The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: October 31, 2020

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: October 31, 2020

The Three Skulls, Cezanne

It’s Halloween 2020! Over the years, Internet Monk has been known to post articles about this celebration in response to various examples of hysteria and circus-like behavior on the part of some Christians. Here’s a list of those posts:

Skull, Van Gogh

“So I propose a toast: to every little boy who goes to sleep dreaming of Hogwarts. To every mother who reads Narnia to her children. To every teenager devouring The Lord of the Rings. To every grandmother who reads her granddaughter a ghost story. To every parent who shares their favorite scary movie with their child. To every young writer who writes the stories in which we live. To those who know to life, to jump and to delight at Sleepy Hollow. To all who give us this one night of frightful fun and remain little boys and girls, A TOAST!!” (Michael Spencer)

Lon Chaney walks with the Queen to this Halloween tune…

The Backstory of Jack O’Lantern

Irish “Ghost Turnip” – early example of using root vegetables as lanterns on Halloween

Read this fascinating post at National Geographic detailing various threads of the history of using pumpkins as the pervasive symbol of Halloween. Here’s one of the threads:

“Stingy Jack”

Then there’s the 18th-century Irish folktale of Stingy Jack, an unsavory fellow often said to be a blacksmith who had a fondness for mischief and booze. Dozens of versions abound, but one recurring storyline is that Stingy Jack tricked the devil twice. When Jack died, he found himself barred from heaven—and from hell. But the devil took some pity on Jack, giving him an ember of coal to light his turnip lantern as he wandered between both places for eternity—again inspiring the nickname Jack-of-the-Lantern, or jack-o’-lantern.

The Art of the Scream

From The New York Times:

What’s more fundamental to scary movies than the bone-chilling shriek? But delivering a terrifying wail isn’t easy. It’s an entire art with a history and a world of its own.

…The image of vocal terror is among our most universal and elemental, from Edvard Munch to Janet Leigh. But translating that into sound on film involves more than a microphone on set. Bloodcurdling from an A-lister is uncommon: Often, the screams we hear in movies and TV are created by doubles and voice actors, in Burbank studios, with specialists standing by to ghoul them up. It’s physically taxing and emotionally draining. And bizarro as a job.

The first iconic movie scream: “Scream Queen” Fay Wray in King Kong

…How do you know when a scream is right? Sound professionals don’t just depend on goose bumps — though they still get them, even as they dispassionately discuss murder methods.

…Sound designers like Gates have a stable of vocal performers to “loop” audio, the term for taping sounds or lines, and even creating background dialogue. That din of a restaurant when havoc strikes? Loopers.

They’re guided by a “loop group” leader, like a casting director for macabre whispers and guttural squeals. Audition tapes pour in; it’s not unusual for a loop group leader like Susan Boyajian to listen to 15 screams a day, she said. “There’s gradual screams, a buildup scream, kind of hyperventilating — say someone’s chasing you with a knife, and then you go into a scream,” she said brightly. “Is someone choking, the blood going into your throat?”

She chooses a handful for the sound crew and director to sift through, and then recording sessions begin, syncing to the performer onscreen. “You’re watching their mouth, you have to physically be that person and then give me what she or he is doing,” said Boyajian, a vocal teacher and actor.

It’s a Halloween Full Moon

From Live Science:

Moonrise on Halloween night will be just a little more spooktacular than usual this year. The sky will be illuminated by a full moon —  a rare Hallows’ Eve treat that happens only about once every 19 years.

Something else makes this full moon, known as a “Hunter’s Moon,” even more special: It’s the second one to occur in October. That means it’s a “Blue Moon,” and the only double-full-moon event in 2020, according to NASA.

However, as the full moon comes at a time when the moon is at its farthest from Earth, it will also be a “Micro Moon,” the opposite of a “Super Moon,” meaning it looks a little smaller than the usual full moon. And if that still isn’t enough names for you, its status as the second full moon of autumn makes it a “Beaver Moon,” according to NASA.

This will be the first time since 1944 that a Halloween full moon will be visible at night (weather permitting) in all time zones in the United States, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

Serious Active Covid Cases around the World as of Oct. 29…

Other VERY Scary Things…

This ridiculous analysis of the “expertise bubble”

“Patriot” churches

The litigious Jerry Falwell, Jr.

Bible The

Take your pick: (1) John Piper’s overblown (as usual) theologizing about the election, or (2) some of the ridiculous, mind-boggling criticism he received from conservative Christians.

Photo of the Week…

People look at the art installation “IN AMERICA How Could This Happen…” by artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, on the DC Armory Parade Ground, in Washington D.C., as the spread of COVID-19 continues. (REUTERS/Hannah McKay)

Classic Toys Are Making a Comeback in these Pandemic Days

Photographer David Chickering

From The Washington Post:

Whether it’s a yearning for nostalgia or simply a desire for kids to put down their tablets and smartphones, consumers are reaching for old-school favorites, positioning the toy industry for its best holiday season in years.

The pandemic has ushered a fundamental shift in toy-buying habits; instead of perusing the toy aisle or trading notes during playdates, parents are drawing on their own childhoods for inspiration. Classic toys also have strong appeal for adults who want their children engaged in open-ended play for long periods of time.

…Among the season’s most popular toys, according to NPD: Little Tikes, Barbies and Hot Wheels. Lego, the world’s largest and most profitable toymaker, also has carved out a niche in the coveted adult market.

…“It is all about classic play this year,” [Chris Byrne, a toy industry consultant] said. “People are anxiety-ridden, and those nurturing games we remember from our childhoods are like comfort food.”

Questions for Election Week…

What is motivating voters to vote this year?

“As a journalist, I wanted to explore what motivates voters to go to the polls – issue by issue, person by person. Media often treats large national issues like the people who vote on them — all believe the same things, but the truth is that most of us are not just bricks in a wall. We vote based on what affects us and our families.”

As president, how would Joe Biden fight the pandemic?

Biden’s campaign has a seven-point plan to beat COVID-19 and other proposals for health care and economic recovery that support that vision. NPR asked his advisers for details on his approach, which includes some familiar elements, as well as some less-expected ones.

Is the “Shy Trump Voter” Going Undetected?

This year, [Arie Kapteyn and Robert Cahaly] believe that polls could again be undercounting Trump’s support. The reason is “shy” Trump voters—people reluctant to share their opinions for fear of being judged. Though the “shy voter” idea is thrown around a lot by both Trump supporters and Democratic skeptics, Kapteyn and Cahaly have specific insights into why, and how, Trump support might be going undetected.

Will the States Be Ready for Mail Vote Challenges?

Election law is decided by state legislatures and varies from state to state, which means that the dominant political parties in each state and local politics often determine election laws. On the positive side, state-based election laws keep the voting process diffused among the states and largely out of the hands of Washington. This diffusion of power is a feature of our country’s federalism, in which the nation’s founders believed so strongly. It is up to a state’s secretary of state to ensure, to the best of his or her ability, that the voting process is fair and open, often in spite of the politics of the state legislature and dominant political party.

How Will Recent Supreme Court Rulings Affect Key Battleground States?

Here’s how the recent Supreme Court rulings could affect voting in the closely contested battleground states of Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

What is the perspective and approach of evangelical NON-voters?

While some religious traditions abstain from voting because they do not take part in politics at all (think Jehovah’s Witnesses) or because they separate themselves from broader society (the Amish), evangelical nonvoters say they can be politically engaged beyond the ballot box.

Finally, a Jesus-shaped Reminder…

265 thoughts on “The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: October 31, 2020

  1. RUSSIAN Bureaucratic Tradition:
    Maintain Plausible Deniability at all costs. NEVER write anything down. If nothing’s written down, It Never Happened And You Can’t PROVE It Ever Did. NYAAH!

    Contrast this with German Bureaucratic Tradition, where you CYA by Documenting EVERYTHING.

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  2. Ah, yes.
    The Mean Streets of Lancaster County, as shown in Weird Al Yankovic’s “Amish Paradise”.

    I’ve been through Lancaster County a couple times on my annual trips to the East Coast. Mostly to visit the Strasbourg RR and PA State Railroad Museum. (Last visit there was with Wondering Eagle, a heavy-duty train buff.) Most of my time in PA is spent at AnthroCon in Pittsburgh (Allegheny County) and visiting in Lehigh and Adams counties. And touring points of interest near the Turnpike between them.

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  3. How about a Mint Julip, “Sour mash, not too sweet please.” ? Auric Goldfinger did know how have good mint julips made.

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  4. I remember a fringe Catholic End-of-the-World choreography from 2007 that began with Hillary Clinton elected Prez in 2008 and immediately overturning Roe v Wade by Executive Order…

    Think I actually have it somewhere on my laptop — that opening promised so much Weirdness that I downloaded it for posterity. (And the gist of it is what I understand to be Trad Catholic End Times folk belief – as unique a take or Revelation as the Seventh-Day Adventist one – so I wanted it for reference.)

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  5. True. I did tell you that I Left Dispensationalism Behind (pun intended).

    If you are a classical (AKA Historic) Premillienialist that is fine, as you would not be into all this Rapture Left Behind excrement. You can thank Darby for starting this Dispy stuff, Scofield for popularizing it in 20th century American Evangelicalism and the Calvary Chapel/Jesus People/Hal Lindsey for giving it an extra head of steam in the late 20th century.

    BTW, there are a few Historic Premillenialists out there, but they are as rare as RPG gamer chicks back in my day.

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  6. Though he did miss “And Take Away Your Christian Children to Turn Them Into HOMOSEXUALS!!!!!”

    And “TAKE AWAY ALL OUR GUNS!!!!!” I’ve been hearing that one a lot lately.

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  7. Because when All is Chaos, “They will call upon The Strong Man to save them. And The Strong Man will come.”

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  8. Should that not be PRE-milliennial dispensationalism? The Left Behind books were if The Late Great Planet Earth were turning into a movies series with cardboard characters and cheesy dialogue.

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  9. “And the parting on the left / is now parting on the right / And the beards have all grown longer overnight…”

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  10. I’ve watched the available videos of the incident, or, I should say, the attack. There is no question that it was an act of vehicular terrorism against the Biden-Harris campaign bus. They meant to intimidate and terrorize, and one of the trucks intentionally crashed into a car to push it out of the lane behind the bus. Comparing them to ISIS is totally appropriate; they just haven’t gotten around to killing ….yet.

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  11. “So-called ‘wisdom’ of Men or WORD! OF!! GAWD!!!”

    Remember this is the same First Things that denounced mask-wearing and social distancing as Fleshly and Cowardly.

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  12. And the Christians will Rejoice.
    “HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON! AND HIS KINGDOM SHALL HAVE NO END!”

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  13. What is going to happen if his side kills innocent people on election day?

    PRESIDENTIAL PARDONS FOR LOYALTY.

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  14. Same in Pyongyang.

    “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is Very Lawful and Orderly.
    Not a hint of Disloyalty anywhere.
    Only Praise and Adoration of their Great President.”
    — Counter-troll to Eagle’s resident Trump-Fanatic troll after he gave this long rant about “The ONLY Thing That Will Matter this Novermber 3rd will be LAW AND ORDER!!!!!”

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  15. But WE’re on GAWD’s Side and THEY are all OF THE DEVIL!!!!!
    WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?????

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  16. Check Wartburg Watch for that particular angle.
    They’ve been chronicling the Calvinista Takeover of the SBC for years.

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  17. All the myriad ways to PROVE “ME SHEEP! YOU GOAT!! HAVE FUN IN HELL!!! HAW!!! HAW!!! HAW!!”

    I am sooooo sick of Christianese One-Upmanship.

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  18. Since ha-Shoah is passing out of living memory, find a survivor of the Killing Fields of Cambodia and ask him.

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  19. And you can take that only so long before you go crazy or Call Upon The Strong Man to Save You (and no one else).

    “In the chaos, they will call upon The Strong Man. And The Strong Man will come.”
    — Villain Brag from a demonic entity, Seventies spiritual-warfare novel

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  20. “Jesus didn’t die so you could be an A-hole…”
    — some song/music video I can’t find on the net any more

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  21. “HAIL TRUMP! HAIL VICTORY!”

    And the Christians will chorus “AAAAAAAA-MENNNNNN!!!!!”

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  22. Which is what Jimmy Carter said about Billygate:
    “You can choose your friends. You can’t choose your relatives.”

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  23. “Patriot churches” belong to the same ecclesial category as the German National “Reich Church.”

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  24. Apparently the First Things writer wants to trade in the “expertise bubble” for the amateurish bubble.

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  25. Just saw a Tweet from Trump showing video of the Biden-Harris bus blockade with the text: I LOVE TEXAS! So that answers my question. He will ratchet up the level of aggression and intimidation from his Twitter control center, he will approve of political thuggery on the part of his supporters, and we will be lucky to avoid deadly violence in the days around the election. Donald J. Trump, Miscreant-in-Chief.

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  26. What Richard said, especially the “projection” part.

    Apart from that, ‘Muricans in general have been trained by the ?epublican party to be distrustful of not only the government but also of EVERYONE.

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  27. And why, seneca, would anyone “come after” you?? It seems more likely to me that if the Tweetster wins HE is more likely to come after you…

    It’s just the old mantra that Evangelicals have been spewing for decades, “Why doesn’t everyone like us?” Well, one answer is that too many Evange’s don’t know the Jesus that said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The fact is that Evange’s go out of their way to persecute and marginalize people that make them (E’s) feel uncomfortable.

    Gott ein himmel!

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  28. **Trump is a jumbled stream of consciousness whose vocabulary is at the level of a high school dropout.**

    I would say that his vocabulary is more like that of a 4th grader…

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  29. ***Nothing I say here is intended to dictate how anyone else should vote, but rather to point to a perspective that seems to be neglected. Yes, this perspective sways my vote. But you need not be sinning if you weigh matters differently.*** The Pipper

    Well, there’s a lot of matters that I see differently than JP and I’m sure he’d say that I’m sinning. Apparently, in The Pippers mind, there is no sin in the area of political ideology as long as you pour some Jesus syrup on your stupidity.

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  30. Our neighborhood, by mutual agreement, decided the risk was too great to send kids out, and cancelled trick-or-treating. With luck, it’will be back next year. I love Halloween, but I agree–we’re in an area where COVID cases are rising, and no-one should get sick from what should be a fun holiday.

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  31. Not that I ever remember, and I remember back to Eisenhower. Businesses seem to be preparing for trouble in a number of big cities, including New York, by boarding up major stores and office buildings. Trump has been pushing for confrontational things–telling the Proud Boys “Stand back and stand by,” telling his followers to go watch polling places–to which some of them are (legally) bringing guns–insisting that the election will be rigged, and generally encouraging trouble. He thrives on chaos.

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  32. Sounds like a load of fear-mongering to me. I’d like to see the sources for all these suppositions.

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  33. After all, Jesus said that his followers would be persecuted for his sake–which made sense in the 1st Century Roman Empire for people who refused to worship the Roman gods, but not so much in today’s United States–so, if Christians of a certain stripe can’t find persecution, they have to make it up.

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  34. Maybe not, but that would still leave votes 5-4, with conservatives–leaning VERY conservative, with the addition of Justice Barrett–still in the majority.

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  35. He will never condemn them. Sadly, there is no bottom for Trump and his cult followers. What is going to happen if his side kills innocent people on election day? Who would have ever thought it would come to this. I seem to remember some back before the election of 2016 trying to let the world know who and what they were electing.

    There will be lots of prayers tomorrow for Trump in the conservative churches; maybe they should also pray there is not lethal violence by the Trump supporters.

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  36. They surrounded the bus and forced it to slow down by slowing down around it. They seem to have intended to stop it on the highway. One of their trucks collided with a campaign worker’s car that was following behind the bus. It could easily have turned into a multi-vehicle accident on a major highway. Some of the riders on the bus reported seeing blockade vehicle occupants brandishing guns, which is not hard to believe, given that this was in the Stoned Star State. Somebody should certainly be arrested, and the POTUS should condemn supporters who engage in such intimidating and dangerous antics. Think he will?

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  37. Every one of these Trumpers should be arrested. What a great president that incites violence. Will any of his evangelicals ever speak out against him?

    It will be interesting as to how justice plays out for the Trump administration.

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  38. saying “you are not a Christian”

    Been hearing that one for a while.

    Not an R
    Not an YEC
    Not a fan of TULIP
    Not a fan of membership covenants.
    and so on

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  39. Yes. If the D’s win out then go all progressive we will likely get a repeat of 2008 followed by 2010.

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  40. What exactly gives you that confidence?

    The Hatch act for one.

    There was an interesting article I read a year or so ago by someone from the Heritage Foundation. He was all for wiping out “red tape”. But was totally pissed that the Trump admin was not following the rules as they did their slash and burn. Which was resulting in nearly 90% of their rule changes being tossed out when challenged in court. His point was that if they had just spent an extra month writing up a justification for the changes instead of an afternoon the changes would have mostly stood. You see there is this law. It requires tha a change in a regulation have a point to the change and not be arbitrary. Now some of us may disagree with the “point” but still one needs to be made.

    Also spending money in ways not allocated.

    The Trump admin just does what they want and figures they’ll fight it out later if anyone objects.

    What is it? The official records act? We’ll be lucky if there’s more than TV news coverage of much of what was done the last 4 years. Trump tells people to NOT take notes when in meetings with him.

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  41. The above mentioned family members were spewing the docs/hospitals make extra money by claiming Covid-19 victums months ago.

    I gather most people here don’t read the d a i l y w i r e which gets linked to on Facebook a lot by these sort of folks. We, the IM crowd, live in a bubble. We tend to not follow blogs and “news” sites that spew demonstrably wrong information.

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  42. Don Jr’s papa told HIS followers to ‘stand back and stand by’

    our own home-grown bully-boys rarin’ to go – they just need the word

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  43. Seneca after the revolution, the state of Mississippi will be tuned into a reeducation camp, No violence, all Republican inmates will be helped to join the LiberalLeftistSocialtist movement. You’ll enjoy a steady diet of Beyoncé videos and lectures on Critical Race Theory.

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  44. Dana:

    Do we just ignore what is going on or speak out? Christian’s must speak out forcefully in my opinion to the nonsense that has been going on with Trump and his enablers.

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  45. In Lancaster County PA Trick or Treating is scheduled by the individual towns. That’s been the case for many years now. Two hours on one night a year, not necessarily Halloween night. Our town’s scheduled time was yesterday evening, between 6 and 8 o’clock PM EST.

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  46. My wife has been ordering all this toilet paper and other staples for our weekly grocery pickup. I told her we have too much of some of this stuff, and not much storage room left, asked her why she’s been doing it — turns out she is in agreement with your writing partner.

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  47. Early reports that a motorcade of dozens of Trump supporter vehicles surrounded a Biden campaign bus that was going to Austin for a campaign event. According to one eyewitness report, they outnumbered police 50 to 1, and tried to drive the bus off the road. Biden campaign canceled the event in Austin as a result. If this is how it’s going to go this week, Dana, better keep those prayers coming 24/7 for the next week.

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  48. “I suspect there’s a reason why the Bible does not specify any real ecclesiastical structure for the Church…”

    Eeyore, I just got done with a church where some tried to say that there IS only one ecclesiastical structure for a church: All-male eldership, as per 1Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

    And that belief is not only dominant among baptists but on the rise.

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  49. From C.S. Lewis, I think from the preface to The Screwtape Letters:

    I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of “Admin.” The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.

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  50. He sees EVERYTHING through the lens of profit-making. He can’t understand that doctors don’t get paid by what they write on a death certificate.

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  51. Nonsense, Seneca. He speaks off-the-cuff quite adequately, and occasionally eloquently. There’s no reason to think he can’t write the same way.

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  52. Including, to my regret, even if he was 90, Sean Connery. Thank you, sir, for “Bond. James Bond.”

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  53. It’s interesting that the two authors of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood , John Piper and Wayne Grudem, have gone in different directions.

    Eeyore is right, Piper is an abstract theologian, and I can admire that except when Piper goes down irrelevant rabbit-holes, feeling the need to pontificate on everything. Grudem is more concrete. Unfortunately, Grudem went down the very dangerous rabbit-hole of tying the Trinity to his version of manhood and womanhood. He has subordinated Christ to the Father, not just during the 33 years Christ was on earth, but for eternity. His justification (or comparison) for this travesty is the biblical subordination of woman to man.

    As for President Trump, Piper has criticized the President severely, while Grudem has become head cheerleader. John Fea has written several articles about Grudem, as recently as Oct 26, and you can google for more. But the most bizarre statements by Grudem about Trump may be in the following article by Fea, in which Grudem becomes almost idolatrous for President Trump:

    https://thewayofimprovement.com/2020/09/25/evangelical-theologian-wayne-grudem-believes-that-trump-does-not-tell-lies-also-anyone-who-believes-trump-is-trying-to-divide-us-is-bearing-false-witness/

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  54. Nothing to say except this has been one hell of a depressing Brunch.

    I am praying for peace in our land.

    Dana

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  55. No.

    And why? This is Michigan, militia country.

    They’ve stormed the state capital and shut down the session of the legislature twice this year already. And, of course, nothing is done about it

    And FOX blathers on about “antics”

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  56. Every weekend is a popcorn stocking up weekend for us. For decades, our Sunday evening supper is popcorn and cheese and good TV. Currently, our “good TV” is Vera.

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  57. I like Piper’s article too.

    So, there’s two things I like.

    The other is “Desiring God.”

    The responses to his article are mindboggling, but when you stop to think about it, not so much.

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  58. People keep talking about the court being 6-3, but Justice Roberts is not exactly a surefire conservative vote on the Supreme Court.

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  59. Tom, you said, “I guess your world will come to an end win Biden wins.” I assumed you were talking about how I would feel, sorry if my assumption was wrong, though your guess is also wrong. So I made an assumption about your own feelings, an assumption made on the many comments of yours I have read. Sorry if I was wrong. You know what they say happens when you assume.
    I am not a part of a Trump cult, I am not an ardent supporter of the President. I have made that clear numerous times. If your issue is with those who are, save your animosity for them. There are many people who are going to cast a vote for Trump this fall who don’t like the man but see Biden and the Democrats as worse for the country. That doesn’t make them part of a cult, or blind followers of Trump.

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  60. Here below the border we’re stocking up on guns, ammunition, and freeze-dried survival rations.

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  61. You expect any different from Christians with a Gospel of Personal Salvation and ONLY Personal Salvation?

    Maybe that’s why they’ve deified Trump. Trump is Utter Selfishness possessing and animating a meat puppet.

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  62. The ORIGINAL James Bond (from the Fleming books) was considerably cleaned up for the movies.

    For a glimpse of the original, check out the minor character “Jimmy Bond” in Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier.

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  63. It was “a satan worshiping book”.
    It did not praise and adore Donald Trump as The Anointed One, The Word Made Flesh and Dwelling (not Dwelt) among us. THAT’s how far gone they are.

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  64. Because several ecclesiastical structures can work for a Church.

    And all have their advantages, disadvantages, and potential to go Ugly.

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  65. A recent example of post-millennial dispensationalism, which was a fringe belief until the Left Behind books took off.

    It was well on its way to being mainstream SCRIPTURE and Litmus Test of Salvation well before Left Behind. Remember Hal Lindsay’s Late Great Planet Earth? THAT 67th book of the Bible was what gave it the jump from a fringe belief to The One True Way.

    It turned out that the kid believed that getting someone to convert was an automatic ticket into heaven.

    That was an attitude I experienced during my time in-country, though there the spin was more that on J-Day your position and glory in Heaven would be determined entirely by “How Many Souls Did YOU Save? Huh? Huh? Huh?” The fruit of this attitude was NOT pretty.

    Rapture Ready Dispy is something that really damaged me, and the damage is still there.

    Rapture Ready Dispy is a guaranteed rant subject for me, and I’m already riding the ragged edge of a breakdown so I’ll have to break contact now.

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  66. It’s called “Persecution Porn”, a First World Problem.

    Thing is, if “All who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” — SCRIPTURE! — what happens when the surrounding culture is NOT murderously hostile to Christians? How do you play the More Christian Than Thou One-Upmanship Game? How do you KNOW you’re Really a Christian? (Cue navel-gazing sin-sniffing for PROOF of Salvation…)

    Remember after the Second Russian Revolution? How all the Godly Persecuted Christians from the USSR and Warsaw Pact were going to come over here as missionaries to the Spoiled Rotten Baby-Fat Lukewarm so-called “Christians” of America and Show Us What REAL Christians Were Like? I do.

    This has happened before. When the Roman Empire legalized Christianity in the West. Overnight the church went from being an underground outlaw “noxious cult” to not only a legal religion, but the State Religion. And organized persecution ceased in civilized areas. (Except for the occasional throwback Caesar, who by that time were anomlaies.)

    So how do you KNOW you “live godly in Christ Jesus” if you’re not being Persecuted?
    You Persecute Yourself.
    Either by going outside of civilization as a missionary to the Barbarians and get snuffed the “(into the stewpot, Oooga Booga” of its day) or you seal yourself into a monastery or hermit’s cave and go Ascetic Mortificaion until you’re gargling lye with St Rose of Lima.

    Or you make some for yourself.

    “If I can’t find a Friendship Problem, I’LL MAKE ONE!”
    — Twilight Sparkle, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, “Lesson Zero”

    You make one by pissing off the Heathen(TM) around you to the point they stomp on you. (That seems to be the fashion these days. It’s called “Persecution for Righteouness’ sake”, not “Persecution for being an A-hole”.)

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  67. No need to apologize
    You quoted Gaiman

    Lifting one for the Lord of Dreams

    “My little brother is the most powerful, and the most dangerous, of us all”
    Death of the Endless

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  68. It sure wasn’t “unheard of on the left” in the Sixties, but now we’re at the exact opposite end of the Strauss-Howe Generational Cycle.

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  69. Even IF they had an anti-evangelical agenda, you are so far down their list of worries at the moment it’s not even funny.

    It’s only in Christian Fiction that the Vast Conspiracy is obsessed with and ignores everything other than “our Greatest Enemy — BORN-AGAIN BIBLE-BELIEVING EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS!” (actual quote from some Christian Conspiracy Thriller — I think part of a series by Tim LaHaye).

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  70. > His style of thinking and writing is very… philosophical,

    Yep, he does not even name the principals in his internal debate.

    Any surprise I feel concerning the ire against him is due to its not being difficult to reach the end of this post with a “Huh?”

    Piper’s philosophizing stops short of a pragmatic way to participate as a citizen in a republic.

    Like

  71. Healthcare costs started to soar before the ACA. That’s one of the reasons it was legislated.

    Per the Latinx vote: It is not a politically monolithic community, never has been.

    Like

  72. The amount of Aghast! at the deplorables statement among those bemused by the constant statements of the last ~4 years.

    Ms. Clinton was SPOT ON, entirely correct, in her statement.

    Like

  73. > It is evident that the anxiety levels, and existential angst are
    > hitting the top of the gauge there south of the 49th.

    Indeed.

    Office buildings began boarding up their ground floors yesterday.

    The principle venues in the city’s party district closed yesterday, and will be closed until Wednesday [one assumes an implied “at least” before the “until”].

    The local PD felt compelled to send out a no-credible-threats-at-this-time notice. First time I’ve ever seen such a thing.

    Like

  74. Trump claimed, just yesterday, that doctors are inflating Covid case numbers because, wait for it… they make more money if it’s a Covid case. That’s our Dear Leader!

    Like

  75. Jon, how do you know how I feel or will feel?. Trump IMO has irreparably destroyed the United States. I’m not expecting evangelicals to ever repent of their cult like following of him. They are the ones I have the biggest issue with.

    Like

  76. > Mostly the correlation is non-existent

    I’ve been careful to make no predictions.

    There are few things worth less than a prediction.

    Like

  77. It is evident that the anxiety lecels, and existential angst are hitting the top of the gauge there south of the 49th.

    I am dressing up as Morpheus from The Sandman tonight. So let me give you the greatest exchange from that Comic:

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    CHORONZON: I am a dire wolf, prey-stalking, lethal prowler.

    MORPHEUS: I am a hunter, horse-mounted, wolf-stabbing.

    CHORONZON: I am a horsefly, horse-stinging, hunter-throwing.

    MORPHEUS: I am a spider, fly-consuming, eight legged.

    CHORONZON: I am a snake, spider-devouring, posion-toothed.

    MORPHEUS: I am an ox, snake-crushing, heavy-footed.

    CHORONZON: I am an anthrax, butcher bacterium, warm-life destroying.

    MORPHEUS: I am a world, space-floating, life-nurturing.

    CHORONZON: I am a nova, all-exploding… planet-cremating.

    MORPHEUS: I am the Universe — all things encompassing, all life embracing.

    CHORONZON: I am Anti-Life, the Beast of Judgment. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds… of everything. Sss. And what will you be then, Dreamlord?

    MORPHEUS: I am hope.

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  78. It’s always the same with you guys – it’s never about what good these things can do for other people. It’s all about “MY RIGHTS! MY MONEY! WHAT ABOUT ME?”

    We could be forgiven for wondering why you guys claim so loudly that you follow a Lord who gave up everything (even His life) for the sake of even His enemies (Phil 2).

    Like

  79. Never heard of this popcorn stocking up. Sounds like a good idea. When I was a child we raised popcorn and always had a bag full of ears in the winter to shell and eat when we wanted to.

    Like

  80. Son of a gun. I completely forgot I wrote something about Halloween. Thanks for reminding me.

    Also, as to Fay Wray. . . I got to hear her speak after a showing of “King Kong” when I was a student at UCLA. She didn’t scream for us, as I recall, but she did affirm that it was indeed beauty that killed the beast.

    None of the Kong remakes have ever come close to the original.

    Like

  81. It doesn’t matter who wins, God’s call is the same – do justice, love mercy, walk humbly before Him. The question of which candidate would facilitate that for the greatest number of Americans is the question – and frankly, has only one honest answer.

    Like

  82. This thread reminds me that as a Canadian, this is popcorn-stocking-up weekend…

    Seriously though, some self-examination and history reading is in order. Looking at past prophesies about election results and whatbactually transpired. Mostly the correlation is non-existent. I say mostly, as a small amount do turn out to be true. Let the wise.ones heed that last sentence.

    Like

  83. The Fix HAD to Be In BEFORE the Election, so she could hand the Victory to Trump 6-to-3 no matter how the voting went. “HAIL VICTORY!”

    Like

  84. “You’ll always have Nazis among you,
    You’ll always have Nazis among you;
    Next time they won’t come with brown shirts and boots,
    They’ll come speaking softly in three-piece suits;
    But you’ll always have Nazis among you.”
    — Donna Barr, Desert Peach: The Musical, closing aria

    Like

  85. The other day, on the corner of a rather busy street here in Kent, WA, I saw a group of people holding signs–like big, professionally made signs–claiming the pandemic was a fraud and to Honk if you agreed. Thankfully, only one person honked during the time I was stopped at the light (which is a LONG cycled light).

    But it goes to show you… people are nuts.

    Like

  86. Either way, The Fix Is In.

    And in 2008, there was a lot of fear of what Obama would do. (Focus on the Family’s “Letter to Christians from The Future”, anyone?)

    It turned out a lot of that fear was due to the antics of over-the-top Obama Fanboys; Obama himself turned out to be a fairly-average President.

    Like

  87. Conservatives demonize their adversaries by calling them pedophiles; liberals/progressives demonize them by calling their adversaries racists

    Communists denounce their adversaries as Fascists;
    Fascists denounce their adversaries as Communists;
    Both denounce their heretics/apostates/lukewarms as Traitors.

    Like

  88. Like they only have Unity if they have a common Enemy?

    “Me against my brother;
    Me and my brother, united against our cousin;
    Me, my brother, and my cousin, united against the Other.”
    — Arab proverb

    Like

  89. The Pious Piper is utterly deeply madly in Love with the sound of his own words.
    Like Bella to EDWARD (sparkle sparkle) or Harley Quinn to her Joker.

    “POOT! SNIFF! AHHHHHHHHH…”
    — South Park: Smug Alert

    Like

  90. The photo of In America how could this happen–how can there be people who still believe Covid-19 is a hoax?

    “TRUMP Tweeted It,
    I Believe It,
    THAT SETTLES IT!”

    Like

  91. This is why I fear that not even a landslide Biden victory on Election Day will avert significant civil violence in the streets in support of Trump remaining in power. And Trump will still be president, with the powers belonging to that office, during the next two plus months. “Be afraid, be very afraid.”

    Like

  92. ASSUMING DEMOCRATS REGAIN PRESIDENCY, HOUSE OF REPS AND SENATE:

    THEY WILL RAISE TAXES – and it will impact the middle class [ always does, always has ].
    For complex reasons I cannot explain, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates et al will lose not one thin dime
    of their wealth though the tax change will be sold as making sure the wealthy pay their “fair share.”
    Somehow the wealthy’s “fair share” inevitiably comes out of middle class pockets while Bezos and Gates
    get ever richer. BTW, Bezos and Gates are not at all cheating, it’s just the economic laws in place.

    They will attempt to outlaw the manufacture of guns/ammo – just make gun manufactures
    liable for deaths by gun and they will go bankrupt. [ This will not actually
    solve the problem of 500 millions guns and a trillion bullets that are out there already ]
    There will be laws passed insisting that people turn their guns in. 50 million people will
    turn their guns in leaving 450 million guns unaccounted for

    They will allow anyone currently residing the in the USA to become citizens pretty much instantly.

    They certainly will cease building the fence

    The unelected bureacracy will be strengthed

    Labor parties will be strengthened; the “right to work” will be weakened.

    FREEDOM of religion will exist ONLY for liberal religion; religion that supports sexual freedoms
    and the LGBT etc. and their ever changing positions.

    There will be ZERO restrictions on the killing of the Preborn. You wish to abort your child
    because they are female instead of male- VOILA, no restrictions. The freedom to take the life
    of your newborn – there will be restrictions on the books but no one will be found guilty of infanticide.

    Ultimately ALL female athletic records will be held by people who were born with “junk” but
    are women “at heart”.
    Sexual “equality” laws will be passed guaranteeing great inequality.

    Heterosexual Caucasians are “sh*t out of luck.”

    The basic Judeo/Christian ethos of the founding documents must ultimately be purged.
    The inherent Moral restrictions of the Judeo/Christian ethos must be jettisoned.

    France’s specifically secular government is to be established as the goal.

    The New Green Deal will becomes the law of the land, the USA will bend to the world based
    upon the assumptions of “Climate Change.” The new Green Deal guarantees poverty for all but
    the top 5%.

    Coal, gas and oil production will plummet with the promise that windmills and solar panels are all
    we need to keep our ACs, heaters and appliances running. [ How’s that working out in California? ]
    They will make it VERY expensive to own gasoline powered vehicles. [ The USA has certainly not
    come to grips with the problem of doing away safely with old batteries and the expense of making
    new ones. So far that requires humongous amounts of coal/gas/gasoline]. The government will
    enforce the purchase of battery powered Yugos for every driveway [ except Bezos, Gates Et.Al. driveways]

    Will all this happen immediately? No
    Is that the progressive goal however? YES

    The good news out of all of this? Trump and his tweets will be gone.

    Like

  93. Satanic Panic with ONE new Inerrant Source (Q-Anon) and ONE new Dogma:
    Donald Trump cast as the Messiah/Savior figure Who Will Save Us From The Vast Conspiracy. By Any Means Necessary.

    Incidentally, you can trace it back further than The Satanic Panic.
    The WItchfinders-General of The Burning Times, with the Malleus Maleticarium as its Inerrant SCRIPTURE of Q-Drops. WITCHCRAFT! WITCHES! WITCHES! EVERYWHERE!!!!!

    Like

  94. I can buy that. I kinda wonder if I ran with other people that those I see eye-to-eye with, if they would have made similar claims about Bush, etc. Like I said, maybe just a rhetorical question.

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  95. And once the Vast Conspiracy becomes Utterly EVIL, it Justifies Any Means Necessary — ANY MEANS — to destroy it. In all Righteousness.

    Since the Burning Times, French Revolution, and First Russian Revolution are out of living memory, ask any survivor of Cambodia’s Killing Fields.

    Like

  96. “BLAME CANADA!
    BLAME CANADA!
    BEFORE ANYONE CAN THINK OF BLAMING US!”
    — South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

    Like

  97. Michael Caine mourns. RIP Henry, Sr.
    The Man Who Would Be King is going into rotation tonight, followed by Robin and Marian

    Like

  98. I will be disappointed, but not nearly as disappointed as you will be over a Trump reelection, or even nearly as upset as you are now for that matter. You keep asking if Trump supporters (which are not all the same by the way) trust God. You really need to be asking yourself that question.

    As far as the Nazis thing, it is the easiest well known reference for one group going after another that I could think of, and again, I said they WON’T BE LIKE NAZIS. I’m not sure when that became an insult. Generally that is considered a good thing. But in the future I can try to think of other examples if that will be helpful.

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  99. Jerry Falwell Jr. suing Liberty for hurting his reputation is like Jeffrey Dahmer blaming his victims for food poisoning.

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  100. My wife is in this camp. Her political views would make Eeyore clutch his pearls. She lived under fascism and liked it. I voted for Joe Biden with no enthusiasm, and with great trepidation.

    After this election, I intend to get more involved in local Republican politics. Better late than never.

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  101. And how would you discover this racism, exactly?

    Autos-da-fe?
    Show trials?
    Forced confessions?
    Self incrimination sessions?

    Like

  102. Don’t sweat Eeyore calling you a racist. Wear it as a badge of honor, like Joe Stalin calling you an enemy of the people. I wouldn’t even listen to him telling you what you needed to change. It would inevitably be political; change your vote, pay more taxes, more legislation, more courts, more police (albeit enforcing different laws).

    There are other people who are more helpful if you’ll listen to them.

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  103. > The people driving this don’t know and don’t care

    Exactly this. And the very important point – often missed – is that you cannot engage people who don’t care.
    There can be no conversation with people who don’t care.

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  104. I’m seeing it, that spiral. I voted for Biden, and actually like him to the degree that I know him, but I will move toward a conservative critique if a newly empowered Democratic government, with control of two branches of government, starts a steep roll toward an authoritarian gambit of its own.

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  105. The “enemy” rhetoric is quite alarming, isn’t it? Makes me sad to hear the language and words being used these days. Very tribalistic, very us vs them. Doesn’t anyone realize that there are people we love and care about who are in the “other” camp?!?! People need to stop making the other side out to be the boogeyman!!!!

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  106. Honestly, Tom, Jon doesn’t seem that fragile to me, or he wouldn’t be commenting on this blog among a largely liberal community. Nor does he seem to believe that Christians should put their faith in politics; in fact, he has just been saying above that they shouldn’t, and have made a mistake to do so. A believe he has a blind side with regard to the reality of systemic racism in our country, but I don’t believe he is a person speaking in bad faith.

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  107. –> “Look at the way they went after Amy Coney Barret.”

    Funny, it didn’t seem to me anyone really went after her at all. She seemed like one of the easiest, quickest confirmations I can recall by any president.

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  108. I’ve always loved the candy, but never really been into Halloween, even as a kid, or liked horror movies and stories. The world has always seemed to me to have plenty of horror all by itself; and cultural celebrations of it just make me more frightened of the world than I already am.

    Like

  109. Biden is incredibly articulate and speaks with 10x the diction of Trump. I am sincerely baffled when people compare the two and point that out as a weakness for Biden. Biden can actually talk at length and with substance
    about issues. Trump is a jumbled stream of consciousness whose vocabulary is at the level of a high school dropout.

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  110. I said it when Obama did a few things that played with power… Be careful when you cheer for an overreach in power by a guy you like and support, because that abuse will be used when a guy you don’t like gets in power.

    We have begun a bad spiral of power abuse.

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  111. > Should I, as a conservative Evangelical, be concerned that they will come after me?

    Fortunately for you, no one is going to “come after” you if the progressives retake control of the government. What progressives most desire is to simply be able to forget that you and people like you exist, and they’ll gladly go back to doing that once Trump isn’t around anymore.

    The thing is, you only find the sort of murderous and toxic hatred you’re imagining among people whose lives have totally fallen apart, and progressives as a whole tend to be relatively successful at adult life – more likely to be employed, to be happily married, to be well-educated, etc. That’s why violent extremism is, in the modern US, pretty much unheard of on the left.

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  112. Yep. I knew he would face backlash from his evangelical community, but the speed and depth of three backlash, and the quickness of turning on one of their own up-til-now respected leaders was mind boggling.

    I, for one, liked Piper’s article. First, I thought it was awfully courageous of him. He had to have known the backlash would come and that people who probably only days earlier ha dconsidered him a stalwart of Calvinism would now call him traitor.

    Second, it was the most coherent thing I’ve read by him in a long time. Maybe it was because I agreed with him, but he articulated well, with the scripture to back it, my issues with a leader of bad moral character and who shows no signs of bearing any fruit of the spirit. As he said so well, bad character in a leader is as ruinous as for a country as bad policy.

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  113. Biden is a fundamentally decent man. When Trump had COVID, he had his campaign cease all negative political ads against Trump, even though the Trump campaign continued it negative ads against Biden. And even as the Trump people continue to try to smear Biden by smearing his son Hunter with all kinds of false accusations cooked up by Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani, accusations that not even FOX or Breitbart would endorse or run with — mind you the so called Main Stream Media has not been given opportunity to look at the “trove” of accusations — Biden has refused on principle to go after Trump’s family, saying it would be crass to do so.

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  114. “quit talking to you..”

    Well there is an easy solution. We don’t have an obligation to talk and be friends with family. Obviously it is great if we can, but there is no absolute obligation

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  115. You did not even need to include the word Nazis. I saw what you did. I guess your world will come to an end when Biden wins. Do you and others that support Trump really believe God is in control?

    Like

  116. They didn’t criticize Barrett’s position. They criticizied what they FEARED would be her positions.

    Like

  117. Shaken, not stirred, with an olive. And later, a cup of coffee, not tea, because it was tea that caused the British Empire to fall.

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  118. > and the alarm goes off and you wake up…

    …and realize that it’s halfway through November and we still haven’t finished counting enough mail votes to declare a victor.

    It would take a small miracle (or a Biden landslide) for enough votes to be counted on election night for us to be sure who the winner is.

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  119. It’s the same exact logic employed by people who think that it’s anti-America to point out systemic racism: blaming not the person engaged in the sin, but the people who refused to sweep it under the rug.

    Like

  120. At the very least, it should affect what kinds of jobs you can get where. A federal government employee is not allowed to advocate for the violent overflow of that same government. And if you are in a job that is involved in protecting civil rights, you should not have the right to say some folks should not have those rights you are supposed to respect.

    Like

  121. “While I agree that there is widespread systemic racism in our society, exercised by those with disproportionate power,”

    And it’s not going to go away unless it’s called out, in both its blatant supporters AND its enablers.

    “I have seen the accusation of racism brought into political and social disagreement by the left as a means of tarring any argument against its consolidation of political and/or social power.”

    If, as you say, racism *is* systemic, then odds are when you hear people complain about “infringement of free speech”, it IS lurking around in there somewhere. And again, how will it be dealt with if it’s never called out? Ignoring it for the past 160+ years hasn’t worked – it got us a blatantly racist president right on the heels of our first black president. If we can’t call it out, what can we do?

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  122. Tom, reread the comment. I said they won’t be like the Nazis going after the Jews. How exactly is it beyond the pale to say they won’t be like Nazis?

    Like

  123. On what basis do you make this statement?

    I guess you don’t have any issues with the fact that Trump didn’t provide an op-ed. Even if he “wrote” one, what would it say?

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  124. Conservatives demonize their adversaries by calling them pedophiles; liberals/progressives demonize them by calling their adversaries racists. While I agree that there is widespread systemic racism in our society, exercised by those with disproportionate power, I have seen the accusation of racism brought into political and social disagreement by the left as a means of tarring any argument against its consolidation of political and/or social power. And the increasing frequency lately of that tarring kind of accusation has more than faint echoes of the totalitarian political habits of the international Left in the first half of the 20th century.

    Like

  125. My out-of-pocket health care costs have soared since the so-called Affordable Care Act was passed, to the extent that I now pay more for health care than I do for rent. I’m not alone in finding it increasingly difficult to afford health care. What’s noteworthy is that several of my Hispanic co-workers are supporting President Trump’s re-election bid, citing health care costs as a major reason. One has to wonder if that could hurt Democrats nationally among a group which would normally be considered supportive of them.

    I’m not telling you how I’m voting, although I’ll hold my nose when I cast my vote Tuesday morning. I’m of the opinion that both major party presidential candidates are deeply flawed. Here’s hoping that both parties drastically improve their nominee selection processes for what I anticipate will be a wide open race in 2024.

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  126. Jon, that you can compare the Democrats to the Nazis and then involve the Jews in your comment is beyond the pale IMO. The Republicans will have a lot to worry about after the election, but not your nonsense. Where did you get this nonsense FAUX news?

    No, I am not a nice person today!

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  127. I don’t keep up much with the ins and outs of evangelical publishing world. As a Christmas gift, we made the mistake of buying a Max Lucado book for a evangelical family member. I didn’t know he was persona non grata for daring to ask questions about the moral character of the President. When the family member found out, you would have thought we had bought them a satan worshiping book. We had to take it back.

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  128. Every church structure has its flaws. A strong top-down structure will negate all the evils you decry… at the low low price of indulgences and burning heretics at the stake.

    I suspect there’s a reason why the Bible does not specify any real ecclesiastical structure for the Church…

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  129. Are you saying it is okay for the government to fine people or jail people for their speech? That if someone says something, even if it isn’t advocating for violence, that goes against the majorities morality, that it is perfectly okay for the government to take action? That if Biden takes control it would be okay for him to jail or fine Christians who say that homosexual sex is sin?
    And who brought up racism? How about not accusing me of random things that aren’t even being talked about, that would be a good start. You said freedom of speech is not absolute. If all you mean is you can’t yell fire in a crowded movie theater I’m with you. But then you brought up hate speech. So now we can police people’s speech based on if we think the content is hateful? Who gets to decide that? I don’t like white supremacists or Louis Farrakahn, but I’m not ready to stick either in jail for what they say. There used to be a time when the ideal was that I might disagree with you but I’ll fight for your right to express your opinion. Is that out the window now?

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  130. Yep. A man who has been a pastor for decades, a cornerstone of the Reformed theology conference circuit, written scores of bestselling Christian books, and a point man for all the right evangelical social causes (abortion, homosexuality, women’s roles)… is now no longer a Christian because he won’t vote for Trump.

    The warning lights are flashing red, people. This is no longer Christianity, it’s a cult.

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  131. You’re right. Naked power has become the practice, with only the thinnest rhetoric covering it. I have no doubt that, if the situation of the parties were reversed in the last few years, the congressional Democrats would have behaved just as hypocritically as the Republicans, up to and including confirming a Supreme Court Justice as quickly as possible right before a presidential election even though four years earlier they were inveighing against the impropriety of the same thing. Let’s stop pretending that these things are done the way the are because they are the right things to do; let’s admit that they are done because those who do them have the power.

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  132. > but why every four years

    Sorry, I do not believe that happens every four years.

    I never heard people suggesting Bush, Clinton, Dole,… were going to “round people up”. I did not hear that until Obama was a candidate; and the reason is obvious.

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  133. Same, the best strategy IMO is to try to isolate and marginalize them as much as possible.

    They are civil disease.

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  134. Patriot “churches”: The potential for this has always been in Evangelical DNA. It is the difference between formal and folk theology. There always a tension between a church’s official teachings and what the people in the pews believe.

    A recent example of post-millennial dispensationalism, which was a fringe belief until the Left Behind books took off. Fast forward a decade or so and lots of laypeople believe this is standard Christianity, regardless of what church they belong to. Another example is that when my mother was a girl, she had a classmate who worked hard to get my mother to become a Catholic. It turned out that the kid believed that getting someone to convert was an automatic ticket into heaven. This has never been official Catholic teaching, though we might wonder how hard her priest worked to correct her. In both cases there is pushing and pulling between formal and folk theology, and formal theology by no means always wins out in the end.

    This in turn is inherent in religion as a voluntary activity, rather than prescribed by law or social pressure. When it is voluntary, the congregants have the option to vote with their feet if they don’t hear what they want to hear. Formal structures can resist this. If a family identifies with a denomination, they will to a point tolerate hearing denominational teachings that makes them uncomfortable. And if the denomination has formal educational requirements for its clergy, this will ensure that the clergy at least know what these denominal teachings are.

    A key characteristic of American Evangelicalism is the reduction or outright abolishment of any such requirements for clergy. This wasn’t always true, at least for all branches of Evangelicalism. But in the post-Revolutionary period, when the floodgates to the frontier were opened, the most successful branches of Evangelicalism were those that could send a wave of preachers to the frontier without requiring an expensive and time-consuming education. This is how the Baptists became the generic American country church. The Methodists, who had some standards, lagged behind and became the generic town church. The Episcopalians, who took education seriously, were the church for the socially upwardly mobile. More or less every other Protestant church was an ethnic church, with cultural ties to the various waves of migration.

    Now consider those untrained missionaries founding churches out on the frontier. They have to attract settlers to come, rather than go to the next church over or simply stay home. The most successful are those that most successfully tell people what they want to hear. This might distress someone educated in formal theology, but the untrained, who have the same cultural background as their parishioners, are happily ignorant of Christian history or theology, and therefore unconstrained by it.

    Now jump forward to the late 20th century. The Methodists, with their educational requirements are after the Great Reclassification no longer considered Evangelicals. On the other hand the Pentecostals, who in origin are an entirely different strain of religion, but who also have little or no educational requirements, have been Reclassified, brought into the Evangelical tent.

    To pause a moment, I am not saying that no Evangelical clergy have formal training. This clearly is not true. But it is not a requirement. At most it is builds up the resume a bit. So we routinely see where someone concludes he has a calling, gets hired at a church, then a few years later goes to seminary so he can get hired by a bigger church.

    We also routinely read of Evangelical pastors who learn stuff at seminary that they know they can’t breath a word of to their congregants, lest they be fired on the spot. This is because the formal theology counts for very little. Denominations? The big trend in late 20th century Evangelicalism was away from denominations, lest the hierarchy try to impose formal theology on the local churches.

    So now we have Patriot “churches.” And why not? What is stopping them? Certainly not any sense of what Christianity has been for the past two millennia. The people driving this don’t know and don’t care. Neither do they know or care about what is in the Bible, apart from the bits they obsess over like the favorite well thumbed-over pages in a volume of pornography. So if they want to wave an American flag (or a Confederate flag, or both) and call this “Christianity,” there will be self-appointed clergy ready and eager to meet the market demand. feh.

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  135. It’s all cosplay. They have to make themselves the victims of persecution, so they can shore up their credentials as “righteous Christians”.

    Like

  136. I’m with Eeyore when he says that nobody should expect not to be made to feel uncomfortable when expressing unpopular opinions. And, after all, for the last for years the Right has been telling us that only snowflake liberals are so fragile that they melt into tears at the least expression of disagreement with their opinions; hence the saying coined by the younger members of the Right wing: “F–k your feelings!”

    But I can’t go all in on the first part of his comment. Freedom of speech is not an absolute, true, but exactly how will the government be involved in monitoring speech, and what will be the punishment for not abiding by the rules regarding it? Here, I’m in agreement with the ACLU. Free speech may not be absolute, but it is closer to absolute than the government’s right to restrict speech.

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  137. And your saying civil rights for oppressed groups is a “preference” which you assumedly find disagreeable sounds too much like racism to *me*. If you don’t want to be accused of racism, why keep defending it? Or do you really believe that the things you’ve associating with aren’t racist? You’ve got free speech here – make your case. Why aren’t white Evangelicals who support racism racists?

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  138. That’s my point. What good is it to say, “They’ll follow the rules” if they can just change the rules to suit themselves? At that point rules don’t amount to much.

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  139. Piper always has been an abstract theologian. His style of thinking and writing is very… philosophical, to put it kindly. And once he makes up his mind about something, good luck changing it. On some issues (like his strong complementarianism) it’s very annoying. But it also means he’s not going to back down in the face of social pressure. What’s most fascinating to me is not Piper’s stand, but how quickly people who last year would have sung his praises are now throwing him under the bus…

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  140. And have the Republicans “followed the rules” in the past? What rules are you speaking of? The rules allow changing the number of Justices on the Supreme Court, if you’re talking about that. And they also allow instituting or doing away with the filibuster, if it is politically possible to do either. Changing these things is not not following the rules; the rules allow them to be changed. That is a political reality whether one is Democratic, Republican, third party, or independent.

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  141. Freedom of speech was never an absolute. And if you say things that are hateful, why shouldn’t you be made uncomfortable about it? This all sounds too much like whining over lost privilege to me.

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  142. “Should I, as a conservative Evangelical, be concerned that they will come after me?”

    Even IF they had an anti-evangelical agenda, you are so far down their list of worries at the moment it’s not even funny. COVID, the economy, the Republican lawsuits and obstructionism, militias… Frankly, I’m amazed Biden even wants the job.

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  143. I had a bible study leader back in 2000 boldly proclaim that Al Gore was going to win the election because, quote….because he’s going to start to persecute Christians….

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  144. I had the pleasure of witnessing the dumpster fire that is a political comments threat over at the ChristianPost in regards to the John Piper dust-up. Makes me think that the list of the Fruit of the Spirit now includes:

    belligerence
    character assassination
    saying “you are not a Christian”

    …and other such nonsense.

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  145. At your age I wouldn’t worry about it. They won’t come like the Nazis for the Jews. But what they will do is chip away at freedom of religion and freedom of speech, declaring you guilty of hate crimes if you preach against their preferred morality, trying to force you into silence or out of society. The bigger question is what should conservative Christians do about it? Should we continue to push politics or should we put our hope in Christ? In many ways we have only ourselves to blame for this as for too long we have had more passion for politics than we have for sharing the gospel. We’ve been more concerned about lost people’s behavior than we have for their salvation. Somehow we thought making laws we like would make everything okay, not considering that changing hearts is more important than changing laws. We’ve been more concerned with maintaining our comfort than fulfilling the great commission (and understand when I say we I mean evangelicals in general, not you particularly). So yes I expect them to come after conservative Christians, not just evangelicals, but all conservative Christians. Look at the way they went after Amy Coney Barret. But we need to quit thinking that politics are going to save us, and put our attention back to following Christ and preaching the gospel.

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  146. “one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already.”

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  147. The last time the Democrats controlled both the presidency and congress, they worked to assure that you and your fellow citizens have access to health care. Do you find this concerning?

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  148. Not aimed at anyone here, but why every four years (i.e. Presidential election cycle) do people say “if so and so gets into office, they are going to start to round up and jail ________ (insert group you belong to)”? Is this part of our culture that we do this?

    Possibly a rhetorical question.

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  149. What exactly gives you that confidence? They are already talking about changing the rules to do whatever they want. They haven’t followed the rules in the past, so why would they in the future?

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  150. Regarding the pedophilia charge, it’s the Satanic Panic all over again, but on a much larger scale. It’s the way they demonize their political adversaries. If a whole class of people are molesting children, and they are embedded in the power structure — The Deep State — then any means of neutralizing them, rhetorically and politically and via coercion — is justified. “After all, they support the abortion of unborn children, why wouldn’t they prey on them sexually!?!?” — that’s the rhetoric and belief.

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  151. Trump can’t bring a glass of water to his lips without using two hands, yet the right wing media fish tank, which is very large, have their followers convinced that Biden has dementia and all liberals and Democrats — including Biden — are pedophiles. They’re not joking.

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  152. No. Having all that power will cause division in the Democratic Party. There will be reactive pullback among the centrists against the more more progressive and radical parts of the Party, because, politically speaking, it will not be politically advantageous for all Democratic members of Congress to adopt an equally progressive or radical agenda. The Democrats will lose the unity they had when they were reacting from a position of less power against Trump and the Republicans.

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  153. Whatever they change I expect them to mostly follow the rules. And not try and rule as king and nobles.

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  154. A large chunk of my grandfather’s family tree claims it is all a hoax. Still. And will quit talking to you if you try and point to any evidence otherwise.

    As to what do they think when people get sick. Well the numbers are inflated.

    Just a total denial of everything.

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  155. Yep. This is the disciple emulating his teacher and model. And there are lots of disciples like this among American Christians. “Jesus had the cross, but Trump has BALLS!” — that’s the way they feel.

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  156. It looks like Team Biden will take the executive branch, retain the House of Reps and retake the Senate. Having control of all law making branches of the government, what will they do? What will they change? Should I, as a conservative Evangelical, be concerned that they will come after me?

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  157. Dear Steve, Biden DID NOT personally write the Op/Ed. At this stage of his life, he simply can’t.

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  158. A reminder that Art is property; and it has always been.
    We’ve learned to make better fences.

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  159. Speaking from first-hand experience: “Do they have to get Covid-19 before they believe it is real?” Even that won’t do it. Many are beset by a cynicism which has become rooted in them at a cellular level.

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  160. Your read the comments! Admirable. I struggled merely to get to the end of the article.
    Agree with him or not, that is some top shelf gas-baggery.
    Mr. Piper uses Scripture as if it is his personal spice cabinet.

    In stark contrast to the straight-forward, on point, writing of John Fea – https://thewayofimprovement.com/2020/10/29/my-case-for-joe-biden/
    Agree with him or not, he sets the point at the front.

    Fea is more words (2,017) than Piper (1,707); yet at the end it feels like Piper’s was twice as long.

    Piper: “””I will not develop some calculus to determine which path of destruction I will support. That is not my duty. My calling is to lead people to see Jesus Christ, trust his forgiveness for sins, treasure him above everything in this world, live in a way that shows his all-satisfying value, and help them make it to heaven with love and holiness. That calling is contradicted by supporting either pathway to cultural corruption and eternal ruin”””
    OMG, I never want to hang out with that guy.

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  161. The photo of In America how could this happen–how can there be people who still believe Covid-19 is a hoax? Do they have to get Covid-19 before they believe it is real?

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  162. Missed the most important news this year, Charlie Brown holiday specials were all bought by Apple. No “Great Pumpkin” unless you subscribe to Apple TV.

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  163. At The Christian Post, the tickets of the two major parties posted op-ed. For the Dems, Biden wrote the Op-Ed while it was Pence who wrote the other, not Trump.

    https://www.christianpost.com/voices/the-greatest-commandment-has-guided-my-politics.html

    https://www.christianpost.com/voices/president-trump-is-the-best-choice-for-americans-of-faith.html

    What do you find interesting about the two?

    For myself, Biden quoted Scripture while Pence didn’t. Also Biden never mentioned Trump but Pence wrote on Biden. Biden writes about what he believes from a faith perspective, Pence is only political.

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  164. This is a move that The Donald would also do.

    Jerry Jr. is a prime example of what a Trumpian Christian looks like.

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  165. Eternal rest grant them O Lord.
    And let light perpetual shine upon them.
    And may the souls of the faithful departed
    through the mercy of God Rest In Peace

    Elgar – Lux Aeterna

    Today we remember the people past who have been with us on our journey of faith and who we will mourn eternally.
    In faith we will be joined with them in God’s Heavenly Kingdom.
    May Light Perpetual Shine on Them.

    It is not pumpkins and candy.

    Susan

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  166. picture it:

    the night of Nov 3, 2020

    Biden wins the electoral count BUT WAIT, Trump protests that the vote was fraudulent so HE IS THE REAL WINNER (self-declared)

    Trump’s supporters, armed of course, take to the streets protesting that Trump won; there is of course a response and chaos ensues

    AND THEN, after all hell breaks loose, Trump sends in Federal forces to ‘restore order’ and declares the vote null and appeals to ‘his’ Supreme Court for back up

    and the alarm goes off and you wake up

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  167. > The litigious Jerry Falwell, Jr.: “””Jerry Falwell Jr., …, filed a defamation suit against the school….”

    WOW. Just, Wow. My first thought when I heard this this morning was: “yeah, no way.”.
    And yet, apparently, I am **still** not cynical enough.

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