Monday, November 26, 2007

A British Guy mentions South ain't pretty

OK, this gets complicated, but you can read it all here. (hat tip to Stand Firm)

1. The Archbishop of Canterbury says some really negative stuff about U.S. foreign policy and about the U.S. in general.

2. Ruth Gledhill, religion writer for the Times of London, responds and lists her top 10 favorite things about America.

3. In the comments on her top 10 (still with me?), a bloke named Nigel mentions the American gap between rich and poor, contrasting The Hamptons (the very toney eastern shore of Long Island, NY) with Shannon County, South Dakota.

Shannon is one of the two poorest counties in the U.S., and includes a large part of the Pine Ridge Reservation and a chunk of the Badlands. Nigel mentions that the average male life expectancy in Shannon County is only 48.


Chip Johnson+, SF, CoJ said...

I'm not sure which Nigel that might be, since Ruth's blog no longer shows identification other than just the name of the poster; but it could well be either of the two Nigels who are members of the House of Deputys of the Church of the General Convention.

The 'sublime' sarcasm and class superiority fits either of them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is sad that lowly Shannon County thus gets publically exposed as one of the bleakest and most desperately poor areas in our wealthy nation. It's enough to make any South Dakotan blush (or even a SD native like myself who moved away years ago).

But let's compare apples with apples, not apples with oranges or pine cones. The super affluent Hamptons on Long Island aren't a county. Last I knew (and I haven't Googled to check it out) the wealthiest whole county in the U.S. was located here in Virginia, where I now live (in comparative warmth and comfort). Namely, that would be Fairfax County, outside Washington D.C. The housing prices there are obscenely high. But then again, Fr. Tim, being from Orange County, CA, you would understand that all too well.

Nonetheless, let's keep things in perspective. Even on the Pine Ridge Reservation, life is much, much better than in most of the rest of the world. Over a billion people in the world have to get along on the equivalent of just $1 a day, or less. Even on the reservations there is running water and electricity and medical care available and good roads to get places. Poverty is always a relative thing. Even the very poor in America are well off by many global standards (just go visit Haiti, for example). That's why so many Mexicans, who are even more impoverished, continue to stream across our southern border in such alarming numbers.

But this denigrating reference to poverty in SD reminds me of the wisecrack of some late night show host (Letterman? Leno? I can't rememberr). After noting that the national trade deficit had climbed to some new ridiculously high amount of gadzillions of dollars, the insensitive NY comedian had the gall to suggest that the U.S. should just give the Chinese North and South Dakota. After all, he observed, no one lives there!!

"New Reformation Advocate,"
a Sioux Falls native
(BTW, it was in the upper 60s in VA today, how's that compare with SD this time of year?)

Alice C. Linsley said...

Gosh, Fr., you and your's keeps making the news.

Rowan is a socialist. I expect him to say such things. This Nigel is one who jumps on bandwagons. Honestly, their rants, even wrapped in excellent English, are still rants.

Anonymous said...

I just went back and reread the last line of the original post, which mentions that the average life expectancy in Shannon County is a pathetically low 48 years. How sad. It's tragic.

But here's a little known secret that the gay community does its best to keep out of the public eye. The life expectancy among gay males is also shockingly low.
Some estimates put it as low as 49 in places. That's incredible. Almost as bad as in impoverished Shannon County.

This is due to the extremely high rate of serious infections among promiscuous gay males, even apart from AIDS. Pardon me for being a bit graphic (Fr. Tim, you may want to censor the following), but because constant anal sex is very, very risky since the walls of the anal canal are quite thinly lined, unlike the vagina, gay men are constantly exposed to infections that batter and weaken their immune system. Any doctor that treats large numbers of gay men can confirm this medical fact.

This is important, because it proves that condoning the gay lifestyle is the very opposite of showing true love for people struggling with same-sex attractions. Giving approval to such an immoral and dangerous way of life is inadvertently to promote the premature deaths of many, many gay men.

Just as "friends don't let friends drive drunk," so likewise, true friends don't let friends or family members engage in such risky and life-threatening behavior as promiscuous male homosexuality.

My apologies if the above was a little crude. But in a sex-obsessed society, it's surprising how some of the medical facts about gay sexuality are still covered up and largely unknown.

Any doubters? Call up my cousin, Tom Braithwaite, MD, at Sioux Valley Hospital. He'll confirm what I said is true.

Chip Johnson+, SF, CoJ said...


23 right now, 23 the forecast high for tomorrow, with a low of 7 and HIGH winds. Oh, to be in Virginia (or Tennessee. or Florida, nahh).

Incidently, the roads in Shannon County are among the best in the undeveloped world, covered in loose 3" rock and graded once a year, whether they need it or not.

Mitakuwe oyasin.
Chip+, cj

TLF+ said...


Almost had to censor the second to last sentence of your post...

Don't you know that Sioux Valley is now SANFORD????? (T.Denny Sanford's $4,000,000. gift came with naming rights!!!)

I debated about censoring the more graphic parts of your post...but have decided that the search for truth is more important than any "ick factor."

If what Fr. Handy reports is not accurate, I invite refutation... with FACTS. Ad hominem attacks will not be posted.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Chip+ and Tim+, for setting me straight. No, I didn't know that the former Sioux Valley Hospital had been renamed for Sanford. Boy, am I out of it now. And no, I didn't know about the state of the gravel roads in Pine Ridge. But my wife grew up in Papua New Guinea, where her parents were missionaries, and I've seen slides and pictures of the roads over there (generally mud trails). I am positive that they are far worse than anything in America.

As for the icky biological stuff, I was a bit uncomfortable with including it myself. But in the end I decided that the widespread ignorance of the serious medical harm that so often results from male homosexual behavior overrode such scruples. If the public were better informed about such matters, then there wouldn't be such a casual attitude toward accepting homosexual behavior as just another alternative lifestyle, on a moral par with heterosexual acts. I'm sorry if anyone was offended. No emotional ploy was intended.

I wish it weren't so bad, but it is. The medical facts are documented all too well. For example, there is a long chapter on the medical risks of anal sex among gay men in the superb book called "Straight and Narrow?" published by InterVarsity Press. Its claims have never, to my knowledge, been refuted.