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Fighting The Righteous Right With 300 OpEdNews Articles: Was It Worth It?

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It's like Thermopolae
It's like Thermopolae
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There is something to be said about a passion for exposing hypocrisy.

"... and then Dr.Meade thundered, losing his temper: 'Our men have fought without shoes before and without food and won victories. And they will fight again and win!...Think of - think of Thermopylae!'

...'They died to the last man at Thermopylae didn't they, Doctor?' Rhett asked, and his lips twitched with suppressed laughter."

Articles on religion and politics are like warriors in the culture wars: they can attack or defend whenever necessary. So when my number for OpEdNews came to 300, I could only think of : Thermopylae...

and Rhett Butler.

I have a thing for Margaret Mitchell's  Gone With The Wind , not only for the feisty character of Scarlett O'Hara, but for the wit and cynicism of Rhett Butler. A close examination of the characters reveals that Mitchell gives every character a certain amount of depth by revealing what their thoughts are, but not Rhett - he is observed in detail, but his inner self and motives are always mysteries left to the imagination of the reader. I like to think that his motives, his cynicism, his passion run too deep for analysis. Rhett Butler is passionate about life, people and beauty in the world, but he never lets on. He must be a tremendously frustrated, closeted writer.

That is one of his personality traits I differ with: I am certainly not reticent to write about my passion.

Passion. The culture wars do not lack for passion.   OpEdNews   makes a writer's work look serious and effortless in the same tome and at the same time. That's because there so much passion. Writers like   Chris Hedges   go about skewering the Right with an intensity and passion that seems almost inbred and the writing seems effortless. Would that were really so, at least with my own fare: an article can take me from 5 hours to three days.

Yes, every day writing about the culture wars can be said to be filled with passion, yet there's irony in that each day's writer's routine (at least mine) is frustrated by a tedium which must be endured to form the next soldier.

News Feeds: The Culture Warrior's Life's Blood and The Near Death Of His Soul. 

I often wonder if people realize how many news feeds a culture war writer has to go through each day to cull the best ideas - or how demoralizing news feeds are to someone who has to deal with the exigencies of the culture wars created by Rightwing politics and the Christian Right. They're a dream and a curse: emergencies on the screen occur as if they are there to personally frustrate writers like me. Yet each morning I wake up to a string of headlines for   AP ,   CNN ,   CBS ,   MSNBC ,   LGBTQ Nation ,   Firedog Lake ,   Crooks and Liars ,   Joe.My.God. ,   Religion Dispatches ,   Right Wing Watch ,   Think Progress ,   The Daily Dish   (Andrew Sullivan),   OpEdNews   and my own blog,   The Devil and Dan Vojir   (to prove to myself that I actually lived through yesterday). After perusing them with as much elation or rancor I can stomach, I can finally savor my morning coffee - usually my third cup.

News feeds can kill the creative spirit, however: the barrage of news is frightening and it often looks as if absolutely EVERYTHING has been written already. The soul is almost fatally challenged. I keep reminding myself that writers like Chris Hedges, Andrew Sullivan and Joe Jervis must also endure the same barrage of news, commentaries, trivia, anecdotes, and WTFs. They sift through it all to come up with ten, twenty posts a day. All original. God! Sometimes I hate their prolific, creative asses.

The State of Religion and Politics Today: The Rise Of Demonizers and The Fall Of Reason

One might think that writing on religion and politics presents a constant inner, suicidal struggle: to kill yourself now by means of sheer depression or to kill yourself later by means of uncontrollable laughter. Yeah, it's true. With the machinations of Cindy "Japan-is-shaped-like-a-dragon" Jacobs,  Anne Coulter(geist), Pat Robertson, Bryan Fischer, Rick Santorum, Pope Benedict XVI, Concerned Women of America, the NRA, the GOP and FOX/Faux News, it's a wonder that any progressive writer is still alive.

I chose the latter form of suicide: I figure that laughing AT them all while I'm going to my death can cause the most damage: "Against The Assault of Laughter, Nothing Can Stand" - Mark Twain. Yep, I'm going to take as many of them with me as I can.

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Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books éČ" Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)
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