First, I want, for posterity, to include content from an email to a friend. It’s about the second amendment and Bruen opinion. I know the email will never be deleted, but this is easier to find and I like the compact way I developed my thoughts.
My full attention response to your statement of the crux of the matter is as follows: by virtue of it being in English and law in a political State, the Second Amendment means something. Rather, it meant something. And by meaning something, there are things it didn’t mean. It had nothing to do with SpaceX, for example. Or vehicles in general. The rub is not “regulation”. The rub is “what did it mean?”
To be clear, I’d even be fine with deciding it is unintelligible and we’ve been fools for two centuries-plus for treating it like it had meaning.
My feeling on the passing scene is the Left will always insert straw men (“it’s about safety” or “it’s about how far does the second amendment limit regulation”) because the most plain meaning of the words (if there is any meaning at all) is, “Citizens ought be able to instill fear in the hearts of seeming attackers AND, if attacked, connect the remaining space between threat and action with certain death.” And the Left will never admit this paraphrastic or philosophical meaning because they are the attacker.
There’s no sweet spot, D-. There’s meaning. Should citizens be able to make this connection between threat and action or not? What do we believe? I say absolutely. And I mean this regardless of whether there is a second amendment, regardless which country I am in. I believe the best political philosophy on weapons is citizens must bear them. Did the second amendment teach me this? It doesn’t matter. Does the second amendment mean this? I believe it does. And part of the reason I do is that these men were revolutionaries themselves. Had they not had weapons, they wouldn’t have founded anything. By way of analogy, a mathematician who denied numbers are useful to his profession would be the same as a Founder meaning otherwise than I believe he did by the words of the second amendment.
Random slaughter? That’s also not a concept in the sense that you meant—unless the holocaust and all the major atrocities of people with guns against people without guns are included. In church world we say, “The Gospel levels the field.” In the same sense, so do guns. We’re all sinners. We’re all possible victims—and we ALL should be. No man, not the government, not “you or anyone else” gets through this lifetime without fear of attack.
That’s the email content and first thought for today.
Second, I want to say that I love hearing from people who I disagree with. In this case, I have been doing my best to understand the “women will be hurt” argument on the Pro-Choice side of things.
So far as I can understand it, in the end, the argument doesn’t really mean “women”. By “women” they really mean “children”. No, I don’t believe they mean “female people under the age of 18 will be hurt.” Instead, I believe that the “person” they mean by “women”, in the sense they employ, has not yet achieved adult status.
Adults have to make decisions. “Should I live here or there?” “Should I date this person or that?” “Should I rust out or wear out?” “My primary circumstances have changed, how does that affect my next decisions?” These are inescapably adult decisions.
“I want my way here and now, there and now, and now and forever—without consequence”, that’s a child. That’s a child, no matter the age, no matter the sex.
I believe this is a wise assessment. But I also believe it furthers the conversation in a good way by providing something meaningful to respond to. So if you disagree with the big overturn or how I have characterized this “women will be hurt” part of your stance, and if you enjoy conversation, then please comment below. I’d love to hear how I’m misunderstanding things.
“So what, Pete. What would you have me do?”
Good question. Lots of things. I’ll begin with the first two.
During war, the first order of business is getting right with your maker, getting right with your creator.
Now I’m not trying to preach here, but we all know who that is. It ain’t Mohammed, it ain’t his god, and it ain’t more than one god. That leaves Yahweh, the god of the Bible. You can get right with him by, first and foremost, changing your habits. Pray in the name of Jesus. Study the Bible. Go to church. This should sound easy. It ain’t. But without it, there is literally no point to life. So why fight?
(This brings me to a big assumption. I’m assuming that you asked me what to do because you want to live, because you want to win the war. Good. Me too.)
After getting right with your maker, step two is increase your strength—both mentally and physically. We’re not gonna win if you’re weak in either category.
Physical strength is easy to increase. I recommend walking and pushups if you’re coming at this cold. Heck, I just started doing several sets of pushups on my walks with the stroller. Just three weeks ago I stopped about every fifteen minutes and did sets of 30. And now I’m at sets of 45. Three weeks.
Mental strength can be increased by teaching yourself something you’ve read. Somewhere in your house you have a book which has information in it. Pick some one section or chapter in it, and teach it to yourself. Focus is the particular mental skill in this practice. You’re not teaching what you think about the topic, you need to teach what it teaches. You’ll know if you’ve done it right. To kill two birds, I’d pick the Bible or a book which has a universal skill, like cooking or hunting or carpentry etc.
There are many other ways to increase your physical and mental strength. Comment below if you have any to offer or to request others.
We must win. We can win. We will win. But it’s going to take all of us, and it’s going to take strength.
I’m feeling philosophical as the world seems passed the idea that WW3 has begun.
Why do I want to be right?
What would I get for being right?
Short answer: being prepared. I like to be prepared. I believe in being prepared. I’m an Eagle Scout for crying out loud. Boy Scout Motto: “Be Prepared.”
But with being right about WW3, it’s more than that—especially as I’m no “prepper”.
With my belief that it’s important to know that WW3 is being actively waged right now, I also get to not be some stupid, head-buried in the sand, wealthy enough to not experience war, johnny come lately when the sacrifice really begins. Put in a simple analogy: toilet paper. That was you—not me. Over a cold.
If people lost their minds over a common cold, what do you expect will happen when the fire starts?
I know exactly what will happen. Denial. Chaos. And some sort of purification process wherein the only winners will be those who consistently tell the truth.
So today, I’m telling the truth.
The truth is this is it. The big one. Be prepared. Keep the long game in mind. And stay focused.
Christians can read Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel fruitfully, if we downgrade slightly Hegel’s “belief” in the State as “self-knowing” to a “for fun, guys, let’s contemplate what religion looks like to the State if the State, itself, was the perfect being. The highest being.” (You may want to bookmark this one. It’s odd enough that you’ll need time to think it through for yourself.)
This downgrade must be made by the Christian, because otherwise Hegel actually competes with Moses, John and the others behind the Bible. And as far as that competition would be concerned, Hegel obviously loses because he does not promise eternal life, like the Bible writer’s do.
But! But, subsequent to the downgrade, Hegel’s conception of the State as a “concrete, self-aware being” is intriguing and can be useful to our Christian labors. How, you ask? Here’s how.
I haven’t been able find a reason to join a church. I haven’t. As most of you know, I grew up in church, left when I left for college, then moved away to the AF and from Christianity, and then ended up at a Christian seminary in a master’s program. While there, and just before there, I joined a black church, but the cultural divide was so great that it really doesn’t count as being a church member. The situation would be more accurately described by saying that both the real church members and I merely filled the role of “safe, outside consultants”.
Well, I’ve got a family now; there’ll be a grand total of three, not two, kids here in a matter of days. And I have a fourth working out her salvation elsewhere. And I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, that I have the Holy Spirit in me, that all should be done for the glory of God, and so I want to continue down the Christian way. But I struggle with the church membership bit. And I know I’m not alone. We all struggle with it, Christians and non-believers. Why join a church?
Well, here’s where Hegel’s modified look at the State comes in. If the State were this perfect being, then necessarily in our belief-in-this-being’s-perfection, we’d naturally agree with his, the State’s, perfect judgement. And on the matter of church membership, the State would encourage it.
Why? Because in the behavior of citizens being members of the local church (no matter the particular denominations etc.) the citizens are essentially “buying into” or “leaning into” or “doubling down on” their belief in the State.
Now, Hegel never mentions what I’m about to, but by my thinking the following runs through his thinking like a vein.
The idea here in this post, the simplified, fruitful version if Hegel’s idea, is not more complicated than to say without strong activity in the small institutions of the State (nation) by citizens, the big or overall institution (the nation) cannot be made as good as it could be made. Of course, underscoring this concept—and hopefully made clear by the post title’s “One Christian Perspective”—is the belief that the church is more than just a “small institution by which to make perfect the State.” What Christian reads the Bible and thinks “Oh! I get it. It’s like what Hegel said!”? But to a man of action like myself, the fact that this type of thinking moves me up from the comfort of the couch is the important part.
Would it move you up from the couch, unchurched Christian? Love of nation as the reason to stick out the undesirable parts of church membership?
If so, don’t tell me in the comments. Instead, look for me and my “bleed on the flag to keep the stripes red” love of country in church this weekend.
“Yeah, housekeepers don’t really keep anything like that. Most people wouldn’t drive back for a sock,” I heard the receptionist reply to me, damningly, over the phone.
“But I’m a regular. It’d be no trouble for me,” I retorted unthinkingly.
“Well, they wouldn’t know that,” she continued, unmoved. Then, to be nice, “So don’t forget your underwear next time either, cause they’ll pitch that too, haha!”
“Haha. That’s a deal,” I replied in kind, though maliciously pouting on the inside. See, I knew all about dirty necrophiliac hotel housekeepers. Throw forgotten socks and underwear away? Right. Sure. If by “throw away” she meant, “sniffed every ounce of man scent out of them while dreaming of someday being friends with George Clooney,” then I could believe they “threw them away.”
I wasn’t about to cry, but I did hold back a torrent of emotion. Frustration and disbelief being the order of the day. How could I—I, Pete Deakon!—forget one of the greatest socks ever assembled on this side of heaven in my hotel room? Phone chargers and loose change, that’s my calling card. Not one of the best socks ever.
Its warmth was unmatched. Its thickness, divine. And when my foot first entered it, I don’t mean each time, I mean I remember the first time I put it on, I swear I saw the face of Jesus.
But now it was gone.
How many times could I look in all the places it could’ve run off to? I triple checked the drawer. I checked both the washer and the dryer at least four times—nothing. I checked my t-shirts. Sometimes, as you know, a sock has been known to get *inside* the garment and I’m not just talking polyester gym wear. Even cotton shirts have been known to swallow a sock or two.
Days went by.
Every time I passed my suitcase—the offending article—I’d nonchalantly open the lid and double-check what was inside. I mean, surely I wasn’t expecting to find anything, especially after so many days and so much effort.
Late last night, however, a novel angle came to mind. I remembered that my wife, at random, scoops up my clothes from the foot of the bed and unthinkingly—I won’t say with evil intent—puts them in her laundry basket.
“Eureka!” I told myself. “That’s got to be it.”
And rather than get out of bed and look right then and there, I savored the thought like only I know how, and slept peaceably until the morning.
“Fart,” I said, hands mingling with bras and who knows what other odd kinds of accoutrements the woman punishes the Maytag man with.
Was there no end to my pain?!
The hour had become late; if I didn’t get going now, I wouldn’t be able to capitalize on a quiet morning that spontaneously bestowed itself on this overworked—an apparently victim of spiritual warfare—father of three, going on four.
I opened the sock drawer to pick out my underwear and socks. There it was—the evidence that I was without. One sock—unmated.
I thought, “I will never again find a sock to replace these.” I was now talking aloud to myself, “These were the best socks Cabelas ever sold. They don’t even have them anymore. Fuck Bass Pro.”
I reached for a pair of underwear.
What is shorter than “instantly”, dear reader?
Seriously. A second is shorter than a minute. A moment is shorter than a second—some lovey-dovey movie taught me that. And I have to believe an instant is shorter than a second. But what I need to describe is an even shorter amount of time.
I mean that in the time it takes to feel a spark, I knew something was different about the pair of underwear I was trying to pull up. It had undue thickness and, again, as quick as a spark, I knew it was heavy—too heavy. I mean, I wasn’t grabbing one of my “off-the-hangar-at-Macy’s-one-pair-only-Tommy-Hilfiger-I-think-they-count-as-MAGA-colors” pairs of 100% cotton underwear. I was touching a newer—and nearly ethereal—pair of Hanes—out of a 5 pack.
As gravity worked against me, all in this single spark of time, I squeezed all the harder and noticed that my fingers were kept separate by some material, some seemingly hidden, spongey, like the thickest of wools-
Picture the blur that is the Guatemalan daycare kids’ hands as they open the Christmas gifts that your high school social studies class got them, picture that and amplify it by every color in the rainbow and every shade of glitter.
These moments don’t happen very often, and at my age, they won’t likely happen very many more times. So I thought to myself, “Let’s not rush things, baby. I know you’re in there. Let me just get my camera quick.”
Long story short, I took four pictures, in sequence, as a time capsule, and sent them to my wife. My final text taunted her to try harder next time, if she really wants to hide my sock from me.
As I’ve been writing this, I know she texted me back, but I won’t check yet—not just yet. These moments—bliss—do not last much longer than a spark, so I’m gonna hold onto this one just a little bit longer.
The first post on this blog was in 2013. As most bloggers can surely relate, that post felt very exciting. It felt like I was about to contribute. And not just in a small way either—this was the big time. My words were going to give other people meaning.
The excitement that I felt that day nearly nine years ago wore off pretty quick. But I still love blogging. Here’s why.
Yesterday, after reading some of the book of Genesis, the book of Beginnings, from the Bible, I was frustrated that I knew hardly anyone who could keep up in a conversation about the actual words of the text. Plenty of people like to talk about what they believe and what their church believes, etc. But it’s a different thing to find someone who can remain centered on the text itself.
So I posted a fantasy conversation. I just took a minute to befriend myself and imagine what I thought a good conversation would be like.
The conversation ultimately centers on the Bible’s very own version “Which came first, chicken or egg?”
And here’s the point. Because I blog, because I took the time to flesh out my little fantasy, I came to a pretty cool little realization. While I was wrapping my mind about how someone could know he’s been fathered by one particular father, how could that person not know his father’s name, I now see that I had set the stage for me seeing that this conundrum is one of the primary claims of Christianity.
Regarding Moses, Yahweh was always there. But Moses hadn’t met Yahweh, or put differently, there was a time in Moses’ life before Yahweh had introduced himself to Moses. This introduction is the precise moment where words in the atmosphere, ink on a page, crossover into reality.
The question about how Moses could know he was an Israelite, but not know his own god’s name, is not more than chicken and the egg.
But this simple way of analyzing the problem doesn’t resolve anything, mind you. Yet it does bring things to a clean head. Christians often say they have met their maker. “That’s when I met Jesus”, or something similar. They claim they know—with certainty—the chicken came first. But for you, o undecided one, or egg-firster, the problem remains. Is your maker out there, trying to get your attention? I don’t mean your natural father, I mean the one that gave us “life”. I don’t mean animation, I mean, joy, sorrow, passion, desire, personality, you know, our life. Could you imagine that he is out there, this maker? And his interest is to make his introduction, with a follow-on goal of giving you eternal life?
This introduction and this eternal life are certainties that do not necessitate the end of uncertainties. My own ability to know the chicken came first and yet still ask, “But how did the chicken get there?” is proof enough of these unending uncertainties.
In the end, I just wanted to share that after nearly a decade, I still love blogging. More than that I love life. And I am glad to believe that I have received the promise of eternal life from Jesus. Let’s keep the good time’s rolling.
This post is driven by that same Wednesday night church experience last week behind that other post about choosing a home church. As a refresher, the Baptists had a new children’s winter Bible Study and through it, on day one, lesson one were teaching the kids that, “God wrote the Bible.” In fairness, the pastor quickly clarified or tempered this claim with something like, “…using men…” But my point remains. God did not write the Bible. Moreover and more to the point, no Baptist, alive, dead, or yet-to-be even believes that God wrote the Bible. So why teach a child that?
I’m actually a little at a loss on the topic overall, these days. Why even say, “The Bible is inspired by God?” Or, “The Bible is God-breathed?” I’m totally fine with quoting scripture as in, “In Peter’s second letter he (Peter) says the writings we consider as the Bible are…” But, if we’re talking amongst ourselves (Christians to Christians), the thing being communicated is known and part of the “Christian-ness”. It’s like two basketball players describing that there is air inside a basketball.
And if we’re not talking to Christians, then we’re telling a person who doesn’t believe in an admittedly invisible being that that self-same unseen being wrote a very visible book which is most evidently written by humans.
What, then, shall we say? Start with, “The Bible is coherent.” We Christians believe that both the Christian and the non-Christian/pagan/heathen can all understand the contents. No different than Romeo and Juliet or the Constitution of the United States of America. So start there.
Scrap all the virtue-signaling and holier-than-thou talk and just tell the truth. Say true sentences that are defensible to their core. Was the Bible written by God? I answer as a Holy Spirit filled follower of Jesus Christ and a literate human, “No.”
Mr. Castro was interviewed on the “New Yorker” podcast the other day. This title was very provocative to me, so I gave it a listen as I exercised. It’s only 20min long.
The main charge he makes to prove his thesis is, “Can you name three latinos who had had a significant impact in American history?” He explains that he asked this to a very high placed school administrator.
The problem with the exchange, as described in the interview, is that Castro doesn’t account for the current political climate as he reveals that the administrator sheepishly admitted that he couldn’t.
Conversation 101: Whoever is asking the question has the power. Read your Bible if you don’t believe me. If you are in an important conversation and asked a question, answer with a question. If it’s a good question, the momentum will shift in your favor.
The administrator, by answering the question, already loses. Instead, he need have—and this can be done charismatically if need be—only flipped the question on Castro and asked, “Can you?” And then when Mr. Castro posits the name, the administrator (or you or me) interrupts as he takes notes slowly, to say, “Excuse me, but could you go slower. What did he do? Uh-huh. Got it. Yeah. Funny how I never heard of him. Must’ve been some genius.”
On this specific topic, the truth is—and all Americans know this deep down—Latinos don’t know who Americans are. And most Latinos probably never will.
Americans do not care about skin color. Americans do not care about ancestry. Americans do not care about how much hardship you overcame. Americans do not care about your current struggles. Americans do not care about your hopes and dreams. Americans do not care about Hollywood representation. Americans do not care about Latinos. Americans do not care about Blacks. Americans do not care about Whites.
Americans are not superficial. Americans are not trendy, and they are not trending. Americans cannot be cancelled. Americans cannot give up. Americans do not have DNA. Americans do not have an accent, they do not have a dialect.
Americans do not have mothers. Americans do not have fathers. Humans cannot create an American anymore than we can create purple mountain majesty.
Americans don’t know who Latinos are? Wrong, Sir. Wrong.
You want me to name three Latinos who had a significant impact on America? While I’m thinking, can you name three Americans who you don’t consider as your personal heroes?
The only people who have a significant impact on America are Americans. Next question.
…actually it was just a walk around the neighborhood. But picture it with me, because the setting is important. It’s a small town, about an hour from the major metropolitan city center. It could be any number of these type of towns. Mostly rural, but that doesn’t mean folks don’t have all the markings of city life, from fancy cars to fancy ideas.
My wife likes the local charismatic church, as does my step-son. (I choose the word “like” over others intentionally, as any Baptist should. So mark that.) It’s hard not to like the church. On Wednesday nights the foyer is lit like a nightclub, and the parking is full like a bowling alley’s on league play.
I had just arrived after ducking out of the Baptist church’s Wednesday night programming early, that is, when the games started. Baptists have recently switched from AWANA to “Kid’s For Truth” and this particular Baptist church was on its first effort with the new program. Suffice it to say, the night did not go well. Lots of scrambling, lots of evidence of lack of preparation. Lots of scapegoating that it was the “new programs” fault that things were not running smoothly.
This morning then—starting last night really—my wife and I chatted about the different experiences I had as we continue to seek out a church home. I love these types of conversations and discussions, and my wife enjoys them enough to indulge me.
Without walking you through the hour long chat moment-by-moment, though that was an eye-opening experience itself, I want to give you an analogy which captures the result, or where we landed.
The mystery of the modern protestant church is best likened to two engineering schools that teach from one specific written curriculum how to build one specific item—boats.
Now imagine that one of the schools is packed with students and that the professors all believe they are teaching how to build boats. Moreover, all the students really feel like they are learning how to build boats—the professor’s all agree—and they talk all the time about boats and their design and construction.
But they never build boats.
Mind you, no one needs any boats. It’s not like there are customers calling to ask, “Where’s my boat?” That’s just not happening. What is happening, to repeat, is there is a school which uses one specific written curriculum to teach how to build boats, there are professors teaching how to build boats, and there are paying students believing that they know how to build boats. All this, but no actual boats.
This is the first school.
The second school, using the exact same curriculum, has trouble finding professors—often resorting to retired professors and temporary professors—but they teach the curriculum to the letter. A person could build a very good boat based on their teaching. Regarding students, there are only non-traditional (25+ year olds) who actually are just auditing the course. Every once in a while, a real student shows up and pays to learn, but they often quit attending and ultimately (and quietly) stop submitting assignments. The older auditing students happily provide the materials for the boats—often one-upping each other in quality of supplies—but the students just seem to need other students around and so they keep quitting when they realize that they are the only one in the school.
So again, like the first school, there are no boats being built.
And like the other school, the written curriculum is there. There are capable, if not likeable and consistent, professors. Different than the first school, at this school there are even all the necessary supplies and tools, to build the boats, but the trouble is there are no students—and so no boats.
Now enters the problem. In what everyone sees retrospectively as a “should’ve known” moment, a bizarrely miraculous but terrible event occurs. Everybody, all people—not just students of those two aforementioned schools—fall into their own personal sink hole of varying sizes that contains themself and everything they have ever built. If one man built a lego set, it’s in their sink hole. If another built a paper airplane, it’s there. Many individuals have many items. Some have none. If someone built their house, the house is in the sink-hole. If a person built a boat, they have their boat. If a baby built nothing, there is a rather small hole with just a baby (probably crying). You get the picture.
There is no way out of these sink holes. No ladder can reach the top. No one is above who can throw down a rope. No flying machine has fuel. Everyone is stuck by themselves with whatever they built.
Then it starts to rain with no sign of stopping.
As this rather precarious and new, if not oddly predictable, situation continues to unfold, suddenly, the entire planet, and all its occupants, all its plants, everything instantly burns up. Nothing is left.
Finally, everyone gains awareness that they are still alive. Some are amongst a trash fire, unaware, and never becoming aware, that any change to their misery is possible. Others find themselves in what words cannot quite describe, but when pressed maybe something like blissful communion with what feels like an old friend and mentor, communion that has an odd mixture of familiarity and constant newness and overall is simply awe-inspiring.
That’s it. That’s the analogy.
In short, for my dad and readers like him who feel they want to understand but aren’t there yet, I’m saying the problem with church-shopping is that the church doesn’t direct where we end up after the fire.
Nearly two years ago I posted, while on my honeymoon, an update to the classic children’s tale “Henny Penny”. You know the one. It’s where the chicken gets a whole line of animals to follow it as it claims the sky is falling—that is, until Foxy Woxy comes along and takes over as leader and slaughters them one by one. Remember?
It’s on my mind tonight again for two reasons. Firstly, because I chatted with a policemen at the HyVee where I was picking flowers and a card (and candle) for the occasion. This then reminded me that, secondly, last week Peggy Noonan wrote a Henny Penny-esque column that I had meant to respond to here.
Mrs. Noonan is a force, that’s for sure. She won’t stand the test of time, but she is compelling for today. It’s not that she writes poorly that’s the problem. It’s that she writes in a way that seems to indicate she really understands the word on the street. Her “M.O.” seems to be pinpointing the word on “main street” and then giving it context. But like most folks, since Trump, she’s lost the pulse.
The specific point of hers that I’m referring to, in her “Lost Thread” column, is the part about how police used to be respected and how now there is no respect. Instead, she points out, there are actual calls to defund them etc.
Before joining the Air Force, I had entertained the notion of being a policeman. And this, despite having seen “Wayne’s World” and laughing with the jokes, “[sniff sniff] Definitely a pork product.” Can you believe it?
You see, Peggy Noonan is no different than the other hype-sters. How could she be? The sky is not falling. And yet she says it is. She says the very men who have sworn to protect and serve are today under a newer and stronger attack than ever before.
It’s all hype. They are not. Police have never been popular.
Hear me clearly. When I say, “Police have never been popular,” I am not wrong. Nor am I able to be persuaded away from my position. This is because I am not basing my position on facts, I am basing it on belief.
The police are only now under attack? Give me a break. Never in human history have people wanted to submit their actions to judgement or consequence. This law of nature is behind how police barely exist in history. Who would even want to get in a criminals way? It’s a nearly unreasonable profession.
Mrs. Noonan has it all wrong. The police have never been popular. And there isn’t enough data in the universe for her or anyone to use which would prove otherwise. Sorry, Ms. Penny. The sky isn’t falling.
The right perspective is that life is hard—if you’re hellbent on living as a man and not an animal.