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Rick Warren’s ‘magic number’

Religious Connections’ gently oblique approach to pastor Rick Warren’s tweeted attempt to create an evangelistic urban legend, demonstrates the falsehood of Warren’s every word. Without ever slapping the goateed Baptist across the face.

So polite, don’t you think?

First, Religious Connections refutes Warren’s fundamentally vacant claim that Christians were put to death for their faith and “No one, except Christians, said anything:”

Unless you count Amnesty International (not a Christian organization) and Human Rights Watch — and others.

Then he deals with the asserted 146,00 number. Like this:

The number 146,000 is almost as startling as Warren’s willingness to encourage, without just cause, self-isolating Christian self-pity. In the lengthy process of attempting to find a valid source for Warren’s claim, we learned that 146,000 is a number which turns up frequently. Almost as if it were a magic number: . . . .

If you’re a software geek, or pause to read the magic number Wikipedia reference, you know the author is suggesting that Warren’s number isn’t documented because it has no underlying reality. Moreover, by belaboring the point with a series of illustrations, Religious Connections suggests that Warren knew there was no underlying reality. So he deliberately chose a number that would have about it an aura of believability. The better to delude us with, you see.

All said without frontal assault, and at close leaving for Warren an opportunity to redeem himself. If Warren condescends to try.

146,000 dead Christians and who cares?

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Filed under: Politics, , , ,

Tea Party Confederate flag-waving

Tea Party Confederate flags aren’t emblems of small government and freedom. Historically, they’re the opposite. From John Majewski’s book Modernizing a Slave Economy: The Economic Vision of the Confederate Nation:

Although southerners rebelled against growing centralization of the federal government, they had no qualms about establishing a strong national state of their own. Scholars have classified the Confederate central government as a form of “war socialism.” The Confederacy owned key industries, regulated prices and wages, and instituted the most far-reaching draft in North American history. The Confederacy employed some 70,000 civilians in a massive (if poorly coordinated) bureaucracy that included thousands of tax assessors, tax collectors, and conscription agents. The police power of the Confederate state was sometimes staggering. To ride a train, for example, every passenger needed a special government pass…Political scientist Richard Franklin Bensel writes that “a central state as well organized and powerful as the Confederacy did not emerge until the New Deal and subsequent mobilization for World War II.”

[H/T: Marginal Revolution

Tea Party Confederate flag

Tea Party Confederate flag

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Filed under: Politics, , , ,

Exit laughing? O’Reilly pardons Huckabee

Don’t laugh, yet. Bill O’Reilly has had an epiphany and pardoned former Arkansas governor and fellow Fox commentator Mike Huckabee, absolving the Huckster of all blame regarding Maurice Clemmons.

Clemmons, who was granted clemency from what amounted to a life sentence by then Arkansas Gov. Huckabee in 2000, was fatally shot by Seattle police while being taken into custody Tuesday in connection with the Sunday slaying of four Lakewood, Washington, police officers.

Huckabee’s self-exculpatory remarks and O’Reilly’s stained-glass pardon recall to mind the era when Huckabee was granting commutations & such at a record-setting pace.

Angry, puzzled Arkansas prosecutors often wrote to ask why he took specific actions.

Huckabee’s responses, according a letter written to a prosecutor on Huckabee’s behalf, included laughing aloud.

O’Reilly’s defense of Huckabee didn’t leave me laughing:

As for Bill O’Reilly’s epiphany, compare the Huckabee interview with O’Reilly’s elaborately offended reaction to Paris Hilton’s early release [H/T: Gawker]:

Somehow O’Reilly finds time to explore what passes for the legal details of Hilton’s release,

Yet O’Reilly has since become so forgiving of foibles that he fails to review even in passing Huckabee’s commutations and pardons history, covered in a remarkable series by The [Arkansas] Leader, as governor in Arkansas.

If you have not suffered a similar epiphany, or a stroke, please visit Baptist Planet and follow the wealth of links to review that in detail.

IMHO, four police officers and a man who should not have been on the street at all are dead today, with a trail of devastation leading to that nightmare, because of Huckabee’s confusion about who should and who should not be granted clemency.

Filed under: Politics

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