Thursday, July 24, 2008

Paulie, Augie, Chuck, and Star

What, Dear Gentle Reader(s), do you suppose compels reformed miscreants to assume a moral position to which they have scant right?  And, subsequently, what is it that allows others to pay any attention whatsoever to them?  (For example, what causes a reformed smoker to be the most vigilant in stamping out the odious habit?)

For instance, Saul of Tarsus, sufferer of "a mental paroxysm," went from a persecutor of early followers of the the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth to "The actual founder of the Christian Church as opposed to Judaism..."  His writings, although of disputed authorship, form some of the most oppressive in the New Testament.

Augustine of Hippo is another historical figure who sowed some wild seeds "...a riotous youth as a heathen.." converted, after a stint as a Manichean, to "...the greatest pillar of the Catholic Church..." who also happened, upon close study, to be contradictory in his writings while attacking "...all deviations from the strict and rigid faith of the Church."  "Don't!" seems to have become his byword.  (Funny how he never heard it as long as his own libido and addictive personhood was youthful.)

Leaping into the 20th century, we have that reformed politico, Charles Colson, of Watergate fame who had a religious conversion during his incarceration after the Nixonian brouhaha and who now leads a prison ministry.  Here's part of his infamy:

Colson sought to hire Teamsters thugs to beat up anti-war demonstrators, and he plotted to raid or firebomb the Brookings Institution. He eventually pleaded guilty to scheming to defame Daniel Ellsberg and interfering with his trial. In 1974, Colson served seven months in federal prison.

Note that Colson's rehabilitation is done, admirably, in quiet.  If you're old enough to remember the Watergate break-in, you might vaguely remember him, otherwise, Colson is a virtual non-entity.  Good for him.

None of that quietness for our final moralizer, Star Parker.  Ms Parker recently penned a tract for the Muckroom over at Townhalldotcom.  Provocatively entitled "Gays in the military: What would George Washington think?"  (Doubtful he'd mind much, if the alleged liaison between the Father of the Country and the Father of the Treasury has any credibility at all.)  What follows is the usual dubious assertions of the immorality of a good-sized minority of the population.  You know the sort, DGR(s), yada, immoral, yada, values, vada, virtues, yada, traditional...Thankfully there is a nugget amongst all this; Parker tells us

Increasing acceptance of homosexuality is viewed by many as social progress. The Seattle Times, for example, calls for a "modernized" military that accepts the openly gay.

But for this traditionalist, it's no accident that building public acceptance of homosexuality is coincident with a general moral unraveling of our society, with all its destructive consequences.

Parker is a "traditionalist."  Hmmm.  Let us go back a few years to an interview with Ms Parker in dated 1997.  Here's a selection from second paragraph: 

If confession is good for the soul, Star, born "Larstella," has proved it again and again. Ever since the Lord delivered her from a life of drug abuse, crime, promiscuity, multiple abortions, and welfare dependency, the outspoken founder of a social policy think tank called the Coalition on Urban Affairs has been telling her story to anyone willing to listen.

And then in her own words, we learn:

When my family moved to Mount Holly, New Jersey, my dad helped me get a part-time job at McGuire Air Force Base. I'd been a tomboy up until age sixteen when I went on a date with an older, white military officer who drove a Corvette. I naively went into his apartment, and he pressured me into sex. After that I became sexually active and hostile to whites. In 1976, I saved up three hundred dollars and moved to Hollywood with a girlfriend. We wanted to live glamorous lives and dance on the black TV show Soul Train.

How did your life turn from party girl to welfare mom?
I got pregnant, so I went to a clinic and used a girlfriend's medical welfare sticker to pay for an abortion. A few months later I got pregnant again and went on welfare for two months to collect some money, then had another abortion. When a worker at the clinic asked, "Weren't you just here?" I said, "Hey, if it weren't for people like me, you wouldn't have a job." Within three years I'd had four abortions, all tax-subsidized. That's when I started feeling empty inside. I thought, I've got to be a better person than this. How can I justify continuously killing my offspring? I decided I wasn't going to do that any more.

Did you stop having sex?
No. In fact, within three months I was pregnant again. And even though I was living with a guy at the time, I knew somebody else was the father of the baby. But because I'd promised myself I wasn't going to abort again, and I didn't want my boyfriend to know I was messing around, I moved out. I could have moved back home with my parents in New Jersey, but I didn't want to leave California. I was twenty-three when I quit my job in circulation at the Los Angeles Times so I could go on welfare, which I stayed on for three-and-a-half years. By collecting $465 a month from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), plus food stamps, and by getting a part-time job that paid in cash "under the table," I could rent a nice apartment and earn far more money than working an honest forty-hour week. Later, I had no trouble dropping my daughter, Angel, off at a government-funded day care, selling some free medical-care stickers to buy drugs, and hanging out at the beach all afternoon.

Ah.  4 tax-payer abortions, hostility to whites, pay "under the table," $465 AFDC a month.  Nice work.  But then she asserts (admits?) "Now I look back and say, 'God, how was I so blind?' Yet through my sinful lifestyle I'd totally lost my understanding of right and wrong."

Unh-huh.  Parker now appears on television, on the radio, in print, at conferences, speaks to anyone who will listen and she talks about the immorality of others for a living.  How many, DGR(s)gay men, lesbians, bi-sexuals, transgenders do you know who have led a life similar to Ms Parker's early adulthood?  Most likely none. 

Cui bono?  Who profits?  At least Chuck Colson has the humility to know that his mission of assisting others is a part of his personal redemption.  He, himself, profits most, and his profit is spiritual.

Parker profits financially, but spiritually...nah.

Trust, but verify.  Cui bono?  If it's Star Parker, hold on to your wallet.

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