June 17, 2010

"As a liberal I can say that some horrible part of me almost relishes the unctuous drink of water at the end of the dingalink after Ann makes her point."

A comment at Bloggingheads, with a link — they call it a "dingalink" — to a very short video clip in which I'm supposedly being quite vile...



... quite delightfully vile.

And I think he only came up with "unctuous" because I said "lustrous."

39 comments:

Trooper York said...

Next time you should do blogging heads under a picture of Teddy Roosevelt beating a dead horse.
So to speak.

LordSomber said...

I see Penn but not Teller.

Dead Julius said...

If the Right can have their religion and get bitterly defensive when the Left attacks it logically and soundly (e.g. Dawkins & Friends), then why shouldn't the same thing happen with the roles reversed?

MadisonMan said...

Bloggingheads should require headsets. It looks ridiculous to have a person holding a phone against their ear, and it's never flattering.

edutcher said...

Thirst is vile?

danielle said...

i dont remember the particular context of this quote, but it brings up the question of the extent to which ones interpretation of religion reflects ones world view and vice-versa. obviously there are many ways to be Christian. Some people are passionate about social justice and reference the gospels on Jesus' work on behalf of the poor ... some go even further in this, particularly some south american theologians; some people's point of departure is in inalienable rights endowed by the Creator .... I dont know in particular which verses they use; a lot of Protestants will use Eph 4.28 talking about work ethic ...

so i dont know, Ann. You seem to think politicians choose religion to support their beliefs. Certainly some people do, but I'm not sure its fair to say that's true for everyone.

traditionalguy said...

A SOP for a liberal critic is to say that an intelligent woman is exposed as acting a little like a female by using female gestures in person while is supposed to be doing a man's job. The sting of such criticism actually used to work in the old days. Let's see how it is used on Fiorina and Palin.

Ann Althouse said...

"i dont remember the particular context of this quote, but"

You can move the slider back and you can press continue to get the full context. It's not restricted to politicians and it isn't applied to everyone. Listen to the whole thing and tell me if you think I've said anything that's not true.

Ann Althouse said...

For example, I think Barack Obama picked his church (and later dumped it) for political reasons.

I think a lot of people who feel restrictive about sexual expression go to or stay in a religion that tells them they must do it. If they felt like doing something else, they might change religions. Eve seems to be about embracing a religion that poses a challenge to follow a rule that is hard to follow.

Hombre said...

Dead Julius: If the Right can have their religion and get bitterly defensive when the Left attacks it logically and soundly (e.g. Dawkins & Friends),....

"Logically and soundly"? On the topic of Christianity, Dawkins is a buffoon. He has succeeded in making the New Atheists - sometimes called "the Village Atheists - contentious, but he hasn't made them smart or logical.

danielle said...

Christian religious text is not as systematic as law, which seems to be the reason Eve resists agreeing with you on that point, and the motivation for her comments about outcome-based theology being fruitful. And she's right.

I think the commenter at bloggingheads found your comment in the clip to be a cynical read on the religion of liberals because changing religions (or even churches) is not as easy as i don't agree with 'x', therefore I don't agree with this entire spiritual and religious practice and so i'll just find a new religion.

danielle said...

" I think Barack Obama picked his church ... for political reasons."

I've never seen evidence that Obama picked his church for political reasons. Its always seems more likely to me that in Rev Wright he found a rich and fruitful mix of theological rigor, dynamic and inspiring preaching and teaching, and a community that actualized Jesus' teachings social justice and personal responsibility, and of course a black community that welcomed Barack and where he felt at home and that validated his racial identity.

I typically find that this read on Obama is used as evidence that he's a liar, or a Muslim, and 'other' and I find that disappointing.

And Barack is too smart to choose Rev Wright for political reasons. Long before becoming a congressman, he had national ambition.

I do agree that he left the church for personal and political reasons after Rev Wright himself chose to see the issues about mainstream America's understanding about Barack -- he and his ego chose to see that as mainstream America's understanding about him and the Black church, and then chose to behave indignantly, and like a buffoon to counter that view ... but obviously ended up making it worse.

Quayle said...

(I love it when liberals "exercise their liberal musculature" but never seem to get to the point of actually countering conservative arguments.)

(It's all warm up and no game.)

(With lefties today, merely mentioning that they could easily destroy your ill formed, stupid bumpkin position appears to absolve them from actually having to do it.)

To the topic: if revealed religion is understood as God's view of what is truth (defined here as what has actually happened, what is actually happening, and what will assuredly happen, and how you should act therein) then surely one should conform to that view as best as they can understand it, hard or not, popular or not, feel like it or not.

But if revealed religion is reduced to a rack of clothing, available for selection to express and enhance one's style - lustrously, even - then there is no need to conform to anything but your own whim and need, and you become the god in that universe.

The key question is: are you bending yourself to a reality that God says exists, or are you bending God to the reality that you want or say exists?

The first rule in a practical religion is to determine which god is THE god.

Unfortunately, for many, perhaps most outwardly religious people, god in heaven is a prop in their own passion play.

Balfegor said...

I think the commenter at bloggingheads found your comment in the clip to be a cynical read on the religion of liberals because changing religions (or even churches) is not as easy as i don't agree with 'x', therefore I don't agree with this entire spiritual and religious practice and so i'll just find a new religion.

You might very well think that, but hey people leave their religion over things like bike paths -- there's a lot of people for whom it is exactly as simple as "I don't believe in 'X'" even when 'X' is a suit over a bike path.

Balfegor said...

and of course a black community that welcomed Barack and where he felt at home and that validated his racial identity.

This one rings truest to me. The rest sounds, to be honest, like a bit of flim-flammery. Theological rigour probably doesn't require sitting there listening to a seething racist go on about "garlic noses," however dynamic his preaching may have been. He could have got that elsewhere if that were what he wanted.

edutcher said...

danielle said...

" I think Barack Obama picked his church ... for political reasons."

I've never seen evidence that Obama picked his church for political reasons. Its always seems more likely to me that in Rev Wright he found a rich and fruitful mix of theological rigor, dynamic and inspiring preaching and teaching, and a community that actualized Jesus' teachings social justice and personal responsibility, and of course a black community that welcomed Barack and where he felt at home and that validated his racial identity.

I typically find that this read on Obama is used as evidence that he's a liar, or a Muslim, and 'other' and I find that disappointing.

And Barack is too smart to choose Rev Wright for political reasons. Long before becoming a congressman, he had national ambition

...


Keep telling your self that. Even the State Media conceded that The Zero picked Wright's church to help him fit in better with the black and radical scene in Chicago.

rhhardin said...

Unctuous would be oil.

danielle said...

i still haven't answered your question. mostly because you are making a generalization, and I suppose the question might be is the generalization generally true...

Here is the problem I have with it:

'you can say the same thing about the religions that people pick ... '

I dont think most people 'pick' religions in the way you suggest. I don't think people survey all the religions in the way that they might look at a menu ... they don't compare its tenets to their own personal values, and then pick the one they like best. (And so just choosing another one is also not so easy). Its much more of a complex process including some rational thought, something involving the emotions, the heart, membership in communities, family, of course personal conviction and encounter with Truth.

I dont really think your notion of 'picking' is generally true. Perhaps its more likely to be true for people that don't grow up in/near a community of believers than it is for most Americans.

Synova said...

I hadn't listened to this blogging heads before.

The rules for the sake of rules thing? It builds muscles... just like working out at the gym. Self-discipline doesn't spring fully formed the first time a person sees something they agree is important.

Hombre said...

danielle: I don't think people survey all the religions in the way that they might look at a menu ... they don't compare its tenets to their own personal values, and then pick the one they like best.

People are inclined to move away from "Biblical Christianity" to some form of so-called "social justice Christianity" based on their personal preferences or values because they find biblical values too rigorous or inconvenient. Hence, the rifts amongst several Protestant denominations over homosexuality and abortion.

I guess you haven't noticed.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think the commenter at bloggingheads found your comment in the clip to be a cynical read on the religion of liberals..."

I was in no way talking about liberals specifically. It was a general statement about why people might be religious. Your preferences for what the answers are might cause you to choose or remain in a particular religion (as opposed to it being the other way around, ie, that you have a religion and therefore you accept the rules that come with it). This is such an obvious point that I'd like those who disagree with it to explain themselves. I mean, really! Getting annoyed at me for pointing it out is just silly.

danielle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Methadras said...

Ann Althouse said...

I think a lot of people who feel restrictive about sexual expression go to or stay in a religion that tells them they must do it. If they felt like doing something else, they might change religions. Eve seems to be about embracing a religion that poses a challenge to follow a rule that is hard to follow.


Hmmm, I wonder how Tiger Woods' Buddhism told him about his behavior.

danielle said...

Hombre, if you are implying that social justice theology is some light-weight, compromising version of Christianity, then you are wrong. (and if you are implying that it grows out of today's issues, then you are wrong). Theologies related to social Justice long predate the current American political debates on abortion and gay marriage.

I'd have to go back and read a bit, but a lot of the German Theologians who struggled with Hitler's regime are noted in the social justice body of theological writings.

Theologians are always dealing with issues of the day as they understand God afresh, and there are always differences of opinion .....

Ann Althouse said...

"I dont think most people 'pick' religions in the way you suggest. I don't think people survey all the religions in the way that they might look at a menu ... they don't compare its tenets to their own personal values, and then pick the one they like best. (And so just choosing another one is also not so easy). Its much more of a complex process including some rational thought, something involving the emotions, the heart, membership in communities, family, of course personal conviction and encounter with Truth."

Yes, but I didn't portray it that way, so that's a straw man you're fighting. I agree it's complex, and one of the complexities is that a person has a sense of what the rules and requirements should be (such as no sex outside of marriage) and they want to follow these rules anyway. Then, feeling that they are doing what God wants adds to the good feeling and good look of doing what they already want to do. I don't think they admit that to themselves.

traditionalguy said...

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. That immediately brings up the issue of belief or unbelief in scripture by a religion seeker. If a Christian has come to faith it can only have come to him by hearing the proclaimed word of God from a man or a woman teaching the scripture. Bottom line then is whether or not the Holy Spirit is working with that teacher/pro claimer to open a hearer's spirit. In Obama's case, I do not know, but I sense that he does not trust Christ, but that he feels at home with Mohammedans. We can compare his knowledge and use of Christian scripture to Abe Lincoln's and get some hint of his sincerity.

danielle said...

"Yes, but I didn't portray it that way, so that's a straw man you're fighting. I agree it's complex, and one of the complexities is that a person has a sense of what the rules and requirements should be (such as no sex outside of marriage) and they want to follow these rules anyway. Then, feeling that they are doing what God wants adds to the good feeling and good look of doing what they already want to do. I don't think they admit that to themselves."

my point was more that your framing of the issue betrays an ease of letting go of a religion when it doesn't suit a person's new set of views. And what you wrote only focuses on the religious rules, and not on the conviction of the heart, which is more meaningful than any rules that one is persuaded to follow), and which convinces a person that a particular value is worth having.

i should also mention that leaving a church is a far different ball of wax than leaving THE church/Christianity.

danielle said...

" In Obama's case, I do not know, but I sense that he does not trust Christ, but that he feels at home with Mohammedans."

this statement is baseless, offensive, and probably rooted is racism.

Quayle said...

"Then, feeling that they are doing what God wants adds to the good feeling and good look of doing what they already want to do. I don't think they admit that to themselves."

God holds pretty good sway, so if you can convince people he's on your side, you'll do pretty well in any endeavor.

Which makes the American founders' argument even more audacious that we often imagine.

That God wanted the king to be king was self evident: he was born king.

For Thomas Jefferson to write that other truths are self evident was, it almost would seem, akin to blasphemy as well as treason.

danielle said...

"I was in no way talking about liberals specifically. It was a general statement about why people might be religious."

FYI, i didn't think you were talking about liberals specifically; but since you are viewed as a right-wing blogger, and since hyper-religiosity of a the focus on the family variety is associated with right-wing bloggers -- it seemed to me that the commenter interpreted your statement as being an attack on liberals. (I didnt think this is what you were doing; I've read your blog enough to know that you are clear when you are attacking liberals.)

danielle said...

"one of the complexities is that a person has a sense of what the rules and requirements should be (such as no sex outside of marriage) and they want to follow these rules anyway"

I'm not sure that people that convert to a given religion are drawn by the rules they have to follow. Usually people who join a religion are coming because of a sense of joy they have that is related to the faith. I'm not sure who likes all the rules. And certainly when younger people join a religion, they are not aware of all the rules or how they'll feel about the rules when they get older. But, the crux of this is that believing a particular faith can make a particular rule become your value and not just a rule because you appreciate the theology and philosophy behind the rule.

danielle said...

FYI, i didn't think you were talking about liberals specifically.... (I didnt think this is what you were doing; I've read your blog enough to know that you are clear when you are attacking liberals.)


ADDED: and I was pretty sure you were critiquing religious people generally because I think you are agnostic.

Revenant said...

If the Right can have their religion and get bitterly defensive when the Left attacks it logically and soundly (e.g. Dawkins & Friends), then why shouldn't the same thing happen with the roles reversed?

I would suggest that if you think Dawkins only has a problem with conservative religion, you misread him. :)

Revenant said...

Its much more of a complex process including some rational thought, something involving the emotions, the heart, membership in communities, family, of course personal conviction and encounter with Truth.

Mostly the "family" bit. Rational thought, emotions, the heart, conviction, and encounters with the Truth usually result in the person joining whatever religion their parents belonged to. :)

For most people, I suspect, any religion would fill the inner need FOR religion as well as any other.

Dead Julius said...

I would suggest that if you think Dawkins only has a problem with conservative religion, you misread him.

I don't think that. But I do remember that in Dawkins' book, he says that the reason for his atheist activism was the conservative (especially the American conservative) effort to bring religion to politics.

Back to Althouse's issue:

Perhaps we as a society have decided that a politician's personal religious beliefs are off-limits for critique. Maybe the public finds ascribing motives to, say, the President's choice of religion to be crude and offensive.

That would be a sensible position for a mostly-religious populace to take if they knew, deep down, that it was all just comforting and not really true.

Methadras said...

danielle said...

Hombre, if you are implying that social justice theology is some light-weight, compromising version of Christianity, then you are wrong. (and if you are implying that it grows out of today's issues, then you are wrong). Theologies related to social Justice long predate the current American political debates on abortion and gay marriage.

I'd have to go back and read a bit, but a lot of the German Theologians who struggled with Hitler's regime are noted in the social justice body of theological writings.

Theologians are always dealing with issues of the day as they understand God afresh, and there are always differences of opinion .....


Social justice is a pap smear perversion of mere threadbare semblence of Christ's teachings about the poor. It's also a pedantic leftard construct that is used as a moniker to espouse getting the goods for the poor via redistributionist nonsense. Are you sure you aren't some fish that is easily lured by small shiny objects with hook that has leftism written on it?

danielle said...

Meth (addict),

go read some Bonhoeffer, and come back when you have something intelligent to say about Christian theology.

Hombre said...

@danielle: No one argues that social justice is not a significant tenet of Biblical Christianity. It is, however, one tenet of many.

Methadras is correct to suggest that "social justice Christianity" is a "leftard construct." You can't be seriously asserting that Bonhoeffer's writings bear any relationship to the pap that passes for Christianity at many of today's progressive Protestant denominations.

Moreover, it is a serious error to suppose that Bonhoeffer's admirable martyrdom somehow qualifies him as a leading theologian. Had he not died early, he might have evolved to that status, but his theology was a work in progress, not an endorsement of modern secular progressive dogma masquerading as Christianity.

LarsPorsena said...

"Its always seems more likely to me that in Rev Wright he found a rich and fruitful mix of 'theological rigor', ..."
I think the term 'ideological rigor' is more appropriate when describing the Rev Wright product.