Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Terrible Trio of the Liberal Blogosphere

...have struck again. Today Kinsella, Cherniak, and Ted of Cerebus are attempting what seems to be a coordinated gang smear of Cheri DiNovo, NDP candidate in the upcoming Parkdale High by-election, which is being held to fill Gerard Kennedy's seat. Their accusations/insinuations against Ms. DiNovo are two-fold. The first is that--based on a couple of lines from her book Qu(e)erying Evangelism: Growing a Community From the Outside In--she appears to be soft on axe murderers. This accusation I will leave to one side, except to note that, if Ms. Dinovo comes out and "clarifies" her stance on axe-murderers, Ted for one is willing to let matters lie.

The other line of criticism concerns Ms. DiNovo's past; she has admitted to having once been a drug dealer. Not only that, according to Ted and Jason, during a recent address to students at an alternative high school called SEE (Secondary Experimental Education), she advised the boys and girls on methods of smuggling LSD. From her sermon:

I think I did a really good job and I spoke for quite awhile and I said, "Okay, your turn, questions?" There was this silence and then one kid put his hand up and asked, "What drugs did you sell?" And I answered, "LSD that I imported in hollowed out Bibles (the first introduction I had to the Bible) and back then it was the good stuff, not the kind of crap you kids do." That happened this week.

Now I, like Ted, do not see a problem with Ms. DiNovo's past as a drug dealer per se. In fact I think the NDP, if they ever want to be a credible Centrist party, absolutely must look to recruit candidates with some background in the world of Business, so their choice here is to be applauded.

And, unlike Ted, Jason, et al, I am not really disturbed by the "advice" Ms. DiNovo gave these young people. For one thing, she's right, the quality of Acid today is shitty, and the Youth oughtta know it. Back in the Golden Age, the mid-70s, a quarter hit of Purple Microdot from San Fran could induce visions of Jesus and all twelve apostles. But kids today are a bunch of punks with green hair, shaved chests, and rings through their noses. They wouldn't know a mystical experience if it came up and bit 'em in the ass. Good on Ms. DiNovo for telling it straight!

For another thing, the advise she's giving them doesn't seem very useful. Who would use a bible to smuggle hits, unless you disguised your stache as a single page or a fold-in insert?

Or maybe back then she was dealing in Tabs, and was hiding them in a hollowed out center of the Good Book. I don't know how things work in TO, but on the Left Coast the trade was done strictly via sheets of blotting paper, which you can hide just about anywhere. Mind you, this system had its own problems. I once spent $20 on some "Red Decal" that I bought off a drunk in a bar. It was a little red star on a square of paper that was shiny on one side, and when I ate it I noticed that the red star came off on my tongue. Not only that, many is the time I've bought little pieces of cigarette package for $5 apiece.

And the funny thing is, a few minutes later you can never find the guy that sold them to you!

Anyway, smuggling Acid in a bible is bulky and counter-intuitive. You can bring the stuff in a million better ways. I even knew one fellow that infused an old jean jacket, wore it over the border, then cut it up and sold the pieces as "Heavenly Denim".

So my only concern with Ms. DiNovo is that maybe she wasn't a very good drug dealer. Why else would she be running for office in the first place if she'd been able to make a real go of it? Why isn't she lounging around in swim trunks in a 100 foot yacht off of Cuba?

But what Ted, Jason, and Kinsella have insinuated... Man, I'd say it was snakey if I didn't like snakes.


Mike said...

All part of the ongoing "NDP caused the Cons to be elected" meme, trumpted by Laxer et al.

So of course they will go after DiNovo.

And why use a Bible indeed when blotter cna be disguised to look just like a comic book page.

And I liked orange much better than purple.


Jeff said...

i posted on the same thing. unbelieveable how these guys, who have been SILENT until now on dinovo, start trying to smear her the week before the election. watson is in big trouble over here and the libs are finally getting it. shitty behaviour.

Rodney said...

i don't get it. why is it sleezy to talk about cheri dinovo's own admission that she used to be a drug dealer?

bigcitylib said...

The sleazy part is to insinuate that she was giving kids practical advice on drug dealing (and also that she thinks axe murderers should be ordained, but that's a different issue).

Rodney said...

bigcitylib said...

The sleazy part is to insinuate that she was giving kids practical advice on drug dealing (and also that she thinks axe murderers should be ordained, but that's a different issue).

7:14 PM

I think she does think axe murderers could be ordained. That is, after they find Christ.

Do you think NDP bloggers would sit quietly and place nice if they found out that an opponent used to deal drugs and suggested pedophiles and axe murderers be ordained?

Ted Betts said...

I don't have a problem with her past and I don't have a problem with her thinking that ex-cons, even murderers, should be ordained.

In her book, DiNovo though asks if pedophiles and axe murders should be ordained as ministers of the church.

I think it is up to the church to decide about murderers, other sinners and other criminals. But I honestly do find it inappropriate to give a pedophile that level of automatic trust and authority and power over a children. And we’re talking ordination here, not simple forgiveness or welcoming them into the church.

And so, if you read the post, I actually think it is incumbent upon her to explain her own controversial words. If she says yes, pedophiles should be ordained, then frankly, I would have a problem with that and the voters should know about it.

And that’s all I ask of DiNovo.

As for the timing, I think there are a lot of "controversial" statements by DiNovo, a lot more than the ones I highlighted, but she is getting the kid glove treatment because she was (is?) a Minister and has overcome adversity.

I applaud her for both. But we should be electing people for their ideas and beliefs. So asking her to clarify what she said in her own words in her own book, is just part of the democratic process and falls far short of a smear.

Derrida (sous rature) said...

Cerberus, you're lack of hysteria and desperation are refreshing around this topic. As someone who's actually read DiNovo's book and have some knowledge of the field, I'd be happy to provide some clarification. But you have to admit that digging this up was completely disingenuous and in bad faith, not to mention bad taste. It was a grossly selective and trite representation of Rev. Dr. Dinovo's theology that has been promulgated in these blogs. Those who are digging this up have no real interest in the answer. In fact, they don't even get the question right. You see, one of the things I like about Protestant theology is that it is profoundly anti-humanist, meaning thereby that humans are not the measure of the universe, that it's not what they can do for God, but what God has done for them. Now keep in mind this was a doctoral dissertation challenging conventional and fundamentalist notions of evangelism. You know the scary versions that have been used to legitimate things like imperialism (Bush for one relies on this logic- he is the holder of a way of life which he feels providentially compelled to foist on the world.
Rev. Dr. DiNovo's book DOES NOT advocate that the church ordain pedophiles, axe murders. A basic tenet of Protestant theology is that humans are thoroughly sinful (i.e. constitutively separated from God) and as such redemption is not accomplished through paying off priests, rubbing yourself in garments believed to have been worn by Jesus or any other examples of what's called works righteousness. Grace, redemption, forgiveness, and judgement belong to God. All DiNovo is defending in that "statement" is the radicality of God's love, which bathes the just and the unjust alike. The Bible is full of stories where God's love and call reach the most reviled in society. It is God that ordains not humans. This is why Saul/Paul's conversion is paradigmatic. You see Saul was a murderer and prosecutor of Jews/ early Christians, but God's love chose him one day, and in that moment he was converted (i.e. began communion with God). Do you know the hymn Amazing Grace, that saved a wretch like me? It's kind of like that.
So rest assured Rev. Dr. is not advocating for the ordination of pedophiles and axe murders, but reiterating the orthodox Protestant position that humans are so broken and fallible that we can never know the mind of God. Still in our arrogance some people seem to think they can.
But maybe we should be looking at DiNovo's politics, unless of course our true intent is to smear a candidate who is on the verge of taking good ole Gerard Kennedy's seat. Frankly, Gerard, an orange Liberal, has more in common with DiNovo than with Sylvia Watson anyway.

susansmith said...

Derrida, thanks for bringing some intelligent Christian perspective to this Liberal smear campaign. I was interested in finding out more about you but alas, your blog is not really up and running, something like mine. Thanks again