ECONOMIC ARGUMENTS

The obsession with the material… That’s what the vast majority of “conservative” arguments are these days – appeals to the material. I write this article on a state-of-the-art (from five years ago) computer powering two huge monitors whose inner workings might as well be magic, surrounded by walls full of guitars – and not just any guitars, some of the best ever made. I have a magical electronic drum set a few feet from me, just in case I want to play drums without bothering my neighbors. I live in a huge house in one of the most expensive states…

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Converging Energy and the Blessings of the Hermit

I’ve been seeing a bunch of posts like this lately: This is widespread across my YouTube subscriptions, and I’ve talked to a few author friends who feel the same way, either about content or just work in general. I’m part of this. Prior to getting sick, I purposely took a step back from YouTube to focus on drafting a new book. I figured it was a natural time because it was summer and, more relevant to this post, I just wasn’t feeling enthusiastic about turning on the camera. That lack of enthusiasm has persisted, and while getting an illness is…

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Contemporary Christian Music

I had some recent discussions with some fellow authors, and the subject of “Contemporary Christian Music” (CCM) came up. It’s a kind of music that I am intimately familiar with, having grown up in a protestant church that, like most evangelical churches of middle America in the 1990s, foisted upon both young and old the idea of “modern” worship music as an alternative to “secular” music. This took different forms depending on the target demographic – for the general congregation, it was bland rock music driven by acoustic guitars that featured “Jesus is my Boyfriend” lyrics repeated dozens of times.…

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An Unfortunate Reality

I’ve lived a medium-length life, but it’s been highly varied. As a musician, I met and befriended many different kids of people… or so I thought. I had a sad realization watching my social media feeds (other than twitter) fill up black squares, or perhaps more of a recognition of what I already knew: The truth is, almost everyone I have known as an adult is a member of, or is highly submissive to, that psychic cadre we call the death cult. The further I get from it, and the closer I get to real people – whether they are…

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Problems with separation of church and state

This is some practical observation. Separation of church and state really means freedom from blasphemy laws. This is why the restrictions on laws respecting religion or prohibiting it are withing the first amendment to the United States constitution, rather separate from it. It’s fundamentally about speech. The problems (or perhaps flaws) arise when the power and scope of the state grows, especially if the religious make-up of the culture has a high degree of diversity. When this happens the state will become atheistic or agnostic over time, as we can see in most western countries today. Why does this happen?…

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“Star Wars Fans” and created identities

Just a little follow-up to my post yesterday: Being a “fan” is no to a large part a function of identity. However, it is fundamentally different from other forms of identity, such as race, ethnicity, or religion. For ethnicity, membership is generally obvious and immutable – either you are the descendant of an ethnic group or you are not, with the only grey area being multi-ethnic individuals in some circumstances. For religion, identity is primarily how one views himself and his alignment with tradition and creed that has been passed down, and so is in most cases not up for…

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