View From the Cheap Seats – My Naiveté

William Blake, The Temptation and Fall of Eve, 1808 (illustration of Milton’s Paradise Lost

I knew I shouldn’t have done it. I knew it was a mistake. My wife, we’ll call her “Eve”, told me to check out this post on Nextdoor. She told me that this serpent fellow told her that it would be ok to read a Nextdoor post. As usual, the serpent lied. You see, the post was titled “Daily Prayer”. Sounds pretty innocent, right? Here is the post (The names have been hidden to protect the unbelievably ignorant):

Daily Prayer. I am asking all who believe that Mister Trump is the right person for the next four years to restore justice for all, and to treat all equally to please say a brief prayer each morning and evening for our Lord to continue support of President Trump as He had done with Cyrus back in the 500’s BC.

Post From Nextdoor in the Houston Suburbs

I want to be clear. I am a believer. I believe in a risen Christ. I also believe that were Christ to return to America today he would recommend the Sodom and Gomorrah solution. Not because of carnal sins, but because of the perversion of Christianity. I believe this perversion to be as bad as the perversion of Islam by Radical Islamists. I am not a biblical scholar but I do not believe Christ would approve of the following replies to this thread of ignorance and intolerance. Here are some samples:

“May the Lord Bless and Keep President Trump and preserve him in office. May He open Vice President Biden’s eyes to his grievous error that he can’t be Catholic and also support abortion. Amen”

Response to OP

“If Biden wins, we will become Venezuela! Is that what you want for your children? We will answer for the choices we have made, individually and as a nation. God’s wrath is swift and sure.”

Response to OP

“I believe that we experiencing his wrath now! Rampant evil, The majority of institutions that once honor God has now turned their back on God! The Ivy League universities were started by Christians to honor God is now a bastion of evil and liberal indoctrination centers! There no justice in our society!”

Response to OP

”I’m not ok with Biden’s behavior at all . I think he a sick demented man . Any man who touches little girls like that should definitely not be running our country . Pedo joe does not even know what day of the week it is”

Response to OP

“If the Democrats win, we can be certain that Christianity will be attacked just like under the Obama administration! Corruption will be rampant!”

Response to OP

“You laugh. I hope you dont have a 401K. It will be flat at best for the next 5 years.”

Response to OP

“If the Democrats win, we can be certain that Christianity will be attacked just like under the Obama administration! Corruption will be rampant!”

Response to OP

So, as you can imagine, this thread really depressed me. In fact, I woke up at night thinking about it. These are my neighbors. These are people I pass by in the grocery store. These could have been the people that I sit next to in church. Just as a side note, I was in a Sunday school class one time many years ago and we were studying the book of Acts. The discussion was about Peter’s vision about foods that were forbidden. One woman, who had some education, said “Wait, Peter was Jewish?” I live in a suburban area of Houston. I know that it is conservative. I was too until the months leading up to the election of Dear Leader. I just didn’t realize the level of ignorance that lives in my community. There is hope however. One woman argued her points and made sure that the biggest antagonist on the “Demons posing as liberals that live amongst us thread” got his comeuppance. After a spirited debate about his bullshit, she said….

“Jeff, check the Mensa listing and find my name. I don’t see yours.”

Educated Liberal Woman’s smartass response

I found this particular post humorous and it gave me hope. I PM’d her to let her know that she brightened my evening:

There is still hope.

I am in between places of worship. I am really trying to work out in my mind how Christ would respond to the evangelical’s sacrifice for power. Y’all will have to excuse me, I have a plank in my eye that I need to get out.

That is the view from the cheap seats for now. Vote Dammit! Stay safe and be kind.

















7 Comments

  1. I think neighborhood level social media apps like NextDoor and Citizen are bad ideas, or at least, they aren’t designed well enough to have any good benefits currently. So far they’ve pretty much lead to gossip, hysteria, and better digital infrastructure for racial profiling.

    I’m a first generation ‘Internet native’ who learned to connect with real people on the Internet in ways that I don’t want to dismiss, but our current landscape is such that nothing, absolutely nothing, beats face to face contact in public venues.

    There, you may have political disagreements and differences in values, but you’re less likely to freak out because you’re worried about how you appear and your social recognition. On the Internet you do not, and all the people who disagree with you aren’t people, they’re just agents to be abolished. Nobody should be connected to a NextDoor App that doesn’t also have a neighborhood barbecue or potluck once a month.

    Now it’s looking like NextDoor is the sort of tool you would use to decide NOT to greet your neighbors, because you’re afraid of them. These apps merely subsidize the advertising for door locks and security camera systems companies.

  2. An interesting political development, Lou Dobbs has turned his rhetorical fire on Lindsey Graham. He’s in a tight race with Jamie Harrison. It would be hilarious if enough SC Trumpkins skipped or voted 3rd Party on the Senate race to push Harrison across the finish line. That would mean that Lindsey sold his soul for nothing, and you better believe that I would be there for the schadenfreude.

    I also look forward to the prospect of FloridaMan carpetbagger Allen West leading an attempt to primary Greg Abbott in 2022.

  3. Few-time reader, first time writer on your dispatches to PoliticalOrphans (I think). That seems really hard. A few times Chris has written about how we rely on our communities to do a form of parallel processing, so it must be hard to stick out. It’s not clear what we can do about these “computers” that have gone awry, at least insomuch as we can prioritize safety, health, and wealth in some general way.

  4. I have a Nextdoor account, but I’ve only lurked. It is useful to get info on what’s that construction starting up a few blocks over or to know what pets have gone missing. While they try to keep the politics to local only, it’s not really enforceable. While I fortunately have not seen anything as outrageous as the example Paul gave us, I see plenty of self-righteous conservatives of the type Chris has described- they’ll admit that Trump is an asshole, but it all about the 401ks, stupid!! They brush aside the grotesque character failings by saying that they’re looking for a President, not a pastor or a babysitter, but never think about how fucked up that is. It’s perfectly fine to hold a person who has literal life and death power over so many to a lower standard. These people may live in proximity to me, but they are not my neighbors in the traditional sense. At least I know who to avoid.

    1. Unfortunately, I am deep in the thicket with these folks. Most of them believe that Jesus rode a Triceratops instead of a donkey on Palm Sunday. They believe that the governor is taking away their liberty by making them wear masks, and many have forgotten the golden rule. I thought that was the greatest commandment of all?

  5. Never go to nextdoor unless you want to become quite dispirited about your neighbors. It’s a cesspool. But do remember that only a small fraction use it, and people who have any rational thinking skills abandon it. What is left are the most radical who looking for any forum to spread their TrueBelief(TM). These people really aren’t known for constraint.

  6. Paul I was raised Roman Catholic and been going to my wife’s church for over forty years a Pentecostal Church. I completely understand your frustration with other people who claim the name of Christ, Christians. Keep your eyes of Jesus and remember He is our template of what we are to be.
    Not all the members of my church or of my family are hoodwink by this monstrosity in the White House. There is a faithful remnant of us left. Most of Paul’s letters in the New Testament were to chastise people who were getting out of the faith living ungodly lives. This is not new.
    The parable which actually is a prophecy of the sheep and goats tells us many people sitting in church will be rejected because of their lack of love for the least of these. We must warn them. But realize we will not be loved for this but hated. Something Jesus warned us would happen. You cannot be a friend with the world and also with God. Much of the church has gotten in bed with the world .
    When ever the church has gotten mixed up with the government it has always been corrupted. The Middle age and the Reformation is full of examples of that. Which is why the founders put freedom from any particular religion into the First Amendment of our Constitution.
    There is a segment of the Church in the United States that wants to force their beliefs on everyone else. Become a defacto state church. Become a Christian version of Radical Islam, our version of ISIS. We must as born again believers resist this. Not once despite being God did Jesus force anyone. He lead by example. We have to follow suit. God Bless you brother and do not despair. Righteousness ultimately will rein on the earth as it does in Heaven.

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