Smart people saying smart things (11.3)

Smart people saying smart things (11.3) November 3, 2015

Heather Digby Parton, “The GOP primary’s theocratic X-factor: Inside the twisted worldview and junk history of David Barton”

There is no doubt that Mike Huckabee admires him greatly, that Glenn Beck promotes him constantly, that he is the source of much of Ben Carson’s wild misinformation (whether directly or though Beck and other sources), and that he is very intimately involved with Ted Cruz’s campaign. If you wonder where these presidential candidates, and a good number of GOP politicians at all levels, have come up with this surreal alternative history that bears no relationship to reality, look no further than David Barton. He is the most influential right wing crackpot in American politics today. And that’s saying something.

Rick Pearlstein, “The GOP Circus: Truth-Defying Feats”

It takes a lot of energy to sustain a lie. When enough people do it together, over a sustained period of time, it wears on them. It also produces a certain kind of culture: one cut loose from the norms of fair conduct and trust that any organization requires in order to survive as something more than a daily, no-holds-barred war of all against all. A battle royale. A circus, if you prefer.

And the act in the center ring? The Amazing Death Spiral. One performer does something so outrageous that anyone else who wishes to further hold the audience’s attention has to match or top it — even if they know it’s insane.

Michael B. Curry, Installation sermon as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church

PBCurry

This way of love is the way of Jesus. This is the heart of the Jesus movement. And it will turn the world, and the Church, I might add, upside down, which is really right side up.

Brad DeLong, “Unleash Chiang Kai-Shek”

When George H. W. Bush, playing tennis (and losing) in the 1970s and 1980s, would threaten to “unleash Chiang,” he was mocking the right-wing nuts of his generation.

But George H. W. Bush’s sons — even the smart one, Jeb — never got the joke. They, you see, didn’t know enough about world history or even the history of the Republican Party to know who Chiang Kaishek was, or what “Unleash Chiang!” meant. Hence Jeb Bush’s explanation that twentieth-century Chinese nationalist, socialist, general, and dictator Chiang Kaishek was a “mystical warrior … who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society.”

Samantha Field, “How I Went From Being a Pro-Life Activist to Being a A Pro-Choice Christian”

At that point, I did what any good pro-life woman would: I called the local Crisis Pregnancy Center. When I tried to explain my situation — that I was afraid of my fiancé, that I didn’t know what to do because my Christian college would expel me if they found out I was pregnant, that I didn’t know how my parents would react—the woman on the other end of the phone told me that “this is the natural consequence for not keeping yourself pure.”

I hung up and called Planned Parenthood, the reproductive health clinic I’d picketed just a few months before. They comforted me, soothed me, directed me to websites that had all the information I needed to make any decision, abortion or not. I read it all, every single shred of it, and I realized that the pro-life movement had lied to me about a lot of things.

 

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