Friday, September 02, 2011

The Left: Upping the Anti-Christ into 2012 and Beyond

It just occurred to me that the proglodyte left -- which never veers far from the ancient millennial screamploy -- is currently projecting their own atavism on to conservatives, what with their latest hysterical attempt to depict normal Americans as dangerous religious extremists.

For the left, the apocalypse is always right around the corner, and yet, they pretend that we are the religious fanatics. Remember back in 2004? Democrats ran on the belief that it was the worst economy since the Great Depression! Yes, back when unemployment was 4 or 5% and the deficit was around 4% of GDP.

Of course, it is inherently difficult to say when a liberal is being sincere, for a liberal who is transparent about his beliefs is unelectable. If Obama had announced his actual beliefs and agenda in 2008 -- or if the media hadn't done such yeoman work in obscuring them -- he would have had about as much of a chance as Dennis Kucinich.

Rick Perry's theology -- whatever it is -- is not my theology, but I am confident that it is within the American mainstream. On the other hand, Reverent Wright is not mainstream, but preaches a classic millennial/apocalyptic/paranoid/neo-Marxist brew masquerading as Christianity. And Obama sat there for twenty years, just drinking it all in.

I want to briefly address a couple of comments to yesterday's post, because they anticipate much of what we will discuss later. Gandalin wonders "how the Church has avoided the millenarian temptation despite the fervently hoped for deliverance at the eshcaton."

The short answer is that she has not always succeeded in doing so; and outside the Church, all bets are off, as Christianity has spun off any number of schismatic millennial cults over the centuries.

Landes notes that Augustine was largely responsible for putting the kibosh on millennial temptations. I don't have time at the moment to look up the exact quote, but he essentially said something to the effect that we must always live as if the eschaton is just over the horizon, even though we can never know and should not attempt to predict when it is to arrive.

In fact, this is fully in accord with Jesus' rather definitive statement in Mark 13:32, which should have settled the matter forever:

But of that day and hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. So, what should we do? Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. End of issue. Just stay alert, and don't let me catch you napping behind the wheel of karma.

So right there we have what ought to be a built-in unknowculation against the millennial temptation. But does it work? Certainly not with everyone. There are always books and religious television programs dedicated to proving that these are the End Times, but I am quite certain that a clever religious huckster could prove that any time is the End Time -- just as apocalyptic environmentalists can show that any weather pattern proves that We're All Gonna Die!

What this actually proves is that millennial and apocalyptic thought is somehow prior to any particular religion. However, this doesn't mean that it is intrinsically false. It does mean, however, that it can only happen once. Julie touched on this in commenting that "The Millenial tendency, it seems to me, must be based in Truth -- much like counterfeit money. But there is no end to the imitators, while there is only one genuine article."

This again goes to one of the central questions we will be attempting to answer as we go along: why do human beings seem to be built in such a way that millennial thought comes so naturally to them?

My preliminary opinion is that it is indeed an archetype, but a complex one, since it is not only in "space," so to speak -- like the Great Mother, the Wise Man, the Anima, the Trickster, et al -- but specifically deployed in time. Also, it organizes and reveals the ultimate meaning of everything, which is why it is so seductive and so intoxicating.

Conspiracy theories will always be with us, because something about them renders existence both exciting and meaningful. They are like the iron magnet that instantly organizes all our random metal shavings. Even if it portends a cataclysmic outcome, from a psychological perspective it is preferable to be persecuted by One Big Thing than a thousand nagging ones (think of the delusional paranoid, who has only one big enemy).

To put it another way, to immerse oneself in a Cosmic Drama of surpassing importance -- whether climate change, Obamania, or this or that smelly little leftist revolution -- is to forget one's own unendurable self for a blessed moment.

But as always, no one escapes the cosmic law: he who smelt it, dealt it. In other words, the problem with these leftist assouls is that they make us endure their unendurable selves. Imagine the horror of actually having to be a Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Michelle Obama, Barney Frank, Keith Olbermann, Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, Cornel West, Al Gore, Rachel Maddow, whoever.

And yet, these are precisely the people who have the ovaries to interfere with our being. But our being is doing just fine, thank you. It never occurs to them that we are not aware of "missing something" that the mommy state can ever fulfill.

Rather, for most normal people, the state can only take, not give. Yes, there are obviously sad and tragic cases for whom we need that "safety net." But the left specializes in converting otherwise normal people -- or at least people who had a shot at normality -- to helpless and needy parasites who cannot live without a state master. In my state, California, these parasites call the shots, and there's not a thing we can do about it. The state is imploding before our eyes.

One thing these people never appreciate is that we are already living their awful millennium. It is already here, after some seventy five years of ceaseless effort to put it in place. But are they happy, now that it's here, now that the government is larger and more intrusive than ever? Of course not! Look at the rioters in Europe. That socialist paradise can't get any more comprehensive unless they revert to the Stone Age.

But do these reactionaries want to roll back the state and try progress for a change? Of course not! Rather, they want more of the same, as His Highness the Teleprompter will undoubtedly announce in its forthcoming "jobs speech."

This is again a transparent example of what Landes calls "apocalyptic jazz," that is, the type of discourse millennialists engage in after they have seized power and their predictions have failed, which they always do and always must.

The pattern is absolutely no different than Christian cults that predict and prepare for the second coming. When it doesn't happen, they just dig in their heels, figure out why their calculation was in error, and then offer a new and improved prediction. This pattern is universal because it is again a human archetype. We are all susceptible to it -- left and right -- if we fail to take precautions.

Although I want a conservative to win the presidency, in no way do I get caught up in the millennial hopes and dreams for which elections serve as "safety valves" to let off the psychic pressure. I'm not into predictions, but I am willing to offer three: one, the Republican candidate will be who it is. Two, I will vote for said candidate. Three, my life will not change much. In other words, there ain't no cure for Bob but the One cure.

I do not expect paradise on earth, because it is impossible. Conversely, the leftist never, ever asks himself if this or that is the best we can expect, given human nature and all.

Rather, the left always exploits the intrinsic imperfections, -- say, in any market economy, in the medical system, in the housing industry, in race relations -- makes them much worse with misguided policies, and then asks us to grant them the power to solve the problems they have created with more solutions guaranteed to make the problems worse.

This is how we end up with a disastrous real estate bubble, with Porkulus, with bankrupt Medicare and Social Security ponzi schemes, with Obamacare, with a dysfunctional educational system, with racial quotas that degrade their targets and impede their progress, etc. All of these ideas work fine in utopia, where they aren't needed. Here on earth they are a disaster. Especially when applied to human beings.

It is instructive to compare and contrast the American and French Revolutions, because in many important ways, these iterated into the left and right as we know them today. Landes has a chapter devoted to the French Revolution, so we'll get to that in due time. But how did Americans hold off the imposition of utopia by government masters for so long?

Clearly, one reason is that they were steeped in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Yes, the writings of the Founders occasionally veer into a kind of messianic fervor, but for the most part, they were quite sober and cautious, and not at all sanguine about man's ability to govern himself.

Since they were instructed by the wisdom of scripture that man is a fallen being who is imperfectible, but must always work toward his own perfection -- individually, but never collectively! -- they never lurched in the direction of the radical enlightenment, which threw off religion as so much nonsense, and attempted to found itself upon pure Reason.

Soon enough, the application of this pure Reason dictated the elimination of anyone who stood in the way between Now and Paradise. If you think this type of thinking is absent from the left, think again.

For Al Gore, if you do not believe the left should take over the global economy to prevent a climate apocalypse, you are no better than a racist or Holocaust denier. If you don't think it is wise to radically redefine the very foundation of civilization -- male-female marriage -- you are a hater and should be treated as such. Ironically, you are beyond the pale of the very civilization you cherish and wish to preserve.

Likewise, the only reason for your hostility to Obama's wise polices can be the color of his skin. You cannot possibly believe that the government has grown too large, for how can our savior, the State, be "too large?" What nonsense! And how inhumane!

Landes puts forth the ironyclad axiom that "one man's messiah is another man's anti-Christ."

This strikes me as manifestly true, but most especially for non-Christians, who see the anti-Christ in George Bush, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, "Dominionists," Creationists, the internal combustion engine -- whoever or whatever is their Demon of the Day. Since they are void of ideas, expect them to engage in this demonology -- to up the anti-Christ -- until November 6, 2012. Then watch them crank it up to eleven.

Kind of ran out of time before I even got started. I think this post may have been inspired by some of the sublime rants at Sultan Knish.

53 Comments:

Blogger Gandalin said...

Dear Bob,

Appreciate your clear thinking on the millenarianism issues, and also for putting my comment in the spotlight!

Perhaps millenarianism develops so easily in the human psyche, individual and social, because the direction of all history is indeed towards the eschaton that the Judeo-Christian tradition promises. So it is only natural that the real millennium is prefigured again and again in history, and that men (and women) try as hard as they can to bring about a messianic age.

St. Augustine's comment is very much in line with my understanding of the traditional Jewish approach to the question -- live each day fully, but also live each day in the hope that Messiah will come before sundown. Be ready. (As I think St Ignatius was ready, in an anecdote I once heard.)

Good Shabbos!

Gandalin

9/02/2011 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Protestants used to just take the easy way out and assign Anti-Christ status to the Pope. Dispensationalism was actually an improvement.

When I began to see the errors of my own pre-millennial view, I suggested that if Jesus had not returned by 2007, Hal Lindsay and some of the rest of the folks would have to eat crow. I was wrong, of course. But I do think, having passed 1988, 2000, and 2007, some evangelicals are finally starting to realize that that the only approach is to live fully today and leave the end to the Lord.

9/02/2011 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

However, if the Cubs were to be leading in the 7th game of the World Series ...

9/02/2011 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Yes, looking forward to and welcoming His coming (Rev 22:20) and looking for it around every corner are two very different things.


"Imagine the horror of actually having to be a Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Michelle Obama, Barney Frank, Keith Olbermann, Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, Cornel West, Al Gore, Rachel Maddow, whoever."

That never crossed my mind...until now. Thanks so much, Bob.

Get. Out. Of. My. Head!

9/02/2011 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today."
~The One Cure
(sung in the tune of Matthew 6:34)

9/02/2011 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

It only occurred to me (some time before the hurricane) that there really are only pre-apocalyptic stories.

9/02/2011 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Since the dawn of recorded history, and probably well before, we have meandered toward the Next Big Thing. The metaphors have changed from one era to the next and from one culture to another, but there is a certainty that one day everything will change, and the imperfect world that we know will be utterly destroyed in preparation for a new and better world. But it is not generally known that this option is also available individually. That's a shame, for the more individual and internal death and rebirth now, the smoother may be the final transition.

9/02/2011 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"But as always, no one escapes the cosmic law: he who smelt it, dealt it. In other words, the problem with these leftist assouls is that they make us endure their unendurable selves. Imagine the horror of actually having to be a Ted Kennedy..."

[shudder] perish the thought.
",Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Michelle Obama,"

Oh, God no, please, stop.

"... Barney Frank, Keith Olbermann, Al Sharpton,"

"NO! Make it stop!!!"

"... Ed Schultz, Cornel West,"

PLEASE!!! STOP!!!

"... Al Gore, Rachel Maddow, whoever. "

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! PLEASE MAKE IT... [blink]

stop.

Phew. Thanks. Ok.

Oh Man. A good imagination can be a terrible thing sometimes.

Ok, back to the post.

9/02/2011 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick,
"...there really are only pre-apocalyptic stories."

Yes, I think you might just be right about that.

Also, what Magnus said™

9/02/2011 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

A bold claim by John C. Wright (in Vanderleun's sidebar):

"All kidding aside, the sad fact is that secularization of the scientific community has arguably decreased the rate of the advance of science. Universities founded by or run by the Church study real knowledge and produce real science, because they believe God is Truth, and the cosmos was made by Him to be studied and understood. Institutions funded by the government study government-approved science, which, if not correct, is politically correct. They understand where their grant money comes from."

9/02/2011 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Indeed; and that's why it's so laughable to assume that since one is a believer, or worse a Christian, one must be a science denier.

***

To put it another way, to immerse oneself in a Cosmic Drama of surpassing importance -- whether climate change, Obamania, or this or that smelly little leftist revolution -- is to forget one's own unendurable self for a blessed moment.

The irony there is that every one is already part of a Cosmic Drama. It's just that they often don't like they role in which they've been cast (or as likely, in which they've cast themselves), thinking it isn't grand and exciting enough.

9/02/2011 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"For Al Gore, if you do not believe the left should take over the global economy to prevent a climate apocalypse, you are no better than a racist or Holocaust denier. If you don't think it is wise to radically redefine the very foundation of civilization -- male-female marriage -- you are a hater and should be treated as such. Ironically, you are beyond the pale of the very civilization you cherish and wish to preserve."


To inject just a bit of apopocalyptic fear into your day, this is from the core doc that animates the U.N.'s Agenda 21 for 'Sustainability',

"1. Land, because of its unique nature and the crucial role it plays in human settlements, cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. Social justice, urban renewal and development, the provision of decent dwellings-and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole. "

Their stated goal, openly stated for the last thirty years, is the destruction of Private Property... which coincidentally was what Karl Marx said his entire philosophy could be boiled down to.

One of the few things he was correct about.

The United States in particular, and the West in general, are formed from a recognition and defense of Property Rights, undo that - as the proregressive left has been trying to do for well over a century - and political liberty is all over with.

As an experiment in how distant this is from you, check your local, country or state agencies and see if you've got a form of a 'dept of sustainability' in place already.

Betcha do.

9/02/2011 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

When he's Wright,
he's Wright!

9/02/2011 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Universities founded by or run by the Church...
...aren't in it for the cash.
They're in it for the Bread.

9/02/2011 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said "All kidding aside, the sad fact is that secularization of the scientific community has arguably decreased the rate of the advance of science."

Interesting to note that the Objectivists say much the same, and though obviously for different fundamentals, both agree that modernity, in giving up the idea that truth could be discoverable, or even is non-existent, has brought a grinding halt to the progress of science.

They don't mean the discovery of the occasional, or even frequent, implication of what is already known, which continues to happen through the diminishing momentum of the early enlighenment, but the halt of fundamental discoveries as such.

Because... at root... they don't believe there is any truth to be discovered.

Secular modernity has basically turned 'Seek and ye shall find' on its head, to 'Don't bother seeking, there's nothing to be found'.

[Cue willian]

9/02/2011 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Nomo "Get. Out. Of. My. Head!"

Heh, I felt your pain my friend!

9/02/2011 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

You know I love you guys but...

When exactly did scientific progress start slowing down?

What is Wright's measure? Interesting thought. But I'm not buying it. I believe I heard something about Roosevelt (who else) opening the floodgates of federal funding to university science in the 40s. Now days we get lots of science because we have lots of scientists. Much is useless science (thinking of my Master's thesis here) but you are going to get a lot of good science as well. Just a matter of volume.

9/02/2011 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Part of the issue with science is the inherent limitations of science.

I works just fine for the subset of human problems that can be addressed by science.

We've pretty much picked the low-hanging fruit. What's left is really, really complex.

Kind of like logic. Logic works just fine for the subsets of existence to which logic may be appropriately applied.

With respect to the entire climate debate fiasco, for example, we are talking about trying to model a massive system with chaotic components.

For example, we can say "mercury in fish - bad". With respect to landfills, we can say "toxic sludge - bad".

Not so with climate. Although Al Gore is using that approach. He just kind of sounds delusional these days.

I kind of think the entire climate change - fossil fuel argument is kind of funny. It's clear to me that we are going to burn every last drop we can find and nothing is going to stop us.

I'm not sure that freeing up money from the fiascos like the climate change fiasco are going to do much good elsewhere. We may be reaching the limits of basic science.

We probably need some sort of new methodology to move forward to a new portion of reality.

9/02/2011 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

I think that science "slowing down" is more of a feature of scientific advance, as we know it, reaching its limits.

There's lots of energy left to go into science, but without a natural outlet, that of scientific advance, it can naturally be redirected into more millenial / politically correct pursuits.

This would make millenianism more of a symptom than a disease. It's a sign that too much energy is being directed into a pursuit when it would be better off directed elswehere, but for some reason is being blocted or misdirected from a more profitable area of human activity, for whatever reason - intertia, ignoranice, active evil, etc.

9/02/2011 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

John--

Yeah, I can't really say that I have any beef with science, only scientism. And Gore-like hysteria rooted in pseudo-science.

9/02/2011 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Re Gore,
"There's nothing new under the rug."

9/02/2011 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Bob-- Oh, ja, sure. Can't argue with that.

JP-- I'm willing to be pursuaded that we are reaching limits. But is this a common idea?

9/02/2011 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. Wright, thanks for mentioning that article, Bob. I hadn't read it earlier, but John's comment prompted me to take a look. It touches on something I almost mentioned last week on the history post, except that I wasn't certain I was well-read enough in sci-fi to be making a good generalization about the commonality of visions of the future that have no room for faith. In other words, most science fiction worlds appear to be based on the assumption that widespread cultural atheism happens naturally with scientific advancement. I think amongst sci-fi readers, if there's going to be a deus ex there damn well better be a machina in there as well.

Wright makes another good point at the end:

"The war between science and religion is fiction, and apparently an entertaining fiction indeed, as many who believe in it continue to do so."

True not only in books but amongst those determined to believe that faith in god is an abandonment of reality.

9/02/2011 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

John said "...but you are going to get a lot of good science as well. Just a matter of volume."

Well, first off, don't confuse science with technology - technology, even and especially technological science, has been the driving force behind the majority of the discoveries of the 20th century - and those have come from instances of having a stated goal, purpose or need, which has had the effect of being the horizontal stand-in for the goal of Truth. But Science, as a systematic search for Truth, has been deathly ill for over a century. Science proper, fed by wonderment, led to Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Huygens, Boyle, Franklin, Galvani, Mendeleev, Pasteur and so on... it's absence has led to... who exactly?

But we aren't reaching the limits of science, as JP suggests, only the limits of what can be discovered with false premises.

The false premises, which are first seen with the modern saint of Science, Einstein, come in with considering 'Space' as a thing... and has led to the daffery of String theory and other intricate forms of mental masturbation. Actually, there was a lot of the reality based worldview that Einstein had a solid grasp of, obviously, and much of it he corrected (look into the early 19th century arguments over atoms, molecules, etc, the Hegelians are absolutely 'global warming' in the scope of their stridently held idiocies... all swept under the rug as the reality of the matter publicly dropped their drawers on the world stage), but his theoretic mysticism took its toll on how far he could go.

I wonder what we might have learned from him if he wasn't crippled by the bad ideas he retained.

Am I qualified to comment on advanced physics? No. Not at all. But fundamental metaphysics? Yep. And that's the level where modernity has gone horribly wrong. Look up what Neils Bohr insisted his theories actually described - reality? Nuh-uh.

Ask me for proof, and obviously it isn't so easy to produce. Describing the situation isn't so easy if you approach it from 'show me proof!", obviously you can't very well look and point out that "Babliafleengles haven't been discovered yet! See?! Proof!"

Just as you can't tell an obamanaut that the economy has been horrifically impoverished by his economic ideas and actions (and of Bush, and so on back to before Keynes), they just say "Not so, look at all the jobs that have been saved and/or created!"

You can't display what hasn't been created or isn't yet known, but you can display that the methods they are counting upon are false, and then allow yourself to realize the enormity of what is being lost as a result of those false premises.

If you realize that a thriving economy is created by the actions of people making their own decisions within a culture of respectable law and honest trusting people, that those decisions and the ability to act upon them are what creates wealth and sends the myriad ripples out into society, each triggering others and more wealth generating actions, and on and on, yada, yada, yo, etc... then you can begin to grasp what is lost, forcibly prevented by regulations, never created, and is never initiated by the creation of myriad other lines of wealth and productivity, and on and on, yada, yada, yo, etc.

In the same way, having a culture conducive to the quest to understand the world, to understanding nature, to grasp more and more of the Truth of all that is, is what led to Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Huygens, Boyle, Franklin, Galvani, Mendeleev, Pasteur and so on. If you grasp that, then you should be able to grasp the implications of a culture which denies that the Truth can be known, that reality exists or that anything has or can have a purpose, or even value at all.

9/02/2011 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

John, when JP said that, I tended to agree with him.
It recalled yet again something I heard one of the engineers in the space shuttle program say during the early days of the investigation of the Challenger accident. When asked what he thought caused the explosion, he responded, "we've reached the limit of out technology." We eventually found out it was those o-rings. But what a strange/shocking thing to say at the time.
The idea never left my mind obviously.
It does seem in many ways, but of course it depends on what you mean when you think of science, that we more than anything are simply (?) increasing the complexity of what we already know rather than learning new things.
What is "greater", the distance between the candle and the lightbulb, or the telegraph and the iPhone?

9/02/2011 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of Wright, in another comment thread I've been loosely observing, Vanderleun linked to another of his posts from today. This guy has one heckuva conversion story, I must say.

Be careful what you pray for...

9/02/2011 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Contains a good all-purpose response to our devoted troll:

I used to be one of you, and I was good at my job, and you embarrass me with the feebleness and silliness of your attempts to do what I once upon a time did so well.

9/02/2011 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Hmmm, good comments thar. Yeah, I'm combining science and technology so you raise a good point Van. Not much progress on the basics. I can go with that. Then Rick talks about our progress may just be "increasing the complexity of what we already know rather than learning new things."

Well, with computers and cheap, ubiquitous sensors, that can do the computational heavy lifting, maybe the discoveries will be in the other direction, meaning the study of complex systems. The interplay of the well known pieces that are too complex to follow as a whole without the aid of computational horsepower may be where the new discoveries lie.

9/02/2011 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

With respect to "science", you can only go so far with the scientific method.

That is to say that the scientific method can only be applied to the small subset of reality to which it may properly be applied.

With respect to Rick's comment of the space shuttle, I watched the final shuttle launch on TV the other week. I watched the first and I watched the last. The "Space Age" would appear to be over for the moment. The impulse that launched Apollo is spent and there are no dreams of space exploration that are in the rising generational cohorts.

It will probably return later, but for now, we will simply look to the stars as a form of natural beauty. Probably for generations.

The distance between the candle and the light bulb is the greater distance, of course.

9/03/2011 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of candles and light bulbs, back to Sultan Knish:

"It's astounding that no one has learned anything in thousands of years except how to make a better smartphone. We can put people on the moon and make dinner in five minutes, but we can't stop destroying ourselves in cycle after cycle of history while finding creative ways to justify our suicides."

***

And as an aside,
oooooo, spinny widgets! It's like merry-go-rounds of genius!

9/03/2011 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger jwm said...

Good evening gang!
As per usual I've been hanging in the back rows, and trying to keep the practice of saying nothing when I have nothing to say. Department of coincidence department. I read the piece Julie linked. And I was struck by the similarity to my heart adventure some years back. Now I had nothing near so dramatic happen to me as happened to Mr. Wright.

But right before I came over here, read Bob's most bodacious post, and clicked Julie's link, I posted this over at iotw:

I’m 59 headed for 83 according to the survey. My Grandfather had two heart attacks and died of old age at 89. Dad had one heart attack, and made it to 66. I had one near miss in ’06 (pretty darn hairball experience), and received a stent in some coronary artery as a souvenir. I owe the high score to good food and bicycles.

Perhaps the single wisest piece of advice I ever received came from Gagdad Bob Godwin after I got back from the hospital. To paraphrase:

Now you’re playing in extra innings. Every single day after this is a gift.

He was right; Each day and hourly I am grateful to the One who gives the Gift. Being able to see it is like a Birthday Presence.

JWM

9/03/2011 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Whoa - I was literally just thinking of you, JWM! It's good to hear your story again, and you're right about the Presence.

9/03/2011 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

JWM Said "He was right; Each day and hourly I am grateful to the One who gives the Gift. Being able to see it is like a Birthday Presence."

Using the word in it's original meaning: Awesome.

9/04/2011 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

the miracle of life is a gift from God

our job is never losing sight of it

the gift of life is a miracle from God

9/04/2011 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, good grief - reason #25429875 I'm glad we'll probably never live in California. Though if this passes, it seems it would make it a lot tougher for any current homeowner to leave.

I like this, from the comments:

"OMG, look at all the water leaking in the boat. Quick, drill some holes to let it out!"

9/04/2011 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

@julie. WOW! Even if it gets on the ballot I can't believe it would get voted in. California isn't that nuts.

Back to Wright, after reading his great conversion story (thanks julie) I found a Jesus vs. Buddha smack down. Jesus wins! Kidding aside, it's good essay on the evolution of the major religions. Islam pretty much gets ignored as a heresy.

9/04/2011 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

Rick Perry's theology -- whatever it is -- is not my theology, but I am confident that it is within the American mainstream.

When a dominionist creationist is manstream, we're in big trouble.

9/04/2011 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

Rick Perry heh Even Texans know he's a moron.

9/04/2011 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

When you've lost the Rice Marching Owl Band, you've lost middle America.

9/04/2011 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This is ridiculous: Aretha at 14. I think I'd be scared if I had a gift like that.

9/04/2011 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. Aretha, she was incredible. Few people deserve the silly honorific titles so often ascribed to musicians; she is one of those few.

9/04/2011 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

In the Judeo Christian tradition the eschaton functions as the eternal carrot; in islam it is the eternal stick. I've seen the anti-jihad bloggers- Geller, and Spencer in particular taking a lot of heat lately. I think that their often strident sense of urgency in matters relating to the global jihad puts some of the polite folk off.
I think too, that the folks who are put off by Atlas et al do not see the war from the same perspective. The jihad is THE millenarial war burning across planet Earth.
Those who see it as a truly apocalyptic battle sometimes end up like Kevin McCarthy's character in the penultimate scene of the old Invasion of the Body Snatchers- running from car to car screaming at people to wake up- and no one listens- no one believes.

JWM

9/05/2011 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The political science is settled: we are racists.

9/05/2011 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's true. We're racist for thinking too highly of blacks:

Tea Partiers "agreed with the statement that Irish, Italians and Jews overcame prejudice and blacks should do the same without any special favors.”

9/05/2011 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Awesome. We're racists for having equal expectations of people regardless of pigment. If that's how it's defined, I'll wear the label proudly.

9/05/2011 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If my son were enrolled in a public school in California, he would be forced by the state to learn that this bungling crime against reality is just wonderful.

9/05/2011 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Ugh. I don't know why, but for some reason it never crossed my mind until reading that that it's the spawn of Cher (since I never think of her as Cher Bono, the connection never clicked. Plus with the transformation, it's not like there's any physical resemblance to go by...).

The whole thing is just awfully sad, not something to be celebrated. Chastity was a lovely girl; now she's just a sideshow. And with her parents I doubt she'll ever be comfortable in her own skin, no matter how many cosmetic procedures she undergoes. The problem isn't the hardware, it's the software.

9/05/2011 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

As one of the people who helped put together that rally under the arch pictured in the story, I’ll have to break the news to a number of those working with me... that’s it’s no good hiding behind their skin, the jig is up, we’re all racists underneath.

Good thing we have these elites who are able to understand from afar, what their eyes might otherwise lie to them about were they actually to come close enough to risk the infection of facts.

It's good being a proregressive leftie, where only your ideas can be believed in and everyone else has to be a hypocrite - by definition. What a comforting place that must be to cling to.

9/05/2011 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

In other news, this is what happens to families when the state is allowed to intrude. I don't know if the parents were on welfare to begin with, but obviously being micromanaged by social workers was just the first step in destroying the family altogether. Meanwhile, children being raised without fathers only to produce more children in their early teens are given bonus housing and financial benefits.

9/05/2011 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh (substitution mine):

Now, as to [William's] point that conservatives are anti-science, well, at least two things come to mind. Which ideology is it that throws a hissy fit over genetically modified organisms and childhood vaccinations? Or files lawsuits to stop de-listings of recovered species (like the gray wolf) even after the government’s science advisory bodies say “the science” says they should be de-listed? Who’s not respecting science now?

9/05/2011 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's actually much worse than that. Millions have died as a result of the science haters of the left, for example, with the banning of DDT. But I am not aware of anyone who has been harmed as a consequence of someone's personal belief in creationism.

9/05/2011 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

True; and as a current example the vaccination issue is a serious problem which has resulted in deaths and the re-emergence of some serious diseases that had been virtually wiped out.

***

Unrelated, you wanna play me?

9/05/2011 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos the Chastity/ Chaz issue, I'm still slowly going through T of the B and the discussion of the Fall. The following passages speak to why the whole transgender issue strikes the spiritually normal as so deeply disordered:

In the state of original innocence... nakedness did not express a lack, but represented the full acceptance of the body in its whole human and thus personal truth... The original acceptance of the body was in some sense the basis of acceptance of the whole visible world...

4. The words, "I was afraid, because I am naked, and I hid myself" (Gen 3:10), attest to a radical change in this relationship.
Man in some way loses the original certainty of the "image of God" expressed in his body. He also loses in a certain way the sense of his right to participate in the visibility of the world, which he enjoyed in the mystery of creation.

9/06/2011 02:44:00 AM  

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