Open Thread: Professional ‘Christians’, Whited Sepulcher Edition

Let it not be forgotten — Erick ‘Voice of the GOP Gated Community’ Erickson is studying for a theology degree. He knows his interpretation is the very opposite of what his professed Messiah preached, but he knows even better that the GOP leaders he’s sucking up to worship Ayn Rand a lot more fervently than that antique domestic terrorist Yeshuah ben Joseph. Nick Kristoff, in the NYTimes:

Then spoke Pious Paul of Ryan: “But teacher, is that wise? When you cure her, she learns dependency. Then the poor won’t take care of themselves, knowing that you’ll always bail them out! You must teach them personal responsibility!”

They were interrupted by 10 lepers who stood at a distance and shouted, “Jesus, have pity on us.”

“NO!” shouted Pious Paul. “Jesus! You don’t have time. We have a cocktail party fund-raiser in the temple. And don’t worry about them — they’ve already got health care access.”

Jesus turned to Pious Paul, puzzled.

“Why, they can pray for a cure,” Pious Paul explained. “I call that universal health care access.”…


This whole tweet thread is excellent:

Sound vaguely familiar?…

208 replies
  1. 1
    trollhattan says:

    Curious that Ewe Rickson thinks Christians existed while Christ was alive on earth.

  2. 2
    Yarrow says:

    If anyone thought that Erick’s and his wife’s hospitalizations and claimed brushes with death last year would create in him any sort of empathy for those less fortunate, here’s your answer. Not one bit of sympathy or empathy or care for anyone who doesn’t fit his exact model of a deserving person.

  3. 3
    Wumpus says:

    I note that the son of Erik carefully says he’s looking at the New Testament in Greek. Not reading it.

  4. 4
    Emma says:

    Theology bins this way, folks! You can pick and choose! No thinking!

  5. 5
    Bart says:

    (Posted this already i the other thread, but it is more on-topic here:) You just have to go read this Twitter thread to see just how stoopid Trump voters are: https://twitter.com/SheWhoVotes/status/842943514077933568

  6. 6
    Ruviana says:

    @Yarrow: Yeah, I read that last year (that awful year!) and felt terrible for them. Now not so much.

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    @Emma:
    “Cafeteria Catholic” used to mean Catholics using contraception, now it’s Catholics who support the death penalty and capitalism. How the worm turns.

  8. 8
    SRW1 says:

    … and Jesus facepalms.

  9. 9
    RepubAnon says:

    If I recall correctly, the AntiChrist wants to destroy people’s belief in Jesus by corrupting his teachings. Sounds as though Erick Erickson is a follower of the AntiChrist – and thus a Kristian rather than a Christian. Note, too, that Mr. Erickson doesn’t claim to be reading in the original Greek – merely claiming that the book is in front of him.

    (Krab is imitation crab – Kristians are imitation Christians.)

  10. 10
    Mnemosyne says:

    Of course, to believe this, you also have to ignore the whole part where Peter gets a vision telling him that, yes, he needs to help a Roman official’s beloved slave (which some scholars now translate as being the official’s male lover) because no person is un-kosher in God’s eyes.

    But Christianists are very, very good at compartmentalizing the Bible and their beliefs so they never have to look at it as an entire work in context. That’s why the believers in a Rapture can claim that it’s “in the Bible” even though they have to skip around from book to book and cherry-pick verses to construct their “very clear” and “logical” claim.

  11. 11
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    Erick ‘Voice of the GOP Gated Community’ Erickson is studying for a theology degree.

    I actually flinched when I read that.. is this the same Erick Son of Erick who once said that he reaches for HIS WIFE’S SHOTGUN when a census taker approachest?

    His wife’s shotgun? Really? Calling Dr Freud… calling Dr Freud…

  12. 12
    MikeBoyScout says:

    FK Erick son of Erick.

  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @trollhattan: Yep.

    Hey Eric, JESUS WAS A JEW!!!!! The stupid, it hurts.

  14. 14
    Yarrow says:

    This tweet is quoting a real Instagram post from someone at Mar-a-Lago. Click through for the picture.

    Security's tight at Mar a Lago: "Snuck by secret service to catch this selfie. They might have told us not to go in there." pic.twitter.com/YZge1mopD2— Nathaniel Meyersohn (@nmeyersohn) March 19, 2017

    Can just imagine how many foreign agents are working at Mar-a-Lago and how many bugs are planted throughout the property. Best security ever.

  15. 15
    Sonoran says:

    Ohhh, sounds like a religious test to me.
    Everyone into the baptism font!

  16. 16
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So it begs the question dumbass Erikson; is that morally right? Argument from authority, which Christians do wub so much, is still a logical fallacy

    By your own logic Erikson, you could be lying there bleeding and since I am an Atheist I can just laugh you for being a sissy and urinate on your dying corpse, and it would be morally correct. Is that the world you want to live in Eric?

  17. 17
    Pogonip says:

    @trollhattan: There were a handful, the Apostles, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha.

  18. 18
    StringOnAStick says:

    I didn’t post this earlier this week because of access issues, but I went to one of MoveOn’s stake outs of our only R senator, Gardner (who is on the list of who can be pushed since he’ll be hard pressed to win here again in 2020). This is in downtown Denver and was between 12 and 3 for me, on a gorgeous spring day. When I first went to these kinds of protests at his office in January, people had no idea what it was about and looked at us like we had two heads. This time there were lots of people honking in support and plenty of people walking by who said “thanks for doing this”. It seemed like a real change in attitudes and level of information to me.

    We also had 3 pro-Drumphs, one driving by in his jacked up truck waving his MAGAt hat, one old dude aggressively shaking his head at us inside his car, and then an obviously homeless guy on a bike getting in our faces and telling us to get a fucking job, how he pays for all his own health care, etc. I adopted the tactic from the Nashville protest, having people help me yell “bless your heart” at him finally got him to roll away on his bike, yelling like an unmedicated crazy person for several blocks.

    Oh, and Eric of Many Erics is the guy who called Justice Souter a :”goat fucking child molester”, so he can take his so-called Christian morals and STFU.

  19. 19
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @trollhattan: And no doubt, they rode their dinosaurs into town every Sunday for services…

  20. 20
    J R in WV says:

    “When I’m sitting here LOOKING AT the New Testament in Greek” – I can look at the New Testament in Aramaic too. But I will cheerfully admit that I cannot read that.

    I’m sticking to the verses about going into private to pray, lest others think I pray to affect their understanding of who I am, not praying to my Lord.

    Well, actually, I’m still believing the whole apparatus is based upon the fairy tales of the Palestinian shepherds out in the desert with lions and wolves late at night. I just think people who profess to believe in those precepts ought to live in accordance with their holy book and its instructions. Like most American imams going to their brother rabbis and offering to help with their bomb threats, for a tiny example.

    Health care for all, food for the little children both in the mornings and the afternoons is what Jesus taught. But it isn’t what modern Republicans plan. Little tells like that show me that none of these Washington DC “Christians” know anything about Christianlty, and care even less. No health care if it costs me a nickel, and most especially, no free food for anyone. NOT what Jesus would have them do at all.

    You can tell when they are lying – their lips are moving.

  21. 21
    Pogonip says:

    @trollhattan: Er, no. The Church is still against capital punishment and, while not flat-out against capitalism, is very leery of it.

  22. 22
    ET says:

    @trollhattan: I came to try and make that exact point.

  23. 23
    Vince says:

    @Yarrow: OMG, what the hell is that painting in the background?!? The only thing I can think of is Vigo the Carpathian.

  24. 24
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But Christianists are very, very good at compartmentalizing the Bible and their beliefs so they never have to look at it as an entire work in context. That’s why the believers in a Rapture can claim that it’s “in the Bible” even though they have to skip around from book to book and cherry-pick verses to construct their “very clear” and “logical” claim.

    Not just skip around the book, literally chop the Bible up with scissors, make their own bible out of fragments and throw away the rest to get Dispensationism.

    It’s really breathtaking that a group that claims to be “fundamentalists” would play such mind games.

  25. 25
    lollipopguild says:

    So many so called Christians do not understand that being a smug jackass is not what Jesus preached.

  26. 26
    Peale says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: it’s like rewriting the parable of the Good Samaritan to make the robbers into the characters we should emulate. And those who can’t be bothered to help into the new action heros.

  27. 27
    Yarrow says:

    @Mnemosyne: Did you make it back home okay? Did everyone have fun? How’s your knee?

  28. 28
    Pogonip says:

    Did anyone watch Jack last night? It’s not looking good for him, but with 8 more episodes to go, I guess things will have to pick up. Unless he dies in #3 and the rest of the series shows him becoming the ghost samurai of the first episode.

  29. 29
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    Slacktivist at patheos has a lot about white evangelicals heresies.

  30. 30

    Stuff like this always makes me think of this Leonard Cohen line:

    I can’t run no more
    With that lawless crowd
    While the killers in high places
    Say their prayers out loud
    But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
    A thundercloud
    And they’re going to hear from me

  31. 31
    hovercraft says:

    @Wumpus:

    he’s looking at the New Testament in Greek. Not reading it.

    The “looking” thing is apparently big with republicans, Twitler is also “looking” at a book about Andrew Jackson right now. Maybe we’ve found the root of their ignorance, they just look at words and books, they don’t actually read or understand them.
    SAD!

  32. 32
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Wumpus: I note that the son of Erik carefully says he’s looking at the New Testament in Greek. Not reading it.

    “looking” was the same verb trumpy used when Tucker Carlson asked about his reading habits

  33. 33
    Johannes says:

    Ericsson’s reading is all too familiar to those who do theology. I’m an Episcopal deacon, and, as I pointed out at my own place:

    Erickson’s tweet wouldn’t be worth responding to if it didn’t fit in with a distressing tendency in socially conservative Christianity to verge upon a purity cult. And, usually, this is achieved by stressing biblical passages that are easy for the “we” to comply with, and by downplaying those that are difficult for them (a point made at greater length here. Only the righteous (as defined by the in-group) are worth ministering to, in this reading. But in fact, Jesus said, in the very Gospel quoted by Erickson, ‘I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    He’s also wrong on the reading–so wrong that I titles my entry “Sacrilege”–but you knew that.

  34. 34
    A Ghost to Most says:

    It’s tribes all the way down

  35. 35
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I keep meaning to read that book, but isn’t the whole point of the Good Samaritan story that you help everyone who needs it, not just your own tribe? That’s a big one isn’t it? That’s the one you like? Right up there with Two Corinthians? I know you name your hospitals that way, fantastic, great hospitals.

  36. 36
    Yarrow says:

    @Vince: That’s the portrait of Trump in his tennis whites. It’s been featured in photo spreads of Mar-a-Lago.

    I decided to check out that guy’s Instagram but it appears he’s taken it down. Wonder if he got a visit from the aforementioned Secret Service.

  37. 37
    ericblair says:

    @RepubAnon:

    If I recall correctly, the AntiChrist wants to destroy people’s belief in Jesus by corrupting his teachings. Sounds as though Erick Erickson is a follower of the AntiChrist – and thus a Kristian rather than a Christian.

    When you think about it, how could an evangelical Christian look at a loud, vulgar, selfish, callous, racist, serially divorced, lying, sexual abusing businessman from New York and NOT think “Antichrist?” Oh, right, the Antichrist is the UN Secretary General because something or other.

    One really big story out of the election is the total moral bankruptcy of evangelical white Christianity. These people have been so brainwashed and encouraged in their bigotries that they are incapable of detecting actual evil at all. Some can recover eventually, but what the hell to do with the rest?

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Pogonip:

    I think you missed the point — conservative Catholics sneer at liberal Catholics for being “cafeteria Catholics” who think they can pick and choose which doctrines they’re going to follow while doing the exact same thing for themselves. A conservative Catholic who believes in the death penalty is just as much of a “cafeteria Catholic” as a liberal Catholic who believes in birth control.

  39. 39
    hovercraft says:

    This is just so sad, these poor, poor gun manufacturers and sellers.

    Gun Industry Collapsing Under Trump Regime

    The gun industry and NRA are quickly learning that they should have been careful what they wished for:

    Unfortunately, Trump’s win has had the unintended consequence of throwing the firearms industry into a deep slump, forcing major companies to lay off workers, driving prices deep into the red, and forcing some gun dealers out of business. While the Obama years might have been a dark time for gun rights, the Democrat president was a boon for gun retailers and manufacturers (a fact Obama has admitted himself). Each time the needle ticked further in the direction of gun restriction, Americans flocked to their local gun store and plunked down cash for more irons.

    The industry swelled because of the “panic buying,” with new manufacturers popping up, old names in the industry swelling their ranks, and more new gun owners pushing into demographics with previously tepid interest.

    In the Trump era, however, that fear is gone, and with it the market’s urgency to beat the clock on the next “commonsense” gun ban. That’s helped nudge iconic gunmakers Colt and Remington to lay off hundreds of workers and shut down entire divisions of their companies, forced manufacturers to close their doors, and prompted retailers and distributors to offer deep discounts on firearms, with one offering an AR-15 rifle at prices below even the cheapest handguns.

    “The combination of increased inventory in the channel and a likely decrease in consumer demand for the near term has made for a more challenging sell-through environment,” said a top executive with gunmaker Ruger during a February 23 investor call.

    While I do not shed a tear for the CEOs of these companies or for the asocial misfits at the NRA, I do not take much joy in hundreds of people losing their jobs. Especially now since they won’t be able to afford any health care insurance while they seek out a new job which will likely be low paying.

    I’m sure that their “brain trusts” are scrambling around to find a new bogeyman in an effort to boost sales again – mostly likely resorting to their old standby, brown- and black-skinned people.

  40. 40
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Pogonip: Jesus was not Christ while he was alive.

  41. 41
    Johannes says:

    Sadly, to those of us who do theology (I’m an Episcopal deacon), this is all too common in conservative Christianity. It’s clearly wrong–to the point that I titled my own rebuttal “Sacrilege”, it’s indicative of a greater illness in SoCon Christianity:

    As he is a political pundit and not a theologian, Erickson’s tweet wouldn’t be worth responding to if it didn’t fit in with a distressing tendency in socially conservative Christianity to verge upon a purity cult. And, usually, this is achieved by stressing biblical passages that are easy for the “we” to comply with, and by downplaying those that are difficult for them (a point made at greater length here. Only the righteous (as defined by the in-group) are worth ministering to, in this reading. But in fact, Jesus said, in the very Gospel quoted by Erickson, ” I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

    There’s another danger, too, in Erickson’s narrowing interpretation of Jesus’s words. It’s all very reminiscent of C.S. Lewis’s warning against “The Inner Ring”–a circumscribed society that looks upon itself as superior to those not-we; Lewis notes that it can corrupt a group formed with thoroughly wholesome purposes.

    A more extended analysis, prompted by conservatives reifying the prohibitions of same-sex relationships while casually dismissing the many more prohibitions of usury, can be found here.

  42. 42
    Pogonip says:

    @Mnemosyne: That is correct! You win final Jeopardy!

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yarrow:

    The flight from Atlanta ended up being delayed over three hours, but we made it back. I re-wrenched my knee trying to get to the connecting gate on time (yes, I do see the irony of that) and caught my niece’s cold, so I will be lounging about doing very little today but taking ibuprofen, icing my knee, and blowing my nose.

    But a fun time was had by all, so it was all worth it. My brother and his wife gave each of the girls $100 to buy souvenirs, so we had a big spree at the world marketplaces in Epcot.

  44. 44
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Wumpus:

    I note that the son of Erik carefully says he’s looking at the New Testament in Greek. Not reading it.

    Not unlike the relationship between Trump and that Andrew Jackson bio.

  45. 45
    max says:

    @J R in WV: “When I’m sitting here LOOKING AT the New Testament in Greek” – I can look at the New Testament in Aramaic too. But I will cheerfully admit that I cannot read that.

    Pity. Because…

    In Matt 25, when Jesus talks about caring for “the least of these,” he isn’t talking about the poor in general, but fellow Christians.

    …what we need here is the Aramaic for ‘What a dick!’ Although if anybody has the (old) Hebrew for that, that’d probably do.

    Oh, to be accused of getting my theology from Wikipedia when I’m sitting here looking at the New Testament [why not just say ‘septuagint’?] in Greek

    Your theology didn’t come from Wikipedia, because then you might know something true. It comes from the slave owners who needed theological justification for trading in human flesh.

    max
    [‘And to think, there were all those people drooling on Erickson because he pretended to not like Trump.’]

  46. 46
    Yarrow says:

    @Mnemosyne: Glad you had fun and hope your knee improves. Have some chicken soup and rest and hopefully the cold won’t last long. The spending spree sounds fun! Did the weather ever warm up? I saw you said it was low 60’s early on.

  47. 47
    scav says:

    Was the line for the fishes and the loaves so long because they had to card everyone in the crowd for proof they already were a Xian? If they then means-tested them for evidence they weren’t prophet-moochers and could damn well afford their own fish and bread lunch, then maybe five and two would entirely be enough to feed the chosen, no miraculous augmentation required.

  48. 48
    Johannes says:

    Right, third time trying to post (they keep disappearing; help Alain!). I’m an Episcopal deacon and run into this kind of “Christianity on the cheap” analysis all the time. More . (Sorry for the link without quote, but the quote or putting the URL in the URL box kept making the comment bounce.)

  49. 49
    Debbie1 says:

    @Yarrow: Lest we forget, Erick Erickson is a Republican. Therefore, no so-called brush with death medical experience will humanize him UNLESS he was hospitalized while uninsured and faced with an unexpectedly large bill he couldn’t pay. They have no imagination for the plight of others unless it affects them directly.

  50. 50

    @ericblair:

    One really big story out of the election is the total moral bankruptcy of evangelical white Christianity.

    That’s, uh, not news.

  51. 51
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Peale:

    it’s like rewriting the parable of the Good Samaritan to make the robbers into the characters we should emulate. And those who can’t be bothered to help into the new action heros.

    From what I’ve seen the Erikson tribe of Christians do likely they see the Good Samaritan as the wicked one one in the parable.

    Speaking as an atheist I have to constantly remind myself that plenty of people identify themselves as Christian to behave what they honestly think is morally, not justify their inner twat like the fat and smug Erikson here lecturing us about morality.

  52. 52
    Mike J says:

    @ericblair:

    When you think about it, how could an evangelical Christian look at a loud, vulgar, selfish, callous, racist, serially divorced, lying, sexual abusing businessman from New York and NOT think “Antichrist?”

    Jared Kushner owned 666 5th ave until recently when he “transferred to family trust for an undisclosed amount.”

  53. 53
    Johannes says:

    Right, third time trying to post (they keep disappearing; help Alain!). I’m an Episcopal deacon and run into this kind of “Christianity on the cheap” analysis all the time:

    As he is a political pundit and not a theologian, Erickson’s tweet wouldn’t be worth responding to if it didn’t fit in with a distressing tendency in socially conservative Christianity to verge upon a purity cult. And, usually, this is achieved by stressing biblical passages that are easy for the “we” to comply with, and by downplaying those that are difficult for them (a point made at greater length here. Only the righteous (as defined by the in-group) are worth ministering to, in this reading. But in fact, Jesus said, in the very Gospel quoted by Erickson, ” I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

    There’s another danger, too, in Erickson’s narrowing interpretation of Jesus’s words. It’s all very reminiscent of C.S. Lewis’s warning against “The Inner Ring”–a circumscribed society that looks upon itself as superior to those not-we; Lewis notes that it can corrupt a group formed with thoroughly wholesome purposes

    More . (Sorry for the link without quote, but the quote or putting the URL in the URL box kept making the comment bounce.)

  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: Exactly. The group of people that Jesus was preaching that to were Jews. There were no Christians until after his death. And until the Ebionites (Ebioyonim in Hebrew/literally poor men), the followers of James synagogue in Jerusalem lost the protection of the rabbinical authorities during the Bar Kochba revolt and fled to what is now Pella in Syria and ultimately killed off by followers of Paul (approximately 134 CE) who were opposed to the Ebionite theology and dogma, a significant community within Christianity not only considered themselves Jews, but were considered Jews by the other Jews.

    Erikson is a dumbass who has no idea what he’s talking about.

  55. 55
    Another Scott says:

    Water is wet. Also, too, right Eric?

    :-/

    In other news, the BBC Panorama program broadcast today was quite disturbing. Marine A: The Inside Story.

    The player won’t work in the US (presumably it’ll show up on YouTube eventually). The basic story is there was a firefight in Afghanistan and a UK group of marines got in a battle in a corn field. A helicopter gunship was called in and a Taliban (or similar) fighter was horrifically injured. The UK marines pulled him to the edge of the field, but everyone involved knew that evacuating him would be extremely dangerous to them (risk of a medivac helicopter or ambulance being attacked, etc.). There was lots of coded communications between the various people. A sergeant ‘took care of the problem’ by shooting and killing him. And all the Marines went back to base safely at the end of the day.

    It was all recorded.

    One hears him saying, (roughly), ‘I just broke the Geneva Conventions and committed a war crime. This doesn’t leave here.’ and we hear ‘Roger that.’ from the UK marines around him.

    He was initially convicted of murder, but a retrial convicted him of manslaughter.

    This was a horrible situation, but illustrates the no-win situation our governments put our fighters in these days. Of course, we must uphold the Geneva Conventions. Of course, killing injured combatants only gives the enemy even more gift-wrapped propaganda examples of how the people must fight the ‘invaders’, etc. But we also demand that the military do everything it can to bring everyone home safe and sound. We send people off to fight in far-off places, to implement policy decisions that too often cannot succeed, and to fight people who will not be constrained by legal niceties (just as we would not if Chinese troops were conducting operations in Kansas).

    It’s horrible. And our leaders need to understand these issues before they puff up their chests and cheaply talk about military action.

    I have absolutely no confidence that Trump and Bannon have any understanding of these things. I have little confidence that Mattis does either; at least I do not think he understands the correct lesson. He may be a “Marine’s Marine”, but he still holds a huge grudge against Iran (see the Politco Magazine link I’ve posted a few times), so his reported MO wrt Iran is to get revenge rather than understand that increasing conflict with them will get more US Marines killed and won’t make things better for the US or our hopes for the world.

    When seemingly thoughtful and expert (or at least not obviously brain-damaged) leaders can get us in situations like this and be unable to get us extracted, how can we expect a sensible policy from Trump going forward? Donnie has been in office less than 2 months… :-(

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    Fun fact. When Jesus said

    Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

    He was talking about George Soros.

  57. 57
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mike J: and, to round things out, the Chinese, like Good Samaritans, came through with a few hundred million and some low interest loans to help Brother Jared cover the nakedness of his overexposed and over leveraged family trusts, purely out of the goodness of their hearts.

  58. 58
    lurker dean says:

    interpretations like ewick’s boggle my mind. just pure willful ignorance.

    hannah gais‏ @hannahgais Mar 17
    i, too, have a new testament in greek. everything i say about the bible is therefore right.

    hannah gais‏ @hannahgais Mar 17
    bragging about knowing a little new testament greek is the most basic thing you can do as someone w a theology background. we all know some.

    hannah gais‏ @hannahgais Mar 17
    what i’m trying to say is that bragging about not failing NT greek once is like worshipping pumpkin spice lattes

  59. 59
    hovercraft says:

    @ericblair:

    Oh, right, the Antichrist is the UN Secretary General because something or other.

    Maybe if Kofi Annan was still SG, but not Ban, everyone knows the Antichrist is blah, that’s why real chirstians know Obama is the real Antichrist. It’s true, there are hundreds, probably thousand of facebook and twitter mentions of that fact. Truly.

  60. 60

    @Adam L Silverman: maybe he’s talking about Gnosticism and forgot to tell us.

  61. 61
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @hovercraft: If you want to really savior the well deserved just deserts – consider all the speculators who were buying up assault rifles to make a killing selling when the ban went into effect. Them and tulip sales.

  62. 62
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    if you would be perfect, amass as much gold frankincense as you can, cloak yourself in silks and drink the finest wines, while righteously blaming the poor for their poverty, for verily a social safety net is naught but a hammock, and a disincentive to work

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    This highlights the basic problem with trying to use the words of Christ to convince “Christians” that they’re wrong. People have spent the last 2,000 years looking for loopholes in Christ’s teachings, and many of those strained interpretations have been adopted as the official version by “Christian” churches. You’re never going to convince somebody like Erick bin Erick that he’s wrong when he’s going to a seminary that teaches him that his version is correct.

  64. 64
    Baud says:

    I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father in law except through me.

    — Jared 14:6

  65. 65
    hovercraft says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Glad to here you’ll had fun and that you made it home in more or less one piece. Just relax and take care of that knee, get well soon.

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yarrow:

    It stayed chilly until the last day (of course). We bought a few sweatshirts and kept going.

  67. 67
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @J R in WV: I can read it in Aramaic, but its been a while and Syriac script is not my forte. Biblical Aramaic is. But as someone who has taught Christian scriptures (New Testament) and religion at a Catholic University, as well as Jewish Scriptures and Survey of World Religions at a Catholic University, I can state that Erickson has no clue what he’s talking about. He’s not talking in regard to actual history/historiography of the historical Jesus. He’s not talking in regard to actual theology. He is talking in regard to dogma, specifically his personal take on dogma.

  68. 68
    cleosmom says:

    Heard that one before, from Pat Robertson on the “700 Club” during the early 1990s. He quoted Matthew 25: “whatever you have done unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done unto me”, and informed viewers that this doesn’t apply “to just anybody, only to Christians.”

    In other words, it’s open season on brethren and sistren who aren’t Christians; do unto them whatever ya friggen well please.

  69. 69
    Bess says:

    Luke 10:25-37 New International Version (NIV)

    The Parable of the Good Samaritan

    25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”

    28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

    30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

    36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

    37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

    Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    Perhaps Eric should translate that story….

  70. 70
    boatboy_srq says:

    @trollhattan: Or that “Samaritan” was merely what you called a fellow traveler you didn’t like.

    ETA @Bess, who got there first, the problem is that the modern FundiEvangelical identifies with the rabbi or the Levite, and thinks the Samaritan got suckered.

  71. 71
    The Lodger says:

    Looks like Erick is lining himself up with the priest and the Levite in the Good Samaritan story. As I recall, Jesus thought those two characters were missing the point even though they were students of Scripture.

  72. 72
    sukabi says:

    @Yarrow: how do we know that drama wasn’t just a way to fill his bank account and his attention deficit?

  73. 73
    Baud says:

    FWIW, the FSM teaches universal love, even for non-Pastafarians. Compare and contrast.

  74. 74
    scav says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Doesn’t sound at all like the gnosticism I poked my nose into. Must be that secret special elite gnosticism that’s only revealed to gated community prophets with the proper emblems on their polo shirts.

  75. 75
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: but not Peter Thiel.

  76. 76
    sukabi says:

    @Baud: 😅 oh no you didn’t

  77. 77
    MelissaM says:

    I think I just fell in love with Ken Jennings.

  78. 78
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    the Samaritan was a guilty liberal trying to buy off his own misguided political correctness by wasting two denarii that would have been better spent creating a job buy hiring someone to groom his ass.

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @J R in WV: As for your view on Palestinian tales, its actually more simple than that. Almost all of what is attributed to Jesus as being his teachings and statements in the three synoptic gospels, especially within the first two (Matthew and Mark) are straight up, historically recognizable Galilean rabbinical (pharisaic) teaching and theology. This is why when asked what is the law by the pharisee Jesus replies by quoting Rabbi Hillel’s instruction to the unnamed proselyte (later referred to as Ben Bag Bag/Son of Bag Bag) and the pharisee then replies: “good answer brother”. What got lost, once the Ebionites were violently put down by the Paulines, and year after year separated the root religion (Judaism) from the offshoot (Pauline Christianity) was the Judaic context. The whole recounting of the descent of the Holy Spirit and the sacring of Jesus, taken often as allegory within Christianity, is actually a description of the ritual used to anoint an actual King of Judea (referred to by the honorific Meshiach/Messiah). Three tents (tabernacles) were erected on the mountainside. One for the anointed (honorific Meshiach) High Priest. One for the anointed (honorific Meshiach) Prophet. And one for the to be anointed (honorific Meshiac) King. In the tents they would put on the ritual vestments for the rite, as well as intone specific prayers to invoke the heritage and mantle of Aaron and Elijah in order to anoint the new King.

    Anyone who studies biblical Judaism from the era of the Kings of Israel, then Israel and Judea, know the ritual context and its meaning. That context is unknown to virtually everyone else, including and especially almost all Christians. For them its this miraculous story of how Aaron and Elijah descend spiritually to literally anoint Jesus. Rather than what it is: a religious ritual of consecration and investiture that invokes these earlier authority figures.

  80. 80

    @Mnemosyne: A fun time with your nieces sounds totally worth all the aggravation. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  81. 81
    Robert Sneddon says:

    I have a vague recollection that there’s one part of the Gospels where Jesus states quite unequivocally that he has been sent by God to bring the Law only to the Jews. Not surprising since he (assuming he existed as a singular person) was a Jewish prophet in a time when every street corner in Judea had such prophets raving about the Messiah who was coming to rescue them from the Romans[1]. It’s entirely possible that Erick’s interpretation of Matthew is in fact correct, other than his reference to Christians — that should be Jews.

    As Christianity spread, especially under Paul’s pernicious influence, it needed to de-emphasise the insularity of its message and get rid of the hatred for Romans hence a lot of editing and trimming of the original texts helped by the fact that no actual documents from that period and locale actually mention Jeshua ben Joseph and his doings, it’s all written down centuries later from memory and generational word of mouth.

    [1]It’s kind of sad but the absolute best and most accurate representation of that time and place in popular culture is the Monty Python movie, “Life of Brian”.

  82. 82
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Mike J:

    Jared Kushner owned 666 5th ave until recently when he “transferred to family trust for an undisclosed amount.”

    Anyone want to take a shot at guessing the name of that trust? Something on the order of BLZ Bubb LLC, y’think mebbe?

  83. 83
    debbie says:

    @RepubAnon:

    If I recall correctly, the AntiChrist wants to destroy people’s belief in Jesus by corrupting his teachings.

    Not my religion, so I’m taking your word about the AntiChrist corrupting Jesus’ teachings, but if true, we need to label people like Erikson, if not the GOP, as the AntiChrist. I do like the irony.

  84. 84

    @scav: “Christians existed before Christ because mumble mumble Horus” was one of the characteristics of many classical gnostic sects. Probably not what Erick ibn Erick meant.

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    its actually more simple than that

    “And for my next trick…”

  86. 86
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m glad you were able to pull the trip off and had fun with the nieces. Go easy on the knee for awhile.

  87. 87
    JGabriel says:

    Dana Houle via Anne Laurie @ Top:

    And how stupid, to consider oneself an “evangelical Christian” yet think Jesus said care only for those who are already believers

    It does kind of take the evangelical out of Christian, doesn’t it?

  88. 88
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: Actually Colt and Remington were planning those layoffs anyway. So yes there’s a slump, but Colt and Remington were screwed regardless. Colt has been very, very badly managed. It emerged, once again, from bankruptcy last year. They had put everything into their military and law enforcement contracts for M4s and M16s and AR 15s and really neglected what had made them iconic for actual American shooters: their revolvers and their competition guns. The smiths that could do that incredible work are long gone – dead, retired, moved on to high end custom gun makers. Now all Colt has is its name and a catalogue of overpriced handguns and long guns that just can’t compete with other offerings unless one just has to have the Colt name.

    Remington’s problem is also bad management, or rather bad ownership. It is owned by The Freedom Group, which is a subsidiary of the Cerberus Hedge Fund. They have scarfed up not just Remington, but also Marlin (and screwed up those rifles too!), and a couple of other important firearms related companies. Remington has self inflicted wounds from the botched R51 roll out, as well the trigger problem and recall problem on one of their most iconic shotguns.

    Iconic names only carry you so far if your products aren’t appealing, if your prices for them are too high, if your customer service sucks, if your management is really mismanagement, and if people have other options that get them better quality and value for the same or lesser price with better customer service. There will definitely be a leveling off until someone comes up with a way to make book on crime by “illegal aliens” or “everyone needs to be armed to protect the Nation” or whatever the next big marketing boogeyman will be. But Colt and Remington were in difficulty regardless of what happened in the election.

  89. 89
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Baud: Sauce for the pasta is sauce for the meatballs.

  90. 90
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Good thing that Soros is nominally Jewish and this doesn’t apply to him.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Nope.

  92. 92
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    If you want to really savior

    I see what you did there… Well played!

  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone:

  94. 94
    Timurid says:

    @Another Scott: It sounds like the enemy soldier was already badly messed up. If it was too dangerous to evacuate him, it seems the obvious solution would be to have your medic patch him up as best he can and then leave him behind for his side to recover. Even if he survives he’s operationally as good as dead. It would be a very long before he got back into the fight, if that was possible at all. Maybe they were thinking “nothing short of CASEVAC to a real trauma center can save him; that’s not possible, so shooting him will be a mercy.”

  95. 95
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Soros 1 Jesus 0

  96. 96

    @Adam L Silverman: yeah I doubt he’s a big fan of cosmopolitan syncretism.

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “I’ll need a volunteer from the audience… How about you miss? The young lady with the not-suspiciously low cut full length gown and beguilingly perfect pearly white smile. Come on up!”

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    @Timurid: Just speaking for myself, I am not interested in running concentric circles around this guy’s decision making and actions.

  99. 99
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @max: I was under the impression the Septuagint was something else, something that predates the Gospels and wasn’t in Greek to begin with.

    Didn’t this idiot plump on an Eastern Orthodox seminary, as an added level of hilarity here? I guess if that branch of the universal church survived the Iconoclasts and a few other calamities along the way, it will,survive the American Christianist Conservatives who’ve been grafting themselves into its branches currently, apparently because the megachurches of the masses are too down market, not sufficiently historical or imperial, and lacking in fancy ceremonial.

  100. 100
    Yarrow says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, at least it wasn’t boiling hot.

  101. 101
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Actually Colt and Remington were planning those layoffs anyway. So yes there’s a slump, but Colt and Remington were screwed regardless.

    Interesting, I know nothing about guns, or the industry, I just enjoy that there is a slump. Since Twitler likes to claim credit for shit he has nothing to d with and jobs that were planned long before his election, I these layoffs should be laid at his door.
    Twitler is killing the gun industry, what is he going to do about his gun layoffs, I demand to know how he will fix this joblessness he has personally caused!

  102. 102
    KS in MA says:

    @max: Um, the Septuagint is the Hebrew Scriptures (in Greek).

    /pedant

  103. 103
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Read that Tweet the other day then linked to see what replies he got. Even Republicans who claimed to like him said “Dude, that’s horseshit”.

    Then he happily Tweeted how he mutes pretty much all commentary so he doesn’t have to read anything anyone says, just provoke them.

    Which was what that was all about.

  104. 104
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Pogonip: Great episode, except for new Aku voice actor.

    I think story arc has to have Jack in serious trouble now. Eight episodes to go. I expect big rebound/happy ending by the last one.

    Loved the Angor Wat like temple. Loved the music during climactic chase/fight scene. Loved the look of the woods where the wolf-tigers fight happened. Loved Jack and Aku sort of talking to themselves. Especially Aku as his own shrink! Loved the fireflies. Loved the black and white fight. Loved the ending…

  105. 105
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT, but

    (((Harry Enten)))‏Verified account @ ForecasterEnten 46m46 minutes ago
    So. Aggregate when it comes to Trump’s approval, but Gallup has him @ 37%. Per Gallup, Obama never dropped below 38%

  106. 106
    Ruckus says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:
    I think you misunderstood erik. If HE was laying there bleeding you’d be obligated to help him, if YOU were laying there bleeding he feel a pee coming on.

  107. 107
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Good, although the fact that Obama was ever at 38% says a lot about the gulf that separates me and the average voter.

  108. 108
    hovercraft says:

    @JGabriel:
    If you tell them what “evangelical” actually means, they probably won’t believe you. You’re an apostate, why would they believe you?

  109. 109
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: So the spin is that Trump beat Obama? Winning!

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio): The Septuagint is the name for the koine (common) Greek translation of the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings (Torah, Niviim, and Ketubim), which are the Jewish Scriptures. The authoritative text is in Hebrew, not in Greek or in Latin.

  111. 111
    liberal says:

    @StringOnAStick: yeah, well, your Dem senator plans on introducing Gorsuch to the committee, along with the R Senator.

    These Dems are so fucking stupid.

  112. 112
    scav says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Ah. What fun! More reading. I mostly stuck with the Cathar flavor of gnosis, and I think they steared clear of Horus. Most cannily only became perfects on the deathbed so it was a short burst of vegetarianism and chastity. Enlivened with all the Templar and Sion nonsense later. These new Horus ones sound amusing in that latter sense.

  113. 113

    And Proverbs 14:7 was talking about Erickson.

  114. 114
    hovercraft says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Obama never dropped below 38%

    See, PROOF that the polls are indeed rigged, everyone knows that Obama was the most hated, most incompetent president evah!!!!

  115. 115
    danielx says:

    Am I correct in thinking that there were no “Christians” as such at the time he supposedly uttered those famous verses from Matthew 25?

  116. 116
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    One of my best friends is an Episcopal priest. Started life becoming a veterinary doctor to work with horses, then became a professor of epidemiology after a back injury ended the ability to work with large animals. Then had the call.

    So a very serious student, went to theological school in Austin and studied hard. I admire the serious dedication to helping folks, and the lack of, ummm… strict belief structures compared to many clergy.

    I have no real gift for languages, although after 3 semesters of Latin I started to get Bs and As instead of the straight Cs I started out with. So my teacher accused me of cheating… Whut? says I? As if I cared enough about your class to cheat? I didn’t say that to her, but it was the truth…

    The vocabulary was sinking in, along with the grammar, finally. She promised to figure out the cheat, even though I sat right in front of her desk, the clear move of one determined to cheat, sit right in front of the teacher. I was gonna be expelled, which didn’t happen either. Made straight As the rest of the last semester, a great experience for me.

    Friend learning Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Aramaic while also learning the various interpretations of the various texts was seriously impressive. Also keeping the medical license current, just in case it is needed. May be the most over educated person I know, leaving you in second place.

    During my last (and most successful) stab at University, calculus nearly broke my brain. I spent more time in math lab than on any other class. Just not a talent for math, although I found it far more useful professionally than many other classes I did quite well in. My math professors weren’t the best teachers I ever had. Probably better mathematicians than teachers, after all their PhD wasn’t in teaching, it was in math. Mostly me, though, for sure. But I got a B last semester, so I do catch up eventually, slowly.

  117. 117
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mustang Bobby: or, as in the non-canonical Book of Fred, 7:12, “And lo, Jesus said to the dumbass, “you know, I try hard to love and forgive everyone, but you just need to shut the fuck up for a while.” Jesus said.

  118. 118
    Baud says:

    @J R in WV:

    Who was your Latin teacher? Dolores Umbridge?

  119. 119
    Ruckus says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Evangelical churches are the Faux News of the religious world.

  120. 120
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: There is always something that will happen that will cause a spike. The next dubious shooting of a person of color by a cop leading to a major protest. Or the next shooting of a cop. Or the weekly updates from the proposed VOICE thing that the President has proposed. Or the next major hurricane or flood where help doesn’t arrive from the government and people have to fend for themselves. All of those things will help.

    Ruger and Smith & Wesson are the two publicly traded firearms companies. If you want to see the health of the industry, just follow their stock tickers. S&W recently changed to American Outdoor Brands for its official stock ticker.

  121. 121
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @danielx: You are correct.

  122. 122
    Wapiti says:

    @hovercraft:

    … everyone knows the Antichrist is blah, that’s why real chirstians know Obama is the real Antichrist.

    When I was in the Army, working in the ME, I had a born-again lieutenant working for me. One day he mentioned that “some people” believed that Mohammed was the Antichrist. I set aside diplomacy to tell him that he was listening to morons, since Mohammed was in fact dead for about 1200 years and we aren’t living in the end times. He retreated to saying that it was just something he heard.

  123. 123
    apocalipstick says:

    @Mnemosyne: Not to nitpick, but it was Jesus himself who healed the servant. Peter had a vision telling him to leave Judea and go to the house of Cornelius, the Roman. It’s the source of the quote “I see now that God is no respecter of persons”, another bit of scripture that Erick son of Erick doesn’t seem to have read in either Greek or English.

  124. 124
    Another Scott says:

    @Timurid: I didn’t watch it straight through, so I can’t really answer. I did find it on YouTube: Marine A: The Inside Story (38 min).

    (As usual, don’t read the comments. :-/ )

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  125. 125

    I find Protestant Christianity extremely confusing. The elebenty flavors, the demonization of Catholics, not to speak of other faiths. The certainty of being right.

  126. 126
  127. 127
    Mary G says:

    I think Erick is making the mistake of taking Jesus literally, but not seriously.

  128. 128
    artem1s says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I keep meaning to read that book, but isn’t the whole point of the Good Samaritan story that you help everyone who needs it, not just your own tribe?

    Jesus is asked the question of ‘who is my neighbor’ when he is giving the commandment of the Golden Rule. His disciples and the other listeners want an explanation of ‘who is my neighbor’. He tells the parable as a lesson on not avoiding responsibility for compassion for others by relying on stringent and/or literal interpretations of The Law (a la the Pharisees).
    the point of the Good Samaritan was that the outcast, untouchable Samaritan aided the stranger who had been beset by thieves. The Levite and priest didn’t lift a finger. The implication being that it was the Sabbath and they used a strict interpretation as an excuse to avoid getting involved or inconvenienced and they ‘passed by on the other side of the road’. They didn’t just ignore their neighbor, they distanced themselves physically.

    The Samaritans were half breeds. Neither the children of Islam or Judah, so unclean and untouchable. In other words the Samaritan, who was considered an unperson, got the concept of ‘neighbor’ right, while the men who followed the letter of the law, did not understand the concept of ‘neighbor’ and actively used their academic understanding of the law to excuse their behavior. At the end of the parable, Jesus asks his followers, ‘who was my neighbor?’ in the story. The real moral isn’t so much that we should be like the Good Samaritan, but that we shouldn’t be like the priests and the Levite.

    These guys, using their shit interpretation of the law, are in fact a living demonstration of who is, and isn’t understanding who their ‘neighbor’ is. They are getting the lesson wrong in every conceivable way possible.

  129. 129
    hovercraft says:

    @Wapiti:
    These people have reverted to one of the causes of the move away from Catholicism back in the day, they don’t know the bible they merely parrot whatever their pastor or friends tell them the bible says, they “read” select passages within the bible, and take them out of context. So when they are confronted with biblical passages and teachings that contradict their viewpoint they are left floundering, but still stubbornly clinging to their bullshit beliefs. I thought they were supposed to closer to God, without a “gatekeeper”?

  130. 130
    Wapiti says:

    @artem1s:

    Neither the children of Islam or Judah, so unclean and untouchable.

    I think auto-correct tricked you there.

  131. 131
    Ruckus says:

    @J R in WV:
    Just the opposite here, calculus was easy. But It was easy because I didn’t listen to 4 yrs of arcane bullshit about who and why and how they came up with the theorems. I studied what the theorems meant and did. If you do that it is very logical and rather easy. If you listen to the course and learn all the crap that means nothing mathematical it takes 4 yrs of slogging along instead of 2 weeks. I find that a lot of mathematics is like that. Actually a lot of college is like that. Look at this thread, a lot of discussions about texts written thousands of yrs ago, telling us about life and how to live, while over those thousands of years, people have been twisting and re-litigating every page of all of those texts, to make them into what they want to believe because they need permission to do whatever the fuck they want because they know it’s wrong but need some sort of justification.

  132. 132
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @artem1s: Neither the children of Islam or Judah

    Israel and Judea?

  133. 133
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Special irony round for Erikison: His “I am reading it in Greek” comment – so according to Erikson his all powerful, all knowing god is unwilling or incapable of having his message to his creation properly translated.

  134. 134
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Anybody can LOOK at a NT in Greek. And even among those who CAN read it a lot of really poor theology has been derived therefrom. All it takes is a sufficiently closed mind.

  135. 135
    trollhattan says:

    Small world, idiot fraudster edition: the guy who created the accusation of British spying on Trump also invented the whitey tape.

  136. 136
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @trollhattan: Heh, wasn’t Flowbee one of the original PUMAs, all those years ago?

    “I’m not a nut,” Johnson told Politico.

    and there are too many states these days. Please eliminate three.

  137. 137
    TriassicSands says:

    Jesus absolutely adored Ayn Rand. All of his teachings are adaptions of Randian selfishness.

  138. 138
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I find Protestant Christianity extremely confusing. The elebenty flavors, the demonization of Catholics, not to speak of other faiths. The certainty of being right.

    The thing is remember is Protestantism is a product of the Renaissance, so it’s considers itself the rationalized Christianity. The problem started up was when it was put to the rigor Christianity doesn’t measure up so to maintain their beliefs many Protestants started with the Alternative Facts.

  139. 139
    HeleninEire says:

    Dunno if you all talked about this yet. But Jimmy Breslin died. I AM NOT LYING: Just 2 days ago, after not thinking about him for at least 10 years, I thought of him and said to myself “is he still alive?”

    I swear I am not a witch.

  140. 140
    JMG says:

    @HeleninEire: One of the reasons I became a newspaper reporter (eventually columnist) was reading Breslin as a kid and in college. Not that I ever wrote as well as he did. Sad. Sadder still he lived to watch the business he grew up in die first.

  141. 141
    lollipopguild says:

    @TriassicSands: Yes, she was the 13th disciple.

  142. 142
    JanieM says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I find Protestant Christianity extremely confusing. The elebenty flavors, the demonization of Catholics, not to speak of other faiths. The certainty of being right.

    Catholics are just as certain that they’re right. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools for twelve years, but my mother was Baptist. Both sides taught that the other side (and more or less everyone else) was going to hell.

  143. 143
    SFAW says:

    @Baud:

    I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father in law except through me.

    Every son in-law of Shitgibbon of God gets a little hard luck sometimes
    ‘Specially when he goes around saying he’s the Way

  144. 144
    StringOnAStick says:

    @liberal: Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of our dem senator (Bennet); our better dem was the one that Gardner beat in an off year election. Gorsuch is from Denver, so that’s probably why Bennet will do the introductions. Considering what I read about the other 2 possible USSC picks, Gorsuch is the least nutty but that isn’t saying much at all. Stolen seat is right. How someone who started and was president of a fascist society in prep school can even be considered is appalling to me, and I’ve let Bennet’s office know this several times.

  145. 145
    TriassicSands says:

    @Ruviana:

    To a self-righteous turd like Erickson the fact that both he and his wife survived their health challenges is simply proof that they are among God’s chosen people (small “p” in people as “Chosen People” would refer to Jews). If either he or his wife had died, it would have been proof that they were God’s chosen people and He just needed their help running things in Heaven, so he called them home early.

    The danger of fundamentalist religious thinking is on display here for all to see. It is why religion has no place in politics or government. The kind of rigid, absolutist thinking that this kind of Christianity (or Judaism or Islam) fosters is totalitarian in nature and leads to political goals and policies that are based on fantasy and supported by wishful thinking.

    I’m comfortable with the idea that there is no Heaven and no Hell, but if there is a Hell, Satan is building a special — lower — level for the likes of Ryan, Erickson, and friends.

  146. 146
    bystander says:

    @hovercraft: You mean “evangelical” doesn’t mean “entitled to dictate law and social policy according to Rev Billy
    Bob”?

  147. 147
    Another Scott says:

    @Ruckus: There’s a lot to that. So much of science and math teaching is bound up in traditions and “this is the way we’ve always done it” that it gets in the way of students actually learning.

    Yeah, one can spend 360 pages laying (what seems to be) a rock-solid foundation to prove that 1 + 1 = 2, but almost nobody needs to know all that stuff to be able to do useful derivations and calculations.

    Teaching well is not easy. Arons’ Guide to Introductory Physics Teaching is a great discussion on how students get flummoxed by poor teaching (imprecise language about intervals vs instants, rates of change vs levels, etc.) in physics.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  148. 148
    Это курам на смех says:

    Shortly after Erick’s tweet, here’s what he said when told about all the denunciations that followed it:

    I have Twitter set so I never even see them. Life has markedly improved.

    Thus his mind is a gated community. He can’t be contradicted because he listens only to himself.

  149. 149
    SFAW says:

    Since I am apparently without better judgment, I perused Fucktard’s tweeter stream (is that like a stream of bat’s piss?), and two things caught my eye (outside of those with better religious education pointing out what a fucktard he is):
    1) His stupid fucking avatar (or whatever they’re called), showing his fat face on the cover of “Power Atlanta.” Outside of Shitgibbon, who is such a self-absorbed asshole that he would do something like that? Oh, right.
    2) The Self-Absorbed Fucktard noted that, since he stopped blocking what he calls “trolls” from what he sees, his beautiful mind is so much calmer. Just like those fucktards at BlogOfTheYear (a/k/a PowerLine), it’s conservative SOP to block out those with opposing viewpoints.

    As efgoldman says:

    Fuckem.

  150. 150
    Timurid says:

    @Corner Stone: Yes, thinking rationally in the immediate aftermath of combat is hard. In the civilian world, if you were that hopped up on adrenaline and endorphins, you would not be legally allowed to drive a truck or fly a plane. Making a case for murder (as opposed to manslaughter) would be awfully tough. That being said, the guy was apparently self aware enough to think (and say) “what I’m doing is going to put me and my men at great risk.”

  151. 151
    SFAW says:

    @JanieM:

    Both sides taught that the other side (and more or less everyone else) was going to hell.

    Interestingly, both were right.

  152. 152
    NorthLeft12 says:

    And later in EE’s twitter thread he wonders if it says something bad about him that his favourite character in the Iron Fist series is Madame Gao.

    I believe in the journalism business they call that one a softball. Yes, EE, it means you are a horrible and evil man. Thanks for asking.

  153. 153

    You guys, I’ve figured it out. I finally understand conservative policy. The entire point is to cull the herd.

    I’m serious. Americans, wise up. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

  154. 154

    @NorthLeft12:

    He also bragged that he was being lectured about Biblical interpretation while “looking at the Scripture in Greek,” something to that effect. At which point someone snarkily told him to “READ it, don’t look at it.”

    LOL

  155. 155
    smintheus says:

    Matthew 25 uses the Greek word “xenos”, usually translated in English as the ‘traveler’ whom you didn’t invite in. But the word means ‘foreigner’. There’s no reason to take that to mean a Jew, much less (absurdly) to mean a ‘Christian’.

  156. 156
    Corner Stone says:

    Can someone please fix the god damned back button?

  157. 157
    debbie says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    You are not alone.

  158. 158
    ihop says:

    Otto West: Apes don’t read philosophy.

    Wanda: Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.

  159. 159
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Scott:
    Had a philosophy prof in the same school who would always take the opposite point of view of whatever the student said, no matter if that agreed or disagreed with what he had just stated. It was infuriating at first but then I understood it. How do you know which of any two arguments is correct, especially about philosophy or religion? That it fulfills some “truth” that you just know, or that it tears it down? It has taken me a few years to understand that he was one of my best overall teachers ever, even though I thought he was just being an ass at the time. It also shows that assholes like erik will twist whatever they need to twist to justify their selfishness. To him selfishness isn’t the issue, it’s justifying it so that he doesn’t have to feel like the shitheel he is.
    ETA I also tutored statistics in college. My prof suggested that I do so because so many just couldn’t grasp the concepts. My first lesson was always that statistics is not mathematics. It uses mathematics and is taught by mathematicians but it is not mathematics.

  160. 160
    Lizzy L says:

    @JanieM: There are still Catholics who believe this, yes, but it is no longer the official teaching of the Church. During Mass, when we pray for our beloved dead, we make a point of praying for all those dead “whose faith is known to you alone.” The current Catechism (which was approved by Pope Benedict, no lefty squish he) is very clear that we fallible human beings do not know and cannot know who is going to Hell. (Though sometimes we make educated guesses. And sometimes we indulge in wishful thinking…)

    Erick Erickson is a dumbass. As Adam has pointed out, not that it should need pointing out, Jesus was a Jew. His mother was a Jew. His followers were mostly Jews, though some might not have been. And also: he healed everybody who came to him, Jews, not-Jews, children of Roman centurions, Samaritans, a disabled man whose friends lowered him through a hole in a house roof, random crazy people in villages, men, women, everybody. Erick Erickson is REALLY a dumbass.

  161. 161
    Kenneth Kohl says:

    Speaking of professional ‘Christians‘…
    Fck you, Huckabee

  162. 162
    danielx says:

    Protestant heaven gonna be a very lonely place.

  163. 163
    Chris says:

    @RepubAnon:

    If I recall correctly, the AntiChrist wants to destroy people’s belief in Jesus by corrupting his teachings.

    You mean like taking a universalist creed based on humility, unconditional love, and reaching out to the poor and excluded, and turning it into a celebration of selfishness, greed, sanctimony, power-worship, exclusion, and domination?

    Well, sure, but I mean, who’d do a thing like that?

  164. 164
    J R in WV says:

    @Baud:

    No… it was in the 1966-67 era in High School – I won’t give her name, she’s long gone now and can’t defend herself. She needed a dead language to teach as she had a speech impediment and couldn’t teach accent and pronunciation very well. As much as I fuss about her, she DID teach me Latin, which actually got interesting once we were reading real Roman authors.

    My dad worked evenings to publish an AM newspaper which went to press at midnight.

    So being alert at 7:00 am was hard to start with, and there were only so many early classes to pick from. Plus back then you needed a foreign language to get into colleges, all of them. So Latin it was. But calling me out as a cheater really burned me, something I NEVER did in school, or at all, why would anyone do that? At least she did it in private, maybe she was that little bit unsure?

    But she really pissed me off, and I made that plain. Was so happy to pull straight As after that with her watching the only guy in her class NOT interested in cheating like a hawk, while 75% of the class in back of me was cheating up a storm. In retrospect, pretty funny!

  165. 165
    HeleninEire says:

    @Corner Stone: This plus #146 is pretty funny; no?

  166. 166
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But Christianists are very, very good at compartmentalizing the Bible and their beliefs so they never have to look at it as an entire work in context. That’s why the believers in a Rapture can claim that it’s “in the Bible” even though they have to skip around from book to book and cherry-pick verses to construct their “very clear” and “logical” claim.

    To be fair, everyone does this. It’s impossible to read something like the Bible without doing a whole bunch of interpretation and, at some point, using your judgment to determine what’s meant literally and what’s meant metaphorically, what’s meant to be an immutable law and what’s a cultural rule that can be changed by time or circumstance, etc. It’s why all denominations come with their own canon of interpretations.

    The glaring thing about fundamentalists is that they insist that they don’t do this, and that all they’re doing is “reading the plain text” and “taking the Bible literally/at its word/wev.”

  167. 167
    Ruckus says:

    @Timurid:
    Some people are exceedingly calm at a time of great stress. They are like racing drivers, their thought process speeds up and grasps the needed facts. (Hopefully all the needed facts.) They see clearly what needs to be done. This is where all the necessary facts are important. But they also make mistakes in judgement all the time, because they make decisions very rapidly and often without enough or valid information. If they are lucky they get away with their decisions. If not……

  168. 168
    Mike J says:

    @smintheus: I think he was referring to ἀδελφῶν, “brothers” in 25:40 The only other time Jesus uses that word is when he’s saying who is going to betray him.

  169. 169
    Chris says:

    @J R in WV:

    You can tell when they are lying – their lips are moving.

    Damn it. And now to find something on YouTube to wash the Meghan Trainor earworm out.

  170. 170
    Alce_e_ardilla says:

    @Wumpus: Shorter Erickson: I said I was reading the New Testament, not necessarily understanding it.

  171. 171
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    Son of Erik also apparently skipped this part:

    He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD.– Jeremiah 22:16

  172. 172
    Bess says:

    I find Protestant Christianity extremely confusing. The elebenty flavors, the demonization of Catholics, not to speak of other faiths. The certainty of being right.

    Catholics are just as certain that they’re right. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools for twelve years, but my mother was Baptist. Both sides taught that the other side (and more or less everyone else) was going to hell.

    I grew up in the Presbyterian branch of Protestantism. In our acceptance into the church ritual the minister sprinkled water over our heads as an act of baptism. Across the road was a Baptist church which practiced full immersion. Behind the pulpit was a human sized fish tank and when you “accepted Christ” the minister would plunge you under water.

    The Baptist minister told his congregation (as related to me by most of my friends who attended that church) that we Presbyterians were going to Hell because we didn’t dunk.

    Islam, in the Middle East, is warring due to a difference of who should have led the religion after Muhammad died, over 1,000 years ago.

    One side of my family fled Europe in the 1800s because they were being forced to convert to Catholicism at sword point.

    Religions are batshit crazy.

  173. 173
    hovercraft says:

    @smintheus:

    the Greek word “xenos”, usually translated in English as the ‘traveler’ whom you didn’t invite in. But the word means ‘foreigner’.

    I have on the highest authority, that the word means: stranger/foreigner

    Gus Portokalos, (Greek expert), throws a tantrum over Ian’s status as a xenos (stranger/foreigner), using his foreignness to oppose inter-ethnic marriage with Toula.

  174. 174
    Alce_e_ardilla says:

    @Chris: It’s the difference between exegesis and eisegesis.

  175. 175
    Chris says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    [1]It’s kind of sad but the absolute best and most accurate representation of that time and place in popular culture is the Monty Python movie, “Life of Brian”.

    Parodies usually are.

  176. 176
    Chris says:

    @hovercraft:

    I don’t know much about the industry, but from what I recall, I think it’s been trending downwards in sales for a while – fewer and fewer people buy guns as the years go by, it’s just that these few buy more and more frantically (encouraged by NRA scaremongering).

  177. 177
    Chris says:

    @danielx:

    Protestant heaven gonna be a very lonely place.

    All fundamentalist heavens are. They want it that way.

    In fact, I’m ninety percent certain that about thirty seconds after they meet God, they’ll start going “why is he allowed in here?”

  178. 178
    J R in WV says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Fix the Back button? It worked OK for me, Firefox V 52 running on Ubuntu 14.04 current release.

  179. 179
    Bill Arnold says:

    @trollhattan:

    Curious that Ewe Rickson thinks Christians existed while Christ was alive on earth.

    That caught my mind too. How do theologians treat causality with respect to JC’s statements? (I don’t care enough to research it but if anyone knows, wouldn’t mind hearing about it.)
    The way I look at it, you can either love every human, or just a subset. Anyone who aligns themselves theologically with the later approach needs to be reliably able to identify members of the loved subset. If they fail, they have sinned. Are there arguments against this argument, anyone?

  180. 180
    Lyrebird says:

    @hovercraft: Yes, “foreigner” or “stranger (in the land)”… When Christians say, “something something about loving doG” “this is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…” that second bit alludes to a long-standing commandment about loving the *stranger* “as ye were strangers in Egypt.” (You’ll see Jewish initiatives to be good to refugees called “love the stranger” and this is why.)

    Can’t always judge by this, but Erickson does NOT sound like a Native American name, so I think he comes from more recent strangers like so many of the rest of us.

  181. 181
    Ruckus says:

    @Bess:

    Religions are batshit crazy

    Was raised Presbyterian, and have no idea why. Mom just made us go to church. I daydreamed a lot, it was far more productive. I also attended an all boys Catholic technical HS for freshman yr. That washed any respect I might have had left for religion right out of my head. Washed it right out like with a high pressure fire hose it did. Have never regretted that for a second.

  182. 182
    Ian says:

    I remember a book of Mathew, but no book of Matt.

    Is idolatrous tweeting a sin, and what is the punishment?

  183. 183
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: sounds not unlike what happened to iconic guitar makers during the last years of the 20th century – Fender, Martin, Gibson, et al. They were bought out by bigger companies that thought the name was all you needed – like guitars were only some commodity like any other, toilet paper or dish soap or something similarly disposable. That’s when otherguitar makers really started making their marks, when their Fender or Martin or Gibson copies stared looking and sounding better than the ones produced by the original names. That’s also when the fetish for “collectable” “vintage” Strats and Teles and Les Pauls started driving prices thru’ the roof on them.

  184. 184
    Seth Owen says:

    @The Lodger: I don’t think it was an accident that they were students of scripture, it was part of Jesus’ point.

  185. 185
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @artem1s: The Samaritans lived almost a thousand years before the birth of Prophet Muhammed and the rise of Islam. I’m guessing you meant Israelite and something went sideways.

    Also, Jesus was a Pharisee. Specifically a Galilean one, which explains the belief that everything has a spirit (ruach), which is why he cursed the fig tree. In the Judaic tradition only things with spirits can be cursed. And he was quoting Rabbi Hillel, perhaps the greatest Pharisee, when he stated the Law. And this is why the Pharisee who asked the question replied with “good answer”.

  186. 186
    zhena gogolia says:

    The Kristof column was brilliant. I went onto the site to commend him, but about 50,000 people were ahead of me.

  187. 187
    zhena gogolia says:

    Sorry I missed this thread, it’s just what my husband and I have been talking about.

  188. 188
    liberal says:

    @StringOnAStick: awesome that you’ve contacted him about it.

  189. 189
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @smintheus: Which makes no sense in the Jewish context of the time. As travelers were required to be treated hospitably, sheltered, fed. The actual sin at Sodom and Gamorrah was the failure to do so. Even if the original term had been stranger it would have fallen within the Judaic law as strangers were to be given the full protection of that law.

  190. 190
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: Pretty much.

  191. 191
    Peale says:

    @hovercraft: yes. I agree with Tom cotton. We should wait until starvation and disease take root, then maybe consider charity, as long as the disease is worthy and the afflicted are ourselves.

  192. 192
    RepubAnon says:

    @Chris: I’ve always though folks like Pat Robertson were actually servants of the AntiChrist… together with the rest of the current Republican leadership, selling their souls for power in this life, doomed to burn in Hell throughout eternity if there’s any afterlife.

  193. 193
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @hovercraft: Dude had a toast family, too. [spits] Not good enough for Toula at all.

  194. 194
    evodevo says:

    @Adam L Silverman: At last … a blogger who is familiar with the actual history of Christianity

  195. 195
    evodevo says:

    @Robert Sneddon: Yes. This.

  196. 196
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @evodevo: Had to happen eventually. If, even, by random chance.

  197. 197
    laura says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m so glad to hear that despite the injury and travel travails, you had many hours of good times with your family. That is a wonderful thing, and even under the most ideal of circumstances is a challenge by virtual of being present in the moment.
    Wishing you cups of tea, ibuprofen, photos, naps in your own bed and quiet sorting.
    Welcome home.

  198. 198
    smintheus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yes. And ξένος comes to mean ‘stranger’ by extension because foreigners are also strangers by necessity; it’s not the primary meaning.

    @Mike J: Erickson may have been “thinking” about the occurrence of ἀδελφῶν, but that is much earlier than the passage at the end of Matthew 25 where Jesus speaks about doing wrong by “the least of these”. There Jesus uses ξένος repeatedly, as the main example of the kind of person who needs to be helped.

  199. 199
    smintheus says:

    @smintheus: I take the last statement back. ἀδελφῶν is pertinent to this passage. But before and after its occurrence Jesus repeatedly described the “least of these” as the ‘xenos’, the thirsty, etc.

  200. 200
    mvr says:

    @trollhattan: That’s a brilliant point actually.

  201. 201

    I wonder how Erickson’s reading of Matthew jibes with the other stories of Jesus walking among the outcast and non-believers just to be with them, not even preaching to them in their moments together?

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%202:13-17

  202. 202
    cynthia ackerman says:

    Koine Greek is actually pretty easy. If Erick could do Thucydides, I’d be impressed.

  203. 203
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I’m still amazed when finding someone whose actually studied the history rather than just skimmed one version of one book and accepted everything they are told by someone else who also hasn’t actually studied it. It’s like one of those campfire round robins where when the tale gets back to you there isn’t one detail that is the same.

  204. 204
    Ruckus says:

    @cynthia ackerman:
    Erick can’t even do the king james edition in english.

  205. 205
  206. 206
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Thank you.
    To be blunt, I’m an atheist. But there is a history there, you linked two who have studied it and written about it. I was referring to those who read a few verses in the bible and think they understand the whole thing, when clearly they don’t. I read the book twice before I was 12, because I wanted to see what my mom was on about. I came to the conclusion that it is all bullshit and flimflam. My opinion has only gotten stronger as the years have gone by and I have been able to understand stuff I was not old enough to then.
    There are some good morals in the book, but it seems to me that one shouldn’t need a book to show them these. And of course a lot of people who say they believe the book have so few morals as to make them laughing stocks if it wasn’t so pathetic.
    And there are some horrible things that show that many people will do horrible things for power. But if we are paying any attention whatsoever we don’t really need a book to tell us that either.

  207. 207
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    “Whited sepulchre” is quite a good tell that you were brought up Catholic and were taught to look for the people who talked the holy talk and didn’t walk the holy walk, and not pay attention to them. Even in my very lapsed days, I’ve found that if you use the term towards self-professed Christians who aren’t very Christian, they get quite angry.

  208. 208
    Anne Laurie says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Busted!

    My post-college friends were quite amused that I got angry when Pope John Paul II, in an attempt to curry favor with the worst of the Protestant evangelists, dropped the salvation through works requirement. After all, I’d parted ways with the Church (to the mutual satisfaction of all parties) as soon as I graduated parochial school. But it was the principle of the surrender that bothered me; insisting that salvation could only be measured by one’s actions was one of the few Catholic tenets I could respect as a devout animist.

Comments are closed.