Vicious Dogs, Certainty and Charisma

1. Samuel C. Hyde, Jr., Pistols and Politics: The Dilemma of Democracy in Louisiana’s Florida Parishes, 1810-1899, page 210:

The Phantom Riders whipped and terrorized accused thieves, wife beaters, and the like, always reserving their most severe treatment for blacks.

I never knew that Klan-like groups had a problem with wife-beaters.  You wouldn’t know it from Mississippi Burning, in which the racist deputy is the one who beats his wife (leading to that chilling razor scene with Gene Hackman). 

Overall, this chapter was about the increase in violence in the Post-Reconstruction Florida parishes of Louisiana.  The blacks were accused of killing whites.  White groups tried to keep blacks from working in order to reduce them to dependency.  There wasn’t much respect for authority because of the corruption of the Republicans during Reconstruction, but the planters’ promotion of violence as a means to oust them unleashed vicious dogs that didn’t quite go away.       

That reminds me of sermons that I somewhat like to listen to.  They’re on the site, Sermon Audio, and they preach from a Reformed (Calvinist) perspective.  That can easily get on my nerves, but what I like about them is that, even though they’re conservative theologically, they’re not knee-jerk Republican.  One preacher said that he disagreed with his fellow congregants who applauded the bombing of Libya (I think), since that took innocent lives that were precious to God.  And another talked about how he went to a bookstore and saw all these books that portrayed George W. Bush as a horrible person.  He traced this viciousness back to the 1990’s, when conservatives did the same with Bill Clinton.  Vicious dogs were unleashed, which haunt us to this day. 

2. Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land, page 104:

“…Becky Vesey always gave good advice and she gave it with great conviction because she always believed it…”

Something I heard about International Church of Christ people is that they’re charismatic because they believe every word of what they are saying.  Perhaps zealots are charismatic.  But they’re a turn-off to me because they come across as self-righteous, closed-minded know-it-alls.  When I watch a Larry King Live episode that has Jon Meachem and John MacArthur, I much prefer Jon Meachem’s three-dimensional, thoughtful approach to politics and religion to MacArthur’s “this is how it is”, proof-texting approach.  I still like MacArthur’s Bible commentary, though!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
This entry was posted in History, John MacArthur, Movies, Politics, Race, Religion, Television, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Vicious Dogs, Certainty and Charisma

  1. Pingback: Sunday Thoughts – 5/16 | The Church of Jesus Christ

  2. Pingback: Sunday Thoughts – 5/16 | Christian Articles and videos

Comments are closed.