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Showing posts from June 7, 2020

If This Is What It Is (Cultural Tribal Trolling As "Conservative" Discourse)

I don't want it. This is a non-negligible reason why I do not identify as conservative. Debate and the expression of contentious opinions, especially in anything as important as politics, can tend to get heated, even among friends. We all make mistakes; we all have an opportunity to apologize and reverse course. There is a difference, however, between a person who makes a mistake, and somebody who repeatedly misrepresents someone else's position. It is perhaps complicated by the fact that there are livelihoods and money involved, but it should be a first principle of reasoned debate to take your opponent seriously. More specifically, to take any representations of moral stands to be genuine, until proven definitively otherwise. If I see a bunch of white women marching in remembrance of George Floyd, and ostensibly advocating for changes in policing, the charitable assumption is that they mean what they are saying and doing. It's not "virtue signaling" if you actu

I'm Not Known Especially For Warm Fuzzies, Anyway (The Limits Of Ecumenical Dialogue)

I agree with the Roman Catholic Church that it is the Church that Christ founded. That's what she teaches about herself; more fundamentally, that's what she believes about herself. I suppose it could happen that a person becomes Catholic rashly, and is not entirely certain that they are submitting to the Church that Christ founded, and believing that what she teaches is revealed by God. Perhaps therefore, someone could leave without fault, and then return. There is nothing which requires me to believe that some other set of truths is equally as good as that proclaimed by the Catholic Church. In fact, it would be an error for me to do so. Our graciousness and generosity toward those outside comes precisely from the reality of who Christ is, the certainty of the truth which He is. My purpose, quite frankly then, is to remove the obstacles toward any one person's seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. Anything that we have in common I regard as a bridge to the re

Revisiting "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?" (1967)

I suppose I am in the mode of revisiting expressions of popular culture as they relate to race, given our present situation. We have a lot to think about, to pray about, and a lot positive that we can hopefully do, in the near future to make things better. I rewatch this film a lot, as someone who had a brief interracial relationship in the past. In this film of course, the sexes are switched. A white man loving a black woman has other aspects of complexity, most of which I was not frankly aware of at the time. I love this film, although let me start with the weaknesses. Firstly, John Prentice is the archetype of the perfect black man. Perhaps it was done this way intentionally, but in reality, it's the way you would have to do things--especially in 1967--to get some segment of your audience used to and comfortable with the idea in itself. If you don't know the story, Joanna "Joey" Drayton comes home from a college break (or something) telling her family that sh

You Shouldn't Have To Be A Saint Just To Live

That's what Candace Owens is missing. Eric Garner died for selling loose cigarettes. George Floyd apparently used a counterfeit $20 bill. Michael Brown apparently stole something. How "savory" do you have to be, to keep breathing? Frankly, it's the defensive reaction of white people at the mention of the protests against these excesses that clues me in to a racial dimension to the discussion. I either have principles, by which I say, "these actions in these situations permit uses of force x, y, and z," or I justify my own comfort after the fact. Some of us would frankly just rather not deal with the fact that someone entrusted with the public safety probably murdered a man in cold blood. As I saw a video of a Black Lives Matter protester invited to speak at a Trump rally,--this is as weird as it sounds--I nevertheless thought about how easy it is for someone to justify the death of Michael Brown, or Trayvon Martin, and others, by pointing out that they w

Fruitvale Station

I just saw this film from Ryan Coogler. It tells the story of the final day in the life of Oscar Grant III, a man who died on New Year's Day of 2009. I'm not going to tell you anything about the story, but some friends and I wanted to be more aware in some small way of the black experience here in America. We had heard that this film was well-regarded, and it has launched the careers of Coogler, and Michael B. Jordan. You may recall that this director also gave us Black Panther, and the "Creed" series of "Rocky" spin-off films (also starring Michael B. Jordan). I wept at the injustice of these tragic events. Oscar is somebody that you root for, even though you know he's made bad choices in the past--which the director doesn't hide from us, with flashback cut scenes--so the end is hard to take. I understand why people are marching in the streets all over our country. I understand a little better why the group of friends went in the other direction