“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.
The Christian Label and its Discontents
Several years ago I stopped calling myself a Christian, but not because I stopped believing in Jesus. On the contrary, I love Jesus but was being weighed down by the cultural and historical baggage of Christianity and the label “Christian” (which had lost its original meaning of “little Christ”). More than ever, I’m glad I no longer need defend the indefensible baggage many Christians tote around, one of the largest and most perplexing bags being the one packed with conspiracy theories.
That said, many of my friends do call themselves Christians and in varying degrees tote the conspiracy baggage. Many are untroubled by all this baggage and do an admirable job holding onto their faith in Jesus and being kind to their neighbor. While these Christians may be power lifters, they are doing a great injustice to the gospel with its commitment to truth. Continue reading “Christians and Conspiracy Theories”
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 though 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.
(The following was published October 6, 2020)
For the first time, I’m doubting the general welfare of the US after an upcoming presidential election. In the past, the new or renewed president would be uncannily like his or her predecessor or opponent, and I knew there would be segments of our society, usually marked by their low incomes or stature, who would continue to suffer discrimination in various forms. The losers might be bitter and the winners might gloat, but the fabric of society would remain the same for better and worse. Continue reading “Perfect Political Storm”
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”
A novice chess player, I recall beating my son frequently when he was 9 (yes, I was almost 39, finding him too thoughtful to be fooled by a false win). Over the years, he has returned like Aragorn to claim his dominion over his chess subjects (often me). In the process, he pointed me to a couple of online chess sites that offer training puzzles. If I’ve learned anything from these puzzles it is that you leave your opponent with as few (good) choices as possible. As a result, you know your opponent’s decisions before they are made, allowing you to anticipate your future moves.
Continue reading “Chess Puzzles, Life Problems”
Oklahoma voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump (about a 2:1 ratio). Accordingly, I provide a short guest post from Charles Anderson on Trump supporters. This might be useful where I live: some of my friends in Colorado have never knowingly met a Trump supporter.
Continue reading “Man from Oklahoma on Trump Supporters”
Although the President of the United States is an idealized office that has less power than the emotional tide leading up to an election suggests, I am concerned about what I see as a train wreck with two possible outcomes: the train stays on the track or the train leaves the track. In either case, the train isn’t the little democracy that could, but is instead the fact that, as Chris Hedges stated, “We do not live in a functioning democracy, and we have to stop pretending that we do.”
Continue reading “Cost of Voting One’s Conscience”
I am more qualified to talk about grammar than war, although (the pending Syrian) war is the truly important item—so I will start with grammar.
The War on Grammar: We know that language simplifies itself over time. For example, the use of the apostrophe seems doomed. Half the people who see it’s importance, use it incorrectly (yes, I know, I did, and I know punctuation is not grammar, strictly speaking).
Continue reading “The Grammar of War and the War on Grammar”