as empowering and pro-woman have had mixed results; perhaps this is one reason we now seem to operate under an uncomfortable silent truce on the topic. Thanks for speaking up, Diana.



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Ken

posted April 16, 2007 at 10:07 pm


Please! You have got to be kidding! A District Attorney tries to prosecute a case with no evidence for political reasons and you have the nerve to say these young men are not innocent of trumped up charges. Bogus trumped up charges are the main fact here not that porno was involved.



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Eric

posted April 16, 2007 at 10:37 pm


Ken, Diana is saying they are innocent of the trumped up charges, but they are not innocent in the sense that they did nothing wrong. They did do something wrong. They paid a woman to degrade herself for their own pleasure.



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nad2

posted April 17, 2007 at 1:12 am


this is a great post, though i am left feeling very uneasy about the road it has taken to get from A to B – from false rape accusations to the stronghold of porn & denegration of women in our culture, through the well-rutted & charred road of the character of these guys. it has the inevitable hint of ‘you could have prevented this by acting morally’ to it when false accusations, not behavior of the guys, is THE issue. as though an otherwise innocent gambler getting accused of stealing from the casino is somehow not ‘morally guiltless’ and it is not ‘an illogical imaginitive leap’ to go from gambler to thief. or rueben carter ‘the hurricane’ being out partying too hard & then spending half his life in jail for a murder he didn’t commit. maybe it is just the most convenient shortcut we can take to move onto an overlapping topic, cheap sex (or gambling or drunkenness), but for some reason, going through the character of these guys after all this just feels wrong. further, i simply do not think the fact that stripping was involved has anything to do w/ the media not apologizing but everything to do w/ not wanting to admit their own journalist & moral failings, the same way no one wants to go back & rehash appearing on imus repeatedly before the storm erupted last week or why no one apologizes for not addressing denegration of women in rap sooner. no self-reflection or self-criticism in journalism. again, i enjoyed this post & think self-reflection on the issues of pornography and denegration of women is in high order, perhaps even in the context of this case apart from questions of these guys being ‘morally blameless’, but let’s just let these guys go on w/ their lives, ‘victims’ of the porn industry or not. at some point, folks should just get a pass from the rest of us for their circumstances.



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moderatelad

posted April 17, 2007 at 2:22 am


Enjoyed the read – but let us also get an apology from the Rev. Al and Jesse ad they judged and convicted these young men in the press. This is why I hopefully taught my sons that when and if you are at a party the controlled stuff comes out or the ‘ladies’ show up for the dance. Get out of there as you will be hung with the company you keep even if you did nothing.They are guilty of poor judgement and low morals – aren’t we all to one extent or another. Later – .



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Mike Hayes

posted April 17, 2007 at 3:03 am


Does “Dancing with the Stars” constitute pornography? I say, maybe… maybe not. And, it (“Dancing with the Stars” and similar TV programming) is apparently giving “us” what “we” want… Diana has it right. We’ve lost our compass.



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jurisnaturalist

posted April 17, 2007 at 3:11 am


Or maybe we’ve forsaken our peculiarity. What reason does a Pagan have to act morally? None. If they do it is a testimony to the image of God within them. Yet they have no rational explanation for choosing to act morally. As redeemed ones, sanctified, we now have a single reason for living according to our ethic: we are following Christ. Utilitarian arguments for moral behavior are devoid of virtue, and mere guilt imposed on anyone who does not freely accept the call of Jesus. Beware, lest any of us should say, “There ought to be a law.” No, there ought not. There ought to be an example. Nathanael Snow



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Mike Hayes

posted April 17, 2007 at 3:30 am


jurisnaturalist, Your first four paragraphs sound pretty judgmental to me!



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Mike Hayes

posted April 17, 2007 at 3:34 am


jurisnaturalist, What if we all had a budget adequate for assisting persons in poverty? Then there could be an example… by many of us. As it is, a significant portion of our charitable contributions are consumed by expenses for buildings… we refer to those as “sanctuary spaces”.



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 3:42 am


The Duke players maybe not guilty, but they are not innocent. js Is it any of your business, there is no space between God and me for your judgment of my behavior or theirs. If they forced anything against her will then that is a matter for the law.Why do women prostitute themselves? Usually for drugs, 80% of all women in jail are there over drug related crimes. Talk about why this is and what can be done.She was so confused in her statements that she is either on drugs or mentally disturbed. While we moralize about the party and the boys she is still in her terrible state.



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Mike Hayes

posted April 17, 2007 at 3:52 am


butch, Yes! She is still in her terrible state. And we (collectively) cannot figure out how we might help her (and those in the same spot).



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 4:07 am


Mike part of that answer is we spend our time moralizing and looking at the wrong problem. Legalize drugs take out the crime and treat the victims.



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moderatelad

posted April 17, 2007 at 4:37 am


Yes! She is still in her terrible state. But you can not help her until she comes to the realization that she needs help. She has many many small wrong decisions over the past how many years to get her where she is today. I will take a lot for her to see her error and start to think about making some good decisions that will get her out of the state that she is in.The error of the team was inviting her (the stripper) to come and entertain them. I think if they would realize that she is someone daughter, sister, friend…they might have thought twice about their actions. Later – .



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Dave

posted April 17, 2007 at 5:11 am


One of the accused players left the party shortly after the strippers arrived. Why? I don’t know but maybe he didn’t want to participate. Yet again, the media lead by people like Ms. Bass want to paint with a broad brush these people about whom they know very little.



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 6:00 am


But you cannot help her until she comes to the realization that she needs help. She has many small wrong decisions over the past how many years to get her where she is today. I will take a lot for her to see her error and start to think about making some good decisions that will get her out of the state that she is in. Moderated More superior self-righteous moralizing. She did not get to the state that caused her to be at that party that night that day. She was 1 and 2, etc and society failed her long before that night.We are pounding children every day in schools with problems with about 1 counselor per 2 or 300 kids. We should be like the ants minding our aphid herd, protecting and prompting them to perform in academics AND socializing them. Many enter school without a chance in hell and we are proud that we kick them out if they don’t fit. Then they end up in a life like that young lady was living and we say she is making bad choices. How did she get there and what is our responsibility in her condition, what is your part in her condition.



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moderatelad

posted April 17, 2007 at 3:47 pm


butch | 04.17.07 – 12:05 am | #More superior self-righteous moralizing. BULL – she did not wake up one morning and said to her self…’I want a job that will let me take off my clothes and maybe make more money having sex with total strangers – Mom would be so proud of me!’ – NOT! It was a number of small decisions that in and of themselve were minor – all together produce the person she is today. DON’T BLAME THE EDUCATION SYSTEM FOR THIS ONE! The problems that our schools are having to deal with today are a direct reflection of their community and home life. When parents allow their children to be out till all hours and then expect them to function at school – that’s not happening. When kids are a no show because they stay home because their parents are strung out on who knows what… It is not the schools fault, communities fault, societies fault. IT IS THEIR PARENTS FAULT! Teachers and educators can only do so much. SO – the school systems should hire counselors to replace parents – we can’t even afford the programs that the Dept of Ed make us do now. Later – .



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Eric

posted April 17, 2007 at 4:58 pm


Whoa, back up. Unless you all know a lot more than the news has reported, none of us really know why the young woman decided to start stripping for a living. We don’t know whether it was the education system, lack of counselors, or a string of small bad decisions or just one major bad decision. Also, lots of kids grew up with far fewer counselors than they have today and didn’t resort to degrading themselves for a living.



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moderatelad

posted April 17, 2007 at 5:09 pm


Eric | 04.17.07 – 11:03 am | #Well said – I just get a little defensive when people start blaming the education system. Yes – there are several issues that we need to deal with and get things straightened out – put the educational system did not teach her to strip. The system has to deal with a lot that is not of their making – but it is a direct reflection of their community and home life. be well! Later – .



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chuck

posted April 17, 2007 at 5:34 pm


yawn



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squeaky

posted April 17, 2007 at 6:00 pm


Ahh Moderatelad “put the educational system did not teach her to strip. The system has to deal with a lot that is not of their making – but it is a direct reflection of their community and home life.” We have found common ground! Well said, lad, well said! I have always thought this about the Duke case–it is terrible they were falsely accused, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. However, it is still a lesson about why it isn’t a good idea to put oneself in that position. Typically, that behavior is excused as “boys being boys” unfortunately–an outcome of how this double standard can cause true harm for all involved. NEVERTHELESS, all that being said, just as I don’t believe it is right to blame a victim of rape because she was “asking for it” either by her dress or behavior, I don’t think it is right to blame these victims because they are “asking for it” either. The overall moral issue of pornagraphy is definitely an issue our society needs to grapple with–the way it degrades both women and men and contributes to crime. And maybe this is a case that can get the conversation going. But in any case, we need to stay away from our tendency to blame the victim.



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 6:12 pm


DON’T BLAME THE EDUCATION SYSTEM FOR THIS ONE! Moderated I’m not blaming the education system, I’m blaming society. Schools can only do what they can with the money and support we give the education system. I’m talking about looking at the education system in a whole new light. ” IT IS THEIR PARENTS FAULT! Teachers and educators can only do so much.” “SO – the school systems should hire counselors to replace parents – we can’t even afford the programs that the Dept of Ed make us do now.” Moderated We can build 700-mile fences in the desert; invade foreign lands, bridges to nowhere. The last Republican transportation bill had something like 10,000 earmarks.The parents you refer are severely handicapped, if the parents were paraplegics you would help, these parents are as handicapped as any handicap you can define. You want to make it “the parents fault”. I don’t give a shit who’s fault it is I want society to intervene to address the problem. Society pays sooner or later anyway. Next post to offer a system of counseling.



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 6:35 pm


Counseling has developed a very effective method, “group therapy”. In school we put children in small groups to talk amongst themselves, then a counselor comes in to advise, oversee, teach in confidence. We know that children get way too much of their information from peer groups, this system empowers the peer group. If a child asks for help then it goes further in the open if not the teaching, counseling, etc is done in confidence . This system requires as many counselors as needed to cover all the small groups. This system will uncover, sexual abuse, alcohol abuse, drug abuse and bad information about sex. I ve talked to many teachers, principles and University people about this and they all want it and like it. The education system is very frustrated about the things they must ignore for lack of money and ability. Teacher friend had a pregnant 6th grader who didn t understand how she got pregnant since she used saran wrap . Where did she get her information, her peer group, I say lets find our way into those peer groups and educate. If we don t bring some form of confidential method they will reform peer groups outside our influence. There is a good model we use in our Methodist Church call Stephen Ministry , look into it. I ve seen many advantages in our church. I found way to many references when I googled to post.



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 6:43 pm


Whoa, back up. Unless you all know a lot more than the news has reported, none of us really know why the young woman decided to start stripping for a living. We don’t know whether it was the education system, lack of counselors, or a string of small bad decisions or just one major bad decision. Also, lots of kids grew up with far fewer counselors than they have today and didn’t resort to degrading themselves for a living. Eric | Her decisions were not made in a vacuum; they started long before the first day she stripped.Easy to blame someone after the fact, I want to get ahead of the curve. The money question always comes in, how much did this one situation cost and how much is spent every year across the country dealing with this type of problem. How much does it cost to deal with all the problems caused by what I call improperly socialized young people?



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 6:59 pm


PS forgot to mention we could counsel about the problems associated with porngraphy! Notice I didn’t say preach.



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 7:03 pm


PPS, the truth (knowledge) will set you free, lets free children from their life of ignorance.



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moderatelad

posted April 17, 2007 at 8:03 pm


butch | 04.17.07 – 12:17 pm | #I’m blaming society.Fine – so there is no personally accountability in your world Butch – makes the answer so easy – blame society.So in blaming society – whom do we go talk to about this young woman falsely accusing the Duke Men? If it is society – whom do we do talk to about the Amish School Shooting? Is it someone in Denver? The woman lied and should be held accountable for her actions – but you will hold society at fault rather than her? Great Logic – I think the ‘Great Society’ died with Pres. Johnson – whatever. later – .



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 8:32 pm


The woman lied and should be held accountable for her actions – but you will hold society at fault rather than her? Moderated I said, I don’t give a shit about fault; I want the problems addressed by society. She may be past redemption; I’m talking about the babies living in abusive situations. Children who live in alcoholic, drug, sexual, physical or any other abuse you can think of need our attention and my logic does give a path. I’m not much into fixing any adult unless they break a law then the legal system fixes that. Nothing I’ve said addresses the Amish, Duke, VT or any adult activity or action. I’m talking about the children who do in fact become adults then we are forced to deal with our failures and inaction.



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 9:02 pm


The woman lied and should be held accountable for her actions – but you will hold society at fault rather than her? Moderated Accountable? I hold you accountable; for not caring for the least among us for taking God’s job of blaming for pointing out the splinter in the other eye for not giving comfort to that tortured young woman I’m assuming the same role and suggest when God says Mod “Butch asked you for more money for my children where were you feeding your SUV” and by the way take that stone out of your hand, come over here and sit a while with Jesus and let him retell the stoning storySo there is blame in my world, sorry Lord I just had to say it.



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Al Sharpton

posted April 17, 2007 at 9:39 pm


chuck: “yawn” Shut up.



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cs

posted April 17, 2007 at 10:07 pm


I noticed that Nifong is absent in these comments. The case would not be where it is had he not made inappropriate public comments, disregarded DNA evidence (or the lack thereof), etc. The clear statement by AG Cooper that the lacrosse players are “innocent” (of the criminal charges against them) rather than quietly dismissing the case for a “lack of evidence” is quite telling. So, yes, address pornography and highlight its harmful effect on society. Just don’t ignore the perhaps criminal, clearly unprofessional behavior of Nifong in this debacle.



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moderatelad

posted April 17, 2007 at 10:18 pm


cs | 04.17.07 – 4:12 pm | #You’re correct – Nifong is part of this whole mess, a major part. Al Sharpton | 04.17.07 – 3:44 pm | #still looking for your apology and one from your friend Jesse. butch | 04.17.07 – 3:07 pm | #Please – you mean to say she did not know that ‘lying’ was wrong. Stripping – whatever, one can make a living doing almost anything. tortured young woman what is your evidence on that one – her friend that finally broke her silence never said she was a ‘tortured young woman’. She was caught in a lie and has not apologized for her actions. She has destroyed the lives of three young men and caused the coach to be fired and the team is fractured.This one passed you ‘meter’ – whatever. Later – .



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 10:23 pm


Just don’t ignore the perhaps criminal, clearly unprofessional behavior of Nifong in this debacle. cs If you’ve read my thoughts you should see that I think we to often look at the wrong end or parts of problems. My sons are both attorneys and I can tell you that Nifong may suffer greatly for his conduct. The bar really I mean really frowns on unethical behavior. Non-lawyers are not very aware of how jealous lawyers are of their ethics. Bad law allows lawyers to act in ways that may appear tricky, bad whatever term you want to use but not unlawful. If you don’t like lawyers behavior then change laws, they will react and change.



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 10:32 pm


She was caught in a lie and has not apologized for her actions. Moderated Who does she owe an apology to? YOU I suggest you are trying to blame and punish, a few steps above your pay grade. My proof she is living a tortured life is her life. I have and now I ask you to go to prisons and visit with women there, go into streets and strip clubs and talk to women making their way in this type of work. One my sons best friends is a public defender and the stories of hustlers (broad term) and the lives they live would curl your toes. So, call a public defender, pay his fee for a couple of hours and educate your self-righteous self.



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moderatelad

posted April 17, 2007 at 10:43 pm


butch | 04.17.07 – 4:37 pm | #Who does she owe an apology to? YOU She needs to apologize to the people she wrongly accused. To the coach that lost his job. To the parents that spent how much time and money defending their sons.So does Rev Al and Jesse as they convicted them in the press.IF she had not lied and tried to ‘do whatever’ – none of this would have happened.If you want to talk about her life – that is another discussion. Let’s deal with what we know about this situation and what we will learn. Later – .



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 10:54 pm


For those who are not familiar with the seamy side of life this tortured woman lives is full of severely emotionally troubled women. Bi-polar, manic-depressive, personality disorder (a category) complicated by drug and or alcohol abuse further complicated by being under control and physically abused by a pimp who probably controls her by her substance abuse. Many are so disturbed that institutionalizing them will not fix the problems they have. Statistically she probably falls into this group and some want her to apologize, she is lucky to live another day and or stay out of jail, which will not help her. There but for the grace of God goes your sister or mother or daughter. Maybe worse would be your son the pimp.



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butch

posted April 17, 2007 at 11:06 pm


She needs to apologize to the people she wrongly accused. To the coach that lost his job. To the parents that spent how much time and money defending their sons. Moderated You find her and help her see the error of her ways, wait you don’t have to find her there are 10’s of thousands just like her. Go find one in your community and fix them, get them on the right path.Get them off the street, take them into your home and heal them. When you’ve spent a few miles in those shoes get back to me. If you don’t have the stomach for that call the parole board and tell them you want to minister to a parole who may be free of drugs if she can find a straight life. You clearly know what should be done!



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Snoop Dogg not

posted April 17, 2007 at 11:54 pm


Well, this was almost a decent article (blog) until Diana made it a racial issue. Pure racial. There are plenty of white strippers. wake up Diana. This is certainly a “liberal” issue. You want to some how give the woman stripper an out for her debauchery. No one forced her to become a stripper. In fact, Diana, what “culture” made “bithches and ho’s, pimps and playa’s, into role models for “their” men to look up to. “Their” women to emulate and for white, yellow and brown races to want to copy in dress and behavior . . . ?????????????????? Ceratinly the community that has failed martin Luther King Jr’s test of the content of its character. Baby momma anyone? My baby daddy? Neither married or committed? It is so far past time for the Black community to clean its own house its not funny. Pornography is a sickness and a curse on all of society, like so many other immoral behaviors we are now holding up as role models. How many little girls – of any race – are wearing pink “Porn Star” T-Shirts????????? How many think stripping is cool?????



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Sarasotakid

posted April 18, 2007 at 2:46 am


So there is blame in my world, sorry Lord I just had to say it. butchWell put, Butch. “For those who are not familiar with the seamy side of life this tortured woman lives is full of severely emotionally troubled women. Bi-polar, manic-depressive, personality disorder (a category) complicated by drug and or alcohol abuse further complicated by being under control and physically abused by a pimp” Butch, I think you’re overstating her plight. Look at those who are functional and deal with the same problem- President Bush, for example. Cheney is controlling him and won’t leave him alone either.



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butch

posted April 18, 2007 at 3:13 am


Butch, I think you’re overstating her plight. Moderated I can make the same argument that you are understating her plight. She/her individually is not the point.You missed my point about statistically you can see her, if not her many like what I’m talking about, so many that she is statistically insignificant. The whole stripper and prostitute problem is wrapped around illegal drugs. Of course they should not use them and they need to choose to not use them and stop their behavior. Big BUTT, how and it is not moralizing and pointing fingers and I think part of the problem is them and us. Trust me, I know it is not simple but we (society) should address (them) and children as well. Two very different problems, yet I believe if we intervene at an early age with children there will be less of them.



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 3:58 am


To all – I am not calling for her to be taken to court and tried and made to pay back all the money she has caused the parents and school to shell out. I have just said that she needs to apologize. But again the person that caused the problem is now the victim. Soceity has failed them – the schools have failed them – we should be more compassionate and understanding. It was the drugs…sorry. After they have admited that they were wrong and apologized – then we can talk about the cause.How would you like to be outed to all the world and have your career as a player or coach ended, tried in the courtof public opinion and convicted by the Rev Al and Jesse. The whole process is minpulated by a corrupt or imept DA. Then the people find out it was all a lie and now they are making the lier the victim. There is forgivness – put it has to be asked for first and she is not asking -Later – .



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butch

posted April 18, 2007 at 4:50 am


There is forgivness – put it has to be asked for first and she is not asking – Moderated The same question, whom does she have to ask YOU and then you will talk about forgiveness. Who do you think you are? Did you have your throne special made or is just off the shelf? She is a victim and a liar, probably doesn’t know the difference.I say this in the kindest way possible, you don t know shit about this woman in particular or the life these women live. If you do have experience dealing these people I will apoligize then we can talk about forgiving me.



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 2:13 pm


butch | 04.17.07 – 10:55 pm | #The same question, whom does she have to ask YOU and then you will talk about forgiveness. Who do you think you are? Did you have your throne special made or is just off the shelf? I thought I made if clear that I am not in the mix. There are many people that were greatly effected by her actions and they are the ones that she needs to apologize to – NOT ME. It might be that if she has the ability to understand the damage her action(s) have caused to so many at Duke. It might be the start of her recovery and journey back to a better live.She is not the victim in this matter – she caused the problem. Whatever her own personal ‘trama’ is – that is a seperate discussion. (frankly – if the team members had been raised better and not like a bunch of Kennedy Bluebloods who think that women are just there to service their base needs sexually – this would have never happened) Later – .



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butch

posted April 18, 2007 at 3:20 pm


I thought I made if clear that I am not in the mix. There are many people that were greatly affected by her actions and they are the ones that she needs to apologize to – NOT ME. It might be that if she has the ability to understand the damage her action(s) have caused to so many at Duke. It might be the start of her recovery and journey back to a better live. Moderated YOU are deciding whom she should apologize to. Her recovery probably is not possible since she has been diagnosed schizophrenic, not easily treated if it can be treated period. YOU don t have bother about her, in your community are schizophrenics living out of grocery carts right now. Get off you high horse and go moralize to them. When you find that almost impossible then you may just feed them and try to keep them from succumbing to the elements tonight. A street crazy person may well die this week regardless of where you live. Then you move on to judge the “team” and say what they are and how they were raised. YOU do not have enough information to make these judgments. You mentioned earlier that they have been tried in the court of public opinion, which is all the information you have to make all of your judgments. If you have more direct knowledge of the people involved then I will apologize and then you can forgive me for taking you to task about what I AM judging as self-righteous. We parted company when I moved to ministering to children in crisis right now, hoping to get ahead of the curve and saving our children from lives of dispare. New story to follow.



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 3:48 pm


butch | 04.18.07 – 9:25 am | #Then you move on to judge the “team” and say what they are and how they were raised. YOU do not have enough information to make these judgments. After having two relatives and a friend go through Duke – I think I have somewhat of an understanding. Hiring a stripper for a party – oh, I see that they are a lot of parents out there that want their daughters to date someone like that. No – the students are not innocent, but they are not guilty of what she accused them of doing.You have no idea of what I do for people in my community nor do I attack you for what you may or may not do – get over it.Your ‘street crazy person’ would not be a problem in my state if the liberals at the capital had not closed all the state institutions where they lived in safety. These places were not perfect but were a heck of a lot better than what they are experiencing – and costs the tax payers of our state a lot less money than we are paying now. Thank you Skippy Humphery for that one. Most of her problems have come to light as the case started to fall apart from the person representing her legally. She had/has a job, car, place to live, friends etc. I think that she might have some ‘problems’ but a lot of this sounds like her lawyer is setting things up for her defense – great trial ballons if that is what they are. It’s just ‘I sorry – I was wrong’. It is not a public flogging. (thank God she is not Islamic – we would have a beheading) Later – .



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butch

posted April 18, 2007 at 3:49 pm


I mentioned that my sons are attorneys; my wife is also a court reporter. Today she is working on a medical case today, can t give details beyond the fact that a young mother is paraplegic as result of complications of a medical procedure. How does this young mother raise her child, it won t be easy. Most would not oppose giving her help welfare, etc, you define the help. Her child is at risk because of what happened to her mother, I m saying children are at risk every day. Those living in homes with alcohol, drugs, physical and sexual abuse even with parents suffering severe emotional conditions are at risk as much or more than this woman s tragic case. Last evening I called a teacher friend who said nearly every teacher is frustrated teaching children in crisis and they (teachers) do not have resources to address these problems so they ignore all except the most severe cases. Teachers would do more if they had a mandate and funds. I want us to consider helping our children and quit trying people in the court of public opinion. A nurtured child will be far less likely to be involved in crime, drugs, sexual abuse, alcohol abuse AND pornography. None of these will go away, but we can reduce the numbers by addressing the problem early in the cycle.



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butch

posted April 18, 2007 at 4:06 pm


Your ‘street crazy person’ would not be a problem in my state if the liberals at the capital had not closed all the state institutions where they lived in safety. Moderated As a conservative why don’t you work to reopen these state institutions? And, I’m not attacking you; I’m attacking your thinking process. When your thinking moves to action then I might attack you for that behavior. How do you know what her attorney is doing? You are assuming facts not in evidence. And I made it clear if you are in fact working with “street people” or even college students I will apologize and then you can forgive me. You don’t need to prove it just tell me what you are doing for these people. And what did I say that could possibly be construed, please quote, that I think parents want their sons to hire strippers or their daughters to date these young men. You jump to all kinds of assumptions to prove your points.



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nad2

posted April 18, 2007 at 4:31 pm


we live in a broken world, i think all can agree w/ that. i see no problem with condeming her behavior as something that should not be encouraged, but i am with butch here in saying there is really nothing productive coming out of focusing on blame rather than how to make things better. i think it is perfectly legitimate to say that we as a society have failed repeatedly, how can anyone argue w/ that? to say that we as a society can and should be doing better & that we are our brothers’ keepers is in no way incompatable w/ an ethic of personal responsibility, but it does recognize the immense power, both positive & negative, of community. like butch has said, we do not live in a perfect world where two loving parents are active in the lives of their children & show them constant love so WE MUST as followers of christ & moral beings be about the business of loving them ACTIVELY in whatever broken form we receive them, or better yet, BEFORE they are broken so they can have a chance. butch, i really appreciate your sentiment here – let’s focus on what WE can do to help fix our broken world. it is a hard & dirty job. i have attached a link to calvary episcopal’s lenten preaching series, there is a sermon there you can download by barbara ann holmes call ‘the stink just before the save’ that is so wonderful and i think would benefit us all hovering around this type of debate. put it on a cd & listen to it on a drive sometime, she will knock you down. http://www.calvaryjc.org/news/lps2007audio.htm



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 5:25 pm


butch | 04.18.07 – 10:11 am | #truth be known – currently I am not doing anything directly – only through my church. I worked for 2 years to establish a ‘faith based’ group to work with at risk families in our community so that they got the training for jobs, higher achievement in schools, etc. Like I said before – our efforts were beautifully derailed by the Dem. machine in our community because they did not want to see us or a ‘Bush’ idea have any success. I am a little burnt out right now.Later – .



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butch

posted April 18, 2007 at 5:31 pm


Nad2, thank you for focusing on fixing or helping, i.e. becoming our brothers (our children s) keepers. I challenge all to find a teacher and learn what they face each day in the classroom. Do that and come back and lets discuss what can be done preemptively in our children s lives.Most have seen the commercial showing small children saying, “When I grow up I want to be an alcoholic”. Hard not to laugh when you see it but when that child says at 12 I’m already sneaking alcohol and am well on my way to being an alcoholic. I suggest it is easier to get a sober adult to respect women, not use pornography, and not do crime than it is to pay the price of this adult behavior. Lack of respect for women or men interferes with work place productivity, pornography is non productive as well. Prison is a staggering expense; I’ve seen numbers as high as 60,000 dollars a year per inmate.Fixing adults is hard work if not impossible, look at your own faults that you will admit privately and how easy is to change your own bad habits in thinking or behavior. Look at me at 67 I’m willing to go to war over differences that I feel strong about instead of gentle persuasion. Somewhere in my life was probably a teachable moment. I even suggest that interpersonal skills should be taught in schools, our legal system is so misunderstood as to be epidemic. No child should graduate High School without a basic understanding of our legal system. I go back to the main problems I had in business was what I called “improperly socialized” employees. I sat up a little school using Covey’s “7 Habits” book. I did get positive results but I’m telling you it was like pulling teeth. Before someone jumps me, I know I don t apply Covey s principles on line, I decided it is impossible in this medium. My simple argument is if we do our jobs early things like pornography will be far less of a problem.



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butch

posted April 18, 2007 at 6:26 pm


Dem. machine in our community because they did not want to see us or a ‘Bush’ idea have any success. I am a little burnt out right now. Moderated Truly, I understand and we all face these frustrations. Since frustration is counter productive we must overcome it but there is a cost (loss) and no one will get it just right. I wish you well in the struggle, which by the way is the same struggle I face. I do offer caution addressing areas when information and opportunity to affect positive change are limited. I’ve told this story before, in my local Democratic club I found they griped about Republicans and raised money to elect Democrats. Not enough for me and I’m trying to get them to do more. Such as outing bad behavior in OUR party such as I think Republicans should have done with Foley. In fact it is bad politics to protect your own bad actors, Democrats may in fact have congress because of mishandling Foley scandal. Yes, you can give me a Democratic example. I’ve started an outreach program to do the things that need to be done in our community so we will be too busy to gripe about Republicans. This is a year old project and I face fierce opposition, they want to do it the old fashion way. We now have a scholarship program for the 5 High Schools in the county. We are landscaping a drug and alcohol halfway house. We drive the bus for the local VA. We ve adopted a section of highway to clean. We re working with a group that helps emigrants to integrate into our society. We work with a teacher who has an after school reading program. We repaired and restored a house that belonged to a famous civil rights worker. At the next meeting I m forming a group to get young people involved in Internet discussion of issues, call it political but I suggest if they get more informed they will vote better. I ve tried to get other projects going without success; this is on going so my failures don t matter there is still tomorrow. Since you are a Republican and in the spirit of bi-partisanship I offer my idea for free.Here is what I see as the long-term benefit, when someone stands to run for office we will know whether they are worth a damn by their deeds. When we run someone for office the public will know we have someone worthy of his or her vote.



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butch

posted April 18, 2007 at 6:33 pm


My simple argument is if we do our jobs early things like pornography will be far less of a problem. butch My wife s line that I’ve tried to adopt; “You can not stamp out evil, you can only promote good”. I know ya ll must feel like you are in a drum with me beating on it. Promote good often and early, let God deliver tomorrow.



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 7:32 pm


butch | 04.18.07 – 12:38 pm | #I am a part of a team of parents in our school district that contact our state legislature to let them know what is going on in our schools and what we need them to do. My reason for going this is not so noble – I just believe that if we do not raise a generation that can be productive today – we will not be able to build the prisons fast enough 15 years from now.later – .



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butch

posted April 18, 2007 at 8:09 pm


I just believe that if we do not raise a generation that can be productive today – we will not be able to build the prisons fast enough 15 years from now. Moderated Good economics, they are expensive to build and maintain. The problem with adding things to Schools is the money, any new program must be funded. You know I think we could do more but the funding is a real obstacle. Doesn’t matter is something should be done if it is not in their mandate they will probably shine you on and do nothing. Are you in education?



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butch

posted April 18, 2007 at 8:55 pm


Mod, what do you think schools should be doing that they are not doing now? I’m not talking about funding, set that aside for the moment. This isn’t an easy one with the Constitution but I would like more opportunity for expressions of faith. Just a quick idea off the top of my head. A room set-aside for those of faith, Christians 8-9:00 Muslims 10-11:00, etc. or after school. Off the top of my head not well thought out from a practical standpoint. My grandson is involved in a really great program, Karate. He is 7 and goes from school to the Karate school that acts as a daycare also. Now apply this to our schools. There could be a room for Karate, music, reading, science the list could go on. It would not cost parents more than daycare maybe less. Talking about prisons being expensive, how a bout schools, this double dips the facility. It would be easier to provide security and oversight than your private daycare. I think children would benefit by learning to cook, wash, iron, change the oil, the gym for the jocks, I would volunteer to teach free throw shooting. Look at the opportunity for faith based work, couldn’t beat them over the head but one could certainly minister by example, which in my mind is best. Money would go much further without the cost of a building.



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 8:56 pm


butch | 04.18.07 – 2:14 pm | #Are you in education? currently – yes. The only reason I an still here is that we finally have a superentendent that has a vision and is putting action behind her convictions. We do somethings so well and other things – I can not believe that these people have their Ph.D.s??? So much of the social problems that we have in our community today should be handled by the DHS or other gov’t agencies. The DOE has put so many unfunded mandates on our schools that it is making it difficult to educate our children.Get rid of the DOE – we could do a lot more and with less money. just my opinion. Later – .



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butch

posted April 18, 2007 at 9:30 pm


Get rid of the DOE – we could do a lot more and with less money. moderatelad I’m old enough to remember when KY did most of its own education. The schools in many counties were the largest employer and used that power of purse and people poorly. There were many problems around the country that states did not handle well, which brought in the DOE with the natural problems when control or influence is to far away. Everything goes in cycles; I think a lot needs to be shifted back to local control now. You know Wallis s the budget is a moral document; no mandate should go without the proper budget process.In KY and IN schools are mostly funded by property taxes, terrible system especially with our aging society. I m 67 on SOC with a paid for home and property. With my limited income the fear of losing my home to property taxes is a real concern. I know as a Republican the idea of taxes on business may not set well but the business community is the first to benefit from a well-educated society. For me it is my grandchildren in KY so I purchased the paid up college fund, not sure I like it but.



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 10:19 pm


butch | 04.18.07 – 3:35 pm | #The challenge in our state is that they mandate how much money needs to go into various areas with a ‘one size fits all’ mentality. We are streched to the limit for just the basics to teach fundamentals. But we are fat and sassie for diversity education. (with saddly is more about educating our students based on their ethnic background and not bringing all of them together) We have a disportionate amount of mentally challenged in our district as compaired to districts around us – why – anyones idea will do. But it has caused us to spend a lot of money to assist these students – which we need and desire to do. Just the ‘one size fits all’ does not account for the amount that we are dealing with. You’re right – it needs to swing back. Later – .



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butch

posted April 19, 2007 at 2:16 am


Don’t take this as an attack but I am surprised that you didn’t react in the same way that 100% of the teachers I’ve talked to about children in their classes who they feel have severe problems in the home that interferes with academic or social performance? I know I had you under attack and you may have overlooked it or do you think society should stay out of the home period? To restate my argument, society should enter the home when we suspect severe abuse. That abuse can take many forms and it would take fits and starts to arrive at when to go in or not go in. Or, having gone in do we act or not. Lots of hard questions but I see so many children at risk. I worked with a neighbor child when he was 14 without success and predicted he would end up in jail and he did. This is no indictment of churches at all but a sad story; I invited this child s cousin to my church. I m sorry, he didn t fit and the kids made fun of him, he committed suicide 2 weeks later. Every time I think about it I feel he was drowning, I had his hand and couldn t hold on. I m a bit dramatic but I feel it is parallel to children at risk, we should and mean should reach out our hands and save every one we can. Did some one have the Duke strippers hand and let go? Or, did society not reach out to take her hand.



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moderatelad

posted April 19, 2007 at 2:30 am


butch | 04.18.07 – 8:21 pm | #Working with students PT with drama at our local high school i see what disfunctional parents do or not do to their kids. I am amazed that some kids are doing so well after I meet the parents.We have students in our schools (sorry but the great majority of them are minorities) that tell their children that they don’t have to listen to the teachers and staff at their school. HELLO – how do you teach in the face of such hatred of people that are just trying to educate your child so they can become a productive citizen?The schools are a ‘reflection’ of what our communities are dealing with. Yes – I agree that the state should and at times has to intervien on behalf of the students wellfare.But the social wellfare system should be able to assist these students and not have the school staff tied up with all this paper work that has nothing to do with education. Have a great day Later – .



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Mike Hayes

posted April 19, 2007 at 3:05 am


“moderate lad” You may have no concept of reality. If not, get real! If you can. Perhaps that is not possible, for you. You may assume that every person has equal opportunity to “be responsible”. Mike Hayes “…She is not the victim in this matter – she caused the problem. Whatever her own personal ‘trama’ is – that is a seperate discussion. (frankly – if the team members had been raised better and not like a bunch of Kennedy Bluebloods who think that women are just there to service their base needs sexually – this would have never happened) Later – . moderatelad | 04.18.07 – 8:18 am |…”.



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butch

posted April 19, 2007 at 4:52 am


But the social wellfare system should be able to assist these students and not have the school staff tied up with all this paper work that has nothing to do with education. moderatelad I’m not nor have I talked about the current “school staff”, I’m talking about adding staff for other purposes that you may see as social welfare. Teaching in itself is a social welfare system. We could say teach your own children, let them learn the best they can, if they can. Move to private schools and libraries, etc. Of course that would be private welfare. ” We have students in our schools (sorry but the great majority of them are minorities) that tell their children that they don’t have to listen to the teachers and staff at their school. HELLO – how do you teach in the face of such hatred of people that are just trying to educate your child so they can become a productive citizen?” These are part of the burden of the education system, some things just goes along with the territory and that is one of them. Sorry it sounds like the whining I found in the corporate world and later from employees.



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butch

posted April 19, 2007 at 5:21 am


Mod, forgot to mention that my oldest grandson is studing performing arts at N Kentucky U. At this point he has devoted his life to performing, hope he can make a living. Called the other day asking if I could help him find a job making 20.00 per hour this summer. He doesn’t have his dancing shoes grounded in reality yet.



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moderatelad

posted April 19, 2007 at 2:42 pm


butch | 04.18.07 – 11:26 pm | #Blessing on your grandson in performing arts. My eldest is in college majoring in Youth Ministries. i believe that he would like to have an inner city church to work at when he graduates. He has a heart for young people that need to find out who Christ is in their lives and to assist and challenge them to go out and do something that makes a difference in soceity.Hard day at work today – so I will be skipping breaks and lunch – might be able to respond sometime but will be on for a while tonight. Blessings – .



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Neujenk

posted April 20, 2007 at 2:04 am


Diana, Many thanks for your insightful post. It put my finger on why I wasn’t so excited about the false rape charges- folks hiring strippers are not completely innocent in the moral sense. Yet isn’t it interesting that many folks seem to allow legality to set their morality?



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nad2

posted April 20, 2007 at 4:19 pm


neujenk – isn’t it also interesting that many folks seem to allow their morality to presume illegality for others?



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Philip Lindsey

posted July 7, 2011 at 7:23 am


SHUT UP, YOU UNGRATEFUL CUNT! It is not the media’s business to be moral censures. Nor is it yours…anymore. Not since this site just published a maudlin piece on not judging Casey Anthony, her legal team, or the jury. Another verdict of not guilty by reason of vagina has fouled your claim to moral authority.



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