Evangelism and the Ego. I was particularly struck by this quote of Elder Paisios toward the end. “Often we see a person and we say a couple spiritual words to him and he converts. Later we say, “Ah, I saved someone.” I believe that the person who has the disposition and goodness within him, if he doesn’t convert from what we say, would convert from the sight of a bear or a fox or from anything else. Let us beware of false evangelization.”
The Great Abdication. Looking more and more like 1931.
The destructive, ideological push for austerity. Sometimes I feel as though my reaction is that of the professor in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, “What do they teach in schools these days?” I know, of course, that as human beings we do not actually tend to act or react from any sort of logical assessment. And I’ve seen the studies confirming that truth. We tend toward rationalization not rationality. We buttress our beliefs about the way things should be, about ourselves, and about those we love and those we hate by finding “facts” that support that framework and discarding those that don’t. But it still shocks me that so many people can cling to ideas that have been so utterly and thoroughly discredited by cold, hard facts. I’m not talking about the ideologues who continue to promote the ideas. They have considerable, if short-sighted and ill-advised, self-interest driving their ideology. I’m talking about the people who continue to elect those who blatantly express goals and ideas that are societally destructive, utterly irrational, and against even the self-interest of the overwhelming majority of those electing them. I know we all tend to be bound by delusion, but it’s still amazing to me how deeply that runs through our nature, especially within the dynamics of the group. The last quote in this post captures how utterly absurd this has all become. “Moon landing was real. Evolution exists. Tax cuts lose revenue. The research has shown this a thousand times. Enough already.” Of course, in the US nearly half the population does not “believe” in evolution, so clearly we as a people believe reality is contingent on our belief.
Turns out Robert Reich was a better prognosticator than me. And his post-decision post was also interesting. I really didn’t think the good of the Court or our country would rise above ideology for Roberts, but apparently I was wrong. Given that roughly 80% of Republicans support keeping kids on parents’ plans up to age 26 and the prohibition against denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, I don’t think anything will ever remove those provisions. And those were the two provisions that most directly affect my two younger kids who both inherited celiac disease from me. So I can breathe a sigh of relief. Roberts concern, even if just for the way history would view his court, has saved my kids from the worst our country’s “Christian” conservatives would have wished on them. More than ever, I question my association with that label. If I hadn’t met Christ, I would run from it. I do agree with Gandhi, though. Boy, do I agree with him.
Krugman’s column is also worth reading.
And I wholeheartedly agree that the ACA doesn’t go far enough. But it’s so much better than than the alternative that I’ll take it as a first step.