Orlando thoughts

  1. Honest questions, too “hate”-full to ask
  2. Sins and Capital Offenses
  3. The Perfect Put-Down
  4. The Anderson Cooper Test debuts
  5. Fred Phelps has a successor

1

I was traveling abroad until a few days ago. The Orlando story was breaking as I was flying back. My first reaction, somewhat tribal, is not worth repeating and would be seized upon as calloused if I did repeat it.

I doubt there’s any solution for such atrocities, Onion-be-damned. No, it’s not just “the human condition,” but it’s the American condition, with a lot of reaping what we’ve sown in bipartisan and less-than-obvious ways. I hope I’m not a victim some day, but I’m not cowering inside to avoid the possibility.

I’m glad I’m not a journalist, required to make instant sense out of things. Anderson Cooper failed miserably and memorably. My blog feed Tuesday brought from the American Conservative Pat Buchanan lambasting Obama for not recognizing it as plain old ISIS Islamic terrorism while Rod Dreher, 11 minutes later, relayed the news that the shooter may have been a frequent, boozy patron of the Pulse. (Give due allowance for the probability that Buchanan’s blog was pre-scheduled.)

Dreher’s earlier reaction:

I genuinely don’t trust US Muslim leaders or the American news media to report accurately about what’s going on. On the other hand, I don’t trust alternative media either, because the question of Islam in America is so fraught with ideological anxieties on both the Left and the Right that it’s impossible to know when you’re getting the truth, and when you’re being spun.

(Rod Dreher) Amen to that, and it’s not just Islam. The spin continues. If you think you’re gaining insight from current coverage, you’re (probably) wrong unless the insight is “These people don’t know what they’re talking about. Why do we read them?”

Dreher knows whereof he speaks on US Muslim leaders’ dissimulation. For his troubles in asking fair but probing questions of Dallas Muslim leaders, he got “identified on a local Islamic blog as  ‘The New Face of Hate’,” and may have pre-empted a campaign to discredit him by exposing that such a campaign had begun.

I hope that this [Orlando] mass murder will finally force American journalists to ask probing questions of US Muslim leaders about whether or not they agree with the sharia mandate that homosexuals ought to be murdered — and if they do not, why don’t they? Do you want to know what they really think, journalists, or do you only want to manage the news?

Note well that there is a world of difference between considering homosexuality to be sinful — as all three Abrahamic religions do (minus contemporary liberal versions of Judaism and Christianity) — and believing that gays should be put to death. So don’t make a false equivalence among the three.

(Dreher)

2

Regarding “sin,” a brief note on the term’s evolution. In anglicized Greek, the term is Amartia, “missing the mark.”In Orthodox Christianity, sin does not automatically imply willfulness or suggest that the sinner has mightily offended the deity who can barely wait to consign the wrongdoer to Hell, as it seems (in broad caricature) to have come to imply in the Western ecclesial bodies. The most common of Orthodox corporate prayers distinguishes subtly:

All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy God, visit and heal our infirmities for thy Name’s sake.

(Italics added) If I say more, I’ll be saying more than I confidently know, but the italics have been evocative for me.

3

Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham blogs The men who wrote the 2nd amendment would never recognize an AR-15.

This is a perfect comeback.

4

We have a new tool for identifying crypto-homophobia, the Anderson Cooper Test: do you tweet enough about gay pride?

Here’s a pinch of incense, here’s the bust of Caesar. You know what you have to do.

(Dreher reader Edward Hamilton)

5

Fred Phelps is dead, but his self-annointed “independent, fundamental, soul winning, separated, King James Bible believing Baptist” successor, Roger Jimenez, lives, and it was important that he be found and highlighted quickly.

Look for the press to remain fascinated with him and to hold him up as the apotheosis of all who fail the Anderson Cooper Test.

A fanatical Muslim closet case, son of Afghan immigrants, and registered Democrat, a wife-beater who, according to many people who dealt with him, was filled with rage and bigotry towards blacks and others, and who, according to eyewitnesses, spent the last hour of his life holding people hostage and ranting about the US bombing Afghanistan — this villain slaughters 49 gay people … and the New York Times finds a way to condemn Republican politicians for it.

(Rod Dreher, hyperlink added)

* * * * *

“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.