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Is Christian art an expression of white supremacism?

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Overnight, we noted a certain Mr Sean King, aka “Talcum X” who has perhaps 1.1 million Twitter followers:

I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down.

They are a form of white supremacy.

Always have been.

In the Bible, when the family of Jesus wanted to hide, and blend in, guess where they went?

EGYPT!

Not Denmark.

Tear them down . . . .

Yes.

All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down.

They are a gross form white supremacy.

Created as tools of oppression.
Racist propaganda.

They should all come down.

Of course, immediately, Egypt c. 7 – 4 BC was cosmopolitan, especially its capital of that time, Alexandria (which had a large Jewish quarter . . . Jews may have been 10% of the Roman Empire).

Similarly, here is a Roman statue of Cleopatra, mid C1 BC . . . about the time of her visit to Rome, last Queen of Egypt (by then a Roman client state):

Cleopatra VII, last ruler of Egypt, a Ptolemaic Greek who may have had some Egyptian lineage also. (HT: Wikipedia)

No, Egypt was quite cosmopolitan. And indeed, a point made by objectors in Mr King’s Twitter thread was to post this, showing the racial diversity of Ancient Egypt. Though, of course, hair colour is subject to discolouration and the blue eyes claim is in some cases dubious. Mind you, I have cousins with very African features and sapphire blue eyes, given St Elizabeth, Jamaica’s notorious tri-continental racial mashup so blue eyes in some cases would not be implausible:

Similarly, another commenter posted various holy family portrayals, including:

Also:

Here is a very Medieval scene from the C14 Morgan Bible MS:

In that light, let us now ponder the only sculpture Michelangelo signed, his awesome Pieta, with a forever young Mary holding the body of her son across her lap as she mourns:

Pieta, Michelangelo (HT: Wiki Media and Stanislav Traykov )

Then, there is Poland’s famous (and once defaced by Hussite raiders) Black Madonna, originally a Byzantine Icon:

The Black Madonna Icon, venerated by Popes (HT: Wikipedia)

The point is obvious, people often portrayed Jesus, the Holy Family and other Biblical figures in light of their own culture.

And duly, in our scientific, digitally besotted age, we have tried a digital reconstruction of Jesus as a typical C1 Palestinian Jew:

Jesus as a typical C1 Palestinian Jew (HT: Pop Mech)

I suspect, it will not only be BA77 who will prefer this digital painting based on a shroud image:

And, here is a digital fade:

And of course, here is one of the Rose Windows of Notre Dame:

The South Rose Window, Notre Dame

Why bother?

Because, our art and monuments reflect who we are and what we aspire to be. Just so, the besmirching, branding, defacing, deliberate destruction and replacement of great art and key historic monuments is a symbolic raping of a culture and the souls of its people, meant to scar the soul.

That’s why Mao sicced his Red Guards on Chinese treasures, even desecrating graves and bodies given honourable burial. It is why today’s culture form marxist heirs of said Red Guards target cultural achievements and monuments, smear them with one sided or outright slanderous graffiti and use that as an excuse to burn, deface, tear down.

For example, is this even near a responsible summary of the man who — warts and all — led Britain’s lonely stand for what he termed “Christian Civilisation” against Hitler’s triumphant Panzers, Stukas and Messerschmitts in that awful summer now eighty years distant, 1940?

This is rage-driven Civilisation replacement that they intend.

But those on the streets likely don’t understand the need for cultural buttresses to sustain a sound Constitutional Democracy, in their burning zeal to be rid of what they see as an evil civilisation with effectively no redeeming virtues.

So, let us remind of the good governance challenge and what triggering anarchic chaos is liable to trigger, a tumble into the vortex of tyranny:

U/d b for clarity, nb Nil

Likewise, let us refresh ourselves on one of the crown jewels of our civilisational inheritance, our natural law heritage:

We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. Inescapable, as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour, so also to fairness and justice etc. Such built in law is not invented by parliaments or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.

For, as Cicero reminded us, c 50 BC, in De Legibus: “Law. . .  is the highest reason, implanted in nature, which prescribes those things which ought to be done, and forbids the contrary” and again, of how “the voice of conscience is a law, that moral prudence is a law, whose operation is to urge us to good actions, and restrain us from evil ones.

That core heritage was endorsed by the Apostle Paul, even as he gives a form of the Golden Rule and explains in brief how conscience instructs and how love sums up law:

Rom 2: 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . .

Rom 13:Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. [ESV]

Themes like these would be built up and integrated into core thought, e.g. by The Angelic Doctor, St Thomas Aquinas:

So, when rage-driven radicals brand Christian art as intentionally oppressive racism tantamount to Nazism (which was neo-pagan heresy, strictly) and demand its despoliation, they destabilise more than they imagine.

It is time to correct such imbalance and blinding ill-advised rage lest we wreck what we cannot easily recover, our civilisation. Never mind, warts and all. END

77 Replies to “Is Christian art an expression of white supremacism?

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Is Christian art an expression of white supremacism?

    –> “our art and monuments reflect who we are and what we aspire to be. Just so, the besmirching, branding, defacing, deliberate destruction and replacement of great art and key historic monuments is a symbolic raping of a culture and the souls of its people, meant to scar the soul. “

  2. 2
    Bob O'H says:

    Why bother?

    Because, our art and monuments reflect who we are and what we aspire to be.

    So with all those white blue-eyed representations of Christ around, I think we can draw our own conclusions.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H:

    your barbed rhetorical stunt is a classic, telling own goal.

    Scroll up, you will see a famous Black Madonna and child, a Chinese Madonna and child, a Thai Madonna and child, as well as the awesome pieta of Michelangelo. That’s before we look at the modern digital culture reconstructions of a Mediterranean Semite.

    Note my comment:

    The point is obvious, people often portrayed Jesus, the Holy Family and other Biblical figures in light of their own culture.

    And here are the wider words you snipped out to set up and knock over a strawman:

    Why bother?

    Because, our art and monuments reflect who we are and what we aspire to be. Just so, the besmirching, branding, defacing, deliberate destruction and replacement of great art and key historic monuments is a symbolic raping of a culture and the souls of its people, meant to scar the soul.

    That’s why Mao sicced his Red Guards on Chinese treasures, even desecrating graves and bodies given honourable burial. It is why today’s culture form marxist heirs of said Red Guards target cultural achievements and monuments, smear them with one sided or outright slanderous graffiti and use that as an excuse to burn, deface, tear down.

    Notice, I went on to the case of defacement of Churchill’s statue — the man who led Britain’s lonely defence of what he termed “Christian Civilisation” in that awful Summer 80 years ago this very month and noted:

    This is rage-driven Civilisation replacement that they intend.

    But those on the streets likely don’t understand the need for cultural buttresses to sustain a sound Constitutional Democracy, in their burning zeal to be rid of what they see as an evil civilisation with effectively no redeeming virtues.

    So, let us remind of the good governance challenge and what triggering anarchic chaos is liable to trigger, a tumble into the vortex of tyranny

    I then pointed to one of the crown jewels in our legacy:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. Inescapable, as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour, so also to fairness and justice etc. Such built in law is not invented by parliaments or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.

    Tell me, is that setting up blond, blue eyed “Aryan” Nazi as the ideal? (For, that is what “white supremacism” is a stand-in for. Remember, punch a nazi?)

    I put it to you, not at all.

    I suggest, you need to rethink.

    KF

  4. 4
    daveS says:

    The church I attend is decorated with some of these old-school stained glass windows where Jesus looks very much like Jared Leto. They are not like the grand windows in a cathedral, but they are beautiful and no one wants to take them down.

    If this church had a lot of extra money (it doesn’t), I suppose they might consider adding new paintings in which Jesus and everyone else is depicted more “realistically”. I guess realism in art is sometimes important, and might be a good thing in this situation.

    Anyway “my” church was built 75 years ago, and most of the art is probably at least 50 years old. I wonder whether in churches being built today, there is an effort to include more realistic art so as not to mislead people about the ethnicity of biblical characters.

  5. 5
    News says:

    The Lord never speaks to any “race.” He chose the Israelites because they were nobodies. So he could show what he could do for anyone. In general, he speaks to individuals. It depends on what they see around them.

    Of COURSE the Dutch Masters painted everybody like they were Dutch. Hello? Hello? Do we have a bad ,line here?

    People paint what they paint.

  6. 6
    Barry Arrington says:

    KF’s point is perhaps nowhere better demonstrated than in courtyard gallery of Madonnas at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. People from all over the world have contributed different representations of the Madonna. As one might expect there is a great deal of diversity. As I strolled through, my favorite was the Japanese contribution, which is a mosaic of pearls. Sadly, my least favorite was the modernist horror contributed the US.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, the simple solution is sunday school art. KF

  9. 9
    News says:

    Painters paint what they know, the way writers write what they know.

    Hundreds of years ago, a painter in Western Europe, working on commission, hired models to sit there in Holy Family clothes. Who was he going to hire? Well, western Europeans. His neighbours.

    Could he have hired persons of another ethnicity?  Not very easily. 

    Please, people: Before the age of the CAMERA, there was no way of knowing what anyone “looked like” in the modern sense. It is a modern idea.

  10. 10
    asauber says:

    If you don’t like the way a statue looks, don’t look at it.

    Andrew

  11. 11
    asauber says:

    I thought progs/liberals/leftists/wokes were on the side of artistic expression?

    Andrew

  12. 12
    ET says:

    It is a given that Jesus wasn’t white. And yes I think it rubs people the wrong way to see him depicted as being white.

    That said, if Jesus was God then He was all races and none, at the same time.

  13. 13
    redwave says:

    How dare these mobs use violence and destruction to force their worldviews upon the conscious awareness of others. The falsely called people of color demonizing the falsely called white people for past “sins” with which they also freely and willingly participated. But these abhorrent mobs exhibit very little, if no, reasoned assessment of history and can not ground their violence and destruction in a justified argument. The objectified persons which deserve their contempt are those reflected in the mirror of their own purview.

    At bottom, and beyond their willingly conscious reach, this is not about white supremacy, rather it is about their own resentment and self-inflicted disempowerment. Accepting responsibility is far too disconcerting for a dysfunctional personality. For the mob is a conglomerate of dysfunctional personalities for whom facing and accepting a reasoned assessment of history and their own powerlessness is existentially untenable … at the present moment. And unbeknownst to their overwhelming discontented minds everyone and everything which they can not grasp becomes the rightful object of blame. Much to their own ignorance this story is at least as old as our ancient Mesopotamian ancestry, mythologized through the sibling rivalries of Cain and Abel in the want to acquire preeminence for their individual sacrifices.

    Jesus of Nazareth was not Greek nor of Roman descent. The thought that Jesus was a great Saxon Chieftain, as one finds in the 9th century Heliand, is an attractive image for my predominantly Germanic ancestry but I can not come to rest in such a view for Jesus of Nazareth. Reason and history does not allow me such personal deception. Reason and history constrains me from becoming absorbed by the mobs, by the collectives, the Marxists, the Fascists, the conglomerates of dysfunctional personalities.

    In a layered summary by the Evangelist Matthew, “So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood;see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.” This is not wholly unlike the present day mobs’ unceasing gibberish.

  14. 14
    Retired Physicist says:

    During the American revolution New Yorkers tore down a statue of George III. I remember Americans celebrating when the Iraqis tore down statues of Saddam. That suggests that people only mind when you tear down a statue of something they really support.

  15. 15
    asauber says:

    Retired Physicist,

    You are right. This isn’t about racism at all. It’s about revolution, change of power, destruction, etc.

    Andrew

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    RP & AS, exactly. It is about 4th gen insurgency in a context of demanding to abolish a great civilising innovation, police. It is about people so blindly polarised that they defaced the statue of the man who exactly eighty years ago led Britain’s lone stand, at bay, for “Christian Civilisation” against Hitler’s triumphant hordes. It is about those who defaced statues of Cervantes, Ghandi, the US WW2 memorial, the memorial to black union soldiers, statues of abolitionists and more. That uncomfortably echoes what happened in the run-up to the great terror in France. Which, should give us sobering pause. KF

  17. 17
  18. 18
    daveS says:

    It is about change of power, certainly. Racism is obviously a factor. Perhaps more rebellion than revolution. People are hitting back in response to many years of abuse, and we can’t expect them to be polite. As KF says, this is in some sense a war, and in wars, there is destruction and loss of life unfortunately. To be clear, I’m not endorsing any acts of violence.

  19. 19
    asauber says:

    “Racism is obviously a factor.”

    DaveS. I disagree here. Tribalism is a factor, not racism. Racism is just the pretense to justify the violence. Which is apparently a pretense you have bought into.

    Andrew

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, street theatre operations to be media amplified in an ongoing 4th gen war. Effectively giving a mob veto to freedom of expression and opinion towards imposing what the mob wants.Here, utter delegitimisation of our civilisation. KF

  21. 21
    daveS says:

    KF,

    I think at least some of what we are seeing are authentic actions taken by individuals in response to the unwarranted killing of black people.

  22. 22
    john_a_designer says:

    Religion, freedom of religion has always been in the secular progressive lefts cross hairs. So this most recent development is not surprising. However, the speed, at least when it comes to western democratic societies (from what I know) has been quite unprecedented.

    Notice the shift in the cultural Marxist thinking from racist oppression to religious repression. But it’s not really a shift; it’s just two sides of the same coin.

    If you undermine and destroy religious freedom and tolerance you undermine and destroy democracy. You cannot any kind democratic government of without freedom of thought, conscience and belief.

    PS Maybe we should take another look at what happened to the Notre Dame Cathedral.

  23. 23
    ET says:

    Strange that New York still has a big lake named after King George.

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    It is interesting to note that the Democratic party has always been a party that has incited racial division. Whereas Republicans were founded as an anti-slavery party,, and have always been at the forefront of bringing forth true racial equality under the law.

    Dinesh D’Souza: The face of bigotry has changed in America
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MP4bQNLXNw

    Dinesh D’Souza: The secret history of the Democratic Party
    Republicans, meanwhile, to one degree or another, all opposed slavery. The party itself was founded to stop slavery. Of course there were a range of views among Republicans, from abolitionists who sought immediately to end slavery to Republicans like Abraham Lincoln who recognized that this was both constitutionally and politically impossible and focused on arresting slavery’s extension into the new territories. This was the main platform on which Lincoln won the 1860 election.
    The real clash was between the Democrats, north and south, who supported slavery and the Republicans across the country who opposed it. As Lincoln summarized it in his First Inaugural Address, one side believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, and the other believes it is wrong and ought to be restricted. “This,” Lincoln said, “is the only substantial dispute.” And this, ultimately, was what the Civil War was all about.
    In the end, of course, Republicans ended slavery and permanently outlawed it through the Thirteenth Amendment. Democrats responded by opposing the Amendment and a group of them assassinated the man they held responsible for emancipation, Abraham Lincoln. Republicans passed the Fourteenth Amendment securing for blacks equal rights under the law, and the Fifteenth Amendment giving blacks the right to vote, over the Democrats’ opposition.
    Confronted with these irrefutable facts, progressives act like the lawyer who is presented with the murder weapon belonging to his client. Darn, he says to himself, I better think fast. “Yes,” he now admits, “my client did murder the clerk and rob the store. But he didn’t kill all those other people who were also found dead at the scene.”
    In other words, progressives who are forced to acknowledge the Democratic Party’s pro-slavery history promptly respond, “We admit to being the party of slavery, and we did uphold the institution for more than a century, but slavery ended in 1865, so all of this was such a long time ago. You can’t blame us now for the antebellum wrongs of the Democratic Party.”
    Yes, but what about the postbellum crimes of the Democratic Party? From Democratic support for slavery, let’s turn to the party’s complicity in segregation and the Ku Klux Klan. Democrats in the 1880s invented segregation and Jim Crow laws that lasted through the 1960s. Democrats also came up with the “separate but equal” rationale that justified segregation and pretended that it was for the benefit of African Americans.
    The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee by a group of former confederate soldiers; its first grand wizard was a confederate general who was also a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. The Klan soon spread beyond the South to the Midwest and the West and became, in the words of historian Eric Foner, “the domestic terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.”,,,
    many progressives have been working hard to come up with lies that can be passed off as facts. Progressives have a whole cultural contingent—Hollywood, the mainline media, the elite universities, even professional comedians—to peddle their propaganda. From the television show Madame Secretary to the front page of the New York Times to nightly quips by Stephen Colbert, the progressive bilge comes at us continually and relentlessly.
    In this bogus narrative, Republicans are the bad guys because Republicans opposed the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. For progressive Democrats, the civil rights movement is the canonical event of American history. It is even more important than the American Revolution. Progressive reasoning is: we did this, so it must be the greatest thing that was ever done in America. Republicans opposed it, which makes them the bad guys.
    The only problem is that Republicans were instrumental—actually indispensable—in getting the Civil Rights Laws passed. While Lyndon Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the backing of some northern Democrats, Republicans voted in far higher percentages for the bill than Democrats did. This was also true of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Neither would have passed with just Democratic votes. Indeed, the main opposition to both bills came from Democrats.
    Interestingly enough the GOP is not merely the party of minority rights but also of women’s rights. Republicans included women’s suffrage in the party’s platform as early as 1896. The first woman elected to Congress was Republican Jeanette Rankin in 1916. That year represented a major GOP push for suffrage, and after the GOP regained control of Congress, the Nineteenth Amendment granting women’s suffrage was finally approved in 1919 and ratified by the states the following year.
    The inclusion of women in the 1964 Civil Rights Act was, oddly enough, the work of group of racist, chauvinist Democrats. Led by Democratic Congressman Howard Smith of Virginia, this group was looking to defeat the Civil Rights Act. Smith proposed to amend the legislation and add “sex” to “race” as a category protected against discrimination.
    Smith’s Democratic buddies roared with laughter when he offered his one-word amendment. They thought it would make the whole civil rights thing so ridiculous that no sane person would go along with it. One scholar noted that Smith’s amendment “stimulated several hours of humorous debate” among racist, chauvinist Democrats. But to their amazement, the amended version of the bill passed. It bears repeating that Republicans provided the margin of victory that extended civil rights protection both to minorities and to women.
    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/dinesh-dsouza-the-secret-history-of-the-democratic-party

    Like Darwinists, Democrats are almost wholly dependent on deception in order to sell their [SNIP].

    If anything ever needed to be torn down because it is a monument to racial oppression, then that monument to racial oppression that needs to be destroyed is none other than the Democratic party itself.

  25. 25
    Ed George says:

    KF

    Because, our art and monuments reflect who we are and what we aspire to be.

    I think you have to distinguish between art and monuments, although the line can sometimes be fuzzy.

    Notre Dame was a beautiful building and I was lucky enough to see it shortly before the fire. But would we have the same reverence for the stained glass if they depicted white crusaders slaughtering brown muslims? I would hope not.

    Depictions of Jesus come in many different shapes and colours, even with distinct Asian features. To make him relatable to the average person, I think it only natural that he would be depicted with similar racial features to the locals.

  26. 26
    john_a_designer says:

    The illegal desecration, defacement and destruction of civil war monuments, and now some of the U.S. founding fathers… is nothing more than iconoclasm. Iconoclasm which has historically been associated with fanatical religious fundamentalism– recently, for example, with ISIS and the Taliban.

    In other words the secular-progressive left has succumbed to the same fanatical religious fundamentalist mindset. The only difference they don’t think they’re religious. Maybe they’re not but their mindset is virtually the same and equally– well, I was going to say equally destructive but the speed this movement has spread across the U.S. and around the world– it’s truly unprecedented.

  27. 27
    AaronS1978 says:

    Racism is being used as an excuse to do something that they’ve wanted to do this whole time

    Hundreds if not thousands of black ministries would completely disagree with the very notion of tearing Jesus statues down
    Not to mention entire countries that are not “white” that would be up in arms over doing just that

    I’m hard-pressed to believe that Dr. King would approve this and this was his dream

    This has nothing to do with racism or injustice of any kind this has evolved into something else

    It is not surprising that certain atheists that have NEVER brought this issue up in the past are now in full support of this nonsense reasoning as bandwagon supports.

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, think about the habits of policy making by mob that are being formed. That is NOT how you want to be governed in any sane polity. Those now exulting in street power are probably unaware of their historical fate once a strong man or ruthless faction seizes power. As they are unruly, they then become expendable cannon fodder at best, or are simply eliminated at worst. Such are part of why the road of radical revolutions is so suicidally destructive. KF

  29. 29
    AaronS1978 says:

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3006545782747021&id=100001748876903

    I have many videos of this sort of thing, this just posted, I’ve seen the good too, but it’s more and more becoming this and this is mild

  30. 30
    jawa says:

    I believe that there’s one person who’s certainly very disgusted with all those artistic images (whether painting or sculpture) of Christ.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, that there may be legitimate grievances is one thing; allying oneself with anti-civilisation chaotic forces is another. That make one into a compounding of the problem, not part of the solution. KF

  32. 32
    john_a_designer says:

    [W]ould we have the same reverence for the stained glass if they depicted white crusaders slaughtering brown muslims?

    The Roman Catholic Church was responsible for launching the crusades. So we already have guilt by association which means everything associated with the Catholic Church has to go. Bye, bye cathedrals. Well, at least that’s where Ed’s twisted logic is trying to take us. The problem is that there are some people out there who think he is being logical.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    PaoloV says:

    Deuteronomy 5:8-11

    8 “‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 9 You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    11 “‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

    NKJV MacArthur Study Bible, 2nd Edition

    5:8  a carved image. Cf. Ex. 20:4, 5. Reducing the infinite God to any physical likeness was intolerable, as the people found out in their attempt to cast God as a golden calf (cf. Ex. 32).

     

    Deuteronomy 4:15
    Idolatry Forbidden

    15 “Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire,

    Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries

    4:15 you saw no form. God is transcendent Spirit (John 4:24), which rules out any idolatrous representation of God in the form of animate objects (vv. 16–18), and any worship of the created order (v. 19).

    Exodus 20:4 

    4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    NKJV MacArthur Study Bible, 2nd Edition

    20:4–6 The mode or fashion of worship appropriate to only one Lord forbids any attempt to represent or caricature Him by use of anything He has made. Total censure of artistic expression was not the issue; the absolute censure of idolatry and false worship was the issue. Violation would seriously affect succeeding generations because the Lord demanded full and exclusive devotion, i.e., He is a jealous God (cf. 34:14; Deut. 4:24; 5:9). The worship of man-made representations was nothing less than hatred of the true God.

    Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries

    20:4 carved image. The term means something hewn from wood or stone. The prohibited image may be that of the Lord, since other deities have been excluded by v. 2, though the qualifying words “any likeness of anything” suggest that pagan idols are in view. Israel was to be distinguished from the nations by her imageless worship. Images are forbidden, not because there could be none, since God made mankind in His own image (Gen. 1:26, 27), but because God must reveal Himself, not be subject to human imagination. In His own time, God did provide His own image—Jesus Christ is the true image of the Godhead in bodily form (Col. 1:15; 2:19). See “Syncretism and Idolatry” at Hos. 2:13.

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    JaD (& attn EG), it is usually not said — 1/2 truth games again — that from 630 – 730 Islam expanded in a horrific wave of conquests from India to France, and further attacks went on for another thousand years; indeed that’s what “To the Shores of Tripoli” is about. Yes, the first post revolutionary war of the USA was a defence against Islamist aggression. In that context, massacres and enslavement of pilgrims in the Holy Land and a linked appeal from Byzantium led to what, strategically, was a counter-offensive. Not particularly well carried out in most regards and associated with atrocities. However, failure to address in due context is always a sign that something is wrong. More to the point, it was raised as a tainting distractor, in the face of an immediate threat of Red Guards on the streets mounting up in anti-civilisational attacks, now trying to target the Christian Faith as though it were inherently the religious equivalent to Nazism. The attitude manifested tells us all we need to know about fundamental hostility to our civilisation and thus enabling of misanthropy. No, a civilisation does not need to be perfect in every detail at all times before it is worth defending. Especially, given the obvious implications of the realistic alternatives. It is obvious that someone has spent a long time, with serious money backing serious psychological softening up campaigns. Such need to be decisively answered and turned back now; we need to stop the mainstreaming of anticivilisational folly. Yes, reforms need to be dealt with, but need to reform must not distract us from seeing clear and present mortal dangers. Abolish the police is an unambiguous sign that the Rubicon has been passed. KF

  36. 36
    jawa says:

    @30:

    “I believe that there’s one person who’s certainly very disgusted with all those artistic images (whether painting or sculpture) of Christ.”

    Could it be God himself?

    Hmm…

  37. 37
    john_a_designer says:

    KF & Aaron,

    None of that matters. In the PC left’s mind their narrative trumps the truth. So it doesn’t matter what the actual historical facts about the crusades are (which to be fair are quite complicated) they’re evil because people with a left wing mindset say they’re evil.

    The only point that I was trying to make @ 32 is that in the PC left’s mind, because the crusades were evil, guilt by association condemns everything Catholic. So following that logic any art or architecture associated with Catholicism has to go.

    It’s the same logic they are using with Civil War statues and statues of the American founding fathers.

    YOU CAN’T REASON WITH THESE PEOPLE.

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    JaD:

    In the PC left’s mind their narrative trumps the truth

    Major violation of a first duty of reason, there. And as the seven explicitly listed are inextricably intertwined, it means they are not agents of justice either. So, terms like social justice and the like are loaded with deceit and thus too injustice. Moral inversion, the better to undermine those they intend to attack.

    No wonder we see them pushing to abolish the police.

    A complicating part of the problem, not the solution.

    KF

    PS: to really move to solutions, this is where we have to begin:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. Inescapable, as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour, so also to fairness and justice etc. Such built in law is not invented by parliaments or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.

    In turn, these point to the inherently good, utterly wise root of reality. It is he who will help us set the crooked straight.

  39. 39
    AaronS1978 says:

    @JaD
    Sigh you are sadly correct

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    JaD & AS78:

    Earlier, I noted:

    No, a civilisation does not need to be perfect in every detail at all times before it is worth defending. Especially, given the obvious implications of the realistic alternatives.

    That is where we are.

    KF

  41. 41
    Fasteddious says:

    One aspect of the attraction and power of Christianity is that the person of Jesus appeals to people of every culture, race and region. They can relate to the Bible stories and the things he talks about. Indeed, the Bible has been translated into every major language and more minor languages than any other writings. And in the people’s own language, those writings speak profoundly and wisely to the people who read or listen. As a result, people can feel sure that Jesus is one with them and thereby assume he looks like them. And as EG says in his last paragraph @25, by being relatable and looking like them, his teachings will appeal all the more to them. While on Earth, Jesus was, of course a middle-eastern Jew, with features common to that area. Indeed, he probably looked quite average: see Isaiah 53:2, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” The attraction of Jesus was in what he said and did, and those are what draw people from every tribe and nation to him still today!

  42. 42
    Querius says:

    There’s an amazing story of racism in the Bible when used as an excuse for challenging the authority of Moses. You can read about it and God’s response to defamation based on the skin color of the wife of Moses in Numbers 12.

    Note that Cushites are black Africans. I can just imagine God saying, “Oh, so you like white skin?”

    -Q

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: An escaped Venezuelan activist, here, discusses with Laura Ingraham, the ever escalating demands of the Red Guards in a cultural revolution. In a part her words are:

    Elizabeth Rogliani Otaola: I had friends who told me it’s just the Confederate statues. And I said ‘no’ it’s not going to be just the Confederate statues just wait and see. This is a slippery slope. The next thing is going to be all the symbols of the United States, the Founding Fathers are going to be attacked, religious symbols are going to be attacked. And, the next, probably museums. Anything can be attacked if you just let it happen. If you just let the first ones come down, nothing, there’s no limits to whats next… It’s a cultural revolution. It’s an attempt to change the national identity. They’re trying to change the system.

    The point is obvious, policymaking, policing and courts or art, history, cultural heritage etc should never be handed over to lawless, riotous mobs pretending to act in the name of the community. There are adequate provisions for genuinely peaceful assembly, petition, election and lawsuit. So, the moment protest crosses the line into riot, by destruction or defacing of property, by blocking roads without due march or parade permits etc, police action is warranted. Resort to violence in the face of such police action or targetting of passersby etc should also be recognised as riotous action. Those who resort to the mob are part of the problem, not the solution. KF

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Are images, symbols, paintings, Sunday School pictures, stained glass windows etc commonly seen in and around churches or even in Bibles graven idolatrous images to be banned?

    While sometimes things cross that line, not generally.

    A good first answer is that in the design of the tabernacle, temple and Ark in the OT, we have representations of angels (on the cover for the Ark), fruit, animals (bulls holding up the bronze sea of water), horns on altars, etc. There was even the bronze snake on a pole, which, when it was abused as an object of worship, was then destroyed.

    For that matter, to this day, the Capital Letter A retains the shape of an ox’s head and Lower Case a is a similar representation. We hardly need to note the pagan uses of bulls. So, should we now discard the alphabet?

    Obviously, no. From the beginning the scriptures were written in alphabetic script, using aleph, etc.

    The sound approach, then, is not iconoclasm but the refusal to use art, illustrations, imagery etc as objects of undue veneration. Though at the same time, objects devoted to sacred use should be treated with due respect.

    Isa 53 speaks of prophetically of messiah that he was not to be a person of such extraordinary appearance that his movie star looks and eloquence etc would compel a charismatic mesmerised following. Instead, we would see a man of sorrows acquainted with suffering and grief. Yes, an extraordinary character, mind and one manifesting God’s power to save, heal, deliver. Yes, one who would be lamb and sin offering. Yes, one who after the agony of death would prolong his days and see the light of life. So, the compulsion is not that of the charismatic politician but that of the finger of God at work despite accusations of working by evil powers.

    The sign would be, holy power.

    And that holy power in love, truth, rescue, deliverance, healing and good news that brings salvation to those who would receive him remains the central attracting power down to today. Never mind slanderous insinuations and invidious associations with nazism etc.

    In that context Christian art is a tool of communication, not a representation of hate and subjugation. The slanders as were noted fall to the ground.

    KF

  45. 45
    Marfin says:

    Its a slippery slope for sure, being Irish, does any item that has the union flag on it become offensive , Triumph motorcycles being one, what about a brief trip through London, Paris , Rome, Mongolia, but a few of the countries who had empires and have offensive statues, monuments, iconography on almost every street so will we tear it all down because someone is offended , and is one offended person enough , how many offended people are required to tear it down.
    But then again who gets to decide what is offensive.

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    Marfin, more and more it is plain that the real offense being taken is that our civilisation dares to exist. This includes, that it has genuine heroes such as the Norwegian immigrant who volunteered and became a Colonel, leading his men with exemplary bravery until he was mortally wounded at Chicamauga. His memorial statue was knocked down, beheaded and tossed in a lake. The attitude includes that the Christian faith (warts and all) has made a major and even pivotal positive contribution to that civilisation. I draw the conclusion that there is no appeasing of Red Guards drunk on being the vanguard of the new order — as they imagine. In fact, they are only cannon fodder and pawns for street theatre that someone else is running for an agenda that is usually so indefensible that it has to ride piggyback on genuine concerns, grievances or challenges. The solution is first fix the crisis, i.e. protest is a right but so soon as one slanders another or calls for violation of their legitimate rights or becomes engaged in riotous, lawless assembly (including by enabling the more violent) one has become part of the problem, not a contributor to a solution. Principle one, while our civilisation must always be open for genuine reform, it is not a suicide pact. KF

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, I should note that art represents our vision and that insofar as it captures a slice of verisimilitude, it reflects us in our world. Part of that is that we erect memorials or monuments, and that when we do so, we desire that they be beautiful and durable. KF

  48. 48
    john_a_designer says:

    So now there is A RIGHT TO NOT TO BE OFFENDED but only certain people have that right? The problem is how is that equal rights? Or have equal rights now been abolished? Obviously the right to not be offended has more than a few problems.

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    JaD, there is a right to innocent reputation, protected through tort law. However, those crying out how they are offended too often don’t even hesitate before indulging slander. KF

  50. 50
    john_a_designer says:

    Well, I was not talking slander. I was talking about being offended by the type of things that have traditionally been defended in western democracies as freedom of expression: art, music, drama, speech, religious beliefs etc. There are a lot of things that I find to be offensive. Does that mean I have the right to have it censored?

  51. 51
    asauber says:

    If you are a serious Christian in the USA, you are constantly subject to offensive displays, unless you don’t use media at all.

    Andrew

  52. 52
    Ed George says:

    KF@47, I agree. But the fact that monuments are “ beautiful and durable“ doesn’t mean that they should be kept. I monument to Hitler or Stalin May be beautiful and durable, but I wouldn’t loose any sleep over their loss.

    Confederate monuments that glorify confederate leaders should be removed, or relocated to a museum where they can be put in context. Monuments to dead confederate soldiers should be retained, as Germany retains monuments to soldiers.

  53. 53
    ET says:

    People need to remember that the American Revolution was also fought over the issue of slavery. Great Britain was going to abolish slavery in Her colonies. The South wasn’t going to allow that to happen. And in the war of 1812 the British troops freed thousands of slaves during their march through the South.

    This would mean the removal of everything Washington, Jefferson and a host of others. Somehow I doubt any of that will happen.

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, your comparisons are telling, given the focus of the OP. And even figures like a Robert Lee or a Thomas Jefferson simply bear no comparison to such dictators. On point, I spoke to why I spoke to art and monuments, especially why they overlap, so you went off on a toxic tangent. That said, riotous mobs serving as Red Guards (and their backers) should not be allowed to set community policy. Down that road lie reigns of terror and horrific abuses. KF

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, no, the conditional manumission of slaves was a cannon fodder hunt. Critical mass to abolish slavery in the British Empire did not occur until the 1831 Baptist War uprising in Jamaica and its aftermath in which Dissenter Chapels were razed and the colonial authorities tried to hang missionaries as instigators. By the time William Knibb went to the UK to inform “the Christian people of Britain” what their enslaved “brethren” were suffering in Jamaica, and reports of what was done to Dissenter chapels, there was political crisis in the UK with dissenter areas heavily involved. That is when the Planters and Merchants lost credibility. Knibb stood in his rebuilt chapel in Falmouth Jamaica, with the slaves in packed attendance and counted down the seconds to midnight as “the monster” died with the first second of August Morning 1834. Thereafter he tried to register voters and organise a political party for former slaves and more. KF

  56. 56
    ET says:

    Somerset, 1772, set the tone. After Somerset the South understood what was next.

  57. 57
    john_a_designer says:

    Well, it didn’t take long for the iconoclasts to start targeting religious statues.

    (RNS) — As protesters on Friday toppled a statue of Father Junipero Serra in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, leaders of another California city had already announced plans to remove a statue of the Catholic saint near their city hall.

    And by Saturday afternoon another Serra statue was toppled at Placita Olvera in downtown Los Angeles.

    “Pull it! Pull it! This is for our ancestors,” a person shouted.

    In a video of the San Francisco toppling, people can be heard cheering as the statue of the 18th-century Franciscan priest holding a cross fell to the ground. People strike and kick the statue in the video, and it’s clear the statue has also been tagged and splashed with what appears to be red paint.

    https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2020/06/22/who-st-junipero-serra-and-why-are-california-protesters-toppling-his

    In 2015 Serra was canonized as a saint by Pope Francis. Doesn’t that make him as evil as Serra? What are the rioters going to do to the Pope?

  58. 58
    Ed George says:

    KF@54, who said anything about allowing mobs to pull down statues and monuments. But mobs do serve a purpose. They force us to examine our preconceptions. Mobs do not arise out of a vacuum. Without some sort of inequity or trigger, they simply don’t exist. I read in a history book once about a mob in Boston that dumped a load of tea in the harbour. And then there was that mob of disgruntled land owners that drafted a manifesto that they named the Declaration of Independence. Yesterday’s mobs are today’s freedom fighters or founding fathers.

  59. 59
    ET says:

    Acartia Eddie is ignorant of US History. It wasn’t a mob that dumped tea into Boston Harbor. It was a well organized, precision attack. It definitely wasn’t a mob that drafted the Declaration of Independence.

    Do you have no shame? What is wrong with you?

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    EG,

    it does not need to be said, it is the context for discussion.

    No one objects to the result of a responsible vote, though we may seriously doubt its wisdom.

    In the case of American Founders and the “second martyr-founder, Lincoln,” we need to understand that a hero is not a god, s/he will — like the rest of us — have feet of mixed iron and clay. There is no hypocrisy in celebrating heroic contribution, while recognising and duly noting the failings of say a Martin Luther King (plagiarism in academic work [perhaps unintentional], evident adultery etc) or a David, or a Churchill or a Jefferson.

    Likewise, we must be willing to recognise defeated but decent men.

    In more recent times, a Rommel is an obvious case, a man Churchill openly praised in the UK Parliament as a great captain. In the case of Robert Edwin Lee, note that he was offered command of the Union Army by Lincoln. He went through personal crisis and decided to go with his state (we must reckon that the Federal level was not as dominant then, by a long shot, hence the name, united States located in America). After his defeat, he sought to promote reconciliation, instructing and advising other leading men and promising men not to emigrate but to stay and rebuild. Indeed, taking up leadership of a College only a few months after his surrender itself speaks volumes on his unsung leadership in reconciliation and rebuilding.

    Branding him with slavery (which, apparently he did not like) and dismissing him is grossly unfair and robs us of key lessons.

    Jefferson outright tried to break slavery with the American founding, never mind how he was hopelessly trapped by debt and laws that implied that were he to manumit his slaves would simply be seized by debt holders as payment. As to the Ms Hemmings narrative, even if true he would have formed a common law union which was all the law would have permitted. But, manifestly, the force of evidence — in a politicised context — was grossly exaggerated and in key aspects had to be taken back. Of course, that did not receive wall to wall coverage. Here, I speak as direct descendant of such unions.

    The result is, creation of a dominant but ill founded narrative of tainting accusation.

    More to the point, the theme of branding by accusation and riotous mob action by Red Guards is manifest and must be resolved.

    KF

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, your attempt to turn the tax protesters of Boston into a Red Guard mob, and the US founders into a mob is a fallacy of attempted moral equivalency. That you try to make such an equivalency speaks volumes against you. I suggest, you need to read and ponder Plato’s parable of the ship of state. KF

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: For reference, said parable:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State [ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. [–> the issue of competence and character as qualifications to rule] The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction [–> the sophists, the Demagogues, Alcibiades and co, etc]; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable [–> implies a need for a corruption-restraining minority providing proverbial salt and light, cf. Ac 27, as well as justifying a governing structure turning on separation of powers, checks and balances], and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

    Washington, Franklin, Henry, Jefferson et al were the ones who hammered out the first practical, sustainable answer to this dilemma of steering the ship of state. I note that our word Government derives from Kubernetes, the steersman or sailing master. That is how pivotal this parable is in the history of our civilisation.

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    JaD, that a clearly marxism-influenced pope would canonise Serra, even in the teeth of decades of controversies, is a message in itself. KF

  64. 64
    redwave says:

    The insistence on specific appellational identities so often detailed by the popular media, social justice groups, governmental statistical policies perpetuate so-called racism … people of color, African-American, Chicano or Latino, Asian-American, White, ad nauseum. So is there an unresolvable racism between the European-American and African-American? Between the German-American and the Mexican-American? Between the British-American and the Asian-American? Are the racial demarcations stretched beyond rational limits to that between the Christian-American and the NeoAtheist-American? Between the Alternative-Life-Style-American and the Alt-Right-American? Between the Libertarian-American and the Muslim-American? Who are the racists among us? And does this matter, truly matter, in the unending scheme of all things human?

    Are we, grouped in tribes and self-identified geographic origins, responsible and accountable for our present actions, even our persistent powerlessness and existential confusion? Are we responsible and accountable at bottom as individuated humans? When will each and everyone stop hiding behind a tribalism, the masks each and everyone wears to justify opposition against the other masks worn?

    The tribes, the mobs, the appellation identities will most likely persist as long as there is a struggle for power and preeminence, no matter how unreasonably confused, no matter how ungrounded the perceptions of individuated identities. Is all of this inevitable?

    This is certainly not new in human experiencing, the long history of human civilizations rising, persisting, and falling. Or in the words of the ancient preacher, “All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?”

    Yet some of us believe, whether falsely or naively might not matter, there is a “better” way available for our kind, that is for the human. We can begin to examine ourselves, so to speak, and seek understanding and pursue wisdom. We can listen to the many various voices of our histories and restrain ourselves from acting out the dark violent remembrances of our tribes, mobs, and appellational identities.

    The ideologies which encourage the destruction or violent replacement of history, our human arts, our human religious beliefs, our historical memories are self-refuting ideologies which can not stand the tests of time and existential individualism. These are similar to a biological cancer which has neither design nor purpose for human integrity except to extinguish its host. Cancer and viruses do not discriminate by race. Ignorance has no isolated pigmentation. Seeking understanding and pursuing wisdom is available to each and everyone of us.

  65. 65
    john_a_designer says:

    I am thinking about starting a new organization committed to seeking justice for our fellow animals. Humans are after all, as I am sure you know from HS biology, animals– We’re mammals. I am going to call my organization Do Not Harm Puppies. I decided to focus on puppies because puppies pull on everyone’s heartstrings.

    But tragically everyday hundreds of cute adorable puppies across America are being harmed, abandoned or neglected by their owners. This has to stop! One puppy being harmed is too many.

    We will use every means possible to put an end to this abuse. That includes boycotts, marches and demonstrations even if some of these things result in looting, vandalism and arson. We’re passionate! We are angry! We will not stop until the abuse of puppies stops. Again, one puppy being harmed is too many.

    If you don’t support our cause you are not only uncaring and heartless but you are a speciesist and a bigot.

    Our bottom line is this, “if this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.”

    Of course I am being facetious. But the logic I am using is the same logic that Black Lives Matter uses to justify the violence it has spawned. The last quote is from a leader of BLM.

    Do you think I am trivializing it all by using puppies? How so? From a naturalistic evolutionary perspective (like Darwinian evolution) what makes humans any better than puppies or dogs? And from a cosmological perspective we’re just insignificant specks which have appeared momentarily in the Cosmos. From that perspective it is pure arrogance to think we are in any way special.

    Well okay let’s make the protest instead about ending late term abortion. Suppose a prolife demonstration resulted in the same kind of violence we have seen associated with BLM. How do you think the MSM would be covering it? If you are honest you know that they would be vehemently condemning it. The double standard is very obvious. It has been for some time.

    PS I really do like puppies and don’t think they should be harmed.

  66. 66
    daveS says:

    JAD,

    From a naturalistic evolutionary perspective (like Darwinian evolution) what makes humans any better than puppies or dogs? And from a cosmological perspective we’re just insignificant specks which have appeared momentarily in the Cosmos. From that perspective it is pure arrogance to think we are in any way special.

    These people* are not trying to convince us that we have a duty to treat them with respect according to some transcendent code of morality. They are shooting back.

    *Some of them, anyway. It’s a diverse group.

  67. 67
    john_a_designer says:

    DS,

    These people are not trying to convince us that we have a duty to treat them with respect according to some transcendent code of morality.

    Then it’s hypocritical for them to demand justice. The very idea of justice assumes that there is some kind of society wide standard.

  68. 68
    asauber says:

    “They are shooting back.”

    DaveS,

    With guns they shouldn’t have?

    Andrew

  69. 69
    daveS says:

    JAD,

    I didn’t say they don’t believe there is such a code, and obviously some do. But as KF said, this is a war of sorts, and some are returning fire.

  70. 70
    Ed George says:

    Andrew

    With guns they shouldn’t have?

    The 2nd amendment may disagree with you.

  71. 71
    ET says:

    LoL! @Acartia Eddie- “They” want to repeal the 2nd amendment. “They” say we shouldn’t have guns.

    Or aren’t you aware of the left’s stance on guns in the USA?

  72. 72
    Retired Physicist says:

    @Ed @Dave it’s possible for you to be violent, and the government to call you a terrorist, and yet your cause be righteous.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Brown_(abolitionist)

  73. 73
    ET says:

    And Jim Jones had a righteous cause, too. 🙄

  74. 74
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, I am aware of a statue incident case in NM, where a woman blocked a would be counter-protester, apparently pushing/blocking several times. He pushed back, she fell, was swarmed. He retreated, was hit with a skateboard, used pepper spray. He further retreated (making tactical error of turning his back), on some claims 90+ m. He was pursued, was tackled and swarmed by 3 men, being again hit with a skateboard (which is in effect a metal loaded club). The crowd was baying about killing him. He pulled a gun and shot one of the three, who seemed to have a knife in a still frame and was within the 20+ ft danger space for a knife armed person. He went to a knee as they fled. Supporters came rushing up and interposed between him and the crowd which now accused him of murder. It seems to me that he may have a case of defensive shooting targetting the most pressing threat after retreating twice and being in reasonable fear of life. In another case an apparently black woman, stopped and swarmed drove off through a crowd, hitting one protester. She reported seeing a gun, motivating racing off. That sounds like she may argue defensive use of a vehicle as a weapon . . . which raises the point that people cannot be wholly disarmed, e.g. a 2 x 4 or a leaf spring turned into a kukri etc. In case A pepper spray and a handgun were used, in B, a sedan car as a ram-weapon. KF

  75. 75
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Yes, I believe (some) charges were dropped on the NM shooter.

    RP,

    Thanks, that’s a good example.

  76. 76
    vividbleau says:

    All
    Am I the only one that finds it curious that no one has defaced any Mosques or calling for their destruction? I mean did Jesus own slaves like the founder of Islam? Seems to me this is a much bigger deal than certain depictions of Jesus

    Also anyone find it curious that certain leftist icons like FDR, or KKK Byrd, or the Russell building are left alone.?

    Sometimes all one has to do is observe it pretty much tells you all that you need to know.
    Vivid

  77. 77
    ET says:

    Next they will plow under and develop Gettysburg’s battle fields.

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