Where’d you rather be?

I was scanning the stories from the past weekend about the president’s inability to spend a single weekend in Washington recently. Has anyone noticed his tweets about Mar-a-Lago? He started calling it the “Winter White House,” now it’s the “Southern White House.” It’s an arriviste’s idea of a Real Klassy Klub, but never mind that.

Of course, the president already has a perfectly fine weekend getaway at Camp David. Has he even been there yet? Sure, the weather isn’t what it is in Florida at this time of year, but there’s plenty of things to do, lots of places to put guests – it’s really ideal.

Ah, but then, it’s not …Mar-a-Lago, is it?

Mr. Trump appears to enjoy presenting the spectacle of his presidency to those at his privately held club, where members pay $200,000 to join.

So. President’s Day. Just yet another of those days when you realize that for the rest of our history, the composite photo of our presidents will contain a photo of 45. Also, there’s a certain exhaustion spoken of here:

(Russian dissident and journalist Masha) Gessen’s family immigrated to the United States when she was a teenager, and she later returned to Russia but then moved back to America three years ago to escape mounting anti-gay persecution by Vladimir Putin’s government. “In the last three years, since I got to this country, I realized what a mental price I had paid for living in a state of siege and a state of battle for a decade and a half,” she told me. At times, she said, being part of the righteous opposition was exhilarating, “but it’s intellectually deadening. When you are fighting, you stop learning. You stop reading theory. You stop reading about things that aren’t part of the immediate fight.”

The country will never be the same, will it? But I guess it’s never the same. Day by day, it’s not the same.

Although this is some scary shit.

And wonderful things are happening all over, really:

President Trump’s embrace of discredited theories linking vaccines to autism has energized the anti-vaccine movement. Once fringe, the movement is becoming more popular, raising doubts about basic childhood health care among politically and geographically diverse groups.

Public health experts warn that this growing movement is threatening one of the most successful medical innovations of modern times. Globally, vaccines prevent the deaths of about 2.5 million children every year, but deadly diseases such as measles and whooping cough still circulate in populations where enough people are unvaccinated.

It wasn’t a terrible day, really. Work at home, lunch out, steak for dinner. It was overdone by a too many flareups, but not tragically so. And Wendy got a piece of steak fat that fell on the floor. Everyone went home happy.

Considering that it was Presidents Day and all. Happy Tuesday, all. The week is underway.

Posted at 9:34 pm in Current events |
 

46 responses to “Where’d you rather be?”

  1. David C. said on February 20, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    I wondered if he would ever go to Camp David. I imagine if he ever did and he saw a raccoon or something, he’d shit his pants and make the Secret Service shoot it and every living and breathing thing in the area.

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  2. Danny said on February 21, 2017 at 7:30 am

    It was overdone by a too many flareups

    I see what you did there and agree.

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  3. coozledad said on February 21, 2017 at 7:53 am

    What has this country come to when the Fascists’ pet ‘mo can’t get him no boytang?

    http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2017/02/youre-invisible-now-you-got-no-secrets.html#disqus_thread

    Actually it’s all about erasing the idea of consent across the board. And down here they’re preparing to close the public library.

    But what’s most important is preserving the veneer of comity while the trains are being prepared.

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  4. beb said on February 21, 2017 at 7:54 am

    The thing about going to Mar-a-Lago is that it’s costing the Government a fortune to maintain his security. Camp David has a golf course, IIRC. Of course it doesn’t have tons of millionaires to run shoulders with. Someone needs to put Trump on a budget.

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  5. basset said on February 21, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Continuing from Jakash’s comments near the end of the thread yesterday… the hunt I was on was indeed very different, about the only similarity is that the quarry was a sheep. And it was on a private, high-fence game ranch as well – I don’t have a lot of respect for that kind of hunt, the guides claimed it was “fair chase” because the property was so huge but I don’t go along with that. The big-ticket hunts are a whole different trip – the closest we come here in Tennessee is the annual elk hunt, very few permits drawn for that and one is auctioned off to benefit the herd growth program. doesn’t bring nearly as much as the sheep tags, our mountains aren’t as steep as out west either.

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 21, 2017 at 8:08 am

    I’m startled by the resurgence of anti-vaccine posts I’m seeing on Facebook, and the temptation is to put it on Trumpism as a general tone, even though I’m seeing as many if not more college prof and/or otherwise progressive people putting them up as I am from conservative-leaning people. Which is not too far off of the spread of people taking (what I consider to be) cheap shots at schools and teachers. It’s not so much Trump as Trumpism, the overall attitude set that led some demographics to stay home and pushed others to higher levels of vote totals to push The Donald into his current vocational niche. It reads to me as an extreme emphasis on individual agency.

    If that’s correct, then the solution is finding ways to reaffirm the values of common life and collective goods, shared and supportive views of challenges as opposed to “us vs. them-ism.” Christianity has done a sucky job the last century on this one, but I think we’ve got some tools in the kit we could still use. What other ways can we affirm the idea of sharing burdens and gathering our resources to a country full of rugged individuals?

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  7. coozledad said on February 21, 2017 at 8:09 am

    I really am surprised they cut Milo from CPAC. He’s the shuddering man-boy love id of every one of them from Alan Ginsberg’s leather slave Michael Savage to Speaker Hastert.

    https://twitter.com/reaganbattalion/status/833347036644777985

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  8. Kim said on February 21, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Cooz, thanks for posting that. The cover of a token is classic.

    Lest we think the current president is the only rich guy who has tried/is trying to bend the world to his will, the NYT offers a look at Henry Ford’s attempt at utopia in the Brazilian jungle. This line sums it up: “It turns out Detroit isn’t the only place where Ford produced ruins.”

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  9. brian stouder said on February 21, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Kim – that’s an excellent link, regarding the Ford village in the Amazon

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  10. Suzanne said on February 21, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Jeff(tmmo), I think part of the issue the Christian church is facing is that as society became more diverse, their teachings became more and more centered on what they were against than what they were for. The love of God was fine, but abortion, homosexuality, co-habitation, liberal politics became the center. When I was young, these things were hidden from the greater culture so no one ever mentioned them; thus, no reason to preach for or against them. But now, they are there, unavoidable, those “others” that don’t follow the church’s belief systems. Once you cast anyone who is not you as the “other” and then trash them (as is so often the case), why would those “others” have any interest in joining you or even interacting with you?
    After Trump, who knows where it will go? Trump’s rise to power has clearly shown that any vestiges of morality and love that the church, or at least a great chunk of church, was preaching were simply lies as big as the lies Trump tells. I don’t know how the church at large overcomes this. I really don’t. Jesus’ teachings tell us time and time again that political power is not God’s kingdom and we should not confuse the two, and yet the modern church in America seems to have cut that part out of the Bible like Jefferson cut out the parts he didn’t care for.

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  11. CHarlotte said on February 21, 2017 at 10:13 am

    I was planning to head out to Helena today to hound our Senator Daines — bobblehead won’t hold a town hall, but he’s speaking to the legislature, so folks are convening to request a town hall. But, a freelance gig came through, and since I quit my job to finish this book, and I’m mostly living on savings, I can’t afford to turn down work.

    The Gessen quote really resonates. I’ve been on the daily phone call/letters to the editor/chasing down our Senator grind, and we’re gearing up for a full court press on flipping our one House seat Dem (while Zinke sells off the public lands and hands out tropy licenses for the Yellowstone Grizzlies). It’s exhausting. I’m not an activist nor did I want to be. I spent nearly 20 years paying off this house and my loans so I could revive my dead literary career — and fighting off this orange monster and his minions, along with their army of idiots is exhausting. But at least I’ll never have to put up with another smug progressive trying to tell me “both parties are the same.” Let’s just hope that my old friends in Bozeman, who have spent their lives in the privatization/free market/dark money trenches don’t show up at our reading tonight or I might just lose my shit in public. (If anyone wants to pitch in for our fundraiser anthology to try to stop the two gold mines on the edge of Yellowstone, you can buy one at https://unearthingparadise.org/)

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  12. coozledad said on February 21, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Kim: Fordlandia in the Amazon reminds me of Bruce Chatwin’s The Viceroy of Quidah. I wonder if he had a look at the ruins on one of his trips to South America and transposed it to the slave Coast of Africa. Not a bad novel, as I recall. Lots of smashed European daydreams and unstoppable jungle rot.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on February 21, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Suzanne, you just encapsulated for me why I no longer practice any religion despite 10 years of Catholic education. In Christianity, there is so much emphasis on the Ten Commandments –all the no-no’s– when the Beatitudes seem so much more encompassing and human directed.

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  14. Carter Cleland said on February 21, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Another timely quote from the NYT Fordlandia story: “With a surety of purpose and incuriosity about the world that seems all too familiar, Ford deliberately rejected expert advice and set out to turn the Amazon into the Midwest of his imagination,” Mr. Grandin, the historian, wrote in his account of the town.

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  15. Scout said on February 21, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Suzanne & Jeff Borden: Bingo. Both of you said it so well. I was raised Protestant. My parents jumped around a bit from Lutheran to Presbyterian to Methodist until finally finding their best fit in the Unitarian Church. All in all I grew up experiencing a fairly broad smorgasbord of East Coast WASPness. Point being, I went to church a lot – Sunday school, choir, Bible school, the whole bit – and in my memory church wasn’t political then. Once Christianity was hijacked by conservatives, the perception of the church has become one of pursed lip scoldings about who is acceptable and who is not. So-called Christians claimed the moral high ground for years. And then in 2016, they decided an admitted sexual predator/serial adulter/twice divorced with 5 kids from three women/thief who hires people and doesn’t pay them/friend of mobsters/racist/mean spirited/Russia apologist/what am I forgetting… fake Christian was a better than that nice Methodist lady. Yeah, no. To hell with all of them and the high horse they rode in on.

    And Milo? Fuck that guy.

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  16. coozledad said on February 21, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Scout: The Republican Party is part of the Christian identity movement. They’ll be requiring their members to wear “Christian” lapel pins before too long, unless they already are. Their lapels are decorated with so many of their various flim-flams I can’t keep track.

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  17. Deborah said on February 21, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    As I’ve said here before I was raised Lutheran, went to Lutheran grade school, Lutheran college (would have gone to a Lutheran high school only they didn’t have any in Miami at the time). I stayed with it into my late 30s. You all have hit the nail on the head about not hearing about politics in church, it didn’t come up, ever, that I can remember when I was a kid. I don’t know when it started to creep in? 70s? 80s? My former father-in-law was a Lutheran minister, talk about a pious holier-than-thou asshole. He used to pontificate at family dinners until your eyes glazed over, and it was always negative, negative, negative. I mean who wants to go through life like that? Plenty of people it seems.

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  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 21, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    The history of US Christianity and abolition is a complicated muddle, but what stands out is the rise of the Temperance movements before and after the Civil War, and the launch of Prohibition. You can see a very particular kind of triumphalism and social hegemony in that whole era of Protestant church life, which the reaction against and ultimately the overturning of the Volstead Act resulted into a kind of “turning-in” on itself, which I think is the direct ancestry of “Christian culture.” Which again and again ends up being a kind of shadow pop confection, with praise bands that sound like U2 or The Eagles, and kitsch that takes Kincade and sprinkles some angels in the margins, equally soft focus* or uses a trendy style like “kitchen country” and churns out tchotchkes in quantity with Bible verses on it. Anyhow, that where you end up with “Against-ism” as the heart of a moralistic but theologically empty movement that’s vaguely Christianish. And when the winds of Trump blow against it, they just collapse into the breeze.

    *Biblically, every time an angel appears in scriptural narrative, the first thing they have to do is say “Be not afraid.” Whatever you understand angels to be, it’s not as a gauzy expression of tender cloying sweetness. From the Hebrew & Greek, they’re manifestations of God’s power and authority, and those in their presence feel it. To their marrow. Now you know how I feel about “angel kitsch.” Spielberg actually was closer to the mark at the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” in my opinion.

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    • nancy said on February 21, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      I loved how the angel in “Angels in America” made her entrance, crashing through the ceiling and raining debris down on all below. Be not afraid, indeed, and I hope you have good insurance.

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  19. Heather said on February 21, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    These posts on religion are fascinating. The political stuff I noticed in the Catholic Church growing up was more social justice-oriented, probably because my mother chose congregations that jibed with that 1960s-era activism. It does seem like they have moved far away from that now, although the current Pope seems to come more from that tradition too.

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  20. basset said on February 21, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Another Ford idea that didn’t work, on a smaller scale and closer to home:

    http://www.al.com/articles/9804529/

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  21. basset said on February 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Tried to clean that address up and it didn’t work… how about this:

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.al.com/articles/9804529/post_89.amp?client=safari

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  22. Minnie said on February 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    During the Korean War my father was called back up and sent to Fort (then Camp) Stewart near Savannah, Georgia. For a time we rented a farm house in Richmond Hill, the remains of another Henry Ford experiment in living.

    http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2013/07/re-tooling-society-a-lesser-known-side-of-henry-ford.html

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  23. Charlotte said on February 21, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    I have to say, I find the “prosperity gospel” stuff just bewildering, and about as far from my understanding of Christianity as anything can be. I was raised Catholic, definitely in the post-Vatican II peace and social justice wing of the Church, with very little exposure to Protestantism (everyone I knew was either Catholic or Jewish for the most part). I remember being baffled when I moved to Salt Lake — the Mormons LOVE Easter, but don’t even celebrate Good Friday. How can you have one without the other?

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  24. Snarkworth said on February 21, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    The funny thing about the Christians I know is that they don’t sound anything like what several of you have described. They’re progressive as all get out; they feed the hungry, advocate and march for the marginalized, support clean water in villages around the globe, try to live their beliefs, and allow other people (like me) the dignity of their own theological journeys.

    (Of course, many Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, Bahai, etc., are similarly inclined.)

    What’s happened is that the intolerant Christians have taken over the public face of the religion, so we can talk about “the Christian church” in a way that makes the good people I know invisible.

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  25. Kirk said on February 21, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Snarkworth@24: Amen. I know plenty of truly good Christians who practice their faith the way I remember it being taught when I was a kid. I also know plenty of racist assholes who wear their faith on their sleeve and think they’re “good Christians” because they go to church all the time, hoping against hope that getting their ticket punched enough times will somehow get them into heaven.

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  26. Mark P. said on February 21, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    There may be some around who call themselves Christian and actually follow the reported teachings of their god, but they are few and far between. I don’t think we can count a large number of his almost 63 million voters among the good ones.

    I find it interesting that in the New Testament, about the only time Jesus talks about judging people, he doesn’t say they will be judged for the evil they do, but that they will be judged for the good that they do not do.

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  27. Sherri said on February 21, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Christianianity encompasses a wide range of practice and belief. Even evangelical Christianity, as Jeff(tmmo) reminds me, runs quite a gamut. When and how and to what degree political issues became a part of the church depends very much on what church we’re talking about. Abolition, temperance, social gospel all were part of different churches, and had no effect on others, or were in opposition to others. The roots of the prosperity gospel are as political as anything else; James Fifield, Jr, led a congregation of millionaires in Los Angeles in the 30s and promoted the idea that they were rich because of God’s blessings and went on to team up with corporate America to fight the New Deal. Kevin Kruse writes about this in One Nation Under God.

    As to what Christianity and the church has to offer to bring us to a more community oriented world, I don’t know. Even in my own Episcopal parish, we have yet to make any progress towards even having a conversation about what’s going on. We are a politically diverse congregation, and sometimes take undue pride in that. What good is a politically diverse congregation if you’re afraid to talk about things that matter?

    Back in December, the vestry for St. Mark’s in Seattle adopted the following statement: http://www.saintmarks.org/serve/volunteer/justice-ministry/renewing-our-covenant/

    Our priest brought it to our vestry, but it’s a little too strong for some of them, and they’re afraid to adopt any of it without discussion with the parish, but they haven’t done anything about having the discussion. My husband has been pushing them on this; I’ve been directing my energy elsewhere, and am considering whether driving into Seattle at least part of the time might be a better option for me. The vestry member he talked to on Sunday said that they’re hearing that some of the more conservative members might leave the church; he told the vestry member what I was thinking as well.

    It’s tough to hold together a church in the middle. I’ve been there 12 years, and I’ve seen people leave because the church was too liberal, and I’ve been frustrated that it’s not liberal enough. There are still parishioners who require that none of their pledge money be used to pay the diocesan accessment because they consider the diocese too liberal.

    I’ve found it interesting that a number of people who’ve left because our church was too liberal have ended up at the nearby Catholic parish, the one all of my Catholic friends have given up on. I think the attitudes towards women and gays have been responsible for both.

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  28. Icarus said on February 21, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    “What’s happened is that the intolerant Christians have taken over the public face of the religion, so we can talk about “the Christian church” in a way that makes the good people I know invisible.”

    It certainly doesn’t help to have Matt Walsh types who claim that you cannot be Christian and progressive/Liberal/feminist/whatever/pro-choice, etc.

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  29. Sherri said on February 21, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    The brand of Christianity that has allied itself with trumpism has a ways to go to move towards a more community-oriented direction. One of the panels in the general session at CPAC this year is titled “If Heaven has a Gate, a Wall, and Extreme Vetting, Why Can’t America?”

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  30. Sherri said on February 21, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Nixon still had supporters, too: https://psmag.com/trumps-supporters-still-support-trump-so-what-c07fc9bc7820#.vvcnuyk87

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 21, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Sherri, you sum up what seems to be a fairly modern problem, but one clergy talk about whenever we gather, whether within a denomination or in a community: it seems that today, you are constantly beset by losses at both edges, and there doesn’t seem to be a setting for a congregation where that’s not experienced.

    And without meaning to condemn unfairly, or pick which end of any spectrum is right, I think this has as much to do with consumerism infiltrating Christianity as it does Christian churches getting overly reliant on moralism (or outright prudery) as their main tent-pole. People expect to have a range of choices, and to be able to find the right choice for themselves . . . that’s a relatively new proposition. Post-Reformation, we saw in Europe and early America and across much of the West generally the beginning of “choices” in what and how to believe, including the option of unbelief: but the idea that you should keep looking until you find precisely the right fit . . . I don’t see that ending well for congregants or congregations either. We’re not going to see a return to the “broad church” parish model of the Church of England, where if you were in a certain geography, here’s your parish, and wrestle out your local disagreements and perspectives on national issues as best you can. Starting with George Eliot’s first book, that’s not really worked well, either, but the alternative developed out of today’s hyper-individualistic evangelical Protestantism is the mall-evoking megachurch model, with a fair amount of emotive blandness wrapped around a nodding acceptance of an unthinking literalism keeping large numbers in the seats, if not large percentages engaging very deeply with their faith or the world around them (other than on the terms the culture sets).

    Now, I know praise band leaders who would quickly rise to defend their contemporary, large-ish church as missional and engaged and thoughtful . . . but I keep also noting that while I do 15 to 20-plus funerals a year, they do (at five or ten times my church’s size) one or two. The local Catholic priest, who has 35-50 funerals a year with some other priests to help out, and I both keep asking the same question: what happens to those “praise barns” with seats and screens and fog machines, when their founding generation starts to shuffle off this mortal coil? How will they change their ministry to handle that part of being a church community? We’re still waiting, and watching.

    But I think there’s a bit more to be said for ideological and theological diversity over time than might feel comfortable in this current moment.

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 21, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    FWIW, I’ve never heard of CPAC as being all that friendly to religion in any way, other than as a sop to conservatism in general. It’s been, to what I know of it, the place for the younger and edgier (or wanting to be seen as such) voices to shout loudly to waves of applause. Should it be taken seriously? Sure, but I’m not sure they’re speaking for any form of Christianity or churchianity at all.

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  33. Deborah said on February 21, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    I’ve always despised so called “praise music” and insipid “religious art” with blond haired, blue eyed Jesuses (what’s the plural of Jesus) and cute little white kids sitting around his feet. There are some gorgeous paintings, frescos and sculptures from the renaissance but there’s not a lot in between. I always liked Sister Mary Coritta (spelling?), but those were mostly typographic. I always preferred what was called “high church”, chanting, Bach, vestments, the whole nine yards.

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  34. brian stouder said on February 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    This discussion of ‘where’d you rather be’ appears to have genuinely arrived at some answers.

    One might alter it slightly (pardon the pun) to ‘where you’d rather be’, and the answer is – right here!

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  35. Suzanne said on February 21, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Yes, Jeff.
    Somewhere along the way, churches started treating members more as consumers than congregants, for whatever reason, and once that became the norm, people began acting like consumers. They began church shopping to find the best “deal”. No matter how well run, connected, God filled your church is, you have to be looking over your shoulder to make sure the place down the road isn’t a little cooler, better run, more spirit filled. It becomes a competition to see who can get the greatest return on their investment. Good deeds are often no longer done out of love or obligation, but as a means to an end of getting more of the market share. With that mindset, other religions and atheists are seen as a even bigger threat because they may cut into your market.

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  36. Sherri said on February 21, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I’ve long resisted switching to St Mark’s, even though I’ve always known it would be a more comfortable fit for me, because I wanted to belong to a local church, with all that meant. Similarly, when I talk about my Catholic friends having given up on the local parish, it was not until after years, ~10 or more, of trying to work within a theologically and politically diverse church community. I’m not looking to convert people, I just want to have the conversation. If we can’t be a safe place to have the conversation, to disagree and still love one another, then what are we? Where else can that happen?

    I didn’t grow up in a church that was diverse in any way. It was white, rural, theologically and politically conservative, and stifling. Having a different opinion was threatening, because if you questioned one thing, you might question all of it. This is stifling in a different way, from a different fear, but no less silencing. How can we move towards a more community model if we’re afraid to talk about differences?

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 21, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    True enough — if I walked into a church like the one I grew up in, even if it was the only one of my tradition within 50 miles, in a new community I had moved to, I wouldn’t be able to stay in it long or even for the whole service. On the other hand, the church I grew up in isn’t what it was when I was a kid; some of the painful debates I lived through as a teen there bore fruit, but it took another twenty years. Today, I’d attend that congregation in a heartbeat.

    Suzanne, your comments are painfully accurate, especially among the Protestant mainline of my upbringing. Some of those churches have done the hard work of transformation, and quite a few have chosen closure rather than change, which I guess is how it has to be. But catering to consumers isn’t a mindset that helps a faith community sustain, even if it promotes a brief spurt of illusory growth.

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  38. David C. said on February 21, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    My sister goes to a megachurch and the most important thing to stay a member in good standing is the tithe. She doesn’t have two nickels to rub together yet she gives 10% of her gross income (they demand her tax returns) to that damned church. She’s diabetic and my mom has had to pay for her medicine because she had nothing left after her tithe payment. The church supports missionaries all over the world, but they seem to be able to ignore the poor in their midst. Any decent Jesus would say that’s screwed up, but they don’t seem to follow one of those Jesuses (Jesi?, I don’t know). Makes me glad to be an agnostic. I’m probably more atheist than anything, but the atheist bros give them all a bad name.

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  39. susan said on February 21, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    I read all this angst, shake my head, and think, What an exquisite waste of time and effort, trying to pull xianity—or any religion, for that matter—into some coherent…what? Pulling groups of disparate people into compliant packs of faithful, submissive chumps. All that patriarchy, oppression, and conformist fairytales….

    You can find your own collections of people without some primate in vestments telling you what’s OK and what’s not OK, what’s moral and what’s not. Without someone reading instructions from two thousand year-old variously translated patriarchal metaphorical texts that mooks take literally.

    There’s a diverse world of smart, thoughtful, moral people in communities without fables or overseers or tithes.

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  40. LAMary said on February 21, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    I arrived in California 35 years ago when the Prosperity Theology thing was going on. I think all the successful preachers of that movement ended up in jail or in Hawaii with young partners. Lots of crappy praise music with that bunch and lots of judgy stuff about other people being judgy. It didn’t jive with my Dutch Reform or Methodist experience. One guy, Robert Schuller, actually attributed his success to getting a nose job which made him more acceptable or something to parishioners. He started his church at a defunct drive in movie.
    And then there is Mar A Lago. I confess that when my children were small I would watch Regis and Kathy Lee. Kathy Lee and Frank Gifford were buddies with Donald Trump and he invited them to Mar A Lago. Frank was older than Kathy but I guess he still had some stamina. Trump gave them the “tower room” whatever that is and Frank carried Kathy Lee up the stairs while doing a Tarzan yell. She told this story on the air and thought it was really sexy. This was shortly before Frank got caught screwing that airline stewardess and that whole mess. Being a stay at home mom was a very strange time in my life. I apologize for sharing stupid stories like this one.
    Just go back to whatever you were doing.

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  41. Mark P said on February 21, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    David C, I wish Jesus would show up at that church one Sunday with a flamethrower.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on February 21, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    LA Mary, I will confess to a very short fling with a soap opera. It was a tawdry affair and I felt cleansed when I broke the addiction.

    OMG I also remember watching Richard Simmons.

    And now I’ve been exposed.

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  43. David C. said on February 21, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    I’m not sure I want a flamethrowing Jesus, but a throw the money-changers out of the temple one would be nice. I don’t believe myself, but I know a lot of people who’s faith brings them great comfort. I’ll never deny that, but I don’t want them taken by charlatans.

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  44. Kim said on February 21, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Sherri – One of the priests at the Episcopalian church I attend, which doesn’t really shy away from discourse, says Bishop Michael Curry has it right: “If it’s not about love, then it’s not about God.” I saw quite a few of my fellow parishioners tonight at the congressional town hall, which drew a crowd of several hundred, the Secret Service and probably every deputy in the county.

    We’re in a newly drawn district that went for the Republican but there didn’t seem to be a lot of satisfied customers tonight. It’s gonna be a rough ride.

    Carter @14 – That quote was like a present when I read it.

    Cooz, thanks for the book reference. I read “King Leopold’s Ghost” and wondered how much reality Conrad borrowed for “Heart of Darkness.”

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  45. Mark P said on February 21, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    David C I tend towards hyperbole. Tossing out the money changers (without flames) would be fine with me, but I suspect too subtle for the money changers to get the point.

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