Wednesday, 5/28/14

    1. Confronting our shame
    2. An Orthodox look at a Calvinist proof-text
    3. SLAPP and SFOIARAPP
    4. Sunday’s stunning dark horse election victories
    5. The subtlety of misdirection

1

Father Stephen has been on a roll again lately:

That a large number of people “feel good” about themselves in our modern culture is a testament to their ability to access the consumption used to assuage their shame. But for others, the shame is almost constant and inescapable. Those who are less than attractive, overweight, or otherwise unable to address their shame have little choice other than to slip into depression or other forms of self-loathing.

I have wonder if the culture of piercing among youth (not universally) is something of an angry response (and thus a shame response) to the consumer fashions of our culture. A girl’s face with multiple piercings seems an angry shout at the shame-filled cult of beauty. Of course, it has its own fashion sense – but it represents something of a camaraderie among those who hate the shame. More intense responses, deeply illustrative of self-loathing, can be found in activities such as cutting and various forms of anorexia and bulimia.

The life of the church directly confronts our shame….

(Naked and Unashamed)

2

Seraphim Hamilton has been tackling some tough topics in his efforts at “connecting Biblical scholarship with Orthodox tradition.” I admire his moxie and look forward to his efforts, though they’re not easy reads. 

His latest tackles the potent Calvinist “proof-text,” Romans 9. It is the sort of thing I, formerly a convinced Calvinist, still need from time to time to detoxify.

3

As a Free Speech advocate, I’ve become familiar with the concept of SLAPP suits (I was even on the Defendant end of one), and fond of the provisions to make the Plaintiff pay Defendant’s attorney fees upon dismissal.

Somehow, though SFOIARAPP (Su-fóy-ar-app?) just doesn’t have the same ring, though it would be nice if the UVA LGBT activists were ordered to pay Douglas Laycock’s fees for responding to their mau-mauing.

4

On Sundays in Spring, some nations hold elections, as did Ukraine and France this Sunday past. Both produced astonishing results.

They finally had a completely free, open, squeaky-clean election in Ukraine, and Ukraine elected The West! I didn’t even know The West was running!

As another Facebook friend put it,

I’ve noticed a curious trend. When the right candidate is elected in any given country, like Ukraine, the election observers report no problems, but if the wrong man is elected, or if the people vote for something that is inconvenient for us, the election observers observe all sorts of discrepancies. Weird, huh?

But in France, it in what surely was a temporary and abberant setback for Truth, Justice and The American Way, the EU lost to Vladimir Putin, who also wasn’t running!

The Wall Street Journal is just as sick about France as they are exultant about Ukraine.

5

A high school classmate and I had a little disagreement over this on Facebook:

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I just don’t think “support our troops” is being used in that cynical way, as I see it mostly on bumper stickers on vehicles that aren’t otherwise laden with political stickers.

But I don’t doubt that our attention is regularly diverted from some real question by some ginned-up quibble. Such, for instance, is Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal editorial: The Myth of the Climate Change ‘97%’ – What is the origin of the false belief—constantly repeated—that almost all scientists agree about global warming? The authors pretty clearly show that the claim is false.

But is it sustainable to continue using fossil fuels and petrochemicals as we do? Whether or not climate change is man-made, that seems to me to be the real question. Maybe the market can adjust to petrochemical supplies falling off a cliff, but I don’t think it will be pretty.

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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.