Daily Office:


Matins: Perhaps, with the White House out of wingnut hands at last, humanists of all stripes, religious and not, will be able more effectively to confront the fringe of christianists who abuse everything about their ostensible faith in order to sustain a doddering status quo. Consider what they’re doing to my good friend Joe. This, from the spokesman for a law firm called the “Liberty Counsel”:

“Gays” Call for Violence Against Christian Supporters of Prop 8…

Meanwhile, over at JoeMyGod.blogspot.com, “World O Jeff,” said, “Burn their f–ing churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers.” While, “Tread,” wrote, “I hope the No on 8 people have a long list and long knives.” “Joe,” stated, “I swear, I’d murder people with my bare hands this morning.”

Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs with both Liberty Alliance Action and Liberty Counsel, said, “This is not just a matter of some people blowing off steam because they’re not happy with a political outcome. This is criminal activity. The homosexual lobby is always calling for ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ and playing the role of victim. They claim to deplore violence and ‘hate.’ Here we have homosexuals inciting, and directly threatening, violence against Christians. This is not free speech; these are ‘hate crimes’ under the existing definition. Imagine if Christian Web sites were advocating such violence against homosexuals. There’d be outrage, and rightfully so. It’d be national front-page news. Federal authorities should immediately investigate these threats and prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law. I also call on the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and other leaders within the homosexual lobby to immediately call for an end to these homosexual threats of violence against Christians.”

Anyone who hasn’t paid attention to the Prop 8 fight in California just might think that Mr Barber has a point, but nobody else will.

Tierce: Nicholas Kulish writes about the resurgent popularity of the legendary Baltic pirate, Klaus Störtebeker. Störtebeker, beheaded in 1401, stole from the rich (Hanse merchants) and gave to the poor — or at least divvied up the loot with his mates. What with the rising income inequality that’s bothering more people everywhere, Germans are dusting off a legend that hasn’t, in fact, gathered much dust: Störtebeker was a hit with the Nazis and also with the East Germans, at least in the early days of the DDR. One hitch:

Sext: From Taipei, Edward Hong reports on a rare, high-level, but calm and dipomatic meeting of officials from the Republic of China and from the People’s Republic of China.

Compline: In the midst of all this suffocating seriousness, there’s a new magazine of fresh air: Dowager Quarterly. This month’s tattle-tale story: “Wild Nights at Frogmore: the Victoria I Knew.”


§ Matins. After the way McCain supporters called for Barack Obama’s head at a few crackerjack rallies, you’d think that the godlies would think twice about crying foul. But hypocrisy isn’t their strongest card. It’s their only card.

§ Tierce. Records indicate that Störtebeker was still paying customs duties in 1413, suggesting that he was not only not decapitated in 1401 but also something of a … businessman.

If so, his legend would be an example of what I call retro-clarification. Entropy — the ongoing breakdown of things — might be just another word for “specialization.” Once upon a time, for example, English juries were also witnesses. Let me put it another way: there was no difference between the jury and the witness. Once human beings have decided that Activity A is inconsistent with Activity B, they have a very hard time imagining that their forebears could ever have been so confused as to mix them up. (Children are especially intolerant of the ignorance that they leave behind as they grow up.) Ergo: you may be a pirate, or you may be a Hanse merchant, but you cannot be both. Except that Klaus Störtebeker — whose actual given name was Johannes — seems to have been both.

§ Sext. Who knows what will happen between the two Chinas — the one that we used to recognize (now known as “Taiwan”) and the one that we recognize now (capital: Beijing). But that there is any maneuvering between the two at all is fascinating. Mainland China holds well over a billion souls; Taiwan, about 22 million. And yet something about Taiwan’s surface tension preserves it from being gulpingly incorporated into the state that regards it as a rebel province.

The longer this uneasy coexistence continues, the more Taipei will have to teach Beijing about democracy when it is no longer possible for Beijing to thrive without it.


§ Compline. It’s really quite handsome. Too bad it’s a dummy. (Thanks, LXIV)

2 Responses to “Daily Office:

  1. RomanHans says:

    Rather than “violence against Christians,” that should be “violence against ‘Christians.'”

  2. LXIV says:

    Isn’t she wonderful though; a wcombination of Margaret Dumont, a Hal Roach comedy matron, Barbara Cartland and a Reynolds beauty, plus fifty years.