Judas Iscariot: The Psychology Of Charity Gospel

Today on the Orthodox Church calendar is Good Friday. Regular Blair readers know that I am an Orthodox Christian. Judas has been on my mind the last few days.

The standard explanation for Judas Iscariot going bad is that he expected Jesus to be a political leader and was disappointed. This is all plausible, and while we do not know the meaning of the name “Iscariot”, there is a linguistic theory that he was from a band of political rebels. However, most of Jesus’s followers thought He would be a political leader and did not betray Him. This standard explanation probably is not false, but I think it is incomplete and misses the point.

Judas betrayed Jesus because he was embarrassed of Him.

Jesus had a successful ministry going. Thousands were flocking to Him. Not only were various miracles happening, but Jesus taught about kindness and patience. People were becoming better humans. Jesus was creating a kinder and gentler world.

And Judas probably thought well of himself. Here he is as a close confidant of the leader of this social revolution. He may have been skimming some off the top of the charity fund, but surely, he thought, that Jesus knew that. And anyway it is what he, Judas, deserved for all the good he was doing. Judas saw himself as a good person who was helping make a positive change in the world. Even the gentiles were better off. It was a world revolution. Judas was a Mother Theresa, hugging the untouchables and feeding the poor.

And then Jesus had to start talking about eating His body and drinking His blood. Many of His followers were confused and asked for clarification, waiting for Him to explain that it was all a metaphor. Jesus refused. They started to turn away. Jesus did not ask them to return. He let masses walk away from His message of peace and love just so that He could talk about cannibalism.

Of course Judas was angry. Jesus was ruining everything. Perhaps it only after this that Judas started stealing from the charity fund. After all, if Jesus did not care about His own ministry, why should he?

Jesus’s disciples seemed to agree. No one suspected Judas was a traitor. When Jesus announced one of them would betray Him, they all asked who it was. Even when Jesus pointed him out at the last supper, the other disciples still did not realize that Judas was the betrayer.

Judas was your stereotypical self-righteous Christian who thinks he is Jesus’s best friend and convinces everyone else of it. He is the deacon in the Baptist church that everyone thinks is a “servant-leader”. He owns the restaurant that closes on Sundays and gives away free food (even though he manipulates his employees). He substitute preaches when the pastor is on vacation. People say he speaks from the heart. They crave to be in his Sunday School class. He stands up during church council meetings and denounces those who cling to the old ways, those who say “no” to every proposal. He wants to leave the world a better place when he is gone. He wants to be an agent for change.

Or he is the Orthodox priest with a blog and an internet radio show with all kinds of clever insights and semi-poetic prose. He is a deep thinker. He always has something new and interesting to say. The way he runs his parish is irrelevant — you can hear what a godly man he is just by listening to his voice. He has thousands of Facebook friends. He is a priest of the Most High God, entrusted with the care of souls and given authority to teach by the bishop. What’s not to trust?

And this is most of Christianity today. And really, for the past century. Churches see themselves as agents of God to make the world a better place. They want to help as many people as possible. If you start talking about traditional sex roles or the danger in popular music, then people will be turned off and leave. And then you lose the opportunity to help them. Oh no!

Obviously I am empathizing a bit with people I disagree with and, frankly, despise. Churches should stick their flag in the ground, declare their war against the world, and let the masses walk away. Jesus said that narrow is the way. If your church is huge, you are probably doing something wrong.

Judas was not anything unusual. Most churches have the psychology of Judas. Most Christians have the psychology of Judas. They do not actually believe in their beliefs. Or if they do, they make a point to minimize them. And they certainly never kick people out of the church for major sins like divorce.

It seems mainline protestants have the most embarrassment. Most mainline groups (Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, and Anglicans) make a point to agree with the secular left as much as possible. Genesis did not really happen, abortion is a woman’s choice, racism is the worst evil ever, etc. They are deeply embarrassed of and hate anyone who insists the Bible should be taken at face value. The worst heresy for them is to say that Jesus was not all about peace and love.

Evangelicals are better but not by much. They hold to Biblical inerrancy and insist that homosexuality destroys the American family, but then they are totally silent about divorce and remarriage. They praise single mothers and castrate young men.

Modern Catholicism is an abomination, but I think the traditionalists on the internet have that commentary covered far better than I could ever do (or care).

Orthodox Christianity is generally resistant to progressivism, but we are by no means immune.

All forms of Christianity to some extent or another have traded teaching doctrine for teaching doubt. Some veins are more resistant, but none have their hands clean. All of us have been a Judas. We have sold out Jesus for some notion of a greater good. It is a good thing to open a soup kitchen, but doing so is worthless if you lose your own soul.

Advertisements

Democrats Want To Lose

It’s been almost three years since the Trumpening, and people have still learned nothing.

Politics is not about making policies. It’s not about governing. It’s about convincing people to put you in a position where you make money and have social status.

The Democrats are calling for the impeachment of Trump, because that’s what their core base wants. It’s what’s going to get people who hate Trump with the passion normally reserved for their absent fathers to come to the polls in November.

But what Pelosi and Schumer are terrified of is taking a majority of seats. Because then they would have to actually act on what they’ve been saying for the last year, and then they would find themselves in a similar position the Republicans are in with Obamacare.

In order to win elections, you must have something to sell to voters. Vote for me, and I will make X happen. The reason the Republicans won’t enact all the Republican laws they allegedly support is because they would have nothing to sell to voters in November.

If Trump was impeached for anything that isn’t concrete proof of foul play, it would be career suicide for any senator or representative who votes for it and isn’t from a solid blue district. It might even inspire another Timothy McVeigh. Sure, the activists would love it, but activists don’t win elections. Old people who watch five hours of news every night win elections.

It’s all pro wrestling. You’ve got your team, and they’re going up against the other team. But they’re not actually wrestling for the win — they’re wrestling so they can shave their bodies and look like a god on national television.

Why would Schumer and Pelosi care if the Democrats lose 100 seats this coming November? The leaders of the Democratic Party are in safe districts that will always vote Democrat. If they’re the minority party, that gives them underdog status. They can say and do whatever they want with no real consequences. No one will come to them in the next election and tell them that the bill they advocated for has become a disaster.

Even if the Democrats did win a majority in one of the houses, you can’t just block every piece of legislation that comes down the pipe. The government would come to a standstill. Then voters would really hate you.

Modern Science Is Mad Science

Something I noticed the other day as I was rewatching House for the third time. It seems that nearly all of modern science would, just a few generations ago, be considered mad science. Like in the comic book sense of the term.

An obvious example is sexual reassignment surgery. I feel like the Nazis did something with that, but I can’t find a citation. Regardless, the idea of advance surgery to transform someone into a very different creature sounds like something out of an 1800s gothic horror novel. It’s no wonder many otherwise politically neutral people are fascinated by the concept.

And while organ donation saves a lot of lives, it’s a pretty insane concept. You can take the heart out of someone and hook it up to a new person. Which I’m not at all criticizing the concept. I’m just saying, it’s pretty weird when you think about it.

We treat cancer by nuking the person. Okay, not quite nuking, but aggressively poisoning them to the point of deformity.

Liposuction. If you get fat, we can suck it out of you with a tube. Or just staple your stomach.

Or consider dialysis. We remove the blood from your body and clean it in a machine. Doesn’t that sound like something an Evil Nazi Scientist would try to figure out just because he had a few extra twins lying around? In fact, according to Cracked.com (back when it was a reliable resource):

Dr. Bryukhonenko was a Soviet scientist during the Stalin era, and is credited as the inventor of the first primitive heart-lung machine called the autojektor. The machine was used to help perform the first Soviet open heart surgery. […] Sergei’s most famous experiment, however, was the video documented “Dog’s Head.” In it, a freshly severed dog’s head was placed on the table and connected to Sergei’s Genesis Machine (fueled by the sorrow of orphans). The machine brought the head back to life. Fully responsive.

That’s the technology that gave us modern surgery.

Moving beyond medicine, what is environmental science about? Do we try to mine without harming the flora and fauna? Agriculture without accidentally salting our own fields?

No, of course not. All we care about is climate change. Which I assume means we want climate stasis. We want to control the skies and make sure the weather doesn’t change on us.

We can travel to the moon and send probes to Mars. We can use telescopes to see beyond Pluto. We can even sort of see atoms. We can measure the temperature on the sun. I don’t know why any of that even matters, but we can do it all the same just out of pure human hubris.

We can even live on Antarctica. Consider that. Western civilization got so bored colonizing third world tribes that we decided to colonize a place where you can’t even grow food.

And we have underwater restaurants and hotels. No utilitarian function. Just did it because it looks cool and will bring in a lot of money.

I Don’t Care About Count Dankula And Neither Should You

Do I care about this Scottish comedian being jailed for Nazi jokes?

No, I don’t care about Britain. They get the society they deserve. I also don’t care about any Muslim rape gangs or the BBC making Achilles a black man having a threesome with white girls. Britain’s lost. WWII was a waste.

I could respect the guy if he stood his ground. But instead he cried and apologized. Not only did it not change his sentence at all, but it gives the British government moral authority to continue arresting people for offensive speech.

And that’s just fine with me. You get the society and the government you deserve. Britain’s democratically elected, more or less. The masses don’t seem to be in a revolt over this. They barely care they were sold out on Brexit last week.

“But protest is basically illegal! They can’t speak out.”

Yeah, just imagine what would happen in America if they demanded everyone turn in their guns and then arrested people for making Nazi jokes on the internet. People would be fighting off the police with steak knives.

The British not only don’t care about freedom — they can’t even understand it. It’s like explaining string theory to me. Totally beyond any context I can grasp.

And let’s remember that Brexit only won 52% and the Leave camp swore up and down it wasn’t a race thing. Nothing nationalistic about it. They just want to be able to vote on their own laws. Though did they ever vote to be silenced into ignoring child rape gangs and being arrest for internet jokes, all for the swan song of anti-racism? Doesn’t matter — not something they care to think about.

British society isn’t dying — it’s already dead. The problem with Britain isn’t that it’s full of Muslims. The problem with Britain is that it’s full of the British. The Muslims are just the maggots feasting on the rotting corpse.

received_781894198643291.png

Read More: Something Something Church of England.

(I realize this article needs several links. But I’m typing on my phone just before bed. Maybe I should download the app.)

(The picture is from my Facebook after Le Pen lost.)

Bechtloff video from last year perfectly summarizing how I feel:

George Orwell, A Liberal Criticizing Liberalism

The odd irony of George Orwell — real name Eric Blair — is that he is beloved by conservatives yet was a socialist himself. And you can see this play through in 1984. While I still love the book, conservatives warning that it is coming true are wrong. 1984 can never come true, because it is built on several false premises based around Orwell’s personal worldview.

  1. He assumes that someone will always sell out their beliefs with enough torture. Liberals believe that the human spirit is malleable. If you torture someone enough, according to Orwell, you can make them believe anything. Everyone has a breaking point.
  2. The masses are, as Scott Adams would say, moist robots. You can radically reprogram all of society with the right brainwashing. All of society can believe total nonsense.
  3. History is merely a series of class warfare. The lower and middle unite to overthrow the upper but then the middle kick the lower back down. This is straight from Marx himself.
  4. He treats the classes as collectives. O’Brien — in the upper class — even calls himself a thread in a garment and a cell in a larger organism. The classes each act as one unit, and there are almost no outliers.
  5. The poor are so unintelligent that they are basically animals.

That last point, while exaggerated in his atheistic, soul-less worldview, is a depiction of his I really like and that no one ever seems to pick up on. In the book, the lowest class are entirely sedated not through propaganda but through porn, cheap pop music, the lottery, and beer. Which isn’t really that far off from our society.

It’s true regardless of class but especially among the working poor. I’ve had a lot of terrible jobs and have worked with a lot of the untouchable caste. All they care about is Iron Man gutter top 40 music. And while they have no intellectual depth, they will analyze scratch-off tickets to see if there’s some kind of special white line and make sure to get numbers from the middle of the roll of tickets instead of the beginning or end.  They would ask which of the instant numbers hit recently as though I would know off the top of my head (or even care). They’ll take five minutes in line with five people behind them carefully picking out the perfect scratch-off tickets (which if I’m behind them, I always make a point to heckle them).

Working at the counter, they would ask me, “Which ticket is a good one? My response would be, “None of them. They all suck.” Though occasionally I would make a recommendation. The “best” tickets are the ones with the lowest top prize (which are also the least popular), because that means there are more smaller prizes spread out within. One time a guy won $280 from a $2 ticket I recommended; another time a guy won $20 and gave me $3 to buy a beer.

I also liked trying to get people to spend extra on tickets, because it made me feel like Satan. I would suggest-sale by pulling out one for $10 or $20 and say, “You should buy a Hot Hot Cash. It’s a winner. I know. They tell me.” And you would see the greed in their eyes. People who never play that much money or never play at all would stare at the ticket with lust and usually buy it. It’s a shame the store makes almost nothing off of tickets, because one night I sold nine of those suckers (and usually we would sell maybe one). Of course when they lost, I would rub my nipples and make fun of them.

But still, playing the lottery is a lot like throwing your money in the fireplace. If you play the lottery, I will assume you voted for Bernie because clearly you cannot do math. Then again, it’s a good tax on the poor who are bleeding our welfare system dry.

Back on topic, people follow what the leaders of the country decide to believe. If a medieval prince decides to follow a certain vein of Christianity, that commoners will follow suit for the rest of time (or become atheistic when that form of Christianity burns itself out).

I also like Orwell’s criticism of the metric system. He wrote elsewhere that the metric system, while useful for trade and medicine, is inhuman. You could say, “He looks about five and a half feet,” but you would never say, “He looks about 172 centimeters.”

Some liberals come across this and are scandalized that Orwell would dare to criticize their precious metric system. Liberals cannot imagine their heroes would ever disagree with them even a little, and so they must distort them into secretly agreeing with them. “If only Orwell met the right people, he would love the metric system. It’s just a lack of knowledge on his part.” Yes, if someone disagrees with you, it must be due to a lack of information. It cannot be that he’s examined the same information and come up with a different conclusion.

At least conservatives admit that their beloved George Orwell is a socialist. They accept him despite his flaws instead of trying to photoshop them out.

Four Reasons It’s A Good Thing The Confederacy Lost

We can look back at the civil war and decide who was right or wrong and how much we should respect or hate people 150 years ago. We can nitpick all the various motivations and hypocrisies on both sides (like how Virgina used voter fraud to secede and wouldn’t allow the western counties to form a separate state, and then the future West Virginia did the exact same thing with the secessionist counties on the eastern border). And we can look at how motivations changed as the war developed and the immediate aftermath.

It’s totally true that the rebel flag has become more about the federal government looting, raping, and burning the deep south than about preserving slavery. (And today you’ll find far more rebel flags in the deep south than the upper.)

But what about the effects 150 years later? Is it in the south’s best interest we lost? Despite the cultural rot that was and is New England and New York values, I think it’s good that we lost.

1) People move across state lines. A lot happens in a century and a half. Most of us probably never would have been born.

2) About a third of the South was black. In some states it was over 50%. That’s a Haiti situation waiting to happen. Having many of them escape to the north during the war and then a great migration during the 1930s has done a lot to make the south less black. Detroit and Milwaukee can deal with that headache. Race riots almost never happen in the south.

3) America’s music is the south’s music. And all beauty is derived from hardship. Had the south won and been prosperous, country and blues music likely would have never developed. Then again, that may not be such a bad thing.

4) The south overwhelmingly voted in FDR. It’s not inconceivable that we would have become some kind of Soviet dystopia.

Civil War Union Hero Major Robert Anderson

I recently watched a documentary about Major Robert Anderson, the Union captain in charge of Fr Sumter. It really shows how complex the war was. There were heroes and villains on both sides.

Anderson was a Kentuckian and former slave owner who very much did not want to go to war. He understood that the civil war would not be merely putting down a rebellion but a true divide among the nation. Yet he was also totally loyal to the union and was unwilling to disobey an order. At this time, few people understood just how truly brutal the war would become.

He held out in the fort for four months, knowing that to fire on Charleston would instigate war. Then a month after inauguration, Lincoln coerced the Confederacy into firing the first shot. (At this time the upper south hadn’t seceded yet.) Even then, Anderson refused to fire on the city, only firing on from where he was being fired at.

His attempt to avoid war had failed, though he was proud that nobody on either side died during the battle (aside from two accidental fatalities afterward). The Confederacy offered him extremely lenient terms of surrender, and he was allowed to ritualistically fire the cannons and return to New York. He was immediately made a hero in the north, but he was broken hearted and his health began to fail.

Meanwhile, the event became a rallying cry and source of national pride and indignation, and it was used to recruit new soldiers. People saw the south not just as peaceful protestors desiring to leave but as aggressions staging a coup and overturning law and order. Lincoln got exactly what he wanted.

The Union later bombarded it eleven times into a pile of rubble and was captured in 1865. Sherman claimed he had his men burn South Carolina extra badly as punishment for starting the war, because two wrongs make a right.

And really, had the south left the fort alone, they may have been able to avoid war. It was a war fought over pride and revenge, on both sides. The real reason for the war is that people wanted to fight. The only reason the south was “right” is because they were playing defense and knew a loss would mean total destruction. Which is exactly what happened.

That first battle was also when the American flag took new meaning, becoming something to hang for the sake of nationalism instead of just a territory marker:

<<Before that day, the flag had served mostly as a military ensign or a convenient marking of American territory … and displayed on special occasions like the Fourth of July. But in the weeks after Major Anderson’s surprising stand, it became something different. Suddenly the Stars and Stripes flew … from houses, from storefronts, from churches; above the village greens and college quads. … [T]hat old flag meant something new. The abstraction of the Union cause was transfigured into a physical thing: strips of cloth that millions of people would fight for, and many thousands die for.>>

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Anderson_(Civil_War)