Birmingham, Alabama apparently has a serious crime problem. That’s bad news, but to compound it all, they’ve got a mayor who is a fecking idjit. Mayor Larry Langford has a plan to deal with crime.
At Tuesday’s Birmingham City Council meeting, Mayor Larry Langford proclaimed Friday, April 25, a “day of prayer in sackcloth and ashes” in Birmingham.
Birmingham Weekly reported two weeks ago that the mayor purchased 2,000 burlap sacks for ministers and other community leaders to wear at a Plan 10/30 summit.
To many Christians, sackcloth and ashes symbolize humility and repentance, but the mayor’s decree came dressed with the usual accoutrements – printed on fine, invitation-stock paper and wrapped in a bright silver folder, adorned by the magic hat logo Langford commissioned for the city last year.
In the decree, Langford said that Birmingham’s crime problem “pails” (sic) in comparison to the biblical City of Nineveh.
The proclamation tells the Bible story of Jonah and the city of Nineveh: “Whereas Chapter 3, verse 5 & 6, of the Book of Jonah, Old Testament states, that the people of Nineveh believe God and proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest of them even to the least of them,” the resolution reads.
In the proclamation, the mayor puts himself parallel with the King of Nineveh (Jonah 3:7) who, wearing sackcloth and ashes, joined his citizens in prayer.
Langford said last week that “the Constitution of the United States calls for a separation of church and state – it never said anything about a separation of church from state.” He did not mention the Constitution at today’s city council meeting, although he blasted any potential critics who question his piety in public office.
“I could care less what they write about it or say about it,” Langford said. “Because let there be no misunderstanding, just like Satan is at work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days, God is too.”
The mayor’s proclamation urged all “Bishops, Priests, Pastors, Ministers,” and other religious citizens to join him in prayer at the Plan 10/30 summit, which will take place at Boutwell Auditorium this Friday, April 25, at 6 p.m.
Well, it happened last night, and there is video, if you want to see a bunch of ridiculous people preening in burlap bags and praising Jesus. It’s horrifying — not so much because it’s like a tent-revival meeting, which happens all the time, but because these are the leaders of a city who have a practical, secular job to do, and they are instead substituting this pointless, worthless, preachy, sanctimonious shit for practical work.
Maybe I shouldn’t be too sympathetic to Birmingham, though. The soundtrack to the video is the mob hooting and howling their praises for this man and his holy administration. Maybe Birmingham has the ineffective fraud they deserve.
MAJeff, OM says
Sackcloth and ashes? From a mayor who thinks that will actually solve a crime problem.
I wonder what the mayor would do if there were a penis-theft wave.
Its team building, honest. Nothing to worry about – until they start stomping on live chickens. Mind you, the sackcloth and ashes is a step down that road.
Fecking idjit/eedjit? PZ, you haven’t been watching Father Ted, have you? If so, congratulations!
Sioux Laris says
Why not just invite the Cat in the Hat?
In keeping with the engraved invitations, I presume the mayor’s personal participation in this public act of self-abasement and subjection to God’s law will entail a custom-tailored sackcloth suit and finely-sifted ashed applied by a professional cosmetologist. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right!
Did you notice that the Old Testament prescription calls for a fast plus sackcloth and prayer? What happened to the fasting part? There’s no mention anyone’s fasting, or suffering any deprivation or discomfort to prove their piety.
These idiots can’t even pretend to play their little rituals straight.
i think if this happened in Birmingham, England, the guy would be laughed out of office.
Old Testament stuff, is he Jewish?
I heard he was going to get the sack but this isn’t what I had in mind. What a muppet! Only in the United States of Jesus… ;)
I’m too godly for my town too godly for my town
Town’s going to hate me
I’m too godly for my shirt too godly for my shirt
So godly it hurts
And I’m too godly for Bama too godly for Bama
New York and Japan
And I’m too godly for your party
Too godly for your party
No way I’m crime enhancin’
Tim Fuller says
What fucking planet am I on?…
My favorite part of the article is this direct quote from the Mayor: “the Constitution of the United States calls for a separation of church and state – it never said anything about a separation of church from state.”
I never understood that distinction before – thanks for clearning that up Mayor!
Drats, they’re wearing the sacks like a vest. And I was all excited for some stylish Sackhead Jason antics. Live and learn, I guess.
John Phillips, FCD says
Have I just woken up back in BCE?. Quick, someone pleease reassure me that this is still the 21st. Century.
I’m pretty sure Joshua the Carpenter’s Son admonished people against gaudy public displays of piety; then again, I read that book as a book, not as the infallible Truth. Perhaps I misunderstood that part.
Now, I have an actual reason not to go to Birmingham. I can just tell folks that I fear I may be harshly persecuted for my lack of belief.
Is this the same group that prayed for rain a while ago ?
How long did that take to work ?
The Ridger says
Sheesh. The sackcloth is supposed to be worn next to the skin – to make it break out, maybe even bleed. Suffering, guy! Suffering!
But I like the “magic hat logo” on the invitation.
I hope this wasn’t paid by taxpayer money (he says it wasn’t). Even for the south, this is crazy. Here’s a description of it from the local newspaper (which doesn’t really say anything bad about it).
Any Birminghamer want to start a petition asking for the resignation of this mayor ?
This is just too gross. Shouldn’t go unpunished. Not this kind of things. I don’t think this is something to laugh about, this is really unacceptable.
Please PZ, not of all us in Birmingham are idiots. Many of us, in fact, are ashamed of what Langford is doing. His policies are pushing the city towards bankruptcy and now he thinks we can pray the murders away.
@#18, no that was the governor of Georgia (why does the south live up to its stereotypes?). I’m sure it doesn’t really matter how long it took to work, the important part is that they eventually did get rain!
Day of prayer with Sackcloth? Feh – they need to have a day of prayer with a douchebag.
Oh wait – they are.
I have to admit, whenever I think that I am dealing with hopeless idiots here in Alberta, I need only to look to the USA on any given day of the week and be treated to this depth of delusion to realize that we are still fairly sane up here.
Staggering, simply staggering.
I like this quote from the local news:
Obviously, the prayer is working.
This time I will remain speechless.
The Science Pundit says
Doesn’t it make you a phony if you’re wearing your designer shoes and Rolex watch with your burlap sackcloth and ashes?
Desert Rat says
Wow. That’s just plain insane. I can’t even get past the opening of the decree, in which Birmingham is said to “pail” in comparison to Nineveh, while simultaneously being like Nineveh. Ignoring the misspelling, how can someone state that “A, like B, has a problem with X that pales in comparison to B”? That makes no sense. You could say “A, like B, has a problem with X, but A’s problem pales in comparison to B”, or you could say “A, like B, has a problem with X that pales in comparison to C”, but the way it’s constructed now, it says that both A and B have problems with X that pales in comparison to B’s problem with X.
Steve Reuland says
I prefer the poisonous snakes. That’s what true believers use.
Having grown up there, I wish I could say I was surprised, but I can’t.
Ooparts, thanks for staying and fighting the good fight. You’re far stronger than I am.
One of the happiest days in my life was the one where I watched Birmingham getting smaller and smaller in my rear-view mirror.
I will be going to Birmingham in the summer for City Stages to see The Flaming Lips. Perhaps that will counteract teh stupid here.
Janine ID says
I will not be satisfied until they are all wearing hair shirts and and mortify the flesh. Come on, Mayor Langford, show us you truly mean it.
Perhaps if the sackcloths were hairshirts, and the participants had cilices gouging their marbled fatty thighs? Or perhaps some good old flagellation with razor-tipped crops? What a maroon…
Why not just invite the Cat in the Hat?
They did. He had a scheduling conflict.
Sackcloth and ashes. Just think of it as a 21st Century toga party — only itchier.
From the proclamation:
Pails? Holy cow on a stick.
They really need to keep their eye on the spelling, lest we shall soon witness a “day of playing”. Hm, that doesn’t sound too bad. Some physical activity would be immensely more productive than talking to yourself.
I think PZ knows, and I think most people with a brain know, that not all Birminghamers are batshit insane.
Still, he’s the mayor. He got elected. He is supposed to represent your city. People talk about him, his policies, etc… And now they know, all over the world (I’m in Spain), about this,and put Birmingham, high on their Dumbass list.
If YOU don’t react, and make really a lot of noise, together with all other Birminghamers that are outraged at this, well, you’ll stay, on our dumbass list !
If you don’t care, that’s also fine.
@#23, parts of Georgia “got some rain” within 48 hours of the governor’s ritual. Almost an eighth of an inch over here in Athens, if memory serves. In numerical terms, the epoch-making drought continues, but Gov. Sonny has never shown that much interest in arithmetic. I bet he’s kicking himself now because he didn’t think of accessorizing with sackcloth. That would have produced results!
Oh, come on
if it was that wicked, God would have reigned down fire and brimstone upon it, and turned some chick into a pillar of salt…
Well, come on, we’re waiting!
To Hon. Larry Langford, esq., f-wit:
Dear Mr. Mayor,
We would like to bring to your attention something that we feel is a grave oversight. Your invitation to local church leaders and other pompous asses for your little “burlap swaree” failed to include the local =POPE= of the Temple of Discord.
Now that you have been made aware of this denomination, we trust that future invitations to meaningless ritual gestures will be extended. We are especially interested in any such gatherings that include food or sex. No one could be more at home at a gathering so lacking in understanding of causality as to be utterly worthless. The Temple of Discord fully supports all such lunacy as a means of worship.
There is no need to ask forgiveness of the =POPE= at this time. He was unable to attend being on a mission of mercy. He was otherwise engaged clapping his hands to save Tinkerbell’s life.
Those Who Think You’re Too Stupid to Live.
Langford is being sued for taking money from charity in favor of a porn star, casinos,etc.
I thought that physical representations of penitence was supposed to be shown by wearing the sack-cloth next to the bare skin. This would then represent poverty and suffering. What I saw, however, was a bunch of sanctimonious gits wearing sack cloth over their fine designer suits and standing on stage while blithely stating tired refrains at a brainwashed jubilant crowd.
No! The mayor should have gotten all naked under his sack-cloth to show true penitence before his almighty god… And then be taken away for indecent exposure.
The video description at youtube, apparently written by the local newspaper, is less than complimentary and further comments on the hypocrisy of this stupid event:
“As promised, Birmingham Mayor Langford left his Gus Mayer suits at home for a burlap sack. Still he kept on the designer shoes and Rolex watch.”
Also, I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but not only weren’t they wearing the burlap next to their skin, they poured the ashes on a table instead of themselves (god forbid they should get their hair messed up when they spent 2 hours getting pretty for this event that they knew would be filmed). The entire spectacle is moronic and offensive, but they can’t even get their own superstitions right. What a bunch of idiots. I hope someone is contacting the ACLU about this breach of the public’s trust.
Dave Luckett says
That reminds me that our last Prime Minister did actually say in public that he thought it would be good to pray for rain. The drought was the worst for a century, and for Australia, that’s saying something. He might as well have said that he was fresh out of ideas, and there was no point in listening to him any more.
It was one of the several events that gave the electorate to understand that he’d lost it big-time, and he got the Royal Order of the Arse next election. First PM in seventy years to lose his own seat in the House.
But combating a crime wave by wearing sackcloth? What’s wrong with vinyl leotards, a mask and a cape, for pete’s sake? Have they no sense of culture?
I wish I knew what to do. I often hear people make calls to action, but really what can be done? When it comes to elected officials, once they get into office, they stop caring what their constituents say.
The Science Pundit says
On the one hand, I actually like it when ridiculous religious rituals get watered down. For example, I think that many of the traditions associated with Halloween are fun, and I’m sure glad that the more ridiculous and barbaric origins of those traditions have been lost.
However, watching those people pour the ashes while the horn was blaring away didn’t invoke any sense of empathy in me. Didn’t look like much fun at all.
The language itself is as painfully stupid as the idea it expresses:
Jebus! The “fourth violent city per capital”? How could this guy have graduated from middle school, much less high school?
7 reasons why this guy should get fired :
1) because it won’t work
2) because it’s hypocrite
it hides the real problem that he doesn’t want to confront with
3) because it’s bad for Birmingham’s reputation
4) because they don’t even follow the rules of the OT
5) because a day of prayer is actually non Christian
In the NT, Matthew 6.6 explains in no uncertain terms how a prayer is to be done, an act to be performed in secret
6) because it’s anti-constitutional
7) because there are quite a few spelling mistakes and logical mistakes in the proclamation itself
I can’t possibly blame this on religion alone, i say it’s lead poisoning + religion, it’s too freaking weird.
Paul Burnett says
Hizzoner Langford said. “Because let there be no misunderstanding, just like Satan is at work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days, God is too.”
…thus showing the heresy that Satan exists as a co-equal with God. Many of these ignorami have a stronger belief in Satan than they do in the members of their holy trinity – they in fact actually believe in a quadrinity, more closely resembling the Manichaean heresy or even a perverted form of Zoroastrianism.
I lived in a city – once upon a time – where the Mayer wrote a letter to the Spice Girls begging them not to break up – had a press conference and everything. I was really embarrassed at the time, but now I realize it could have been a lot worse.
Jeez, I do believe Birmingham has a large Jewish community, or at least a minyan. I wonder whether they were invited to participate? After all, the S&A schtick is our’s originally.
John Phillips, FCD says
I can see why they want revert to BCE as they obviously have trouble communicating in modern English (OK American for you infidels in the US :) )
Birmingham is a reasonably large city — don’t they have someone on staff whose job it is to write, or at least proofread, these kind of official proclamations?
Man, I wish I had known about this in advance. I could have grabbed my camera and driven to Birmingham.
Ah, would you be referring to Toronto’s beloved Mayor Mel? The guy who said he was worried about traveling to Africa because he’d be boiled by the “natives”?
Yeah, he was an embarrassment, too. Fortunately, we in Canada for the most part avoid the religious nuts, but we still get nuts.
Another funny aspect of that statement is that, contrary to his assurances, Nineveh was likely smaller and less crime-ridden than Birmingham, considering how small most urban populations were before the 1700’s.
If you follow the “video” link, you’ll see that Langford kept his Rolex while wearing burlap over his business suit. So you get at least partial credit.
Langford’s campaign slogan was “Let’s Do Something”.
And he still got elected.
I see that the only out-of-state group noted as participating was from Deare Olde Indiana. Again. At least the locals didn’t come several hundred miles to display their piety and stupidity. Only our guys would do that. We really take our race to the bottom seriously.
Steve “Take THAT, Mississippi!” James
P.S. Just to show that not everybody in Birmingham is an idiot, here is a piece from a local columnist:
April 10, 2008
Mayor Larry Langford has a new plan to change the city.
Build a canal connecting Five Points West to Uncle Miltie’s Racecourse and Gamble-atorium? Use horses from the freshly funded equestrian center to pull mass transit gondolas across town?
Nah. Those plans still have a few kinks. This time, Langford wants to reduce crime. With burlap sacks. Really.
I just know I’ve heard this story before. It seems so … familiar.
It reminds me of being 11 years old and gullible as a “do-something” voter. It was a cold, rainy camping trip, and the veteran Boy Scouts took us little guys on something called a “snipe hunt.”
adorned by the magic hat logo Langford commissioned for the city last year.
I just can’t get past this part, even. Was he trying to say that any progress he makes as mayor is illusory? That anything good for the city will have to be pulled out of a hat, because he sure isn’t going to work for it? Bah.
bill r says
Sackcloth & Ashes? Magic Hat logo? This sounds like a real life Poe’s law…
Ah, but you’re not reckoning the crimes per capital.
You may want to put up signs at the border: “Warning: located in a continent that produces large numbers of nuts.”
One of these days the Onion is going to run a story like this, and the joke will be that its true. They may have to start doing that – reality is quickly becoming crazier than satire.
Pleading with the gods, the mayor isn’t doing it right. IIRC, don’t you have to sacrifice a chicken on an alter or something?
Burnt offerings are always in style. The OT guys used to burn bulls, presumably a high end economicly valuable object. These days a high end SUV would be more appropiate.
Paul Lundgren says
“An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said.”
I’d tell him, “Okay, mayor, go ahead and do your sackcloth and ashes thing. But a year from now we’re going to have us a town hall meeting and publicly compare crime stats from before and after.”
Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Give a man a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish.
Eh? This is opaque to me.
“the Constitution of the United States calls for a separation of church and state – it never said anything about a separation of church from state”
-What does that even mean?
“”I could care less what they write about it or say about it,” Langford said.”
-And there is the real problem with fundamentalist religious leaders. You get that same sentiment from Bush all the time.
The latest box office figures are out on Expelled, and it’s not looking good :
Already a few theaters are droping the movie (from 1052 to 1041, only after a week), but more importantly this friday they estimate a drop of 63% over last friday.
So tentative forecast :
week 1 was total $ 3.9 Mill.
week 2 let’s apply -63% to week 1 (quite conservative) gives $ 1.4 Mill.
Add a “tail” of maximum $ 1 Mill. for the rest and we get a maximum box office of $6.3 Mill.
Let’s see if they beat $6 million in total, for a movie which was supposed to have caused a revolution, it’s a bit dull, to say the least…
David Marjanović, OM says
And then people complain about the meaning of “is”.
Pierce R. Butler says
This is a wonderful, dare I say heaven-sent, opportunity.
Never mind this petty online-poll jamming stuff. Imagine the potential fun ‘n’ profit to be had if a gang of (ruthless, immoral, atheistic) Pharyngulites (pardon the redundancy) were to rendezvous in Birmingham to show ’em how a crime wave is really done. Plainly there’s nothing to stop us!
All we need is an Evil Mastermind to run the operation. As it’s apparently now traditional to have PZless Pharyngula meet-ups, it looks like we’ll have to see if Skatje would like to take her summer vacation down south this year…
reality is quickly becoming crazier than satire.
That’s GW Bush’s fault – he blurred the lines so badly that nobody can distinguish them now.
Sell the entire Deep South to Mexico for a dollar and rid America of millions of idiots.
I dont know…all these religious stories are depressing as fuck. Where are the good happy atheist stories?
Well, probably not all, but, clearly, it seems the majority are. This idiot was elected after all.
Hmm. Should right a piece and send it in to the onion, mocking this, but I am too lazy and don’t know how you would do something like that. But, the premise would be something like:
“Small town mayor sends whips to clergy, gets unexpected surprise.”
“In an attempt to curb crime in
, Mayor sent whips, along with invitations, to numerous clergy in the city. Due to his secretary having failed to enclose the letters to be sent with them, there was some confusion over what was intended. According to Mayor , he was intending to dress in simple robes and flagulate himself, along with the local priests, only to be horrified by the discovery of an orgy and BDSM taking place all through the city.”
Mind you, as I said, I am lazy, so if someone else wants to take my idea and flesh it out a bit, I wouldn’t mind seeing it show up on the onion. You can claim I was the “on scene” reporter or something, if you like (last name I use online is Kossori). lol
Don’t feel sorry for this sorry state, it’s been like this for as far back as I can remember. The governor of my city (yes I live in Alabama) put in round-abouts (the terminology is probably wrong) in order to ‘slow people down’. All the while moving hundreds out of their homes in order to build a new school they claimed to not have money for. Honestly, I wish I could go on a vacation for a few weeks and come back to learn that these southern states were torn from the country by a major earthquake. Any suggestions? And no, writing (letters only receive scorn, if they’re read by the recipient at all) and protesting (most here in the South are to afraid to protest) doesn’t work.
So join the union while ye may,
Don’t wait ’til your dying day,
For that may not be far away,
Ye dirty blackleg deity.
Thanks for the sales lead PZ!
Did somebody say monorail?
Greg Gyetko says
Remember the old days, when we used to have to make an effort to make fun of religious people? They’re making it so pretty much anybody can make fun of them now. No rhetorical skills required. How will I stand out in a crowd?
Eventually satire will just become pointless.
Plastic Flag says
Speaking as another Birminghamian (the correct term for us Magic City-dwellers), please keep in mind that Langford only barely made it into office last year. It was a neck-and-neck race with a very progressive, open-minded, gay-friendly, truly talented candidate named Patrick Cooper, who nonetheless lost the race. Langford had years of corrupt ties with local business leaders to help prop him up to mayoral status– Patrick had only popular support.
We of the progressive wing of Birmingham were VERY upset about Langford’s appointment, and this kind of bullshit you guys see here is exactly why. But keep in mind that
(a) not all of us are kooks and rednecks here– B’ham is a very cosmopolitan city; and
(b) Birmingham is the most progressive city in Alabama; if you think this is bad, then you should stay far, far away from Montgomery.
Robster, FCD says
If you had the criminals dress in sackcloth, it might have an effect…
If I remember correctly, some prophet or another went to Nineveh and told them they were damned, and that god was going to destroy the city in fire. After that, the city did the sackcloth and ashes bit, and the prophet, having gone to a hill to the east of Nineveh to enjoy the scent of a city immolated, was disappointed. He was told by god (came up with the excuse) that the city would be spared.
For the ritual to work, they need a proclamation of doom by an outside prophet…
Etha Williams says
When I got to this part, I really had to go up and check that this was a real news article and not from the Onion or similar:
I can’t help it. As terrible as this is, and as bad as I feel for the more sensible inhabitants of Birmingham that have to put up with this crap, I’m laughing hysterically.
This man wants you to render unto Caesar and god. And he thinks he’s Caesar…
Please tell me this poor man has been returned to a place of safety and has been put back on his medication.
I’m not sure (he writes so badly in his confused state)but he seems to think he’s a biblical king!
Etha Williams says
Here’s the full story of Nineveh from Jonah 3:
My favorite part, though, is what happened just before all this, in Jonah 2-10:
Sometimes I find it really difficult to believe that biblical literalists actually exist.
PZ Myers says
They tried to get the Morris theater to show it; unfortunately for them, they imposed a requirement that the theater book it for a minimum of two weeks, which was unacceptable in our small market. There may be a lot of theaters wishing they could unload this turkey, but they’re contractually required to hang on to it for another week. Look for those numbers to plummet next weekend.
You’ve just persuaded me to stay far, far away from Alabama.
“Look for those numbers to plummet next weekend”
I think it’s quite clear from this friday’s numbers that the movie is a failure : -63% compared with last friday ! What is going to be left next week end ? They made 432$ per theater on a friday just imagine. And that even after Ben Stein showed his ugly face on Hanity and Colmes, where as usual, Hanity is the usual nutcase, and Colmes is the place holder for fair and balanced news.
“But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth…”
What a strange mental image. Is there no end to the violence and indignities inflicted upon animals in the name of religion?
Some Birminghamian from a local advocacy group should have gone to the event and at an opportune moment jumped up and declared, “I feel the spirit!” [“Yeah!”] “The Lord is telling me to sell my expensive watch and donate the money to our homeless shelter and to after-school programs!” [“Hallelujah!”] “Do you hear the voice of the Lord, mayor?”
#57: “Fortunately, we in Canada for the most part avoid the religious nuts, but we still get nuts.”
Neil Young vs. Lynyrd Skynyrd!
Sweet Home Alabama.
Rey Fox says
“I could care less what they write about it or say about it,” Langford said. “Because let there be no misunderstanding, just like Satan is at work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days, God is too.””
Ah, the glory of the insulated mind. Hmmm, suddenly I’m imagining these loons as having a cranium stuffed with Owens Corning pink stuff.
And it’s COULDN’T care less. COOOD NNNT.
“The soundtrack to the video is the mob hooting and howling their praises for this man and his holy administration. ”
Yeah, but surely this is one of those PR events where they vetted the audience beforehand, right? Right? …right?
Tracy P. Hamilton says
“If you had the criminals dress in sackcloth, it might have an effect…”
Maybe they put themselves in sackcloth…
Sounds like a Family Guy episode with Mayer Adam West.
Are you sure this really happened and wasn’t just a joke in a cartoon show?
Original proclamation here:
“Whereas the city of Birmingham like the city of Nineveh has experienced violence and murder that pails in comparison to the city of Nineveh of the Old Testiment, Book of Jonah; and has become the fourth violent city per capital of the city in the United States of America..”
I honestly can’t parse that. Is exhibiting this total grammatical failure a prerequisite for treating the establishment clause with contempt?
Unfortunately, it’s not a joke. Among other Langford’s practices are Bible handouts, Mayor’s prayer breakfasts, and “Bible study with a Mayor” during lunch hour.
One positive comment – I’m glad to find out that there are at least two more persons from B’ham among Pharyngula readers.
As a native Californian who decided to move to Birmingham, the place has a lot going for it. Great restaurants, cool neighborhoods, funky dive bars and clubs, arts scene, gorgeous countryside, etc etc.
It is truly a shame that corrupt hypocritical huckster politicians like Langford continue to give the South a bad name.
Angel Rose Young says
Take a long, disconcerting look at who this man’s supporters/mentors are. Would you really suppose him to be any more or less delusional than them?
Angel Rose Young says
I went to play the video but couldn’t take the first full minute before I had to shut it off. Much unlike the late Reverend King, the only preacher that ever made any sense to me at all, these people bring back unwelcome memories of religious intolerance and stupidity.
I personally would like to see this religiously afflicted fuckputz go a little further on the situational piety and proclaim the discontinuation of all health care benefits for him and his staff forthwith.
It would be just one more “logical” step out “in faith” and would give all those pastors some more practice in casting out those troublesome demons of infirmity, sickness, reason and all those other principalities of evil that come against gods elect form time to time.
What a complete arse.
Is this legal? How is this not just as egregious a violation of church and state as school prayer? How is this not the government promoting a religion?
“It is truly a shame that corrupt hypocritical huckster politicians like Langford continue to give the South a bad name.”
As a recent escapee from the south, I have to say that while the politicians contribute to that bad name, they are far from wholly responsible for it.
From a human perspective, places are made of three things. Real estate, government, and culture.
The south has some nice real estate.
Taking the “Expelled” numbers once again….
What’s really sad about that $432 number (which will probably come out to being 70 people a day, 23 a showtime) is what my old boss used to say about low per-screen averages: “who’s on the bottom of that pile?” Throw a few standard deviations onto that 20 number and there will be some movie theatres that feel stolen from, I guarantee you. They are done with christian-themed films if they value their livelihoods You can’t even pay your staff’s labor on what a theater with 11 people is pulling in (barely with 23). And Friday is supposed to be the day that covers the weekday losses for this business.
Some theatres try to get around this two week rule that PZ talked about by splitting a movie’s screen on it’s second week (ie, it alternates shows with another slow pic), so that might be part of the decline, but that only works if the movie has _something_: it’s still 432 v. 1139 last week–akin to what a badly reviewed hollywood film drops; arthouse films’ only commercial silver lining is that word of mouth is supposed to keep the numbers falling slowly.
(Apologies for all of this; I worked in a movie theatre for four years and have sorta made a hobby of following the calculus of box office receipts. We all have our nerdy sides! and I feel like these guys are trying to play the numbers the same way they’re trying to play their scientific ‘evidence’.)
Crikey! Delta House had a toga party and got kicked out of Faber College. These freaks do the same and are in charge of a city.
Bluto would be pissed.
there is always the possibility that something like this could rebound and work… think about it, you are a (slightly) rational criminal. would you want to commit a crime where the elected officials are on record as being batshit crazy?
Apparently, the ability to construct a coherent sentence is not one of the ‘gifts of the spirit’.
As a resident of Birmingham, AL I agree that Langford is, to put it as nicely as I can in this situation, a f*cking a**clown moron. Then again, Birmingham has had a habit of electing nothing but the same for mayor for the last 20+ years. Unfortunately for me, although I am not even allowed to vote for mayor of Birmingham due to election zoning laws, I am still affected by anything the mayor does. Sadly, people still wonder why Jefferson county, where Birmingham is located, is having so many financial problems on top of crime problems.
Eris J. LaVey says
This guy FAILS at wearing sackcloth and ashes. I’m just sayin’. No sense of theater at all. They need to hire some reasonable loonies like me; I could give them a good show at least.
–Her Holiness Eris Jorvsen LaVey, ==POPE== of Discordia
Robster, FCD says
Pray-in at S.F. gas station asks God to lower prices
laura quilter says
My great-uncle — who took pains to remind me that he lives in HOOVER not Birmingham — had this to say about Mayor Langford:
Like a few of the other people commenting on this piece, I’m also from Alabama and would like to say that we all don’t fit the stereotype often associated with our state.
I usually don’t comment on blogs, but this one bothered me. It’s simply embarrassing.
“Escaping the south” might be an option, but is it really a valid one? That idea bothers me because if it has any real merit we might as well start shopping for real estate on mars, but that wouldn’t really pan out either, would it?
I should have watched the video before I commented. Isn’t wearing a shirt under the sackcloth kinda defeating the purpose, or am I missing the point? Is there such a thing as comfortably making yourself uncomfortable for the lord? If so maybe next time they could get Burger King to special prepare some locust shaped chicken nuggets with honey dipping sauce. That would be a mighty catchy Christian snack.
Jeph @ #16:
Don’t you know? The more you talk about Jesus, the less you have to act like him. You’re supposed to worship him, but there’s no need to actually listen to a single word he supposedly SAID if it becomes inconvenient. It’s right in the Death Cult handbook, next to the rule that It’s Not Really Lying If You’re Lying For Jesus™
Oh my fucking god. (I use religious language–hazard of growing up around Catholics.) I lived in HOOVER like an above poster’s father does. I now have moved outside of Jefferson county, but it’s JUST across the county line. I could literally chuck a rock from my back yard and hit the county line (which is the Cahaba River). If you go out of my complex and turn right, a few dozen yards will get you to the sign saying you’ve just entered Jefferson County. So. You know where I’m coming from, more or less. I lived in Hoover, Jefferson County, for about a decade. Another above poster is correct: it IS the most cosmopolitan place in Alabama, and Southside is really rather lovely. (“The trees are actually quite lovely. I’m not saying I’d want to build a summer home here or anything, but…”)
I just placed an order yesterday for this shirt (http://www.stampandshout.com/shop/bumper-stickers/we-have-fossils.php?product_id=3962) in the fuschia color. I plan to wear it around town to defy the Religious Order. I also wear my Hello Cthulhu shirt, my Hellsing Alucard shirt with the EVIL LOOKING PENTAGRAM (tm ^^) on it, and anti-war buttons. So far I haven’t been lynched, but my husband mentioned the possibility.
Incidentally, I’m female. I’m an atheist and proud of it, and by golly I tell that right to Alabamians’ faces. They’re a very polite kind of southern people–with all the prejudices and bigotries politeness often tries to mask.
I’ve had people try to sucker me into going to church. I disassociate with them. I CAN tolerate Catholics, and I consider myself an atheistic quasi-Buddhist. But these SBC (that’s Southern Baptist Convention for those that live in civilized locations) freakazoids really get under my Yankee skin. (Okay, I admit to having lived beneath the Mason-Dixon line for more than half of my life.)
To quote Metallica’s song about Armageddon:
Fight fire with fire!
Fight fire with fire!
Fight fire with fire!
By the way, a peace group meets every Wednesday and Saturday at the fountain at Five Points South. I know some of the group personally. I am not 100% certain if they are STILL meeting, but I’ve been to one, and the responses from motorists were generally positive with a few really rotten apples thrown in as expected. Then again, UAB dominates Southside, and as a medical school and a school that contributes a shitton of research to NASA and AIDS projects, you might expect a more freethinking part of town here, ne?
There are intelligent people in Birmingham, I swear it.
Oops, I meant “great-uncle” not “father.” Sorry, Laura!
Lulz. A criminal is caught — the sackcloth and ashes worked!
Birmingham mayor arrested on bribery charges:
I am a prophet! Comment 98:
“If you had the criminals dress in sackcloth, it might have an effect…”
Maybe they put themselves in sackcloth…
A city with a mayor proclaming this is already a mess.