Thursday, 9/11/14

  1. The mind of militant secularists
  2. Dubya a Prophet?
  3. A dogmatic, heartless, calculating machine
  4. So Many Christians, So Few Lions
  5. Jesus wrecks an economy
  6. Slow blogging

1

There is something about the mind of militant secularists that cannot tolerate being exposed to anything unlike itself. They are no better than the religious fundamentalists they deplore. They have decided ahead of time that no good idea can possibly come from religion, so it must be excluded. I expect that the TED organization will apologize to Joy Junction.

Still, this is another sign that in the future that’s coming into being, simply being publicly present and affirming that one is a Christian will be taken as a sign of aggression. Error has no rights.

(Rod Dreher, commenting on TED staff insisting that “Life is tough, God is good” T-shirts be removed by workers helping the homeless in a TED special.)

2

I don’t mean to make this the Rod Dreher highlights blog, but I haven’t read much lately worth sharing and some of what has been is his.

I, like Rod, have been treated to a video clip of Dubya in 2007 saying we mustn’t pull out of Iraq too soon, and now it’s replayed as proof that Dubya was a sage (and Obama’s an idiot). Rod, unlike me, had the time to track down the proof that this is butt biscuits. He concludes:

This Bush prophecy business is b.s. through and through. It’s important to say that now, because Dick Cheney, one of the principal architects of one of the worst disasters in US foreign policy and military history, is now making an “I Told You So” tour, back in Washington (a standing ovation at AEI!) spreading his wisdom to appreciative conservative audiences. It’s like they let Bernie Madoff work on Wall Street again, or returned the FEMA portfolio to Brownie.

This is Republican poison. And you watch: Rand Paul aside, the whole party is going to swallow it again, like dogs going back to their own vomit.

It truly does seem to be the Stupid Party, this thing that used to be Grand. I can understand trying to forget how willfully Dubya involved us in a war that many predicted would end roughly like this, but to try to make him a freakin’ genius because he figured out finally that we’d broke it, so we’d bought it, really takes gall.

And the audaciousness of The Big Lie makes me fear the GOP as I fear any shameless demagogue with a crowd of fans around him.

3

A profile of [7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard] Posner in the academic magazine Lingua Franca sums him up well: “a gifted but wayward mind, given to reductive, simple minded analysis of the variegated human experience, seduced by a cynical narrative of power and survival; a dogmatic, heartless, calculating machine in pursuit of cold-blooded efficiency”.

(Michael Cook) Posner clearly was playing to the peanut gallery on his Indiana and Wisconsin SSM opinion, and the peanut gallery is now venerating him predictably. Australian Cook makes three pretty potent points about the tenuousness of the opinion.

I won’t predict what SCOTUS will do with marriage except to predict that they’ll not join the Hallelujah Chorus to Posner by adopting his opinion as their own.

4

In November, Rowman & Littlefield will release “So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States?” by George Yancey (University of North Texas) and David A. Williamson (University of North Texas).

(Center for Law and Religion Forum) No spoiler alerts here. If you want to know what the publisher’s notes say the book’s answer is, you’ll have to click the CLRF hyperlink.

5

Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.

So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.

(Mark 5:13-17) That final plea for Jesus to depart from the region has always bothered me. What’s going on here?

  • 2000 pigs were edible, the demoniac wasn’t. On balance, Jesus should have left the demons in the demoniac?
  • This is just too weird. I don’t like change. I can’t control anyone who’s so powerful he can “subdue” this demoniac and get 2000 pigs to act like lemmings?
  • ???

6

13 years ago, I walked out of a weekly meeting to be greeted by news the enormity of which was slow to sink in: “A plane hit the World Trade Center.” I pictured an incompetent or suicidal person in a Cesna 150 and went back to work. Briefly.

Slow blogging because work has been hectic, as have some other things. News seems dominated by ISIS and things that, despite this 13th anniversary, aren’t my front burner issues.

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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.