I never cease to wonder at folks who believe in total depravity but refuse to critique systems created by these totally depraved humans. Like, we’re willing to sling crap at individuals for being some distorted version of the image of God, but we just can’t find it within ourselves to critique the ideas and systems those individuals collectively create? It’s such a weird correlation (and this is just my experience; feel free to disagree): The stronger a person holds to this doctrine, and the more concentrated a form they hold, the less likely they are to critique, say, capitalism. Which is just wild.
I’ve been listening to a podcast called You’re Wrong About, which is of course my favourite thing in the world right now, because I love being wrong about things. Their episode on how the current narrative around human trafficking is just Stranger Danger repackaged for the internet era is, I think, profound.
If there’s some parallel between my current thinking about people (as in, humans, and how they are) and the doctrine of total depravity, it’s that humans, and I generously include myself in this, aren’t good at recognizing what real danger is. We don’t understand preventative maintenance. We don’t (and maybe can’t) comprehend the complexity of our modern, interconnected, global existence. And we constantly want to boil down “the problem” to a Big Bad, like we’re in an episode of Buffy or something. But there’s almost never a Big Bad. No puppetmaster pulling the strings. Problems are amorphous, distributed, and seemingly disconnected from causes.
The term “conspiracy theory” was invented in the USA. Which, I mean, of course it was.
Everything you need to know about the current US president is John Mulaney’s “There’s A Horse Loose In The Hospital” bit. It’s the perfect analogy. It hasn’t become less true with age. More true in fact.
Audrey and I are playing a Minecraft survival world right now. Monster spawning turned off, of course, because she will literally jump out of her skin at a creeper and never jump back in again. Kids, man.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, I don’t trust people who don’t read. I’ve never met an uncritical, superficially informed, armchair expert who reads a lot. I’ve met plenty of folks who I disagree with, often quite strongly, who read. But I can at least respect them.
I really, really don’t trust people who get a lot of their ideas from YouTube. That site exists to monopolize your attention, not provide you with truth. It will take you as far down the rabbit hole as you want to go, as long as you keep watching.
It’s complicated. If you think it’s not complicated, you’re wrong. Except when you’re not, because, you know, it’s complicated.
Reading about how evangelicalism in the USA was welded onto the Republican party is shocking. It hasn’t always been this way, and if you look at how it happened, it feel like an actual conspiracy. It might just be a bunch of dudes getting lucky with their power grab, and I don’t like conspiracy theories, but this might actually be one of the real ones.
Evangelical Christianity in the USA is, at least partially, apostate. And in the same way that the Church has drifted into apostasy time and time again, the cooption of the Church by the state. Except that America has, as usual, approached the problem of how to be Christian and deny Christ with its usual innovative flair: The fusion of the America myth and Christianity. And of course when you wrap Jesus in the flag, Jesus suffocates. Americanism + Christianity is just Americanism. White supremacy + Christianity is just Americanism with a fertilizer bomb.
The amount of time I used to spend arguing about tertiary doctrinal issues is one of those things I look back on with a good deal of regret. I can’t imagine the kind of turd I’d have been if I’d had Facebook when I was 15. (You’re not ✨special✨ because you manage to stir up some controversy over some niche issue!)
Pumpkin in a bechamel is quite nice over pasta. You should try it out some time.