Archive for the ‘Political Statements’ Category

Posting of Saints of July to Resume Soon   Leave a comment

Above:  The Author, June 1, 2018

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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I understand the age-old desire of many saints to escape into a hermitage, cave, or other place and avoid the outside world.  Karl Barth and Reinhold Niebuhr might criticize me; the latter might remind me of my sad duty to create justice in an unjust world.  I have no such power, however.  My vote is usually in vain, actually.  It will make a difference again, one day–perhaps this year.

I have had enough.  I have had too much.

In my country, the United States of America, the lunatics stormed the asylum, so to speak, in 2016.  My desire to remain sane and not to become a perpetually angry and profane man has outweighed my desire to remain thoroughly informed as I have escaped into hagiographies, saints, and science fiction.  I have chosen the nurturing of piety over getting into pissing contests with skunks.  I have, however, worked political statements into many posts, many of them hagiographies or devotions.

For the last few days I have focused my blogging attention on LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS, where I have been adding posts for 2019.  I had written those drafts a few months ago, but I was waiting until after Pentecost to begin the process of creating new posts.  Today I began to take notes on saints with feast days from July 21 to 31.  So far I have taken notes on seven saints for four posts, leaving at least eleven saints in nine posts to go.  I have found that I need to set some blogging projects aside to focus on another blogging project for a time.  With the process of updating LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS nearly complete for another year, I have decided to return to hagiographies for a little while.

At least I am trying to do something positive.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 1, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JUSTIN MARTYR, CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAMPHILUS OF CAESAREA, BIBLE SCHOLAR AND TRANSLATOR; AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF SAMUEL STENNETT, ENGLISH SEVENTH-DAY BAPTIST MINISTER AND HYMN-WRITER; AND JOHN HOWARD, ENGLISH HUMANITARIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT SIMEON OF SYRACUSE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

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Posted June 1, 2018 by neatnik2009 in July 21-31, Political Statements

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Alleged Intellectual Deficiencies   Leave a comment

Above:  The Author, May 25, 2018

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Disagreement, particularly in politics and/or religion, does not constitute evidence of stupidity.

I have long been sensitive to this matter because I have often been one of the allegedly stupid people.  The person who accused me of intellectual deficiency did so solely on the basis of disagreement.  I refrained from doing unto the other person as he or she had done unto me.  Someone had to break the cycle.

I have frequently questioned the judgment of many who have disagreed with me.  When I have perceived evidence that has led me to doubt one’s temperamental fitness, I have followed the evidence.  Almost always nobody has known what I was doing, for I have customarily done so entirely in my thoughts, without any written or vocal evidence. Readily have I acknowledged the intelligence of the person whose judgment I have doubted.

Politics and religion have long been tribal.  In my society (in the United States) they seem to have become more tribal recently, given increased polarization.   More often disagreements have not been over subjective interpretations of a body of objective facts.  No, postmodernism has run amok, with partisan realities and disagreements over what the facts are.  Of course I think I am correct in subjective matters, but I have decided not to contribute to the problem of dismissing those who disagree with me as a population of drooling idiots who can barely calculate the square root of nine.

This might not change society, but at least it constitutes taking a proper course of action.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 25, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BEDE OF JARROW, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND FATHER OF ENGLISH HISTORY

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALDHELM OF SHERBORNE, POET, LITERARY SCHOLAR, ABBOT OF MALMESBURY, AND BISHOP OF SHERBORNE

THE FEAST OF SAINT MADELEINE-SOPHIE BARAT, FOUNDRESS OF THE SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART; AND ROSE PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN AND MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT MYKOLA TSEHELSKYI, UKRAINIAN GREEK CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR

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Posted May 25, 2018 by neatnik2009 in Political Statements

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Virtues of the Saints   Leave a comment

Above:  Icon of All Saints

Image in the Public Domain

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Reading and writing about lives of saints are ennobling hobbies.  Certainly I find them preferable to a host of alternative possible ways to spend time, not all of which are inherently bad.  I might, for example, follow the news of perfidy, disregard for the truth, and probable criminality rife in the Executive Branch of the Government of the United States of America more closely.  Or I might pour over all the details of political attacks (under false pretenses) on a Roman Catholic chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, complete with doses of Evangelical-Fundamentalist bias against Roman Catholicism, with its celibate priesthood in the Latin Rite.  Or I might lose myself in so-called reality shows.  But no, I prefer Bible studies and hagiographies.

I have been taking notes on saints with feast days ranging from July 7 to 11; I have not completed that project yet.  I have also made plans to draft posts, merge four feasts extant on my ECUMENICAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS’ DAYS AND HOLY DAYS into two feasts, and to create new posts during the next few days.

To focus on the lives of holy people, from antiquity to my lifetime, is to consider those who followed Christ left noble legacies.  There is never a bad time to do that, but now seems like an especially appropriate time, at least for me.  Nobody is perfect, but many of us are genuinely good.  I seek to, in the words of novelist Alex Haley,

Find the good and praise it.

As for current events, the passage of time and the efforts of principled investigators will reveal and document the truth, which will reside in the realm of objective reality, not opinion.  I leave that work to those suited for it.

Pax vobiscum!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANNA ROSA GATTORNO, FOUNDRESS OF THE INSTITUTE OF THE DAUGHTERS OF SAINT ANNE, MOTHER OF MARY IMMACULATE

THE FEAST OF TOBIAS CLAUSNITZER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS WILLIBALD OF EICHSTATT AND LULLUS OF MAINZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT WALBURGA OF HEIDENHELM, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS; SAINTS PETRONAX OF MONTE CASSINO, WINNEBALD OF HEIDENHELM, WIGBERT OF FRITZLAR, AND STURMIUS OF FULDA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOTS; AND SAINT SEBALDUS OF VINCENZA, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT AND MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF CLARENCE DICKINSON, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

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False Allegation of Treason   Leave a comment

Can we call that treason?  Why not?  I mean they certainly didn’t seem to love our country that much.

–Donald Trump, Febrary 5, 2018

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DONALD TRUMP IS A SHAMELESS BASTARD.

I define a bastard according to his character, not the marital status of his parents at the time of his conception, for no person is illegitimate.

Recently, at the State of the Union Address, many Democrats refused to clap.  This was neither unusual nor was it partisan behavior restricted to members of the Democratic Party.  Many Republican members of Congress have done the same when a Democratic President has addressed Congress.  Earlier today Trump, speaking to supporters, likened that Democratic refusal to applaud him both treasonous and un-American.

Shall we unpack that?  Treason is a high bar.  Those who have committed it include Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr (not convicted, though), Henri-Philippe Pétain, Vidkun Quisling (whose surname has become a synonym for a traitor), David Greenglass, Julius Rosenberg, and Aldrich Ames.  They sold out their countries.  As far as I can tell, Arnold believed primarily in himself.  Burr plotted to found a new country on U.S. soil.  Pétain and Quisling collaborated with the Third Reich.  Greenglass, Rosenberg, and Ames passed secrets to Moscow.  Nobody has actually been guilty of treason for refusing to applaud a head of state, especially in a democratic republic, although certain dictators have punished dissidents harshly.  Has Trump wished he could be a despot?

Then again, Trump, consistent with the bad character of the bastard he is, has expressed his disdain for dissent repeatedly.  He has given voice to disregard for the freedoms of speech and press.  As I have written, no administration is the nation-state.  Dissent might merely be dissent, or it might rise to the level of the highest form of patriotism, but it is never treason.

And how do we treat traitors?  We incarcerate them for life or execute them, do we not?

What is un-American?  Accusing American citizens who are peaceably dissenting of committing treason and being un-American is un-American.  Trampling liberties while wrapping oneself in the American flag is un-American.  Donald Trump is un-American.  He is also deplorable.

Here I stand; I can do no other.  My conscience is captive to the highest ideals of the United States of America.  Therefore I refuse to remain silent.  If I were to do so, I would violate my conscience.  Out of my conscience and my loyalty to the nation-state I oppose the administration and the bastard who leads it.  That is patriotism, not treason. It is also quintessentially American.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 5, 2018 COMMON ERA

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That Which Defiles   1 comment

Above:  The Seal of the President of the United States

Image in the Public Domain

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I ask for a few characteristics in a President of the United States.  I seek a stable, level-headed person who safeguards the civil rights of Americans, is not trigger-happy (especially with nuclear weapons), and conducts himself or herself in such a dignified manner.  I have no President, although I am a citizen of the United States.

In Euclidian geometry one needs only two points to form a line.  In the case of the man one conservative journalist from Orange County, California, today called “Andrew Dice Trump,” we have a lifetime that forms a pattern.  Trump is simultaneously the eldest and the most juvenile (in a negative way) temporary occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  The most recent point in that pattern comes from yesterday, when, in a meeting with U.S. Senators, he referred to “shithole” countries (all of which have majority populations of color) and longed for more immigrants from Norway (with a majority White population).  Trump has continued other patterns–lying and blaming his self-inflicted wounds on others.

Perhaps the most appropriate theological commentary on the Dishonorable Donald Trump, Racist Vulgarian-in-Chief, is comes from Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew:

What goes into the mouth does not make anyone unclean; it is what comes out of the mouth that makes someone unclean.

–Matthew 15:11, The New Jerusalem Bible (1985)

Here ends the lesson.

I refuse to be silent.  If I cannot condemn this easily, what can I condemn?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 12, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT BISCOP, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT OF WEARMOUTH

THE FEAST OF SAINT AELRED OF HEXHAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT OF RIEVAULX

THE FEAST OF HENRY ALFORD, DEAN OF CANTERBURY

THE FEAST OF SAMUEL PREISWERK, SWISS REFORMED MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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Modified slightly from the original post at BLOGA THEOLOGICA

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Posted January 12, 2018 by neatnik2009 in Political Statements

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A Prayer for 2018   Leave a comment

Above:  My Writing Desk, December 28, 2017

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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2017 has been a difficult year in several ways.  Storms, both political and literal, have made it devastating and depressing.  I have continued my retreat into science fiction and books about Lutheran history, for paying too close attention to current events has proven spiritually detrimental.  By “spiritually detrimental” I mean that my frequency (never high) of profanity (in private, with no other mortals present) has increased and I have become more proficient and creative in it.  This has alarmed me.  The less time devoted to learning of the news, the better my spiritual life.  The less news I digest, the cleaner my language.

The fact that this is true is sad.  Nevertheless, there it is.  Distractions ahoy!  How many series can I rewatch and how much can I learn about Lutheran history?  I endeavor to learn the answer to that question.

I pray that, in 2018, the reality of each person’s life will be God’s best for him or her.  I also pray that each of us will take seriously the responsibility to help others along the road to God’s best for them.  Furthermore, I pray that each of us will know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, then do it, as well as when to stay out of God’s way.

May 2018 be a much better year than 2017.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 29, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS

THE FEAST OF THOMAS BECKET, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

THE FEAST OF JOSIAH CONDER, ENGLISH ABOLITIONIST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF AUSTIN FARRER, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF JOHN BURNETT MORRIS, SR., EPISCOPAL PRIEST AND WITNESS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

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The Freedom of the Press   1 comment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

–The First Amendment (ratified in 1791) to the Constitution of the United States

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It is frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write.

–Donald Trump, October 12, 2017

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Donald Trump, who puts the bully in bully pulpit, is frankly disgusting.  The First Amendment is a crown jewel in the crown of freedom.  Freedom of the press is an American as the First Amendment.  The fact that certain news stories are not flattering or politically helpful does not strip them of their status as protected speech under the freedom of the press.  If one does not approve of a certain story that is neither libelous nor slanderous, so be it; one should suck it up, so to speak.

Here I stand.  I can and will do no other.  The First Amendment matters that much to me.  It should matter that much to all Americans.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 12, 2017 COMMON ERA

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