"Ask the experts.
In a new book published this week, "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,"
a group of 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts warn that “anyone
as mentally unstable as this man should not be entrusted with the
life-and-death-powers of the presidency.” Seemingly in defiance of the
American Psychiatric Association’s "Goldwater rule,"
which states “it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a
professional opinion [on a public figure] unless he or she has conducted
an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a
statement,” the various and very eminent contributors paint a picture of
a president who has “proven himself unfit for duty.”
Stanford University psychologist Philip Zimbardo — of the famous
Stanford prison study — suggests the “unbalanced” Trump is a “specific
personality type: an unbridled, or extreme, present hedonist” and
Psychiatrist Lance Dodes, a former Harvard Medical School
professor, says Trump’s
“sociopathic characteristics are undeniable”
his speech and behavior show signs of
“significant mental derangement.”
Clinical psychologist John Gartner, a 28-year veteran of John Hopkins
University Medical School, argues that Trump is a
“evinces the most destructive and dangerous collection of
psychiatric symptoms possible for a leader.”
For Gartner, the
“catastrophe” of a Trump presidency “might have been avoided if we in
the mental health community had told the public the truth, instead of
allowing ourselves to be gagged by the Goldwater rule.”"
is nothing whatsoever in the murky dark of the ancient forest at night
that is not there in the daylight hours. Reason assures us that this is
I know better.
Having explored the local woods all
my life, I am well aware that there are noises at night that can not
always be identified. An angry snort from somewhere nearby, the rustle
in the leaves of something too large to be a squirrel, the wingbeat of a
creature that sounds much too leathery and brittle to be a feathered
bird. These are sounds that disturb the conscious mind.
the day, we know the snort is a startled deer. The rustle, just a
raccoon. The beating wings from a fleeing owl. In the daytime, we know
But at night... Well...
It was dusk and I had
settled myself on a convenient tree stump next to a pond in a forgotten
woods. The roar of the interstate and lights of the city were blotted
out by the trees stretched out overhead and the rolling hills separating
the known world from the unknown.
I came to this spot regularly
in the autumn, to enjoy the sounds of the leaves falling, the crickets
calling, the night coming to life. I came to listen.
as I sat, quietly listening – intent upon separating out this creak from
that groan from the other nearby rustle – I first heard the hideous
Shriek. Inhuman. Grotesque. Impossible. What in our local woods would
make such a disconcerting scream?
The Shriek came from Not
Nearby. If I were to guess, I'd say 100 yards or more away. Curiosity –
cursed curiosity! – won out over my fear, and I rose from my seat and
quietly made my way in the direction of the Shriek. I didn't want to
scare away whatever was making the noise.
Twenty steps closer and
I heard it again, that soulless Shriek! Could it actually be a human,
wounded and in trouble? The Shriek sounded so pitiable this time, and
clearly closer. I moved, still quietly, but more quickly, in the
direction of the Scream.
Twenty steps more and I paused to listen.
I nearly fell backwards in my fear. It was significantly closer. The
Shriek – although human-sounding – was clearly NOT human, I knew this
now. It was the sound of a – of a madwoman, nails turned to claws,
abandoned in the woods and seeking food. It was the sound of Anger and
In the dark of the night, I knew that it was the sound of Evil.
And maybe on the other side of me.
Between me and my path out.
I waited. I listened. I barely breathed.
No Shriek returned. No sound at all.
The leaves were not falling, the crickets were not calling, no frogs
croaked from the nearby pond. I was alone and surrounded by a maddening
silence, frozen in fear, unsure of which way to go.
An hour later
– or so it seemed – I breathed again. I took a step. I walked back down
the path and exited those Awful Woods, to my car and began heading
home, but only after checking the back seat of my car.
It was empty.
The next day, the Google told me that foxes shriek when they are at
play with one another. Harmless foxes cavorting in the woods. I listened
to field recordings of foxes and there it was, the Shriek. But harmless
now. In the light of the day.
Over at Stan's blog recently, he took on the conservative boob who said the two most important things to him are "the Constitution and Boobs." [Clay Travis, who said to a reporter, who happened to be a woman (not that it really matters), "I believe in only two things completely. The First Amendment, and boobs."] Stan criticized the guy for being in the wrong. Stan said, "She (and I) thought it was rude for him to say it."
Okay, as far as it goes. But, Stan didn't leave it there. He added a BUT. "But," he said, "I do wonder why women who rightly are offended when men are that rude continue to wear outfits clearly intended to accentuate the features men are not supposed to comment on..."
Stan (and his commenters, with him) rightly found Travis in the wrong (although, I'm not sure that merely calling his comment "rude" is the right way to identify his error...), they also shared some blame towards women who dress "wrong..." meaning, of course, wrong, by their measure...
Oh, they assured and reassured us that it was entirely the man who was wrong or, in the case of a rapist "aroused" by women dressing "wrong," the rapist who was wrong... BUT... why would the women dress "that way..."?
Craig put it this way...
"Why would anyone assume that they won't run into one of them [rapists], and be dressed in a way that draws attention?"
Stan clarified it this way (speaking in the voice of those who defend women dressing, you know, how they want)...
"Women should be allowed to ... nay, celebrated for dressing as slutty as they wish..."
So, allow me to try to clarify what seems like it would be obvious...
Craig, consider these questions:
1. Why would anyone assume that they won't run into one of them [rapists], and be dressed in a way that draws attention?
2. Why would anyone assume that they won't run into one of them [robbers], and be dressed in a way that draws attention (i.e., dressing as if you had money)?
3. Why would anyone assume that they won't run into one of them [killer atheists], and be dressed in a way that draws attention (i.e., wearing a cross necklace and carrying a bible, for instance)?
With those extra questions, do you see the problem with your approach?
Let me spell it out for you:
3. Christians wear what they want because it is their choice to do so and they should not be intimidated to wear something else because it might draw the attention of killer atheists.
2. Wealthy people wear what they want because it is their choice to do so and they should not be intimidated to wear something else because it might draw the attention of robbers.
1. Women wear what they want because it is their choice to do so and they should not be intimidated to wear something else because it might draw the attention of rapists.
It's our human liberty to wear what we wish and we are not wrong for wearing that, nor should the reality of bad people who might be "aroused" by what we wear cause people to opt for other clothes. Are you suggesting that Christians should NOT wear things that identify them as Christians to avoid any conflict? Or would you bristle at that suggestion?
You of course don't need to comment here, Craig, but if you choose to reply to this post, please begin with an answer to that question. Thanks.
Stan, I am sure you were truly thinking you were defending women and only attacking this guy, but you sure (and if not you, some of your commenters) didn't sound like you were defending women. You sounded sexist and a bit perverse.
You see, you all are saying, "Yes, it is the MAN who is wrong for saying 'boobs' matter most to him... BUT, why do women..." and "Yes, it is the MAN who is wrong for raping women... BUT, why would women..."
And when pushed on it, you said you "got" it, what the complaint was... you'd encourage women to dress to a degree that you would call "modest," and if they weren't dressed "modestly enough," then they might be sort of asking for it... of course, it's the MAN's fault... BUT...
It's the "BUT" that is getting you off track. The correct answer is, "It's the man's fault for making sexist comments." PERIOD. "It is the MAN's fault for assaulting a woman." PERIOD.
And end it there. Don't pause and then go on to sorta blame the woman just a little bit, too. Because she was "dressed wrong." Or, as you put it, she could be dressed as slutty as she wished. The commenters at this blog kept suggesting that there was a line that is crossed and by crossing that line, women could expect to be abused, maligned and raped. "Not that it's right," you clarify, but still...
I asked you if you agree with the Muslim extremist measure of wearing a burka. You all balked at the comparison. "Well, well, bu... well, NO! No, of course we don't believe in making women wear burkas..." BUT. But they should be dressed modestly, for their own sake, because you're gentlemen, in your minds and you don't want these poor women to be subjected to a possible rapist (which is a crime of power, not sexuality, you should know) or perverse treatment by perverse men.
No, you don't advocate a burka. Not full blown. BUT...
That But is the problem.
It's not that you disagree with Muslim extremists, it's just that you draw the line at some point differently than they do. But you still draw a line, because you know what's best for these women, presumably.
there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the
Jewish ruling council. 2 He
came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a
teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you
are doing if God were not with him.’
replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God
unless they are born again.’
can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely
they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be
answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of
God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh
gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You
should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.” 8 The
wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot
tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone
born of the Spirit.’
can this be?’ Nicodemus asked.
started to do a search on the internet, but after seeing that the
first page of googling didn’t reveal my answer, I gave up. I’m
not a very patient googler. It doesn’t really matter, anyway. What
I was searching for was, “must be born again craze.” I was
wondering when that began. Well, it really began with Jesus, of
course, because he’s the one who said it. But when was it that it
became such a huge thing in American religious culture? I think it
had to do with Jimmy Carter, and that was when I was a teenager. I
don’t remember exactly when, but what I do remember is that it was
very confusing to me. You must be born again, preachers would say,
meaning, you must become someone else. You must become someone else.
That’s how I remember them preaching it, anyway. And that was
hard for me to integrate, as it probably was for some of you. “Are
you a Christian?” Yes… “Have you been born again?” Well,
not really. I’m still just me.
I think that’s why my heart sang when I heard John Philip Newell
talk about this passage at Lake Junaluska this summer.
he said that Jesus wasn’t saying that we need to become someone
else. He said that Jesus, in saying that we must be born again, or
anew, was saying that we need to be born into our true selves. We
need to be born into our true selves.
pointed out something that we already knew, which is that Jesus was a
rabbi. He wasn’t a Christian, and so he didn’t adhere to the
Christian doctrine of original sin.
idea of original sin, for those of us who might not be familiar with
the term, is one that, whether we’re familiar with it our not,
pervades our lives. When Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of
Eden, after having sinned, all of humanity was put in a state of
separation from God, and it’s only through Jesus that we are
reconnected. That’s the idea that many of us grew up with. You
might remember the little picture that we sometimes used when we were
trying to “save” someone. There are two cliffs with a great gulf
in-between. God is on one side. Humankind on the other. And then
you draw a cross in-between to connect the two? Does anyone remember
that? Used to be an evangelical tool that we would use to share the
“good news” of Jesus Christ. But Jesus Christ didn’t preach
that kind of good news. Jesus didn’t preach about how we are
disconnected from God. Jesus preached about how God is within
concept of original sin didn’t come from Jesus.
Newell said that
he was on an interfaith panel with some other religious leaders
awhile back, and someone asked them to comment on original sin, and
the Jewish rabbi on the panel said that when someone Jewish hears the
term “original sin,” they are prone to think, now that was really
sin! In other words, original sin wasn’t, and isn’t a Jewish
concept, but rather came around years after Jesus’ death. It was
first alluded to in the second century by Iraneus, Bishop of Lyon,
and was later developed by St. Augustine. It retained its popularity
through church reformers such as John Calvin and Martin Luther, and
is very popular to this day. One of the founders of Celtic
Christianity, Pelagius, was kicked out of Rome, first, and later,
Italy, largely because he refused to accept the concept of original
sin, by the way.
spend a lot of time as Christians, not in this church, maybe not
enough in this church, confessing our sin. We are bad, bad, bad. We
were born in sin. But as Newell points out, what would it look like
if we acted that way in one of our most important relationships? What
if we were constantly apologizing and feeling guilty and less than?
It would be totally unhealthy. And yet, that’s so often the way
that people view their relationship with God. You must be born
again. You must become someone else. Because who you are is never
must be born again, Jesus says, calling us back to our true selves.
You must be born from above. You must be born anew. Born anew into
that of you which is the essence of God, the essence of your true
I’m not an artist, and I can’t draw it. But I can tell you that
I saw a very clear picture of this on Wednesday when our Diane - our homeless/hospitality minister - told me
about what had happened at the Hospitality Program the day before.
It was a busy day, she said, and in the middle of all of the
busi-ness, a man brought in a woman in a bathrobe. He had found her
a few blocks away. She was wandering around, lost and confused. She
didn’t know her name, and, said the man, she was (made a motion
with his finger to indicate craziness). Diane had the woman sit down
with Kari, who talked with her and kept her calm while Diane made
some phone calls. It took about an hour for the police to get there,
and when they did, they confirmed that the woman was on the missing
persons list. Her son had been looking for her. She had parked her
car and left her keys and her purse and her i.d. somewhere, and they
tried to find it, and they contacted her son, and they eventually
took her to the hospital, where we are hoping that she received the
care she needed.
a sad story, but a precious one. I hate to think what might have
happened had that man not have found her.
And here’s the thing
that touched me most deeply about the story: The man who brought her
in, said Diane, was drunker than anyone she’d ever seen. And note:
this is our homeless minister talking. He was drunker than anyone she’d ever
And yet, this man, as drunk as he was, was able to connect
with the very essence of God within, with the love-longings of God,
to share with this woman that there is a place where you can go where
they will help you, and not just to share that with her, but to
accompany her, stumbling alongside her until he had delivered into
in that experience, I believe that that man was born anew, not in the
way we used to talk about, becoming someone else, but in that, even
in the midst of his brokenness, he reconnected with the very essence
of God. You must be born anew, says Jesus.
am reminded of the voice that we hear in “The Help,” the voice of
Abileen, a family maid, who babysits little Mae Mobley. Mae’s
mother usually ignores her, and whenever she pays her any attention,
she criticizes her. So Abilene sits her down everyday and says, “You
is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
heart of God is beating within each of us. May we listen for it, may
we hear it, may we be renewed in its rhythm.
We affirm that people are complex and God is not known, completely.
We deny that some humans are the spokesmouths for God, even though they may act as if they are.
We affirm that love is good and that hate is bad.
We deny that those who'd take away rights and choice and liberty from others are acting in the common good.
We affirm that women, gay folk, transgender folk and, well, folk in general are wonderful, strong, kick ass and live well, if imperfectly.
We deny that seeking to disempower and marginalize people for being who they are is a good thing.
We affirm that those racists and oppressors who, once upon a time and even in the name of God, sought to say "This person should not marry THAT person. God forbids it!..." that such attitudes have been cast upon the dustbin of history and recognized far and wide as wrong-headed and arrogant. Any who would, today, seek to go back to these devalued and antiquated values (i.e., bad values) would be ignored and rightly so.
Similarly, we affirm that most of us have likewise moved past the days of trying to demonize and marginalize women, gay and transgender folk or deny them their basic human liberties. Those who seek to do this will soon, like the "anti-miscegenists" of old, be summarily dismissed as crackpots and holding on to backwards, immoral and irrational ideas.
We deny that those who would promote anti-women, anti-LGBTQ attitudes speak for God, for the good, or for reason.
The "Nashville" types have lost this argument. They just have. It's all over but the fighting.
There will be much kicking and ranting on their part as they increasingly realize that they are the ones viewed as immoral and irrational, but this is just the way it is. They have lost and their numbers will increasingly diminish and their "arguments" (which amount to not much more than, "But I'm telling you, GOD doesn't want it! GOD agrees with me!") increasingly be ignored.
Within a generation or two, churches will continue meeting, lives will continue to be lived and LGBTQ folk and women will live empowered lives. The matter won't be broached any more in 99% of churches - at least in the US, any more than the "anti-miscegenationists" have any serious traction any more. Those who oppose gay marriage will simply be ignored until, by the end of the century, they will be, for all practical purposes, gone.
The few who remain will rant and gnash their teeth, insisting that God's Way is narrow and THEY are the few who remain faithful. They will deny even other Christians but no one will care, any more than we care about what the "anti-miscegenationists" say. The reason? No one cares what irrational, immoral cranks say.
I am at least almost a little sorry that these anti-gay folk, anti-women folk will feel so oppressed and ignored, but not really. They've brought it upon themselves and their arrogance does nothing to help build any bridges worth crossing.
They have been eclipsed by a more rational, more moral and, I think, more Godly way, and ultimately, that is a very good thing.
There's just so much happening, I didn't want to miss the chance to post this so I'm doing it now while I'm thinking about it.
Anyone who knows me, knows I find Trump and his ardent supporters (in
contrast, at least a little, to those who reluctantly tolerate him) to
be morally and rationally and societally repulsive. I vomit a bit in my
mouth anytime I think about him.
And his defense of "some" nazis
and racists ("some were nice guys," or whatever) is atrocious, as is his
false moral equivalency of Nazis and racists to the counter protestors.
The man is a pig.
That being said, I have problems with the
antifa movement. And I'm not the only one (amongst progressive and
rational types). I'll post an article that goes into it some more, but
in brief, here is my problem:
* They are anarchists, not liberals.
* They place themselves above the law, appointing themselves judge, jury
and judgment against those THEY think deserve it. If they THINK you are a
Nazi or sympathize too much with Nazis (again, in their head, not
necessarily in reality), then they have been known to act against you.
* I hear that they even attacked some in the press this last weekend in
their anarchic and self-appointed vigilantism against "the enemy."
I certainly sympathize with the notion of being against fascists and
racists, but we do that within some boundaries. It's not every man (and
mostly, I believe we are talking about men) for himself, everyone
deciding who needs to be punched and who doesn't.
For one thing,
it is counterproductive. It gives the idiots and racists like Trump some
room for doing just what he has done. It undermines our efforts to stop
fascism and racism, rather than supporting it.
But also, it is
illiberal. It is not progressive to live outside the laws and make
yourself the One True Decider for everyone else.
This is not to
say that they are in anyway comparable to the actual fascists, but just
to note that they are troubling and need to rein themselves in (and we
need to help them rein in).
"for all of antifa’s supposed anti-authoritarianism, there’s something
fundamentally authoritarian about its claim that its activists—who no
one elected—can decide whose views are too odious to be publicly
expressed. That kind of undemocratic, illegitimate power corrupts. "
Just because these stories need to be heard... from a Latino family/friend's Facebook page:
"Last night I had to comfort my youngest who has heard enough about
recent events to be terrified that someone may target his father for
being Latino.....he no longer wants his father to [go to work] for
fear that he will be attacked or arrested. He kept asking me what we
will do if his papa doesn't come home one night........and I don't know
what to say. I don't know what we will do. I don't want to think about
it, and yet, we have to.
Many members of our own family voted
for, and still openly defend and support, Trump. My son does not feel
safe. He stays awake worrying, crying, begging for all of this to stop.
I am at a loss for how to protect my children when even those who love
us cannot see how much hatred is being stoked by the president they
voted for, and continue to defend him.
I am not calling out
people by names, and my anxiety runs high even as I write this. But if
you love us, if you love my children and husband, then now is the time
to help us feel loved, safe, and supported. Because even if you do not
mean for your politics to be personal or include us, it IS very personal
when it means that my kids do not know who they can trust, and that
they might be hurt for being Latino, or. even for not fitting the
traditional "male" stereotype with their long hair and preferences for
artsy or sparkly things.
I am not interested in fighting.....I
just want folks to know where we stand, how we feel, and how my heart
breaks with this reality. If you need to unfollow me or unfriend me,
And for those who worry about shit like this, this is a "documented" family. This is how team Trump is making regular citizens of these United States feel, how they're terrorizing children and families. Shit like that's got to make you feel like a Big Man, right?