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What are the worst things Donald Trump has ever said or done?

The Donald, saying something terrible, probably
The Donald, saying something terrible, probably

Ok, so I’m assembling a list of the worst things Donald Trump has said and done, at any point in his long and illustrious career. I’ve got dozens of examples already, but I don’t want to miss any good ones.

If you’d like to help out, please post any you can think of in the comments. These can be vague — “didn’t he once say something along the lines of x?” — to specific, with links to sources, if you’ve got them.

Thanks!

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Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@Joekster

Those who follow it do not know the Christian Gospel, and do not know Christ.

There’s a lot of that going around in Christianity.

You have my sympathy.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@Violet Beauregarde

On an unrelated note, I HATE that she calls herself Janet…that’s my mother’s name. That’s an insult to the name Janet…but then again, any name she uses is an insult to that name

Bummer. I’m sorry about that.

OTOH, I kinda get a kick out of the fact that her real name, assuming that she would ever go by a nickname, is Andi Hardie. Andy Hardy is a character in a long-running movie series. Mickey Rooney played Andy Hardie, and Judy Garland played opposite him in some of the films.

The all-American character Andy Hardy — optimistic and willing to listen to reason, with a sense of humor about himself — is pretty much the opposite of Andrea Hardie, a doom & gloom Canadian who is proud of being completely unreasonable and has no sense of humor about herself.

Yeah, I went there: Andrea Hardie is Canadian (and thus cannot vote for Trump).

https://www.amazon.com/Andy-Hardy-Collection-1/dp/B0066E6QGG

Nicki
Nicki
5 years ago

He actually got busted for housing discrimination in the 90s. According to the WaPo article on the case, “Trump employees had secretly marked the applications of minorities with codes, such as “No. 9” and “C” for “colored,” according to government interview accounts filed in federal court.” TBH, I don’t know why Hillary isn’t pasting that quote all over the universe.

But I think the Trumpiest thing (though not the worst by any means) is that he lied repeatedly about having been asked to appear on Last Week Tonight. He lied so confidently about it that John Oliver actually believed him and had to check to be sure he hadn’t accidentally invited him.

(((VioletBeauregarde))): Social Justice Necromancer
(((VioletBeauregarde))): Social Justice Necromancer
5 years ago

@Kat: That…that is hilarious! Andy Hardy’s evil twin!

Kootiepatra
5 years ago

Just a quick aside to maybe clarify something–apologies in advance, @Virgin Mary, if I am misunderstanding what you originally meant here:

Their religion, which they call ‘christian’ is in fact a form of Calvinism. They consider the wealthiest people to be the most blessed by the Good Lord, and the poorest people to be in that condition because of their sinful natures.

Calvinism is a theological camp within (Protestant) Christianity, but not a separate religion from it. Calvinism’s central tenets do not have anything to do with wealth–and if followed by the book, Calvinism actually tends to be averse to the idea that people can deserve God’s favor (whether or not God’s “favor” is seen as being connected to money).

Proponents of the so-called “Prosperity Gospel” (the idea that you can earn/claim/believe your way into wealth through God’s favor) can be Calvinists or non-Calvinists. Many Calvinists are staunchly opposed to the prosperity gospel, and others adhere to it.

So tl;dr:
Calvinists = subset of Christians
Prosperity gospel ≠ Calvinism
Only some Calvinists = prosperity gospel-ers

Just for the sake of clarity for anyone reading.

P.S. I’m saying this as a non-Calvinist Christian who a) teaches a theology class, and b) is really skeeved out by the whole “prosperity gospel” thing, finding it to be grossly unbiblical (as well as grossly, er, gross).

EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Littlelurker, that was amazing. Bravo. Bravo. Thank you for that, it really made my morning.

Speaking as a feminist man, my heart is absolutely broken that Hardie wouldn’t date me. Whatever shall I do?

EDIT: What Kootiepatra said. I grew up attending the United Reformed Church, who are Calvinists. Were we Christian? Yes. Did we believe in the prosperity gospel? No.

From a South African perspective, the prosperity gospel is strongly coded Black, and is not something that a white church would ever consider preaching. Is it the same in America?

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
5 years ago

@EJ
Now you get to experience the same sense of relief that we women feel when MGTOWs say they won’t try to date us. 😀

Edited to respond to your edit:
From what I know of the American church scene (I’ve had an interest in it for a while) the biggest preachers of the prosperity gospel tend to be white men.

Kootiepatra
5 years ago

@EJ (TOO) – Here in the U.S., the prosperity gospel has adherents in both Black and white churches, but the majority (though not 100%) of the biggest prosperity gospel leaders I can think of off the top of my head are white.

I can’t give anything better than anecdotes re: the demographic breakdown, but it seems like it’s not mainly tied to one race. It seems that poorer folks (skewing more heavily POC, thanks to racial inequality) view it as a potential escape from poverty, and richer folks (skewing more heavily white, also thanks to racial inequality) view it as a comfortable explanation for why they are so well off and how they can justify living in luxury.

EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@sunnysombrera:
@Kootiepatra:
That’s very interesting, thank you. The way that racial coding differs from one country to another fascinates me, especially on things which we all have in common like religion.

Olive O'Sudden
Olive O'Sudden
5 years ago

Here’s another awesome example of Trump’s horrible attitudes and behaviour. I thought of this last night along with the other piece from Chris Hayes, but then my memory stalled and I couldn’t recall it. Trump has been seriously disrespectful and denigrating to Native American Indians and their descendants who don’t look sufficiently Native Indian for his liking and get ‘special rights’.

Read: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/add-native-americans-team-trumps-list

Watch: http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/trump-in-1993-they-don-t-look-indian-716425283908

Shaenon
5 years ago

I think JB lives under the assumption that relationships are made up of people who literally never talk to each other.

Almost every item on her list boils down to being repulsed by the idea of having a conversation with a member of the opposite sex, or really doing anything more than letting him hump you for a couple of minutes when he’s in the mood. Those feminist men want to talk! And hang out! And do goofy fun things! How does that even work with a man?

LaterSpaceCowboy
LaterSpaceCowboy
5 years ago

Prosperity Gospel cuts across racial lines in the US. You’ll find people of all ethnicities taken in by it, but it is almost always adhered to by up-and-coming suburban folks who have enough money to say “See? I’m highly favored by God because look at my healthy bank account.”

It’s classic confirmation bias: you want to believe you’re great because you’ve ‘made it’ sho you seek out a church that tells you that, tickles your ears, and pilfers your pockets. Show me a PG church whose pastor doesn’t have a private jet blight with “tithe” money and I’ll show you someone who isn’t doing PG right.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
5 years ago

I’m sorry to any of those who I have maybe offended, my observations were not supposed to be an attack on the Christian faith, merely those who wish to use the label ‘christian’ to defend their obnoxious greed and bigotry. Many Christians work tirelessly to help the poor and sick, and are genuinely carrying out Jesus’s work on earth without prejudice. However, the people who use their religion to promote hatred, averice and intolerance need to be pointed out, in case any well meaning and sincere Christian is deceived by their reprehensible teachings.
Of course Calvinism sees itself as Christian, but it is a gospel of greed and capitalism. I think people need to educate themselves to this fact.
There is a good article here which explains it.
http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v18n3/berlet_calvinism.html
Jesus said it was easier for a camel to go though the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Some Calvinists even try to distort this by saying that the ‘eye of the needle’ was a name given to a narrow city gate. This is historically false. Jesus meant an actual sewing needle. By this he meant it was impossible.
Christians should distance themselves from doctrines which put emphasis on material wealth and luxury as a expression of God’s favour, and develop spiritual wealth, happiness and kindness to their fellow humans, whatever race, gender, sexual orientation or religion they are. There is such a thing as leading by example.
Judging the poor and sick as being in that condition due to their own moral failings is bigotry in the highest, and an affront to the Jesus they claim to follow.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
5 years ago

@kootiepatra

I see the appeal of prosperity preachers like TD Jakes and Creflo Dollar to poor and disaffected black people in a similar way to the obsession in rap and hip hop music with ‘bling’. They percieve wealth and prosperity as a white privilege which they wish to claim for themselves. I think it goes back to the pre abolition days, black peoples wanting to claim the same status symbols as their white oppressors.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Of course Calvinism sees itself as Christian, but it is a gospel of greed and capitalism. I think people need to educate themselves to this fact.

Virgin Mary, I like you and I think you’re a valuable member of the commentariat here, but could we not have this sort of thing, please?

There are horrible members of every sect, and there are churches of every sect which have been taken over by those horrible members and used as vehicles for scams and oppression; but this does not mean that we can generalise about everyone in those sects.

In the mind of a greedy person, Calvinism can be about greed, yes. In the mind of a nationalist it would be about nationalism, and in the mind of a mystic it would be about mysticism. The same people would take the same attitudes towards any other sect of Christianity, or any other religion.

Spinster Weatherwax
Spinster Weatherwax
5 years ago

Maybe not the worst thing Trump ever did, but as someone who’s spent some years in Aberdeen (Scotland) I can tell you most people there have a list of their own regarding his golf courses etc. I believe there are lawsuits and accusations of bribery relating to our (generally considered incompetent to corrupt) council. He has built golf courses, or tried to, on ground that should be (is?) a protected nature reserve, essentially privatising our coastline; he has said all kinds of ridiculous things about improving lives and how Aberdeen supports him, when he has ruined lives and is uniquely loathed by most city residents. I think with a quick Google you should turn up some stuff, and there have been public consultations online which should be easy enough to find (you may have to search for the Aberdeen City/Aberdeenshire Councils website consultations) that are often full of angry residents with some interesting facts and figures.

Michael P
Michael P
5 years ago

She didn’t say “Calvinists,” she said “Calvinism.” And Calvinism, as a philosophy, has a very ugly notion at its core: That some people, the “elect,” are just better and more God-beloved than others, and nothing we can do will change that. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature, and pointing out that flaw within its ideology is entirely legitimate.

Michael P
Michael P
5 years ago

As far as Trump goes, can we hold him accountable for raising at least one kid who thinks it’s acceptable to go kill endangered species and take trophy pictures of it? Every time I think of that elephant tail photo I want to release the hounds.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko
5 years ago

@Virgin Mary

Just a slight thing, which absolutely doesn’t make any of your points less valid, but :

in a similar way to the obsession in rap and hip hop music with ‘bling’

These guys are to hip-hop what televangelists are to religion. Their thing is bling is really the same as any other dipshit who flaunts their wealth, it’s just coded differently according to the specific culture.

On the other hand, hip-hop has always been carried by amazing musicians who are as far from that as can possibly be. Here’s a current favorite of mine – I won’t risk translating her lyrics from french to english but if someone feels up to it, go ahead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNDlBiZ-lXw

(yeah, totally defending my ‘sub’culture, sorry 🙂 )

Sean
5 years ago

You’ve got the old Playboy interview where he praises the Chinese for how they handled Tiananmen Square, right?

AlanSmithee
AlanSmithee
5 years ago

Well, the whole Haiti thing was pretty ugly. And then there was this…

Kootiepatra
5 years ago

@Virgin Mary:

Christians should distance themselves from doctrines which put emphasis on material wealth and luxury as a expression of God’s favour

I absolutely agree. But my point was simply that Calvinists do not believe by dint of their Calvinism that God’s favor leads to material wealth and luxury. In fact, the Calvinist teachers I’m most familiar with recoil pretty hard at the prosperity gospel stuff. I’ve got plenty of beef with Calvinism as a doctrinal stance, but prosperity gospel is not endemic to it. People of all kinds of denominations and theological persuasions buy into the wealth/luxury stuff, Calvinists included; and people of all kinds of denominations and theological persuasions reject it, Calvinists included. Not all Calvinists are prosperity gospel-ers, and not all prosperity gospel-ers are Calvinists.

@Michael P

And Calvinism, as a philosophy, has a very ugly notion at its core: That some people, the “elect,” are just better and more God-beloved than others, and nothing we can do will change that.

The “Total depravity” point of Calvinism *should* undermine the idea that anyone is “better” or “more God-beloved”, and so Calvinists who are serious about understanding that doctrine would take exception to your statement. However, I do agree that the overall way Calvinism frames “election” is problematic, which is why I don’t adhere to it. I have no doubt that plenty of individuals latch onto the idea as a way to feel superior to others, even though the theological system doesn’t technically support that–but the theology itself is not sufficient to explain their attitude.

@both – I’m not offended on behalf of Christianity (or even on behalf of Calvinists), but I do think it’s important for the sake of engaging with the ideas here or elsewhere to be clear on what it actually inherently teaches. It’s a big tent, so you’ll find a lot of variation within it, and lots of people don’t fit into the “prosperity gospel/I’m the special-est” category.

To be sure, you’ll find plenty of wealthy privileged uncompassionate jerkfaces in Calvinism, just like you will in other branches of Christianity, just like you will in other religious or nonreligious groups. But the teaching itself doesn’t demand that one has to be a wealthy privileged uncompassionate jerkface.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
5 years ago

Did anyone actually take a look at the link I posted?
http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v18n3/berlet_calvinism.html
The book ‘God’s Own Country’ by Steven Bates, an English journalist and writer for the Guardian is a good starter as well.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
5 years ago

@Kootie

To be sure, you’ll find plenty of wealthy privileged uncompassionate jerkfaces in Calvinism, just like you will in other branches of Christianity, just like you will in other religious or nonreligious groups. But the teaching itself doesn’t demand that one has to be a wealthy privileged uncompassionate jerkface

Droppin the knowledge *interspersed clap emoji*

Kootiepatra
5 years ago

@Virgin Mary – I don’t see how the article refutes anything I said.

I’m not chiming in because I know some nice Calvinists and therefore #NotAllCalvinists; I’m coming at this as a theology teacher who’s got a pretty decent handle on what Calvinism’s core teachings are. It’s Berlet’s prerogative to connect Calvinist movements to the evolution of American capitalist sensibilities, but that doesn’t really change what the tenets of the theological system itself are.

John Piper is one of the foremost Calvinist teachers in America, and he is strongly against the so-called prosperity gospel. Joel Osteen is arguably THE foremost prosperity gospel teacher in America, and he is not a Calvinist.

That’s all I’m trying to say; there are many ways to assess and interpret the impact Calvinism has had on American politics and culture, but its actual teachings are not the same thing as the prosperity gospel.

joekster
joekster
5 years ago

For those not familiar with Protestant theology, I think a brief synopsis of the various camps of this winding field may be in order. David, if I’m wrong and this is totally off topic, feel free to delete.

Two caveats:
1) The subject begs for a massive wall of text. Even by my standards. For those of you who don’t care about protestant theology, feel free to skip to the end.

2) I’m a physician, not a theologian. I’m a devout, over-educated Methodist who finds this subject fascinating, and has taken full advantage of the internet, various references during my history studies, and the fact that Methodist clergy are quite willing to discuss theology until the cows come home if you show the least bit of interest. I welcome any corrections from those who are better educated.

To begin:

I am familiar with four broad camps of protestant theology: Calvinist (or Reformed), Armenian (or Wesleyan), Lutheran, and Universalist.

John Calvin (I think he was French) began with the assumption that each and every human being deserves eternal damnation. He argued that God, through his own mercy, chooses to spare some few (the ‘elect’) from that damnation solely as a demonstration of His power, and if that seems unfair to anyone, well, if it were fair, we’d all be going to Hell anyhow. Calvin did not teach that salvation was earned, but he did teach that the ‘elect’ could be recognized through their deeds, ie, the ‘elect’, being blessed by God, would be generally better people.

This became the default theology of Protestants on the Continent who did not join up with the Lutheran church, and most of the pre-reformation heretics wound up adopting this theology. Those followers of Johannes Huss who refused to reconcile with Rome wound up as Reform protestants, as did the Waldensians of southern France and northern Italy. Finally, the protestants in Scotland, following John Knox (there are a lot of Johns here, for some reason) adopted this theology, and eventually form the Presbyterian church.

Jacobus Arminius (Jakob Hermanszoon), a Dutch theologian at the end of the 16th century, felt that Calvin’s doctrine was far to grim. Arminius argued that, while each and every one of us does deserve damnation, God offers salvation through Jesus Christ to every single human being. However, Arminius went on to argue that God values human free will so much, that God is willing to allow us to refuse the free gift of salvation, even if it means our own damnation.

Armenian theology was initially the official policy of the Church of England. I suspect that this was to draw a line in the sand between England and the Continent, but I also suspect that Elizabeth’s opposition to John Knox played a role (Knox penned an infamous tract called ‘the monstrous regimen of women’ when good queen Bess’s sister, Mary, was using every protestant she could find for firewood, and Elizabeth took it rather personally).

Although the Church of England no longer holds a strict Armenian theology, this was their official stance when John Wesley (there’s another one), his brother Charles, and their friend George Whitefield, founded the Methodist movement in England and exported it to the English Colonies in America. John and Charles, being more interested in social justice and ministering to the poor than theological conflicts, adopted the official line as their own, and John went on to formulate the theology of Prevenient Grace, Justifying Grace, and Persevering Grace, which I’m willing to talk more about if anyone is interested 🙂 Of note, George Whitefield adopted Reform theology, and I believe there are still small Methodist enclaves in New England who chart their descent from him. It was also in his eulogy for George Whitefield that John Wesley penned the words, ‘agree to disagree’.

Although this second system seems much more positive, it also has it’s dangers. While Reform theology teaches, ‘once saved, always saved’, Arminius did believe that an individual could lose their salvation by losing their faith in Christ. This has led to some fairly odd behaviors. For example, members of the Church of the Nazarene (an American Methodist offshoot) will perform a public renewal of their faith after a long journey on the off-chance that they’ve done something to lose their salvation.

This second system has also had the greatest effect on the modern ‘Born Again’ movement, which is something I admit with great shame, believe you me.

Martin Luther, himself, did not have much to say about salvation theology. Luther, like Wesley, was mostly concerned with church governance, with the very real corruption in the Roman Catholic Church at his time, and that every believer be free to interpret the scriptures for themselves (I believe his term was, ‘the priesthood of all believers’). However, I have heard many Lutherans speak of ‘single predestination’ as opposed to the ‘double predestination’ taught by Calvin. I think they mean that while God did designate some individuals to be damned (such as pharaoh in the Moses story), the rest of us get a choice? I’m not certain, and would appreciate input on this.

Although I’m not clear about the theological differences between Lutheran and Reform protestants, they seemed real enough to them to set Lutherans and Calvinists at each others throats for about a hundred years. It’s a schism that was only healed in Germany by the ‘Prussian union’, when one of the Kaisers, who was a Lutheran, got upset by the fact that the respective clergies wouldn’t allow him to take communion with his wife, who was Reform. He basically said, ‘I’m the king, so in this land, you play nice with each other and shut up, or I’ll shut you up’. Those Lutherans who disagreed with him relocated to the US (lucky us) where they eventually formed the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. The LCMS, in turn, remains the primary organ for conservative Lutherans to this day (for contrast, the more liberal Lutherans eventually formed the ‘Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’, or ELCA).

The final strain is Universalism (that’s one of the U’s in UU, or Unitarian Universalist). They argue that God can pretty much do whatever God wants, and as God is Good, God would want everyone to be saved. Therefore, everyone will be saved. Checkmate, Satan!

I’m ending with Universalism because one of the early universalists formulated the disagreement in the following way, which makes a nice tl/dr section:

There are three statements in Christian theology, each supported by the scriptures, all three of which cannot be true.

1) God is omnipotent

2) God want’s everyone to be saved

3) Some people will not be saved.

Calvinists ditch the second statement, Armenians the first (in favor of ‘free will’), and universalists ditch the third.

I hope this was somewhat helpful

And David, I’m serious: if this is too off-topic and too much of a hassle to wade through, feel free to delete it.

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
5 years ago

“John Calvin (I think he was French) began with the assumption that each and every human being deserves eternal damnation. ”

I agree that this belief is the key to Calvinism, and it seems to me that this is possibly the most evil piece of theology that has ever been preached. I would argue that John Calvin is the philosophical antithesis of Jesus Christ. If you start with the idea that humans are all deserving of eternal damnation, there are only two possibilities: that God is a wicked being that intentionally created us to be damnable creatures so that it could have the pleasure (!) of torturing sentient beings for eternity, but decided to spare a few so that it could wrongly think of itself as a benevolent being; or that God intended us to be non-damnable but flubbed the creation, in which case it is not our fault but its for which it is punishing us. The idea that human beings are wicked by nature is not a constructive one. (It is certainly true that we are not naturally obedient, but that is not a totally bad thing.)

I will note that I was raised as a Unitarian-Universalist, not a Christian, and that I am an agnostic with no interest in theology per se. (If these is in fact a Supreme Being, I would expect that it is most likely genderless, but possibly female but not male.) It seems to me totally pointless to speculate on the nature of a being who, if it exists, would most likely be far beyond human comprehension. Christianity has given us a kind, loving, forgiving teacher with compassion for all humans and a deep concern for the less fortunate among us and a critical eye at wealth and power. It has also often given us a god who is constructed in the image of a human king, a wrathful old man, personally insulted by minor deviations from the code preached by his minions, who always seem to be working in concert with the powers that be in keeping the people obedient and subservient.

As I say, I have no interest in theology; I have an interest in religion only to the extent that it encourages people to treat each other better. My problem with Calvinism is (1) it explicitly denies the possibility of salvation by works* and thereby turns Christ from a moral teacher into some sort of weird quasi-God who is immortal and mortal at the same time, who “died for our sins” but didn’t really die — as if somehow God needed this sacrifice of himself(?) to justify not roasting us all for eternity; (2) it allows some people to think of themselves as part of God’s elect and, worse, to think of other people — such as the poor or the non-white or you-name-it — as non-elect, therefore inferior, therefore deserving to be treated badly. Yes, I think John Calvin was one of the most destructive individuals that ever lived.

*The Calvinist doctrine of “total depravity” can even be used to argue that any attempt to live what used to be called a “Christian life” represents sinful pride and is actually proof that one is not among the elect. Luckily, even people who accept this doctrine know in their hearts that a constructive society cannot be built on a Calvinist foundation, and they act with some degree of compassion and refuse to follow the doctrine to its vicious logical conclusion.

In the past it was common to make the comment — somewhat fair, somewhat unfair — that St. Paul had theologized Christ out of Christianity. John Calvin did his best to get rid of whatever part of Christ that Paul missed.

I don’t believe in the Christian God, but I do believe in the moral teachings of Jesus. My problem with Christianity comes when it forgets about those teachings and starts telling people that they alone are “saved” (i.e., somehow the favorites of God) and that others are “damned” and deserving of mistreatment and persecution.

rugbyyogi
rugbyyogi
5 years ago

Thanks everyone who contributed to my edification on Protestant theology. I am now a non-believer, but a Protestant non-believer. (In that when I rarely go to church, it will be a Protestant one, I do love me some congregational singing at Christmas time).

I always struggled with the idea of predestination and free will and omnipotence – my grandparents church (which my mother made me attend every Wed evening for Bible study for years, even though she wouldn’t darken the door). I couldn’t understand how God could know but not know who would be saved. It seemed to me that he wrote it in a little book through some kind of psychic writing, but never flipped forward the pages to see who was saved or not. I, myself, wouldn’t not have been able to resist the temptation to peek, but I guess that’s just one of the differences between me and the divine. And if sins can be washed away, can’t you get dirty again? How can you stay saved even if you’re really awful?

But this was the same church that disallowed musical accompaniment because “the Bible says to lift up your voices, not your instruments”

Not much of their theology stuck, except for a distaste for ornament in church buildings and a strong preference for plain arrangements of hymns. I’ve gritted my teeth through Christmas services where the congregation had to compete with a full band AND an organ, which makes it pretty hard to lift up my voice.

EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@joekster:
Thanks for that summary! I learned something.

Two points: firstly, Calvin was Swiss; and secondly there is an enormous difference between Armenian and Arminian when you’re looking at Christian theological history. I think you got it the other way around.

@Kootiepatra
You’re our authority on these matters. Since the discussion has come up, could I ask something that I’ve been curious about?

When I was taught TULIP, part of the emphasis was on how it separated us from other Christian and even Protestant denominations; for example the L was the essential difference which meant that we could never be UUs. There was a certain pride in knowing that our theology was set up to prevent us from assimilating.

With the rise in multi-denominational churches, how has Reform Christianity coped? Has TULIP been de-emphasised? Is there actual theological agreement with other denominations or just a tacit agreement not to discuss the matter?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ jokester, gosjm, kootiepatra

Thanks for that. It was all very informative and fascinating. I went to Catholic school so all we learned about Protestantism was that it’s all wrong (in various different ways). We did cover a lot about catholic theology though. That’s pretty interesting too. It’s very rule-bound so it’s fun to find the loopholes. A gang of us (pagan/Buddhist/atheists) all did ‘nine first Fridays’ after it was explained that even though we were all godless heathens we were still guaranteed a place in heaven for that; even if we shot the Pope (Pascal’s wager and all that).

Joekster
Joekster
5 years ago

@EJ: cool, it’s time for me to learn something. I wasn’t sure how to spell it. Does ‘armenian’ then apply to the ethnic group? Also, I know Calvin ran Geneva for a while, but somehow I always thought he was born in France. Thank you for the correction.

@Grumpy: I should emphasize that ‘total depravity’ is the starting point of Weslyan theology as well, and it may be a common doctrine in Catholic theology (Alan?). It derives from Pauls writing, ‘for all have sinned, and all have fallen short of the glory of God’. I always saw it as a humbling doctrine, as one meant for the individual believer to apply to that believer first. If we’re talking about personal beliefs, I reject the notion of Hell. Paul wrote that the wages of sin are death, not damnation. I prefer to think that on the last day, those who are not ‘saved’ are simply not woken up, so they would never know the difference.

@rugbyyogi: your first paragraph reminded me strongly of one of Garison Keillors skits: ‘dear God, I know she’s an atheist, but it’s a Lutheran God she doesn’t believe in!’ On your actual point, I also struggle with the notion of an omnipotent, omniscient God. I’ve read lots of ways how people try to argue space for free will while there is an all knowing, all powerful being running the show, and I have yet to find an argument that is convincing. As an early 20th century play put it, ‘if God is God, He is not good. If God is Good, He is not God’. For my own part (and I know I disagree with most Christians on this), I do not believe that God is either omniscient or omnipotent. I decided long ago that I would rather follow a Devine Being who makes mistakes, learns from those mistakes, and is trying to do the best job possible than a Devine Being who is all powerful, knows everything, and just doesn’t care. It works for me 😀

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ jokester

I should emphasize that ‘total depravity’ is the starting point of Weslyan as well, and it may be a common doctrine in Catholic theology (Alan?).

No, the Catholic position (now; they had various councils to determine this, like I say Catholicism is wonderfully legalistic) is that we’re depraved but not totally depraved.

So, to massively oversimplify a complex topic, the catholic view is that although we’re potentially a bunch of scumbags (because of original sin), God gave us the capacity for both good and evil and it’s down to the individual to choose which path to take,

So ‘justness’ stems from God (in that he gave us the capacity to be good) but it isn’t forced on us by God; and it’s the same for the capacity for evil.

It’s a free will thing.

The catholic view on total depravity is that it implies:

(a) We’re just puppets, so everything is pre-determined, therefore there’s no free will, therefore it wouldn’t be very fair to condemn humans for falling into sin.

(b) Evil isn’t just created by God, God forces people to be evil, and that makes him the bad guy.

Joekster
Joekster
5 years ago

@Alan: thank you for the clarification. That does seem much more attractive to me than Protestant salvation theology. Sort of like Hobbes vs Locke.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ jokester

As an atheist pagan (I see cognitive dissonance as a virtue not a problem) I think Marcus Aurelius put it best:

“Just try to be decent. If there are gods and they are just, that’s what they’ll judge you on; they won’t care if/how you worshipped them. If there are gods and they are unjust, well, they can go fuck themselves. And if there are no gods at least people will say nice things about you after you’ve snuffed it.”

(My translation)

Joekster
Joekster
5 years ago

@alan: thanks for the Aurelius quote. Of all Romes Emperors (definitely including Constantine), he’s the one I’d mind running things the least. And it’s a good place to start building a moral code from.

I think it was CS Lewis who argued that to be a good Christian, one had to first be a good Pagan. I think there is truth to that.

EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Joekster:
Armenian Christianity refers to the church which is associated with the Armenian ethnicity, yes. Like a lot of forms of Christianity which are very old and are geographically isolated from the rest of Christianity, they’ve developed separately.

Confusingly, many Armenian Christians live in countries other than Armenia, and many ethnic Armenians are in fact members of other denominations.

I believe I am right in saying that they’re non-Chalcedonian (that is, they believe that the incarnated Christ was both human and divine, rather than being both human and divine.) Kootiepatra, please correct me on this because it’s really not my field.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ EJ

that is, they believe that the incarnated Christ was both human and divine, rather than being both human and divine

Is that a typo or is it a very fine theological distinction that I’m missing? (like a stress on particular words thing?)

Joekster
Joekster
5 years ago

@Alan: the sad thing is, that’s a truly valid question. I read through John Norwich’s three book history on Byzantium (an excellent read for laypeople curious about the Byzantine empire, by the way), and the chapters on Christology debates made my head spin.

All I recall about Chalchadon is that Chalcadon is where the formula that Christ was ‘fully God and Fully Man’ originated. Oh, and that it was the first council where the Western bishops really pushed for Byzantine recognition of the supremacy of the pope.

Joekster
Joekster
5 years ago

Re Armenians: I vaguely remember reading somewhere that there are now three Armenian churches: the original, which recognizes the EP in Istambul, a Catholic Armenian church in communion with Rome, and an evangelical Armenian church. Is that correct, or am I totally misremembering it?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ jokester

that’s a truly valid question.

That’s why I’m asking! 🙂 That’s the thing with theology. Like you say, it can get confoundedly nuanced.

I’ve tried saying it to myself with the stress on various word combinations.

EJ; help!!!!

ETA: I like the old Jesuit definition “Theology is what allows atheists to be bishops”

EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Alan:
It’s me being deliberately silly. The theological distinction is incredibly fine, considering the number of people who’ve died over it, and I felt that levity was the only appropriate response.

To the best of my understanding, which isn’t much, Chalcedonian Christians (Protestant, Orthodox, Catholic, Coptic, and some other sects) believe that Christ had two natures, one human and one divine. On the other hand non-Chalcedonian Christians (Monophysites and Miaphysites like the Nestorians, Jacobians, Armenians and Ethiopians) believe that Christ had one nature which was simultaneously both human and divine.

EDIT:
I should not have been silly about it, thinking about it, because this genuinely matters to a lot of people and I would not wish to give offence to them.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ EJ

It’s me being deliberately silly.

That’s probably how the doctrine of the trinity started.

The weird thing is, now you’ve explained that last bit, it’s really easy for me to grasp. It’s analogous to the distinction in law between joint ownership and common ownership.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

ETA: Silliness about religion is an interesting topic.

For example, I regard my own pagan views as daft, completely unsupportable and should be mocked at any opportunity; I also have a complete and unshakeable belief in them.

I find its usually the same with all my fellow believers. We all agree that freezing your ass off on some moor is ludicrous. We take the piss out of our beliefs and practices and we encourage others to do so. Yet everyone is completely committed.

Wonder what the psychology behind that is?

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

The ability to hold two conflicting views at the same time is very important. Every model of the world is flawed, and it’s important to be able to work with multiple models, sometimes simultaneously, in order to get a clear picture of the world.

(Being able to hold contradictory views simultaneously is also exceedingly dangerous, from an epistemological perspective. It lets bad ideas persist in the presence of good ones. That’s where you get statements like “I know the Bible says to love everyone, but Jesus hates the gays so I’m going to the abortion clinic with a sign to shout at women.”)

This said, I think that sort of phenomenon you’re talking about is more to do with social bonding than anything. Commiserating over shared misery (e.g. freezing your butt off on a moor) and encouraging ridicule of a shared idea is a very common practice, and it generally tightens social bonds. Complaining about the conditions and ridiculing the ideas, while at the same time doing them anyways, is a demonstration of dedication to the group that encourages others to stay involved.

I’m no sociologist, but that’s my guess!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Scildfreja

I think you might be onto something there. It’s perhaps a similar phenomena to supporters of poorly performing sports teams. Acknowledging your team’s faults, and almost revelling in it, builds camerarderie, and also loyalty to the team/cause.

“Why are we doing this?”
“Because we’re idiots”

I think maybe it’s also because we’re comfortable in our beliefs? We think they’re silly so there’s no threat from someone else thinking the same? There’s no challenge or scrutiny that worries us because we’ve already been there?

The ‘double-think’ aspect does seem really common. I wonder if that’s a UK thing? Mind you, that’s just common with me regardless. I hold completely contradictory views simultaneously on all sorts of subjects.

People eh?

GardenGallivant
GardenGallivant
5 years ago

How can any one of Trump’s many horrible statements be justified. That he has no empathy for others is made so plain when he thinks an IRS income return for the lowest incomes should be “I win”. He has no comprehension of life in poverty. This makes me so mad I want to hiss and spit like my cat at her most upset.

He wants to simplify the tax code so that poverty level income IRS returns are just one page saying “I win” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/28/donald-trump-rolls-out-proposal-simplify-tax-code-/

Trump justified his manager Ledwandowski grabbing Fields because she might have carried a really tiny pen shaped bomb. He furthered his claim with the secret servicemen around him also being bothered by her potential bomb.

He often supports his views by having heard “others” saying or writing the same views he offers. He never supports this with names or sources if asked for specifics.

Trump called NATO a rip off because America pays more than its European partners.

Trump suggested Japan and S. Korea have their own nuclear arsenals to be less of a drain on the USA. They should have weapons or pay us for protection. He even said something about any war between N.Korea and Japan would at least be quick even if bad because we can’t afford this anymore.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trump-japan-south-korea-might-need-nuclear-weapons/ http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/31/politics/trump-view-from-south-korea-japan/

Trump thought Kim Davis the Kentucky county clerk should get another job given to her since she was only fired for her strong religious beliefs. He thinks her stand was fine. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-value-voters_us_5605745de4b0dd85030747a5

He thought Hussein was better in power since he controlled terrorists in his country. He though Iraq’s conditions worse now than it ever was under Hussein. Trump even admits Hussein was terrible but was more efficient than the current situation. http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/05/politics/donald-trump-saddam-hussein-iraq-terrorism/

Trump believes global warming is a hoax set up by the Chinese and an unfair set of restrictions have been placed on business.
https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/265895292191248385?lang=en

Every news journal or media outlet is failing and lying about Trump. They are all wrong when they are negative. -New York Times, Associated Prress, CNBC, Newsweek
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/03/03/47-things-that-have-made-donald-trump-sad-since-he-launched-his-campaign/

Basically this man always says something terrible about others yet retaliates against perceived slights or negative criticisms.

Joekster
Joekster
5 years ago

@Alan, Schildfreja: I’ve seen the phenomenon you’re talking about here in the states on occasion, but generally only in people who are more emotionally mature, such as my father. I think being able to believe something with one part of your mind while at the same time admitting it’s ridiculous with another part makes it easier to challenge and examine your own worldview, which is, I think, a critical part of psychological and emotional maturity.

It’s a pity that ability is not more common here. I suspect Trump would not have happened if it were universal.

Joekster
Joekster
5 years ago

On a personal note (and completely off-topic, but this thread is old enough that I don’t feel bad about that):

My signing bonus came in, and I’m going to use part of it to buy a new computer. I’d like to get something that can play the new WoW expansion, but I’m mostly going to use it to care for nursing home patients (so I’ll need to be able to pull up EKG’s and radiology images and actually make out some detail, and it will need to interface with multiple EMR systems). Is there anything in particular I should be looking for? I last bought a new computer in 2007, and I assume the landscape has changed a bit since then.

Also, what’s the best anti-virus software available? I am going to need to be able to protect my computer.

Thanks in advance for any computer advice.

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
5 years ago

Religions tend to have idea that can only be accepted as a matter of faith, because they do not make sense in a normal way. Such things as the Trinity (simultaneously three and one), the question of how Jesus can be god and man at the same time, etc. There’s the issue of original sin and Jesus having to die to counteract it (and in what sense did he die if he’s really god and not just a creation of god). It’s not clear why an all-powerful god couldn’t just pardon original sinners. But of course theology requires a lot of very strenuous mental gymnastics. For my own part, whenever I hear some radio preacher say “God wants you to do this or that,” I tend to shout at him (as if he could hear) “How the hell do you know what god wants. Aren’t you being just a teensy bit presumptuous?”

I have always thought that religions are fairly transparent social control mechanisms. I can tell you that I want you to do such and such, and you are likely to tell me to go to hell. But if I can convince you that my commands are derived from the authority of the Creator of the Universe, who has the capacity to fry you in hellfire for eternity, then you are more likely to pay attention. I think the problem we face today is that most of the current religions originated when there was little education of the vast majority of people; very few could even read or write. Today many people are highly educated, most have a reasonable degree of education, and science has answered a lot of the questions that used to be handled by religion. It is much harder for people to believe that eternal hellfire is an appropriate punishment for any human failing, particularly for relatively minor stuff like falling in love with a person of the wrong sex or being born in a place where they worship the wrong god (or even the same god under a different name, as with Christians and Muslims).