The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: June 29, 2019

6/23/19: Nik and Lijana Wallenda walk the high wire in Times Square, NYC. (Jason Szenes/AP)

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: June 29, 2019


With the refugee situation on our southern border rising to such prominence this past week, it is refreshing to read this:

For the two last years, the Church of St. Clement (Anglican) in El Paso had opened its doors monthly to house 30 of the many Central American asylum seekers pouring into El Paso, TX in search of safety and rest.

Once a month they pick up several vans full of those requesting asylum and provide them three days of a safe place to sleep, food to eat, showers, clothing and even toys for the children. Then they help these individuals and families connect to their sponsors and to the place where they will await their asylum hearings. While the seekers are at the church, they are given Spanish New Testaments and receive prayer from on site intercessors. If they are still there by Sunday morning, they attend the Holy Eucharist at Rey de Paz, St. Clement’s Spanish-language congregation.

When St. Clement’s began this ministry, they were helping meet a practical need. Today, they are trying to address a crisis. Each day, 300-700 asylum seekers pass legally through the US Border checkpoint in El Paso. Then Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE) loads them up into buses and drives them into El Paso’s downtown, and drops them off with no further assistance. While the federal government does have money allocated for the purpose of housing asylum seekers, as does the United Nations, the funds are blocked from use due to the complex US political debates around immigration. Consequently, ICE has requested that the churches and non-profits of El Paso help; St. Clement’s is one of the churches that answered the call.

While the national debate on immigration rages, how do we respond to an immediate crisis? When the vestry of the Church of St. Clement was asked permission to begin this ministry, they prayed for a month, and then voted unanimously to approve it. “It didn’t matter that our immigration system is broken,” explained Rector Bill Cobb, “the ‘refugees’ that are released by ICE and granted temporary legal status tell stories of the profound human need and desperation that led them to journey to the United States. We are reminded of Jesus words, ‘whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40).”

• • •


• • •


• Is Ed Stetzer the next domino to fall in the James MacDonald saga?

For a religion that claims to be all about accountability, one that even frequently claims that people reject the religion out of hatred for accountability, they sure don’t believe in holding their leaders to it. Even the organizations that claim to hold church leaders to accountability through transparency in finances can’t actually do much if their members don’t cooperate. (Captain Cassidy, Roll to Disbelieve)

• Russell or Jerry Jr.?

“Pastors, theologians, church leaders, Christians, should be unanimously calling for a compassionate response, care, concern, and ministry to these children. It would be good if we could just all agree that we need to help and support positive solutions for these children,” Cross added.

Politico Magazine’s chief political correspondent, Tim Alberta also pointed to the political and cultural divide among evangelicals.

“This not a political statement but a simple fact of culture and theology: There are Russell Moore Christians and Jerry Falwell Jr. Christians. Choose wisely, brothers and sisters,” he said. (Leonardo Blair, Christian Post)

• Should we take Jeremiah 29:11 down off our walls?

Though the process of letting go was very hard, I no longer cling to the plan. I believe in something more tender, riskier, more fragile. I believe that human freedom isn’t an illusion; it’s the real deal. God works with the free choices we make in the free universe we live in. God dreams for us, hopes with us, and grieves with us in real time. God works in subtle, mysterious ways, always and everywhere, to redeem us without violating our freedom. (Debi Thomas, The Christian Century)

• Yes, we’ll have no bananas?

I had no idea, but bananas are the fourth biggest food staple in the world, behind rice, wheat, and corn. The banana used to be a luxury good. Now it’s the most popular fruit in the U.S. and elsewhere. But the production efficiencies that made it so cheap have also made it vulnerable to a deadly fungus that may wipe out the one variety most of us eat. Scientists have a way to save it — but will Big Banana let them? (Freakonomics Radio podcast, Episode 8-43)

• • •


Peace. William Strutt

I attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for seminary, which is affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church in America (EFCA). My intention was to become a pastor in the denomination. For various reasons, it never happened. One of the theological reasons involved an issue regarding eschatology.

The EFCA had a history of dispensationalism, though they were known for their willingness to debate certain aspects of that, such as the timing of the rapture (pre-trib/mid-trib/post-trib). One non-negotiable, however, was premillennialism. Their commitment to this was so strong that when they had an opportunity to hire Bruce Waltke, a world-renowned OT scholar, they demurred, because he was an amillennialist. Though I remained nominally premil in my theology, I was not thoroughly convinced and was open to other perspectives. That would not have served me well had I become an EFCA pastor.

But all that is changing now…

The EFCA Board of Directors has introduced a motion to amend Paragraph 9, Article III of the Articles of Incorporation of the EFCA, the Statement of Faith, as follows:

We believe in the personal, bodily and premillennial glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission.

This motion was unanimously and enthusiastically adopted by the Board of Directors in February, 2017. Because the motion involves a proposed amendment to the Articles of Incorporation, the motion was presented to the 2017 Conference but cannot be acted upon until the 2019 Conference and must receive the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership of the 2019 Conference present and voting. The board strongly believes that this motion allows time for necessary and important conversations as a movement.

EFCA Proposal

• • •


From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

A network of anti-LGBT churches used its “Make America Straight Again” conference to move beyond its stock fallacies and hate-filled rhetoric and call for the government to begin rounding up and executing homosexuals.

Steven Anderson, well-known for his calls for the murder of LGBTQ people, spearheads the New Independent Fundamental Baptist Movement (New IFB), whose ministers spoke at the gathering. But it was the inclusion of Anderson’s lesser-known associates that revealed the breadth of the New IFB’s growing influence.

The New IFB is a group of 22 domestic and eight international churches led by Anderson’s colleagues and acolytes. Those evangelists often rival his rhetoric in their depictions of LGBTQ people as rapists and pedophiles who are a danger to society and worthy of death.

…At the conference, held June 14-16 in Orlando, Florida, speaker after speaker railed against the LGBTQ community. Preachers repeated long-discredited myths such as linking homosexuality to pedophilia and child abuse, and said LGBTQ people should be barred from adopting or fostering children. Like Grayson Fritts, their New IFB colleague in Knoxville, Tennessee, they called for the government to kill LGBTQ people.

…As Anderson left Revival Baptist Church Saturday afternoon, he briefly engaged with protesters outside the church before walking away and yelling, “Get AIDS and die!”

• • •


I have been remiss in failing to recommend to you Matt B. Redmond’s great series on Van Morrison on his blog, Echoes and Stars. Matt is a quintessential music lover, and he writes vividly with passion about his long time affection for the Irish singer and his remarkable career.

Writing about Van is intimidating. There’s no way around it. Each word has felt like a shadow of the real thing. Like chasing chimeras. You never feel as if you have pulled off anything close to getting at the reality of what you are dealing with. But every writer will tell you about the need to write about those subjects which rivet their attention their most. And my attention has been fixed pretty consistently on Van for nearly 25 years.

Here are the posts:

Spoiler: Matt’s favorite Van album is Hymns to the Silence (1991). Here is the opening cut from that great record, “Professional Jealousy.”

174 thoughts on “The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: June 29, 2019

  1. For that matter, before their Coup From Within in 1933 when they actually had to appeal to the German electorate, the Nazi Party presented themselves as Guardians/Restorers of Traditional German Family Values against the homosexual decadence of Weimar Berlin. This tied into a public nostalgia for a simpler, better time called “Blood and Soil”, kind of a Little House on the Prairie auf Deustch. They also tapped into a lot of resentment at the raw deal Germany got after the end of WW1 and resulting economic collapse (even before the Great Depression).

    Similar dynamics are in play today, but not so intense. 2019 America isn’t as wrecked and desperate as 1930 Weimar Germany.

    Plus, the rise of the Nazis seems to have been a “Perfect Storm” situation where everything came together just right; remove or change any one of those factors and you would not have had Naziism. You probably would have gotten a Fascist Germany going another round with France in revenge for Versailles, but the form of German Fascism — its sheer racist viciousness and cult of personality — would have been different and probably less extreme. A “Germany First” movement that didn’t become a total Cult. What became the Nazis in our uptime might have been just a minor factor, a German equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan doing its own thing.


  2. Probably also varied by place & time. I grew up in a 1947-vintage housing tract in SoCal, built up during the Post-WW2 land boom (after the population of Los Angeles exploded during the war). There were no sidewalks anywhere inside the neighborhood, only on the large main street that ran along one side of it. And several of the nearby neighborhoods (built up in the late Forties to early Sixties) also didn’t have sidewalks when you got off the main streets.


  3. Which is a REAL kicker when you figure Trump is one of the most pointy-haired of autocratic bosses.


  4. Necessary is a value judgement. Necessary on every street in every location in the US?

    Sorry. Nope.

    Or we could go there and make sure no one but the upper 1/3 of the country can afford to buy a house. Or less.
    Storm sewers?
    Municipal water?
    Municipal sanitary sewer?
    Wired phone service?
    Wired electrical power?
    Paved roads?
    Paved driveways?

    Your comment reflects a very urban outlook that doesn’t make sense for much of the locations in the US. Much less the rest of the planet.


  5. Mr. Griggs,

    I’m not angry. Just because I disagree with you and asked you do a little research, why do you assume that I am? Your response has the distinctive smell of dismissiveness and is a cheap shot. From your comments to me and to others as well, that appears to be your preferred method of engagement.

    I voted for Reagan and both Bushes, so I’m not tracking your Hitler references. I don’t remember anyone else calling you Hitler and I didn’t mention that name in my comment to you. So, why are you projecting? In the literal words of Donald Trump, “Believe me, that’s a huge, bigly mistake. Boring, boring, boring. Not classy.”


  6. I don’t know how you got that Christy.

    A) I’m a pretty poor example of a Christian but I absolutely believe Scripture is the very word of God – pretty easy to understand for the most part but so very counter-cultural.

    B) Not sure how you think I have turned my back on the poor, migrant and the oppressed. After all, you have no idea how I live my life and I have certainly never commented that to help others less fortunate is wrong.


  7. Ditto, Klasie. It’s particularly hard, though, to listen to people who loudly proclaim their Christianity but turn their backs on the poor, the migrant, the oppressed. I just don’t understand how they can not see this as going against everything Jesus preached. I spend a lot of time pondering this question…


  8. Angry? Not angry. Sad, a bit disgusted. You are honestly not very high on the list of things that could make me angry. There has always been people that cheer on those who do horrible things, but if I allow each one to make me angry, why, I would die of a coronary. Anyway, that’s all, got to get back to my pint…


  9. I spent some years looking thru the history of World War II Clay. I also have lived in the culture wars. Reagan was literally Hitler, both of the Bushes were literally Hitler and Trump is, of course, literally Hitler. I too must be, metaphorically speaking, literally Hitler. All Nazis all the time – dryly.

    Tell me Clay, why are you so angry? Seriously?


  10. Come of it, Seneca. Someone said something you said resembles stuff the Nazis said in the 1930’s. Nobody called you Hitler. No one said you are a Nazi, neo- or otherwise.

    But by all means, stroke your own virtue by developing a silly martyr’s complex. It is rather sad.


  11. Mr. Griggs, Godwin’s law notwithstanding, before you dismiss someone’s comparisons of today’s political climate to the rise of nationalist fascism in post WWI Germany, I suggest you do a little of research. If you need some guidance, just ask. You might be surprised.


  12. I’ve been commenting for many years.

    I’ve never compared anyone or anything to either Hitler or the Nazis. I haven’t made a Stalin/Lenin comparison.

    Never referenced Mao

    Haven’t talked about the Gulags, never brought up concentration camps.

    Have never compared any institution to the Gestapo or Stasi.

    I’m appreciative of Godwin’s Law.

    As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches; that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or his deeds, the point at which effectively the discussion or thread often ends.


  13. Metaphorically speaking I must be literally Hitler. — comment; comparison to Nazis made.


  14. Someone might give health care to that homeless man he saw on the corner this morning. Someone might offer a path to citizenship to those Spanish-speaking teens he ran into at McDonald’s yesterday. Someone might welcome all those “different” people into HIS neighborhood. Someone might be female and have greater power than he has.

    Does that accurately describe the fears of conservative white men in this country, Seneca? I think it does.


  15. Well, Guys, As Bob Hope says thanks for the memories. I will leave you to your echo chamber of similar thoughts. I appreciate all the comments and dialogue but I do not want to be the pet monkey.Thanks for not voting me off the island , I will swim off.
    Chaplin Mike is great on many faith based issued and will still check in to read him.
    God Bless all here and wish the best to all of you.


  16. what did you DO for goodness sake?

    on second thought, it’s none of my business

    the last time I tried to reconcile someone to a blog administrator , I got thrown off

    well, good luck sorting things out . . . . . might just be a glitch in the machine thing


  17. that’s what’s fun about J.B.

    it kinda lets him off the hook, unless you just can’t, but it gives him some cover, and when he IS funny, he’s VERY funny . . . . if you like word-play and that sort of thing 🙂

    I’m not voting him off the island, no. We need the laughs.


  18. Hello Robert

    ‘resistance’ doesn’t mean ‘taking over’, no

    it might mean just refusing to follow unlawful orders


  19. Yet more proof that the constituency for people like Trump is not just the “blue collar white poor”, but the white collar white suburbanites as well.


  20. It’s a known fact that the comments here can be glitchy. I’ve had comments disappear or be delayed for hours. I just choose not to assume it’s active censorship…


  21. Not around here it wasn’t. Low 90s, stifling humidity. I lost a gallon of water from sweat when I walked the dogs. 😛


  22. Especially in sects and cultures where admission of such things might get you ostracized or killed.


  23. I hear a metric cr@pton about what you think God hates – I shudder to think what you think God loves.


  24. They might hate each other, but Christ calls us to love both. Is “blessed are the peacemakers” in your Bible?


  25. You probably see it a lot in rural areas.
    Remember that when measured by county instead of state, the 2016 elections broke down pretty clean along urban-vs-rural lines. Urban islands of blue in an ocean of red.


  26. sure it works for evil: take a look at what happened when the ‘Christian extreme far right’ activated (weaponized) Scott Roeder, who murdered Dr. Tiller, the abortionist. Scott Roeder’s story is deeply entwined in what it was that gave him a sense that he was justified in committing murder.

    This is commonly called “Let Bubba Do It”.


  27. I think I can match “SIGNS THAT LET ME KNOW I’M NEAR HOME” with a T-shirt I saw shortly after the 2008 elections:



  28. Because HOMOSEXUALITY is the OTHER guy’s SIN, while adultery is a privilege of Pastoral rank.


  29. Ever wonder if Fred Phelps’ REAL sin was being too blunt and direct instead of using the Proper Code Words?


  30. Yip. And for all his mutterings his morality is virtually identical to the extremists that have made the news in recent years. They were also fond of executions…


  31. It is! It is one of my favourite Discworld novels. Terry Pratchett’s insight into so many fields – government, law and order, trade, music, academia, theology etc etc, was exceptional. All done through the lens of honour. A monumental achievement.

    Just this afternoon I listened to the conversation between Mightily Oats and Granny Weatherwax. A brilliant exposition of belief, theology, morality and humanity. “And sin, young man, is when you treat people like things.”


  32. It was a wonderful day outside. Do you all sit inside all day and play on the internet? Perhaps you could get lives


  33. Chaplin Mike, you have even blocked me from responding or writing to you. Thanks for the Christian resonse


  34. You seem to be enamoured of your own cleverness, but really, you are just a hateful and rather ignorant little man.


  35. The Nazis implemented a policy of extermination of homosexuals in the concentration camps. You would’ve supported the Nazis all the way, and so would your Anderson.


  36. Eeyore, Yes I agree it is hard for me even as I go back and forth between a serious thought and nonsense. I just wanted to let u know I answered your question in the wrong thread about the Frum piece.


  37. Oh, there’s something wrong with Anderson alright, but it has nothing to do with his sexual orientation or preferences.


  38. What if you lived in Nazi Germany and had the chance to kill a concentration camp guard. Do you believe that would be okay, or would it be murder?


  39. So do you hate Muslims or not:? You can’t support both homos and Muslims,because Islam puts homos to death. Either Mohammed was telling the truth, or he was a wicked liar. I say wicked liar.


  40. Christiane, I felt like Paul Harvey with the Rest of the Story. I was doing what is called human interest background and thought it was great as I was within the 6 degrees of the story to qualify as affected.
    However to be serious, it is a sad tale with so many dimensions . No one gave the command to fire, it was poorly trained young National Guard troops who were put in a no win situation. The mistake was to have the Guard load and react in defensive manner.
    It knows back to the Gown vs Town issue that plagues every large college campus. The National Guard troops were roughly the same age as the protesters, from a working class background . The college students were not only protesting but adding fuel to a tense situation. As the 14 year old run a way being there shows, the protesters were there for an event and did not ever anticipate any real danger. It takes a lot of training to do mob and large crowd control. Nothing good to say about the events that day at Kent
    People always want to place blame and I guess that is human nature. Who should receive the lion’s share of the blame then as now depends on your social, cultural and political views. In the justice system , the base of assigning guilt is the question but for. But for the actions of the protesters that turned into a hostile mob the tragedy would not have happened. It does show how much better trained, equipped and aware of
    how to diffuse a bad situation law enforcement is now compared to the 60’s and 70’s.


  41. Pastor Anderson has ten children. (He got married at 19.) Nothing wrong with Pastor Anderson.

    Yes, sodomy is disgusting, and not something any normal person wants to think about, but it’s in the Bible for a reason. If you don’t preach against it, you’re not preaching the Bible. Unfortunately that’s most churches today.


  42. I’m sorry, but it can be hard to tell when you are serious and when you are not sometimes…


  43. Rule by military is never a good idea. Once a country takes that step, it is very hard to backtrack. If the military takes on the role of being the “defenders of our country” by overseeing domestic government, then the democratic experiment is all over. The military authority structure has no checks and balances; bad, bad idea.


  44. Hello senecagriggs,

    all folks need to do is to return to the Holy Gospels of Our Lord and see how HE treated people with problems, and He was kind, and patient, and HE healed, and HE had compassion for the weary and the ‘lost without a shepherd’, and there, in the Holy Gospels,
    we return to the Source of our strength and we know of kindness and decency from the One Who Is Love.

    return to the Gospels? I’d say we need to run to them. Now. And be renewed in our hope. Be encouraged.
    The story is not over yet.


  45. hello, J.B.

    well, she is a part of ‘the story’ and your input is interesting (it’s a small world)


    ‘the story’ focuses on the young man who is lifeless in a country where men can’t order other men to kill those who protest and are unarmed

    it happened, in 1970, in this country, I remember it well

    people WERE shocked then .. . . the picture had an effect for a while

    but today? after all the priming of the hate pump, what bloodshed will result eventually???

    some thoughts, none of them good


  46. try Christianity OR Trump

    by this time, with young children sleeping on concrete floors covered with mylar, going hungry, no diapers, without baths, or even a toothbrush, scant water for thirst, the older ones looking after the toddlers and babies
    . . .

    is there any doubt about ‘what Trump is’ NOW ? I don’t think so.

    He can’t hide it, but the truth is, he seems to REVEL in it because it appeals to HIS BASE.

    i only hope between the Russian interference, the gerrymandering enforced by the SCOTUS, the long voting lines where aged must stand for hours in the hot sun, the ‘confusion’ at the polls where legitimate voters are questioned, the open harassment and intimidation at the polls . . . . . between all these things and the possibility that our democracy will survive by overwhelming mandate of voters who have ‘had enough’,
    we will end up on our feet again with a country that honors the rule of law. We shall see. Soon, not soon enough for some, but soon.


  47. ay, there’s the rub

    for them which will judge and punish for a ‘sin’ they have chosen to persecute;
    but who will not look at their own selves and realize they are knee-deep in stuff that is also accused by what their ‘bible clearly says . . . . .

    I didn’t realize?

    or just willful ignorance or a run-away need to have contempt for ‘those other sinners’

    or something worse, profoundly worse
    . . . an obsession that tries to hide their own situation even before God, but can no longer shield them when they cannot control ‘who they really are’ and not even their open persecution of others like themselves absolves them of their ‘hidden’ burden
    . . . . a sickness of soul and mind that only the Good Lord can see clearly . . . . in the end, the exposure of such people may be a lesson to the world of why it is not permitted to foster hate towards and bring harm on ‘that other sinner’ because in the end, ‘that sinner’ is also me.


  48. Christiane, As Walt Disney use to say its a small world. Your link to the Kent State shooting jogged well slow walked my memory. I delivered newspaper to the Vecchio household and went to school with the sister of Mary Ann Vecchio the young girl kneeling over the body in the famous picture. I believe her sister s name was Maria and she was famous locally as she had hiccups months. This was in a lower socio economic part of Miami called Opa Locka.
    Anyway I had forgotten about the Vecchio girl . She was a 14 year old run a way that somehow ended up at Kent State. After the shooting she got enough money to go to California and ended up being a fast food cashier in Vegas. That is all I remember.
    I always wondered why the police did not return Vecchio home. In todays world she would be on every cable news show and make some coin on her picture. Basically she was a run a way , crashing with the college hippie types and the rest is history .
    As they use to say, that is some of the rest of the story.


  49. Steven Anderson and Donald Trump:

    inciting others to violence?

    Anderson posing as a ‘pastor’ of a ‘church’?

    And Trump at his ‘rallies’ (please); or giving us his ‘there are good people on both sides’ cr@p?

    sure it works for evil: take a look at what happened when the ‘Christian extreme far right’ activated (weaponized) Scott Roeder, who murdered Dr. Tiller, the abortionist. Scott Roeder’s story is deeply entwined in what it was that gave him a sense that he was justified in committing murder. When Scott Roeder’s instigators were exposed, people like Michele Malkin cried ‘foul’, that it was an attempt to target Fox News and the Christian right;
    but in the end, a very unstable and maleable man took the life of a physician acting for those who must have known that stirring up hatred would eventually have a result. It was the classic: ‘hey, Scott Roeder, let’s you and Tiller go fight’;
    and then when Roeder had to pay the price for the murder, the extreme right tried to distance themselves from responsibility for influencing that weak man. Roeder got ‘the hard 50’ which was eventually reduced to a ‘hard 25’ before possibility of parole.

    Evil? Thy name is chaos in a land where division is, while there still remains some remnant of decency.


  50. LOL

    I should be lost without the likes of Headless and J.B.

    humor . . . . perspective . . . . . whatever

    all I know is that if you can no longer laugh, that’s the end of the line


  51. HUG, did you know that the cartoonist who produces Dilbert, Scott Adams, is a huge Trump supporter? He even approvingly predicted Trump would be the Republican presidential nominee and ultimately President in 2015, before anybody took Trump seriously as a contender.


  52. Trump may run into a problem. He wants ‘loyalty’ to himself, a la Adolf of another generation;
    but our military has a code of decency and honor that it prides itself in.

    Most Americans know this.

    Trump may not know this.

    well, if he attempts to corrupt the military, there will be some kind of fireworks all right, because he will run up against ‘resistance’ that is built into the military honor code and he will have to really do some damage in order to take that code down

    in the end, maybe it will be the military that defends our country when the Senate has abdicated all responsibility and the Dems are consumed by a pre-election circular firing-squad


    someone needs to be the adult in the room

    and soon


  53. Terry Pratchett’s *Night Watch* is an interesting examination of this idea, among others.


  54. I remember other troubled days . . . .

    our human weaknesses emerge in times of stress and division, and people suffer as a result;
    but today we have a Russian-backed man in the W.House who actively fosters the hatreds and the prejudices of ‘his base’. Someone needs to tell Christian Trump supporters that fostering hatred is evil. Really evil.
    Trump is like the evil Norse god ‘floki’ stirring up the pot of hatred and making mischief and sitting back and enjoying the result,
    only Christian evangelicals love this guy and vote for him and support him in prayers and in sermons,
    no wonder children get confused and turned off by the hypocrisy.

    The children are always watching. And they are wiser than given credit for being able to sort out hypocrisy from the real deal. Proof: it didn’t take much for Falwell to create a Falwell Jr. to be as cynical and corrupt as he was . . . . chip off the old block;
    but then how do we explain Franklin Graham of the holy parents Ruth and Billy? Did Franklin know something we didn’t. I hope not. Maybe he just went the way of the world on his own.

    The story isn’t over yet. That both terrifies and thrills me. Staying hopeful keeps me going.

    Strange days, these.


  55. Working around a Jerk Boss —
    that’s not Deep State(TM), that’s Dilbert!


  56. Christianity and the Crisis, Christianity and the New Psychology, Christianity and the New Order, Christianity and Faith Healing, Christianity and Psychical Research, Christianity and Vegetarianism, Christianity and Spelling Reform.

    Christianity and Trump?


  57. George Alan Rekers, of North Miami — one of America’s most prominent anti-gay activists. Rekers, a Baptist minister who is a leading scholar for the Christian right, left the terminal with his gay escort, looking a bit discomfited when a picture of the two was snapped with a hot-pink digital camera . . .

    I suspect one of the dynamics in play is the conflict between being a Big Name Christian Morality Warrior and SSA (that same culture’s STRONGEST taboo). They don’t dare come out because of that taboo (and the reaction), so they stay deep in the closet and self-medicate by preaching against it, the more frenzied the better.

    An analogy is Rush Limbaugh, number-one fanboy of the War on Drugs while having a secret Oxycontin addiction.


  58. Before he got caught doing meth with a rentboy.
    And it came out he was a regular customer of the gay “sexual aids” stores.


  59. Eeyore, I answered you above in the Zombie Walking Dead section. the Zombies may have taken a little taste Anyway check it out if you care. for some reason I do not think you will agree with me but neither does David Frum but where did he come frum?


  60. And people wonder why I see no difference between Christians and the Islam I was taught to hate in school in the mid 2000s.

    …why do I come back here anymore.


  61. Steve Newell, I believe Ted Haggard was turning the other cheek, he just did not want anyone to know about it.


  62. Robert F. Thanks for the info about Zombies do not eat brains but I think I was safe anyway unless they wanted a light snack. Know One Told Me About Her, great song by the Walkers.


  63. Eeyore, being the article was from Jan 2018 and it is an excerpt from the book that Frum was trying to sell I would take it for what it is, it is from Frum , which is a great set of 2 words, but it Frum s opinion which is what free speech is all about. His predictions of the blue wave with Reps losing the House, Senate and state offices did not happen. Everyone knows the party in power usually loses seats in midterm elections. All the Never Trumpers hawked their books and all of a sudden were welcome in the mainstream media and NPR. However that is the swamp
    We have an election coming up and the choice could not be clearer. It will be interesting for all of us and will not be dull.
    Also I am afraid Steven Anderson and the gang might get the law passed and kill David Frum by mistake.
    The only Republicans the mainstream media like are dead ones. As the east and west coast are both blue in politics I think the new magazine should be The Pacific with a forward by Bill Kristol , another Never Trumper, who is still popping up.

    When Marianne Williamson wins in 2020 these guys will be happy and so will I . She seemed to make the most sense at the debate and I find her appealing. Of course there will be the hatful Never Marianne grouches do not believe that love is the strongest emotion as Marianne does. All she is saying is give Love a Chance which was a great line in the singles bars in the 70’s, glad it is coming back. You go girl. All Day All Night Marianne


  64. First of all, if one believes the death penalty should be applied to homosexuals, then what other sins would be considered worthy of capital punishment? Would the preacher in question consider himself subject to the death penalty for other sins he may have committed? And though I’ve never struggled with same-sex attraction, I’m sure I’ve done a few other things worthy of being put to death if one were to apply Levitical law to modern society.


  65. Yes. I spend the age of 2 through 20 without sidewalks. They were just an expense no one was willing to pay for. I’m white. We were middle class. And we just walked on the side of the street/road or down the middle if no cars around. And at times you jumped over the ditch beside the road to avoid a car.

    Side walks are EXPENSIVE. You only get them when the locals are willing to pay the taxes to afford them.


  66. Eeyore, if David Frum said it , it must be true. If it is the Atlantic you can take it to the bank.
    Another establishment , swamp person does not like Trump, hold the presses. What would all the Never Trump RINO s do if Trump had not won? Would they be Never Mitt, Never Jeb, Never Hillary. I am Never Catsup on my hot dogs but no one cares . David Frum , what is the term, preaching to the choir as they say. However I will defend his right to fee speech even if it means the death of Steven Anderson, I am trying to tie it all together.. As James Bond said Never Say Never .
    Where are the Always Trump people? I know in Wal Mart if they could walk there on the side walk or drive their pickups if no sidewalks.


  67. Well , it appears the stupid, dumb New IFB are smarter than a lot of people that take their bait and promote them. Note the New IFB call for changing the law and then legally execute them. They probably have Michael Avernetti on retainer and he knows how to stay on the legal side , most of the time. He is probably taking some of their money. The New IFB will not yell fire in a theater.
    I am white, male, Christian and live in Florida and I feel threatened, my wife may kill me if I forget to take out the garbage.
    She is white too so it will not be a hate crime. I agree about Dylan Roof, I wish one of the church people had a legal concealed pistol and shot him in the head.

    I have never heard of Steven Anderson until today. My favorite Anderson is Pamela and I hear from Tommy Lee she was more into love not war, what a statesman .


  68. Yes, the gerrymandering decision will keep the Republicans in control of the Senate for years to come, and they will also retake the House in the next election or two. In her dissenting opinion, Justice Kagan called it a “tragically wrong” decision, and that it was. It will gut democracy in our country.


  69. Yet another facet of the unmasking. Demographics be damned, the white “Christian” conservatives will hold on to power no matter what tricks they have to pull.


  70. Well the racism isn’t much disguised anymore. And the bigotry against the LGBT community is sanctioned by God so that’s ok. (The people I feel for are all the goodhearted Christians who can’t reconcile their ethics with the clear teachings of scripture. They’ve gone beyond it but they can’t leave it behind.)

    The truth is that there is nothing that Steven Anderson has ever said that I haven’t heard coming from the pulpit growing up in rural Georgia.

    I suppose we should thank Trump and his addled supporters for one thing. There have been grey ages full of uncertainty and ambiguity. Now the issues seem more clear than they’ve ever been.

    ps: I was surprised the biggest story of the week in this country wasn’t highlighted today. The SCOTUS decision on gerrymandering was a direct crippling attack on our democracy.


  71. ?This week’s brunch highlights the strong hates that are being pushed – hatred of migrants (racism disguised), hatred of LGBTQI etc.

    This is why those that are decent and kind and want to preach love have an uphill battle.?

    Are you one of the kind and decent people Klasie? [ asking for a friend. ]


  72. Walkers don’t eat brains. I imagine it would be harder to get the brain out of human skull than to crack open a coconut with only your bare hands. Walker aren’t up to such hard work — they’re dead.


  73. Stickers should read “Clinging to my bigotry and my gun — Proudly”. Don’t forget the proudly; they always want to announce how proud they are of their atavism.


  74. Obama’s quote was about people clinging to their guns and religion. Bible is another matter, but a lot of people won’t pick up on that.

    In the same quote Obama commented on people clinging to their “antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

    Yeah, that’s all part of their religion. Bible? Not so much.


  75. Here in Lancaster county many upper-lower to lower middle-class people live a basically suburban life in neighborhoods and streets between the farms. You’d be hard-pressed to find a strict dividing line between the kind of large city oriented suburbs you’re talking about, and the kind that develop around small factory towns amid a rural landscape. I think it’s that way in much of the country, though obviously not in the densely populated metro centers and their environs. Which might make it hard for people out here to understand what the absence of sidewalks means in the places you’re talking about; they’ve done without sidewalks all their lives, though they may have very much wanted them, if only so that there kids didn’t have to be bused to the school only quarter of a mile away. Two different American experiences, two different though overlapping worlds.


  76. This week’s brunch highlights the strong hates that are being pushed – hatred of migrants (racism disguised), hatred of LGBTQI etc.

    This is why those that are decent and kind and want to preach love have an uphill battle. It is easier to preach hate against a group of people (Central American Migrants, Gays, Transgender, ect etc.) than against an idea or concept or condition. It is easier to demonise people than to attack causes – poverty, inequality, oppression, disease, climate change, tax laws, structural problems in the economy, historic problems etc.). Yet this is what good people must fight against. As an atheist I can happily paraphrase scripture and say our fight is not against people, but against powerful ideas, principalities of thought etc etc. There are very few people that are truly evil (Anderson might be one of them??), most people need to have their minds rescued from destructive ideas. That does not come by force or oppression. It is incredibly difficult to not hate some of the folks pushing, or even just falling for a these bad ideas, cultural conditioning etc. I personally am failing horribly at this.

    My go-to example if decency is the Climatologist Katherine Hayhoe, whose patience and kindness has changed many minds. If Chaplain Mike could get her on here some time, that will be great…


  77. I am so ready for God to sweep American evangelicalism into the dustbin of history and create something new in its place.

    Listening to so much of the rhetoric in evangelicalism these days, I often suspect it’s been years since some of the people speaking the loudest have experienced God in any sort of real or intimate way in their own lives. Instead everyone is just gradually sinking deeper into fear and a warfare mentality, relying more and more on the weapons of this world and less and less on the power and reality of God. Many people I know who have been sucked most deeply into that polarization (on either side) have started acting like they don’t even believe in God anymore.

    What does it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?


  78. And looking different can get you shot by the police, whereas others would be apprehended without that level of violence. If Dylann Roof had been a Black man who had killed a group of White church people, what are the chances he would’ve been taken in alive? A snowball’s chance in hell.


  79. There are very few sidewalks in the vast rural areas of my county, which have many small neighborhoods of non-farmer downscale homes interlaced among the farm tracts; that would include most of the downscale mobile home neighborhoods.


  80. > I know your reply was made in jest

    Nope, I am deadly serious.

    Someone else, who looks differently, calling for people to be slaughter could very well land in prison.

    And all the defend-your-right-to people would say: “Well, that’s reasonable” and go back to their beers.


  81. > because they disagree with them the rule of law is in trouble


    An employee is not a soldier – regardless who their employer is. There is also a distinction between a sworn officer and a civil servant.

    A Policy is also not a Law, it is also not a Regulation.


  82. With regard to the asylum officials, they are within their rights to ask the courts to halt an inhumane government policy; and with regard to ICE implementing laws at the border, where they apprehend asylum seekers, if there are limited resources they may choose to focus their efforts in some areas rather than others, especially where the administration gives them no clue how they are to implement the policy, or where to get the resources to do so.


  83. “Steven Anderson, well-known for his calls for the murder of LGBTQ people,”

    Does Anderson actually call for the murder of LGBTQ persons? If so, I don’t think that falls under free speech, rather it is incitement to murder.


  84. Eeyore, I believe this is happening because in the Walking Dead the Zombies are called Walkers. Given the state of the land, perhaps the lack of sidewalks for walking is meant to make it harder for the walkers aka Zombies to come and eat your brains. Also sidewalks cost money and a private developer will not put them in unless a selling point. I fear it is to late for many in my community , we have sidewalks and the Zombies have gotten to them


  85. Robert F. Adam T. Williiams, If federal employees can refuse to follow orders of the government because they disagree with them the rule of law is in trouble. What if the National Guard troops that the President nationalized in 1957 refused to follow orders and not guard the little children in Little Rock Ark, to desegregate the schools, you ok with that? . I guess you guys supported the county clerk who refused to give a gay couple a marriage license ? At least she did not try to kill them because as we know that would be illegal.


  86. Maybe not *that* place in particular 😉 , but the zoning and developmental bias against walking in most suburban developments in most suburbs is well known.


  87. Amon, do you also want to apply the same penalty to a man who commits adulatory? If not, why not?

    Leviticus 20:10

    The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.


  88. Wait, I’m not getting this. So this sign is ironic, because it’s posted in a private homeowners association governed development where you don’t walk anywhere because there are no sidewalks, and you’re not welcome if you aren’t affluent enough to own a car? Wow, that went right over my head!


  89. Tom Aka Volkmar?AT Williams, Anderson and Amon can call for the law to be changed thought peaceful, legal means because he is an American citizen with First Amendment Rights. I know your reply was made in jest like my earlier silly post but some people might take your anti free speech comments seriously . Just as the Nation of Islam, SPLC, NYT, Judge Judy, and all have free speech so does the nuttiest, craziest person have the right to free speech unless he is endangering public safety.
    My wife curtails my free speech at parties and public places as she tells me items off topic. I might appeal to the Supremes but Flo Ballard is no longer with us and Diane Ross will not consider my case.
    My favorite quote about the issue is ” I may disagree with you but I will defend your right to say it even to the death of Steven Anderson”.


  90. The lack of sidewalks is not a sign of incompetence. It is a deliberate action on the part of people who are fully bought-into the “if you don’t have a car, you are poor and not welcome here” idea.


  91. > Thank God that there are actually conscientious, humane public officials out there in the system;


    > if that’s the so-called Deep State, I say we need more of it.


    They are the “Deep State” because they have a much deeper understanding of the law and its purpose.


  92. Of course he doesn’t want the same penalty for adulterous men — he’s not an equal opportunity hater.


  93. And I did read recently that the labor union representing thousands of asylum officials have asked a federal court to block the Trump administration from implementing the Remain in Mexico policy. They say it violates U.S. and international law by placing asylum seekers in dangerous circumstances, which contradicts the asylum official public charge to protect the welfare of asylum seekers under their purview. Thank God that there are actually conscientious, humane public officials out there in the system; if that’s the so-called Deep State, I say we need more of it.


  94. The “Live here, walk to Walmart & McDonalds” sign got a lot of airtime in real-estate and Urbanist circles.

    Notably, that sign is on a street curb with no sidewalk.

    It fits today’s other theme of incompetently implemented government policies. [detail: Urbansist types generally view HOAs as “government”, private self-imposed government]


  95. > Should we take Jeremiah 29:11 down off our walls?

    Is it just me, or are framed calligraphy bible verses just weird?


  96. > Incompetence can cover a multitude of sins.

    Very true. Three cheers for incompetence.


  97. Don’t they all subscribe to one of those services that send you supplements every month for the low low price of $19.99?

    Perhaps people would be less anxious if they subscribe to fewer subscription services? They are everywhere these days.


  98. Oh yeah, I forgot — this administration is one of the most incompetent that’s ever existed, particularly in the last half century. In the case of the lack of implementation of the Remain in Mexico policy, I have to look at that incompetence as a blessing. Incompetence can cover a multitude of sins.


  99. > Crop monocultures are quite common…

    Yep. It will be painful. And the howling void creating by these failures will be a tremendous economic opportunity for someone.


  100. Otoh, potassium may reduce anxiety, and it could trigger a catastrophe of epic and global proportions to have Americans, especially certain powerful ones, even more anxious than they already are because of not eating their daily banana…


  101. When I see or hear something like this, I have some doubts if the individual would be willing to “turn the other cheek”.


  102. > I thought the recently implemented Remain in Mexico policy

    Policy requires Infrastructure and Logistics.

    This administration is not good at either.

    The remain policy has been partially implemented in tree cities, but it simply can’t do what it claims with everyone without more physical resources [buses, drivers, etc…]

    There is also resistance among the civil servants the administration wants to carry out the policy. One of the more powerful curbs on stupid policies is the shrug.


  103. So do you also want to apply the same penalty to a man who commits adulatory? If not, why not?

    Leviticus 20:10

    The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.


  104. Don’t get me wrong — I think the Return to Mexico policy is inhumane and deplorable. But I’m surprised, though pleasantly so, that it hasn’t been implemented in these cases, and I wonder if I’ve been misunderstanding something about the rollout of the policy.


  105. “the production efficiencies that made it so cheap have also made it vulnerable to a deadly fungus that may wipe out the one variety most of us eat.”

    And bananas are just the tip of the iceberg. Crop monocultures are quite common in the developed world’s agriculture. It’s a ticking time bomb.


  106. “”” … he isn’t calling for anything illegal–obviously we can’t actually kill any sodomites until the law is changed…”””

    Yeah; “Huh?” is the only rational response to that statement.


  107. Oh and BTW… The ONLY Law we are under now is the Law of Christ – love God and love our neighbors. And Christ made the definition of what “loving our neighbors” is very plain. Forcing them at gunpoint to behave in accordance to outmoded interpretations of the OT is NOT part of that definition.


  108. With the eventual end goal of whatever the “And” is totally eclipsing the Christianity.


  109. I see a while lot of Law and Judgment in your rant… and nothing at all of Christ. Did Christ condemn tax collectors and prostitutes… Or did He condemn those who judged them, those who were absolutely sure of their own righteousness? Read the Gospels again and see for yourself.


  110. George Alan Rekers, of North Miami — one of America’s most prominent anti-gay activists. Rekers, a Baptist minister who is a leading scholar for the Christian right, left the terminal with his gay escort, looking a bit discomfited when a picture of the two was snapped with a hot-pink digital camera . . . .

    and the beat goes on . . . .


  111. And you should be ashamed of yourself for depending on the Southern Poverty Law Center for your opinions.

    The irony of you telling anyone else to be ashamed is off the charts.


  112. While the federal government does have money allocated for the purpose of housing asylum seekers, as does the United Nations, the funds are blocked from use due to the complex US political debates around immigration. Consequently, ICE has requested that the churches and non-profits of El Paso help….

    Thank God for St. Clement and other churches and houses of worship like it, but they aren’t being asked to just help, they are being told that if they don’t do the whole job by themselves, these people, including many families with young children, will stay on the streets. I doubt they have the resources to meet all the needs, which means many people are remaining on the streets. In the meantime, ICE is people-dumping hundreds more asylum seekers on the streets every day — shame on the US government.

    One thing about this story has mystified me — I thought the recently implemented Remain in Mexico policy would require that people like the ones St. Clement is taking care of would have to go back to Mexico to await the processing of their asylum claims. Is that not the case?


  113. Amon, You and Anderson seem to think it’s your job to condemn a whole lot of people. Don’t you get tired of being Pharisaical newsboys of the anti-gospel of condemnation?


  114. anonymous , It would be unlawful to kill the sodomites before the law is changed however after the law is changed it will be legal. What is so hard to understand about that? I also think that ugly people should be killed but then I looked in the mirror , now I think very ugly people should be killed, got some feed back and now that that only disfigured ugly people should be killed.
    It is like the poem ” They came for the ugly/stupid people and I did nothing , .They came for the boring ;people and I did nothing, as I was in the first batch.

    I do not know how many members total the New IFB nut job churches have but I am sure not many. Would be nice to know how many attended their meeting in Orlando. I heard they went to Disney World , loved Its A Small World Ride and want to change it to Its A Smaller World If We Have Our Way.

    I will have to honestly say the SPLC in my lifetime has lost its creditability for many reasons and their opinions mean nothing to me . It does not take a lot of research and fact checking to label the New IFB as what we academic types label bat poop crazy.

    Unfortunately they will get way too much attention like the Westboro Baptist did (what happened to them and who cares).? At least the Heavens Gate people only got the attention ex post facto as Perry Mason would say if the IFB does not kill him for being a sodomite. They died waiting for Bill Haley and the Comets to make a comeback and could not live in a world without Bill Halley, the Big Bopper and the comets if my memory is correct.

    The person selling the house making a selling point that you can walk to Wal Mart can increase his home buyer pool by 50 percent if he changes it to , you can ride the Wal Mart scooter home on one charge if you live here. I know marketing. Good that we can still stereotype rural people and Wal Mart shoppers without the SPLC getting on our case. Do u think the Gun and Bible guy would have come up with the sticker motto if he had not heard President Obama express the thought so eloquently? What government would want to take away your Bible and your guns? I am sure 93% of Americans do not know who Joe McCarthy is or Charlie McCarthy for that matter however he was also a dummy.

    How can we never hear of the Gororrahmite crime? I have to ask the tough questions, that others avoid.
    As no one ever been Gororrahmited? You have to take my comments about Sodom with a grain of salt as it does no good to look back and there is a lot of trouble ahead and it is easy just cave in and get drunk.


  115. The “Proudly clinging to my Bible and my gun” reminds me of a passage from *The Screwtape Letters*:

    “What we want, if men become Christians at all, is to keep them in the state of mind I call ‘Christianity And’. You know—Christianity and the Crisis, Christianity and the New Psychology, Christianity and the New Order, Christianity and Faith Healing, Christianity and Psychical Research, Christianity and Vegetarianism, Christianity and Spelling Reform. If they must be Christians let them at least be Christians with a difference. Substitute for the faith itself some Fashion with a Christian colouring.”


  116. ” . . . . . obviously we can’t actually kill any sodomites until the law is changed. And Pastor Anderson has the right to call for the law to be changed, to bring it in accordance with holy scripture.”

    say what?


  117. Pastor Steven Anderson hates the same things that God hates. He hates them with a perfect hatred. Sodomites are given over to a reprobate mind. They will never repent, they will only try to drag others down with them.

    Pastor Anderson isn’t saying anything new here. Once every mainstream Christian preacher would have agreed with him. And he isn’t calling for anything illegal–obviously we can’t actually kill any sodomites until the law is changed. And Pastor Anderson has the right to call for the law to be changed, to bring it in accordance with holy scripture.

    If you haven’t heard preaching like this, then maybe this is because your preacher follows the gospel of liberal multiculturalism: “If it feels good, do it!” The devil follows that gospel too. Me, I thank God every day for the hard preaching of Pastor Anderson and other independent fundamental Baptist preachers,

    And you should be ashamed of yourself for depending on the Southern Poverty Law Center for your opinions. They have zero integrity. Is this supposed to make us think that Pastor Anderson supports Trump? (“Make America Hate Again”) No, he condemns Trump as a man of wickedness.


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