Category: religion

Heart full of scroll

Some people say Arendt’s concept of totalitarianism doesn’t apply to Trump. Maybe not. But Trump is comparable to other modern dictators (i.e., Erdogan, Putin, Duterte, etc.). Mussolini is an obvious model for Trump.

As Jimmy Breslin once described Rudy Giuliani: “A small man in search of a balcony.”

When the economic and cultural conditions underpinning masculine domination decay, one winds up with Trump.

Reading and writing occur in a place of silence, of solitude. What refuses to be silent is the mass media, which profits from giving a platform to extremist politics.

Calvin’s doctrine of predestination demonstrated more theological courage than Luther, whose sola fide is merely a continuation of the Church’s “magical means of salvation” by other means (as per Weber).

Luther is a hero only if one skips over the antisemitism.

If you have to ask

The silly Trumpification of America continues, c/o Sepp Gulati.

Five year old President Trump demands a Congressional investigation of Tappgate and a bowl of pistachio ice cream.

Up at 5am, listening to Phil Collins, is enough to make anyone tweet crazy stuff.

Oklahoma was the “wife beater state” long before any Muslims arrived.

Re Mike Pence and private email hypocrisy: convenience store Christians always congregate near the skin mags.

Devil eyes

Justice Scalia was a formidable roadblock to progress, a modern day Taney.

In various rulings and majority opinions, Justice Scalia ratified the second class citizenship of African Americans (re voting rights) and women (re reproductive health rights), and consigned thousands of Americans to a violent death by handgun. His dissenting opinions represent a sort of cahiers de doléances for American emocons, the victims of modernity.

One almost wishes the Presidency on Trump. The Tea Party pitchforks would expect him to live up to his promises. He would have about six months to “Make America Great Again” before their guns would come out.

Poor educational standards (exacerbated by an epidemic of homeschooling), the substitution of internet blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Fox News for traditional sites of authenticated information, and the reality televisualisation of reality itself have led to the rise of the politics of Trump, Cruz, and Rubio: clownish, buffoonish, and outrageous performances meant to draw eyeballs and deaden brain activity.

Evangelical Christians have been the bane of American politics since they became a political force in the 1970s as the so-called Moral Majority. The theocratic polity they envision for America would make Torquemada blush. However, sometimes they are surprising: they have broken with Republican anti-science fanatics over climate change and appear to support “immigration reform” rather than wall-building and mass deportation.

Cotton Mather redux

Religious authenticity has mattered to Republicans since the rise of the “Moral Majority” in the 1970s (a conservative version of the counter cultural tendencies of the 1960s), which put Reagan and a gaggle of arch-conservative politicians in office and destroyed rational public discourse. Mr Carson is not all that different from GW Bush and his fellow theocrats Reverend Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Ted Cruz, who wear religion as a badge of honour and use it as a rhetorical club against political opponents. For these people, religion is instrumentalized as a tool for political demonology, whose familiar targets are feminists and “Hollywood” and “East Coast” liberals. At times, the more fanatical believers have gone beyond symbolic violence and engaged in physical violence, the murder of doctors providing reproductive health care services to women (see the domestic terrorist outfit “Operation Rescue”).

Whereas the Moral Majority and other social conservative organizations have been primarily comprised of Evangelical Christians, Mr Carson brings the cosmological nuttiness of Seventh Day Adventism to the mix, a sect that is a recent invention (dating from the 19th century). The cartoonish statements of faith uttered by Mr Carson are consistent with the historically undisciplined, self-willed spirituality of the Protestant sects.

Loin derrière

I feel somewhat bad for Jeb! He dropped his last name to avoid association with his dumberer brother. He raised millions of dollars from hardworking, big Republican funders. He renounced his only serious policy idea (the Common Core) so that he would be more appealing to the anti-intellectual Republican base. All this should have secured an easy victory over pipsqueaks like Jindal, Huckabee, Paul, Cruz, and Rubio.

Instead, he’s been ambushed by a real estate clown and a retired surgeon who hocks quacksterish supplements.

It’s sad to see one of the last remaining hippie habitats (Haight Ashbury) under threat from market-driven environmental encroachment.

Puritanism is why we can’t have nice things.