February 22, 2020

Saturday Ramblings, August 15, 2015

Welcome to the weekend, friends. Ready to Ramble?

1960 Rambler Rebel

A few months ago we mentioned that Jim Bakker is still “ministering” these days. The venue? A TV show, natch. And the focus of his “ministry”? Convincing viewers that some sort of apocalypse is right around the corner, and therefore you should buy his prepper food. Lots of his prepper food. Like, tons and tons of his prepper food. But you can only go to the ISIS/gays/terrorism well so often. Ya gotta get some new threats. So this week Jim had on Rick Wiles, who asserted with scientific exactitude that “the earth has a 206 year cycle” and we have just come out of a global warming cycle, but are now headed into a 206 year cooling cycle that will usher in a new ice age, starting in November of 2015. Bakker boldly interpreted the meaning of this for us: “New York, Chicago, all of your big cities, will be Hell. The gangs will take what they want. They will kill to take what they want. Then then they will start eating bodies of the people they kill.” So there you have it. A new ice age and cannibalism run amuck. Better order that 6 gallon pail of creamy potato soup from Jimbo RIGHT NOW! That way you can “You can have parties when the world is coming part.”

On this same show, Rick Wiles said that God spoke to him and said He was divorcing America because she had a gay affair.  “He said, ‘America has dealt treacherously with me as a treacherous wife. And He said, ‘She wants what’s beautiful and good and then she began to commit adultery with other men and I forgave her, and she did it again and I forgave her, and she did it again and I forgave her, and she did it again and I forgave her. But now she’s committing homosexual sex with another woman and I cannot look at her anymore. He said, ‘I can’t even look at her, she’s not my wife anymore. The divorce is final.’ He told me that on the day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, God went to court too and he got a divorce”.

God is speaking to a lot of people these days, it seems. Charisma Magazine published a piece called, “Prophecy: Donald Trump will become a Trumpet”. The author, Jeremiah Johnson [wasn’t there a western about this dude?] tells us what the Almighty informed him of:

I was in a time of prayer several weeks ago when God began to speak to me concerning the destiny of Donald Trump in America. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Trump shall become My trumpet to the American people, for he possesses qualities that are even hard to find in My people these days. Trump does not fear man nor will he allow deception and lies to go unnoticed. I am going to use him to expose darkness and perversion in America like never before, but you must understand that he is like a bull in a china closet. Many will want to throw him away because he will disturb their sense of peace and tranquility, but you must listen through the bantering to discover the truth that I will speak through him. I will use the wealth that I have given him to expose and launch investigations searching for the truth. Just as I raised up Cyrus to fulfill My purposes and plans, so have I raised up Trump to fulfill my purposes and plans prior to the 2016 election. You must listen to the trumpet very closely for he will sound the alarm and many will be blessed because of his compassion and mercy. Though many see the outward pride and arrogance, I have given him the tender heart of a father that wants to lend a helping hand to the poor and the needy, to the foreigner and the stranger.”

Trump, of course, was in the news last week for twitter-slamming Megyn Kelly, who asked him tough questions about his statements calling women fat slobs, though one would look good “on her knees”. Trump later had this to say about Kelly: “She had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her . . . wherever.” Donald was shocked, yes shocked to think anyone could possibly take this as a reference to menstruation. MAD-Magazine-Trump-Kelly_55ca2a3dcc6e61.23983648

And this just in: the Donald has increased his lead in the polls among likely Republican voters. i dont

Whew! How about something a little lighter? Let’s get that Donald’s-cheap-cologne taste out of our mouth with REALLY CUTE PICURES OF BATHING ANIMALS!!!

animals-love-taking-bath-gif__605 animals-taking-bath-14__605 animals-taking-bath-17__605 animals-taking-bath-32__605 animals-taking-bath-301__605 XX-animals-that-enjoys-taking-a-bath-1__605 XX-animals-that-enjoys-taking-a-bath-2__605 XX-animals-that-enjoys-taking-a-bath-3__605 XX-animals-that-enjoys-taking-a-bath-5__605

Today is the 70th anniversary of VJ day. Which leads me first to a great little note. Yesterday Ray and Willie Ellis traveled to New York’s Time square so they could re-create the famous sailor-grabs-nurse-and-kisses-her-to-celebrate peace. And how cool is it that Ray and Willie are also celebrating their own 70th wedding anniversary? And that they are both Navy WWII veterans? Good stuff:

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 14: World War II Veterans Ray and Ellie Williams recreate the iconic Alfred Eisenstaedt photograph in Times Square on August 14, 2015 in New York City. The Williams, Navy veterans also celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary, recreated the kiss as part of a ceremony remembering the 70th anniversary of Victory in Japan Day.  (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)

The 70th anniversary of VJ  day also introduces us to a good discussion question. Let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that the dropping of the two atomic bombs really did shorten the war by a year or two, and saved several million lives [the study done for Secretary of War Stimson predicted five to ten million Japanese fatalities if Japan was invaded]. Does that justify the action? Why or why not?

I ran across this recently. Preeetttyyy sure it was from a Baptist school: download (13)WWJS [Who would Jesus Shoot?]:  An Alabama congregation has begun an unusual ministry: a gun range. Pastor Phillip Guin of the Rocky Mount United Methodist Church in Jemison said the Rocky Mount Hunt and Gun Club behind the church has a high purpose: “This is an opportunity for us to reach out in the name of Jesus Christ in a setting that is completely unique. Even odd by some people’s standards. But who’s to say that church can’t happen right here. Really, the whole purpose of this range is to provide recreational and gun safety in a warm, loving, Christian environment. We wanted to come up with some different ideas to help our church grow, and we thought this would be a unique ministry to offer to the community.”

Weekly tweaking Chaplain Mike pic: cubs-uni

HBO is known as home of the raunchiest, most violent shows on the screen. Game of Thrones, True Detective, Real Sex, Sex and the City. They recently added a new show to the stable: Sesame Street. Yes, HBO signed a five year deal to produce the famous children’s show and have exclusive rights to the episodes for nine months (when PBS gets them). The clues were subtle, but maybe we should have seen this coming:

CMTE1-ZW8AAf21J

If Chaplain Mike gets tired of chaplaincy, here is an option:

 The Oregonian/OregonLive is seeking a freelance critic to review marijuana strains, infused products and highlight consumer trends unique to Oregon’s robust cannabis culture and marketplace. The candidate should be an experienced cannabis consumer with deep knowledge about the variety of strains and products available on the Oregon market. 

Odd headline of the week: Woman arrested for allegedly pouring hot grits on sleeping man before hitting him with bat. 

A gun range in Oktaha, Oklahoma, has joined a growing list of U.S. businesses that advertise themselves as “Muslim-free.” “I didn’t want any terrorists, or Muslims, cult, whatever you want to call them, training on my gun range,” range owner Chad Neal said. muslimfree

The Suffolk [England] Gazette knows how to start a story: “Police were called after a mass brawl broke out in a pub car park between a group of morris dancers and a blind football team.” For you know-nothing Yanks, morris dance is a form of English folk dance based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers, usually wearing bell on their shins. Okay, I looked it up. Anyway, I will let the Gazette finish the story:

The footballers were enjoying a match on the village green at Rattlesden, near Stowmarket, using a ball with a bell in it so they could keep up with play. But all hell broke out when the morris dancers began performing at a nearby pub. A player kicked the ball off the pitch towards the Brewers Arms, and then mistook the morris dancers’ uniform bells for the one in the ball. He promptly kicked one of the dancers in the shin, sending him flying over a table and crashing into a flower pot. A hanging basket then fell on his head.

More blind footballers then joined the melee, kicking out at the bells and then being surprised when they were punched by furious morris men. The brawl was only stopped when the referee caught up and blew his whistle loudly.

With everyone blaming each other, the police were called to sort out the mess.
A Suffolk police spokesman said: “By the time we got there it had all calmed down, and both sides realised how the mistake had been made. In fact they had made up and were all enjoying a drink together, although a couple were still being patched up by the landlord’s wife.We took no further action, but recommended that the morris men did not use bells on their uniforms when the blind footballers were playing nearby.”

I’m thinking that is very sage advice. Generally I just avoid doing my morris dancing altogether when blind footballers are having a match nearby.

Well, that’s it for this time, imonks. Have a great weekend!

Comments

  1. Awe, yeah!

  2. Drat. Missed first comment by a minute.

  3. Who was it that said, ”Dying is easy, humor is hard,”?

    • Jazziscoolithink says

      Who was it that said, “Criticism is easy, actually doing something is hard”?

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        Yip…

        • Jazziscoolithink says

          The phrase is often attributed to Yip. Although it certainly reflects his life and genuine writings, it most likely did not originate with him.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        In the modern political landscape of America the pledge of allegiance could simply be replaced with a version of this saying – “I pledge to only criticize and whine, but never to do anything, nor will I bother to vote. For this is one nation under God, with some kind of excuse for all.”

  4. Ronald Avra says

    Since gun ranges are prominent in this ramble, I would like to give a shout out to that great American, Doc Holiday, whose birthday was yesterday, 8/13

  5. Hard to know which to laugh at harder: the blind men vs. the morris dancers, or the very cute mound of soap bubbles with eyes.

    It’s tacky to laugh at blind people, I suppose, but they seemed to be doing OK with those dancers, so I think I’ll give my vote to that fine story.

  6. I will use the wealth that I have given him to expose and launch investigations searching for the truth.
    What about the investigation El Trumpo launched a few years ago re: Obama’s birth certificate? Such a Godly endeavor

    • I don’t know – or care – if it was “godly”. It was stupid and vaguely pathetic. Trump is such an attention hog. Can’t stand him on a personal level, and have absolutely no rational basis for assuming he would accomplish anything as an elected official.

      • Yes, I was being snarky. And I agree w/you completely re: the merits of Voldem-.. er, Trump as a public servant.

  7. Yeah I know about Morris dancers. I’m still trying to process the blind footballers.

    I’ve never understood why there are so few sermons about the part of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus talks about field stripping an Ak-47.

    Ya know folks everybody is treating Trump like a joke but the American people have done stupid things before. We elected Reagan twice, Clinton twice, and Dubya one and a half times. We deserve whatever we get.

  8. The critter pics were great!

  9. The shower cap was indignity enough, but somebody should apologize for the humiliation of wrapping the puddy-tat in a Tweety-bird towel.

  10. TO: Rick Wiles
    FROM: God
    SUBJECT: Reading assignment

    The book of Hosea.

    That is all.

    PS: we’ll talk about your presumption that the US ACTUALLY is the new Israel after we straighten out your misapprehensions about unfaithful chosen nations.

  11. So “god” officially endorses Trump (which as Bloom County pointed out this week means “to fart audibly”) by means of his “prophets”??? I think I’m done.

    • (?°?°??? ???

      • That was supposed to be flipping tables. Oh well. Good to know input validation is working.

    • And when Trump loses, is this guy gonna come out and apologize? “I lied when I said God spoke to me.” ? Or “God lied when he spoke to me, don’t listen to him he can’t be trusted?” Yeah, right. He’s hoping nobody remembers unless he’s right. On the off chance that he does become accountable for his malarky, the usual response is “I must have misheard or misunderstood what God was saying to me.”

      If you’re hearing voices in your head, get thee to a shrink. Promptly. And anybody who claims to have a direct line from God like that is either self deluded or pulling a fast one.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        > And when Trump loses, is this guy gonna come out and apologize?

        No, it will be more evidence that these are the end times. Everything always is.

        > He’s hoping nobody remembers unless he’s right.

        A very safe hope. Remember the Y2K-computer-bug-world-will-end? Nope, neither does anyone else. But those same fools are still on the radio and still selling books.

        • I remember it. The books, the canisters of powered milk, even in relatively benign and trite little bookstores.

          There seemed to be considerable disagreement over whether Y2K was going to be an occasion to witness to your neighbors, or shoot at them before they took your beef jerky and dried military meals.

          Dilemmas, dilemmas.

          “But those same fools are still on the radio and still selling books.”

          Still have all that food leftover, still gotta sell it to somebody.

        • It sounds like Bakker is still selling leftover Y2K food packages.

      • Why would Charisma print this? Do they believe most of their readers would agree with this? Do they dare not touch god’s anointed?

        Republicans and the Koch Bros. are frantically trying to criticize Trump as not being a sufficiently conservative, and religious conservatives think he’s the chosen one. I’m ready to just throw up my hands, sit back, and enjoy the impending train wreck.

        Exactly what religious platforms does he support? What Christian morals does he espouse? Doesn’t matter? What is happening here? Is this not hypocrisy? I guess none of his affairs or divorces involved homosexuality. That must make him qualified to represent conservative religious values. :-/

      • In the interest of clarity, the prophetic article does not say Trump will win the election. The prophesy is that God will use him “to fulfill my purposes and plans prior to the 2016 election.” He is being compared to Cyrus so it may be logical to conclude he will be elected, “raised up” to lead for a particular reason, but he doesn’t have to win the election to call our attention to the truth or use his money to investigate said truths.

  12. England really is just a Monty Python skit, isn’t it?

    Most indisputable statement of the millennium: The Donald “possesses qualities that are even hard to find in My people these days.” Yup; and thank goodness.

    • He must not be looking hard enough. :-/

    • As we learned this week, god doesn’t make sense. Just smile, nod, and pretend you agree with him.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > England really is just a Monty Python skit, isn’t it?

      Yes, it does look like a great place to live.

      If England is a Monty Python skit, then what is America? I shudder to think. It certainly wouldn’t end with everyone patching up wounds and having a beer.

      • “If England is a Monty Python skit, then what is America?”

        I heard on the radio once, probably in a promo for Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, something like this:

        “Can’t I go outside and shop some place else?”
        “There is no place else. This is the only place to shop.”
        “You mean, America only has one shopping mall?”
        “My friend, America IS one giant shopping mall. There is nothing outside. Only parking.”

      • Michael Bell says

        3 stooges comes to mind. 😀

  13. Anyone else see that Megyn Kelly has abruptly taken a two-week “vacation”?

  14. Just as I raised up Cyrus to fulfill My purposes and plans, so have I raised up Trump to fulfill my purposes and plans prior to the 2016 election.

    Is that Cyrus the Great, or Miley Cyrus? Can’t be sure…

  15. You can’t answer the question about whether or not it was right to drop the atom bombs on Japan until you first answer the question about whether it was right or not to engage in total war, a decision that was taken early in WWII by the Allies in response to Hitler’s prosecution of total war against them. Specifically, the use of strategic bombing had been conducted by the Allies (once again, in retaliation for Hitler’s strategic bombing of the Allies) for quite some time before the atom bombs were dropped; it seems to me that once the decision to engage in total war from the skies had been made, the dropping of the atom bombs was a foregone conclusion. The question should be: Was it right for the Allies to prosecute total war from the skies, in the form of strategic bombing, during WWII? If you answer yes to that question, then there probably is no moral reason for you to object to the atomic bombings of Japan.

    • Not how I’ve avoided answering either of the questions…

    • NPR had some interviews with some survivors a few days ago. One of them was taking about how just before they were dropped (maybe just after) the news papers in Japan had notices from the Ministry of War (or some such) that everyone was to get prepared to fight the US forces to the bitter end when they landed. Be prepared to eat grass and dirt if needed but everyone in Japan would die fighting before they surrendered. Other reports from people living there talk about being trained to fight in hand to hand combat with wooden pikes cut from trees.

      What else do you do but total war? The other part of this stance was them wanting an armistice leaving the military intact to rebuild.

      One thing I’ve noticed is that when wars are fought to the “end” in the last century or so the long term results seem much better than when people agree to a cease fire.

      Here’s a very interesting read on WWII and total war.
      http://www.leesandlin.com/articles/LosingTheWar.htm
      It’s long but an excellent essay on war. Be ye hawk or dove.

    • Here’s the Wikipedia article on strategic bombing:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_bombing

      In effect, the logic of strategic bombing asserts that any resource that enables the enemy to conduct war is a legitimate target, regardless of civilian casualties. Since it’s arguable that everything that strengthens the society, including positive civilian morale, also strengthens the ability to conduct war, everything, including residential neighborhoods, especially in cities, ultimately is considered a legitimate target (the target range is usually expanded as the war becomes longer and the belligerents become more desperate–Vietnam is an example of this).

    • Was it right for the Allies to prosecute total war from the skies, in the form of strategic bombing, during WWII? If you answer yes to that question, then there probably is no moral reason for you to object to the atomic bombings of Japan.

      ‘Cause if you are wiling to tolerate any collateral damage to civilians, you might as well just nuke ’em all? Not sure I follow you here.

      • How was the firebombing of Dresden by the Allies, or the carpet bombing of many German and Japanese cities during WWII, morally different from the dropping of the atom bombs? The magnitude was different, but the rationale for doing it and the objective wasn’t. The death of civilians was considered a matter of complete indifference in the carpet bombing of these cities, or even a desired effect to degrade national morale.

        I think you’re seeing the history through rose colored glasses.

        • As to magnitude the big fire bomb raid on Tokyo killed 75,000 to 200,000 people. (Estimates vary a lot on this.)

          The Hiroshima bombing is thought to have killed 65,000.

          Why is Hiroshima worse than the fire bombing?

          • There were carpet bombings of German cities similar to the ones of Tokyo and other Japanese cities. One of the objectives of these raids was to degrade national morale, by the violence done to civilians.

            I really don’t see the difference.

            But that lack of difference makes me ask: What is the difference between total war and terrorism, other than that one supposedly involves a “recognized state” belligerent, and the other doesn’t?

        • Robert, we firebombed lots of Japanese cities – with napalm. It wasn’t just Tokyo.

          The architect of this campaign was none other than a young Curtis LeMay. As you can see, history repeated itself, not long after…

          My feelings about Dresden, the Japanese firebombings and the atomic bomb drops are not something i can put into words here. Re. Tokyo, we *had* to have known that the older parts of the city were filled with wooden buildings, and that even 1-2 bombs would have caused havoc.

          As vile as the Axis was, our strategies in these cases do not, imo, have any justification.

          • I agree. The logic of the prosecution of the war meant that the atomic bombings were a foregone conclusion, and the logic itself led to immoral methods long before Hiroshima. This led to the terrorism of cold war nuclear policy: MAD.

          • One of the other things about the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that should give some here a few second tjoughts: there were, and still are, Christians in those cities and the rest of that part of southetn Japan. Mostly Roman Catholics, from the era of Jesuit missions in India, China and other partd of South and East Asia. Many of the victims in both places were xtians, and the Japanese xtians of that time struggled with unanswerable questions re. how could a good God…. etc.

            For those wuo are unfamiliar with Shusako Endo’s novel Silence, give it a try. It’s set during the mission era, yet the isdues raised were (still are) very relevant to the war and immefiate post-war period in Japan.

        • No, I just wasn’t aware of the nature of the carpet bombing we used nor the extent of its casualties. I thought we were talking about unintentional collateral damage through taking out specifically military targets. Direct attacks on civilians are outright deplorable, and I certainly hope we’re above that today.

          However, according to my Japanese wife (both of whose grandfathers served the Japanese military at the time), the divergence in the initial death toll was soon overtaken by the long term effects of radiation. It took several generations to recover from it. You can’t measure the harm something like that does; it should never be used.

          • Adam Tauno Williams says

            > No, I just wasn’t aware of the nature of the carpet bombing we used nor
            > the extent of its casualties

            Isn’t it odd? In school they skip right over that with nary a mention.

            > You can’t measure the harm something like that does; it should never be used.

            We agree. Much the same applies to chemical weapons – these are not weapons one can actually ‘aim’, they are ultimately indiscriminate.

          • Yes, in terms of overall destruction, nuclear weapons are worse; you get the same explosive devastation as “conventional” bombing, plus the short and long term radioactive devastation. Plus, the aftereffects continue for generations, and spread in unpredictable ways (or all too predictable ways with a 100 megaton yield) for generation after generation. And there would be nuclear blow back. They should never be used–agreed.

            But the moral deliberation behind the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were little, or no, different from the earlier ones that led to the carpet bombings of German and Japanese cities. Killing many people indiscriminately was one of the intended affects of all those bombings, and the longer the war went on, and the more desperate things became, the more killing people indiscriminately became the primary intended affect. They were sometimes called “terror bombing” when the Nazis did it, though the name was never used by the Allied propaganda machine when the Allies used exactly the same tactic.

          • We may or may not be above that today, Miguel, but we are not above leveraging the terror involved in nuclear deterrent. That’s why we will not dismantle our nuclear arsenal in its entirety. Remember, the threat of harm to civilians (not just actual attacks against civilians) for political and military purposes is terrorism. When terrorists kidnap civilians, and make political demands of a nation for their release, and those demands are met and the kidnap victims released, an act of terrorism has been committed, though no one was physically injured or killed.

          • Certain things need to be recognize, though. The Allied bomber crews had a very high mortality rate, due to anti-aircraft fire and attacks by fighter planes. The lower they flew to make their bombings more site specific, the more unlikely they were to survive. In addition, targeting technology was far more primitive than it is today. The choice at military command was between sending planes on specific military target raids from which they probably would not return or return having missed the primary target, or a more widespread bombing that took out large swaths of the city along with the main target(s).

            At some point, however, this metastasized into a tactic which intended to terrorize civilian populations as well as destroy military targets. We can lay much of this at the feet of Hitler, who took the initiative in these kinds of “terror bombings”, and in waging total war, and thus degraded the moral clarity and will of the Allied military command: they became what they beheld, to reference Nietzsche.

          • Miguel

            If you read through some of the comments and links the thing about modern warfare is that the soldier may be the point of the spear but the spear only can exist with the civilians behind it.

            My mother in law’s father was a train station master in southern Germany. Unless she’s lying to everyone for 70 years her family was NOT a fan of Hitler. But then again speaking up was a really bad idea. She had friends who kept speaking up disappear from school. Forever. But to the main point her father’s job was very much a part of the war effort. Managing train traffic through an area was vital to Germany’s war effort. And from the way she’s talked about the war I she has never said that the allies bombing raids were wrong. She talks about how her and her mother kept in good shape running for bomb shelters / trenches several times a week or daily near the end. She even had a very interesting, but friendly, conversation when she met my father and they figured out they remembered a raid they were both at. He up above dropping bombs, she down below dodging them.

            Today we want to believe wars are the antiseptic things we can morally segregate and pretend that only soldiers are involved in. This hasn’t be true for most of the previous human history and isn’t true now.

        • Clay Crouch says

          How do you justify Sherman’s scorched earth policy on his march to the sea? His answer was, “War is hell.”

          • The longer answer is he didn’t want it to become what Kansas was before/during/after the war. Where the defeated never really thought they had lost. An army they feels they didn’t loose many times will not really stop fighting.

    • Patrick Kyle says

      My wife’s grandfather was a WWII vet who fought in the Pacific. To his dying day he refused to talk about his service there in anything but the most general terms, avoiding or outright ignoring direct questions about what he did there. However one day before he died, the subject of dropping the Bomb on the Japanese came up. He privately told me that after he was discharged in 44 the Armed services started recalling all discharged veterans back to active duty for the invasion of Japan. He said they all knew it was a death sentence, because the Japanese were willing to fight to the last man, woman, and child. He said the Japanese had not lost a war in 1600 years and that no military unit of any size ever surrendered during WWII. They would fight to the death or commit suicide. He said that when the bombs dropped there was dancing in the streets because all these men were reprieved from an almost certain death sentence. He said that those two bombs saved literally millions of lives on both sides. As to others on this thread ‘Monday Morning Quarterbacking’ our efforts in WWII, it’s really easy to do 70 years later, but when the concentration camp ovens were going full blast and the Third Reich was subjugating most of Europe, Japan was raping China I’m sure all the options look quite different to those involved at the time.

      • Yes. Plus those comments above that talk about bombing civilian areas terrorism… Tokyo and many other Japanese cities at that time were about 2 thing. Building more war materials and providing services to those doing that building. Are the civilians not a part of the war effort?

        You can argue against war or for it. But to pretend civilians were not involved in military activities on any side in WWII is just plain ignoring the reality of that war. Before making my earlier comments I did some checking to get my numbers right and one point made was that the fire bombing of Tokyo cut the industrial output of the city by half. At this point Japan was still building planes and crashing them into US ships. How was this not a war activity.

        I could go on but my main point is that WWII was total war and Japan was not going to surrender until it was convinced that the only way out of basically erasure of the county was to surrender.

        The concept that only the folks in uniforms were are part of the war is a quaint notion.

        • Civilians are always involved in modern warfare. Does that mean they are always legitimate targets?

          • Yes. But this is not a popular answer.

            Where it really gets morally very ugly is when you have a situation like North Korea where the civilian population may be 99% in support of their government but that support is 100% based on lies.

            This quote from the article linked by Greg (down below) says it very well.

            There is a tendency in our time to demand that someone do something about evil. There is a willful denial of the truth that anything that is done requires actions that are evil. The moral lesson of Hiroshima is twofold. The first is that military doctrine, like other things, is ruthlessly logical. The second is that in confronting Germany and Japan, moral purity was impossible, save for the end being pursued, which was destroying the prior evil.

          • Difficult question. I’m not sure I would outright agree with David L, but I do have to ask the ginormous question that is proof-reading over my shoulder: what is the difference between a civilian and a soldier? Why should one death matter more – or less – than the other? I think some popular war questions are posed in a poor way. The *best* way to conduct war is to build an educate a world populace that works together to solve problems. But if war comes, scorched earth is the only method that has ever proven effective in history. Even Elisha learned that the hard way when he fed and released the army that would later come and obliterate the Hebrews.

            I can’t think of any scenario where war is not morally objectionable; I look at it as a (sometimes, and probably less than politicians believe) necessary evil.

          • Dr. F,
            Do you then have no moral argument against the tactics of terrorists, only with their goals and the fact that they are not official agents of any nation state? Do you think that terrorists targeting civilians for military and political purposes are morally equivalent to nations engaging in warfare that targets civilians? If not, why not?

          • Where I’m having trouble with your question, Robert F, is with the “then” in the first sentence. In fact, I’m having trouble understanding how your question is related to my comment at all. Perhaps I can address it as a stand-alone question.

      • Patrick, thanks for telling us about that. For years I’ve operated under the assumption that there was no US plan to invade Japan, for the simple reason that we’d kicked the Japanese military out of the Pacific, out of China, out of Indonesia, and they were surrounded and confined to their islands, no threat to anyone. I’ve believed that the “stated reason” for the atom bomb—but not the real reason—was to “save a lot of [American] lives. I’ve heard that all my life.

        Aside from “stated reasons” for doing something there are usually real reasons, deliberately unrevealed, and in this case the real reason for the bomb may have been to prevent our ally the USSR from carving up its fair share of Japan, as it ended up doing in Eastern Europe—and taking half of Germany too.

        I don’t know how credible those theories are, but they work for me. However, I’m glad to hear your wife’s grandfather’s report. I’ve heard a few from veterans myself, and they all believe that yes, there was a plan to invade. One of them even lamented the bomb, saying that if they’d invaded “we’d have all been killed but it would have been worth it.”

        Anyway, if there is one benefit from the atom bombs, it may be that using them horrified the world so much that no more have been used in 70 years.

        • For years I’ve operated under the assumption that there was no US plan to invade Japan,

          Oh there was definitely a plan. And large stockpiles of materials. Bullets to food to jeeps to whatever. Much of it is now at the bottom of the Pacific. Cargo ships were told to dump it overboard not long after the surrender. What I’ve read was that the higher ups in the US government didn’t want to stall people going back to work due to a glut of trucks, jeeps, etc… flooding the US markets. My neighbor served on a naval supply shipped and remembers pushing the stuff over the side.

          for the simple reason that we’d kicked the Japanese military out of the Pacific, out of China, out of Indonesia, and they were surrounded and confined to their islands, no threat to anyone.

          The US and the other allies were very concerned about Japan playing out a repeat of Germany after WWI. Stopping the war as you say would have left the military in power and they had a stated goal of never giving up.

          • Nuts. Messed up the tags. 3rd paragraph was supposed to be in italics as a quote.

          • Got it. Thanks. I’ve also heard of a plot to send in incendiary bats (you know, the flying rodents, with firebombs on them) to hole up in the eaves and attics of houses in order to burn stuff down, but they were called back when Enola Gay got airborne. One hears all kinds of things.

            About the “need” to invade or not. It probably doesn’t matter whether there was a need or not, once there was momentum. I think of Iraq, surrounded by coalition forces and confined to no-fly zones within its own borders. And we still bombed the $#!^ out of them. Twice.

          • Remember “Shock and Awe”?

    • Exactly the right questions to ask. Here’s a great article by one of the most brilliant strategic thinkers I’ve read who explains it in exactly those terms.

      https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/debating-morality-hiroshima

      • I just read the linked article. Good read.

        I highly recommend that anyone in this debate read it. Plus the one I linked to earlier on “Loosing the War”.

        People may not want to believe it but once we (people on planet Earth) started using muskets, nuclear weapons being dropped on Japan was the end result. Civilians are as much a part of the war effort as those in uniform. Think about it. Every auto plant in the US converted over to military production. Some for trucks and cars. Others for tanks and such. And many for aircraft. We built something like 150,000 aircraft in WWII. Were those factories NOT a part of the war effort and would not Germany and Japan have loved to have been able to take them out? And sorry to say, these factories were NOT out in the Arizona desert with worker riding the train in for an hour from a nearby city. Just like those in Japan and Germany they were in cities surrounded by civilians.

        • So what argument do you have against terrorists targeting civilians? Only that they don’t have a state?

        • And if your answer to that last question is yes, what if they get one?

          Oh, I forgot. Then you would drop a nuclear bomb on them, militants and civilians alike.

          So the idea that a just war needs also to be prosecuted justly is passe, and the ends justify the means. Better make damn sure your ends are worthwile, or at least invincibly convince yourself, and those with you, that they are. Maybe something about making the world safe for democracy and freedom.

          “We destroyed the village to save it.”

          • You will not get me to say war is a “good” thing. But I have come to the conclusion that the only “just” way to wage a war (nothing to do with starting it) is to go all out and win it as soon as possible.

            There is a military doctrine of proportionate response. Japan was on a total war footing. And wiping out entire manufacturing bases pretty much seems the only they were going to be made to quit.

            Dropping a nuke on Baghdad for Iraq invading Kuwait would NOT have been a proportional response. And in that war most of Iraq was NOT involved in the war effort.

            Go read that essay on “Loosing the War” and then tell me how we should have played out WWII differently.

          • So you don’t argue with terrorist tactics when they target our civilians, you only disagree with their ends? You can’t really employ the argument about proportionality against them, since they are waging the hostilities from a militarily weaker position; asymmetrical, I think is the military term for it. And you believe what makes their tactics wrong is only their goals?

            I think that, for a Christian, there should be a boundary beyond which we will not go in warfare to reach our ends, because to allow any and all violence in the name of ends is to place too much weight on the end, weight which they can’t bear and under which they dissolve. I’m not a pacifist; but I don’t believe any and all means can bring us to a worthy goal.

          • David L,
            I would really very much like to know what moral argument you would bring against the tactics of terrorists who target non-combatants, such as the attack on the World Trade Center of 9/11; I mean, besides the argument that as non-state actors they have no right to use tactics which a state may legitimately use.

          • David L – so women, children, the elderly and the infitm are “legitimate targets”?

            Not in my universe, no matter which side of the line they’re on. It’s not as if these folks were all armed to the teeth in Japan in 1945. Far from it. In fact, many were starving.

            I also can’t help wondering how the people who were literally vaporized in Hiroshima and Nagasaki felt while it was happening. My guess is that the agony was unbearable, even if it lasted for *only* a microsecond. Same for the many who died in the firebombings in Dresden, Tokyo and other Japanese cities. We used *napalm* on all of those people. If you are too young to remember the Vietnam War and the tremendous controversy over the use of napalm, i suggest you look it up and see what its effects are.

            The truth is that we used horrendous weapons without blinking an eyelash.

          • David L – so women, children, the elderly and the infitm are “legitimate targets”? Not in my universe, no matter which side of the line they’re on. It’s not as if these folks were all armed to the teeth in Japan in 1945. Far from it. In fact, many were starving.

            Whether I like what was done or thought is was necessary are two different questions.

            Yes there were a lot of civilians in Japan who killed who were not directly building fighter aircraft. But most were support that effort materially in some way.

            Given the precision of weapons of that time just how do you take out a factory surrounded by civilian housing?

            And do you not think that Germany and Japan would not have been doing the same to our factories in LA, Seattle, Detroit, etc…. that were producing our aircraft? The coast off NC where I live is littered with wreaks of “civilian” ships sunk by German U-Boats during WWII.

            If you take your position to the conclusion then WWII would have “ended” with Japan controlling the Pacific and most all of eastern Asia and Germany controlling Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals. As slave states. Just how do you fight someone when you are willing to follow very constricting rules and the other side is not?

            You mentioned Vietnam villages but that was really more of an anti terrorist operation done very badly. Not a war against cities that were producing all the materials needed for their war.

        • Robert F

          For thousands of years and especially since Waterloo we (people of western European heritage) had a somewhat way of keeping war to be between peoples of similar groups. Country to country. Tribe to tribe. Etc… And it was somewhat local. To attack you the other side had to walk/ride/sail up in force. Surprise wasn’t exactly part of the deal except on very small local things. And due to the nature of material support of a war effort anything large scale was confined to being orchestrated by countries.

          Our modern technology has changed all of that. Now non state actors can basically wage war. Especially if they can base themselves in what typically is called a failed state. But interestingly these failed states still have access to the internet, phone networks, ports, etc… They just happen to be run by warlord and gangs instead of thugs who act like they are legitimate. And if you want to base your operations in one of these you can now wage war. We call these folks terrorists. But in reality they are a new form of nation state that we (existing governments) really don’t know how to fit into the existing frameworks.

          So how do we fight them? I have no real answer. Currently we (almost everyone) seems to be doing it badly. We kill people involved but we don’t have a way to shut them down or make it to victory. It’s a mess. Both practically and morally.

          I suspect we are going to have to figure out how to live with them for a while or till it becomes acceptable to just wipe out their base of operations. And be wipe out I mean scorched earth nothing left alive. I’m not ready to go there. And thank goodness pretty much no one else.

          • David, with respect, I think that some of your assumptions about the firebombings in Japan and the pervasive use of napalm on citizens in Vietnam are … pretty flawed. Nobody *needed* to use incendiaries, any more than they *needed* to use Agent Orange. Pinpointed strikes against factories could have been done with conventional bombs; the loss of life would still have been high, but nothing like the actual death tolls. There would not have been firestorms, which are one of the most horrific things I can possibly
            imagine.

            A lot of the Japanese civilians were too malnourished *during* those bombing campaigns to have been able to offer much resistance had there been actual ground maneuvers by Allied troops. As it was, many, many starved to death in the wake of the firebombings.

            I will leave it at that.

          • And we fly drones at people and lots of innocent lives are lost. We don’t see the cost, which is quite different to the Vietnam War, when you actually *saw* a lot of bad things (though by no means the worst) in a pretty uncensored manner, on the evening news.

            Now the media are so carefully controlled by the military that you would never in a million years see the kind of photojournalism that came out of Vietnam, let alone honest TV broadcasts. Instead, the drones are flown from computer consoles – it is all so cool, so remote, like a video game instead of real human lives. Or people go haywire over military and ex-military snipers.

            Things have changed tremendously since 9/11 per the press and other media outlets. I do not trust what is reported, because there was obvious and direct interference in the actual press during GWB’s terms in office. Especially during his 2nd term, when the NYT and other major papers all of a sudden changed headlines about rival factions fighting in Iraq to Al Qaeda vs. the US and its allies. And that was a lie.

          • Pinpointed strikes against factories could have been done with conventional bombs; the loss of life would still have been high, but nothing like the actual death tolls.

            There was never such a thing a pinpoint strikes. That’s the fallacy. NEVER.

            In practice. In perfect weather (no wind from altitude to ground). From somewhat low altitude. Maybe. But in real war conditions.

            Here’s one of 1000s of articles about the subject:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precision_bombing

            The US defined the target area as being a 1,000 ft (300 m) radius circle around the target point – for the majority of USAAF attacks only about 20% of the bombs dropped struck in this area.

            In the summer of 1944, forty-seven B-29’s raided Japan’s Yawata Steel Works from bases in China; only one plane actually hit the target area, and only with one of its bombs. This single 500 lb (230 kg) general purpose bomb represented one quarter of one percent of the 376 bombs dropped over Yawata on that mission. It took 108 B-17 bombers, crewed by 1,080 airmen, dropping 648 bombs to guarantee a 96 percent chance of getting just two hits inside a 400 x 500 ft (150 m) German power-generation plant.

            Until the militaries of the world got laser guided bombs around 1970 things got no better. And even then and now you still get many misses due to a lot of factors.

            So remove this alternative as a viable way to avoid civilian casualties and where does that leave us?

          • I do agree that precision bombing was not really feasible until the latter part of the twentieth century. There were some American advances in targeting technology, but these had never been battle tested, and turned out not to be effective in the conditions that existed during actual bombing raids. During WWII, more precise bombing was really only possible by flying lower, which made planes a much easier target for anti-aircraft fire, and would undoubtedly have significantly increased the already appalling level of fatalities of bomber crews and the destruction of their planes.

          • In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five, the extraterrestrial Tralfamadorians have an interesting philosophy: Everybody does exactly what they have to do, and nothing and no one can change that. They also have a mantra that they repeat in the face of troublesome events like their own death, firebombings and planetary apocalypses: “So it goes.”

          • David, with respect, I think that some of your assumptions about the firebombings in Japan and the pervasive use of napalm on citizens in Vietnam are … pretty flawed.

            As to Vietnam I said:
            You mentioned Vietnam villages but that was really more of an anti terrorist operation done very badly. Not a war against cities that were producing all the materials needed for their war.

            What is wrong with that statement? If you read that as supporting what was done I’m a terrible communicator.

            As to Tokyo, I’ve read extensively on the subject. I think burning people is a horrible thing. But if you take it in the totality of WWII and the previous 30 years of history I can see why the US government (LeMay was NOT operating as a lone wolf) went with it.

            What it comes down to is war is terrible. But to fight in a way that you can’t win is more terrible.

            A friend was a Marine sniper in Afghanistan. Rules of engagement say they could not fire at a target unless they could see the person shooting at them. So the Afghan/Taliban quickly learned to fire from inside of buildings through shuttered windows. The Marines could see the mussel flashes and the bullets impacting near them but could not fire back. This helped ensure no “civilians” were injured but what does it say about the point of the fight? Personally I feel we should not have been there the way we were but to be there and not be allowed to shoot back in such situations just made the entire situation absurd. And tragic. And a waste. Similar things happened in the “Black Hawk Down” of 25 years ago. But there they were literally shooting from behind women.

          • The Viet Cong fought a guerilla war, but they were not terrorists in the sense that the term is normally used.

            We were lousy at adapting to their tactics. Instead, we dumped massive amounts of defoliants and incendiaries which did nothing except cause wanton death and destruction and infuriate those who lost friends and family to the wanton destruction that *we* caused.

            One thing i can say for sure: my dad was captain of various merchant vessels, which were repeatedly chartered by the military during Korea and Vietnam. He was also a veteran of Liberty ship convoys to Russian Arctic Circle ports during WWII, and a fervent anti-communist.

            Until he had to start taking military cargoes (in this case, not medical equipment or war materiel, but junk food and beer) up the (mined) Mekong River to Saigon. The endemic corruption of the South Vietnamese government + ineptitude and corruption of the US military (especially the top brass) + risking his entire crew’s life to repeatedly deliver *potato chips* to Saigon was all too much for him. He remained anti-Soviet and anti-Mao, but i think he came to hate that war more fervently than most of the farthest fringes of the protesters back here.

            As for LeMay, i have no further comment. Ditto per the big, bog profits made by companies like Dow – the makers and sellers of napalm. War profiteering at its worst, predicated on the certain maiming and death of civilians.

          • It is one thing to be a military sniper. That is not at all the same thing as public adulation *for* snipers. It is the latter that I find incredibly troubling.

            You’re right about my inaccuracy re. pinpoint strikes, but carpet bombing, with either conventional explosives or incendiaries, was not the solution. *A* solution, yes, but not the best. Nor were all of the Allied top brass in favor of such tactics.

            If there could have been a truly impartial war crimes tribunal, the Germans and other Axis powers would not have bern the only ones charged with heinous crimes against humanity.

          • Numo

            You’ve repeated said what should NOT be done in war. The tell us what SHOULD be done. Such that “our” side wins and it doesn’t take decades. I’ve not talking about Vietnam.

            As to you saying, I think, that firing back into a building where fire is coming from should be OK to me it’s just a matter of scale. Is it really OK to kill one direct target and kill 5 or 20 “civilians” but not to take out a tank factory and kill 500 civilians? Or a series of factories and 5000 civilians? Or ….

            What about those poor smucks (civilians) who’s village or farm happened to be in the way of a tank battle? Or even at Waterloo? How is that different from carpet or fire bombing?

            I get that you feel war is really really bad. But many things you seem to say are a way to make sure the side following your suggestions does not win.

            The allied landings at Normandy was an example of total war. The allies threw everything at it. It is my understanding that over 4000 French civilians were killed by allied bombs the day before the raid.

            The failure to establish a beachhead at Normandy would have been both a military and political disaster. Should the allies have held back on throwing everything into this landing?

            Again, once you get into a war, is it legitimate to not try and win it?

          • I think it is futile to continue trying to discuss this. I am talking about civilians, not combatants. The prople now referred to as “collateral damage,” as if they were inanimate objects, not human beings.

            Thst is all.

          • I am talking about civilians, not combatants. The prople now referred to as “collateral damage,” as if they were inanimate objects, not human beings.

            Agreed. Totally.

            But in terms of WWII, what does a country do when the military production, storage, training, etc… is done intermixed with “civilians”.

            And just how do you define civilian? A baby in a cradle for sure. But someone making ammo? I have trouble with that one. And the line between the two isn’t all that clear.

          • By civilian, i am referring not to ordinary people who happen to live in areas where weapons and other war materiel was being made, who had incendiaries dumped on their heads – incendiaries that were used to *intentionally create* firestorms and burn people alive.

            I thought i had made that clear? Either way, i am done with trying to rre-fight WWII.

            Best,
            numo

          • The firestorms were obviously not confined to specific areas. They were intended to cause as much loss of life and physical damage as posdible. The same is true of the use of nuclear weapons.

          • I am referring to…

  16. Has Bakker predicted a zombie apocalypse yet? No? Just wait…he will.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Last time I heard anything about Bakker, it was hawking his CHRISTIAN(TM) Survival Food Stash (for just $$$$$$) because “When (not if) The Antichrist takes over, It’s Starve or Take The Mark. 666! DON’T TAKE THE MARK!” (Probably with some Prophecy Fulfillment about the Obamanation of Desolation enthroned in the White House.)

      Now he’s pushing Inevitable Collapse of Civilzation (30 years ago, it would have been Inevitable Global Thermonuclear War), but with his CHRISTIAN(TM) Food Stash you can have a Cozy Catastrophe!

      “Just like Eighties Survivalists (and a lot of the spam that clogs my inbox), Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

      • HUG, would you have a moment to tell me about your Lord and Savior, D&D? I’m starting to become interested in other religions, and D&D seems to have a lot to offer that’s mirrored in Christianity…but with magic missiles to actually fight those forces of darkness.

        • Incidentally, I wish everyone would subtly suppress Forgotten Realms and bring back Dark Sun or Ravenloft…I need more gothic horror in my life.

        • I thought HUG was a faithful believer in My Little Pony! I don’t know what to believe anymore.

    • “Has Bakker predicted a zombie apocalypse yet? No? Just wait…he will.”

      It appears he just did. They roam the streets, eating human bodies …

    • I’ll be happy when it happens (not the prediction, the actual zombie apocalypse) so I can walk through a store or sit in a restaurant without listening to someone talk loudly on their cell phone or have someone stumble into me while they are texting and trying to walk (maybe they have already become zombies!). Happy, that is, if the cell phones are the first thing to go :-).

  17. RE: Gun and churches

    This is the church I grew up in:
    http://www.npr.org/2014/03/10/287311237/kentucky-southern-baptists-draw-crowds-with-gun-giveaways
    http://westkentuckystar.com/News/Local-Regional/McCracken-County/Local-Church-Makes-International-News-Over-Guns.aspx

    My grandfather was one of the founders of the church about 1910. My father led the building of the current building in the later 60s. Both of them have their names in corner stones placed in the current building. Plus my uncles were prominent in the church most of their lives.

    If it was possible they would not be turning in their graves but I firmly believe flat out spinning. 🙁

  18. The animal pictures are cute, except that I hate to see animals in clothes, even a towel and shower cap. They look so unhappy when clothed.

  19. As to Pat Robertson’s end of times food.

    My mother died last year with about 100 pouches of his stuff. What does it cost? $5 each?

    We’ve had several estate sales and have yet to sell any at $3 each (or make an offer).

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      But it’s so you don’t starve when The Antichrist forces everyone to Take the Mark or Starve!
      END TIME PROPHECY! HISTORY WRITTEN IN ADVANCE! DON’T BE LEFT BEHIND!

      Actually, this is nothing different than all those 55-gallon drums of dried beans & rice & MREs after Y2K. (Another Armageddon prep where Christians were in the most vocal forefront. Except then it was Billary as 666. I think some of the “THIS IS IT!!!!!” Y2K Prophecy books are still on some of the freebie shelves at truck stops up & down I-5 and the 101.)

      • I work with a guy, very faithful evangelical churchgoer, who told me he’s stocking up on freeze dried meals for when there is an attack that knocks out the power grid. He plans on building up a 3 month supply but then you have to keep buying more in order to rotate your stock, eating up the older ones as you buy new.

        When did Christian churches become centers of fear mongering? When I talk to fellow Christians anymore, they mostly seem so terribly afraid of everything & everybody.

        • Daniel Jepsen says

          Yeah, VERY good question. We should have the least to fear.

          • My mother was the best Christian she know. Seriously.

            And if you got to know her she was one of the most paranoid about conspiracies against the USA and Christians on the planet. Orthogonal beliefs to be sure.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          I know a couple of people who have huge stashes of ammunition buried in their back yards. They sell special barrels for that purpose. It is for when Obama comes to take their guns away [for what end I am not sure]. They proudly tell everyone about this. They tell everyone where they have ***hidden*** their ammunition in their back yards…. contemplate that for a moment. If these guys are ‘The Resistance [to something] the resistance doesn’t have a snowballs chance.

          I suspect all this has more to do with undiagnosed mental illness than it does with the second amendment or prophecy. If they got a prescription they might at least know not to tell anyone about their **secret** stashes.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            If you’re going to do something like that, YOU SURE AS HELL DON’T ADMIT TO IT! Especially if it’s something that could generate Maximum Spy Interest among alphabet-soup government agencies.

            Not unless you’re trying out for “America’s Dumbest” or “Darwin Awards”.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          I work with a guy, very faithful evangelical churchgoer, who told me he’s stocking up on freeze dried meals for when there is an attack that knocks out the power grid.

          The basic idea is pretty sound. It’s a good idea to have some emergency stash ready.

          I’m in SoCal, where the major natural disaster danger is earthquakes. A major quake could knock out power and a lot of transportation for a couple weeks, so you want something to tide you over through that time. Same for hurricanes along the Gulf Coast or blizzards/snowed in in the North or Northeast. (Tornadoes/volcanoes/river floods, not so much; there your best course of action is to bug out when you get the warning.)

          I normally keep a few weeks’ worth of canned/dried foods and bottled water in my pantry for just that reason. It also helps tide me over when I’m sick or otherwise unable to get to the market for whatever reason. I once knew a guy who had a “food wall” — cabinets and boxes of canned/dried foods filling an entire wall of his apartment kitchen. He said it saved his ass once when he was unemployed for six months.

          • i live out in the country so I get stocking up food, especially in the winter, but the man I referred to talked about “the enemy” and the need for these freeze dried meals because “it” was coming. I wondered who was hawking these meals and making tons of $$ off of the fear mongering. Peanut butter keeps a long time, too, & is a lot cheaper. I knew a woman who spent tons of money preparing for Y2K, stocking up on all kinds of dried food, a wood burning stove, etc. due to listening to the fear mongers and being convinced doom was imminent.

  20. Better order that 6 gallon pail of creamy potato soup from Jimbo RIGHT NOW! That way you can “You can have parties when the world is coming part.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V7qgM2X3xg

  21. Isn’t it time that Christians in this country started talking seriously about the idolatry at the heart of gun culture? The moment you put your trust in a thing and ask it to keep you safe and to make you feel powerful, that’s idolatry. There are plenty of people who own guns without “worshiping” them – the same as there are people who have money without worshiping it – but as with money, the temptation toward idolatry is always there. And if a church starts extolling the virtues of guns and celebrating them, to me it feels like they are promoting idolatry, encouraging their people to turn from Jesus and worship a false god. Why are we so hesitant to name that as the blasphemy that it is?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      If preacher-man doesn’t deliver his “Salvation by Guns Alone” wearing red speedos & crossed bandoliers, black hooker boots, and a Fu Manchu & ponytail, he ain’t even tryin’.

    • Idolatry in gun culture? Absolutely. But…

      The moment you put your trust in a thing and ask it to keep you safe and to make you feel powerful, that’s idolatry.

      That’s false. Very false. Worship of false gods is idolatry. Putting my trust in a firearm to protect my family in an emergency, or in a seat belt while driving down the road, or in proper hygiene for health, or in proper refridgeration for keeping food safe, or in structural engineers to keep the roof over my head, or in the TSA to keep the airlines bomb free, or…

      Nope. False.

      • I’m with Michael Z. I’ve seen people—and a church—act like Zardoz in the video that HUG posted. Not a Christian thing.

  22. Thanks for the laughs. Good combination of stories and whackiness today. The blind footballers and morris dancers was hilarious. The Trump, trumpet prophecy, Bakker apocalypse panic-mongering and such are all funny but also depressing to me because there are people who really seriously believe this stuff and get sucked in by it. There are those who think it’s the real deal. Also, I went to a church once that had a men’s ministry on the gun range. It was sort of informal but very much sanctioned by the higher ups. I never went. Nice people, but they did some just plain weird stuff sometimes.

    One of the problems for someone looking to participate in American Protestant Christianity is how to find a place that isn’t peddling the weird stuff, or at least where it doesn’t make it to the main attraction.

  23. I just watched the Jim Bakker video, and wow. I used to watch him on PTL back in ’79 when I was a new believer, and even got something out of the show. This looks like either mental illness or senility.

    Can we blame it on Tammy Faye? Never did like her.

    • My mother was a big follower of his before she died last year. (In her 80s).

      I and my brothers are convinced he’s running a scam to make himself rich like a lot of other big (medium?) sized cable TV preachers.

      Now as to whether or not he is a believer just doing stupid things or a con man who pick Christians as easy marks… Well that’s a topic open for debate.

  24. Plenty of reasons for face-palm in the Ramblings today… yikes.

    The Hedgehogs are my favorite wet animals – those faces!

    Dana

  25. IndianaMike says

    InternetMonk jumps the shark. Saturday August 15, 2015.

  26. If it’s Baptist, they probably have a version that reads, “THE DINOSAURS DRANK ALCOHOL……AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM.”

  27. The arguments of the total war defenders make me want to go pacifist, especially when they argue war must be all or nothing, that all means are legitimate and permissible, and that just war theory is just a pipe dream. If it’s all or nothing, then I’d rather go with nothing and join the pacifists. Nobody is morally pure, but at least pacifists have a boundary beyond which they are willing to go only to die, not to kill, for a cause.

    • I am NOT advocating that total war is a desirable thing.

      What I am ASKING, along with many others here and elsewhere, is what do you do against a foe who will not stop until they are eliminated and are willing to engage in total war?

      Becoming a pacifist in such a situation will in many cases lead to the death or enslavement of your side.

      And I do understand that that is a not unreasonable interpretation of how a Christian should behave and just accept the results for their life on this planet.

      • I’m not a pacifist, but the ends cannot justify the means, because illicit means make the make the ends illicit, too. If the ends do not shape the means, then the means will shape the ends. Consequentialism ultimately makes it impossible to distinguish between a legitimate state, and a coterie of thugs with the most powerful weaponry.

        That’s why your belief that the ends justify the means in armed conflict forces you to call terrorists groups states. And, in a way, you’re right, only you have it reversed: if a state, when in armed conflict, adopts the same tactics and strategies as a terrorist group, then it is a terrorist group. Using terrorist tactics and strategies as a matter of policy degrades whatever legitimate purposes the existence of state may have, making the existence of that state morally illegitimate.

        • That’s why your belief that the ends justify the means in armed conflict forces you to call terrorists groups states.

          When did I say that. What I said was we, those of us in “legit” nation states, don’t have a viable way to fight terrorists that puts them out of business. While in theory we can wipe their geographic area of clean of all life we (well almost all of us) are not on that bandwagon.

          You keep seeming to think I’m all for fire bombing and indiscriminate killing of people. I’m not. What I’m asking is what ARE ways we can fight people with these kinds of commitments to attacking us?

          • We call these folks terrorists. But in reality they are a new form of nation state…

            Those are your words from a comment you made above.

          • That’s why your belief that the ends justify the means …

            Did I say that? I think not. And if you read it into what I said then I wasn’t clear. I’m big against that concept.

      • Notice my words: “…as a matter of policy…” When the policy no longer recognizes, at some level, and makes provision for the difference between active combatants and non-combatants, then moral legitimacy has been abandoned.

        You say that all civilians are legitimate targets in modern warfare, because all civilians take part in the war effort. But this is incorrect, because many, the elderly, the mentally and physically challenged, and children, do not in any way participate in the war effort. If your policy does not make provision for the innocence of these civilians, then it advocates nothing better than murder.

      • I am NOT advocating that total war is a desirable thing.

        No, only a the deranged or possessed would say that total war is desirable. But you are saying that it is legitimate for us to practice total war, and that we should do so under certain circumstances. That’s where I disagree with you.

        • I did NOT say legitimate. I said that unless you want to loose it may be the only choice.

          And a Christian deciding to loose, I can understand that decision.

  28. petrushka1611 says

    The shooting range ministry reminds me of this scene from Drop Dead Gorgeous:

    https://youtu.be/9LZRI9bibWg?t=20

  29. Bo Pentecost says

    There’s a gumbo/Jimbo joke in there somewhere – just need to flesh it out. ;p