Friday, April 29, 2016

Trump and Christianity

A lot can be said about the topic. But here's one thought.

A substantial amount of the political left has long wanted Christianity - and religion in general - to wither, eager to pick up some changes that aren't possible when the religion is heavily integrated into the social fabric. Just think of what we'll get if we don't have those stuffy (nay, patriarchal!) rules about sex and gender holding us back!

It's true, you really widen the range of possibilities once Christianity is beaten back. What people may just be starting to realize is that the range is wider than 'more textbook liberals'. If Trump wins in November, it's going to happen while a lot of liberals - professing atheists, even - look at many of his voters, fists clenched while they scream 'BUT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE CHRISTIAN! CHRISTIANS DON'T VOTE FOR MEN LIKE THIS!'

Maybe not, once upon a time. But who's been spending all that time trying to unweave the Christian threads in the social fabric? Did they really think the only thing that religion was restraining was more left-wing sentiment?

Christian culture wasn't just restraining people from fucking, gents.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The unintentional grimness (and humor) of Sanders' campaign

Sanders is poised to lose his bid for the presidency.

Here's some stats on how much money he's raised and spent to date.

The great socialist hope made much about how his donations were largely from individuals. Poorer sorts, the unemployed, the deeply indebted, and so on.

He's raised close to 200 million so far. Call it 100 million raised from individuals, just for the hell of it.

Now remember: Sanders is, in all likelihood, going to lose this thing. Which makes Sanders personally responsible for taking a hundred million dollars out of the hands of the working poor, and giving them pretty well nothing in exchange. Nothing but a very fleeting thrill and defeat.

Which makes Sanders personally responsible for ripping off more poor people than far and away most of the other individuals he rails against.

Bonus question: do you think he's aware of this, and if he is, that he even feels responsible for what he's done?

Behold, ladies and gentlemen: your saviors, hard at work.

An unfortunate thought

One of the oft-repeated complaints right now among American Christians is that, ugh, the choices are just so -rotten- for the devout during this presidential election. We have Cruz, who's kind of creepy even if you like him. There's Trump, a blowhard who says *gasp* offensive things (quite unlike the character of Christ). There's Sanders, an irreligious jew who's conveniently found God in his heart recently. And Hillary, who's had a Saul on the road to Sodom experience, declaring that religious people need to update their beliefs to be more in line with the Democratic party.

Not exactly 'devout', this bunch, no matter how crazy Beck gets on stage with Cruz. I grant this.

However, I seem to recall W was very devout - and he's been directly responsible for Christians being all but completely wiped out in the Middle East. Didn't do much on the abortion front either.

For Catholics, our own Pope is responding to ISIS-provoked slaughter by washing muslims' feet and whisking muslims off to safety while betraying Christian refugees. I've been told, by numerous people, that this is about as Christian as you can get, short of unlocking your doors and inviting terrorists in to enjoy your hospitality before, during, and after they rape and murder you.

Our pro-life leadership has announced, in no uncertain terms, that anyone who holds women responsible for their abortions is some kind of alt right monster, completely out of touch with the pro-life movement who regards them all as victims.

And we've got no shortage of clergy and leaders portraying Christianity as a religion where, if a muslim breaks into your house and starts killing and raping your family, it's better to die than kill him in self defense, because a Christian's job is to save souls and never harm a hair on a poor soul's head - after all that little lost lamb may have a conversion experience someday.

What I'm getting at is: what if our likeliest 'devout' leadership are so screwed up on average that it would be better for Christians to have a cultural Christian (God-believing, Christian-friendly, but not exactly trying to be a saint) at the reins than to pick some pontificating jackass for the same role?

Put another way: if I had to choose between Donald 'Forgiveness? Why? All my ex-wives think I'm great' Trump and a laicized Pope Francis for the presidency, Trump would win in a heartbeat.

Because Christian leadership has proven itself to be so inept that so many of them are no longer worth looking to for much of anything.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

What drives some women to abortion

To believe this site, it's the desire to get some plastic surgery on a proper schedule.
One such story was about a healthy woman, with whom sidewalk counselors had spoken, who came to Tiller’s to abort a healthy baby so as not to ruin her “tummy tuck.” That woman went through with her abortion in Wichita despite having no risk of suffering a “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” [which was the given criteria for a late term abortion in Kansas]. Women were getting late-term abortions of viable babies on a regular basis for appallingly frivolous reasons. Tiller and his staff were thumbing their noses at Kansas law.”
Now, this is from Operation Rescue. Maybe they'll full of crap. But considering how women will many times procure abortions for reasons like 'Bad timing', 'I have enough kids, and by enough I mean 2' and otherwise, this is in the realm of possibility.

When situations like this arise, I think the reaction of many in the pro-life movement is to say (paraphrainge Futurama): "I dearly wish I could believe this wasn't true. So, I will."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Corrected by Malcolm

The previous post involved a long exchange with Malcolm. In it I had to defend my view of the Pope's document, and I think what Malcolm's accomplished is sufficient to warrant me correcting what I've said.

I do not think that the vagueness of the Pope here changes doctrine - it simply cannot, on this question. And I do think there was good in the document. I maintain that traditionalists very often are wrong in their estimation of the damage this document can do, or what clarity could accomplish. As far as that goes, I maintain what I've said; trying to deal with liberals by fool-proofing your writings is impossible. They will ignore, rewrite or reinterpret you to their heart's content.

But I think I can explain a legitimate concern, a valid and real concern, that traditionalists have - and put it into words that give it some teeth.

Insofar as this document is vague - and vague about one of (and only one of) the central concerns that was had about this document - it undermines the morale of people who need support the most. A lack of clarity from the Pope himself on this topic has the effect of making strong priests a bit disheartened, and weary priests even more weary. When you're harangued by a culture on all sides already - and often, people in your own pews or (God forbid) your own clergy - then the Pope's decision to go wishy-washy and vague does not give you the support you need. It makes it easier to turn a blind eye, to give communion to the person who by God's law should be denied it. It's corrosive. It is, in fact, a pastoral failure - just as Vatican II ultimately was.

That is a legitimate complaint.

However, I also believe that this is the best way of framing the traditionalist complaint - and, framed that way, this document also lends *support* to many priests, who frankly are more beaten up over other issues. Let's face it: the divorced of the world aren't currently engaged in an outright media and legal campaign against the Church. Feminists and LGBT organizations, are. Those, the pope did shut down more forcefully, with more clarity. Morale improves on those fronts, and the culture is repaired a bit more (though oddly enough, the lack of realization of this by many traditionalists just ends up doing harm on that front by blunting that message.)

That is how I see this situation.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Short Updates 4/17/2016

* While I'm silent on this blog, I keep close tabs on a lot of things, including everything on my sidebar. So imagine my surprise to see John Loftus himself drunkenly stumbling into the crosshairs of the one and only Ed Feser! Loftus, as everyone knows, is to atheism what Lindsey Graham was to the 2016 GOP election - a mediocrity and an also-ran whose main contribution was being unintentionally comedic. Naturally Ed dismantled him the way he deserves to be dismantled: brutally, quickly, and in front of a crowd. Internet philosophers and apologists, take note: this is how you deal with Loftus. Not 'co-author a book with him' or go for some smarmy dialogue-debate in the hopes of drumming up views which he doesn't even have any of to spare.

* I'm also keeping tabs on the election. As ever I'm a Trump guy, and I think I've been vindicated over and over again. Talk of how Cruz is 'anti-establishment' becomes harder and harder to swallow as he continues to collaborate with party bosses to vote-rig, Hillary Clinton style, and rack up endorsements from every GOPe shitheel that his supporters would normally, rightly, despise. I actually don't have much hostility towards Cruz supporters in the main, save for the ones who Officially Support him - and by that I mean major-enough or wannabe-major-enough bloggers - largely because they have the stench of toady on them. It's important to remember that the GOPe is not 'two dozen guys in a room' or even 'a bunch of billionaires and millionaires' - it's also every small-time pissant with a connection or two looking to open doors for themselves to bigger and better things. It's bloggers who feel like one of the 'big guys' when no less than an actual congressman's secretary sends them a bi-annual email asking them to push one issue or another. I pray for a Trump nomination victory, just so I can watch how quickly they pivot, because believe me - most of them will have to if that comes to pass.

* I keep an eye on Malcolm's blog for a number of reasons, one of which is I'm thrilled to see someone of his political and religious convictions getting into fiction-writing - we need more of that. But I also stumbled upon his criticizing the one and only Lydia McGrew's defense of refusing to ever treat women who procure abortions as in need of legal punishment for the act. I got into the act and explained my problems with her view, which I see as pretty foul capitulation (and thus cultural erosion) borne out of imaginary, ineffective pragmatism. I don't go easy on Lydia, partly because she conducts herself terribly with even friendly critics, and partly because I find the sort of reasoning she's engaging in odious. I'm familiar with it, because I used to think in a similar way - this idea that what we (social conservatives) need to do is divest ourselves of politically unpalatable ideas (and thus - unavoidably - the people who hold public views that aren't sufficiently mainstream enough) in order to pass whatever milquetoast watered-down legislation we can. People think that this is crafty and wise political positioning, but in reality it's suicide for the organizations which embrace it, which in turn means surrender in the culture war.

* Oh, and I see the Pope released his thoughts on marriage. I'm of the view that the document is surprisingly good (thanks, Holy Spirit), with the problems traditionalists have over it being imaginary, yet at the same time understandable. Look, I understand that 'vagueness' at parts gets abused by liberals. I do. But you know what liberals do when you get exacting and specific in your wording? They treat it as vague anyway. Or they ignore it. Vagueness is exploited by liberals, but they also have no problem just plain ignoring rules or making things up if need be (see the SCOTUS on same-sex marriage.) So it's a fool's errand to try and liberal-proof a document to the extreme some traditionalists want. If being blunt would suffice to gut them, various parts of that document would have done the trick, re: abortion, gay marriage, etc. You think that's going to shut down pro-abortion Catholics? Me neither. Because they don't care, and they never will care. So don't strategize on the assumption that they do care.