Thursday, October 13, 2005

If you're having trouble reading the script

This isn't even on CNN yet, let it be known that the MidwestMindsetters with the help of ABC and NBC nightly news broke this story.

Today the "President" met via Sattelite feed with a dozen or so American soldiers. He asked them questions about the upcoming Iraqi constitution. The only problem is that a senior pentagon official ran over the questions and the answers before the video conference, and all of it was caught on tape! The entire event--advertised as a completely spontaneous--was entirely scripted. Nothing new with our government, but just another friendly reminder that we are living in a space and time of lies, propaganda, and violence.

If this video-conferencing was scripted, it makes one wonder if the entire 5 years have been scripted. Our lives as Christians have been scripted by a script(ure) other than that of Jesus. Is this fact even going to be sobering to the white, American, middle class church? Probably not. Are we/they that far shipwrecked?

Ps. Welcome Leah, your CV is intimidating.


At 10/17/2005 2:38 AM, Anonymous joey said...

A facade. It seems strange but I feel like I can relate with Bush in that its hard to do anything that people see without lieing a little bit. It doesn't really suprise me that the war is scripted, isn't most of life that way?

At 10/17/2005 5:37 PM, Blogger Jake Sikora said...

Is this really true? There's a difference between trying to make a good impression and deceiving, isn't there? My point is this, if I went into say a peer evaluation I would dress a little nicer, speak clearly, and try to use a good vocabulary. On the other hand, if I met with three or four of the evaluators beforehand and told them what to say about me, this would clearly be more than "lying a little bit" to make a good impression wouldn't it?

What has made the war in Iraq even more shameful is its scripted nature. It is one thing to torture, kill innocent people, and unjustly distribute the "fruits" of such behavior, but it is even more reprehensible if you are in control of every step of the story. In other words, "finding oneself" in a situation where one stumbles into moral failure is nothing compared to knowing what you want to do (which in this case is evil) and controlling the story so that what you want to happen happens.

Which leads to the broadest problem in all of this, that if most of life is scripted than it is always scripted by those who are in control. Only the president could script that interview, the soldiers could not tell the president what to say. Likewise, only the dictator script the story that includes the starvation of his people. Further, if all of life is scripted than it is neither up to you or me to write the story or correct the bad stories. So, AIDS is just scripted (whether by God or by the US gov.) so I can just sit back and enjoy the read.

Sorry to react so strongly, but I think your comment illustrated the very nature of the problem with the President's scripting of this. It is basically two fold: 1. the nature of deception is that it makes moral failure appear to not be so bad, in fact the only option and 2. scripting is an assertion of power which most be rejected by Christians or else the powers that execute these scripts will never be reset.

At 10/17/2005 9:32 PM, Anonymous joey said...

No worries Jake. Your point is well made. I was more reacting to my personal struggle with not living under a facade. My comment might have gone better unspoken. It is interesting living in Australia and seeing the response to Iraq and G-dub over here. I was opposed to the war before I came over here. I am continually suprised at how much the rest of the world is against the war in Iraq. I am dumbfounded that there are Christians that can stare the compassion of the rest of the world in the face and say that this war is something that God wants. It actually makes me sick to think about it and it is the only thing I dread about comming home (especially back to Huntington). My mind has been more recently on church in the specific. If we want Christians to wake up and realize that a president saying "Jesus" a whole bunch doesn't mean that he is following in His steps where do we do that from? Do we form communities of Christians who are willing to live out the challenges that Christ lays before us together or do we go the suburbs and try to move the nominal republican Christians into a deeper understanding of Christ's will?

At 10/17/2005 10:31 PM, Blogger Jake Sikora said...

hey joey, thanks for re-commenting, like i said i sort of used your comment to launch into who knows where. I like your question, and I like asking that too. I think the right answer is both. You can teach nominal suburban christians while living in radical communities. it has to be possible. suburbs are, afterall, near cities, and even more, most suburbs are near poor areas whether rural or urban. What I'm saying is that this may be how to teach others; by faithfully living in alternative christian communities while in relation to the suburban/rich christians.

At 10/19/2005 12:24 PM, Blogger Dan Baker said...

Now, I'm not saying that teh news coverage that I saw was completely credible, but...
Teh way teh story went that I saw said that there was a practice session before the brodcast interview. Teh only things scripted was teh questions that the president asked. IT gave teh soldiers a chance to prepare their answers and present mor ecredible answers and not seem like stumbling idiots on national TV. the report said that the soldiers were not told what to say.
anyways, I'm sure there is some truth in that, and it seems to change teh isue a bit...

At 10/20/2005 10:34 PM, Blogger Ryan L. Hansen said...


I am not sure that this really changes the issue all that much. The fact is that Americans were sold a duplicitous image. What the administration did last week was a lie. I think worse than that it was a scripted lie. It was not presented as a already set in place group of questions from the president but a casual conversation. The answers were scripted in a sense in that they followed a pattern, and order of answer-givers, and a go-to option if an off the script question was asked.

The American church, although not repeating answers given to it (i.e. the answers were not scripted) has managed to follow the script that this corrupt administration has given to it simply because of the questions and options it has presented to the church. I believe this is a wrong and sinful script for the church to follow. We have our own script(ure). The questions the church needs to be answering are the ones scripture puts to it, not the ones the American administration puts out.


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