Stunted?, A Review of Elvis by Baz Luhrmann
Mr. Luhrmann’s biopic finally made it to streaming and, therefore, ahem, “undocumented” streaming, which means, finally made it to my laptop. I’d been waiting for months—so long in fact that I nearly watched a cam version. In short, I’m glad I waited. There was nothing that I missed by not being part of the initial watch party, and there was plenty that I’m glad I saw in decent quality, both picture and sound.
Skipping to the end, though, unlike Elvis’ at least momentary ability to gain satisfaction on the “love” front, I was left unsatisfied.
The chosen vehicle to deliver Elvis to us is the “unparalleled talent held back by abusing manager”. Despite this choice, the movie and the man seem to cry out that there must’ve been more to Elvis Aaron Presley. He couldn’t have just been “Elvis” because he constantly broke his manager’s barriers. And we all know, or those of us who read lyrics all know, that every artist views themselves as restricted, even in their most untamed seeming creations.
I call your attention to Exhibit A: Tool has a song in which he describes how a fan calls him a “sell out” and then he, MJK, responds, “All you know about me’s what I sold ya, dumbf*^%/I sold out long before you ever even heard my name…” among other fairly harsh truths on topic.
Over here is Exhibit B: Metallica released a collaboration with Lou Reed that was widely and thoroughly panned by critics. I think it’s the last CD I bought at Best Buy. Or second to last. When someone told the drummer that it was very hard to listen to, he replied, “You should try performing it!”
The nicest review I found at the time was written by, if memory serves, someone from Mastodon. He essentially argued, “Good for Metallica.” He said that Metallica is so big that they actually had a chance to release something that they wanted to release, no input from anyone. Sure, he went on, it’s no good. But none of us have achieved or probably will achieve the ability to make truly pure art like they did. (My paraphrase.)
In short, Mr. Luhrmann’s Elvis comes across as merely trope (rare adjectival use) and yet, after what I just saw, Elvis Aaron Presley couldn’t have been so one-sided. The most important thing about him couldn’t have been that his manager held him back if it’s common knowledge to a mid-western kid like me that no musicians are free from stunting managerial oversight (excepting all-mighty ‘tallica, of course).
In the end, it was a decent film, had stirring sequences and the ending was unavoidably emotional. But it didn’t quite do justice to the wiggly flesh exterior, the blood-pumping heart that lay beneath, or the invisible soul that would not be told who to be that I have to believe filled Elvis Aaron Presley—the man I’d want to have met.
On that front, Mr. Luhrmann succeeded. I’d never had that thought before the film. I’d always pictured a Vegas has-been. While I still think there was a sharper image to be portrayed by a film, I definitely had my perception changed. And that is rare these days. So while it’s true that Elvis has left the building, I say, long live the king.
Been Driving A Lot
I’ve been driving a lot, of late. And this has provided ample time for thinking.
As my careful readers know, it is my general belief that my assessment and perspective on life is spot on, and that there is something to gain if I am able to communicate my perspective to others.
My particular aim is to develop the most eloquent and compelling, if not provocative, manner of stating whatever position I find to be true and in need of announcement.
Today, I want to firmly place the concept of “races” or “ethnicities” or “identity politics” or “racism” in the trash fire. I want all of us to stop giving ear and time to the idea that the certain subgroups of humans which have been oppressed are now in need of special, however acute, advantages to make up for the oppression etc. You know what I mean—all the mainstream, legitimate sounding equity and equality BS.
Here’s my zinger which demonstrates that I’m right:
No race/ethnicity/community will ever say “thank you” to the race/ethnicity/community that helped them.
To use one specific example, I’m saying that the venerated “black community” will never tell those former-slavers-now-living-with-“white-privilege”, “Thank you all for giving us a hand when we needed it.”
And it is this fact-of-life of perpetual ingratitude that is the proof that the Blacks themselves know who is ultimately responsible for their station in life—individuals.
Of course, I could be wrong. I long for it, in fact. I’ve even made it easy for ya. All that would have to happen for me to be wrong is one or more of my readers which hail from the “community” would have to say, “Btw, Pete. In honor of your upcoming 41st birthday, I just wanted to say, ‘Thank you for freeing us from the chains of bondage. That was very big of you.’”
(I’m not holding my breath.)
While I wait, I march on with high hopes of avoiding the consequences of unthinking stupidity—and raising my children to do the same.
A Tone-Matching Post On 50 Years of Unhurt Women, Physical Touch, and One of Justice Sotomayor’s Opinions Within Her Dobbs Dissent
I became a gym regular at the age of 16. I mean, I was a nearly five days a week regular. I loved lifting weights. Unlike most of my peers, I used my senior year’s “take an hour off school cuz you work fifteen hours a week” work consortium(?) credit on the first hour, not the seventh. I went to school late. What did I do before school? I went to the gym.
You ladies, especially you unfit ladies, may be surprised to know that gyms are a pretty well-known place for gay men to congregate en masse.
As I get going, a few factual anecdotes may prove salient here.
Back then, I had a buddy who was always more socially aware than I, and we were probably the only two 17 yr olds actively engaging in weight lifting for personal fitness, ie not football, while in high school. Despite my falling behind him in awareness, I was well-aware that one or two of the men at the gym we regularly chatted with were essentially sexual predators, and that my young friend and I were the prey.
Anecdote 1: The one man, 50ish in age—but no more than twenty in appearance (“Black don’t crack”)—offered my friend $200 to publicly shower at the gym. My friend accepted and told me that he figured, “I needed a shower anyhow.” He then told me, “So I shower, the dude walks in, (keep in mind this is a public men’s locker room) and I see him peer in, and then he leaves. Easy money.”
Anecdote 2: I never got an similar offer, but I was always a user of the one private shower, and one morning the door opened and this same gay man see me and says, “Oh, sorry about that,” and closes it. I shook my head. My predominant thought was, “I don’t know if I could stop myself from the same foolishness if an uber fit, attractive (and unconscionably funny and smart and charming…) young woman was showering in the men’s locker room right behind where I took a leak, either.” Or simply, my predominant thought was, “Meh.”
Unlike my buddy, I had more chats with another man that folks always told me was gay, but he never was anything but nice to me. Well, over time he accepted my invitation to watch me play roller hockey in a men’s intramural league. That was horribly awkward. Not sure why I did it.
Anecdote 3: And while he didn’t proposition me, he knew I was promoting a local Strongman Competition and he offered to have his company sponsor it. As I took him up on his offer, he paid me the $250 from his own checkbook—not Frito Lay’s. Lol. He must’ve wanted it real bad. I mean, I’ve been horny, but sheesh.
I could go on, believe me.
Nearly two decades later, life/poor judgment drops me off as an assistant manager at a gentleman’s club. Besides alcohol, their business is physical touch. Seriously. In a manager meeting they told us about studies which show that a waitress’s placing their hand on a patron increases tips and spending. They reminded us how some men come in to the club not having been touched ever during the preceding week or so. A handshake from the bouncer/doorman, or at least a fist-bump, is good for business, period. (Unless the gentlemen displays otherwise, naturally.)
Furthermore, at the club, I learned that Hollywood generally gets the lap dance concept wrong. I have witnessed—my own eyes—“regulars” who literally just want the “lady” to sit, cowgirl-style, on their lap, and chat. Or perhaps just sit like that and hug. Song after song after song, dollar after dollar after dollar. No dry humping, no gyrating, just body touching body. Like as much surface contact as humanly possible. Mind you, this was not every man. But many.
All the above builds to my climactic and tone-matched response to the notion that women will be hurt by the overturn of Roe.
The other day, I posted that the evidence and arguments of “women” claiming, “women will be hurt,” really mean that “children-not-yet-living-as-responsible-adults” are who will be hurt. I thought this would necessarily lead someone to ask me how to fix this “irresponsible children will be hurt”situation. But you didn’t bite. So before getting to that interesting question, I want to show another angle of how this “women will be hurt” claim is foolish. The other angle being, “Women will be hurt?? What about MEN!? What about ME!!??”
See, as above, I believe—as a man—that I need touch. I don’t mean “want”, I mean “need”. I mean, like, “can’t live without it” need. And the main touch that I want is unprotected vaginal sex—including orgasm—with a woman.
Before Roe was overturned, before last Friday, I had all sorts of ways to feel this touch, in all fifty states. I told women, “I love you.” I told women, “You can’t get pregnant if we stand/sit/you’re on top/I’m on bottom/sideways/doggy-style etc.” I told women, “I’m rich.” I told women, “My family’s rich.” I told women, “I’m smart.” I told women, “No matter what happens, I’ll make it work.” If none of those dead ringers would achieve my need, I’d dig deep and offer, “You’re so beautiful.” Finally, if fortune was not on my side, or, to be frank, if she was really dumb (“Geez, Pete!”—I know, I’m mean), sometimes, when I really, really needed that special touch, I would tell them, “Come on, baby. It’s not like first trimester abortion is illegal. Just. (Oh that’s it.) Let me. (Yes. More.) Finish in you.”
Damn you, Justice Alito!!
Nowhere, not in the United States nor in my pickup lines, did I ever have to worry about what State I was in.
Do you understand?
But now, since Friday, when all other winners fail me, when I have to resort to the classic, “It’s not like first trimester abortion is illegal,” line to spread my seed in a woman, I have to consider where in this great country I even am! (And as a Captain, I have a tendency to travel. So this overturn affects me particularly hard.)
I know what you’re thinking. And you’re right. It’s true, I could say, “Even if we’re in one of the states which has banned abortion, I can get you a comp’d flight to a state that has the pills at least.” Yes, that might be a winner. But she’d probably have to be ESL at the least to let that pass. (I’m seeing that in the throws of ecstasy created by yours truly, an immigrant might only recognize “pill” and think “birth control”—and while many women on the pill only take it as a secondary, passive method—still requiring the man to use a condom—some do not. So I may be able to get the touch I need with this line.)
In the end, I want to wrap up by saying, Justice Sotomayor et al’s argument that “abortion rights allow a woman to control her destiny” (paraphrase) is true only conditionally, that is, only with the addition of one word. To make it true, it must say, “Abortion rights allow a stupid woman to control her destiny.”
Two Thoughts For To-day
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.
Not Quite Able To Finish Today
I’m close. Page 108ish, I want to say. I was trying to make it to the end of the Bruen opinion and dissent, but my eyes are closing. All I want to capture in this blog post is that the dissent, as you may have heard in a summary article already, spends great effort to declare the following, “Guns are for killing people.”
Isn’t that what I just said the other day? And in, like, five words?
Man, I feel like how genius’s must feel.
Justice Breyer gives out, in a belabored manner, all the statistics which show that locations with many guns also have many gunshot deaths. OMG. Really?!
Next someone is going to take time to state that snow-capped mountainous regions have more downhill skiing, oceans have more ships, and racetracks have more racecars.
Why stop there? Women have more babies. Men have more penises. And children are short. That’s a sock-knocker-offer.
Then there’s the fact that airports have more air traffic than restaurants.
Basketball courts see more running than bowling alleys.
Justice Breyer says the issue is whether the Second Amendment can allow states to regulate gun ownership, but then he proceeds to argue that guns are for killing people.
Snark aside, there is plenty of interesting nuance in the document, but as a super poignant summary, back in Heller, Justice Scalia defined “Militia”. Now in Bruen Justice Thomas used his opinion to define “Right”, and in Bruen, Justice Breyer defines “Ends” or “Purpose”.
Good work, Justice Breyer. Now if we could only hear how that relates to the concept of a “right”, I’d be all ears.
U-valde, U-krain(silent e), U-s Fools
No one is interested in living with perfect consistency or perfect coherency. Not even me. That feels robotic or mechanized, or simply inhuman.
My titular pairing of Uvalde and Ukraine is not about advocating consistency or coherency or that those should be aimed for in the gun control talk. I do not find it troubling that someone could want to arm Ukraine and also disarm school shooters.
Instead, my argument is: “Don’t be led astray from the obvious.”
Is that an argument? Maybe not.
So my advice, then, is “Don’t be led astray from the obvious.”
Guns are for killing people. Maybe not every gun is equally designed for killing people, maybe some guns are purposely designed for other uses, but in the sense that, “These boots are made for walking”, “T-Rex doesn’t want to be fed”, “Jesus saves”, and “The Navy needs Maverick”, guns are for killing people.
If you can’t imagine ever wanting to kill people, then don’t buy a gun.
If you can imagine wanting to kill people, then buy a gun.
Guns are for killing people.
Guns are not made to encourage honest dialogue. Guns are not made for laws. Guns are not made to save lives. Don’t be led astray, folks.
Furthermore, it is my belief that the content in this post can be agreed upon by all humanity. What do you think? Do you agree?
PS – Lastly, if you want my actual solution to the constitutional debate, here’s the amendment I crafted carefully after Parkland. Amendment XXVIII: In time of peace, Arms shall no longer be secured by the people. (Second Amendment stays.) You can find my other post’s on the topic back around March 30, 2018.
The End of Dreams Is Bittersweet
Showtime is 5pm. I’ve dreamed of seeing Top Gun: Maverick for probably 32 years. As the hours count down, I’m not sure that I want to wake up anymore.
I saw Top Gun for the first time at a friend’s house in 3rd grade, shortly after moving to a new city. It would’ve been early 1990. Soon after, I then sat in a tv/video store in the mall where they had a laser disc of Top Gun playing just the first half, basically until Goose died on repeat. My mom was off shopping and was perfectly content to leave me perfectly content as she did. Then, somewhere along the way I got the soundtrack on cassette tape and listened endlessly.
That opening. It’s like the reason surround sound was invented for home theaters. A laser disc copy was at another friend’s house and we fired it up too, mostly for the bass of the opening scene.
Top Gun. It has been the movie that never was going to have a sequel, and yet was so beloved that everyone wanted a sequel—assuming it could be done right.
I told the squadron commander at my first unit post-pilot training, “I am the guy who saw Top Gun and said, ‘I have to at least try to do that.’ That’s about all I know.”
He respected my honesty, even as he probably wished I knew a little bit more about what I had gotten myself into.
So many memories of that movie are woven into the memories of my actual life. There’s no separating the two. Art influencing life, life influencing art.
It all ends in a few hours. Above all, one dream has been searchingly saturating my life for three decades: Top Gun 2.
When the credits roll, I will still be a pilot. But when the credits roll, there will not be a boy’s dream of becoming a pilot; there will not be a boy’s dream of Top Gun 3.
So this is it.
The end of dreams is bittersweet.
I Thought I Caused the Formula Shortage…
It’s true. I have been feeling guilty. I thought I caused the formula shortage.
I remember the date, the same as you do. February 25th. It was the day after Russia attacked an area of Russia held by a people called Ukrainians for the past 30+ years.
Can you blame me? I had a baby due in a week or two and, in a moment of weakness, thought, “I remember the toilet paper run of ‘20. I’m not gonna be caught without formula when the results of last night formally play out in six months.”
So I rushed to Walmart and purchased $500 of diapers and formula.
Essentially walk-lunging down the main vein aisle between groceries and large women’s lingerie, I finally made it to the diaper section. I was sweating, not from the exercise, but from fright, as I realized I’d need a cart for six or so huge diaper boxes, sizes ranging from 1-4, and didn’t know whether I could trust leaving them alone whilst I went back to find one.
Cart in hand, diaper boxes crashing to the floor with a volume that drew far too much attention to the supposed clandestine operation, I then thought, “And formula. My wife’s production slowed around the 6 month point with A- and so I should grab some formula.”
When I saw the $50 a can price, I balked and said, “I know what I’ll do. I’ll grab two today and then just casually pick up another each time I visit. Wouldn’t want to do anything crazy.”
Making my way back to the front, I over-waved to the Somalis who looked at me as I struggled to keep the items balanced in the cart. “Hi. Yes. That’s right. Keep your heads covered, ladies. Faces, too. Nothing to see there, just like nothing to see here. I just realized I have a baby coming! Stupid American dad is all! Haha!” I jested.
All the while I knew that, supplies in hand—bird in the bush, you know—my child would be a veritable uberman to their already disadvantaged offspring.
Credit card passed the chip detector test, and I was out the door.
Only one time did a box fall off the cart on the bumpy trip to the car, a fact which none of the passing meth heads seemed to notice, and I eventually made it.
My tiny, but fuel efficient, Nissan Versa Note could barely hold all the goodies. The backseat was certainly employed for the proud duty of transporting size 2 & 3.
Fast forward several weeks, through me declaring we are in WW3, pivoting to the realization that “Ukraine is not a country”, and suddenly, after seeing celebrity gossip unseat war and rumors of war, I began to hear there was a infant formula shortage.
Imagine my guilt.
Scratch that. Imagine my first gasp of guilt.
“Huo! Did I do that?”
Then some more time went by. Nights were filled with either heavy, short-lived sleep or EMS flights toting around ailing patients. (I might point out for your edification that one was a “mums the word” victim of a stabbing in only his underwear, which I took as a friendly reminder to “Be nice to yo’ wife, Pete…”)
But today the headlines got me again. So I googled it. What is causing the shortage, I wondered? Me?
The answer? Trump.
Lol. Or that’s what The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson had to say. (Babylon Bee too.)
The important thing is—still perfect.
I have yet to make a mistake.
WW3 Diary Entry 8 – Final Entry
Focus. We need to focus in order to “stay the course”. Without focus, there is no “course”.
Why are we here? What is the problem?
A while back, when Russia first invaded Ukraine, I posted a map as part of the six-step problem solving process I learned in the Air Force, and in which I still believe. In that post, I claimed we were on Step 2 “Gather the Data”. (Step 1 being “Recognize the Problem”.)
The problem, I said, was unclarity.
In gathering the data, clarity has begun to emerge.
(I love this.)
This is going to hurt some of you, so be ready. But it’s important to be able to speak simply.
Despite that map, Ukraine is not a country.
Ukraine is not a country. As for evidence, Look around. Their not being in NATO is one, probably the second largest, piece of evidence of this. The largest piece being the fact that no country’s military, including ours, is at war with Russia.
Remember, we’re defining the problem—by definition “defining the problem” is not jumping to conclusions. So calm down. Just because Ukraine is not a country, does not necessarily mean we skip the next five steps and “implement the solution”.
I don’t believe, and you don’t believe, that Ukraine is a country. Fact.
Ukraine is not a country.
So what does this mean? It means that we’re yet again merely providing weapons to the enemy of our enemy. Like we do in the Middle East, like we do everywhere else that isn’t yet civilized.
Kuwait: country. Ukraine, not a country.
New question: Does this mean that it’s not World War 3 anymore? Have I changed my tune?
I have. As the title of this post indicates, I am changing my tune for now.
Citizens of one country are not able to will another country into existence. We don’t put a border on a map and “ta da”—a country! It just doesn’t happen that way. Ukraine must assert itself, must manifest itself. Think gang initiation or all the scenes in movies where the friend group intentionally leaves a newbie to himself during a fight to prove that he is a man. Is the newbie proving himself to his friends or to himself? Both.
Ukraine, in essence, is the newbie. It has been since the Soviet Union broke up. And Ukraine is not yet a country.
Our actions, our help, are actually keeping Ukraine from becoming a country.
Settle down. I’m not suggesting we stop. Who knows whether Ukraine should become a country or not? Not me. And not you. Only Ukraine does.
So what does this mean for the concept of World War? And how has this focus helped us? What is our course?
World War, meaningfully, can only take place between countries. We were, I was, wrong to suggest this was a conventional war. That confession is the result of my “gathering of data.” As stated, it’s got to be an attack on a NATO member country. Let’s not kid ourselves. You don’t give a rat’s arse about the Ethiopian Civil War, or any tragedies in the other parts of Africa. Me, neither. Same thing here.
War has to be between countries. Either NATO on NATO, or some non-NATO country (almost a paradox—almost) on a NATO country.
The political question, then, is, “Does our support of Russia’s enemies increase Russia’s desire to attack a country?” The answer is, “Time will tell.”
What’s our course? Our course is no different than my course. The course is life. Abundant life. America lives on. If we begin taking actions that put America’s sovereignty in question, that’s a problem.
Does helping our enemy’s enemy put America in danger? I have to believe it does at some point. But if there’s anything we also now know, it’s that our enemy, Russia, is not as strong as some supposed.
How about us? Are we strong?
I believe so. And I believe we can be even stronger if we increase our focus.
One Fruitful (Hear: “Motivational”) Christian Perspective on Hegel’s “The ‘State’ as ‘Rational Life of Self-Conscious Freedom’”
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.