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Going to Girly Church: A Brief Response to Rod Dreher’s Asinine (Half-Plagiarized) Article

Three things need to be said immediately about Rod Dreher’s recent article in The American Conservative on “The Feminization (and Decline) of Religion.” One, it is half-plagiarized. Two, it is stupidly sexist. Three, it is wrong. After a brief summary of the article, I will address each point in turn. Continue reading “Going to Girly Church: A Brief Response to Rod Dreher’s Asinine (Half-Plagiarized) Article”

An Open Letter to Matthew Heimbach

Dear Matthew,

May I call you Matthew? I would prefer that over “Mr. Heimbach.” When you are “Heimbach,” you are a white supremacist SOB. When you are “Matthew,” you are a young man who is going through hell right now. So I am going to call you “Matthew” to remind me, in my weakness, to act like a Christian.  Continue reading “An Open Letter to Matthew Heimbach”

Enough with the “Guns Are Like Cars” Analogy! You’re Embarrassing Yourself!

If you want proof that opponents of gun control live in an ideological bubble, take a look at Exhibit A:

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Only people who limit their conversations to like-minded people would think this meme is clever, because it only takes a half-second of critical thought to trace the logic of this argument. If guns are like cars, then here’s what that would mean:

  • People could only use guns if (1) they were of a certain age, (2) passed a written exam to get a gun-learners permit, (3) spent several hundred hours on the range with a licensed gun owner, (4) and had to pass another written exam and (5) a gun-use demonstration with an official county representative before being granted a gun license.
  • Gun licenses would need to be renewed every few years.
  • The state would set limits on firing rates and police would hide at gun ranges and fine those who fired too quickly or who used their gun carelessly.
  • Judges would be able to revoke the gun licenses of those deemed unfit to use them.
  • Guns would be subject to federal safety regulations.
  • Guns would be subject to annual county excise taxes to cover the cost of licensing them.
  • Gun owners would be required to pay insurance on their weapons in the unlikely event of property damage, injury, or even death because of a firearm.
  • Guns could not be fired without being unlocked by their owners.

 

Dang! Not even the #marchforourlives folks are calling for such strict regulations. I applaud the US Concealed Carry Association for taking such a firm stance on common sense gun control legislation. If only every gun ownership group were as progressive!

Jim Carrey Releases Incredibly Lifelike Portrait of Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s Soul

Comic-turned-political satirist Jim Carrey has ticked off Mike Huckabee, former governor, minister, and current spokes-drone for Fox News. It all started when Carrey released a photo of a painting of Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

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In response, Papa Huck called Carrey a “Christophobe.”

Wait a minute! Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a Christian? I seriously had no idea.
Continue reading “Jim Carrey Releases Incredibly Lifelike Portrait of Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s Soul”

Arm the Teachers! Are You F*@king Kidding Me!

Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 4.56.26 PMTake a look at this cartoon! We are pretty much the only country in the world seriously talking about turning educators into a freak’n swat team. What the hell, America? What. The. Hell?

Check out the steely-eyed gaze of the teacher, presumably staring down the assailant just off frame. That is utter bullshit. It says a lot about the ignorance (or malevolence) of the cartoonist. At least the person posting this acknowledges that it is not enough to arm teachers. They must be trained. But in order for that training to be effective, they would need to train the way military and police do. It is not enough to spend a few hours at the range. When the bullets start firing, the reptilian brain takes over. One becomes all fear and adrenaline. Police and soldiers drill the same procedures over and over again because they know that that is what is essential to survive in a crisis situation. During a firefight, when life and death are on the line, pulling the trigger needs to become a reflex. You need to bypass the brain altogether. A lot of people seem to have bypassed the brain permanently.

Let me just remind everyone again of how ridiculous this is.

I am not sure what can be done about it, though. I wish I knew. After Sandy Hook, I thought we had a chance to pass the kinds of gun laws that work in every other country. I thought maybe the gruesome mental images of children bleeding out, calling for their mommies, would galvanize some people into changing their minds.

Nope.

If anything, conservatives just got more radicalized. At a state, local, and national level, laws have been passed that make it easier for people to purchase and carry weapons. The reasoning is that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. When is that going to start working, exactly?

Right now I am just angry. Cynical and angry. This is not a good place to be long term. But it is where I am right now. How do you have a discussion with someone who values their ideology over evidence? I don’t know. I wish I knew the words to say, but at the moment, all I can do is scream.

 

There’s No Sex in Your Violence

The pleasure that satisfies lust, qua lust, is not the enjoyment, physical or otherwise, of the awesome beauty of another person as the creation of God, because lust is based on pride, and pleasure in someone else’s being as God’s gift to them is rather pleasure in humility.

I have been thinking a great deal about Augustine’s theology of sex in light of all the various scandals involving powerful men and their abuse and intimidation of women. I worry that we may be focusing on all the bad apples to the neglect of the bigger problem of how we think about human sexuality as a society.

Augustine basically said that sex is sinful. Actually, it is more complicated and nuanced than that (check it). The problem, he said, is not sex itself but the way sexual pleasure “activates” pride. The Augustine scholar John Cavadini put it well when he wrote:

To fault Augustine in this context for not realizing that “sexual pleasure” can enrich a couple’s relationship, or to assess Augustine’s views against our own more “positive” view, may be, with all due respect, to beg the question. For Augustine, the question would not be whether sexual pleasure can enrich a couple’s relationship, but whether there is any sexual pleasure possible without a taint of violence or complacency (“self-pleasing”) in it. The question would be, what are we taking pleasure from? Pleasure, as Augustine is at pains to point out, is an affair of the soul, not the body. The pleasure that satisfies lust, qua lust, is not the enjoyment, physical or otherwise, of the awesome beauty of another person as the creation of God, because lust is based on pride, and pleasure in someone else’s being as God’s gift to them is rather pleasure in humility. For example, can we say that any act of sexual delight is completely free from smugness, from self-admiration, from the slightest hint of “self-pleasing” in the mastery of the “skill sets” of popular magazines, in the thought that one is an accomplished, or at least halfway decent, lover? Violence includes the admiration of power or ability as power or ability. [Emphasis mine.]

Continue reading “There’s No Sex in Your Violence”