To be a traditionalist, you have to act as a part of a community and not an atomized individual...

But how do you do that when your own traditional community has disintegrated?

Shafarevich on Religion & Socialism

Great quote:

Finally, human individuality finds its greatest support and its highest appreciation in religion. Only as a personality can man turn to God and only through this dialogue does
he realize himself as a person commensurate with the person of God. It is for this very reason that socialist ideology and religion are mutually exclusive. (Of course, if either
of these world views is underdeveloped, they can coexist for a certain time.) It is natural to see here the cause of that hatred for religion which is typical of the
overwhelming majority of socialist doctrines and states.

Ihor Shafarevich in the Socialist Phenomenon, p. 267

Sinister forces at play:

A couple in Marion County, Florida, was arrested and charged with human trafficking after they allegedly bonded three women out of jail and gave them housing but forced them into prostitution.

Joselito Martinez and Tanya Wurster are charged in connection with the human trafficking of three women between 2019 and 2021 at various locations throughout Central Florida, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation said in a press release, according to Fox 35.

After the couple bonded the women out of jail and provided them a place to live, the women were allegedly forced to engage in "commercial sex acts with customers," which helped the pair rake in more than $300,000 from the victims over the course of two years.

According to investigators, Martinez used "narcotics, threats of violence, and humiliating acts such as shaving the victim's head to control the victim." Deputies said he also forced two women to receive tattoos to brand them as his property.

The child Martinez and Wurster share together was also in the home where the alleged prostitution had occurred.

This is why you have to be actively policing the streets - to discover this garbage.

Absolute madness:

Oklahoma Investigators have identified the woman believed to have killed her three children and then herself after an hourslong standoff with police in Verdigris on Thursday.

Brandy McCaslin, 39, shot and killed her children before shooting herself, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) said.

The triple murder-suicide happened in the small town just northeast of Tulsa. At around 4 p.m. on Thursday, police officers on patrol noticed fireworks erupting outside a home near East Dogwood Court and Cypress Street, according to OSBI.

The officers went to investigate and discovered an armed and barricaded woman in the residence.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sued Texas on Monday over the state's decision to curb illegal immigration with a floating buoy border barrier on the Rio Grande.

The DOJ first announced their intention to sue last week in a letter to Governor Greg Abbott. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the Western District of Texas on Monday afternoon.

In the lawsuit, the DOJ claimed that the barrier obstructs "the navigable capacity of waters of the United States." The department noted that Texas officials installed the barrier without permission from the federal government over whether it was safe for the public and the environment.

"The State of Texas’s actions violate federal law, raise humanitarian concerns, present serious risks to public safety and the environment, and may interfere with the federal government’s ability to carry out its official duties," the DOJ previously said in the letter, according to the Houston Chronicle.

You aren't allowed to do anything to stop illegals without dotting your t's and crossing your i's.

It's clear what the priority for Biden is here.

There was a real, dormant threat here.

I am glad it was extinguished.

According to Wrigley, Barakat likely planned a mass shooting event in downtown Fargo, as a forensic search of his computer showed he last searched for “mass casualty events” and an article about thousands attending the city’s downtown street fair.

“I think the issues are now coming up are worrying enough that we really need a real investigation of what happened,” Kennedy said. “I mean, these revelations about the, where you had Burisma, which is, you know, a notoriously corrupt company that paid out, apparently, $10 million to Hunter and his dad. If that’s true, then it is really troubling.”

Big Tech Manipulating Elections

The absolute rule by tech:

Big Tech companies are deliberately manipulating the outcomes of our elections and the thinking and beliefs of our children. And they are having an enormous impact.

Consider this: The GOP currently has a slim 10-seat majority in the House of Representatives. Without Google's interference in 2022, it would likely now have a majority of more than three times that size.

If Google had not interfered in the 2022 midterm elections, the GOP would likely have ended up with a Senate majority of at least two seats.

The Big Tech companies that exploded into existence over the past 20 years – as some of their prominent insiders have stated – have undermined our democracy, indoctrinated our children, and increasingly turned our freedom into an illusion.

The techniques we have discovered – the Search Engine Manipulation Effect, the Answer Bot Effect, the Targeted Messaging Effect, and others – can easily shift the opinions and voting preferences of undecided voters by between 20% and 80% after just one manipulation. Google can also repeat these manipulations many times over a period of months prior to an election.

Assuming the effects of these techniques are additive, Google can likely produce even larger shifts in opinions and voting preferences than the ones from a single manipulation used just once.

Google also knows exactly who is vulnerable to these manipulations – who is still undecided before Election Day, for example – so they can target and bombard just the right people on a massive scale 24 hours a day.

Our research has shown repeatedly that the manipulations used can make them invisible to people, and can often produce shifts of 40% or more in the voting preferences of undecided voters without anyone having the slightest idea they have been manipulated. They feel free, even while they are being strongly controlled. As one journalist wrote, "It really is the perfect crime."

More zingers like this:

In the days leading up to the 2022 midterms, the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology... preserved overwhelming evidence of Google's manipulations on their search engine, on their video recommendations on YouTube (owned by Google), and even on their homepage on Election Day. On that day in Florida, for example, 100% of liberals received go-vote reminders on their version of Google's homepage, but only 59% of conservatives did.

If, in 2024, 158 million people cast ballots, as they did in 2020, it means Google could likely shift the votes of between 6.4 and 25.5 million people, thereby easily controlling the outcome of any election in which the projected win margin is less than 4%. No laws or regulations are in place to stop them, but our monitoring can. We are monitoring their systems and doing to them what they do to us. When the Big Tech companies know that their manipulations are being watched, they back off. It has already worked to completely shut down manipulations in one important election.

Fr. Thomas Hopko on War & Violence in the Old Testament

Some good text to preserve and parse out:

Then you have that wonderful statement in the fourteenth chapter of Exodus, 14:14, where the Lord through Moses says to the people, “Listen, have faith, stand firm, be quiet, be still, I will fight for you. I will fight for you, and this very day, you will see the Egyptians perish before your very eyes. I will save you. I will rescue you. I will deliver you.” And in the Old Testament, that meant a violent act of salvation in, literally, killing the enemies. And God is killing the enemies all the time in the Old Testament. That’s what he’s doing day and night, so to speak, and some people are scandalized by it, but the Bible reader, in the light of Jesus Christ, would say, “What was God to do? How else was he going to proceed? He’s dealing with a violent world where people are killing each other all the time, and in the names of their gods they’re killing each other,” and so on.

Now, in the Passover exodus story, eight times you have that expression with these plagues that God says, “I am doing this that you may know that I am God, that you may know that I am your God, that the nations and the Egyptians may know that I reign over all creation, and that you may know that I am the only God that there is.” So the violence in the Old Testament and the violence of God himself against his enemies—because those people who are enemies of Israel, they are enemies of him—here we should see that the warfare in the Old Testament is not so much, so to speak, a warfare between peoples. It’s a warfare, actually, between gods. It’s the one true and living God fighting against all the false gods and all those who are evilly inspired into idolatry by those false gods, by the powers of evil, by the demons.

It is interesting to think of it in those terms, but it still has potentially the issue of using humans as pawns.

And by the way, I mentioned in a podcast before, I made a mistake; I misspoke definitely, for sure, when I claimed that however sinful people might be, the righteous of the Old Testament are considered righteous because of their faith, because they believed in God. So many of them did many immoral things. They did murder, they did adultery like David, but they never, ever apostatized against the true God. And the mistake that I made is that I included Solomon in that number. Well, Solomon is never included in that number because at the end of Solomon’s life he did apostatize. Besides having 300 wives and 700 concubines, he was also worshiping the Baalim and the Asterith, and he was worshiping the gods of all those women who led him into sexual impurity and lewdness and unchastity and just carnality. So Solomon is not among the marvels of the Old Testament, because he did not keep faith to the end. And sometimes I think we should never put a fresco of Solomon in any of our churches.

By the way, in the letter to the Hebrews, when they list those who were faithful to God in the Old Covenant, and they may have been sinful in their moral behavior, but they never apostatized against God, Solomon is never included in that number. Pay attention in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, the letter to the Hebrews; read about who are listed as righteous there. They are the ones who never apostatized.

I had no idea about this, to be honest.

So God finds people who can believe in him, and believe in him as the one, true, and only God, and he does all these violent acts that they may know, that you may know that I am God. And that is a theme that persists through the entire Hebrew Scripture. And then it even comes into the New Testament that this God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses raises his Son, Jesus, from the dead, who is the fulfillment of that entire history, that we might know that he is God. The ultimate—how can you say?—proof of God’s action, that we may know that he is God, is when he vindicates his own Son who has been rejected, killed and murdered, and has become the victim of murder, violence of all his enemies, in order to destroy his enemies by dying himself and not by killing them but by dying for them and with them.

It ultimately has to come back to this, right: God dying for all the people of all the lands, including those who had died in previous wars, going into Hades and liberating them.

He died on the cross for the very people that also had put him there.

There’s a great Protestant thinker, a theologian named Karl Bart, who said, “Until God can establish his power over the false gods, until he can show that he can kill and make alive, that the can cast down, that he can raise up, and that he is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, then that God cannot really show mercy.” Because if he would show mercy without showing his power, people would think that he didn’t have the power, and that’s certainly a teaching of the Old Testament. God has to establish his power, and the way you establish your power is by killing your enemies. Sadly, that’s the truth.

This is a very interesting observation: God in the Old Testament is proving himself to the people who are scared and fragile, just like how people are now.

Now, if that were the last word, then we would really have a scandal on our hands, but for Christianity that is not the last word, as we will see in a second and as we already know, I hope. In Jesus Christ, you do not have that any more. You have a radical reversal of God’s activity, because once he has established his power, then he can send his Son to show mercy and to show what the power of God really is, which is the power of truth, the power of righteousness, the power of love, which is absolutely, fully, completely, and totally revealed in the Cross of Christ and in the crucified Messiah.

But in the Old Testament, you have God doing these acts so that they would know that he is God. Here I would recommend to you as an exercise: read the Prophet Ezekiel. If you read the Prophet Ezekiel and all that is going on there, you will see that it says in Ezekiel over 65 times—I counted them—where God says, “I am against you and I will do these mighty acts and I will destroy not only your enemies: I will destroy you, and I will destroy Jerusalem”—how about that?—“so that you may know that I am God.”

Now here we’ve got to see something very important: that the violence of God in the Old Covenant is not just against the enemies of Israel and the enemies of God. It’s not simply against those people whose names are listed: the Canaanites, the Perusites, the Moabites, the Edomites, the Hittites, the Hagorites. There’s all these names of all these people in Canaan that God has to actually destroy so that he could keep his soteriological, his saving activities in the world alive and keep his own name holy and his own name glorified over and against all the demonic powers that are being worshiped as gods, all those idols.

So this is what you have there, but in Ezekiel and in Jeremiah, in Isaiah, you have a new thing there, God doing a new thing. What’s he doing? Well, he is saying to his own people now, “You are unrighteous. You are unfaithful. You are sinful. You are idolaters. And I’ll show you what you’re going to get, too.” And then he razes Jerusalem to the ground, and he actually calls Nebuchadnezzar… he calls him, “My christ, my anointed.” He calls Nebuchadnezzar, the most wicked king of all the earth, who comes in the year—what is it? the sixth century before Christ—586 BCE, before the Common Era, before Christ—you have the destruction of the Jerusalem temple.

And then the Persians defeat the Babylonians, Cyrus comes in, and he’s now called God’s anointed and God’s christ, to rebuilt the temple. But by the time you get to Darius, the temple’s still not rebuilt; then in the time of Haggai and Ezra and Nehemiah and Zachariah, you have the second temple being rebuilt. But then that temple itself is going to get destroyed after Jesus is crucified in the year 70, never to be rebuilt again. But the most amazing thing is that God says to his own people in the Old Testament Scripture, “I am against you. I am against you, because you are trusting in horses. You think you can manipulate me. You think that because I told you you are my people that you can do whatever you want and you can be unrighteous and sinful and break that Law and not keep the commandments and not keep the Sabbath or anything else.”

So God has to show his righteousness, and sometimes in the Bible it’s pretty awesome how he does it. There’s that terrible story of that guy, Uzzah, who—they’re carrying the Ark of the Covenant when they’re going into Cana, and he stumbles and trips and he falls against the ark and touches it, and he drops dead. Well, maybe he had a heart attack because he was so scared that he touched the holy ark, but of course in the Hebrew mind, it said: “God killed him.” Then you have that terrible story of the guy collecting sticks on the Sabbath day, and God says, “Stone him to death.” Well, God has to show that power, and that’s the kind of world he was dealing with; those are the kind of people he was dealing with, the kind of men he was dealing with, and this is not a joke.

The problem with this is that it cannot actually be very persuasive in the eyes of nonbelievers.

This is real business, and we can’t flash back our post-Christian, post-Enlightenment, humanistic, secularly humanistic ethics back into the old days. And of course, the one thing, as I mentioned already on the radio about the humanistic ethics is that they say it doesn’t really matter who God is, and there’s no worship at all. There’s no one to give thanks and glory and honor and worship to at all. You’re just supposed to be a nice person and get what you want and share the greed, and, as I said, our modern time is almost a radical opposite of the Old Testament. The Old Testament was for God to establish his divinity and to be worshiped and to receive glory and honor, because that’s where human beings find life and salvation and that’s where they are not becoming overcome by the powers of passion and sin and death and destruction itself. And of course, in the Scripture the last enemy that God has to destroy is death itself, and he does that on the Cross through the death of his Son, Jesus the Messiah.

It is absolutely the case that we take these value systems for granted.

I also like where he's going with this --

So in Isaiah, that 26th chapter where you find the canticle, you have those words there that—terrifying words—where it says: If God would show favor and kindness to wicked people, they don’t repent; they just become worse. He says if favor is shown to the wicked he does not learn righteousness. In the land of uprightness, he deals perversely. He does not recognize the majesty of the Lord. Here one of the accusations of God against his people is: they think that they can do with him whatever they want, and they think that they’re invincible, and they think that it is by their horses and their powers that they’re going to keep themselves alive, and they make deals with Egyptians and Assyrians and Persians and God-knows-what. Well, God is working with all of that, but at the same time, he keeps telling them: “I am your God. I will fight for you. Don’t put your trust in princes and sons of men. Don’t think horses are going to save you.” And then when they think it too much, he says, “Okay, I’ll show you,” and then he allows the enemies to just raze Jerusalem itself and the holy temple right to the ground, and that happens a couple of times in history. It gets razed, it gets rebuilt, and it gets razed to the ground again, never to be rebuilt again, because the raised temple of God now is the body of Jesus Christ, risen from the dead.

But it also says in that canticle in the Septuagint version—this is not in the Hebrew version—you have that line that we sing in church during Lent: [prosthes kaka] render evil unto them, O God, render evils unto them, even to the proud ones of the earth. And the Holy Fathers teach us that God’s only tool against unrighteousness are evils. God has to show punishment, God has to chastise, God has to show his anger, otherwise people don’t repent, and if they’re blessed, they think the blessings are due to them, that they have the right to them, that they’re not gifts and graces of God, which is the ultimate blasphemy against God. Who are you, creature?

This reminds me of a conversation that I had with another person concerning issues of man at his basic level... Man, at his root, is not a pure, good, undefiled being that is free from corruption. We read that into it after the fact, based on what we have in modernity, and the atheist certainly is eager to interpret man as this whenever possible because it makes God's wrath in the Old Testament unjustifiable.

But that is not how man really is - and it takes fallen times for people to learn the real identity of God.

Now, there is one other thing that should be mentioned, and that is: in the Old Testament, you also have violence and killing done as a kind of vindication by human beings against evils done to them. Like, for example here, one of the great examples I think would be, again if you just have it right in the first book of the Bible, in Genesis 34, when Simon and Levi kill Shechem and they kill all the males in the land and they plunder the whole city and they take all the women and the children and everything because Shechem has violated their sister Dinah. So when Dinah is raped and taken by Shechem and [seduced] and plundered, [her] brothers vindicate this action of Shechem by killing him, including all his people and killing all his place and plundering his city, so you have the evils that are done as vindication: evil given for evil. You return the evils by evils in order to vindicate your righteousness against the unrighteousness of those who harmed you. So you find all of this in the Scriptures, all this kind of evil and murder and going-on, and it’s there all the time.

Now, in the psalms, which are, of course, absolutely necessary to be read also… I once tried to count how many times it speaks about enemies, adversaries, and putting them to shame and overcoming them and destroying them that you find in the psalter. I had to give up, because it is so darn filled with that that you can’t even add how many times it’s there. Read the psalter. It’s all about the victory of God over his enemies. It’s always the victory of God on behalf of the poor and the needy and the lowly and the rejected. It’s all about God defending the widows and orphans by punishing and destroying and ultimately showing his power against the unrighteous, the sinful, the enemy, the idolater, the apostate.

Here in the psalms, we believers, we identify the Lord in all of the psalms with Jesus Christ himself, but we also identify all the victims in the psalms, all the poor, the needy, the righteous who are vindicated, who are the victims of violence, we also identify them with Jesus. And then we try to identify ourselves with the righteous, and we pray to be made righteous. We ask God to let us be upright, to keep the commandments. We say we want to keep those commandments, but at the same time, we know in the psalter that we are sinners ourselves, that we deserve the wrath and the anger of God upon us because of our sins.

It would be interesting to think of these calls for us to be humble and broken in spirit as also very literal calls for us to be as the widow, as the orphan, as the dejected from the earth, because these are the ones who God will fight for. Of course, it is foolish to literally throw away yourself into such a state, abandoning the comforts that you have to invite such conflict is to tempt God, so at no point are we to "assume the position" of victim. Such opportunities will present themselves naturally, with time...

But the point is to become that in spirit.

More importantly, this is absolutely an important part - the resolution of all of this is found in the Old Testament:

But now let’s end up today with the New Testament, because what does the New Testament say? What does the final covenant of God say? What does God speak through his final Word incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth? What is the word of the Cross? What is the Gospel of God in Christ Jesus? And very simply put, to sum it up simply, it is this: that we are all sinners, but God shows mercy on all. God triumphs over all his enemies, and all his enemies are sin and evil and demons and demonic people. Those are God’s enemies, and those enemies will be destroyed. In the same way that the Ark of the Covenant, when it was brought into battle, in the book of Numbers, for example, the people would sing, “Let God arise. Let his enemies be scattered. Let those who hate him flee from before his face.” That’s Numbers 11, and that’s Psalm 68. That will become, for Orthodox Christians, the Paschal Psalm. That’ll be the psalm of the Resurrection of Christ, when God finally destroys all his enemies.

Another tremendous excerpt:

But one thing is for certain: Christ sheds his blood on the Cross for Sodom and Gomorrah. Christ sheds his blood on the Cross for everyone that Yahweh killed in the Old Testament. Everyone that was killed in the Old Testament in any way, whether it was Jephthah’s daughter who had to be sacrificed because he made a vow, whether it’s that concubine who was chopped up into twelve parts and sent through Israel, whether it’s the ravishing of the young maidens outside Sodom and Gomorrah and in other places in the Bible, whether it’s Cain killing Abel, whatever it is—all those murders, all [that] violence—that is all subsumed in the flesh of Christ on the Cross, and he endures it all. And it is God Almighty that is in human flesh that’s enduring it in order to have mercy on all.

Now here I would say this very clearly: if God did not so love the world that he sent his only-begotten Son, that those who believe in him would not perish, and if he did not give the opportunity for everyone to repent, and if the final judgment, when the Lord appears in glory, is not the moment of truth when anyone can finally repent of all their ignorances and their evils, their passions and their crimes, and if God did not die for everyone and shed his blood for everyone without exception, then we would have real problems with the murders of the Old Testament. All that violence would be nothing but scandalous violence. But the scandal for Christians, the scandal of the Cross replaces, so to speak, heals all the violence of men, even the violence of God himself that he had to perpetrate in the Old Testament in order for his plan to be completed for the Messiah to come.

Another very vital piece is covered here - I actually had only previously been familiar with St. Maximus the Confessor's take on this:

And that’s how the ancient Christians read the Old Testament, and that’s why they read it often allegorically, symbolically. They saw that fighting in the Old Testament as the warfare between God’s graciousness and goodness against idolatry and fornication and [un]chastity and blasphemy and sin and evil and murder and all the violations of the commandments of God.

And here it’s very important: Christians read the psalms that way. Take, for example, the psalm that says about the Babylonians, “Blessed are they who take your little ones and smash them on the rocks.” St. Nilus of Sinai, St. Benedict of Nursia, all the holy Fathers say that we have to interpret that spiritually, allegorically. Yeah, God did say you have to bash those babies on the rocks, you have to kill the women and the children, because if they grow up and become powerful, they’re going to kill you and then it’s going to be the end of the story and evil is going to triumph, and God cannot let evil triumph, so he has to kill the evil-doers—but that’s not the final word. The final word is that he gets killed for the sake of the forgiveness of the evil-doers. That’s the Christian faith.

And the Christian transforms into something else:

So when, in the final covenant of God with his people in Christ, Christians are no longer killers, they are those who get killed—the martyr and the confessor and the meek and gentle and the non-violent and the peaceful—those are the quintessential victors in Christ. As the Apocalypse puts it, Christians fight the Lamb’s war, and the Lamb’s war is against sin, including the sin that’s in your own heart, in your own mind, in your own flesh, in your own body. That’s what Christ has to destroy ultimately, but you’ve got to get Christ into the world. You’ve got to get Mary into the world so there’s a woman capable of giving birth to God in the flesh.

This next part really brings it home as to the source of destruction:

And the only way God can do it is the way he did it, and the way he did it is recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament. The way God did it is recorded in the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets, and he did it in a violent way. As Jesus said, “From the beginning until John the Baptist, the kingdom of God is taken by violence, and the violent take it by force.” But there’s some sense in which the violence of God is now the violence of the Lamb. It’s the violence of non-violence. It’s the violence of martyria, of witness. It’s the violence of suffering. We know Jesus said that. For example, when the apostles wanted to call fire down on Bethsaida, Chorazin, Capernaum, whatever, all those cities that did not accept Jesus, Jesus says, “No.” He says, “This is over now. The final new covenant is here. I’m here in order to die, not to kill.”

Now, will God kill and destroy his enemies, ultimately, in the coming kingdom? Well, the ancient Christian scriptural answer is no. He will have mercy on everybody. But still, people may not accept that mercy, and then God’s love and his truth and his righteousness and his blood will torment them, and they will be tormented forever and ever if they blaspheme the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Some people think that nobody can do that; other people—and it seems to be the scriptural teaching—no. The demons and the evil people who love the demons and hate God, they will suffer from the mercy of God forever, and that’s the fire of hell. But God is no longer destroying. God is no longer destroying. People are destroying themselves by opposing the righteousness of God.

The violence of non-violence seems like a great reference to the pacifism conundrum: [i]when we stay our hands from violence, it occasionally allows an orgy of violence, which produces its own sense of injustice.

But this is ultimately what man brings onto himself.

Let's leave the conclusion to Fr. Thomas Hopko himself:

The Christian Gospel is that God is victorious over his enemies, ultimately, finally, perfectly, totally, and once and for all, but the weapon of God is the Cross, and God is victorious by dying. He is victorious by being killed, and that’s the scandal and that’s the radical newness of Christianity. As it was said in the book of Acts, the Jews who didn’t believe in Jesus were saying about the preaching of the apostles, “These men are turning the world upside down.” And in Christ everything is turned upside down.

So we read about the violence and the murder and the killing and the violence of God and the violence of people and the sinful violence and the unrighteous violence, but then the necessary violence that is necessary for God’s plan to be completed, we read about all this in the Old Testament. We see it fulfilled in the non-violent Christ, who as a Lamb is led to the slaughter and opens not his mouth, who is denied justice, who takes upon himself the sin of the world, and who dies for all those for all those who have died in any way, and he dies even for those whom God himself has killed in the Old Testament, because the final word does not belong to death. The final word does not belong to destruction. The final word belongs to mercy and forgiveness. The final word belongs to resurrection and life. The final word belongs to the peace of God, not the violence of God.

But that peace itself is very violent for people who do not want it, it produces violence, because as Isaiah said, peace and gifts and favor and grace shown to the wicked does not always produce repentance; it could make people even worse and more violent and more hating and more crazy and more mad. Yeah, that’s possible.

And the delusions can come, as Christ said, “And the day will come when people will even be murdering each other and think they’re doing it in the name of Christ crucified.” Can you imagine that they’re doing it in the name of God? Or the time can go on as if Christ has not come, and then, of course, there can be delusion. People can kill in the name of God, but it’s not God at all that they’re killing in the name of. And in the Old Testament, those who had to kill in the name of God, it had better have been in the name of God, for the sake of God’s plan, with great sorrow and repentance on their own part, or else they were in tremendous trouble.

So this is how we understand the violence in the Bible. The Old Testament is prefigurative, preparatory, and pedagogic to Christ. It does involve violence and murder and warfare, but that warfare is a prefiguration of the ultimate warfare of God on the Cross in Christ. He is the Iēsus Christos Nika; he is the Victor. And here is the radical newness of the New Testament.

And that was so new that some people thought that the New Testament God was not even the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses; they thought it was a different God, but we Christians say, “Oh, no, no, no. It’s not; it’s the same God. It’s the same God.” It is. Moses spoke about Christ. Isaiah spoke about Christ. All the events of the Old Testament prefigure Christ. All the warfare and the victories of Yahweh over his enemies in the Old Testament prefigure the victory of Christ on the Cross. That’s how Christians read and understand the violence, the killing, the murder that we find in the Scriptures, particularly those of the Old Testament.

Now one last little thought: This goes on even in the Christian era, and the shame will be for Christians that they will kill in the name of Christ. The shame of Christians is that they will become as if they had the power to invoke God and use God for the destruction of their enemies. Even the Theotokos will be praised as a victorious leader who smashes barbarians or something. This is an apostasy in its own way, and it’s a million times worse than what we find in the Old Testament.

So let’s think about these things, but let’s know for sure that all that violence of old was necessary to produce the Christ, and then the Christ comes and takes the violence upon himself and forgives everyone everything. And that’s the teaching of the Gospel. And the victory of God ultimately is one when his Son dies the most violent, degrading, horrible death on the Cross. So for Christians, we preach Christ crucified, scandal to Jews, folly to Gentiles, but the wisdom and the power, the ultimate wisdom and the ultimate power, of God Almighty himself.

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Dircus will never be able to avoid this, though.

Israel has decided that that is the narrative and there's nothing he can do to change it.

A real life atheist conundrum.

Previously I had only been aware of what a cholo/chola was.

Oddly enough, I even heard a Mexican say that the word is actually related to the Xolo breed of dog..! But that does not sound right, particularly when there seems to be a cognate with a Cuban Spanish word.

Do let me say, though, that one of the great utilities of these excessive LGBTQ websites is being able to randomly click into stuff like this.

Going down the rabbit hole and found this gag worthy piece.

These sorts of articles are worth it just for the parts like this:

YNW Melly Skipped YNW SakChaser’s Funeral, Instead Showed Up After to Family Dinner ‘Happy Dancing’
YNW Melly allegedly skipped YNW SakChaser’s funeral and only attended a family dinner after the funeral, McNeal said.

“He came in dancing, happy dancing,” McNeal explained in an exclusive interview.

The defense claims DNA on the knife sheath was “planted.”

Prosecutors asked the court to issue a protective order on the genetic genealogy information developed by the FBI using a DNA profile obtained from the snap of the knife sheath found on Maddie Mogen’s bed.

Kohberger faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted of the murders of Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin last November. The four students were found dead in their off-campus house in Moscow, Idaho.

Kohberger’s defense attorneys wrote in their objection that they want to see how many other potential suspects were overlooked.

They even suggested that Kohberger’s DNA could have been planted:

“The State’s argument asks this Court and Mr. Kohberger to assume – is that the DNA on the sheath was placed there by Mr. Kohberger, and not someone else during an investigation that spans hundreds of members of law enforcement and apparently at least one lab the State refuses to name.”

Headlines no longer need to make sense.
Nanook friendica
News Sites that print such headlines need to have their management tarred and feathered and not another cent spent by anyone on advertising with them, anyone that does advertise with them needs to be boycotted.

90% of the vessels go undetected - truly remarkable that there has not been any desire to change the way that they engage with the threat to the porous coastline.

This can only be chocked up to the inertia of bureaucracy and the lack of any real concern for the health of Americans.

At least $1billion worth of cocaine has been seized from 'narco subs' en route to the US in the last eight years, can reveal.

But anti-smuggling commanders believe around nine in 10 boats evade detection, meaning up to $9 billion worth of the drug may have entered the country via these vessels.

Criminal gangs are increasingly using drug-laden semi submersibles to transport vast quantities of illicit substances into the US as they seek to outwit maritime police.

The boats, which are not fully submersible but can dip under water like submarines, have advanced significantly in recent years.

One former cartel member has predicted that missions, previously considered 'kamikaze rituals' for crews, will soon be run by drug traffickers using remote controls from the safety of their headquarters.

It comes after a Colombian man dubbed the 'Prince of Submersibles' was jailed in the US for more than 20 years for running a fleet of narco subs shipping cocaine into the country.

Official data on the number of narco-subs smuggling drugs into the US is yet to be released, but an audit of publicly available U.S. Coast Guard busts by has found at least $1billion worth of cocaine has been seized from these boats since 2015.

Given that the audit was only of cases already made public, the real figure is likely to be much higher.

Maritime police insist they are getting better at intercepting the boats, but operation commanders have compared scouring the open ocean for 20 foot semi-submersibles to a pair of police cars patrolling the entire country.

I gotta admit this is pretty creative - makes you feel like you're in the wrong line of business.

Greek Wildfires


The Rhodes wildfire nightmare has become the largest fire evacuation in Greek history - as 19,000 people have been forced to flee from villages and hotels.

Holiday firms TUI and Jet2 have cancelled all flights to Rhodes as the popular holiday destination has been gripped by wildfires, forcing thousands of tourists to flee.

Greece has issued warnings over 'extreme fire risks' in the areas of Attica, Evia, Boeotia, Corinthia, Ilia, Argolis, Messinia and Rhodes.

But some firefighters believe the fires engulfing the island - which began five days ago - may have been started on purpose, stating 'fires are set by human hands.'

'Whether it is due to negligence or fraud will be seen (but) people have been summoned for statements and others will be summoned.

It is at least good to see the Greeks are already in the mood of investigating this seriously.

Nanook friendica
Can't help but wonder if these are sparked by the same arsonists who started the Canadian wild fires this year and the California wildfires last or the year before?

On Salvation

The Holy Orthodox Church is the repository of the divinely revealed Truth in all its fullness and fidelity to apostolic Tradition. Hence, he who leaves the Church, who intentionally and consciously falls away from it, joins the ranks of its opponents and becomes a renegade as regards apostolic Tradition. The Church dreadfully anathematized such renegades, in accordance with the words of the Saviour Himself (Matt. 18:17) and of the Apostle Paul (Gal. 1:8-9), threatening them with e ternal damnation and calling them to return to the Orthodox fold. It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth...* They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation In His own way.

With reference to the above question, it is particularly instructive to recall the answer once given to an inquirer by the Blessed Theophan the Recluse. The blessed one replied more or less thus: "You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever."

We believe the foregoing answer by the saintly ascetic to be the best that can be given in this matter.

Treatment of the Holy Texts

Excellent observations here on how to handle the Holy Scriptures - note the necessity of always referring to the hermeneutical Christian tradition, and relying on what the Holy Fathers say about a text for its interpretation.

Psalm 137 Pt. 2

St. Maximos the Confessor interpreted the Psalm 137:9 lines as being about uprooting forbidden desires.

Every assent in thought to some forbidden desire, that is, every submission to self-indulgence, is a sin for a monk. For first the thought begins to darken the intellect through the passable aspect of the soul, and then the soul submits to the pleasure, not holding out in the fight. This is what is called assent, which - as has been said - is a sin. When assent persists it stimulates the passion in question. Then little by little it leads to the actual committing of the sin. This is why the prophet calls blessed those who dash the children of Babylon against the stones (cf Ps. 137: 9). People with understanding and discretion will know what is meant.

Bishop of Diokleia Kallistos; St. Makarios of Corinth. The Philokalia . Kindle Edition.

This entry was edited (2 months ago)

Psalm 137 Pt. 1

"We do not encounter only a violent God in the Book of Psalms, but also a
violent psalmist. In Psalm 137 the psalmist calls out “Blessed is the person who
will take and dash your infants against the rocks”. Chrysostom is clearly not
comfortable with curses and requests for revenge in the Book of Psalms. He
argues that these words did not come from the psalmist himself.15 He says that
the psalmist merely describes the feelings of the captives in exile! Chrysostom
then reminds his congregation that the New Testament teaches us differently:
namely that we should give food and drink to our enemies and that we should
even pray for those who abuse us (cf. Luke 6:28). By putting the pleas for
revenge in the mouths of the captives, rather than in the mouth of the psalmist,
Chrysostom argues that there is no conflict between the message of the Old and
the New Testament. It was customary for the ancient exegetes to always attempt
to harmonize the message of the Scriptures, since they believed that Scripture
interprets itself."

Interesting concerning St. John Chrysostom and Psalm 137.

감정적 테러 사건.

서울 관악구 신림동에서 행인을 상대로 무차별 흉기를 휘둘러 1명을 살해하고 3명을 다치게 한 조모(33)씨가 남들도 불행하게 만들고 싶었다고 경찰에 진술한 것으로 파악됐다.

22일 관악경찰서에 따르면 조씨는 경찰 조사에서 범행 동기에 대해 '나는 불행하게 사는데 남들도 불행하게 만들고 싶었고 분노에 가득 차 범행을 한 것'이라는 취지로 진술했다.

또 범행 장소로 신림역을 택한 이유에 대해선 '이전에 친구들과 술을 마시러 몇 번 방문한 적이 있어 사람이 많은 곳이라는 것을 알기에 정했다'는 식으로 진술했다고 경찰은 전했다.

I have some issues with certain sites, like US News and Newsmax, not having their links load properly into the box here, and then when I click "share," they just aren't even processed. Whole service begins to timeout.

I am wondering if there is some fix for that?

USA Today just using the buzzcut gender ambiguous powerbutch to advertise their tablet edition.

Also admire the hand size here.

America has become visibly more atrocious.

I was actually unaware that Alex Gleason, who is behind a lot of the Fediverse architecture (so it seems), was involved on the Truth social project.

Good for him.

It also seems quite natural for him to eventually leave.

Absolutely hilarious tactic.

Just Stop Oil's 'Beyond F***ed Banquet' was derailed today by counter-protestors, who set off alarms suspended in balloons.

The group - which this week clashed with JSO as they prepared to march on London - was revealed to be led by British YouTubers Josh Pieters and Archie Manners.

They shared today how they had send a mole 'undercover [...] for the past few weeks' to 'help stop Just Stop Oil' as public opposition to the group mounts.

Manners told MailOnline this evening: 'Climate Change is the greatest crisis facing our generation - but if we're going to solve it we need to work together.

'JSO's tactics over the last 18 months haven't worked; indeed people across the country are put off this vital cause as a result of their protesting.

'The people at JSO are well intended; but they're going about it the wrong way. Stopping mothers getting to hospital, or ruining people's day out at the snooker isn't doing anything to tackle climate change.'

Interesting to see that other environmentalists are ultimately behind this.

Sounds like he is ready to fully rebrand the website and to make radical changes - governing board be damned.

Elon Musk said on Sunday he was looking to change Twitter's logo, tweeting: "And soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds."

Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino then tweeted that artificial intelligence will power the company. She did not elaborate.

In a post on the site at 12:06 a.m. ET, the social media platform's billionaire owner added: "If a good enough X logo is posted tonight, we'll make (it) go live worldwide tomorrow."

I can't really have an opinion until it is all rolled out but I am not particularly attached to the bird, though birds do symbolize freedom, and I have no real idea what his X would symbolize.

Exploding Heads is currently down.

A real bummer. It has been down for quite some time.

Come back soon.

Sadly MTG's efforts, though, tend to fall flat.

It just makes people think that she is immature and makes it so the Hunter Biden talking points can get converted into bashing the right.

Sus Packages

This is fascinating.

“There are cases in which international sellers randomly send their products, or even empty packages pretending to hold products, to unspecified addresses in Korea for the purpose of inflating their export records as part of a scam,” said the Korea Customs Service in a statement on Sunday.

“Considering that the recent unidentified international packages were sent to Korea in a similar format, we are trying to identify if this was indeed intended as a scam.”

It may just be the case that they are part of milking a national tax policy or assistance policy that gives benefits to international shippers.

This is also funny.

The flurry of reports came after three people at a welfare center for people with disabilities in Ulsan received unidentified international packages on Thursday.

They were treated at hospitals after they reported symptoms of dizziness and shortness of breath after opening the parcels.

People thought they were being Anthraxed or something lol

문신 ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

아는 사람 이런 문신 스타일로 했는데 ... 엄청 창의적이라고 생각했지만... 지금 현아 봤는데 엄청 유명한 스타일 인데 크리에이티브라고 할 수 없겠죠 ㅋㅋㅋ

What's so silly about this is where he talks about how these judges are for sale...

Bro, SCOTUS is made up of ideologues on both sides...

And that's beautiful.

Larry Fink, BlackRock & Predatory Capitalism

Investment honcho Larry Fink is attracting outrage from conservatives for an old admission that his firm would "force behaviors" on diversity, equity, and inclusion standards amid pushback on companies setting similar goals.

"Behaviors are gonna have to change, and this is one thing we're asking companies. You have to force behaviors, and at BlackRock we are forcing behaviors," Fink said in a 2017 video interview with the New York Times.

BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset manager, with shares in companies like Amazon, Apple, MasterCard, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart ,and Walt Disney Co., bragged in the 2017 interview about adding "4 more points of diverse employment.”

"What we're doing internally is if you don't achieve these levels of impact, your compensation could be impacted," Fink said in the interview video.

"You have to force behaviors. If you don't force behaviors, whether it's gender or race or just any way you want to say the composition of your team, you're going to be impacted. That not just recruiting, it's development," Fink said. "We're gonna have to force change."

The video circulated on social media after resurfacing online, Fox News reported, with Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, tweeting on Monday that BlackRock is "destroying value and are engaged in illegal and immoral conduct."

"There are two schools of thought within the GOP on BlackRock. The old guard thinks they're creating value and need to be rewarded with tax cuts," the message stated. "I think they're destroying value and are engaged in illegal and immoral conduct. They need to be dealt with accordingly."

(Having some issues with the insertion of the link)

Across the country, over 200 micro-mobility fire or overheating incidents have been reported from 39 states, resulting in at least 19 fatalities, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. But the organization emphasized that the problem is particularly acute in densely populated areas like New York City. In London, lithium battery fires are the fastest-growing fire risk, with 57 e-bike fires and 13 e-scooter fires this year, according to the London Fire Brigade.

In New York, lithium battery fires have killed 13 people this year, including four people in a blaze that started in an e-bike store in Chinatown on Tuesday. A total of 23 people have died in battery fires since 2021. This year, there have been 108 fires, compared with 98 fires for the same period last year.

Nanook friendica
Doing their part to save the planet from a fictional climate catastrophe.

Lately, concerning the defederation of Exploding Heads in the fediverse and all that drama, I have felt rather burnt out on alt tech. It often feels like it is going nowhere fast.

It also makes you wonder if you are contributing to anything.

But sometimes all that really matters is the journey.

I've felt a little sidelined. A friend recently died of substance abuse related issues, and I have just felt a bit gutted on that front and putting more time toward my family.

요새 학폭 뉴스가 많이 나오고 있는데 친구랑 얘가하면 이 극단적인 학폭이야기 나왔는데...

가해자 아빠가 검찰 인데 가해자 이렇게도 얘기 했네:

이러한 피해를 진술하는 주변 학생들은 정씨의 언행에 대한 비판도 쏟아냈다. 한 목격자는 "원고가 평상시에 계속 아버지 자랑을 하며 '내 아빠 아는 사람이' 등을 언급하곤 한다"며 "'검사라는 직업은 다 뇌물을 받고 하는 직업이다. 내 아빠는 아는 사람이 많은데, 아는 사람이 많으면 다 좋은 일이 일어난다. 판사랑 친하면 재판에서 무조건 승소한다' 등의 발언을 했다"고 주장했다.

이야기 전체가 아주 흥미로워서 아래 링크 봐..

I try to not follow this drama too closely but I heard even normal political junkies talk about it.

This article was enough to catch me up.
It's a doozy.

Everyone predicted this - eventually they would be begging the police to come back.

No matter how woke you are, you eventually need safety. Nobody wants to live in chaos.

The major problem for blue cities is that they will never erase the tension that exists between the politicians and the police because the politicians will continue throwing cops under the bus so they do not have to take responsibility for the fact that 'law & order must exist' and their power base actually resenting this fact.

LOL, rich symbolism.
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