For all the bitterness of man must cease

This made me choke up today. It was the best I’ve felt in a long time.

The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you’ll find him;
His father’s sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;

Land of Song!” said the warrior bard,
“Though all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!”

The Minstrel fell! But the foeman’s chain
Could not bring that proud soul under;
The harp he loved ne’er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;

And said “No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery!”

During the American Civil War a third verse was written by an unknown author, and is sometimes included in renditions of the song:

The Minstrel Boy will return we pray
When we hear the news we all will cheer it,
The minstrel boy will return one day,
Torn perhaps in body, not in spirit.

Then may he play on his harp in peace,
In a world such as heaven intended,
For all the bitterness of man must cease,
And ev’ry battle must be ended.

Things I learned yesterday

1. If your alternator breaks, and the battery light on your car starts blinking, and one by one the things in your car start going off (e.g. the interior dash lights, the clock, etc), you should pull over immediately.

2. If a cop asks you rhetorical questions about the safety of your driving decisions, do not not attempt to answer these questions.

3. Cops can get upset really easily.

4. I can feel so righteously indignant, and in the morning realize I was in the wrong.

5. People who are trying to save people’s lives might have a right to be grumpy.

6. I can be really stupid.

7. Other people can be very kind.

Obnoxious, et al

Religion means well. “Religiare” in Latin means “to tie or bind”. Religion is a bunch of rules and systems and networks and hierarchies that attempt to tie God himself to the human soul. Its tangled up with society, with relationships, with families, and kingdoms and laws and history, heavy with the weight of paths tried and mistakes made.

So if you are sick of it, I think I understand. You don’t want to get caught in a net.

And I’m sure this blog alone makes you wonder what is the good of it. Mea Culpa. You know I’m a religio-political mess, irate and sentimental and arrogant and quick to judgement, with more inflated or broken ideals than the discarded currency of an overthrown regime. I could, at this point, argue here that “hah, well you should see what I’d be without religion” (it would be even more awful) or that religion, like indoor plumbing, is a (sometimes smelly) necessity…

But that is all beside the point. You don’t have to agree with me — I might be wrong. Forget about the nets. Just go to the radioactive blazing source.

Look. God is your father. He’s like a nuclear furnace at the heart of a star. I can’t put it into words. And he is your father, who watches every tear fall from your face in the dead of night. He a whirlwind. He is the one who grows every lumpy fish-looking fetus, and holds it like a gentle craftsmen, and breathes into it till it breathes its first breath.

And He is the one in the hurricanes, and the earthquakes. He gives life unlooked for, and death uncalled for, and things we do not understand.

But he a blazing fire and he is your father.

Just let go of yourself, and just, for ten seconds, trust the universe. Leap into his whirlwind. Trust the universe, trust Him, absolutely. Let go, let go of everything you think you are, and ask Him to show up and take you. Surrender, and let yourself see His Face.

It’s worth everything.

I swear it on my bone’s marrow, it will be worth it. You will find healing.

And the lion shall lie down with the lamb, and the little child shall lead them.

Snippets of my thoughts..

RightLaneEnds.jpg

On blue-collar Democrats who voted Republican for the first time in their life, in 2016:

Social conservatives often think that their policies are the way to reach out to these voters and bring them into the GOP coalition, but that’s a mistake. These voters are not motivated by social issues; they are, as the conservative Canadian political analyst Patrick Muttart says, “morally moderate.” They will go along with candidates of the Left or the Right who hold their party’s consensus views on abortion, gender identity, or marriage so long as they do not make those views their priority. Donald Trump’s lack of a firm grounding in traditional Republican social policy was, for these voters, a plus, as it signaled to them that advancing the Evangelical Christian social agenda would not be high on his agenda.

This is why I cry. There were conservatives and liberals. Then the liberals became extreme leftists. And they took over the schools, the media, and the universities, and went on a winning spree. The conservatives were desperate but kept losing. But then the leftists were so radical & elitest that they engendered a centrist-populist revolt, which also happened to blow up the conservatives.

Meanwhile, social conservatives either had nowhere to turn (and were ignored — the NeverTrumpers) or were cowed and brought to heel (for self-preservation from the extreme leftists who have made it clear that they do want to eliminate us and our faith as a ‘hate’ to be obliterated). We were either irrelevant, or cowed and compromised. To put it bluntly, out of fear of persecution we sold our soul.

Yes, the new populists are currently anti-leftist, but that doesn’t make them conservative.

And they are — very much — a reaction to the leftists, which means that much like the stereotypical pastor’s kid now drinking and partying, they are defined by the very thing they are rebelling against. Fore example: the elite left is obnoxiously feminist, so dammit, the populists are going to be obnoxiously chauvinist. Etc.

I don’t even know if it matters who “wins” anymore. They are both making each-other into the thing they hate. I happen to think the leftists started it (e.g. if you bash generations of good boys as horrible creatures of darkness, and systematically shoot down any attempt at male virtue, at some point all you will end up with are misogynistic chauvinists who actually do have a legit reason to hate you), but it doesn’t really matter at this point–its an awful cycle that will keep doing more damage for all sides.

And the most painful part of it all, is that America has so much potential. If we had stayed true to God, we could be out there saving the world, and Iraq could be a humane democracy right now, and the USA could be using its foreign policy clout to save apostates from execution, and women from honor killings and sexual exploitation. But instead the Middle East is in flames; the children are defiled; and the virulent feminists and virulent playboys can beat each other to mutually traumatized pulp, as the national culture gets increasingly amoral, nihilistic, and despairing.

😥

David on manhood

The following article is copied from National Review Online. It was written in the spring, as a plea to Trump supporters. Now it’s all moot as he is the President-elect. But the ideas in here are important.

Trump’s Counterfeit Masculinity

It reinforces every feminist stereotype.

By David French — April 25, 2016

By David French. Read more at: https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2016-04-25-0100/donald-trump-2016-campaign-proves-feminism-right

Yes, David pretty much sums it up.

Source: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442286/donald-trump-liberals-anti-christian-bigotry-swung-election

This article was copied from National Review Online

Last week, my friends and former colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit against the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The facts of the case aren’t terribly exciting: The university, like many universities, has a mandatory “service learning” program that requires students to perform 30 hours of community service, and it uses the program as a thinly disguised means of astroturfing student activism. The program specifically encourages students to work with “public interest” organizations, political campaigns, “environmental action” groups, and other nonprofits — but it doesn’t grant credit to students for promoting “religious doctrine” or “proselytizing.”

In other words, students can and do promote ideological, cultural, or political causes, but they cannot promote their religious faith. Two students who’d performed dozens of hours of service at Catholic parishes, teaching children about the basics of the Catholic faith, church history, and morality filed suit, noting that they would have received credit for the same services if performed in a non-religious context. The case is now pending in federal court.

As such cases go, this one is small, with facts not nearly as lurid as any one of the dozens of lawsuits filed against colleges, universities, and municipalities in the last decade. But it’s perfectly emblematic of the way that secular-progressive America now operates. When it can, it will single out Christian individuals and institutions and make their lives that much more difficult — denying job opportunities, imposing hopelessly twisted double standards, and subjecting them to one-sided, Byzantine regulatory retribution. It’s easy to identify the few lawsuits that get media attention, but there are dozens — even hundreds — of others across the country that go unnoticed. There is a pervasive feeling among American Christians that secular progressives will actively seek out new and creative ways to persecute and marginalize them.

Millions of American Christians understand that if you work for a state or local governments — or even for private companies — publicly vocalizing traditional Christian views of sexual morality can cost you your job, even as outspoken support for radically new sexual morality is lauded. If you start a Christian group on campus, administrators by the hundreds will deem you “discriminatory” and “bigoted” for daring to assert that it should be run by Christians.

Meanwhile, liberal activist groups operate with impunity, often coordinating their well-funded efforts with university administrators and faculty. If you attend a Christian college, secular-progressive academic regulators may well pressure your university to break with Christian orthodoxy as a condition of receiving state funds or even of maintaining accreditation.

If you’re a Christian who runs a business, you’re exactly one decision or one statement away not just from vicious social-media shame campaigns and boycotts but also from vengeful state action that could close your store and bankrupt your family. If you’re a Christian applying for a job in higher education, you can expect doors to be slammed in your face, less-qualified candidates to enjoy greater opportunities, and hostile faculties and administrations to sometimes ask probing or even illegal questions about your “bigotry.”

If you’re a church pastor, you must wonder which of your ministries could be attacked by local activists, and whether the very act of serving the poorest and most vulnerable citizens is perversely opening your church to legal attack. Orthodox Christians feel as if they’re under cultural and legal siege because they are.

In short, orthodox Christians feel as if they’re under cultural and legal siege because they are. Sixteen years ago, when I first starting defending religious liberty and free speech on college campuses, I would speak at churches and describe a mindset in which campus administrators and activists actively compared faithful-Christian student groups to the Ku Klux Klan. Audiences shook their heads in disbelief. They couldn’t imagine such a hysterical onslaught, and it felt distant, removed from their daily lives. No one shakes their head now.

And with all the social pressures on the left driving Democratic politicians to ever-more-vicious acts of religious persecution, the election of 2016 presented conservative Christians with nothing but terrible options: Vote for an immoral man who might help, vote for an immoral woman who will try to hurt, or vote for someone decent who can’t win.

Make no mistake, Donald Trump is president-elect in part because Evangelicals gave him their votes by a record margin. In an election this close, you can’t pin victory or defeat on any one group, but there is little doubt that had wavering Evangelicals not gone for Trump, his path to victory would have grown much narrower.

The lesson here is clear: When the Left comprehensively and enthusiastically attacks millions of Americans, it forfeits any and all ability to reach those Americans for any purpose, much less to earn their votes. Ironically enough, however, the short-term result of the election is likely to be an increase in religious persecution. While the Obama administration was hostile to religious liberty, the overwhelming majority of lawless acts occur in the deep-blue urban and cultural centers that are most enraged by the Trump win and are responding with sheer panic and fury.

While some thoughtful leftists are opening their hearts to the need for greater tolerance and understanding, others are busy comparing Trump voters to lynch mobs, doing their best to poison a new generation of Americans against the church.

There is no easy way out of this escalating culture war.

To the secular left, Trump’s election proves that Evangelicals don’t mean what they say about character, sexual morality, and love for their neighbors. The distraught Evangelical voter responds that liberal bigotry forced him to vote for Trump, despite his many manifest failings. I may believe that Christians had better options, but I know that my own friends and neighbors disagreed. They in good faith believed that a vote for Trump was the only rational way to protect life and liberty. So, yes, leftist radicals are right when they say that “hate” helped turn the 2016 election. But it was their own malice and intolerance that proved decisive. They chant that “love trumps hate,” but in reality their hate sunk Hillary. They say a bigot is in the White House, but their own bigotry helped put him there.

— David French is an attorney, and a staff writer at National Review.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442286/donald-trump-liberals-anti-christian-bigotry-swung-election

FYI

To anti-Trump protesters out there (and you have my sympathy):

  1. Stop talking about how everyone else is “hateful” and an “idiot” except for you and your elite “smart” friends who are apparently the only decent human beings in the universe. It was your condescension and arrogance and bullying for the last ten years that has got us into this mess in the first place.
  2. Stop throwing American flags on the ground and burning them, and making glam instagram-style pics of the event. Trust me, you are just alienating yourself further. For the rest of us Americans, that is  for us the emotional equivalent of throwing Qur’ans in the toilet — y’know,  rumors of that caused riots & stuff among Muslims a few years back, and people died. And while your fellow Americans might not riot when they see you doing that, we do feel like we want to
  3. Sometimes (trust me) telling people “I believe in you and you are better than this” might actually be the best way forward. It also helps if you mean it.