‘I finally feel … useful’

“I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”

Jesus is anything but the defender of traditional values.”

“The problem is that it’s a pledge of allegiance. If it were a pledge of respect, love, or gratitude there wouldn’t be a problem.”

“Here is a very important thing to keep in mind when attempting to make sense of the bursts of ugliness that occur throughout [political] conventions: A lot of the people you are watching are drunk. Really, really drunk.”

“It’s important to remember that one reason supply-side doesn’t work in practice is because it doesn’t work in theory.”

We’re the Saudi Arabia of fixed-income instruments.”

“Yes, we were in fact told that the Romney event was mandatory and would be without pay, that the hours spent there would need to be made up my non-salaried employees outside of regular working hours, with the only other option being to take a pay cut for the equivalent time.”

“Attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend the event.”

“Before the black Tahoe is driven off the line, a banner signed by employees at the Janesville GM plant is unfurled and photos are taken.”

“After several baffling minutes of watching of D’Souza squint at poor people from his seat at a Jakarta coffeehouse, we’re rewarded with a lingering shot of his khakied ass as he clambers onto a motorcycle.”

“He admits that he will continue to take a scrutiny-free approach to the work of his tribe members unless or until a fellow tribe member calls the work into question.”

Social justice cannot mean in-group tribalism, or it’s not justice at all.”

“The big question under all of this … is not so much about God’s nature or God’s will as it is about our own.”

“I didn’t learn about patriarchy from the feminists. I learned about patriarchy from the Church.”

Hate was just a failure of imagination.”

“If you retain one piece of information from reading this site, let it be this one: never co-sign anyone’s student loans.”

Pond Life 1. Pond Life 2. Pond Life 3. Pond Life 4. Pond Life 5.

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LBCF, No. 186: ‘Lone Gunmen’
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LBCF, No. 186: ‘Lone Gunmen’

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  • LouisDoench

    I thought it appropriate to link to Stephanie Zvan’s response to the Stedman article.

    Suffice to say that Stedman is not considered the be all end all source on this issue. 

  • Cathy W

    The Neil Armstrong cartoon actually comes from a wonderful, wonderful site called Zen Pencils. The original link is 

  • Guest

    Is the new main page layout permanent? Posts like this look terrible on the front page…at least we’re back to one column :-/

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    I don’t like the new layout either.  I like to read a big chunk of the article before deciding to finish it.

  • Madhabmatics

    The comments on that article are hilarious. “How dare someone crack a joke about atheist clergy” *five posts later* “Hitchens and Harris aren’t REAL atheists, they worship the state!”

    It is times like this when I am glad that there is a prohibition against pointing at other Muslims, be they good or evil, and saying they aren’t really Muslims – it means I don’t have to do the complicated gymnastics to justify them totally not being what they obviously are because it might be inconvenient for me.

  • Cossacksare

    Please fix the design of the page, or at least address the facelift. I like being able to read a big chunk of an article in the usual format before going to a new page. 

  • vsm

    I wonder if people like Sam Harris and Dan Simmons ever stop to think how their rhetoric will be viewed in thirty years time? Are they really banking on having found the one religio-ethnic minority whose demonization will be viewed as a good thing by future generations?

  • Who: Only 17 hours  to go(if you’re in Britain)!

     I wonder if people like Sam Harris and Dan Simmons ever stop to think how their rhetoric will be viewed in thirty years time?

    Considering Harris wrote a book last year where he seemed to think he had invented utilitarianism (only a couple centuries out, Sammy!) and thus “proved” the invention of definite, unquestionable morality , I’m going to go ahead and say “No”.

  • LoneWolf343

     They probably think they will be viewed as heroes.

  • Anton_Mates

    I’m pretty sure Harris does think about how posterity will view him; he just thinks they’ll be quoting him in textbooks as a great visionary and such.

  • Donalbain

    This means more clicks, which means more ad revenue for Fred.

  • I have to agree with the others that the new format is not good. Neither enjoyable nor inviting. Perhaps it does mean “more clicks”, but that has the feel that I’m being “played”. 

  • I am de-lurking to say that I hate the redesign of this blog. It is nice to be able to quickly skim a post to see what it’s about, but now I can’t do that. 

  • flat

    Just saw the end of asylum of the daleks.
    Spoilers about Pond life: they have trouble in their relationship but at the end they get better.

    And the daleks are  aslo asking the question: Doctor who?

  • Damanoid

    Well, now I’ll never be able to go out on a windy day without imagining that I’m being molested by an enormous performance artist.  Thank you so much, Epuron.

  • Fusina

    Lately, a bible verse has been on my mind. “For what does it profit a man, if he gains the world but loses his soul. Soul and spirit are spoken of a separate things, IIRC–eg, body, soul, mind and spirit, I am beginning to think that soul is what you have that causes empathy (also very awesome music, doncha know, and don’t try to tell me no one thought of that either). I don’t think I would like to live without a soul–it seems like it would be terribly lonely and scary. I mean, without empathy, you don’t care about others–but can you know or believe that others care about you?

  • christopher_young

    only a couple centuries out, Sammy!

    The very wonderful ‘Ex Urbe’ is in the process of arguing over several posts that utilitarianism was actually invented by Machiavelli. So five centuries!

  • And the most ad revenue for Fred would be if he had his own website.

    This is just so frustrating for me. I know from personal experience and that of many of my friends and acquaintances that if you want to make money through a website, you need your own domain. Yeah, you can make money under the umbrella of another for-profit website, but unless that site is directly paying you a good salary that is not tied to clicks, you are hobbling yourself. That umbrella site will inevitably do things that upset your users, they will inevitably try to take control of your content away from you (just wait), they will inevitably do whatever they can to make themselves quick money rather than generate a sustainable income for everyone involved.

    Unless Patheos is paying Fred in some way I’m unaware of — and considering the tip jar, they don’t seem to be — he would make far more money with his own website. For bloggers on religion who don’t already have a large following, I can see how Patheos can be a good fit. But for Fred, I just don’t get it. 

  • vsm

    Those posts rekindled my teenage crush on Machiavelli. Thank you for linking them.


    Lately, a bible verse has been on my mind. “For what does it profit a man, if he gains the world but loses his soul.

    I remember a guy thinking himself terribly clever for responding “The world. You gain the world. It’s right there.”

    All I could say was “You don’t understand the concept of ‘profit,’ do you?”

  • erikagillian

     It seems to be site-wide.  Go to the main page and ‘contact us’ and complain.  I did it days ago.

  • Kaleberg

    Another second to this comment. In fact, consider laying out all but the longest articles on the main page. (I can understand breaking up articles if you are getting paid by the click, but you’re a good writer. We like reading all of what you write, but hate losing the stream of things.)

  • Donalbain

    And the most ad revenue for Fred would be if he had his own website.

    Not necessarily. Indeed, probably not. Being on the patheos portal brings in viewers. Being part of a larger network, they are also probably able to negotiate better deals than a single blogger would be. They also have tech staff who can make sure the website is less likely to break.

    When he moved to Patheos, Fred mentioned the money as being part of the reason for that switch. Since then, he has lost his job, making this site a far more important source of income before. If you don’t like it, then obvously, you are free not to read.. but to whinge about having to click something before you can read it for free? That is just bullshit.

  • Isabel C.


    I’ve heard that line before, but it was the villain in The Talisman, who is not the best role model ever. Didn’t know a real guy would use it.

  •  Wales?

    I thought that was a very powerful scene in A Man for All Seasons.


  • The_L1985

     Frankly, I think Patheos isn’t likely to impose too much on Fred, if only because he gets such a huge number of readers.