The Morality of Selfism

The Gospel of Saint You.

We live in a culture of selfism — a culture that puts tremendous emphasis on self, on self-care and self-display. And one of the things we’ve discovered is that you can be a very good person while thinking only about yourself!

Back in the old days people thought morality was about living up to some external standard of moral excellence. Abraham Lincoln tried to live a life of honesty and courage. Mother Teresa tried to live up to a standard of selfless love.

But now we know this is actually harmful! In the first place, when people hold up external standards of moral excellence, they often make you feel judged. These people make you feel sad because you may not live up to this standard. It’s very cruel of them to make you feel troubled in this way!

When somebody does this, you should just say, “That makes me feel judged,” and just walk away. Don’t stoop to their level!

The second problem with these external standards is that they are very hard to relate to. People are always talking about how Nelson Mandela came out of prison and tried to usher in an era of forgiveness and reconciliation. That’s all very well and good for Nelson Mandela, but what does this have to do with your life?

If people are talking to you, shouldn’t they be focusing their attention on your life? Shouldn’t they be saying things you can relate to? If somebody starts talking about some grand hero who is dead or lives far away, you should just respond, “Sorry, that’s not relatable.”

These people have to learn to keep it real!

The good news is that these days we don’t base our values on moral excellence. We base them on meaning. People are always saying they want to lead a meaningful life. They want to do things that have “meaning.”

One great thing about meaning is it’s all about the emotions you yourself already have. We say that an experience has meaning when that tingly meaningful feeling wells up inside. Picture yourself shopping at a farmers market where everything’s locally grown. Do you feel the tingly meaningful feeling welling up inside? Of course you do!

The death of Christianity in the U.S.

Christianity has died in the hands of Evangelicals. Evangelicalism ceased being a religious faith tradition following Jesus’ teachings concerning justice for the betterment of humanity when it made a Faustian bargain for the sake of political influence. The beauty of the gospel message — of love, of peace and of fraternity — has been murdered by the ambitions of Trumpish flimflammers who have sold their souls for expediency. No greater proof is needed of the death of Christianity than the rush to defend a child molester in order to maintain a majority in the U.S. Senate.

Evangelicalism has ceased to be a faith perspective rooted on Jesus the Christ and has become a political movement whose beliefs repudiate all Jesus advocated. A message of hate permeates their pronouncements, evident in sulphurous proclamations like the Nashville Statement, which elevates centuries of sexual dysfunctionalities since the days of Augustine by imposing them upon Holy Writ.

.. Evangelicalism’s unholy marriage to the Prosperity Gospel justifies multi-millionaire bilkers wearing holy vestments made of sheep’s clothing

.. Christianity at a profit is an abomination before all that is Holy. From their gilded pedestals erected in white centers of wealth and power, they gaslight all to believe they are the ones being persecuted because of their faith.

.. Evangelicalism’s embrace of a new age of ignorance, blames homosexuality for Harvey’s rage rather than considering the scientific consequences climate change

.. Evangelicalism forsakes holding a sexual predator, an adulterer, a liar and a racist accountable, instead serving as a shield against those who question POTUS’ immorality because of some warped reincarnation of Cyrus.

.. Charlottesville goose steppers because they protect their white privilege with the doublespeak of preserving heritage

.. The Evangelicals’ Jesus is satanic, and those who hustle this demon are “false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

.. You might wonder if my condemnation is too harsh. It is not, for the Spirit of the Lord has convicted me to shout from the mountaintop

What Trump did to Kelly shows how far we have fallen

The United States is in the middle of a very unfortunate experiment in how disoriented a great nation can become before it loses its moorings entirely.

.. But former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama reminded us last week that there is nothing normal about this moment. They issued searing, overlapping condemnations of Trumpism without naming President Trump. Former commanders in chief of opposing parties don’t do this sort of thing unless the country faces an emergency.

Our disorientation is reflected further in the way honorable men and women allow themselves to be pushed into defending the indefensible and twisting noble concepts into cheap and ultimately shameful talking points. These are designed to get the president through one more news cycle or around some controversy he could easily quell if he had any familiarity with the words “I’m sorry.”

 .. difficulty created by his own party’s failure to move beyond the politics of the 1980s and that era’s popular belief that tax cuts and reductions in government social spending will overcome any challenge, anytime, anywhere. A decrepit ideology crowds out new approaches to new circumstances.
.. For all the talk about Trump being something other than a Republican, he always falls back on the party’s old ideas because he has none of his own
.. the central fact of our political situation: that Trump is systematically sapping our democratic capacities through his routine behavior. As Bush put it, “We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. . . . Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization.”
.. Kelly could not back up Trump’s claim that Wilson had “totally fabricated” the president’s conversation. In fact, Kelly seemed indirectly to confirm her account. So he resorted to a vicious rebuke of the African American congresswoman.
.. Kelly didn’t even have the decency to use Wilson’s name, and he compared her to noisy “empty barrels.” It was hard to hear him and not think of Bush’s warnings about “dehumanization.” Kelly went on to give a false account of gracious, bipartisan comments Wilson made at the dedication of a Florida FBI building... It’s common to hear the president called a “disrupter.” But unlike the tech-world heroes to whom the label is typically applied, he builds nothing, creates nothing and moves a majority of our fellow citizens only toward rage or a sense of helplessness.

..  The burden is especially great on those who hoped that by serving this man, they could serve their country. Alas, Kelly has shown us that this is simply not possible.

Richard Rohr Meditation: Full Participation

Unfortunately, the monumental insights of the Axial Age (800-200 BC) began to wane, descending into the extreme headiness of some Scholastic philosophy (1100-1700), the antagonistic mind of most church reformations, and the rational literalism of the Enlightenment (17th and 18th centuries). Although the reformations were inevitable, good, and necessary, they also ushered in the “desert of nonparticipation,” as Owen Barfield described, where hardly anyone belonged, few were at home in this world, and religion at its worst concentrated on excluding, condemning, threatening, judging, exploiting new lands and peoples, and controlling its own members by shame and guilt. This happened on the Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant sides; the primary difference is what we shamed.

Antifa and the Alt-Right, Growing in Opposition to One Another

There is a cancer in the body politic. We must cut it out, or be destroyed.

.. America has cancer. On Saturday, a crowd of alt-right white supremacists, neo-confederates, and Nazi sympathizers marched in Charlottesville, Va.; they were confronted by a large group of protesters including members of the Marxist Antifa — a group that has time and again plunged volatile situations into violence, from Sacramento to Berkeley. There’s still no certain knowledge of who began the violence, but before long, the sides had broken into the sort of brutal scrum that used to characterize Weimer-era Germany.

.. The president of the United States promptly failed egregiously to condemn alt-right racism; instead, he opted for a milquetoast statement condemning “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.”

New York Times journalist Sheryl Gay Stolberg for having the temerity to report that “the hard left seemed as hate-filled as the alt-right”; and suggesting that all conservatives were, at root, sympathizers with the Nazi-friendly alt-right.

.. On the one side, a racist, identity-politics Left dedicated to the proposition that white people are innate beneficiaries of privilege and therefore must be excised from political power; on the other side, a reactionary, racist, identity-politics alt-right dedicated to the proposition that white people are innate victims of the social-justice class and therefore must regain political power through race-group solidarity.

But both movements had been steadily shrinking until the last few years. Now they’re growing. And they’re largely growing in opposition to one another. In fact, the growth of each side reinforces the growth of the other: The mainstream Left, convinced that the enemies of social-justice warriors are all alt-right Nazis, winks and nods at left-wing violence; the right, convinced that its SJW enemies are focused on racial polarization, embraces the alt-right as a form of resistance. Antifa becomes merely a radical adjunct to traditional Democratic-party politics; the alt-right becomes merely a useful tool for scurrilous Republican politicians and media figures.

  1. President Obama allowed the politics of racial fragmentation to fester on his watch; he repeatedly trafficked in broad generalities about American racism. Obama focused incessantly on the specter of white bigotry: “the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives,” embedded in our collective DNA. In response, an identity politics began creepily infusing the Right, with some white people embracing the mold cast upon them by the Left, creating a soft racial solidarity in backlash. This, of course, only strengthened the Left’s views of white privilege, which in turn strengthened the Right’s views of white victimhood.
  2. Left-wing media — and “objective” media — saw an advantage in highlighting the antics of racists such as Richard Spencer and David Duke. Focusing on the racist alt-right allowed the media to draw the convenient conclusion that the alt-right was a growing force in Republican politics that had to be fought through support for Democrats. Meanwhile, the media cast a blind eye toward Antifa’s violent Weimer-style rioting in Sacramento and Berkeley… shills such as Milo Yiannopoulos. That rebranding provided a convenient way of fighting the Left: “If the Left is calling us alt-right, that’s just because they hate that we stand for Western civilization!”.. [Obama] made excuses for riots in Ferguson and Baltimore. He used the shooting of Dallas police officers by a radical black activist as an opportunity to lecture Americans about the evils of racist policing. He knew that his political support came in large measure from SJWs, and he cultivated them.

    .. Meanwhile, on the right, Trump did the same. During the campaign, he ignored opportunity after opportunity to break with the alt-right. He refused to condemn the KKK on national television; he refused to condemn his supporters’ sending anti-Semitic messages to journalists; he hired as his campaign strategist Steve Bannon, a man who openly celebrated turning Breitbart into a “platform for the alt-right.” Trump saw the alt-right as convenient allies

..The mainstream Left has been increasingly suckered into walking hand-in-hand with the SJWs while ignoring the most egregious activities of Antifa; the mainstream Right has been increasingly seduced into footsie with alt-right associates while feigning ignorance at the alt-right itself.

That’s why Charlottesville matters: not only because we saw destruction and terror, but because if all Americans of good conscience won’t do some soul-searching and move to excise the evil in their midst, that evil will metastasize. There is a cancer in the body politic. We must cut it out, or be destroyed.

 

Bannon in Limbo as Trump Faces Growing Calls for the Strategist’s Ouster

Rupert Murdoch has repeatedly urged President Trump to fire him. Anthony Scaramucci, the president’s former communications director, thrashed him on television as a white nationalist. Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, refused to even say he could work with him.

.. So far, Mr. Trump has not been able to follow through — a product of his dislike of confrontation, the bonds of foxhole friendship forged during the 2016 presidential campaign and concerns about what mischief Mr. Bannon might do once he leaves the protective custody of the West Wing.

.. Despite his marginalization, Mr. Bannon consulted the president repeatedly over the weekend as Mr. Trump struggled to respond to the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va. In general, Mr. Bannon has cautioned the president not to criticize far-right activists too severely for fear of antagonizing a small but energetic part of his base.

.. Mr. Bannon also has admirers, including Representative Mark Meadows, the North Carolina Republican and the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, who said that without Mr. Bannon, “there is a concern among conservatives that Washington, D.C., will influence the president in way that moves him away from those voters that put him in the White House.”

And Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa and an immigration hard-liner, said that shoving out Mr. Bannon would leave conservatives “crushed.”

.. Mr. Bannon, who adamantly rejects claims that he is a racist or a sympathizer of white supremacists, is in trouble with John F. Kelly, a retired Marine general and the new White House chief of staff. Mr. Kelly has told Mr. Trump’s top staff that he will not tolerate Mr. Bannon’s shadowland machinations, according to a dozen current and former Trump aides and associates with knowledge of the situation.

Mr. Bannon’s alleged crimes:

  • Leaking nasty stories about General McMaster and other colleagues he deems insufficiently populist,
  • feuding bitterly with Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and
  • creating his own cadre within the West Wing that operates outside the chain of command.

.. One of his main sins in the eyes of the president is appearing to revel in the perception that he is the mastermind behind the rise of a pliable Mr. Trump. The president was deeply annoyed at a Time magazine cover

.. Others say Mr. Bannon’s continued presence in the White House is not serving the president’s interests.

“He’s got to move more into the mainstream, he’s got to be more into where the moderates are and the independents are,” said Mr. Scaramucci

.. Top administration officials like to joke that working for Mr. Trump is like toiling in the court of Henry VIII.

.. Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director, recently handed out copies of the play “A Man for all Seasons,” about the last years of Sir Thomas More, Henry’s chancellor, who was executed for failing to endorse Henry’s split with Rome.

.. From the start, Mr. Bannon, 63, has told people in his orbit that he never expected to last in his current position longer than eight months to a year, and hoped to ram through as much of his agenda as he could

.. Mr. Bannon’s ability to hang on as Mr. Trump’s in-house populist is in part because of his connections to a handful of ultrarich political patrons, including Sheldon G. Adelson, the pro-Israel, Las Vegas-based casino magnate.

.. He is especially close to the reclusive conservative billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, who is a frequent sounding board for Mr. Bannon.

.. has suggested that he might direct his energies at creating a movement to challenge mainstream Republicans too timid to pursue the president’s agenda, like Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

.. Mr. Bannon’s cause is being damaged, people close to the president say, by a war he is waging against General McMaster.

.. the national security adviser, whom he believes to be prodding the president toward possible war with North Korea and Venezuela.

.. Mr. Bannon’s protégé, chief speechwriter and policy director, Stephen Miller, shares his populist agenda — centered around a controversial immigration crackdown — and has become one of the president’s favorite aides.

.. Despite his image in the news media as a confrontational ideologue, Mr. Miller has proved to be a deft operator who has ingratiated himself to Mr. Kushner.

Trump Condemns Violence in Charlottesville, Saying ‘Racism Is Evil’

Several of Mr. Trump’s top advisers, including his new chief of staff, John F. Kelly, pressed Mr. Trump to issue a more forceful rebuke after his comment on Saturday that the violence in Charlottesville was initiated by “many sides,” prompting nearly universal criticism.

.. As Mr. Trump was delivering the kind of statement his critics had demanded over the weekend, Fox News reported that the president is considering pardoning former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a political ally accused of federal civil rights violations for allegedly mistreating prisoners, many of them black and Hispanic.

.. “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental views by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal,” Mr. Frazier said in a tweet announcing he was stepping down from the panel. Mr. Frazier is one of just a handful of black chief executives of a Fortune 500 company.

Less than hour later, Mr. Trump, responded on social media as he departed his golf resort in Bedminster for a day trip back to Washington.

.. Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!

 .. Trump would rather attack a principled black man who was formerly on his own team than condemn white supremacy.
The Donald is no longer just a white supremacist sympathizer — he’s positioned himself as their proud leader. Racist-in-Chief.
Trump publicly and directly expresses disapproval over ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING that bothers him, even stuff as petty as SNL.
With his insane rant this morning attacking former ally Ken Frazier, Trump is officially the Alt-Right’s attack dog.
This isn’t about prescription drug prices. It’s about POTUS being insecure & disgustingly getting the validation he needs from hate groups.
.. It’s not unusual for Mr. Trump to attack, via Twitter, any public figure who ridicules, criticizes or even mildly questions his actions. But his decision to take on Mr. Frazier, a self-made multimillionaire who rose from a modest childhood in Philadelphia to attend Harvard Law School, was extraordinary given the wide-ranging criticism he has faced from both parties for not forcefully denouncing the neo-Nazis and Klan sympathizers who rampaged in Charlottesville.
.. “It took Trump 54 minutes to condemn Merck CEO Ken Frazier, but after several days he still has not condemned murdering white supremacists,”