Tuesday, 6/23/15

  1. Why the Charleston shooting haunts
  2. Authority and credibility
  3. Signs of bankruptcy
  4. Complete fools and their child props
  5. ABTD
  6. Get Cloak and stop taking dumb advice

1

I’ve been busy, and didn’t think much about why the Charleston shooting was so disturbing. Today, the coin dropped.

21-year-old shooter. That’s disturbing. It makes me think that frank racism is not dying, despite its disappearance among all my acquaintances. Okay, maybe in a few cases, it has disappeared only because people expect ostracism if they say what they’re thinking, but even that is progress, no? By and large, I think business is downright eager to hire black candidates who show up on time, speak standard English, and are willing to work hard, whatever working “hard” means in the particular position.

But then there’s that 21-year-old exception to the rule.

In a Church, after sitting in a Bible study for an hour. Not drive by. Not impersonal (though there was a slight apologetic tone to what he was reported to say as shooting). Cold-blooded murder of people he was getting to know beyond the level of “this is what they stand for because of their skin tone.” That’s super-depraved.

That doesn’t mean I’m all on board with hate-crime laws or sentence enhancements. I still find plausible that “hate crime” = “thought crime,” and that it’s unamerican. But this shooting tests my resolve.

2

[I]t is possible to believe in authority, in a bare-bones sense, without accepting that the bearer of that authority is personally credible. I had to learn to do this to hold on to my faith.

This is very hard to do, and it explains, I think, why so many Christians refuse to think about church corruption, and why it’s easy for clergy to do bad things right under the nose of their congregations: because so many people want to believe the best about their pastors, and without always knowing what they’re doing, refuse to see what’s going on right under their noses. It’s not only in churches, but in most other institutions. We don’t really want to know what the CIA is doing, for example, because knowing it would make us responsible. We don’t really want to know what the NSA is up to, because we want to believe that our government is trustworthy, and always looking out for our best interests. We don’t really want to hold Wall Street accountable, because what we would discover if we started digging, seriously digging, could undermine our confidence in the capitalist system. We don’t really want to know if our police force is corrupt, because if you can’t trust the guardians of the law to be lawful, where does that leave you?

(Rod Dreher, reacting to a megachurch sex scandal involving Billy Graham’s grandchild.)

3

Even when I disagree with him – and I wouldn’t say I disagree today – JHK is an entertaining writer:

For the USA in particular the signs of bankruptcy have been starkly visible for a long time outside the bubble regions of New York, Washington, and San Francisco. You see it in the amazing decrepitude of the built environment — the cities and towns left for dead, the struggling suburban strip malls tenanted if at all by wig shops and check-cashing operations, the rusted bridges, pot-holed highways, the Third World style train service. Most sickeningly you see it in a population of formerly earnest, hard-working, basically-educated people with hopes and dreams transformed into a hopeless moiling underclass of tattooed savages dressed in baby clothes devoting their leisure hours (i.e. all their time) to drug-seeking and the erasure of sexual boundaries.

(History in Free Verse)

4

I was never a part of the movement to normalize homosexuality … My mother never gave the impression that she needed her sexual orientation normalized, and that speaks volumes to me considering we lived in a small town in east central Oklahoma. I remember seeing Gay Pride Parades on the news as a kid and thinking those people were making complete fools of themselves and I was so embarrassed by them … The worst part was watching the kids, paraded around like little tiny possessions that could easily be coerced because children generally always defend their parents …

[P]eople try to shut us up by saying we’re being disrespectful, ungrateful and that we should just be happy we had two people that loved us. I am here to say that two people that love you is simply not enough. And sometimes, depending on the circumstances, it’s harmful.

(The Waves Will Wash Us Away at The Lesbians Daughter. H/T Ask the Bigot)

5

Thanks for the tip, Pat, but if I want a “throw the bums out” vote, I can vote Libertarian, Green or even Constitution Party. Anybody but The Donald.

6

I guess I can accept Sunday’s Dilbert strip if I assume it’s targeted at people who don’t know about, for example, Cloak.

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There’s more good stuff, but it’s time to close and read some great stuff, namely Laudato Si.

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.