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  1. Mike
    Mike November 26, 2018 9:16 am

    Regarding “Marsy’s Law” – I can see why the police are using this to hide. While most media often publishes factual information, they utilize wording that tries to influence an audience by appealing to emotion or stereotypes in favor of their left or right wing views. Their writing tends to ferment a lynch mob mentality against anyone who uses deadly force regardless if they are in a police uniform, or not. So is it OK that police can hide behind “Marsy’s Law” too? For me the jury is out on that question.

    With regard to the “God answered your prayers” article in The Stream…

  2. MP
    MP November 26, 2018 10:13 am

    The Techcrunch article on the vacuous apologies from the tech giants indicates that we don’t change to other providers solely because they make it so difficult for us and there are no real alternatives. (Gross simplification and generalization of the article, BTW.) But we as a society blithely have been accepting such “apologies” for a very long time. Janet Reno took “full responsibility” for the deaths in Waco, TX. And what exactly happened to her as a consequence? She kept her job, retired on a presumably nice pension, lived out her life in peace and safety and died at home in her bed. This is taking full responsibility for the murder of 76 people? How many others in power have gotten away scot-free over the years with the same inane mutterings of content-less contrition? This is nothing new at all.

  3. Claire
    Claire November 26, 2018 10:18 am

    Regarding The Stream: I do know what it is. It’s in my daily newsfeeds. It’s definitely a conservative-biased source, but I haven’t found it to be either wildly conspiratorial or inaccurate — just sometimes inadequately sourced (which it has in common with most media these days). OTOH, that could be because I pick and choose the articles I read and don’t get an overall picture.

    It’s also deeply Christian in orientation, so when it reports that a pastor believes God burned down Paradise, California, specifically in answer to his prayers, it probably got the word straight from the source and thinks the pastor is on the side of the angels.

    Interesting bias/fact-check link, though. Thank you.

  4. larryarnold
    larryarnold November 26, 2018 12:21 pm

    I would have worded it differently department:
    There’s a difference between “God burned the town down so we could proselytize” and “We’ve been praying for a chance to reach out, and in the midst of this tragedy He is opening up opportunities.”
    A couple of times in my spiritual life I’ve prayed “I wish I could help” with less than full sincerity, and He’s called my hand.
    When (Bolin) and others get back into Paradise in a few months, he’s planning to make the south lot of the church into parking places for RVs and trailers. It’s then, he explained, that reality will hit. “You’re going to have to really help some people with comfort and love and hope.”

    “I want social media to respect my privacy” is like “I want to be the most popular person in town, without people bothering me.” The fundamental concept of Facebook is publicity.

    So, the sixth-grader snitched. (Which doesn’t excuse the bus driver.)

    I must be in Contrary Day. Best go to work.

  5. Claire
    Claire November 26, 2018 1:31 pm

    Wellll, larryarnold. I do get your distinction. But either way “God answered our prayers by burning down our town and killing our neighbors” is a sucky, uncaring attitude. Yes, I also read the part about turning the church parking lot into a temporary living area. But the pastor is still saying that God took everything 30,000 people owned just so he and members of his congregation could feel helpful (and proselytize). AND he’s saying God did this specifically as a result of his own prayer, which is pretty monumentally egotistical. My first thought when he stated he was still praying up a storm was … Hey, guy. If you think your prayers produce results like these, maybe you should stop!

    “The fundamental concept of Facebook is publicity.” True. But I don’t think that’s what people are objecting to. Really, the fundamental business model of Facebook is selling people’s data for nefarious purposes, often without their informed consent. I think that’s what people mostly object to.

    And yeah … the kid the kid told the victim of a real property crime who had harmed his property. Not quite the same as snitching to the cops about a victimless crime in order to get $$ or leniency. I’d call that kid a good citizen and a good neighbor.

    I hope your day gets cheerier.

  6. free.and.true
    free.and.true November 26, 2018 2:23 pm

    That introvert-friendly piece about puttering was spot on. It left me thinking how “puttering,” as the author described it (at least as I understood it) is a form of wei-wu-wei, “doing without doing.”

    Getting things done by flowing into the doing — with neither pressure/strain to be up and in action, nor hesitation when the urge arrives to act… leaving quiet (and perhaps inordinate!) pleasure and fulfillment in the wake of that flow of action. Delicious!

  7. E. Garrett Perry
    E. Garrett Perry November 26, 2018 10:52 pm

    “God burned down your town and incinerated your friends alive in horrible agony, at our request, so that we could preach at you! Isn’t this wonderful? Mighty are His Ways!”

    …is precisely the reaction I’ve come to expect from the vacuuous N-Types who infest so much of the western church. And yes, it’s exactly what I’d expect from a Cluster-B, right along with the public acts of charity about which they so love to brag. I’ll bet whatever you like that if there was nobody to pay attention, that parking-lot shelter wouldn’t even have been thought of. That “pastor” is a wolf in lambswool, a roaring lion, a horn-blowing Hypocrite and Pharisee who loves to pray on streetcorners, and so do I denounce him.

    You called this one right on the nose, Claire- major narcissist indeed.

  8. larryarnold
    larryarnold November 26, 2018 11:00 pm

    Agree to disagree.

  9. Claire
    Claire November 27, 2018 4:53 am

    “Agree to disagree.”

    You’re a good person, larryarnold. You’re both a thinker and someone who genuinely helps others.

    I wish more were like you.

  10. Claire
    Claire November 27, 2018 5:05 am

    That “pastor” is a wolf in lambswool, a roaring lion, a horn-blowing Hypocrite and Pharisee who loves to pray on streetcorners, and so do I denounce him.

    Fierce, my friend.

    Sometimes people think I’m against religion. I’m not. But I’m weary of arrogance calling itself humility, icy callousness looking in the mirror and praising itself as love, judgmentalism regarding itself as kindness, clannishness claiming to be universality, and ignorance blandly pretending to have knowledge of The Divine Will. I don’t know that pastor. Maybe The Stream misrepresented him. But I’ve met so many in churches who think exactly like him.

    The eastern church does seem to be different; I hope it is, and I completely get why so many former evangelicals with consciences and hearts are now moving toward it.

  11. Comrade X
    Comrade X November 27, 2018 8:18 am

    Interesting article concerning the rednecks of Paradise.

    Taking care of you and yours is a redneck tradition this country needs a lot more of and their MYOB tradition ain’t so bad either.

  12. Antibubba
    Antibubba November 27, 2018 10:27 pm

    Something that surprised me when I moved out to California is how many rednecks there are here! A lot of it is similar to the Southwest Ohio I grew up in. It’s a mostly-red state dominated by 2 megalopolises.

  13. patrick fowler
    patrick fowler November 28, 2018 8:12 am

    Hi Claire , On the Paradise prayer I had a Marine neighbor explain to me via text messaging that the reason I became so ill , lost my hearing , etc. was because I’m a draft dodging hippy that refused to serve my country during the viet nam war . None of this was true I simply had a really high lottery number which meant that being drafted was next to impossible . This guy is 15 years younger than I am and was saying that God dealt with me in this way 47 years later for something he imagined . Another incident a few years ago with a fundamentalist neighbor who was having trouble with another neighbor went like this : he said neighbor lady was ” demon possessed ” I said she was bi-polar and probably off her meds again , this guy came after me with fists clenched , point being these kinds of ” believers ” like the pastor in your link should not be taken seriously … Patrick

  14. Claire
    Claire November 28, 2018 9:41 am

    Ick. Patrick.

    “point being these kinds of ” believers ” like the pastor in your link should not be taken seriously”

    I wish I could agree with that. But I was raised under the thumb of such creeps. I grew up utterly terrified by their assertions and threats (because of course all those adults couldn’t be ignorant or lying, could they?) and was marked by those nasty beliefs forever. It’s something a person can get past, certainly — but never truly get over. When I hear such cruel, arrogant nonsense, I think about the little children still being scarred by that monstrousness in the name of God.

  15. patrick fowler
    patrick fowler November 28, 2018 12:01 pm

    Sorry about that Claire , I didn’t know that was part of your childhood , the few experiences I had in childhood and in my teen years with these types were not from parents or relatives…they were people that I could and did distance myself from , and I will admit it was troublesome for me to listen to teen kids my own age preaching a doctrine of heaven or hell …take your side …this may be your last chance , must be awful for little kids to be brought up in a home like that , apologies again , and yes they could be ignorant , lying , and deceived , but how is a kid able to figure that out ? Patrick

  16. Claire
    Claire November 28, 2018 12:32 pm

    No apologies needed, Patrick! I think you’re absolutely right to say not to take them seriously. It’s just not doable for some of us.

    I think my “favorite” part of growing up with abusive religion was that the tiniest, most inconsequential BAD action would earn you eternity in the fiery pit if you neglected to beg forgiveness for it before you died. OTOH, it was equally explicit that no GOOD action counted for anything.

    Steal a cookie? Lie to your mother? Eternity in hell. Save a life? Give all your money to the poor? Be the kindest person on the planet? Counted for absolutely NOTHING. In fact, believing that your good actions earned you points with God was in itself a step on the road to damnation. All human beings DESERVED hell (yes, that was explicit, too) and only through constant groveling could hell be avoided.

    As an adult, even as a teen, you can meet such cruel nonsense with skepticism. But yep, it’s quite a heavy burden to lay on an already over-sensitive and over-imaginitive tot.

    Still — LOL — I didn’t really want to go to heaven because there weren’t going to be any dogs there (but there sure were going to be a lot of mean, self-righteous assholes — at least, to hear the mean, self-righteous assholes tell it).

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