The Atlantic: How evangelicals, once culturally confident, became an anxious minority seeking political protection from the least traditionally religious president in living memory

I’ve tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to discuss the current stance of what appears to be evangelical christians supporting President Trump with believers, and I will continue to scratch my head as to how and why it’s possible to claim or call oneself Christian and to also support 2018 political agendas equated with “conservatism” or republicanism.

The following article, written by Michael Gerson, President George W. Bush’s chief speechwriter and senior policy advisor, is a tiny glimpse into a clarifying perspective on the topic.

Gerson is a neo-conservative and was raised in an Evangelical Christian family. The article is here in entirety. Below is a taste.

It’s the closest thing I’ve gotten to a sound discussion of the topic.

One of the most extraordinary things about our current politics—really, one of the most extraordinary developments of recent political history—is the loyal adherence of religious conservatives to Donald Trump. The president won four-fifths of the votes of white evangelical Christians. This was a higher level of support than either Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, an outspoken evangelical himself, ever received.

Trump’s background and beliefs could hardly be more incompatible with traditional Christian models of life and leadership. Trump’s past political stances (he once supported the right to partial-birth abortion), his character (he has bragged about sexually assaulting women), and even his language (he introduced the words pussy and shithole into presidential discourse) would more naturally lead religious conservatives toward exorcism than alliance. This is a man who has cruelly publicized his infidelities, made disturbing sexual comments about his elder daughter, and boasted about the size of his penis on the debate stage. His lawyer reportedly arranged a $130,000 payment to a porn star to dissuade her from disclosing an alleged affair. Yet religious conservatives who once blanched at PG-13 public standards now yawn at such NC-17 maneuvers. We are a long way from The Book of Virtues.

Trump supporters tend to dismiss moral scruples about his behavior as squeamishness over the president’s “style.” But the problem is the distinctly non-Christian substance of his values. Trump’s unapologetic materialism—his equation of financial and social success with human achievement and worth—is a negation of Christian teaching. His tribalism and hatred for “the other” stand in direct opposition to Jesus’s radical ethic of neighbor love. Trump’s strength-worship and contempt for “losers” smack more of Nietzsche than of Christ. Blessed are the proud. Blessed are the ruthless. Blessed are the shameless. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after fame.

That link again

Time lapse of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Huntington Beach

Holy shit this is cool.

Published on Oct 8, 2018

Time lapse of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Huntington Beach, CA. Such a cool thing to see! People on the beach that didn’t know about it were tripping out. This is the cleaned up and better 4K version of what I uploaded earlier. instagram:
Over at Kottke, he says it looks like a UFO. That reminds me that we’re listening to the latest Up and Vanished Season 2 podcast lately and there’s an episode in which they talk about how spiritual and new age this one area near Crestone, Colorado where they have a UFO watchtower.
They claim to have hundreds and hundreds of sightings there. There and only there, where they claim to have a vortex to the universe and, oh, tons of access to meth.

Behind the scenes in which I’m accused of male nudity

In this week’s BTS video, we go behind the scenes from recent water photos. This is an idea I’ve had forever and never successfully booked it with anyone, so I tried it on myself. Nikhil was there to capture this BTS and edit up the video!

If you’re wondering what happened in the beginning, the battery on my strobe transmitter was dying and that’s how it let me know.

Take a look.

Rationale for why the Night Watch is Rembrandt’s Masterpiece

Rembrandt did not confine himself to a single technique. Some elements are worked out in minute detail, while in other places he seems to have applied the paint very thickly. Technically it is a masterly piece of work. The captain’s hand, for instance, seems to be coming out of the painting towards the viewer. Contemporaries were very well aware of the quality of this painting. Rembrandt’s former pupil, the art theoretician Samuel van Hoogstraten, wrote about it in terms of great admiration. He pointed out that the composition and unity were more important to Rembrandt than the individual portraits. He described the work as strikingly ‘picturesque in conception’ and ‘elegantly’ and ‘powerfully’ done. This is what sets this painting apart from the other militia pieces that were made at the same time.