Thoughts for a young citizen

(This one is especially for Jessica, but I doubt that she’s the only one out there thinking the same thoughts.)

”Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)

Hi, Jessica! I saw your blog post about the recent election, so I decided to share some thoughts with you from my own thinking and experience.

I remember when Bill Clinton was running for president for the first time. When the Gennifer Flowers allegations came to light, I was certain that he was through. Instead, he became president. On top of that, I knew of Christians who voted for him, because they were angry and felt betrayed by George H.W. Bush’s broken promise when he said “Read my lips: No New Taxes!”

And I remember the day after Election Day, when we heard the news that he had been elected. We were eating breakfast together before heading off to school, and my father spoke to us about the election. He reminded us that Bill Clinton would now really be the president, that this was God’s will, and we needed to honor and respect him as such. My father knew that there would be many shocked Christians at our school, and that they would not be temperate with their words.

Well, he was right. There were many jokes and cracks at the president-elect. Eventually, I got fed up. On a break, I went to the chalk board that was at the front of the room and wrote, “Bill Clinton: God’s choice for America.”

Yeah…. I had a somewhat tense conversation with one of the teachers as a result of this.

In other words, I’ve been here before. So, I understand the sentiment that you express below:

I must say truthfully that I never thought that Obama would actually win. I proudly voted for McCain and I was sure he would win, hands down. I convinced myself that the people of this country would never, knowingly, vote for a man who upholds everything that we, as Christians are so vehemently against. I am very sadly dissapointed.

What I am at a complete loss to understand is HOW the people of this nation could actually vote for a man that stands for so many horrible and wicked things? Do they not even flinch when he says that mothers have the right to kill their babies? Do their consciences’ not scream “MURDER!”?

I understand this sentiment, but I have come to understand better.

Here are a couple of links to Twitter logs: the_meghatron and joshroby. These are folks who I’d consider to be colleagues. As in, they fall in that odd grey zone of “people that I know, have eaten with, and correspond with, but aren’t in my inner circle”. Read over the political comments, especially the ones about Obama and about Proposition 8. It’s a different world, isn’t it?

(BTW, Josh and Meghan, if you’re reading this, hi! Glad to hear the news about Squish!)

I remember the first time that I encountered someone who thought that being gay was okay. I was at a symposium organized by the Erie County Department of Health which was going to be discussing different ways of getting a handle on teen pregnancy. The Women’s Care Center was involved in getting the event set up, because there was going to be a major push for abstinence-based education. Anyways, all segments of society were there: government leaders, social workers, local media personalities, and high school students. That’s where I came in, representing the teens.

But it was one of my peers who blew me away. We were in a breakout session, where we were supposed to be brainstorming about some problem, another of the teens started talking about one of her friends in school who had killed himself because he was gay. She thought that an important component of a curriculum was something to take care of the gay teens. I stared at her in disbelief. I mean, only wacko fringe lunatics thought that homosexuality is okay. Right?

But no. When we returned to the full session, each breakout group was supposed to present their conclusions. The young woman presented our group’s conclusions, including her story about her friend. The room erupted in applause as she called for the normalization of homosexuality.

My life experience has provided me with plenty of opportunity for me to repeat this experience. If I’m not around Christians, then I find myself in the minority on these things. As an example, check out this thread from a few years ago where I waded in where angels fear to tread. Now, here’s the point. The vast majority of the commenters in that thread supported gay marriage. In that context, they weren’t the lunatic fringe. I was the lunatic fringe.

And that’s exactly where we are in America. You are the lunatic fringe. “Normal Americans wanted Obama.

Yes, that means gay marriage. Yes, that means abortion. Yes, that means socialism and being against Christianity and all that. That’s what it means to be an American.

It sounds like this election was a wake-up call for you, just like that symposium was a wake-up call for me. You said, “What I am at a complete loss to understand is HOW the people of this nation could actually vote for a man that stands for so many horrible and wicked things?” That’s because you thought you were living in a different nation than the one where you actually live. America proudly stands for “horrible and wicked things”. That’s not a Democratic thing. That’s not a Republican thing. It’s what we are as a nation.

You said, “Rampant abortion, sodomy, complete government control…that was Rome. And I’m afraid that that is soon to be America too.” Nope. That is America now.

Pause for a minute and consider this.

Now, you also called the United States your “beloved country”. In light of everything I’ve said, why in the world do you love this country? Is it because she is a Christian nation? Is it because she is a nation that is dedicated to freedom? We can debate if those things were ever true, but they are not true now. So, why do you love this country?

A few weeks ago, we were driving to church, and I put on my favorite Rich Mullins album A Liturgy, A Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band, which is an album about being a Christian in America. The first song is entitled “Here In America”.

Saints and children we have gathered here to hear the sacred story
And I’m glad to bring it to you with my best rhyming and rhythm
‘Cause I know the thirsty listen and down to the waters come
And the Holy King of Israel loves me here in America

My daughter was aghast. True, she misheard some of the lyrics, but she was offended that someone would be singing about America. So I had to correct her.

I love America. I love this country. This is the land where I was born and, God willing, it will be the land where I will die. I know people who have emigrated from this nation because of what it’s becoming. That’s not for me. I want to live an American life, die an American death, and be buried in American soil. This is my home, and I love her fiercely.

I love America. I love America even though she slaughters its babies and embraces sexual perversion and conquers other nations under the flag of democracy. I love America because God put me in America and bade me love her. “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:7)

And God wants you to love America, too. But He doesn’t want you to love America because it’s a great nation. He wants you to love America because it is filthy and filled with sin. That’s how He loves us, right? So go and do likewise.

America is in decline. But what America needs is not a Republican resurgence. Honestly, the Republicans have held the White House for most of my life, and I don’t see the amazing fruit of their work. No, what America needs are Christians who are devoted enough to take a stand for Jesus against their country. What America needs are Christians who are patriotic enough to refuse to bow down to her idols. What America needs are Christians who love America so much that they are willing to be killed by America before compromising the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

When I think about these issues, I think about a Thoreau quote that I came across once:

The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others, as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders, serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.–Henry Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (emphasis added)

Do you love America enough to resist her? Do you love America enough to be numbered among her enemies? Do you love America enough to suffer for her at her own hands?

Or, perhaps, this would be better.

Do you love Jesus enough to resist America?

Do you love Jesus enough to be numbered among America’s enemies?

Do you love Jesus enough to suffer for Him at American hands?

I hope so. There aren’t many of us out here on the lunatic fringe, and we need all the help we can get.

Your brother in Christ,



62 responses to “Thoughts for a young citizen

  • Daniel M. Perez

    Hey Seth:
    No, it wasn’t about discerning what is Revelation to each of us, rather more a point that, be it for your or my view of Revelation, Scripture itself is not immutable and thus why we each have a long tradition of commentaries and exegesis to help us discern what G-d is telling us.

    Re: your family – thanks, that explains the Ben Ezra (I’d been wondering about that since I first heard your name but realized you weren’t Jewish). So you’re from Newyorican stock? Yeah, I’m afraid that makes us kinsmen, dude.

  • Seth Ben-Ezra

    Yeah, my father was born in Brooklyn. When he was six, the family moved to Freehold in central NJ, but my grandfather commuted to the city for years until he eventually started his own small business.

    My sister Gabrielle can do a fine New York/Jersey accent, too.

  • Eric Finley

    (Been a long week…)

    Hey, Seth. Thank you for addressing those points I raised. Your answers are… very interesting.

    With respect to the first two (in vitro and criminalization of the mother) I am startled to hear that you espouse the consistent view. I mean, I applaud it from a consistency standpoint… but I am startled from a media exposure viewpoint. Because I have never heard either of your opinions on these fronts expressed by the proponents of your side. Ever, until now. So I would suggest that even if you may be consistent here, and bravo, there’s a certain lack of consistency in fervour, or in emphasis.

    Also as a note on criminalizing the mother, are you of the opinion that divine forgiveness should negate worldly justice (jail time and so forth)? Or is the prospect of the mother doing ten-to-life simply not important, in the face of the forgiveness she (can) receive for the sin of the murder? Obviously, to me, the ten-to-life is a big deal. Interestingly, and only about half tongue-in-cheek, perhaps there’s some kind of middle ground there, of a sort… if the jail time isn’t sufficiently important to you, and is a horror to me, then surely we can work somethin’ out here. 😉

    Please remember that “killing a child” presupposes the conclusion. Of course sane pro-choicers oppose the killing of children. We just don’t consider previable fetuses to be children, and you do. So “killing a child” is either fightin’ words, or is a rhetorical dodge of the actual meat of disagreement. This is, for reference, why we (or at least I) insist on neutral language like fetus. Because in order for the word “child” to be meaningful in your argument, you have to have already won said argument. Tautology.

    And on the socialism front, I’m afraid your position remains apparently incoherent to me. I do not advocate the arbitrary suspension of consequences on pity grounds (though I often do so on utilitarian and consequentialist grounds, cf. the failure of the ‘war on drugs’ and similar).

    What I do advocate, strongly, is the view that these consequences are themselves social constructs. They are effects of a political structure, one to which there exist defenisble alternatives. So the fact that a young single mother with an unwanted child – I say nothing of rape, that’s a straw man distinction IMO – is forced into a largely unlivable position… that’s a wrong that we, as society, do to her. It’s not a necessary physical consequence of bringing a child to term. We can choose otherwise. And if we did, then the fetus’ more negoiable rights (from our POV) would probably carry the day against the mother’s very concrete ones, since the harm done to her would be diminished. At which point the secular humanists would come over to your side of the abortion battle. Right now, however, that harm is simply too real and too concrete to outweigh the rights of a quasiperson, to me. You’re within your rights to drop the ‘quasi’, at which point I simply contend that you don’t have the right to insist that all people do so.

    So yes, the question of the suffering of the unwed mother – even if she chose this course, by default or even by stupidity – is relevant. It’s the other side of the scales of justice here.

    Okay, Heather. Either you accept a 25% XP penalty for the rest of the campaign compared to the other PCs, or your fetus must roll its ‘arguable nonpersonhood’ score as a save vs. death magic. Yes, the decision sucks. So I’m not going to make it for you.

    I’m not going to convince you. I can tell that at this point. You’ve made your argument well and grounded it firmly on your beliefs, and those beliefs include the right to make Heather’s decision for her. But I hope that you can at least perceive where, in the absence of your certitude, one could fight tooth and nail to allow Hather her right to choose.

    God, I’m glad I’m a Canadian. Now to punt our Republican-lites out of office…

  • Eric Finley

    (There’s a link in the “failure on the war on drugs” bit above, by the way. Your CSS could use a tweak, dude.)

  • Seth Ben-Ezra

    Hey, Eric.

    Before I launch into my replies, I thought I’d share something with you. Bizarre as this might seem, this particular conversation strikes me as having something of a Forge vibe. Like, actual paragraphs being written, ideas being formulated, and the like. Strange that the Forge taught us how to argue on the Internet. I’ll bet that Ron wasn’t thinking about anything like this when he insisted on certain standards of discourse in roleplaying.

    Anyways, to the matter at hand.

    You said:

    “With respect to the first two (in vitro and criminalization of the mother) I am startled to hear that you espouse the consistent view. I mean, I applaud it from a consistency standpoint… but I am startled from a media exposure viewpoint. Because I have never heard either of your opinions on these fronts expressed by the proponents of your side. Ever, until now. So I would suggest that even if you may be consistent here, and bravo, there’s a certain lack of consistency in fervour, or in emphasis.”

    First, just for disclosure, I fixed the tags on this part of your post. (You used BBCode instead of HTML, which I do on a distressingly regular basis.)

    As far as media exposure, you may be right. Again, the majority of the Christian circles I move in wouldn’t find these positions particularly controversial. As far as the larger media exposure, you’re probably right that there’s a “certain lack of consistency in fervour, or in emphasis”. And I would consider that to be a problem.

    You said:

    “Also as a note on criminalizing the mother, are you of the opinion that divine forgiveness should negate worldly justice (jail time and so forth)?”

    Nope. There was a case a few years ago where a man on death row became a Christian. He admitted that he was indeed guilty of murder and was actually asking people not to try to protest against it. He insisted that he needed to face the punishment for his actions. (Sadly, I can’t locate a link to the news story right now.) Yes, I know that there are folks in evangelical Christianity who would want such a man to be let off at this point, but this convicted murderer understood forgiveness better than they.

    And now to the heart of the matter.

    You said:

    “Right now, however, that harm is simply too real and too concrete to outweigh the rights of a quasiperson, to me. You’re within your rights to drop the ‘quasi’, at which point I simply contend that you don’t have the right to insist that all people do so.”

    Yeah, but at that point, one of us is wrong. Either it’s a fetus and a quasi-person, at which point you can do whatever the hell you want to it, or it’s a person and therefore an image-bearer of God who must be protected.

    Saying that I have the right to drop the “quasi” means nothing. It is essentially telling me that I have the right to be deluded. Because, when I say that a fetus is a person, and therefore is a baby, this view has consequences for everyone. This even applies to my silence. If I stand by idly while babies die, then I share bloodguilt.

    Our views cannot peacefully co-exist. One of them has to lose. That’s logical necessity, n’est pas?

    You said:

    “So “killing a child” is either fightin’ words, or is a rhetorical dodge of the actual meat of disagreement.”

    You’re right. They are fightin’ words, and I intend them as such.

    Consider this: in my nation’s history, there have been a number of occasions where blacks were lynched. Murdered, simply for being black. What about their personhood? It was questioned, after all, right? Or what about the Jews in Nazi Germany? Wasn’t their personhood also questioned? Isn’t that how Auschwitz was justified?

    At this point in our history, we look back and say, “Why didn’t anyone speak for those victims?” When we discover those who bravely stood against society, we applaud them. We idolize the abolitionists and cheer for those who hid Jews from the death squads.

    All this, despite the perfectly logical arguments presented in favor of these horrific acts. Check out the Reich Citizenship Law. Section 2.3 states that only a Reich citizen has full political rights.

    Or how about the poster being displayed in the Wikipedia article about the Holocaust? Check out that caption: “60,000 RM is what this person with genetic defects costs the community during his lifetime.” Because the needs of the community apparently outweigh the needs of the individual. But wait! The caption goes on: “Fellow German, that’s your money too…” Because my needs outweigh your needs. And I’m willing to kill to ensure that my needs are met.

    How are our actions different? We deprive an inconvenient class of people of their “personhood”, and then we kill them at will. We even perform experimentation on the dead babies! The chicken pox vaccine was developed using an aborted baby. And what about harvesting stem cells from embryos? We are appalled that the Germans performed experiments on the Jews and then we do the same.

    (Yes, I realize that I just proved Godwin’s Law, but it nevertheless seemed applicable. That’s a link, BTW, because my CSS does need to be tweaked, and I’ll need to see about fixing it.)

    You assert that the person who gets hurt gets to judge morality. But that’s not really what you mean. Because I stand here saying that the unborn child is being hurt, and you say that doesn’t matter, because that pain cannot be empirically verified, whereas the mother’s can. But empiricism is rooted in the senses. Specifically, rooted in your senses. So, again, you make yourself judge of whose pain matters. If I can’t prove the baby’s pain to you, then it does not matter.

    Now, maybe the “you” in that paragraph isn’t you, personally. It could be a judge or other socially appointed person. The fact remains that someone makes the judgment. And that makes your claim that we’re just “context” ring a little false.

    Which leads up to my final statement.

    You said:

    “I’m not going to convince you. I can tell that at this point. You’ve made your argument well and grounded it firmly on your beliefs, and those beliefs include the right to make Heather’s decision for her. But I hope that you can at least perceive where, in the absence of your certitude, one could fight tooth and nail to allow Hather her right to choose.”

    When I was taught logic, my teacher stressed that logic could not prove first principles. An argument can string together principles, but it cannot pass value judgments. Logic tells us if an argument is valid; it cannot tell us if it is true or good or beautiful.

    So, to answer your question, I perceive the logic of your argument, and I acknowledge that it all hangs together. But a logically valid argument is not necessarily a righteous argument.

    I follow your logic, but I can only label it as wickedness.

    Or, to put it a different way….

    Upthread, you said:

    “Our adopted daughter hails from this list; she should not have been brought to term. Her fetus’ rights should never have trumped those of her mother, and the overstressed social welfare system, to allow her to be born. But she was, and she’s ours, and cold dead hands and so forth.”

    So, that now your daughter is on this side of a uterine wall, you’d be willing to die to save her life. But, when she was on the other side of a uterine wall, you’d let her die because she would be a strain on society. Indeed, you would have made that choice yourself.

    Do you think that you’ll ever tell her that? Will you look into her eyes and say, “I think that you shouldn’t have been born”? Will you tell her, “It would have been better if your birth mother had ‘terminated your pregnancy'”?

    How do you think that she would respond to that? Do you think that she will respond positively to the logic of your position?

    Would you?

  • Eric Finley


    Said daughter is the one who I never try to predict. Her FAS and ADHD are extremely severe. So I’m damned if I how how she’d respond. But yes – I am quite comfortable with the idea of telling her that I feel that way, someday. Only once she’s able to hold conversations on this level of sophistication, though – which may well be never – since otherwise the words would be quite misunderstood. And there’s no point in speaking when you know, with the certainty of the one who taught this girl to speak, that she will not understand.

    I do not disagree that there exist parallels between the ’cause’ of the fetus and the disputed personhood of various victims over the ages. Godwin’s law winced at and forgiven. But the Jews were not, in fact, literally bloodsucking parasites on the Nazis, and I use this inflammatory diction with intent. Not because it’s literal, but because I do not believe that the parallel is sufficiently exact that it serves any useful dialectical purpose.

    Similarly, to argue that the mother’s pain derives validity because of its presence in my senses is, I’m sorry, solipsism of the first water. I literally don’t know what you were thinking with that paragraph, and with your permission I will ignore it because obviously one of us isn’t understanding the other here, and I don’t think it’s hugely germane at this point. Of course if a baby suffers it is a wrong; but once again it’s a tautology to assert the baby’s personhood (including suffering) as proof of its personhood. So this argument on your side, to me, appears to once again reduce to circular reasoning, even where it escapes solipsism.

    But to the meat of it.

    My daughter is not different on one side of a uterine wall and on the other.

    She is different because she is real, not potential.

    I used to imagine a son, a biological son to be a brother to Aria (our oldest and our only bio child). It was very important to me that I have a son, for reasons of genetics and emotional roots etc. We agreed that his name would be Martin. Martin James. We used to talk about him, what he’d be like. But Star’s pregnancy was very hard even by the standards of pregnancy, and the nursing actually worse. And we’ve adopted twice since, and been very happy with what came of that, and now consider ourselves “full up” on kids, thank you very much. So, dreams aside, she’s not going through that again. Which is fine. But it means that Martin James Finley will now (probably) never come to be. I have Jamie, our adopted son, instead, who is an utter delight (if completely different from Martin as envisioned). He’s the apple of my eye.

    I have also been the father to an aborted fetus. I won’t say with whom, it may or may not be Star as well, because that’s private and not germane here. But my part in it I can share. I consider Martin’s nonexistence to be a substantially greater loss, to the world and myself and even to him, than this fetus who never reached the end of first trimester nor acquired a name.

    Because I believe that a child becomes a child when it is born. It’s that simple. To be honest, when I articulate these arguments for abortion, what I’m doing is groping for words to describe why I consider this to be, not the necessary, but the wisest, the default, and the most rightful interpretation of the cycle of life.

    You believe that a child becomes a child when it is fertilized. I guess where I get hung up is that on empirical grounds, there is no a priori reason to take one belief about the beginning of life over the other. And thus when I articulate reasons why one might choose one belief over the other, from the viewpoint of this world and this life, I hope to be answered with reasons why someone might choose your belief instead. Reasons which don’t root themselves in a book in which I do not vest credit.

    So I see, on the one side, my belief about when life begins, and articulations which do not depend on that belief of why this belief – personhood begins at birth – has socially beneficial results. And on the other side I see your belief about when life begins, and socially negative results therefrom. So if you omit the tautologies and refuse to presuppose the conclusion, I can’t see how I could end up on your side of the fence. This is why I focus on the welfare of the mother; because it does not depend on the conclusion, it is an independent issue that I can look at when attempting to weigh one belief against the other.

    (To be more precise, actually, I believe that life begins at the exact moment that the mother – and father if relevant – commit in their hearts to bearing this child to term. Actual birth is simply the point where the choice necessarily gets made, even if you’ve failed to commit previously. What matters to me is the moment that the child becomes real in their desired vision of the world and of their lives; the moment they impart the gift of personhood to their baby, in their hearts and flesh. But this reduces to the pro-choice position, even more strongly than many pro-choicers… since in this construction the choice is itself an essential part of the procreative act… and thus it is not actually productive to bring this in, in my experience, as compared with defending the “standard” pro-choice position.)

    So, since I am honest with myself and others, yes, I may someday have that conversation with Cassandra. It’ll be very interesting to see what she says. But I am not going to jump the gun and do it now, when on a bad day she has the emotional maturity of a two-year-old.

    (And as to your note re the Forge… I’m pretty sure that I brought this sort of tendency with me when I discovered the Forge, because I remember the sense of coming home. But I certainly wouldn’t argue that Ron gave us a wonderful arena to practice in.)

  • Seth Ben-Ezra

    Hey, Eric.

    At this point, I think that I’ll invoke the Forge again and suggest that it’s time to close the thread. Seems like we’ve stated our positions pretty clearly, and anything further will just be running in circles.

    Thanks for the conversation.

  • Eric Finley

    Hai. Thank you, too. Very interesting.

    Now it’s back to boardgame design for me…

  • Josh Roby


    It appears that the topic went on without me, and that’s probably for the best. I’m afraid I let frustration get the better of me and posted my last comment when I should have stepped away and come back later. I would like to apologize for that, and I would like to explain my agitated state of mind a bit.

    The debate about the definition of marriage may be a mostly academic topic in Peoria, but it is not where I live. I am in California, and Prop 8 eliminated my right to marry if I love another man. This is not a matter of the rights, lives, and families of a minority of Those People Over There. This debate, right here and right now, is about me, my rights, and my family. Essentially, 52% of California just told me what shape my family must be. Imagine the state just told you that six children is enough, and if you had a seventh, the state would take it away from you. That’s how I’m feeling these days.

    Then this guy I knew from the Internet, met once, shared a meal with, traded ads in our books… (this is you, by the way)… This guy posts a link to my twitter feed and my girlfriend’s feed, using us as examples of… and here language fails me. Are we examples of heathens? Left-coast liberals? Gay sympathizers? Whatever the specifics, we were used as examples of Them, in a post addressed to your coreligionists. I read this as charitably as possible as an invitation.

    While I’m sure that you have nothing against me commenting here, I think it’s pretty clear that an invitation was not your intent. As we talked back and forth, it became clear that you weren’t really interested in discussing our differing politics here (which I hasten to point out is fine; your blog, and this article had a very specific point, which wasn’t the political arguments that we’ve been tossing around). But as it became clear that discussing my politics was not the point, I started to wonder why I was involved at all. Why had my name been invoked in your article? I realized that I was on display. I was on display because I disagreed with you and your church. And, given that you are so certain the your beliefs are backed by God, that meant I was on display because I was wrong. I felt like a zoo animal.

    So if you’re keeping score at home, I was told by the state what shape my family had to be and then I was put on display. And I was put on display by a guy who thinks I should be told what shape my family can be. Now, I must admit that, in my head, I conflated you and the Yes on 8 crowd, which isn’t quite fair. You didn’t eliminate my rights, you just said it was a good idea to do so. Which I’m still rather disappointed about, but you did not, as it felt when I made my last comment, trample my rights and then hold me up for derision when I was angry about it. Part of that is my overreaction, which I will totally cop to. But I can’t help but feel like part of it is your trespass, too — you used me and my life without asking my permission or explaining to me why you were doing so. Were you obligated to ask my leave? No, not really. But it would have been nice, and it would have avoided a lot of frustration and bruised feelings.

    I’m not going to belabor this comment with anything more — I certainly don’t want to reopen the debate that was so clearly unproductive upthread. The bottom line is, you used me. And it seemed to me that you felt that you had some kind of right to do so because you were backed by your God’s infallible word and I was just some poor lost soul wandering in the wilderness. The amount of privilege you wrapped yourself in throughout this thread was staggering — and maddening. And while I should have shown better self-restraint when I posted last, I hope I’ve been able to explain where all that anger and frustration came from.

    I hope to talk with you again, Seth.

    — Josh

  • Eric Finley

    Lots of room up here in Canada, dude. We’ve even got a basement suite going begging right now. And a functional banking system and everything. 😉

  • Seth Ben-Ezra

    A functional banking system? Highly overrated. 😉 (removes tongue from cheek)

    Actually, just to share, this article asserts that this bailout cost the U.S. government…well…a lot:

    Bailout costs more than Marshall Plan, Louisiana Purchase, moonshot, S&L bailout, Korean War, New Deal, Iraq war, Vietnam war, and NASA’s lifetime budget — *combined*!

  • Seth Ben-Ezra


    Yeah, let’s put this topic down for now and move on.

    By the way, I actually still owe you an ad. I’m planning on putting it in Showdown, which is beginning to lurch into production. When I have a final book size, I’ll let you know. (We’re currently looking at something about 4″ x 6″, but I don’t know for sure yet.) It’ll definitely be a better fit for a Sons of Liberty ad than A Flower for Mara would have been.

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