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Midweek links

14 Comments

  1. E. Garrett Perry
    E. Garrett Perry June 20, 2018 7:44 am

    The infamous “Downfall rant” of youtube fame is largely taken from Albert Speer’s first autobiography. Speer describes Hitler ranting at Bormann, Keitel, Jodl and Krebs, lambasting them as cowards and declaring that “I should have had every Heer officer above the rank of Colonel shot out of hand, as Stalin did!”

    The source is dubious to be sure, but it certainly fit with Hitler’s character towards the end, and it now appears that the sentiment, at least, is confirmed. I think we can all be grateful that none of the assassination plots worked, otherwise a delusional obsessive would have been replaced with someone far more competent. The only thing that would have worked would be a complete decapitation that at very least killed Bormann, Himmler, Goering, Manstein, Beck, Doernitz and Speer. Leave that bunch in charge and most of continental Europe would be German today. This need even informed part of the rationale behind green-lighting Operation Anthropoid- the Allied governments knew that plots against Hitler were afoot within the Heer, and were terrified of the supremely competent, highly organized, and utterly blood-mad Reinhardt Heydrich taking over. Everyone was scared of Heydrich- even Himmler was scared of Heydrich. The idea of the man Hitler himself called “The Man With The Iron Heart” coming to power if Hitler were successfully killed off was just too much, and was considered worth the price in dead Czechs. Knowing Heydrich’s work at first hand, President Beneš agreed: so did Gapčik and Kubiš, who knew for an absolute fact that their own immediate kin would be tortured to death as a result.

  2. Joel
    Joel June 20, 2018 8:36 am

    “What is new and epitomizes what’s gone wrong with American religion is the moral bankruptcy of the single largest group of American Protestants, white evangelicals.”

    Oddly enough, right-wing churches have blamed the exact same decline in religious concern on left-leaning mainstream churches for decades.

    And the writer’s principal evidence for moral bankruptcy among evangelicals is their support of Trump, whom the writer apparently believes is the Antichrist Arrived.

    God, (if you’ll forgive the word) how I hate it that these idiots keep tempting me to defend Trump. I despise the man, but he’s not the singular cause of all American decline.

  3. Claire
    Claire June 20, 2018 9:17 am

    Joel — I think both political reasons (“left” and “right”) for the decline are true, but both are only sideshows to the real reasons for decline.

    But the article, despite any signs of Trump Derangement Syndrome, isn’t wrong. A minority of evangelicals is disgusted over how their fellows can so enthusiastically support an amoral/immoral creep like Trump. And IMHO, Fallwell, Reed, and company did sow the seeds of evangelical downfall when they deliberately linked their brand of Christianity with right-wing politics.

    With all this downfall, look at one part of Christianity that’s growing in the U.S. even though it’s difficult and foreign: Orthodoxy (Greek, Russian, etc.) It’s rigorous, traditional, non-evangelical, and generally above politics (though also generally “conservative”). I’m probably oversimplifying, but for converts it’s religion for those who want a deep dive into Christianity and are weary of the politicization of everything.

  4. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 20, 2018 10:30 am

    Is it just me or does anyone else think that Jeff Sessions is just not the brightest bulb in the box to begin with?

  5. Claire
    Claire June 20, 2018 10:36 am

    Comrade — Yeah, well, there is that. He and Joe Biden could possibly compete for lowest politician on the totem pole when it comes to Da Stupids.

    Oh, and among other things, he’s now being threatened with expulsion from the Methodist church for his cruelty to children:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/jeff-sessions-could-be-expelled-from-methodist-church-over-zero-tolerance-2018-6

    (Funny thing, though, that nobody threatened to expel Clinton from anything for passing the law separating children from parents, or Obama for enforcing it.)

  6. larryarnold
    larryarnold June 20, 2018 10:43 am

    I’m probably oversimplifying, but it’s religion for those who want a deep dive into religion and are weary of the politicization of everything.

    I’m seeing the same thing, from the inside. My mainstream denomination just had it’s Annual Conference, and once again it was, “Thank God we didn’t get into a theological foodfight over homosexuality.” There is an element that thinks churches need gay pastors, and another side that sees it as an abomination.

    Most members are like, “Who cares?”

    I’m not sure I believe the studies, but it’s an interesting take on gun ownership. Contrary to spousal opinion, I don’t own one of everything, but I do exceed the averages in the article.

  7. kentmcmanigal
    kentmcmanigal June 20, 2018 4:23 pm

    -Jeff Sessions looks more like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies every day. I can even picture him running around screaming “Jed! Jed!” when his knickers get in a knot about something. He’s really a pathetic excuse for a semi-human.

    -My own deconversion came about long before Trump, and had gotten started even before the right-wing politics of everyone around me started making me roll my eyes. Once I was fully free of religious indoctrination it made their politics even more obviously evil (but no more evil than the politics of the left, which I could already see). Funny, it was reading the Bible for myself and attending church which put the final nail in that particular coffin. I hated religion completely for years after my deconversion. Now I’m able to admit religion helps some people, so I see a benefit to it, even if it is kind of a sad thing in the long run.

    -Those cockroach targets are probably offensive to cops, so be careful letting them be seen by members of the Blue Line Gang.

  8. Mark Call
    Mark Call June 21, 2018 9:35 am

    …I hate it that these idiots keep tempting me to defend Trump. I despise the man, but he’s not the singular cause of all American decline…

    Cute. I don’t quite “despise” the man (although I might plead guilty on that score for the last Dirty Dozen or so to infest, or even run, for the office) — but don’t like defending him, either.

    Funny, it was reading the Bible for myself and attending church which put the final nail in that particular coffin.

    Kinda like reading the Constitution for myself and attending a state political convention as a delegate did it for me… 😉

    Some of the problem seems to arise when people lose the ability to call out hypocrisy.

    And, Salvation doesn’t come from Washington, the District of Criminals, either.

    But this is the snippet that did it for me from the Daily Beast screed: “… the reality of a president, pursued by a determined [sic] porn star, whose daily behavior evidenced an irreversible moral lobotomy. Yet despite the depressing vulgarity of America’s “molester-in-chief,” when I started to think – just WHERE has this guy BEEN? “Molester-in-chief”??? I looked – the word “Clinton” doesn’t even appear in the piece, and here I might have expected a photo.

    I have many disagreements, on almost every front, with “evangelicals”. But I sure as hell can’t blame some for seeing this latest guy as a Gift from On High, if for NO other reason than he’s NOT Hitlery! (Note: proper spelling. She channels his economic policies, gun-banning zeal, totalitarian ethos, and penchant for the Big Lie. She makes ANY alternative I can think of look downright saintly in contrast.)

    And I’ll admit that it irks me how Trump Derangement Syndrome now so widely afflicts a Ministry of Truth and its Deep State Priests that literally washed the feet of the Obamessiah. Likewise, it’s somehow ‘sinful’ that this new guy seems to like to sleep with women, including a few prostitutes, but when Honest Bill committed rape, that was OK, ’cause, ya know, he’s ‘progressive’ about it. (And don’t EVEN ask CNN about the “Lolita Express”.)

    Somehow maybe that hits at the heart of the matter. There are a whole LOT of folk that worship various Gods of the Almighty State (Who have Right and Left Aspects, depending on who’s High Priest today) — and can’t discern that there is a DIFFERENCE between choice and coercion.

    Too many ‘evangelicals’ on “both” the ‘right’ and the ‘left’ seem to be able to agree that the State really IS their god; even most of those who say otherwise still seem to know better than the one they say wrote THEIR ‘holy book’ what it was He should have Written.

    I contend that the “decline in the xtian faith” began when a ‘whore church’ started teaching that “the Law is done away with” and some guy that they really don’t obey anyway “nailed it to the cross”. After all, if the “Law” really IS “done away with” — that pretty much nails what is happening in AmeriKa-with-a-Capital-K today.

    PS> And for those that take offense that I suggest Scripture must be read in context, from the beginning, and sometimes even in the original Hebrew language, for comprehension… (like I do the Constitution, which arguably is both no LESS offensive to many, and perhaps even less relevant in AmeriKa anyway) and look at this article from that perspective…

    …the essence of a Scriptural response to that claim is “choose this day Whom you will serve,” as the first Joshua pointed out. To coerce an allegiance to ANY ‘god’ may be PC, but it’s not Biblical.

    …I offer the 30th chapter of Debarim (aka “Deuteronomy”) which does as good a job of making that distinction clear — for those with “eyes to see” — of anything I’ve seen. We, each of us, has a choice. It may be the only choice remaining in an increasingly totalitarian world.

    “I have laid before you,” says YHVH, “life and blessing, or death and cursing. Therefore, choose LIFE, that you and your descendants may live.”

    There is no contradiction between the ‘non-agression principle’ advocated by many ‘libertarians’ and the Bible. But while that principle may be necessary, it is not sufficient. And I don’t think either “side” groks that.

  9. Mark Call
    Mark Call June 21, 2018 11:10 am

    Funny, it was reading the Bible for myself and attending church which put the final nail in that particular coffin.

    Kinda like reading the Constitution for myself and attending a state political convention as a delegate did it for me… 😉

    Salvation doesn’t come from Washington, the District of Criminals.

    But this is the snippet that did it for me from the Daily Beast screed: “… the reality of a president, pursued by a determined [sic] porn star, whose daily behavior evidenced an irreversible moral lobotomy. Yet despite the depressing vulgarity of America’s “molester-in-chief,” when I started to think – just WHERE has this guy BEEN? “Molester-in-chief”??? I looked – the word “Clinton” doesn’t even appear in the piece, and here I might have expected a photo.

    I have many disagreements, on almost every front, with “evangelicals”. But I sure as hell can’t blame some for seeing this latest guy as a Gift from On High, if for NO other reason that he’s NOT Hitlery! (Note: proper spelling. She channels his economic policies, gun-banning zeal, totalitarian ethos, and penchant for the Big Lie. She makes ANY alternative I can think of look downright saintly in contrast.)

    And I’ll admit that it irks me how Trump Derangement Syndrome now so widely afflicts a Ministry of Truth and its Deep State Priests that literally washed the feet of the Obamessiah. Likewise, it’s somehow ‘sinful’ that this new guy seems to like to sleep with women, including a few prostitutes, but when Honest Bill committed rape, that was OK, ’cause, ya know, he’s ‘progressive’ about it. (And don’t EVEN ask CNN about the “Lolita Express”.)

    Somehow maybe that hits at the heart of the matter. There are a whole LOT of folk that worship various Gods of the Almighty State (Who have Right and Left Aspects, depending on who’s High Priest today) — and can’t discern that there is a DIFFERENCE between choice and coercion.

    Too many ‘evangelicals’ on “both” the ‘right’ and the ‘left’ seem to be able to agree that the State really IS their god; even most of those who say otherwise still seem to know better than the one they say wrote THEIR ‘holy book’ what it was He should have Written.

    I contend that the “decline in the xtian faith” began when a ‘whore church’ started teaching that “the Law is done away with” and some guy that they really don’t obey anyway “nailed it to the cross”. After all, if the “Law” really IS “done away with” — that pretty much nails what is happening in AmeriKa-with-a-Capital-K today.

    PS> And for those that take offense that I try to read Scripture for comprehension (like I do the Constitution, which arguably is no LESS offensive to many, and arguably less relevant in AmeriKa anyway…)

    …I offer the 30th chapter of Debarim (aka “Deuteronomy”) which does as good a job of making that distinction clear — for those with “eyes to see” — of anything I’ve seen. We, each of us, has a choice. It may be the only choice remaining in an increasingly totalitarian world.

    “I have laid before you,” says YHVH, “life and blessing, or death and cursing. Therefore, choose LIFE, that you and your descendants may live.”

  10. Borepatch
    Borepatch June 21, 2018 12:15 pm

    Well, I grew up Episcopal and the suicide of that institution wasn’t because it was too right wing. On the contrary. I guess that you could say that they’re not as barking mad as the Anglicans, but that’s pretty weak tea.

    Not defending Trump’s personal failings, but didn’t Bill Clinton get fawning media coverage of his support from black churches? The whole article is exactly what you’d expect if you are as jaded about the media as I am.

    There’s no There there in that Daily Beast article.

  11. Mark Call
    Mark Call June 21, 2018 1:34 pm

    …I hate it that these idiots keep tempting me to defend Trump. I despise the man, but he’s not the singular cause of all American decline…

    Cute. I don’t quite “despise” the man (although I might plead guilty on that score for the last Dirty Dozen or so to infest, or even run, for the office) — but don’t like defending him, either.

    Funny, it was reading the Bible for myself and attending church which put the final nail in that particular coffin.

    Kinda like reading the Constitution for myself and attending a state political convention as a delegate did it for me… 😉

    Some of the problem seems to arise when people lose the ability to call out hypocrisy.

    And, Salvation doesn’t come from Washington, the District of Criminals, either.

    But this is the snippet that did it for me from the Daily Beast screed: “… the reality of a president, pursued by a determined [sic] porn star, whose daily behavior evidenced an irreversible moral lobotomy. Yet despite the depressing vulgarity of America’s “molester-in-chief,” when I started to think – just WHERE has this guy BEEN? “Molester-in-chief”??? I looked – the word “Clinton” doesn’t even appear in the piece, and here I might have expected a photo.

    I have many disagreements, on almost every front, with “evangelicals”. But I sure as hell can’t blame some for seeing this latest guy as a Gift from On High, if for NO other reason than he’s NOT Hitlery! (Note: proper spelling. She channels his economic policies, gun-banning zeal, totalitarian ethos, and penchant for the Big Lie. She makes ANY alternative I can think of look downright saintly in contrast.)

    And I’ll admit that it irks me how Trump Derangement Syndrome now so widely afflicts a Ministry of Truth and its Deep State Priests that literally washed the feet of the Obamessiah. Likewise, it’s somehow ‘sinful’ that this new guy seems to like to sleep with women, including a few prostitutes, but when Honest Bill committed rape, that was OK, ’cause, ya know, he’s ‘progressive’ about it. (And don’t EVEN ask CNN about the “Lolita Express”.)

    Somehow maybe that hits at the heart of the matter. There are a whole LOT of folk that worship various Gods of the Almighty State (Who have Right and Left Aspects, depending on who’s High Priest today) — and can’t discern that there is a DIFFERENCE between choice and coercion.

    Too many ‘evangelicals’ on “both” the ‘right’ and the ‘left’ seem to be able to agree that the State really IS their god; even most of those who say otherwise still seem to know better than the one they say wrote THEIR ‘holy book’ what it was He should have Written.

    I contend that the “decline in the xtian faith” began when a ‘whore church’ started teaching that “the Law is done away with” and some guy that they really don’t obey anyway “nailed it to the cross”. After all, if the “Law” really IS “done away with” — that pretty much nails what is happening in AmeriKa-with-a-Capital-K today.

    PS> And for those that take offense that I suggest Scripture must be read in context, from the beginning, and sometimes even in the original Hebrew language, for comprehension… (like I do the Constitution, which arguably is both no LESS offensive to many, and perhaps even less relevant in AmeriKa anyway) and look at this article from that perspective…

    …the essence of a Scriptural response to that claim is “choose this day Whom you will serve,” as the first Joshua pointed out. To coerce an allegiance to ANY ‘god’ may be PC, but it’s not Biblical.

    …I offer the 30th chapter of Debarim (aka “Deuteronomy”) which does as good a job of making that distinction clear — for those with “eyes to see” — of anything I’ve seen. We, each of us, has a choice. It may be the only choice remaining in an increasingly totalitarian world.

    “I have laid before you,” says YHVH, “life and blessing, or death and cursing. Therefore, choose LIFE, that you and your descendants may live.”

    There is no contradiction between the ‘non-agression principle’ advocated by many ‘libertarians’ and the Bible. But while that principle may be necessary, it is not sufficient. And I don’t think either “side” groks that.

  12. Mark Call
    Mark Call June 22, 2018 7:42 am

    Nice piece, Kent. To your point about ‘gods’ – the word usually translated that way in the Bible is “el” (or more commonly ‘elohim’, in the plural) which more literally means “mighty ones”.

    Which is pretty much how so many see the Almighty State, admitted or not.

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