January 15, 2021

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: Labor Day Weekend 2020 Edition

The first official Labor Day was born in a context of protest and violence…

On May 11, 1894, workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company, a railroad car manufacturer near Chicago, went on strike to protest their low wages and 16-hour workdays. On June 22, members of the powerful American Railway Union joined their struggle by refusing to move Pullman’s cars from one train to another, thus crippling rail traffic across the country.

On July 3, President Cleveland ordered federal troops to Chicago to end the boycott. Strikers rioted and on July 7, national guardsmen fired into a mob and killed as many as 30 people.

In an attempt to appease the strikers and their supporters, the Senate had passed a bill designating Labor Day a public holiday. The bill was signed by President Cleveland June 28, 1894. It didn’t stop the violence, but the Labor Day commemoration, which had been languishing in Washington, finally became a day of rest to honor workers.

Completely off the rails…

From now on, I refuse to grant John MacArthur any more space here at IM.


Quote of the week…

All of the virtues depend upon truth, and truth depends upon them all. Final truth in this world is unattainable, but its pursuit leads the individual away from unfreedom. The temptation to believe what feels right assails us at all times from all directions. Authoritarianism begins when we can no longer tell the difference between the true and the appealing. At the same time, the cynic who decides that there is no truth at all is the citizen who welcomes the tyrant. Total doubt about all authority is naïveté about the particular authority that reads emotions and breeds cynicism. To seek the truth means finding a way between conformity and complacency, towards individuality.

• Timothy Snyder, The Road to Unfreedom (p. 280)

Glad to see someone is focusing on the most important issue of the day…


A Lincoln man spoke passionately at a recent City Council meeting about the improper use of a term used in restaurants and bars across the world.

The term: Boneless Chicken Wings.

Lincoln resident Ander Christensen spoke during the public comment period of the meeting, encouraging society to rebrand the popular food item.

“Lincoln has the opportunity to be a social leader in this county,”  said Christensen.  “We have been casually ignoring a problem that has gotten so out of control that our children are casually throwing around names and words without even understanding their true meaning.”

The man proposed that Lincoln remove the term boneless chicken wings “from our menus and from our hearts.”

He went on to list the reasons why and offered a list of alternative words to describe the chicken product. Alternative names included buffalo-style chicken tenders and saucy nugs.

“We’ve been living a lie for far too long, and we know it because we feel it in our bones,” said Christensen.

More on building a restaurant business…

From Reuters:

TOKYO – A sushi restaurant in central Japan is trying to boost sluggish demand during the coronavirus pandemic by sending shirtless bodybuilders to deliver food to its customers.

The service dubbed “Delivery Macho”, was established by 41-year-old Imazushi chef Masanori Sugiura who is also a competition bodybuilder.

Sugiura has recruited his friends who worked at fitness gyms to work as sushi delivery staff, as they were out of work during the pandemic.

The only condition is that customers need to order a minimum of 7000 yen ($66) to get a taste of the delivery macho.

The promotion has been a sensation on Twitter, and Sugiura receives up to 10 orders a day with monthly earnings from the service of about 1.5 million yen.

12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee…

Seen at Mockingbird

  1. We admit that our single most unmitigated pleasure is to judge other people.
  2. Have come to believe that our means of obtaining greatness is to make everyone lower than ourselves in our own mind.
  3. Realize that we detest mercy being given to those who, unlike us, haven’t worked for it and don’t deserve it.
  4. Have decided that we don’t want to get what we deserve after all, and we don’t want anyone else to either.
  5. Will cease all attempts to apply teaching and rebuke to anyone but ourselves.
  6. Are ready to have God remove all these defects of attitude and character.
  7. Embrace the belief that we are, and will always be, experts at sinning.
  8. Are looking closely at the lives of famous men and women of the Bible who turned out to be ordinary sinners like us.
  9. Are seeking through prayer and meditation to make a conscious effort to consider others better than ourselves.
  10. Embrace the state of astonishment as a permanent and glorious reality.
  11. Choose to rid ourselves of any attitude that is not bathed in gratitude.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we will try to carry this message to others who think that Christians are better than everyone else.

• John Fischer, 12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (like me)

R.I.P. Chadwick Boseman…

Kaleb Murray, 4, and his mother, Jasmine Pearson attend a community celebration for late actor Chadwick Boseman in his hometown of Anderson, South Carolina. (REUTERS: Chris Aluka Berry)

R.I.P. Tom Terrific…

Photo of the week…

Read about it HERE

Pastor Jes Kast shares a message with the congregation of Faith United Church of Christ during a floating service at Bald Eagle State Park, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 30, 2020. (RNS/Abby Drey)

HAPPY 100th, BIRD…

Read “How Charlie Parker Defined the Sound and Substance of Beebop Jazz”

Bebop…arose on the brink of the Second World War, and came to fruition while the war was being waged. It’s one of the triumvirate of modernisms that was born from a generation of noncombatants, of 4-Fs. Like Jackson Pollock and Orson Welles, Parker, Monk, and Gillespie were deemed ineligible for service; what Welles did for film direction and Pollock did for painting, Parker, in particular, did for jazz, by representing the unrepresentable. Parker’s art is one of sonic images that give form to ideas that were hiding in plain sight or off the map of American mainstream culture; his tone embodies the very urgency of these representations. The abstractions of his art expressed the violence, the horror, the existential danger of wartime; furthermore, his art also gave voice to the blare of total mobilization in pursuit of victory in the war—and the injustices and indignities borne by Black Americans at home, which mocked the ideals of that national effort.

People could and did dance to Parker’s music, but it was essentially concert music; it wouldn’t have served to back a floor show (as many big bands did, despite the epochal inventiveness of their music). With its intricate harmonies, Parker—nicknamed Bird, which was in turn short for Yardbird—turned soloing into a jittery and skittering rope dance of chord changes that made his melodic inventiveness, his depth of feeling, his supersonic virtuosity, and his mercurial imagination all the more astounding.

Read more: “Charlie Parker at 100: What to Read, Watch and Dig”


  1. rosebush petals
    fall like red tears
    on the sidewalk

  2. Iain Lovejoy says

    I can’t remember where I saw it (and apologies if it was here) but the truth of the “only 6% of Covid-19 deaths were solely caused by Covid-19” lie is “6% of Covid-19 death certificates aren’t completed properly”.
    Apparently, US death certificates require the underlying cause of death to be stated (in this case Covid-19), and any contributing factors (e.g. other re-existing medical conditions) and also, crucially, what complications from the underlying illness actually killed the patient (I.e. pneumonia, organ failure, or whatever). What has happened is that in 6% of cases the certificates have been filled out incorrectly, missing out this last piece of information, just stating “Covid-19” on its own. The statistics have then been published, and because in 6% of cases no-one has recorded which particular Covid-19 complication has killed the patient, one column on the table has 6% of the Covid-19 deaths recorded cause of death as “Covid-19 only” and the lies have snowballed from there.

    • You know that’s much too complicated for Americans to understand. We prefer the video(s) “Plandemic.”

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Here’s an explanation from MedCram.
      (Part of the Vast Plandemic Conspiracy to Cull the Surplus Population and Take Away Our Guns):

    • Given that so far in 2020, we’ve had over 200,000 more people die than in an average year, it’s awfully hard to argue that nothing is going on…

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        You’d be surprised.
        “ALL FAKE NEWS! LIBRUL MEDIA LIES!” goes a LONG way, especially when joined with Christianese Persecution-Porn Paranoia and a Messiah/Savior figure in Trump Tower DC.

      • This is the point I often try to make. Deaths are much higher than normal. The second point I try to make is, When have you seen any sort of regular flu take out 90% of a nursing home. Third point I try to make is, Why are you making this an America-only issue, this is a worldwide pandemic!

        • thatotherjean says

          This! We , along with the rest of the world, are experiencing many, many more deaths than in a usual year. This is not a US problem, no matter what our Dear Leader says; it’s just that we’re handling it worse than any other country, at the moment. Ignoring it won’t make it go away.

  3. Re: The Road to Unfreedom: America is running toward “unfreedom”, accelerating its pace at each step. Too many Americans, too many American Christians, are accepting conspiracy theory culture as the path to truth, and conspiracy theories as truth. We would almost need a miracle at this point to change course, and to avoid a national tragedy.

    • I’m more of the opinion that many are accepting conspiracy theories as the path to *distract from* truth. Most truths nowadays are extremely unpleasant and unflattering to Americans, and will only get moreso.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        > truths nowadays are extremely unpleasant and unflattering

        Yep. You can show people rigorous data, with citations, and nope, they know the “real” narrative. Conspiracy theories are so attractive in large part due to the unpalatability of the truth. Americans [white suburban especially] want to believe they are hard-working, self-sufficient, fair, and secure – not what they are: largely unnecessary fiscal parasites teetering on the brink of insolvency as they suck down opiates and other drugs like a team of shop-vacs, and spew toxins into the world at a rate multiple times the rest of the world.

        At some point you just gotta call the duck a duck.

        • I’m afraid many of those white suburbanites, even ones that otherwise loath the current occupant of the Oval Office, are going to be the very ones who make his reelection happen in November, because they are afraid of the violent disorder of America that is becoming apparent, and they think, despite the fact that they should know better, that he is the only viable candidate who might restore the American social “normalcy” they have come to love more than truth.

          • Adam Tauno Williams says

            > be the very ones who make his reelection happen in November,

            We’ll see in only ~60 days! 🙂

            I have no idea; the data is all over the place, and our systems are ludicrous.

            • Trump has a slightly less than 50% chance of being re-elected. Since the EC spots the Republicans 4%, Biden is only 6% ahead in national polls, and Trump is pretty ruthless, it’s going to be a nail biter.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                “This November, all that will matter will be LAW AND ORDER!”
                — Eagle’s resident Trump-fanatic troll

                “And LAW AND ORDER resonates very well among Scared White People.”
                — Local morning drive-time radio

          • thatotherjean says

            The only “normalcy” we will see if Trump is re-elected is the “new normal” of chaos, discrimination and violence that he has created. He will certainly try to retain the Oval Office by any means necessary–not because he wants the job, but because staying in office is the only way he can avoid going to jail We need–all of us who can vote–to turn out in droves, to prevent his re-election. If you’re going to vote by mail, vote as early as possible, so your ballot has a chance of getting through DeJoy’s wrecked Post Office on time. If you’re voting in person, vote early, if you can, to avoid the lines, and take all possible precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19.

            • He will stoke the fires of violence between the radical Left and the radical Right. He knows the fear such violence generates among the electorate works in his favor toward reelection.

        • And that’s not counting the national debt, the growing insolvency of SS/Medic(are/aid), climate change and it’s attendant disasters, the demographic minoritization of whites, ad infinitum ad nauseam.

          And it’s a hard rain’s agonna fall…

          • Re: climate change: Did you see its supposed to hit 125 degrees in California this weekend?

            • Yes. And ice sheet melting is tracking with the IPCC’s worst-case scenario projections…


            • Dan from Georgia says

              Hi Robert F…It’s been a VERY dry and hot summer in CA and NV.

              On August 16, official National Weather Service equipment** at the Death Valley Visitor’s Center – yes they have a visitor’s center – reached 130 degrees. Since that reading would be the hottest reading reliably*** recorded on Earth since 1931 and also the 4th hottest reliably recorded temperature on Earth ever recorded****, the World Meteorological Organization has been tasked to verify the report.

              **I.e., not some backyard thermometer
              ***A reading of 136 degrees in Libya (originally considered the hottest temperature ever recorded, has been de-certified.
              ****The temperature in your vehicle on a hot summer day doesn’t count.

              yes, I am a weather geek, and I do have a life thank you very much!

              • Meanwhile, we’ve turned off the A/C and opened the windows at my house in suburban Washington, DC. Part of the reason was practical; I mopped the kitchen floor late this morning and opened the windows to speed the drying process. Another reason is that for the first time since mid-June, we’re enjoying the combination of sunny skies, mild temperatures (roughly 80 degrees) and low humidity. The house needs a good airing out.

                Last Saturday temperatures were only in the 70’s, but the remnants of Hurricane Laura were passing through the area and opening the windows would have been counterproductive.

                • thatotherjean says

                  I’m in suburban Maryland. Ain’t it grand? The cats are loving the open windows. My husband and I have been out all afternoon, sprucing up the back yard and painting the chairs that are part of the re-do. For those who don’t live here, early September is usually in the high 80s-low 90s, with humidity to match–i.e, thoroughly gross.

                • Dan from Georgia says

                  Here in Georgia were about 1-2 weeks away from more comfortable air. Will still be warm, but the humidity will wane. Love those autumn days where it’s mild and there is no humidity!

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Re: climate change: Did you see its supposed to hit 125 degrees in California this weekend?

              ALL FAKE NEWS.
              LIBRUL MEDIA LIES.
              “GLOBAL WARMING” HOAX.
              “GLOBAL WARMING” SCAM.
              Heard that SO many times; plus the crows of Triumph when an especially nasty blizzard hits the NE.

              And Christians have an additional fallback position:

      • That may be so, but I still struggle to understand how someone can intentionally choose to dedicate themselves to something they know to be a lie. To do so would seem to make them demonic beings rather than humans made in the image of God, and I’m not willing to see them that way, I don’t think I have the moral right to see them that way.

        • I get that, but I can’t ignore the apparent long list of evidence to the contrary.

          “Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness rather than light.”

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          > choose to dedicate themselves to something they know to be a lie

          I am 1,000% confident they believe it.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          I still struggle to understand how someone can intentionally choose to dedicate themselves to something they know to be a lie. To do so would seem to make them demonic beings rather than humans made in the image of God

          Again, Chesterton on the appeal of Black Magick.
          “The Dark Forces have a reputation for Getting Things Done.”

          • Again, though, attributing it to the influence of a demonic realm or influence tends to demonize the people who believe the lies. That’s how they see and typify the other side, as deluded by the demonic, so it basically just reflects the same image in reverse.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              About the Demonic…
              Apparently Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert and self-described Atheist) did a video proving (with plausible deniability) that Joe Biden is The Antichrist. For a self-described Atheist, he really pitches to the Christianese crows with Bible Code numerology and “Coincidence? Hmmmmm…” like the Pin-the-Tail-on-The-Antichrist types from my time in-counrty..

              Here is the anaylsis/reaction to that video from another Atheist podcast channel “Telltale Podcast” (the original Scott Adama video plays in an insert window for critique):
              Telltale is an ex-JW flipped to Atheist who specializes in scrutinizing and critiquing cult-like organizations and religions’ dark sides..

          • Oh come on, if the Dark Forces have a reputation for anything, it’s for being a bunch of wankers. (Of course a big group of Satanists are just trolls or headbangers.)

        • thatotherjean says

          Robert, Fred Clark, over at Slacktivist, has a pretty good explanation of what’s going on in those folks’ heads. He calls them the “Anti-Kitten-Burning Coalition.” Setting kittens on fire is universally recognized as a BAD THING, and they’re very much against it. They believe that, somewhere–it doesn’t really matter where, or how many of them there are–there are people who believe in burning kittens. So they are against those people, loudly and frequently, because it makes them feel righteous, correct, and virtuous. Also, since they know about something that other people seem to be ignoring, it makes them special: they alone are fighting against this menace! With some people, that kind of special knowledge and virtue is addictive.

      • I’m more of the opinion that many are accepting conspiracy theories as the path to *distract from* truth. Most truths nowadays are extremely unpleasant and unflattering to Americans, and will only get moreso.

        I’m going to point in a different direction. I was raised by the ultimate conspiracy theorist. My mother was frankly off the rails.

        Her main problem with everything was black/white, right/wrong, good/evil, etc… There was no grey in her world.

        Thus everything had to have a simple answer. If the answer to a question was complicated then it could not be the real answer. So all those folks trying to explain what was really happening were a part of one conspiracy or another.

        Just had to be.

        • I think much of the problem is right there, in the inability to see anything except in terms of black/white, etc. The danger for anyone trying to respond to this problem in others is that response easily becomes reaction, and reaction tends to reflect the same syndrome in reverse image/polarity.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            And Fundagelicals have been catechized and groomed to see everything in terms of black/white, God/Satan. That’s probably why Christians are so prone to such simple Boolean Grand Unified Conspiracy Theories.

      • Your comment brought to mind this quote from C.S. Lewis:

        “When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less.”

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      And when The Conspiracy becomes So Vast and So Evil, people will look for a Savior Who Will Destroy The Conspiracy and all its minions.

      “They will call for The Strong Man. And The Strong Man will come.”
      — demonic villain brag from a Seventies Spiritual Warfare novel

  4. We admit that our single most unmitigated pleasure is to judge other people.

    I can’t even get past this first step. Anytime I feel as if I have, I find out that I’m judging other people to do it.

  5. RE: RadioFreeBabylon’s Fish Taco Stand Jesus: I have no doubt that the idea that Jesus was a capitalist is one of the fundamentals of faith for many American Christians, and that there are more than a few who believe he was really American at heart and endorses Trump for reelection. And after all, didn’t he say, “God helps those that help themselves,” as well as, “Praise God and pass the ammunition”?

  6. A boneless chicken wing by any other name would taste as gross.

  7. Steve Newell says

    The mess that Jerry Falwell Jr. and Liberty University keeps coming forward.

    Jerry used Liberty University to enrich his family, give his kids jobs and reward his friends.

    Jim & Tammy would be so proud since this is all legal.


    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > used Liberty University to enrich his family

      That’s sorta what private colleges are for. There’s no better money pump than a non-profit with significant real-estate holdings.

    • So basically he’s a politician.

      • Worse. He’s a religious grifter.

      • When Falwell Sr. died, the kingdom was divided. Jerry Jr. got Liberty, and his brother Jonathan got the church and congregation (Thomas Hill). You don’t hear nearly as much about Jonathan, which I take as a hopeful sign. All of which is to say, yes, you’re right, Jr. is a politician.

        • In general I think it is a good thing for a family to build up a business and be able to pass it down from generation to generation if they want to. But there are some things that shouldn’t be a family business. Churches, schools, and political offices among them.

          • The problems come in a large non-profit like a television ministry or a Christian university when the founder/head treats it like a wholy-owned family business. At least in a large profit-taking business, there are shareholders who have at least some legal say in how it’s run. In a non-profit (RNGO), all the people who capitalize it (the donors) can do is stop writing checks. And.there is very little transparency. Just recently, there have been a number of high profile ministries declare themselves “churches”, which means no Form 990 where they have to declare salaries. If people knew how much personal dealing went on behind the evangelical industrial complex, they would be horrified how their money is actually spent.

            • thatotherjean says

              Indeed. Of course, with religious colleges and universities, like Liberty U., parents can decide that the leaders, having behaved in ways that would have gotten their students expelled, are too “ungodly” to trust with their children, and stop sending them there. Son of the Founder or not, Jerry, Jr. had to go.

          • thatotherjean says

            Amen to that! None of those need to become dynasties.

        • Thomas *Road*. *where’s my caffeine*

        • I believe the Lynchburg church is Thomas Road Baptist Church.

        • You guys act like Jerry Jr. was a drain on Liberty. On the contrary–he made it rain. The big donors gave because of him and his name.

          • Ask Liberty how well he’s doing for them now.

          • thatotherjean says

            Sure–he at least had the cachet of his father’s name. For years, got away with any number of things that would have caused other people to be fired. Then he got stupid and posted a photo of himself and his wife’s secretary in a less-than-decorous pose, on his yacht, yet, holding something looking suspiciously like booze, and people started asking questions. Then the pool boy told his story, then other people, and pretty soon Liberty U.’s board was in a vise–was Junior’s name worth all the problems he would cause for the school, or not. The answer seems to have been “not.”

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Jerry used Liberty University to enrich his family, give his kids jobs and reward his friends.

      Jim & Tammy would be so proud since this is all legal.

      Isn’t Junior an ATTORNEY?

      — LA Law Firm who got disbarred en masse for running an OSHA/ADA protection racket a few years ago

  8. Adam Tauno Williams says

    I’m not at all a baseball guy, but there is a screening of “42” (Chadwick Boseman) in the plaza tomorrow which I am going to see. I know nothing about the topic.

  9. In other news I recently heard of a survey that once again shows the need to better define the term evangelical, or maybe just scrap it altogether. A recent survey showed that around 1/3 of evangelicals believe Jesus was a good teacher, but not God. I think that once you say Jesus is not God you have placed yourself outside the circle of evangelicalism, and in fact, Christianity. Yet, they are referred to as evangelicals.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > just scrap it altogether


      And …. queue the history lesson from someone about what “Evangelical” “really” means. Groan.

      At this point though, hasn’t the ship already sailed? The time to scrap or seriously try to salvage the term was ~3 years ago.

      • It was probably too late even then.

        Seriously, language shifts and changes, and the truth on the ground will not be shifted back just because the guardians of the dictionaries don’t like how the plebs are using “their” words.

        • The dictionary follows the common usage, it doesn’t establish it. In many things language is inexact, and this is and will remain one of them. I think that’s true in much of the language surrounding all things religious.

          • The OED refused for decades to put “ain’t” in their dictionary. Just dayin’. 😉

          • Burro (Mule) says

            I remember watching The Firing Line back in the 80s Someone objected to Buckey’s use of a word, saying that it was different than the dictionary’s

            “My dear boy”, replied Buckley. “Who do you think the dictionary publishers ask when they want to define avword?”

            • Nobody could rub words together like Bill Buckley. Except maybe Winston Churchill. Or Robin Williams.

              Hmmm… Groucho Marx? Yogi Berra?

              • I liked his idea of tattooing the word “AIDS” on the butts of gays who had it, in order to keep other gays from catching it. Yeah, I know, but he made the idea seem so genteel.

    • I’m a mainline Christian, but I wonder if mainliners wouldn’t be just a prone to give the same response as the evangelicals in the survey with regard to Jesus’ divine status or lack thereof.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        Mainliners are like Gen-X; they aren’t numerous or cohesive enough for anyone to care.

      • thatotherjean says

        I suspect so, and in that, they would be in line with the earliest Christians, who saw Jesus as a human being, whom God declared to be his “son,” not some sort of co-divinity. That came later.

        • well, if he hadn’t risen from the dead
          the witnesses to the resurrection hadn’t been so willing to be martyred rather than to deny the resurrection

          strange that the first five ‘centers’ of Christianity all taught the same thing about the resurrection even before there WAS a written ‘New Testament’, so the word got out fast and consistently throughout the Church

          something strange about a human being coming back to life again

          something stranger about people willing to accept martyrdom from imperial persecution rather than deny what they saw

          a case might be made that people at least knew something was ‘different’ about this ‘man’ from early days in the faith

          • Something strange about Thomas calling Jesus “My Lord and my God” in a Gospel written by the end of the first century if at least some of the first generation-and-a-half of Christians hadn’t already been thinking of Jesus as God as well as human.

            • Robert, but…. that particular Gospel (with that quote) is very, very different than the Synoptics. And even though i do believe in Christ’s divinity, that wasn’t the focus for his earliest followers.

              Along with that, the compilation and (completely understandable) redaction of all of the Gospels is, imo, a given. Going from oral tradition to writing down the stories that had been spoken words only up to that point was a *huge* shift.

              So, not much farther along, were the batyles (figurative and literal) over the nature of Christ. People were anathematized, even murdered, over their slightly differing/different views. The history of the ecumenical councils makes for grim reading, b/c there was so much hatred shown toward the Others (who worshipped Jesus Christ but didn’t necessarily fall into line with the majority beliefs about his nature).

              I wonder if any other major world religion has anything like the history Xtianity does: of retribution against “heretics” and “schismatics,” of constant and very often deadly persecution of others who qualify as Xtians by post-Reformation standards, etc. The remembrance of persecution by Catholics and Lutherans is important in many of the German Anabaptist churches to this day: Mennonites, Church of the Brethren and the Amish, to be specific. (Although maybe not as much in the more liberal Mennonite churches as a whole.)

              • The Gospel of John assumes Jesus’ divinity from first to last.

                The Synoptics are mainly focused on other things first. I’m not saying that any of the Gospels deny him divinity, but John is something very different from the rest, for all kinds of reasons.

              • I think language and the thinking that intertwined with it had to change to express the peculiar characteristics of the divinity of Jesus Christ. It took time for that language to develop and stretch. It is unfortunate and tragic that so much violence was associated with the history that led to its fuller development. I don’t know how to reconcile the development of the language, which I consider divinely inspired, with the hatred, which was all too human, surrounding the ecumenical councils that were so instrumental in the development of that language.

                Regarding your second paragraph: I have a friend who I have not been in contact with for decades now. He was Irish-American, and was catechized in the Roman Catholic Church from infancy. His family was generally devout, a couple of his aunts were nuns; his dad was devout with the desperate piety of a man who struggled with alcoholism all his life, sometime fasting from alcohol consumption, sometimes going on violent, drunken jags. My friend rejected Catholicism, and Christianity in general, because he blamed it for much of the moral and psychological dysfunction of his family, but he buttressed his rejection intellectually with the horrific historical track record of Christianity that you point out. He sometimes referred to Christianity as, “The religion of hate.”

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      No, not “evangelcal”.
      CHRISTIAN without any adjectives.
      The Fundagelicals redefined Christian to mean themselves and themselves alone many-many years ago.

      • thatotherjean says

        That they did. Which is why their version belongs in quotation marks.

        • Well, yes and no, per their terminology.

          They wonder a lot about who is of isn’t *a* Christian. They tend to say “I am *a* Christian,” not “I am Christian.”

          The majority of the world’s Christians simply dont use “a” in front of “Christian.”

          It’s a small but very telling difference. I had to unlearn the “a,” although now i just say I’m Lutheran and leave it at that, if someone asks.

  10. I will not argue with the willfully ignorant.

    But the imp on my left shoulder convinces me to throw a dart at times.

  11. Burro (Mule) says

    Thank you for the Charlie Parker.
    Proof that even though people prefer the darkness to the light, the daerkness will never overcome it.

  12. I’ve never followed pro sports much, but I do remember Tom Seaver’s glory days. The past few years, he lived in Calistoga, which is kind of “just over the hill” from me. May God grant him rest.

    It’s supposed to be more than 105 degrees in my burg for the next 4 days. However, there was a day back in the early 1990s that I remember it well, because we picked up a car we were buying (used VW Vanagon, enough room to travel with 3 growing children). It was in July, and it was 116. At least it was dry heat 😉 The current +100 days should be the last temperature spike of the summer. We really need a good rainy winter this year, and an October without much wind. PG&E says they’re going to try to target safety power outages better so all of northern California doesn’t have to be blacked out. We’ll see.


  13. I have a few family members who are longtime MacArthur followers. Long story short (and understated) it has not made them better people. I’ve been convinced for a long time that MacArthur was heading toward cult-like behaviors and structures and influence. Now I am almost certain of it. It’s the only thing that can explain such needless widespread denial of basic scientific and medical truths. There’s a lot of pride and exclusivity and contempt for others, all masquerading as righteousness.

    It’s depressing to watch. There was probably once much potential for real Christlike witness, but it’s been squandered and twisted into something else.

    • thatotherjean says

      John MacArthur may have begun as a respectable teacher/preacher of the Bible, but he has been out there in the weeds for quite some time, now. Whatever he was, he isn’t now. Somehow, he has forgotten that he is as imperfect as the rest of us.

      • (It looks like your comment made it out of moderation, and my comment makes more sense tagged to your comment that’s tagged to John’s comment, so I’ll stick my comment here, too.)

        Yep. I made the comment–I think yesterday or the day before–that I still own several of his older study guides and never found them to be “weird” or “off.”

        But then at some point he became obsessed with the Culture Wars and has lived in that space ever since.

      • Yes. Dobson did the same kind of thing. I remember some of his early books were actually sensible and had some wisdom. Then he went culture warrior and off the deep end.

        The one difference is that MacArthur would never admit he’s part of the culture war. He projects himself as all about faith and doctrine and above the worldly fray.

  14. thatotherjean says

    I don’t know if this comment ended up in moderation, or what, so I’ll try again.

    John MacArthur may have begun as a respectable teacher/preacher of the Bible, but he has been far into the weeds for some time now. Whatever he was once, he has since ceased to be. He seems to have forgotten that he is just as imperfect and fallible as the rest of us.

    • Yep. I made the comment–I think yesterday or the day before–that I still own several of his older study guides and never found them to be “weird” or “off.”

      But then at some point he became obsessed with the Culture Wars and has lived in that space ever since.

      • thatotherjean says

        Indeed. And he seems to set himself up as “the last righteous man” in a sea of reprobates. It looks a lot like prideful and obnoxious, but he doesn’t seem to be able to see that. I feel for his congregation, continuing to meet in person every Sunday because he won’t have it any other way. But soon, they’ll have to do it without their parking lots, according to Warren Throckmorton’s post a couple of days ago.

        • And he’s been playing that game for a loooong time. He was at the heart of the Lordship Salvation kerfuffle in the 1980s. He helped lead the charge against Evangelicals and Catholics Together in the 1990s. He set his sights on Pentecostals in the oughts (and his internet fanboys/attack dogs targeted the original IMonk as well). And in the 10s, he’s gone full in against “social justice”. Again, I think we should not view JMac’s early “orthodoxy” too benignly. He’s always been combative and schismatic.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          And he seems to set himself up as “the last righteous man” in a sea of reprobates.

          The Theoretical Ultimate End State of Protestantism:
          The One True Church of One and Only One.

  15. CM, thanks for including the links to the articles on Charlie Parker, although the fellow who wrote the New Yorker piece is… well, he very much understates the influence and scope of Parker’s contemporaries, as well as those who came after him.

    Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Mingus, to name three who were as pioneering as Parker was and who had long, fruitful careers. He does mention pianist Bud Powell, who also died very young due to his addiction to heroun, and who was mentally ill and in and out of hospitals during his adult life.

    Heroin destroyed many of Parker’s contemporaries as well as many younger jazz musicians. Some even tried to emulate Bird by getying hooked. It’s a very painful thing to contemplate.

  16. Farrel Vincent says

    Well, now I know what Antifa-types do when they’re not rioting and burning cities. They write comments on posts at Internetmonk. WOW! Reading these is like watching the liberal haters pontificating on CNN. Get a grip! P.S. Is there such thing as a “Liberal Pharisee?”

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