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Best Of the Banter: Punching Pastors, Charlie Hebdo, and a Letter From a Fetus

Definitely read the letter from a fetus.
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The second week of 2015 rang with the din of self-declared holy war and free-speech diatribes, and here at Banter we kept up the only way we know how: a signature mix of thoughtful commentary and outright mockery.

Here's the week that was, from men of the cloth punching sinful children to a letter from an aborted fetus to its shady evangelical dad.

Pastor Punches Kid For Jesus


I'm tooting my own horn here, but check out my writeup of Bible Baptist Church founder Eric Dammann's nauseating rant about how he once converted a kid to Jesus by punching him in the chest if you want to see one of the more adamantly insane things that crossed Banter's purview this week. As an added bonus, a belated update: the church's website now has a big glaring disclaimer on the frontpage announcing it regrets Dammann's apparent history of child abuse.

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Desperate ‘Freedom Fries’ Conservatives Attack Obama for Not Marching in France


In this devastating takedown of conservatives much more interested in attacking the president over manufactured nonsense than maintaining any sense of coherency, Bob Cesca absolutely destroys the hypocritical conservatives lambasting Obama for skipping the Je Suis Charlie rally in Paris this week:

Even if he had attended, conservatives would’ve hurled their feces at Obama about his choice of suit, or for chewing gum, or for not sporting a “Je Suis Charlie” pin, or, I don’t know, for refusing to wear a beret while riding a bicycle with a handlebar basket full of baguettes. Again, whatever he does, they demand the opposite. Always.

Remember, these are the exact same folks (Drudge, Fox and Newt Gingrich) who bitterly railed against French opposition to the Iraq War by mocking them as effeminate, perfumed peacemongers.

Presenting the Most Absurd Take On Charlie Hebdo and Free Speech Yet


Whether you agree with him or not, Mike Luciano at his best is a forceful advocate for his viewpoints, and I appreciated this thorough takedown on his part of an anti-Charlie Hebdo op-ed by Huffington Post UK political director Mehdir Hasan. Mike effectively dismantles several glaring errors in Mehdir's arguments and turns the tables on what I thought was a respectable original effort by Hasan.

A Letter From An Aborted Fetus To the Dad Who Let It Happen


Apparently there are evangelical Christian men who record videos apologizing to their aborted fetuses for letting the woman they impregnated have an abortion. (Yes, like they could have just forced the mother to go through with it.) Jamie Frevele's satirical response manages to be both hilarious and kind of touching, as well as a big Screw You to the far-right wackos behind this nonsense:

Anyway, stop pretending to feel so bad about letting me go. I had it easy. We all did here in the VIP section of Heaven. Oh yeah, all the aborted fetuses are part of a club up here, the souls who never had to deal with Earth. We’ve all seen what you have to deal with, and this is where my third point of confusion lies: How can you say in one breath that you’re so psyched that I got to hang out in the Kingdom of Heaven before you did but still wish you could have hung out with me on Earth? Which is it, you selfish bastard?

Seriously, read this.

What Is The Daily Banter? Part 5: A Way Out

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In the next part of this ongoing series, Chez Pazienza explains just how and why writing for The Daily Banter is way better than being a TV producer - and how he has no regrets:

I wanted to be paid to be me and here was that chance. I’m really glad I took it, because what you read here every day is what I spent years working toward. I sacrificed a hell of a lot to be able to say what I wanted to and still be able to keep a roof over my head.

You and me both, buddy.

America’s New Economy Means No One Has a Life Anymore

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In this thorough piece, Ben Cohen lays out all the ways in which the modern American worker is getting screwed over by our economic system - staggering health care costs, long working hours, overpriced education and debt, debt, debt. In Europe, for example, "the notion that you would need to go into debt to pay for essential care is completely unthinkable ... In America, crippling debt isn’t something you worry about. It is something you simply live with."

This really does sound about right to me. As Ben points out, this is harming Americans in every way from their quality of life to their health, and for some reason we've put up with it for decades.