‘I am not the monster that I once was’

‘I am not the monster that I once was’ July 27, 2014

• That’ll preach: Gordon S. Wood marvels at the way Danielle Allen approaches the Declaration of Independence. Wood praises Allen’s Our Declaration for its insight, accessibility, careful reading of the text and personal intimacy. He seems astonished by her reverential and revelatory engagement with the text, but there’s a word for the expository process he describes. It’s a sermon.

Sounds like Allen’s book may be useful not just for students of history, but for students of homiletics as well.

Amaaryah Shaye on the “reasonable violence” of “Third Way” ideology:

What’s mainly missing from third way positions, though, and why I find them disingenuous, is their failure to take power into serious consideration. …

… Issues of power asymmetry frequently go ignored, unthought, or underthought by third wayers. Thus, I think it is this way of positioning one’s self as the bearer of the best way while ignoring issues of power and violence. …

Or, in other words, it’s a form of self-congratulation based on pretending there’s no moral difference between punching down and punching up, no difference between the raised fist and the lowered boot.

Power asymmetry matters.

• Richard Land, how can we miss you if you won’t go away? The former chief “ethics” spokesperson for the Southern Baptist Convention is downright delusional when it comes to history and reality: “We ended slavery, we didn’t bring slavery to North America. Slavery was there.”

As always for Richard Land, “we” means white people. And only white people.

This history lesson comes from a lifelong member of the Southern Baptist Convention — a group which split itself off from Northern Baptists in 1845 due to the claim they said their anti-slavery brethren had  “failed to prove — That slavery is, in all circumstances, sinful.” The SBC was founded by those who insisted it was not sinful. Not at all.

But now, Land says, “We ended slavery.” And he thinks it’s unfair that “we” don’t get credit for that.

• Funny or Die’s “Mary Poppins Quits”  is a well executed, funny, effective comment on the disgraceful disrespect that America labor law and practice has for caregivers. And casting Kristin Bell to play Mary Poppins is so perfect that now I want to revisit Season 1 of Veronica Mars with that in mind.

• This is fun, but it needed a schwarma joke at the end: The Avengers — 8-Bit Cinema.

• This song from Wussy is called “Beautiful.” Truth in advertising.

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