Ignorance loves company. The truly stupid resent those who are not and won’t be satisfied until they’ve burned all the books, torn down the libraries, closed the universities, and made it impossible for anyone else not to share their own proud ignorance.
“These town hall meetings are like a kind of postmodern theater. The meetings are deliberately misleading. The president knows this, and we know this, and he knows that we know that he knows this. Duplicity becomes multiplicity and one gets the sense that the president has lost his way in a hall of mirrors.”
If you’re in charge of a business, then you simply fire the bunglers and the screw-ups, the Snouts and the Starvelings. Or you never hire them in the first place. What becomes of them after they’re fired, or if no one ever hires them? Not your problem. Not your concern. But if you’re in charge of a country, or if you’re in charge of a local church, then it is your concern.
David Rothkopf on “an epoch-long war” against half of the world; Jill Filipovic on evangelicals and “the orphan crisis that wasn’t;” Charlie Pierce on the kind of “culture” that gives little children guns; T.F. Charlton on Jason Collins and Tim Tebow; and Ed Kilgore on Constantine’s sword and the National Day of Prayer.
Keeping it brief — a few short observations and links for a Tuesday morning. The kind of thing I would Tweet if I didn’t suck at The Twitter, including: Jason Alexander is a mensch; Franklin Graham is not a PK success story; the Family Research Council lies about everything; bosses don’t like pregnant workers; Hobby Lobby goes nuclear on shoplifters; and harnessing religious tribalism for a good cause.
“Discussions of civility often focus on the superficial, such as avoiding name-calling and not using dirty words. But those minor transgressions against civility are nothing compared to the fundamental duplicity of the sort practiced by those crying ‘appeasement’ and ‘Chamberlain’ at every turn. Such duplicity and dishonesty precludes civility, it makes honest conversation and dialogue impossible.”
Rescuers are “going house to house and block to block to try and find any survivors that are out there and trapped,” said state emergency management spokesman Jerry Lojka. “We can only imagine that there are still many others there that are unaccounted for,” he said.
Yes, Dolan — a bishop and cardinal in his church — decided that an analogy about cleanliness and purity rules was a good description of Jesus’ message. Dolan seems to think that the Gospels’ repetitive, relentless theme of Jesus’ unconditional embrace of the unclean somehow means that we should do the opposite.
“To their credit, almost none of the devout people raising this objection really means it. They are not, themselves, shaped and driven primarily by the fear of punishment. Such a fear is neither necessary nor sufficient to explain their own belief in the obligation to be and to do good, to love, to do justice or to correct injustice.”
Old Man Potter collects that $3.3 billion in interest every year and only spends part of it on his household staff, limousine maintenance, imported cigars, etc. The rest of it just sits there in giant piles that Potter sometimes swims through Scrooge-McDuck-style, but otherwise doesn’t put to any productive use.
Luke 11:11-13: “Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
“Witnessing that terror and hopeless fear, seeing the suffering that it brought, I stopped thinking of his ‘Bible prophecy’ obsession as a kooky, but mostly harmless set of beliefs. I began to realize that it was a framework that burdened its followers with the inevitability of disappointment, false hope, denial and an inconsolable fear. Its adherents were its victims. There were other victims, too, but its main damage was wrought in the lives of those who most believed it.”
“Like many people who blindly support[ed] this war — including perhaps many in the White House and the Pentagon — the writer is desperate for his life to have some greater meaning or purpose than it apparently does. He hasn’t quite managed to stare into the abyss, but he’s taken a quick glance in its direction and seen something deep and dark and frightening that he doesn’t quite know how to deal with.”
Brian McLaren shares a confession, and a personal testimony, about the pernicious and pervasive temptation to bear false witness against one’s neighbors. Specifically, he addresses the widespread convention among white evangelicals — so widespread it’s an expectation, almost a requirement — that says it is somehow acceptable, and not vicious, to bear false witness against mainline Protestants.