When Dutch Calvinism was 2k — even Republican

Bruce Fronen explains why Reformed Protestants oppose absolute monarchy both in the state and the church:

Calvinism generally is identified with the Swiss city state of Geneva. But that city existed, politically, as a kind of hothouse flower, protected for years by the presence of Calvin himself (though that did not prevent significant problems) and, more important, the strength and isolation of the Swiss confederation. The Netherlands, on the other hand, was a nation born in the crucible of sustained conflict. The Dutch people over generations developed a pluralist society and a kind of federal government sufficient to win independence from the Spanish monarch while retaining local freedoms and significantly divergent, traditional ways of life.

The Dutch republic had only a relatively short time as a major power and example of good government, before descending for some time into a rather petty empire seemingly motivated only by greed. But beginning in the 16th and going into the early 18th century, the Netherlands provided examples of ordered liberty, as well as practically-grounded theories underlying good government. Here a people numerous and organized enough to constitute a nation gave perhaps the first viable alternative to the centralizing monarchies then solidifying power throughout Europe. Here an early modern people came to grips with the intrinsically plural structure of society in such a way as to win their independence as a nation without losing their religious identities or local rights of self-government.

The great theorist of this time and place was Johannes Althusius. Born in what is now Germany, Althusius identified closely with his fellow Calvinists in the Netherlands. He understood, in part from simple observation of lived examples all around him that people do not exist as individuals. We all are, in our essence, members of various communities. Where in most early modern states monarchs had set about destroying most of the communities in which people become fully human and live out their lives, the Dutch never fully succumbed to the power of any single monarch. Their “petty” republics and principalities hung on tenaciously to their particular liberties and ways of life. Split by religious differences, the Dutch developed somewhat (note the lack of emphasis, here) more toleration of religious dissent than most other countries. But where they truly showed their strength was in their recognition and practice of what Calvinists in the New World would term “federal liberty.”

This piece of Dutch Calvinist history often goes overlooked by transformers of every square inch, even though Abraham Kuyper himself capitalized on Dutch pluralism to recognize a variety of groups in Dutch life in ways that would drive American Protestants of Anglo backgrounds batty. The odd thing about Dutch Calvinism is that it was far more tolerant than those whom today it inspires. I can’t help but blame w-w, which drives a wedge between believers and unbelievers in totalizing ways and animates the bejeebies about secularization.

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162 thoughts on “When Dutch Calvinism was 2k — even Republican

  1. Back in my Facebook days I was friends with Bob. He seemed like a decent fellow, but he was heavily entrenched in the right wing, Christian culture warrior mindset. His pastor at the Newton Christian Reformed Church, on the other hand, seemed like a guy with a really good sense of humor who was a peacemaker. At one point I remember trying to debate a point with him and he just resolutely refused to argue. Pastors and their church members don’t always take the same approach to cultural engagement, obviously.

    Fired Newton Editor Claims Religious Bias

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/crime-and-courts/2014/07/23/newspaper-editor-fired-gaystapo/13047733/

    Daniel Finney and William Petroski, bpetrosk@dmreg.com
    10:20 p.m. CDT July 23, 2014

    An Iowa newspaper editor fired after publishing his views on homosexuals is claiming he was the victim of religious discrimination by his former employer.

    Bob Eschliman, former editor of the Newton Daily News, filed a complaint this week with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office in Milwaukee arguing that he was terminated May 5 because of his religious beliefs. If the dispute isn’t resolved to Eschliman’s satisfaction, he could sue in federal court to seek financial damages.

    In late April, Eschliman, 41, a member of Christian Reformed Church of Newton, wrote a personal blog post criticizing the “Queen James Bible,” a website that rewrites the Christian Bible to be friendlier to gays. Eschliman accused “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” of trying “to make their sinful nature right with God.”

    Jim Romenesko, who hosts a widely read online blog about the news media, reported on Eschliman’s post and questioned whether Eschliman, in light of his publicly stated views, would be able to fairly cover issues involving gays.

    Shaw Media, a Dixon, Ill., company, suspended Eschliman with pay and eventually fired him. Eschliman’s attorneys claim that violated his constitutional rights of religious expression. Newton Daily News Publisher Dan Goetz declined to comment Wednesday.

    After Eschliman’s dismissal, the Newton newspaper published an editorial by Shaw Media President John Rung.

    “Last week, he expressed an opinion in his personal blog that in no way reflects the opinion of the Newton Daily News or Shaw Media,” Rung wrote. “While he is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.”

    The Liberty Institute, a Dallas nonprofit legal firm that advocates for religious freedom, has taken up Eschliman’s case. Jeremiah Dys, a senior lawyer with the Liberty Institute, told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that he believes Eschliman has a strong case. He was joined by former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, who now has a private law practice and will also be representing Eschliman.

    “No one should be fired for simply expressing his religious beliefs,” Whitaker said. “In America, it is against the law to fire an employee for expressing a religious belief in public. This kind of religious intolerance by an employer has no place in today’s welcoming workforce.”

    Eschliman, a Boone native and U.S. Navy veteran who is married with two young children, has worked as a writer and editor for seven different companies, garnering almost 70 journalism awards. Seven awards came while he was editor in chief of the Newton newspaper, according to his attorneys.

    But Eschliman said Wednesday that he has had difficulty finding employment since his dismissal, “particularly here in Iowa.” He said his writing, which some considered objectionable, was posted on a personal blog that was read mainly by family members and friends.

    Mark Kende, a constitutional law professor at Drake University, said that at first glance, it appears that Eschliman has a potential case.

    “I am not saying the newspaper does not have an attempted defense, but federal laws generally prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion,” Kende said.

    He described the case as untypical because the behavior in question occurred outside the workplace.

    Eschliman “is arguing that they are firing him for his religious beliefs, and to the extent that the comments he made are based on his religion, that doesn’t seem frivolous,” Kende said. “But having said that, if I were the company, I would say that we are not firing him for his religious beliefs. We are firing him because his job is to be an impartial reporter, and as an impartial reporter he has lost his credibility, so it has nothing to do with his religion.”

    Donna Red Wing, executive director of One Iowa, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization, said she takes religious liberties and the rights of journalists very seriously, noting she worked previously in Washington, D.C., as chief of staff of the Interfaith Alliance. But she also said Eschliman’s comments overstepped boundaries, describing his use of the term “Gaystapo”as horrific and suggesting he failed in his responsibility to be fair and objective.

    “Certainly, his bosses at Shaw Media did what they felt they needed to do. I find his words disconcerting,” Red Wing said. “I am not a lawyer, but if he were working for me, I would fire him.”

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  2. Totally off topic (or is it?), but the image you used for this post is a screenshot from the game Europa Universalis, one of the best games ever made. The last time I played I was the Austrians, and after the Reformation broke out, for the sake of an ordered and peaceful empire, it made more sense to suppress the Lutherans and Reformed than tolerate them, and who could blame me? They had this bad habit of rebelling and sowing division while I was trying to deal with the Turks and the French. Then again, if the protestant disease had been more widespread I would have found it better, for the sake of an ordered and peaceful empire, to tolerate them.

    I guess that makes me theologically spineless, though. I don’t think I have the political temperament (too pragmatic) for w—–w.

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  3. But she also said Eschliman’s comments overstepped boundaries, describing his use of the term “Gaystapo”as horrific and suggesting he failed in his responsibility to be fair and objective.

    All chitter chatter aside boys and girls, we now live in a country where if you will not cater or photograph a homosexual wedding you can be prosecuted and jailed for “discrimination”. (The editor is a minor casualty in a marginal skirmish in a war against reality and nature that the sodomites started.)

    But for the not so politically inclined or less than astute that refuse to connect the dots, that means precedent is being set – if our elite ruling class is so inclined – for forcing doctors to perform abortions, as well as photographers to film pornography. Against their inclinations, moral, religious or secular.

    Forcing butchers to serve halal meat? Well yeah that too, but ahem, muslims have been known to stone/kill members of the current Holy & Anointed PC Victim class and basically act out in other unapproved fashions (think honor killings, female mutilation, polygamy etc.) so there are some conflicts to work out. Staff is on it.

    1984 has been transgendered into Brave New World and not only are all things legal, they are also obligatory/mandatory/perfunctatory. As in required at the point of the gun and the full weight and authority of the judicial system.
    Totalitarianism, thy name is freedom and thy fascism is oh, so sweet. The very thought of thee, makes my heart swoon and the short hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention and salute.

    True, some may prefer “gaystapo”, though Hitler and his regime were much nicer than they are made out to be, but the bottom line is the thought police consider it a hate crime if anybody actually points that out.

    IOW gaystapo good, homophobe bad.
    All homosexuals are more equal than non homosexuals.

    [Thank you for your patience. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.]

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  4. The thing I don’t like about what Bob E. did (and is doing) is portraying “speaking out” against homosexuals in a strident way as a central tenet of Christianity. Really? I must have missed the Scriptural reference on that. If you’re serious about opposing homosexuality, how about doing it in a thoughtful, gentle way. All you are doing when you go about it the way he did is playing to the people on your own side in the cheap seats. This does nothing to advance the Christian perspective on the issue.

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  5. Bob can put what he wants on his blog and his employer can rightfully fire him for the contents of that blog.

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  6. Well, Erik, at least Bob is speaking out about what’s happening. You may be indifferent to the society around you but it’s certainly not indifferent to the church. My he world is not going to like us if we shy away from certain things or if we appear conciliatory. Christians must be compassionate but we must also stand up for Biblical teaching.

    And I don’t understand the point of posting that news story, except to try to embarrass Bob.

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  7. Alexander,

    By your reckoning, what does Bob have to be embarrassed of? Wouldn’t you say that he’s adding jewels to his heavenly crown by referring to the “Gaystapo”?

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  8. What this comes down to is radicalized homosexuals and reactionary Christians each trying to out-victim each other. Meanwhile the 90% in the middle are not amused by either group.

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  9. Well, I think what we really need to get clarified in order that the prevailing narrative is upheld, is that instead of the Queen James Bible, we need a translation that makes it perfectly clear that the sodomites from Sodom and Gomorrah only wanted to attack Lot because they really were anti-semites. Instead of the homophobic way it has been translated and understood for centuries.

    That way everybody’s happy.
    The sodomites were not really homosexuals, they were nazis and it’s safe to hate nazis, the secular stand in for Satan; the Jews are happy because they’re not being ignored and they have proof positive of discrimination by . . . nonChristians; and the Christians are happy because . . . they’re against nazism too.

    Now, lemme see. How are we going to work racism and sexism into the picture?

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  10. Alexander,

    There’s also the factor that Bob and his two attorneys appear to be holding a press conference of sorts. More attention = good for Bob, apparently.

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  11. What this comes down to is radicalized homosexuals and reactionary Christians each trying to out-victim each other. Meanwhile the 90% in the middle are not amused by either group.

    True, but are Christians trying to jam their agenda down everybody’s throat the way the homosexuals are? The homosexuals already have civil rights, but now they want more than that at the expense of civil rights of others.

    And the big law firms aren’t lining up for Christians, the First Amendment notwithstanding.
    http://legalinsurrection.com/2014/06/delawyering-traditional-marriage-supporters/

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  12. Yeah EC, Bob E’s a jerk. So what?
    Does he t have the full weight of the media, law and chattering class behind him like the real Victims do these days? So I hold my nose, reprobate his copping the victim routine and acknowledge in the big picture, he’s right.
    IOW distinguish.
    It’s not that tough.

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  13. My non believing colleagues complain that Christians are constantly forcing their unwanted views on their lives

    And I agree it is far worse on them than what I get from the other side on me

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  14. My point is that both “sides” should refrain from poking a finger in the other’s eye. The difference between the two sides is that Christians are the ones who should know better. If people are doing things that are against the Law of God, consequences will come. We don’t need to be the ones meting out the punishment. That’s what radical Islamists, do. Were not ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

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  15. Eric,
    Homosexuals have the same civil rights as everybody else. That they don’t have a right to be a homosexual is not necessarily a violation of their civil rights, though they are very good at telling you it is.
    Of course, if we don’t believe that, then game on and they are being “discriminated” against.
    Drunks, child molesters and adulterers have civil rights also, but not necessarily to engage in their vices, tho once we legalize child mos that will be a different story.

    Kent,
    Be interested to hear specifically how Christians are forcing themselves on your non believing colleagues.

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  16. Erik,
    Sometimes it’s better to be be known by who your enemies are and not your friends.
    But hey, I appreciate the angry white guy smear. Have to add it to the usual racistsexisthomophobe cant.
    And why are you telling me that homosexuals don’t have civil rights when people are getting busted for not showing up at their weddings?
    Dunno.
    Yeah, right.
    Cheers, pal.
    You don’t seem to have learned much since last time we chatted.

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  17. Bob also came to Greg the Terrible’s aid back in the first part of the year on the infamous “Sweetbreads” post. I just went back to it. Almost 600 comments.

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  18. (Just a sec while I get my hate on. There, that’s better.)
    Chitter chatter, you missed it.
    Angry white guy checkin in.
    It’s not that we hate Romanism and homosexuals, its we hate posers.
    Which means you’re up there in the pantheon too, pal.
    Yeah, I know. You want an honorarium.
    But you know the routine.
    The check’s in the mail.

    Or if you prefer, what I told you last time.
    I can’t remember if it was: stuff it/shut up or both.
    See above.
    Oh yeah, cheers

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  19. Was the sweetbreads thread the one where we were called the worst heretics for watching Davey and Goliath during childhood ?

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  20. Erik- Whether Bob has anything to be embarrassed about isn’t the point. You clearly- by what you’ve said in this thread- weren’t posting the article to congratulate him on his actions. It was an unsolicited act. The only reasonable assumption is that you posted it as some sort of “expose” which is really rather cheap. It’s one thing to take issue with how some Christians engage with social issue; it’s another to do them down in public for taking what is, after all, the Biblical position (minus the colourful rhetoric).

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  21. Bob S, “are Christians trying to jam their agenda down everybody’s throat. . .”

    Well, how about laws against sodomy (no laws against hetero marriage), how about laws against drinking (no laws against diet Coke), how about laws against contraceptives (no laws against family worship)? Protestants in the U.S. did support a lot of laws that reaffirmed their convictions. Not all of those were bad for society. But it’s hard not to see parallels between Christian American and Muslim Ottoman Empire.

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  22. Bob, I have some sympathy for your on free speech-thoughtcrime grounds. But as a former newspaperman myself, I knew it was a no-no, for instance, to have partisan bumperstickers on my car if I drove it to assignments — though maybe not a firing offense. Maybe your best defense is “I’m an old guy and I just don’t get how all this social media and blog stuff works.”

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  23. @Alexander

    Since when does the “biblical position” on this issue require one to publish inflammatory and spurious allegations about gay people? Bob isn’t suffering for his religious convictions; he’s suffering for being a obnoxious fool.

    This is the problem with worldviewism: It’s relatively selective about what it wants to transform. Should we really assume that God cares more about the sexual sins of certain non-Christians than he does about the verbal sins of those who call on the name of Christ? My reading of Scripture indicates that God’s priorities are the reverse of Bob’s views.

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  24. Alexander, Eschliman has made it a public issue, so why so sensitive about others weighing in publicly? And so here is another annoying tick among the Christian culturalists, when their public square man gets criticized they whine about cheap shots and take downs. Boo hoo.

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  25. Alexander,

    Next time a guy and his attorneys invite two newspaper reporters and a photographer for a press conference and photo shoot, I’ll note that they want everything kept on the down low. Got it.

    Bob,

    Last time we interacted you played the victim card after I called you out for celebrating Dave Chappelle after unloading on us for watching movies. Pharisee stuff, in other words.

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  26. Erik: Again, the issue is your motivation. It doesn’t matter if he had gone on Fox News, why do you bring it up in an unrelated conversation without any solicitation. Clearly you just wanted to point score. You can’t deflect your own shoddy actions by trying to make it about Bob.

    Zrim: Well, firstly, Bob’s not my “public square man”. I didn’t even know the story until Erik posted it. But what I’m complaining about is other so-called Christians tearing a Christian down for standing against sin. I know you’re desperate for the world to like you but I still find it hard to understand why you insist on doing the world’s work for it.

    Bobby: Strange, you don’t seem to get so worked up about the verbal sins of Christians when it’s Dr. Hart repeatedly criticising other Christians for daring to disagree with him about how Christians relate to society; or the many people on this forum who routinely mock those who disagree with them; or Kent and his profanity. Selectivity and all that.

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  27. DGH,
    I understand transformationalism/prohibition ain’t kosher, but what we are ultimately talking about is whether or not we should have laws forcing homosexual marriage on everybody. If you want to equate that with prohibition of alcohol, contraceptives or even laws against sodomy – not marriage – well, enough said.

    Hookers?
    Repentant or unrepentant.
    That’s a red herring and you know it.

    Chort,
    Thanks for yours, but I’ve already essentially said Bob E comes across as a strident self righteous jerk. So what?
    When 1984 came and went, the yammering heads congratulated themselves ad nauseum that they avoided Orwell, but now “hatecrimes” are on the book and nobody bats an eye. What gives?

    Yeah, Louie the 14th, Csar Nicholas and Batista weren’t always the coolest schmucks in the room, but compared to Robiespierre, Stalin and Castro, they couldn’t hold a candle. The Left is good at holding up the sins of Bob E all the while blind to their own, but what they really can’t stand is Bob E calling them what they really are, pink nazis.

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  28. Alexander,

    The title of the post includes “2K”. This is a 2K issue par excellence.

    Thanks for peering into my heart to discern motivation, though. If we didn’t have you around to do that, we’d need to invite Richard back.

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  29. Yo Chitter Chatter, if I played the victim card, link to it and let the reader decide.
    You got your face handed to you in disgrace and you still don’t like it, as in you’re a sore loser. Get over it.

    Bobby,
    Read the WS. There are sins and there are sins. Some are worse than others. And yes, Virginia, there really are crimes against nature.
    More to the point, the gaystapo are tools for Leviathan/Big Brother, who can only increase as other institutions such as the family decrease. Which is part, the attack on the last is all about.
    IOW forget Bob E and start looking at the forest.

    cheers

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  30. Alexander, your selectivity-oh-meter might need 2k tuning. Progressive Christian culturalists also say they’re standing against sin in the public square. The likes of Bob S. and the DuckBeards pipe up in opposition, but I can’t recall you saying this is “other so-called Christians tearing a Christian down for standing against sin.” The 2k way is to refrain from all forms of social gospel, right and left.

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  31. Erik,
    How about going to jail for not attending a homosexual wedding. Good enough for you?
    Bob E’s a jerk but he just might be able to see the big picture while you ain’t there yet.
    That’s the point.

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  32. Grim, how’s your fourth grader doing in that sex ed class you just found out about after the fact, where they were indoctrinated with all the LGBQT$%# crimes against nature? Did your kid pass?

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  33. Flip this one around. Say Bob E. was gay and worked as a spokesman for Hobby Lobby. On his personal blog he writes posts celebrating the joy of gay sex. Would Hobby Lobby have a right to fire him?

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  34. “Oh yeah. Don’t let me forget.
    When is my next beatdown/self hate session supposed to start? I don’t want to be late.
    And because it is so fun/edifying, I’m hesitant to deprive any of you of the privilege if I just happened to be late, generous and thoughtful soul that we am.
    IOW first come, first served.
    Step right up, gentlemen.”

    Bob S. 2/11/14

    In other words, you dish it out constantly, but have a hard time taking it.

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  35. Yo chitter chatter, link the whole thing for crying out loud.

    And flip this around. You think any hetero that got refused service by a baker or photog is gonna complain or get championed by the media.

    The new deal is that whatsoever is legal is mandatory.
    It’s called totalitarianism. Or fascism. Or pink nazis.

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  36. Kent, of course the whole idea that the govt. can mandate that the employer has to provide insurance for his employees is the kicker in my book. I have yet to get any kind of insurance, whether fire, auto, life or flood on the job and as an angry old white guy according to some people, I’ve been working a long time.

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  37. Bob – And flip this around. You think any hetero that got refused service by a baker or photog is gonna complain or get championed by the media.

    Erik – Why did they get refused service in this hypothetical?

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  38. I know a “Christian Family Man” with 9 kids who was picked up a few years ago in a prostitution sting. It was in the papers and on the evening news. He worked for a technology company and was fired. They didn’t want to be associated with that kind of behavior.

    Iowa is an “at will” employment state. If your employer doesn’t like you or your conduct (at work or away from work) they can fire you as long as it’s not on account of race, religion, age, disability, and maybe a few others that MM can remind me of if he is reading.

    This is why Bob E. is saying his freedom of religion was violated, not his freedom of speech.

    A guy blogging on gay sex could be protected if he lives somewhere that sexual orientation is protected. If he’s posting gay porn or just being an idiot, then he may not be protected regardless of where he lives.

    So Bob E.’s case will probably come down to whether or not he is found to have been practicing his religion or just being an idiot.

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  39. Bob, it would be unheard of up here in Canada to not provide health insurance for full time employees, who requested it, especially in a professional capacity.

    Angry old white guys are needed on all boards.

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  40. Erik, that makes Iowa sound like a Communist state for employment conditions.

    No wait, maybe the opposite… hard to tell anymore…

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  41. Bumper Sticker Bob, alas, she was eaten up by the pinko gaystapo. I plumb forgot about the fact that they require all first born covenant children to be sacrificed to Molech on the last day of sex ed class. Oh well, one less mouth to feed.

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  42. Maybe that was ambiguous. I’ll try again.

    “Erik, there is also a relatively recent protection for sexual orientation in Iowa.”

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  43. Bob,

    If I remember right, you live in Lynden, which renders your militancy roughly equivalent to beer muscles. Not hard being hardcore right wing Christian in a Dutch enclave. Similar to guys in the Central Classis taking bold conservative stands in Marion & Sioux County, Iowa where 70%-80% of people vote Republican.

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  44. Erik: Here we go again with the “reading my heart” retort. I don’t need to read your heart: your behaviour speaks for itself.

    Also, I would think a Christian would want to be straightforward in their dealings; plain spoken. Obtuseness in speech should not be something aspired to by a Christian.

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  45. Alexander,

    Not since Doug Sowers have we had a guy here whose initial impressions of almost any scenario are consistently all wet. Congratulations. That’s some rarefied air of toolishness.

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  46. D.G.,

    the 2K I sense in you.

    The above description of Dutch Calvinism seems to be at odds with Calvin’s Geneva when Calvin was a predominant figure. So perhaps, Calvinism is a misleading part of the name when it comes to the kind of society these Calvinist preferred.

    As for today’s transformers, they lack the technical ability of the characters in the Transformers movies but, more importantly, what might really separate the transformationists, especially the neo-calvinists, from the 2kers is that Keller’s model from his Center Church book is 2-dimensional rather than 3-dimensional. In other words, we should apply Keller’s 2-dimensional model of thought to personal morality issues, then to cultural values, then to social justice, and then to whatever other issue one can think of to see where the 2kers and neo-calvinists end up in each model.

    For example, the same-sex marriage debate showed that many 2kers were, in essence, transformationists while in cultural values, 2kers were in a different quadrant than transformationists. In addition, when it comes to social justice, it seems that neo-calvinists were more similar to 2kers than they were on cultural change issues. An example of making Keller’s model 3-dimensional, as flawed as it is, can be found at Review of Keller’s model

    Keller’s model can be found at the link below:

    Keller’s model

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  47. Nice try Erik, but again a fail.
    No need to be obtuse about it or go ad hom.

    Regardless, here’s a florist in a bind.

    Now you tell me.
    If someone can be sued for not providing a service to a homosexual “wedding”, what’s to stop somebody from doing the same thing with a pro life doctor who doesn’t perform abortions?
    A photographer who doesn’t “do” porn?
    Or a mom and pop store that can’t oblige Larry Flynt when he’s looking for his magazine or somebody that wants to buy the Gay Blade?
    Is there any difference in principle?

    Or have we been sucking on the teat of the local Ministry of Truth Division fronting for the Atheist Criminal Liberties Union for so long that we don’t understand what a watershed issue is or how legal precedent works, never mind the US Supreme Court can’t tell the difference between a tax and a penalty?

    But it will never happen here. Right.
    As the Russians say, “When it happens to you, you’ll know it’s true”.

    Grim, move to Oakland Cal. then we can talk.
    Until then, like I’ve told other intellectual dilettantes in the past, stifle it.
    Besides, according to Erik’s way of thinking, you’re a beer muscle pacifist since you live in GR.

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  48. Bob,

    Selling flowers is not practicing religion. Just sell the people the damn flowers and move on. Who cares if they’re using the flowers in a gay wedding, a straight wedding, or a black mass.

    When I rent an apartment to someone I don’t ask what they will be doing in it and with whom. It’s none of my business. If you want to go into ministry, go into ministry. If you want to go into business, prepare to serve the public..all of the public.

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  49. A parallel conversation is going on on my blog. I have no clue who most of these people are. I just wrote:

    “The question I have is, how did I get conscripted into a culture war? What if I just want to be a Christian and a conscientious objector in said war? If someone wants to declare war on me, do I have to fight back? Did Christ? He’ll set all things right in the end. Do I have to in the meantime?

    I used to be wrapped up in all this, but became convinced that it is mostly about raising money and furthering careers of media personalities and politicians on the left and right, so I got out.”

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  50. One of the biggest problems with the culture war mindset is that people spend so much of their time, of the nonrenewable resource also known as their life, worried about controlling what other people are doing or not doing. Talk about a recipe for unhappiness. There is an opportunity cost to that. What else could be done with that time? I know I have an awful lot of things I want to read, to experience, and to enjoy with people I care about that has nothing to do with any culture war.

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  51. D.G.
    By their public opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage. It wasn’t a libertarian approach and the opposition was practiced my more than a conglomeration of individual Christians. That is how I saw it, let me know if you saw it differently.

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  52. Curt, opposition to same-sex marriage is being preservationist, not transformationist. Making that opposition public and litigious is gay (read: lame-o).

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  53. @ Bob S.: Interestingly, we’ve been having the same argument with Erik on this at his own blog:

    http://literatecomments.com/2014/07/24/fired-newton-editor-claims-religious-bias/

    BTW, I see no reason why one can’t be a 2Ker and a confessionalist rather than a transformationalist or a pietist (I’m not like that Greg guy who doesn’t like movies and ranted about that a while back here, nor any twit who has an ascriptural view against alcohol or tobacco consumption), yet still take an interest in the culture war. I do. I like my civilization’s Christian cultural inheritance; I would like the freedom to live out my faith without having to, depending on what business I might be in, bake a pair of sodomites’ wedding cake, prepare flowers for their wedding, have them at my bed and breakfast, etc. – just like our ancestors were able to do; in fact, in those days, such issues never even arose, back in the day… Why shouldn’t we keep such freedoms?

    I want them back! What’s so wrong with fighting to recover that lost world? Our lost freedoms, and the preservation of the West’s Christianness? What’s wrong with the notion of Christendom, anyway? (We call it western civilization now instead, but Christendom is what it was, and should be, and perhaps could be, once again…)

    I like my civilization. As long as I’m living in this earthly, temporal kingdom, I want to fight for its Christian-cultural-inheritance-based laws and freedoms, since liberal democracy allows me the privilege of participating, trying to influence my society for good.

    “I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.”

    Prime Minister John Diefenbaker (From the Canadian Bill of Rights, July 1, 1960)

    Why shouldn’t I use my political freedom to fight for what I believe in, against those who are trying to change things?

    And why the quietist impulse amongst my fellow confessionalist 2K types? Is it just because they wish to distinguish themselves via an artificial antithesis from the likes of rabidly anti-2kers like Bret McAtee, the Baylys, Doug and Douger and such, and therefore eschew culture war involvement on that basis? Hey, I understand wanting to have little to do with weirdo neo-Confederates, kinist-sympathy-types, and Moscow, Idaho empire builders, and their freakish ilk, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a culture war on! There is! We didn’t choose it, but why not defend ourselves and our civilization? If we didn’t live in free countries, then maybe ignoring what the government does would make sense, as we wouldn’t be in any position to change things. But we live in liberal democracies; why not at least declare our opposition to what the progs are doing, politically as well as socially and economically? Why not take an interest, at least? And take a stand!

    Like

  54. To each his own, of course.

    But for my part, I don’t want to be one of those said to be ‘too heavenly-minded to be any earthly good’, and I don’t think that needs mean I am a transformationalist, a neo-Kuyperian in all particulars. No, I’m a confessionalist, a 2Ker, but I think temporal matters are important, too, not just eternal ones…

    Like

  55. Wills, advocate away, be concerned about whatever you choose, be of earthly good according to your own judgment — just don’t make something the work of the church something that should not be. Have shocking political views (many of us do), but don’t shock your fellow parishioners or bind their consciences with them, thus distracting from the true work of the church. That’s 2k, as far as I know.

    Like

  56. Bob S.,

    What’s with you bragging that you don’t have auto insurance? Does the State of Washington not require that? Is not carrying insurance considered a virtue in certain Tea Party Presbyterian circles these days?

    What’s your brilliant plan if you damage someone else’s property or if you injure or kill someone with your car? Will you hide behind the fact that you’re a judgment proof guy living in a burned out van down by the river?

    “I have yet to get any kind of insurance, whether fire, auto, life or flood on the job and as an angry old white guy according to some people, I’ve been working a long time.”

    Bob S. now stands with Greg the Terrible in bragging about not having insurance.

    Like

  57. Will,

    The good old days weren’t all that good:

    http://literatecomments.com/2014/07/25/the-likable-sinner-an-appreciation-james-garner-1928-2014/

    “That’s also what his Oklahoma childhood was like, according to his 2011 autobiography ‘The Garner Files’ (co-written with Jon Winokur). His mother died when he was 4 and his father married an abusive woman. She was the sort of ogre who made her stepsons cut the switches she would whip them with. One of his brothers claims in the book that she had sexual intercourse with him against his will. She would punish James by forcing him to wear a dress.

    ‘Now they’d put that woman in jail for what she did to us,’ he wrote. ‘But in those days nobody cared.'”

    Like

  58. Will,

    It’s not having political views that’s a problem, it’s being a pain in the ass about them and claiming to speak for all Christians (basically Bob E.’s legal argument). I’m not saying that you are being a pain in the ass.

    There’s also the fact that it appears to not be working. The Religious Right has been around in the U.S. since the 1980s and the culture continues to become more and more socially liberal.

    Like

  59. To some degree the main thing that the religious right does is inflame and motivate the opposition. Look at Fred Phelps (who I think may have been entirely fake). With a lot of these things that we oppose, if we just let them run their course they will peter out on their own. Go back to the 1960s & 70s and note how many liberal fads have come and gone. Swinging? Doesn’t work so well. Everyone going to see “Deep Throat”? Porn gets boring pretty quick. Gay marriage? Not a great plan to perpetuate the species.

    If we just do what we do, some people will eventually come around and find us when they get to the end of their rope.

    Like

  60. What political tilting is to be done when the next decade of my life will be dominated by

    Hillary Clinton
    Chow
    Wynne
    Trudeau

    Like

  61. Well, I’m not going to say that it’s the duty of the church, as a church, to participate in the culture war – I oppose the politicization of the pulpit; nor am I advocating political solutions at this time – I too acknowledge the lack of success with what has mostly been done so far, and I don’t advocate more of the same; I think it’s time to try a different take than the usual; e.g. meet or talk with your M.P. / Congressman, explain why you hold the views you do, and why it’s wrong to change things, etc. ARPA Canada advocates such things, as well as some more traditional strategies.

    http://arpacanada.ca/

    And I’m not trying to bind the conscience of other believers, by any means. On the other hand, though, I am advocating against complete apathy and uninvolvement, and encouraging my brethren to take some interest in the wider world around us. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I’m sure that completely ignoring everything doesn’t work, either.

    BTW, I don’t have any illusions that olden days were perfect. But they were better than what we have now; of that I’m certain.

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  62. “BTW, I don’t have any illusions that olden days were perfect. But they were better than what we have now; of that I’m certain.”

    so says the white gentile

    Like

  63. The concept that is missing in all this is that sin is the default. People don’t care about sinning unless the Holy Spirit brings about conversion. Demanding that sinners stop sinning just doesn’t work. The only exception are sins that society as a whole believes should be classified as crimes.

    Our churches preach the gospel so that if and when the Holy Spirit works in a person they have a home.

    Like

  64. Curt, you said that 2kers were showing their transformer slips for publicly opposing the legalization of same-sex marriage. Maybe, but I’m simply pointing out that some 2kers 1) take a pass on being public in their denial that homosexuality should enjoy the sanction of marriage and 2) take a more agnostic posture on the power of politics. So what about us?

    Like

  65. Will, all well and good, but some of us have been around long enough to know that those who raise the battle hymn of Christian cultural heritage and go all misty-eyed for the Golden Age of Christendom (sheesh, get a room already) also don’t tend to toe the 2k-SOTC line and eventually want to enlist the church for their program to greater or lesser degrees.

    Like

  66. Zrim,
    Does the motive matter when one asks society to regulate through laws? Such certain is neither libertarian approach to personal morals nor laissez-faire approach to legislation. So such does have cultural impact though I would restrict the distinction between 2kers and the transformers by whether they are involved with changing culture.

    Like

  67. @ Todd: Nice try; not going to bait me with that. I’m done talking to you.

    @ kent: In what ways? Do you really think the general population as a whole has better morals than they did in the early ’70s? Then we’re not living on the same planet.

    @ Zrim: ‘SOTC’? Anyway, I’m a convert to the Reformed faith from evangelicalism; among the many reasons I changed, one was that I loathed the intertwining of the flag and the cross in evangelical circles when I was within them, esp. in your country moreso than mine (where instead, they tended to look down on our country and idolize yours, which is also awful), and I’m glad to get away from that; I have no intention of bringing that into the Reformed world, you needn’t worry about me.

    Like

  68. Who said anything about perfectionism? Not I! You can’t legislate away sin; but you can, if you have a law against murder, with life sentences or capital punishment, disincentivize people from committing that particular sin. If you punish theft with jail time and huge fines, you may disincentivize people from that sin. They will still be hard-hearted, commit sins of gossip, jealousy, bitterness, back-biting, and so on. The law can’t make people perfect, indeed. Not ever. But it can make them a little better, in terms of the sins that impact other people in a most egregious manner.

    Anyway, my biggest issues don’t have to do with passing new laws against things, so much as not passing laws allowing things, and overturning laws that hinder Christians from acting freely, in terms of who they wish to conduct business with, and the like. I’m more about freedom, and not making laws against stuff, generally speaking.

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  69. Will,

    No need to be so sensitive. You made the statement, I was challenging it with a specific example. It was a black man who once told me that when American Christians complain how bad things have gotten, they are usually white. Few black Christians would dare say things are worse now than 200 years ago. And few Jews would say things are worse now than 70 years ago. Moral decay is often in the eyes of the beholder. Seems better to say some things have gotten worse and others better, a good a-mil sentiment.

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  70. Zrim – Will, all well and good, but some of us have been around long enough to know that those who raise the battle hymn of Christian cultural heritage and go all misty-eyed for the Golden Age of Christendom (sheesh, get a room already) also don’t tend to toe the 2k-SOTC line and eventually want to enlist the church for their program to greater or lesser degrees.

    Erik – An example. Years ago my pastor and I met for lunch with a local Conservative Christian talk radio host, Steve Deace, who has since gone national. We seemed to be in agreement on the notion that while individuals could fight the culture war if they liked, it wasn’t the duty of churches. Not too long thereafter he started to have his Baptist pastor on the air, crusading on culture war issues. Fast forward several years. I get an e-mail from a family in my church that is big into the Patriarchy movement. The subject of the e-mail, which as far as I can tell was addressed to everyone on our church e-mail list, was a Christian America type patriarchy conference coming to our area featuring several pastors (including one OPC guy) and — Steve Deace.

    My point? People say they aren’t trying to co-opt churches, but then they go and try to co-opt churches.

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  71. Todd, I’ll give a toss about what chip-on-their-shoulder minority group members who mostly vote leftist think about the past when they stop, by their votes, enabling parties that promote the gay rights and pro-abortion agendas, even if they claim to be socially conservative themselves. Till then, despite my being brown, I don’t give a hoot what they have to say about the past; to heck with them.

    If it’s in the eye of the beholder, I say we discount the viewpoint of hypocrites who are only thinking of themselves, and their communities, and not society as a whole. They can go jump in a lake.

    Like

  72. @ Erik: I don’t even bother discussing politics at churches I attend any more; I sure as heck am not in any position to try to influence others, nor am I interested in doing so. It’s online, here in cyberspace, where I am doing my thing. I’m not interested in ‘quiverfull’ or Wilsonite empire-building, or any of that; I loathe those self-promoting fools, like the now-disgraced Doug Phillips and his ilk.

    Like

  73. @ Todd: I avoid contentious issues in conversation at parties, usually. And I’ve been told more than once that I’m ‘the life of the party’, though truthfully, I don’t seek the spotlight. It just seems to find me…

    @ Erik: Thanks, brother! Cheers.

    @ CW: 🙂 Well, I figured that was better to go with than “they can go hang themselves”, or another, similar phrase. 😉

    Like

  74. A jump in the lake is a good way to sober up. But not shallow enough to hit your head and not deep enough to drown if you’ve crossed the point of no return. Or if you haven’t showered for a while. And if you’ve accidentally caught on fire. Anyway, how did “thugater” change into “daughter”. It’s been bugging me.

    Like

  75. Curt, there’s regulating society with laws, then there’s using laws to cudgel society. I don’t know about motives, but some of us are content to live with imperfect legislation and even being on the losing end. Some here would brand that as apathetic and quietist, but it’s actually the sort of disposition that makes a civil society work.

    Like

  76. Will, you shook the dust from your sandals with Todd then went right back. How am I supposed to trust that you won’t go neo-and-theo on us? (SOTC = Spirituality of the church.)

    Like

  77. @ Zrim: Oh yes, prejudge me on the basis of me going back on my promise in a single convo, as if I don’t know myself, but you can predict better than me what I will become in the future. {Sarcasm} Real rational there. {/sarcasm}

    Yeah, Cake!

    Like

  78. You Midwesterners love cake so much that even your cornbread (sweet and square) ends up resembling it. Get a skillet and some bacon grease for jumpin-in-the-lake’s sake.

    Like

  79. @ Zrim: Oh yes, prejudge me on the basis of me backpedalling on a promise to not talk to a fellow commenter in this thread again, as if I don’t know myself, but you can predict better than me what I will become in the future. {Sarcasm} Real rational there. {/sarcasm}

    Like

  80. Erik Charter
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Bob,

    Selling flowers is not practicing religion. Just sell the people the damn flowers and move on. Who cares if they’re using the flowers in a gay wedding, a straight wedding, or a black mass.

    Now your reading comprehension is about on good old St. Nick’s level. She’s sold umpteen million flowers to the guy before. It’s no big deal. But now Big Brother needs her to explicitly acknowledge/celebrate what is a violation of the natural law. What’s so hard to understand?
    (What if somebody wants to send somebody flowers explicitly celebrating their abortion?)

    Right, the Queen James Bible tells us that there are really only nine verses that have been misunderstood to condemn homosexuals, So what’s the big deal?

    Matthew 5:10?  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven?

    Ah, come on man, righteousness is over rated. Besides you’re straining gnats. It’ll never happen here. Relax and be a good little Starbuck Christian with a marked aversion to the truth, instead of a love for it.

    (That is, if when we aren’t trying to punk and bully those who disagree with us and smear them as transmogrified Doug S’s. Naah. Not us. Not in a million jillion jeers.)

    D. G. Hart
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Bob S., Obama is going to force me to marry John Muether? Seriously?

    No, but Big Brother is going to want your church to accept them, refuse to discipline them and stop talking about them off the pulpit.
    Solzhenitsyn may have been EO, but he knew where this was going.

    Back in the day, Fourth OPC San Fran was sustained when they fired their organist, but what will happen for instance if a church refuses to let their facilities for Adam and Steve’s big day? Think it’s all going to go the (religious) private property owner’s way? I doubt it. And that’s for starters if the pinko’s get their way.

    Curt Day
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    D.G.
    By their public opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriage. It wasn’t a libertarian approach and the opposition was practiced my more than a conglomeration of individual Christians. That is how I saw it, let me know if you saw it differently.

    Curt, from what I’ve seen over at Heidelblog, you are not a libertarian but a leftist/liberal/progressive. Not complainin, just sayin.

    Erik Charter
    Posted July 26, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Bob S.,

    What’s with you bragging that you don’t have auto insurance? Does the State of Washington not require that? Is not carrying insurance considered a virtue in certain Tea Party Presbyterian circles these days?

    My mistake, but I would have thought the context obvious. I have never had an employer provide any kind of insurance.

    But regardless, the big picture issue is that precedent is being set and principles established so that what is legal will become mandatory.

    And all the cute comments do is tip toe around that.

    cheers

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  81. Bob,

    Lots of bold predictions about the future, but not too many relevant facts from today from you. You’re a regular Harold Camping.

    Since when is the florist part of the celebration? Are florists also asking to see an obituary before they agree to send flowers over to the funeral home?

    You guys really do have terrible arguments. So many exaggerations. Stop and take a deep breath.

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  82. A pathetically small number of dumb situations made worse by horrendous court decisions is taken by some think it’s happening a million times a day, especially in your neighbourhood

    Like

  83. This is why gay marriage is such a godsend to the right. It immediately takes on apocalyptic overtones. What a way to raise a ton of money. If gays didn’t exist, Fox News would have to invent them.

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  84. I can see the usual thought police have been quick to defend their intellectual dilettante reputation.
    Nothing to see here. Move along.
    (Must be busy opening up fraternal relations with the Starbuck Christian branch in GR.)

    So not wanting to hurt anybody’s feelings or vent any “anger” we will do jus that.
    (You know. Making comments like, “yo flatboy, go back to Iowa”.
    Hey, wait a minute. Flatboy already lives in Iowa. Never mind.)

    Todd,
    Ahem, at the risk of contradicting my even loosely construed non confrontation clause above, there was an apocryphal comment attributed to a conservative with a very heavy suntan – no, not Thomas Sowell — that the only thing that really changed in the Civil War was that Massa moved from the big white house in Georgia to the same in Washington DC.

    I know. Yadda yadda yadda says the TP Brigade. Prove it.
    Well I can’t, that’s why it’s apocryphal, but here’s a remark from a heathen who compared Lincoln to Bismarck and Lenin, who together with Lincoln

    . . . presided over the unifications of the three great modern powers. . . Each established a strong central government over hitherto loosely coordinated peoples. Lincoln kept the Union together by subordinating the South to the North; Bismarck imposed on the German states the cohesive hegemony of Prussia; Lenin . . .began the work of binding Russia, with its innumerable ethnic groups scattered through immense spaces, in a tight bureaucratic net (Edmund
    Wilson, Patriotic Gore, 1962, pp.xvi.xvii).”

    How come Carl Sandberg never told me about that in grade school? I mean nobody knows who Bismarck is these days, but Lenin? Come on. The nerve of some people. Betcha Wilson is probably a commie.

    Lincoln’s apotheosis aside, I am told the new monument in DC for MLK, a religious liberal, career plagiarist and socialist whore mongerer, was made in (Red) China.
    Oh well.

    But hey, it’s still fun to counter-bait those kill joys who keep having flashbacks to Greg and Doug whenever they disagree with somebody or hear something they have never heard before.

    And with that we shall scoot amid the catcalls, flying beer bottles and general all around derision.

    cheers

    Like

  85. Erik,

    Since when is the florist part of the celebration? Are florists also asking to see an obituary before they agree to send flowers over to the funeral home?

    It seems to me that 2K encourages a kind of political libertarianism—which I am fine with by the way.

    Thus, why is it okay for the courts to force anyone to sell stuff to anyone the seller does not want to do business with?

    Like

  86. Robert – Thus, why is it okay for the courts to force anyone to sell stuff to anyone the seller does not want to do business with?

    Erik – I don’t know how many of you who think you’ve been living in the land of the free until those pesky gays came along realize that the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968.

    Try not renting to many different types of people whom you “don’t want to do business with” and get out your checkbook to start paying legal bills & fines.

    http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/FHLaws/yourrights

    I suppose if I’m going to be a good, Reformed Christian man I’m going to have to oppose the Civil Rights movement as well, though. Who knew all the things I had to disdain to be Reformed?

    Like

  87. Robert – It seems to me that 2K encourages a kind of political libertarianism—which I am fine with by the way.

    Erik – 2K doesn’t encourage a kind of political anything. All it encourages is not co-mingling the church with private political opinions. The problem with what Bob E. is doing is he’s defending his boorish rhetoric on religious grounds. He’s saying, in effect, “Hey, this is what my church and all Christians believe, so you can’t fire me for saying it. You’re discriminating against me on account of my religion.”

    The irony is that he is a member of the Christian Reformed Church. Not exactly a hotbed of inflammatory, anti-gay rhetoric these days.

    Like

  88. Robert, the legal system isn’t perfect and who knows what honestly went down on that case.

    I have worked on total dogs of files that won in court and lost what seemed like lead pipe locks of righteousness.

    There are no worthy political systems, just a Saviour who cleanses the ungodly who have the gift of faith.

    Like

  89. Aw, that homo journalist Rauch wants us to not cut ourselves off from the surrounding society. How benevolent of him.

    Then perhaps he can join us in opposing legislative attempts to force Christians to supply birth control in employee health care plans, opposing laws to bludgeon Christian bakers, flower arrangers into supplying their goods and services in service of homo ‘weddings’ and punish them if they fail to do so, and vociferously oppose the fascists in his own community in their vindictive crusade.

    If he will do all that (and not just a paragraph or two in one essay decrying their extremism, but continuously, consistently, bang the drum), and redirect his energies against the totalitarian tendencies of his own kind, then maybe I may begin to listen to and care about whatever he has to say.

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  90. @ Zrim: Yes, I’m an extravert. ESTJ, thank you very much. What the heck does that have to do with anything? Except perhaps make me bolder, where introverts are more timid. 🙂

    I’m not even going to bother to read another Rauch piece, thank you very much. He doesn’t have anything useful to say.

    And what’s this garbage about a ledge?

    Like

  91. In all the chitter chatter did I hear somebody say something about the Fairy Housing Act?
    Really?

    Go here to download “What is a Place of “Public” Accommodation?” by A. Avins in the Marquette Law Review, Vol. 52, No. 1 Summer 1968 for an alternative (i.e. constitutional) view that a private business is under the same kind of strictures as the civil government.
    That a private business is under the same kind of restraints as somebody in business with a legally granted government monopoly.
    IOW just because you are in business doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to refuse service to someone.

    What, you are a doctor and don’t perform abortions? Why, that’s discrimination. My equal rights under Roe Wade are being dissed.

    I know, I know, latte Christians don’t like a helping of Cassandra with their coffee, but sometimes it can’t be helped. Because it could be coming soon to a venue near you.

    And speaking of “Bumpersticker Bob’s BS”, this from someone responsible for coining the execrable phrase “fetal politics” to refer pro-lifers, whom one might reasonably presume, they also despise. But what do I know?

    Enough said.

    Adieu, my fellow obscurantists.

    Like

  92. getting rid of your TV honestly eliminates 200 things that you choose to allow into your mind that might get you needlessly upset and have nothing realistically to do with your life.

    decaf as well.

    some enjoy getting upset over things that have nothing to do with them.

    i guess it’s a hobby?

    Like

  93. Kent,

    If Bob & Will have to give up TV & caffeine, the next thing you’ll be asking them to give up is their bunker, weapons cache, and Idaho compound.

    Slippery slope, you know.

    Like

  94. “some enjoy getting upset over things that have nothing to do with them.”

    True, and nothing gets the 2k wannabes and sycophants buzzing and clucking more than those who deny that sodomy or abortion is the moral equivalent of picking your nose in public.

    “Who cares?” is actually the proper latte Christian response.

    hey, somebody’s got to maintain orthodoxy while the rest of us hoodlums are burning down abortion cynics.

    Like

  95. Erik, when bunkers, weapons caches, and Idaho compounds are criminalized only criminals will have bunkers, weapons caches, and Idaho compounds. Lets hope we never see that day.

    Like

  96. And nothing gets the Christian culturalist up out of his seat and frothing like suggesting that sometimes it’s just disagreeable law and not the brink of apocalypse. But Robert Bork speaks more like a conservative than a political moralist:

    “I oppose abortion. But an amazing number of people thought that I would outlaw abortion. They didn’t understand that not only did I have no desire to do that, but I had no power to do it. If you overrule Roe v. Wade, abortion does not become illegal. State legislatures take on the subject. The abortion issue has produced divisions and bitterness in our politics that countries don’t have where abortion is decided by legislatures. And both sides go home, after a compromise, and attempt to try again next year.”

    Like

  97. If one feels powerless in society, picking a public figure (or group of strangers to hate) and feeling smug and superior when they are somehow diminished just enslaves the powerless person even more.

    They don’t even see it…

    Like

  98. Bob – hey, somebody’s got to maintain orthodoxy while the rest of us hoodlums are burning down abortion cynics.

    Erik – You’re behind the times. I think an axe is the preferred mode of destruction now.

    Like

  99. The scent of lame-o passive aggressive nonsense makes us laugh and increase the taunting in your general direction

    Like

  100. Yet another recruit for the ranks of the latte Christians.
    Why, we ought to be able to put together a platoon in short order.
    Substance? Argument? what’s that?
    IOW more of the sosos

    Like

  101. Boo-hoo Bob Haiku:

    Grumpy white man, Grunting, railing.
    Gays overrunning America. Head for the hills.
    Fight the power, reformed he-men. Black coffee,
    six pack. I’m out.

    Like

  102. This is better than the people who kept screaming that a nuclear holocaust was coming, just like Hal Lindsay said, 1984 at the latest.

    Probably the same folks today going cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs on human rignts

    Like

  103. Not bad. Just what we would expect from the modern moderate crowd.
    IOW self congratulations are in order for the house.

    Just don’t twist that rubber arm patting yourself on the back, guys.
    We know who you’ll blame.
    Anybody who disagrees with you, i.e. engages in ungood crimethink.

    [Translation for those who can’t connect the dots if somebody gave them a ruler and held their hand.]

    Gotta love the 2K natural law posers.
    As in there is no way to violate the natural law, so it’s all good.
    We goes along to get along with the world.
    All is swell, unless you ain’t swilling the zeitgeist.
    Then the knives come out.
    Have fun, kiddies.

    Like

  104. Excuse me, but we innerrupt the subtle and low key barrage of flatulence from those sophisticated enough to recognize that there is no such thing as sin – except in the minds and churches of those who disagree with them – to highlight some comments bearing on another (non gaystapo, woohoo!) exchange in this combox.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014
    At an 1865 Gathering of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society…
    By Walter E. Williams

    While reading the first chapter of Jason Riley’s new book, “Please Stop Helping Us,” I thought about Will Rogers’ Prohibition-era observation that “Oklahomans vote dry as long as they can stagger to the polls.” . . .
    Riley says that between 1970 and 2001, the number of black elected officials skyrocketed from fewer than 1,500 to more than 9,000, but black poverty has remained roughly the same. Between 1940 and 1960, when black political power was virtually nonexistent, the black poverty rate fell from 87 percent to 47 percent. Riley points out that there has been significant achievement among the black middle class but that wide black-white gaps remain with respect to income, educational achievement, unemployment, labor force participation, incarceration rates and other measures. Despite political gains, there have been dramatic reversals in teen unemployment, crime, out-of-wedlock births and family stability. Political power is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for socio-economic progress. . . .

    Now, back to the smear in progress.

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  105. When the heat of the water is slowly and incrementally increased, the frog doesn’t notice until it is too late.

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