speaking his truth

Andrew Breitbart is one cool guy.  In terms of cultural icons if I have any then he certainly leads the pack.  How can you not smile when he is speaking?

via Big Hollywood

Here’s how I look at it. I used to be an atheist, and I became an agnostic, and now I exist in a place where I say I bat third on the Judeo-Christian softball team. I’ve had too many things happen in my life that, as my father-in-law, Orson Bean, says, there’s no such thing as coincidences. I’m starting to doubt my doubts. But I would still say I’m an agnostic who, when watching the debate between Dinesh D’Souza and Christopher Hitchens, I’m usually laughing and slapping my knee with Hitchens but rooting for D’Souza. I’m desirous of moving toward the Judeo-Christian side. In the past I took solace in my agnosticism. One reason is that, during my agnostic years—I call them my nihilistic years—during which I lived in a world of moral relativism and not believing in objective truths, I didn’t sleep well at night. I was living in a world of moral chaos. The more I started to listen to people like Dennis Prager and rational people who were religious—not fly-by-nights like Tammy Faye Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart and Benny Hinn. When you get past the hucksters and get to people like David Mamet, who now speaks of Judeo-Christianity, and Dennis Prager, it makes a hell of a lot more sense than the nihilism I embraced. I now find myself fighting alongside many Christians and Jews who believe Judeo-Christianity is the backbone of American culture. Until somebody gives me a better replacement than Judeo-­Christianity, I’m not going to be part of the team that’s trying to tear down that pillar and replace it with nihilism and cultural and moral relativism.

(You have to follow the link to the rest of the article to get to that place in the discussion and to put it in proper context.)

It reminded me of someone I used to blog for on another site. He felt the same, not quite yet ready to submit to a greater God but more than willing to accept the reality that the best way to grow and thrive as human beings is under the stewardship of the Judeo – Christian principals.

 

***** Update for Tucker

Brothers and Sisters,

oops my bad! I forgot to warn you that the link I provided will lead you to the front doors of hell (Big Hollywood) and if that’s not bad enough I also give you instructions to follow their link to a Playboy Magazine article.  Now I don’t want to get you fired so don’t go til your home and only go then if you are armed with your pocket version of the King James Bible. I know you can’t be trusted on your own not to go looking for “nekkid” pictures.

9 Responses to speaking his truth

  1. Sherry says:

    Hi Tucker

    I have a feeling you already know the answer to your question. I never stated that people like me were superior in any way. My point (though maybe not well articulated) is that people of all beliefs benefit greatly under the principals of Judeo – Christianity. We certainly don’t jail or punish people who don’t subscribe now do we?

    As to your last point (and most likely the reason you commented) Everyone loves a gotcha moment don’t they?

    If you looked around the site I’m sure you were able to see for yourself ( you seem like a smart guy so I’m guessing you did) that although I’m a believer I don’t make any pretenses that I’m a saint or a nun.

    I imagine that if you and I were having this conversation over say a cup of coffee or a beer you would feel remiss if you didn’t tell me that I needed to get out of my comfort zone ( Faux News or Mark Levin) and read something that espouses an alternative point of view.

    Did I not go far enough over to the dark side to satisfy you?

    I don’t think your humanity is stunted unless of course you do things like beat your wife, pee on your neighbors flowers or put clothes pins on the tails of stray dogs. You might be a wee bit anal but that’s ok as long as it doesn’t cause you to squeak when you walk.

    Peace

  2. Kevin says:

    Still castrating the wankers, I see. I guess all you can do to such attacks is reply with Chesterton’s famous line: “No, you do not understand.” I think I may need to re-post that explanation from a few years ago about how Congress changed federal law on harassing telephone calls to cover the internet, so that anonymous (and that includes using a pseudonym) commenting on a blog with the intent to “annoy” another is now a criminal offense. Sounds terribly restrictive of the First Amendment, but you can thank the US Congress for enforcing political correctness.

    As to the subject of your post: you either build your house on rock or on sand. The solidity of the foundation is sometimes evidenced by the manner in which the house survives a flood. We’ll see how this cultural foundation survives the next flood when the operative binding principle appears to be “whatever floats your boat.”

  3. Sherry says:

    I wasn’t mad or even annoyed, I hope it didn’t sound like I was. I actually think it’s cute when guys go all intellectual on me so they can “put me in my place”.

    I think Tucker just assumes that because we don’t share the same beliefs I see him as a lesser person. I don’t feel that way at all.

    I was only picking at him because he seemed a little uptight. That could be me making an assumption about him that is entirely unfair.

    See it goes both ways.

  4. Tucker says:

    Yes, I was probably a bit uptight, and I apologize. I was uptight for two reasons: (1) I was late for work (2) I spend a good deal of time reading what people are saying about “moral relativism” on the Internet and since there’s about a dozen definitions in currency I tend to prod with Socratic questions because I want other writers to say what they really mean, which sometimes annoys them. But I cannot leave for work until the matter has been made right. (Have you seen the XKCD cartoon about the person who stays up all night because “Someone is wrong on the Internet”?)

    I suppose the more head-scratching action is not your posting of the link, but Andrew Breitbart’s consent to be interviewed by Playboy to preach “Judeo-Christian values” in the first place. Naturally, he had just finished bragging about his penis when he began preaching religious morality in the abstract (see page 2 of the article), so I’m not inclined to take him very seriously.

    As a more substantial point, there is a difference between saying that a particular religion’s teachings are a very good way to inculcate a moral, fulfilling life (on a par with other ways) and that they are the best way to do so (superior to other ways). The former is unobjectionable to most people, even to many atheists, and is probably correct. Most religions do a lot of good for their own members and often for non-members, too. But the latter statement seems intuitively to carry a higher probability of being wrong. Members of various religions each believe their religion is the most righteous, and they can’t all be right. To the extent that anyone says their way is the best way to be human, it carries potential to demean others.

    Incidentally it is unclear what “Judeo-Christian values” are, anyway. Judaism and Christianity are not at all the same thing, so how can they both be the best set of values? Should we ignore the ways in which they differ and only focus on the ways in which they are similar? Does it matter if those areas of overlap are driven somewhat by randomness? Why not include Islam and the Baha’i Faith, both of which are inspired by Judaism and Chrisitanity and have areas of ethical overlap?

    Secretly I’ve always believed that the life of philosophical inquiry is the best life, just as the ancient philosophers themselves said. Of course, they would say that. So I don’t go around saying that philosophy is the best hobby and the most effective route to virtue. I don’t actually know for a fact that it is true that philosophers live more fulfilled and worthwhile lives, not having any data other than my own prejudice. There are plenty of wonderful people who think philosophy is BS and don’t have the time of day for a philosopher’s questions. A lot of these people seem more wonderful than me by many measures. They do more material good for other people while I am talking to myself. I can’t therefore honestly say that my worldview or my way of doing things is objectively better than theirs.

    A lot of people are trying hard to be the best people they can be according to their own critical understanding of the world. I reject the bivalence of “rock or sand” for the foundation of our ideals. One can turn into the other, and there’s many degrees between the two. (My physical house is built on soil. Why the intellectual world cannot be as eco-diverse as the natural world is beyond me.) Rock and sand may also have various origins and natures. Like Judaism and Christianity mashed together repeatedly over history. It’s a false dichotomy. Some put me in the “sand” camp simply for pointing this out, which rather misses the point.

    It rather unsettles me to witness multiple thinkers each announcing that their rock is the best rock. A good enough rock for their house, yes, but what makes it the best rock? Would anything be lost if you chose to say instead that it was simply a good rock?

    And if the intent behind declaring your rock the best rock is not to demean others, then what is the point of it?

  5. Sherry says:

    Tucker,

    You’re absolutely adorable but this is a great deal to take in when I’m feeling sleepy and silly so you’re going to have to forgive me and let me sleep before I tackle this.

    While you wait for me please use your big brain and figure out a way to keep your comments from being eaten so I don’t have to wade through 36 pages of spam to find you. Trust me it was no fun.

    If I find myself getting up in the middle of the night looking for the cartoon you referenced I’m going to be grumpy with you so watch out.

  6. Sherry says:

    I changed my mind I don’t want to go to sleep yet because of something you said up there. You said you want other writers to say what they mean. That was a very honest thing to say and I appreciate that you would ask that of me.

    I thought my meaning was fairly obvious, but then again I sometimes forget other people might actually be reading what I say. ( You won’t understand that but that’s ok)

    When I say Judeo-Christian principals I am referring to the thread that binds our tribes. The Ten Commandments.

    I’d say they are pretty straightforward wouldn’t you? These principals do not diminish you as the man you are or me as the woman that I am. Surely you can concede that.

    We are free to grow and thrive and all is that is asked of us is to remember our God above all others, not to turn lies into the object of our worship ( I’ll reference Neil Gaiman’s American Gods here because I have a feeling you have read it and will know exactly what I mean) and to treat each other with dignity.

    Here is the part where you want to say to me “What about those who do not hold belief in that one God?” That’s the beauty of it Tucker, my beliefs do not allow me to judge or punish anyone who does not agree with me. Whatever judgment there is to be, will be between that person and God. Now if that person truly believes there is no God then he or she has nothing to worry about.

    These are the principals our country was built upon. If it has gone wrong and many times it has, it’s not the principals that were wrong, it’s our insatiable need to tinker with them or disregard them completely that have led us down a path of destruction.

    That is the meaning of my little blip at the end of the Breitbart quote.

    You asked me why I didn’t include Islam and the Baha’i Faith. I don’t know enough about either to do so and to speak honestly or fairly about them.

    Now for Andrew Breitbart, I don’t have an issue with his penis or him speaking about his penis. As long as he isn’t sending me pictures of it over the internet I couldn’t care less what he does with it. It might surprise you to know that there are some people like me (Christian) that actually have a sense of humor.

    Breirtbart doesn’t claim to be a believer, he only says he’d like to be. He has work to do there but then again don’t we all to be the people that we hope to be. It’s easy for me to give him that slack because he shares the same vision I do for our country. If he didn’t then I’d probably pay him as little attention as I possibly could.

    I don’t know you but I admire the way you come across as a seriously intense deep thinker. There is so much pain in this world right now, that anyone who is looking for answers garners my respect.

    I don’t remember a day in my life when I was not a believer so I can not understand your path of moral relativism or which version you are choosing to follow in practice and in theory. I can only listen to you and to share with you my own belief system and how I got to it if that is of interest to you.

    I imagine we have more in common than you realize. You threw that obscure cartoon reference out there, but you can’t have known how that will drive me bat ____crazy until I see it for myself. Relate much?

    You manned up and apologized to me so I’ll do the same and woman up to you and apologize for picking on you in one of the other posts.

  7. Sherry says:

    last thing – cartoon accomplished now I sleep ;)

  8. Tucker says:

    Thank you for the Neil Gaiman recommendation. Christian writers with a sense of humor who I like include Anne Lamott, Irene Monroe, Donald Miller, Kathleen Norris.

    As for the Ten Commandments — sorry, I’m going to fight with you on that one! Or at least rant a little. The Ten Commandments are given in Exodus 20:1-17. A few are simple and uncontroversial–honor your parents, don’t steal or kill or be envious–but “no adultery” is problematic especially as it has been interpreted in extremely patriarchal societies where women don’t have much choice to freely enter or exit marriages, the prohibition on graven images apparently excludes Catholic iconography, and “keep the Sabbath” would be a point of contention for different religions that observe the Sabbath differently on different days. The following several chapters in Exodus elaborate on these instructions. Basically, God provides a whole list of very specific regulations about slavery, capital punishment, property rights, gender, etc. In Exodus 32:19 Moses smashes the tablets containing the Ten Commandments in a moment of anger, and in Exodus 34:1-28 God gives him new tablets which God says will be identical but actually have very little to do with the first set, having more to do with ritual than with ethics, as well as promoting ethnic cleansing. So the idea that these are straightforward, that they fully respect all people, and that they are the foundation of American society (and have influenced American life only in good ways, not bad ways) doesn’t seem correct to me.

    Religion has always profoundly influenced American life, frequently for good–I don’t dispute that. But it’s tricky — and probably impossible, in my opinion — to pin down the essence of this Christian influence. I wouldn’t pick the Ten Commandments as the kernel.

    That’s all I’ve got for now!

  9. Sherry says:

    Uh oh! No No No!!! Neil Gaiman is not a Christian writer. Please don’t read that book thinking he is or you really will come at me with both barrels cocked!!!

    Listen You,

    Step away from the text books, you’re just pretending like you don’t know where I’m coming from on the 10 commandments. ( as is interpreted / accepted in today’s society)

    I’m on to you. Yep I’ve got you figured out, ok not really but I did do some snooping and read some of your work. *** sing song “bet you wonder what I thought”

    Here’s this though, I’m thinking you kind of made my point for me with

    “has been interpreted in extremely patriarchal societies”

    We create the problem.