5. So Valerie Jarrett, the black-hearted Iranian communist psychopath who is actually running the White House, tweeted this the other day in response to a picture of a picture frame with her picture in it that has little figurines of people bowing and worshiping in front of it:
Don’t worry friends, it was a gag gift. Us strong women don’t need worship — just an economy for the 21st century. #WomenSucceed
Yep. She really is that stupid. She used “Us” as a subject pronoun. This isn’t stylistic bad grammar as in item #1 above. Nope. You have allowed not just a conscienceless psychopathic Iranian communist fishwife and her gang of barely-mammalian hangers-on to overthrow your republic, but a conscienceless psychopathic Iranian communist fishwife who is also *teetering on the precipice of mental retardation* to overthrow your country. And you know what’s REALLY scary? Jarrett is, BY FAR, the brains in the Obama circle. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: These people have had the wild success they have had for one reason and one reason only. They are bold. They aren’t afraid. They are pro-active. Just like their father, satan. Compare that to “us”, who are timid, cowering, terrified of everyone and everything except God Almighty, and either convinced that “moderation” and “prevent defense” is the only way to go OR completely flaccid and supine. At least Hitler had a passing familiarity with the German language. What possible excuse will we have? None. Absolutely none.
From Ann Barnhardt: http://www.barnhardt.biz/
“Probable Cause” – Two words that allow law enforcement to do as they please. ZTW
1. Two hard boiled eggs, diced. A little mayo. A little sour cream (if you have it). Pinch of salt. Tablespoon of pickle relish. It’s the simple pleasures in life.
2. Paraphrasing a quote from Nicholas Cotoner, renowned as the father of the modern study of human anatomy: “It is essential to dissect the dead in order to heal the living.” Indeed. Pass the chainsaw, and lower your splash shields.
3. Yeah, it’s happening again. ZeroHedge has this up today. And I see that KD has picked it up, too. CYNK, a social media start-up (whatever that means) with one employee, no website, no revenue, no product, and no assets, is now booking a market cap of nearly FIVE BILLION DOLLARS. This is going to make the 2000 and 2008 crashes look like your sixth birthday party at McDonald’s.
4. So, yeah, in the interests of making sure everyone is arguing from TRUE premises and not FALSE premises, the whole Mexican border dissolution thing is 100% intentional and pre-planned. Saw it coming even before Obama officially usurped and the Republic was overthrown back in ’08. There are three main objectives achieved by this: 1.) Feed the Cloward-Piven overload and collapse of the FEDGOV by adding millions to the entitlement teat 2.) Expand the proletariat, which will agitate for and deliver more power to the oligarchy in return for empty promises of free shit 3.) Enable unfettered access to former-U.S. territory by musloids, with whom the Obama regime is saturated and explicitly allied with against Western Civilization. This is all exactly, precisely what they want and so therefore thinking that they are somehow embarrassed, ashamed or have any desire to “correct” or mitigate any of it is either dishonest to a gargantuan degree, or just flat stupid. You’re sitting around waiting for psychopathic arch-criminals who have taken over the largest economy and military in human history, and who are achieving absolutely every single one of their satanic goals with zero resistance, to slam on the brakes and voluntarily cease and desist because of an appeal to their conscience? Really? REALLY?
5. Yeah, I saw that bonehead Catholics are now working with the FEDGOV to traffic aliens into the country. Here’s what you have to understand. Most of the bishops today are stupid. I’m talking dumber than a bag of hair stupid. And, not surprisingly given that and given the Communist infiltration of the Church in the 20th century, most of them have Marxist leanings – even the so-called conservatives like Chaput in Philadelphia. Chaput agitated HARD for ObamaCare, even going so far as to force every parish in Denver to read a letter from him in which he declared healthcare a RIGHT. Rights come from God. Physical and service commodities are not rights, unless you subscribe to a materialist, Marxist worldview. But Ann, but Ann, I read Chaput’s book, “Render Unto Caesar”, and it wasn’t Marxist. Of course not. That’s because Chaput’s ghostwriter isn’t Marxist. She’s a very good Catholic lady, who delivered a fine book indeed to the Archbishop.
6. Oh, and yes, the “dumb” and “Marxist” labels apply fully to the Bishop of Rome, and Vicar of Christ, too. Francis is a Peronist-Fascist who is quite a dim bulb who has been built up from nothing by a fawning Marxist media – not at all unlike Obama. Listening to Progressive-Conservative (ProgCon) Catholics try to explain away the “Communists stole our (Christianity’s) flag” quote from last week is simultaneously amusing and nauseating. Communism, which reduces human beings to economic object/units, which it then slaughters by the millions, is just Christianity under a different “flag”, huh? I cannot put into words what an abomination and desecration of the memories of the millions of martyrs to Communism that statement is. The Communists who tortured Cardinal Mindszenty were not “closet Christians”. The torturers of the Romanian and Vietnamese Catholics were not “closet Christians”. Believe me, when I call Pope Francis stupid, it is from the bowels of charity, because the alternative is that he is malevolent, and for full disclosure, I bought an at-the-money call option on “malevolent” within minutes of his election.
7. Remember, Our Lord is angry with us. Very, very, very angry. And so, it is time for this again:
“The most evident mark of God’s anger, and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world, is manifest when He permits His people to fall into the hands of a clergy who are more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. They abandon the things of God to devote themselves to the things of the world and, in their saintly calling of holiness, they spend their time in profane and worldly pursuits. When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people and is visiting His most dreadful wrath upon them.” –St. John Eudes
From Ann Barnhardt: http://www.barnhardt.biz/
I’ve been sent this story a few times by friends who know my thoughts on gluten intolerance. I never thought it was real. Food allergies are real, but rare. When all of sudden half the population suddenly becomes allergic to bread, you should know it is hysterical bullshit. I know exactly one person with celiac disease. I know dozens of people claiming to be gluten intolerant. The fact that all of these people were eating bread with no problem until this fad came along is what the empirically minded call a clue.
That’s according to an academic study that effectively overturned the results of a previous one in 2011, which had served as evidence that non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a real condition, Real Clear Science reports.
Peter Gibson, a gastroenterology professor at Monash University in Australia, conducted the original study, but was not satisfied with its results.
So he and a group of researchers carried out a new one, giving 37 people with a declared gluten sensitivity and irritable bowel syndrome four separate diets. Participants were first fed a baseline diet that was low in FODMAPs (fermentable, poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates) for two weeks.
The subjects then were blindly assigned one of three diets for a week: a high-gluten diet, which had 16 grams per day of added gluten; a low-gluten diet, which had two grams of gluten and 14 grams of whey protein per day; and a control diet, which had 16 grams of whey protein isolate per day, according to the study.
Subjects reported worsening gastrointestinal symptoms no matter which diet they consumed. Data from the study suggested a “nocebo” effect, similar to when people feel symptoms from Wi-Fi and wind turbines, Real Clear Science reported.
It should also be noted subjects reported feeling fewer gastrointestinal symptoms after eating the baseline diet, low-FODMAP diet, which includes many foods from which people abstain when taking on a gluten-free diet, such as breads, beer and pasta.
This reminds me of the peanut allergy hoax popular last decade. All of a sudden. 20% of the nation’s youth was allergic to nuts. Basic science said this could not be true, but parents convinced themselves their little snowflake was allergic. Then the kids got to the age where they could pick their own food and magically they were no longer allergic. I knew a woman who swore her kid was allergic until one day he came home munching a peanut candy of some sort. He did not die and she realized the nut problem was between her ears.
Of course, all of this is an off-shoot of the victim culture. Everyone is looking for a clever way to prove they are up against it. The greatest displays of public piety are those that involve the suffering of the pious. Instead of nailing themselves to the cross, bourgeois bohemian mothers pretend their otherwise mediocre offspring have an exotic disorder. That’s run its course, so now, in middle age, those same moms claim cupcakes give them the runs.
From Z Blog: http://thezman.com/wordpress/
Hipster Finds Lifestyle Too Expensive, Reverts Back to Mainstream
“I tried my best,” said Loy, “I really did. I was juicing regularly, eating local and organic, and was doing my best to only drink craft beer. Unfortunately, my bank account just couldn’t handle hipster living.”
Loy said the added stress on his bank account caused him to revert back to a more conventional lifestyle, that he enjoyed in his pre-hipster years.
“All the stuff I was doing was great. Kale salads and IPA’s are delicious, but you know what’s also fantastic: cheap stuff. Bud light, frozen chicken and pizza, Coke. Was I saving a lot of money on clothes? Absolutely. I mean, I was buying stuff from thrift stores that homeless people probably wouldn’t wear. And, because I rarely showered, my water bill had never been lower, but those discounts pale in comparison to the money I save when I go to Kroger and buy a half gallon tub of ice cream, instead of chive and lentil flavored froyo from Whole Foods Market.”
Loy said he also has enjoyed hobbies that he wasn’t able to partake in the past two years including playing golf, and being able to talk about football with friends, as well as cleanly shaving his face.
“Do I miss hanging out at a brewery, drinking with a scarf on and talking about Radiohead tattoos? Actually, no. No I don’t. I’m finally free to go to a Buffalo Wild Wings and watch sports on Sunday, while drinking a giant Budweiser.” said Loy ecstatically. “The ironic thing is if I didn’t make this change, I would have been close to living out of my van, which would have made me a god among hipsters.”
After his profound endorsement of his common lifestyle, Loy proceeded to dip a corndog in chili and said, “This is the best I’ve felt in years.”
“Communitarianism”, “Intersectionalism”, and Other Totally Worthless Shit Taught at our Universities
Posted on | July 8, 2014
Regular readers remember Witchwind, the radical feminist that commenters have nicknamed “Windy.” She’s a wacky man-hating disciple of Mary Daly and Dee Graham, and inspired worldwide laughter with her anti-intercourse rant: “PIV is always rape, OK?”
Last week, Witchwind made an announcement:
After a succession of intense and mind-blowing discussions with friends, recent events and several weeks of trying to get to the bottom of why I find radical lesbianism so misogynist, I’ve just experienced a major shift or breakthrough in my feminism. One thing led to another, and I realise that the essential problem i’m trying to talk about is much larger than radical lesbianism, and relates to separatist communitarianism as a liberation strategy — the idea we should form a small, elitist community separate from women as much as from men, rather than focus on our potential to bond with all women and on all women’s potential to wake up to our reality. . . . I do have the impression of having having found a missing link which now helps me to see the whole picture with much more clarity and depth. Therefore my focus will no longer be on radical lesbianism and identity politics as such, but on the wider phenomenon of separatist communitarianism, whether it be radical lesbian, lesbian feminist, radical feminist, “intersectionalist”, etc. When our bonding with women is based on the exclusion of other women, then we aren’t really bonding with women but erecting a fictitious shield of “us” vs “them” to protect ourselves from persecution (a threat in which we include women), but which prevents the spreading of feminism to other women by preventing our contact and bonding with such women. . . .
If that makes sense to you, seek psychiatric help immediately.
You can read the entire 2,500-word excursion into lunatic gibberish, but it doesn’t become any more coherent. Insofar as it is “about” anything, it is about Windy trying to find an anti-male ideology that, while understanding female heterosexuality as women’s brainwashed cooperation with their own oppression, does not have the effect of blaming/shaming women for their heterosexuality.
Having spent the past six months plowing through the radical feminist syllabus (“Fun With #RadFem: ‘You Magnificent Lesbians — I Read Your Books!’“), I could imagine an effective manifesto/agenda for their movement, and might even be worried about their potential for success — if they weren’t so hopelessly batshit crazy.
This has been an impediment to feminism for decades: It is a movement organized around the grievances of neurotic misfits, and has attracted to its banner every type of kook, weirdo and nutjob imaginable.
In this sense, a mentally ill Women’s Studies professor is simply following in the insane footsteps of Women’s Liberation pioneer Shulamith Firestone, who suffered a nervous breakdown after publishing the 1970 feminist classic The Dialectic of Sex and eventually died alone as a 67-year-old schizophrenic.
Majoring in Crazy Studies
One of the reasons that radical feminism is so influential on university campuses, but generally disdained outside academia, is that the campus environment is a consequence-free unreality. Tenured professors can (and do) preach all manner of impractical nonsense and, on campuses that are home to thousands or tens of thousands of impressionable young women, it is fairly easy for the tenured radicals to attract scores or hundreds of misfit followers.
For example, there are nearly 30,000 women enrolled at Ohio State University’s Columbus campus. How many of those students are majoring or minoring in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, or pursuing graduate degrees in that department? Suppose that the WGSS department enrolls just 2% — one in 50 — of women at OSU. That’s almost 600 students, a drop in the bucket relative to the total enrollment, but still a substantial force, if they can be organized and deployed as activist “shock troops” in protests, etc.
Anyone who questioned the legitimacy of Women’s Studies as an academic discipline would be shouted down as a misogynistic Neanderthal, and so this department is protected from outside criticism by a sort of force-field of political correctness. Within that protective cocoon, fanatical ideologues are permitted to promulgate the most astonishing radical nonsense. Consider, for example, the freshman-level course “Gender, Sex and Power” (WGSST 1110), which is the prerequisite to all other courses in Ohio State’s Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies department. A recent section of WGSST 1110, taught by Varsha Chitnis (a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D.) included in the course syllabus Andrea Smith’s article “Heteropatriarchy and the Three Pillars of White Supremacy”:
Heteropatriarchy is the building block of US empire. In fact, it is the building block of the nation-state form of governance. . . . As I have argued elsewhere, in order to colonize peoples whose societies are not based on social hierarchy, colonizers must first naturalize hierarchy through instituting patriarchy. In turn, patriarchy rests on a gender binary system in which only two genders exist, one dominating the other. . . . Just as the patriarchs rule the family, the elites of the nation-state rule their citizens. Any liberation struggle that does not challenge heteronormativity cannot substantially challenge colonialism or white supremacy.
From there, Smith goes on to complain about “the family being conceived of in capitalist and heteropatriarchal terms,” so that rhetoric about protecting the family leads to “increased homophobia.” Smith argues for challenging “the concept of the family itself,” in order to “reconstitute alternative ways of living together.” In case you were wondering about Andrea Smith, she is on the faculty of the University of California-Riverside, having received a Ph.D. from the infamous “History of Consciousness” program at UC-Santa Cruz (“The Worst School in America”). So, through the content of this Women’s Studies course, the crackpot radicalism of a fringe figure (Smith was denied tenure at the University of Michigan) is imported from California to Ohio, at taxpayer expense.
Lest any reader think that I have cherry-picked an isolated and anomalous example, let’s look at the syllabus for another recent section of WGSST 1110, this one taught by graduate student Sonnet Gabbard, who awards 15% her course grade for students’ “Transgressive Digital Art Project,” whatever that means. Among the assigned readings is “Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism” by lesbian activist Suzanne Pharr, and “Desire for the Future: Radical Hope in Passion and Pleasure,” by Amber Hollinbaugh, who is (I’m not kidding) Executive Director of Queers for Economic Justice.
Paying the Radical Tax
Keep in mind that we are discussing the freshman level introductory c0urse, taught to 17- and 18-year-olds, and required — a mandatory prerequisite — for any Ohio State student who wishes to major or minor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Examine the syllabus for any section of this OSU course, and you will find it crammed with the writings of radical lesbians, inspiring any outside observer to wonder if any heterosexual woman has ever gotten a Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies degree from OSU.
Yet within the force-field of political correctness that surrounds this academic cocoon, there is no one who finds this radicalism unusual. The lesbian inmates are running the feminist asylum, and the fact that taxpayers are footing the bill for all this is something that apparently no one at OSU — nor anyone in the Ohio state legislature — can be bothered to notice. So it is nearly everywhere. When the Women’s Studies program at a state university in South Carolina was abolished after hosting a conference that featured the performance of a one-woman play called “How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days of Less,” everyone was shocked because this had never happened anywhere else before.
In case anyone wondered why Ohio State University was singled out for scrutiny, the answer is: My choice was entirely random. Pick any major university, look up their Women’s Studies program and look up the syllabus for the introductory course, and compare your findings. This kind of radicalism is ubiquitous in Women’s Studies curricula, and it is no surprise that the most popular anthology of feminist writings — Feminist Frontiers, widely used as a standard textbook — is edited by radical lesbians.
Inside their taxpayer-funded campus sinecures, then, Women’s Studies professors are handsomely rewarded for promoting an ideology that strikes most people as fringe extremism. Yet the supply of Women’s Studies majors vastly exceeds the demand and, outside the elite circle of tenured professors and celebrity feminist authors, those who have spent their collegiate careers soaking up “gender theory” nonsense find themselves marginally employable, even as they are confronted with a reality harshly at odds with the worldview into which they were propagandized as undergraduates.
From this clash between academic theory and the reality of ordinary life emerges the ranting lunacy of radicals like Witchwind. What kind of jobs can these intellectual cripples find outside academia, if they can’t find some non-profit “activist” group to hire them? One imagines such women, disheveled and ill-groomed, standing at intersections and holding up crudely lettered cardboard signs:
“Gender Studies Major: Will Criticize Patriarchy for Food”
The saddest part is that this miserable man-hating madness is funded by taxpayers who have no idea what is being taught inside the Crazy Factories of the Feminist-Industrial Complex.
If the heteronormative patriarchy were as all-powerful as feminists claim, then surely there would Republican legislators calling attention to how tax dollars are being used to subsidize this nonsense at state universities across the country. There would be hearings to investigate this and committee reports to expose the truth: What is cost and what are the benefits of Women’s Studies programs? For example, what is the annual cost to Texas taxpayers of The Center for Women’s & Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin? What is being taught in this program, and what kind of careers are pursued by alumni of the program? I’d be willing to bet the average Texan doesn’t have the slightest clue what’s going on in Austin.
When we see occasional eruptions of madness — not just insane pronouncements by bloggers, but radical feminists unleashing anarchy in state capitols — there is no need to wonder where this craziness originates: It is acquired in the classroom, where it is taught by academic kooks who would be locked up in insane asylum if they weren’t tenured university faculty members.
From MM: http://maddmedic.wordpress.com/
Found at The Feral Irishman: http://theferalirishman.blogspot.com/
. The vast majority of 50,000 unaccompanied youths and children who have illegally crossed the Texas border during the last few months have been successfully delivered by federal agencies to their relatives living in the United States, according to a New York Times article.
A second New York Times article report revealed that officials have caught an additional 240,000 Central American migrants since April, and are transporting many of them to their destinations throughout the United States.
The 290,000 illegals – so far – are exploiting legal loopholes that allow them to get temporary permits to stay in the United States.
Experts say that President Barack Obama’s administration has failed to close the loopholes and is unlikely to deport more than a small percentage of the illegals, despite the high unemployment rates among American Latino, African-American and white youths, and the strapped budgets of many cities and towns.
The president’s policy has caused protests by frightened citizens in towns such as Murrieta. But Obama’s allies – such as La Raza, an ethnic lobby for Latinos – are eager to escalate the conflict and to paint the protestors as racists. Those protests may escalate before the November elections.
The Central American parents of the 50,000 youths and children are using a 2008 law to ensure their children are transported to them for free by a relay of border patrol and Department of Health and Human Services officials. The youths are delivered to the border patrol by smugglers, dubbed coyotes, in exchange for several thousand dollars.
Half of the 50,000 Central American youths were delivered by taxpayer-funded employees directly to their parents now living in the United States, and another third were delivered to people who said they were close relatives, said the July 3 article.
That new data was included in the 19th paragraph of a 20-paragraph July 3 article.
Top immigration officials choose to not check if the relatives or parents who pick up the children are in the country legally.
Both New York Times articles described the border-crossing illegal aliens as “immigrants.” In fact, “immigrants” is the term for people who legally migrate into the United States.
The 240,000 strong-group largely consists of many mothers and young children, most of whom are now being flown and bussed to destinations near where they wish to settle. That new 240,000 number was included in the seventh paragraph of a 24-paragraph article.
Few of the illegal immigrants are high-school graduates, or have skills that would allow them to earn more than they cost to federal, state and local taxpayers.
Officials have not said where they’ve delivered the adults or youth illegals, but pro-American activists are keeping track of some locations, including San Diego, Calif.
Officials have defended the administration’s catch-and-release policy, which critics say is inviting more Central Americans to cross the border in the hope of being arrested by the border patrol.
“When you have a noncriminal [border-crossing ] mother, they are going to be released,” David Jennings, the head of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency in southern California. “The most humane way to deal with this is to find out where they are going and get them there,” he said at a town meeting held in Murrieta, Calif., according to the New York Times.
From TDG: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
I have a firm belief that some people richly deserve to be punched in the face for their behavior. Such a case might be made for this douche bag that Stacy McCain writes about
We are now in Day Six of the Hobby Lobby hysteria, and the Democrat Party propaganda claim that this Supreme Court decision is a theocratic right-wing assault on women’s rights is so firmly embedded in liberals’ minds that responding to them with facts and logic is a waste of time. Deliberate provocation is more fun, and the liberal reaction to Holly Fisher’s provocation was memorable. A young Floridian named Patrick Ryan Kasprik sent Fisher these Twitter messages:
As might be imagined, Kasprik’s rhetoric inspired a lot of blowback, to which Kasprik responded: “Like most satire, the people on the receiving end really don’t get it.” This is the familiar Liberal Satire Defense:“Hahaha! Stupid wingnuts are too ignorant to comprehend the enlightened nuance of my progressive humor.”
Except (a) we understand it perfectly and (b) it’s not funny.
Now, Patrick can hide behind the “satire” barricade all he likes, he has, BTW deleted his Twitter account because, like most Leftists he cannot take the heat. See, Patrick, Stacy McCain is correct, we get your “satire”, and it is not funny, it is not even mildly amusing frankly. What you posted was vile, cowardly, and shows your level of moral retardation Patrick. Take my opening paragraph for example Patrick. I suggested people like you deserve to get punched in the face. Did that offend you Patrick? Well, silly boy, you just missed my “satire” didn’t you? See, Patrick, you are a delusional little man who typifies Leftist thinking. You believe you are morally justified in wishing a woman was raped, or stoned to death because she dares holds a differing view than you do on abortion. So, you launch into nasty attacks on not only that person but people of faith as well. You might, Patrick, stop and think about the irony of that, but I doubt it, like most Leftists, you are so consumed with rage, and spite that you are incapable of coherent thought. People like you Patrick, are the lowest common denominator aren’t you? You hear something you disagree with and you launch into emotional overdrive. There is no room in your world for critical think Patrick. In fact, you are far more like the Taliban than the young lady you verbally assaulted.
From TDG: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
Kerry: ‘I’m Working Hard to … Have Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Ambassadors’
Wonderful. America is going to be represented abroad by a freak show.
The country is going to hell, sissified neocon Tamerlanes in panties bankrupt us with brainless wars they don´t understand, the schools make us an international joke, but the Secretary of State rushes to fill the consulates with sexual abnormalities. Washington begins to make a Weimar bordello look like Mormon Sunday school. I picture myself showing up at some embassy for an interview and being told, “The ambassador will be with you in a moment. Just now, he’s fucking a sheep.”
Found at AD: http://americandigest.org/
Imagine if the most brilliant comedians in history were working today.
They’d never stop apologizing. Charlie Chaplin would have to apologize to all the homeless people he belittled with his Little Tramp character.
W.C. Fields and Dean Martin would both have to apologize to alcoholics. The Marx brothers would have to apologize to Italians, mutes and uptight British ladies. Comedy has been around for a long, long time, and there have been a lot of impolite, unpleasant and jaw-droppingly politically incorrect jokes. Blacks were shuffling slaves, Italians were gangsters, Jews were cheap, gays were queens, white people couldn’t dance and fat people didn’t have dignity. You went up there as a comic and joked about it all and nothing was off-limits. And to this day, nobody has died from a single joke.
Found at AD: http://americandigest.org/
The country is merging with Mexico, as hard as it can.
It is an astonishing thing to do for no particular reason.
Nobody can quite explain why. At the highest level, it makes sense: We have a black president and attorney general who do not like white people, whom they believe to have mistreated blacks. What sweeter revenge than to turn their country a nice mahogany color? And businessmen want cheap labor. But to drastically changes the nature and prospects of what was the world’s leading nation so that McDonald’s can have its burgers flipped at lesser cost—here is a marvel new under the sun. Countries deserve what they tolerate, and this one will tolerate anything. Except freedom of association or expression, or civilized levels of schooling.
From AD: http://americandigest.org/
The Search for Religious Relevance (or How I Missed my First Anniversary)
Written by Nick B. Steves
In May of 1990, I was away from my wife on the first anniversary of our marriage. I had, or so it seemed at the time, more important things to do. A group of “leading men” from our little country church were traveling to Barrington, Illinois for a church growth conference at Willow Creek Community Church, which had been founded 15 years earlier by Bill Hybels. La Wik hints at the psychological roots of Willow Creek’s founding:
After 300 youth waited in line to be led to Christ in a service in May 1974, Hybels and other leaders began dreaming of forming a new church. They surveyed the community to find out why people weren’t coming to church. Common answers included: “church is boring”, “they’re always asking for money”, or “I don’t like being preached down to.” These answers shaped the group’s approach to the new church.
If you want to sell more product, then giving your customers what they want is bound to be a successful strategy. And if you’re selling Jesus, why let accidental aspects of Christianity get in the way of his essence? Our small, introverted, and pietistic Bible Fellowship church was about to undergo a massive transformation in the direction of seeker sensitivity. Twenty-four years later, the results of this transformation live on in one of the most hip and relevant churches Lynchburg, Virginia has to offer. And in the evangelical Mecca of Lynchburg, home of Liberty University, becoming that is no small achievement.
A Brief History
The search for relevance did not begin in 1974 with Bill Hybels and his fellow “youth group” leaders. Evangelical Christianity has never not been a search for relevance—a way of taking the Gospel message of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, uncluttered by cultural baggage, directly to the people—often anti-intellectual, embarrassing, and decidedly unprogressive cultural baggage. There is a reason that the 95-year-old Billy Graham, confidant of many Presidents, remains one of most admired, well-respected figures down to this day, whereas the name “Bob Jones” is an epithet: He never let political controversy get in the way of the message of Jesus. Graham was an anti-communist when it was popular to be one, and he was a social justice warrior when it was popular to be one.
Another way to put that would be: Billy Graham never let the message of Jesus get in the way of political controversy. And if getting folks to “accept Jesus into their heart as personal Lord and Savior” really is tantamount to the Great Commission—Jesus final command to his disciples to go and teach all nations—then there’s not a thing in the world wrong with it: Jesus… with no strings, no Church, no culture, no normative practice attached.
Religion has been historically a cultural anchor. Yet the Evangelical form of Christianity denies this. Not really so much denies it, as it deems cultural anchorage as unimportant relative to the weight of carrying out the Great Commission. In simplifying the Gospel Message down to a core of propositions to believe, in making the process of conversion as simple as responding to an altar call and praying the Sinner’s Prayer “Just give me Jesus” is a profoundly invigorating principle for church growth. It is immediately and almost infinitely adaptable. If “Christian Rap” is going to fill the pews, so you can give them Jesus, why should some old fuddy-duddies stand in the way? If pews are too old-school, why not “do church” in a comfy movie theater instead?
The formula works. America is among the most “church-going” first world nations, and it leads the first world in moral and cultural bankruptcy.
About that cultural anchor…
Evangelicals and Mindedness
As Mark Knoll noted almost 20 years ago, “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” Knoll was wondering why Evangelicals contribute so little to intellectual scholarship and high culture and how his Evangelical brethren might turn that trend around.
I think the problem goes deeper than Mark Knoll wished to probe: There really isn’t much of a single, univocal Evangelical Mind. It isn’t that Evangelicals are stupid. It is that their system of religious thought doesn’t lead to many broader cultural implications. What clear implications does “leading people to accept Jesus into their heart and pray the sinners prayer” have upon the role of women in society? Upon traditional family structure? Upon free trade? College education? Suburban sprawl? Media Influence? Foreign Aid? Immigration? Support for Israel? Revolution in the Ukraine? The Role of Religion in Public Life?
“Just give me Jesus” is quite indifferent to all of those… “Just give me Jesus” doesn’t even very much care about what type of church you go to… so long as you go… to one that feels right… to you.
So the endless search for religious relevance in America has led to a prevailing religious expression described in 2005 by sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist as Moralistic Therapeutic Deism—a form of Christianity so devoid of normative content as to be indistinguishable from baptized narcissism.
Oprah Winfrey didn’t become a billionaire by building railroads or cornering the market on crude oil. And Bill Hybels and the host of mega-church pastors like him didn’t build their massive ministries by anchoring the Christian faith in traditional culture.
America is “deeply religious,” yet on-demand abortion and gay “marriage” are the (presumptively settled) Law of the Land. America fills her pews like no other nation on earth, yet the Overton Window glides ever leftward. And lest anyone think I’m picking only on Evangelicals, please understand that this tendency to strip the gospel message down to make it palatable for the broader culture has thoroughly infected the entire social order. Even non-religions like my local public radio station are getting in on the act. Making a message culturally relevant—whether that message be about Jesus or democracy or condom-use or toleration of sexual minorities—has become indistinguishable from plain old American cultural hegemony.
In spite of Evangelicalism’s low-brow status, we’re all Evangelicals now.
So how about that cultural anchor?
Let’s unwind this. That seeker-sensitive church growth ideas work is undeniable… for some values of “work”. But is that the work that Jesus intended the Church “Christian Community” to do when he gave the great commission? Or does “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” mean more than kneeling to pray the Sinners’ Prayer under the maudlin strains of Just As I Am? What is it exactly that we are to “teach all nations”: Be nice and feel good about ourselves?
How Things are Supposed to Work
The 800 pound (363 kg) gorilla in the room is that Christianity is supposed to affect the culture. Christianity admixes with genetics and environment and other memetic residues to produce certain kinds of culture. Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism produce different kinds. Everyone expects this. And what kind of culture is American Christianity producing today? One in which “Gay Marriage” can go from a funny joke to a self-evident sacred right in less than a generation. An entire generation of “Youth Pastors” is quite busy making Jesus look incredibly cool and could not be reached for comment.
Forgive me, but I don’t think that’s how Christianity is supposed to work for meaningful definitions of “work”. Well, why the hell not? The first reason is theological: Go ye therefore and teach all nations presumes a position of cultural superiority. Christianity is not just a propositional gloss that can be painted over an extant, formerly pagan culture, leaving it unchanged (except that now they’ll get to go to Heaven when they die). Certainly Christianity can add local customs to its own nature (cf. pagan winter solstice and spring equinox customs), but it cannot water down its universal call to repentance and holiness and kinship within the Church.
When it does, it ceases to be authentic Christianity. The relevance-minded Christians who imagine Jesus’ Great Commission as being about just getting people to pray certain prayers therefore sell the real gospel short. Conversion is a lifelong result of a lifelong commitment to a lifelong process. The signs of true spiritual conversion may be seen far more clearly in the reduction of various social pathologies than in the number of hands raised “with every head bowed and every eye closed”. Faith without works is dead.
The second reason I believe that Christianity drives culture is historical. Christianity came and changed the course of empires. Kings and princes and emperors once depended upon the Christian Church for their legitimacy. In return for the favor, secular rulers enforced Christian norms in their domains. For example, when the faith spread to England, cousin marriage soon died out and that nation experienced dramatic growth in well-being and collective power. Christianity played a crucial role in establishing science, the university system, modern economic and legal practices—virtually everything we associate with Christendom.
The End Whenever Christians try to make their religion hip and relevant to the wider culture, it reveals instantly a wider culture that wears the pants in the relationship. Christianity adopts the role of the supplicating special pleader. It is not a masculine Christianity. It reduces religious practice to a source of entertainment or therapy–at most a curiosity to place alongside all the accouterments of a life otherwise untouched by its life-giving, culture-bestowing essence. You might get attendance figures or increased donations, but you’ll never get a transformed culture. You’ve already given that up as unnecessary cultural baggage.
So the question really never was how to make religion relevant to culture, but how to make culture relevant to religion. If people cannot make themselves relevant to religion, then the problem lies with them… and, by the way, they know it. Whosoever is the coolest doesn’t need to qualify himself to others. If you are tempted to attend a church growth conference that conflicts with your first wedding anniversary, just say “No”. Please stay home and cherish the company of your wife instead.
We also agree with Thomas Sowell that Obama is not a lame duck but an infectious, plague-carrying rodent.
No, I take that back. He’s the parasite that rides the rodent. Wait. He’s the bacillus inside the rodent-riding flea. The federal government is the rodent, liberals are the parasitic fleas, and Obama is the bacterium, while the rest of us simply hope to avoid the resultant intellectual-econo-socio-politio-pneumatic Black Death.
From AD: http://americandigest.org/