While I have previously argued against deplatforming in general, when I blogged the other day about the demise of Parler, I defended Apple, saying it had earned the benefit of the doubt with its years long record of responsible action. I think this is important, because if we genuinely want to champion free speech, it is crucial to focus our energies on the genuine threats to free speech and not to waste effort on incidents that are really something else.
Tommy Lasorda died yesterday at the age of 93. It’s almost hard to say anything that matters. I only know that he was the manager of the Dodgers in 1988, when the Dodgers had an improbable victory over the feared Oakland A’s, led by Tony LaRussa. When I looked back over the dates that Lasorda was the manager of the Dodgers – 1976 to 1996 – I realized that it encompassed my entire life, up to the age of 16.
I rarely write on politics these days, because I am a pastor. While I have strong political opinions, I keep them to myself. I never want my particular take on the best health care system or the size of COVID stimulus checks to cause someone to disregard what I say about Jesus. But, when a large number of Christians put their hope so profoundly in the wrong places that they are willing to lay siege to the capitol to hold on to that misplaced hope, I must say something not to make a political point, but to make a pastoral one.
On the release anniversary of one of my favorite Robin Williams films, I want to revisit that film and two other underappreciated films in his career. These films may have been missed by large portions of the viewing audience and so I commend them to your viewing.
In his most recent column for Time, David French sounds the alarm under the heading “Only the Right-Wing Media Can Save America From Trump’s Conspiracies.” In fearing the conspiracies of the MAGA-ites, the opposition folks such as French keep creating their own conspiracy theories of sorts that are just as unhelpful. Let’s settle down both wings of the Vast Conspiracy, shall we?
So, here we are. The day after and, much like 2000, with a strong sense of what the end will be but delayed closure on the race. There is plenty of reason to believe when the ballots are crunched and the lawyers’ last shots are fired that there will be a President Biden. That is not the end I wanted – or am even still continuing to hope for – but even if that end comes, I find some solace in two telling aspects of the results we can see.
I do not spend a lot of time reading the buzz about celebrities. I made an exception this week as the social media tempest highlighted (in spite of itself) something important as it raged against Chris Pratt. The controversy is a good reminder about how we should treat others in two different ways we desperately need right now.
In terms of civility, style, and substance, this debate was light-years ahead of the presidential contest last week. I suppose we should be thankful, but it feels perverse to reward those who have lowered the bar enough to finally step over it.
Joe Biden could easily take the award for the rudest Presidential candidate in debate in my memory. Put the Vice President up against past nominees and that would be nearly undeniable. Except that he was debating the President, who didn’t want to lose out on that award. Most disturbingly, in that melee, the President’s horrid performance allowed one of the worst ideas ever brought up on a debate floor to slide by and it could easily mean we all lose.
You know, I don’t agree with Joe Biden about abortion, the redefinition of marriage— and it’s important to call it that— and so-called “religious liberty”. I voted for George W. Bush twice. I’m voting for Joe Biden.