Governor’s Counsel Says End Is Nigh

How do we govern at the end of the world?

A couple weeks ago, Dale Bartscher of Family Heritage Alliance blogged about his disappointment with the state of our state. He painted a “bleak” picture of an America and a South Dakota with “marriage redefined, religious freedom in danger, gender confusion, and restrictions on free speech in the marketplace.” He said hope lies “not in any political party, but only in Jesus Christ” and in changing our nation “by transforming lives, one heart at a time.” I take heart in the possibility that those words mean FHA will stop endorsing Republicans, disband its political action committee, and focus on happy prayer meetings.

My Spearfish neighbor Bill Nachatilo responded to Bartscher’s post with this comment focusing on the discouragement he apparently felt over the failure of House Bill 1008, the anti-transgender potty bill:

Dale, I thank God for FHA and your service to God and your fellow man. I continue to follow the local, state and federal governmental actions. I must admit it does get discouraging at times. I called Jim Seward, an old friend in the Governor’s administration. I know Jim is a Godly, man expressed my disappointment with the Governor especially with the gender issue. Jim’s comment was, “Bill, you know as well as I do that we are in the last days. Be prepared for these disappointments.” Dale, continue to labor in the vineyards for what is right. Our God will reward you [Bill Nachatilo, comment, Family Heritage Alliance, 2016.04.01].

Jim Seward, sure he's soon to be out of a job, along with everyone else.
Jim Seward, sure he’s soon to be out of a job, along with everyone else.

We are in the last days. Be prepared for these disappointments. Those words, says Nachatilo, come from Jim Seward, Governor Dennis Daugaard’s general counsel. Hmm… is that why the Governor said 2014 was his last campaign?

Maybe we have a baseball-political story—”Cabinet Member Calls Governor’s Veto ‘Disappointment'”—but we have to dig through first the accuracy of Nachatilo’s quote marks and then the scope of Seward’s use of the word disappointment—if Nachatilo quotes correctly, Seward didn’t say he himself is disappointed; he just told Nachatilo to be prepared for disappointment.

Since it’s the weekend, I’m more interested in the theo-political story. If we take Nachatilo’s quote at face value, we have a cabinet member, a close advisor to our Governor, who believes the end is nigh and that earthly existence is all downhill from here.

How does such belief affect the advice a lawyer would give his client? If these are the last days, is there any need to urge a client to plead guilty for a lesser sentence? If Divine Judgment comes tomorrow, should counsel and accused exert themselves to win any more lenient judgment from earthly powers?

How does a belief that some rough beast lurches toward Bethlehem affect the advice a cabinet official gives his Governor? If a law passed by the Legislature is likely to drag the state into court, does an End-Timey attorney say, “Go ahead, sign it—the Four Horsemen will ride before this case can make it to Chief Justice Clinton”?

How does apocalyptic eschatology inform any high official’s approach to public policy? If humanity is so corrupt that a supernatural creator must reformat the cosmic hard drive, what purpose is there in storing up more bad decisions, more counter-productive policies, more institutions and investments bound to fail?

With Jesus coming any day now, do we helplessly shrug at our neighbors and their disappointments and point expectantly toward the heavens?

And if some of us don’t believe in the End Times, or at least think the End Times are a much quieter and far more distant affair (billions of years from now, cosmic heat death), or if we profess no idea of if or when there is an end, do we let the guy who thinks we’re at the end of the road take the wheel?

How do we govern at the end of the world?

57 Responses to Governor’s Counsel Says End Is Nigh

  1. America’s best days are ahead of us. I will leave off the point about who will be in the White House then.

  2. Could behave meant the end of the Daugard term? Now free to be reasonable

  3. Darin Larson

    I consider myself to be a follower and advocate for Jesus Christ. I find it astounding that Family Heritage Alliance considers itself an advocate for Jesus with the positions that it takes. I don’t think Jesus would be in favor of their position at all. Since when did Jesus stand for intolerance and discrimination? Since when did Jesus advocate throwing stones at other sinners? The tenor of the FHA arguments are filled with hate. That is no way to spread the Gospel!

    Matthew 7:1-5
    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

  4. mike from iowa

    None of these guys appear concerned that wingnuts have committed numerous crimes and have broken just about every commandment you care to bring up. No appearance of worry about their friends,just the people whose lives they want to dictate.

    As the song says, if god was here he’d tell you to your face, man you’re some kind of sinner. (Signs from the 5Man Electrical Band featuring Les Emerson)

  5. Darin Larson

    And how is it that “Godly men” view the “gender issue” as some calling by God to discriminate against transgender kids. What does God have to do with the issue? How is this issue a religious issue? The only connection I see is John 13:34-35:

    34″A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35″By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

  6. mike from iowa

    Try to pin him down on the last day. I’m gonna need at least 120 days for my Grandson’s melons. I’d hate to think we wasted all those spuds and onions we just planted.

  7. Roger Cornelius

    Agreed mfi, as stewards of state government these guys have an obligation of exactly when this end is coming.
    I need time to pack what I’m taking with me and whether or not I need to concern myself with the general election.
    Over the years I’ve been around, these doomsday Christians have called for the end of the world every time there is a productive social or legal change in our country.
    A quick look back and you will find that the end of the world was coming when:
    Slavery ended
    Jim Crow ended
    Voting rights enacted
    Civil Right Laws enacted

    Or just fill in the _____________!

  8. Darin Larson

    “It’s the end of the world as we know it!”

  9. Malarkey from hateful bigots ‘giving bigotry sanction’ and more interested in hating their neighbor than loving their neighbor; who wouldn’t apparently know how to treat others as they would want to be treated. And they obviously do not know the first things about the founding fathers or their stringent crafting that the nation was not founded on any religion, but rather on the freedom of the “liberty of conscience” and “the inherent natural rights of man”.

    “The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation,” wrote Washington. “All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens.” George Washington in a letter to Touro Synagogue (1790)

    “The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole cartloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.” John Adams

  10. As long as there have been times there have been men predicting the end of times. Whatever.

    Still I’m interested in his take on who the Antichrist is. Some have said it’s President Obama, but he’s almost out the door now. Must it be a Democrat, since Democrats are doing all these things that make the Family Heritage Alliance fret so much? Must be a Democrat because if it were Putin or someone from ISIS then Dems and GOPs would all be on the same side, no? And FHA’s theory about who brought about the return of Jesus would be all wrong. Imagine that – Dems and GOPs raptured together! Whatever the case may be there will always be charlatans ready and willing to take advantage of true believers, so lock up your daughters as they wait for the rapture, FHA:

  11. Ror, let me channel Mike’s note about the lack of concern for corruption from our wingnut friends and play some Johnny Cash:

    “Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
    Workin’ in the dark against your fellow man
    But as sure as God made black and white
    What’s down in the dark will be brought to the light”

    Fallen man, fallen world, all to be cut down…

    …again, what sort of policymaking and governance does that theology inform?

  12. The end these doomsayers are likely to meet are indictments and defeat at the polls.

  13. [Dale Bartscher] said hope lies “not in any political party, but only in Jesus Christ” and in changing our nation “by transforming lives, one heart at a time.”

    Yes, that’s what I’ve been saying. Jesus never went to Pilate asking for laws to be passed. He worked on hearts and minds. Instead of having government ban abortion, which would never work, they should be changing hearts and convincing people not to have them. Instead of having government ban same sex marriage, they should be convincing same sex couples to change their naughty, naughty ways. Instead of using government to keep Muslim women and children war victims away they should wait till they get here and send the Jehovas over to their homes to drop lit on them till they move back voluntarily.

    I know how much fun the holy rollers have punching people they don’t like in the face, or getting government to do it for them – all in Jesus’ name. I can imagine how self-righteous holy rollers must feel claiming their own freedom is restricted when government extends protections not to their holy-rolling fists but instead to the victims of holy-rolling fists. But when they as individuals grow weary of using Jesus as a sword, they may just find Jesus waiting to transform their lives, one heart at a time.

  14. Darin Larson

    Cory, to answer your last question: I would say national spending like there is no tomorrow, wars in the Middle East, plagues like the Zika virus and Ebola, a megalomaniac running for President, preppers buying up all the guns and ammunition they can get their hands on, earthquakes ravaging the world (Fukishima), “dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!”

    I am kind of thinking Seward is right! :)

  15. Darin Larson

    Oh, I forgot, why worry about climate change if we are all goners anyway? Now the climate change deniers make more sense, huh!

  16. Donald Pay

    Certain Christian sects make up stuff to justify and whip up their hate. They justify hate based on a lot of the non-Jesus parts of the Bible, ignoring what Jesus said and did. “End Times” is just one in a long list of reasons why Christians lose touch with reality, humanity and Jesus. Using religion, or religious tracts, to justify hate has a long, long history, unfortunately. Whether Muslim extremists or Christian End Timers, there will be something in their religious teachings to hang hate off of. Belief in one or another “End Time” scenarios is a common theme in various religions stretching back to pre-history. ISIS is one such modern apocalyptic sect. I’m not saying these South Dakota folk are as violent as ISIS, at least not at this point. But give them enough authority, and they will become so. Why people believe in this is a mystery to me, given how many times over millennia, every one of these End Time ideas has been shown to be nonsense. I guess it gives a certain immediacy to fears, and allows the certain leaders to herd the “sheep” to atrocities.

  17. mike from iowa

    Unlike a stopped clock, end timers will only be right once—–maybe.

  18. Steve Hickey

    Relax everyone. Jesus himself said we are living in the last days. Christians see the state of the world and the upending of traditional morality and our eschatology is part of what explains it for us. We aren’t happy about it – as salt and light we try to stop the rot and point to a way that leads to life. We believe Jesus is the hope of the world, not politics. We believe we are accountable to make sure the world doesn’t go to hell on our watch. Hollywood sure thinks we are in the last days judging but the cataclysmic movies they put out. And the greatest purveyors of the World is Ending Soon ideology are your friends in the climate change business. Give Jim some slack. He’s talking to a Christian in language that is common in Christian circles. Speaking of the denial of reality, against all that is self-evident, the evolutionist thinks things started a chaotic mess and are slowly getting better – just add a million years to every problem and it’ll fix itself. Meanwhile the world is a mean place, only the fit survive. The Christian has the opposite worldview, based in the reality of the state of the world, that says things started perfect and got worse and one day we’ll really make of mess of it all and good thing God loves us so much because we really need a Saviour.

  19. bearcreekbat

    Maybe there is a lesson to be learned from the teachings of the late Pastor Harold Camping:

  20. Mark, our winning a majority in Pierre this fall would probably feel like the End Times to a fair chunk of the SDGOP faithful.

    Steve, I don’t think it’s accurate to say that Hollywood believes we are in the last days any more than it is to say that Hollywood believes in zombies. They simply know a good story when they see it.

    It’s also inaccurate to say that evolutionists think life starts in chaos and then progresses to better forms. Brontosauri and Neanderthals would certainly disagree with the narrow perspective that mice and homo sapiens are somehow superior creatures. Evolution selects for creatures who are able to adapt and survive. Evolution’s victors are neither perfect or better than every past creature; they just manage a higher success rate at living long enough to propagate their DNA.

    That may sound mean (as in low, coarse, base, in the mud), but Seward’s “last days” comment seems the other kind of mean (as in cruel, harsh, discouraging). Evolution posits no direction but says life can adapt and survive. End-Times thinking says there is no earthly hope; we will decline and fall, and every earthly thing we do will end in nothing, so why bother? Evolution doesn’t mind if we try; End-Timers laugh at us for trying.

    Climate change science certainly envisions the possibility that the world could change drastically, if not become uninhabitable. But it is not an ideology or a religion, and it is certainly not the same kind of “Last Days” philosophy that Seward espoused to Nachatilo (whether out of genuine belief or just in aping language that his Christian friends can understand we can only speculate… and does it say anything that I’m willing to take those Christian words from a Republican at face value, while Pastor Hickey is the one who introduces the doubt and suggests Seward’s statement is not what it is?). Climate change science is like geology in the Oklahoma and Texas fracking fields: We see that as fracking has increased, so have earthquakes. We get pretty strong indications that human activity is rendering the area less safe to live in. We thus consider policies and practices that would reduce the risk that our activity appears to be creating. That’s not ideology. That’s not invocation of some impending supernatural doom. It’s science: are we changing the earth in harmful ways, and if so, what can we do to stop those harmful changes?

    Ah, maybe there is some ideology here. Scientists believe we can make a difference. They see us breaking things (each other, ecosystems, the entire planet) and they think, “Maybe we can fix this.” Jim Seward’s words suggest Nachatilo and his friends should accept “disappointments” as inevitable and take solace in the knowledge that it will will all soon be over.

    As I get older, I can feel the faint pressure of my own inevitable demise. I know I will be over someday, so I can occasionally sense the absurdity of accumulating lots of bicycles, arranging things just the way I want them, writing thousands of blog posts that will all eventually just be someone else’s clutter. I’d feel a similar absurdity if I were doing all these ant-like things in the face of an angry God who’s coming tomorrow to wipe the slate clean, elevate a few believers, and mash the rest of us back into dust. My end is my end no matter who or what does it—old age, cancer, EB-5 hit men, Jesus, or asteroids. But an end that takes out me and everyone else who could carry on humanity creates profoundly different philosophical questions. For me the secularist to consider my certainly finite time on Earth and conclude, “Why bother?” is supremely selfish and unsustainable. To believe that everything is going to end, that no one will be left to experience the consequences of my work (houses built, stories written, education shared, policies enacted) takes away nearly every conceivable response I can offer to “Why bother?”

    But here’s one more important difference: empirical evidence tells me that I, like every human being and every known organism before me, will die. It makes sense to act on the basis of that empirical deduction. Empirical evidence also tells me that every Harold Camping who has said we are in the last days has been wrong… or at least has not been clear in his or her use of the word last. Prophets keep having their last days, but the world keeps having one more day. I don’t think that’s inevitable—we could have a nuclear war or plague or asteroid strike or cosmic ray burst that could put an end to not just human life but to all life on this planet—but it hasn’t happened yet, and we can find ways to protect ourselves from every one of those potential catastrophes. And there is no evidence that a supernatural force has ever caused a “last day”.

    So what is the practical point of any policymaker saying we are in the last days?

  21. (On the end of the world and what remains: read George R. Stewart, Earth Abides, 1949.)

  22. happy camper

    It just shows you can’t check your brain at the door for any ideology. An unchecked belief in the Bible, Quran, Liberalism, doesn’t matter will go off the cliff. Tolerance sounds great but taken too far it’s the opposite. I’ve been enjoying the videos on Regressive Leftism because they show you can’t give yourself over to anything. A lot of people want to find and believe in a rule book of some sort, more so than thinking.

  23. I say that if these people really believe the “end is Nigh”, they must go find the highest mountain top in Montana and wait there for God to come pick them up. Leave the governing to the rest of the “sane” responsible people of South Dakota to make this a better place to be. If we really want to make this state the great place to be then I would recommend all the Republicans and corporate democrats leave the state immediately and move to Mississippi or that mountain in Montana. Thank you and have a nice trip.

  24. mike from iowa

    We believe we are accountable to make sure the world doesn’t go to hell on our watch.

    Hickey-go say that in dumbass dubya and Dickless Cheney’s faces. ZERO accountability from these thugs for damages to America and the world.

  25. mike from iowa

    So what is the practical point of any policymaker saying we are in the last days?

    I’m guessing there is a money making scheme involved in this. And I’m thinking it is less than legal and stinks to high heaven.

  26. I got my face in the furnace, I got my snake in a sleeve
    God’s drowned in a bowl of cereal, I have to ask you to leave

  27. happy camper

    People are just afraid. Look at how they have blind faith in doctors and other authority figures. Extremism is the problem, but even as nice as “moderation in all things” sounds it needs individual evaluation. Lucky are those people with compelling interests if they’re not overly conflicting with responsibilities, or they become a vocation. Gear heads run the best bike shops.

  28. These people and the others like them are dead serious about what they are saying and will most likely do everything in their power to make these extreme statements become reality. That is the part that worries me. I do not care what any person believes as long as they do not attempt to make me believe them or force those beliefs on others. We have had more than our share of this kind of voodoo snake oil sales kind of crap in this state for long enough. For the life of me, I just don’t understand why South Dakotans constantly vote against their own best interests. Citizens in this state are like bugs to the fire when it comes to electing these political criminals to represent us and give our hard earned tax dollars to the corporate crooks and other thieves in this state and make outlandish laws that Hitler himself would believe had gone too far. What will it take for the people of this state to understand how screwed they have been, are now, and will be in the future if we do not remove these snakes from our state???

  29. mike from iowa

    Grudz-no offense- but shouldn’t you have your head in the oven with the gas turned on? Microwave won’t work with the door open and gassing yourself in an electric oven is just plain silly.

  30. Porter Lansing

    Excellent dissertation, Mr. Heidelberger. We are no more facing the “end times” than Obama is coming for your guns. It’s a shield used to deflect the personal hate they can’t control within themselves. End timers trying to hijack Christianity for their own political agenda are the devils spoke of in the Bible. Those who claim to be preachers who stray into elected politics are illegitimate and selfish bigots lying their way into leadership by fear. Beware the zealot who puts themselves above the words of Jesus.

  31. Darrell Reifenrath

    So sick of this end times nonsense. Do they realize this “revelation” story was written probably 200 AD by a guy named “John (Doe?)” who seems to be suffering from the end stages of venereal disease?

  32. Zealots and other religious or sanctimonious types all deserve to be smited at the voting booth. This goes for preachers and overgodders, both.

  33. Jamie Jones

    The transgender bathroom bill is so insignificant as far as relating to the end times. Colonialism, The destruction of our environment, global warming, the plastic gyres, the Wall Street bail outs, the 1% hiding their money in tax havens, Flint MI water crisis and other events like this are what is bringing the end times closer. Will there be a day when we can unite, despite our differences, to save ourselves? Or are here on earth to argue about futile matters and praise the lord so we get a ticket to heaven?

  34. Douglas Wiken

    Sounds like the governor has an office full of pet coons.

  35. To all the end of timers, please send me all your stuff preferably, cash and valuable items or you can tell me your addresses and I will gladly come and take them off your hands. A public service announcement from jerry.

  36. Porter Lansing

    Good one , Jerry. As Jesus said and Cory explained, the end times are coming but it’s individually, first. That timing we’re sure of. The separation of the worthy from the chattel probably won’t be soon. But evangelical scoundrels are collecting fortunes preaching on it’s immediacy. As some here said, way too much unearned respect is given to preachers, cops and politicians without proper scrutiny.

  37. Donal, does any believer get holy bonus points for hastening the last day? Is it even possible to hasten an end that is foreordained?

  38. bearcreekbat

    That is an interesting comment at 2016-04-17 at 07:53 Cory! I enjoy your philosophical ramblings – Thanks! End times will most certainly come, the only questions are when and how.

    Bible end-timers tie the end of humanity to the return of Jesus who, according to Revelation’s John the Apostle, will slaughter the unrepentant and all of their children (Revelations 2:22-23). Our old friend Pastor Deb posited a different symbolic meaning for Revelations, yet Biblical end-timers apparently read it literally.

    Scientists posit that all life will end on Earth in an estimated 1 to 2 billion years due to changes in the sun that will cause Earth temperature to rise until the oceans boil away. Then in another 3 or 4 billion years “the Sun will run out of hydrogen in its core and become over a hundred times as large and luminous as it is today, entering its red giant phase. At this point, it will roast the Earth with wave after wave of ionized plasma, stripping off our entire atmosphere and possibly engulfing our entire world into the central star itself.”

    But neither a Biblical end nor a scientific end seem a sufficient basis for despair or to justify bad policy decisions that cause damage to Earth or humans before the end times actually arrive. Indeed, as both Bible believers and rationalists know there was a time when the Earth did not exist and humans did not exist. The only argument about our origins again is how and when did the Earth and humanity come into existence.

    Since no one seems to have any despair over the fact that at one point in time there was no Earth and no humanity, it seems irrational and illogical to worry that such a circumstance will indeed come to pass in the future. After all, we don’t seem to mind the fact that each of us as an individual did not exist prior to our birth, so not being alive or existing must not have been such a terrible state before we were born and will not be a terrible state after we die.

    The present is here and now for all of us to enjoy and relish. Humanity is here and now for all of us to focus on each other’s safety, comfort and happiness. In that sense we really should try to make decisions and adopt public policies that make the here and now better for everyone, including cleaning up our environment so the humans who come after us will have a safe and decent planet until the end really does come.

  39. Porter Lansing

    ‘Ya know what’s sad. Imagine a misguided evangelical end timer (and there must have been hundreds in this position) who predicted the immediacy of the end event her or his whole life and they’re say 90 and they realize they were probably wrong. Do they spend their last precious years forlorn that they may have wrongly caused people to change their course preparing for something that was just a wrong prediction. Or do they act like Republicans who make wrong political predictions, continually (when IS Obama coming for my guns? etc.) yet never admit their ignorance and keep on making unfounded, unwarranted and totally unsubstantiated predictions as long as the fools will believe them? Sad …

  40. John Wrede

    I have a great deal of difficulty with Mr. Hickey’s commentary! As a Christian I don’t hold myself out to be a prophet of doom and gloom simply because of Matthew 24: 3-36. I tire easily of those religious protagonists that fit this identity;
    2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV
    But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

    It would seem appropriate to point out the belief that these folks who “having the appearance of godliness” rely heavily on the above verse as evidence of the end times. Apparently, what is not so obvious to these folks is that such behaviors are nothing new throughout written history and in fact, are self definitions. It wasn’t the secular world that promulgated these identities but those leaders within the church that witnessed such deceit within it’s own body!

    These verses beg the question: If Paul (who wrote the book of Timothy) understood these characteristics in people, is it not fair and honest to think that people with these constitutions and behaviors existed during biblical times and since and therefore the end times began immediately after the Cross………. There is no directive in the bible that lays guilt at the feet of Christians who believe themselves to be accountable to make sure the world doesn’t go to hell on their watch. That is self depreciation and something the bible declares to be a lack of faith.

    Matthew 24:36 ESV
    “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. ”

    Reiterated in Mark 13:32. Any contemporary Christian who predicts the end times avoids these direct statements. They concentrate on everyone else’s sinful nature and in so doing, fail to prepare themselves, as instructed, for the inevitable and unwaivering will of god as detailed in Daniel as well as Revelation.

    Mr. Hickey……. are you not the one that declared Annette Bosworth a “Bad Christian”. I’d like to know the difference between a “good Christian” and a “bad Christian” and whether or not there is superiority one from another/ and to the yet unsaved…..

    Read the book “Pagan Christianity”……….. it explains a lot about the wide and gentle path a lot of Christians walk these days…………

  41. Roger Cornelius

    Wouldn’t what Jesus has to say be considered hearsay evidence and therefore unbelievable?

    The governor needs to convene the legislature and pass a law ordering God to end the world until republicans have gained more riches.

  42. Porter Lansing

    Outstanding, John Wrede. Masterful prose, sir.

  43. Now how often do commenters at DWC get praise for “masterful prose”? Indeed, well put, John Wrede… and fascinating to think that the talk of the End Times is really internally directed at other Christians, warning them not to get all high and mighty but to focus on their own failings rather than railing against others for impiety and claiming special knowledge of the End Times.

    I will contend with one bit of Wrede’s prose. He is correct that Rev. Hickey questioned Annette Bosworth’s Christian bona fides. I question those bona fides as well… and since I’m not a Christian, I can get by with it, right? :-D

  44. Roger, did you mean to have a “not” in that statute? :-)

  45. Porter Lansing

    German culture isn’t big on praise or positive reinforcement much. It stems from being overly competitive. That overcompetitiveness is the root of bias toward minorities and the poor, also. Somehow those of convoluted values see life as a greasy telephone pole where you have to push down and claw up and over the underprivileged ruthlessly. That’s how they keep score not by how well the group is doing which is how we progressives keep score. It’s twisted Republican selfishness.
    – It wasn’t too hard to get a valid impression of Ms. Bosworth. Especially the week was famous on FoxNews. But maybe she does believe she’s been chosen, which is great … until you start putting crooked fund raising in the same sales pitch.

  46. Have you gone insaner than most, Mr. Lansing?

  47. Porter Lansing

    You say that a lot. Gruds. Especially when I nail down the truth about you and your ilk. Kinda like the twisting motion of a dagger in the mid-section, huh? How do you keep score? Hmmm? #grins

  48. Roger Cornelius

    Forgot the ‘not’ in that sentence.

  49. the thin line between hearsay and heresy. love it.

    mfi: u funi. “My sister got lucky, married a yuppie
    Took him for all he was worth…
    Now he’s got nothin’, head in the oven
    I can’t decide which is worse.” lynn/petty

  50. Seward may just be reflecting the demise of the GOP.

    [Even before], Republicans faced an uphill battle to maintain their majority, and the Supreme Court fight “only exacerbated that,” Harry Reid said.

    Republicans are defending 24 seats in the November election, including a handful of tough fights in states previously won by Obama.

    Democrats will need to net four seats to regain control of the upper chamber if they also retain the White House. They’ll need five to take back the majority outright.


  52. John Wrede

    CH: My point with the Bosworth commentary precisely avoided any question about anyone’s Christian qualification because there is no such thing….. If one declares himself Christian, he does not develop immunity from immorality and lawlessness. Good grief, I’m pretty well acquainted with a prison inmate, convicted and sentenced to life for a murder he readily admits he committed, that has demonstrated greater faith, spiritual grounding and leadership than either Hickey or Bosworth. My denomination supports a project in the women’s prison here that enables female prisoners to lead worship services and provide counseling and support for inmates that would not otherwise be available in the system.
    When religion reaches the point where individual spiritual belief and behavior are classified into degrees by the clergy, it is clear that hypocrisy and ignorance of biblical truth have come home to roost on the religious leadership. I too questioned Bosworth’s behavior and actions but I and many others like me equated those actions; not with Christian morals or values but with human error and it makes no difference if such errors are intentional or not. We are all susceptible to error and we have a system in place to deal with that. Christianity has no such system in place (the Jewish Sanhedrin did) to mete out punitive commentary and ostracize individuals from the piety of the church. I could go on but you get my point. All Hickey’s commentary and political posturing does is drive people away from faith and hope. That is not what the church is for. We’ve got a whole bunch of people in the legislature and elsewhere that believe they are doing god’s work when in fact, they are accomplishing the exact opposite. I speak from a position of introspective familiarity.

  53. Donald Pay

    I have been slogging through John Dominic Crossan’s “The Historical Jesus.” It’s a tome of scholarship, highly footnoted and not an easy read. He analyzes Biblical and non-Biblical sources to place Jesus in his historical setting. I’ve read a number of these sort of books, and Crossan’s is the best, in my opinion. Crossan seems rather dubious that Jesus really uttered much, if any, of the words or had many of the sentiments of the apocalyptic parts of the Gospel’s. Certainly, John the Baptist preached an apocalyptic message, but ultimately Jesus would reject it, and propose a different, more radical, non-apocalyptic way to affect social change.

    Crossan takes apart Matthew 24, and other apocalyptic versus, and finds them to be less the thoughts of Jesus, than those of the people who wrote in a period 40 to 100 years after Jesus lived, a period of time following the destruction of the Temple and the beginning of the rejection of the Christian message by many Jews. Wondering about what this all meant, some early Christians combed Jewish sources like Daniel and Zachariah, finding “prophesies” that might be convincing to Jews. Then they manufactured a new story in their own writings about Jesus. Some of these writings were then incorporated in some of the Gospels, ie., Matthew 24.

    Some people might find Crossan’s analysis undermines faith and the inerrancy of the Bible, but, really, we see the process alive and well today in people like Seward. There is no reason to think the folks that lived in the century after Jesus were any less imperfect than we are. They were trying to figure shit out, and, sometimes, they just made it up for political or other reasons that made sense in their time and place. Later, their writings made it into the Bible, and someone would declare it to be the word of God. Whatever you think it is, it made it harder to figure out what Jesus really thought and did, but that’s why we have scholars like Crossan.

  54. Mr. Pay. Jesus probably didn’t utter much at all. I suspect he either was a very quiet fellow who led by his actions, or he shouted really loudly to an almost inhuman level of noise. Today, that noise is spread among many of the overgodders none of whom can reach that level but all who try. I is very hard to know what Jesus really thought, or even what Winnie the Poo really thought, but that’s why we have fellow’s like Mr. Howie. He can tell us exactly what Jesus and Poo thought.

  55. Time to face the facts. Prince Reebus and his crew have been pandering to the crazy, the ignorant, the racist, the homophobic, the mysoginistic, the xenophobic, the islamaphobic, the ammosexual. The GOP party has flat out cornered the market on wackadoodles. If there’s any doubt just look at any collection of Donald Trump supporters. Or closer to home – Lora Hubbel. Ain’t nowhere near the pathology in the Democratic Party as there is in the GOP party.

    So how does such a party keep its crazies in line when they get themselves whipped into a frenzy about the business as usual behavior of the mainstream GOP corporatists? Why of course you have to speak the language of the crazies. If all it takes to calm down a religious nutter is to say, “Bill, you know as well as I do that we are in the last days. Be prepared for these disappointments.” then that’s what you say. And they will repeat the statement to their like-minded friends like they’re passing out valium. Problem solved. There’s a similar prescription to deal with every wackadoo malady. Problem is the collective GOP party cuckoo’s nest is building immunity to Nurse Ratched’s medicine. The “last days” are gonna occur at the GOP party convention. Jim Seward is right.