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Humanity’s biggest Pitfall: “Merit”

June 25, 2016

Our biggest problem is the sense of “merit”.

It undergirds much of religion (including Christian religion, even as it premises itself upon  the opposite notion of “grace”), as well as secular philosophy (I think more and more of this “Law of Attraction”, and the related “rugged individualism”, from the nasty cold attitudes they produce among their adherents, in both politics and self-help discussion. I’ve cited one LOA teacher, as justifying their harsh thundering at people with a notion of “superior power”. The people don’t even have any right to be offended, and are called “narcissists” for being so. Kind of reminds one of the slavemasters whipping slaves and then calling them “uppity”, or dismissing current claims of injustice as “whining”, with the ulterior purpose of getting  “free stuff”). It’s what led to a lot of the sociopolitical problems, started centuries ago when people invaded others’ lands, and decided “we’re ‘chosen’, we have merit [built up ‘civilization’, etc], so we’re taking over!” The heirs of this continue to use some supposed merit to defend against the equality of those subjugated, rehashing the inferiority of these groups for being in that position in the first place.

Do “achievements” equate to “character”?

It’s all about “character”, with people thinking they have it, and others don’t.

Whenever you stumble across a white supremacist site, the main talking point is all the “achevements” of the race, like “building modern civilization”, where blacks, from Africa to the West have done nothing but cause problems and need to be supported.
But the question is who ever assigned merit to “modern civilization”? Certainly not scripture, where in both testaments, the big powerful world-ruling empres were always heathen dominators who oppressed God’s people. God had promised His people rule if they obeyed His Law, but the nation as a whole never did, and so remained in subjection.  The Church was promised “crowns” for its faithfulness, in the Resurrection, not in this world.

Here’s a quote exemplifying this “character judgment” basis of racism, from perhaps the nation’s #1 “hero”, embodying everything about the strong “rugged individual” that conservatives love and hold up as ideal manhood; also also a close friend of the similar number one political hero, Reagan:
John Wayne racist statement, azquotes (My father said he was a big fan of his, until finding out he was “racist”; probably with this statement. We can see why Public Enemy slammed him, after Elvis, in “Fight the Power”).

The whole thing starts from setting themselves (via their “culture”) up as PAR, morally (so that everyone else is judged by their supposed “goodness”); and in order to do that, they have to justify their evil deeds, as we see here. Already, we begin to see the shift from genetics, to “responsibility”, as Wise pointed out, where now, racists were willing to “give us a chance”, to “move up” to their “level”. —As all the political and economic forces sit there pulling every string they can to continue ensuring them remaining trapped in poverty and resulting crime. But that has to be dismissed as just a made up “excuse”, because “all the white [‘ethnic’] groups pulled themselves up”.
(I think not enough people had called this out, and so today, you have so many thoroughly convinced that their superior attitudes are justified, “factual”, irrefutable, and only in self-defense. This is why they now have a Trump to loudly champion their cause. But thankfully, a few like Wise and Lopez really are going after this).

The description Paul gives of the apostate Israel of his day perfectly fits this modern “western superiority” mindset that assumes itself as “par” for morality and character: “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish THEIR OWN righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:3).
Jesus had warned the same people:“If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.” (John 9:41)

What’s never brought to their attention is that with all that power they were able to amass and “build” with, came the potential to destroy all of life off of this planet! And that this point, in addition to the way their power has already been carried out (conquest, war, brutal policing, capitalism with the the ice-age mentality based on the false premise of “scarcity”, Randianism, and “rugged individualism” to justify it, etc.) is the same “savage” nature or “law of the jungle” that they deride and sneer at in tribal or urban black culture. Just a more “sophisticated” variation of the same “fallen human nature”. They are simply holding up the same “nature” that drives the violence or “inertia” (desire for ease) they are pointing out in blacks, and assuming that for them (the ones making this judgment) it by itself automatically equates to “integrity” (which is basically what they are claiming to have) because of some hand-selected list of accomplishments they can appeal to, which themselves are not without problems (a “shadow” of evil, basically), as we see.

But how often has the conservative Church (which has always fought hard for the “sinfulness of all men”, and inability for him to be justified by merit) pointed this out? They historically have been more likely to have gone along with the basic premise of “Western exceptionalism”, which is just a softer term for the “white superiority” that drove these things.
So they, virtually unchalleneged, snort out all the “fact” that always seems to prove their point.

Scripture asks “What do you have that you did not receive? And if [you acknowledge] you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Cor. 4:7). Even if one doesn’t believe in scripture, this still should stand as a recognizable fact of human limitation (being we actually do occupy such a small place in the universe).

Here’s yet another political tough-talk, written by a woman going after men who voted for Bernie Sanders: A “real man” is “One who has ambition, self-worth, confidence, and valor is a man worth commemorating–by both women and society”, which “strapping, rugged men” are “traditionally masculine characteristics”,  and “the evolutionary behavior of a provider”, citing the old ancestral activities of “hunting and/or gathering”.

Younger Bernie voters are all assumed to be “a lazy slacker who needs people to take care of him, you probably can’t. It would involve a little extra work to click that link. God forbid you work for something.”

A modern day hunter/gatherer still exudes ambition and drive, he just does it with modern tools, be they physical or digital. He is a man with a decisive attitude, who knows what he wants and goes for it. He doesn’t wane. He isn’t wishy washy. He doesn’t whine about things “not being fair.” He says to hell with it, he’ll find a way to make it happen. He is a man who works hard, no matter the job or career he currently has or is striving for. A masculine, modern day man seeks to better himself. He yearns for and commands respect. He has strength of character, honor, integrity. From women, from other men and most importantly, from himself.

You, the Bernie Sanders supporter,  a male seeking hand-outs, lacks personal respect. You’re less like a man and more like a spineless amoeba. You’ve fallen for the party line that “life isn’t fair.” You believe Obama and Sanders who say the “deck is stacked against you.” Where a real man would heartily declare “Challenge accepted,” while forging a path to victory, you hang your head and skulk. You hashtag. You complain. You are a male with no belief in yourself. You’re no a man at all.

You’re also doomed to be overtaken by a feminist, if any woman will have you at all. She might want to be the provider since you cannot provide for yourself or for her. Since the dawn of human beings, women have wanted men who can provide. It’s evolution. It’s biology.

We seek a mate who can take on those responsibilities while we’re caring for the young. Sorry feminists, but such is nature. This is entirely why women like tall, strong, strapping men in power suits. He’s signifying he’s an excellent hunter. And yes, men, this is why women like men with money. It’s a sign of how good he is at hunting and providing.

But you, who votes socialist, are telling the world you’d rather take from people who do the hunting, for you cannot. You are, for all intents and purposes, a wimp. In days of yore, you would’ve been driven out of the tribe. You would have held the entire tribe back. Because you just didn’t feel like going out and hunting. You didn’t feel like gathering. Meh. It’s too hard, you would’ve said. It’s not fair that Thor has bigger muscles than you. It’s not fair that Liam runs faster. It’s not fair that Ulrich has a bigger spear. It’s just not fair.

Everything that Bernie supporters talk about is dismissed under this “wanting the government to take care of us” generalization. It ignores that his premise is not the government taking money not already being taken from us, but rather that most of this money being taken is going to the rich, not the poor as the Right charges, and so that the same money should rather be put back to use to benefit most of us (from whom it came from), and not just the rich. If you say “it should just be given back to us to use however we want”, that’s a good ideal, but even conservative administrations and congresses have never been able to achieve that. They just keep giving more to the rich, while everyone blames the poor, and then berates them for their “whining”.
It also ignore just what is meant by the deck to be stacked against us, or “the game rigged”, by those already with power. That we can go out and work hard; just as hard or even harder than these power brokers, and get nowhere, because they have in fact rigged the system to funnel all the proceeds to themselves.

But that that’s not even looked at; it’s instantly assumed that just because they have all of that power, they must have worked harder for it. No one ever inherits. No one up there ever does shady dealing (including with the much despised “government”). Personality (temperament that is different for different people) and timing never have anything to do with it. Uncontrollable factors can never be too great, for this ideal “super”-man! This is then made the “par” that everyone else falls short of. So of course, under this “rugged individual” premise, those rich were all the hard-working, effective “hunter-gatherers” who “DESERVE” it.
So basically, an entire generation now, the “millennials”, (as an article linking to this one addresses) are a bunch of whiners who deserve to be driven into for-all-purposes slavery by these “real men”, just because they climbed to the place where they could do that, and the others didn’t. This is the same pattern I keep seeing, whether race, class, or generations. No one ever questions how “the hard truth” can always favor this same group of people!
Bernie Sanders supporters just want free stuff

As for the “real men” concept, it’s the same rigid ideal I discussed in and (and this article reads much like the ones I discussed in those articles!) It totally ignores the other baggage that comes with that “rugged” premise.

For one thing, we are no longer “hunter-gatherers”, and as suggested (see: it was turning away from that paradigm, toward a system of “give and take” (which then leads to forms of “merit” to determine who should give and who should take) starting with agriculture, that can be seen as apart of the archetypal “fall” that leads to all the problems people complain about as “unfair” today!
But no; tough-talkers only pitch the grandiose ideal and act as if anyone can just “choose” it by mental fiat. No wonder they talk to people who feel down on luck like trash!

So here, is the appeal to “nature” I just mentioned. And evolution, even! (And so obviously, an example of a “secular” or not particularly Christian version of Right wing conservativism). The basic argument is, (regarding taking advantage of and consuming one another): “the animals do it!” This from the promoters of “exceptional”, “advanced” (and often even “Christian”) “civilization”! At no time does all of this “character” they assume for themselves, ever suggest a calling higher than just raw nature! Yet they continue to look down on others over this!
Stop telling people no one will love them until they love themselves
While this article doesn’t mention race at all, still the trashing of “government assistance” in the past ¾ century or so, has gone hand in hand with racism, in conservative ideology; all in the name of “rugged individualism”, and the point is, to look at this another way, you’re justifying injustice with the same “nature” that you call “barbaric” when blacks in the jungle or the urban streets do it. Or when big “socialist” governments exert their power. And then, YOU become the one who turns around and whines “unfair”, and “the deck is stacked against us”! (Which is not just leftist authoritarianism, but is populism, which has also been increasingly picked up on the libertarian right; the same ones still pitching “rugged individualism”!)

So conservatives all across the board (Christian, secular, white supremacists, etc.) are doing nothing but complaining, but never seem to be able to do anything about it. If they and their society are superior, then why by their own rhetoric is everything going wrong in it? Why are they so angry about the way everything is? They too must ultimately claim that “The Man is keeping them down” (as they mock blacks for saying), only in their case, “the Man” is fellow whites in control of this society and government.

Of course, it’s not just racism, but many other areas of life, involving abuse of authority. Like Joe Jackson , who seems to think there was absolutely nothing wrong with the way he raised the kids, especially Michael, who grew up damaged beyond repair, because “hey, it made them famous, and he got rich”. This he finds it easy to say, lounging in a family estate bought with those riches, as his son spirals down the drain and to eventual death, and the father lives out his life in the estates, justifying himself all the way. (And this from a religious family that should know “A man’s life does not consist of the abundance of things he owns”—Luke 12:15, as Michael’s life sadly illustrated).

Another example is the stifling rules and regulations passed by government, and agencies like mine, often with good intentions in the aftermath of some safety-related incident. It’s all to “look good” (especially given the litigiousness of this society), or in Biblical terminology, to avoid “the appearance of evil” (and this carries over to “old-line” fundamentalists imposing certain rules, citing that scripture). People often end up “straining at a gnat, and swallowing a camel”, in focusing on whatever looks good on paper, and doing just enough to meet that objective (and “doing just enough to get by” is something you would normally associate with lower level workers who haven’t climbed up to management and are thus assumed to deserve low-paid subservience).

Naming and splitting “problems”

The day I decide to sit down and start writing out the thoughts for this, happens to be the morning of the Orlando gay club attack.
Conservatives and others flock to news and social media to criticize Obama and Hillary for not labeling it “radical Islamic terrorism”. (Which he answered excellently two days later!) They always want a specific ‘enemy’ named. Like some white supremacists said, they want to “point fingers” and to “name names”, for who they think are the number one problem in the nation; in their case, the blacks. Christian leader Randall Terry once said “blame was critical” in pointing out the “godless humanist and egalitarian socalist planners”.

If more than one person in a particular group does something; if the slightest “pattern” can be detected, then the whole group becomes guilty. “Good ones” must then be split back off from that group, when they (as individuals) “prove themselves” to be different.
The person doing or demanding the “pointing” never sees himself as part of that group, or any other “problem” group, or perhaps having the same problems in different ways, or other problems that are just as bad. (Some exceptions might be certain black political figures, who go along in lockstep agreement with “dog whistling” rhetoric. But they as individuals have obviously distanced themselves from the “community” they so criticize, based on the phony premise of “colorblindness”).

Of course, this ignores other connections that can be made, like Conservative Christianity and white supremacy, which had a common view of the notion that “chosen nations” were the ones who deserved the most power, and were granted by “providence” the right to take them over.

How the splitting is done (part 1): “good/evil” vs “oppressed/oppressor”

Like someone posts a “Comical Conservative” video where the guy has it all figured out in a nutshell. Both the Left and radical Islam are alike, because they start with a view of “oppressed and the oppressor”, based on a desire for “equal outcome”.
This stems from a statement by conservative talk show host Dennis Prager, that “while conservatives see the world in terms of good and evil, liberals tend to see it in terms of oppressors and the oppressed”.

Then, I see the meme, clearly showing the two broad categories:

Why is it every time a tragedy is carried out by BAD people, STUPID people start taking rights away from GOOD people?

Anyone who is familiar with conservative rhetoric (especially Christians) will know that “good vs evil” is the ‘proper’, “God-centered” view, where “oppressed vs oppressor” is the “man-centered” view the “godless” leftists made up in their schemes to shame and then take over God’s nation. It’s of course the language of “victimhood”, which conservatives, embracing the “rugged individual” stance, have all come to despise (except when they do it). Man is not a “victim”, but is “evil” (at least according to the Christians), and so deserves a little suffering anyway, and if God decides to “bless” some people (which includes making them a “good” exception to evil man), then those not blessed must just suck it up, basically. Of course, not all political conservatives these days are religious enough to necessarily hold the theological aspect of the ideology, but they still have passed parts of it around amongst each other.

And so thus, those identifying with “conservative” movements (whether via Christianity or racism) have a natural aversion to the concept of “oppressed vs oppressor”, because they know where they would fit in that. So they dismiss it and “victimhood” in general as part of an evil ideology and hide behind “good vs evil” or “right vs wrong”. But the problem is, they have distorted “right vs wrong” in order to justify themselves in the first place!

How the splitting is done (part 2): “Rights” vs “Entitlements”

From the page, I then find this meme:

Here is a comprehensive list of everything you're entitled to and what the world owes you

The first thing I think, is why are conservatives complaining about so much about what they want (or want “back”), then? They sure seem to feel “owed” a lot of things by “the world”!
Thinking in a similar vein, one commenter points out “No life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?” What follows is a debate on the ‘difference’ between “rights” and “entitlements. “Rights” are what’s “GIVEN”, like by the Creator, as the Constitution says, of course, and are what you “fight” for from being “taken” (So I guess then “entitlements” are something given to someone by other than God, with no effort on their part).
“Life liberty and the per suit [sic] of happiness are all things that you need to get up off your ass and go get not something that’s going to be furnished to you”
“you’re not ENTITLED to Life on Earth. You are given life in Earth by God”
“Those are God given rights that you have an imperative to defend and maintain for posterity as those who have sacrificed their lives, liberty and property to provide and secure them for you….”
“This is saying that you are not entitled to any rights GIVEN (ie: positive rights). Government doesn’t GIVE us life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness (ie: negative rights). We are simply protected from having these things taken away.”

(“Negative” and “positive” rights. Breaking it down ‘introverted Thinking’ style, even, but, I would say, as a more “shadowy” backup of a more extraverted Thinking focus on an environmental objective, such as determining who “deserves” something, or not).

Yet one then claims: “If you really want to get technical here you aren’t entitled to these things either. NONE of these are in the US Constitution…the statement regarding these points is in the Declaration of Independence, which is in reality a declaration of war. So no, you aren’t entitled to anything…ever.”

“This is a clear example of the problem with way too many people today…they don’t understand the meaning of ‘rights’ and ‘entitlement’. The founding fathers of the United States of America believed that God endowed people with certain inalienable rights…’Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness’. Beside the fallacy of people thinking that they have a right to happiness, which they don’t, they only have the right to pursue it, rights are not the same thing as being entitled or owed something. Def: Entitled (Adjective), believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.”

“You are entitled to nothing in this world and you are owed nothing! You have the right, in the USA, to Life. You have the right to Liberty, at least for a little while longer…and the right to pursue happiness, but not the right or guarantee that you will find happiness, or be happy. The above list of what you are entitled to and what the world owes you is 100% accurate!”

Basically, however they spin it, it explains why their complaining, demanding and claims of being “oppressed” are “different” from what they are pointing out in others. The end result, as always, only conservatives (and the demographic group they represent) deserve anything, because what they want are universal or “negative” “rights“, that they have paid their dues by fighting for, while what everyone else wants are manufactured “entitlements” (or “positive rights”), that they want handed to them, unearned.

This explains everything!
The total “fundamental attribution” shift I have always noticed. (You do the SAME things, but attribute your portion of the behavior to good, and the others’ to evil). Just engineer the terms and definitions around!
Fundamental attribution error is the backbone of self-righteousness.
You can’t admit that you’re essentially the same as everyone else (as secular philosophies like Jung, and even the Christian Gospel itself say); that destroys the whole “righteous” posture and platform taken against others, so you have to attribute what you do to something else.

This is just splitting off evil as “other”.

More on the “owed” concept

Another common tactic of “merit” is the whole “delayed gratification” concept. Once you’ve “delayed” gratification, then (as per the above definition of “rights”] you are due [or technically even “owed” or “entitled” to] it, and it ends up justifying anything they do. The conquerors had to “get up off their butts”, after all, in order to go and take others’ lands, and then build it up. Capitalists put out cheaper and cheaper quality junk [“planned obsolescence”] while charging more and more for it, but they are still “makers” because of the fact that they got themselves in thet position and “innovated” and “produced” something in the first place [even if it’s virtually worthless]”.
Likewise, Christians who emphasize strong standards of “holiness”, but when they nevertheless get caught in sexual scandals, expect the “world” they had so excoriated on morality, to grant them pardon (not throw their failing back at them, at which they claim persecution). After all, it’s “not about perfection”, it’s about having the high standards in the first place, even if they aren’t completely lived up to. It’s basically “I paid my dues, so now I have room to slide.

We see how all of this, as much as conservative accuse liberal ideologies, relativizes all morality!

The whole “The world doesn’t owe you anything” is one of the most common “tough talking” points of “self-help”, coaching, parenting, etc., but usually ends up uttered by people who themselves, while perhaps stuffing conscious feelings of directly claiming being “owed” something, nevertheless turn out to suffer from misery from things in their lives, and basically “preach to themselves”; but “at” others, who unfortunately must have this person’s own stuff projected and dumped onto them. Often, a feeling of having “paid one’s dues” is what comes up somewhere, while the person they are talking to supposedly has a more lax attitude. My father was one example.
(Another was some person online I knew of, who obviously read and regurgitated “Law of Attraction” rhetoric about getting whatever “energy” you put into the universe, self-sufficiency, “once” thinking life  owed him, etc. but was totally “negative” himself, with an obsession over black crime [even while being black himself], where he would cop an attitude and snark at you if you asked for a point or any sort of solution offered other than to just put down the people. There seemed to be a deep resentment toward the people themselves, all seen as “wallowing” in their problems, where he “climbed out of it”. ⦅Which was the same dynamic covered in Christ’s Parable of the vineyard workers⦆. Yet another is a personality type coach who as a Jungian similarly talked about “energies” and also the unconscious and how conflicts are the means by which it tries to “get our attention” and we must “own” our “shadow”, but nevertheless always takes herself out of the equation; often confiding in “credentials” to have the right to sharply confront others who don’t have the credentials, and so the numerous conflicts she is known for getting into with that must always be the other person’s “shadow”. After all, everyone wants to “shoot the messenger”.
It’s unbelievable how the very teachers of these philosophies, who are the ones who should “know better” most of all, do the very things they are teaching others against, often very pointedly at that! The messenger, under the simple banner of “truth”, can do no wrong. Again, they carry the “superior power”. Hence, whatever offenses, must then always be the wrong of the offended, as we see in religion and politics).

So my father never said anyone “owed” him anything, but instead, it was an endless cycle of destructive behavior, that toward the end, he began to essentially blame his mother, aunt and grandmother for. (And particularly affecting how he dealt with me and my brother and mother). He wasn’t expecting them to give him anything, but it’s still like they messed him up. What was basically “owed” was that they have been different (past, rather than present or future. And then, in the present, we should be whatever doesn’t get on his already aggravated nerves, almost as if to compensate for how rough he already had it).
In any case, it’s the same thing, though looks different from someone who demands or expects something now. But it has the same effects, of discontent and misery. Only one way can better pretend to “accept life as it is”, “move on”, and have the right “attitude” of self-sufficiency and not feeling owed, and then of course, be able to assume a position to chew out someone else for those things.

Why “good/evil” is not better than “oppressed/oppressor”

As for “oppressed vs oppressor”, Prager and the rest of the conservatives aren’t thinking that that is basically a subset of “good vs evil”, and not in total contrast or opposition to it. The difference is that “oppressed vs oppressor” is more specific an instance of good and evil, while their “good vs evil” is of course broad and all-encompassing. And that is precisely the problem with it. If you label people oppressed or oppressor, then either they are or they aren’t, and all one has to do is look and see if one group is actually oppressing the other. To use the typological concepts, that is simply a perception, while “good vs evil” is  a judgment.
Good and evil, on the other hand, are generalities (assumed from a summation of a lot of behaviors and actions) that can be faked. Satan appears as an angel of light and false teachers and corrupt political leaders pose as doers of good. You have to completely assess their overall motives and outcomes, in order to determine that, but you are imperfect yourself, and your view of them may be skewed as well.
(Perception is “irrational” ⦅you can’t help taking in whatever information is there⦆, while judgment is “rational“, meaning we have to willfully process the information. “Rational” sounds better than “irrational”, they way the terms have come to be used, but think of it this way: those insisting on “good vs evil” are “rationalizing” things, as we will see below! Now, to put it that way, doesn’t sound as good, does it? They are not dealing with simple “fact”, as is, as they often claim!)

Now let’s go down the scriptural list of why this is not as good as they insist it is. Good and evil was the original “knowledge” that led to the Fall to begin with (Gen.3:7ff). It is what powered the Law (Rom.3:20), which led to man’s condemnation or “death” (Rom.4:15, 5:13). No one was “good” enough to pass with it (Rom.3:9ff). So all were concluded under sin (Gal.3:22). And we were thus warned about “judging” others (Matt.7:1), because we end up doing the same things (Romans 2:1), and thus “loading heavy burdens on others” that we would not “lift with one of our fingers”(Matt.23:4. Though again, with the “merit” concept, they think they have borne whatever “burden” is supposedly required, already).

That is what’s wrong with this conservative “good vs evil” concept. Because they always end up judging others’ “evil”, while presuming themselves “good”, even if not directly, individually, but usually through identification (from idem, “the same”, from “id”) with the [collective] “good” or “exceptional” institution or belief system supposedly guided by God. (And of course, they were smart and moral enough to choose the right system, or among the Calvinists such as the Reconstructionists, God “opened their eyes” unconditionally, but still holds everyone else “accountable” for their “blindness”).
The “Judeo-Christian” conservatives, are the ones who should have known better, but (among Christians) think that their “changed lives” undoes this “evil” everyone else is plagued with (and then, there are many on the “right” side of things who are not born again Christians, but their correct “good/evil” philosophy seems to get them on the “good” side as well).

Again, if you catch them oppressing someone and call it out, by itself there’s nothing they can say. If they are, they are; simple as that. But if you call them “evil”, they can wiggle their way out of it with some situational justification, and from there, even manage to turn the whole thing around, so that they are really the “good” side and the other party is really the evil one. (Double negative; where “oppress/oppressed” are an action and a state of being that are more absolute, good/evil are a simple positive/negative value that can be reversed. Doing something that appears evil against the evil is supposedly positive. Of course, Christ basically said otherwise, but appealing to the Old Testament, many Christians actually think this flies. And while those pushing for “good/evil” often condemn “relativism” as apart of this, we see their good/evil term is ironically the one that actually fosters relativity!)

So their determination of who really are the oppressed and oppressors is this “good vs evil” category. Only the evil can be “oppressors”, it is assumed, while the good are “oppressed” just for their goodness. (Think “they hate us for our freedom”. “They hate us for our religious faith”. “They hate the [‘hard working’] rich, out of envy”). Hence, since America is the “good” nation, it can never be the oppressor, and since certain “cultures” are obviously “evil” (meaning being known for doing certain “bad” things), they can’t truly be “oppressed”. They are only claiming so in order to wrongly exact something from the good people. So while it is ludicrous for those groups to “whine” of “oppression” (the much despised “victimhood”), it is perfectly acceptible for the good conservatives to claim to be the truly “oppressed”, and it’s the “evil” people or belief system doing the oppression (though they don’t always use that word, to keep consistency with their statement that only the Left speaks of “oppression”).

So again, we see the basis of the same attribution shift, where they do the same things, but it’s “different”. It’s like having the utter authority to preach or even make the rules and break them. (which is one definition of “narcissism”: “All narcissists aspire to have complete control over others, to make and break the rules, to have God like power.” This is a good example of “privilege”, which is an often tossed around term (or of course, “entitlement”).

This article: shows how their own “good/evil” concept is what actually stokes their own guilt in the race issue. It creates the “Moral dilemma” of racism, “about whether they’re good or bad people—moral or immoral”. So they project this onto everyone else; that they’re being made “bad”, and thus have to maintain their exceptional “goodness”. “When the core of our existence is brought into question, it gets emotional pretty quickly. But these emotional reactions are track-switching—we’re no longer talking about the issue of inequality, we’re talking about ourselves. When our reality as good and moral people feels threatened, up go the defenses and we stop listening.”
Here we see the shift from “oppressed/oppressor” (i.e. “inequality”), to the defense mechanism of “good/evil”.

conservatives entitlement Napoleon

“No True Scotsman”, the Muslim version

It’s true that “no true Scotsman” can be a fallacy  (the claim that real Muslims, or Christians, etc. don’t do things like that). From what I know about Islam; I’m not even totally sure. Like with the Bible, the Koran is a text that must be taken in context, but it’s really hard to tell when it was (apparently deliberately) rearranged in an anachronistic order (longest surahs to shortest), so you can’t tell which ones were written in the context of war, or of peace, when he was first starting out and facing opposition, when he gained power, etc. You’ll just see both the “love all men” passages that nonviolent Muslims (as well as the rest of secular and liberal religious society that believes “all religion is about peace and love”) appeal to, but then you also see the violent “kill the infidels” passages that both the “radical” Islamists and Christians claiming it is by nature a violent religion, appeal to. Who is “the true Scotsman” in this case? I would like to believe that the peaceful Muslims are the “true” ones, and the violent passages were taken out of context, but then I see how people do tend to water down religion, as has been done in Judaism and Christianity.
So is it love all men, except those already our enemies? Or hate all men, except those who are already in our community? It seems people are having a hard time sorting out the context.

But the problem is looking in terms of monolithic entities; a religion or nation or political system or race or sexual orientation, as an entity in itself, rather than consisting of individual people. So even if the religious texts did intend for followers to “kill the infidels”, and modern adherents have “watered it down”, you still can’t hold them responsible for the “radicals”. You have to give them credit for changing the belief, even if you think it is inconsistent.

Behind White Supremacy and “merit”

To further expond what I discussed here:

These people display a deep anger and resentment, centered around they or their ancestors’ achievements compared with blacks’ or others supposed lack of achievement (and what this supposedly ends up requiring from them).
They obviously think “the world” owes THEM something (they don’t say “life” or “God”, but instead direct blame at other people for taking or withholding what they believe God or life had already granted them). What’s “owed” is that the power their ancestors gained be passed down to them. To receive “their nation” back. To be given something they didn’t actually work for; their forefathers took from someone else, and others came behind them and moderated it so that one group is no longer as dominant. It was an expectation that is not coming true (and unmet “expectations” are the source of nearly all our nonphysical pain).
But what they have missed, is that if “life” (nature and evolution), or “God” could take from others to give to them in the first place, then they could also take from them and give to others (Job 1:21).* But they never think of that (and it seems no one even bothers to point this out to them. Nothing in them seems to indicate that in a world of imperfection, loss and not having your way, the “exceptional” truth-is-[always]-on-your-side position and its supposed rewards, which they are claiming for themselves, is “too good to be true“).
They then use “merit” as the rationale for their demand, but whatever good they have done is from God (and they often acknowledge this), but still marred by human sin and imperfection (which is where they are running afoul). So no people or nation have ‘earned’ eternal rule over the earth.

*(Edit: similar to the “positive/negative rights” concept, above, they actually have an answer to this as well; winners defending their current spoils versus losers wanting back what they already lost see:

They really believe they are “less sinful” than others, by race. And where was the Church all the generations these beliefs were allowed to fester? Going along with it, or at best covering it up.
Conservatives (whether religious, political or “cultural”) don’t understand the full extent of the fallen human nature. They think because they have made the “right” choices, they have “grown” past the same sinful tendencies that plague the rest of humanity

Robert Reich and especially Tim Wise explode the concept of “merit” as used in political rhetoric (such as the ideal of this system as a “meritocracy”) in their books. See: The qz article continues: “In life, there are certain chain reactions at play that lead some people straight to the top and leave others at the bottom. The myth of meritocracy gets in the way of seeing this—we all want to hold onto our story that we’re strong, smart, and deserve everything we have.”

In what we see in the rugged individualist “merit” rhetoric, “pride” becomes good. Conservative Christians long preached against “human pride”, when the “godless” in the world boast of their achievements (including political systems or scientific advancement) , but only “without God”. But when it comes to “western exceptionalism”, they then use some of these same points as proving their superiority. So it’s not that it’s bad in itself; certain forms of pride are OK; namely when you can credit God for your success.

These merit-based philosophies are making people become obnoxious. You may have a handle on how to navigate the tangible world (i.e. the way you carry yourself among people, or the way your economic philosophy is enacted), but that doesn’t mean that you trash other people verbally just because that’s the sort of motivation you think is good, for yourself. (The “secular” among these teachers act just as much “absolute” as their religious counterparts, but if those religious were to begin speaking in absolutes about biblical morality and conversion, then the less religious or nominals would begin saying there are no absolutes, and whatever way works best is good for you, but don’t force your own “truth” on anyone else.
6+3=9 so is 5+4 tThe way you do things isn't always the only way to do them Respect other people's way of thinking
And as the Christians often remind us, There are plenty of people who make it in the tangible world who are still miserable).
Between the tough talk, the weak-shaming, idealization of “political incorrectness” and looking up to Trump and his antics, and the defenses used by white supremacists, this “rugged individual” philosophy is making us become a nation of cold, uncaring, uncivil, harsh (and often increasingly foul)-tongued brutes, as much as we pride ourselves on the “exceptionality” of our “civilization”, “culture” and “character”. (See

What is the Gospel for, now?

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about what is not the Gospel, or what contradicts it, (namely, all forms of “merit”), or how it shouldn’t be used. But now is a good time to discuss how it should be used.
Even though the Fulfilled View removes the whole “condemnation” premise (and thus seems to remove the need to spread the Gospel, to “save souls”), it is still “good news” that has a reason to be shared. The thing is, it’s most likely not with most Westerners, who’ve already made their “decision” in regards to Jesus Christ or whatever other religion or philosophy they believe in. This is the source of most “debate”, and enagaing in it for over 20 years, and watching current events debates over homosexuality, transgenderism, and the role religion is to play in society and government, I see it is largely a waste of time. Then you read again Christ’s statement (in instructing His first disciples on how to share the news), that if the people in a place have already “made their decision” (against, basically), then to “leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” (Matthew 10:14, Luke 10:11). Staying and arguing is, again, wasting time and energy. If it brings a violent reaction from the people, then it becomes what He also referred to as “Giv[ing] that which is holy unto the dogs, [or] cast[ing] your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and tear you.” (7:6. The point is of course not to stick your nose up at unbelievers and call them dogs or swine. The people these passages were originally referring to were obstinate lawkeepers, not “worldly” unbelievers, but since the evangelical Church insists the commission to “preach the Gospel to every creature” is still for them, then it follows that these instructions on how to do it and what to do and not to do would be as well).

The only reason anyone would waste their time and energy (and possibly lives) like that is because their own ego has some investment in that place. Like “it’s our nation, and we want to take it back”. Or it’s just where you’re used to, and you don’t want to go somewhere unfamiliar (at least not permanently, or to keep moving). So we stay in place, feeling at home in this “world” (that we sing is “not our home”), but still feel the need to  “do our part to ‘help build up the kingdom'” (and get “crowns in Heaven”). Even if you emphasize it’s “for the people’s souls”, then again, most have made their decision, and while you may be trying to catch “whomsoever will”,  Jesus did say not to stay in a city, mining for such souls (Luke 10:7b).
In any case, you’ve moved completely off of a God-centered focus, and from the “Commission” you say you’re following.

So, following the musical career of Steely Dan, and particularly main writer and keyboardist Donald Fagen, and how he would write a song attacking God, in reaction to his mother dying of Alzheimer’s (on top of some of the other wild stuff he wrote and sang about), then he’s not someone who would recognize the Gospel as “Good News”, and not someone I would want to try to convert (unless he had already come to “the end of himself” and was looking into it. Otherwise, he’s clearly made his “choice”).
However, it was upon hearing an unreleased song, called “Kulee Baba”, that was apparently about the way western media would cover an African tribal ritual (which he is portraying as some sort of good “cultural” thing, though described in language such as “The frightening finale, the rite that you’re beholding”), it conjured for me images of the potential horrors of tribal life, as practiced by some.
Not only that, but the escalating rhetorical race tension in this country, where you’ll occasionally see people make fun of African culture, or (in the context of today’s “political correctness” where everyone is “too sensitive”) talk about old banned cartoons from the 30’s or 40’s that make fun of it, also added to this at the same time. Like those disks women will place in their earlobes, or even their lips. (I’ve seen this spoofed on old Tex Avery Looney Tunes as well as old Popeyes. Probably plenty of other places, but now all censored if not compltely banned). I had also seen this in a documentary a long time ago, on the stuff women do in tribal cultures, and it also mentioned in China, the ultimate exaggeration of them having smaller feet (which is supposed to be “feminine”), where they squeezed them down to be little longer than the diameter of their leg bones.

So recently this made me think of who the Gospel would be good to share with: basically, tribal cultures. (And especially given now that the Darién Gap project just came up out of nowhere and interrupted this one, set for my vacation week. Part of the problem with pushing the highway through is the indigenous peoples who still live there, with tiny villages accessible only by foot paths).
These particular tribes seem very peaceful (and often help out hikers through the rainforest). But then, other tribes around the world will have cannibalism and human sacrifice, other gruesome ritual, the ongoing maintaining of bloody animal sacrifices (where most other religions have replaced them in one way or another), and even child rape (the shamans reportedly had been telling African tribesmen this would cure AIDS), and other stuff like female genital mutilation.

Most “politically correct” liberals would likely still oppose trying to replace the practices of these “other cultures” with this “western concept” as they see it, even with the fire and brimstone removed. But look, right off the bat, those latter two things are something the liberal activist world has spoken out a lot about. They wouldn’t mind those things being ended!

Most of these rituals come from the same place just about all religious ritual and other efforts come from, and that’s the need to appease the gods (or God, as syncretistic religions such as Santeria might acknowledge). “Appeasement” is doing something to gain the pardon or favor of the other party. So it’s the same thing as the most “kosher” lawkeepers or “holiness” adherents of the monotheistic religions. Man’s “works” to save himself.
The futility of these efforts is not changed by the notion of afterlife condemnation (“eternal death”) being abolished. It’s no longer about the fear of Hell, but rather they are following things that are not from God, that are exacting a lot of unneeded and useless pain or burdens upon people (including the poor children born into this, without even any choice).

So Christ’s fulfillment of all of that, as the ultimate “sacrifice”, then is still “good news” to them, even if it’s not about Hell.
It also would be good news for those trusting in their heritage for some sort of personal worth. This is what drives white supremacy. Their ancestors did horrible things, and they can’t accept it. So they justify it, by at best “that’s just the way they did things back then”, and at worst, the people colonized and enslaved were inferior and/or “cursed”. The nation was really “exceptional”, and the descendants today not doing well simply lack character (if not being, again, naturally inferior). There is so much wrong today, but it’s all the “liberals” or other groups of people’s fault. They rebuff any association with the evils of the ancestors, saying it wasn’t them, or even that their actual ancestors weren’t here yet, or didn’t own slaves. Yet they identify with those ancestors or unrelated founders when it comes to the “good” of the nation.

If they really trusted in Christ (and truly understood Grace), and did not seek identification with the righteousness of the past Americans (which is exactly what the Israelites of Christ’s time were doing with their lineage), then they wouldn’t be so uptight (or feel “guilt-manipulated”) about the evils of the nation (like slavery and racism) when pointed out. The good and evil go together, and there is no way to split off the evil. You just end up putting it on other people, and that just causes strife. Each person stands before God on his own, not inheriting others’ goodness, or being dragged down by their badness, which you then must deny as if your own justification depended on it.
But again, many of these people have made their decision, and are fiercely sticking by it.

So the whole notion of “merit”, in all of its forms, labels and judgment, is bad news. It’s the knowledge of good and evil that leads to everything from child sacrifice to moral shaming to political oppression. It leads one group of people to show up on the shores of another, and not only say “we’re taking over!”, but also “we’re [still] in the right, and you’re suffering for being in the wrong”—”because we have ‘character’ and you don’t!”
From there we get centuries of pain and strife to come, with guilt, denial and increasingly heated reverse-blaming, along with an atmosphere lacking any empathy, and instead, full of “victim”-mocking and “weak-shaming”. It continues to lead people today to try to tear into others with “truth” in a “no excuses, no nonsense” fashion, but in the process forget that they too don’t have it all “licked” either, and can still be wrong; and thus lacking any humility or grace, and just creating more bad feelings, and thinking it’s justified. This is often done as part of a cold answer to people’s suffering. They “did it to themselves”, unlike me, who “just grabbed the bull by the horns and pulled my bootstraps”.
This is the religion of the Devil, who is an “accuser“, leading people to deny their sin, compare to others’ (2 Cor.10:12), and then create strife and even possibly, war from that, along with the rest of “the works of the flesh” (Gal.5). This is basically the “law” of the Kingdom of Hell!

Christ is the Good News that answers all of that (even if not instantly ending all pain). May  people who claim to believe the Gospel learn to really and consistently apply this to their beliefs and teachings.

  1. It seems like these cops have no sense of “avoid the appearance of evil” (extra vigilance) in the aftermath of incidents, like there is in the transit industry. (Like anything happens on any other railroad, then we get bulletins, reminders, system safety inspections, etc.) Nothing tells them “we better be extra careful; the entire world is watching us”. Instead, it seems to get worse, occurring in clusters, as if it were a “copycat” thing.
    Their minds inundated with “those blacks and their ‘pathological crime problem’” (and all the statistical “facts” to support that); they seem tbe all the more emboldened by the previous incident.
    This is the end result of this “merit” attitude, were blacks are below the “par” they have made themselves.

  2. The more I see reaction against BLM and many white supremacists stepping up to the occasion (and rallying behind Trump, who is obviously the one who has given them the green light to come forth more openly, just as Reagan had made them feel “their day had come”, as Rowan had reported; even if Reagan or Trump had not intended this), and the “we’re just right; the Truth always favors us; you’re just wrong, evidenced by all of your ‘problems’, and should just hang your heads and accept being killed, until you clean up yourselves first —if you all can” attitude; the more I realize how all of this is rooted in the original Puritan Calvinist concept, at the root of “Reconstructionism”, whose main pillar in their argumentation is “presuppositionalism”. For that is what all of the reactions to everything from racial to financial inequality boil down to.

    Of course, not all of these people are Reconstructionists. (A more generic, all encompassing term could be “Dominionism”) A few aren’t even professing Christians. And of course, there are many mainstream Christians who do not go as far as Reconstructionism. But still, there are differing degrees, as people somewhere in the past turned from one or more of the “hard truths” of the original philosophy, creating all of these variations of the views. But the original view is still evident in many of the variations, even if they loudly protest, or are not even aware of it.

    Consistent Calvinist view (Presuppositionalism) Mainstream evangelicalism
    God’s main goal is showcasing His “Glory” Mixture between “glory” and “love”. Many aim to harmonize this by making damnation entirely from the individual “will” of the sinner
    Fulfilled View: Glory and Love are not competing attributes with one higher than the other. He is glorified in His Plan, of removing the condemnation man fell into (Rev 19:1)
    This is somehow most expressed in suffering for humans (wrath and condemnation) This is expressed in willing temporal pain for them, in exchange for eternal bliss. If they reject this path, then they may have pleasure now, but will suffer pain in eternity
    Fulfilled View: [Non-physical] pain is a result of man’s knowledge of good and evil. This is never completely eliminated in this lifetime, but recognition of Christ’s work should eliminate the problem of spiritual guilt and fear. There is no “exchange”, “trade” or “givebacks”. It is the GIFT of God.
    So God’s Plan is the condemnation of most, leading to both temporal misery on earth, and eternal torment in Hell God’s plan is salvation; either by "free will choice" (Arminianism) or “single predestination”, which tries to downplay the deliberate damning of the non-elect.
    Fulfilled View: God’s Plan is unconditional pardon
    So He created Adam, and caused Him to fall, and imputed sin to all his descendants in order to carry out the plan of default condemnation (supralapsarianism) Adam fell just by “disobeying”, through "free will", which God foreknew (Arminianism) or ordained only as a means to an unfolding plan (infralapsarian Calvinism),
    Fulfilled View: Man fell as he took on "knowledge of good and evil"
    The “Good News” is the pardon of a select number of humans, the “vessels of mercy created from the same lump as the vessels of wrath” The Good News is an offer of salvation that anyone can "choose" (though they have to go against a "nature" pulling them to sin, as well as lack of any clear evidence other than the shaky means of “general revelation” and “conscience”)
    Fulfilled View: The Good News is the removal of the "Law of sin and death" that maintains the guilt of the knowledge of good and evil
    They are granted rule over others in the temporal earth, as well as eternal bliss in Heaven (and for the torment of all others to make them grateful and praising) Usually omits rule on earth (and glee over the damned), though to many, they are commissioned to create a "Christian culture" through evangelism and often political activism
    Fulfilled View: We are to "live at peace with all men" (Rom.12:18), and try to have a society of just laws, but not interfere with others’ private beliefs and behaviors that do not affect others.
    This is done by imputing Christ’s righteousness on them, imparting the “power” to resist the tendency to sin (and for more “high” Churches, also the “infusion” of sacraments). God "draws" all to salvation, and their free will response determines who is fit for Heaven or not. Then he imputes and imparts as with the Calvinist view.
    Fulfilled View: Salvation is all about imputation. It’s all God, not us. Impartation and infusion are all works (even under a premise of "unconditional election"), that do not really eliminate sin, though often make people think they are. (There was an overlap of covenants, where there was impartation of power to the firstfruits running the race to total freedom from the condemnation of the Law, but this was to continue shortly).
    With the sin nature in effect reversed behaviorally, they are able to create "exceptional" individuals, nations or civilizations, which can be "proven" by outward achievements, and earns them their right to rule (where others’ counterclaims are illegitimate "entitlements" they want handed to them, unearned or out of God’s will) Many go along with the "exceptionality" premise, though many are honest enough to admit it’s not true. (Some Calvinists downplay impartation, focusing on imputation and sometimes infusion. Horton is an example. Prosperity gospel is the same thing applied to finance, and with "faith" and giving to the ministry, as the earning)
    Since it’s not about behavior reform, then no one can claim their behavior is excused by sanctification (which should be an oxymoron the way sanctification is commonly understood). People have no excuse to be “contrary to all men” (1 Thess.2:15), like the legalist leaders of Paul’s time, who thought they were perfectly right by “God’s standards”.
    So God raises these people, gives them the right to conquer and take others’ lands (which they by default forfeit the rights to because of Adam’s sin), and makes them “right” in all their beliefs and behavior even if it doesn’t look like it to the “world” of sinful men, who are the ones “blinded” by a “wicked heart” and “darkened minds” Positions vary, with many (the "Evangelical Christian Right") holding a practical position similar to Reconstructionism, but with less of a theological undergirding. Many others have turned against it to varying degrees.
    Fulfilled View: Because it’s not about us (and the other view is not “good news” in any stretch of the imagination), God’s Gospel was “good Will” to “ALL MEN” (Luke 2:10-14) this does not earn anyone any right to rule (which just causes more problems, and maintains and promotes the fallen nature of man).
    The “unchosen” are “helpless” as to their condition, yet “held accountable” and thus condemned as if they weren’t helpless. Man “deserves” suffering and should just accept it (so man is never a “victim”, and all “whining” is wrong and to be scoffed at instead of ever showing any empathy), unless they are the elect, who will have the power or might to “earn” it through inheritance, or “rugged individualism” (which they have to right to “defend”, or complain if taken from them by the “godless”). While generally reflected in “alt right” views of the poor and minorities (they obviously still display a lot of anger at them despite their “helplessness”), most Christians will focus on “personal responsibility”
    Fulfilled View: Such a “trap” runs totally counter to “Good News”
    Postmilennial or amillennial view, that the chosen take over the world and rule, which then is God’s Kingdom. So they keep badgering the world which has turned away from their values. Most evangelicals take a “pre-millennial” view, which says the godless take over, God raptures the Church away before it gets too bad, and then Christ returns and restores divine order on earth. However, many in practice still act just like the first camp, desiring to take over society. This can perhaps be plugged into “The Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the earth, then shall the end come” (i.e. the push for end time “revival”), but is clearly from their own survival instinct.
    Fulfilled View: The Kingdom is salvation itself, not some physical location (Luke 17:21).
    Gospel is “good news” to only the “elect”, and is bad news to the non-elect. So it’s SUPPOSED to be “offensive”, to drive away the tares. Therefore, our teachings and behavior can be just as repulsive, mean-spirited, controlling, and even brutal at times (conquest, etc). whether anyone likes it or not. “Pleasing man” and “pleasing God” are two opposing things, so “pleasing God” means (almost deliberately) offending people. Gospel is potentially “good news” to everyone, but most people want to continue “sinning” too much, to appreciate and receive it. (Many try to make it more enticing in ways, such as entertainment, buttering the message up, etc.).
    Fulfilled View: Gospel is Good News to all, except those who go directly against its message by trying to be justified by the Law (including those who claim God monergistically imparted them the ability to keep it). It’s often not recognized as such because of the conditions and other yokes of burden that have been placed on it by the “historical” Church.

    God had worked out a plan, that included raising a nation promised rule, but had written the lesson through them (the original “vessels of wrath”) that man needed mercy, not rule or salvation through good works. People have not learned the lesson, but instead have “emulated” (Gal. 5:20) the wrong thing; very thing that was illustrated to us as the lesson!

    The question they need to be asked is “What causes you to differ?” (1 Cor. 4:7) The Arminians really can’t answer that. Unless they just come out and say they were just “wiser” than others. The nonChristians would probably say evolution. Calvinists could of course answer God. Though the next question, continuing, “What do you have that you did not receive?” would speak to the “rugged individualism” of both groups. The Calvinists, again, would nod to that, saying it was God. Yet the final question for them (and anyone else who appeals to God or good fortune), continues “And if [you acknowledge] you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” .
    Clearly, as much as they claim it is objectively, God, their views are just as much fallen human “ego” as anyone else.

    As one Fulfilled View believer just posted on Facebook:
    “To be aware of the ego in yourself is the first and most important step to living beyond ego. Those unaware of ego in themselves are often the first to see it in others and so react to it. What you don’t like in others might be what you’ve denied is in yourself. Ego manifests itself through an illusion of separation. And, as fuel feeds a fire, fear fuels the ego. Awareness is the key.” ~ Dr. Steve McSwain
    [I once had a professing conservative Christian go as far as to claim he had “no ego”! As “Ego” means “I”, if you don’t have an ego, there would be no “I”; meaning there would be no conscious entity who would even be able to utter the term. To say something like that, is to basically arrogate the transcendent (basically to be God) and all the more betrays a very “inflated” ego, with a huge “shadow”!]

    [Edit: see also ]

  3. A GOP Congressman Just Made An Argument For White Supremacy On Live TV
    Rep. Steve King suggested no “other subgroup of people” has contributed as much.

    US Rep. Steve King preaches literal white supremacy on national television

    Precisely what we’re talking about here. It’s now coming out more and more, as people think nothing of it. (Here’s an older one someone just posted, showing how prevalent these feeelings are: It’s taken for granted, yet they know it’s “politically incorrect”, and thus get uptight about being called “racist”, but still want to hold on to these views anyway, thinking they are so supported by “fact”.

    The host says what I had said above:

    “We’re not going to argue the history of Western civilization. Let me note for the record that if you’re looking at the ledger for Western civilization, [in] every flourishing democracy you’ve got Hitler and Stalin as well, so there’s a lot on both sides.”

    Also on this, and the RNC in general:

    The racism unleashed at the RNC is bigger and uglier than Melania Trump’s plagiarism

  4. Still progressing on Wallis’ America’s Original Sin; but in the section “I Am a Beneficiary of Affirmative Action”, he cites Robert Jensen, who came to realize that he does not have to believe that “merit” alone got him where he is:

    “I needed to believe that my success in life was due solely to my individual talent and effort. I saw myself as the heroic American, the rugged individualist. I was so deeply seduced by the culture’s mythology that I couldn’t see the fear that was binding me to those myths. Like all white Americans, I Was living with the fear that maybe I didn’t really deserve my success, that maybe luck and privilege had more to do with it than brains and hard work. I was afraid I wasn’t heroic or rugged, that I wasn’t special.
    I let go of some of that fear when I realized that, indeed, I wasn’t special, but that I was still me. What I do well, I can still take pride in, even when I know that the rules under which I work in are stacked in my benefit. I believe that until we let go of the fiction that people have complete control over their fate—that we can will ourselves to be anything we choose—then we will live with that fear.” (How White Privilege Shapes the U.S.”, Beyond Whiteness, emphasis added)

    Here we again see the “shadow” (fear) of the “rugged individualism” that drives insensitivity and outright judgmentalism towards the less fortunate. And it’s the pride, of trying to be “special”, that creates a standard people aspire to, but can’t really live up to, which they sense inside, but still, again, project outward at others.
    Wallis himself adds “White people tend to see racism as an individual issue, about good and bad behavior by moral or immoral people. And because most white people don’t think we are “bad” or “immoral”, and certainly not deliberately “racist”, racism can’t be applied to us“. (emphasis added).

    So here were see our ol’ “good/evil” (as opposed to “oppressed/oppressor”) category that we saw above marks “conservative” ideology,* now applying directly to race, and driving the guilt that leads to the denial that racism can be “applied to us”, and thus the projection onto blacks themselves.

    *(Along with “individual” sins such as sexual ones, being seen as more related to “repentance” than public issues, which he mentioned earlier, in his section on repentance).

  5. Our country was established in God we trust. What Failed? It wasn't God

    Of course, it was man. But the question was when did they fail? A meme like this seems to think man got it right in the founding of the nation (just for evoking God’s name), then failed later. But based on what do they think they got it so right in the first place? Just evoking God (and outward morality, of course)?

  6. The entire Law was summed up by what’s known as “The Golden Rule”: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. (Matthew 7:12. there’s also the “Platinum Rule”; “Do unto others as they want done unto them”. They seem like introverted and extraverted Feeling, respectively, but there really isn’t a conflict. If you don’t know what the person would want, you can only generalize the same human needs you share with them. If you do know what they want, then you would also want someone to give you what you ask, so doing as they want is the same as doing what you would want).

    The concept of “merit” allows us to override this principle and justify it, often through a “factual” approach. So a person can preach to others “being nice”, but he himself can be not nice if he can justify it with some wrong the other person can be charged with, or some other circumstance (including some kind of knowledge of some “truth” that needs to be driven home). Creating an “ice age” atmosphere of “scarcity” allows one to take a “dog eat dog” stance, seemingly justified totally by “nature”.

    So people rather than following the Golden Rule, instead substitute other acts. In religion, it’s either various rituals, or just “morality” (with traditionally a great emphasis on sex above everything else) or “devotions” (which are supposed to “transform” the rest of our lives, in terms of behavior). Basically, all of this is summed up in “The Law”. Just keep the outward Law (and make sure to preach it loudly to others), and that is most important. It will promote “morality”, which will “save the nation”, and other souls, as they obey as well. In the process, they “have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith”.
    In social issues; it’s “pulling one’s bootstraps”, in which anything you do with the power you gain, to those who have not climbed the ladder, is justified, because you “delayed gratification” and they didn’t.

    So this is basically what “self-righteousness” is about.

  7. Since many Christians believe there is some “merit” in favoring Israel, here’s some good articles addressing this:

    No, The Bible Doesn’t Command We “Stand With Israel”

    Standing With Israel: how bad theology duped us into supporting terrorism and oppression

    When Theology Is So Pro-Israel That It Becomes Anti-Christian

  8. Friday the 13th logo
    Friday the 13th and also October and approaching Halloween, and so a double dose of spooky themes in the air!

    On FB, someone posts this:

    Someone in the group asks “Is participating in things with pagan origins the same as worshipping pagan gods? Does it displease the Lord to participate in things with pagan origins? Or is worship a heart issue?”

    It’s the Law’s command of being “separate”. That anything that served other gods (which often included great “darkness” in the rituals) was so detestable that the people of God were to have nothing to do with it. The debate becomes whether that’s still in effect, or whether it’s really now just about the “heart”. 1 Cor.8 and 10 shows that on one hand, an idol is really nothing, as there is really only the one God. But the issue is “knowledge” and “conscience”.

    So I won’t get into satanic stuff, but some light “monster”-themed entertainment or decorations (like the idea of putting my RGB Christmas LED’s up early and making them orange or orange and purple for Halloween, which I still don’t do because my wife doesn’t want it) is something that has lost the original meaning.
    It is people advocating the Law who keep trying to defile people’s knowledge with the original meanings in order to control their behavior, like that site does; going as far as to say something like “well, now you know!” (And this is what the “separatist” fundamentalists had been doing with stuff like “the African beats of rock music”). I wonder if they themselves are consistent and avoid Christmas and Easter as well. Some, such as the more radical sabbatarians, JW’s and others, are, but many of them err on other doctrinal areas, (such as the Godhead or especially the means of salvation), and can be considered as worshipping a false god (via a “false gospel”) themselves! This is why a Law approach is totally futile!
    (As it is, The site’s treatments of the movie The Shack (“The Dark Night of the Shack” and “The Progressive Disease of Spiritual Deception in Our Time”), where he observes how many Christians are following this stuff, leading to the typical “falling away of the Church toward the the one-world antichrist mystery religion” polemic. Also typical is “Trusting God” (for “healing” after lifetime pains) as “You don’t need to know all the answers. Trust Me, trust My Word. Trust in My love.” ⦅not really explaining what exactly this means, but then that’s the point; “just believe; don’t understand”; and it of course is likely pointing to the same “inner”-focused “spiritual” power shared in common with the rest of the Church, and the compromising Christians and “new-age” people he is describing —that’s why that stuff readily becomes so popular in the first place!⦆, and the “way of the cross, the power of the blood” as a “hurt”ful “hard word” to lead us to “the altar of God where we come to be broken and changed, healed and set free. Everything which made the Gospel powerful has and is being systematically removed by the enemy of our souls – not because it is not powerful, but because we no longer wish to bow to its demands, its holiness or its truth.“)

    Much of the Church, from sites like that on down, have ironically adopted pagan folklore regarding Satan. In scripture, he is not the dark, ugly central figure of Halloween scenes or pictures of “Hell” we have made him to be, but rather someone appearing as an “angel of light” who accuses with God’s Law (as we see in Job, and the opposition to Jesus in the leaders of His day). The connection with pagan religion is that they too seek to “save” themselves through their own efforts via the rituals (which include things God forbade in His own Law, but it doesn’t matter which system you try to save yourself through; you can’t do it, which was the lesson being taught through the Law in the first place. From here we can understand how the “idolaters” and other sinners mentioned in Revelation and other NT prophecies can actually be lawkeepers [the ones who actually rejected their own Messiah] and not just literal “pagans”).

    I could mention that a long time ago, when seeking a [supposed] biblical “unitarianism”, and had found the radical sabbatarian, faux-“Messianic” (and basically, can be considered hyper-Armstongism) group House of YHWH (Abilene), nearly every issue of The Prophetic Watchman (which basically repeated the same stuff over and over) started with some statement comparing Christianity to “pagan religions” who teach a “savior god” that “did everything for you”. Of course, he’s attacking both the deity of Christ and “Grace alone” in one fell swoop; and with the typical stereotypes of nonbelievers even I had fallen into (discussed, it was easy to believe.

    But it’s a total false generalization. You know, non-“Judeo-Christians”, or “secular”.”worldly” people do whatever they want; if it feels good, do it, they have no morals, etc. and of course in paganism, you think of “sensual” ritual and temple prostitution and stuff like that. But the whole point of paganism was appeasing the gods, with the more of a “sacrifice” (including even children, etc); the more discomfort, the better! This is far closer to the legalistic “Judeo-Christian” groups (with it’s “hard walk”, the fear of judgment; whether Hell or annihilation, etc.) than anything else!

  9. A lawkeeper on FB protests that he’s being “chastised for telling so called Christians they need to be more like Christ. it’s not wrong to do that because one who claims to be a Christian should already know that.” and just doesn’t understand “why a Christian would not want to follow the example of their leader,”

    The problem is, people telling others to be like Christ (and keep the Law) almost always ends up causing futile dissension, and as the whole point of the Gospel was that no one really keeps the Law (which was why Christ had to come and keep it and then die to pay for sin in the first place), it becomes self-righteous judging, and also what Gal. 5:20 describes as “emulation” (a false “zeal” where the person tries to play “prophet” and straighten everyone else up, often unaware of his own sinfulness). So everyone does this, and again, we’re left with nothing but dissension. And no one actually “being like Christ”! This shows something terribly wrong there!

    There’s no Christian who “doesn’t want to follow the example of [Christ]”. That’s a totally unfair assumption that stems from what some of us believe is the problem, which is legalistic thinking, and as I said, judging.

    People believe the Law was given to show man his sin, or as I put it, hold us up to the knowledge of good and evil we wrongfully took on in the Garden. Christ lived righteously (kept the Law perfectly) so He could be the “spotless“ sacrifice to redeem man. He tells us the entire Law is SUMMED UP in “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. That’s what we should be following.
    Those who rejected Christ showed us clearly, how it was possible to follow the letter of the Law, and still fall into evil, right up to killing Christ, the Messiah, Himself. And now, in “Church” history, it just continued to become a weapon used to accuse, condemn, terrorize (through fear) and even at times kill others. (At this point, “by their fruits ye shalh know them“ should come to mind).
    That’s why some of us speak against preaching Law.

    The person then brings up the old rhetorical question of “is sin OK”, appealing to Paul’s “dead to sin”, and reminding us of the need for “reading and accepting all of what Paul wrote not just part of it. for Peter said some things Paul wrote are hard to understand.”, and that preaching “what the Bible says” will “sound like judgement to the sinful ear.”

    Yes, you have to read the whole context, including previous chapters. Then you’ll understand Paul better; the reason why it’s easy to misunderstand him is because if you take a verse here or there, you’ll think he’s saying something he’s not. Like some will read one passage, and think he’s teaching “sin is OK” (which is basically the accusation lawkeepers level against some of us), so then he will clarify “God forbid”, so then others will take that as “yeah; he’s teaching we must keep the Law” (as the lawkeepers are doing) and not even address what the previous passage meant; or try to say it’s parts of the Law they no longer keep (like the obvious “ceremonial” stuff, or just the “death sentence” itself).

    But to sum up chapter 5, which is what leads into chapter 6:

    “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
    For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.*
    Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
    That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
    *[by ONE; not by many, after having only their slate cleaned, and then trying to keep as pure as possible from then on]

    So then, he asks “Shall we continue in sin, that Grace may abound?” and then mentions “dead to sin”. Dead to sin means DEAD; not trying to stop, never reaching a state of sinlessness, but as long as you’re “trying”; then and only then does God count you righteous. Being dead to sin means you’re dead to the SYSTEM that declared you a sinner to begin with. It sentenced you to death, but Christ saved you, and so this death no longer reigns over you, where you’re constantly striving, yet failing.
    So this is about “imputed” to you, not what you actually do (or what’s “OK” or not).

    People have turned it all the way around, where they read “dead to sin” and “newness of life” and think strictly in terms of literal behavior, in the form of “BAD HABITS” that apparently “enslave” us, and since they know no one’s literal behavior is instantly transformed to sinlessness, they have to come up with this “process” of a “struggle” against these “habits” or “addictions”, where the “death” spoken of here is not actually instant, but rather some ongoing recurring or progressive thing (and of course, there’s other scriptures that look like they support that, but they too are being taken out of context), and then and only then do they bring in imputation; that God sees as as completely “dead to sin” even though we’re actually still literally sinning, or “imperfect”, but at least “trying”. And it’s so hard, and that’s why no one wants to do it, so God has called his preachers to badger everyone for not embarking on this regiment like they have.

    I actually see a bit of envy in this, as a person is embarking on this “hard walk”, and sees everyone else apparently “having fun”, letting it all hang out, so the compensation is that they look good and righteous preaching at them (I’ve been there myself); making sure to emphasize how “hard” God wants things for us, and that everyone (sinners and even fellow “saints” alike) are taking things too easy. It’s just like the people Jesus said were fasting, and making themselves look miserable. Today’s Christian preachers may not do that, and instead say we should be joyous in our “hard walk”; following Jesus’ words that much, yet instead of looking miserable, it’s placing the emphasis on the “hardship”, while preaching against everyone else’s “laxity” or “lawlessness”.

    “Dying to self” means dying to your will and your choices and trusting instead in Christ. Paul was an ardent keeper of the Law, but then realized in being converted that this was not taking away his sins, but only compounding and highlighting them, and this was his “old man” he had to “die” to.
    A “sinful ear” would implicate everyone, and the one who thinks he’s now excluded from that because he “keeps the Law“ will be less likely to see his own sin (beyond perhaps certain sins commonly focused on, such as lust and envy), and that’s how they end up still in the “old man”. That’s what “sinning” or “missing the mark” ultimately is.

    The person then asks do I not want to keep the Law because it’s too hard, or am trying, but unsuccessful, etc.

    It’s not about “wanting” or “sincerity (which is what many nonbelievers used to plead, when answering people preaching to them: “I don’t need to turn to Christ; God sees my heart, that I’m ‘trying’ to be good”. It’s that trying to keep it to determine actual righteousness is futile. Some lifelong “struggle” to “sin less” is not what brings righteousness; the most it would do is make you a better behaved sinner (at least on the surface). The true “sabbath rest” is “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own workS, as God did from his.” (Heb.4:10). This “wanting” and “struggling” is NOT “rest”!

  10. Here is an example of the “contempt of merit” attitude, from the field of science:

    The very first questions to ask are whether or not your father had any legitimate qualifications in this field. Did he have a physics degree at any level? Did he ever participate in either experimental or theoretical research – even as a technician or assistant? Was he well-read in the scientific literature of particle physics?

    If the answer to all – or even most – of these is no then it’s highly unlikely that your father’s work will have anything of value to science.

    This isn’t intended to put down your father, his passion for his work, or his desire to make a contribution. But particle physics is a field in which people routinely spend over a decade of intensive study and work under the tutelage of experienced professors for most of that time simply to get to the point of just starting to make a contribution. That’s why it’s so unlikely that anyone without that sort of training would be able to develop anything genuinely valuable.

    (concludes by suggesting offering a fee for a physicist or grad student to review it).

    We see there all the hardship required to attain those positions then becomes the justification to look down on anyone who dares to say something without them! We forget all the centuries where scientists simply made their observations, and didn’t have to go through a big closed establishment to be heard. It’s no different than how religions form these institutions, that set doctrine, and no matter what the scriptures actually say, the consensus agrees on this, that settles it.

    One comment:

    Very negative comments. What if her father were gifted but solitary, unwilling to associate with others? I have found that sometimes true insight can come from outside an academic field of study. There are not a lot of examples of this but we have to admit that it’s possible. You explain an example of how closed minded academics can be to possible revelations from outsiders. And your scientists seem awfully snobbish and boring. These are the same people who can’t even explain consciousness. Why is that?

    “Hubris” is derided, as if it’s universally bad (like I had seen a saying “science punishes hubris”), but if the right people do it (those with power, especially if they know how to manipulate others, especially by “providing value”; think Joe Jackson, and even Trump, among his followers who were supposed to be the guardians of “traditional values”) then it’s OK (“the way the world goes”), and everyone has to “accept” it.

  11. The radical moral implications of luck in human life
    Acknowledging the role of luck is the secular equivalent of religious awakening.

    Breaks it down in terms of “nature vs nurture”, and “system one” (instinct, or the limbic system) and “system two” (the more cognitive part of us, from the prefrontal cortex).

    Also points out, as i frequently discuss:

    “Psychologists have shown that all humans are subject to ‘fundamental attribution error.’ When we assess others, we tend to attribute successes to circumstance and failures to character — and when we assess our own lives, it is the opposite.”

  12. A great article from a few years ago, that came back up as a FB “Memory”

    The Danger of Partisan Christianity
    Why every issue doesn’t fit a ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ label.

    Another good message:
    The Belief That Trump Is a Messiah Is Rampant and Dangerous
    When a leader is seen as infallible, supporters can become disciples.

  13. We Don’t Have a Problem with White Supremacy. We Have a Problem with Leftist Supremacy

    So this article takes something from one person, glosses over what’s said, and frames it as “the left are the real racists”.

    “perfectionism — you know, trying to make things as perfect as possible and calling out people on their f*ck ups.”
    The point there is “giving UNDUE FOCUS to the shortcomings in someone or their work, or viewing them as personal flaws; ‘making a mistake isconfused with being a mistake…'”

    Or a sense of urgency — or as we call it around here, having your work done on time.
    “Prioritizing short term results without considering long term implications

    Or what they call “worship of the written word,” which apparently is the ability to express yourself in writing.
    “…rather than the ‘ability to relate to others'”.

    Or objectivity, which they define as BELIEVING THERE’S AN ULTIMATE TRUTH.
    “…and that alternative viewpoints or emotions are bad”.
    This one fails to take into account that the person who claims to have found this “ultimate truth” is still a fallible human, and thus might be more skewed by subjectivity than he realizes, but can’t see this, but can only see it in others. Even Jesus said “You say ‘I see’, therefore your sin remains!”

    “So, the left, in teaching people to avoid white supremacy, assumes that minorities cannot express themselves in writing, can’t get things done on time, and won’t try to make the work as good as possible.
    In other words, the left are in fact the white supremacists who believe any virtue that contributes to civilization must be white. The fact that they then want to suppress it — in everyone but themselves — is probably part of their plan to concentrate power.”

    So this is more of the typical conservative “whataboutism”, always trying to throw any evil they are accused of back on the Left, which they already blame for every single evil in the world anyway.
    That right there (ignoring the question of how THEY and they alone became so “objective” and found the “ultimate truth” so well and are the only ones who uphold good work and values, ought to show the superiority mindset to begin with. The next logical step is always if one is that much better at “truth” than others, they they claim the rightful “dominance” over them!

  14. Run across a book by David Limbaugh, the brother of Rush:

    •Has a chapter on “Victimhood” but his entire tome is “the left is out to get us” (America, conservatives, etc.)

    •Says conservatives are not racist because they are not against a safety net, just don’t want to foster “dependency”.
    Truth is, conservatives have greatly blown “black dependency” into a rampant racial stereotype and the number one cause of America’s financial problems (and from there, a common “dog whistle” where economic rhetoric is really an in-practice implication of race).

    • Criticizes the Obamas and others for rejecting “American exceptionalism”, and also criticizes liberals for speaking of “white privilege”.
    But ignores that what is “exceptionalism” but a softer term for “superiority”, and is also the basis for demanding “privilege”.

    •Has the utter gall to criticize Michelle Obama for her “I’m for the first time proud of my nation” statement.
    —when it was his own brother who infamously said he was NO LONGER proud of it.
    So it’s not about unconditional pride in the country for all times (he also has a lot of criticism of the left in general for condemning the slavery and colonialism of the past); it’s the wrong time period for pride, or lack thereof: —the nation only deserved pride in the past, but not the present. But the past is when all of those evils they dismiss occurred, and the nation has simply traded in one set of problems for others, yet over and over, we see the past problems regarded as not so bad, and more than made up for by all the good done. This “grace” is never granted to the current nation.
    The main thing that has changed is that conservative interests have lost POWER over the generations. That’s what all of this is about. At every turn, they prove their “privilege” mindset; that only what makes them happy or unhappy matters.

    •Is more theologically oriented than his brother, and echoes the common evangelical claim that conservatives hold to the Bible’s teaching on the sin of man while the left believes in the goodness of man.
    But their “exceptional” doctrine essentially VOIDS the Biblical teaching; takes the western Christians out of the “sin” equation, making them basically “good”. (“Exception” is the base word for “exceptional”!) The whole tone of his writing, as well as so many others, is Left, all BAD; Right, all GOOD (despite whatever “minor flaws” they may admit to).

    Romans 3:19 says “Now we know that whatsoever things the law says, it says to them who are under the law [who claim to be following it, and then judge others by it]: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” Conservatives think their belief is in line with this, but the problem is, their mouths don’t “stop” there, when they add all these “ifs/ands/buts”; like “BUT some cultures are ‘better’ than others” (or “exceptional”), or “IF a nation follows God’s principles they can be better”, or “AND being sinful means the unredeemed people are “worse”. The Gospel should make it clear there is no room for these “exceptions” before God; it’s “Thank you Lord I am not as those heathen/sinners etc. over there” self-righteousness. They have read all these scriptures, they should clearly know better. They know good and well it would never fly for an individual standing before the judgment seat. So why do they think it holds collectively?

    How can anyone hold views like this and then dare to appeal to “the Bible’s teaching on man’s sin”? The original rationale, (now buried and perhaps not even recognized by many conservatives today) is of God’s “chosen” people (redeemed and ‘transformed’ by Him) blessing the world, and in turn being blessed through domination of others, and their past sins being forgiven, as all other nations are judged. (This is basically what the conquering Pilgrims and Puritans believed, and the central thrust of the Right, ever since).

    Here’s a sample of some of his articles

    Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump (2017)
    by David Neiwert.
    Nails what’s ultimately behind Right wing ideology.

    In Alt-America:
    • Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim born in Kenya Who
    conspired With a global elite and terrorist radicals to
    impose sharia law on America.

    • Obama, Hillary Clinton, and most mainstream
    politicians are simultaneously the corrupt pawns of a
    nefarious New World Order (NWO) that seeks to impose
    a global government that Will turn the world’s population
    into their slaves.

    • Global climate change is a hoax concocted by the NWO
    and environmentalist elites Who want to impose massive
    regulatory regimes on businesses and force ordinary
    Americans out of public lands.

    • These same global elites want to gut the Second
    Amendment so that Americans’ guns can be con?scated
    and the populace disarmed, all in the name of public
    safety, but really for the purpose of imposing its
    tyrannical dictatorship.

    • The current American government is actually an illegal
    and unconstitutional entity that seized control of the
    United States in the 19305 and, through its corrupt
    Federal Reserve Bank, controls the nation’s ?at currency
    for its own nefarious ends.

    • Prejudice and oppression against White people now is a
    greater problem for the world than Whatever bigotry
    minorities might face. White people are the primary
    targets of oppression by an elite that shames them With
    “political correctness” Whenever they object to the rising
    tide of brown faces—especially foreign—language—
    speaking Muslims and Latinos—in their midst.

    • Minorities, especially blacks and illegal immigrants, are
    busily sucking up taxpayer dollars through welfare
    programs While homeless veterans go hungry.
    Organizations like Black Lives Matter are just another
    chapter in minorities’ claims to victimhood, While their
    adherents shoulder no responsibility themselves.

    • Illegal immigrants, especially Latinos, are part of a
    conspiracy by liberals and Democrats to overwhelm the
    country With welfare—dependent parasites Who eagerly
    vote for the liberal agenda in order to sustain their

    Why America’s government is broken
    Background notes for citizens of functional countries
    View at

    After the 1960s urban people could then enjoy black culture again and everyone spent the next ten years congratulating themselves on being exceptional. Ronald Reagan ended this by declaring the problem was all of the non-white people who were uppity because the government had been used to give them things they shouldn’t have had such as education and reasonable pay. This couldn’t be said…so the term ‘dog whistle’ was invented to save time.

    The Great Depression showed the inherent failings of rampant capitalism which gave America its one shot at being truly great, at least for its people, in the late 1940s to the 1970s. This was almost a democratic socialist state (the use of the term was forbidden) until capitalist greed and racial exhaustion caused by dog whistling allowed the old forces to finally take control (courtesy of Ronald Reagan as noted above) and begin the destruction they had always wanted.

    These were the very rich oligarchs who wanted people retained as low level chattels with no rights beyond those that would keep them working. They are now totally committed to greed in the form of all planetary assets being theirs by right of race and ethnicity. Freedom applies only to them. They have created a new form of freedom called ‘freedumb’ that allows those willing to be happy with no government services as long as they can hate people that don’t look like them and consider themselves exceptional. This is a total class structure with the very wealthy elite as an improved version of 18th century European aristocracy.

    Continuing in that vein:

    When The Plutocrats Worry About “Socialism”
    View at

    Ilhan Omar and the Weaponisation of Antisemitism
    It should not be difficult to recognize the meaningful distinction between Ilhan Omar’s recent comments and the kind of antisemitism surging on the right
    View at

  15. Trump’s Doing a Great Job! But Doing What Exactly?

    View at

    Billionaires Are Not Self-Made.
    Considering what it really takes to achieve that kind of wealth.

    View at

  16. Someone on a Facebook group asks how “Biblical” Israel and the Middle East conflict was.

    Not a legitimate Biblical cause, as the Plan that was played out in the Bible was finished shortly after Christ.

    It was later men, who saw in stretching out the plan a vehicle of control (God is going to judge the world; we are on God’s side; come follow us, oppose our enemies, and do as we say) who eventually decided to try to “fulfill” part of the prophecy in the Middle East, for their own political agenda. (Mainly, getting close to the OIL (Ironically, many Christian “Zionists” criticize the modern US and UK for turning their back on Israel”, “for the sake of oil”. It’s like, what really do we think we got over there for to begin with?) They historically didn’t care about “the descendants of Abraham”, but instead looked down on them as “Christ-killers”, but then all of a sudden this changed, and many people were now trying to get the “Blessing” of Gen.12:3, and making giving them the land a Biblical mandate).
    When conflicts escalated, it then “confirmed” that this was finally “the end”. But of course, this would keep happening multiple times, and every conflict becoming a failed “end”.

    The question was about whether there is any BIBLICAL basis for the conflict, and the UN (or the US, UK, etc.) is not God (and are not the “lost tribes” of Israel receiving “God’s promise to Abraham” either as some will argue), but they did PLAY God in moving the people there, and using a [long past] biblical prophecy (with them artificially “fulfilling” it) to justify it, and the motive was likely oil.

    We in the West have a knack for just taking things from people and claiming some divine mandate, and then once establishing our own rule, then and only then does stealing from others become wrong. That’s basically stemming from a belief in divine “chosenness” (by physical inheritance, and also, BTW, why “race” keeps getting brought up; because it’s the indelible root of the whole issue, though usually denied now).

    So to answer the question again, no the UN action is no BIBLICAL mandate, and so has caused this conflict with no justification except hidden greed of the West.

    Here’s a really good one on what many believe is Israel’s companion, if not successor:

    American Exceptionalism: Delusion and Illusion
    View at

  17. Here’s a good one on exceptionalism I swore I had seen and posted, but apparently hadn’t!

    The Myth of American Exceptionalism
    The idea that the United States is uniquely virtuous may be comforting to Americans. Too bad it’s not true.

  18. I was always irritated by this statement, because I could see the same problems that are erupting today, in conservative rhetoric back then. Especially when it came to race, the big bad “card” they always try to hide from. It completely ignored how broken the “minorities” were, so that they were not able to lead a civil war, but instead imploded into the self-destructive patterns —that conservatives would turn into their biggest talking points on race (crime, “welfare”). But the Russian leaders were not praising the US minorities for being good; they were praising US “culture” for keeping them good! Yet all this evil we’re seeing today was all there, stuffed under a false veneer of “civility”. (I was saying this back then!)

    The difference was, the Soviet empire fell faster than we did, and so we looked like we were on top of the world and eternally vindicated when they finally “admitted defeat”. Yet our racial and economics problems raged on, with the Right solidly blaming the Left for everything (you would think it was the Soviets who won the Cold War, from listening to the conservatives!), and already talking about ‘taking back the country”, “making it great again”, etc. (And Christians often led the way in this).

    Umair now nals it again:

    That was the first and formative Big Lie. “Make America Great Again!” What did it always mean? “White People are the masters, and everyone else the slaves. Whites are genetically superior. Everyone else is inherently inferior. Restore America’s destiny! Make it a nation of the pure-blooded and true-hearted again!!” MAGA was always a thinly, barely veiled fascist appeal, one so naked that it was obscene. And yet it went unchallenged, more or less, in America, and still does.

    I want you to think about this carefully. When was America great, if we needed to make it great “again”? It was an apartheid state until 1971. And Trump was harkening back to some nostalgic past, some garish, surreal utopian 50s suburban daydream, lit with burning crosses by night, where not a minority lived in that perfect suburb of gleaming new appliances.

    “Again” wasn’t the 90s, when those Dems rules. It wasn’t the 80s, when those scummy yuppies did. [And also when Reagan and the Christian Right first coined the term!] So when was it? It was just before.

    Before civil rights. Before equality, before gay rights, before women were equals, before. MAGA was always just a naked atavistic call to arms. Let us return to before. Before when? Pick your grievance? Hate women? Cool, before women could vote. Hate minorities? Cool, before they could drink from the same fountains. Hate the LGBTQ? Good, before they could marry. Hate them all? Excellent — let’s work together to bring it all to life, all the hate, and build some kind of Handmaid’s Tale style dystopia, by way of Mein Kampf.

    I mean this seriously. When was America “great”? Was it during World War II, when America fought off the Nazis — but was still the apartheid state the Nazis studied, admired, and wanted to build? Was it after slaves were freed — but Jim Crow was soon passed? When? I’m not saying: America was bad, evil, terrible, and so on. I don’t know — you have to judge that for yourself. But I am saying that MAGA was the original Big Lie.

    Maybe the intentions of the framers were “great.” Certainly, though, the execution left a lot to be desired. America didn’t evolve into a nation where all people were free to pursue life, liberty, and justice equally. It became an apartheid state. And so MAGA stopped dead any real conversation or discussion about how America had got here.

    These are also good:

    People who watched the violence keep saying: “This is not who we are!” But this phrase expresses their strange cognitive dissonance when it comes to racism and violence. When I hear it — which is frequently — it makes me spit out my tea every time.

    Yes, actually, this is who “you” are. It took a deadly invasion of the Capitol building encouraged by President Trump and supported by some Republican party loyalists and law enforcement officials for White supremacy to become as terrifyingly real to you as it has always been to Black Americans.

    I can imagine how hard it must be for the parts of White America struggling with cognitive dissonance to admit that they wrongfully thought Black people were exaggerating the threats against Black lives. It is very telling that they didn’t give a damn until their way of life came under threat by their own.

    View at

    View at

    Blue Lives Never Really Mattered, Did They MAGAs?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Adapting and Judgment: Making sense of the scary universe we find ourselves in | "ERIPEDIA"
  2. Book Review: Wallis “Racism: America’s Original Sin” | "ERIPEDIA"

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