William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Notes On Our War. Never Give Up! Never Surrender! More Updates

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We’re in the midst of a spiritual (call it political if you need to) war, one for which ultimate victory is assured, but one for which it is just as certain many battles will be lost. The two sides are (1) those who hold to human nature and (2) those who abhor it. If you have to ask “What does he mean by human nature?” or you say “There is no war” (see pic links), there is better than a good chance you side with the enemy.

Wars ebb and flow, sometimes growing hotter, sometimes cooler. Ours is growing hotter. It is not yet blazing. Wars are characterized by battles, and battles by whether both sides choose to engage or one opts to withdraw. But that is too simple. There may be battles within battles and within any melee there are ruses, delaying actions, feints, and false and true retreats. And there are charges, advances, forced marches, assaults.

We have to figure out where we are and what we’re going to do in the next phase.

No war is won by hiding behind fortifications. As the man said, “Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.” Yet this does not imply retreats are forbidden. There is no dishonor from tactically avoiding a vastly superior force. Retreats can be delaying actions. They give, or can give, time to recuperate and gain strength and avoid unnecessary causalities. But if retreats are central to a campaign, they engender atrophy, encourage apathy, and cause overriding fear when offensive measures are proposed. A retreat must always seen as the first phase of an attack elsewhere.

When the skirmishes we face break out into full scale world warfare—the war is already bloody in the Middle East, Nigeria, and other localities—we have to have some plan in place. One plan is ill-defined the “Benedict Option“. A retreat. And, from what I can gather, not a measured withdraw, but a drop-everything race for the hills. To a place where the mountains are high and the emperor far away. Appealing, that. Only, no such place exists any more. Antarctica, maybe. Anywhere else you go, they can find you.

We can’t retreat. Not all of us, not all at once. That would turn into a rout, where the stragglers are moped up and eliminated piecemeal. Never forget our enemy does not give quarter. And even if we all agreed on a retreat, some of us would have to fight a delaying action while others of us fell back to this remote preserve.

Of course, instead of retreating, we could out-and-out capitulate. Bye bye, Episcopalians (who’ll today vote for gmarriage). Sayonara, Bishop Cupich (his reaction to the gmarriage decision was to yell at faithful Catholics).

The other option is to fight like men. That’s also the opinion of our friends John Zmirak and Ed Feser. Zmirak first:

There is nowhere to hide, no ghetto so obscure that the gay totalitarians will leave you alone. Think of all the money that Germany spent persecuting a single homeschooling family. Laws like Germany’s are coming here soon, if we don’t fight them tooth and nail. Remember the thousands of bureaucrats who dutifully audited Tea Party groups for the IRS. Soon thousands more will be scrutinizing your church, its school and every Christian organization in the country. The Left has tasted blood, and intends to feed. Even if you piously decide to turn the other cheek, and congratulate yourself on being persecuted for Christ, you have no right to make that decision for your children or your neighbor.

Feser (for “Matrix theory” swap in “gmarriage”):

Suppose that as you look around, you notice that some of your allies are starting to slink away from the field of battle. One of them says: “Well, you know, we have sometimes been very insulting to believers in the Matrix theory. Who can blame them for being angry at us? Maybe we should focus more on correcting our own attitudes and less on changing their minds.” Another suggests: “Maybe we’ve been talking too much about this debate between the Matrix theory and commonsense realism. We sound like we’re obsessed with it. Maybe we should talk about something else instead, like poverty or the environment.” A third opines: “We can natter on about philosophy all we want, but the bottom line is that scripture says that the world outside our minds is real. The trouble is that we’ve gotten away from the Bible. Maybe we should withdraw into our own faith communities and just try to live our biblically-based belief in external reality the best we can.”

Never apologize for the truth. Show no weakness. It’s like blood in the water to starving sharks.

Update

Update The video here is interesting.

Update Does the word “boycott” mean anything? Disney tells its Christian patrons, “We hate you.”

Update The Episcopal Church approves religious weddings for gay couples after controversial debate. As predicted.

Update Unnatural is the New Normal. From contraception (against human nature) to gmarriage.

Update Christian Preachers Beaten at Gay Pride Festival

Update Mark Steyn.

I started the day on Bill Bennett’s radio show, which is always fun. Jonah Goldberg was on before me, and advanced the proposition, after the Supreme Court’s almighty constitutional bender last week, that it wasn’t so bad; conservatives who just pottered around in their own world and tended to their families would still be able to lead lives largely unbattered by the forces of “progress”. A few minutes later, one of Bill’s listeners, Claudine, came on and said that’s what Germans reckoned in the 1930s: just keep your head down and the storm will pass. How’d that work out?

Satire Update

Update State Silences Bakers Who Refused to Make Cake for Lesbian Couple, Fines Them $135K. As predicted.

In the ruling, Avakian placed an effective gag order on the Kleins, ordering them to “cease and desist” from speaking publicly about not wanting to bake cakes for same-sex weddings based on their Christian beliefs.

“This effectively strips us of all our First Amendment rights,” the Kleins, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which has since closed, wrote on their Facebook page. “According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech.”

Update

73 Comments

  1. The guy in the first video reminds me of Neil Patrick Harris aka Doogie Howzer, aka Barney Stintson (sic?). Anyone familiar with How I Met Your Mother (a guilty pleasure) knows Barney has something called the Playbook which is a compendium of “tricks” Barney uses to get women to “give it up”. Each play is (almost) as warped as what the “young man” in the video used for his “hate crime victim” scenario.

    If you still don’t know Harris, look him up, his character in the show was NOT a case of “Type”-casting

  2. It may be bit late for this “avoid the Matrix theory” idea. After all, head in the sand is how we got to this point with people saying “we need to be more tolerant”, “who are we to judge”, blah, blah, blah. It’s been going on for 40 plus years and I really don’t see anyone suddenly waking up and realizing what is going on. It works the same way you boil a lobster–start out with warm water and work to boil and the thing is dead before it realizes or reacts. Head in the sand has been the major response. That’s why if left to nature, humans rarely rise above poverty and war. It’s just too much work and it requires thought. Poverty and war are easy and natural. (Notice how much the Republican platform sounds like “Matrix theory”? Republicans are complete idiots much of the time lately. Gotta love Donald Trump. At least he won’t shut up just because someone’s teen, tiny feelings may have been hurt.)

    Of course the left is going after Christians and not Muslims. If Christians took to public beheadings of members of the left, there would be utter silence on the part of the left after the first one. Cowards always go after those they believe to be the smallest threat. Words, sadly, will not end this war. It’s already past words.

    Perhaps most depressing is how parents send their kids to liberal schools and colleges and pay to have them indoctrinated, still pay to go to a Disney movie, and buy from the very people such as Disney who kicked them in the face. I apparently missed the part of Sunday school where Christians are just loser punching bags. Wait, didn’t a similar historical belief in Christ’s return to earth lead to some pretty bad wars when Christians decided God wasn’t coming soon enough and they took matters into their own hands? Not a good outcome on that one? Hmmmmmmm……

  3. Just don’t forget Eph 6:12 (let the reader look it up) for the overarching POV. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in tactics that strategy is forgotten.

  4. It’s called ‘progress’ Briggs; you Medievalists (actually Midevilists) ought to try it sometime.

  5. Briggs

    July 2, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Shecky,

    The scare quotes you used are entirely correct.

  6. This is why Americans are becoming less religious.

    What a steaming load of schizy, dopey crap.

    JMJ

  7. Just wanted to point out that Godfrey Elfwick is a troll account. 😉

  8. In this war, the entire army is poorly trained, there are deserters-in-waiting, the few good units are scattered and disorganized. There is laziness on every front. To coalesce the soldiers fighting in good faith that are currently dotted far apart to weaken their solidarity and strength in their support for each other is necessary. We do not win wars with armies that are disorganized. The Benedict Option, to me, is about building practical and well trained armies of faithful Catholics; the faith is best learned and deepened in a community full of daily practitioners which I view as sorely lacking in the US.

  9. Briggs

    July 2, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Thanks, Nick! I realized too late.

  10. Briggs,

    Disney lighting its castle in rainbow colours is hate speech toward Christian????????

    And the Dixie flag flapping around in the south is to show the black that they are loved.

  11. Briggs

    July 2, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Sylvain,

    Yes, it is. Thanks for asking.

  12. Shecky R: To quote Paul Harvey, “Not all that we call progress is”.

    JMJ: Americans are becoming less religious because bad behaviour is so much more appealing than good behaviour. Doing whatever feels good is an easy sell. Drug sellers use it all the time, as do hookers. A truly respectable, socially uplifting philosophy. Until the anarchy arrives…..

  13. Don’t blame yourself; he’s very good at it. 😉 His main account is @Holbornlolz.

  14. Shecky,

    In medieval time gays were pretty much left at peace.

    Briggs,

    “Update Christian Preachers Beaten at Gay Pride Festival”

    And of course the preacher didn’t do anything to provoke the crowd like having a sign with anti-gay message on it.

    Of course, they shouldn’t have been beaten up, but then again gay should not have mistreated for the last 200. How come you showed no outraged toward the Christians who were beating up or killing gay during that time. Or even towards the Russian anti-gay law (written by American) which led to gays being beaten.

  15. Briggs

    July 2, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Sylvain justifies physical violence—including death, we wonder?—for carrying signs with Christian messages.

    Would you use your fists? Or are you squeamish?

  16. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/world-congress-families-russia-gay-rights

    The same in Uganda which included the death penalty.

    Are you outrage that the preachers were beaten or that it wasn’t the gay that were beaten on.

  17. Briggs

    July 2, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Sylvain,

    Your argument is, “Violence occurred elsewhere, therefore violence occurring here is okay.”

    Do I recall wrongly that you are Pre-Law?

  18. Reason magazine has discovered that apparently the progressives don’t just want liberty.
    http://reason.com/blog/2015/07/01/is-this-where-libertarians-and-the-gay-c

    There was an excellent comment there (which is a rarity at Reason…)

    It seems to me that this article should have been written the day after Lawrence v. Texas came out. When the fight was about gays’ right to live in peace and not be arrested for consensual conduct between adults, then Libertarians and gay activists were on the exact same page. When the fight became about who gets government sanction of their relationship and how much that sanction allows you to compel other people to recognize your relationship, libertarians should have checked out.

    I see it this way. People ought to be free to pretend however they like. But they should not get protection via the power of the state to be protected from the consequences of their pretending, nor should they be exempted from because they want to pretend a certain way.

    Sometimes the pretending is mostly harmless or even beneficial. There are lots of folks who pretend that there was human who had magic powers to raise the dead and heal the sick, and then he himself was killed and mystically restored to life, and then magicked off to some non-material heaven. They pretend that when they drink some wine, it is “really” blood even though all evidence indicates that it is not (expect a large dose of philosophizing around “substance” and “essence”). They pretend that by talking to a guy in a box about what they see as wrong, they are forgiven.

    All humans pretend to a certain degree about everything. When the pretending becomes all-encompassing, people will pretend that they know Truth, and thus can say these other pretending people aren’t living in reality. Of course they’re not living in reality. They’re just much further removed from it than the average person usually is.

  19. “Of course, they shouldn’t have been beaten up.”

    I guess when I write this for Christians it means death or condoning violence toward them.

  20. Wondered how long before we got the “Well you started it so I can be rude and bad to you too.” That is the most idiotic statement. It is usually heard from toddlers trying to justify why they bit someone. Now supposed adults (a term with little meaning today in society) use it too. So I guess if anyone ever insulted or demeaned or otherwise disturbed my existence, I can return the favor to them via words or fists. And what a lovely, beautiful world it will be.

  21. Briggs

    July 2, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Sylvain,

    “And of course the preacher didn’t do anything to provoke the crowd like having a sign with anti-gay message on it.”

    I guess I misread that for sarcasm. Reading it plain, then of course it is exactly right.

  22. Nate: I guess some people also pretend to know what pretending is.

  23. I studied law.

    That’s not my argument.

    My argument is that violence was not okay then and there and is not okay here and now, but that somehow for Christians it is only outrageous when they are the victim but okay when they are the one doing the bullying.

  24. Briggs,

    Are you really surprised that they were attacked because of the signs.

    I do not condone violence, but it can be explained by provocation. Ever more that in a crowd the IQ drops down to its lowest denominator.

  25. New Fan of W.M. Briggs

    July 2, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Great stuff. A minor quibble: it’s feint, not faint.

  26. Briggs

    July 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    New Fan,

    A typo placed by my enemies!

    Sylvain,

    It is that you see Truth as a provocation that is the trouble, brother.

  27. You mistake truth with belief and faith. They are in no way related to each other.

  28. For more than a millennia the Church held as Truth that the earth was the centre of the universe. It was not based on fact but on belief and faith.

  29. One must understand that in some cases, in spite of claims to the contrary, a person is really advocating violence and calling it justified. Usually, the same person believes there is no truth and the law is the supreme God when it comes to how humans should behave. Of course, when the law goes against their desires, then it is not the truth. So the truth is the truth as long as it is what said person wants. Otherwise, there is no truth and you’re all just mean for saying there is.

    Kind of linking back to Briggs speech in a previous post, perhaps someone can explain why a person can believe there was a Big Bang, billions of years of evolution and voila!, the earth as we see it now, then mock people who believe in UFOs. The entire theory of the Big Bang and evolution clearly lead to the reality that in all probability there are other worlds with life forms, yet that is mocked. How does one’s head not explode with the contradiction, unless this is just about belief in whatever one wants, just as religion is reported to be. All of this is so contradictory and insane, I cannot understand why any so-called scientist who believes in totally unverifiable theories of how the world came to be mocks religion.

  30. Sylvain, if you knew medieval history, you would know that homosexuals (I refuse to use the word “gay”…it has been corrupted from a once useful term) were burnt at the stake and otherwise mutilated. By the way, and this is off-topic, look at
    the ethnogenetic evidence that Jews in the Middle East and North Africa were primarily indigenous there (not from Spain and Portugal) while the so-called Ashkenazi Jews were to some or maybe a great extent, Sephardic.
    https://ethnicgenome.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/are-all-ashkenazim-partly-sephardi/
    So, I feel proud of my Sephardic heritage.

  31. Sylvain, a point of information for you: homosexuals were not treated kindly in the Middle Ages. They were castrated and burnt at the stake, amongst other punishments. You might see
    http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com/gff_homosexuality.htm

    This item does not make the early Church look good, but that wasn’t the point of your comment, as I understood it.

  32. Briggs

    July 2, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Sylvain,

    Wrong on facts, and wrong on philosophy. And not just wrong, but wildly wrong, and easily seen to be wrong.

  33. Nick & Briggs

    In this war, the entire army is poorly trained…

    Al Kresta with EWTN was similarly thinking about that issue.

    He says we may be fighting the wrong battles. He always talks about too many Catholics have been Sacrementalized but not enough are Evangelized. His opinion is that Catholics need to “Grow the Church” before they can engage the opposition politicallyuj

  34. briggs, do something useful, go fight the climate scaremongerers.

  35. Bob,

    Your link is pretty much anonymous. Its author are unknown and the examples are pretty much anecdotal in space and time.

    My source is Jean Verdon whose books where translated by Notre-Dame University press. And it pretty much refute what your link says. Sadly you have to read is books. Or if you read French you can read the magazine Historia thématique no 65 Mai-Juin 2000.

    http://undpress.nd.edu/books/P00859

  36. I think we should give the Benedict Option as much consideration as its creator is demonstrating in this picture:

    http://contrapauli.blogspot.com/2015/07/two-down-votes-for-benedict-option.html

    While we fight, he’s living it up in Italy.

  37. This the link.

    http://www.historia.fr/special/65/etre-homosexuel-nest-pas-tabou-01-05-2000-52710

    As for your other subject:

    I will stick with what my teacher who is acclaimed around the world for its work and who is a Jew born in Russia, who can speak 14 languages and read 26. I mean that in the sense that he can read original text and not the translation.

  38. Sorry Sylvain–ethnogenetics trumps your scholarly teacher. And his facility with languages is, I’m sure, admirable, but doesn’t relate to the truth of genetics.

  39. Ye Olde Statistician

    July 2, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    For more than a millennia the Church held as Truth that the earth was the centre of the universe. It was not based on fact but on belief and faith.

    That’s because for two millennia, science held the immobility of the Earth as truth. This was based on facts:
    1. People have no trouble maintaining their balance, which they do when standing upon a moving platform.
    2. There is no steady headwind from the east. (An ancient Michelson-Morley experiment!)
    3. An arrow shot into the air does not fall to the west of the archer as the Earth rotates toward the east beneath it.
    4. There is no discernible parallax among the fixed stars, which there must be because the stars are close enough to show palpable disks.
    5. You can see the Sun and Moon and Stars moving around the Earth from east to west in a perfect circle.

    Naturally, the ancient Fathers figured the scientists knew what they were talking about and there was at the time no empirical evidence that the Earth was moving. (Heliocentrism was based on faith, Pythagoreanism; viz., fire is “nobler” than earth and the center is a “nobler” place than the edge; therefore the fiery Sun just gotta be in the center, ya know.) Consequently, in their commentaries on Scripture, they interpreted the passages in the light of “settled science.” IOW, they did not hold it was True because of their beliefs; they expressed their beliefs as they did because science held it was true.

  40. Bob,

    I would like to take your link on faith, but I prefer fact.

    1) There are no mention to any study tha t I could see?
    2) What kind of data have they taken, meaning who, when, where, how much and compared to what?
    3) Jewish is not a race but a religion.

  41. YOS,

    You should read:

    1) A history of science in society: from philosophy to utility
    2) Science and technology in world history
    3) Science a 4000 year history

    None support your conception of how science was used by religion or the government. In Christianity most science was rediscoverved after the conquest of Toledo in Iberia. There was very litlle to no science in Christianity from 0 ad to 1300 ad when they translated Greek philosopher into Latin.

    Finally, when someone claims that something is a fact but actually turns out it wasn’t a fact, that fact becomes a belief.

  42. To all…I’ve written a post “why it doesn’t pay to argue on the internet 2″…. and I keep disregarding what I’ve said there. My apologies to all and, in particular, to Sylvain.

  43. Bob,

    Why apologize people have the right to disagree. You learn a lot more in disagreement than in agreement.

    I never expect to change anyone’s mind here. But the argument I have here serves to better understand my own point of view.

    Conversations where everyone agree are usually short and will perpetuate bad lines of thought.

    I’m an introvert and anti-conformist which means I am never part of a group.

    I’m a conservative when I argue with the left and a leftist when I argue with a conservatives. There is not a single group with whom I can say I agree with for a large part.

  44. Ah yes, the “appeal to moderation” fallacy.

  45. Katie: Very good link. They get it.

    Bob: Your posting on Don’t Argue on the Internet is interesting. I believe your advice is precisely how we achieved our arrival at the Christians becoming targets of the left and most of the other evils we are now seeing. There is a difference between gracious behaviour and being a door mat. The mayor of Baltimore allowed people to burn down businesses so they “could be heard”. Flags are being pulled down because they are offensive. Christian teachings are called “hate crimes”. All because the left effectively convinced people that fighting back is somehow evil. You must be tolerant, you must be “nice” and they define “nice”.
    I had a Jehovah Witness once tell me that she didn’t turn in her neighbor for having more cats than allowed and the cats tearing up her yard because “she wanted to be a nice neighbor”. How in the world is allowing evil and bad behaviour to run about unchecked being “Christian”? I never understood the doormat theory (I’m sure you noticed that) because doormat allows evil to flourish. It makes no sense.
    Perhaps you refer to areas where argumentation is the only goal. Sometimes, in arguing even harshly, one sees the other’s point of view and a productive discussion can follow.*
    Does the gracious apply to ignoring people, because I’m sure there are commenters who consider being ignored as ungracious and rude?

    (*Now I’m worried—I may actually be agreeing with Sylvain…..It happens.)

  46. Sheri,

    You should look at how Christianity expanded form Jesus to Constantine. How they were persecuted, and the more they were persecuted the more people joined the Christian faith.

    There is always a backlash to persecution and the gay right movement do show it quite well.

    Another example: in France Jewish people were seen as a problem. But as soon as Napoleon authorized there faith they started to assimilate with the population and stopped practicing their religion. To the point that in the East some leader feared the phenomenon enough that they decided to become even more conservative in the form of Hassidim Jews.

  47. Ye Olde Statistician

    July 2, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    You should read:
    I have read:
    1. Crombie, A.C. Medieval and Early Modern Science [volumes I & II]
    2. Grant, Edward. The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional and Intellectual Contexts (Cambridge Studies in the History of Science)
    3. Grant, Edward. God and Reason in the Middle Ages
    4. Huff, Toby E. The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China and the West
    5. Lindberg, David C. The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, Prehistory to A.D. 1450

    There was very litlle to no science in Christianity from 0 ad to 1300 ad when they translated Greek philosopher into Latin.

    This is a common internet myth, but not one subscribed to by historians of science. There was a dearth of science in Late Imperial times, but this affected everyone: Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and Syrian alike. We note that the Greek Christians had no need to translate Aristotle or Ptolemy. The Syriac Christians were busily translating Greek science into Syriac. And it was they who translated it from Syriac into Arabic at the storied House of Wisdom: Hunayn ibn Ishaq and his two nephews.

    In Christianity most science was rediscoverved after the conquest of Toledo in Iberia.

    Not exactly. The West never lost the Latin heritage and what had been captured by the encyclopediasts: Macrobius, Pliny, Martianus Capella, et al. The Romans may have skimped on the details, but they got to the nut of things. Further, Boethius began translating Aristotle in Gothic Italy. It was during the second barbarian invasions — the saracens, vikings, and magyars — that so much was lost that had to be later recovered. The jihad cut the West off from the Byzantines.

    Even so the medievals knew in particular about the three ancient world models: heliocentric, geo-heliocentric, and geocentric — and why the Greeks had found the latter persuasive. (It seems weird to complain on the one hand that the Latins did not have Greek science and then on the other hand that they had believed it.)

    The translations were long before AD 1300. Check out the dates on some of the big names: Adelard of Bath, Gerbert of Aurillac, Robert of Chester, Hermann of Carinthia, John of Seville, Plato of Tivoli, Gerard of Cremona, Michael Scotus, et al.

    Finally, when someone claims that something is a fact but actually turns out it wasn’t a fact, that fact becomes a belief.

    In the case of the motion of the Earth, the first hard empirical facts came in 1729 with Bradley’s explanation of the aberration of starlight. But since this was incompatible with 19th century theories of light, it remained unconvincing. Then in the 1790s, Guglielmini discovered the Coriolis effect and proved the earth was rotating and about 1803, Callendrelli discovered parallax in a-Lyrae and showed that the earth revolved. At that point the motion of the earth was fact. Of course, most had accepted it much earlier because the math was so nice and there was an elegant theory to explain it.

  48. Pshah!

    Gay persecution? Really? Christians persecuted homos simply by dint of their existence?

    Really? Kind of a ridiculous position to hold methinks. Christians aren’t attacked because homos have been persecuted, Christians are attacked because homos want to be recognized as normal.

    What next, Martin Luther King Jr. was persecuted simply because Mahatma Gandhi existed?

    You’re avoiding several important facts in your argument from moral high ground.
    Specifically:
    Homo fornication is about lust, not love. (Love does not require fornication, homosexuals are defined by act, not proclivity.)
    Homo fornication is not sex. (Sex is an act of procreation, anything else is just fornication.)
    Homo fornication provides absolutely no measurable benefit to society. (No children, decreased standards, etc.)
    Homo fornication is not a norm of human society (if normal means, “a few practice it,” then it must logically follow that cannibalism is normal).
    Standards exist for a reason. (Allowing them to fail only promotes more failure.)

    Last I’ll comment (Fallacious responses will not even be read, much less responded to) today: SCOTUS is forbidden to make law under Article 1 Section 1 of US constitution. So there is no, “law,” for Christians to, “get with the program and obey,” (quotes off site). It will be pointed out that DOMA was law, and that the same persons demanding Christians give in and accept the new non-law themselves refused to capitulate and obey said law. Christians are under no compunction, legal or moral, to abide by this agenda.

  49. swordfishtrombone

    July 2, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    @Sheri: ” Americans are becoming less religious because bad behaviour is so much more appealing than good behaviour”

    I would have thought that the real reason is that most people do not become religious at all unless forced to or indoctrinated as children. Also, most people behave decently most of the time so bad behaviour cannot be “more appealing” in general unless you mean in a superficial ‘teenage rebellion’ or ‘maverick anti-hero’ sort of way.

  50. swordfishtrombone: How many children have to be taught to hit or bite a playmate to get what they want? How often do you have to teach children to steal? Do you teach teenagers to have sex and do drugs? Is there a riot instructor that teaches them to burn down buildings because they don’t like the way the law works? Virtually every behaviour that is taught as a “moral” or “societal norm” is a positive one while the behaviours that are eliminated are the “immoral” or “antisocial” ones. If bad is not more appealling, why is it even necessary to teach children at all? We can let them run amok and enjoy it.

    As far as less religion, I think the case could be made that people now hate rules and love anarchy. It started in the 60’s and blossomed. As did the love for doing whatever “felt good” and “letting it all hang out”, etc. In the 60’s, it was fringe. Now it’s mainstream. The major reason for rejecting religion is it’s too moral and too demanding—someone very cruel person actually has the audacity to say a behaviour is “bad” and that’s just wrong, or so the argument goes. Yes, there’s the so-called scientific argument, but as noted in a previous comment, God could certainly exist, have caused the Big Bang, etc. God and science are not mutually exclusive. Are you claiming that people reject God for some other reason? Comments here would indicate otherwise as would most of the people I have known. Religion was rejected for having too many rules or because only primitive people believe in God and so if you don’t want to be primitive, you don’t believe (what I call the indoctrination of the morally superior science, often inflicted on children in their youth).

  51. Sheri and Sylvain, I think the point (which I have disregarded in the past) is not with respect to disagreement, but about the regard we hold for the other who writes ( in our opinion) stupid, illogical, irrelevant ,etc….stuff. We should respect the other person in spite of what he or she writes.

  52. “reality does not change when it is misrepresented. Humans, for instance, remain male or female, children are procreated by one of each — such truths do not go away, when subverted. They will remain true even when the devils in human flesh breed children by incubator: still it will be seed and egg, beyond their comprehension.”
    http://www.davidwarrenonline.com/

  53. Did it begin when someone decided to judge the worth of religion by whether it’s nice or not – whether it complies with the tenets of humanitarianism?

  54. “It seems weird to complain on the one hand that the Latins did not have Greek science and then on the other hand that they had believed it.”

    Interesting that my books mentioned some of your books and other but still mention the fall of science, not entirely, but widely and its survival in some small pockets.

    They do mentioned that Aristotle work survived which explains the geocentrism. They do mention the closing of the academy and the Lyceum under Justinian.

    Never forget that Coppernicus waited to publish is heliocentric theory after is death and Gallileo was brought in front of the inquisition for is views. They were scientist and yet the Church did not view them kindly despite that they presented solid scientific cases. The church did not say well they are scientist they know what they are doing. They hold on to their faith and beliefs as long as they could.

    Many Americans still believe the earth is 6000 years old even though the evidence shows otherwise and the fact that a billion years universe and Darwinism does not change anything for the reality of Christianity.

  55. Bob,

    I’m presently reading a books that explains the differences between the economy of different developed countries through anthropological family and subconscious values.

    This does explain some differences in thought process.

    Like being French Canadian we have Latin blood and can have a short temper, though we don’t old much grudge.

  56. Semiotic Animal

    July 2, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    @Sylvain
    You may wish to get your money back for your history books. Justinian could not have closed the Lyceum as it did not exist in the 6th century. Further, the Academy had long devolved into a place of mysticism, magic and superstition by Justinian’s time. You need only consult the work of the Neoplatonists after Plotinus, such as Iamblichus and Proclus.

    As for Galileo it may be good to consult YOS’s lengthy retelling of the history of move from geocentricism to heliocentrism on his blog.

    Did you research all the primary sources yourself or do you have faith in the author’s research, expertise and credentials? For what reason is your faith more or less rational?

  57. @Sylvain
    I wasn’t going to mention this because it’s so minor compared to your other loosely wrought contentions. Please stop inventing anti-chronological history. Hassidism began more than a generation before Napoleon’s decrees, and in response to overly strict local Jewish attitudes, not anything in France. Napoleon didn’t ‘authorize their faith’. He allowed Jews to relate to the state as individuals rather than via their communal structures.

  58. Sander van der Wal

    July 3, 2015 at 2:39 am

    people are missing the point about “they did it, so we can do it too”. It is “you are doing it to us, so we are doing to you”.

    If an american Christian is writing laws against russian and ugandan gays, then all christians are writimg laws against all gays. And if american gays are harrassing american christian bakers then all gays are harrasing all christians.

    This is what happens when the loony fringe takes over.

  59. you have no right to make that decision for your children

    The very germ of progressive totalitarianism.

  60. to all, and in particular Sylvain. The Church has got a bad rap on Galileo. The scientific consensus of the time was that heliocentricism was a simple way to show the apparent motion of the planets, but it lacked an important bit of evidence: parallax (sp?) of the stars. It was not known at that time that stars were so far away that parallax would be undetectable with instruments at that time. There was evidence in favor (e.g. phases of Venus as it moved around the sun), but Galileo didn’t get into trouble for advocating heliocentricism, but for advocating against a literal reading of the Bible, which would be required if heliocentrism is true, rather than saying heliocentrism is a model “to save the appearances”.
    See, for example (amongst many items in a Google search)
    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-galileo-controversy

  61. The immolation of the Episcopal Church of the Untied States (ECUSA, PECUSA, TEC) has been well documented in the Lambeth Conference resolutions and the various General Conventions resolutions. It provides a cautionary tale for those who are interested in not making the same mistakes, including the most recent GC resolution regarding gamarriage. The whole slow motion train wreck picked up speed around 1930, sailed off the cliff in 1968, and in the last decade Presiding Bishop Schori has been shooting the survivors. Awesome.

  62. Briggs

    July 3, 2015 at 9:21 am

    All,

    As we can see, being wrong and being proved to be wrong, does nothing to faith of progressives. Winning is what matters to them. Not Truth.

  63. Sander van der Wal: Not the same thing. The “you did it so I can too” or the “you are doing it so I can too” is based on revenge mostly, or saying bad behaviour becomes good if we all do it (shared culpability removes individual responsibility and guilt). With the example of a gay couple going after the baker, it would be extrapolating to the whole from one (or a dozen or more in this case). However, that ignores the reality that people love to punish, love to have power and love to do whatever everyone else is doing, aided by a media that loves the “lunatic fringe”. Thus, the “lunatic fringe” becomes the mainstream, which appears to be what your example misses in all of this.

  64. Briggs,

    Just to be clear, how about spelling out the “truth” you are talking about? About liberty? Right? The definition of marriage? The love between same-sex couple and your marriage?

    All in the name of God or religion?!

  65. Sylvain,

    I think you’d love this site.

  66. The love “in” same sex couple…

  67. Ye Olde Statistician

    July 3, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    They do mentioned that Aristotle work survived which explains the geocentrism.

    No, because the motionlessness of the earth was accepted long before the fall of the Western half of the Empire: not only in Latin Europe, but in Greek Europe and Islam as well as India and China, where they never heard of Aristotle. (The Chinese still thought the world was flat.) The Pythagoreans held otherwise due to their religious convictions.

    They do mention the closing of the academy and the Lyceum under Justinian.

    Do they mention that Plato’s Academy had vanished generations earlier and that Damascius’ institution was a new foundation with no organic connection and that it taught magical woo-woo? (Damascius was a follower of the Neoplatonism of Iamblychus.) It’s too bad the Flamen dialis no longer could wear his magic red hat or that sorcerers could no longer practice their art; but it has little to do with logic, reason, and science.

    Never forget that Coppernicus waited to publish is heliocentric theory after is death

    Despite being urged to publish by cardinals and bishops and despite a precis of his work being read to the pope to great appreciation and interest. Copernicus (one p) did dread the ridicule of the physicists and other philosophers, and said so.

    Gallileo was brought in front of the inquisition for is views.

    Ah, but which “views”? Actually, that was a complex interplay of multiple Italian Renaissance factors, including anti-Tuscan prejudice, personal animosities, ingratitude, lèse-majesté, and the utter lack of empirical proof.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-great-ptolemaic-smackdown-table-of.html

    They were scientist…

    Both of them were mathematicians. Copernicus in particular made few actual observations, but simply carried out different calculations with existing data. Galileo merely followed Copernicus, including his Platonic circles and his twenty or so epicycles. He made a number of startling discoveries — along with half a dozen other astronomers across Europe. (He discovered the Medicean Stars one day before Marius — and dashed off a pamphlet without bothering to work out their orbits. Poor Marius took four more years to make a detailed analysis and give them the names we call them by now.) Galileo’s philosophy degree was an honorary degree given by the Grand Duke as a reward for naming the moons of Jupiter after him and his family.

    and yet the Church did not view them kindly despite that they presented solid scientific cases.

    a) Copernicus went unmolested, as did others who bought into his new scheme. Only Galileo was scolded — so there must have been something else.
    b) They did not present solid scientific cases. Copernicus showed that if you assumed the sun to be the center of the world, the path of the heavens (other than Mars) would work out nicely. But that doesn’t prove the assumption is actually true. The scientific evidence was still against the motions of the earth.
    c) Copernicus’ math centered the orbits of the planets not at the sun itself, but at the center of the earth’s orbit. In fact, since each planet was solved as a separate problem, each planet orbited a different center, none of which was the sun itself. Because he insisted on perfect circles, he had to use more than twenty epicycles. The moon had to go on an unprecedented double epicycle, and Mercury oscillated back and forth across its epicycle instead of going around it. Try developing a theory of universal gravitation from that model.
    d) Galileo added nothing to the model except his enthusiastic endorsement. None of his telescopy added anything except the phases of Venus, which scuttled the Ptolemaic model but which was explicable in the Tychonic and Ursine models.
    e) Kepler, who devised a new model using ellipses, had the correct solution and was ignored by the authorities — and by Galileo.

    The church did not say well they are scientist they know what they are doing.

    Because they weren’t and they didn’t. The empirical facts were still against them, as were the scientists. Copernicanism was favored by a small number of astronomers (who were mathematicians, not physicists) and by the literati and other humanists.

  68. I’ve never taken the “Benedict Option” to be simply a retreat. But a retreat to defensible territory. We cannot contend for the overrun of the government in the liberal West. At least not before absolute self-destruction (which I believe to be coming). An exit is preferred. The Amish and Hasidim have already done so. They have exited in place. Serious Catholics (and non-Catholics who accept the Church’s ordering principles over society) should copy those models, with more thought given to self-defense and “private” law enforcement.

    Centralization is already losing, but it can still crush you like a bug. The future belongs to peer-to-peer and unofficial networks and “hackers”, both of the computer and cultural variety.

  69. As serendipity would have it, this just in (my feed) Junior Ganymede’s The Benedict Option by way of Bruce Charlton. What would the economic benefits be to such a place? They should be enormous. No propped up TBTF businesses, no regulatory overload, no EEOC/AA and the vast sea of HR/legal that comes with it. Hackers… in any century.

  70. swordfishtrombone

    July 7, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    @John:

    “Homo fornication”

    Seriously? Who uses the term “fornication” in 2015? Also, “homo” is basically just offensive. How to win friends and influence people.

  71. swordfishtrombone: “Seriously? Who uses the term “fornication” in 2015?”
    Sadly, probably not enough people.

    As for winning friends, liberals have been very successful name-calling and berating. Perhaps it’s time to return the favor. Winning friends nowadays means capitulating to the evil people seeking to run everyone’s life, and I don’t mean conservatives.

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