Kathy ShaidleThrough the week of April 3, Kathy Shaidle, an award-winning poet and non-fiction author, who has run the RelapsedCatholic blog since 2000, is Beliefnet's guest blogger.

"Don't Rescue Me With A Gun"

At the always fascinating TCS website, Pejman Yousefzadeh questions the "selflessness" of the Christian Peacemaker Teams:

"For one thing, the wish of the people who are part of Christian Peacemaker Teams not to be rescued via the use of violent force runs contrary to the mission of the military to at times use violent force to preserve innocent life. It is unrealistic to expect that members of professional military corps (functioning under certain honor codes) will put aside their duty to protect innocent life merely because someone like Kember asks them to. Professional soldiers who make up a military corps dedicated to the preservation of life will think such a request incomprehensible, and may balk at it. It is part and parcel to soldiers' jobs to preserve and defend innocents, and that charge will most certainly not be forsaken if another Kember-like situation comes along.

"For another thing, to demand that people who make up the Christian Peacemaker Teams be left to their fate if kidnapped or held hostage gives an advantage to hostage-takers. They may feel that they can target with impunity Christian Peacemakers and other individuals making similar non-violent rescue requests. After all, wouldn't they worry less about a military operation if Peacemakers establish a precedent of rescue without violence? In fact, hostage-takers might go so far as to mix hostages who ask that military action on their behalf be forsworn along with hostages who would want to be rescued by any means necessary."


"Was Mandisa Eliminated From American Idol Because of Race, Size, Religion, Controversy or Song Choice?"

Whew. The "Reality TV Magazine" blog (whew, again) opines: "Whenever an American Idol contestant is eliminated before their talent would indicate they should be, it always leads to various conspiracy theories."

It points to "the controversy over Mandisa making the statement 'Your addiction, lifestyle, or situation may be big, but God is bigger!' before one of her songs and Mandisa’s listing of anti-gay author and lecturer Beth Moore as her Idol in her American Idol bio. (...) In regards to some of her comments being interpreted as homophobic, Mandisa explained, 'You know, I just heard about that recently and it broke my heart because I really do try to live my life according to the value system that you treat others the way that you want to be treated. And so I live my life guided by love and absolutely hate nobody.' "

I've never heard of Beth Moore, so I don't know what makes her "anti-gay." These days, anyone who dares to opine that homosexuality is anything other than the source and summit of all that is noble, good and wonderful will be punished."

What I don't understand is why some gay readers would allegedly interpret the words "addiction" and "lifestyle" as referring to homosexuality. But then, I don't understand why so many gay people I've known believe that just about everybody is "secretly gay"--sometimes to co-opt some admirable celebrity, like Shakespeare, but often they're speaking about somebody they actually loathe, such as J. Edgar Hoover.

Gay activists have the oddest habit of "reading" "queerness" where none exists (in movies like "All About Eve" or "Johnny Guitar") but can't seem to spot it when it is right under their noses.

'Don’t Translate That Word For Word…'

When Pat Robertson says something goofy, the media pounces. After all, Robertson is a public figure, so his oddball oracles invite examination. But the attention Robertson's weirder comments receive is out of proportion. His most influential days are far behind him; the only reason he's on TV is because a) he owns the station and b) talk show producers are too lazy to clean out their Rolodexes. Robertson's show gets less than a million viewers; in a nation of almost 300 million (in which 35 million vote for their favorite “American Idols” each week) that’s not very impressive. (Conservative Byron York disagrees).