• “The NINEs,” an online conference sponsored by the “Leadership Network” folks, invited Hemant Mehta to contribute a short video to their discussion of “The Church and same-sex marriage.” That’s commendable — a recognition of the need to listen to other perspectives and a willingness to do so.
The Friendly Atheist, being friendly, obliged, offering what I think is a powerful commentary that’s going to leave a mark. This is really good:
• I pay a lot of attention to radical religious views about apocalyptic prophecies and the End of the World — not because I think there is any truth to be found in those views, but because I think the people who hold them are capable of doing a lot of harm. So this headline got my attention: “Activists intent on building third Jewish temple spark tensions at holy site.”
Wasfi Kailani, director of the Jordanian authority with oversight of the Islamic holy sites on the Temple Mount, says that the radicals seeking to rebuild the Temple are trying to “speed up the messiah and God’s will on earth,” noting that this agenda “is not different actually from the thinking of the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant.” He’s not wrong.
This might be a good time to once again highly recommend Gershom Gorenberg’s The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount.
• There’s an ecstasy of fumbling in the right-wing blogosphere because, apparently, somebody wrote a thing for Salon in which they noted that the wars currently being fought by the American military aren’t wars of necessity in defense of our essential freedoms. Horrified armchair patriots are yelling out and stumbling, flound’ring like a man in fire or in lime. They’re furious that the liturgical celebration of Veteran’s Day has been interrupted by the suggestion that sometimes soldiers are sent to kill and die, at great personal and national cost, for reasons other than the existential survival of the nation and of the liberties enjoyed by its people. The very possibility of this suggestion strikes them as being obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues.So the bosses denounce the insubordinate civilian writing at Salon. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori! they cry indignantly, insisting that anyone who says that’s a lie is beneath contempt.
See also, Ari Kohen, “Twice a Year, Every Soldier a Hero.” And go re-read that Voice of God bit from Breakfast of Champions too while you’re at it. And this: “A Veteran’s Day Message From a Man in the Trunk of a Car.”
Related: The Party of Bosses does not like The Boss. This is not news.
• One of the funnier bits from Clerks:
DANTE: This is different, this is important. How many?
VERONICA: Something like … 36.
DANTE: What? Something like 36?
VERONICA: Lower your voice.
DANTE: Wait, what is that anyway, something like 36? Does that include me?
VERONICA: Umm … 37.
I was reminded of that because, well, 40 is something like 36.
• Mississippi? Mississippi.