Another Example of Harmful Risk-Aversion

More on Mr. Doug Phillips soon, but a discussion at Dalrock’s prompted me to respond because I’ve written on it before.

My friend Empath wrote this:

[I] am not defending CTS’s behaviors. I’m not wanting them left alone, unchallenged. Maybe I want to know what the label is for the Christians who remain after the CTS’s offenders are stricken from the list. What are we? What group(s) do we share the most values with? Are there really so few of us special Christian snowflakes that we have a clique here in these parts and thats it, because we have sorted all of what SHOULD BE natural allies out and away? Worse, when we see the secular AMEN! chorus from soulless left, or the overtly libertine, whatever group that represents values diametrically opposite what ours should be….but they eloquently wax in agreement about that bloody CTS’s do we not get it that we too are held in derision by them, but like a ManBoobs type association with feminists, they tolerate us because it feels really cool to hear what to them is us running us down.

This is a problem of conservative-minded people. It may be intractable.

Similar problems are what drove Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle first to shut up, and then to start attacking whites in the media even though it was whites paying them.They meant to tell revealing and thoughtful jokes about black people to black people. When too many white people started laughing too loud…they got nervous. I’m sympathetic, but I think they should have continued. It would have been better to ban whites from the audience than for them to crawdad the way they did.

In hindsight: Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle traded their jokes on a conservative understanding of the world because they are (unknowingly) conservatives. So fundamental is their conservatism that as penance for causing whites to laugh at blacks they both took back-to-basics trips to Africa; that they might be cleansed.

On commented blogs, the problem can be exacerbated because while laughter is hard to measure, comments are easy. To my mind, Dalrock speaks as a challenger to his own group to get them to wake up; preaching truths his own hostile choir. He is not an outsider, but one of them. It remains that unless he is more ruthless in moderating comments then his message gets confused with the rabble’s. He starts to sound like Chris Rock telling black jokes at an impromptu meeting of Kinists. Yet if he does start moderating or banning people, then he will surely (if inadvertently) ban others who are like himself; preaching truths to a hostile choir.

What’s to be done? The only solution is for those convicted by Dalrock to get louder; to challenge those in their own little midsts. Sounds like the liberal response, doesn’t it? Fists in the air; rock the vote; we won’t be silenced; etc.

Let’s notice who is on the offensive; who is taking dog-tags off dead conservatives. Which brings us back to the point of why this is a problem of conservative minded people; because we just prefer to take our balls and go home.

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52 thoughts on “Another Example of Harmful Risk-Aversion

  1. Thanks Cane. In my most recent reply to Empath I suggested we move the discussion here. I assume this is clear to both you and Empath, but I both like and respect Empath. I’m interested in where he disagrees with me because I’m interested in what he has to say.

    With this in mind and until we continue with a more serious discussion, I’ll repeat a less serious point I made in the previous discussion thread. The conservatives I’m calling out are like Steve Carell’s character in Anchor Man. They are fighting on the other side, but don’t even know it.

  2. Conservative minded people are still proponents for the “normality” of feminism are they not? They are for the 19th amendment, child support, girls going to college, girls pursuing careers, egalitarian marriages, egalitarian society, and egalitarian “theology”, are they not? When I read what most conservatives write and hear them talk, I have difficulty not seeing the feminist ideology on display at that moment.

    There is no book or official set of requirements for conservatism that I am aware of. Christians on the other hand have the Bible. I can open the Bible and find a standard that Christians are supposed to uphold. Where is the standard for conservatives?

  3. @Dalrock

    I hear you, and if I understand you both correctly, there is not a disagreement, but Empath is asking you to consider ramifications.

    I am sympathetic to Empath’s questioning, but I think ultimately he has to hold the gathering crowds responsible for taking advantage of what you say as an excuse to bash others.

    If a poor man is brought before a judge for murder, then the judge needs to try the man for murder. The fact that the gathering crowds are arrogant and bloodthirsty is not a reason to dismiss the charges.

  4. Oh boy. First, I am glad this discussion, even if its three or four of us, moved. I was derailing, even typed and deleted the obligatory derail apology in one comment.
    The two of you know that I am nothing if I am not fully on board with the fact that it is trad/socons…deceived Christians, so forth, who are the most insidious actors in destruction of familism. In fact I have all manner of issues with the Christian crew.

    Cane, please expand this thought. i see it with the analogy of Rock, but its murky in application to this topic. The translation from the example to this topic is garbled. If it is as simple as me or someone squirming where I am being alarmed that leftists and Christian haters are “laughing too loudly” …..yea, that part holds. i do not see any part of this topic that is analogous to the reaction Chris Rock had to the too-loud-laughter. I dont see the reversal-of-humor-target, nor the cleansing trip to Africa represented analogously at all in the points I raised. Help me get that.

    Last evening, man if I could erase the experience….burn the brain cells, wife wanted to go see the Left Behind movie. OK, I didnt read anything about it, thought there is a good story there to work with, maybe they can make it exciting. Im not mesmerized by it as some prophetic thing….maybe some tension, suspense, explosions….you know. Point is, I was in a theater filled with the folks we are talking about. It is an example of another flawed thinking they are guilty of…..rushing to things labeled “Christian”. I believe the same thing inside them that makes them do that is responsible for the destructive positions regarding familism. Ten minutes into the movie I suggested we leave. It stinks so badly that I was actually sighing loudly with each absurd cliche on screen. To her credit, because we do not go out alone enough, wife convinced me to stay despite her agreement that the movie sucks. It became a joke, we snickered and after went and grabbed an appetizer and had a great evening. Anyway….The snippets of conversation I heard while exiting were what you’d expect. Most were moved by the movie. Un flipping believable. Because they WILL NOT criticize something with a Christian label

    That includes the destructive nature of their messed up views on men, women, and marriage….because they think they are holding soundly Christian positions.

    Dalrock, I don’t disagree with you at all on what you say about conservatives….not one iota. Over time you and I have discussed this, on a couple of occasions, at some length. Cane gets very close to my generic point when he mentions ramifications.

    Cane then goes on to say that I should hold the gathering crowd responsible for taking advantage, or more aptly….for piling on. My response is that my comments, which included not a small number of actual questions that were not intended as rhetorical devices, rather to be answered because I am interested in the those answers…..those comments are not mutually exclusive with holding the bloodthirsty bystanders responsible. It required a soft assumption to make that point. Its not even accurate that I’m casting for some–one to hold responsible for
    some–thing.

    If you take a look at those posts and find the questions that ask a form of “can we not also use the label Christian as as equal and functionally accurate descriptor?” [in addition to CTS]

    My answer is absolutely YES. If we’re gonna go, lets go. When I blogged more frequently, I wrote mostly about Family Life and similar ministries. If I were to make a generic term to cover the folks whose words I parsed, it would be cheap and inauthentic of me to choose trad/socon, and Id have had to say Christian. I am guessing that the word churchian is both a description of a real and growing set of Christian-ish people, AND it is a sort of polite? safe? workaround for writing bluntly that Christians are doing this and that. I had a post , Cane linked it in his previous post, about the fact that there are Christian churchians, the two things intersect and the churchianity doesnt wrench essential doctrine out the back of the Christian skull. it deceives them into lazy ways of interpreting what Christians ought to do, how we ought to react.

    Finally, to the less important point. I remarked that unless one gets into the hair splitting tendency to redefine and redefine things, which men of above average intelligence seem to be predisposed to, very simplistically, should there not be a significant overlap in core values between a Christian and a social conservative. Set aside what they DO, because neither group nor those in both groups are seeing how their actions are counter to their values, (No, not excused for having good intentions)

    Im starting to think i should have kept my points to myself. Its always best if one has no suggestions, to not start writing long poorly constructed posts that seem to press everyone’s buttons a little, regardless what their buttons are. A bit of accidental trolling came out, like drool following a dental appointment.

  5. Dalrock, Ive just read your last comment at your place:

    But the bigger part of the problem is something you touch directly on in your question. You ask it in relation to Christians but you could ask the same thing for conservatives. It is easiest to get at by asking another question (I’ll beg your indulgence here). Where is it (on the web) where this other sort of conservative gathers, where they separate themselves from the conservatives we are trying to correct? Once we can identify this group/meeting place, all we need to do is see what they call themselves. As you noted upthread this can get messy because people tend to resist labels, but even if they resisted the label we could point to them as a defined group. The problem as I see it is that no such group exists, at least not outside of the manosphere. This is critical, because they don’t see a distinction, they aren’t separating themselves out. If we create a separate label, not only will it not be recognized because we invented it, but it will be trying to make a distinction which the people we are describing don’t even recognize. I see no way around this until and unless the non feminist group of conservatives recognizes themselves as different from the feminist ones and acts accordingly. Note that this wouldn’t prevent a sort of big tent collaboration on common ground. But it would require a conscious recognition within the group we call conservatives that many, probably most, conservatives are very often playing on the feminist team (wittingly or otherwise). If they don’t recognize the distinction, we can’t come up with a name for it and expect it to have meaning to them.

    Im not sure if you ask where “these other conservatives gather” as a device, or because somehow I suggested that such a place and people exist. I truly dont know which, so I cant do much with that other than say I do not believe such a discrete place exists. I believe you have a large concentration of them/us….but clearly there is also a whole divorce village at your place.

    I don’t care what they/we/the special conservatives….are called, or that they are called anything but conservatives. Last thing i want to do it make up even more labels to waste time refining.

    One simple problem is that the manner of deception that operates on the tradcon group in question is so powerful that many of them could read yours and other mens oriented blogs and cheer them, them fill in their checks for sending to Family Life etc. never even thinking deeply about it. Like the theater goers who watch low quality products and breathlessly recommend them to others….because its Christian dontcha know…..no analysis needed…..its (branded) Christian….same with the sphere issues…..family Life is for the family…..its Christian…….later, Dalrock writes in favor of the family, he is Christian, ……no problem, Click “like” on both.

    Its the intellectual opposite end of spectrum to the endless prattling redefining isms.

  6. I am guessing that the word churchian is both a description of a real and growing set of Christian-ish people, AND it is a sort of polite? safe? workaround for writing bluntly that Christians are doing this and that.

    I try to use Christian to refer to actually belonging to Christ. For me, churchian is used to denote the church goer whether he is Christian (belonging to Christ) or not.

    Jesus said that we would know a tree by it’s fruits, and that His sheep will hear His voice. We can usually determine whether or not the person’s acts are Christian, but knowing if a person is really a Christian is often difficult because we can only see the fruit and not the spiritual condition of a given individual.

    I have no doubt that Christians do bad things (I know I have), but there are many (so many these days) who are not Christians that do despicable things under a “Christian” banner. They misrepresent Christianity AND Christians everywhere, so that unbelievers and believers alike end up thinking Christianity is something that it is not. These wolves in sheep’s clothing, who never knew Jesus, are leading many astray.

    What is commonly taught and believed today as the Gospel is questionable at best and heresy at worst. In Revelations Jesus said: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”

    And in Matthew He says:
    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

  7. JDG You will get no disagreement from me on any of that. That is all very fundamental. It still merits mention, however, that the body of sin that Christians (per your definition or some slight variation of it) commit really truly honestly isn’t just the cute little ins of gossip and gluttony that so inform that subject in polite company. I understand about seeing fruit to discern, well, I understand what the scripture says and the essentials of what it means. its like a lot of theologically heavy laden scripture though, its often quoted, or cited as paraphrase, sans any words about the subject at hand.

    That doesn’t mean that the scripture needs help…..not my point…..it does mean that in the context of a topic, this one or another, that involves real people that we know, I believe its not sufficient to say that and close the argument. we are in a safe zone here. we are not talking about you, me, Cane, Dalrock, any one individual. We are in concept mode. So, its not helpful unless you unpack it and address the questions it begs.

    For instance and perhaps most important, would you consider that someone living in an egalitarian arranged marriage and an enthusiastic advocate for same to be unequivocally lacking fruit to the degree we can say “churchian” and not Christian? Where is your line in the sand? If that couple has children, outwardly all are benevolent, polite, kind, hopeful, joyful, not prone to excess, good neighbors, (some may call these things evidence of fruit) but they live in contradiction to scripture on marital order, perhaps even quite overtly, are we men here so sensitive to that one thing it becomes our litmus?

    My answer is simple. I wrote about it, calling it the intersection of churchianity and Christianity. It exists, in 3D technicolor. In fact the Christian part of the intersection has always existed. The churchian part is a later addition.

    I maybe see Churchian differently than you. I see it as one who is sold out to the rituals, task lists, organizing principles, lingo, and cliche driven aspects of the (usually) mega church. because I use it that way I leave room for one to be both churchian and Christian. There are therefore three, churchians, Christians, and Christian churchians. The churchianity is part cause of the corpus of sin among Christians, part of the deception. Including the deception that drives female preeminence to be a major bellwether for family policy and prescription and proscription.

  8. Commenting solely to get future comments in my email.

    Oh no…..no way….I disagree with that. Unlike the same named Monty Python sketch, this here IS an argument.

    JK

  9. Perhaps ‘Christian’ has ceased being a word that anyone can use to call a follower of Jesus. It has become more of a cultural term that is used to identify Western religious people, or just Western people in general by non-western peoples. The problem with finding another term is that a people identified by the new term must be separate from the other peoples. For example, a group may chose to call themselves ‘disciples of Christ’ instead of ‘christian’. To solidify this identity they must be separate from other self-identified Christians. They would probably be called ‘Christians’ by most that are not in the group. The better solution may be to simply follow God as best you can, and deal with individuals one at a time as they cross that path. And leave the bigger things to God. We are in this culture and have this language( words and denotations and connotations) and it is the tool we are given to persuade people of the truth that God has revealed to us.

  10. @Empath.

    No, he doesn’t mean it like that. If we reply and hit the notify button, we don’t have to come back to keep reading: straight to the inbin it goes. Which is exactly what I’m doing here as well. Love seeing three erudite people go at it on things I agree with.

  11. @Cane

    I hear you, and if I understand you both correctly, there is not a disagreement, but Empath is asking you to consider ramifications.

    I am sympathetic to Empath’s questioning, but I think ultimately he has to hold the gathering crowds responsible for taking advantage of what you say as an excuse to bash others.

    If a poor man is brought before a judge for murder, then the judge needs to try the man for murder. The fact that the gathering crowds are arrogant and bloodthirsty is not a reason to dismiss the charges.

    This helps.  What is interesting is I have in the past poked pretty hard at Trad Cons, and my Gilligan post comes to mind.  In my most recent post my hope was to influence a conversation largely outside of the manosphere;  the best case scenario there would be if a more mainstream conservative writer were to pick up on the Arab Spring metaphor.  So there is some of both.  I do find myself fairly regularly questioning if I should write a specific piece, given the tendency of members of the internet crowd to get out of hand from time to time.  In extraordinary cases I’ll set out moderation rules excluding specific avenues of discussion.  This wouldn’t have been appropriate in the case of the last post.

    But something else you wrote strikes me as quite insightful (emphasis mine):

    Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle traded their jokes on a conservative understanding of the world because they are (unknowingly) conservatives. So fundamental is their conservatism that as penance for causing whites to laugh at blacks they both took back-to-basics trips to Africa; that they might be cleansed.

    On commented blogs, the problem can be exacerbated because while laughter is hard to measure, comments are easy. To my mind, Dalrock speaks as a challenger to his own group to get them to wake up; preaching truths his own hostile choir. He is not an outsider, but one of them.

    I am as you say fundamentally conservative in my view.  I’m probably guilty of Empath’s noted label avoiding there, but I don’t think there could be much question that my views are fundamentally conservative.  This is true for most off topic political issues, but more importantly on the topics I’m discussing or engaging conservatives.  What I would add is that this second part is true for the vast majority of manosphere commenters.  Even the out of control peanut gallery is (perhaps unknowingly) more conservative that conservatives on the topics at hand.  He isn’t out of control, but a Marxist like Boxer is clearly more conservative on marriage than I would bet 80% of self identifying Christians/conservatives are.  From a public/social policy perspective, even pickup artists like Krauser and Heartiste are more conservative when it comes to marriage.  Granted being more conservative on marriage than conservatives isn’t saying much, but herein lies the problem.

  12. @Empath

    Im not sure if you ask where “these other conservatives gather” as a device, or because somehow I suggested that such a place and people exist.

    I mean this as a device.  My point is, until/unless the conservatives you want to label differently see themselves as different, not only will we be inventing a label which they don’t recognize, we will be using it to define a distinction which they don’t recognize.  If they recognized the distinction, they would have already have separated out and created the label themselves.  I do think there are individual conservatives who are actively working against existing feminism (Glenn Reynolds and his wife Dr Helen come to mind), but they are I would argue too small to form a subgroup.  They are also interestingly (and something you noted upthread) much more on the secular side;  the worst conservatives on the issue of feminism tend to be on the Christian side.

    One simple problem is that the manner of deception that operates on the tradcon group in question is so powerful that many of them could read yours and other mens oriented blogs and cheer them, them fill in their checks for sending to Family Life etc. never even thinking deeply about it. Like the theater goers who watch low quality products and breathlessly recommend them to others….because its Christian dontcha know…..no analysis needed…..its (branded) Christian….same with the sphere issues…..family Life is for the family…..its Christian…….later, Dalrock writes in favor of the family, he is Christian, ……no problem, Click “like” on both.

    Yes.  It can be very difficult to crack through.  Yet I think cracking through this is essential.  Some of these folks will fall on the side of feminism once sufficiently prodded.  But even here I see an advantage in bringing the issue to the surface.  I think the Gilligan post for example is effective (or at least as effective as I am so far capable of) at cracking through.  In my experience especially online if you upset the feminist status quo with a large number of religious conservatives you are going to draw out a great deal of revulsion and anger.  This is no less true if you are being polite (GKC has some experience with this).  These groups aren’t accidentally not discussing feminism.  It is being aggressively policed by a large but unnamed subgroup of feminist conservative (mostly) Christians.  If you are polite these folks tend to find a way to pick a personal argument to avoid coming out and arguing for feminism.  Ironically being polite leads to the most personal attacks.  Better to crack through and spur the feminists to be more overt in their defense of feminism.

    What I have found is there are a significant number of what you would call Churchian Christians who are willing to consider the issue.  They won’t take my or anyone else’s arguments at face value, but will go back and study Scripture and then compare Fireproof, etc. with Scripture to see if what I’m saying is true.  But there is also a significant group which claims to be lead by Scripture who have feminism as their first master.  To some separating the first from the second would be seen as failure:  Look at all of those enemies you just created!  If you had been really really nice, all of the folks who claim to follow the Bible would surely have come to see that what is very often being taught today as “Christian” really is no such thing.    I disagree.  I see provoking this division as an essential first step not only to reaching the first group, but ultimately to reaching the latter one.  Our biggest challenge in my opinion is denial.

  13. Sorry, Empath, didn’t see the JK.

    I’ll ask a question before asking a question: do you three welcome outside thoughts on the discussion or should we remain bystanders?

  14. That is all very fundamental. It still merits mention, however, that the body of sin that Christians (per your definition or some slight variation of it) commit really truly honestly isn’t just the cute little ins of gossip and gluttony that so inform that subject in polite company.

    Absolutely. It was not my intention to make lite of the failings of Christians. However, isn’t succumbing to temptation (even a grievous sin), yet acknowledging the wrong, something different than openly promoting sinful behaviors as righteous? The one at least acknowledges that what God has said is true, and may actually have a desire to change. The other claims he did not sin at all, and sees no reason to change. Should the one who sees no wrong in his sin truly be labeled Christian when he does not even acknowledge that God is right and he is wrong?

    For instance and perhaps most important, would you consider that someone living in an egalitarian arranged marriage and an enthusiastic advocate for same to be unequivocally lacking fruit to the degree we can say “churchian” and not Christian? Where is your line in the sand?

    I’ll try to clarify where I draw the line. If I refer to someone as churchian it is because they are openly displaying or promoting values that are not biblical (Christian), yet they self-identify as Christian and usually attend church (though not always). And when I say values I don’t mean traditional (church or otherwise), I mean biblical.

    When non-biblical behavior is promoted or openly by a “Christian”, I find that I am not entirely certain if they are among the wheat or the tares. They may be a work in progress, or they may be working for the devil.

    A couple living under the wife’s leadership (egalitarian) would give me cause for concern. Unless I knew them well enough to know they have a sincere relationship with Jesus Christ, and not the best friend forever infatuation so prevalent today, I would refer to them as churchian or church goers.

    I have to go now. I’ll try to follow up later if I am able.

  15. I left out a word above. The paragraph should read:

    When non-biblical behavior is promoted or displayed openly by a “Christian”, I find that I am not entirely certain if they are among the wheat or the tares. They may be a work in progress, or they may be working for the devil.

  16. I’m only home this weekend, and then gone for the next three weeks straight; so I spent them with the family.

    Lots of good comments. Please continue, everyone.

    This conversation is one of the reasons why I stopped using the word “Churchian”. The invention of the label doesn’t actually help further any discussions except in the sense it means “People who profess or appear to be Christian that we don’t like”. But we don’t approve of them for different reasons, and every time we invoke the term it is respective of our individual disapprovals; not a shared or agreed-upon idea. Hence, Empath’s questions.

    I think the only answer is the one that is distasteful to us that Dalrock talked about above: Refer to them as they know themselves; whether it be Christian; conservative; trad-con…whatever name applies that they recognize of themselves. Keeping in mind that we love the sinner and hate the sin we can recognize that our distaste for saltless salt is a good thing…Beautiful Truths and all that. It is enough to recognize heterodoxy or heresy without pre-judging whether they are saved or not. Roman Catholics (not sure about Orthodox, GKC) don’t have this problem as they don’t recognize one saving moment; one point in time that from henceforth a person just is a Heaven-bound Christian…of course they have other problems.

    It is not necessary nor in our power for any one of us to decide who will be saved…to say who “is” Christian. We have enough to concern us with discerning what is Christian behavior. Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, and the pedophile priests might be Heaven-bound. They still can’t be in my house because their fruits are bad.

    Empath mentioned that I linked to his post about his family (referential enough for ya?) and I thought about that post of his over a couple weeks. I sometimes wonder if some of my family are going to Heaven, but I don’t accuse them of not being Christian. It’s offensive and evocative enough to point out that their behavior isn’t. If they are not Christians, then I let the Holy Spirit and their own souls winnow them out. Besides; if I don’t accept them at their word as being Christians, then on what grounds would I judge them?

  17. I’ve only been back into The Fold the past year or so. Reading the folks here plus Vox and the other commenters even at SM when she blogged made me realize that Christian =/= wuss.

    Churchian is a powerful term, I think, to those of us that read the same stuff we do each day. I think we all know what it means and use it similarly. About the reply above this from Cane, perhaps referring to those as they refer to themselves is not the way to go about this. Seems to reek of positive encouragement. I wouldn’t want to refer to a church as Biblical or even Christian if they’re not one to follow Biblical …. rules?…. doctrine?…. unsure of word here. Women ministers (especially lay), pedestalization, etc. I think Empath’s got it right earlier: you can be Churchian, Christian and both. Works in progress get both, those that have the “Jesus is my boyfriend” (both male and female) less so.

    My question, though, is how would those present deal with others that are visibly churchian (family members, etc.) that are perhaps in the wrong church/denomination for what they believe? Here in Canada, the United Church is, well, rather like if the left and Marx (but I repeat myself…) created a religion based rather tenuously around Jesus. Would they be Churchian, Christian, both, neither? Or perhaps would that be a case-by-case basis?

  18. That cutto it Cane. Why to choose not to use the term churchian. Good words. Therefore, more so yet, my initial probing about saying Christian in place of socon. I was not asking so that I could say , “see, it’s not a god idea”. I was laying out, as Cane noted, possible consequences to same. I’m of the so-be-it-but-don’t-avoid-it school however. If there are no alternate labels, and we have agreed, I think, that there are not nor should there be other labels made up, then let’s not avoid plugging in Christian, where socon etc. appear. I’d ask why it has not been included previously. Is it consciously avoided or just not considered? Important questions if the shoe indeed fits, why is the pair still on the stoop?
    Try this start using it, use it often and prominently. I’m not saying this to say that then you will see how bad an idea it is. I am saying it will absolutely generate some interesting side discussions in a given thread where Christians are boldly called out as Christians. I would predict some defensiveness from quarters never ruffled by the socon terms.

  19. @Sean

    Churchian is a powerful term, I think, to those of us that read the same stuff we do each day.

    Only in the Men’s Sphere. Even there it is powerful in the sense that an Orwellian two-minute hate is powerful. What’s important in the evocation of Churchian is a religious hate.

    My question, though, is how would those present deal with others that are visibly churchian (family members, etc.) that are perhaps in the wrong church/denomination for what they believe? Here in Canada, the United Church is, well, rather like if the left and Marx (but I repeat myself…) created a religion based rather tenuously around Jesus. Would they be Churchian, Christian, both, neither? Or perhaps would that be a case-by-case basis?

    This is exactly what I mean about the nebulous and deceptively indescript way Churchian can be used. If you wrote about your leftist church family members as Churchian, many others won’t actually get your meaning. Rather they will fill in what non-Christian behavior they particularly hate.

    In the final analysis, Churchian is nothing but an empathic term to communicate a feeling. It is the hate that Churchian communicates. It does not communicate any knowledge of what to avoid; what is actually to be hated. That is the important info, and it’s on that basis that I refrain from using it. I don’t ban it from my blog, or lecture people about it. When others use it I try to understand what they want to communicate with me. It remains that it is useless for communicating anything but a feeling. Sometimes that is important, but often it is in the way of actual understanding.

  20. @Empath

    If there are no alternate labels, and we have agreed, I think, that there are not nor should there be other labels made up, then let’s not avoid plugging in Christian, where socon etc. appear. I’d ask why it has not been included previously. Is it consciously avoided or just not considered? Important questions if the shoe indeed fits, why is the pair still on the stoop?

    Here are a couple of reasons that I think many still refer to Trad-Cons and So-Cons:

    1. They want to be inclusive of reprimanding and/or encouraging secularists whom they believe are misguided. It’s a fallout from the “Moral Majority” style of politics. Sold as religious-friendly, the Moral Majority platform is profoundly humanist and progressive in pushing the idea that the majority of people are moral just the way they are, and our problems stem from those bad guys over there. And…there really ARE bad guys over there! Most of our problems are us, though.

    2. They don’t want to sully the label Christian. They still have respect for it, and they’d rather call the vandals something else than admit that Christian is a sullied term (at least to non-Christians) and becomes so every time Christians behave in a worldly fashion. Ultimately, it is misguidedly keeping up the outward appearance of godliness.

  21. In the final analysis, Churchian is nothing but an empathic term to communicate a feeling. It is the hate that Churchian communicates. It does not communicate any knowledge of what to avoid; what is actually to be hated.

    If a Christian is a person whose religion is based on Christ, a churchian is one whose religion is based on the church. Thus the term does communicate what is to be avoided: allowing Christ to be replaced as the center. 2 Cor 11:3-4, 1 Cor 3:11, Gal 1:6-9. A churchian and a Christian may do and believe the same thing but the source is different-the one is a step downstream from the other.

  22. @MNM

    If a Christian is a person whose religion is based on Christ, a churchian is one whose religion is based on the church.

    That is not what others mean, and that is my larger point. I do not say that each of us don’t have our own meanings. I say that our meanings are not shared.

    Aside from that: I think your personal definition needs some work to be useful even to yourself. It is still a shortcut that doesn’t communicate the problems.

    What do you mean by the word “church”? Are you referring to a specific local church? Are you referring to a denomination? Are you referring to a doctrine or confession? Are you referring to the overall Body of Christ?

    What do you mean by Christ be replaced as the center? How do you reconcile the fact that your phrasing of the problem of centrality implies a direct link between the believer and Christ, yet the verses you referred to are explicit that we should keep to the teachings of Christ as delivered by the Church; that faithfulness to the bearers of the true Gospel is faithfulness to the true Gospel? Isn’t that obvious when you think about it?

    If I give you real gold to keep, and you keep it because you love me–then the gold is safe indeed.

    Is it more important that a soldier have loyalty to his unit, or to his countrymen? Can you betray one without betraying the other? If you respond with the question of “Well, what if the unit is not in union with the countrymen?”, then you begin to have a sense of the scope of the problem. But does it follow that the members of that unit are no longer in the military? No! Else how do you court martial them? If they are not of the military, then the military cannot judge them. But if they are of the military then the thing to do is tell your unit exactly what they are doing wrong, and to get back in line.

  23. @Cane.

    Yes, of course the Men\’s Sphere. That\’s pretty much where all of the readers of the bloggers highlighted in this discussion would likely come from, I would think. I\’ve used Churchian to a couple of friends but wouldn\’t use it to mainstream folk because then you have to describe it and that\’s never fun because feelbad.

    I first saw Churchian at Dalrock\’s a couple years ago and even then knew exactly what he meant. It\’s not Jesus-centred, it\’s (I believe) those that go to church to be seen, the Sunday Morning Nightclub, those that pick and choose the parts of the Bible that apply (Ewwww, not that Ephesians stuff, you woman hater!! /), the pedestalization of Mother\’s Day, Joel Osteen, Mark Driscoll. Pastors that don\’t preach \”the rules\” of Christianity or even Jesus as an alpha male but more of the touchy-feely stuff. You know how hard it is to get people to understand that Jesus got mad when they\’ve never been presented with \”I hate divorce\” or the throwing of the tables in the temple?

    The United Church in Canada is what I would call Churchian as far as denominations go. Women pastors either with husbands or female \”life partners\”, no speaking out about anything anti-Christian, women majority pew sitters, etc. They clearly understand their audience. Hell, I think you could even find those that would condone and encourage abortion….”

    Don’t get me wrong, I can fully comprehend where you’re coming from on the hate part of Churchian but perhaps you’re using “hate” instead of “contempt”, “disgust”, “derision”.

  24. 2. They don’t want to sully the label Christian. They still have respect for it, and they’d rather call the vandals something else than admit that Christian is a sullied term (at least to non-Christians) and becomes so every time Christians behave in a worldly fashion. Ultimately, it is misguidedly keeping up the outward appearance of godliness.

    And there you have it. This is a major point I was driving at with all the questions.

    Side effect of this discourse is that I will probably avoid “churchian” in the future. Especially now that I see how diverse the perceived meaning is. Rather than quibble about the definition, best just avoid it. I get the reference to those people and or things/practices/beliefs we hate. Deride….eschew….besmirch….pick your flavah.

  25. empathologism says:
    October 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I maybe see Churchian differently than you.

    Yes, I think this is the case. I think this may be one of Cane’s points.

    There are therefore three, churchians, Christians, and Christian churchians.

    Again, I was using the term churchian to refer to people who’s faith I questioned. Perhaps this is wrong of me, but I have a hard time believing that a “lesbian pastor” is really a Christian. Sure she could be, but I highly doubt it. To me a churchian could be anyone that claims to be Christian, yet does not line up with basic scriptural teachings.

  26. Bobbye says:
    October 19, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Perhaps ‘Christian’ has ceased being a word that anyone can use to call a follower of Jesus. It has become more of a cultural term that is used to identify Western religious people, or just Western people in general by non-western peoples.

    This is exactly what I disagree with. If there were no scriptures I could agree with this position, but we have the Bible with which we can take the time to explain what being a Christian really means. The conversation could even be a means with which to share the gospel.

  27. That is not what others mean, and that is my larger point. I do not say that each of us don’t have our own meanings. I say that our meanings are not shared.

    I get that. But allowing meanings of words to be subjectively defined makes language useless.

    -ian is an adjectival ending borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership. Thus we get Christian: one who follows, adheres to, or is a slave to Christ. Thus we also get churchian: one who follows, adheres to, or is a slave to the church. The same goes for magician, mathematician, physician, etc. That is the etymology.

    If we want a word to mean “a person who defiles Christianity” we already have one: defiler. If we want to denote a person that does not accept the gospel, we have “infidel.” Churchian denotes neither of these by default.

    Empath notes those who blindly accept anything labeled “Christian,” rather than subjecting all things to Biblical scrutiny. The attitude is “this is Christian, therefore it is good.” This is not quite the same as “this is of Christ, therefore it is good.”

    However, churchianity is not necessarily bad. In fact it can be a positive step towards Christianity, basically a form of baby Christianity, where the churchians follow the church (as a part of it) while the church as a whole follows Christ. But if the majority of the church becomes churchian, it becomes a self-referential loop like a dog chasing his tail endlessly, and all external reference is lost. Without a scriptural anchor and perspective, the church ends up pushing things like Fireproof and accepting them without scrutiny because they come from the church.

    And what do I mean by the church? Simply the body of believers, both catholic and local. The local is but a microcosm of the catholic. This body includes all those who confess Christ, whether this confession is based on love for God or love for the church.

    the verses you referred to are explicit that we should keep to the teachings of Christ as delivered by the Church

    Almost. We are to keep to the teachings of Christ as delivered ,b>to the church. Delivered how? Through the Word. This is a pivotal distinction.

  28. Cane Caldo says:
    October 20, 2014 at 2:31 am

    This conversation is one of the reasons why I stopped using the word “Churchian”. The invention of the label doesn’t actually help further any discussions except in the sense it means “People who profess or appear to be Christian that we don’t like”. But we don’t approve of them for different reasons, and every time we invoke the term it is respective of our individual disapprovals; not a shared or agreed-upon idea.

    I agree that not everyone agrees on what the term churchian means, and thus can add confusion to a discussion.

    However, I must disagree that using the term churchian refers to “people we don’t like”, or even to people that do what we don’t like. For me, and others, it refers to people whose teachings and behaviors don’t line up with the teachings in the Bible while claiming they are Christian, thus implying that their behavior is Christian and their non-biblical beliefs are also Christian.

    Please understand that I am not saying that MY understanding of Christianity is the right one. I am saying that there are basic principles noted in the Bible that are indisputably Christian, and I believe that these principles were universally understood to be Christian for nearly 1800 years.

    When folks say they are Christian and deny these indisputable teachings, I don’t think it is unreasonable to question their faith or their beliefs.

    It is not necessary nor in our power for any one of us to decide who will be saved…to say who “is” Christian. We have enough to concern us with discerning what is Christian behavior.

    Apologies if I am misunderstanding you here. I don’t think using the term churchian has to mean we are judging someone’s eternal destination. I don’t agree that questioning their faith is the same as deciding that we know their eternal destination.

    I sometimes wonder if some of my family are going to Heaven, but I don’t accuse them of not being Christian. It’s offensive and evocative enough to point out that their behavior isn’t. If they are not Christians, then I let the Holy Spirit and their own souls winnow them out. Besides; if I don’t accept them at their word as being Christians, then on what grounds would I judge them?

    I am reminded of this passage in 1 Cor: “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.””

    I agree that pointing out bad behavior is often (but not always) enough, and if they bear the name brother then calling out their sin is appropriate. If they are not Christians, then I believe we all would agree that the goal should be to share the gospel with them.

    But I have a question (please bear with me as I use an extreme example). There are more then a few these days who fly the Christian banner yet deny the need to repent of any sins. Some deny that some sins are in fact sins at all. Some deny the resurrection, and some deny the need for a savior. How should one refer to these people? Should we really refer to such people as Christian when they deny the need for a savior and the gospel of Christ while promoting sinful lifestyles?

    I believe such people do not understand what being a Christian means. There are people pointing to lesbian “pastors” as the standard of what a Christian should look like. Those of us who hold to actual Christian teachings are considered bigoted, sexist, hateful, and homophobic.

    While it is true that actual Christians are contributing to the shame that is being applied to Christianity these days, I don’t see how allowing fallen individuals (especially unbelievers) to re-define the meaning of a Bible based term is going to help clear anything up. I believe the Bible is where we should get our understanding for all things Christian, including the term Christian.

    When we say something like: “I need to behave more like a Christian”, the person we are speaking to needs to under stand that we aren’t talking about a lesbian “pastor”.

  29. @Empath

    If there are no alternate labels, and we have agreed, I think, that there are not nor should there be other labels made up, then let’s not avoid plugging in Christian, where socon etc. appear. I’d ask why it has not been included previously. Is it consciously avoided or just not considered? Important questions if the shoe indeed fits, why is the pair still on the stoop?

    I don’t understand this, because it is anything but on the stoop. http://dalrock.wordpress.com/?s=modern+christian

  30. Great discussion all around; one of the best on my blog. Every comment is worth reading.

    I don’t have much time this morning, but here are the responses that seemed best to get out there.

    1. I think reading the definitions each here have provided is proof of what I have said about the lack of communication carried in the word Churchian.

    2. I do not say that Churchian is fake term, or a word without meaning. I’m telling you that Churchian‘s meaning is: “A person who claims to be a Christian of whom some in the Men’s Sphere does not approve; or actions of confessing Christians which are not approved. It is specific to the Men’s Sphere (Manosphere), and the only commonly shared ideas among those participants are doubted claims of Christianity coupled with disapproval/hate.”

    3. The confusion caused by the term Churchian is not because of a flaw in the term, but a flaw in its users and hearers. Having misapprehended the term, their ignorance creates a vacuum around it and then they each discretely fill it with their personal ticks and peeves. (I did this just as much as the next guy until I understood the term.)

    4. Since communication is meant to transfer ideas to others, anyone earnestly involved in communicating not only must try to use terms correctly, but try to use terms that others actually understand. Churchian does this because it transfers the idea disapproval of those who claim to be Christian. Aside from that, it transfers none of the ideas that have been put forth here.

    5. Note that Churchian could just as easily be used (and has been) by, say, a lesbian priestess of an Episcopal parish. She might mean that we were legalists, fundie, or the like. Those who are in agreement with her will get what she means by Churchian because the meaning of Churchian is disapproval of those who claim to be Christian.

    6. Hence: I don’t use it out of concern for the weakness of others.

    @Sean

    Don’t get me wrong, I can fully comprehend where you’re coming from on the hate part of Churchian but perhaps you’re using “hate” instead of “contempt”, “disgust”, “derision”.

    I mean all of that. I have contempt and hate for the ways of the world (including the parts I find within myself)…especially after I realized that I have been coddling and loving those parts that I should have hated.

    @MNM

    We are to keep to the teachings of Christ as delivered ,b>to the church. Delivered how? Through the Word. This is a pivotal distinction.

    That is a pivotal distinction in other conversations, but not this one. The Word was written by the Church at the prompting and inspiration of God. This is no more difficult to understand than it is to understand that Jesus is the son of God, but Mary really did accept the challenge and really did birth Jesus.

    @JDG

    But I have a question (please bear with me as I use an extreme example). There are more then a few these days who fly the Christian banner yet deny the need to repent of any sins. Some deny that some sins are in fact sins at all. Some deny the resurrection, and some deny the need for a savior. How should one refer to these people? Should we really refer to such people as Christian when they deny the need for a savior and the gospel of Christ while promoting sinful lifestyles?

    We should refer to them as people who claim to be Christian yet have X errors. If we really judge them to be fruitless–or even in abundance of bad fruit!–then I think it is better to say they are not Christian than to say Churchian. This way others can really know what I mean, and they too can judge my fruits. Otherwise, if I call both a harpy housewife and a lesbian priestess a Churchian then others will not understand that I mean one is definitely worse than the other. Both are sinful, but one is an abomination. Churchian cannot carry the distinction…just the disapproval.

    (EDIT: Yes, I did change the template of the blog. I liked the last version, but it poorly supported viewing on a mobile device.)

  31. That is a pivotal distinction in other conversations, but not this one.

    Why?

    That is a pivotal distinction in other conversations, but not this one. The Word was written by the Church at the prompting and inspiration of God. This is no more difficult to understand than it is to understand that Jesus is the son of God, but Mary really did accept the challenge and really did birth Jesus.

    No argument here. But that does not mean that it is always safe to follow the teaching of the church, that the church’s teaching is always true to scripture, or that we ought to cease to compare the doctrine preached by the church to the doctrine given to the church by the Word of God, which as you noted was recorded by the church.

  32. We should refer to them as people who claim to be Christian yet have X errors. If we really judge them to be fruitless–or even in abundance of bad fruit!–then I think it is better to say they are not Christian than to say Churchian. This way others can really know what I mean, and they too can judge my fruits. Otherwise, if I call both a harpy housewife and a lesbian priestess a Churchian then others will not understand that I mean one is definitely worse than the other. Both are sinful, but one is an abomination. Churchian cannot carry the distinction…just the disapproval.

    This connected some dots for me, especially the part about others being able to judge my fruits. I may have been underestimating the fallout from others not knowing specifically what I mean by the term churchian. I intend to give this some more thought.

  33. @MNM

    Why (isn’t it that, “[w]e are to keep to the teachings of Christ as delivered to the church. Delivered how? Through the Word”, a pivotal distinction in other conversations, but not this one)?

    Because the problem under discussion isn’t that modern and errant Christians think past churches and Christians were living by sensibilities that we’ve somehow lost and moderns must regain. They reject the teachings, witness, and testimony of past Christians as strongly as they do the teachings of the Bible Itself. So it’s not pivotal in this discussion because they are in full rebellion against all God’s revelations to man. Any revelation we could pick they would reject because it doesn’t fit their actual religion of self-service.

  34. @ Cane:

    They reject the teachings, witness, and testimony of past Christians as strongly as they do the teachings of the Bible Itself…. [T]hey are in full rebellion against all God’s revelations to man. Any revelation we could pick they would reject because it doesn’t fit their actual religion of self-service.

    I think I understand now. Their commitment to the church is actually no stronger than their commitment to Christ, and is entirely predicated on the church affirming them in their worship of self. They want to add the trappings of religion to their self-worship, and the idea of having an all-powerful God as one of their loving admirers intoxicates them.

    I underestimated the severity of the problem.

  35. Dalrock

    Yes that is a post of yours pointed at Christians, by name. By inference so are all those you have written and even I have written that outed FL and FoTF. But only by inference.

    Its not that Christians are not called out. Its that its not to the point where it can go into rotation along with socon and tradcon , or lets say in our local Thesaurus beside them. That’s what I mean by its on the stoop.

  36. @Empath

    Yes that is a post of yours pointed at Christians, by name. By inference so are all those you have written and even I have written that outed FL and FoTF. But only by inference.

    Its not that Christians are not called out. Its that its not to the point where it can go into rotation along with socon and tradcon , or lets say in our local Thesaurus beside them. That’s what I mean by its on the stoop.

    This is what I don’t get. That link isn’t to one post, it lists all the posts where I use the term. For every one post where I mention conservatives, I probably write three naming “modern Christians”. Saying I don’t use that term would be like complaining that I don’t write about the problems in the movie Fireproof. I do it all the time. But even if I’m wrong on the ratios, I use the label that applies. In the post under discussion, the folks I was writing about were secular conservatives. If I write about Heather MacDonald of The Weekly Standard, I’m not going to make it about Christians. Likewise, when I wrote about Shaunti Feldhan’s book, I titled the post: Why are modern Christians so delighted with current divorce rates?

    But don’t take my word for it. Check out all of the posts here: http://dalrock.wordpress.com/?s=%22modern+christian%22

  37. Awaiting w/ bated breath those tho’ts about Mr. Doug Phillips. His father was an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi, you know. When I heard that from his own lips, I said to myself, “Self, beware the leaven of the Pharisees!” The Talmudist is obsessed with sexual perversion, and this Lourdes TwoTowers-ManDevil seems to have studied her catechism well as his disciple, judging by her pleading. The name Lourdes has got to have some significance, too.

  38. Dalrock, whether it is you, me, or both of us, we are engaged in a discussion I truly never meant to happen as a result of my comments. I assure you i was not, in writing or in my thinking, feeling as if I needed to emphasize YOU. I agree its all over the blog, years of content doing it.

    When I wrote “yes that is a post of yours”, you must have seen more meaning than was intended. Even in mysentences that followed which you quoted above I mention the plethora of posts pointed at Christians.

    Regarding,”Yes that is a post of yours” I can see how that looks like me saying , “so you’ve plopped out one example, well that ain’t gonna cut it”. Seriously, All I was doing was acknowledging that yes, that is a post where you name them and acknowledging your corpus of posts that hold Christians to account. I think you are seeing something in my words that I am not putting there, because we should not be having this dialog where you react defensively and refer me to your blog list. Like I said the other day, you and I have hashed this out, or a derivative of this more directly linked to conservatism and ideology, not as directly pointed at Christianity as this now is. But the accord we reached , whatever it was, would work here as well….IF we had an issue. I have no reason to dog you about this, none, and not an iota of inclination or motive to do so.

    You are the absolute furthest along in boldly and without weasel words holding straight up Christians to account, no “churchian” qualifiers etc. I regret the miscommunication and to have caused you to feel the need to get me to stop making what would indeed be an absurd claim…that you are light on clear Christian accountability in your writings. I’m glad that you have stayed with it a few rounds because frankly if I was alleging what you seem to perceive that i am, and if I was then you, i wouldnt even waste my time on someone saying what you are getting from my words.

    Im far more interested in you being engaged in this topic generally and not feeling as if I am pointing at you as one of the problems. To the contrary, its because you are writing posts that directly do that that I was hopeful to get some some posts from you about “they/them/we/us” nebulous pronouns referring to the people who comment on these blogs ….not the blogger.”They/them” are the object of my concern. Then Cane came in and made great points about usage of churchian. I was getting uncomfortable using that as a sort criteria which is why I wrote about it in what he linked from me. That and related things should shape the discussion. Me accusing you of what it seems to you that i am doing is not very interesting and you must have been thinking that I’d fallen in the shower and injured my head.

    My comment was provoked by several comment following your post where I made it. It had nothing to do with how you choose terms in THAT post. That post would be a terrible one to parse for what we are discussing here simply because there are so many others more peppered with usage of the terms, socon, tradcon, and Christian. May I ask that you take me at face value here and if you see something that you feel is more subtle jabbing your way, just reread it or if necessary ignore it,

    Remember Cane also mentioned early upthread that my concern was about consequences. He was correct, unintended side effects. This concern would not and cannot apply me to you. I cant find a reason to be concerned about you using Christian or being bold at Christians because the consequence, whatever it is, well, its yours, but also I dont think there are big consequence of same nature as my concerns.

    The concerns involve spiritual corruptions in individuals, they involve accidentally aiding and abetting the little Screwtape demons as they torment a man, especially a man who isn’t just an unbeliever but who is internally hostile to the three or four labels that he sees as 100% interchangable in the sense that he thinks the groups all share the same core stupidities, and lack of intellectual sophistication. This man today would hold back his disdain for Christians, letting it show clearly though for conservatives, tradcons, socons. he has no compunction about the subset with 4 items where one is invisible [Socon, tradcon, conservative,Christain ] (in case a messed up that tag, the word Christian should have opacity) and will keep it invisisble until he perceives its ok to just g’head and let it rip.

  39. Dalrock

    If Ive driven you to the point of using italics, its worse than I thought. :

    The sentence below is pasted from this post

    Conservatives, especially Christian conservatives

    Im gonna have to fedex you a beer or something for the trouble Ive caused. Going italics is the last stop before going postal.

  40. @Empath

    Im gonna have to fedex you a beer or something for the trouble Ive caused. Going italics is the last stop before going postal.

    Ha. I wondered if you would notice that. No worries though. While I clearly don’t understand the discussion at hand, I am happy to move on.

  41. I wish you wouldn’t have wasted your self imposed quota on my nebulous points. its a topic that has weighed on me, not the terms we use, that isn’t really the topic. Its why i have not written very much. Maybe I’ll move along to other concerns…..Higgs Boson escapes the particle accelerator and crushes us to singularity….that sort of easy stuff

  42. is the point in time on this blog when the fed exing of a beer the equivalent of a male empathogasm?

  43. Schneider…that is a good question.. the male empathogasm. Not really, the fedexing of the beer is not he and finding our emotions in perfect harmony for max empathy. it one of myriad ways men can discuss, disagree, find accord, and shake cyber hands. its the opposite of an empthogasm

  44. Empathologism,
    You are a good sport. I very much enjoy reading your blog, Dalrocks, and even Canes at times. I owe you three a big thank you for the time you put into this stuff.

  45. Do me a favor. Don’t take Schneider seriously. He has been promising to officially marry me for a decade and hasn’t yet done so. Schneider is just a faultier and no better. I’m just feuerzeug and I know it. Any advice for me as a good woman in waiting?

  46. Pingback: The Hollow Victory of Conservatives | Things that We have Heard and Known

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