Friday, February 16, 2007


More obsessing about obsession from the obviously obsessed. In response to the post here, Mark Shea responds:


This is not fair. Now that ConCrunchy is gone you don't have anybody to freak out and call you an America hater for suggesting that God might even be sovereign over *us*.

When I speculate on this stuff (and that's all it ever can be since I do not know the mind of the Almighty on such matters), I have the Rapid Response Team over at We Really Really Despise Mark there to assure the world that my guesses and pondering are the mark of an fevered, lying, and quite possible sick or evil mind. When you do exactly the same thing, it's crickets.

I think you need to lobby some of your readers to set up an obsessostalker site devoted to you again. It's not fair that I should be the only one with obsessostalkers! Or maybe you could just ask the folks at to expand their horizons a bit to attacking you for pointing out that profound sickness of our culture and remarking on it.

Mark P. Shea Homepage 02.15.07 - 9:49 pm #

When some people are trying to be funny, they really are funny. That's why I keep reading these comboxes. It's like a reality show comedy. Or something.

Dudes!! it's such a downer, you know, 'cause like we can't freak out anymore over at the Contra Crunchy site, man, about, like, how other people hate America because they believe God punishes evil-doers.

I must have shed the brain cells containing the memory of the posts anyone did doubting God's sovereignty. I think there were a few swear words over there....

I've always been irritated that Falwell and Robertson never mention sacrificing domesticated cats in the woods even once in their numerous diatribes about the sins of America.

BTW, my wife is always singing that "Awwwwww FREAK OUT!" song and now, thanks to Mark Shea, it's stuck in my head once again.


  1. Does anyone know where I can apply to work as a poor man's face grinder? Or is what Rod mentions as another reason for God's judgment not really a profession but rather a hobby of conservative business tycoons?

    ("Tycoons"? What, "robber barron" is too archaic?)

    ("Conservative"? So all liberal business men treat their employees perfectly well?)

    Obviously, Rod is using hyperbole to describe the abuses of the free market that theoretically justify the incineration of thousands within one of our tallest office buildings. But he had to exaggerate to make low pay comparable to the murder of the unborn: described literally, paying wages that are lower than what Rod would like is not -- or at least is not obviously -- morally equivalent to abortion.

    I'm will not dismiss the idea of God's judgment, but for any Christian the wrath of God against the nation of ancient Israel must be seen in light of Job and especially Jesus, who both suffered not because they were judged sinful but because they were righteous.

    Believing that a nation has sinned and needs to repent of that sin or suffer judgment doesn't necessarily mean that the person who holds the belief hates that nation. (E.g., Lincoln.) But, contrary to what Mark wrote, I don't think it's completely out of bounds for a person to wonder about a writer who has "mixed feelings" about America deserving to be hit by biological weapons on a scale many times worse than 9/11...

    ...particularly when that person wrote a book arguing that the devout should retreat to monastary-like communities because this civilization is a lost cause.

    Assuming that hatred for America is possible (and it surely is), I wonder what would qualify as a symptom of such hatred if the belief that we deserve 9/11 is entirely above-board?

    I seem to remember quite a few Arabs asserting in the wake of 9/11 that we, the Great Satan, deserved the attack. Can we not question whether they hate America? If we can hypothesize about their hatred of this country, why can't we do the same for those within our borders who spend their time pointing out that profound sickness of our culture and remarking on it?

    Rod wrote what he did as "Something to think about on the eve of Lent."

    He's still defending his calling himself a localist, his drinking French wine, and his strident criticism of mainstream conservatives, is he not? Does he perhaps have things in his own life that need evaluation before he can credibly tell us about our national vices?

    I disagree with Kathleen. Rod surely does think about sacrifice alot.

    Just not his own.

  2. "So all liberal business men treat their employees perfectly well?"

    That's one of the unspoken assumptions that got me into the whole "crunchy" debate last February on Welborn's blog. That conservatives have the most wealth and influence in the business community is an old liberal canard that isn't even worthy of the barbershop anymore.

  3. Oh my gosh. One of my very worst bosses, if not the worst, was a flaming liberal. He ran a small ad agency (where I worked), and he was completely insane. I think he might have been bipolar: You never knew when he was going to fly off the handle. And boy, could he squeeze a dime till it bled.

  4. Anyone know who Josiah is? I really like him. He writes in the same thread:

    My understanding is that before God "judged" a nation, he always sent a prophet, someone specifically chosen and called by Him, to call the nation to repentance and to warn them of what would happen if they did not.

    Does Falwell claim that God spoke to him and told him that 9/11 was God's judgment? No. So he should shut up about it. Both the book of Job and the New Testament make clear that the ways of God are often inscrutable, and it is wrong to assume that when something bad happens that it is God's judgment (it was for making this assumption that God rebuked Job's friends).

    Whenever someone is tempted to act like a prophet, they should remember that most of the prophets in the Bible were false prophets. A false prophet is someone who acts like he's been called by God to deliver a message to mankind when in fact he hasn't. If God hasn't told you to act like a prophet, don't.
    Josiah | 02.16.07 - 11:44 am | #

  5. Just after asking whether America is evil, Rod has now recanted from his position that we should nuke an Arab capital even if Islamic terrorists attacked one of our cities with a nuclear weapon.

    A few months after 9/11, on The Corner, Rich Lowry and I were discussing what the US should do if Islamic terrorists nuked an American city. We raised the prospect of whether or not the US should retaliate by obliterating an Arab Muslim city -- even Mecca -- or should have a stated policy that this would happen. I wrote that the US should respond in kind against Arab capitols (I no longer believe that, for the record, and regret even having considered it), and that while nuking Mecca would be emotionally satisfying to Americans who had just seen one of their own cities annihilated by Islamic terrorists, it would be a bad idea. And I said it was insane even to be talking this way. [He said it was more insane not to.] To this day I hear from this or that angry Muslim accusing me of being an advocate for dropping a nuclear bomb on Mecca, when I do not advocate any such thing, nor have ever advocated it.

    I still wonder what, precisely, his "muscular" foreign policy entails if nuclear retaliation is off the table even in the face of a ruined and irradiated American city.

  6. Irritating as that blog entry is, I'm probably better off keeping my word to add not another ASCII character to the comment threads at Rod's blog.

    Here's what I would have said:


    With Rod withdrawing from the position that we should respond from a terrorist attack that involves even a nuclear weapon, I wonder precisely what his "muscular" foreign policy entails.

    Suppose Iran, now racing to acquire nukes, is behind a nuclear bomb going off in New York. Rod would oppose nuking Tehran when really the question ought to be whether we nuke just Tehran.

    But what if Iran deserves its capital to be nuked? What if Iran is "an evil nation"? Rod Dreher has "mixed feelings" about Falwell's assertion that America probably deserves a biological attack that would make 9/11 look miniscule by comparison.

    Does he have fewer mixed feelings about nuking Tehran even in retaliation to a nuclear attack, in that he now thoroughly opposes such a move?

    Or does trying to make sense of everything Rod's written about foreign policy qualify as playing idealogical gotcha?

  7. BTW, wanna know why nuking Mecca would be a bad idea?

    "As for Mecca, well, it would feel good, but we'd have every Muslim on the planet enraged unto ages of ages, and Rome would be the next target on the terrorist nuke list (ironically, Jerusalem probably has the best chance of surviving because it is sacred to all three monotheistic faiths)."

    Well, we can't have the Muslims angry at us, now can we? Truly that ought to be our first concern if Manhatten's a wasteland of radioactive ash.

  8. animal was always my favorite muppet.

  9. but seriously.

    i just got an afternoon break and saw Breach, a movie about the opus dei spy Hanssen. huge ego. very religious (in a manner which was portrayed as quite sincere). had issues surrounding human appetites. pretty much an a-hole to everyone. thinks he is the smartest guy on the block and mad as hell not everyone else thinks so. all these factors kind of syngergizing with one another to create a very dysfunctional personality in toto.

    it REMINDED me of someone. .... i can't put my finger on it .... hmmmmmmm...HMMMMMMM

  10. Bubba:

    I believe the particular issue Rod and Rich Lowry were discussing was whether nuking some Arabs was an appropriate way of responding to some Arabs nuking the U.S. An added wrinkle was whether announcing such a doomsday policy was an appropriate deterrent.

    Unless you believe Arabs is Arabs, it's pretty much a non-starter as a policy.

    But I don't understand your objection to the quoted reason why nuking Mecca would be a bad idea. Clearly, there are lots of other reasons why it would be a bad idea -- for one, it would be an obscene sin that would snuff the divine life right out of everyone responsible -- but isn't it true that every Muslim on the planet would be enraged unto ages of ages against Christianity and the West, making things worse everywhere in the world, not only for ourselves but for our children's children's children? Isn't "because it would solve nothing and make everything much worse" a good reason not to do something?

  11. It's dangerous to take anything off the table from the get-go, including nuking mecca. you don't want to walk softly and carry a small stick.

  12. Kathleen:

    If you don't know that nuking Mecca would be an obscene evil, then you should re-read your catechism.

    If you still think it should be on the table, then you don't understand what evil is.

  13. i'm talking about foreign policy, not the catechism. but thanks for the advice.

  14. Nuking Mecca would be wrong AND it would be stupid. That's why I think Tom Tancredo is stupid, along with his illegal alien hysteria, that is.

    But why do we (our gov't) have to go around say "we won't do this, we won't do that"? There's nowhere in the catechism that I know of that stipulates that a government has to announce what they will or will not do.

  15. IOW, the radical Muslims think we're evil to the core and will do anything. OK, we disagree, but let's use that.