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Ted Cruz on the horns of the apocalyptic dilemma

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — give me that End Times religion ]
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Tablet DQ cruz king or lucifer

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You may recall that this sort of question has arisen before..

Tablet DQ obama christ or antichrist

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Sources:

  • LA Times, Ted Cruz is lucifer in the flesh
  • Drudge Report, Ted is rthe Anointed One

  • Web page, Barack Obama the Antichrist
  • Web page, Is Barack Obama the Messiah?
  • The above links may be of little help, actually: the LA Times link is straightforward, the Drudge Report link I’ve taken from the Gateway Pundit since I couldn’t find the drudsge original — and the two Obama links are from years ago, and one of them no longer works — why the otherone still does is frankly a bit of a mystery!

    Trying these shoes on for size — nah!

    Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — a little semi-private laughing at myself via Madam Secretary ]
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    I’ve been having some private chuckles watching season 1 of Madam Secretary, and I’m betting Dr Henry McCord, the religion professor / NSA guy, doesn’t have to beg his friends for copies of their journal papers the way I do, lol.

    Here are some screengrabs:

    argue with religion prof

    I’m afraid you may sometimes feel much the same when I forcefeed my own equivalent on you all.

    And then there’s this:

    not an expert on apocalyptic lit Madame Secretary s 1 e 18 ~25'

    He’s good on Aquinas and reads Arabic to boot. That’s impressive.

    But it’s true you know, religion professors don’t necessarily know apocalyptic, and apocalyptic specialists don’t necessarily know the full range of apocalyptic expressions across continents and centuries. At which point, may I recommend:

  • Richard Landes, Heaven on Earth: the Varieties of the Millennial Experience
  • **

    I was impressed that the show, in covering a “cult” situation in season 1 episode 18, showed knowledge not only for Jonestown and Waco, but more specifically of scholars of religion Phillip Arnold and James Tabor‘s contact with David Koresh, which had the potential to resolve the Waco situation in ways the FBI’s dismissal of theology as “Bible-babble” sadly ruled out:

    Henry McCord: You know, in Waco, Koresh was at an absolute standoff with the FBI until a couple of religious scholars got him talking about his beliefs, the Bible, and then that’s when he was ready to come out peacefully.

    Elizabeth McCord: So scholars almost saved the day at Waco, huh?

    Henry McCord: Okay. There’s no way of telling how that might have turned out.

    Spot on.

    And while we’re on this topic, may I recommend:

  • Nancy T. Ammerman, Waco, Federal Law Enforcement, and Scholars of Religion
  • James Tabor & Eugene Gallagher, Why Waco?
  • Jayne Docherty, Learning Lessons from Waco: When Parties Bring Their Gods to the Negotiation Table
  • **

    Okay, I can’t walk in Dr McCord’s shoes, but I’d happily follow his footsteps a little farther — once Season 2 arrives on Netflix.

    Envoi:

    For a little unintended current political input:

    ethics cant be trumped

    Wealth redistribution: from rich to poor, or from goats to sheep?

    Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — surplus and lack vs good and evil ]
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    SPEC DQ Sanders Cruz

    I have to admit, I’m used to wealth redistribution being a concept on the left — socialist, whether in the sense indistinguishable from communist, often found in the US, or in the more moderate sense of the word found more frequently in Europe — as proposed by Bernie Sanders in the upper panel, and was surprised to see Sen. Cruz‘ father using the same concept, albeir in a different sense, lower panel, on the right.

    As my title suggests, the distinction to be drawn here is between the material distinction between rich and poor, and the spiritual distinction between sheep and goats.

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    For a different distinction, see also Tim Furnish‘s comment in his book Sects, Lies and the Caliphate “that liberals are almost always messianic, while conservatives tend more toward the apocalyptic”:

    It’s certainly the Democrat party, for the most part, that worships the idea of our elected democratic officials as messianic wealth-redistributors, assisted by their hordes of bureaucratic disciples; while the GOP (not unreasonably, perhaps) obsesses about apocalyptic demise—whether politically, theologically, or both.

    Furnish is writing in response to Anne Barbeau Gardiner‘s review of Ross Douthat‘s book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics here — making use of a distinction which comes from Douthat himself:

    The fourth heresy is American nationalism, which has two sides, messianic and apocalyptic. The messianic side turns democracy into a religion capable of doing the “redemptive work that orthodoxy reserves for Christ and his Church,” while the apocalyptic side envisions our national history as a “downhill slide.” Today these two sides are “bipartisan afflictions.” Each takes its turn in the driver’s seat — the messianic when a favored political party is in power, the apocalyptic when it is out of power — with the result that they go through cycles of “utopian hopes and millennial angst.” Moreover, the two parties are “theological worlds unto themselves,” creating a Manichean landscape of good versus evil where a Christian is pressured to conform his “theology to ideology.”

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    Within a purely secular context, transfers of wealth happen all the time, in regular clock time, by means of gift, trade, theft and plunder.

    Within a Christian theological context, however, humans taking it upon themselves to separate the sheep from the goats is surely no different from separating the wheat from the tares — and as such, distinctly not something to be done until “the harvest” — in “the end times”.

    Matthew 13. 24-30:

    Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

    And that’s a very different scenario, in which the timing is by definition unknown.

    Owls and roosters, wolves and warnings

    Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — too quiet, too loud, two versions ]
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    rooster and owlm fine cuisine
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    This isn’t the rooster and owl conjunction I refer to in this post, but it’s popping up in the DC area

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    I’m sure I first heard of the problem of the little boy who cried “Wolf” back in the mists of childhood, but it wasn’t until today, when reading up on retires CIA counterterrorist analyst and current novelist Susan Hasler that I first saw it applied to the issue of analysts alerting decision-makers of terrorism risks..

    DQ hasler landes

    Reading Hasler’s words, I was immediately reminded of Richard Landes‘ distinction between “end times” roosters and owls, which has been a salient analytic heuristic for me since the mid-nineties, when I was invited to join Landes in Boston University’s Center for Millennial Studies.

    Both quotes revolve around warning noises, and each features both “loud” and “soft” variants — but the differences between Hasler’s wolves and warnings and Landes’ owls and roosters are subtler than the similarities between them.

    Setting them up as poles for paired contemplation energizes my thought processes — and even if I don’t arrive at any specific and immediate conclusions, let alone any actionable intelligence — it preps me with yet another pattern to watch for in my daily trawling of the highways and byways of the arts, sciences and OSINT on the [wild & wonderful] web.

    Palmyra, the delirium

    Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — any sufficiently advanced Stargate is indistinguishable from magic ]
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    ronfeldt var

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    I spoke too soon. In a post yesterday, I wrote of Palmyra, the grief and the joy. I should have known better — there’s always an end-times element to the news, particularly when it touches on the history of the Middle East.

    In my tablet-format DoubleQuote above, you will find dire prognostications of one group of the apocalyptically aroused [upper panel, above] believing that the installation of a replica of the destroyed arch of Palmyra’s Temple of Baal in New York’s Times Square will unleash who knows what forces of evil upon the city — — a city which has in any case earned the sobriquet “Babylon” [lower panel] from others similarly apocalyptically aroused —

    In ancient times, child sacrifice and bisexual orgies were common practices at the altars of Baal, and now we are putting up a monument of worship to this false god in the heart of our most important city.

    April 2016: The Temple Of Baal Will Be Erected In Times Square In New York City

    A tip-of-the-hat, here, to Richard Bartholomew of the Batholomew’s Notes on Relighion blog, who pointed me in this direction.

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    But there is yet time to take comfort, if you will, in the Dispensationalist theology supported by yet other end-timers discussed in this article, Are you ready for the counter-apocalypse? to which David Ronfeldt kindoy pointed me, proposing that things must inm any case “get worse before they can get better, theologically speaking —

    Scofield, following Darby, taught that God governs and manages the world according to a sequence of distinct ages, or dispensations, each with distinct sets of rules and expectations. Each meets some kind of catastrophic end. In the Bible, as in Scofield’s life, things always got worse before they could get better—for instance, by Noah’s flood, or the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple, or whatever social degeneracy we observe around us. Fear not, for God is in control. The job of believers is to accept whatever dispensation they’re in and await, like eager spectators, the next catastrophe.

    Understanding sacred history like this has consequences for the present. Justice and peace need not be strived for now; we’re not in the right dispensation yet. Dispensationalists have held that even the beloved commands of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount can be neglected—love your enemies, give what you have to those in need, do for others what you’d have them do for you.

    As one of Scofield’s later followers reasoned, “Every businessman would go bankrupt giving to those who ask of him.” Dispensationalism permits a dose of pecuniary sense to some of the Bible’s more demanding social teachings.

    This theology spread in tandem with modern corporate capitalism, aided by Gilded Age benefactors like California oilman Lyman Stewart. A later follower of Scofield’s imagined that Christians who persevere through the present tumult will get to serve as a “ruling aristocracy, the official administrative staff” of Christ’s corporate kingdom to come. The bureaucrat, thus, is the model believer: Play by the rules you’re given, as excellently as you can, and even as the planet is engulfed in flames rest assured that all is well.

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    I’d have far less to write about — and we’d all live in a safer world — if we recognized that the outrageous varieties of apocalyptic expectation just might be the multi-headed beast St John of Patmos was talking about in Revelation, ahem.


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