‘That’s still funny, sweetie’

‘That’s still funny, sweetie’ November 6, 2011

Instead of voting on President Obama’s jobs bill last week — or on anything to address America’s ongoing jobs crisis — the House of Representatives voted to reaffirm that America’s official motto remains its official motto.

Steve Benen notes that the president chided Congress for wasting time with a nonbinding symbolic vote to reaffirm a previous nonbinding symbolic vote:

President Obama invoked God Wednesday as he criticized Congress for voting on commemorative coins and a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto in all public buildings, public schools and other government institutions.

“That’s not putting people back to work,” Obama said. “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people to work.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney, unfortunately, garbled, and misattributed, the president’s words a bit at a press conference later:

“I believe the phrase from the Bible is, ‘The Lord helps those who help themselves,’” Carney said at the White House daily news briefing.

Yeah, uh, no. That’s actually one of the standard phrases in polls measuring biblical literacy. Year after year, those polls show that most people mistakenly believe that phrase to be from the Bible. So Carney’s goof is both common and famous — the former making it more understandable, the latter making it less so.

Where does that phrase — “God/The Gods helps those who help themselves” — come from? I would have said Ben Franklin, since it can be found in his Poor Richard’s Almanac, but Religion News Service traces it further:

It didn’t even originate with Ben Franklin, but goes back to the Greeks, Aeschylus and Euripides, then to poet George Herbert before it was adapted to its modern form by political theorist Algernon Sydney in 1698. Only later did it wind up in Poor Richard’s Almanac. Got it?

OK, then.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Deadbeat Rep. Joe Walsh, Who Owes $100k in Child Support, Receives ‘Pro-Family’ Award From Family Research Council

That headline is a bit misleading. Rep. Walsh actually owes $117,000 in unpaid child support:

In July, the press learned that Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), a Tea Party freshman in Congress, owed $117,000 in unpaid child support to his ex-wife. Walsh, despite earning a hefty salary as a member of Congress, has continued to refuse to pay his ex-wife to support his children.

Now, it appears, an influential Christian right lobbying group is lending some support to the deadbeat congressman. The Sun-Times reports that the Family Research Council, a social conservative advocacy nonprofit headed by CNN pundit Tony Perkins, has awarded Walsh a 100 percent rating as a “True Blue” member of Congress. The FRC said it gave the honor to Walsh because of his “unwavering support of the family.”

This seems like a hilariously over-the-top example of hypocrisy, but again we need to remember that the Family Research Council is not concerned with Joe Walsh’s family, or with any other particular family, or even with families, plural. Their agenda is to support “The Family” — an abstract, ideal entity that cannot be seen, touched or measured. That’s not the same thing as those actual, tangible, flesh-and-blood families of real people.

You have a family. We all do. But no one has a The Family.

And according to the Family Research Council, many things that are disastrous for actual, physical families are necessary in order to “strengthen The Family.” Rep. Joe Walsh is just the latest example of what has always been the case with pro-The Family groups like the FRC: “‘Pro-family’ means anti-families.”

– – – – – – – – – – – –

So corporate tool E. Calvin Beisner is telling deliberate lies about the science behind clima … Oh, nevermind. Dog bites man. Not news.

Here’s the link to Jenny McCarthy Body Count. Now you can bookmark it without having to turn safe-search on to Google that phrase.

Somehow I had never previously come across the blog “Stuff Christian Culture Likes.” “Stuff Christians Like,” I knew. And “Stuff Fundies Like.” Do we really need another snarky look at the strange subculture within the evangelical bubble?

Yes. Yes we do. Particularly when it’s as entertaining and incisive as Stuff Christian Culture Likes. Plus Stephy is clearly one of us — she’s played The Ungame and Chubby Bunny.

(The phrase “one of us” in the previous sentence isn’t meant to imply that I expect everyone reading this is a native of the American evangelical subculture. It’s more like the chanting in Tod Browning’s Freaks — “We accept you, one of us! Gooble Gobble!“)

Please Stand Well Back of the False God

20 Couples That Put Kim Kardashian’s Marriage to Shame” (I like BlackTsunami’s preferred headline better: “20 Couples Who the Right Claim Want to Destroy Marriages.”

Left Behind: The Movie: The Reboot.

The title of this post comes from Anya, in the classic Buffy episode “Once More With Feeling,” which originally aired 10 years ago today. It’s her response to Xander’s impression of Tom Cruise as T.J. Mackey in Magnolia: “Respect the cruller! Tame the doughnut!”

My observation the other day regarding Mackey and the Rev. Mark Driscoll was mainly due to the latter’s apparent adoption of the former’s hyper-masculine strut and his headgear. In terms of substance, of course, Mackey’s predatory misogyny is far nastier and more excessive than the tender, caring male supremacy taught by that cruller from Seattle.

"Or, as my instructors in boot camp said: The military's safety rules are written in ..."

Chesterton’s Fence and Frost’s Wall
"It's one of those pernicious myths that Native Americans didn't recognize land ownership. The agricultural ..."

Chesterton’s Fence and Frost’s Wall
"Probably not Constitutional, since it steps all over the First Amendment--freedom of assembly AND freedom ..."

Chesterton’s Fence and Frost’s Wall
"http://nymag.com/intelligen...‘Abuse of Power Is Not a Crime’: Trump’s Former Attorney General Defines His Credo"

Chesterton’s Fence and Frost’s Wall

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • vsm

    I just found it amusing that Obama’s ad has been mockingly touted as “brilliant” by the very people who oppose him

    I haven’t seen the ad, but assuming it has any substance, is it really surprising that his political opponents would find that substance objectionable and thus a reason to not vote for him? Whenever I see political ads opposing gay rights or immigration, I think they make a good case for not voting for those candidates. That’s because I’m not part of their target audience. Now, if undecided voters largely felt Obama’s ad made a good case against voting for him, you might have something interesting.

  • Anonymous

    US Christian culture is hard on the not-happy. (More so than US culture
    as a whole.)  It’s worse if you’re actually depressed. If you just can’t
    bring yourself to clap your hands during “If You’re Happy And You Know
    It” you’re in for a rough time of it.

    When I had my brush with Evangelicalism as a teenager, there were two reasons why were “strongly discouraged” from every showing any unhappiness.

    1) If you look sad at any time ever, people won’t be so eager to join your group.  But if you’re constantly happy even in the face adversity, then this will work as fantastic advertising.  The idea was that people would see that and also want to be happy all the time, so they would ask you about it and you would explain that Jesus makes you happy all the time.  Of course it didn’t work so well in reality, because if you put on a happy face at Grandma’s funeral or during a scary blizzard, people won’t want to be like you because they’ll wonder what the hell is wrong with you.

    2) I wasn’t supposed to ever be sad because it was being ungrateful.  As a sinner, I’m owed absolutely nothing but death and eternal torment.  So I shouldn’t be sad about bad things, because I deserved much, much worse.  And if I missed my grandma, I was just being selfish for wanting her to stay on this horrible planet longer for my own enjoyment instead of being in perfect Heaven.  As you can imagine, using guilt to make someone feel happy is not particularly effective.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Kinda sits uncomfortably with the whole “blessed are they who mourn”, doesn’t it?

  • Tonio

    Both sides abhor each other … but in the end you’re so much alike, it’s funny.

    Oh, please. That false equivalence would be laughable if it weren’t for the stakes involved. I don’t belong to any political party, partly because the Democrats haven’t done enough to reduce privilege and inequality. But the Republicans actually defend those things, or at least rationalize them with the Just World Fallacy. This isn’t even about liberalism versus conservatism (which aren’t opposites even though they tend to be opponents) unless one defines conservatism very generically as opposition to change.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Psalm 37:40 in effect says “God helps those who take refuge in him.”
    Which is almost exactly the opposite of “help themselves”

    The Bible also says “You are the God of the lowly, helper of the oppressed, upholder of the weak, protector of the forsaken, the saviour of those without hope”*. Doesn’t refer to the people who always have their shit together without anyone’s help because they are that damn awesome.

    *To be fair, that is in one of the books that is in the Deuterocanon and is named after a woman…

  • Lori

     You should see what they say on conservative boards about the objectives of Democrats.  And like you, they back up their hyperboles with facts, links, videos, articles, etc.  Both sides abhor each other … but in the end you’re so much alike, it’s funny.  

    And here we are again, with you displaying the same problems you always do. You can not tell equivalence from false equivalence. The fact that someone links to something doesn’t make it true. Your clear inability to evaluate information on anything more than a We Said/They Said basis is unfortunate. Until you learn that skill you should at least stop flashing your ignorance at every available moment. 

     At any rate, I’m not here to regurgitate Republican talking points, 

     

    And yet, you do. 

     dispute Democrat talking points, 

     

    You’ve never demonstrated any skill in this area so it’s probably for the best that it isn’t your purpose. 

     
    or do anyone any favors.  

     

    Which explains why you just won’t stop. 

  • Lori

    Yes, the Happy!Happy!Happy! aspect of Evangelical culture is one reason I’m grateful to have been raised only Evangelical-adjacent. I was raised in a group that has a great deal of difficulty reconciling mental illness with their beliefs, but there was less pressure to put on a Joker-style happy face all the time. 

    As Stuff Christian Culture Likes points out, Jesus himself is not described that way. If he wasn’t I’m not sure why anyone thinks that creepy smiling Pastor Joel and the Mrs are demonstrating how Christians ought to be. 

    http://www.stuffchristianculturelikes.com/search?q=acting+happy&updated-max=2008-08-12T21%3A17%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=20

    http://www.stuffchristianculturelikes.com/search?q=exclamation+points+

  • Rikalous

    Kinda sits uncomfortably with the whole “blessed are they who mourn”, doesn’t it?

    Ah, but the Real True Bible shows that the translation should be “cursed,” not “blessed.”

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2004/12/23/lb-cursed-are-the-peacemakers/#comment-275492800

    I am mildly amused that I’m being spamchecked for linking to another slacktivist post.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, it’s actually a lot like the point you made earlier about taking something good and just going way too far with it.  I went through a phase where I thought I had to forgive everyone for everything and I could never be mad or hurt about anything.  I strongly believed that it was God’s place to judge and not mine.  I felt that even if someone did something horribly wrong, I had no right to judge because I have sinned myself.  Because the punishment for any sin is death, they are equally bad.  I also believed that since being mad is bad for me, I should just stop feeling that way.

    Now, there is something to the idea of being forgiving, and I still try to do that even though I’m an atheist.  But I have since realized that it’s not always a good thing.  I try very hard to understand things from all points of view, and it really does help me to be more understanding when there’s a crying baby in a restaurant or other things that are easy to be annoyed by.  But I shouldn’t be forgiving of people who are abusive to me or others.  I can get a lot of the idea without taking it so far that I excuse child abuser and rapists.  I don’t have to forgive murderers to be compassionate of people who become drug dealers out of desperation and poverty.  It does make me feel better to let go of the little things, but it’s absolutely not good for me to continue a relationship with my abusive father.

    It certainly seems like some people only want black-and-white thinking.  I understand it because I was there.  As a teenager, it felt ideologically pure to be all-or-nothing about certain things.  But then I grew up and realized there are gray areas.  It seems that many fundies have missed this critical stage of development.

  • Anonymous

    The word “troll” has been getting thrown around here a lot recently, almost to the point of it being the slacktivist equivalent of a Godwin, but I think it needs to be said: what aunursa has been doing recently is straight up trolling. Zie comes in, drops a conservative nega-logic bomb, and then – after being thoroughly rebutted – disappears from the thread, only to repeat the process a week later. There are a few half-hearted attempts to engage and a couple of misdirects (equivalency, devil’s advocate, blah blah), then… silence. It really looks like it’s just an attempt to rile people up.

    Which I find unfortunate, because I’d love to see someone try to actually debate the mountain of overwhelming evidence that piles up within a page or two. I don’t think it can be done successfully, but I’d like to see the arguments. Unfortunately the few conservatives here only drop in with the most simplistic, easily refuted Republican talking points imaginable, and there’s really just nothing intellectually engaging in seeing those get debunked anymore. 

    I mean, seriously, this latest one? You may as well have just dropped in and said “Republicans don’t like Obama: [link]” That’s barely even trying.

  • WingedBeast

    Like Banacat, I have learned that there are times when it is inappropriate to forgive.  Sometimes, the right thing to do is to hold onto your anger, even if you don’t have anything you can do about it, you don’t just let it go when someone does something truly bad to you or someone you care about.
     
    But, what’s more, since I left the Christian faith, and since I am no longer in a situation where I feel *required* to forgive, release anger, and be happy, I am now in a situation where I am capable of forgiveness, releasing anger, and of happiness.
     
    Growing up a young Methodist and going to a Catholic School (one that thought itself very progressive and inclusive for allowing in non-Catholic students) I was well aware that feeling any anger about anything was wrong.  This, by the way, was that same school where, when I asked a teacher for help with the near-constant harassment I was subjected to by the other students, she told me I should learn to accept constructive criticism.  So, I was a constantly harassed child who wasn’t allowed to be angry about anything and there was something wrong with me if I was depressed.
     
    It wasn’t an act of rebellion.  It wasn’t a choice that I was making.  I couldn’t help but be angry and depressed no matter how much I was told not to be.  I couldn’t manage to actually forgive my tormentors or let my anger go no matter how much I was told that I should.  I could put on a show and it didn’t take much of one for the teachers to forgive, but it wasn’t real.
     
    I just didn’t have the power to do what was required of me when it was required of me.  The requirement was oppressive.  I couldn’t let go of anger or forgive because I wasn’t allowed to let myself be angry in the first place.  I couldn’t get past depression because I wasn’t allowed to be a little depressed.

    Since then, I’ve come to realize that there are many things we could say about a person who would issue a command requiring forgiveness and love but “oh, wow, what a good comprehension of humanity” is not one of them.

    I can only be happy when I’m allowed not to be.  I don’t think I’m alone in this.  I think I share this with the majority of the human race.  When some people describe Heaven to me, a place where there is no sadness and only joy, I can only imagine a realm full of plastered smiles of people afraid to feel anything else.

  • Anonymous

    “This seems like a hilariously over-the-top example of hypocrisy, but again we need to remember that the Family Research Council is not concerned with Joe Walsh’s family, or with any other particular family, or even with families, plural. Their agenda is to support ‘The Family’ — an abstract, ideal entity that cannot be seen, touched or measured. That’s not the same thing as those actual, tangible, flesh-and-blood families of real people.”

    Whenever I hear the phrase “The Family” (with that capital “F”), I can’t help but think of it’s Italian origin: “La Famiglia” — The Mafia. does this mean that the FRC supports and defends La Cosa Nostra?

  • Lori
  • Lori

    One rather obvious problem with anyone expecting you to forgive the children who tormented you was that they weren’t asking for your forgiveness and they didn’t stop what they were doing. 

    Even the Biblical mandate to forgive seventy times seven is in response to a genuine request for forgiveness. I think it’s difficult for some people to process that there’s a difference between being a forgiving person and aiding in your own victimization or being a sucker. 

    The one positive thing I can say it that it’s been a long time since I heard anyone in my family’s church suggest that abused spouses or children need to forgive in any way that allows the abuse to continue. I’m sure there are still hold outs somewhere, but the folks I know have gotten that message. It’s progress and I’m thankful for every abuse victim it helps. 

  • WingedBeast

    Remorse is remarkably easy to fake when all it takes is a quick “I’m sorry”.  I’ve had more than one occasion since becoming an atheist when my response to an appology was “I’ll accept it when I believe it.”

    It’s not even meant in an accusatory way.  I just know that it’s easy to mean an appology at the moment and then forget it in the next.

    But, even when behavior is stopped, I can’t forgive someone if I’m obligated to.  Forgiveness just doesn’t work that way.  You can’t seek my forgiveness unless you’re willing to support my right to refuse it.

  • Tonio

    For a while, Aunursa was following a particular pattern – whenever several posters criticized specific conservative for a specific action, zie would bring up examples of liberals who had allegedly done the same thing, claiming or implying that liberals were hypocrites for not addressing the sins of their own. I say “allegedly” because in the vast majority of cases, the two situations were substantially different. The real problem was that Aunursa was treating the issue as a matter of team loyalty, as a matter of defending the reputation of one of hir own. I noticed the same pattern in this dissection of the defenses of Herman Cain. The author points out that the defenders are denying that sexual harassment exists, yet many posters apparently didn’t read the piece and responded with varieties of “Oh yeah? How about Bill Clinton?” That’s simply the childhood taunt “So’s your old man!”

  • Anonymous

    One rather obvious problem with anyone expecting you to forgive the
    children who tormented you was that they weren’t asking for your
    forgiveness and they didn’t stop what they were doing.

    Yeah, this is the conclusion I came to on my own.  If my emotionally abusive father were actually sorry and wanted to change his way, I’m sure I’d give him a million chances because it’s so hard to completely give up on my own father.  But until then I need to have no contact with him.  Even for God to forgive you, you have to ask for it.

  • Tonio

    I’ve been in a similar situation with my own father, and without defending what your father did or what mine did, it’s possible that such people believe they don’t deserve forgiveness or shouldn’t expect it.

  • Lori

    That’s something worth considering, but I don’t think anyone needs to organize their life around that assumption. For most people feeling undeserving of forgiveness doesn’t stop them from apologizing if they understand they’ve truly wronged someone. It may stop them from expecting a positive response, but if they’re really sorry it doesn’t stop them from saying so. 

    Poor mouthing about how they just know they can never be forgiven is often a way that people use to excuse not changing and keep the focus on their pain instead of the feelings of their victims. 

  • Tonio

    While I agree, my point was that apologizing and asking for forgiveness are two different things. The first is almost necessarily a precursor to the second, but one should apologize even if one doesn’t expect the other to accept the apology.

  • Even the Biblical mandate to forgive seventy times seven is in response to a genuine request for forgiveness. I think it’s difficult for some people to process that there’s a difference between being a forgiving person and aiding in your own victimization or being a sucker. 

    The way I like to think of it, yes, if someone strikes me I am obligated to turn the other cheek.  However, if they strike me on that other cheek, I am not obligated to offer them my first cheek again.  I was commanded to forgive and to give them my trust, and they choose to take advantage of that to hurt me further.  Further trusting them would just be enabling them to do further harm, and I do feel obligated to stop them from doing that.  

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    You should see what they say on conservative boards about the objectives of Democrats.  And like you, they back up their hyperboles with facts, links, videos, articles, etc.

    The “facts” the GOP are so fond of flinging around have the trivial problem of not being, y’know, TRUE.  Obama _isn’t_ actually a Muslimohomocommunofascist who’s the most liberal liberal liberal EVAR.  Global warming really is a thing that is happening.  Evolution is a scientific fact.  And supply-side economics has been a resounding failure for everyone making less that $1 million/year.

    THESE ARE FACTS OTTO, I LOOKED THEM UP.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Both sides abhor each other … but in the end you’re so much alike, it’s funny.

    Oh, please. That false equivalence would be laughable if it weren’t for the stakes involved.

    Yep.  I keep hearing about Republican voter-suppression strategies.  The only thing I’ve heard about Democrats trying to rig votes is a lot of screaming about the now-deceased ACORN, which the GOP seems to have decided is still around, and a cross between SMERSH, the Bavarian Illuminati, and the Evil League of Evil.

    Aunursa, as for the “BOTH SIDES DOOOO IT!!!@!two1!” ‘argument’, here’s a little experiment for you:  Go on Google and look up “Liberal Hunting License”.  Then try it again with “Conservative Hunting License”.  Please report your findings.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    The word “troll” has been getting thrown around here a lot recently, almost to the point of it being the slacktivist equivalent of a Godwin, but I think it needs to be said: what aunursa has been doing recently is straight up trolling. Zie comes in, drops a conservative nega-logic bomb, and then – after being thoroughly rebutted – disappears from the thread, only to repeat the process a week later. There are a few half-hearted attempts to engage and a couple of misdirects (equivalency, devil’s advocate, blah blah), then… silence. It really looks like it’s just an attempt to rile people up.

    Seen this Craigslist ad yet? “Writers needed to post right-wing comments (National)”

    I’ve suspected for years that there’s a National Conservative Internet Trolling Society.  The more grossly they offend Libruls, the more points they get.  At 1000 points, they win an autographed picture of Newt Gingrich.  At 10000 points, a copy of Atlas Shrugged. At 100000, a little golden idol of Ronald Reagan…

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    PS – Yes, the ad’s Canadian.  I think the same principle applies in the USA.

  • It’s not cool to reveal someone’s real name on the Internet like that, Consumer_Unit_5012!

  • hf

    I think he means that he doesn’t agree with our claims about the motives of the other side. The problem is, A) the comment he responded to looks like a straightforward description of what Republican policies would do, we don’t have to read it as a claim about motive. And B) if Romney sets the upper limit for middle class income as $200,000 /year (this number would actually put an American household in the richest 5% of the nation) then calling him out-of-touch seems like the charitable explanation.

    Now in fairness, this does not actually mean that Romney thinks the poor (those who would not benefit from his tax cuts because they make less than his rich “middle class”) should not have what Faux News calls luxuries. But it does lend credence to my claim that he’s never thought about the issue in detail and has no preference one way or another.

  • I’ve heard about those Craigslist ads. I have no idea if they’re a Poe or the real deal.

  • Though they would explain one certain “limey Canadian” who spent months posting to threads on this blog without regard for fact or debate…  

  • Tonio

    That ad is from Toronto, but I strongly suspect that there’s such an employer on my side of the border. From readiing news sites over the years, I’ve noticed that more of the right-wiing commenters seem to be working from the same set of bullet points.

  • Madhabmatics

    Sometimes when I get to thinking that a Republican might actually view me as human I have to read FreeRepublic to disabuse myself of that notion.

  • No, no–“Happy House” is a classic song by Siouxsie & the Banshees!  I can’t believe nobody’s linked to the video yet.

    Of course, Siouxsie is probably related to the Addams family anyway, so there’s no need to argue.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    I wonder how well Conservatrolling pays?  I’m pretty sure I could fake it, though I know I can’t possibly outcrazy the trained professionals….

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    That ad is from Toronto, but I strongly suspect that there’s such an employer on my side of the border. From readiing news sites over the years, I’ve noticed that more of the right-wiing commenters seem to be working from the same set of bullet points.

    I suspect Fox “News”, talk radio, and other parts of the Rightwing Bubble are just as good an explanation for the “is there an echo in here?” nature of conservative posts.

  • Tonio

    I doubt that those outlets alone would sufficiently explain the homogeneity of the posts. Perhaps the most likely explanation is that the most vocal of the right-wing commenters think in authoritarian terms.

  • Lori

     I doubt that those outlets alone would sufficiently explain the homogeneity of the posts.  

    Actually, it can. Authoritarian vocabulary is not organic. People have to learn it and Right Wing media teaches it very effectively. All you have to do is watch the Sunday morning political talk shows to see how it’s done. There are days when literally every GOP talk show guest says the same thing, using the exact same words. It’s completely obvious that  they had a list of talking points handed to them and they’re just regurgitating it. 

    The Left definitely has it’s own vocabulary as well and at times it can be pretty stifling, but especially in political discourse it doesn’t tend to be as pervasive as what the Right produces. 

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been in a similar situation with my own father, and without
    defending what your father did or what mine did, it’s possible that such
    people believe they don’t deserve forgiveness or shouldn’t expect it. 

    This is not the case with my father.  He’s a genuine sociopath, so he doesn’t feel remorse for anything.  In his mind, nothing is his fault.  He feels that he shouldn’t even need forgiveness, and he still can’t figure out why I refuse to talk to him, even after explaining it multiple times.  He still thinks it’s some sort of game and that I’m bluffing to gain something from him.  And he asked me to tell him exactly what thing I’m angling for so he can give it to me and we can just be done with this.  Not necessarily a physical thing, but he actually asked what he should say to make me stop being mad at him.  He wants to know the correct ritual to perform to “win” at this social interaction, and the only thing I want from him, genuine remorse for hurting me, is the one thing he is probably incapable of ever feeling.

  • Tonio

    It’s completely obvious that  they had a list of talking points handed to them and they’re just regurgitating it.

    Yes. That’s actually a variation on the original theory of right-wing commenters working from deliberately crafted talking points, except they’re getting them second-hand instead of from an employer.