Reblog: Church and State: Are there Limits to Loyalty?

Superb essay!

(And it has nothing to do with the fact he praised my book.) 🙂

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

The definition of loyalty as unwavering devotion to a person or idea is something of a misnomer.  Whether voluntary or not, people are loyal only as long as the conditions upon which it is based remain in effect.  Marital loyalty is lost when one or both spouses break the vows they had made to each other or the mutual trust they had shared.  Dictators lose the loyalty of their subjects when it can no longer be sustained through coercive or manipulative means.  Ideas lose the loyalty of supporters when exposed as being fundamentally flawed or fraudulent.

Loyalty is a trait highly regarded in human cultures precisely because it is so transient.  Disloyalty is as conversely reviled because it is perceived as being ubiquitous.  Loyalty requires continual conscious effort.  Disloyalty requires only impulsive behavior.  To maintain the loyalty of others, people commonly employ guilt and even fear

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Big G, Little J, and The Other Guy

There’s an active conversation going on over at Ark’s blog that includes a Christian pastor ( a comparatively rare type of visitor for this blog).

Many of the “regulars” have asked him some probing questions and so far, he’s handled them fairly well (considering he’s a Believer).

In one comment, he made reference to the “Trinitarian Theology” — and I asked him if he knew the genesis of this belief. He responded that he had read all the documents leading up to the formation of this doctrine and we would “talk about it later.”

Since the comment section is getting quite long on Ark’s blog, I’m posting the question here — both for “Mel’s” response as well as any others who would like to jump in.

So … how did the doctrine of the “Holy Trinity” get started?

Scary Stuff

I don’t remember where I saw the link to this article … if it was from “you” (your blog, Facebook, etc.), please forgive me for not giving credit where credit is due.

Even if only part of it is true, it’s still a VERY SCARY scenario.

Right-Wing Billionaires Have a Project to Rewrite Our Constitution, and They Are Shockingly Close to Pulling It Off

Excerpt:

Billionaires and the groups they fund are working to rewrite our Constitution to provide corporations and the rich with more and more protections and benefits, and chop away at anything smelling of “socialism” like Social Security or child labor laws. 

The fact is that they’re just a few states away from meeting their goal, and have already held dress rehearsals in Washington D.C.—with representatives from all 50 states—for a Constitional Convention that would change America forever.

 

“Madam Secretary” and Guess Who

The latest episode was a hoot! If you missed it, you may be able to watch it here:

http://www.cbs.com/shows/madam-secretary/video/E473A382-B68D-978D-8D0B-BF1EDEA2442E/madam-secretary-break-in-diplomacy/

And if you didn’t catch the undertones, here’s an article that will explain it for you:

How ‘Madam Secretary’ Got Real On Donald Trump

ENJOY!

 

Trump and Those Nasty Terrorists

I admit, I’m not all that familiar with the “military operations” conducted by the U.S. and/or other countries. But from what I’ve read and heard, I do have grave misgivings about our (I’m Like A Smart Person) Orange Leader and his declarations about how HE is going to rid the world of “Radical Islamic Terrorists.”

An example (to me) of his inexperienced and reckless actions was his recent decision to deploy hundreds of U.S. marines in Northern Syria. According to this article in The Guardian,  his decision is “high risk foolishness.” It points out that tRump is putting …

relatively inexperienced American soldiers into the middle of a highly toxic, multi-fronted battlefield that includes combat-tested Kurdish militias, Syrian army troops, anti-regime fighters and Russian, Iranian and Turkish forces.

It further points out that this …

simplistic idea, promulgated by Trump, that Isis and its warped jihadi ideology can be annihilated by force is foolish and naive.

The article concludes:

Trump’s Syrian intervention is “fraught with risk”, Robert Ford, former US ambassador to Damascus, told the Washington Post. “It is a huge policy change.” The potential for military escalation or “mission creep”, if and when US ground troops get into trouble, is obvious, vast and worrying. Northern Syria is a quagmire. Trump just jumped straight in.

Quite frankly, any decisions this man makes related to military actions worries me greatly. His stance related to No. Korea and its nuclear aspirations is another example. And his “friendliness” with Russia is disconcerting as well.

Unfortunately, it is what it is (at least for the time being). I guess all we can hope for is no foreign power ever questions his education, how strong he is, what a winner he is, how tough he is, his tremendous successes, how amazing he is, what a terrific job he’s doing, his leadership abilities, or his ability to build classy buildings … (taken from “Donald Trump’s 20 Most Frequently Used Words“). Otherwise, we’d better duck and cover and hope we live to see another day.