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Better angels, honest selves

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — two phrases, two anthropologies, two ways of virtue — Lincoln & Trump ]
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SPEC DQ Lincoln Sharlet Trump

**

Jeff Sharlet is one of our finer writers about religion, and his piece on Donald Trump in Saturday’s NYT Magazine is worth your attention.

Here, I simply want to contrast Lincoln‘s “better angels of our nature” with Sharlet‘s “lust, the envy, the anger of our more honest selves” — idealism and realism? sanctity and authenticity? — as phrases representing two approaches to human nature, each clearly enunciating a virtue in its own context.

Sources:

  • Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address
  • Jeff Sharlet, Donald Trump, American Preacher
  • What you say on Twitter, stays on Twitter

    Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — plus a quick followup to my post on Political candidates and religion ]
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    **

    Also of interest:

    to which Sarah Posner responded:

    Political candidates and religion

    Monday, February 1st, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — responding properly to Tim Furnish ]
    .

    Political candidates and religion is not quite the same as church and state — an issue on which, as a Brit living in the States, I am profoundly impressed both ways. However, religion in politics very much interests me, and in my news scan early this morning I noted this tweet:

    To which I responded:

    Tim Furnish picked up on this, and tweeted:

    **

    From my point of view, I think that’s both a fair question and a great DoubleQuotes opportunity, so I followed Tim’s lead to the NYT piece he was refering to, and the result, phrased in headlines, is as follows:

    Cruz Clinton

    Sources:

  • AP, Now deeply Christian, Cruz’s religion once wasn’t so obvious
  • NYT, Hillary Clinton Gets Personal on Christ and Her Faith
  • **

    For myself, I’m glad that Hillary Clinton “rarely talks about faith on the campaign trail” and that Ted Cruz‘s religion “once wasn’t so obvious”. Tithing as an obligation isn’t anything I worry about — the widow’s mite story gets to the heart of things, I think — and I’m a fan of reticence in matters of faith in any case:

    Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee

    pretty much puts the kybosh on publicity, methinks, as does:

    when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret..

    Similary, the second of MaimonidesEight levels of charity is this:

    to give to the poor without knowing to whom one gives, and without the recipient knowing from who he received. For this is performing a mitzvah solely for the sake of Heaven.

    And the Qur’an, Sura 76. 8-9, suggests:

    They give food, for the love of Him, to the needy, the orphan, the captive: “’We feed you only for the Face of God; we desire no recompense from you, no thankfulness..”

    I’m not dogmatically tied to these views, Tim, but I admire them greatly — IMO, there’s simply so much beauty in such advice!

    Not Dubuque, Dabiq — DAH-biq

    Saturday, January 30th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — hopefully, we live and learn — plus a quiet, personal announcement ]
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    Here’s Marco Rubio, from earlier in the month:

    Apparently he said much the same last night, though I haven’t found the video.

    I’m grateful to Will McCants for this clarification, too:

    I’ve been guilty of the same mistake. And I still don’t know how often or egregiously I offend in mixing diffrerent methods of Romanizing Arabic in a single post.

    **

    Okay, that’s the tiny but hopefully helpful point I wanted to make, and what follows is by way of a grace note.

    Rubio’s comments last night seem to be good for book sales, too. For McCants:

    and for Tim Furnish:

    **

    Oh, and an announcement:

    I now have a proposal making the rounds for a book exploring the nature of religious and specifically apocalyptic violence — across continents and centuries, in great religions and small sects — drawing on comparative religious, anthropological and depth psychological angles to provide context for a richer understanding of contemporary jihadism and the passion that drives it.

    Double No Trumps?

    Friday, January 29th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — silly fun.. ]
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    I’d say that here Kim Jong-Un

    would easily Trump, ahem, Vladimir Putin

    if he’d had access toi a camera and Photoshop.


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