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Source: (consider it) Thread: Love for enemies
mr cheesy
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In one of the most ridiculous sermons I've ever heard, I witnessed a preacher talking about Luke 6:27- say that loving your enemies meant taking him (the enemy) flowers, wishing prosperity upon him and fawning over him. And, most strikingly, refusing to criticise him.

Which seems to me to be monumentally bad advice in a time of rising fascism and demagoguery. Does anyone seriously suggest that the Confessing Church in Nazi Germany should have refused to comment on murders by the SS?

Apart from anything else, this idea of "refusing to criticise" seems rather against the model of Jesus who at times was forthright with the teachers of the law and pharisees.

What say you?

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arse

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Baptist Trainfan
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I don't know ... Clearly, reaching out to our enemies is a good thing. Although one would like to be in the position of being a "critical friend", such a relationship will not be possible overnight - it takes a lot of time for the necessary trust to develop.

I think the difficulty (as I suspect you realise) consists in offering loving gestures while not appearing to simultaneously endorse their behaviour and attitudes.

Which isn't a very helpful answer!

[ 06. February 2017, 08:01: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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mr cheesy
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After hearing the sermon, I decided to participate in Visit My Mosque day, where I was made to feel very welcome by my Muslim neighbours and listened carefully to them telling me about some aspects of Muslim life that I wasn't previously very familiar with.

These are not my enemies (notwithstanding the critical voices who tell me that I'm participating in legitimising genocide by visiting a Mosque). I am sure there is much we could have disagreed with, nobody asked me about my views on anything - it wasn't the time or place.

I suspect this is closer to what this passage is talking about rather than some kind of blanket endorsement of disgusting behaviour.

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arse

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Eutychus
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It certainly doesn't mean refusing to criticise, but I think that it ought to have a bearing on how that criticism is expressed.

Apart from anything else, to my mind, if criticism is deliberately insulting, it simply gives one's "enemy" entirely justifiable reasons to dismiss it. That's one of the things I have against much of the anti-Trump rhetoric.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


Apart from anything else, to my mind, if criticism is deliberately insulting, it simply gives one's "enemy" entirely justifiable reasons to dismiss it. That's one of the things I have against much of the anti-Trump rhetoric.

You think that's less easy to do if your enemies bring you flowers?

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arse

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Nicodemia
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Constructive criticism, rather than angry responses that do nothing except inflame oneself, and others.

Prayers for them to know God, or know him better, become closer and to follow his ways.

kindnesses where relevant, not necessarily making opportunities, but looking out for them.

And no, I am not sending Trump flowers, nor do I refrain from thinking he is a total prat.

But I will defend to the death (I think!) the rights of others to hold, and express, their views on this, and any other subject, providing it stops there. No violence, no inflammatory extremism, and a willingness to regard every woman and man as equal to oneself, regardless of race, creed, colour and expressed gender.

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beatmenace
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
In one of the most ridiculous sermons I've ever heard, I witnessed a preacher talking about Luke 6:27- say that loving your enemies meant taking him (the enemy) flowers, wishing prosperity upon him and fawning over him. And, most strikingly, refusing to criticise him.

Which seems to me to be monumentally bad advice in a time of rising fascism and demagoguery. Does anyone seriously suggest that the Confessing Church in Nazi Germany should have refused to comment on murders by the SS?

Apart from anything else, this idea of "refusing to criticise" seems rather against the model of Jesus who at times was forthright with the teachers of the law and pharisees.

What say you?

I suppose the context would have made the 'ememies' the Roman occupiers and contrasts with the normal (and usually futile) Jewish response of starting an annual uprising.

Which takes us into the choppy waters of respecting the secular authorities. There are plenty of biblical examples of speaking the truth to power , from Moses who kept his head and led his people out , to John the Baptist who didn't.

But what then, exactly, are the conditions where a proper Christian response is to resist the elected / imposed / legal authorities? Much ink has been spilled on this, and we wont solve it here.

Most would agree with Bonhoeffer , that the Nazi system had become beyond reform, but what about Trump? Is it legitimate to wait until that stage (after all he is still better than the Romans) or to resist preemptively.

MY view is that we have had a 'Warning from History' and wisdom would not to even play around with the same ideology, but to resist it forcefully. But there are some (mostly conservative Christians ) who would take the 'wait and see' view based on 'respecting the authorities'.

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"I'm the village idiot , aspiring to great things." (The Icicle Works)

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


Apart from anything else, to my mind, if criticism is deliberately insulting, it simply gives one's "enemy" entirely justifiable reasons to dismiss it. That's one of the things I have against much of the anti-Trump rhetoric.

You think that's less easy to do if your enemies bring you flowers?
I didn't comment on the flowers. I think there are circumstances where they could be a very powerful gesture, though.

In my role as prison chaplain, I have certainly won over some "enemy" prison officers by being consistently smiling and polite to them, and not undermining them.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


In my role as prison chaplain, I have certainly won over some "enemy" prison officers by being consistently smiling and polite to them, and not undermining them.

We weren't talking about individual relationships, in fact you brought up Trump. You claim that insults have a negative effect, but I suggest to you that "smiling and being polite" to Trump may have limited impact and does not give any protection against "dismissal of views". In fact the exact opposite: Trump cannot stand anyone insulting or standing up to him and takes anyone who says anything positive about him as support for his position (whether or not they are).

There was a very telling report I saw earlier in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Written by a scholar of the Nazis, it tells the story of the Munich Post - a courageous publication which never sought to "normalize" Hitler and was consistently calling attention to the Nazi lies, even to the extent of working out the "final solution" in 1931, before almost anyone else had heard of it and/or thought it was a real idea.

In 1933 they were shut down.

Now, I ask you again, would it have been better for them to have been polite to the Führer? Would that have somehow given them more legitimacy and avoided the eventual fate (which, in case anyone cares was that all the journalists ended up dead)?

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arse

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Eutychus
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Politeness does not exclude confrontation. In fact in the incident I was thinking of there was also confrontation.

I think deliberately riling somebody, or indeed an administration, to push their buttons does not fall within the scope of "love your enemies".

Indeed, there is a school of thought that says Trump is deliberately engaging in precisely such tactics to push his opponents' buttons and thus their attention away from where the really nasty stuff is going on.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


Apart from anything else, to my mind, if criticism is deliberately insulting, it simply gives one's "enemy" entirely justifiable reasons to dismiss it. That's one of the things I have against much of the anti-Trump rhetoric.

You think that's less easy to do if your enemies bring you flowers?
I'm sorry, I'm being incredibly stupid here, what is less easy to do? Dismiss deliberately insulting rhetoric brought with flowers? Did you mean that it's still easy for evil to resist respectful, empathic, inclusive, gracious, embracing, challenging, non-violent engagement?

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Love wins

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
In one of the most ridiculous sermons I've ever heard, I witnessed a preacher talking about Luke 6:27- say that loving your enemies meant taking him (the enemy) flowers, wishing prosperity upon him and fawning over him. And, most strikingly, refusing to criticise him.

To cross over slightly into the Virtue Ethics thread; I'd suggest that it's not loving to give your enemy the opportunity to habitually sin (against you or anyone else).
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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
In one of the most ridiculous sermons I've ever heard, I witnessed a preacher talking about Luke 6:27- say that loving your enemies meant taking him (the enemy) flowers, wishing prosperity upon him and fawning over him. And, most strikingly, refusing to criticise him.

To cross over slightly into the Virtue Ethics thread; I'd suggest that it's not loving to give your enemy the opportunity to habitually sin (against you or anyone else).
What if - when - he does regardless because you're in his power? Because your existence gives him that opportunity? Which is the normal dynamic.

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Love wins

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
In one of the most ridiculous sermons I've ever heard, I witnessed a preacher talking about Luke 6:27- say that loving your enemies meant taking him (the enemy) flowers, wishing prosperity upon him and fawning over him. And, most strikingly, refusing to criticise him.

To cross over slightly into the Virtue Ethics thread; I'd suggest that it's not loving to give your enemy the opportunity to habitually sin (against you or anyone else).
Tricky territory though, because it's the same argument used by those who want to be able to refuse to provide services for LGBT people etc. etc.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


Apart from anything else, to my mind, if criticism is deliberately insulting, it simply gives one's "enemy" entirely justifiable reasons to dismiss it. That's one of the things I have against much of the anti-Trump rhetoric.

You think that's less easy to do if your enemies bring you flowers?
I'm sorry, I'm being incredibly stupid here, what is less easy to do? Dismiss deliberately insulting rhetoric brought with flowers? Did you mean that it's still easy for evil to resist respectful, empathic, inclusive, gracious, embracing, challenging, non-violent engagement?
I meant this - is it easier for Trump to dismiss critics because of their rhetoric or critics that bring flowers. I suggest that it is far easier to shut up critics who are "normalizing" an autocrat with flowers and other nice things.

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arse

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
What if - when - he does regardless because you're in his power? Because your existence gives him that opportunity? Which is the normal dynamic.

This is a very real question to me as I minister to inmates who on occasion suffer abuse from prison officers and/or unfair treatment from the criminal justice system, on a regular basis.

I think Jesus gives us a great example by his behaviour during his arrest and trial. Restored the ear of the soldier, protested unfair treatment, did not trade insult for insult, led the centurion to believe he must be the Son of God.

[ 06. February 2017, 10:24: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

I think deliberately riling somebody, or indeed an administration, to push their buttons does not fall within the scope of "love your enemies".

I disagree profoundly. Loving an enemy is not to "normalize" something that is fundamentally not normal.

Indeed I think I'd go as far as to say that "loving an enemy" only comes into play when that enemy has been defeated and is begging for mercy.

If Mr Trump stops being an arse and stops doing things that look horribly like a road to fascism, then yes - let's help him with his wounds and look get him help with his issues. Let's love him despite his previous record of being an arse.

But whilst he is being an arse? No.

quote:
Indeed, there is a school of thought that says Trump is deliberately engaging in precisely such tactics to push his opponents' buttons and thus their attention away from where the really nasty stuff is going on.
I don't think there is any contradiction between saying that the man has a Nasty Orange Colour and that he is trying to misuse the media to deflect from other stuff.

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arse

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

I think deliberately riling somebody, or indeed an administration, to push their buttons does not fall within the scope of "love your enemies".

I disagree profoundly. Loving an enemy is not to "normalize" something that is fundamentally not normal.
It seems to me that seeking to push someone's buttons because they're pushing yours is a thoroughly "normal" way of doing things.

You seem to think "loving your enemy" means "normalising" relations.

There is a whole world of possibility between rolling over and complying and being nasty back. I think the Kingdom of God lies in that gap and I once again give you Jesus as an example.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
To cross over slightly into the Virtue Ethics thread; I'd suggest that it's not loving to give your enemy the opportunity to habitually sin (against you or anyone else).

Tricky territory though, because it's the same argument used by those who want to be able to refuse to provide services for LGBT people etc. etc.
Yes, I'm not sure there are any particularly easy answers though. Certainly not at the level of setting out an easily explicable principle that can be adhered to regardless of everything else.

[ 06. February 2017, 10:40: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


There is a whole world of possibility between rolling over and complying and being nasty back. I think the Kingdom of God lies in that gap and I once again give you Jesus as an example.

I suspect you'd be castigating Jesus for calling his interlocators "a hoard of vipers", "empty as the grave", "hypocrites" and so on.

Kindly don't bring in this weak-soup evangelical trope that says you know Jesus better than anyone else here. I'm heartily sick of it.

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arse

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


Apart from anything else, to my mind, if criticism is deliberately insulting, it simply gives one's "enemy" entirely justifiable reasons to dismiss it. That's one of the things I have against much of the anti-Trump rhetoric.

You think that's less easy to do if your enemies bring you flowers?
I'm sorry, I'm being incredibly stupid here, what is less easy to do? Dismiss deliberately insulting rhetoric brought with flowers? Did you mean that it's still easy for evil to resist respectful, empathic, inclusive, gracious, embracing, challenging, non-violent engagement?
I meant this - is it easier for Trump to dismiss critics because of their rhetoric or critics that bring flowers. I suggest that it is far easier to shut up critics who are "normalizing" an autocrat with flowers and other nice things.
Normalization is standard diplomacy surely? You catch more flies with honey. Have you seen this?

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I suspect you'd be castigating Jesus for calling his interlocators "a hoard of vipers", "empty as the grave", "hypocrites" and so on.

I think there is plenty of room for straight talk in loving one's enemies. That is not the same as trading insult for insult, or making insults your sole mode of behaviour.

quote:
Kindly don't bring in this weak-soup evangelical trope that says you know Jesus better than anyone else here. I'm heartily sick of it.
Kindly take your ad hominem attacks to Hell.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I think there is plenty of room for straight talk in loving one's enemies. That is not the same as trading insult for insult, or making insults your sole mode of behaviour.

Explain exactly the difference between insulting Trump's appearance and calling him a snake.

I suggest there is no difference.

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arse

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Eutychus
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Calling the Pharisees snakes was, clearly, an epithet aimed at their behaviour and not their appearance.

From my very first post on this thread I agreed that loving one's enemies does NOT mean refusing to criticise.

In the same post I objected to gratuitous criticism. To stick with the Trump example, constantly referring to him as, say, the "Tiny-Fingered One" is to my mind entirely gratuitous. It is not marshalled in support of a cogent argument, and to my mind suggests a shortage of the latter.

Jesus' strong words to the Pharisees, on the other hand, were quite clearly not gratuitous as he provided the supporting grounds in the immediate context.

I went on to object to insulting for the sole purpose of provocation, which I see plenty of in prison on both sides and which I believe to be entirely inconsistent with loving one's enemy.

I further suggested, following Jesus' example, that trading insults for insults was not a good idea.

[ 06. February 2017, 11:59: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Normalization is standard diplomacy surely? You catch more flies with honey. Have you seen this?

There are many tools for diplomacy, and many different approaches for addressing autocrats and dictators. ISTM that the approaches when dealing with Hitler that most approached "normalization" were abject failures. Chamberlain tried "normalization" with Hitler and got a bit of paper which turned out to be lies. Gandhiji tried appealing to Hitler's better nature in a famous but just ended up looking more-than-slightly stupid. Countries which surrendered to the Nazis when occupied did not do better than those who resisted. In an admittedly poor sample of 1, the fact that the Danes refused to co-operate with the occupier appears to have enabled them to save the majority of their Jews.

Of course there are counter-examples; Schindler was close to the Nazi command and thus managed to save Jews. Wallenberg saved Jews from Hungary using his official diplomatic status.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Calling the Pharisees snakes was, clearly, an epithet aimed at their behaviour and not their appearance.

ISTM you're just seeing what you want to see in the gospels. There is no sense that Pharisees actually resemble snakes.

And, it can be argued, reference to Trump's fingers is more about what those fingers are doing than their actual physical size.

quote:
From my very first post on this thread I agreed that loving one's enemies does NOT mean refusing to criticise.

In the same post I objected to gratuitous criticism. To stick with the Trump example, constantly referring to him as, say, the "Tiny-Fingered One" is to my mind entirely gratuitous. It is not marshalled in support of a cogent argument, and to my mind suggests a shortage of the latter.

Well to my mind it is quite clever. Trump's fingers have done several things, refering to them as being small works on various levels.

There is no sense that by you simply stating that it is not "marshalled in support of a cogent argument" and therefore it "suggests a shortage of the latter". Maybe it only suggests it inside your mind, and there is no particular reason to think that this is indicative of anything else.

quote:
Jesus' strong words to the Pharisees, on the other hand, were quite clearly not gratuitous as he provided the supporting grounds in the immediate context.
Rubbish. No evidence supplied at all.

quote:
I went on to object to insulting for the sole purpose of provocation, which I see plenty of in prison on both sides and which I believe to be entirely inconsistent with loving one's enemy.
For sure. It might interest you to know that I've also worked in a prison. I also believe that there is very little to be gained and much to be lost by anything less than a respectful attitude between prisioners and staff and between prisoners.

But that's not really what we are talking about here.

quote:
I further suggested, following Jesus' example, that trading insults for insults was not a good idea.
As suggested above, there is no basis for this from the New Testament. Jesus traded insults when he felt they were appropriate.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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Also, I suggest, insulting someone who believes he has unassailable power and position which he can use in whatever way he likes is an act of rebellion of that power. Hence the number of places where insulting the Powers-that-be lands you in prison.

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arse

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Loving our enemies means don't kill them. It doesn't mean being nice, supportive, wishing them well. Or bringing them flowers. It means calling them out. Rebuking their bad behaviour. And legal consequences if possible and necessary to prevent further harm. Control the retaliation and don't kill 'em.

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Calling the Pharisees snakes was, clearly, an epithet aimed at their behaviour and not their appearance.

ISTM you're just seeing what you want to see in the gospels. There is no sense that Pharisees actually resemble snakes.
That's exactly my point. Jesus' criticism is of their behaviour, just as he did not think Herod had a russet coat and a bushy tail.

quote:
There is no sense that by you simply stating that it is not "marshalled in support of a cogent argument" and therefore it "suggests a shortage of the latter". Maybe it only suggests it inside your mind, and there is no particular reason to think that this is indicative of anything else.
Jesus didn't constantly go around calling the Pharisees the BOVs.

That gave the epithet more force when he did use it.

If you constantly denote your "enemy" by an insult, in the long run you are effectively dehumanising them. I didn't notice Romanlion winning many people over by constantly referring to Hillary as "Illary" or "Killary".
quote:
quote:
Jesus' strong words to the Pharisees, on the other hand, were quite clearly not gratuitous as he provided the supporting grounds in the immediate context.
Rubbish. No evidence supplied at all.
What are you talking about? He goes on to detail the behaviour he's castigating them for.
quote:

quote:
I further suggested, following Jesus' example, that trading insults for insults was not a good idea.
As suggested above, there is no basis for this from the New Testament.

quote:
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.


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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Jesus didn't constantly go around calling the Pharisees the BOVs.

That gave the epithet more force when he did use it.

There is absolutely no way of knowing this, thus you are once again reading into the gospels what you want to see there.

I assume you believe that Jesus laughed and cried more than twice during his 3 year ministry (and/or life)?

quote:
If you constantly denote your "enemy" by an insult, in the long run you are effectively dehumanising them. I didn't notice Romanlion winning many people over by constantly referring to Hillary as "Illary" or "Killary".
This entirely depends on whether he/she is already dehumanising himself/herself and others. If so, it may be entirely legitimate.

quote:
What are you talking about? He goes on to detail the behaviour he's castigating them for.
Wait, you really don't think there is behaviour behind the "small hands" thing? You don't think this is about his admitted sexual behaviour?

quote:
[URL=http://biblehub.com/1_peter/2-23.htm]When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
Of course, that's a fairly easy one to tip over: during the trial and/or "passion", Jesus didn't retaliate. That says nothing about the rest of his ministry, when we've got some obvious examples of him doing just that.

There is no contradiction there. In the same way Gandhiji exhibited the utmost probity during his criminal trials under the British Raj. He was even praised by the judges for his behaviour. This doesn't mean that he never insulted anyone ever. Because that's ridiculous given we've got examples of him doing just that.

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arse

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
There is absolutely no way of knowing this, thus you are once again reading into the gospels what you want to see there.

We have plenty of records of exchanges between Jesus and the Pharisees in which he does no insulting. The argument from silence is yours, not mine.

And while we may agree that taking one's enemy flowers may most often be, um, cheesy, I would like to see you making a case for regular insults being a legitimate interpretation of "love your enemies".
quote:
quote:
If you constantly denote your "enemy" by an insult, in the long run you are effectively dehumanising them. I didn't notice Romanlion winning many people over by constantly referring to Hillary as "Illary" or "Killary".
This entirely depends on whether he/she is already dehumanising himself/herself and others. If so, it may be entirely legitimate.
And this is where we part company. I don't care how much the other person behaves as a monster, they are still a person and in my view, to forget that is to renounce my own humanity. YMMV.

quote:
Wait, you really don't think there is behaviour behind the "small hands" thing? You don't think this is about his admitted sexual behaviour?
I'm sure it is. That's why I think it's out of place when discussing, say, his foreign policy. Do go on to explain how other frequently used insults such as "Nasty Orange Colour" et al refer similarly to his behaviour.

quote:
quote:
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
Of course, that's a fairly easy one to tip over
On the contrary, I think it "tips over" quite nicely your assertion that there is no basis for not trading insults with insults in the New Testament, particulary as the context in 1 Peter does not say "this behaviour to be imitated when in custody only".
quote:
This doesn't mean that he never insulted anyone ever. Because that's ridiculous given we've got examples of him doing just that.
Well I'm glad for you, especially since I've never claimed any such thing.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
We have plenty of records of exchanges between Jesus and the Pharisees in which he does no insulting. The argument from silence is yours, not mine.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

[ 06. February 2017, 13:37: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Eutychus
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True. Perhaps Jesus slunk around planting bombs under leading Pharisees' chariots, and that's what he meant by "loving our enemies".

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Brenda Clough
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I plan to put faith into action. I am going to knit the President a pussyhat. It is clear to me (as it would be to anyone who has dealt with preschoolers) that he is sad because all the other kids had a pink hat, and he didn't. So I will knit him one, and drop it off at the White House gate. Next time I go protest downtown.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
True. Perhaps Jesus slunk around planting bombs under leading Pharisees' chariots, and that's what he meant by "loving our enemies".

You might want to read your own ad hom advice.

For the record, I have never advised using violence against Trump, his followers or anyone else. And clearly the vast majority who use insults are not advocating any such thing either.

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arse

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
True. Perhaps Jesus slunk around planting bombs under leading Pharisees' chariots, and that's what he meant by "loving our enemies".

You might want to read your own ad hom advice.

For the record, I have never advised using violence against Trump, his followers or anyone else. And clearly the vast majority who use insults are not advocating any such thing either.

And I have never so much as suggested you have. I honestly have no idea where you see an ad hominem argument there.

I was merely following your "absence of evidence..." logic to suggest that on that basis, Jesus might well have snuck round engaging in terrorist attacks that the gospel writers simply didn't bother to record. That seems as likely to me as the idea that he habitually and gratuitously insulted his opponents.

I'm still intrigued as to how you think loving one's enemies, specifically, should be put into practice.

Brenda, as a protest that's fine, but I'd put the same question to you.

[ 06. February 2017, 14:20: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
... Indeed I think I'd go as far as to say that "loving an enemy" only comes into play when that enemy has been defeated and is begging for mercy. ...

Mr Cheesy, if that really is your interpretation of Jesus's words, wouldn't that make them meaningless?


Going back to the OP, obviously I wasn't there. So I didn't hear what this preacher said. But was he/she talking about public affairs, your relationship (if such exists) with the head of a foreign state, however obnoxious? Or was he/she talking about your personal enemy, a person who hates Mr Cheesy and personally has it in for him?

If he/she really was talking about how you should respond to the obnoxious head of a foreign state, who has never heard of you, is not interested in you, and with whom you have no personal relationship, then your criticism of his/her words have quite a lot of validity.

If he/she was actually talking about how you relate to somebody who is personally your enemy, an impossible boss, say, or a relative or spouse you have fallen out with, you can criticise the sermon if you feel it's not the right way to deal with that sort of situation. But if that what he/she was talking about, you can't transpose his/her sermon and criticise it for saying it's the wrong way to relate to Mr Trump. That is unfair. It is criticising him/her for giving the wrong answer to a question which is not the one she was responding to.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Erroneous Monk
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

I'm still intrigued as to how you think loving one's enemies, specifically, should be put into practice.


This weekend there's been a video going round of a lawyer on a train swearing at and racially abusing a young mother and her son. She - entirely reasonably - reported him to the police, who were waiting for him when he got off the train. People on the internet have gone on to draw the video to the attention of his professional body (again, I think there's an argument that this is reasonable).

I've suffered racial abuse myself, though not that degree of vitriol, and not in front of my children. What I'd *want* to say to someone who said those things to me and my child is:

"I don't think you mean those things. I think you're a better person than that. I'm sorry I've wound you up."

But in reality I'd probably run away. And if I did dare say it, this not being a Hollywood film, I'd expect to get more abuse in reply, in which case, again, it becomes reasonable to report it to the police and to his professional body.

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Mr Cheesy, if that really is your interpretation of Jesus's words, wouldn't that make them meaningless?

How so?

quote:

Going back to the OP, obviously I wasn't there. So I didn't hear what this preacher said. But was he/she talking about public affairs, your relationship (if such exists) with the head of a foreign state, however obnoxious? Or was he/she talking about your personal enemy, a person who hates Mr Cheesy and personally has it in for him?

The latter. Not clear why that makes a difference.

quote:


If he/she really was talking about how you should respond to the obnoxious head of a foreign state, who has never heard of you, is not interested in you, and with whom you have no personal relationship, then your criticism of his/her words have quite a lot of validity.

If he/she was actually talking about how you relate to somebody who is personally your enemy, an impossible boss, say, or a relative or spouse you have fallen out with, you can criticise the sermon if you feel it's not the right way to deal with that sort of situation. But if that what he/she was talking about, you can't transpose his/her sermon and criticise it for saying it's the wrong way to relate to Mr Trump. That is unfair. It is criticising him/her for giving the wrong answer to a question which is not the one she was responding to.

I think you make a fair point, although I dispute that the preacher's words could not have been taken to apply to anyone one considers an enemy.

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arse

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quetzalcoatl
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It depends a lot on the situation that you're in. If you are in physical danger, you either run for it, or fight back, or try to talk your way out of it, presumably. I remember being threatened by the police in the back of a police van, and I was extremely polite and obsequious! I am not a martyr.

Apart from that, I don't have enemies. And I am very humble about it, of course.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Brenda Clough
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quote:


I've suffered racial abuse myself, though not that degree of vitriol, and not in front of my children. What I'd *want* to say to someone who said those things to me and my child is:

"I don't think you mean those things. I think you're a better person than that. I'm sorry I've wound you up."
[/QB]

Is this a "Sorry for existing" apology? Surely this is a waste of breath; the woman is offending the abuser simply by standing there.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Does anyone seriously suggest that the Confessing Church in Nazi Germany should have refused to comment on murders by the SS?


I don't know what the context of your preacher's comments were. Sometimes our enemies aren't actually our enemies - just people we don't get on with, or people who are anathema to us; so not letting them get to us, or spending a lot of time worrying about their behaviour, or criticizing them etc, is good advice.

But your example above is thought-provoking. Bonhoeffer, I'd like to think, knew better than most how to love enemies in the face of terrible provocation. But he also seemed to have squared his conscience to at least possessing conspiratorial knowledge of the assassination of the chief enemy of the free world, at the time. And he certainly didn't hold back in his criticisms.

We often talk about loving someone enough to let them go, make their own mistakes, even if it brings them harm. Maybe in some sort of way, loving enemies is about realizing that they, too, bring consequences of unhappiness and doom upon themselves by free choice; and that it isn't unloving to deliver them up to the natural rewards of their own behaviour, when perhaps by doing so it might enable them to confront their own culpability and evil.

But it's about being there if forgiveness is wanted and help to repent and start again.

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
I don't know what the context of your preacher's comments were. Sometimes our enemies aren't actually our enemies - just people we don't get on with, or people who are anathema to us; so not letting them get to us, or spending a lot of time worrying about their behaviour, or criticizing them etc, is good advice.

That's true, although on this he was being quite close to the text and defining enemies as people who hate, mistreat, curse, slap and steal from us. I think that's a bit more than just someone we're having a bit of a row with.

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arse

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by beatmenace:
MY view is that we have had a 'Warning from History' and wisdom would not to even play around with the same ideology, but to resist it forcefully. But there are some (mostly conservative Christians ) who would take the 'wait and see' view based on 'respecting the authorities'.

Interestingly their "respecting the authorities" doesn't apply to Democratic administrations, only Republican ones.

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Politeness does not exclude confrontation. In fact in the incident I was thinking of there was also confrontation.

I think deliberately riling somebody, or indeed an administration, to push their buttons does not fall within the scope of "love your enemies".

I don't think there is any reason at all, none, to expect that contradicting Trump won't rile him. He cannot stand to be contradicted. A judge that contradicted him, no mocking at all, nor intent to rile or push buttons, was called a "so-called judge." With this president you cannot draw a line between confrontation and riling. You can't do one without the other.

quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Normalization is standard diplomacy surely? You catch more flies with honey.

Oh please, Mr. Hitler, stop killing those poor Jews. If you don't mind. Thank you so kindly for listening to our plea. Here are some flowers.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Oh please, Mr. Hitler, stop killing those poor Jews. If you don't mind. Thank you so kindly for listening to our plea. Here are some flowers.

Godwin's law. Also at the time there was full on war. No-one was delivering Hitler flowers at the time.

Could we successfully interpret "love for enemies" as dropping bombs on them? "taste and see that the Lord is good".

Is corporal punishment loving? after all "this is going to hurt me more than it is you".

I think loving your enemies is somewhere among bending over and taking a whipping, forgiving the unrepentant, and not killing people, but trying to behave kindly toward people you have and are wronging you. As much as you can. Because behaving kindly will encourage you to love, and behaving with aggression and violence encourages hatred.

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Oh please, Mr. Hitler, stop killing those poor Jews. If you don't mind. Thank you so kindly for listening to our plea. Here are some flowers.

Godwin's law.
Bullshit. When we're talking about how to deal with enemies, and claiming that we can be nice to them and expect them to change their ways, then mentioning Hitler has fuck-all to do with Godwin's Law. It's more often used as a cop-out for people with indefensible notions that can't stand up to the evil realities that comprised the Second World War. if your method of dealing with your enemies wouldn't work on Hitler, then it isn't a valid method.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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A little quick on the draw there. Read the rest.

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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mousethief

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# 953

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A little slow on the draw there. I did.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Martin60
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# 368

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Hmmm. The past's another country. I see no problem in being smilingly, flower poweringly wise and playing hardest ball. Like Turkey did with Iraq during the liberation of Kuwait. The 1933 NAZI boycott of Jewish businesses should have been met with a regretful, apologetic global boycott of German business, but that's hindsight.

Fierce enough sanctions work just fine. Done most politely, with all face saving afforded until the 'misunderstanding' is resolved.

And Chamberlain bought precious time for British rearmament. America contributed FUCK ALL.

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Love wins

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
And Chamberlain bought precious time for British rearmament. America contributed FUCK ALL.

What does this have to do with the price of tea in China? This seems nothing more than a gratuitous attempt to start a pond war.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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