Monday, August 1, 2016

  1. Empathy
  2. Babel
  3. Nothing
  4. Dhimmitude
  5. Naked Emperors

1

If you believed what he believes, you’d do precisely what he’s doing.

Think about that for a second. People act based on the way they see the world. Every single time.

Understanding someone else’s story is hard, a job that’s never complete, but it’s worth the effort.

Seth Godin on Saturday, Empathy is Difficult.

When I started to try to tell y’all how I see the world, to start a conversation, I hit a wall pretty quickly. Words are somehow inadequate — and I don’t know how to dance, sing, paint or sculpt it.

If you want to know how I see the world, come to Orthodox Saturday Vespers, Matins and Liturgy every Sunday for about 20 years. Then maybe you’ll know how I saw the world today — but of course by then it will be 2036 and I’ll be dead or 20 years further down the road.

Sorry. It probably really is that hard.

2

I feel like I and my fellow citizens are milling around the Tower of (political) Babel, mutually uncomprehending, talking louder and louder as if that will make our point clearer to those who regard it as gibberish at any volume.

Here’s a sampling of things I encountered Saturday showing the divisions of Christians in this dreadful election year:

It appears to me that some “conservative Christians” cannot imagine that neither of the two major party candidates is fit (or anointed) to govern the United States and, perhaps, that’s exactly what we deserve. That implies that God has turned his back on us.

Although some of these same folks have been warning for years that we face God’s judgment absent revival, they apparently cannot imagine that the revival didn’t come in time. It always comes in time, doesn’t it? We’re America, after all! Can we really be America and Babylon the Great* at the same time?

What would be the appropriate response if God’s patience with the U.S. ran out and His judgment took the form of two horrible candidates for President? I think a prophetic voice would be crying “Repent! Maybe God will yet lift His hand of judgment!” Or at least, like me, gun shy of the rhetoric of Revival Services, pointing out that the name for this baffling stuff that’s happening is “judgment.”

There’s a veritable cottage industry of Evangelical leaders concocting balm to the troubled consciences of Evangelicals thinking of voting for Trump. Grudem, for instance, labels Trump “good, with flaws.” “Airbrushing,” replied John Mark Reynolds. Amen.

3

Hillary’s message to Republicans from the Democrat Convention:

It’s me or Trump, and you know you can’t put the nuclear codes in his undersize hands, so my offer is … nothing.

But here’s a flag to cheer you up.

(Ross Douthat)

4

The pressure to vote for X simply to deny the nomination to Y is mounting. I feel it. My private journal is getting lots of thoughts not remotely ready for prime time.

I’ll not belabor why I find Trump intolerable. If you’ve been reading the blog, you’ve got a pretty good idea. Suffice that his “policies,” such as they are, are almost entirely beside the point.

If you want to know why I find Hillary intolerable, Wayne Grudem’s pro-Trump embarrassment, discussed a bit above, gives a fairly accurate account of lets out an evocative scream about what Hillary will attempt to do. There’s at least some truth to almost all of the critiques of Hillary (even if I don’t think we can “expect” anything from Trump except more narcissistic preening). Suffice that I balk at voting for secularist dhimmitude (think Brendan Eich or the Law of Merited Impossibility) for me and those like me.

I don’t mean to slight the question of abortion. Suffice, on that, that one may never vote for a pro-abortion candidate because they’re pro-abortion, but it’s morally licit in extreme cases to vote for one despite it.

Don’t forget the Electoral College. If one or the other candidate has my state sewn up, it will be easier to stick with my third-party intentions. If it’s too close to call, it’s deja vu all over again (2004 and 2008), only for much higher stakes.

5

Naked Emperors

    • Note to Wayne Grudem: There is no pony in there. It’s merde, all the way down.

(* I have not fully read the linked article on Babylon the Great, it didn’t influence my thinking and I do not endorse it. It’s just the first search result that seemed to illuminate my question.)

* * * * *

“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.