August 12, 2020

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: February 8, 2020


The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: February 8, 2020

Hello, friends, and welcome to the weekend. Ready for some brunch?

You know what? On January 25th Internet Monk hit 300,000 comments, on roughly 6500 posts since January 2004. Pretty cool.

The Kansas City Chiefs scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to come from behind and beat the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20, in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday. It was the Chiefs’ first championship since the 1969 season. Kansas City’s 24-year-old quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, became the youngest player to be named the Super Bowl’s most valuable player.

Of course, the superbowl is the time when many companies introduce their new commercials, spending over 4 million for the privilege. Here are two of my favorites. The first is a throwback to one of my favorite movies:

The second almost had me in tears (hard to do when you’ve got a living room of teen boys from church watching with you). My step-mother is suffering from dementia and memory loss, and I am working on arraigning her care. So this struck close to home:


You likely didn’t hear, but Jennifer Lopez and Shakira led a hip-shaking, controversial half-time show.  I had to turn it off (remember my living room was full of teen boys). Lopez promised the show would be “family friendly”. Um…J-Lo, I’m not sure what kind of “family” you’re used to:

Yes, I know…I’m a prude. Jesus loves prudes too.

But at least I’m not as bad as vlogger Dave Daubenmire, who wants to sue the NFL for putting him in danger of hellfire:

“I think we ought to sue.

“I think we ought to go sit down in a courtroom and present this as evidence of how whoever [put on the halftime show] is keeping me from getting into the kingdom of Heaven. Could I go into a courtroom and say, ‘Viewing what you put on that screen put me in danger of hellfire’? Could the court say, ‘That doesn’t apply here because the right to [produce] porn overrides your right to [not] watch it’? Yeah, well, you didn’t tell me I was gonna watch it! You just brought it into my living room. You didn’t tell me there were gonna be crotch shots!”

Daubenmire declared that the halftime performance was a blatant example of anti-Christian discrimination because he should be able to watch the Super Bowl without having to see things that conflict with his values.

“That’s discriminatory against the value I have in my house. You can’t just do that,” he argued. “I wanna sue them for about $867 trillion.”

Daubenmire appears to be quite serious, as he posted a follow-up video on Facebook saying that he is looking for a lawyer who will file a class action lawsuit against Pepsi, the NFL, and his local cable company on his behalf.

If you really, really want to watch it…knock yourself out. But I’m not responsible for the loss of any brain cells, so don’t sue me.

Like I said, I didn’t watch it; but how can ANYONE get turned on by this? What am I missing?


Better-than-average puns of the week:

~ Without geometry, life is pointless.

~ When you dream in color, it’s a pigment of your imagination.

~ In democracy it’s your vote that counts.  In feudalism it’s your count that votes.

~ A plateau is a high form of flattery.

Heading to Indonesia by chance? Want to do a good deed, and get a reward in the process? All you have to do is pick up and dispose of one measly motorcycle tire, and provincial authorities will give you some cash (amount undisclosed). How hard could it be?


It’s not every day that you come across not one but two interesting pieces on Bigfoot. Tom Jokinen writes about searching for unseen things in The Literary Review of Canada: “On all three coasts of Canada, and places in between, there are sites of mystery, where things live but are not seen, where things exist as rumour. This just adds to their power: the fairies of Newfoundland, the Manipogo of Lake Manitoba, the sasquatch of the West Coast. In Toronto, the only comparable myth is the 29 Dufferin bus, whispered about but never seen. Mostly, though, the tales of cryptids belong to the deep wilds and waters, and they are persistent. Sasquatch has been a star since 1967, when the famous Patterson-Gimlin film purportedly captured what came to be known as Bigfoot, in Northern California. The creature looks at the camera. Is it real? Or a man in an ape suit? The grainy footage is a moving Rorschach test: the figure is what you want it to be.”

In The New Atlantis, Clare Coffey reviews Linda Godfrey’s I Know What I Saw: Modern-Day Encounters With Monsters of New Urban Legend and Ancient Lore. The book is “something between a bestiary, a campfire tale collection, and a cryptozoology field report. It is a haphazard survey of extant American monster legends in the tradition of William T. Cox’s 1910 book Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods. But where Fearsome Creatures is a work of imaginative extravagance and linguistic invention (the Tote-Road Shagamaw is my personal favorite), I Know What I Saw grounds an investigative bent in first-person accounts. Most of the loosely organized sections deal with a broad monster genus — werewolves, mystery cats, Bigfoot, little people — or a more specific local apparition, like the goat-man of Roswell, New Mexico.”

60 years of independence:  Above, the newly crowned Miss Independence, Rosemary Anieze, in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1960. Seventeen countries in Africa declared their independence that year; You can revisit this with the help of The Times’s photo archive and others.

Shower thoughts of the week:

  • All numbers are closer to 0 then they are to infinity.
  • The truest example of Pavlovian conditioning is that every time you hear ‘Pavlov’ you automatically think of a dog.
  • The Moon is the most amount of land most humans will ever see at once.
  • If the telephone had been invented after email, we would have thought it was a vast improvement in communication.
  • It must be hard for dragons to blow out candles.
  • If life is a game, gravestones are participation trophies
  • UFO’s may actually be tourist carrying cruise ships from future.

What’s the worst place in the world you’ve driven? Mumbai would be on my list, I think, if it weren’t for the fact I’ve never been to India. Mumbai was recently ranked as the fourth most congested city in the world, according to the TomTom traffic index, with 65% congestion and drivers spending an average of eight days and 17 hours in traffic each year. Worse, it is also “the honking capitol of the world”. Police are testing out an interesting solution:

You may have to squint to  check out the obituary of this life-long Cubs fan, but the last paragraph is worth it:Image

A man has been found guilty of trying to steal a copy of Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral. Mark Royden, 47, from Kent, used a hammer to try to smash through the protective case around the 805-year-old document but failed to take it. Royden was arrested after being chased and detained by “good-spirited” members of the public as he attempted to leave. Royden apparently thought he was auditioning for National Treasure 3: Brexit.

A rare olm salamander reportedly stayed in the same spot in its cave in Europe for seven years, researchers say in a new study. Such intertia apparently isn’t uncommon for the species, as divers documenting the movements of olms in Herzegovinian caves found that over a decade, many of the animals tended to move less than 33 feet in total, according to the Independent.

An olm, an ancient underwater predator that can live up to 100 years and only breeds once in a decade is seen in a Postojna, Slovenia, cave in April 2016.

The blind, cave-dwelling animals are forced to move to mate, which they do about every 12 years, according to the study, which was published in the Journal of Zoology. The olms “are not highly gregarious, have no predators, are highly resistant to starvation – able to go without food for several years – and live in complete darkness underground and underwater,” the Independent said. And they can reportedly live as long as 100 years.

“They are hanging around, doing almost nothing,” Gergely Balázs at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, told New Scientist.

I think the Road Workers Union of American has finally found its mascot.

That’s it for this week, friends. Let’s end with a Brit making fun of us Yankees.



  1. David Greene says

    “If the telephone had been invented after email, we would have thought it was a vast improvement in communication.”

    Essentially it was as the telephone was preceded by the telegram. 🙂

  2. Worst city to drive in: Boston.

    Congestion coupled with an incomprehensible tangle of roads.

    • Downtown Denver; everyone is angry.

      Kansas City (MO of course); same as Denver but no roads are straight.

      Fayetteville AR; at rush hour all the parents are driving their kids to school and Fayetteville has purposefully not supported infrastructure for autos.

    • As a Bostonian, my response is always: why the heck would you drive in Boston? We have a decent public transportation system, and the downtown area is small enough that you can walk from just about any part of it to any other part in half an hour. I would take a walkable city with public transportation over a sprawling car-dependent city with no sidewalks or crosswalks any day.

    • Dan from Georgia says

      Beside my current location in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, I have only lived in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN), so I can’t speak for citizens of other metropolitan areas. But…if you choose to make a trip down I-75 or I-85 through Atlanta, be forewarned… if you drive below 80mph, you will be impeding traffic, sometimes even in the right lane. Like a NASCAR race down here.

      Worst rush hour I was ever in?


      Atlanta GA rush hour wasn’t even close.

    • –> “Congestion coupled with an incomprehensible tangle of roads.”

      It’s difficult to even WALK in Boston. I visited my sister there a couple years back and once “went for a walk” and almost got lost. Roads bend and angle off in weird ways, then you hit an intersection that has six roads leading in, but only four leading out (joke intended)… Craziness!!!

  3. Michael Bell says

    Seneca: ” You could have hit the 300,000 comments a month sooner if Mike Bell didn’t keep deleting mine. 🙁 “

  4. Susan Dumbrell says

    its raining!

  5. I’m a prude too — Jesus loves me this I know!

    But the only thing the sexy half-time show is preventing Dave Daubenmire from doing is watching the sexy half-time show, if he’s worried about his soul — or maybe watching the Super Bowl, Heaven forfend! I suppose the latter would be too counter-cultural, and everybody knows Christianity should control the culture, not provide an alternative vision and lifestyle from the culture — duh. SARCASM ALERT

    • But then, many Christians are riding-high right now, thinking they have the right to control American culture in a big way. Counter-culture Christianity? They have no interest in that, or the way of the cross.

      • The hypocrisy speaks volumes.

      • Truth be told–haven’t Christians™ always ridden high in this country?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        But then, many Christians are riding-high right now, thinking they have the right to control American culture in a big way.

        In November 2016, “CHRIST WON! HAIL TRUMP! HAIL VICTORY!”
        Now to Throw Our Weight Around. HARD.
        “PAYBACK TIME!!!!!” without limit.
        “DEUS VULT!”

    • If I’m watching I’m more likely to watch the half-time show than I am the game.

      This may get me into trouble. I’m no prude, but this I don’t understand…

      Given this present age of #MeToo movement, why is it that entertainers get a free pass to sexually objectify themselves and co-performers?

      • The #MeToo is about power imbalances, not sexual objects. It is OK to be a sexual object, as long as it is not part of a power imbalance.

        I, as a 51 your old male, just wanted to prove I am listening to the movement. I am not sure I exactly agree with all of their logic.

        • I think your explanation is accurate, I think you’re listening well. Where I think that rationale runs into hypocrisy and deception is in the sexualization of children and adolescents, the sexual monetization of minors — in that the power imbalance, not between men and women but adults and children, not only continues but seems to actually have gotten worse.

      • The #MeToo movement is addressing a culture where 1) men, to varying degrees, have been socialized to treat women as objects to be used, controlled, and exploited, 2) victims of assault are silenced and the perpetrators are shielded from consequences, and 3) women, again to varying degrees, have been socialized to put up with that nonsense.

        So, the question is whether the half-time show were communicating a message that said, “I’m your possession, use me however you want” or a message that said, “I am my own possession.” The intent seems to have been the latter, but I can see how some people would take it as the former instead.

        In any case, the important thing is that how sexualized a performance is and how objectifying it is are two different things. You could show no skin at all and still portray women in a way that would be far more harmful and unhealthy than this particular show.

        • We have lost common sense. Does anyone really think this half time show was about empowering women? Would this half time show been done with Kate Smith and Mnny Pearl doing the half time show instead of the two hot women? I will go to the Gold Stripper Girl review to watch some local women on the poles who are really empowering women. I think that 51 year old J Lo and 43 year old Shakira did a good thing for older women as they both can still be sexy . Nothing says empowerment more than this seductive half time tribute to 16 year old boy wet dreams. The bumper sticker on the pick up with the stripper on the pole outline with the comments “I Support Single Moms” is more honest. Take away the high amount of money and put this in a typical strip club and are the women empowering themselves? Are the Chippendale Male Revue and Thunder Down Under empowering Beta Males? We are fooling ourselves. However , as a male I really enjoyed both of the ladies and hope they remove the spandex next time. Power to the good looking women who can arouse men. That is power

      • Clay Crouch says

        I thought the halftime show was a thoughtful tribute to our president. Am I missing something?

    • Andrew Zook says

      Yeah, heaven forbid we hurt our “souls” with sexy stuff, but no problem watching, paying for, cheering for men to bash each other’s brains and bodies physically… (and no I didn’t watch the half-time show either… I’m weary of our culture’s low-brow, childish entertainments) but trumpianity should have enjoyed it! Such things are right up their dear leader’s alley…which makes me wonder – is Daubemire a trumpite? If he is, then his protestation is doubly laughable!

      Since this brunch seems to be so random to start with, I’ll throw this in… to Robert F, my co-Lanc. PA countian… Do you still live in Denver and if so, what can you tell me of its mayor? or about him? He’s speaking at my church in a few days time.

      • Andrew, very good point that I missed too. We consider it fine for young boys to cheer on young black men to destroy their bodies with long term concussion damage in a violent sport, but it is terrible that they saw a group of dancers.

        I believe that is part of the #MeToo movement. We only condemn inappropriate acts when it is related to women, not men.

      • No, I actually never lived in Denver. I’m in Ephrata, Andrew, and I’m afraid I know little to nothing of Denver’s mayor.

      • Yeah, the hypocrisy of what we get offended at and what we don’t is crazy. “I’m okay with men bashing each other, but scantily clad women…??? NO!!!”

        I was watching “Walker, Texas Ranger” the other day (please don’t judge) on InspireTV (or some such “benignly faux religious station) and had to laugh when they bleeped out someone saying “whore” in the midst of guys riddling each other with bullets. Apparently violence is A-OK, but not the word “whore.”

        We people are CRAZY!!!

        • Adam Tauno Williams says


          And this does orbit the #MeTo movement.
          #MeTo is not about sex|sexuality, it is about power.
          And what IS MORE ABOUT POWER than the normalization of violence?

    • So as I was watching the half-time show, trying my hardest to come up with a funny joke about the spectacle, a friend of mine wrote me the perfect line:

      “Isn’t this the kind of dancing that got King Herod into trouble?”

      And to be honest, while the Christian in me was appalled, the man in me was… I don’t know… intrigued, maybe?

      I’m just glad they had the decency to keep the thirteen year old girls modestly clothed.

      • But they didn’t keep the thirteen year old girls, or boys, from watching. They were selling those kids that kind of sexuality just as surely as they were pandering it for the men who make up the majority of the Super Bowl, and Super Bowl half-time show, audience.

      • And of course, you have to expect a spectacle of violence to include a spectacle of sexuality — it’s the way of things.

  6. It may be just a function of my quirkiness, but I haven’t watched the Superb Owl in years, and I’m not the only person in my acquaintance that hasn’t either. One guy said he only watched the commercials – and he did that the next day, on YouTube.

  7. I would think that Daubenmire has the right to make use of the off button…

    • “If your right eye causes you to sin, throw a tarp over whatever your right eye is looking at, because it is way too inconvenient to pluck your right eye out.”

      • Pellicano Solitudinis says

        More like, “Blame whatever your right eye is looking at for not having thrown a tarp over itself.”

    • Item #18 on the questionnaire you have to fill out at the Pearly Gates in order to pass through.

      Did you watch the half-time show at the 2020 Super Bowl?

      Item #1 is

      Have you ever used your cell-phone at a public place?

  8. Steve Newell says

    At the National Pray Breakfast, Trump showed us what he thinks of Christ’s “Sermon on the Mount”.

    I can still amazed (in a very bad way) why do many Christians keep saying that Trump is a Christian.

    • senecagriggs says

      I don’t think he’s a Christian –

      I do think he’s a theist – like Jefferson

      • Steve Newell says

        At least Jefferson approved of Jesus’ teachings even though he denied Jesus’ deity. It appears that Trump rejects Jesus’ teachings.

        • senecagriggs says

          They both have/had red hair. They both had liasons outside their marriage.

          Many similarities

          • Steve Newell says

            There is one big difference, Jefferson was man of letters. In addition, he valued Western Style Liberalism even if he was not very good at following it (he had slaves and he never emancipated his slaves).

      • @senecagriggs — I agree, Trump is not a Christian. He’s some sort of deist, as you suggest — an infernal one, I would add. What bothered me was all the self-described Christians in the prayer breakfast assembly who applauded wildly when in his remarks Trump repudiated Jesus’ teachings, and when he started his thinly veiled attacks against Pelosi, who was sitting there, and Romney. What is their excuse?

      • If you believe that you *are* the Supreme Being, that doesn’t actually qualify as a form of theism.

        • Steve Newell says

          Well the Donald did call himself “The Chosen One”.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            And all his Court Evangelicals pour the oil on His head, lay on hands, and chorus “AAAAAAA-MENNNN!”

            So which is going to be the next Litmus Test of a Real True Christian?
            * Anti-Vaxx?
            * Or showing your $45 Donald Trump Prayer Coin on demand? (Like beards in Talibanistan…)

            • Glad there is a site where their is good , critical and unbiased appraisal of other peoples religious and faith beliefs. I can see why many here have the moral clarity and obligation to judge the faith of others and render a verdict on the righteousness of that belief. I feel the love , compassion, concern and understanding of the teachings of Jesus in many of these comments. Can any good come out of NYC, how dare a sinner to not adhere to our definition of faith. Oh , that we could all be like Romney, McCain, Obama, Bush and Clinton who were truly the faithful remnant and perfect in their faith and conduct. I am selling the Trump Coin for 30 dollars to first 100 along with the book What Historic Evil Deeds Trump Would Have Supported if Here Were Alive Then authored by the Council of Judgement who know all things.

              Michael Z. was it Trump that was on board the Lolita Express with Epstein 25 tripor another President. I forget.

              • So, evangelicals can insult and critique everyone else, but we don’t dare criticize them?

                As my dad would say, suck it up, buttercup.

                • Eeyore, You and all are free to insult, critique or what ever to anyone but that does not mean you are correct or reflective. It also means you have opened yourself up to the critique of others to disagree with you. I am not offended by any ones comments or opinions just do not agree with them at times. Feel free to insult, be mean, be nice, be what ever to anyone , this is what free speech is. I do not like your reference to Buttigieg.

                  • Critiques are fine. Whining about being critiqued is not a counter-critique.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                      As was once said about The Woke (all genuflect before their Superior Virtue),
                      “Exquisite sensitivity towards any slight to themselves (real or imagined), coupled with Utter Indifference to any slights to others.”

                      Dan is just the (much older) Christianese application of this axiom.

                  • sick

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  So, evangelicals can insult and critique everyone else, but we don’t dare criticize them?

                  “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!!!!!”

              • Clay Crouch says

                dan, it doesn’t take much moral clarity to recognize that our president doesn’t have any moral clarity. My mother taught me that one is known by the company he keeps.

                Maybe you should expand your reading list. Try these for starters.




              • Clay Crouch says

                dan, it doesn’t take much moral clarity to recognize that our president doesn’t have any moral clarity. Surely, at least on that we can agree.

                • Moral clarity like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. American voters in 1992 and 1996 voted for a draft dodger, a womanizer like Trump, a liar to the people of Ark., and a dishonest person who would throw anyone under the bus. Clinton was an effective President and great campaigner. The stupid establishment Republicans tried to impeach him of what the voters knew already, he was, immoral in sexual conduct. The blue dress changed history, no blue dress no impeachment. We shall see in Nov. how the voters vote on effective but caustic , secular Trump . That is why we have discussions and elections. Unless Bloomberg can buy the entire election I think Trump will win big unless there is a black swan swimming out there. If I were voting on a moral leader it would Not be Clinton or Trump or frankly any politician. It will be quite interesting the next months until Nov.

                  • Clay Crouch says

                    dan, that was a poor attempt at deflection. But I will take your roundabout response as agreeing that our president has no moral clarity. See, we found some common ground!

                  • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                    Ah yes.

                • Since the acquittal, he’s retaliated against staff, he’s withheld military aid from Ukraine, he’s sent his minions to investigate the Bidens and Pelosi, he’s promised more revenge to come. He’s going to use all the machinery of state to frame his opponents, and no one is going to stop him. Get ready, folks, we’ve finished the partisan politics preface, and are into the first chapter of tyranny.

                  • Robert F. You have to get a grip on reality. The “staff” works at the pleasure of the President of the USA , elected by the people. The “staff” is not suppose to make policy or determine what the policy is. Washington D.C. is so corrupt they see absolutely no problem with Hunter Bide doing what he did as both parties do it. It is business as usual. How ironic you mention the machinery of state after the CIA, FBI and many in the Justice Dept. really tried to undo the election. You did forget to mention the sky is falling. Maybe the main stream press will abandon Trump after 3 years of total support. We need some reality clarity.

                    • He has promised revenge, he is in control of the means to get it, and he has seen that no one who can stop him is going to stop him. His firing of Vindman is retaliatory, it’s plain to see; retaliation by an employer against an employee for whistle-blowing or witnessing against the employer is illegal, but the employer in question is now, for all intents and purposes, above the law. I would dispute some of the other things you said in above comment, but the blog post writer obviously doesn’t want us to talk about this stuff — which is very difficult, because it’s on every thinking person’s mind.

                    • And he fired Vindman’s brother as well, out of sheer pleasure in the pettiness that the power to take revenge affords.

                    • Just what I want in a president: a vindictive SOB.


                    • “How ironic you mention the machinery of state after the CIA, FBI and many in the Justice Dept. really tried to undo the election.”

                      That may be what Fox News told you, but I’ve lived and worked in DC for decades, and I’ve seen the machinery of government up close. The people and agencies you mention have *bent over backwards* to try to maintain some semblance of normalcy and respect for the rule of law in the face of the current administration. All your remark tells me is that you haven’t lived under, or know anyone who has lived under, a government that really has no respect for laws. I once again implore you – get out from the media bubble and think for yourself.

                    • Eeyore, thing is, the current occupant and his attorney general are corrupting that machinery from the top down. It takes time to do that; it starts with a purge of anyone who is trying to “maintain some semblance of normalcy and respect for rule of law…” That purge is now well under way, from the top down, and has gathered tremendous momentum from the acquittal. I will not believe any findings of the current administration with regard to supposed malfeasance of the Bidens, Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, et al., without enormous independent corroboration from responsible media sources. I will assume it is fabricated to neutralize political adversaries, since that’s the surest way to win an election, and also what revenge looks like. The people you know may continue to try to do a responsible and conscientious job, but their work is increasingly being polluted by their bosses; soon their time for being purged will come, once the big fish have all been changed to yes-men and women. That’s what Drain the Swamp really means.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                      The “staff” works at the pleasure of the President of the USA , elected by the people.

                      “At the Pleasure of the President” or “the Whims of Caesar”?

                      The phrase “At the pleasure of” originated with Absolute Monarchy.

                      But hey, as long as Us Born-Again Bible-Believing CHRISTIANS are today’s Court Favorites…!

                  • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                    While the Christians chorus “AAAAAAAA-MENNNNNNN!”

        • David Greene says

          “If you believe that you *are* the Supreme Being, that doesn’t actually qualify as a form of theism.”

          Yes, that actually would me a form of “ME-ism.” 🙂

  9. I wife teaches adult Sunday School. They currently are working their way through Proverbs. i offered to sit in when she gets to chapter 31, as I think I could provide some valuable insights. Inexplicably, she was not enthusiastic about the offer. That’s women for you!

  10. senecagriggs says

    “The University of Massachusetts-Lowell Center for Public Opinion surveyed Democratic primary voters at the end of January and found nearly two-thirds would rather a meteor hit the earth, “extinguishing all human life,” than President Trump win re-election on Nov. 3.

    That’s a serious poll result.

    Oh my

  11. To be fair, Daniel, it was not seneca who first mentioned the Name Unmentionable at the beginning of the thread just above this one.

  12. senecagriggs says

    My favorite Steely Dan guitar riff – 46 seconds

  13. Pellicano Solitudinis says

    More like, “Blame whatever your right eye is looking at for not having thrown a tarp over itself.”

  14. Is the Daubenmire guy someone you knew of before this? You do a good job with the Brunch’s Daniel, and I have a feeling highlighting this was some what of a comic relief, but why even bring these kind of nut jobs to our attention? All it does is give him more name recognition and possibly more views on his channel.

    • To many of us, this “nut job” is emblematic of what many Christians are trying to do in our times and country: make the culture adapt to their standards, rather than live out Jesus’ alternative standards in the midst of the world. He doesn’t seem like a one-off to us at all.

      • Robert, what do you consider to be many, because there are enough Christians in this country that if they were actually united and really trying to make culture adapt to their standards they could. The fact is most aren’t, and about all they are going to do is complain when they see something they don’t like or put a post on facebook.

        • Fortunately, American Christians don’t all agree on every subject. But there is a sizable part of the multifaceted Christian community that thinks the culture should accommodate their values and agendas, and they want to force others to fall into line. If you see it differently, then we disagree, and so be it — I’m just explaining to you why the story about this “nut job” seems germane to people who agree with me.

          • Can you give me some examples this trying to force others to fall into line? And what is the difference between voting your values and supporting the laws you agree with, and forcing others to fall into line?

            • Promoting state legislation that requires transplant of ectopic pregnancies, when no such procedure exists.

              I suspect that any example I give, including the one I just did give, you will subsume under supporting values and laws they agree with — in this you and I also disagree. There is a use of our political machinery that involves taking minority opinions and values, and forcing them on the majority, and many Christians are currently using this type of strategy. It may seem to prevail for a while, but ultimately it will only build resentment, and an ugly backlash.

              • I had to look that one up to see what you were talking about, and since it is in Ohio, I certainly can’t speak to it with any experience. However, if I were a betting man I would wager that the vast majority of Christians in Ohio don’t know much about it either. If it eases your mind any, I would be against that law. Quite frankly, I see way more effort from the left to try to force their values, whether through laws or harassment, than I do from conservative Christians. And yes I know, we disagree about that. But I thought I would at least try to see this bogeyman that some on here seem so afraid of.

                • Let me ask you: Could you give an example of a situation in which the Christian community, or any part thereof, should give up its interests, or even the dominance of its values? Or should the Christian community, or any part thereof, always use every means available to win?

                  • Robert, I’m not sure I even really understand the question. And I also think these are two very different questions. Not giving in on your values is not the same thing as using every means available to win, if by available you include those means which are underhanded or immoral. I don’t believe Christians should use underhanded or immoral means to get their way. As far as giving up its interests or values, if those interests and values are truly Christian, I don’t see how giving them up can be to anyone’s benefit. The question we all need to ask ourselves is; are they truly Christian? But if you could give me a scenario, I could maybe answer your question. You already mentioned the Ohio legislation, which I already said I don’t agree with, and quite frankly, it is not Christian to expect someone to do a medical procedure that is impossible. So do you have another?

                    • I will think about an example. In the meantime, I did not ask if you could give me an example of a situation in which the Christian community should give up its values, but give up the dominance of its values in the wider society. That’s a different thing.

                    • Here is a link to an article that provides a multidimensional example of what I mean, including using political machinery, in an invisible and behind the scenes manner, to impose a part of the Christian community’s values on others.

                    • I guess it comes down to what one envisions the core of Christian ethics is. Is it based on the wide implementation of a set of God-given behavioral codes (10 Commandments)? Or is it undertaking self-sacrificing non-judgmental love in the example of Christ?

                      It may help if one considers that the One Who incarnated the latter was very often in conflict with those eager to implement the former.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                      And after a generation or two of LIVING in such a Righteous Christian Nation under such a Godly Regime, the name “Jesus Christ” will acquire the exact same baggage as the name “Adolf Hitler”.

                      Except among the Anointed Commanders of Gilead on top carrying out Deus Vult.

    • Andrew Zook says

      If this is any comfort, I didn’t click through to see what he had to say… Daniels explanation is enough to know what he’s about and that I don’t need to give him a minute of my time.

  15. Robert I’m starting a new thread here just to make room. I read the article. Though I am familiar with David Barton I was not familiar with his organization, and I personally don’t support most of the laws he is pushing, although my reasons for not supporting them may be different than yours. I don’t think putting the phrase “In God we trust” actually means anyone is trusting God, so I see no reason to force it to be posted. I also don’t want public schools teaching any religion beyond what is necessary to understand what the religions are. I do think it would be helpful for high schoolers to be given a brief introduction into all major religions, but certainly not forcing people to do anything like participate in any religious ceremonies. I am however on the side of the cake makers and flower shops who have refused to use their skills for gay weddings. But this isn’t necessarily because I am a Christian, but rather I believe strongly in individual freedom. So to put it another way, I would also support a gay cake maker who didn’t want to make a cake for a traditional evangelical Christian wedding. But I did note that the article is now almost two years old, and the great fears have not been realized, and while this might be naive of me, I’m pretty sure if I am unaware of this so called Christian political organization and its plans, most of the Christians around me are as well.

    • But what if the situation was flipped and we lived in a nation that was anti-Christian to the point no one would bake a cake for you because you were Christian. Wouldn’t you want a law in place that said, “I know you don’t like Christians, you still have to bake them a cake”?

      My motto: Don’t be shortsighted when you take stands for things that can later be turned against you.

      • Jonathan Arvin says

        Well, that wouldn’t actually be flipping the situation, because in this situation they are not refusing to serve them at all, but just for this one event. And, we don’t live in a nation where you can’t find a cake baker or a florist for a gay wedding. I would say the objectors are in the minority, and have been since gay marriage has been legal. But given your scenario would I want that law in place? No I wouldn’t. I agree that there needs to be some protection for essentials, things which are necessary to live. I don’t put artistic displays in that category. And quite frankly I agree with your motto, which is why I don’t want the government making a lot of laws forcing people to go against their conscience, even if what they are forcing people to do seems right to me.

        • I actually agree with the artistic expression point you make. Generally I agree that no one should be forced to express support or celebration of something they don’t support or celebrate. I should be required to sell you my cake, if you want one and can pay for it; I shouldn’t be required to inscribe it with red, white and blue frosting saying: TRUMP 2020–MAKE LIBERALS CRY AGAIN. One problem: should a newspaper be able to turn down an “Apartment for Lease” advertisement because its owner disagrees with the payers expressed openness to non-heterosexual couples? I think not, but on what basis would the distinction between the earlier and later examples be made?

          Regarding conducting marriage ceremonies, I believe the right course is for the church to get out of acting as an agent of the state by conducting them. If mores have changed to the point that you as a church or minister feel you can’t conduct marriages as an agent of the state, then don’t. But that will require some sacrifice on your part, not unlike the sacrifice of the early Christians; are you willing to make it?

          • Do states even really check to see if the person who conducted the wedding is actually ordained? To me this is a give to God what is God’s give to Ceaser what is Ceaser’s thing. If people want to get married in a religious ceremony what business is it of the states? Their business is the license. Since basically anyone can get an online ordination to conduct a wedding, perhaps the law should be any adult can have two people recite the vows and be a witness and the couple is married is the eyes of the state as long as they have the license filled out and turned in.

        • The problem with not permitting government to override peoples’ consciences is that that can be used as an excuse to protect behavior that harms others. My “conscience” may tell me that it is not right to offer housing at an equal price to someone of a different skin color, but to allow me to do so is a violation of the rights of the people I would be discriminating against. If we were all angels, there would be no need for government compulsion on anything. But we’re not all angels, so the government must step in and override the perceived rights of some for the greater benefit of all.

          • That’s why the allowance is made for laws concerning essentials. Housing is an essential. I realize that people aren’t always going to agree on what is or isn’t essential, but having a place to live seems like a no-brainer.

          • Generally I agree, but sometimes the government itself goes demonic, and in that case conscience must be obeyed rather than government. I know that presents a problem for both sides in the debate we’re currently having, but it can’t be avoid, because the fact is that demonic government has been responsible for far more evil than demonic individuals.

    • Maybe you don’t know what your coreligionists, or even most of the members of your own congregation, are really involved in. Do you know them well?

      • Well people can always surprise you, but I would like to think I do. I know this; we are a Southern Baptist church and I once asked a group of them if they knew who Al Mohler is, and not a one did.

        • Finally – a media bubble I can agree with. 😛

        • You asked the wrong question. You should’ve asked them if they knew who Paula White is. But don’t bother now; if they read the news, they’re certain to know.