Open Blogging: 06/29/2024

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15 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    I purposely waited until this morning to post this…didn’t want to contend with posts about the debate.
    The expectation here is that all comments be sober and reasonable…or else they will disappear.

  2. Michael says:

    On a totally different note…I’m finding that my greatest need at this time is wisdom…and it’s also what I lack.

    All those biblical admonitions make sense all of a sudden…

  3. Terry says:

    The debate has left me in a melancholy state. Its about those two things and everything else. The call for the Democrats to simply put up a new nominee seems desperate and complicated. But what I saw the second Biden took the stage has me thinking “nah, that ain’t workin”. The experts say “it’s Kamala or Newsom, but Newsom isn’t diverse enough for the party, so, it’s Kamala”. No, it’s going to be Joe. And in November it will be Trump. Leaving me melancholy.

  4. R'as al Ghul says:

    Once again the election is between a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich (HT: South Park).

  5. Michael says:


    I concur on all counts…

  6. Michael says:

    R’as al Ghul,

    Please…no need or purpose for that kind of talk…

  7. R'as al Ghul says:


    It was a reference to a South Park episode for an election for the school mascot and it is satire of the unfortunate fact that there have been only 2 main choices for POTUS in these past few election cycles.

  8. Michael says:

    I confess that I watched little of the debate.

    What I did see reminded me of something that happened long ago in the NFL.

    Johnny Unitas was probably the greatest quarterback of his generation, but age takes its toll on all.

    Unitas refused to retire when Baltimore told him he would no longer start for them and ended up playing for San Diego.

    He still had a genius football mind…he knew instinctively who the open receiver would be, but his arm could no longer make the throw.
    His mind was still there, but his body betrayed him.

    Never very agile, he was a statue in the pocket and was pounded mercilessly.

    It was sad and embarrassing to watch…I so wished that he would just retire.

    Make your own application…

  9. R'as al Ghul says:

    Michae;l @ June 29 8:02 AM,

    Unfortunately many (if not most) do not step aside when they should (and are at top of their game).

    I can think of 3 at the top of my head: Rocky Marciano, Johnny Carson, and George Washington.

  10. Dan from Georgia says:

    I didn’t watch the debate. I don’t recall the exact events that night, but either wife and I watched a movie or I painted. Just so much hate and anger out there and I didn’t want to infest my mind…I already have enough of that on Facebook.

    Though I am a HUGE fan of the late Gordon Lightfoot, I have to admit the two shows I saw him perform, were rather disappointing in regards to his singing. Obviously when you are in your 80s, you aren’t going to sound like you did when you were 25 or 35. The shows were good in that I got to see him perform his hits, and he got several standing ovations, but the voice had left him long ago.

  11. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    R’as al Ghul, bill Watterson quite at the top of his game when he should have. Sunday morning comics weren’t the same afterward but he called it when he said it was better for Calvin & Hobbes to end when it did than to have people resenting his existence like they were doing for Charles Schultz with Peanuts. The first twenty years of Peanuts are still spectacular. 🙂

    For those of us who like Batman, teaser for Batman: Caped Crusader just dropped. Bruce Timm helmed project, looks like it could be fun. Alan Burnett and Paul Dini’s comics run continuing Batman: the animated series wrapped up earlier this year and was really good, first time I”ve actually bought Batman comics in a while. That extended Templeton run is finally hitting hardbound omnibus format for anyone who can drop the $ for it. It was a pretty good run.

    I’m halfway through Esther Hamori’s newest book and it’s a funny antidote to the John Walton tedium of attempting to de-demonize the Old Testament piggy-backing off of Judit Blair and others. Jacob Milgrom had a great point about how in Leviticus we find none of the demonological exorcist tropes of Babylonian medicine but that’s not the same thing as saying no one believed in the existence of malign spirits. Hamori’s work is somewhat like Annette Yoshiko-Reed’s in pointing out that demonology was a kind of germ theory from the ancient world but this doesn’t mean they did not regard the spirits as real powers of evil instead of just metaphors.

    Growing up Pentecostal with fundamentalist elements as I did I remember hearing people say that if you listened to the wrong kinds of music you’d be inviting demons into your life. That music was used to induce mantic states and altered states of consciousness is a given in the anthropology of religion but, as Ted Gioia has somewhat overly insisted, in musicology in the West this gets sidelined. I have very limited patience for his neo-Orphic shamanist cheerleading because it traffics too much in the kinds of absurdly reductively dualist binaries Philip Stoltzfus said is the bane of neo-Orphic musicology … but Gioia’s still making a valid point even if he oversells it.

    If every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess, if making disciples of Christ entails sharing Christ with the peoples, and if Christ has overcome the powers and principalities and the elements of the cosmos, then Western Christians who think that non-Western musics belong to demons have too low and too under-developed a Christology to appreciate that musical styles don’t belong to these or those evil spirits. I’m not against Lutheran hymnody, I’m not against Veni Creator Spiritus being sung in a church service, either, but I am against the idea that anything other than the highest of high-flyer Anglo-Catholic or Tridentine Latin is profaning the liturgy and sacrament. I may be ex-Pentecostal for a variety of reasons but I still thank God Blind Willie Johnson recorded his music and appreciate that Baptists like Mahalia Jackson took inspiration from Pentecostal singing traditions. There have been some heated fights in Anglo-American musicology and music theory in the last few years about how white supremacist the defaults in music theory education in the US and other Western countries have been. Christians across the confessional traditions within orthodoxy have all the conceptual and practical tools needed to provide some potential solutions for this moment of conflict “if” we collectively don’t get bogged down into projects of worldview vindication (“MY team is right and alone can vindicate the arts”) or culture warring (because what jumps out to me is how the failure to figuratively and literally assimilate black musical innovations into theoretical and practical music education happened on BOTH sides of the Iron Curtain through the entire run of the Cold War). It may be partly because Dad was Native American (and a Calvinist) and Mom was a white Pentecostal but the older I get the more it seems to me that potential breakthroughs in a fusion of blues/rock/jazz/ragtime and “classical” have been around but purists don’t want that kind of innovation and it is often because of a committment to racist essentialist dogmas (whether they want their white or black music pure and unsullied by any kind of musical miscegnation).

    We can do better than that and I admit it’s been the soap box I’ve been on at my blog for a few years. I think Christians can make real and positive contributions to addressing aesthetic issues and a confessional basis for aesthetic pluralism drawing on theological aesthetics from Catholic, Dutch Reformed and Anglican thought spanning the last 125 years that could be of potential benefit to our unbelieving neighbors provided we don’t get caught in more rabbit holes bloviating about theories of political sovereignty for regimes that exist only in the minds of culture war pundits (think everything Canon Press has ever published). John Neville Figgis warned fellow Christians back in 1911 we needed to live in the real secular pluralistic state England had already become by 1911 and not fantasize about theories of governments for regimes that don’t exist (Churches in the Modern State, you can find it at None of this Aaron Renn “negative world” tedium. Carl Trueman nailed it saying that if we understand the ages and eschatological time this age has been negative world since the apostolic era. I might not agree with a few other things Trueman’s said lately but I agree with that part.

    Conservative culture war types who embrace Christian nationalism might want to read Jacob L Wright’s Why The Bible Began. If a leading Jewish scholar can highlight how the Pentateuch introduced separation of powers between prophets and priests and stipulated royal obligation to study torah rather than levy taxes the Christian nationalist projects are a bit moot if they can’t engage with the last fifty years of scholarship in minimalism, mythicism and revisionist work informed by archaeological debates about the extent to which Judaism may have emerged as a widely practiced religion only in the Hasmonean era.

    Not that American fundamentalists will go down that road after more than a century.

  12. R'as al Ghul says:


    You are correct Bill Watterson is another. Calvin and Hobbes was pure genius.

    NFL player Jim Brown is one more.

  13. Xenia says:

    I couldn’t watch it. I couldn’t bear (bare?) it, but I did see snippets, sort of a “worst of” reel of the debate and my main emotion was sadness. I do not like Joe Biden but I found myself feeling profoundly sad for him. He was doing the best he could up there but it wasn’t nearly good enough and he managed to make Trump look spry. Newsom is a consideration for some people but I hope they take a good look at California. As for Mrs. Harris, I don’t think there’s much enthusiasm for her from any direction. I would like conservative values but even Trump is wishy-washy on those. God help us.

    One thing I would point out is that the MSM insisted reports of Biden’s feeble-mindedness were a right-wing conspiracy, as my liberal relatives insisted, but the debate showed his sad condition for all to see. Should make people wonder what else the MSM is lying to us about.

  14. The New Victor says:

    Though the SOTU was decent, the lie by the MSM was the emperor with no clothes. I don’t typically watch debates, but Biden spanked and dominated Ryan back in the day during their veep debate. This was a different person, not a “bad night.” I think Biden might hold on and then we’ll get a Harris presidency within a year and then trump and ilk hopefully exorcized from the GOP.

  15. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    felt it was necessary to ask how and why Mark “I see things” Driscoll didn’t “see” anything about Robert Morris, the guy who took credit for advising him to resign and then restore him to ministry. The short version is, revisiting Driscoll’s 2008 seminar to MH leaders on spiritual warfare, Driscoll shared details that show that he had significant personal histories of counselees in his demonic counseling sessions/demon trials that I think allowed for warm or hot reading rather than cold reading of subjects. Not having (or wanting) that level of background for a patron restoring him to ministry after his Richard Nixon moment, Mark Driscoll couldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

    If, however, he really had the spiritual super-powers he claimed, he should’ve been able to discern something was wrong in Robert Morris’ background. Since Driscoll alleged to believe or claim some kind of bad spiritual influence was afoot in Lindell’s orbit the absence of any comparable claimed insight about Robert Morris is striking.

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