I guess it goes without saying that the Powers that Be at the ultra right-wing blog Conservapedia (I think we can finally dispense with the illusion that it is, in any shape or form, an encyclopaedia) have some very strange ideas about everyday events. One of these would be “chivalry” – which in Andrew Schlafly’s world involves setting different tests for girls and boys, because it’s not fair for the fairer sex to have to compete equally with boys.
Another is charity.
Now, CP’s entry for “Charity” defines it, amongst other things, as “a Christian virtue” before going on to say that “the United States is “a land of charity.” It also has some strange “see also” links – Altruism, Greed and Capitalism.
They also go into some detail about the charitable givings of Schlafly’s arch-nemesis, President Obama (who probably isn’t even aware Schlafly exists), devoting an entire section to it. Of course, they also devote entire sections to the birth certificate “controversy,” the fact that his name might be Barry Soetoro, as well to as the fact that he’s an atheist/Muslim/Maoist/Fascist/Communist/ultra-Capitalist, so take it whence it comes, and with several kilograms of salt.
Andy has another way to highlight charity – “atheists don’t build hospitals” apparently. But then again, they also do badly as sports, as evidenced by this bizarre main page “news” headline: (link to another hilarious discussion on why atheists don’t build hospitals)
Here we go again: atheistic nation underperforms in a big athletic competition, as England embarrasses itself with a tie in its soccer opening. We already knew atheists don’t build hospitals. Now this, as we saw with Canada in the Olympics.
So, it’s pretty clear that charity is pretty important to Schlafly, or rather plays an important role in how he views life. I’m sure somewhere on Conservapedia there must be some indication of Andy’s many, many charitable needs. After all, this is by no means a modest man, especially when strutting around his own personal (but sadly stagnant) fiefdom. Fortunately, we don’t have far to look.
Exhibit 1: Helping a stranger who’s short on cash
The conservative “parable” about the Desperate Smoker. Now, I’m sure that all of us have – at one time or another – been faced with the situation where the person in front of you at the till is short of change. I know I have, and I have also, on occasion – provided we’re not talking several bucks short here – chipped in to make up the short fall. Why? Because it gives you a warm feeling inside, that you’ve done something nice, without expecting anything more, than their thanks.
But not Schlafly. No, he has a high horse and he must climb on it at every opportunity. In Andy’s story (which bears the wonderful conclusion, “This parable actually happened” – just what an “encyclopaedia” needs), somebody buying smokes in front of Andy, comes up short. By 10c (that is a dime right?) 10c! Now, even with my crappy third-world currency, that’s less than a buck. And really – what’s a buck between strangers these days? What can you buy with a buck? Does Andy, who laughingly calls himself “generous by nature” part with the hard-earned 10c that he possibly sponges off his mother anyway?
Not on your life. In fact, not only did he not hand over the 10c, but he climbed on said high-horse and urged the smoker to “kick the habit.” Like that was ever going to work.
So, in wrapping up our first piece of evidence – Schalfly doesn’t like giving even small amounts to help out a stranger in need. Especially if said need is bad for them. Therefore, we can safely assume that panhandlers are also out of luck, as they’ll only “spend it on drink” and as for the SPCA, well, Hitler outlawed cruelty to animals, so there’ no way Andy’s giving money to that Nazi front organisation. Besides, animals don’t go to heaven, so they don’t count.
Exhibit 2: Christmas goodwill
Were Dickens alive today, it wouldn’t be too hard to find him a role model for Scrooge. As Christmas loomed in 2007, there was the usual feeling of bonhomie amongst the editors (back when there was something resembling a community spirit) and Christmas wishes were being posted to the main page’s talk section.
The opening wishes included such sentiments as “if you’re not doing anything this Christmas Eve, help out at your local homeless shelter” and “may the season find you well.”
Into this Christmas cheer comes Andy, with a giant “Bah! Humbug!” – “Faith is what makes people well. If one instead worships the ‘Merry Winter Solstice,” for example, God help him when the depression and anxiety and addiction and temptation hit.”
Wow! Our Andy is a real barrel of laughs, isn’t he? Can’t you just imagine him working on the suicide hotline? No, me neither. But wait, there’s more. Long-time editor (well, until Terry Koeckritz got hold of him) BrianCo encourages CP editors to “think of those less fortunate than themselves at this time of year as I’m sure we are all comparatively blessed compared with those poor souls who through no fault of their own have to provide for a family on only $1 a day, or less.”
Now, that’s a nice sentiment, right? Especially during a time of peace, love, happiness and goodwill to all men. Right?
Wrong. Once again, this doesn’t apply if you’re Andrew Schlafly.
“I’d like to add the need to help those who do not lack material things, but are suffering mentally or spiritually, for whom a dose of the Christmas spirit and faith would work wonders.”
What? What about those who do lack material goods, but are suffering mentally – possibly as a result of not having material goods? Of all the many stupid, inane and nasty comments Schlafly has ever uttered, this has to rank right up there. BrianCo rightly takes Andy up on this, citing “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, as well as the Good Samaritan – once again, basic Christian tenets. All these do is elicit another monstrous stupidity from the mouth of Schalfly:
“I’m also all for giving the powerful gifts of faith and truth that enable people to overcome their mental and spiritual difficulties. In our world today, obesity is a bigger problem than starvation, and mental anguish is a greater epidemic than material needs.“
Once again, WHAT??? You can read the rest of the exchange in the attached link, but suffice to say, when it comes to giving to the needy at Christmas, you might be lucky enough to be in Schlafy’s prayers. But don’t count on it.
Exhibit 3: Haiti earthquake relief
Shortly after the earthquake in Haiti, when the appeals for donations to help were being made, there was some discussion about whether or not CP should provide links to charities and if so, which charities. Well, needless to say, the results were not surprising. One of the editors suggested, that rather than using some unknown and possibly fraudulent “charity” Conservapedia should put a link up to the Red Cross. Now bear in mind, that nobody does more humane work world-wide than the Red Cross. Doctors Without Borders is also right up there.
Nope, once again here comes Schlafly to pour cold water on the idea. Although, this time he’s joined by creepy “Uncle” Ed Poor, who’s also not above showing what a mean-spirited individual he can be. First Ed calls them a “secular” organisation and then says that there are missionary teams in place who are “more accountable” and “more motivated.” Would be the same missionaries who tried to forcibly remove Haitian children, or the ones who sent solar-powered Bibles to the shattered nation?
Once again Schlafly shoots down the idea of donating to a reputable charity, with his usual combination of unsourced “facts’, bluster and lies. First of all he claims that “Conservapedians (his italics) have a long history of support for Haiti through Christian charity” Well, here’s my challenge to Schlafly – you want to see Obama’s birth certificate; I want to see just what Conservapedians have been donating to Haiti all this time.
But Andy isn’t done yet. “How much money do the executives at the Red Cross make? Within “programs” much of that can be salaries for bureaucracy.” When somebody mentions a church group, Andy replies and says, “I’m also personally arranging to send this group $200.” Now I’m not sure if he means he’s actually sending $200 of his own money (which is less than 1 home-scholar pays for one of Schlafly’s “teaching courses”), or if he’s having a whip-round and sending those proceeds off. Either way, no mention is made of the donation ever having been made, and chances are it never was.
So, once again, if you’re lying in rubble waiting for the Red Cross to save you, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that they are managing to function without the financial aid of Schlafly, poor and their ilk.
Just to give you another indication of how Schlafly’s mind works. another (since departed) editor suggests another agency – Network for Good – Schlafly’s raging paranoia over Obama comes to the fore. “How many in the list gave a portion to ACORN?” – ACORN being the grass roots network that helped Obama get elected. So, because he thinks they might have helped his “nemesis”, Schlafly writes off another aid organisation. I wonder what he’d make of Gift of the Givers – a Muslim charity that has done amazing work, world-wide.
Exhibit 4: Because Jesus Said So
As a part of his ongoing drivel about the Bible being full of scientific foresight (including the quantum wine mentioned below) Schlafly inadvertently let slip just what a repulsive little man he is. Now, as evidenced from above, he’s already not that keen on parting with his own money to help those in need. He’s equally less in favour of governments helping those in need – such as the Millennium Development Plan.
However, it’s not because of the actually money being spent that he objects. No, it’s because Jesus said “You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me.” (Mark 14:7 New Living Translation). Schlafly (who claims to spend 15% of his day reading the Bible) either misinterprets the verse, or deliberately quote mines it, saying,
“Jesus stated that there will always be poverty, yet liberals repeatedly insist that poverty can be eliminated with more government spending. Every attempt to eliminate poverty has failed just as Jesus predicted.”
Wow! Just wow. Yes, there will be always be the poor, but one would think that it would be the Christian thing to do. In fact, that is what Jesus appears to be saying, basically, “Look, I’m about to shove off upstairs, so you lot had better start doing something, because I’m not going to be here to keep an eye on you.”
But in Schlafly’s mean-spirited, tad-wad and dare I say repulsive world, it means “Jesus said there’ll always be poor people, so don’t worry about them. It’s all part of God’s ineffable plan. “