Saturday, December 28, 2019

End of Year Cleaning

I cleaned out my Spam comment file.  There were 197 rejected comments in it, 193 of them were made by one compulsive liar.   I love the filters I put on it, I don't even have to look at most of them before they're sent to Spam.   I'm putting more filters on it.

Update:  I've posted the images of Nazi posters on which THEY CITE THE UNITED STATES EUGENICS PROGRAMS TO PROMOTE THEIRS,  I've posted their propaganda in which they say the same thing.   I've posted the fact that when Edwin Black was researching the eugenics program in Vermont he couldn't find the records he needed in Vermont, HE FOUND THEM IN THE NAZI ARCHIVES IN GERMANY.  I've posted the citations of American and British eugenicists and scientific racism, just the other day a citation of a viciously antisemtic paper by  Karl Pearson and Margaret Moul, cited by Fritz Lenz, one of the major figures in Nazi eugenics-genocide in an edition of the book which was the major work on the topic all during the Nazi period.  An edition of the very book that Hitler read to inform him on such stuff in which the author says their eugenics are based on Darwin's theory of natural selection - as all eugenics is.  I've given those and so many more with full citations AND LINKS. I've been doing so for eleven years, since my first pieces on the topic were posted in 2008.   You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink, the same goes for asses, though I've never known farm animals as stupid as those college-credentialed idiots.  Including roosters and breeding buck goats.  

I'm not talking to them anymore, it's pointless.  I'll post what I post and let them lie about it, instead of answering their lies, I'll just post more.  It's not as if they're answering anything I've written.  

That those asses at the "brain trust" (they do call themselves that) refuse to read anything, wallowing in their ignorance, is a fact.  They are the same kind of thing as Trump's cult, they just don't think about different things.  

Saturday Night Radio Drama - Alan McGonagal - Shirley Temple Killer Queen

Sibling sister assassins-for-hire, Mel and Lu, have just turned up at the location for their very last kill – a ramshackle bar that has most definitely seen better days.Into the bar they swagger, along with plenty of ammo, two guns, one switchblade knife and enough attitude to ensure that the overly inquisitive barkeep is not going to give them the runaround. But something feels 'off.  And several rounds of their favourite cocktails later, in this darkly comic realm of the absurd, the sibling assassins are about to discover what that something is...

Featuring stars of Fair City Nyree Yergainharsian,and  Rebecca Grimes and The Abbey Theatre's most recent Leopold Bloom,  David Pearse 

Sound supervision Mark McGrath 

Directed by Gorretti Slavin 

A kind of strange dark comedy.  I don't post many of those. 

Why Are You Going Over This Again?

We've got Trump holding up a cold-blooded murderer of brown people as a hero, he's going to be the Republican poster boy next year.  How bad does it have to get before it's OK to bring these things up? 

Ding Dong Sodano's Gone

I am busy today so I might not get around to writing much.  It's a shame because I would dearly love to write about a story I missed, the end of the reign of the cesspool of Vatican insider corruption, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, one of the most corrupt of living clergy, a thug of the kind who flourished under the papacy of Karol Wojtyla aka John Paul II and who corruptly amassed so much power and wealth that when it got too bad for Ratzinger aka Benedict XVI to stand, he couldn't control or get rid of Sodano.   That, if nothing else, should tell you that Popes are far less the absolute dictators that so many non-Catholics love to believe they are. 

I think Sodano figured that Pope Francis was going to be a push-over but was surprised that he wanted to clean the stinking filthy Curia.  Though it being the Vatican, even he couldn't do it fast.  I hope Francis has enough time to clean it out so that Sodano and other pits of corruption that characterized the JPII papacy won't recur in the future.   I hope that now that Sodano is gone the cleaning will go faster.  I hope he gets the chance to clean out the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, as well. 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Hate Mail

If current apologists for Likud style fascism want to come up with a name to call those who oppose it, they should come up with one, not borrow a word that means something else.   I would recommend that anti-fascists reject whatever they come up with.  It's insane to allow your opponents the chance to name you when it's the fans of fascism. 

Using "antisemtism" to shield Israeli fascism has the bizarre consequence of accusing many, many Jews who oppose fascism of being "antisemites" Noam Chomsky, for example.  In the case of people it's used against such as Norman Finkelstein, they use it for a child of survivors of the Shoah, in the case of the late Israel Shahak. it was and is used against a Jewish survivor of the Shoah, a citizen of Israel.  That, alone, should tell you why it's a grotesquely dishonest thing for them to try to use that word, INVENTED BY A JEW HATER as a tool of political ass-covering for the same general thing, fascism. 

As I pointed out, the word "antisemitsm" was a word invented by a Jew hater.  It's stupid to claim that "Jews get to define it" because it had its definition given to it in the late 19th century. 

Update:  I just advised against letting lying fans of fascism define you, I'm not going to give into that from the ass end of that goon squad as issuing from Eschaton.  It's not as if anyone there will read what I said, they don't read anything much.  As I mentioned the fine lefty blogger who went by the name "Roger Ailes" once asked about those who posted comments on blogs that didn't use text, "What the hell do they use, rebuses?"   I doubt he realized that his friend Atrios would give him the answer, appeals for funding. 

If You Don't Feel Like Reading My Earlier Posts, You Should Read This

While it isn't even more than a small part of rational proof that much of what educated Westerners believe about "genes" and "genetics" is a complete load of exploitable AND SO MARKETABLE horseshit, that Guardian article I posted to below is an excellent introduction in easily understood terms to the debunkery of that naive, vulgar conception of "genes" such as the Nazis share with most people today, including the neo-Nazis in the Trump regime.

Here's the link

We are all equal, even if you want to pretend that's a matter of "genes". 

I can't find it just now but there's another good one I read about how identical twins who "got their genes done" were told they had entirely different heritages by the same bogus testing firms. 

Hate Mail - We Need Several More Words With Distinct Meanings To Replace That One Word Of Bastard Origin From A Real SOB

As an outside observer I've found it painful to listen to Jewish people reassure gentiles and each other that they're "not religious," a declaration that I can't help but hear as a mildly nervous way of saying, "we're not like them, we're OK."   

That has long bugged me as has the assertion that the "enlightenment" was what liberated Europe's Jews, a half-truth, at best.  I will acknowledge that for all his dictatorial and imperial evil - it killed millions -  Napoleon's march across Europe did a lot to break down the medieval evil of the ghettos, you'd have to be an ahistorical liar in the way I generally condemn to deny that.  But the "enlightenment"* acceptance of Jews seems to me to be conditioned on the same kind of abandonment of the Jewish religion, the very thing that maintained Jews as a distinct people even as other peoples, including many Jews of centuries past,  in diaspora have melted into the general population.  I would guess that every single person of European ancestry has had "jewish blood" in their lineage even as we are also mathematically held to have had Charlemagne in our lineage.  There were a lot more Jews in Europe than there were Charlemagnes.  As I once heard a Black woman tell a female Klansman,  "Being from where you are, having your coloring,  you might not be the White woman you like to think you are."

There is nothing I'm aware of in the Gospels or Epistles that hold that Jews are to give up The Law, the Prophets or anything else about being Jewish.  The Covenant with Abraham was declared to be eternal.   I read Paul, the champion of the right of gentiles to the Gospel without following The Law, and it couldn't be clearer that he regarded himself as a Jew who declared himself as not only a Jew but a Pharisee.  It's a scandal and a shame that gentile Christians ever forgot that, it led to so much anti-Christianity among the nominal Christians and the Christian churches and among so many so-called Most Christian monarchs and princes.  And there has never been a period in Christianity like the present for rejecting the late-classical, medieval and post-medieval divide that should never have happened.  I think more progress has been made on that than fixing the internal divides among various groups of Christians, at least in the West.  And I think it is within religion that the greatest change has actually been made, not in secular culture.  As with Napoleon's horrific imperial campaign, it is in the reaction to a terrible evil that moves people past the long-standing habits of thought and law and custom that produced that evil. 

I think the enlightenment, ironically, in this regard adopted in a far more radical form what is called "antisemitism" when it is Christians the accusation is made against.  I mentioned last week that a number of those who the Nazis murdered for being Jews were Catholics, such as St. Edith Stein.   I mentioned that the Conversos in 15th and 16th century Spain could not only become fully recognized Catholics, they could rise to positions of power in the Church, Cardinals who get to choose the Pope, and who could be hired by the Spanish Inquisition - which was an institution of Ferdinand and Isabella, not the Vatican - and become infamous as the face of the Spanish Inquisition.  

The word "antiseitism" was invented in the late 19th century by Wilhelm Marr, a rather bizarre and infamous Jew hater (who, nonetheless was married to three women with Jewish ancestry - haters are seldom people of rational integrity) who invented himself an -ism to lend his ideology a sciency cachet in late 19th century intellectual culture where sciency cachet was the thing.  It was a word that rejected Jews as biologically separate from Germans, a different "race" who, as Baur, Fischer, Lenz would declare, along with Karl Pearson and other Darwinists of a geneticist bent**, could never really become a German or a Brit, if it were tried, they would destroy the alleged racial purity of the nation.  Something which that beacon of the PR bullshit that most talk of the "enlightenment" is Voltaire anticipated in his writings on the Jews and others he held as other and, generally, either dangerous or to be used.   

Both Voltaire and Marr hated Christianity, Marr called Christianity the "new Judaism" which had, he held, corrupted the pure Germanic population with Jewishness.  Interestingly, they also had their predecessor in a strain of Spanish claims of ancestral taint in those politicians and clergy members who, jealous of the number of Conversos who held power and favor but whose anti-Conversos stands were opposed by the majority of those in the Church of the time. 

Marr's style of it and the Nazi antisemitism is a biological claim, in the period in question a claim of "hard Darwinism" in even Marr's articulation of it.  It is the exact opposite of what is called the same thing when it's the Christian desire to convert Jews to Christianity.   The practice of allowing Jewish converts to Christianity to have full rights as not only members of denominations but as clergy and even, in the case of many in the history of the Catholic Church, as "princes of the Church" with the potential power to become Pope, is the exact opposite of what the Nazis held as a hard scientific fact in line with late 19th century and early 20th century Darwinism.  

And, I will remind you,  Marr invented the word and gave it its meaning. 

The habit of English speaking people to use one word for complex and often entirely different entities and to pretend that those entities are all the same is unfortunate.  A lot of the dishonesty of current discourse depends on that sloppiness and slackery.   Some of its most skilled users are academics and members of the scribbling profession.  Its use is not unknown in those who practice science polemically. 

I think the current effort to come up with a definition of "antisemitism" is a rather blatantly dodgy way of shielding the Israeli government from criticism of its abominable acts and policies.  I started out thinking it was a somewhat bad idea and now I think it's a dishonest one.  What's needed are several more words with distinct meanings, not mashing everything into that one word, to be used the sloppy, slacker, dishonest way you use it. 

* Consider how remarkable it is that the military dictator whose actions killed millions is considered a figure of the "enlightenment,"  and that those who held him as such at the time considered him as just that.  I've come to have a rather dim view of that "enlightenment" we were all ordered to revere.  Not that I'd want to go back to what came before it, you have to be really stupid to not understand that we're supposed to move forward, learning from the horrors of the past history, not returning to the ones that led to the later ones.   But, then, the Jewish view of history that was accepted by the later monotheistic religions, has a progressive character that is in opposition to the materialist-pagan static view of it. 

** Part of the problem was the naive belief in "genes" at the time and what was held to be their all-powerful potency as fixed entities.  We now know that that was a delusional belief on the part of early genetics, a delusion which is still potent in the general population and still claimed by even those who have a career in science and academia.  The Selfish Gene, a delusion, has enormous potency in popular culture and in the popular understanding of science even as it is known to be a grotesque distortion of current scientific knowledge.  As the Sociobiology Study Group said in 1976, it is a dangerous recapitulation of what led to the eugenics-genocide of several decades earlier. 

Update: Rereading this - I always find typos and editing artifacts that need changing -  I think that the post-WWII revolution in Western Christianity in regard to relations with the Jewish religion as opposed to what I'd assert is a far lesser effect in secularism comes because religion and religious thinking concerns itself with morality in ways that secularism doesn't.  I think the fact that evolutionary psychology easily accommodated the blatant assertion of antisemitism of Kevin MacDonald, allowing him to hold editorship at professional journals, a tenured faculty position in a science department at a reputable university, that led to that Mr. Science of the last quarter of the 20th century, Richard Dawkins, citing the blatant antisemtic science of John Hartung is directly related to the exemption science is given by secular culture from dealing with questions of morality in exactly the way that religion is required to. 

Just to be provocative.  I am a political blogger. 

On Listening To Barr's Latest Criminal Scheming

Somewhere in the swirling eddies of the news around impeachment in the past week I seem to recall the former FBI director William Webster condemning William Barr who, the interviewer said, had been one of Webster's friends.  I know that it was said many times that that great white hope of insider faith, Robert Mueller was an even closer friend of William Barr.  I believed that and it didn't surprise me when Mueller, knowing that Donald Trump and his campaign committed not only treason against the Constitution but against The People, in the face of him knowing that his buddy Barr was obstructing the Mueller Report, likely what history will mention Mueller's name in regard to,  produced such a flaccid performance of non-committal cowardice when he finally and reluctantly testified in public about what he'd found. 

With William Barr's flagrant aiding and abetting Trumpian fascist law breaking, of protecting the most fascistic president in our history and of destroying the Constitutional structure of divided power, he becomes the scandal that exposes the corruption in the kind of elite DC centered legal and judicial establishment that Webster, Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein, etc. are a part of, which so many of the members of the federal judiciary and the Supreme Court are a product of and pampered, entitled members of.   He is exhibit 1 in what should be a trial on whether or not their power and privilege is compatible with egalitarian democracy, of government of, by and for The People.  And the collusion and collegiality of other members of that establishment have to be further exhibits for the prosecution.   The whole thing is a sewer running through a hazardous landfill masked by a wall of granite pillars.  The Trump crime spree is not Barr's first round, he allowed Bush I to cover up crimes he committed in office through the very same mechanism of pardons that Trump keeps waving to hush up witnesses, he also aided the criminality of the Bush II- Cheney regime.   And Barr was far from the only one. 

With Barr's ongoing and public criminality and, worse, his attacks on democracy, that he hasn't already been disbarred by whichever of the cartels that he's licensed by is proof that that profession in its most basic professional institutions is a part of the corruption.  I don't know how that could be reformed or what might replace it,  I know it is as corrupt as the New York Bar which didn't kick out Roy Cohn until he was almost dead from AIDS despite decades of criminality and sleaze and the kind of disreputable legal practice that made him so useful to Donald Trump, his model of lawyering that Barr auditioned to be now.  

I don't have any power, I certainly don't have any influence.  But I can say that I'm not going along with it.   All of the lawyers I've named here are scum.  Their colleagues who go on cable TV, on MSNBC trying to peddle them as men of honor, the ones that are still being sold as such discredit themselves by doing that.  They are covering up for the cover-up, a small-time act such as the one that man sold as a tower of integrity, Mueller mounted during his testimony and his refusal to stick his square chin out even as he was in a position better than any of them to know what sheer evil he was covering up for.  

Thursday, December 26, 2019

It Ain't Necesarily So -The Things That You're Liable To Read About Darwin, Even By Published Academics Is Likely To Contain An Unhealthy Level Of Fecal Matter

I have tried to stay close to the primary documentary literature as much as possible, I've consulted secondary literature much less and never without checking its claims as I could find what they allegedly were based in.  So I have not read much of Daniel Gasman.  I can tell you that anyone who could simultaneously claim - correctly - that Nazism was directly fed by the foremost German evolutionary scientist of the late 19th century,  Ernst Haeckel, and then claim that the Nazis rejected evolution would have to be entirely unaware of what Ernst Haeckel's scientific fame was based in, HIS ARTICULATION OF EVOLUTIONARY SCIENCE.   

Anyone who could claim that Ernst Haeckel was not a through Darwinist is entirely ignorant because they could not possibly have read Darwin's second major book on the topic which is not only full of glowing citations of Haeckel's work but in the introduction Charles Darwin said that if he had know Haeckel was writing Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte, which Darwin relied on heavily, he would not have finished The Descent of Man because he said Haeckel had pretty much said what he did in that book.  He also praised his other work, they were friends and scientific colleagues, Darwin repeatedly, till his death endorsed Haeckel's writings and after his death Darwin's son Francis wrote that he, personally, had witnessed their collegiality when Haeckel visited his father at Down.  

Anyone who wanted to distance Haeckel from Darwin would have to have gotten over those facts and no one today ever did what he and Francis Darwin did, spoke with ol Charles.  If Haeckel wanted to defend his Darwinism, he had the letters from Darwin, his published endorsement of his version of Darwinism IN THE DESCENT OF MAN and the testimony of at least one and likely of more of Darwin's family members.  On that, if your account is accurate, Gasman is full of gas. 

The idiocy that abounds on that subject is literally everywhere online.  I saw one thing today that claimed that Haeckel couldn't be considered a strict Darwinist because he believed in Lamarckian evolution.  The problem is that Charles Darwin did, as well, in fact he published his own theory of the acquisition of acquired characteristics.  To hold that Haeckel was not a Darwinist on that count would have to equally hold that Charles Darwin was not a Darwinist.  Such is the absurdity of the post-war Darwinist cover-up. 

I won't even entertain what Robert Richards has to say on the topic because of what I've read what he claims about Haeckel and because I've also read Haeckel's proto-Nazism.  I don't trust a thing he says. 

Update:  One thing I do know is to cut through the cover-up you have to have read the primary documentation from the first and second generation of Darwinists.    The second generation, in Germany WERE THE FOUNDERS OF NAZI EUGENICS-GENOCIDE, Ploetz, Lenz, Fischer, etc.  And they were as collegial with their English language colleagues as Darwin was with Haeckel and other German Darwinsts as Haeckel was writing his proto- Nazi interpretation of it which Darwin endorsed.  in 1934, as he was helping to start the Nazi planning of their mass murders, one of the worst of them, Ernst Rüdin was elected the president of the International Federation of Eugenics Organizations, the members of which were mostly not Germans.  He got funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and other American and British people and institutions.  But that's a long story.  Rüdin was not rejected by English language scientists and science even as he was sending them copies of some of the worst things he was working on.   

And a lot of it doesn't wait till the second generation.  I'll point again to the fact that that kind of stuff was being written by Darwin's foremost British follower, famous as Darwin's attack  "bull dog" Thomas Huxley in his infamous happy declaration that now that the Black slaves in the United States had no economic utility to the white population that they would be killed off by those who had once enjoyed that economic value they derived by stealing their labor - what the Nazis did with those people they worked to death knowing there were always more where they came from.  That Darwinian declaration, made in 1865 BY DARWIN'S FOREMOST BRITISH DISCIPLE, is as proto-Nazi in its content as anything Haeckel or Alfred Ploetz or Eugen Fischer or Fritz Lenz said, it is Nazism in a nutshell in regard to one group that both Haeckel and Hitler held as inferior to white people, 24 years before Hitler was born.

QUASHIE'S plaintive inquiry, "Am I not a man and a brother?" seems at last to have received its final reply–the recent decision of the fierce trial by battle on the other side of the Atlantic fully concurring with that long since delivered here in a more peaceful way.

The question is settled; but even those who are most thoroughly convinced that the doom is just, must see good grounds for repudiating half the arguments which have been employed by the winning side; and for doubting whether its ultimate results will embody the hopes of the victors, though they may more than realise the fears of the vanquished. It may be quite true that some negroes are better than some white men; but no rational man, cognisant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still  less the superior, of the average white man. And, if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathous relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller-jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites. The highest places in the hierarchy of civilisation will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins, though it is by no means necessary that they should be restricted to the lowest. 

But whatever the position of stable equilibrium into which the laws of social gravitation may bring the negro, all responsibility for the result will henceforward lie between nature and him. The white man may wash his hands of it, and the Caucasian conscience be void of reproach for evermore. And this, if we look to the bottom of the matter, is the real justification for the abolition policy.

The doctrine of equal natural rights may be an illogical delusion; emancipation may convert the slave from a well-fed animal into a pauperised man; mankind may even have to do without cotton-shirts; but all these evils must be faced if the moral law, that no human being can arbitrarily dominate over another without grievous damage to his own nature, be, as many think, as readily demonstrable by experiment as any physical truth. If this be true, no slavery can  be abolished without a double emancipation, and the master will benefit by freedom more than the freed-man.

Really think about what he's saying here, especially those things I've put in blue. "The doctrine of equal natural rights may be an illogical delusion."  I doubt anyone has ever said something like that if they were decidedly on the side of equal natural rights.  Huxley, in his other claims clearly wants his readers to have less confidence in the existence of equal rights than his only seemingly equivocal "may" covers up.  It's clear that for him,on the basis of the biological inferiority which is the engine of the natural selection he was most famous for being the "bull dog" champion of, the idea of equal rights was as absurd a delusion that his budget-brand intellectual descendant proclaims God to be.  It's obvious from the rest of his piece that for him, as it would be for Francis Galton, or, from any rational reading of The Descent of Man and many of his statements in letters, Charles Darwin in regard to the reality of natural inequality, "the question is settled."  Settled through the assertion of natural selection. 

Nor is it in the least bit unclear that, as in Haeckel, as in The Descent of Man, that the natural outcome of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation would be the slaughter of assuredly (according to Huxley) biologically inferior Black people by their White competitors in a struggle for life.  That is as obvious from what he said which I've found nowhere Darwin disagreeing with* and which is clearly was a majority opinion in the Darwinists I read before the post-WWII era, explicitly so when they wrote even scientifically on this, certainly to be found in milder form in even the high school biology textbooks such as the one which Scopes allegedly taught from (he didn't, as he and his students admitted - read about it in my archive, look for "Scopes").  

It's not at all unclear to me that Thomas Huxley loved the idea of White former slave-owners killing their former slaves as much as his master loved the idea of British imperialists wiping out the darker-skinned inhabitants of other lands and replacing them with white people, he said so in his letter to G. A. Gaskel and in The Descent of Man. 

Proto-Nazism probably was first scientifically articulated in British English, though Haeckel immediately saw the meaning of natural selection in his reading of On the Origin of Species.  I would hold that the most evil parts of it were already present well before Darwin had these ideas. in the economic claims of Thomas Malthus, though you can find the same things attributed to Pharaoh in the first two books of the Bible.  In the Bible, in Exodus the slaves, for the first time, get the upper hand.   Pharaoh and his successors have been fighting them ever since.   There's a reason that the enslaved blacks reached for Exodus and not Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to articulate their right to freedom.  Because that's where it's held as a truth which is self-evident. 

* He as much as said the same thing about different populations of dark-skinned people as I've documented, over and over again. 

Salvation Army Brass Quintet - Go Tell It On The Mountain

Not fond of their theology, not a fan of their founder but I have generally found their brass playing to be pretty good.   They look so young. 

Joy To The World  


It's funny how that works, if someone says something about Jesus as a Christian, that's supposed to discredit what they say but if someone says something about Jesus as an anti-Christian, that's supposed to be pure of ideological motive, even if the anti-Christian is a professional or clearly ideological anti-Christian.  It's especially funny when the person who you claim is credible has absolutely no scholarly or academic or other claim to having made an in-depth study of the matter as opposed to Christians who have published many things in any rigorously reviewed journals on those topics which, as well, publish reviewed papers by their opponents.

It's got its parallel in how the media treats conservatives as more credible than liberals, Republicans as more credible than Democrats. 

Update:  Yeah, yeah, like I said, it's Christmas at the geriatric jr. high.  Let me guess, someone's proposing they all read Burroughs' Junky's Christmas to go with the rest of the annual pubescent cynicism.  I relearned that cynicism turns lefties into self-indulgent, self-involved slugs from Eugene O'Neill  I didn't need Duncan's cynical exercise in time-wasting to know that, it took me a long time to realize that's what it was and is.   I'll bet I can guess who pooped in the wassail bowl without looking. 

I Didn't Know That - Still hate the song but the story is moving and so interesting

Sometimes Christmas is not what it is supposed to be. Neither merry nor white. If the world is full of joy, we cannot see it. Peace eludes earth, and we cannot hear the angels sing.

On Christmas morning 1928 they discovered their infant son, born earlier that December, dead in his crib of what would come to be known as sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. Born Ellin Mackay, the infant’s mother was Catholic. The father, Irving Berlin, was a Russian-born Jew, the son of an orthodox cantor.

Like so many other songs that he wrote, the melancholy words and melody of “White Christmas” percolated for some time before Mr. Berlin found a purpose for them: “Holiday Inn,” a movie about “a retired trouper who buys a farm, and when farming doesn’t work out, turns the farm into an inn that open only on holidays.” It would star Paramount’s newest sensation, the crooner Bing Crosby.

“Holiday Inn,” which premiered in August of 1942, was a hit but as for the score’s centerpiece, the tune in which Berlin had invested so much hope, the collective silence was deafening. The New York Time’s review mentioned “White Christmas” only in passing, calling it “tender”; the Herald Tribune called it “tuneful”; and Variety failed to mention it at all.

In Irving Berlin: New York Genius (2019), biographer James Kaplan notes that Mr. Crosby’s Decca recording of the song entered the Lucky Strike Hit Parade in the spring of 1942 at number 10 but stalled at two. Then, quite unexpectedly,

“White Christmas,” which Berlin had deliberately chosen not to promote at the outset, preferring to wait until the commencement of the holiday season (in those sweetly innocent times, after Thanksgiving), started to sell like crazy, on record and in sheet music. In August. By mid-September, “our number one song without any plugs.” By the first week of October it stood at the top of the Hit Parade, and—with recordings by the Freddy Martin Orchestra and Dinah Shore joining Crosby’s—Billboard proclaimed “White Christmas” “one of the most phenomenal hits in the history of the music business.”

Why did “White Christmas” smash the charts? And in the summer of 1942? Because America had been plunged into war the previous December. Her prospects on the battlefield were grim. That summer thousands of young Americans found themselves half a globe away from home, facing a Christmas that most likely would not be merry and quite certainly would not be white. The song spoke to the G.I.’s and to their families at home.
And so is the longer article that begins with that story.

I am an implacable enemy of that metaphor

As noted in one of my Christmas Eve posts, scientistic-atheist-materialists are in the habit of making up explanatory stories in exactly the way they love to accuse religious people and anyone who they feel is insufficiently scientistic or atheistic or materialistic to suit them.  Theirs come in forms which an atheist-materialist, though far less a devotee of scientism, Stephen Jay Gould called "just-so stories" after the wretched Kipling's name for his children's book.  He noted and documented the people such as Dawkins, the evo-psychologists and Sociobiologist had created their science out of little more than that, he called them "Darwinian-fundamentalists" and such they are.  I could write a long post about those other Darwin wars, the ones within Darwinism which proves that there are many, mutually incompatible interpretations of natural selection, which is something that started a lot earlier than someone who has not looked at the history of natural selection might be surprised about.   It started in the first generation of Darwinists, one of the sharpest such war of the Darwinists was between the conventional followers of Charles Darwin who believed in Lamarckian inheritance of inherited characteristics, Ernst Haeckel probably the most scientifically though not philosophically eminent of those,  Darwin depended on him a lot more than Darwinists such as Stephen Jay Gould would have ever wanted to face.  The other side of that war coalesced around another German language Darwinist,August Weismann who, among other things, proved how naive the conceptions of biological inheritance was among these giants of late 19th century science, he's probably best known for "disproving" Lamarckian inheritance by, I kid you not, proving that if he cut the tails off of mice their children didn't inherit those surgically shortened tails.  And that was considered scientific evidence.  I'm telling you, a lot of that science and so much of it, even today, is no better than the most bogus of those other early adopters of Darwinism, psychology and sociology. 

What all of them shared, though, is the mother of all just-so stories, something I have called the alleged solution to what I've called the mother of all n-factorial problems - which I don't believe for a second science will every find a master key to - evolutionary inheritance and the rising of new species natural selection.   And natural selection is just that, a just-so story, an explanatory fable that takes whatever form whatever scientist wants it to take, to be believed by their colleagues of their particular sect of Darwinists.  And it all starts in that building block of stories, metaphors. 

There is a really bad habit of thought that comes with using the word "metaphor."   We seem to feel and so think, of metaphors as innocuous because they're not "real" they're a tool of seeing what's "real" and not the real thing itself.*  But that habit of regarding them as innocuous is certainly not evidenced in the history of the use of metaphors.  As Richard Lewontin points out in the use of metaphors to talk about genetics and development in biology, people often forget that their own metaphors are just that, tools for creating understanding or a semblance of understanding - if you start believing your own metaphors are what they are not, the thing itself, you are in great danger of making them a lot more real in effect than you may have started out intending to.  Or maybe you're just giving into whatever motivated you to come up with the metaphor, unintended or unaware of your own motive.   

As I noted in passing, it is a horrific irony that the existence of natural selection is most in evidence, not in nature but in what human beings have made of it, including English language and other eugenics and in the most literal application of that in the Nazi and other genocides which were explained as "applied biology."  Nowhere in nature has it been demonstrated as clearly if at all. 

In an answer to the first tidal wave of negative reaction to the very first time I wrote on Darwinism, the thing that kicked this whole thing off, I noted the following: 


Darwin used a metaphor to describe the unchecked breeding of the “weaker members” of the human species and the bad results it would have for future generations. He said:

Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

He introduced the idea that it was stupid to allow certain people to have children after lamenting that they would survive to child bearing age. By comparing people to farm animals in this context he was clearly lamenting that people wouldn’t be treated like animals in a commercial breeding operation.

Let me stop here to ask, isn’t that outrageous enough in itself? Not even animals in the wild, but comparing human beings to animals in a commercial breeding operation? Where else have we seen that idea not only posed by carried out?

Darwin’s Defender didn’t seem to realize that animals selected as not to be bred are not kept as pets on a farm but are marked for early slaughter. I’ll point out that this is entirely in keeping with the earlier part of the paragraph where Darwin laments that human beings will survive long enough to breed.

The mechanism to prevent this happening in the human population, the one he approves of, the one he heartily approves of among the ‘savages’ is through the deaths of the “weaker members”. That the gentleman's son, Charles Darwin, would leave the culling to the 'savages' signifies absolutely nothing.


That metaphorical use of animals in a breeding operation, in which it is an intrinsic part of that use to regularly kill animals in accord with humanly determined economic utility, applying it to the human population directly within science has been strong enough to immediately produce a. the eugenics of Galton and b. Haeckel and, then, Darwin, himself, to assert the "good" that would come from the deaths of the "unfit" or "lower" members of the living human population.  They were more than just willing to turn the metaphor real, they were enthusiastic in doing so. 

It is notable in my long study of the activity of English language and German language Darwinists who followed the inevitable eugenic interpretation of natural selection, that the "savages" that Darwin and they talked about, those who the Germans running the death camps in East Africa murdered - their "savagery" being part of the reason they were deemed OK to kill - and those who about the same time in polite, elite, educated American and British science, social-science, law and politics talked blithely of the benefits that were to be derived by "civilised" men constructing huge lethal chambers and killing the lame, the sick, the poor and the "unfit" were proposing and practicing savagery of the kind they used to stereotype entire other "races" other than their own, the very savagery often reified into an imagined existence in their own minds to attribute to, mostly, darker skinned people is dwarfed by what they proposed to do in order to mimic the culling they imagined was done by the savages not to mention among animals who they had to contend killed off their own species in ways that I'm pretty sure observation in the wild couldn't support.  That is one of the biggest issues that early on led me to doubt that natural selection was anything but a product of the imaginations of self-interested men of science of the British and other European and white North Americans people and not a real thing in the real world.  

Among the things that are "odd that" is that no group of people I'm aware of have noted their own "savagery."  in that way.  Other than some who have cultivated it out of their vestigial post-Rousseau romanticism as found in mid-brow modernism.  But that's mostly a PR sales gimmick. 

I think the utility of natural selection which Marx wrote to in his first mention of it to Engels, that it was a useful tool to attack the Jewish-Christian religions was as strong a motive among Marxists and atheist-materialist socialists and anarchists and others on the left.  That motive was something they shared with the proto-Nazi Darwinists such as Haeckel and the British version of that in Huxley, a confluence that met in the British Fabian socialist Karl Pearson who I wrote about so much over the past week.   There is a long passage in Baur, Fischer, Lenz discussing that thing which they, Nazis and a fellow traveler of Nazis, noted they and their political rivals in German Marxism shared a common interest in promoting natural selection. 

The desire in the post-war period to distance this intellectual movement from the genocidal murders of the Nazis while still retaining a useful ideological construct without which science cannot pretend that it has "the key" to the massive phenomenon of evolution is dishonest.  Evolution, to put the metaphor as a simile, is like an iceberg in which only the tiniest fraction of one percent of it it will ever be seen because it involves so many unknowable lives of trillions and trillions of organisms which have left absolutely no observable, recognizable or measurable traces.  Pretending science can ever have one key to it is an attractive delusion. 

Knowing its history and its indelible character, knowing what it has produced and it will always produced because of what it is, knowing how flimsy its character and its definition are, what its stated origin is in the British class interests that the putrid flower of the most degenerate anti-Christian period of Anglicanism, Malthus, provided to Darwin,  I am an implacable enemy of that metaphor who will never stop attacking it because it is as dangerous as it has ever been. 

Note:  Through looking at the vile Fritz Lenz I have become more interested in the bizarre habit of thought that seems to regard the molecules that genes are as if they were not material objects.  The misconception of the anti-Lamarckian stream of Darwinism that arose with August Weismann's naive experiments to attack, within the framing of natural selection,  the Lamarckian beliefs shared by Charles Darwin, Ernst Haeckel and Herbert Spencer (who, contrary to the post-war lie, was part of Darwin's inner circle).  I had thought it bizarre that in 1899 Haeckel attacked Weismann's developing genetics as if genes were not material objects, as material as any other molecules.  I think a lot of that was out of sheer professional-political opportunism, religion having the cooties back then in such circles as it does now.  A lot of it may have been because the molecules of genetics were the carriers of information which cannot fit into he vulgar conception that materialism is.  Genes, as they are carriers of semiotic meaning are not entirely material, no more than paper and ink which carry information are merely material, susceptible to purely material analysis.  You need more than that to describe, fully, what words on a page are. 

But, alas, I wasted my youth reading a lot of materialist crap and I'm not going to ever have the time to read everything I'll need to to come to any understanding of that.   

I write this because I came across a book which has a long passage about Fritz Lenz which brings up these issues - alas, recent enough to not be in the public domain - and this article by Herbert Spencer attacking Weismann - I'll note he begins so by quoting some of the conceptual and observational difficulties with natural selection that August Weismann admitted to as early as the 1890s, difficulties that I think are more true today, because, as Spencer put it, in controversy "Each proposition becomes the parent of half a dozen."  and there has been no alleged and asserted scientific theory like natural selection for giving birth to mutually controverting versions of it.  It continues to produce so many that I think the reasons for keeping it are irrational veering into the lunatic. 

I have, however, produced the Nazi Fritz Lenz proclaiming that his professional product was a product growing out of Darwinian natural selection.  No matter what species of that many headed hydra he claimed as real. 

*  A similar point could be made about the word "allegory" though when it's science, "allegory" is far less often admitted to than outside of science. 

Note:  August Weismann's scientific writing on the topic of music interested me because it proves that Aaron Copland's skepticism about what comes of a literary man writing on the topic would seem to be in evidence when it's a scientist who does.  His descriptions about the music of "savages" coming from a guy who lived in a "civilized" Europe that produced Wagner, German military bands and the operetta is pretty absurd.  

I will note that Weismann's son Julius was a composer, though I didn't know his music.  I read with interest that one of his musical achievements was writing incidental music to A Midsummer Nights' Dream for a state-funded Nazi music group, to replace the well-known music of Mendelssohn.  I don't know it but from what I read, it was considered something of a flop.  I did listen to some of his music on Youtube, it has technical competence but it's not very interesting.  Apparently he was in the same Nazi friendly musical circle as Wagner's grandson Wieland Wagner.   I'd much rather listen to the music of the people his father found so "savage." 

Update:  The html is wonky again, I've tried every fix I know and can't get the font size to behave.  

Update 2:  Make that "German and ESPECIALLY British military bands".  

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Olivier Messiaen - 20 Looks At The Infant Jesus - 6 Through Him All Things Were Made

Roger Muraro, piano

I'm A Smart Enough Human To Know If My Dog Keeps Telling Me Go Out I'd Either Better Listen Or Get Some Cleaning Rags

Stella the Dog Talks with Buttons

Warning: Don't listen through earphones or with the volume turned up

or your teeth might feel like every one is abscessed by the curse of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Tomas Luis Victoria - O Magnum Mysterium

Masters of the Académie Vocale of  Paris,  Iain Simcock, director

O great mystery,
and wondrous sacrament,
that animals should see God born,
lying in a manger!

This is about my favorite Christmas piece of all.  

It was brought to mind by the passage in Isaiah , "Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."  I've never found the dogma that animals don't have immortal souls to be either convincing or congenial.   My friend RMJ notes that Luke is a subtle theologian, I wonder if his noting that Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger, from which animals eat, isn't him noting that the animals were a witness to God made flesh as well as people.  I would think that implies that they have a higher status than soulless objects.   The text of this chant calls animals seeing God born, lying in a manger a sacrament.  

The old Catholic Encyclopedia, in its long article on the definition of sacraments begins, "Sacraments are outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification."  Yet, in this chant, the outward sign is made to animals as well as people.  And, in Luke, it is the humblest of people who live in closest proximity to animals who are the first to whom it is announced, it's in Matthew that the wise and mighty find signs of it in their astrology.

It's been not only one of the best discoveries of my adult conversion that the Scripture is full of texts implying that all people as well as all animals live in relation to God, as I've said, it was in the passage in Genesis in which God tells Noah that he has made his rainbow covenant with "all flesh" which would include animals which is not only revealing but essential to me.  I have read that the radically exclusive traditional Catholic treatment of animals I grew up with was more a product of the modern, mechanistic view of the universe coming from Descartes and Bacon  than it was in the more authentic Scriptural tradition. Maybe I had to read that to see the subtle things that were always in the Scripture that I didn't notice before.  

St. Francis advocated that people put out food for birds and other animals at Christmas time.   I'd trust his view of animals more than I would Descartes. who was so evil as to dissect his wife's dog as it was nailed to a board, conscious and crying out in pain, which he dismissed as the squeaking of a defective machine or the rest of the mechanistic tradition.  St. Francis wasn't the one leading us to destroying ourselves through destroying the environment we live in, that comes from the desacralized mechanistic view of life, not the view that sanctifies it, the view that the animals in the stable where Jesus were born were the recipients of a sacrament for their sanctification. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Ukranian Orthodox Chant - In the Dark Night

Orthodox Christian Chant "In the Dark Night" about the Birth of Lord Jesus Christ,  by the Monks of Svetogorskaya Lavra in Ukraine.

Leo Sowerby - Magnificat and Nunc Dimmitis in D Major

The Incarnation Choir,  Church of Incarnation in Dallas, TX
Live performance, November 13, 2018.
Scott Dettra, organist-choirmaster and Graham Shultz, associate director/organist


Stuffmas Humbug

It's been a different kind of Advent season on my blog in that I haven't posted much music, one or two short pieces, no settings of the Magnificat, no series making fun of the idea that Xians stole Christmas from those poor put-upon human-sacrificing pagans that the Nazis so hoped to revive and replace Xianity with - pointing out that some idiot neo-Pagans have revived "Yule lanterns" an invention not of ancient pagans but of 1930s-40s Nazis.   I haven't looked this year but some of the ones the idiots were making, buying and selling had the SS double sig and other Nazi symbols on them, though I'm fully prepared to bet that a good majority of those who bought them had no idea that's what they were buying.  I have less confidence that those who made and sold them didn't know they were selling Nazi crap.  Idiots who forget (or never learn) history are unprepared to fight it when it repeats itself. 

I thought I'd post one of my traditional postings,  Garrison Keillor's wonderfully grumpy piece about lousy Christmas music and the junking up of Christmas with Rudolph and chestnuts roasting, etc.  I won't bother going over what brought the trolls out one year.  They didn't read it so it's not worth going over. 

The song I had going through my head last week, just to spread the joy, was the repulsive American-ersatz Irish Christmas in Killarny which is why I wished I could go back and strangle Bing before he could sing.   And then there's Have Yourself a Merry Little . . .  I hate American, especially Hollywood Christmas.  We screw up every holiday we can sell something over.  

I did like the Brueggemann, if I'm doing this next year I'll try to find something like that but there's no one like Brueggemann that I know of. 

Update:  Oh, wait, I just remembered, I did post George Dyson's Magnificat in c minor.  Lot of water under the bridge since the beginning of Advent. 

Update 2:  So, what you're saying it's Christmas in the geriatric jr. high, again.  Thanks but I left that behind when I was 14. 

What About The Virgin Birth?

The virgin birth presents a special problem which continues to be a subject of passionate discussion.  The virginal conception (without male procreation) of Jesus by the Virgin Mary, firstly and only mentioned in the infancy stories of Matthew and Luke, but taken up in numerous ancient creeds - among them the Apostles' Creed - has been understood in different ways in the Church's tradition.  At first it was taken in a strictly Christological sense, as in Matthew and Luke, as virginity before the birth (viginitas ante partum=viginal conception).  But from the fourth or fifty century, under the influence of somewhat dubious sources (the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James) and a strong ascetic movement, it was given a broader meaning to include virginity in birth (in partu=without birth pangs and/or rupture of the hymen).  Finally it came to be understood as virginity -likewise not attested in the New Testament - after the birth (post partum = no sexual relations and no further children).  That is semper virgo,for all time, perpetual virginity.  Instead of the Christological approach, the Mariological becomes increasingly prominent.  The term "virgin birth" is used instead of "virginal conception."  

Instead of going on, right now, with what Hans Kung said about the Virgin Birth (I got into the habit of capitalizing it to annoy people who I was being trolled by) I'm going to give you what I believe is the first piece I ever posted about Richard Dawkins way back in August, 2007, you may notice that some things have not changed but others have.
Science Without Physical Evidence, Dawkins Brings Us Back To The Middle Ages.

"Did Jesus have a human father, or was his mother a virgin at the time of his birth? Whether or not there is enough surviving evidence to decide it, this is still a strictly scientific question." Richard Dawkins, quoted by H. Allen Orr in the New York Review of Books, Jan.11, 2007.

The first thing to notice about this odd passage is “Whether or not there is enough surviving evidence to decide....”. Why “whether”? Its an absolute fact that there is no physical evidence available. None. No medical records, not even skeletal fragments. No physical remains of the woman or son or possible father in question are available nor is their possibly surviving lineage known. It's unlikely in the extreme that those will ever be identified. Why try to obscure the fact that there is none of the evidence necessary to examine the question with science when it is indisputable that there isn’t? So, Dawkins proposes examining the question scientifically without any physical evidence. He proposes determining the paternity of a child without anything to go on, whatsoever.*

Perhaps somewhat more understandable, since it’s Dawkins, he says that you can deal with the assertion of something that is claimed to have happened miraculously, outside the usual order of things and exactly once in the entire history of the world in the remote past, with science. With the claims made by those who believe in the Virgin Birth, even argument by analogy can’t address it. When an event is claimed to be unique, there is no possibility of making a comparison with another or even every other event proposed to be similar. Any scientific comparison with any other event would be irrelevant to the claims of a miracle unless you had physical evidence of it**

The total lack of evidence and the claim of uniqueness renders it clearly and most certainly NOT a question science can deal with. And this from the Oxford University Professor of The Public Understanding of Science. Certainly among the first things to understand about science are when there isn’t enough evidence to practice it and when there is. That is something that hasn’t stopped Dawkins in the past, however.

Much as it must frustrate those who would like to deal with some religious questions with science, much cannot be. They might not like that fact but that is just too bad. When the physical evidence necessary to study those is lost to history or non-existent, that is simply impossible. Pretending that you can proceed without the evidence it is dishonest and, beyond doubt, unscientific. You can believe or not believe the claims but using the prestige of the name science to back up your assertions can be done honestly only under specific conditions. It also carries a serious responsibility.

No one has to believe in the Virgin Birth, this short piece isn’t about that. This is about how one of the most famous and arrogant personalities of science can get away with saying something so stunningly absurd. With his status in contemporary culture, it’s just amazing that a person holding a position like Dawkins’ conveniently ignores something so basic to science.

If biologists are content with having Dawkins being the face of their science, they are exchanging short term glamour for long term problems. It is growing clearer that in the political climate in democracies that science can’t support the dead weight of extraneous ideologies unnecessary for it. I will make a prediction that you can check out later, if Dawkins truly becomes the face of evolution it will continue to face fierce opposition by many of those he insults gratuitously. Its research funding will not be secure. In the face of his arrogant condescension, a large percentage of the public will not understand the science or want to.

* While it might be fun to point out, going into the need to give God a paternity test only heightens the apparent absurdity of Dawkins claim that this is “a strictly scientific question. Science not only can't deal with these kinds of things, it makes a mockery of science to try it.

**. Your only hope to determine the accuracy of a claim of a miracle is to look at whatever evidence of the specific event is available and see if the claimed result happened. Modern claims of, for example, miraculous cures of physical diseases, could, very possibly, be investigated by science but only by examination of the physical evidence. Without that, science can’t be used to investigate the claim.

Update 2019,  Boy, was I naive about the atheists back then. 

these infancy stories correctly understood are anything but innocuous,edifying accounts of the child Jesus

Here is more of what Hans Kung had to say about the two narratives about the Birth of Jesus, continuing from where I left off last night

Within the scope of the present work,  these few references must suffice to confirm the fact that these infancy stories correctly understood are anything but innocuous,edifying accounts of the child Jesus.  They are stories of Christ, based on profound theological reflection, to be used in a carefully planned proclamation, seeing to portray artistically, vividly and in a highly critical light the true significance of Jesus as Messiah for the salvation of all the nations of the world:  As Son of David and new Moses, as communicator of the Old Covenant and initiator of the New, as Saviour of the poor and as true Son of God.  Here obviously is not the first phase of a biography of Jesus or a precious family history.  It has such more the character of a Gospel;  a message of invitation, according to which the Old Testament promises were fulfilled in Jesus, the chosen one of God,  who did not provide any detailed political prescriptions and programs, but in his very existence, his speech his action and suffering, set up an absolutely concrete standard at which an in his individual and social action can confidently aim

There May Always Room For Jello But That Doesn't Mean I'm Eating That Crap

I won't discuss that particular Nazi collaborator today because I'm only vaguely aware of him, not having had the time to study such evil, though relatively petty criminals in the Nazi crime wave.  I see from the Wikipedia article you reference that he belonged to a Lutheran congregation which, looking it up just now WAS LED BY AN ANTI-NAZI PASTOR.  So it's clear his membership in that particular congregation isn't where he got his collaboration with the Nazis.  

If I have time to look farther into him, I might write about him in the future.  So many Nazi scientists and doctors, so little time to look into them.  I will note that other things I see online say one of the problems is a lot of people, including apparently his own child, believes he destroyed a lot of the evidence that would be needed to determine the extent of his crimes against humanity.  That, I will point out, is not generally true with those people my writing about has pissed you off so mightily, I've used their own words and recorded deeds to make my case. 

If you are going to blame churches for not being in total control of the behavior of their members - and if they did you'd accuse them of totalitarian behavior - why don't you hold the medical profession that researcher belonged to even more responsible.  They enabled him to practice his profession just as the legal profession and the universities he went to enable William Barr to commit his crimes, right out in full view.  The Lutheran church didn't give that Nazi doctor credentials to preach or teach theology, he was licensed to practice his profession, having gotten academic credentials that allowed him to work in the field and put him in contact with the Nazi medical officials who enabled what we rightly consider criminal activity.  That would be because a number of them, like him, had credentials from universities and were licensed as doctors and hired as scientific researchers.   Why doesn't that totally discredit universities and the medical profession?   

It's stupid to judge an entire religious orientation,  Christianity, because there are people who profess that faith who are, in their actions, faithless.   A legitimate criticism of Christianity, for which the ultimate authoritative voice is what Jesus said and did, what the acknowledged early authorities in the other scriptures, especially Paul, said WOULD HAVE TO BE A CRITICISM OF THOSE WHOSE ACTIONS WERE IN LINE WITH THE SCRIPTURE.  You'd have to blame them for doing to others what they would want done to them, to feed the poor,clothe the naked, heal the sick and visit the prisoner, to treat the alien among them as they would someone of their own group.  To treat the least among them as they would treat God.   Go ahead, do that, you'd find yourself in the company of Charles Darwin and his inner circle who warned that doing literally all of those things would endanger the "superior" sort of people.   You want to blame Christianity for those people who claim to follow the teachings of Jesus but whose actions couldn't possibly be more of a contradiction to the Gospel.   

The Nazis fully intended to replace Christianity with Nazism after the war, their own internal documents prove that was part of their plans AFTER THEY WON WORLD WAR TWO.  Their inter rum plan was to gradually introduce Mein Kampf into churches and to get the Bible out of it, to replace the cross with the Nazi swastika.  The great scholar and religious figure, Susannah Heschel has said that the Nazi collaborators in the Lutheran establishment were in the process of totally altering and distorting the Scriptures to make Jesus an Aryan and to cut out everything overtly Jewish about it. As I recall the percentage she said they had to cut was well over half of it, though I don't have her book with me.   She pointed out that that was a big problem for, especially, Lutherans because Luther depended so heavily on Paul and Paul explicitly said he was a Jew, a Pharisee.  No doubt after such willing collaborators in Christian churches would have been swept aside after the Nazi stronghold was sufficiently strong.   Hitler had many around him whose atheism cannot be said to violate anything about atheism, any who might have called themselves Christians had to violate virtually everything that Jesus taught to be Nazis.  Nazism is a contradiction of The Law, The Prophets and the Gospel. 

But I'll say it another way, if I were to look at the medical doctors who are active in Washington as Republicans, if I treated the medical profession in the way that the secular culture insists Christianity be treated, I'd have to conclude the medical profession was uniformly greedy, amoral, stupid and generally mentally ill.   I haven't noticed any of them losing their credentials or anyone seriously proposing they be kicked out of that lucrative profession.  I'd say the same thing about any of the Republican caucus in the House and will probably say the same about those in the Senate who profess Christianity.  Only, in most cases, that's a personal claim, it's generally not a claim that Christianity and churches have the power to refute, it's not set up like a profession or a degree granting institution.   Though John Paul II and Benedict XVI stripped a number of fine and brilliant Catholic theologians of their license to teach as official Catholic theologians - what they did to Elizabeth Johnson was particularly disgusting - nothing they did could keep them from identifying themselves as just that.   

I'm going to go eat an orange in honor of Susannah Heschel.  And if you don't understand why that's appropriate, find out why.  I love Susannah Heschel. 

Update:  OK, I'll name him.  Othmar von Verschuer, who I read about while researching these issues but who I'd not gotten around to looking into in the depth I like to before I write about someone.  This was the only reference to him in my notes on this subject.

After spending six years researching the history of the Institute, Hans-Walter Schmuhl from the University of Bielefeld is convinced that these were not the only instances of collaboration between the institute and Auschwitz.

"There were most probably further ties, beyond these two research projects," he said. "On the strength of my studies, I also believe that samples of people with disabilities were also sent from Auschwitz to Berlin. During the war years, this field was one of the institute's man research areas."

In 1942, Josef Mengele's former professor Othmar von Verschuer was made director of the Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics in Dahlem, Berlin. He and his protégé went on to work together on the two eugenics projects.

Aussenansicht des Konzentrationslagers Auschwitz, 60 Jahre Gedenktag Mengele sent blood samples from some 200 patients of various race to his partner at the Berlin institute, while Karin Magnussen received human parts from the notorious concentration camp, such as eyes taken from a dead Sinti family.

I would guess that it is quite likely that the Sinti family who were murdered as part of the Nazis "final solution of the gypsy problem," a particular interest of Adoph Eichmann, were Christians, the Roma people in Eastern Europe being largely Christians.   

I will also note that it was my negative reaction to a  racist "Gypsy"  joke made on a play-lefty blog that led to my seven years plus trolling by the guy who made the racist joke. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Remember This The Next Time You See The Atheists At Alternet or Raw Story Recycling Their Old "It's a fake" Christmas Retreads

Even if the stories of the birth are not historical account, they can - as we have also explained - be true in their own way, can make a truth known.  

I will break in here to point out that those who would mock this as some kind of ass-covering, especially, who else, the scientistic-materialist-atheists, it is an unacknowledged truth that they invent, tell and fully believe such stories.   I have pointed out just within the past week that every single evolutionary story told about animals and other organisms in the lost, unobserved, undocumented, unevidenced past is exactly that kind of story.  And unlike the stories I've mentioned, the two birth narratives don't claim to produce scientific knowledge.  Those stories of science are told under the most obvious of ideological framings and with obvious ideological or professional motives that the stories they come up with just happen to support.  Odd that.   Certainly in the case of Luke and implicitly in the case of Matthew, the motives of the writers are admitted to and proclaimed and is not claimed to have the status claiming to be objective knowledge of the kind science is most frequently claimed to produce (it doesn't, by the way and philosophically competent scientists don't make those kinds of claims, incompetent ones and atheist hacks do). 

And the same can be true of the kind of historical fiction I've talked about in the past week.  

So maybe we should do what Hans Kung does, look at the stories in terms of their meanings and the motives in telling them.  

The infancy stories as part of the proclamation and as professions of faith are meant to make known, not primarily historical, but saving truth;  the message of the salvation of men in Jesus.  And this can be achieved more graphically and therefore more impressively in the form of a Christmas story, legendary in its detail, of the child in the crib in Bethlehem than with the aid of documents giving completely accurate details of the time and place of birth. 

It is not historical criticism, searching for the essential message, which has emptied the Christmas message and the Christmas feast of meaning but on the one hand the trivializing of these things, reducing them to a romantic idyl, a cosy private affair, and on the other the superficial secularization and the ruthless commercialization.  As if the "holy infant so tender and mild" - not indeed in Luke and Matthew, but in the holy pictures - were always smiling and never cried in his very human misery (which is indicated, without any social-critical protest, by the crib and the swaddling clothes).  As if the Saviour of the needy, born in a stable, had not clearly revealed a partisanship for the nameless ones (shepherds) against the great ones who are named (Augustus, Quintinius).  As if the Magnificat of the grace-endowed maid, about the humiliation of the mighty and the exaltation of the humble, about satisfying the hungry and sending away the rich, were not a militant announcement of a revision of priorities.  As if the lovely night of the newborn child meant that we could ignore his work and his fate three decades later and as if the child in the crib did not already bear on his brow the mark of the cross.  As if already in the announcement scenes (the center of the Christmas story) before Mary and the shepherds - as later in the process before the Jewish tribunal - the complete profession of faith of the community were not given expression by bringing together a number of majestic titles (Son of God, Saviour, Messiah,  King, Lord) and by ascribing these titles to this child instead of the Roman emperor here named.  As if here - instead of the illusory Pax Romana, brought by increased taxes, escalation of armaments, pressure on minorities and the pessimism of prosperity - the true peace of Christ were not being announced with "great joy,"  founded on a new order of interpersonal relationships in the spirit of God's friendship for man and the brotherhood of men.  

It is in fact obvious that given the apparently idyllic Christmas story has very real social-critical (and in the broadest sense, political) implications and consequences.  This is a peace opposed to the political savoir and the political theology of the Imperium Romanum which provided ideological support for the imperial peace policy;  it is a true peace which cannot be expected where divine honors are paid to a human being and an autocrat, but only where God is glorified in the highest and he is well-pleased with man.  We need only to compare Luke's Christmas Gospel and the Gospel already mentioned of Augustus at Priene to see how the roles here are exchanged.  The end of wars, worthwhile life,  common happiness - in a word, complete well-being, man's "salvation" and the world's - are expected no longer from the overpowerful Roman Caesars but from the powerless child.  

Hans Kung: On Being A Christian