Easter Lie, Mama Bomb, Internet Privacy, Health Care

  • My conservative friend T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, presents a beautiful country Christian rendition of a dialogue between Mary and Jesus as the crucifixion looms. He accompanies the beautiful video with a passage from the Improperia. The chosen segment is a piece of antisemitism that survives from ancient Catholic liturgy. Although in sharp decline, the sentiment continues in much of Christianity.
     
    A decade or so ago, I was invited to help narrate an annual Cantata at the United Methodist Church I attend. The narration contained a passage similar to the liturgical piece provided by my conservative friend. I objected to a paragraph lamenting that the same crowd praising Jesus on Palm Sunday now stood before Pilate demanding his death. I was allowed to make a substitution.
     
    The quote from Mr. Paine is as explicit, portraying Jesus as specifically accusing Jews. “I led you out of the land of Egypt, and you prepared a cross for me. I opened the Red Sea before you, and you opened my side with a lance.”
     
    This is more than a transparently absurd accusation. It is part of a broader historical narrative, the basis for centuries of brutal persecution.
     
    In fact, Jesus was not tortured and murdered because he had suddenly become unpopular with the captive Jewish nation. He was crucified by the Roman Empire because he was too popular.
     
  • nojo, at Stinque, is inspired by the Mother of All Bombs dropped on Afghanistan to take a look at the rest of Mama Bomb’s family.
     
  • Iron Knee at Political Irony explains the Republican bill just signed into law by President Trump. The new law allows the company you pay for internet access to record all your on-line activity and sell it to anyone they want. Advertisers? Acquaintances? Your boss? If you’re a government employee, how about some blackmailing foreign agent?
     
  • Jon Perr at PERRspectives presents the three facts of life that make health care less a matter of economics and more a matter of national values.
     
  • Jonathan Bernstein tells us why a shutdown would be serious and how a stray comment by a Trump cabinet member just made it more likely.
     
  • I kind of enjoy the occasional diatribe based on something other than the warping of names (RAY-GUN? Really?), epithets (Repuglicans? Democraps?), or of-course-they-did-it baseless accusations. Since I dwell mostly in LeftWorld, you would think I’d only encounter such attacks from dirty hippies against upright conservatives. But a strongly disproportionate number of RightWriters I stumble into thrive on the stuff.
     
    That may be why I find diatribes by driftglass so entertaining. His sarcasm does not exist on its own. It rests it’s acerbic self on logic and evidence. His latest vivisection of a BothSidesDoIt analyst is captivating.
     
    Amanda Taub tried to explore why those on both sides vote against their own interests out of mindless partisanship. If she reads driftglass, she can still get by on anti-depressants.
     
  • Tommy Christopher reports as Donald trump threatens to fire the man in charge of investigating his ties to Russia.
     
  • At The Onion, Sean Spicer makes so many of his own controversial statements he has been given his own press secretary. Okay, so it’s satire. You really think it’s any stranger than what actually happens in TrumpLand?
     
  • At The Moderate Voice, Technology Policy Analyst Kathy Gill counts those with whom United is in trouble: the public, courts, police, and God Almighty.
     
  • The Journal of Improbable Research has found a study exploring the effect of unexpected airline upgrades on people prone to guilt.
     
  • Wisconsin conservative James Wigderson mourns the loss of Don Rickles.
     
  • John Scalzi at Whatever explains that writers who are good at meeting people have learned how to fake it.
     
  • This Week In Trumpian ‘Alternative Facts’, Newsweek watches television for us and lists the news chyrons that correct Trump “facts” in real time.
     

5 thoughts on “Easter Lie, Mama Bomb, Internet Privacy, Health Care”

  1. First, I hope you had a very blessed Easter Sunday, Mr. Deming.

    Next, I must admit to being taken aback at the characterization of “anti-Semitism” that you made. In the many years that I have been a Catholic, I have never blamed “the Jews” for Christ’s crucifixion. I have never heard teachings or screeds from clerical or lay sources that it was the fault of Jews in all of my years in the Catholic faith. Indeed, I blame myself for Christ’s crucifixion.

    I help teach year-long classes (RCIA) for people that are inquiring and discerning about the Catholic faith. During the Lenten season on each Friday, our parish will do a ceremony called the stations of the cross, as will most Catholic parishes. The purpose of this is to walk around the perimeter of the sanctuary where there are fourteen different stations depicted by statues ranging from Christ’s condemnation to the carrying of His cross to Golgotha, to His crucifixion. We are lead in song and prayer at each station in praise of Christ.

    This year, at the station of our Lord’s crucifixion, I noticed one of the ladies from our RCIA class that was sobbing as we prayed and that very passage I posted of which you objected as anti-Semitic was read. At the following class she specifically mentioned that the reading of that particular passage broke her heart as she saw how the people of God, of whom she counted herself amongst those numbers, betrayed Christ either through ignorance, arrogance, or by simply remaining silent and allowing it to happen. This former Mormon lady who is now Catholic as of this Easter saw the responsibility of Christ’s death on the cross to be her own fault. It was a remarkable and powerful sentiment she reflected upon and shared with the class. It was all the more poignant for me, as I recalled having that same exact feeling when I attended my first stations of the cross.

    Yes, it was technically the Romans who crucified Christ. Yes, it was technically the Jewish Sanhedrin that condemned Him for equating Himself with God. But as Christ himself said, the Father’s will be done. As God and the second person of the Holy Trinity, if He had chosen not to be crucified, do you suppose the entire city of Jerusalem and a mere 30,000 Roman soldiers would have been able to prevail over Him in doing so?

    I do not fault the Jews nor look at those good people from the myopic and warped lens of anti-Semitism. Christ’s voluntary crucifixion was necessary to destroy the snares of death caused by sin for ALL of mankind. The sinfulness of every last one of us throughout history is what put Christ on that cross through His own volition and great love for us. It is OUR fault; not some specific group’s fault. To characterize it otherwise is to miss the very point of our Lord’s abundant love for all of us, my friend.

  2. As a lapsed Catholic, I can relate to TP’s sense of guilt. There’s no guilt like Catholic guilt.

    “I led you out of the land of Egypt, and you prepared a cross for me. I opened the Red Sea before you, and you opened my side with a lance.”

    These words can easily become tools of antisemitism.

    While I commend Mr. Paine’s rejection of antisemitism, the fact remains this passage was used to support the Holocaust, and can even be used to represent an outlying Catholic group’s anitsemitism.

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/bishop-fellay-jews-masons-and-modernists-are-enemies-of-the-church/

    Jan 4, 2013

    Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, mentioned Jews as “enemies of the Church” in a recent address reviewing the situation of the group as it considered full communion with Rome this past year.

    “Who, during that time, was the most opposed that the Church would recognize the Society? The enemies of the Church. The Jews, the Masons, the Modernists,” Bishop Fellay, superior general of the society, said during a talk Dec. 28 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel in New Hamburg, Ontario.

    The Vatican has since engaged in reconciliation talks with the Society of St. Pius X.

  3. Dave, I would be greatly surprised, especially considering the pastoral guidance of Pope Francis, if this fringe group that is NOT in communion with the Roman Catholic Church was granted full communion once again without first prayerfully examining and coming to understand that hate and anti-Semitism is not something of Christ and His love for all of us created in the image of God. And neither is it something that is tolerated by the very church that Christ founded, my friend.

  4. TP,
    Here’s hoping.

    Unfortunately the Church founded by Christ is an institution of men and has condoned brutality in the past. Many priests are still flawed in ugly ways, yet still tolerated, or shown mercy their victims never received.

    So let’s hope the Church continues to grow less tolerant of their bad apples.

  5. Dave, any institution comprised of men and women, especially one that has survived for 2000 years, will always have people that have abused their authority and power and done evil, even in God’s name. This is sadly true of teachers, scout leaders, police, doctors, politicians, and yes… even churches.

    All such folks that perpetrate evil, especially in God’s name, should be appropriately punished to the fullest extent of the law. Further, those institutions in which they were employed should vehemently and unequivocally denounce the evil or inappropriate actions of those perpetrators. I agree that the Catholic Church has not always been very good or expedient at such things.

    I have seen many improvements and safeguards put in place in recent years, but there is always room for greater improvements still.

    Still it is sad when one bad cop sullies the reputation of an otherwise honorable police department or when one pastor’s deplorable actions besmirches the great good that a faith has otherwise accomplished in the world.

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