Tuesday, 8/2/16

  1. Such were some of you
  2. The No-Glee Year
  3. The private Trump is a real mensch
  4. Deeply contradictory
  5. Invincible ignorance

1

Monday’s prescribed epistle reading was 1 Corinthians 5:9-6:11, which concludes (in the translation I read):

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

(Emphasis added) I do not interpret the bolded terms as making this a prooftext for reparative therapy or some other version of “praying away the gay” (to use the derisive term that seems to fit what some sects have taught) in a term-of-art sense of turning gays straight. I do think it is evidence that people can consciously repent and that behaviors can change.

As I put it in my most focused and comprehensive thoughts on the topic, the Church has something much better than band-aids for sexual boo-boos. I re-read that longish post when making this post and I don’t think I’d change a word 7 months later.

2

Donald Trump can’t win his pissing contest with the Khan family of DNC Convention fame. He was in a hole, but kept digging. And yet I can take no pleasure that his vulgar display unmasks him (as if that were needed — or sufficient) and redounds to Hillary Clinton’s benefit.

That’s how bad 2016 is. You can’t even be gleeful about a damaging gaff (or worse) from one of the two major party candidates.

3

Hugh Hewitt, with “the advantage of having taught Con Law for 20 years, of having argued before very liberal appellate judges like Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the very liberal Ninth Circuit, of practicing with the best litigators in the land,” pronounces magisterially that — hold on; you’re not going to believe this — Donald Trump is not Hillary Clinton!

Stripped of all the chest-thumping and predictable doomsaying about SCOTUS, that’s all his first argument amounts to.

SCOTUS is a real issue, of course — but everyone knows that.

His second argument is audacious and, I must admit, ingenious: Hillary, whose e-mail the Russians hacked on behalf of Trump, has become Putin’s love slave by virtue of having her e-mail hacked. Putin has all the dirt from those e-mails and can work his nefarious will on her. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I assume this argument is intended to create stalemate on the Russians’ apparent support of Trump. It just might work. Like I say: ingenious.

Then he tries a “positive case” for Trump: Trump has prayed the conservative equivalent of The Sinner’s Prayer and is now a born-again conservative (or maybe I’m confusing Hewitt with Dr. Dobson on that).

Oh, yes, Trump is the “the imperfect messenger of the perfect storm in American politics” (yes, Hewitt really did mix that metaphor — that’s what shilling will do to you), “the shuddering, convulsive conclusion to decades of perceived indifference to the American middle class combined with a conviction that the GOP is spineless ….” But he’s learning. He “isn’t a racist, or a dangerous demagogue, a Mussolini-in-waiting, a Caesar off-stage.”

Take Hewitt’s word for it. He does, after all, have the advantage of having taught Con Law for 20 years and blah blah blah — and he interviewed Mike Pence who says Trump’s a pussycat in private, and since we all know that the Presidency is essentially a private position ….

And don’t forget: Trump isn’t Clinton.

Do read it for yourself. I’m not infallible and my crap detector is currently on code red. This and this, too.

4

[T]here is something deeply contradictory about the notion of electing a power-hungry strongman on the theory that he’ll appoint judges that respect and enforce constitutional limits on government.

(Alan Gura)

5

After days of Facebook exchange with a relative who supports Trump, defends his attack on a Gold Star Family, and generally shape-shifts like crazy to defend The Donald:

Trump skeptic: What would Donald Trump have to do that would be so outrageous that instead of defending it, you’d say “Whoa! I need to reconsider?”

Tin-hat relative: Lie about the reason people were killed in action. Allow sensitive American information to be hacked. Give billions to countries that have openly stated that we/America are Satan. Have people killed so they don’t blab about your spouse or himself. Get a rapist off by making the minor child appear to have “wanted it”.

Trump skeptic: In other words, for you to reconsider, he’d have to be Hillary as you see her. Since he’s never going to be Hillary, nothing can change your mind. It therefore is a fool’s errand to argue further with you. Over and out.

Tin-hat relative: Correct. Because Trump will never stoop that low. If he should, I’d be pushing you out if the way.

I think I need to go back to not rehashing why Trump Really Is That Bad. But the desperate nonsense uttered in his defense just cries out for rebuttal.

Are all of the pro-Trump arguments unfalsifiable (because the bedrock is “he’s not Hillary”)? Why then not leave it at that? Why must you lie about Trump’s virtues?

* * * * *

“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.