Author Archive

Donald Trump’s Dangerous and Criminal Behavior Should Not Surprise Anyone.   Leave a comment

IT IS OLD NEWS.

Donald Trump has taught me a lesson:  He can always go lower.  He can always be more despicable and dangerous to the republic.  The son of a bitch, who sent the domestic terrorists to invade the United States Capitol Building and staged an insurrection, enjoyed watching footage of the ransacking of that structure.  That bastard tried to call United States Senators, holed up in a secure location during the invasion of the Capitol Building, to try to ask them to overturn the election results.  Even then, Trump cared about himself, not the country.

Trump caring about himself, not the country, is old news.  Trump spreading dangerous and discredited conspiracy theories is old news.  Trump inciting violence is old news.  Trump feeding off hatred is old news.  Trump being a bully is old news.  Trump having dictatorial tendencies is old news.  It was old news in 2016.  

But don’t blame me.  I voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.  I tried to prevent this.

Despite old news, recent news, and current events, many Republicans, including a host of members of the United States Congress, remains loyal to Trump.  The Republican Party, in its current state, is a death cult of personality.  Those principled conservatives, the Never Trumpers, were always on the margins of the party.  

The United States of America has long had a two-party system.  The labels and substance of the parties have changed over time, but the number of major parties has usually been two.  This country has done well when both major parties have been sane, rational, and grounded in objective reality.  Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said that all people are entitled to their own opinions yet not their own facts.  The Trump Administration has fed off what Kellyanne Conway called, in Orwellian terms, “alternative facts.”  

Objective reality is what it is.  Disagreeing with it is not a political virtue.  Political parties may legitimately differ regarding what the facts mean, but not about what the facts are. 

Here is a fact terribly inconvenient for Donald Trump.  Even if he pardons himself or Mike Pence pardons him, that pardon will not shield Trump from prosecution (for other crimes) in the State of New York.  Trump uses the rhetoric of law and order yet seeks shelter from the law while he violates law.  I do not buy what he is selling.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 9, 2021 COMMON ERA

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Enablers of Trumpism   2 comments

Or, If the White Bed Sheets Fit, ….

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.

–James Baldwin

Just as Joseph McCarthy latched onto what became known as McCarthyism and became its leader, Donald Trump latched onto what became known as Trumpism and became its leader.

Both -isms, their followers, and their leaders have much in common, not the least of which are:

  1. disregard for objective reality,
  2. demagoguery, and
  3. contempt for American democratic institutions.

Trump is a menace to the American republic.  So are all those who have enabled him and continue to do so.  They make his menace possible.  To liken them to people protesting police brutality, especially against people of color, is to make a false equivalency.    To make that false equivalency is to ignore the menace enablers of Trump and Trumpism continue to pose to the republic and to turn a blind eye to their character.  And to liken domestic terrorists who invaded the United States Capitol Building to people protesting police violence against people of color is morally offensive.

I have no interest in trying to understand the grievances of enablers of Trump and Trumpism.  I have no desire to listen to their complaints and to attempt to reason with them.  I leave that exercise in attempting to reason with the unreasonable to those who seek to follow in the footsteps of James Baldwin.

If the white bed sheets fit, enablers of Trumpism should wear them.

How is that for being direct?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 8, 2021 COMMON ERA

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25   Leave a comment

Yesterday, a mob Donald Trump encouraged invaded the United States Capitol Building.  They attacked police officers, assaulted representative government, vandalized that building, and behaved in ways that give aid and comfort to enemies of representative government around the world.  Trump said of these vandals that he loves them.

I call for the immediate application of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.  Trump has always been dangerous, but he has become increasingly perilous since November.  He is too dangerous to remain the Commander-in-Chief and to have the nuclear codes for two more weeks.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 7, 2021 COMMON ERA

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Posted January 7, 2021 by neatnik2009 in Political Statements 2021

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Treason   3 comments

Donald Trump cares about himself.  He cares about retaining power.  The rest of us are mere pawns to him.  He demands personal loyalty in lieu of loyalty to the Constitution of the United States.

Trump is a traitor, and the Republican Party has become his cult of personality.  Many principles conservatives have, to their credit, spoken out against him and his authoritarian–fascist–tendencies.

Trump incited supporters, who believe his lies and conspiracy theories, to act today.  Some of them stormed the U.S. Capitol Building today.

I live in the United States of America.  I do not live in a banana republic.  Or do I, at least until Noon on January 20?

He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind….

–Proverbs 11:29a

In this case, the house is the United States of America.  Trump is troubling his own house.  He will inherit the wind.

That much is too much for him to inherit.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 6, 2021 COMMON ERA

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Posted January 6, 2021 by neatnik2009 in Political Statements 2021

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Disregard for the Electoral Process   Leave a comment

I dare anyone–especially a supporter of Donald Trump–to defend this statement Trump made to Brad Raffensperger, the Secretary of State of Georgia, via telephone yesterday:

So, look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.

This is shameful behavior.

Raffensperger, by the way, is doing his job well and honestly.  He is behaving as an honorable public servant.  I disclose that I did not vote for him.  (His name was on my ballot in 2018, but I voted for his Democratic opponent.)  I also believe in giving credit where it is due.

The fate of the republic is at stake.  Trump’s recorded words add to the mountain of evidence of his terrible character and his disregard for democratic norms.  He is a menace to the republic.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 3, 2021 COMMON ERA

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The full audio of the conversation is here.

The full transcript is here.

An interview with Secretary Raffensperger is here.

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Posted January 3, 2021 by neatnik2009 in Political Statements 2021

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Twenty-Nine Years an Episcopalian   2 comments

Above:  Some Items on My Writing Desk, December 22, 2022

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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I became an Episcopalian 29 years ago today.  At St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Tifton, in the Diocese of Georgia, Bishop Harry Woolston Shipps confirmed me.  I had made an important decision as an adult; I had chosen my affiliation.

I had a Low Church Protestant upbringing.  My father, ordained a Southern Baptist in 1975, had switched to The United Methodist Church in 1980.  I, baptized at North Newington Baptist Church, Newington, Georgia, in November 1979, formed theologically in rural United Methodist congregations.  Yet I did not quite fit in.  My attachment to Holy Communion, which I got to take once every three months, marked me as an outlier.  So did my interest in ecclesiastical history, most of which the congregations in which my father served were oblivious.  Furthermore, my inherent attraction to Roman Catholicism stood out in the rural communities and towns in which I lived and worshiped.

When I joined The Episcopal Church, I came home.  I departed The United Methodist Church amicably; I was not angry about anything going on the denomination.

I have changed greatly since December 22, 1991.  Lutheranism has become more prominent in my variation on Anglicanism, which stands between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.  I have given up the United Methodist refusal to acknowledge Single Predestination.  Now, even if I wanted to do so, I could not return to The United Methodist Church and be intellectually and spiritually honest.  The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has become my denominational Plan B, even though I have not identified as a Protestant for a long time.

Consider the items in the photograph at the top of this post, O reader.  There are three Marian images, two versions of The Book of Common Prayer, a Daily Prayer book from The Church of England, and a devotional book a minister from the United Church of Christ wrote.  I identify as an Anglican.  I identify as an Anglican in the collegial sense of Anglicanism, not the Donatistic sense of that word.  I object strenuously to the use of “Anglican” as a Donatistic label for congregations, dioceses and congregations in the United States of America.  My variety of Anglicanism is open and cordial.  It also has prominent Marian tendencies.  These tendencies spill over into my parish, St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, in the Diocese of Atlanta.  I, as the parish librarian, maintain the parish library as a collection of books and as a Marian shrine.

The Protestant boy I used to be has long ceased to exist.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 22, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE TWENTY-FOURTH DAY OF ADVENT

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK AND WILLIAM TEMPLE, ARCHBISHOPS OF CANTERBURY

THE FEAST OF SAINTS CHAEREMON AND ISCHYRION, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, CIRCA 250

THE FEAST OF CHICO MENDES, “GANDHI OF THE AMAZON”

THE FEAST OF HENRY BUDD, FIRST ANGLICAN NATIVE PRIEST IN NORTH AMERICA; MISSIONARY TO THE CREE NATION

THE FEAST OF ISAAC HECKER, FOUNDER OF THE MISSIONARY SOCIETY OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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This is post #2150 of SUNDRY THOUGHTS.

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Perilous Times (II)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Cover of a Germane Novel

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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We live in perilous times.  The COVID-19 pandemic is becoming worse.  Yes, vaccination has begun, but human irresponsibility has continued.  Donald Trump has been fanning the flames of discredited conspiracy theories about alleged theft of the presidential election of 2020.  According to public opinion polls, the vast majority of self-identified Republicans has drunk that Kool-Aid.  And, two days ago, in the Oval Office, criminal and retired General Michael Flynn, standing in the Oval Office, proposed the use of martial law to overturn the allegedly stolen election.

All of this makes the plots of the British and American versions of House of Cards seem tame by comparison.

Father Sollace “Mike” Freeman, a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, has written a novel, published at the end of summer.  I started reading this story shortly after the press counted electoral votes and declared Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., the President-Elect.  In the novel, the unnamed President of the United States (presumably Trump) has narrowly lost his bid for a second term to Governor Jennifer England.  The President spends most of the novel undermining the election results and engaging in criminal activities for the purpose of securing a second term.  The President-Elect must resort to drastic measures to maintain the constitutional system.

Father Mike’s narrative does not seem unrealistic, given current events. 

We live in perilous times.  I will feel much better at 12:01 p.m. next January 20.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 20, 2020 COMMON ERA

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Love Thy Neighbor   Leave a comment

Above:  The Presbyterian Student Center, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, December 9, 2020

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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While walking this afternoon, I passed by one of my haunts from my days as a graduate student at The University of Georgia (UGA).  I took all the photographs in this post.

I approve of the messages in the signs.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 9, 2020 COMMON ERA

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Blogging Update–November 28, 2020   Leave a comment

My long break from adding to A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES:  AN ECUMENICAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS’ DAYS AND HOLY DAYS, continues.  When I resume, I will work on saints with feast days in August.

I am doing most of my blogging at BLOGA THEOLOGICA these days.  If you are interested, O reader, you may find want to read my entries there.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 28, 2020 COMMON ERA

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Posted November 28, 2020 by neatnik2009 in Communion of Saints

Best Wishes for 2021   2 comments

Today is the last day of the church year 2019-2020.  Tomorrow will be the First Sunday of Advent and the First Day of Advent.  Today, therefore, seems like an appropriate time to write this blog post.

This has been an especially difficult year for the world.  One major reason, of course, has been the COVID-19 pandemic.  Other difficulties have spun off from it.  Human irresponsibility, both individual and collective, has been a complicating factor.  This year has confirmed my lack of faith in human nature.

This year, out of an abundance of caution, I have, for the first time, decided not to celebrate Christmas with any relatives.  I have mailed presents and purchased Christmas cards.  My family has expressed understanding in this matter, fortunately.

This pandemic may get worse before it gets better, for a host of reasons, not the least of which is human irresponsibility.  Perhaps we will get past all this by next summer.

My prayer for every person, town, community, neighborhood, congregation, state, province, region, nation-state, et cetera, is simple:  May God’s best for you be your reality.  May 2021 be a blessed year for you.  May you be a blessing to others in 2021.  May others be blessings to you in 2021.  And, if you refuse to be on God’s side and be a blessing to others, may you stay out of the way, at least.

Pax vobiscum!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 29, 2020 COMMON ERA

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