Civil War or War on Civilians?

“I admit that political polarization may bring it all to an end, we’re going to have a hung election and a civil war.” Bill Gates, September 2022

This is my third, and I hope last, article on the woeful condition of politics and “Christianity” in the United States. Earlier, I remarked with shock and sadness on the conservative Christians’ penchant for conspiracy theories. Later, under the influence of heterogeneous sources, I predicted the violence likely as a result of the November presidential election—but never thought anything like the violence of Jan. 6, 2021 would occur.
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Perfect Political Storm

We’ve got God on our side
We’re just trying to survive
What if what you do to survive
Kills the things you love
Fear’s a powerful thing, baby
It’ll turn your heart black you can trust
It’ll take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust
          (Bruce Springsteen, “Devils & Dust”)

Update 1/6/21: the storm has broken. Early this afternoon, the House and the Senate were carrying out their 12th Amendment duty of counting the certified electoral votes. Thousands of protestors had gathered outside the Capitol to protest what President Trump frequently described as a fraudulent election, where he lost both the popular and the electoral vote. Around 2:20 p.m., protestors broke through metal barriers at the foot of the stairs to the Capitol. Police sprayed tear gas. Around 2:30 PM, a large number of protestors, some violent, some carrying weapons, forced their way into the Capitol. “Protesters could be seen marching through the Capitol’s stately Statuary Hall shouting and waving Trump banners and American flags” (Associated Press Timeline of events at the Capitol). The building was locked down, but not before one woman was fatally shot by the police. Three other people died from currently unspecified medical emergencies.[§] Congresspeople were eventually escorted out of the building. Around 8:30 p.m. the Senate resumed the electoral vote. Several Republicans withdrew their objections in light of the siege.

Jesus Died, Trump Lives

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Deitrich Bonhoeffer

This post completes a trilogy that began with Perfect Political Storm, where I (along with others) predicted the violence surrounding the 2020 US presidential election—predicted too moderately as it turned out on January 6, 2021. The middle post, Christians and Conspiracy Theories, argued that Christian susceptibility to conspiracy theories does an injustice to the gospels, replacing faith in the impossible (that Jesus rose from the dead) with in the highly improbable (such as that the election was stolen—something almost universally refuted by nearly every Republican election officer, judge, and lieutenant governor).[1]
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Christians and Conspiracy Theories

“Just because I’m paranoid,
doesn’t mean they are not after me”
We say this with a wink… and then glance over our shoulder

“Just because it’s a conspiracy theory,
doesn’t mean it’s not true”
We say this straight-faced… and then take another sip of Kool-Aid

This article’s focus is deliberately narrow: to explain to myself and perhaps to others how it is that so many politically and theologically conservative Christians entertain so many conspiracy theories. Following are a discussion of what’s so bad about Christians being conspiracy-theory prone, a definition of “conspiracy theory,” a short list of conspiracy-theory candidates, and a two-prong argument to explain the Christian proclivity.
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Ranked Voting (or) Neither Presidential Candidate Gets My Vote

Currently in my country, about half the population lives in fear that President Trump will be re-elected in November (2020). What would surprise the people in my community, (Boulder County), is that about half the US population fears that Donald Trump will not be re-elected.

This post falls outside of these viewpoints and is by no means a declaration that either candidate will do. While many people are concerned about choosing the right person (from the limited choice of two—something the flip of a coin could determine), I’m concerned about the need for a better system for selecting presidential candidates. Continue reading “Ranked Voting (or) Neither Presidential Candidate Gets My Vote”

My Breakfast With Sue

As an unworthy follower of Jesus, I have many brothers and sisters, all over the world. A few days ago, I had breakfast with one such sister, whom I’ll call Sue.

Gallop Cafe, one of my favorite eateries in the Highlands in Denver.

Outside, one of my favorite places to eat, anywhere.

Conversation, always enjoyable with Sue, who converted to Catholicism several years ago, during the crest of the child-abuse allegations in the Boston area, a gutsy move on her part. Catholicism works with her: she takes what is meaningful and doesn’t worry about the rest. Continue reading “My Breakfast With Sue”

It’s Business, Not Personal (a dream)

So…I was assigned a spot in the rear of a jumbo jet airliner from where I would shoot the occupants of two designated seats, one at either side of the plane, several rows ahead of me.

But before explaining that situation, I want to consider the relation between wording and persuasion, asking, How does one separate elegant wording from misleading thinking? If something is pithy, doesn’t it also seem true—whether or not it is?

Throughout my adult life, I’ve shied away from justifying decisions with the convenient disclaimer that it is “business, not personal.” Perhaps in part, I’ve not needed the phrase because I’ve also shied away from business. Lately, however, as the encumbrances of career and property accrue, I find myself using the formula occasionally.

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