At a community group with my church, and a small group with the CCO, there were conversations about relativism and the resurgent tribalism in America. Members of both who participated in the conversation were dreading the impending 2020 season, which starts before even Christmas decorations are up in stores.
The reason for this dread is simple: the vitriolic, destructive 2016 season which saw people break off years-long friendships because of who they voted for and in some cases, they stopped talking to family members as well. Oddly, exit polls demonstrate that neither candidate was actually well-liked. As Ben Shapiro elaborates in the introduction to his book The Right Side of History. “The exit polls show that on the day of the 2016 election, just 43 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Hillary Clinton; 38 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Donald Trump. Only 36 percent of voters thought Hillary was honest and trustworthy; 33 percent of voters thought Trump was. 53 percent of Americans said they would feel concerned or scared if Clinton won; 57 percent of Americans felt that way if Trump won.” Continue reading Climate Change
It is, from one perspective exciting and another lamentable that the one universal truth we’re taking into the 2020 election is that truth and morality are relative, but “those other people” are indefensible bastards.
It is easy to blame the political climate on Penny Arcade’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, but at some point, it is incumbent on the people who are embracing it to cease being fuckwads. For those who don’t know, the G.I.F.T. “is a postulate which asserts that normal, well-adjusted people may display psychopathic or antisocial behaviors when given both anonymity and a captive audience on the Internet.”
Continue reading 1K: Fundraising
In the last few months of my time in the Atheist camp, I caught wind of a Christian movie called “God’s Not Dead” that posited the idea of a Christian student going head to head with an Atheist professor. Not knowing the reputation of Christian movies, which is even a sore spot in Christian circles, I was uncharacteristically optimistic that while I could probably see some intense mic-drop moment coming, at least Atheism would be given something of a fair shake. What I saw instead was one of the most cynical, bitter and intellectually insulting things I’ve seen before or since. While the Atheist professor was reminiscent of the smug, interrupting, sarcastic windbags of the New Atheist movement, the “mic-drop” was a question about how one can be angry at God if he doesn’t exist. While it revealed more of what Dinesh D’Souza calls “wounded theism” in his book God Forsaken, the answer more immediately would be “Because I need to be angry at something and don’t care if its real” or something that could be explored further, but that was just the end of the road.
The movie was, frankly, terrible. Standout moments include when an atheist blogger is diagnosed with apparently terminal cancer days after her workaholic boyfriend dumps her for apparently no reason. Elsewhere, a Muslim woman gets the shit kicked out of her and is subsequently kicked out of the house by an abusive Muslim father for listening to Franklin Graham sermons (and no, I’m not going “out of my way” to point out that she’s Muslim, that’s lit-er-al-lee her character. Just “the Muslim girl”) and the Atheist professor is hit by a car on the way to a Newsboys concert and accepts Jesus before dying on the street. Continue reading Unplanned
Have you ever noticed how, in recent years, enjoying the work of someone known or accused of being a criminal has become synonymous with endorsing what the criminal was accused/convicted of? People going on long social media diatribes about how they don’t listen to Louis CK or Kevin Spacey or, most recently, Michael Jackson since yet another documentary came out saying he was a child molester. In a twist that could only happen since the tide is coming in on the MeToo movement, the documentary itself has garnered some controversy as many have felt compelled to question those making oddly-timed, unproveable, and/or poorly evidenced claims of sexual assault. Is this good? Perhaps not in the long run, as American culture tends to either overdo everything or not do anything at all, and it will soon be impossible to prosecute hate crimes and sexual assault because of the sheer number of high-profile cases that are proven false or disappear after the desired result has been achieved. For now, let us enjoy a bit of balance with the questioning of the claims made in Leaving Neverland and the claims themselves. Continue reading Wandering Mind 1
So, with the Christchurch shooting, there are a few things that -will- get lost as people assume their positions and rant for the next few weeks about the same stuff that they did for the last American shooting, so let’s get that out of the way. Continue reading Infamy
How many of you doubt yourselves? How many of you doubt that you are loved by God? More importantly, how many of you can say you are loved by God, but you don’t really ever feel it, or you don’t know why its there? In our first meeting, David asked how people thought God saw them, we got answers like lost, undeserving, failure, things like that. I see myself that way as well. I don’t really like me. I’ve never thought of myself as somebody that somebody else can like or want to be around any longer than when you’re already scheduled to be around me. The longer story I’ll keep to myself, but a large part of it is a symptom of the fact that I am a) predisposed to negativity (meaning I’m a bit of a cynic) and b) almost entirely rational. I’m not the most emotional person you’ll ever come across but I can analyze and recite and do things that I imagine a professor might do, if I wanted to be in front of people that often. A side effect of this cold focus on reason is that I have a functional relationship with people. I know it’s there, but I don’t really embrace it. Partly because I don’t know what it looks like to embrace a friendship, and partly because I really never care to. Continue reading Disruption
We’ve talked here in “Burke” and “Consequences” about the consequences the gun control movement hasn’t considered should their treasured gun ban backfire, be it in the response of the citizenry, or a potential spike in violent crime. Today, I’d like to go through the paradoxes one has to accept or be ignorant of, especially if one holds a particular viewpoint. There won’t be much here as the mindset is inherently self-defeating. However, it is prevalent enough that I feel it is worth mentioning.
It goes thusly: One who is anti-Trump to the point of seeing him as a threat to freedom, and who sees police as racist, trigger-happy killers is the last person who should also be supporting gun control. Continue reading Paradox
In a secular culture, hatred and evil are products of mental illness and not some more internal, “philisophical” ailment.
What’s scary is that most of these killers are not paranoid, schizophrenic or anything of that sort. For instance, the Oslo shooter, who killed 77 people, was deemed mentally competent to stand trial. The worst you could say about the Sandy Hook shooter was that he had Asperger’s, which is not a precursor to violence. The Isla Vista shooter was just angry women wouldn’t sleep with him. Columbine shooters were bullied. The Synagogue shooter quite clearly hated Jews. Parkland had innumerable red flags, so maybe there’s something there. (This is what you get with a guy who turns shootings into case studies. Continue reading On Killers
The Oxford dictionary describes a coincidence as “a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection” When you and your friend are wearing the same color shirt without planning it, or when they’re in the same space as you are at a given time. But it’s generally kept to those trivial things. But what do we call a series of events, each one doesn’t seem likely in its time, that play themselves out over a series of years? There has to be a statute of limitations on when you start to think there is something beyond mere chance that seems to lead awkwardly from one event to the next. Maybe at some point you’ll start to wonder if maybe God has a hand in this. I don’t mean that what follows are stories of constant, wild twists and turns, but little, subtle tweaks that impact the rest of the story.
I have two stories, one about my sister and Jubilee. We’ll start with the Jubilee one, both because it’s the one most relevant to this place, and because it gives me an opportunity to explain what goes on at this thing. Continue reading “Coincidence”