Sunday, April 10, 2016

Yes, Ted Cruz is a Dominionist; Evangelicals Need to Stop Deluding Themselves

And so, I once again dive into the treacherous waters of politics. This time, it was triggered by a post from Christianity Today entitled “Stop Calling Ted Cruz A Dominionist.” Actually, my wife brought it to my attention, and noted that it sounds like they are grasping at straws.

In an effort to stop The Toupee Who Shall Not Be Named, conservatives are embracing Ted Cruz. However, I think many of them have a nagging feeling that he is a problematic candidate, because they are sure working hard to talk themselves into him.

The problems are manifold. Cruz may not have the same racist rhetoric as The Toupee, but his policies are every bit as bad, from the forced deportation of 11 million people to calls for carpet bombing the Islamic world.

But the other one is also a big problem. And that is Dominionism. I’ll provide some links as we go - and at the end. The links are important, because what people have said is a matter of public record. There is audio and video of the vast majority of the statements I cite.

I’ll also tease a future post, in which I hope to show that certain key Dominionist beliefs have become so ingrained in Evangelicalism that Christianity Today’s attempt to prove that Cruz isn’t Dominionist sounds very much like an attempt to cover up the Theocratic aspirations of mainstream Evangelicalism.

But first, let’s do a thought experiment.


Imagine that there was a Muslim running for office. His father was a cleric who called for jihad. When his son ran for office, he said that Allah had anointed him to be ruler of America. Now this Muslim also had a trusted advisor who was a truly radical cleric, who said that America had always been a Muslim nation, and that we needed to go back to Sharia Law so that Allah would bless us again. This cleric also said that the US Constitution was inspired by Allah, and was meant to be a interpretation of the Koran. And this radical cleric ran a PAC supporting the candidate. And then, the candidate spoke as a featured speaker at a jihadi conference. The organizer of this conference was one of the most radical advocates for jihad and Sharia law in the country. In fact, this organizer had just called for the slaughter of infidels, and stated that women should not be educated. Imagine as well that a very vocal jihadi cleric with a popular radio show was out stumping for this candidate.

Now, imagine that the candidate had never disavowed these jihadis.

Wouldn’t it be fair to deduce that this candidate in fact sympathized with the jihadi cause?


Here is the next hypothetical. Imagine there was a candidate who ran for office whose father was a leader in the KKK. And that this candidate spoke at a KKK meeting. The organizer of that meeting had recently called for the return of lynching. Furthermore, this candidate’s PAC was run by another prominent KKK leader, one who had said that there would never be cure for gang violence, because it was God’s judgment on black people, claimed that America was founded as a white nation, and that we needed to return to being a white nation.

Now imagine that the candidate had never disavowed the KKK or distanced himself from these KKK people who supported him?

Wouldn’t it be fair to deduce that this candidate in fact sympathized with the White Nationalist cause?


One more, just for fun. Imagine there was a candidate who attended a church where the pastor sometimes preached a Black Nationalist version of Liberation Theology in a couple of sermons (out of many). When asked to disavow that philosophy, the candidate in fact did so, and distanced himself from his former pastor. In spite of this, the candidate was repeatedly claimed to be out to destroy white people. And he was also called a Muslim, because, well, consistency or something.

Oh wait, that was President Obama. Never mind. Obviously we should hold Democrats to a completely different standard. My bad.


So, let’s go through this. Ted Cruz’s dad is indisputably a Dominionist. (Seven Mountain version, if you care about the specifics.) Specifically, he is a preacher who makes his living preaching Dominionism. His dad (and his wife, and radio personality Glenn Beck) have said publicly that God has anointed Ted to rule the United States.

While I am the first to say that a child should not be assumed to be like the parents (I am by no means a political clone of my parents), upbringing is important for this reason:

A person raised Dominionist will know Dominionism when he sees it, and is thus responsible to either embrace or reject it. He cannot claim “I didn’t know who they were.”

Cruz’s super-PAC is run by David Barton, a Dominionist well known within homeschool circles - and also within fundamentalist Christianity in general. He is also one of the most politically influential Dominionists. Lots more on him later.

Cruz also has been endorsed by a long list of known Dominionsts

These at least were mentioned in the Christianity Today article.

However, as my wife pointed out, there is no mention of Kevin Swanson and his conference.

This is a major omission, as I will show in greater detail below. Not sure why this wasn’t mentioned, as this is the one connection that has drawn the attention of the more secular media. The facts are undisputed, however. Cruz (and Jindal and Huckabee for that matter) were speakers and Kevin Swanson’s conference, which is, shall we say, pretty much a Dominionist rally and recruitment seminar. (I'll note specifically Geoff Botkin of the Reconstructionist 200 Year Plan and John Eidsmoe of my Alma Mater who wrote a book claiming Christopher Columbus of all people was a warrior for God's cause.)   Sorry. I’m an ex-fundie and homeschooler. I know these names and what they preach.

I am puzzled that this wasn’t mentioned by Christianity Today. Because this fact alone makes it clear that Ted Cruz is far too comfortable with Dominionists and their ideas - and that he cannot be trusted to reject even the worst of those ideas once elected.

So let me go through some of this in more detail.

1. Kevin Swanson: “Kill the Gays and keep your women in the home.”

It’s hard to even know where to start with Kevin Swanson, because he is so far beyond the hard right. I would use the term “lunatic right” perhaps. But let’s start with this one, because to me, this is an automatic disqualification for public office.

Kevin Swanson is the organizer of the National Religious Liberties Conference, which is kind of an interesting name. But basically, this is a Dominionist rally and recruitment seminar. (Let me specifically note these two: Geoff Botkin of the Reconstructionist 200 Year Plan; and John Eidsmoe, of my alma mater, Bill Gothard’s law school, who wrote a book claiming that, of all people, Columbus and Cortez were holy warriors carrying out God’s divine plan…) It is focused on political action, and action that furthers Dominionist goals. At that conference, Kevin Swanson called for the execution of LGBT people. And it wasn't the first time by any stretch.

It was at this exact same conference that Ted Cruz was a featured speaker.And let me further note that Cruz's father is a headliner on this conference. This is Cruz's tribe...

I go back to my hypothetical: if a candidate had spoken at a conference where a prior speaker had called for the return of lynchings - government sponsored, no less - wouldn’t we expect that candidate to walk out? To publicly disavow association with that cause? I would hope so. 

But instead, Cruz was asked about his participation in this event before the conference! At minimum, he had time to have one of his staff Google Kevin Swanson and a few other speakers, and decline to participate. 

He still chose to attend and speak. So he damn straight knew what Swanson was about, and chose to participate anyway. 

So how is this different?

This is nothing less than the call for the institution of Christian Sharia. This is an Old Testament law and penalty that Swanson is calling to be used by the Government of the United States.

In my book, this ALONE disqualifies Cruz from my vote.

You simply cannot associate with people like this. This is the moral equivalent of attending a KKK rally.

Just to be clear, I am a Christian. I believe adultery is morally wrong. I would absolutely not support executing people for it, even if it would rid the world of a bunch of self-righteous politicians.

A bit more on Kevin Swanson:

He is more than a wee bit paranoid when it comes to culture. Among other things, he has called the Harry Potter books and movies “unmitigated evil.” He has claimed that watching Frozen will turn your children homosexual or introduce them to bestiality. (Say what?) Behind every bit of culture, he seemingly sees malevolent forces that will turn children to sexual perversions of every sort.

Well, how about some things with actual political consequences?

Kevin Swanson opposes sending females to college on the grounds that they will either have two abortions or turn lesbian. (See a theme here?) 
By the way: actual audio here. And a partial transcript from Wonkette.

It’s as if he read The Handmaid’s Tale as a prescription for society, rather than as a precautionary tale.

Again, I believe this should be an automatic disqualification.

I really would have hoped that in the 21st Century, someone who advocates for denying women an education and the ability to support themselves - something the Taliban does and for the exact same reasons - would be treated like the misogynist he is. This kind of thing is a direct threat to my own family.

He also opposes birth control. He has gone so far as to make the scientifically ludicrous claim that women who take hormonal birth control have dozens or hundreds of dead babies embedded in the walls of their uteruses. 

He also agrees with The Toupee that women should be criminally prosecuted for abortions.  Except that he would, under the Old Testament lex talionis law, apply the death penalty. (He kind of, sort of, walked it back after being called out…)

Who else would he execute? How about Girl Scout leaders? Yep, for “promoting lesbianism.” 

Oh, and the Paris terrorist attacks were God’s punishment on people who listen to “satanic” bands like the Eagles of Death Metal. (Clearly, Swanson doesn’t get irony….)  He also claimed that Satan preserved the lives of the band members. Because Satan is so powerful he can stop God’s wrath. Or something. Your guess is as good as mine.

Somehow, this doesn’t seem like devil worship. 
 But they do say “shit,” so I guess you never know...

One more: In addition to repeating the line so dear to the Reconstructionist wing of Dominionism that Slavery really wasn’t that bad, he actually said that it was better that women be taken as plunder and raped (ala the Old Testament - see, there is a theme in Dominionism…) than that they would go on welfare. 

By the way, let me note that these aren’t unsupported by factual evidence. Swanson hosts a radio show, and places like Right Wing Watch have the actual audio - and video in many cases. He really, truly, is this crazy.

Now let me bring this home. BEFORE appearing at this conference, CNN asked Cruz why he was planning to speak at a conference organized by those known for “kill the gays” views. So Cruz sure as heck knew what he was doing. And chose to do it anyway. In fact, he deflected the question to a statement about how Christians were being persecuted. (That’s a favorite Dominionist line, by the way.) 

That is why Cruz cannot simply claim he is not Dominionist, when he has - with knowledge aforethought - chosen to associate himself with them. This isn’t “guilt by association.” This is “you are known by the company you choose to keep even after you know who they are.”

And let me point out too that Cruz grew up in a Dominionist household. So he can’t claim “I had no idea who these people are.” No, he knew full well, was asked in advance about his participation, and chose to do it anyway.

2. David Barton: “Sure I made up a bunch of stuff in my latest book, but Glenn Beck likes me!”

Here is a name intimately familiar to most religious homeschoolers - and most Cultural Fundamentalists (see my post on what I mean by this.) 

For those not already familiar with him, here is the quick summary. To Fundies, Barton bills himself as a “historian,” despite the fact that he has no training or credentials in that field. (He has a B.A. in Religious Education from Oral Roberts University. In other words, he trained to be a Sunday School teacher at a Fundamentalist college. And he did serve as a youth minister before switching to writing.) Barton founded WallBuilders, a publishing company that publishes his books, and sells them to gullible Christians.

Barton was named by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential Evangelicals, in large part due to the fact that he has great influence in Republican politics. Starting with Rick Perry in 2012, he has been involved in the campaigns of a number of Religious Right and Tea Party candidates. He was a Vice-Chairman for the Texas Republican Party, and also has served as a consultant to the Republican National Committee. He has advised candidates from Rick Perry, to Rick Santorum, to Mike Huckabee, to Michelle Bachman, Newt Gingrich, and many other candidates and officeholders. He has recently been adopted by Glenn Beck as his official history consultant. He even helped draft the 2012 GOP platform. (Yet another reason why I left the GOP.) 

This isn’t to say that he is universally beloved in Evangelical circles. As I will detail below, he has earned the ire of many because he makes up facts and quotes to support his Dominionist view of American history.

But let’s start with the Dominionism, because he is - above all else - a Dominionist. While the Reconstructionist wing does not embrace him, and he does not title himself a Reconstructionist, he is unquestionably a Dominionist. (Again, more affiliated with the Seven Mountain Dominionism of Ted Cruz’s father. See, another link…) Barton regularly quotes Rushdoony, and much of his philosophy is straight out of Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law. Furthermore, and this is definitive, Barton advocates for the establishment of an expressly Christian theocracy.

So let’s go through this a bit. Barton believes in a particular view of American history, namely that the United States was founded as Christian Nation™, specifically, as a Theocracy. In his view, the founding fathers were all devout Christians (including Jefferson - this is really important) who expressly based the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution on the Bible. This alone is enough to make him a Christian Nationalist. This is the belief that the United States was once, and should be again, an expressly Christian nation. 

This also flies in the face of actual history. It requires the denial that Enlightenment values were embraced in the founding of the nation. It also requires that all of that business about religious freedom and so on didn’t really mean freedom for everyone. Just certain types of Christians.

This is the belief that finds expression in the call for government sponsored prayers to Jesus in public schools, the enforcement of religious sexual rules by the government, and the teaching of creationism in public schools.

Barton also, because of this position, has claimed that only Christians (and maybe Jews) should be allowed to hold public office, and that the First Amendment freedom of religion was always intended only to protect Christians, not other religions. Seriously. Follow the link and watch the video from the Daily Show where Barton states this outright. 

And his “history” is just filled with baloney. He advocated for removal of Martin Luther King Jr. from Texas history books, because it was white people who brought civil rights, not blacks. Ditto for the abolition of slavery. (So goodbye Frederick Douglass…) 

Because mainstream “liberal” historians don’t agree with Barton, he had to go and write his own books. And boy, are these books something. They pick and choose quotes and facts, ignore other important ones, and generally mislead about the historical evidence.

Oh, and even Barton had to admit at one point that a large number of quotes had no evidence to support them.

He didn’t admit he made them up - although it seems likely to me given the lack of evidence. Perhaps some were drawn from non-academic tertiary sources. (About the same level of reliability as the Cherry Tree Story.)

His most recent book, The Jefferson Lies tried to make the case that Jefferson was a devout Christian who fully supported the use of public funds to support Christianity. That this is ludicrous beyond belief is obvious to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of American history. (The Jefferson Bible, anyone? The Wall of Separation between Church and State?)

This book was so bad, and filled with fabrications and distortions that even uber-Conservative World Magazine published a refutation of the book by legitimate historians (who were Christians, by the way.) Furthermore, the Discovery Institute - yes, the organization that tries to get public schools to teach Creationism - even they couldn’t stomach Barton. Jay W. Richards from Discovery said in 2012 that Barton’s works “remain rife with distortions of history and court rulings.” Finally, after the lies came to light, Christian publisher Thomas Nelson withdrew the book, forcing Barton to turn to World Net Daily to publish the updated version.  

Barton is such a liar and fabricator that even these far-Right organizations realize he is dishonest.

And yet this is the man Cruz has heading up his super-PAC? Really?

Well, let’s go on from there. I believe it is important to know why Cruz and Barton have a common cause, because this goes very much to the policies that Cruz has advocated for.

In the Dominionist universe, government exists for a very limited number of things. (The rest are to be “under the dominion of” the church or the family.) In Barton’s view, which he takes from the Declaration of Independence, these are the protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness wealth and property. Ah, this is a crucial change, is it not? This shifts the goal of government toward an Ayn Rand view - namely that government protects the haves from the have-nots. I’d love to flesh this out in another post, but Barton’s view of economic policy is all about increasing the power of the wealthy, while denying the poor legal redress. Just a few examples: Barton has stated expressly that the Bible forbids a minimum wage, progressive taxation, the estate tax, and capital gains tax (Again, actual video, people…)

And, perhaps most to the point, when it comes to anti-poverty programs, Barton (and Dominionists) in general believe that the government should have ZERO role in this. And I mean ZERO. (Again, this is an Ayn Rand position too.) Meaning that in practical terms, the United States should refuse to do what even most third world nations do - to say nothing of the rest of the civilized world. 

There is a point to this, by the way. “Charity” is supposed to be from individuals (and the church, maybe.) And it should only go to those who are “deserving.” If you don’t follow God’s law (as they interpret it), then you are out. Kid out of wedlock? Well, you can starve. Should have followed God’s law of sex…

As Julie Ingersoll in Salon summarized the writings of Rushdoony and Gary North on the subject, “biblical charity may extend to the four corners of the earth, but only to those who are in submission to biblical law as it is articulated by the Reconstructionists.” 

It is pretty obvious, of course, that this view has become freaking mainstream in the Tea Party wing of the GOP.

[Side note: this seems to be a disregard of many teachings of Christ, but whatever…]

Note that this isn’t just a claim that these are wiser policies, but that his religion specifically demands these policies.

Hey, wait a minute, aren’t these policies familiar? Cruz calls for a flat tax and abolition of the IRS, large cuts to the capital gains tax, and abolition of the estate tax. To be fair, it isn’t just him. It’s pretty much an article of faith in the GOP right now. (And I use “faith” intentionally here.) And just about every GOP candidate has opposed any raising of the minimum wage, although none has committed political suicide by asking that it be scrapped altogether as Barton has done. (For what it is worth, I have several Cruz supporting friends who do advocate for abolishing the minimum wage. It’s an Ayn Rand thing, for sure…)

And isn’t Ted Cruz’s most well known act of “governance” in the Senate his shutdown of the government as an attempt to force the repeal of the Affordable Care Act?

Why, yes it is! Because the one issue that justified doing everything possible is to be sure to deny health care to people who haven’t “earned” it.

Just for the record, this stunt was the final straw that caused me to leave the GOP for good.

And what I hated the most was that Cruz had the gall to go on Pat Robertson’s show and claim that God was guiding his actions.  Seriously, as a Christian, I am freaking SICK of politicians taking the Lord’s name in vain this way.

Or how about a few others. In line with Barton’s Christian Nationalism, Cruz would only allow Christian refugees in This would expressly institute a religious test, which would seem to be a flagrant violation of the first amendment. Likewise for his plan to specially patrol Muslim neighborhoods It’s not hard to recognize this. This is religious freedom ONLY for certain religions. And that’s before we even get to “Does sand glow? We’re about to find out.” Because there is no way that could be construed as a promise to nuke the Middle East, slaughtering millions of civilians, right?

All this fits very well with a Christian Nationalist point of view, though, and with the idea that the United States is the new Israel, wreaking havoc on the Enemies of God™ using our military might. Now if it just wasn’t for those darn gays making God hate us… 

And how about Cruz’s obsession with fake persecution of Christians  - which is really code for “we don’t serve LGBT people, and we should be free to deny them housing, employment, and government services”? That’s a KEY focus of the Dominionist movement right now. Just saying. If they can’t win outright government force to enforce religious sexual rules, they will demand that the government permit them to do it themselves. In the name of “religious freedom.”

So let me go back to my hypotheticals. Shouldn’t the fact that Cruz’s super-PAC is led by an unquestionable Dominionist who lies and fabricates history matter?

Again, Barton has been part of the same Dominionist network as Cruz’s father for decades. There is no surprise here. The logical conclusion is that Cruz has him running the PAC knowing full well who he is.

The elephant in the room:

This is the part that Christianity Today isn’t willing to address.

Dominionism is generally accepted in its soft form throughout Evangelicalism.

The article complains that Dominionism is a loaded term these days. And it is. For good reason.

(On a similar note, “patriarchy” is a loaded word, which is why “complementarianism” was appropriated to replace it. Patriarchy hasn’t died, it has just been renamed.)

Similarly, Dominionism is problematic, and something that those outside the Evangelical bubble rightly fear and loathe. (Many of us within it too, actually.)

In a future post, I want to explore Dominionist ideas, and how they have become mainstream in Evangelicalism.


For now, here is my conclusion:

Someone who knowingly associates himself with Dominionists and appears to espouse many of their political goals isn’t merely “guilty by association.”

He has unequivocally shown that he associates himself with Dominionists and supports their goals. He has failed to distance himself from Dominionists and has rather allowed them to continue in major roles in his campaign.

And that is why I will be actively voting against Cruz, should he steal the nomination from The [equally loathsome] Toupee Who Shall Not Be Named.


One final word:

I believe that the only reason why the Dominionist affiliations - and beliefs and actions - of Ted Cruz have not been more widely discussed is that The Toupee has sucked all the oxygen out of the room.

Should Cruz manage to steal the nomination at a contested convention, this will all come to light. And I think that a significant portion of the US electorate - including many Christians - are going to want to vomit. Christianity Today is whistling past the graveyard on this, not really ready to realize that the GOP is on the brink of nominating the first openly theocratic candidate in our history. 


I might have to blog about this if Cruz gets the nomination...



Here is the original Christianity Today article.

Stop Calling Ted Cruz Dominionist

John Fea - who is way nicer (and more conservative) than I am, responds to the Christianity Today article. 

On Left Wing McCarthyism and my "Farcical" take on Ted Cruz

One of the best resources on Cruz and other Dominionists is Warren Throckmorton. Highly recommended.

Both of the above are conservative Christians, by the way, who find Cruz's Dominionism worrisome. 

Salon has this good one that came out before Cruz spoke at the Dominionist conference.

And finally, probably the best resource for this that I have found is Right Wing Watch. I know that many will disagree with their basic political philosophy and conclusions. HOWEVER, they have primary sources. You want to know what Barton or Swanson REALLY said? They have the actual video or audio.

So yes, these guys really ARE bat shit crazy. Condemned by their own words. 


Update May 9, 2016

It turns out that Cruz has indeed endorsed David Barton's revisionist view of history. (I stated before that anyone who will endorse Barton's lies is unqualified to lead a nation.) 

Cruz Super-PAC Head Promotes "Biblical" Slavery For Non-Christians

Update May 25, 2016:

Just ran across this gem: Who did Cruz tab to co-chair his Virginia campaign? None other than Cynthia Dunbar, head of a Dominionist curriculum publishing company. (Recently in the news for a book being considered by the Texas Board of Education - of which she is a former member - which blames Mexican American immigrants for a variety of societal ills. In one of her own books, she pretty much quotes the Dominionist talking points, from the David Barton nonsense that the United States was a Christian Theocracy, to explicitly proposing religious tests for political office (in violation of the Constitution.) This one quote, though, is Dominionist Speak at its most obvious, and comes after she claims that public schools are unconstitutional and should be eliminated: 

"Even if you question the accuracy of my constitutional interpretation as proof of the inappropriateness of a state-created, tax-payer supported school system, still the Scriptures bear witness to such an institution’s lack of proper authority in the life of the Christian family."


Before commenting, please read my comment policy. 



  2. If it looks, waddles and (especially) quacks like a Dominionist...!

  3. I think you're right. Do you see options? That is, do you have hope in the Democratic party?

    1. Honestly, this is the most depressing election I can remember.

      On the one hand, of the remaining candidates with a chance, I think Sanders is the only one I would actually like to have to dinner, but I have reservations about a number of his policies. (Just to cite one, I think his proposal that we don't trade with nations that don't have our wage standards would pretty much eliminate any trade with the 3rd world - which would be devastating to them.)

      Since I am from CA, we will probably go Democrat regardless of my vote, so I may just abstain. If it is in play, though, I would vote Democrat just to vote against Trump or Cruz.

      As far as the last question? I have no hope in politics, I'm afraid.

    2. I'd rather see a law making companies that offshore to save on taxes ineligible for government contracts.

  4. Here's another…er…"interesting" Cruz-related fact I didn't know about.

    1. Ah yes. That whole thing cracks me up. You really should read the actual brief.

      On the one hand, I should be fair to Cruz on this point: as AG, you often find yourself defending laws because it is your job, even if you disagree. (Although lately, it has become more common for AGs to refuse to defend obviously unconstitutional laws.) I suspect Cruz believed what he wrote, but we attorneys don't always have that luxury. I've had a few cases where I said things in argument that I had to say, but hated having to say it. It's the nature of the gig.

      That said, I find it fascinating the legal argument that he made (and had to make if he hoped to win.)

      He had to distinguish the case from those involving contraception (which prior cases held were under the right to privacy) and those involving gay sex (ditto). So he ends up making the argument that unless sexual gratification might make babies (contraception) or involves a relationship (gay sex), then the state can forbid it. He then had to argue that dildos were like prostitution.

      The appellate court didn't buy it, shall we say.

      What strikes me as so Texas (or Bible Belt) is that someone actually decided it was worth using law enforcement resources to send undercover officers to a "passion party." Because nothing represents a threat to law and order like a bunch of middle aged women tittering over dildos. :)

  5. Oh, and you might also be interested to know that dear old Kevin literally thinks that Nathaniel Hawthorne was demonically inspired to write The Scarlet Letter. He's apparently quite upset with Thomas Aquinas as well.

    Of course, if these people were at all self-aware, they would realize that their over-the-top violent reactions to Hester Prynne, just demonstrate yet again how right Hawthorne was about so, soooooo many things.

    1. Yes indeed. I am reminded as well of an acquaintance (who defriended me after I went after Doug Wilson) who really seemed to blame women for the bad behavior of men. (My review of Daniel Deronda has a typical comment from her.) Kind of missing the point of literature when you just blame the women. Zero self awareness. (In that instance, what was Lydia to do if she left her abusive husband who wouldn't grant her a divorce? Starve?)

      Interesting that you mention Aquinas. For reasons that I still don't get, he has been the bogeyman for fundamentalism. I had a lot of A Beka curriculum during my school days, and they HATED Aquinas. Once I started reading about him and his ideas as I explored philosophy, I realized he had gotten a bad rap. (Although his acceptance of Aristotle's view of women as defective men hasn't worn well.) Maybe it is just that he granted that a pagan might know some truth?

  6. Ahh I don't know if my prior post took - sorry if this is a duplicate.

    David: As a millenial who was homeschooled in a church community where a lot of families homeschooled in the 90's, I only later realized how much it messed me up.
    It wasn't just that Catholic families were using um, Protestant materials to inform their religious beliefs, and it wasn't just that they thought that to be Christian was to be Republican (as you have pointed out).
    It was that they were in deep from beliefs that even a cursory glance should determine to be anti-Christian, immoral, illogical. But I couldn't figure out WHY until I stumbled across your wonderful blog.
    All this to say I am a delighted reader of your intelligent, insightful blog. Thank you so, so much; you have given me the tools to see what's going on behind the nonsense.
    P.S. I love that you adore your wife. Few people really treat women as God actually intended. Perhaps you should write something about why fundamentalists really hate feminists.