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Our Vain Search for Scapegoats - A Neighbor's Choice

Our Vain Search for Scapegoats - A Neighbor's ChoiceCall in at 727-587-1040.

Posted by David Gornoski on Monday, July 6, 2020

Our Vain Search for Scapegoats

Our fixation on identity politics, David Gornoski says, is driving our society towards blame games. “We need to continue to encourage people in thinking for themselves rather than groupthink.” David takes us through the idea of original sin–the concept that sin exists universally–and how filtering that idea through group identities is a recipe for conflict. “We should always ground our discussion in the protection of the human person.” Why is President Trump considered the villain in the politically correct imagination? David explains that it’s because Trump does not position himself as a victim to grab power. How do we preserve the sacredness of the human person without coercing our neighbor or falling into victimism?

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THINGS HIDDEN 12: The Return of Dionysus

Shannon: “Parents often say: ‘don’t discuss politics and religion at the dinner table.'”
David: “But that’s what I always talk about at dinner; all politics and religion originate at the original dinner which is ritual cannibalism.”

Shannon Braswell, a Girardian from Washington, sits down with David Gornoski to examine the historical and mythological narratives through the lens of mimetic theory. The two also talk about the social justice movement and its sacrificial undertones beneath the guise of the Christian concern for victims.

The conversation moves toward an interesting study of Girardian anthropology that helps us deconstruct the scapegoat mechanism that originated from archaic, tribal cultures. How is the scapegoat mechanism carried forward in our secular culture? The myth of social contract says all conflicting parties suddenly decided to get together but when we study the sacrificial foundations of our culture we know that to be false.

Can we understand the left’s rage against the founders of this nation? How does the myth of Dionysus help us decipher the class divide and the growing undifferentiation in America? Listen to the full podcast for a fascinating conversation on the relationship between mythology and anthropology and how knowing that is the key to understanding and dealing with our weird modern-day culture.

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What Does the 4th of July Mean in 2020? - A Neighbor's Choice

What Does the 4th of July Mean in 2020? - A Neighbor's ChoiceCall in at 727-587-1040.

Posted by David Gornoski on Friday, July 3, 2020

What Does the 4th of July Mean in 2020?

Host David Gornoski reflects on the founding of America. What can we learn from our nation’s history when we examine it through the lens of Jesus’ anthropology? David explains how civilizations are usually founded upon violence and how we often rely on violence to sustain our societies. The injection of Jesus’ non-violent, self-sacrificial spirit into our culture means that we cannot sacrifice our neighbors any longer. Can we transcend the idea that beating our political opponents will somehow bring salvation? Listen to the full episode to find out how the key to liberty and prosperity is the imitation of Jesus.

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The Slander of Freedom

We’ve lost so much of our freedoms and yet we’ve become more libertine than ever before. “Because we cling to power and refuse to obey our conscience we have stagnation,” David Gornoski says. The key to having a non-violent and self-sacrificial society is freedom, David argues. “Non-violence and freedom are almost synonymous.” Reject the naysayers who malign freedom! We must reject living by the sword of regulation, subsidization, and handouts. “Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.” Listen to the full episode as David Gornoski explains how voluntary Christ imitation must be applied to our government system and not just our personal lives.

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President Trump Holds a Bible at St. John’s Church

“If we’re going to imitate the Master of history then we’re going to have a conversation.” Using the Bible as a political prop isn’t right, David Gornoski says, but we also shouldn’t be bombing innocents abroad and perpetuate starvation by sanctioning. “If we’re going to imitate Jesus let us apply the imitation to all aspects.” David passionately argues that imitation of Christ means the rejection of team-warfare set up by the status quo. We need to stop telling half-truths and tell the entire truth. Listen to the full episode for David’s epic monologue on rejecting government indoctrination and embracing free discourse and Christlike compassion.

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The Prisoner

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky

Before the Gospel revelation, justice consisted of directing the guilt of the entire society against a single victim. It was widely experienced, just as it is today, that shifting the blame onto another is an effective way of postponing an imminent violent outbreak that often results from mimetic desire. The ancient societies carried out this phenomenon under the ritual of human sacrifice. And as recent as the twentieth century, we see this phenomenon repeated in ideological and secular dressing with the atrocities committed in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

But what we often overlook, due to clueless academic reading of ancient texts, are other forms of sacrifice—sacrifice not involving outright murder but instead refined to expulsion or confinement. Imprisonment is the most accurate word for this type of sacrifice. While a case can be made that imprisonment in and of itself does not comprise human sacrifice, it does not negate the current widespread injustice that can be traced back to the sacrificial origins of the practice.

In Greek mythology, we find that imprisonment was sacralized (and even deified) as Tartarus. It is widely accepted that in ancient mythology the concept of creation ex nihilo is nowhere to be found. What should also be known is that the creation stories in mythologies were filled with sacrificial beginnings. Tartarus is one of the outcomes of such a violent beginning. Once the abyss reserved for the dehumanized fallen enemies of the victorious gods, Tartarus later became the prison for sinful mortals, many of whom were kings and warriors.

The transition from the abyss for gods and titans to eternal prison for rebellious mortals is not surprising if one takes into account the role of religion in shaping culture and institutions. For any institution to carry out its task in an efficient manner, a transcendental founding is necessary. It is for this reason that the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Rome, and Babylon had prisons while Israel had none. The prison-filled civilizations all had one thing in common: a founding myth concealing a murder.

Contrast the pagan view of the prisoner with the Biblical accounts. In mythology, the confinement or expulsion of the single victim is a necessity for the temporary prevention of violent conflict. Therefore, prisons became a necessity, and the prisoner, post sacrifice, was deified as a sacred victim—a god through whom society derived their momentary peace. On the other hand, texts like that of Joseph in the Old Testament proclaimed the victim as innocent and the recipient of an unjust prison sentence.

Fast forward to the Gospels and here, in the passion narrative, we have a direct response to pagan mythology. The God-man Christ Jesus, after being sentenced to die by the Sanhedrin, is first imprisoned and then crucified—confined and sacrificed. It is absolutely intentional, to put it in a literary way, that Christ is both divine and human, for Tartarus was the abyss of both gods and men. The crucifixion of Christ is the careful dissecting and utter deconstruction of the pagan Tartarus myth. The anthropological impact of this story is beyond compare.

With Christ’s crucifixion, a reverse-mythology is set in place, and its effects have reached into the deepest subconsciousness of the human psyche. No longer do we consider the prisoner as an essential human sacrifice for the good of the many, for the prisoner has been proclaimed innocent. In light of this revelation, the modern-day mythmaking for mass incarceration is shaken to its very foundation. The prisoner has been humanized and the structures laid bare.

With Christ’s crucifixion, not only do we see the innocence of the victim but we also see true justice as God’s reign on Earth. During His trial, Jesus, the personification of innocence, was condemned to death while freedom was granted by the crowd and ruler to the violent revolutionary Barabbas. Here, we see the contrast between true justice and sacrificial justice. Violent institutions give rise to violent revolutions. It is not surprising that our modern-day prison-industrial complex unleashes countless Barabbases into the population; crime is multiplied. As a result, the cycle of violence is spinning on and on.

Justice, as revealed at Calvary, is the rehabilitation of our neighbors. Whereas the world locks up non-violent, vice-ridden individuals in the violent abyss of Tartarus and throws away the key, godly justice is the healing of the sick, the rehabilitation of the addicted, and the exorcism of the possessed. This is not naivety; this is the commandment of our Lord. The apostle Paul said, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” This is the proven method of introducing peace in the realms of governance and legislation as observed in Christianity’s gradual effect on society, particularly in terms of individual and property rights.

As Christ-haunted nations, it is very clear: we cannot put non-violent law offenders in prisons where violence is rampant. While it is logical and sensible to detain violent criminals for the good of our loved ones, it is equally diabolical to throw non-violent drug offenders, unlicensed farmers, whistleblowers, and others into cages filled with wild violence. The Christ-captivated conscience of our society does not allow for such barbarism, even if it is written into law. Why then do we allow such lawlessness to be perpetuated by the government?

Perhaps it is time to direct our Christ-haunted society once again to the Lord’s prayer wherein Jesus says: Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. To be ruled by Prince of peace is to set the captives free, and we cannot ignore the countless captives languishing in prison. No matter how safe we feel, our conscience will not allow it.

David Gornoski on How Satan Casts Out Satan, Peter J. Hasson on Big Tech Manipulators

Host David Gornoski dives deep into the George Floyd murder and the following carnage and unravels the demonic mechanism that lies beneath. “Violence cannot stamp out violence,” says David as he explains the futility of rioting in the face of injustice. Also, Peter Hasson, author of ‘The Manipulators,’ calls in to discuss the role of social media companies in silencing conservative voices and policing the national thought process. The investigative reporter also brings to attention the double standards displayed by Silicon Valley during the ongoing rioting on the streets of our nation. Listen to the full episode for an epic deconstruction of the sacrificial machine, a defense of personhood, and a call to love our neighbors.

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Buy Peter Hasson’s book ‘The Manipulators.

George Floyd and the Futility of Victimless Crime Laws

In light of the recent murder of George Floyd, many are demanding accountability; but it’s hard to get accountability when the government holds monopoly power and violent mobs riot on the streets of our nation. “We need to dissolve monopoly power,” says host David Gornoski. “We need to look at ourselves and ask: ‘Why am I allowing victimless crime laws to exist?'” We need to live up to our Christian heritage and the belief that the victim has rights, David urges. The answer lies not in voting for your favorite candidate but in the ability to love your neighbor as yourself. Listen to the full episode for an unpacking of the religiosity of politics, the non-violent gospel solutions to our problems, and more.

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Breaking the Feedback Loop with the Good Samaritan

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Host David Gornoski recalls his visit to the zoo and likens the statist media establishment to a caged llama walking in a fixed daily pattern. David urges us to break out of the feedback loop of circular violence and imitate the good Samaritan from Jesus’ parable. Who is our neighbor today? Should we care for what’s trending or for what’s right? It’s time to break out of the political faction-warfare and imitate the One who transcends all political ideologies. Listen to the full episode for all this and more.

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Danny Sjursen on Honoring Our Fallen Soldiers

“One of the ways we get rid of the malaise in our society and culture is by ending forever wars.” Danny Sjursen, writer and war veteran, joins us to explain why war has become largely invisible to the people of our nation. “Memorial day to me feels like a wretched day in a lot of sense,” says Sjursen who also feels that the holiday has been mythologized to cover up for mass sacrifice perpetuated by the war machine. Sjursen also brings to attention the ongoing escalations with Iran, Venezuela, and elsewhere which he calls ‘pandemic opportunism.’ Listen to the full episode for an epic deconstruction of the sacrificial war machine, a clarion call to bring our troops home, and more on A Neighbor’s Choice.

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Visit Danny Sjursen at skepticalvet.com