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0 thoughts on “Tolerance

  1. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Oh, my. Which is worse?

    1. Elected officials who renege on their oaths to uphold the law

    2. Exclusionist self-righteous Christian preachers

    3. Molton’s insulting Appalachian stereotypes

  2. Dionysis

    “3. Molton’s insulting Appalachian stereotypes”

    It may not be flattering, but it’s hardly a stereotype:

    “snake-handling churches are part of a larger movement concentrated in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains.

    The history of snake-handling churches extends back to the early 1900s in East Tennessee. Tradition attributes the practice to George Went Hensley, a rural preacher working near Cleveland, Tennessee, around 1909. From about 1910 to 1920 snake handling was widespread in the Church of God based in Cleveland, but by the end of the 1920s the denomination had renounced the practice. From then on, it existed only in independent churches in Appalachia.”

    http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-1581

    “Why are snake-handling services important to Southerners? The southern states have formed a region of the United States that has cultivated an identity of uniqueness which distinguishes it from other regions in the country and from other regions of the world. Precisely why and how this developed is the subject of much historical study and debate. One way in which the South is set apart is its sense of family and community, which have, historically, played a more central role in the identity of individuals than elsewhere. Another way in which the South is unique is its religious heritage, which after the early nineteenth century became conservative to the point where ideas that were new, modern, or just different were regarded with suspicion and generally rejected.

    These two aspects of Southern culture culminate in the tradition of snake-handling services, which are unique to the southern region of the United States, specifically in the upland regions of Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Here, a literal interpretation of the Bible–another peculiarity indigenous to the South, combined with a religious conservatism antagonistic to change, results in a practice that has endured since 1913.”

    http://a-s.clayton.edu/rosenburg/smith.htm

  3. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Of course it’s a stereotype when used in this manner. Snake-handling does exist, but only rarely. It is certainly not the norm and does not represent all Appalachian people or churches.

    This particular stereotype does not even represent those exclusionist pastors and elected officials who want to include Christian prayers in governmental meetings.

    Snake-handling becomes an insulting stereotype, as in Molton’s cartoon, when it is used to marginalize and denigrate a culture, which unfortunately has been way overdone for more than a century in the Southern Appalachians.

  4. Dionysis

    “it is used to marginalize and denigrate a culture”

    I agree it shouldn’t be used to broadly smear a culture that is much more than a relatively small religious group; however, I see nothing wrong those who practice it being marginalized.

    As for the practice being ‘rare, perhaps so; however, the area I’m from (southeastern Virginia) is chock full of these characters; Pentacostal churches are fairly common in that area, as I assume they are in other parts of the southeastern states.

  5. Ken Hanke

    Of course it’s a stereotype when used in this manner

    I often agree with the gist of your complaints in this area, while having some problems with the strictness with which you apply them. But here I think you’re making a gigantic leap. There is nothing about the cartoon that suggests to me that this is meant to be a blanket condemnation of — or even a depiction of — some kind of Appalachian norm. It merely takes the public prayer thing to a logical conclusion.

  6. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Ken, the operative word is “Appalachian” when combined with “snake handler.” Molton, poking fun at Buncombe County Commissioners, did not say simply “snake handler” or “Buncombe County snake handler,” or “Asheville snake handler,” or “North Carolina snake handler,” or “Southern snake handler.”

    He obviously used the historical cultural appellative of “Appalachian” to reinforce the negativity of “snake handler.” And it worked, however stereotypical.

  7. Ken Hanke

    Granting that, I still don’t think it paints a picture of such being the norm.

  8. JWTJr

    “I see nothing wrong those who practice it being marginalized.”

    D – So its ok to marginalize what you don’t agree with?

    The left is funny that way. Don’t make fun of me, but I can of you .. I have free speech!

  9. Dionysis

    “D – So its ok to marginalize what you don’t agree with?

    The left is funny that way. Don’t make fun of me, but I can of you .. I have free speech!”

    For me, I see no problem in marginalizing what most would objectively consider whacky and dangerous behavior. One reason it’s not practiced as widely as in the past is due to people dying from snake bites (including a six year-old girl). I am specifically addressing the snake-handlers, nothing more, nothing less. Your effort to broad-brush that sentiment is misguided.

    As for your second point, I don’t care who makes fun of me or how many insults I receive, so fire away. There is nothing in my comments about denying anyone their “free speech.” If you can demonstrate otherwise, please do so. In fact, in this very publication I have

    Lastly, do you care to recall just how frequently the right has attempted to marginalize others? Do you not recall during the run up to the Iraq invasion and thereafter, that the collective right-wing constantly denigrated anyone who didn’t get in lock-step with their saber-rattling? They were ‘terrorist sympathizers’ or ‘dupes’ or ‘unpatriotic.’ Your selective perception is glaring.

  10. Dionysis

    I cut short the second paragraph…it should have finished that in this very publication I have supported the right people to express their views in the face of calls for certain people to be banned from posting here. These were folks that I vehemently disagreed with, but nonetheless feel that everyone should be able to express their opinions, no matter how idiotic or wrong-headed I personally think them.

  11. Ken Hanke

    The left is funny that way. Don’t make fun of me, but I can of you .. I have free speech!

    So are you claiming fundamentalist snake handlers as part of the conservative cause?

  12. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Ken Hanke wrote: There is nothing about (Molton’s) cartoon that suggests to me that this is meant to be a blanket condemnation of—or even a depiction of—some kind of Appalachian norm.

    I totally agree with you, Ken, and I neither said nor implied that Molton’s cartoon was meant to be anything of that sort.

    My statement, which you misconstrued, referred to the prior lengthy sensationalized source referenced by Dionysis, a source written by a college student for a class project (http://a-s.clayton.edu/rosenburg/smith.htm) which erroneously made snake handling and dirt eating seem widespread throughout the southern states.

    My response to Dionysis was that “Snake-handling does exist, but only rarely. It is certainly not the norm and does not represent all Appalachian people or churches.” My statement was not directed at Molton’s cartoon.

    Molton’s cartoon was guilty only of stereotypical use of the word “Appalachian” to reinforce the negativity of “snake handler.” That was the sum total of my reference to his cartoon, and I am sorry the resulting commentary overshadowed the far more important intent of his cartoon—that elected officials are circumventing the law and reneging on their oaths to uphold the law.

  13. Dionysis

    “a source written by a college student for a class project (http://a-s.clayton.edu/rosenburg/smith.htm) which erroneously made snake handling and dirt eating seem widespread throughout the southern states.”

    Two points: (1) regardless of who wrote it, the question is whether the content is factual or not, and (2) nothing in the ‘source’ (and there are other ‘sources’) said or implied that “snake handling and dirt eating” was “widespread.” What it said was that snake-handling, while found in other parts of the country, was ‘centered’ in the Southern Appalachians. This is a factual statement.

  14. Piffy!

    [b]The left is funny that way. Don’t make fun of me, but I can of you .. I have free speech! [/b]

    And what about BettyCloerWallace makes her ‘the left”, JWT? Or should i say: “I love how the mouth-breathers do that. Don’t make fun of me, but I can of you…I have free speech!”

    Oh, right, I get it. Anyone YOU disagree with is ‘the left’. I guess that makes you ‘the right’.

  15. JWTJr

    “So are you claiming fundamentalist snake handlers as part of the conservative cause?”

    No Ken, I was just pointing out the hypocrisy that the free speech argument uncovers sometimes.

  16. JWTJr

    PK – pointing out issues the left has makes me right? That is seriously partisan of you. Both ‘sides’ have serious issues.

  17. Ken Hanke

    No Ken, I was just pointing out the hypocrisy that the free speech argument uncovers sometimes

    Perhaps, but I hardly think this is one of those times.

  18. Ken Hanke

    pointing out issues the left has makes me right? That is seriously partisan of you. Both ‘sides’ have serious issues.

    Unquestionably, but I’m having trouble remembering when you’ve accused the right of any wrongdoing. And your comment here is clearly aimed at the left, which you perceive as doing something the right doesn’t do — a perception I hardly think is unbiased.

  19. Secret Service

    The cartoon is…………great.

    It’s politcal, cultural and humorous observations make for great conversation starters………and reveals much about those who comment.

    (Probably what cartoonists strive for in thier work)

    Kudos to Molton and Xpress!

    ————————————————–

    …and now for my analysis:

    To me, Molton is commenting on the plight of the commissioners: Attempting to uphold a theoretical document 400 miles away in the Smithsonian with angry local religous zealots (part of their constituency)shaking thier fists right in front of them.

    A tough spot to be in for sure…..

  20. JWTJr

    The right lets big business pollute too much, bashes gays and sees the world in a too much of a good vs evil scenario and now they spend like democrats.

    How is that?

  21. Ken Hanke

    The right lets big business pollute too much, bashes gays and sees the world in a too much of a good vs evil scenario and now they spend like democrats.

    How is that?

    It’s a start. Of course, they’ve always “spent like Democrats” — just on different things.

  22. Mysterylogger

    Its funny how everyone here got this wrong but Betty. Its ok to make fun of folks you dont agree with if they don’t have the same beliefs as you.

    Its true, Sad little narrow minded Asheville, Lock step one two, lock step one two

  23. Piffy!

    Oh, mysterylogger. How you pine to be accepted by those you attempt to pigeon hole.

    It really is that obvious.

  24. Mysterylogger

    Still True “What ever your name is this week”

    Lock Step one two, Lock Step one two . . . .

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