‘with up so floating many bells down’

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“They were right about the only question that counted –€” Should the US launch a war on Iraq? – and my side was wrong. I was wrong.”

“The world isn’t angry with Christians for believing in God. They are angry because so many Christians act like the Devil all day long.”

“I get it. I know how to be small and narrow and grudging. But I’d hoped we’d know better by now.”

I’d give up the things I love to see all those young adults crowd into that school cafeteria every Sunday to meet God. Hundreds of young adults coming through the doors every week to be God’s people together.”

“I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”

“Important you take immediate action in Alabama. One more day of savage treatment by legalized hatchet men could lead to open warfare.”

“I mean, we’ve killed a lot of people so far. Do you know any of them? I didn’t think so. So why is everybody worrying about it now?”

“Madonna? Not on the list. Meat Loaf? Not on the list. Robin Thicke? Not on the list. Cat Stevens … is a tremendous singer.”

The answer to that question is no.”

“Common-sense immigration reform has the multibillion-dollar private prison industry shaking in its boots.”

“The lesson to be learned is that we had a criminal justice system in Texas created to fill prisons, and now we don’t, because we figured out it was too expensive to lock everyone up.”

“In other words, the rate of change is much greater than anything we’ve seen.”

“It’s richly ironic that the American political tradition that is so closely associated with puritanical lecturing about moral laxity, personal irresponsibility, and carpe diem short-sightedness is also the one that greets evidence of potentially catastrophic climate change with self-gratifying denial and hedonistic cries of ‘Drill, Baby, Drill.’”

“Has the House Appropriations Committee also included provisions to prevent funding of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster?

“We can always adapt the vestments and the skullcap doesn’t change but it’™s tricky with the loafers.”

“Now we have to add Israel to the ever-growing list of countries that are home to bigoted shitbag soccer fans.”

“No. 19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.”

“Religious people speak of God when human knowledge (perhaps simply because they are too lazy to think) has come to an end, or when human resources fail – in fact it is always the deus ex machina that they bring on to the scene, either for the apparent solution of insoluble problems, or as strength in human failure.”

“We have found that caffeine helps the bee remember where the flowers are.”

“The thing was that, unlike the others, he never ever let on that he was being funny.”

Church Sign Epic Fails: ‘Surgically Altered’”

 

  • vsm

    Shouldn’t opposing illegal wars be the default position, rather than something radical?

  • http://snarkthebold.blogspot.com/ Edo

    You would think so, but you’d be surprised. The Empire of Japan had an even more outrageous one than we did in Manchuria, which wasn’t just illegal but mutinous, and couldn’t oppose it. By the time the problem gets that large, it’s usually easier just to double down and play along, for as long as it lasts.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Thank you for the link to Karen Zacharias’ piece.  It’s nice to see other American Christians acknowledging their privilege.  (And, when one reads the comments, equally disheartening to see some people still cry persecution, and claim that American Christians are ever so much closer to the being fed to the lions now, now that they don’t get their way every. single. time.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    20.Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

    The thought of trying to do this to Left Behind fills me with dread at the Sisyphean nature of the task. >_>

  • Lori

     

    Shouldn’t opposing illegal wars be the default position, rather than something radical?   

    Word.

    As I’ve said many times now, I’m not a pacifist and therefore am not categorically opposed to all wars. However, I do believe that the default position on going to war should be (a persuadable) “no”.

  • arghous

    I hardly think letting the middle ranks of the Army run amok could be called mutinous.  After all, it gave the senior ranks the pretext to follow through with what they really wanted to do anyway.

  • arghous

    So crunchy con Rod Dreher is getting a bit mushy in his old age?  I guess it’s something, although he does manage to save a bit of face by still punching those hippies.

  • stardreamer42

    Re the first Church Sign Epic Fail, I would absolutely go to hear that sermon. But I’d sit at the back, because I doubt the reality could possibly live up to the hype and I’d like to be able to slip out quietly in my disappointment. 

  • Rebecca

    “It’s just a matter of being Arab,” a fan named Jacob concurred, referring to the fact that Sadayev is Muslim.
    Well, doesn’t that sum it up.

  • AnonymousSam

    I don’t like the word “war.” It brings to mind something too analytical, abstract, remote. I prefer to pose the question, “under what circumstances is it justified to kill as many people as possible in a short span of time?”

    That usually results in some interesting answers.

  • David Starner

    I don’t know of a single war where that was the question. For the last 60 years, the US has never maximized its killing in a war.

  • AnonymousSam

    We also haven’t had a war like what we had sixty years ago in sixty years. Guerrilla tactics kinda sorta changed everything.

  • Alix

    Edit the question to “under what circumstances is it justified to kill people?” and the basic premise still stands. It’s far too easy to abstract war into some form of geopolitical chess, when the basic reality is that it does, at heart, involve killing real people. You get even more interesting questions if you turn it around on us: under what circumstances is it justified for someone else to violate our national sovereignty, destroy our infrastructure, and kill our citizens, no matter how few?

  • Alix

    And my “even more interesting questions,” I, of course, meant “answers.” Gah.

  • David Starner

    The ” The world isn’t angry with Christians for believing in God.” article decides to blame Twitter or porn, etc. for the reason that we feel out of control of Congress. Personally, I’ve got a bill I’d like the Nevada senate to consider, and one of the issues I have with writing everything up is that even on that level, I don’t think I can get my representative to pay attention, possibly getting a “copyright is good, mkay?” response. (And to those that are going to reply that copyright is federal, I’m fearing that response, because the suggested bill is all about the one exception that’s the feds gave to the states that’s already in Nevada law.)

  • David Starner

     You only get more interesting answers if they’re willing to ponder the question. A lot of anti-Americans refuse to consider whether militia camps training in Michigan leading to cross-border artillery strikes on Windsor, Ontario, with an apathetic US government, might be comparable to the situation that started the Afghanistan war.

  • AnonymousSam

    Define “anti-Americans”?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Invis, I don’t think you’d have anything resembling LB left at the end. Would probably just be easier to make a new movie. X_X

  • AnonymousSam

    I think the concept of Left Behind could be rescued, but it entails completely changing the characters’ attitudes, if not their actions. Some of the quasi-fanfiction written on Left Behind Friday threads has even been quite good (by my definition).

  • Lori

    I don’t think many people have an issue with the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. Folks obviously do have issues with how things have been run since then. Some of those are justifiable. Some of them less so. Some of them are I think more visceral than logical and I’m not sure how best to evaluate those.

    The issue isn’t Afghanistan, it’s Iraq and the war the Neocons are still trying to drum up with Iran. Quite different things.

  • Wingedwyrm

    It actually isn’t that difficult.  The building blocks are the sudden disappearance of all the children and the “Good Christians”, the revelation that things are happening as in… what a nice symmetry there, and what people do in that situation.

    Well, one way to do this is to make it so the inevitability of the exactly predestined parts are not the story, but the setting in which the story happens.  Let the antichrist be distant.  Let the ruler of all the world be a distant figure of fear.

    Focus less on what’s happening in terms of signs and portents of things that, well, they’re going to happen anyway so their happening isn’t really all that interesting, and focus more on what the main characters do throughout this.  Make them active, make them help people.

    It’s doable.  It might not be doable in a way that gets past the gatekeepers, because one of the best ways to make this a good story would be to challenge the morality of rapture and the like.  Maybe even have a few of the good Christians that were brought up to the rapture be granted opportunity (if they’re truly good, they’ll be clamboring for it) to come back to earth and find some way to help.

  • flat

    I do think Fred is looking at those rules to make the characters for his future book.

    thanks to his left behind deconstruction he understands that he has to make the plot plausible.

    That his characters can’t just act like they had read the back of the books.

    And he has to put in details of the world where the characters life in, not by only telling those things but by actually showing it.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Define “anti-Americans”?

    Seconded. What the hell was that? If considering the value of the lives of citizens of every country the US has imposed violence on for more than 5 minutes makes one anti-American, then let every human being be anti-American.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I don’t think many people have an issue with the beginning of the war in Afghanistan.

    For the record, a bunch of us do and always have. Not a majority, certainly, but the post-hoc story that we all agreed Afghanistan was the “good” war is a fiction. It failed jus in bello, certainly, but it didn’t meet the criteria of jus ad bellum either.

    The issue is Afghanistan, and it’s Iraq, and it’s Iran and it’s all the other ones people have forgotten about. It’s the whole damn mindset.

  • fredgiblet

    On the one hand the GOP insisting on doubling down legislation on non-existent organizations might be concerning.  On the other hand if we can get them to do nothing but focus on non-existent organizations perhaps they’ll stop paying attention to the ones that do exist.

  • fredgiblet

    Indeed.  We would probably have been able to finish in Afghanistan in 5 years or less if we did things right from the beginning and didn’t get side-tracked by Iraq.  I wonder if they’ll switch from Iran to NK now that NK are rattling their saber.

  • aunursa

    “The world isn’t angry with Christians for believing in God. They are angry because so many Christians act like the Devil all day long.”

    100 homes burned by Christians because of allegations that a Muslim man made remarks against the Trinity

  • misanthropy_jones

    i think that it would be far more interesting to see it from the pov of people who have no idea what’s going on.  think of the terror and uncertainty of people facing the sudden loss of friends and family with no idea what it means or what will happen next.  show how the antichrist reaches out to these people, offering reassurance and a promise of security.  have the heroes gradually realize the growing corruption of the world government and strive to oppose it.  could be an epic story…

  • Jim Roberts

    Oh, there are plenty of people who have an issue with the war in Afghanistan, me among them. It was a pointless, stupid war. The Iraq war may have been stupid, but that has more to do with how it was run than whether or not its goals – topple Saddam and build a stable democratic government – were plausible.

    Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires, and our justifications for invading were more tenuous than for invading Iraq.

  • http://twitter.com/emjb emjb

     Sometimes the best answer is “burn it with fire.”

  • AnonymousSam

    Yeah, well, you Australians just part of the Coalition of the Unwilling! Yeah, because of your reasons, that, uh… turned out… to be completely true… BUT STILL! You unAmerican non-American! Just to show you who’s boss, we’re not going to export any of our authentic American made-in-China flags to you! That’ll learn ya. D:

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     The Iraq war may have been stupid, but that has more to do with how it
    was run than whether or not its goals – topple Saddam and build a stable
    democratic government – were plausible.

    You’re forgetting that Bush’s Iraq Adventure was also based upon a PACK OF LIES about Iraq’s military capacity and threat.

  • David Starner

    I note you didn’t respond to the reversal, which was exactly my point. Playing that empathy card doesn’t work well when you’ve got people on the your side in the argument not interested in accepting that the empathy card goes both ways.

    If the concept of  anti-Afgani forces training in the US to bring terror to Afghanistan offends you, then the concept of anti-US forces training in Afghanistan to bring terror to the US should offend you.

  • David Starner

    So which nations are you going to consider the value of lives of citizens of? You’re not wasting time thinking about the North Korean dead, or the Rwandan dead, or the Algerian dead, or the Chinese dead. You measure and meter out the Afghani dead; Soviet, British, Afghani blame needs to be separated out or ignored so American blame can be emphasized. The Iran-Iraq war is always about the US, even if France and the Soviet Union sold way more weapons to Iraq.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    If the concept of anti-Afgani forces training in the US to bring terror to Afghanistan offends you, then the concept of anti-US forces training in Afghanistan to bring terror to the US should offend you.

    Yes, both do. You pulled the “anti-American” claim out of your arse; are you now demanding that my thoughts should match your label?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    You’re not wasting time thinking about the North Korean dead, or the Rwandan dead, or the Algerian dead, or the Chinese dead.  You measure and meter out the Afghani dead; Soviet, British, Afghani blame needs to be separated out or ignored so American blame can be emphasized.

    How do you know? I’ve said nothing to you prior to this particular point. You don’t have the first clue what I think; instead, you’re fighting someone who exists in your mind.


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