It’s been another interesting year for this website. Robert Liparulo, Anthony McRoy, and David Dix have provided insightful interviews. My commentaries have covered everything from gay marriage to Iraq to workaholism (and, following my own advice, I took a refreshing break from the rigors of this site). My wife, Christine, wrote a great review of The Da Vinci Code. Readership has been steady for most of the year, with a strong surge in December.
Thank you for spending some of your invaluable time reading StanGuthrie.com. I don’t take this for granted. Next year I plan to provide some new features to this site as time and my limited technical expertise allow.
Below are some of the highlights from content that appeared on StanGuthrie.com in 2006. May you and yours have a wonderful New Year!
Most Overlooked Minority
“Making suicide easy and socially approved for people who . . . feel like burdens on their families, is discrimination against a socially devalued group. Assisted suicide is not a benefit; it’s a threat.”
Diane Coleman, Not Dead Yet, “Living Sacrifices,” January 23
Best Historical Assessment
“The success of the West, including the rise of science, rested entirely on religious foundations, and the people who brought it about were devout Christians.”
Rodney Stark, “Christianity, Theocracy, and Reason,” January 18
Most Paranoid Statement
“Today we face a better financed, more sophisticated, coordinated, unified, energized and organized coalition of groups in opposition to our policy positions on church-state separation than ever before. Their goal is to implement their Christian worldview. To save us!”
Abraham Foxman, “Foxman’s Fear,” January 4
Most Pertinent Question
“Actually, as Muslim mobs in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa riot, commit arson, and kill to protest political cartoons that have the temerity to suggest that Islam is, well, violent, what are the rest of us to do?”
“The Cartoon Controversy,” February 27
Most Controversial Ranking
Guacamole. People rave over this Mexican condiment. Why? It has a nice color but is basically flavorless.
“Overrated Things,” February 20
Best Definition of Marriage
“Judeo-Christian religion, of course, has been unambiguous about this matter for thousands of years. Marriage is the exclusive, ‘one-flesh’ relationship between a man and a woman, a prime purpose of which is producing godly children—something no homosexual couple can do. Christians further believe that the man-woman relationship of marriage is designed to provide a beautiful picture of Christ and the church. Such a picture is indelibly marred when two men or two women attempt to ‘marry.’”
“For the Children—Not,” March 27
“We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people.
“Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.”
Wafa Sultan, “The New Rushdie,” March 20
Clearest Assessment of Work-Life Balance
“I have nothing against good, honest work. When God made Adam and Eve, he gave them a job to do. And in our now-fallen world, God has promised us hard work ‘all the days of our lives.’ But he has also provided us a day of rest, creating a pattern of toil and repose that enables us to focus on both our spiritual and earthly needs.”
“The Definition of Success,” March 13
Biggest Overlooked Health Benefits of Spam
“I expect that life expectancies and general buffness will go up remarkably because of the many benefits of spam. ‘Slim Seduction’ told me, ‘New Diet Pill Zaps Fat & Cellulite Cells Forever.’ (I don’t know why my doctor never mentioned it—probably some sort of conspiracy.) ‘Cheat and Eat,’ in a similar vein, informed me about a ‘Break Through weight loss product just released to the public.’ Meanwhile, ‘Actiprill’ suggests, ‘Increase your energy naturally.’ (I wonder if they mean get more sleep?) ‘Lip Tech’ asked, ‘Want sexy lips in 90 seconds?’ (And who doesn’t?) ‘Lean Body Cleanse’ helpfully said, ‘Try Colon Cleansing at Home!’ (I didn’t know you could try it anywhere.) Then, ‘Jerome Herman’ informed me, ‘Former President Bill Klinton uses Voagra!’ (I guess if it’s good enough for Mr. Klinton . . . .) And ‘Attention Men,’ perhaps following the trend of telling people they have to ‘perform’ sexually, advised me, ‘Be a Champion in the Bedroom.’ (I wonder if sex will ever be an Olympic sport?)”
“In Praise of Spam,” April 10
“Tom Hanks is taking almost as much of a beating over this movie [The Da Vinci Code] as the Catholic Church. Hanks looked as if he was wincing through much of it. Of course, maybe that was because he had second thoughts, or perhaps he just got a glimpse of his hair in a mirror. I’m afraid that after reading his reviews Hanks may be driven to self-flagellation.”
Christine Guthrie, “The Duh Vinci Code,” May 23
Most Sobering Prediction
I would not be surprised that America’s next 9/11—and I am sure there will be another—could be effected by British Muslims, possibly white or black converts with U.K. passports.
Anthony McRoy, May 1
Dumbest Quote Under the Influence
“The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
Mel Gibson, “The Racial Double Standard,” November 27
“Just when Republican election prospects couldn’t look any bleaker, the other day John Kerry managed to remind Americans why they voted Republican two years ago. At a political gathering the blueblood senator from Massachusetts again insulted our military men and women, remarking, ‘Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.’
”Told that he had insulted the (all-volunteer) troops, Kerry refused to apologize. Republican strategists reportedly are furiously trying to get Kerry back out on the campaign trail–for their candidates.”
John Kerry, Thought of the Day, November 1
Most Shameless Exploiters of Disability
“Tammy Duckworth and Michael J. Fox are just the latest Democrats who attempt to sway voters through the shameless exploitation of their physical disabilities. The neophyte Duckworth, who opposes experienced Republican legislator Peter Roskam in Illinois’ 6th congressional district, lost both of her legs in Iraq. Now during campaign appearances Duckworth shows off her prostheses in a transparent bid to get the sympathy vote–and to cover up her clear ignorance on the issues.
”Fox, meanwhile, is making commercials and personal appearances highlighting his Parkinson’s for Democratic candidates who support morally and scientifically suspect embryonic stem cell research. Fox, like all advocates of ESC research, refuses to acknowledge that no one opposes stem cell research, just the kind that destroys nascent human life.
”These folks have every right to run for office and say what they want. It’s a free country. But being persons with disabilities does not grant them superior moral status or insight–and should not get them even one extra vote. Period.”
Thought of the Day, October 28
Second Best Contrast
“Contrast the violent reaction of many radical Muslims worldwide to cartoons and the pope’s remarks with the forgiving response of Amish people in Pennsylvania to the murder of five young women and the wounding of five more by a shooter. Muslims rampaged over perceived slights, while the Amish openly forgave the family of the murderer, even to the point of providing donated money to the bereft widow.
”Forgiveness, though difficult and not always carried out by Christians, is nonetheless intrinsic to Christianity, whose Founder said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Such a response is incomprehensible and even scandalous to many people–and also powerfully attractive to those who are sick of endless cycles of violence.”
Thought of the Day, October 18
Best New Word
“Rex Grossman, my favorite football player, performed so badly last night (four picks, two lost fumbles, no touchdowns) that I’ve coined a new word to best capture it: horrendific, which combines horrendous and horrific. Rex was horrendific, but the defense scored two late touchdowns, followed by an 83-yard punt retuen for a touchdown for Chicago, followed by a missed field goal for the Cardinals. It all adds up to a horrendific win for the still undefeated Bears, and a crushing loss for the hard-luck Cardinals and their fans. I was surprised that the police didn’t show up at the stadium last night to arrest the Bears for stealing.”
Thought of the Day, October 17