In which, out of a desire to leap aboard a train after it has left the station, I cite the Gospel According to Mark.
And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.
And that is Atrios’s basic point, and it’s a God-damned shame he then has to explain himself at such length. —But since the only King James we have in the house is the Barry Moser, which is big and bulky and almost as much fun to consult as our OED, let’s go ahead and bag another Bible verse, because this, I think, is what Messrs. Drum and Nielsen Hayden and Currie and the Rev. Brill are getting at (if an especial a-theist may be so bold as to quote scripture for his purpose)—
Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
(Which is not to say one must always have charity at all times. You will slip; it’s to be expected, but not celebrated. —And you can also launch a broadside with charity, and most charitably dismast those who work against you, even burn them down to the waterline, with charity. Why are there no progressive religious voices in the mediasphere? Why has the reflexive definition of “religious” become “fundamentalist”? That’s the nut to crack. Everything else is just a game of let’s you and him fight.)
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