A deeper look at Jonah and the whale

The story of Jonah and the whale is one that all Christian children learn, and it is certainly a tale of high drama and fantasy. How could a man possibly survive being eaten by a whale and live in the beast’s stomach for three days? Clearly, there was something supernatural going on. But the lesson we should learn from the book of Jonah is much deeper and more profound than the miracle of God intervening to stop Jonah from fleeing and then supernaturally preserving his life to send him to Ninevah.

You see, Ninevah was the capital of the brutal Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians had brutally repressed the people of Israel, and were known for their horrific treatment of cities they captured. People were tortured is savage ways and women were raped. Jonah was a patriot who had no desire to bring God’s message of forgiveness to the people of Ninevah. He wanted God do destroy the city.

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Consent is not enough

As Christians, we need to be able to read the stitches on the fastball. Not every Christian will have the same level of discernment, but we all should have some level of discernment. We should pray for more discernment and we should cultivate what we already have. We certainly should not despise those who have extra discernment and can see where the culture is going before we get there, and warn us about it.

There are both good and bad things about the #MeToo movement, and the emphasis on consent is good. Too many men (especially rich and powerful men) feel they have a “right” to take what they want, and women’s wishes are overridden. Women should never be forced to do anything against their will.

But while consent is necessary, consent is not enough.

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Hypocrisy and hyperpartisanship at the Herald-Times

If someone wrote a letter to the editor and I called the author a “terrorist” in Herald-Times comments, I expect my comment would be deleted, as it should be. Calling someone a “terrorist” is a defamatory statement, because terrorists commit acts of violence, destruction and mayhem to advance a political agenda. So why should a Leftist be permitted to fraudulently call me a “terrorist” in the comments for my letter to the editor?

The Herald-Times has long had a policy against libelous and defamatory comments. The so-called “newspaper” deleted several comments in 2011 when a Democratic activist accused a former Republican elected official of felony voter fraud for voting in the Democratic primary. (Indiana has closed primaries.) After that, the H-T said people were not allowed to use the word “murder” to describe abortion, even if no specific person was accused of a felony. I strongly disagree with prohibiting the word “murder,” but at least I can respect the reasoning for that rule – provided it is evenly enforced. (Spoiler! That policy is not evenly enforced.)

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The need for simple, easily understandable rules

Social media moderation should not be nearly as difficult as it is made out to be. There will always be challenges, but it need not be as complex as it is now. More importantly, it should not be difficult for social media users to understand what they are and are not allowed to post on the various platforms.

The New York Times was recently given more than 1400 pages of rules for content on Facebook that are enforced by 15,000 moderators worldwide. Facebook moderators often struggle with what should be allowed to stay and what should be removed, which leads to a lot of mistakes.

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Why does it have to be “all or nothing” with Trump?

The Republican Party has always prided itself on being a “big tent,” but a large portion of MAGA world seems determined to make that tent as small as possible. Much of the Left also seems determined to push away people who do not totally reject Donald Trump and everything he does. For way too many people on both sides, Trump is an “all or nothing” proposition. You must totally support him or totally oppose him, with no room for nuance or independent thought. But here is the reality: There are many more shades of gray in life and in politics than we care to admit.

One thing that both liberals and #NeverTrump conservatives often fail to understand is that support for Donald Trump as a political figure does not mean support for everything he says and does, or even that we like him as a person. The thing that MAGA world does not understand is that criticism of some of Trump’s words and actions does not mean we are a “never Trumper” or Deep State. (Or for some of the less mature people, that we are a traitor, a faggot or a cuck.)

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How should we deal with identity politics?

Ideally, politics should be about policy: What actions by government make sense to benefit the most people and secure the nation as a whole? But we should not pretend identity politics has not existed since the founding of our nation: We identified with our state, city, religion, and yes we identified by race, class, sex and ethnicity. Democrats’ embrace of “identity politics” is nothing new. It often is overly broad, though, and E.J. Dionne Jr. had an interesting piece last month. This particular quote stuck out for me:

For example, calls for an end to identity politics are frequently (and reasonably) interpreted by African Americans, Latinos, women and LGBTQ people as not-so-veiled attempts to make politics about straight white men again.

Source: The Washington Post.

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I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!

Some years ago, I was walking one of my dogs when I tripped over a part of the sidewalk where it has been pushed up by a tree root. This is because I am too dumb to pick up my feet when I am walking.

Anyway, I started to fall. I stumbled for several steps and regained my balance, or at least I thought I had regained my balance. I was wrong. I immediately started falling forward again, to my surprise. It was summer, and I was wearing shorts. Directly in front of me was sidewalk and to my right was mud. In a split second, I decided it would hurt less to land in the mud than directly on concrete. I was right, and it did hurt less, but now I was covered in mud.

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Hillary Clinton’s political career is dead!

Here is a belated New Year’s resolution for my fellow Republicans: In 2019, Republicans need to SHUT UP about Hillary Clinton. To this day, when conservatives criticize Donald Trump for things such as not making enough progress on building the border wall, Trumpites whine “Would Killary have given us one?” It is a truly pathetic display.

Come on guys, you need a new line. The 2016 election is over. Hillary Clinton’s political career is dead. She will never be elected to anything. The binary choice meme is dead and has been dead since November 9, 2016. It is long past time to hold Trump responsible for his actions and inaction, and his success and failures. It is time for Trump loyalists to put their big boy pants on and actually engage in the messy business of policy, rather than fawning over the President as a personality and reflexively defending everything he does.

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