Open Blogging

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68 Responses

  1. Anon says:

    Sadly, another apparent Trump toady hosting a superspreader COVID event. His poor staff…

    Ramsey Solutions, the company founded by the bestselling author and radio host, plans to host “Boots & BBQ,” a large in-person Christmas party, for hundreds of staff members at the company’s Franklin, Tennessee, headquarters, despite an outbreak of more than 50 cases at the company’s headquarters as late as mid-November.

    An invitation, sent to the company’s 800 staffers in a newsletter obtained by RNS, advises that no children are allowed at the Christmas bash and that employees are limited to one guest apiece. No mention is made of masks being required.

    In staff meetings and on his radio show, Ramsey described masks and other COVID-19 prevention strategies as a sign of fear.

    https://religionnews.com/2020/12/11/dave-ramsey-christian-financial-guru-ridicules-covid-19-fears-plans-large-in-person-christmas-party/

  2. Em says:

    I suspect covid hit me last Feb. (2020)… I had a few days of fatigue and i couldn’t smell or taste odors and food… But, my calcium supplement that i have taken for years contains D3 and we think that contributed to an 83 year olds mild case….
    Take D3, but take it consistently and with a certain amount of fat that is necessary for absorption of D3
    And we wear masks religiously, more to protect others than ourselves, just in case
    Prayer doesn’t hurt either… 🙏 😇

  3. Em says:

    I have s question…. Could there be such a thing as people without souls?

  4. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    having gone through an Adorno binge in the last six years I notice Verso has a new edition of Georg Lukacs’ The Destruction of Reason. Anyone who put down Adorno by saying “he wants a proleterian revolution without a proleteriat” is someone I’m curious to read. I may not be a Marxist myself but they have definitely had some genius level literary and art theory critics in the last century (and I actually can admit that as a fan of Soviet music there’s a lot about socialist realism as a range of suggestions as opposed to USSR party fiat that I’ve liked for the last twenty years) so I’m looking forward to picking up the new Lukacs edition next year.

    Adorno was brilliant even when he was completely wrong (about American popular music). The late Roger Scruton, who died earlier this year, basically just took Adorno’s criticisms of pop songs, subtracted the Marxism, and retained the highbrow elite disdain … although that was twenty-five years ago. Late career Scruton concluded that a revitalization of classical music will depend on taking jazz and the American songbook seriously as art forms. It only took him half a century … but he got there in the end. 🙂 I look forward to a day when people can draw upon Thelonious Monk tunes as the basis for sonata forms.

    Anyway, book advertisement contribution post over.

  5. Michael says:

    Em,

    All people have souls…perhaps all living creatures.
    A seared conscience looks like a person with no soul…

  6. Xenia says:

    A few weeks ago I object to the remark made here that Catholic Archbishop Vigano was a nut. I repent: He’s a nutcase. He’s at that Jericho March (by video) and he’s just as whackadoodle as the rest of them.

  7. Jim says:

    Em, I don’t think it genetics, as my late teens/early 20’s were filled with recurring bouts of bronchitis. I’m a supplement freak, and adhere to the most unusual diet on the planet. Some of my friends scoff until they hear that I had the flu in 2007, and a mild cold in 2014, and remember the dates because I never get sick.

    When my in-laws were alive, I would visit them when they had the flu, which was every year, even though they received annual flu shots.

    My friend’s scoffing doesn’t bother me.

    You’ve recommended D3 a lot here. Keep it up!

  8. WTH. I don’t think you’ve ever mentioned your occupation. If you did, I missed that episode. In a way, it’s more intriguing to be a persons of mystery.

    We have a very broad range of interest, talents and knowledge here.

  9. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I’ve steered clear of occupational discussions for a number of reasons but I can say that none of the day jobs I have had in my life have had anything to do with that journalism degree I got. 🙂

    I wanted to get into academics when I was young and I had interests in philosophy, literature, music, political/military history and biblical literature (if I’m honest, more biblical literature than dogmatics). I considered seminary and didn’t go for want of money and any sense of “calling”. I considered grad school in music in music history or guitar performance and that didn’t pan out on account of money and reluctance to relocate during my Mars Hill years.

    My blog has maybe 2 percent of the readership it had back in 2014 but it’s great because I can publish a 131 page treatise called Ragtime and Sonata Forms and while hardly anybody reads the blog I’m okay with that part.

    Having broad interests is a way to help make occasionally mind-numbingly dull day jobs easier to work through. 🙂

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    WTH

    Just got yourself another reader for your blog (and probably another one when I tell my bandmate about it).

  11. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Ironically, Duane, I should mention that this year has been one where I finally decided to take a vacation from blogging until I get materials together for 2021 projects. It hit me in the last months that besides the 131 page Ragtime and Sonata Forms series I blogged this year I also did an analytical series on Nikita Koshkin’s 24 Preludes and Fugues Vol. 1 this year (I can’t wait for Asya Selyutina to record the second half).

    I have, at least, created pages at the blog by topic. There’s a page full of Mars Hill history stuff (which is where most of my negligible traffic tends to come from). There’s a page dedicated to music stuff and a lot of it is classical guitar related stuff, analyses of early 19th century guitar sonatas and playing with the idea of how readily Italian and Bohemian sonata themes can become ragtime strains stuff. There’s also a page dedicated to Mockingbird contributions and those are mainly in the realm of animation, superheroes and stuff like that–one of my favorite writing projects was a big set of essays on Batman: the animated series I wrote for Mbird in anticipation of the 20th anniversary of the show. Heath Ledger was great but Mark Hamill is still the greatest Joker ever. 🙂

    Man, I feel sheepish knowing that I just felt a need to vacation from my blog but 2020 has been a weird year. Between Michael’s ordeals and Throckmorton getting covid-19 2020 has been a rough year reading about my favorite Christian bloggers running into bad situations and come 2021 Internet Monk is basically going to end. 2020 has been a very weird year.

  12. Jean says:

    If a substantial minority of the country (in the 40+% range) is either against, reluctant or very insure about taking a Covid vaccine, is it prudent to threaten to fire the head of the FDA if he didn’t issue an authorization by the close of business yesterday and otherwise complain about the timeliness of the FDA review of the data?

    Especially when the vast majority of anti-Vaccers are your own supporters?

    Or, is this a passive aggressive attempt to torpedo the national vaccination effort to delay the recovery of the American economy?

  13. Jean says:

    I am all for Christians vigorously participating in a legitimate political process in their capacity as citizens of a country. But when political activism is cast as a Jericho March, though I love and LOL at the marketing prowess of evangelicalism, I strongly condemn the conflation of that political activism as God’s project.

  14. Anon says:

    I like this thought, about the vocation of politics:

    This idea that we just sort people into baskets of good and evil ignores the central fact of human existence, which is that each of us is a basket of good and evil.

    The job of politics is to summon the good and beat back the evil.

    — Pete Buttigieg

  15. The New Victor says:

    Dave Ramsey is mostly wrong about Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s (to quote him, “it’s math!), and has no sympathy or plan for homeowners or renters in high cost of living areas, “math is math no matter where you live!” Riiight… but the overall system is valid and helps a lot of people. Sad to see this ignorance.

    The kids’ aunt tested positive for covid. I was told this morning. The kids saw her last Sunday, did a goodbye hug. Aunt felt sick the next day and self quarantined. Everyone else in that home tested negative, and they are getting another test Wednesday.

    The kids are with me this weekend. They are getting tested Monday afternoon as is their mom. I had no direct exposure and Kaiser indicates I don’t need a test. Popped a D3 today, and am Type O, maybe I’ll be OK. I probably should get tested. I do work on site as essential,though we work in a lab with masks, social distancing and decon.

    I told the kids they couldn’t play with their friends, even outside, until they were cleared.

  16. Anon says:

    Biden deniers apparently having a tough time at Saturday’s Jericho March.

    But his name did come up…

    So far no one at this event has prayed for Joe Biden. But they have casted him into hell a couple of times. 🙂 #jerichomarch
    — John Fea

  17. jtk says:

    Just finishing Day 14 of quarantine, for seeing the folks for 36 hours in a neighboring state.

    So glad I have a hobby. But even more glad no one in either side of the family got sick.

    Off to church, a small group, in a huge room with 100% masks.

    Isolation is rough, but church makes it so much easier.

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s Sunday morning – the 3rd Sunday in Advent
    At the mid week Advent service, we sang the hymn “Savior of the Nations, Come” and I was struck by this the 3rd verse. “Here a maid was found with child. Yet remained a virgin mild. In her womb this truth was shown: God was there upon his throne.”
    The fact that Mary would become the mother of almighty God himself is something in itself.
    My wife posted the Kenny Rogers / Wynona Judd rendition of Mary Did You Know on her Facebook page. We need to ponder that ne too – because she did know.

  19. Anon says:

    Garry Kasparov:

    Don’t dare say “But the system worked” when a majority of Republicans in Congress support the overturning of a free and fair election. You don’t celebrate a cancer not having killed you yet. You celebrate when you’re cancer free.

    The system isn’t working when so many of its participants and supposed defenders are trying to destroy it. That’s the crisis, and it’s not going away because this time some judges threw out cases prepared by idiots.

    As long as Republicans feel it’s in their best interest to choose Trump and power at all costs, and see attacking the US electoral system as a way to do that, the cancer will continue to spread, eating away at American trust in govt and democracy.

  20. Em says:

    attacking the US electoral system? then i guess counting ballots with no signature is a good thing?
    i could have sworn we were trying to preserve and protect the electoral systems from some pretty slip/slidy compromises in security, but then being an independent can be described as on the fence, i guess….. sigh
    Asserting that NO computer counting system is bullet proof is just mindless diatribe?
    Oh well….. oh well….. oh……

  21. Michael says:

    CM,

    Your comment is under moderation.
    I’ve asked that you speak respectfully…I’m not asking anymore.

  22. Jean says:

    CM’s comment may have been coarsely worded, but he is factually correct regarding how ballots are “private” and not signed anywhere that I’m aware of.

    Moreover, no one that I have heard of has ever asserted that a computer counting system is “bullet proof”. On the other hand, no one has produced a shred of evidence that any computer system miscounted ballots to any material degree. So the accusation of a “mindless diatribe” is not speaking honestly or respectfully IMO.

  23. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Our ballot envelopes must be signed or they are not counted.
    In any case, no one will be persuaded by this sort of discourse…and I would hope persuasion and not simply pummeling is our objective.

  24. Xenia says:

    Here in CA we signed the envelope, not the ballot, which remained private.

  25. Jean says:

    Hi Michael,

    Yes, the ballot envelope is signed. And in Iowa the unsigned ballot is placed in an unsigned privacy envelope which is then inserted into an outer envelope which has the voter’s signature.

    There is no evidence that I’m aware of that any state having such requirements counted votes in which the outer ballot envelope was not signed.

    I do agree with you that pummeling is not our objective. It’s hard when frivolous or specious accusations are hurled evidence free against Biden voters and/or election officials and volunteers. The pro-Trump side has a responsibility to adhere to a modicum of decency as well.

  26. Xenia says:

    You absolutely don’t want to sign the ballot itself, which is to remain secret.

  27. Michael says:

    Jean,

    The reality is that most people are beyond persuasion now.
    Thus, we have to decide how we are going react and speak according to our faith.
    I don’t have it all worked out…but there has to be a way to bear witness to the truth with grace…even if no one else does.

  28. Dan from Georgia says:

    With the Covid-19 vaccine being distributed today, perhaps we should all pray for an end to this plague that is upon us.

  29. Michael says:

    Dan,

    Amen, amen, and amen…

  30. Michael says:

    Miss Kitty has rallied…ran more tests today and will hope for better answers.

  31. Dan from Georgia says:

    Good to hear Micheal…continued prayers.

  32. Anon says:

    Yay! Continuing to pray, Michael.

  33. bob1 says:

    “If you say the election was “stolen,” but can’t & don’t provide ANY evidence that the election was stolen, then you’re LYING.”

    — Joe Walsh, ran for President on Republican ticket this summer and fall, on Twitter today

  34. Em says:

    Yes i am glad to see that my comment was corrected It wasn’t the ballots, but the envelopes they came i that were not signed

  35. Em says:

    Someone wants evidence that computer tallies were rigged? I have some knowledge of programming, have family that are very computer savvy and i can guarantee you it can e done leaving zip, zero, nada evidence behind
    Believe it or not, your choice

  36. Xenia says:

    Em, you are saying it can be done but you have no proof that it has been done.

  37. josh hamrick says:

    I have a brilliant political take that you all must hear, and it will change everything…

  38. Em says:

    That isn’t the point, Xenia. Point IS we should not be using computers to speed up the election processing, i.e , i could write code that would on the screen verify you voted for X and still tally your vote for Y when the count reached a predetermined level…
    When the day was done Y would have won by a believable margin and the number of votes processed would be exactly the number of votes cast….
    And on screen display or hard copy would tell you that you had cast your vote as you intended…. No mater which candidate really was credited with your vote….

  39. josh hamrick says:

    If we were using paper, I could erase your vote and write over it the opposing candidate.

    Em, think on the things that are good and pure. All this right-wing stuff you are entertaining isn’t good for you.

  40. Xenia says:

    I think some of the Jericho people and their supporters got fooled by those huge Trump rallies he held in the weeks prior to the election. Such huge crowds, such incredible energy. Those people thought they were invincible and part some some historical work of God. But it turns out they were mistaken and most of the country did not share their love of Mr. Trump- something they find impossible to believe. God wasn’t in it after all… how devastating this is for some of them, to have been so sure it was God’s plan and to find out it wasn’t His plan after all and He either let them down, or they heard Him wrong. What a bitter pill to swallow. They have to stick with it no matter what because to quit now = losing faith in God Himself. What a terrible place for a Christian to find him/herself.

    If they want to console themselves by telling themselves Trump really won by a landslide, blah blah blah, that’s ok but when their delusions begin to threaten the peace of the country itself… (The “…” is because I don’t know what comes next but I worry for their souls and for the country.)

  41. Em says:

    Josh, God bless you, but the danger from the use of computers in our electoral process isn’t right wing or left
    and, yes, one could cross out a vote and change the vote to favor our choice of candidate, but ….
    that is why every person doing the tallying is supposed to have a person from each major party looking over their shoulder – close enough to keep them honest…

  42. Xenia says:

    I remember decades ago we had a derelict building in town that used to be a bowling alley. A local Pentecostal group wanted to use that building (buy, rent, use for free, I don’t remember.) There was some kind of obstacle so they began doing Jericho Marches around that building because then God would give it to them. They just knew this was His plan. But nothing came of it. The building was torn down and eventually the church itself disbanded.

  43. Em says:

    Something to think on…..
    IF this election was rigged, who did it and should we just let it slip by for the sake of peace?
    IF it came down provable and was overturned, do we think that the “riggers” would just let it slip by? For the sake of peace?
    My tablet isn’t charging… Must be God telling me to shut up and sit down…. 😉
    P.S. That’s not a smiley, it’s a winkie… .😁 that’s a smiley

  44. bob1 says:

    Sorry, Em.

    Your dog still ain’t huntin’. The election WASN’T rigged. Time to move on.

    I’m sorry your guy lost (don’t know who you voted for for sure, of course.. I had to deal with something similar when Clinton was defeated in 2016.

    In politics, you never get the “whole pie.” That’s how it’s designed.

  45. Jean says:

    “IF this election was rigged,”

    One can say “if” about just about everything including whether the moon is made of cheese.

    But the US doesn’t operate, succeed, or survive on “if.” It operates, succeeds and survives by the rule of law.

    If you don’t like computers used for elections, you advocate for change, prospectively. Where were you in 2016 when the election software tallied a victory for Trump?

    You don’t throw out an election because people followed the technology appointed for the election. You don’t throw out an election based on a baseless charge that election software code changed votes.

    You don’t say to 10s of millions of your fellow Americans that their votes do not deserve to count, because you have come up with an “if.”

  46. Em says:

    IF ? H!mm. You ever fly commercial jets? The engineers who design those things have a motto: If something can go wrong, it eventually will, so they design in redundancy in hopes of circumventing the ifs
    There is no redundancy for a computer that can’t be circumvented by a talented, but evil mind….
    If is not a lala land word

    And yes we survive or die by our respect and support for our Constitution – our rule of law

  47. Em says:

    Oh BTW
    We’ve been to the moon – no cheese found up there 😸

  48. Jean says:

    There are some very instructive takeaways from Barr’s departure. I would give this advice to my children.

    If you are asked to join an organization where your ethically suspect boss insists on a loyalty oath, you should consider the requirement unconditional. You can’t swear 85%, 90% even 95% loyal, no matter what. You have to go all in – 100%.

    Barr, who was the most partisan, corrupt Attorney General of the United States in my entire adult lifetime, who ran the Justice Department as Trump’s personal law firm, gave Trump 95% of all he had. He rendered to Caesar 95% and to whomever 5%. Maybe it was a reverse tithe.

    But, Bar made the fatal mistake of withholding just 5% of his own dignity. What is 5% among friends anyway? Surely Trump would allow him to keep 5%. It seemed like a reasonable deal, didn’t it?

    He thought in his own mind that Bar could be loyal to Trump while holding onto a shred, just a speck, of his own identity as a professional attorney. He was sorely mistaken!

    So the lesson I would offer anyone is, when faced with an opportunity to work for a despot, either give up everything for that man or don’t take the job. Because if you are loyal 50 consecutive times in matters that compromise your integrity for the sake of your boss, but decide that the 51st request is a step too far, you will be spit out (like a lukewarm employee). You will get no credit for the 50 previous compromises of your integrity. It is truly “What have you done for me lately?”

  49. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well I agree that it’s over and I said so back on Nov 9th on FB when AP called it.
    Now all that’s left are the pardons.
    I am hoping that both Edward Snowden and Jillian Arrange are amongst them.

    After the past 2 administrations, we need the truth.

  50. bob1 says:

    Apparently one of the brainiac anchors on Newsmax today said that to him, the election isn’t over.

    I would say that to me, it’s time for him to seek therapy.

  51. Em says:

    bob1, he’s the son of forner NYC police Chief Kelly .. You might want to rethink your advice to him… 🙊

  52. bob1 says:

    Who cares? That’s irrelevant.

    Chris Cuomo on CNN is Gov. Cuomo’s brother. But if Chris were to start spouting lies and untruths, would it matter who his brother is?

  53. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    apropos of “open blogging” the Robert Ewusie Moses book Practices of Power is one of the better books on spiritual warfare and Ephesians 6 interpretation I’ve read in the last year. Another very good book is Esther Acolatse’s Powers, Principalities, and the Spirit: Biblical Realism in Africa and the West.

    Hope to have more to say about the books in 2021 after I’m off my blogging vacation. For now I’ll just leave it at I highly recommend both books. In my 40-some book list of reading on exorcism, diabology and spiritual warfare Moses and Acolatse have some of the better books I’ve read in my reading project.

  54. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Julia Duin has a piece on the Jericho March and the distinctions it reveals between charismatics/Pentecostals and evangelicals. As my cessationist associates have put it, those who are cessationists don’t think they’re going to hear a word from God that Trump got elected because they subscribe to the kind of providential sovereignty that accepts that Trump lost, whereas charismatics (which can include charismatic Catholics) might decide that they heard a word that Trump won after all.

    https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2020/12/14/jericho-march-in-dc-coming-out-party-for-movement-journalists-havent-really-covered

  55. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I find all the fascination with the Jericho March to be odd.
    Whatever the attendance numbers (you choose – high or low) – or whatever the make up of the crowd or speakers – we can safely say it was almost unanimously rejected by the group’s being called supportive.

    Over 70 million Trump supporters and at least a similar number of evangelicals (not to mention the millions upon millions of non evangelical christians) chose not to attend or participate in the event. If I were to guess, 99% of those were even unaware of it – and were tending to there own life.
    It’s probably more accurate to call it the big “who cares” event.

  56. Mike E. says:

    WTH Good book recommendations. It’s so very clear to me that the political weirdness infiltrating the church is satanic in origin. The Scriptures are very clear about the hierarchies of demonic entities that control the activities of nations, insofar as God allows them to. This present darkness must be fought on a spiritual level, definitely not political and human devices.

  57. Michael says:

    MLD,

    There were thousands there and thousands more watching online.
    Some of the most influential voices in evangelicalism were there, some with hundreds of thousands of online followers.
    These events tell us something about a large group of people.

  58. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, for there to be even 1% of all Trump voters or 1% of evangelicals participating online or in person would be 700,000 people.
    Heck, small potatoes – most (like me) probably tuned in after it was over to see what all the commotion was about.

    But that’s OK as it fits the anti Trump / anti evangelical spirit going around.

  59. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Eric Metaxas alone has 129,000 followers on Twitter.
    The march was televised and broadcast online.
    It was a significant event, not a monolithic one.
    While I couldn’t possibly be more anti-Trump than I am, I will also acknowledge that there are healthy strains of evangelicalism that haven’t sold their souls to Nero.

  60. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Don’t mistake what I say – I agree that the participants are crazy fools. My point is that they do not represent Trump supporters at all nor do they represent any Christian faction I know of other than their own.

    Here is the test to see if there is any impact – Michael, you say you come from a pretty redneck area of So Oregon (I know I do here in NW AZ)
    So next Wednesday why don’t we both stand outside the local grocery store in our own town and ask people going in or out what they thought of the Jericho March? I will bet that response of recognition will be small, very small.

  61. CM says:

    Michael,

    Horton really nails it on the head. But he has been sounding the alarm for decades.

    His book Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church (published in 2008) expounded on many of the same points the article you linked.

  62. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I guess the point comes up – are these Christians?
    I agree with what Chaplain Mike says to this point – “Rod Dreher describes a movement that is characterized by the worst tendencies of gnostic dualism, religious nationalism, New Apostolic Reformation theocratic views, dispensational eschatology, and pentecostal enthusiasm.”

    I am a little confused by what he labels “the worst tendencies of…” when all of the points are non Christian (in my view – some here may consider them equal differing opinions – I do not).
    So, if they are guided by these radically wrong theologies / influences they are more like the Prophets of Baal and we should call them out as non Christians instead of saying Christianity needs to change course. (and the Messianic Jew blowing the shofar is just plain fake, made up Christianity.)

    And to the Horton book – I will say (my opinion only) that Christless Christianity is not wrong headed / wrong spirited Christianly – it is no Christianity at all

  63. Em says:

    Decision? I have decided that Jesus is the Redeemer and i need His offer of redemption….
    I then repent and am baptized (both by God the Holy Spirit and water) that does not a new birth make?
    My daughter ( an oboe player) decided she wanted a shofar when she toured Israel. She then, that afternoon went out on her hotel balcony and blew some pretty hefty calls. That got the attention of the locals. 😉. What’s wrong with blowing a sofar, if you can?

  64. Em says:

    Decision? I have decided that Jesus is the Redeemer and i need His offer of redemption….
    I then repent and am baptized (both by God the Holy Spirit and water) that does not a new birth make?
    My daughter ( an oboe player) decided she wanted a shofar when she toured Israel. She then, that afternoon went out on her hotel balcony and blew some pretty hefty calls. That got the attention of the locals. 😉. What’s wrong with blowing a sofar, if you can? Sigh…..

  65. Em says:

    Sorry about double comment… Did i do that? Guess i did. 🙆

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