Friday, February 06, 2015

NEXT WEEK: PINOCHET WAS NO ANGEL BUT AT LEAST HE WASN'T A SOCIALIST.

There's plenty of argh-blargh over Obama mentioning the Crusades and the Inquisition at the National Prayer Breakfast, on the apparent grounds that Christians aren't like that any more, whereas all Muslims are ISIS sleeper agents waiting for the word of the Prophet to leap out of their taxicabs and convenience stores and do jihad. (Also Obama mixed in slavery and Jim Crow, and that was totally the Democrats!)

Most of the brethren are content with ordinary, meretricious bullshit ("Obama uses National Prayer Breakfast to compare Christianity to ISIS," lies Some Guy at RedState); but making everything worse as usual is Jonah Goldberg, who has a long history of defending the viciousness of the Church (particularly toward Galileo, which Goldberg describes as a sort of innocent misunderstanding among friends) and, roused by an Obama news hook, stumbles onstage with his Inquisition Was Not So Bad crib notes:
As for the Inquisition, it needs to be clarified that there was no single “Inquisition,” but many. And most were not particularly nefarious. For centuries, whenever the Catholic Church launched an inquiry or investigation, it mounted an “inquisition,” which means pretty much the same thing.
It's like when your friend says that boring lecture was "torture" -- just a figure of speech! Yet libtards get mad when you subject a Gitmo detainee to the equivalent of a boring speech.
I cannot defend everything done under the various Inquisitions — especially in Spain — because some of it was indefensible. But there’s a very important point to make here that transcends the scoring of easy, albeit deserved, points against Obama’s approach to Islamic extremism (which he will not call Islamic): Christianity, even in its most terrible days, even under the most corrupt popes, even during the most unjustifiable wars, was indisputably a force for the improvement of man.
Hitler has a bad rap but if only you'd seen him with his dogs, etc. The thing you have to remember about this yap is, it's not meant to convince normal people, who will be giving it that Springtime for Hitler stare, but to soothe whatever vestigial sense of shame is left among the true believers. (Goldberg even brings up Martin Luther King to defend Christianity, which for conservatives is definitely like knocking down chairs behind you when you're on the run from the cops.)

Goldberg also says that Inquisition stuff was a long time ago, but take a look at Goldberg himself and all the freaks and monsters with whom he associates; you just know that if the coast were clear, if the effects of the Enlightenment (including the founding of this Republic) were completely dead and faded, they'd be burning and beheading to beat the band.

UPDATE. I am grateful for the reminder from Chauncey DeVega at Alternet that, regarding the Big Long Time Ago objection to speaking ill of the godly, some horrific lynchings of black men were performed within living memory. Klansmen didn't burn giant question marks on people's lawns, y'know, and Bizarro Jesus is often an honored guest at outbreaks of American mayhem.

UPDATE 2. Erick Erickson has spoken:
Barack Obama is not, in any meaningful way, a Christian and I am not sure he needs to continue the charade. With no more elections for him, he might as well come out as the atheist/agnostic that he is.
He's got a point. There's no evidence that Obama beats his children, fucks his cousin, goes out of his way to make other people miserable, seethes with hate at the unfair advantages enjoyed by the poor, or many of the other traditional hallmarks of Christendom. Being a politician, though, he does lie habitually, so maybe he can be redeemed.

270 comments:

  1. but take a look at Goldberg himself and all the freaks and monsters with whom he associates

    Y'all Qaeda, as tengrain refers to them.

    http://mockpaperscissors.com/category/yall-qaeda/
    ~

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  2. J Neo Marvin10:02 AM

    As for the Inquisition, it needs to be clarified that there was no
    single “Inquisition,” but many. And most were not particularly
    nefarious. For centuries, whenever the Catholic Church launched an
    inquiry or investigation, it mounted an “inquisition,” which means
    pretty much the same thing.


    Sort of like the word "jihad", then.

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  3. Brother Yam10:03 AM

    Let's just get this out of the way early -- The Brethren don't hate the Muslim extremists, they're jealous.

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  4. Christianity, even in its most terrible days, even under the most
    corrupt popes, even during the most unjustifiable wars, was indisputably
    a force for the improvement of man.Indisputably? Indisputably? That's not simply begging the question, that's throwing a tantrum at the question because begging wasn't workin.

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  5. susanoftexas10:15 AM

    From The Tyranny Of Cliches:

    This myth, like many others discussed later in this book, stems from the biases of Protestant historians in the nineteenth century, who were eager to paint the Catholic Church as a giant wet blanket on scientific and human progress (see Chapter 21, The Catholic Church). Hence the myth that the Church tortured and imprisoned Galileo for his confirmation of Copernicus’s findings. There’s a legitimate question of whether he was in a jail cell for three days—or not at all. But he certainly wasn’t tortured. More important, the people who most ardently clamored for the Church to silence and punish Galileo were his jealous, lesser, scientific colleagues, not the theologians. When Galileo’s heretical Starry Messenger was released, the Vatican threw a huge book party for him.
    Goldberg must find his life incredibly tedious. A guy who wants nothing more than to put in his hours doing as little as possible before he goes home to watch tv, pet the dog and yell for Consuela the cook/maid/babysitter to bring him his beer. But no, he's the Son Of Lucianne and that means he must aspire to Greatness. He has to read books and write books and pretend he actually can discuss the books. It's hell on earth. So what if he peddles the same crap over and over? It's not like he cares.
    "Threw a book party for him." Awesome.

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  6. Helmut Monotreme10:16 AM

    Christianity, even in its most terrible days, even under the most corrupt popes, even during the most unjustifiable wars, was indisputably a force for the improvement of man.
    Oh sure, for values of "man" that don't include: Women, Gnostics, Cathars Albigensians, Manicheans, assorted other 'heretics', Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans, the indigenous populations of North and South America, Australia, Africa, New Zealand, and Polynesia. And that doesn't even count the multitude of other christians that christians have slaughtered for doctrinal reasons.
    Bonus Martin Luther:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_and_antisemitism

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  7. Gromet10:17 AM

    Christianity, even in its most terrible days, even under the most corrupt popes, even during the most unjustifiable wars, was indisputably a force for the improvement of man."

    I don't think the word "indisputably" means what he thinks it means.

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  8. Goldberg even brings up Martin Luther King to defend Christianity, which
    for conservatives is definitely like knocking down chairs burning crosses behind you
    when you're on the run from the cops.I mean, come on, Jonah is employed by National Review.

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  9. Martin Pollard10:21 AM

    For those of you who don't have the time to absorb all of Doughy Loadpants' verbal diarrhea, I can sum it all up in one short sentence: Farrrrrrrrrt!!!

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  10. Bonus Martin Luther:Fortunately, at the time Jews were still welcome in Ottoman lands, where they could prosper largely free from the widespread Christian persecution that was indisputably for their own improvement.

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  11. Gromet10:32 AM

    As for the Inquisition, it needs to be clarified that there was no single “Inquisition,” but many. And most were not particularly nefarious

    Similarly, you'd have to be some pathological Debbie Downer even to mention Native American genocide, slavery, or the George W Bush institutionalization of torture when discussing US history. Why, when you think of all the good things America has done, it's like the bad stuff never happened at all!

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  12. That perfidious Obama. Suggesting that it might be #NotAllMuslims, because most religions can have practioners who are jerks. Why, he's practically forcing the Talibornagain contingent to prove him right again.

    It was worse than that, though, according to the fundigelicals. He also dared to suggest "humility" in our attempts to understand the will of God, and he quoted from 1 Corinthians and Micah to support it. The nerve. Fortunately, they can fall back on noting that the devil can quote Scripture for his own ends, thereby safely reinforcing their own deranged cherrypicking.

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  13. glennisw10:46 AM

    some of it was indefensible



    History's most unfortunate understatement.

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  14. Brother Yam10:51 AM

    All your examples were hand-waved away by the phrase, "even during the most unjustifiable wars."



    No backsies, so keep up, Libtard...

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  15. Steve-O11:01 AM

    Anti-abortion violence is mostly performed by who now in the name of what now? I'll just assume he's under a deadline, late for something, and can't wade too deeply into this. In conclusion, fart.

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  16. Before the publication of Sidereus Nuncius, the Church accepted the Copernican heliocentric system as strictly mathematical and hypothetical. However, once Galileo began to speak of the Copernican system as fact rather than theory, it introduced “a more chaotic system, a less-than-godly lack of organization.” In fact, the Copernican system that Galileo believed to be real challenged the scripture, "which referred to the sun ‘rising’ and the earth as ‘unmoving.’" The conflict between Galileo and the Church ended in 1633 with his being sentenced to a form of house arrest by the Church.

    Granted, this came out of Earnest Lazyman's Electronic Cheating Machine and not a good resource. But come on, it's Jonah Fucking Goldberg we're talking about. Who here thinks he spent dozens of hours poring over primary texts in some musty archive to get this scoop on Galileo? Now, who here thinks he just stole it from some wingnut resource, changed the wording and called it a day?

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  17. Aw, man! Liberals and their history! So WHAT is you have actual contemporaneous accounts of Crusaders slaughtering Jews, beheading infidels, and burning apostates alive? Just because Christians were behaving exactly like ISIS doesn't mean they were behaving just like ISIS!

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  18. Marion in Savannah11:10 AM

    Wait... Weren't the Aztecs, Incas, and various Native American tribes already Christian? According to Mitten's holy book Jesus came to the Americas, and if Jesus was here doesn't it follow that everybody here was Christian? I haz a confooze...

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  19. dstatton11:12 AM

    Normally, when someone pretends to be a historian, they at least provide some citations for their assertions. Maybe the book had lots of footnotes? Ha! Just kidding!

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  20. edroso11:12 AM

    I suspect the Catholic Encyclopedia:

    http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2003/12/devil-probably.html

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  21. JennOfArk11:15 AM

    When Obama alludes to the evils of medieval Christianity, he fails to acknowledge the key word: “medieval.” What made medieval Christianity backward wasn’t Christianity but medievalism.



    Last time I checked, a pretty sizable group of American Christians continue to cling to medieval beliefs - creationism, angels, the Rupture...what a typical Goldbergian elision. Radical Christianists in this country don't chop off heads; they shoot abortion doctors and bomb clinics and open museums to mislead and prevent us from addressing things like climate change, which, in the end, will end up killing far more people than ISIS ever dreamed of. Though not in as dramatic a fashion, perhaps.

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  22. dstatton11:16 AM

    "...indisputably a force for the improvement of man."



    Some examples, please.

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  23. Helmut Monotreme11:20 AM

    Is he trying to say that it's indisputable that every single other religion would have been even worse? Is there some stat like 'Wins Above Replacement' that he's using to handicap religious genocides? Is there some kind of comparative religious moneyball going on here?

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  24. As for the Inquisition, it needs to be clarified that there was no single “Inquisition,” but many. And most were not particularly nefarious.
    I suspect Jonah was one of those teenagers who mistook pedantry for intellect.

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  25. LookWhosInTheFreezer11:22 AM

    As the old Lone Ranger joke goes:

    .....

    Tonto: "What you mean 'We', White man?"

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  26. Not to be one of those guys (although I am), but the Rapture and what you and I would call "creationism" date to the 19th century, not the medieval period.

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  27. Yeah, Jonah. I'm not defending the Holocaust, mind you... I'd just like to point out that Dachau was not the only "Death Camp".

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  28. Jonah totally ignores a number of centuries during which most of Europe was a cultural backwater, but Islamic Spain and Baghdad were centers of learning and progress. Forget algebra, forget the Alhambra, trust Jonah.

    There's a joke about dhummitude in there somewhere.

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  29. Distort all the facts, God will know his own.

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  30. https://dummidumbwit.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/kkk-jesus-saves.jpg

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  31. My favorite bit is the "wet blanket" bit.

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  32. Ellis_Weiner11:36 AM

    "When Obama alludes to the evils of medieval Christianity, he fails to
    acknowledge the key word: “medieval.” What made medieval Christianity
    backward wasn’t Christianity but medievalism."

    Pantload speaks of Christianity vis a vis "medievalism" like a hoodlum's mom in a 1930s crime drama. "He's a good boy! He just fell in with a bad crowd!"

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  33. Halloween_Jack11:36 AM

    #NotAllChristians

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  34. So we again see the President Obama understands the one appropriate use of trolling, which is to get assholes riled up and showing that they are assholes. It really is impossible for them to shut up when he speaks and the results are always amusing and often not conducive to later outreach efforts.

    I cannot defend everything done under the various Inquisitions — especially in Spain — because some of it was indefensible.

    I bet he only mentioned the Spanish Inquisition because he once overheard someone say "Nobody ever expects..." and thought "Gosh, that sounds pretty bad." Or his interns know he's never going to read what they crank out so what the hell.

    But the question holding out a cup for spare change: What things done during inquisitions could JBerg defend?

    Maybe the bits where they only tortured used enhanced interrogation on people until they converted. Or perhaps the last days of the Inquisition that banned smutty books, which totally isn't censorship because morals.

    Or maybe this is just more Bergian bet-hedging in case people start pointing out that there was a bit more to the Inquisition than Mel Brooks bonking rabbinical knee caps and a water ballet.

    Goldberg also says that Inquisition stuff was a long time ago

    The mid-1800s, around the same time as slavery, another thing that happened so long ago it isn't worth mentioning. Except to deny or defend, apparently.

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  35. [Insert Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs discussing things invented in Klatch]

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  36. JennOfArk11:45 AM

    Yeah, I know...but they are still medieval beliefs.

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  37. susanoftexas11:49 AM

    They're so tiny. It looks like you could just reach through the picture, pick them up, bitch-slap them a little, and then pop them like a zit.
    But that's just me.

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  38. susanoftexas11:52 AM

    The passage I quoted was from the prologue to the book, which is online. As an ex-junior high teacher it was clear to me that the interns did all the thinky bit and Jonah larded in some jokes and insults.
    It would be just like the NR to hire an intern that would crib from the only book he had to consult at Stigmata High School.

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  39. Catholicacy/Christianity held human progress back, kept people ignorant and superstitious and hate-filled, was viciously anti-woman, and used religious wars & missions to grab and hoard extraordinary wealth. Sheesh. All the weapons of mass destruction, from gunpowder to mustard gas to nukes, were invented in Christian countries.

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  40. Helmut Monotreme11:56 AM

    Yeah, it's all fun and games until you find an ancestor under those sheets. In the 1920s at the height of their popularity, 4-5 million Americans had point hoods in their closets.

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  41. Bizarro Mike11:56 AM

    I want to wash the feet of this comment with my hair.

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  42. indisputably a force for the improvement of [the white] man.

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  43. Helmut Monotreme11:58 AM

    *cough* gunpowder was invented in China *cough*

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  44. BigHank5312:02 PM

    I went directly to the source and found an even better pull quote:

    I see no problem judging the behavior of the Islamic State and its
    apologists from the vantage point of the West’s high horse, because
    we’ve earned the right to sit in that saddle.


    Tell me more about this "earned" bit, Jonah. I will never, ever tire of hearing a member of the lucky sperm club, who wound up here in America instead of in the other 95% of the global population, a writer of only middling talent and a debater of no talent whatsoever, someone who has sacrificed precisely nothing for his country, arrogate endlessly on how fucking awesome America is, and thus, by extension, how awesome he himself is.

    Goldberg. Earned. Fucking hell.

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  45. susanoftexas12:02 PM

    We are much more enlightened now. My relatives just complain about their tax dollars going to the blahs while bunkered down in their all-white suburb instead.

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  46. Just like the John Birch Society and Stalin...
    ...

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  47. Cato the Censor12:05 PM

    No one expects Jonah Goldberg to be a complete idiot about the Spanish Inquisition!

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  48. BigHank5312:05 PM

    Weaponized in Europe, though.

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  49. The Inquisition was primarily a wealth re-distributor.. Anyone convicted of being a witch (evidence: moles or skin tags) had their property taken and was then usually burned to death. Kind of like our 'war on drugs' where police can confiscate all of a person/family's possessions if they are even suspected of having anything to do with illegal drugs. But at least they don't torture & kill....?

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  50. Oh, floods, fires, locusts, drought, famine, oceans rising.... sounds pretty dramatic to me! But slower than a bullet.

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  51. susanoftexas12:11 PM

    Let's see, first we came here for gold and gems and slaves. We accidently killed most of the people and then settled down to the serious business of killing whoever was left.
    Later Americans got tired of being killed in Europe so we came over here, or were sentenced over here, or whatever. There was a lot of work to be done so we went to Africa, killed some of them, and brought more over to work until they died.
    We sold the timber, furs, tobacco, slaves, rum, Indian women and whatever else we could. We sold the products the slaves grew and made. When we wanted people to buy our goods we killed the ones who refused to open their markets. We also killed our white workers in the factories, mines and wars.
    Then we sat on our high horse and told ourselves we were the most moral people in the entire Universe because we did not kill, rob, or imprison our people or others to become rich.
    Yeah, we earned everything we have alright. Gross economic inequality, pollution, malicious selective persecution in the name of collective punishment, a security state and an increasingly oppressive police state.

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  52. susanoftexas12:14 PM

    The Chinese had gunpowder weapons too, according to the History Channel.

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  53. Yes, but not for use as a weapon. And it was a catholic priest (friar?) who invented it in Europe. Friar Bacon? Lord, that used to make me laugh like a drain!

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  54. Did the History Channel explain how it was Ancient Aliens who really 'gave' gunpowder to humanity?

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  55. What made medieval ChristianityConservatism backward wasn’t Christianity Conservatism but medievalism.

    Wow! at least the argument is consistant, and methinks betrays the sense that conservatism and xtianity are on the same level in their minds

    ...

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  56. Helmut Monotreme12:17 PM

    I think the difference is, they used rockets and bombs, which used a lot of gunpowder and specialized skill to make and employ, whereas in Europe they used guns, which meant that they got more bang for their gunpowder buck.

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  57. You beat me to it.

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  58. susanoftexas12:18 PM

    Yes, that's they said.

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  59. ... and all the priests and bishops and cardinals stood in line for hours to get Galli's autograph!

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  60. You know what's funny? "wet blankets" were kept on hand to put out fires! These days we should call people we dislike a "fire extinguisher".

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  61. susanoftexas12:23 PM

    H2-the sister channel. One day they'll have a program that says Hitler was an alien, merging their favorite programming into one blockbuster.

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  62. Helmut Monotreme12:29 PM

    Are they running Iron Sky and it's sequel as documentary on the history channel now?

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  63. Henry Kissinger12:32 PM

    Republicans, even in their most terrible days, even under the most
    corrupt presidents, even during the most unjustifiable wars, were indisputably
    a force for the improvement of man.

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  64. BigHank5312:33 PM

    medievalism

    Trust Jonah to find, at long last, one of the true causes of humanity's ills. His proposed cure? Why, another blood-letting!

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  65. zencomix12:37 PM

    #NotALLInquisitions

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  66. Are they running Iron Sky and it's sequel as documentary on the history channel now?Wait, you mean they're not?

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  67. JennOfArk12:40 PM

    Owes his career to a cumstain.

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  68. Earnest Lazyman's Electronic Cheating MachineI would like to favorably edit this expression's Wikipedia entry.

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  69. Penniless Moocher12:47 PM

    That linked article about spectacular lynching made me feel physically ill. I'll be reeling from it all day, I think. Of course I've long been aware that some barbaric shit happened back then, but I was totally ignorant as to the true extent of it. The true horror of lynching is almost too much to even imagine. That human beings in these supposedly civilized United States could behave like that is, well, horrifying. It's also extremely educational. It was one of those revelatory moments, you know? After the second or third exquisitely detailed account of thousands of people showing up to brutalize, mutilate, and eventually murder and butcher a person...cut them into fucking pieces and then pass the parts around...after a few examples of that, it begins to dawn on me that the term "civilized," if it still holds any meaning, does not fucking apply to us. We have forever lost that privilege.

    I need a drink.

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  70. Yeah, but those are refuted by the revered philosophical doctrine of praeteritus, or "bygones."

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  71. Whenever I see Klansmen all dressed up in their party clothes I can't help but giggle at the pointy hats because pointy hats, to me, indicates stupidity.


    They wear it oh so well.

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  72. I'm so old, I can personally remember back to when US fundamentalist Christians helped lay the groundwork for Uganda's "execute all the homosexuals" legislation in 2009.

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  73. In the classic sense of "getting medieval," contrasting with the Enlightenment, and the like, certainly. On the other hand, I'd suspect that more than one medieval church scholar would look at things like young-earth creationism** and premillenial dispensationalism, and go "What. The. Shit?" That's why they weren't already church doctrine, and why they aren't Roman Catholic beliefs even today. (On the gripping hand, Catholicism has its own 19th Century idiocy involving "the moment of conception." It's primarily led to violence after its adoption by fundamentalist Protestants, though.)

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  74. Blaspheme! Speaking in the prophetic voice was never much welcome in Old
    Testament times. Nor is it now. Pretty tame stuff for a prophet, too.
    But you can imagine the response:

    Some Republicans were outraged. “The president’s comments
    this morning at the prayer breakfast are the most offensive I’ve ever
    heard a president make in my lifetime,” said former Virginia governor
    Jim Gilmore (R). “He has offended every believing Christian in the
    United States. This goes further to the point that Mr. Obama does not
    believe in America or the values we all share.”

    Heretic! he cried. Anybody got a match?

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/02/deference-must-be-shown-by-bloggersrus.html

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  75. BigHank531:13 PM

    It is wise to remember that the Klan uniform was designed by a professional dry-cleaner, and could only be cleaned with proprietary Klan-approved chemicals, which could only be purchased from guess who?

    American conservatives have always been easy marks.

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  76. mortimer20001:20 PM

    You can just hear them singing in the NRO lunch room:
    What a day, what a day
    For an auto-da-fé!
    What a sunny summer sky!
    What a day, what a day
    For an auto-da-fé!
    It's a lovely day for drinking
    And for watching people fry!
    Hurry, hurry, hurry,
    Watch'em die!
    Hurry, hurry, hurry,
    Hang 'em high!

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  77. “He has offended every believing Christian in the
    United States."Bearer of false witness. A charge, by the way, which I suspect Gilmore wouldn't be able to correctly identify if you spotted him a goddamned Ten Commandments monument.

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  78. “The president’s comments this morning at the prayer breakfast are the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime,”He must have spent a lot of his life going "LA-LA-LA-LA-LA" with his fingers in his ears.

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  79. Ted the slacker1:26 PM

    Indisputably? That's Jonah shorthand for "I really can't be arsed to show my work".

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  80. Did the ancient aliens show them how to make it?

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  81. oops, you traveled into the past and stole my joke.

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  82. AlanInSF1:30 PM

    In our family, as in many Jewish households, we still look fondly back on those golden centuries when Christianity was indisputably a force for our improvement. Goldberg's name suggests that he shares our heritage, and is enjoying his role as House Yid for the white supremacist movement.

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  83. As for the Inquisition, it needs to be clarified that there was no single “Inquisition,” but many. And most were not particularly nefarious.



    meh-quisition

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  84. AlanInSF1:35 PM

    I was not previously aware that Christian Germany's extermination of European Jewry took place in the medieval era. Of course it was really progressive socialists that did it, not Christian dominionists, so Goldberg probably didn't even consider it.

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  85. AlanInSF1:36 PM

    Christians are doing it for your own good, whereas Islamers are doing it because they hate your freedom. Clear difference!

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  86. AlanInSF1:38 PM

    Actually, that's exactly what he means, because if you disputed it they would kill you.

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  87. Ted the slacker1:39 PM

    Would also like to point out that in Doughy's metaphor, by simply sitting on a horse, he thinks he's found a great vantage point. I know you're thinking, what a venal literary sin... but I dunno, he's sitting on his backside believing he has great perspective on the world, so maybe he meant it?

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  88. ohsopolite1:40 PM

    #NotAllInquisitions

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  89. ohsopolite1:43 PM

    Well, he is a leech, after all...

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  90. AlanInSF1:48 PM

    My grandfather comes from an Irish town that was massacred by Cromwell for their improvement.

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  91. Megalon1:49 PM

    "For starters, the Crusades — despite their terrible organized cruelties — were a defensive war."

    Some of them were. A lot of them weren't. The Jihadis will also tell you that they're fighting a defensive war against the evils of secularism and modern society.

    I'm sure Islamic State, Boko Haram and every other terrorist creep throughout history would also tell you that they were also "indisputably a force for the improvement of man." And they might even be able to offer some concrete arguements why they believe that. What a thought!

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  92. Yeah their prefferred use for doctor king is as human shield.

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  93. mortimer20001:53 PM

    Typical hate speech from an anti-christ like Obama. All I can say is praise Jesus that a right-thinking conservative was speaking the real truth elsewhere:
    From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism -- terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.
    We see sectarian war in Syria, the murder of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, religious war in the Central African Republic, a rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in Europe, so often perpetrated in the name of religion.
    ...
    The freedom of religion is a value we will continue to protect here at home and stand up for around the world, and is one that we guard vigilantly here in the United States.

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  94. Whenever Hitler comes up in conversation, I like to point out that that he was a conservative Catholic. I know it's pointless but it amuses me.

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  95. Megalon1:57 PM

    Well, but that was the same as EVERY religion, and indeed every society for most of history. I'm not going to defend such crimes, in fact I think it's a good argument against the idea that religion automatically improves either societies or individuals. It's just that you can't judge ancient peoples by modern morality. Their thoughts, experiences, cultures, beliefs and morals are just too alien to our own today.

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  96. AlanInSF1:58 PM

    My other grandfather got improved out of Russia by a roving bands of improving Russians.

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  97. John Wayne Gacy worked as a clown, and it needs to be clarified that he did not kidnap, torture, rape, and murder every young male he came in contact with. He even made some of them laugh! Which is pretty much the same thing, so why are you holding his one or several lapses against him?

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  98. Get with the pogrom!

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  99. AlanInSF2:02 PM

    At some point they had to extinguish the heretic's smoldering corpse so they could proceed with drawing and quartering it, or cutting it up and throwing it to the dogs, or some other totally un-ISISlike way they were going to improve it.

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  100. susanoftexas2:05 PM

    Andrew Effiing Sullivan after 9/11:
    The one silver lining of this is that we may perhaps be shaken out of our self-indulgent preoccupations and be reminded of what really matters: our freedom, our security, our integrity as a democratic society. This means we must be vigilant not to let our civil liberties collapse under the understandable desire for action. To surrender to that temptation is part of what these killers want. And the other small sliver of consolation is that the constant American temptation to withdraw from the world, entertained these past few years by many, will perhaps now be stifled. We cannot withdraw; we cannot ignore. We live in a world where technology and hatred accelerate in ever-faster cycles, and in which isolation is not an option. Evil is still here. It begets evil. When you look at the delighted faces of Palestinians cheering in the streets, we have to realize that there are cultures on this planet of such depravity that understanding them is never fully possible. And empathy for them at such a moment is obscene.

    But we can observe and remember. There is always a tension civilization and barbarism, and the barbarians are now here. The task in front of us to somehow stay civilized while not shrinking from the face of extinguishing – by sheer force if necessary – the forces that would eclipse us.
    We're very, very special. Exceptional even.

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  101. What's really disturbing about this form of argument is how well it's accepted by such huge swathes of both the public and the media. "Because not all [x] did [y], you must therefore NOT hold any of [x] responsible for [y]."

    Oddly enough, though, this only works when [x] is a conservative engaging in something that conservatives might vaguely approve of. When it's one person doing or saying something conservatives do not approve of, ALL liberals and Democrats everywhere are responsible for this person AND also hold this person's views.

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  102. AlanInSF2:08 PM

    An alien with family values, a beard down to his belly button, a hot wife in stilettos and leopardskins, and a business that involves poorly educated morbidly obese people.

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  103. Gromet2:08 PM

    No! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!! [fingers in ears] NANANANANA! WE CAME HERE FOR FREEDOM! FREEEEDOOMMMMM!!!! WE GOT IT BY HARD WORK AND VIRTUE!!! NANANANANA!

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  104. Helmut Monotreme2:08 PM

    It's nauseating how many educated people seem to think the time is always right for another episode of the crusades.

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  105. susanoftexas2:09 PM

    I want to buy this comment a fish sandwich because it's Friday.

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  106. susanoftexas2:10 PM

    There should be a billboard and about a million tee-shirts.

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  107. He even pens book titles to display his word definition ignorance.

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  108. "Gimme a B! . . . B!
    Gimme an L! . . . L!
    Gimme an E! . . . E!
    Gimme another E! . . . E!
    Gimme a D! . . . D!
    Gimme another E! . . . E!
    Gimme an R! . . . R!
    Gimme an S! . . . S!
    What's that spell? . . . Bleeders!
    What's that spell? . . . Bleeders!
    What's that spell? . . . Bleeders!"

    Yay!

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  109. susanoftexas2:20 PM

    I'm so special!
    Oh so special!
    I'm so special and awesome and free!
    A committee should be organized to honor me!
    I'm so moral!
    Oh so moral!
    It's just normal how moral I feel!
    And so Godly that I hardly can believe I'm real!

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  110. We're the Greatest Country Ever because we have the World's Best Constitution. Unfortunately, that's the document these idiots are quickest to dispense with when adhering to it becomes inconvenient to them.

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  111. susanoftexas2:21 PM

    Mascot: a leech

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  112. Another Kiwi2:21 PM

    Oh no The Kenyan usurper was mean to Christianz about their blood spattered past! Thus the Cheeto 300© take to their clatter machines armed only with Robert Spenser's "Politcally Incorrect Guide to the Crusades" and

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  113. Or how many people, educated or otherwise, think there's nothing at all wrong with genocide provide it's practiced against the "right" people--Muslims in this case. I have had people I used to admire expound about how we need to literally exterminate Islam from the face of the planet.

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  114. The most unspeakable evil is usually committed in the name of some higher good.

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  115. changed the wording

    He's got an intern for that.

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  116. Actually, despite his last name, I think he's Episcopalian or something like that. He's not a MOTT (member of the tribe).

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  117. Howlin Wolfe2:39 PM

    Giordano Bruno's book wasn't smut, but he sure as hell got burned for it.

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  118. John Wesley Hardin2:50 PM

    "No one expects Jonah Goldberg to be anything except a complete idiot."


    FTFY

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  119. This is what happens when you get all your information about the Inquisition from Monty Python and Mel Brooks.

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  120. JennOfArk3:05 PM

    "No one expects....FAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRT!"

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  121. JennOfArk3:08 PM

    Hitler-Alien driving big rigs across the frozen tundra to swap meets.

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  122. Obama has a tendency sometimes to speak to people like adults. This pisses off conservatives to no end because conservatives are children. So now we can't mention irrefutable historical truths if they involve unpleasant facts about the U.S.? I await an article by Jonathon Chait about this nefarious political correctness run amok.

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  123. So, doubly appropriate.

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  124. The million tee-shirts I could easily accept, especially if no socks were handy. But a billboard? Wow.

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  125. Fats Durston3:25 PM

    The Chinese invented "fire-lances" and then branched out into grenades, rockets, other incendiaries, shoulder arms, and cannons in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries (so prior to and during the Mongol conquest). Europeans began creating cannon and shoulder arms in the fourteenth century, and according to some military historians, developed an improvement of gunpowder manufacture that made these fire arms more effective.


    "Early modern" warfare (massive drafted armies of shoulder-arms-wielding men financed by a bureaucratic state) was a Chinese invention that was copied/re-invented in Europe a few centuries later.

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  126. Fats Durston3:27 PM

    Everyone expects the Goldbergish idiot-disquisition!

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  127. IIRC, he was originally raised in the Jewish tradition of his father's family, the Goldbergs, rather than the Episcopalian tradition of his mother's family, the Steinbergers.

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  128. Helmut Monotreme3:29 PM

    I'm not sure that's the case. After all the ten commandments, are pretty familiar as far as moral instructions go. The big advancement is realizing that they apply to everyone not just men of the right tribe.

    I am not unsympathetic to the argument that Christianity survives today because of its history of evangelism at gun- and sword- point. Conceivably a more pacifist practice would mean they would have been the ones killed or forced to convert.

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  129. Fats Durston3:31 PM

    Souls Harvested In Theory?

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  130. Fats Durston3:38 PM

    Nothing says defensive like a murder party of all them infiltrating Jews!

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  131. mgmonklewis3:42 PM

    I know I say this every time I read something by Goldshart, yet I'm still stunned by it every time. His writing is godawful. Stupid. Dull. Plodding. Soporific.

    Every one is like the worst blue book essay of all time, packed with extra styrofoam peanuts of Stupid.

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  132. Helmut Monotreme3:42 PM

    Percent Increase in Souls Saved

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  133. Fats Durston3:46 PM

    I find "Don't lie" and "Don't covet the neighbor's ass" pretty alien.


    Christianity survives today due to being an appealing message to many, institutional charity and medical care in the face of state collapse, egalitarianism, the conversion of several monarchs, vicious looting of faraway lands, ambitious evangelism, forced conversion, the susceptibility of Amerindians to Afro-Eurasian disease, among other things. Several cores of Christianity were overrun by Islam (or other institutions) and persisted. Others weren't threatened at all.

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  134. mgmonklewis3:48 PM

    Yeah, unfortunately on Jewish matters, Martin Luther was definitely a man of his (medieval European) time.

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  135. Fats Durston3:53 PM

    Lotta fucking gall to whine that the Crusades were long ago a couple weeks after a film about a 21st-century Christianist murderer of Muslims tops the box office.

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  136. DN Nation3:54 PM

    OT: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/how-bobby-jindal-wrecked-louisiana/


    Check the author.

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  137. susanoftexas4:00 PM

    Heh. Nothing ruins conservatism like reality. Drowning the government in the bathtub sounds great until you need its services.

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  138. slavdude4:06 PM

    But then again, Catholics aren't Christians anyway.

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  139. redoubtagain4:06 PM

    we’ve earned the right to sit in that saddle.
    Don Quixote used to say this to himself too, I'll bet, just before he broke another lance on a windmill.

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  140. redoubtagain4:09 PM

    All because he wanted to be Metternich when he grew up.

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  141. redoubtagain4:11 PM

    The Cossacks wouldn't care; they still work for the Tsar.

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  142. sigyn4:13 PM

    Are we sure that isn't already one of those defensive hashtags?

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  143. DocAmazing4:18 PM

    His pants were held up with a belt that had a buckle that read "Gott mit uns". If he'd been wearing suspenders...

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  144. Lots of countries put a spin on their reasons for war like that.

    Our own invasion of Baghdad is good example. Its proponents told us that we had to "fight them over there" so that we wouldn't have to "fight them over here." Condoleeza Rice spoke ominously of mushroom clouds over U.S. cities.

    It was the language of self-defense that sold the invasion.

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  145. "Let's face it, you can't Torquemada anything!"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEOV0O7k9YU

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  146. BigHank534:27 PM

    #notallyourfingernailshavebeenpulledoffyet

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  147. Professor Fate4:29 PM

    So the sack of Constantinople was defensive? This makes my head hurt.
    And from the Maltese Falcon re the Knights of Malta:

    Gutman: Have you any conception of the extreme....the immeasurable wealth of the Order of that time?

    Spade: They were pretty well fixed.

    Gutman "Pretty well" is putting it mildly. They were rolling in wealth, sir. For years they'd taken from the East nobody knows what spoils of gems...precious metals, silks, ivory, sir. We all know the Holy Wars to them were largely a matter of loot.

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  148. susanoftexas4:36 PM

    Yes, he identifies as Jewish. I guess he sees supporting Catholics as part of his duty at Bill Buckely's House O' Apologetics. Or maybe he looks at K-Lo and figures it's a clear path to eternal employment no matter how bad a pundit he is.

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  149. BigHank534:39 PM

    Oh my, that's funny. Turns out there's less fraud and waste in government spending than you'd first think, doesn't it?

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  150. satch4:42 PM

    Yeah, Hitler MUST have been an alien. Humans... not even Germans... would ever have thought of autobahns on their own, and they certainly wouldn't have forced the gubmint to pay for them.

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  151. satch4:46 PM

    We all know by now that the Valerians invented Wildfire.
    http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Wildfire

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  152. BigHank534:49 PM

    Oh, the Erickson essay is choice--I highly recommend it. A tidbit:

    So I wish the President would stop professing himself to be a Christian
    if he is not going to proclaim Christ as truth and the only way to
    salvation.


    That would be the biggest faith-based curbstomp ever heard out a national politician, most of whom do understand that they have to represent people other than the Holy Rollers. Personally, I'm praying that Erickson can make the same demands of the Republican presidential candidates: we'll get see them handling serpents by the third debate.

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  153. dstatton4:56 PM

    Ah, the Constitution, a form of government that no other country ever wanted to duplicate.

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  154. montag24:56 PM

    Oh, indeed. Not only is Doughy eliding the Crusades, which were little more than loosely-organized slaughter and pillage, but he also seems to be more than a little coy about more recent events, say, the Magdalene Laundries, or the recent rash of pedophilia in the church that, indisputably, was not a force for the improvement of man... unless you're a NAMBLA member (and about which the church consistently lied and shielded the perps) . Or the recent orgy of violence against abortion providers (or the general heretical public in Eric Rudolph's case). Or the even more recent tendency of evangelical preachers and military leaders alike inside the military to treat our wars in the Middle East and Asia as expressions of Christian faith. Or the recent trend of Christians aligning themselves politically with the most parsimonious, vindictive, wealth-addicted, reactionary, warmongering party in the country (and, concomitant to that, their internationally embarrassing fanboy fawning over the Bushies as god-fearing Christians and examplars beyond reproach of good Christian torture techniques against the Muslim infidels). Then there's that little business of the church, under John Paul and Pope Bennie, generally aligning itself with the most right-wing, corrupt and violent governments in Latin America to destroy the nascent liberation theology movement inside the church.

    And, I haven't even gotten to the gross obscenity that is television evangelicals, an ongoing crime against nature and man.

    Indisputably?

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  155. Helmut Monotreme5:09 PM

    Here's hoping. Some taking up serpents on the part of the republican hopefuls at the national and state level could do the country a world of good. The full quote is "they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all" so happy handling and cheers!

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  156. Barack Obama is not, in any meaningful way, a Christian . . .

    Once again, as Bill Maher pointed out:

    Barack Obama attended a radical Christian church, which proves he's a Muslim. John McCain has never attended church, which proves he's a Christian."

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  157. IKR, it's almost as if it was a hastily cobbled together cut and paste job by an overworked no-pay intern.

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  158. satch5:20 PM

    Add some kazoo accompaniment and you'll REALLY have something!

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  159. tigrismus5:27 PM

    It's not terrible. A good start, really. Maybe 3/5 of the way to be being quite good.

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  160. tigrismus5:28 PM

    I would watch the fuck out of that show.

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  161. tigrismus5:29 PM

    This one too.

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  162. I want to get into a knife fight over this comment, and then die in its arms.

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  163. Or, more the way Jonah would work it: "I'm not defending the Holocaust, mind you, but not EVERYONE who went to Dachau died. And besides, some really great real estate bargains were created in Berlin in 1940."

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  164. smut clyde5:43 PM

    pointy hats, to me, indicates stupidity.

    Invented by the Spanish Inquisition for condemned heretics to wear as part of the Auto-da-fé.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/%D0%A4.%D0%93%D0%BE%D0%B9%D1%8F._%D0%98%D0%B7_%D1%86%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%BB%D0%B0_Los_Caprichos_1797-98.jpg

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  165. And they invented flamethrowes to use in fighting ships along the rivers of China. My ancestors had such a wonderful sense of humor.

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  166. coozledad6:17 PM

    Those weren't crescents, or stars of David painted on the wings of Stukas and Heinkels. Some other symbol closely associated with a religion of conquest.

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  167. Robert Reneau6:21 PM

    I particularly like this expression since it evokes Ernest Tidyman, screenwriter of The French Connection and creator of Shaft.

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  168. It's like when your friend says that boring lecture was "torture" -- just a figure of speech! Yet libtards get mad when you subject a Gitmo detainee to the equivalent of a boring speech.



    Yer speakin' metaphorically, of course.

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  169. montag26:37 PM

    The Christians have done yeoman duty trying to claim that Hitler merely co-opted the churches for his own political purposes, and throw up Martin Niemöller as evidence, but even Niemöller was a German nationalist in the beginning, and, if anything, he was an evolving exception that proved the rule. There's no small mountain of evidence that Hitler's berating of godless Communism and the connection of ethnic Jews to the Bolshevik revolution was well-received by Christian Germans and was perceived as morally sound by them. As with most authoritarian movements, the Nazis depended upon a mish-mosh of resentments and yearnings, but to say that Christian impulses toward "purifying" society didn't figure into that mix ignores the obvious.

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  170. With no more elections for him, he might as well come out as the atheist/agnostic that he is.(1) I can appreciate why you might think that, Erick, since unlike the Christians of your acquaintance, he's apparently read and understood at least part of the Bible. (2) On the other hand, he's not actually doing it for the sake of you and your fellow illiterate bigoted shitstains. (3) And by the way, atheists and agnostics aren't the same thing, you goddamned pigfucking moron.

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  171. coozledad6:43 PM

    And don't forget Dix's land. A fine cooperative, except for those states whose people, in the words of one of the patriarchs "Might not be willing to fight for slaveholders rights".


    Jonah must know he's a Kapo of the lowest order. One who isn't forced into his station on pain of death, but the gift of a meager salary considering what a gutless public ass he's made of himself.

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  172. The Christians have done yeoman duty trying to claim that Hitler merely co-opted the churches for his own political purposesOf course, even if we grant them that, they were plenty willing to be co-opted.

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  173. Indisputably?


    Well pardoners were a direct, long-term result of the Crusades (indulgences were first given to crusaders who were doing bad things in god's name). Think of all those poor sinners who couldn't have bought their way out of their sins if it weren't for such a benevolent practice. All those people were improved by the pardoner! (and released from their filthy lucre)

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  174. My upvote gets counted fully for this comment.

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  175. coozledad6:52 PM

    Hell, Hitler's connection of Bolshevism and Jewry was well accepted by the political base of power in the American south. If the Japanese hadn't bombed Pearl Harbor, every former Confederate state would have gladly contributed an einsatzgruppen or two.

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  176. ohsopolite6:54 PM

    I thought the Cheeto 300 was right after the Daytona 500 on the NASCAR circuit. Shows you what I know.

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  177. I wouldn't call these the most terrible days of Christianity by a long shot, and I still don't think it is a force for the improvement of man.

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  178. The most bitterly ironic thing to me about the 3/5ths compromise is that it would have been worse to say a slave counted as a higher fraction of a free person.

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  179. coozledad7:04 PM

    The Mongols periodically laid waste to Islamic states using heavy caliber guns. I don't remember if it was one of the Khans or Timur the lame who laid siege to Istanbul with a giant cannon that killed more of his own troops on the recoil than it did firing a stone projectile the size of a house. They were evil fuckers, for sure.

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  180. "We only threatened him with torture! And placed him under house arrest. And forced him to recant and banned his books. How could that possibly hinder science?!"

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  181. "What made medieval Christianity backward wasn’t Christianity but medievalism."
    Six of one, half a dozen of the other... either way thank God for a little Enlightened paganism that came along.

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  182. ken_lov7:14 PM

    Every time I mention the Srebrenica Massacre, conservatives respond that it didn't have anything to do with Christianity. The irony of their making an argument that is pretty much the same as Obama's about ISIS escapes them entirely.

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  183. "For starters, the Crusades — despite their terrible organized cruelties — were a defensive war."Yeah, that's why they called them crusades, and had to transport all those armies across the Mediterranean. For defense. Except for the first one, which was a reconquest. And the fourth one, which focused on conquering and sacking the Christian city of Constantinople. All of them except those two. And the Albigensian Crusade, which was dedicated to exterminating the Cathar heretics. And the Aragonese Crusade, a political struggle against the Christian king of Aragon. And...

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  184. gocart mozart7:17 PM

    I prefer to call him a goat fucking child molester. It has a certain reciprocity to it.

    ReplyDelete
  185. Creationism, at least, has been with us forever. It's only in the 19th century that you get 'Creation science' trying to rebut the case against it.

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  186. M. Krebs7:38 PM

    It took the Confederate States of America to invent the double-barrel cannon.

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  187. dmsilev7:40 PM

    I think that episode was the Ottoman Turks during the last campaign against the Byzantines.

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  188. coozledad7:45 PM

    That's almost as effective a weapon as the crimped submersible boiler tube that drowned three? four? crews. you have to laugh when historians feel compelled to reach to give the Confederacy props for technology.


    I'm only surprised they didn't try to field an army of po-white rocket men with Roman candles up their asses.

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  189. montag27:45 PM

    IIRC, there was a huge Second Coming movement around the first millennium (beginning about a hundred years before the millennium, peaking at the turn and diminishing fifty or sixty years after the turn). The difference in modern millennial thinking is the notion of the Rapture, that Jesus will first put the faithful in celestial skyboxes to watch him while he slaughters the indifferent and the unconvinced, along with all those pesky Freethinkers who so annoyed dutiful Christian believers.

    The Scofield Bible, if anything, makes Millennialism into a team sport.

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  190. ken_lov7:46 PM

    Yep, old Richard the Lionheart left England to fight in Palestine because he knew if he didn't, the Arabian Armada would come charging up the Thames spreading Sharia law across the land. It's in the Conservahistory books.

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  191. ken_lov7:54 PM

    The whole idea that Christianity was a force for improvement throughout history is self-delusion on a massive scale. The Roman Catholic Church did more than any other institution to keep the mass of European humanity in a state of oppressed bondage through centuries of feudalism, while it grew staggeringly rich thanks to its seamless power-sharing with the land-owning aristocracy.


    Next thing Goldberg will be telling us that the Enlightenment was a Vatican project, and all those stories about selling indulgences and suppressing scientific inquiry are lies spread by liberal arts colleges.

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  192. montag28:09 PM

    Republicans handling snakes? The snakes would be saying, "hey, cuzzins, long time no see!"

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  193. Fats Durston8:50 PM

    No, this is utter bullshit, repeated Eurocentric garbage. A few centuries of very crude weapons, and two centuries of explosives, cannons, and guns before Bacon ever encountered the stuff. Nor was gunpowder invented in Europe; its formula was transmitted across Eurasia. Chinese tinkered with the formula; lots of variations exist in Chinese documents. Europeans started with the ratio of elements already established (i.e., by someone else, the Chinese) in the fourteenth century.

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  194. M. Krebs8:53 PM

    That would make an amazing movie. Somebody get Tarantino on the phone.

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  195. http://www.lazerhorse.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Flying-Snake-Chrysopelea-GIF.gif
    ~

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  196. gocart mozart9:06 PM

    Coates hits it out of the park.
    "Now, Christianity did not "cause" slavery, anymore than Christianity "caused" the civil-rights movement. The interest in power is almost always accompanied by the need to sanctify that power. That is what the Muslims terrorists in ISIS are seeking to do today, and that is what Christian enslavers and Christian terrorists did for the lion's share of American history.

    That this relatively mild, and correct, point cannot be made without the comments being dubbed, "the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime,” by a former Virginia governor gives you some sense of the limited tolerance for any honest conversation around racism in our politics. And it gives you something much more. My colleague Jim Fallows recently wrote about the need to, at once, infantilize and deify our military. Perhaps related to that is the need to infantilize and deify our history. Pointing out that Americans have done, on their own soil, in the name of their own God, something similar to what ISIS is doing now does not make ISIS any less barbaric, or any more correct. That is unless you view the entire discussion as a kind of religious one-upmanship, in which the goal is to prove that Christianity is "the awesomest."

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/02/the-foolish-historically-illiterate-incredible-response-to-obamas-prayer-breakfast-speech/385246/#disqus_thread

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  197. Tulsa Race Riot http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsa_race_riot
    Sorry for any distress but it needs to taken into account.

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  198. Our chief weapons are fear, surprise and farts that can peel the paint off a wall at 50 paces.

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