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120 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    Losing control of the narrative…

    Once again all you need is categorical group shaming when it comes to white evangelicals. She left out a few more identifiers… but one sentence in I lost interest… well here it is

    “Are conservative, mostly white evangelicals, finally losing control of their narrative in the public sphere, where Christian supremacist assumptions have up to now led to the effective silencing of ex-evangelical and critical scholarly voices?”

    Anyone see any pejorative characterizations in his insightful piece as we begin?

    Smell Test Dread

  2. Babylon's Dread says:

    Hans Kung who wrote ‘not because I am a good christian but because being a christian is a good thing.’

    Ashes to Dust Dread

  3. Michael says:

    BD,

    Yes…unfortunately, the salient points are lost in the mire…I’m so sick of people believing they have been silenced…

  4. Babylon's Dread says:

    Sex with a minor… Gaetz is condemned for sex with a 17 year old by people who transition gender in prepubescent minors. Sex is indeed the non-partisan drug of choice for humans.

    The article goes on the spam in the Holocaust denier rant – is there anyone in public life without associations with such idiots… purity tests are such beautiful things.

    A pox on Gaetz and all of them… WAIT … that’s already happened!!!

    Conceived in Lust Dread

  5. Babylon's Dread says:

    This is a truly great list of articles with a maddening array of luminaries… Thank I will graze off an on…

    Shannon Leigh — a “14 minute read” yeah? It took 5 minutes just to scroll to the bottom.

    Speed Read Dread

  6. Babylon's Dread says:

    Steve Brown,

    Enough said,

    Patron Saint Dread

  7. Duane Arnold says:

    Hans Kung was a fascinating man and a profound theologian, albeit controversial. I met him in the 80s through the good offices of my friend, Charles Kannengiesser. They had been classmates in Paris. In our evening together, Kung struck me a being very Protestant! There is a volume of letters that passed between Barth and Kung during Vatican II. It is one of my favorite books.

    To be banned as an “official teacher” of the RCC was a burden he bore lightly, but painfully, as he and Ratzinger once had been close.

    I will pray for the repose of his soul… Requiescat in pace

  8. Linn says:

    I got my second Moderna vaccine this morning. I did not turn into an eggplant, but it sure made me think of MacArthur. One of the entries in the comment thread in the linked article from someone who says he attends GCC says that MacArthur and his wife had COVID, along with several other prominent staff members and half the choir. It’s just crazy that they would leave themselves open to that many infections, not to mention all the other people outside the church they probably infected while they were going about their daily lives and not yet showing symptoms. The only excuse I can think of is mental defect or complete lack of consideration for others. I think it is probably the latter.

  9. Babylon's Dread says:

    Beth Allison

    We Barr you no longer

    Egalitarian Dread

  10. Babylon's Dread says:

    Black Baptist pastors in the SBC are a razor thin hedge against the hegemony of CRT which is actually a doctrine of racial vengeance. When the black church stands up to this antichrist nonsense the godless awakening that is sweeping our culture will fail and the real progress of 250 years of constitutional democracy can prevail. More importantly simply obeying the Gospel as given in the NT will heal racial hatred and establish a kingdom theology that rises above these secular versions of humanity whether CRT or America’s damaged history. The Gospel not the political narrative is the solution.

    New Creation Dread

  11. Babylon's Dread says:

    As a pastor I did not need Pew Research to tell me that Americans have disconnected sexual experience from covenantal union. Of course there is always this seemingly underlying narrative that the majority knows best. Baal worship transcended Christianity long ago.

    Whore of Babylon Dread

  12. Em says:

    Pastor Dread = words of sanity and wisdom…. IMHO

  13. Jean says:

    “More importantly simply obeying the Gospel as given in the NT will heal racial hatred and establish a kingdom theology that rises above these secular versions of humanity whether CRT or America’s damaged history.”

    The Anabatists tried that. It doesn’t work in a fallen world. In the temporal city of man, unrighteousness is curbed and punished by the law.

  14. Michael says:

    There are some points in CRT we need to heed…others we need to fully and vigorously reject.

    BD, you’re smarter than the “Gospel is the solution” tripe…it is a solution, but not a full one for a secular nation where the number of believers is shrinking and already in the minority.
    The Gospel could lead to secular solutions or inform them…if anyone was listening to us outside the current ghetto…

  15. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    The rejoinder Francis Schaeffer once had to “Jesus is the answer” was to point out that anyone can say that but comparatively few Christians were taking the time to ask “What is the question to which evangelicals want to say `Jesus is the answer’?” A good chunk of what I’ve been blogging at my blog in the last few years has been thinking about how, as a Christian, I can contribute to some kind of musical synthesis or fusion of American popular styles with 18th century classical music forms and processes. I don’t mind reading about musicology debates on how colonial or white supremacist the Romantic era canon of music is or isn’t but that by itself won’t chart a potential path forward in which we can regard Haydn and Stevie Wonder as part of a common musical pantheon. if I had my way people could write guitar sonatas based on the style of Blind Willie Johnson or Scott Joplin and that’s a musical future I want to do everything I can to promote. Academic musicology can get into debates about Eurological vs Afrological concepts of music and I read that with some interest … but that’s academics fighting over what they should be allowed to teach or not teach, that’s NOT the same thing as writing music that charts a path forward, even if those debates could lead to teaching that helps chart such a path. If I can exchange ideas with people interested in music, Christian or not, who are interested in developing an approach to music where Scott Joplin and Bach are part of a common musical legacy that undoes to some degree the white supremacist patterns in Romantic era art-religion I want to keep working in that direction. Some day kids could write piano sonatas based on themes by Thelonious Monk and I look forward to such a future! I want to contribute to that as a Christian whether or not other people who might want that musical future are believers. Isaac dug wells that other people drank from but even in that he was a blessing to them. The problem with revivalism of all sorts is the jingoistic mentality that generally lies behind it–people want revival less for the spiritual health of others than for some kind of national renewal.

    So CRT isn’t something I see reason to accept or reject as a whole.

  16. BrideofChrist says:

    Regarding pastor Dread’s comment, ” Sex with a minor.. Gaetz is condemned for sex with a minor by the same people who transition gender of prepubescent minors. ” Yikes. These are two COMPLETELY different issues. Sex with a minor includes a predator and a victim. I don’t know much about ” prepubescent sex transitioning” ( nothing to be honest). But only one willing participant is involved in the latter case. Sex with a minor is a CRIME because there is clearly an unwilling victim being violated.

  17. Dread says:

    I’m not sure Sex with a 17 year old is a crime. I’m quite sure changing the sex of minors is criminal.

  18. Linn says:

    Hi, Dread,

    In most states you go to jail for having sex with any minor under the age of 18. I’m not into anything LGBTQ, but at the same time i’m glad that we still have some laws on the books that protect minors as a category. I think the farther with go down the rabbit trail with minor trans youth, we will find that the position is untenable (at least for sex changes for minors) , as Britain has. They just recently enacted some more common-sense legislation (https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/44301/uk-equality-minister-says-no-to-sex-change-surgery-for-minors).

    I am a teacher (private school), and there has been a huge increase nation-wide in teachers taking sexual advantage of teens in both middle and high school. It also happens way too often with youth pastors in conservative churches. They are often fragile kids who look up to their teachers for validation and “love.” Adults take advantage of that. Most kids don’t have the emotional maturity at 17 to say no to an adult who propositions them. i know there are under-age teens that work in the sex trade, but they have often also been sexually abused as children or tossed out of their homes because they are trans. Laws on the books that protect them from sexual exploitation can often lead to counseling, and possibly a change of lifestyle. I support that wholeheartedly. The reason I mention that I am a teacher is that we receive education in the area of teen sexual exploitation every year to a) protect ourselves from looking for consolation in a student (it happens way to often), and b) to look for signs in our students that might indicate that the are victims of sexual abuse.

    In the past five years I’ve had two trans students and one who identified as gay. i don’t teach in a Christian school, but sharing the love of Christ is still required of me. I work on being caring and kind. My students are aware that church is a big part of my life and in individual conversations it is okay for me to tell them I am a Christian. You never know where those conversations will go. Several times in my life, someone has come back to tell me they are now a Christian, and it began with one of those casual sharing opportunities. The LGBTQ population is an entirely new, difficult mission field, but the church needs to begin to learn ways of outreach to these folks who are desperately confused and lost.

  19. bob1 says:

    Sex with a minor is a CRIME because there is clearly an unwilling victim being violated.

    BOC,

    True words.

  20. Dread says:

    I sought help from the law when a 15 yr old was advantaged by a 25 year old. The law would not do a thing if there was any hint of volition. So I handled it. Gaetz gets no quarter from me.

  21. Dread says:

    Michael @4:31

    My context was toward that specific church problem not the whole culture. But I saw why you responded.

    Of course I was difficult all day.

    The Sick and the Dread

  22. Duane Arnold says:

    “I’m not sure Sex with a 17 year old is a crime…”

    In Florida, the age of consent is 18 years old, sexual intercourse with someone who is under 18 is considered statutory rape. There is a close-in-age exemption (Romeo & Juliet Law) allowing minors who are 16 or 17 to have sex with someone no older than 23 years old. Transportation or inducement with gifts or money that results in crossing a state line is a Federal crime known as sex trafficking.

    Gaetz is 38 years of age…

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    While dealing mainly with literary criticism, the link below gives an introduction to CRT. I’ve only read Delgado and Stefancic as a primary source along with Williams. All this is to say that CRT encompasses a wide variety of views and is not monolithic. As Michael said above, there are insights that are very much worthwhile as well as assertions that should rightly be questioned, as is the case with most social theories…

    https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/writing_in_literature/literary_theory_and_schools_of_criticism/critical_race_theory.html

  24. CM says:

    I thought Gaetz was really gay (just like “Miss” Lindsey Graham) and the whole purpose of his adoption of his teen(?) “son” Nestor was to provide Gaetz some cover for his real lifestyle.

  25. Duane Arnold says:

    CM

    Ad hominem attacks, especially based on rumor and gossip, is, in my opinion, unhelpful.

  26. CM says:

    Duane,

    Given the link in this article about Gaetz and the details, further questions of the exact relationship between Nestor and Gaetz need to be asked. Is this a grooming situation by a predator/abuser? We ask this all the time when church sex abuse scandals come out.

  27. NATHAN PRIDDIS says:

    From Duane’s link..

    “Critical Race Theory, or CRT, is a theoretical and interpretive mode that examines the appearance of race and racism across dominant cultural modes of expression. In adopting this approach, CRT scholars attempt to understand how victims of systemic racism are affected by cultural perceptions of race and how they are able to represent themselves to counter prejudice.”

    I don’t see any problem with this. It’s just a wordy reference to American history. To quote..and one quote only please…Bill Cosby: “Intellectuals study, what others do naturally.”

    If I find fault either CRT, it’s only because Intellectuals gave it a name and called it theory. They could gave just said..American history is racist as hell..and then walk off stage. It’s also totally understandable the Slavery Baptist Convention is leading the anti- CRT charge.

  28. Mike E. says:

    I agree completely Duane. It bothers me that many in the church will defend white supremacy to the end, all in the name of the One who railed constantly in His holy Book about how much He hates the oppression of human beings. A friend said, some say being “woke” is a new idol, all the while they arrange their conferences and write their books and blog posts to profit from it.

  29. CM says:

    Mike E.

    The Reformed Churches in South Africa and Europe have dealt with race through the discussion and adoption of the Belhar Confession. I think this is a good starting point for the SBC and others who want deal with this. The PDF link for the Confession (English translation) is below:

    https://new.crcna.org/sites/default/files/confession_of_belhar-english-with_footnotes-pf.pdf

  30. Duane Arnold says:

    Nathan/Mike E

    What bothers me are all the pronouncements being made about CRT without bothering to do at least some of the reading in primary sources. To be honest, I was rather agnostic about the whole subject until I approached the material. There’s much that is instructive and some that is less so. That is how it is with most modes of interpretation, whether of history, social movements or even texts. When I study the New Testament, I make use of a critical text developed by textual critics of the Historical Critical schools of the late 19th and early 20th century. Just because I use the critical text does not mean that I have to take on board all of their conclusions. You can value the work without lock step agreement…

  31. Babylon's Dread says:

    “What bothers me are all the pronouncements being made about CRT without bothering to do at least some of the reading in primary sources. ”

    I have bothered…

    Gramsci, Bell, Delgado, Crenshaw … thank you for advocating

    For clarity Critical Theory is the school of thought and Critical Race Theory is the more specific application.

    Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled Dread

  32. Babylon's Dread says:

    Mike E

    Please define your term and who you are bothered by when you claim the church is defending white supremacy… what is it, who defends it, what are you bothered about?

    Black and White Dread

  33. Duane Arnold says:

    “I have bothered…”

    In which case, I would assume you could see it for what it is, rather than the end of civilization…

  34. Duane Arnold says:

    … And Critical Theory has been around for almost 100 years…

  35. Em says:

    Because north and west embraced Christianity to a greater degree than most of the rest of the world, are we confusing God’s blessing and guidance with a supremacy?
    Just a ponder…..

  36. Jean says:

    “Because north and west embraced Christianity to a greater degree than most of the rest of the world, are we confusing God’s blessing and guidance with a supremacy?”

    It could be supremacy if you believe that faith comes by the exercise of the free will to believe the Gospel. That would mean that the north and west were superior even before they believed, because they had the wisdom to make the right decision when presented with the Gospel message.

  37. NATHAN PRIDDIS says:

    Dread.
    The Church in N.America, in it’s two primary forms of North and South, founded in the first two decades of the 1600’s. Both forms where white supremacist. This supremacy can be found in their respective early documents.

  38. Dread says:

    Nathan

    400+ years ago does not constitute “IS DEFENDING”

    Absurd Claim Dread

  39. Dread says:

    Duane

    Yes I absolutely can see it for what it is — the end of liberal democracy as constituted presently and likely the end of civil order based on what is required to enact it.

    As for 100 years. We all see what earlier forms of Marxist critique of civilizations has achieved. And we know it is a seed that grows slowly and explodes brutally.

    You’re to well educated to even mildly endorse an idea like it just because you find it’s critic offensive.

  40. Dread says:

    And I’ll give you the last word.

  41. Dread says:

    *too well 🤷🏻‍♂️

  42. jethro says:

    There was a reality program on television called “Jaz.” This was about a young boy who identified as a girl with full support from his family. The family began various treatment(s) and injections on the minor boy and eventually silicon breasts and reassignment surgery. When the time came to do the reassignment surgery there was a problem. Because of all the injections and treatments his penis did not grow! Thus there was not enough material to create the desired vagina and size he wanted. Finally he found a doctor to perform the surgery but their were complications.
    Many that have the surgery suffer from a number of problems including regret not to mention suicide. To begin early treatment on a minor I believe is child abuse…wonder someday if a parent will be sued by their child?

  43. NATHAN PRIDDIS says:

    Oh contrare Dread.

    Every tree beareth
    fruit after it’s kind.
    ..Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?..
    That’s 400 years of fruit, brought forth, after their kind, if you reflect on history. 400 years of unbroken history, that is.

    Also, you will recall the words of the man Gabriel who instructed Daniel. Clearly, the Host of Heaven does not view time as we do. 400 years would be nothing to the powers of the air. The same powers who oversee the United States. You no doubt recall Gabrirl equivocating 3 weeks snd several centuries? The lesson here is 400 years of history is but a blink.

    Do you actually have yo histories, one we read about and one is unseen.

  44. NATHAN PRIDDIS says:

    ..you actually have two histories…

  45. Dread says:

    So you’re a white supremacist Priddis?

    “In those days they shall no longer say: “‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.”
    ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭31:29-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    “The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.”
    ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭18:1-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  46. Ms understood says:

    You have a hell of a lot more history than two histories! Our history professor collected historical works from all over the world. He loved to read aloud the same event in history penned by different author’s perspectives, culture’s, nationalities and languages. The good Professor wrote and lectured in at least 5 different languages!
    After he shattered our belief and trust in recorded history he taught us to filter, balance and blend the various historical accounts in order to reach a better understanding (but not necessarily the truth) of what might have actually occurred.
    Further he relished finding and exposing pseudo-intellectuals that radically misquoted any given author’s intention and meaning! Professor would admonish us that even if we believed we were in harmony in our understanding of the author’s message be ever so cautious in our use of quoting them to avoid (among other things) embarrassing ourselves.

    Furthermore professor had much to say and many examples about those falsely rewriting history without any proof or supporting documents yet written and taught as truth.
    Professor overwhelmingly proved and physically demonstrated the fault of a system that is still alive and well today not just in the secular world but dangerously within the religious too!
    St. John 18:38 “What is truth?”

  47. Duane Arnold says:

    BD

    The Marxist dialectic is on the ash heap of history. It fell under the weight of its own impossibilities as an intellectual construct.

    Personally, I’m more concerned with incipient fascism posing as populism. It’s more than a threat or planted seed… people have already died…

  48. Dread says:

    Meanwhile the new language for seizing power and limiting rights is “public health crisis” guns, racism and environment all invoked as public health crisis while we fill the sheep lanes with covid mitigation. The Biden admin sings this chorus all in one day.

    But Chicago, Portland and Minneapolis remain mostly peaceful and the border cages fill and spill.

    TGIF Dread

  49. CM says:

    Dread,

    Except of course the “public health crisis” angle for guns was tried before with no success even with TEAM BLUE controlling Congress and/or the White House, so your concern is met with a yawn. Likewise for the environment, poverty, and a whole gaggle of SJW issues that both TEAM RED and TEAM BLUE like to push.

    But believe it nor not, legal and Constitutional precedents hold that health crises regarding actual disease outbreaks can have local and state governments limiting rights (as long as such limitations are implemented fairly – i.e. restrict occupancy the same way regardless if is a house of worship or sports bar ). As much as you may misguidedly think otherwise.

    Nice attempt at linking legitimate exercises of government power with ones clearly not the case though. By your same logic, since some pastors have been abusive in their positions and authority, then all pastors (including yourself) should NOT be in said positions at all. So go ahead and resign your position to demonstrate this.

  50. Dread says:

    CM

    I did actually resign.

    But all I did was point out that the Biden admin IS actually using the language of public health crisis to propagandize their power grab.

  51. Dread says:

    Further the HORROR that I am reading in this very space appeals for judging people by the sins of their fathers and no one winces — seriously?

  52. CM says:

    Dread,

    OK. Fair enough. But do you _expect_ anything different? Statists on TEAM BLUE and TEAM Red will do this. Is as much as a surprise as water is wet, bears sh*tting in the woods, and the Pope being Catholic.

    The problem is that many of those of a so-called “conservative” political bent did not and do not see Trump and his gang as the statists, anti-federalism, anti-Constitutions they are. Owning the Libs was more important than principles. That is my problem and what is worse, that people like myself who did point this out were called every name in the book by these so-called “conservatives.”

    So tell me Dread, did you even think at all that Trump (who was apparently the guy you voted for twice) was not a conservative, nor a Constitutionalist, and was a big FedGov statist? Or did owning the Libs over-ride what was so clearly obvious? It is really a simple question. To make it easier for you as why I give conservatives and people supposedly “my team” so much grief, the link below from Jonah Goldberg explains it quite well:

    https://threader.app/thread/1349880462316085249

  53. Duane Arnold says:

    BD

    “Meanwhile the new language for seizing power and limiting rights is “public health crisis” guns, racism and environment all invoked as public health crisis while we fill the sheep lanes with covid mitigation.”

    Well, let’s see…

    Gun violence in America does seem to be a problem…
    Racism appears to be alive and well…
    Climate change and environmental degradation appears to be real…
    And Covid has taken over half a million lives in our country alone…

    Unless, of course, one denies it all which, I suppose, some people do despite the evidence.

  54. Michael says:

    Amazing that kids in cages is a problem conservatives care about …now.
    This garbage makes me want to get as angry as everyone else is…

  55. Em says:

    FWIW
    I recall an old saw
    “There are none so blind as those who will not see…”
    Perhaps we all need to pray for discernment? Give up on the reliance on labels and glittering generalities?
    Is anything simple ( excluding the Gospel)?
    I’d say no as the Creator Redeemer God is taking thousands of years to resolve this rebellion

  56. CM says:

    Michael,

    FWIW, an issue becomes something either TEAM RED or TEAM BLUE cares about when they can use it as a political club. Kids in cages is just one of many examples. The fair-weather Federalism espoused was particularly evident during the Trump Administration.

    This of course is another tie-in to the link to Jonah Goldberg’s comments in the earlier post. My basic point like Goldberg’s is that you supposed “conservatives” are supposed to effing know better. But it seems with drinking the Trump Kool-Aid, higher brain functions ceased.

  57. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    Not really a fair rebuke and you know it. I don’t think you’ve said a word since Biden swelled their numbers and incentivized their increase. But I know I risk to push back on the matter.

    CM

    I have never been uncritical of Trump … just bound to him by the horrid options. I have in fact denounced his actions and Trumpism here on this blog

  58. CM says:

    Dread,

    Since when is choosing neither the Giant Douche nor the Turd Sandwich is a horrid option? You (and most everybody else) really need to stop thinking in Binary when it comes to voting.

  59. Dread says:

    CM

    Since progressivism took over the left

  60. Em says:

    CM, you’re labeling… 😇

  61. Michael says:

    ” I don’t think you’ve said a word since Biden swelled their numbers and incentivized their increase. ”

    You’re right…I haven’t said anything because I know that nothing I say will change the narrative that you just posted here and that “conservatives” are posting all over the place and on their media.

    Now, I am mad…so I’ll speak now.

    First, let me say again that my devotion to this topic arises from my faith and a religious experience I had standing in downtown Juarez.
    The Bible’s stance toward migrants couldn’t be more clear…they are to be seen as people created in the image of God and treated as our neighbors.

    Joe Biden has been in office only since January 21st.

    Donald Trump spent four years systematically destroying our asylum system (which was in poor shape already) and creating innumerable obstacles to asylum based on a doctrine of cruelty that will take years to unwind.

    This cycle of migration began in the last four months of the Trump administration… who used Covid as a way to dump about 70,000 people fleeing violence and oppression into a new ghetto on the other side of the border where many have fallen victim to the drug cartels and human traffikers.

    The cartels and coyotes have indeed made hay by lying to people in Central America through social media that the border was open…which the administration is trying desperately to stop right now.

    We have a huge problem here that will take time and resolve to fix…if it’s even fixable.

    I doubt that it is because these migrants are not perceived by this country as humans in need, but a scourge to be stopped. They are a political weapon wielded by the same people who claim to worship the same God I do.

    Let this be clear…because of our interventions politically, a new round of droughts, and natural disasters they will keep coming…this is the future arriving now.

    I have little faith in Biden…his former boss was an immigration disaster…but I’ll hope for the sake of those seeking hope themselves.

    We can keep lying about the situation or seek to act like the Christian nation we claim to be when we can’t go to church without a mask on.

  62. CM says:

    Dread,

    By our own admission then you sell out the principles to stop the proggies? IOW, become the very hypocrite and fraud to fight that on the Left? How very shallow and transactional of you. No wonder you were such a Trump fan boy. You must be pissed that Jonah Goldberg called you and your type so well in the link I referenced.

  63. Michael says:

    From the Fletcher Forum:

    The Biden administration has been widely criticized for the so-called “surge” of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. But U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data show that the recent increase is consistent with predictable patterns of undocumented migration. More importantly, the criticism ignores the reality that asylum seekers have fled unspeakable danger in their home countries and disregards the U.S. government’s obligation – under both domestic and international law – to allow them to seek protection.

    The criticism also overlooks the fact that the Trump administration’s draconian policies have prevented asylum seekers from entering the U.S. over the past four years. To unwind these unlawful policies, the Biden administration must restore the opportunity to seek asylum at the southern border and overhaul the U.S. asylum system to provide meaningful access to protection.

    The number of migrants permitted to enter the U.S. in recent weeks pales in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of people stranded on the Mexican side of the border over the past four years as a direct result of Trump administration policies. The most firmly entrenched of these policies is metering. Under this policy, CBP artificially restricts asylum seekers’ access to ports of entry along the southern border, stating falsely that they lack “capacity” to process them. As a result, many migrants–often entire families–were rejected at ports of entry, and were sent to Mexico to put their names on waiting lists and live indefinitely in makeshift, often dangerous arrangements in the hope of seeking asylum in the U.S.

    In early 2019, the Trump administration compounded this problem by implementing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), better known as “Remain in Mexico.” Under MPP, CBP processes individuals seeking asylum – some of whom were previously metered – and then forces them to return to Mexico to await their hearings in U.S. immigration court. And, since early 2020, the government has used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to completely shut down access to asylum at the southern border, despite contrary guidance from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and public health experts. Under the pretense of the pandemic, the government has expelled hundreds of thousands more migrants from the U.S. without a hearing or any opportunity to seek asylum. The resulting humanitarian crisis south of the border, purposely kept out of sight over the past several years, is of the U.S. government’s own making and is now in plain view.

    The Biden administration has taken important steps to roll back some of these policies – including processing a limited number of individuals subject to MPP for entry into the U.S., ending new enrollments into that program, and refusing to expel unaccompanied minors on purported public health grounds. But asylum-seeking adults and families are still being expelled, and individuals metered at least as far back as 2019 continue to languish under perilous circumstances in Mexico.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. government’s failure to provide clear and complete information regarding processing eligibility has led many individuals who were previously denied access to the asylum process to return to dangerous Mexican border towns. This has created precarious situations such as outside the port of entry in Tijuana, where a sprawling encampment has formed. It lacks sanitation, running water and reliable bathroom access, raising grave health concerns. Out of unimaginable desperation, some parents have sent their children alone to ports of entry along the southern border. Other families and many individuals have risked their lives by swimming across the Rio Grande, often with tragic results.

    Many metered migrants on waitlists who were lucky enough to be present months or years later when their numbers were finally called ultimately got inspected and processed by CBP pre-pandemic – only to be promptly sent back to Mexico under MPP to await their immigration hearings. The Biden administration has chosen to prioritize a limited number of these individuals for processing into the U.S. and, in most cases, has allowed them to reunite with family or friends. But a broader, more systematic effort to process asylum-seeking migrants who were thwarted by the Trump administration cannot come soon enough. Processing will ensure these individuals an opportunity to present their claims. Only those who qualify for relief under U.S. law will actually receive asylum.

    While CBP cannot be expected to process tens of thousands of asylum seekers in one fell swoop, the announcement of a clear game plan for doing so would provide much-needed reassurance that the U.S. government has not forgotten them or its international legal obligations. The metering lists are not entirely accurate or complete, but they provide a good starting point for determining whether individuals waiting in Mexico were metered and how long they have been waiting. In cases where individuals were not permitted to enroll on a waiting list – which is particularly common for Black migrants – alternative evidence of metering should be accepted.

    Allowing these individuals to enter the U.S. is only the first step toward providing meaningful access to the asylum system. Upon arrival, many may be subject to expedited removal, an accelerated process in which a single immigration officer may investigate, charge, and make a removal decision within a day. DHS officers often misapply or ignore statutory protections for asylum seekers in expedited removal, resulting in the unconscionable (and unlawful) return of individuals with viable asylum claims to the countries they fled. Such deportations can be death sentences.

    Only individuals who convince an immigration officer that they have a credible fear of persecution or manage to evade the expedited removal process entirely (like those subject to MPP) have the opportunity to present their asylum claims in immigration court. But the immigration court system is plagued with biased decision making and a cumulative backlog of over a million cases. While the court system has been dysfunctional since its inception, the previous administration weaponized it against asylum seekers and immigrants of color in a manner that makes justice even more elusive.

    For decades, the U.S. government has faced challenges at the southern border, which are symptoms of more far-reaching problems with our immigration system and U.S. foreign policy towards Latin America. But the unrelenting assault on asylum over the past four years has left the Biden administration in an even more dire predicament. If this administration is serious about its efforts to “build back better” at the southern border, it must adopt a holistic solution that takes all these challenges into account, respects legal obligations, and puts human dignity first.

  64. Babylon's Dread says:

    CM

    Most of what you’re saying passes me by …
    The part I understand is clear enough to make me not consider you serious on any level

    As usual when conversations fails attack the person you’re talking to with demeaning vomit. I shall reward your words with appropriate disinterest.

    Michael,

    Your anger informs that comment is worth reading and considering.

  65. Michael says:

    BD,

    My anger does nothing but make me more ill than I usually am.

    My usual state when considering these matters is depression over the state of this country’s soul and our inability to seek anything resembling justice and righteousness with any issue.

    If you apply the right pressure you will find that I think that most of the church is apostate and the broad road to hell is lined with political billboards.

    This is why I say little anymore…my cry is not to smite the right or the left in the name of Jesus, but that the church would return to it’s first love and share Him.

    It has all the impact of a whisper under a waterfall…

  66. CM says:

    Dread,

    Very well live your binary fantasy world of choosing political candidates and continue wonder why each election cycle results in the bar drifting ever lower. But then most of the people here do. How many others here can say they have voted for 3rd party or write-in for POTUS even ONCE in the past 2,3, or even 4 POTUS elections? Answer, da*mn few.

  67. Michael says:

    https://time.com/5951532/migration-factors/

    Today, the countries sending the most migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border–especially the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador–are experiencing a combination of push factors that include poverty and inequality, political instability, and violence. And while the current situation may be unique, it is also deeply rooted in history.

    Many countries in Central America have struggled with poverty since the time of independence from Spain in the early 19th century. While they are beautiful countries that are rich in culture and history, that colonial past has meant they have historically been home to large, landless, poor, rural populations, including many indigenous people of Mayan descent. In the years after Spanish control, they were typically ruled by small oligarchies that disproportionately held wealth, land and power, and their economies were primary export-dependent, which brought great riches to landowners but also exacerbated and perpetuated inequality and the poverty of the majority. Those dynamics have carried forward to today. More recently, climate change–in particular, drought and massive storms–has forced the vulnerable rural poor out of the countryside.

    Throughout Central America, political instability has also been a long-term problem. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, there were constant struggles between liberal and conservative elites. While rural, landless populations—such as the followers of guerrilla insurgent Augusto Sandino in Nicaragua in the 1920s—would occasionally rise up in popular resistance, more often than not these uprisings were suppressed in violent conflicts. The United States often exacerbated these conflicts, deploying the U.S. Marines in Latin America whenever political uprisings seemed to threaten U.S. business interests or national security.

    By the mid-20th century, there were new and worse waves of political violence. Popular movements on the Left—some influenced by Marxist movements, others by the labor movement or by anti-imperialism—aggressively, and sometimes violently, attempted to challenge old hierarchies and ruling classes. Conservative political elites often responded to these movements by inviting the military to take power, and the resulting conflict would eventually develop into civil wars in Guatemala (1960-1996), El Salvador (1980-1992) and Nicaragua (1979-1990). The United States played a central role in many of these conflicts, propping up military dictatorships and supporting them with logistical aid, money, training and weapons, even as many of them committed human rights atrocities. These conflicts generated huge surges in emigration from Central America, establishing the migration patterns that persist today.

  68. CM says:

    Michael,

    FYI, here is a pretty good article at Reason.com on the current Immigration debate. No that the so-called “conservatives” spewers of the narrative about immigration here will care (to use your words), Reason.com is hardly a leftist or proggie media site.

    https://reason.com/2021/04/09/immigration-politics-are-killing-the-debate-over-immigration-policy/

  69. Michael says:

    Now, let’s talk about drugs for a brief moment.

    Neither the wall nor the demonic anti migrant regulations did a damn thing to stop the flow of drugs to America.

    As we have noted for years, the quality of of dope keeps going up and the prices keep going down…there was never a moment of shortage during the Trump administration.

    For some reason, I never hear anyone address the insatiable appetite for dope in this country.

    The U.S. doesn’t really want to address the drug problem because it knows the Mexican economy is now built on drug cash, along with remittances from Mexicans living here and sending money back home.

    That, by the way, is the most noble and successful anti-poverty program in history.

    If we eliminated drugs and remittances (as Trump considered) Mexico becomes a completely failed state quickly.

    If and when that occurs you’ll have a Chinese satellite on your southern border…

    I’m done now.

  70. Michael says:

    My apologies for the anger and cursing.
    I will go sit with my cats after I remove the offensive language.
    It’s too easy to get pulled in…I should know better…

  71. Em says:

    Question, does our Bible instruct us to show mercy to individual asylum seekers or to unmanageable hordes of them?
    And just what does an asylum seeker expect? We do have gangs and cartels and some terrorists heavily in this mix at our border now. Are they escaping or bringing?
    Just pondering again.

  72. Em says:

    Michael @10:27
    I think venting is therapeutic on occasion – no worries! ! ! 😇

  73. Michael says:

    Em,

    I think the Bible would say that seeing desperate humans made in the image of God as an unmanageable hoard is not the view of the Scriptures.

    The vast majority of migrants are simply people seeking hope and life.
    What do they want?
    A chance.

  74. CM says:

    Michael,

    Speaking of drugs along the Mexican border, as more states legalized weed, the demand for the product from Mexico dropped (why import when you can have domestic just fine?). Since marijuana is bulky, much of it was smuggled _between_ points and ports of entry (you know the same spots were the Trumpistas wanted the wall built to, you know, stop the flow of drugs). With the demand for import pot falling, more and more seizures and smuggling occurs AT ports of entry for stuff like opiods, meth, etc. The seizure data by CBP since 2012 confirms this.

  75. Michael says:

    CM,

    I’ll answer this and then I’ve got to get off this blood pressure menace.

    The majority of drugs have always been driven over the border through ports of entry or flown over…fentanyl and heroin are much easier to move than pot and along with meth, now makes up the volume of imports.

    They wouldn’t be bringing it if we weren’t buying it…

  76. Michael says:

    The definition of an unmanageable hoard would have been Israel leaving Egypt…Edom didn’t want them coming through either….

  77. Duane Arnold says:

    “Your anger informs that comment is worth reading and considering.”

    That is exactly the problem… anger has become the valued currency in any discussion and then we wonder why we can no longer hear each other…

  78. Em says:

    Appreciate your viewpoint, as always, Michael…. And i realize that the O.T. was legalistic, but….
    Do we, who’ve accepted God’s plan of redemption, only apply its principles to God’s Kingdom? Or do we attempt to get this fallen world in compliance!
    Still pondering….. 🙆

  79. Michael says:

    Em,

    We are ambassadors of the kingdom of God and the OT principles are embodied in Christ who told us to love our neighbor as ourselves…sometimes being a true Christian will make one an unpopular American…

  80. Babylon's Dread says:

    No Duane

    Michael has tended to jab and not engage – his anger brought an engagement. When he engages it informs …

    And CM

    I have voted 3rd party in recent elections. Do you get tired of jumping to conclusions?

  81. CM says:

    Babylon Dread,

    Have you ever voted third party for POTUS? If the answer is NO, then you are still very much beholden to the binary choice between a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich (it is easy to vote 3rd party for city clerk or town dogcatcher, and still continue choose either the Giant Douche or the Turd Sandwich for the top job).

    Of course if the answer is YES, then you have at least on some level taken the Red Pill, and for that, I do applaud you.

  82. CM says:

    Michael,

    A few thoughts:

    1. Apparently there is no difference between 100K and 2 Million (to use as examples) in the minds of some.

    2. Let us not forget that the length of the border between Israel and Egypt is rather short, and all those Israelites were a significant fraction of the then current population of the Promised Land. The best analogy would be having the ENTIRE population of Mexico and Central America (some 180 million people) coming across the border. That clearly is NOT happening.

  83. Duane Arnold says:

    BD

    Anger does not equal engagement… provocation does not equal engagement… being a cheerleader of doom against supposed enemies does not equal engagement. It’s just anger and it promotes greater division. I can disagree with you, and I do, without the burden of anger or enmity. I refuse to wound my own soul over politics…

  84. Duane Arnold says:

    I might add that in talking with Michael over countless hours, I have never found him reticent in informing me of his views… all I have to do is ask…

  85. Jean says:

    This is in response to questions about whether God’s law should inform our politics and our nation’s laws:

    2 “The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me;
    his word is on my tongue.
    3 The God of Israel has spoken;
    the Rock of Israel has said to me:
    When one rules justly over men,
    ruling in the fear of God,
    4 he dawns on them like the morning light,
    like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,
    like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth. (2 Sam. 23:2-4)

    There is no question in my mind that a nation (any nation, at any time) benefits from leadership which rules (1) justly over its people; and (2) in the fear of God.

    Conversely, the farther away from (1) and (2) the leadership strays, the worse off that nation’s people will be.

    The justice spoken of is justice as defined in God’s Word. The fear of God is a leader’s awareness that he or she is ruling at the pleasure of God, not as a tyrant but as a servant. The people ultimately belong to God, not the leader to do with as he or she pleases. (Much more could be said.)

  86. Em says:

    There was a popular song.. WW1 or WW2? Not sure, but people of all stripes were singing, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition and we’ll all stay free…”
    O.T. sons of Abraham were directed to eliminate the populations of the societies they conquered….. ?
    Now i know there were exceptions who converted, but i am having trouble processing the acceptance in our neighborhoods of people who think we are the recipients of white privilege and should hand it over now. I know how much hard work and sacrifice by God- fearing folk (of all skin tones) went into building this Republic.
    Do most here assert that we are NOT at risk of losing our Constitutional Republic today? Needless to say, it looks to me that we are at the end of it … 🙆

  87. Michael says:

    I have been reticent to say anything online as I have felt baited into arguments that will never be resolved.
    I’ve said the same things for a number of years…evidently people think the problem has changed…it has not.

  88. Michael says:

    We are at risk of losing it because we have loved lies and divided into camps led by reprobates.

    If we ever start blaming the correct people, we may save it.

  89. Linn says:

    Michael,

    Thanks for the good and thorough information. Out of the hundreds of migrants I’ve worked with over several decades, I’ve only encountered a couple of bad eggs. Most just want a chance to better themselves or to escape tyranny. That’s why my ancestors came.

  90. Jean says:

    I was going to respond to Em’s 12:36 pm, but Michael said pretty much what I was thinking at 12:48 pm.

    I will say in addition, however, that the greatest threat to our Constitutional Republic occurred on January 6, 2021, oversaw by the Chief Executive. If we can’t stomach the peaceful transfer of power, according to the will of the governed, we have lost it.

  91. Michael says:

    Linn,

    Thanks…most folks only want info that matches what they want to believe.

  92. Em says:

    Michael @1:19
    That observation, accurate IMO, is very condemning of our public schols and churches

  93. NATHAN PRIDDIS says:

    You know that feeling when you lose a comment just before posting… Rrrr. Well maybe you don’t but my phone is super touchy to how I type.

    Totally can’t believe BD walks away on this one. Kills me.

  94. Em says:

    Pastor Dread makes many wise and accurate comments – deserves respect
    IMNSHO. 😇

  95. Dread says:

    Priddis

    Walk away from what your confession of White Supremacy?

    I’ve been working.

    Most of the comments toward me are the usual personal dismissals and Duane’s addiction to the giving the last word. Reminds me of the first year of marriage when she threw shoes at the door as I walked out after a spat.

    What do you want from me?

    Not going to argue with Michael about immigration he knows more and his Fletcher Forum post is clearly partisan. “Trump’s draconian measures” is that like our covid mitigation 🤷🏻‍♂️

    I didn’t walk away — kills you?

    Killing Me Smalls Dread

  96. Dread says:

    Immigration needs healing. I took a cheap shot at Biden – no apology – and Michael responded with mostly helpful information. I wasn’t debating him. People get their hair on fire here pretty regularly.

    Saved but Singed Dread

  97. Michael says:

    I don’t know any reasonable observer that would describe Trumps policies otherwise. Some just enjoyed the cruelty.

  98. Dread says:

    So President Biden needs a commission to study the “membership and size of the court .”

    The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg might have been up for it. It “was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court,” Ginsburg told NPR in 2019, and it would be a bad idea now. “If anything would make the Court look partisan, it would be that—one side saying, ‘When we’re in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we would have more people who would vote the way we want them to.'”

    Let’s see how that goes down

    Rat Sandwich Dread

  99. EricL says:

    Immigration? I have lots of opinions and some of them are ignorant opinions, so I try to hold my tongue and learn from those who know much more on the topic, like Michael. Two things I will share:
    1. As a son of immigrants, I can understand a bit of what the experience can be like for those who come here and for their children who are born here. But even then, my parents came after WW2 migrating through Canada, so it wasn’t as traumatic or dangerous.
    2. As a Christian, I need to show love and charity toward all I encounter in my community, no matter their migrant status.

  100. Duane Arnold says:

    BD

    Going through the Chinese menu of grievance – “one from column A, one from column B” – is less than convincing. Actually, it’s just kind of boring… I don’t think you really want engagement, you just want to be a political preacher. Just join the rest of the crowd. There are plenty doing the same thing with little thought given to the consequences in terms of continuing division and the promotion of animus. We, and you, are better than this…

  101. Jean says:

    “We, and you, are better than this…”

    That remains to be seen. Using the blog as an outlet to post grievances certainly does not stand out as wisdom or virtue. There are entire networks and talk shows devoted to white and right grievances. What’s new?

  102. ——————- says:

    Better?

    No

    In no way. Not I.

  103. Ethan says:

    Oops.

    Looks like most here are more than tired of the rantings of our own charismatic cowboy.

  104. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Did you not continually post grievances against Trump until he disappeared?
    Are we only committed to one set of grievances here?

  105. Michael says:

    Ethan,

    You are speaking of a friend of mine.
    Your contributions here have been mainly 6th grade level snark…which I can buy cheaply elsewhere…

  106. Jean says:

    “Did you not continually post grievances against Trump until he disappeared?”

    I am not opposed to exposing unrighteous decisions or behavior by a president. However, I brought more than a sound bite or headline. If someone is going to drop a grievance, he or she ought to be responsible out of respect for the readers to explain what the problem is.

    Did the GOP not pack the Court by refusing to allow Merritt Garland’s nomination to be acted on for 8 months? Did the GOP not change the rules to be able to vote on their nominee with less than 60 votes?

    I sick and tired of the lie that the Democrats want to change the rules and fundamentally damage our society, whereas the GOP play by the rules and want to preserve society.

  107. Duane Arnold says:

    I believe that all of us are better than this continual sense of political grievance. Christians, on both sides of the political divide, have become toxic in their engagements making the Church a shallow reflection of society at large. Politics will not save us. Reappropriating a theological vision based on the Gospel just might…

  108. Jean says:

    Very true Duane. Thank you for the reminder!

  109. Chris Long says:

    Michael, an honest question for you. I’ve observed for years that immigration is an important issue for you and I do very much think what you say about us seeing those trying to come here as human beings with real feelings and desires and hopes and all that is very worthwhile. Compassion often seems to be lost in this issue and it’s often just about what scores political points. I agree with all that. But what I’ve never been clear on and perhaps you can shed some light for me is: okay, but what do we do? Do we as a nation just open our borders and let all that want to come here in and pay for them etc in the name of compassion? Is that the answer? Just allow all from any number of “failed countries/situations” come here to have a better life because we are compassionate? I think I more or less understand the problem which I’ve heard a lot of talk about here over the years, but I’m not clear on the proposed solution or what kind of solution you even advocate (perhaps I missed)? I don’t mean this as any kind of attack at all. I genuinely want to know what you would do? What do you feel is the best answer to all this mess? Blessings to you brother! Praying for you! 🙂

  110. Michael says:

    Chris,
    There are no easy answers or quick solutions.
    One of the places to start is by asking better questions.
    “Do we as a nation just open our borders and let all that want to come here in and pay for them etc in the name of compassion? ”

    That is not a good question as it implies that we are paying for all those who migrate here.
    In reality the migrations have proven to be a net economic plus across the board. Those numbers are easy to find and substantiate.
    One glaring example is the not so secret anymore knowledge that the Social Security system is kept afloat by migrants who are paying in, but will never be able to receive the benefit.
    The area where I live lost a significant number of migrants in last years wildfires…and the town economy is is crashing.
    Ask the local vineyard owner or here, the hemp grower and anyone else in agriculture how their labor needs are…and how many harvests have rotted on the ground in the last four years.

    The vast majority of immigration advocates do not support “open borders” in the way that the term is bandied about these days.

    The real answer is that we somehow have to help the places where they are coming from end the cycles of violence and poverty that propel them here.
    This is unbelievably difficult as the governments are almost universally corrupt and the countries have suffered greatly in the global economy and from drought and natural disasters.

    No one leaves home unless they must.

    The first step is to stop using desperate people as political weapons.
    We have solved nothing because those dying in our deserts serve a useful purpose to those who wish to divide us. The migrant is not our enemy.

    Reform and streamline our immigration and asylum system…we are still processing visa applications that were initiated in the 90’s.

    Work with the home countries to strengthen their economies and social structures, while cracking down hard on corruption.

    Choose to love our neighbors as ourselves…we have nothing that was not given to us.

    That’s the cliff notes…thank you for asking and the way you asked.
    Blessings.

  111. Em says:

    “The migrant is not our enemy….”
    Not all, of course, but some are dangerous. We do need an orderly immigration process that is honored on both sides of the border…. AND, yes, politicians do not make good providers of that… ? ? ?

  112. Michael says:

    Em,

    I’d be safer in a migrant caravan than the streets of most cities at night.

    Are some dangerous?
    Yep.
    So are some of my white neighbors and I can’t deport them…

  113. Linn says:

    Touché, Michael. I worked for a non-profit in a gang-infested neighborhood back in the 90s. I lived in the apartments owned by the Christian non-profit for which I worked. The neighbors, many undocumented, kept a close eye on me and my safety. By the way, many of the gang members were citizens, not immigrants. They also looked out for me, however, when they knew I was involved in activities that helped their younger siblings succeed in school.

  114. Em says:

    Point taken, Michael… Point taken
    God keeo

  115. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael, Linn, Em, when I lived in Minneapolis before moving to Georgia, I have never felt threatened by migrants. I had a job in downtown Minneapolis for 2+ years and my shift ended at 1030pm, and a few items I was threatened or approached a stranger…one I swear was a pimp. But I learned to walk with courage and my head held high, so I wasn’t an easy target. Nevertheless, I won’t go into it any further, but I have always viewed migrants as hard-working and family-oriented people.

  116. bob1 says:

    DFG,

    Glad you stayed safe in downtown Mpls. This was several decades ago now, but my wife had a job downtown. Parts of it then were pretty gnarly. She never had any trouble, though.

  117. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks bob1. And I do understand there individuals in all walks that are not great citizens.

  118. Chris Long says:

    Michael, thank you – much appreciated! I think your “first step” is a good first step. 🙂 With that said, as you alluded to, I don’t know what we could actually do to support/strengthen other countries (we are arguably barely able or unable to take care of our own in this regards). As for the question I posed, I’m willing to concede it may be a poorly phrased question and that a more holistic look at the overall monetary costs and benefits to having migrants here is in order. I have a harder time personally seeing the benefits when those that have come here have done so the non-legal way because that means they started their whole “process” here in our country in violation of our laws and I have a hard time getting around that and just welcoming such people in (just being honest). But that leads to one key thing that’s definitely agreed on is that the legal process is a joke and has been for a long long time. So the whole thing’s just a giant mess. I do definitely agree that as Christians we should be speaking and acting out of love and seeing all people as those that Jesus loves, before anything else. Thanks for the reminder on this. As you can tell, I do still check in here – I’m just the quiet type. 🙂

  119. CM says:

    Chris Long,

    To piggyback off yours and Michael’s comments:

    For starters, half or slightly more of the illegals here in the US are Visa overstays. IOW, people who came to the US on say a tourist visa who then did not leave when their visa expired. Those visa overstays are from all over the world, including northern and western European countries. But of course, that was not mentioned by the Trump and his allies. Apparently only those from sh*thole countries coming across the southern border are the criminals. I guess young Israelis hawking Dead Sea beauty products in malls on current and expired tourist visas (both of which are illegal) don’t count to the Trumpivangelicals. Probably because Israel is not considered a sh*thole country.

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