Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Existentialism in Education: Themes, Philosophers, Pros and Cons

Existentialism in Education:
Themes, Philosophers, Pros and Cons

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice, and the inherent meaninglessness of life. It has been a popular topic in academic circles for many years but has only recently begun to make its way into mainstream education.

This is due to the fact that existentialism can be seen as a response to existential angst – a feeling of anxiety and despair that comes from the realization of our own mortality.

In this blog post, we will explore existentialism in education, discussing the themes and philosophers associated with it. We will also look at the pros and cons of existentialism in the classroom.

Themes of existentialism

There are several existentialist themes, including freedom, choice, and responsibility. These themes are often explored through literature and philosophy, two subjects integral to existentialist thought.

One of the central themes of existentialism is freedom. Existentialists believe that humans are free to choose their own paths in life and that they are responsible for their own choices.

Another central theme of existentialism is choice. Existentialists believe that humans have the power to choose their own lives and that they are responsible for their own actions. This theme is often explored in literature, where characters must make difficult choices that determine their fate. In philosophy, existentialists focus on the concept of choice, and how it relates to human existence.

A third central theme of existentialism is responsibility. Existentialists believe that humans are responsible for their own choices and actions. This theme is often explored in literature, where characters must face the consequences of their decisions. In philosophy, existentialists focus on the concept of responsibility, and how it relates to human existence.

Famous existentialism philosophers

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice, and the inherent meaninglessness of life. It was born out of the existential crisis of the 20th century, which was marked by two world wars, the Holocaust, and other tragedies.

Famous existentialist philosophers include Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Martin Heidegger. These thinkers have had a profound influence on existentialism in education.

Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the most famous philosophers of the 20th century. He was a leading figure in existentialism and Marxist theory. He argued that humans are free and responsible for their own choices and that there is no inherent meaning in life.

Friedrich Nietzsche was another important philosopher of the 20th century. He believed in the concept of “the will to power,” which holds that humans are driven by a desire to dominate and control their environment. He also argued that there is no objective truth, only interpretations that vary from person to person.

Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher who is considered one of the founders of existentialism. He developed the concept of “being-in-the-world,” which holds that humans always exist in relation to their surroundings. He also argued that existence precedes essence, meaning that people do not inherit predetermined roles or identities, but must create their own meanings in life.

What existentialism teaches us

Existentialism can be seen as a liberating philosophy, as it emphasizes individual freedom and choice. It allows us to take control of our own lives and gives us the power to create our own meaning. This can be an empowering prospect, especially when we feel lost or overwhelmed.

Existentialism also encourages us to face death and our own mortality head-on. This can be a daunting task, but it can also be liberating. It helps us to realize that life is precious and that we should make the most of it while we can.

Finally, existentialism teaches us that life is ultimately meaningless. This may seem like a negative thing, but it can actually be quite freeing. It means that we are not bound by tradition or convention – we can create our own meaning in life, based on our own values and beliefs.

Existentialism in education

Though existentialism has been around for quite some time, it has only recently begun to make its way into mainstream education. This is due to the fact that existentialism can be seen as a response to existential angst – a feeling of anxiety and despair that comes from the realization of our own mortality.

Many people find existentialism to be a helpful philosophy when it comes to making sense of life. It allows us to confront the fact that life is ultimately meaningless, and yet we still have the power to create our own meaning. This can be a liberating realization, as it puts the responsibility for our lives squarely on our own shoulders.

Existentialism can also be helpful in terms of understanding our own emotions and motivations. It teaches us that we should not necessarily try to suppress or ignore our feelings, but rather should face them head-on and try to understand what they are telling us.

Overall, existentialism can be a valuable tool for both educators and students. It can help us to better understand ourselves and the world around us, and it can provide us with a framework for creating our own meaning in life.


So, what is existentialism? In short, it’s a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice, and the inherent meaninglessness of life.

It has been a popular topic in academic circles for many years but has only recently begun to make its way into mainstream education. This is due to the fact that existentialism can be seen as a response to existential angst – a feeling of anxiety and despair that comes from the realization of our own mortality.

Although there are many different interpretations of existentialism, all variants share one common belief: that humans must create their own meaning in life, as there is no inherent meaning given by God or nature. Some people view this as a bleak outlook on life, while others see it as an opportunity for liberation and growth.

What are your thoughts on existentialism in education? Do you think it offers students a valuable perspective on the world? Or do you think it’s too nihilistic and depressing?

Monday, December 18, 2023

Rel22 and Personal Updates + the Continuation of Our Existentialism Series

Rel22 Website Update
by R.E. Slater

A month ago I began a series of articles on Process-based (Processual) Christian existentialism using Whitehead's process philosophy as versus psychological existentialism built upon non-process-based philosophies. Each will give meaning to us in their own way... although as a Christian/religious person my own meaning will derive from a theological framework as versus the nonreligious existentialist who may be agnostic to religion or completely atheistic to it.

Further below you will find the series I was developing before becoming slowed down by this year's foot-and-ankle surgeries. Thankfully, though I slowed down a little bit, I have been fortunate enough to work at document production between energy slumps and pain medications.

Lately, I've been catching up the Relevancy22 website covering this past summer's current events which I had missed. I've also have provided a shorten process series re Segall, Davis, Whitehead, and Cobb, among others.

However, this isn't necessarily bad as playing catch-up to missed series allows us to take these series in all-at-once. Whether in my undergrad or graduate studies, I tended to read and study my classroom projects in "batches" as versus chapter-by-chapter. By doing so I could see and understand the bigger picture rather than absorbing the minutiae of data segmented between subject material.

With the advent of livestream cable I can now do the same with Cable TV series and Internet streams... I can watch and think through series all-at-once rather than piecemeal a week at a time. Perhaps it's age but I think it makes things easier to remember and understand.


My Health Update
by R.E. Slater

Pictures of Nursing (3X / wk) and festering foot infections
which have required several surgeries this past summer and fall...

What Open Wounds Look Like Before
and After Using a Wound Pump
April through August 2023

Resting Up After Prosthetic Removal
& Cleanout Surgery
September 2023

My latest surgeries have gone well. What started out as "maintenance surgeries" later become "removal and fusion surgeries". Through the summer my surgical infections from January 2016 never left and never got better. At first they did... but it took three long years. But they never went away. So after eight years of up-and-down health limitations I finally gave in to reality in September of this year.

Looking at my foot I was nursing three open wounds with several more rising to the surface... my management of wounds had come to an end. I called the doc, saw him a day later, and we planned a surgery for the first Monday of the next week. The infections were spreading and he-and-I both wanted the prosthetic gear out of my body post-haste.

And so, the motility device is gone as I use this fall and coming winter seasons to place life "on hold" to heal up and get better. My last recourse was an amputation but at least up to this point I've not had to consider this (excepting, of course, the discovery of Boston's Mass General where a MIT specialist removes limbs in such a way as to decrease phantom pain nearly to zero).

At present, the infected prosthetic is out of my body and it is responding very well to the drugs and healing. My ongoing fight with health issues may become a thing of the past but my real I had ever been to keep the motility device in my foot. This is not to be as there is a 35% risk of becoming re-infected with a replacement device.

So after this summer's cleanout surgeries in April (#1) and August (#2) along with a long, long, long losing battle with the several infections still ravaging my body, I finally agreed with Infectious Disease and my Orthopaedist to a series of "rebuilds" starting with (#3) the full removal of the foot and ankle prosthetic which includes a surgical cleanout  and the placement of an antiseptic cement ball into the empty space.

What came out - Internal Motility Prosthetic
September 2023
My Condition Presently between Surgeries
Nov 2023

the aftermath of a bloody surgical wound being cleaned up  in the med office

I bought two inexpensive knee walkers to get around the house

the splint behind the knee required a rag stuffed
behind it to relieve the chaffing going on

Structural Gear to be Implanted:
a Titanium ball socket with foot fusion
January 2024

refer to:

Then (#4) a fourth surgery with another reopening of the ankle area this past November with the main ankle-bone's partial removal + another cleanout + placement of yet another antiseptic cement ball into the open space.

And finally, sometime this coming January of 2024, a (#5) fifth and final surgery removing (and reuse of sic, cannibalizing of) the remaining anklebone + cleanout + the placement of a custom-built titanium structural device into the fully emptied area + the fusion of the ankle to the foot. This would complete all surgeries unless infections arise again.

Overall, the series of procedures which I've been dreading has gone better than I had thought. Considering all the many years of competitive sports I played it could've been a lot worse. This problem here was related to a fall I had down a mountain at 14 years of age where I had to stick my foot into a crevice lest I fall off the cliff which was fast coming up.

Since my father didn't "believe in" modern medicine at the time I've played sports all my life on a partially injured foot which lately was turning upwards. I had had an early total knee surgery many years earlier with no problem so the foot surgery in 2016 I wasn't concerned about. However, infection rates run 4-6% in modern hospitals and I was one of the unlucky patients to experience it.

All-in-all this medical health year has gone well... it has required a lot of patience and pain management. Further, the antibiotic drugs left me fatigued with stomach v.  nausea after-affects. I also had to undergo several iron-therapy infusions to offset the fatigue I was experiencing as my iron levels had dropped quite low.

But thankfully, I've never gotten any of the Covid variants my friends and family were getting even though I've had times where I felt like I may have contacted the mutating virus. In the area I live there are a lot of Trumpian republicans who adamantly refuse to wear a mask to protect me and others... and who also refuse to take their Covid shots... thus complicating our region's health factors along with my own lower resistances to Covid.

And yet, both my spouse and I have not been infected and have diligently kept up our vaccine shots so that this past July I got my sixth "bivalent shot" (re Covid-19's 4.0 and 5.0 variants), along with a pneumonia shot for older people and a season flu shot. Later, this coming January-February of next year I will receive a seventh  vaccine shot (for BA2.75 + EBB 1.50 mutations). As I tell my church friends, I "glow in the dark" in the evening! :) 

All for now,

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
and remember our friends and strangers in Palestine, Gaza, Israel,
the Ukraine, Russian, and all the Migrating families from
South and Central America needing God's grace and help.

by R.E. Slater
December 18, 2023

Michigan in December

* * * * * * *

SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19
Charts and Data Information

Mapping the evolutionary profile of SARS-CoV-2
and COVID-19 using mutation order approach

SARS-CoV-2 variant biology: immune escape, transmission and fitness

Virus Mutations Reveal How COVID-19 Really Spread

* * * * * * *

Forthcoming Existentialism Series

What Gives Life Meaning, Part 2 - unfinished

Christian Existentialism, Part 3 - unfinished

More on Christian Existentialism, Part 4 - unfinished

existentialism in education
Existentialism in Education: Themes, Philosophers, Pros and Cons

Travel Series - Bill Gates "UnConfuse Me" Series

The message I’m taking to COP28
Bill Gates  |  2.37 min
Nov 27, 2023

I’ll be talking about progress on climate and what we
need to do next. Learn more at https://gatesnot.es/47ztcoi

Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates
My latest podcast is all about learning something new

What do you do when you can’t solve a problem? I like to talk to smart people who can help me understand the subject better. I call this process “getting unconfused”—and I think it is one of the best ways to learn something new. In my new podcast, I try to get unconfused about some of the things that fascinate me. Join me on my learning journey as I talk to brilliant guests about Alzheimer’s, artificial intelligence, the future of education, plant-based meat, the evolution of language, marijuana, and more.

Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates - Episode 5
Yejin Choi  |  31.50 min
11/16/2023 6:00:00 PM

Few people are better at explaining the science of artificial intelligence than Yejin Choi. She’s a computer science professor at the University of Washington, senior research director at the Allen Institute for AI, and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. I thought her recentTED talk
was terrific, and I was thrilled to talk to her about how you train a large language model, why it’s so hard for robots to pick tools out of a box, and why universities must play a key role in the future of AI research.

Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates - Episode 4
John McWhorter  |  30.22 mim
9/7/2023 7:00:00 AM

I recently started learning French, and the process has made one thing clear to me: There’s a lot I don’t understand about how languages work. So, I turned to John McWhorter, a linguist who has dedicated his career to demystifying the roughly 7,000 languages spoken around the world. When he isn’t busywriting books

John is a professor at Columbia University, host of his ownpodcast, and frequent lecturer forGreat Courses. He helped me understand why English is so irregular, what the ideal language would look like, why all dialects are created equal, and more.

Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates - Episode 3
Questlove  |  31.36 min
8/24/2023 7:00:00 AM

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is the ultimate multi-hyphenate: He’s a musician, filmmaker, author, entrepreneur, and more. The Grammy and Oscar winner is also a plant-based foods advocate, so when I had some questions about the future of food, I knew I had to sit down with him. We had a blast talking about why he made ameatless Philly cheesesteak, how we make healthy food accessible to more people, Questlove’s insane record collection, how we got our nicknames, and our Wordle strategies.

Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates - Episode 2
Sal Khan  | 30.29 min
8/10/2023 7:00:00 AM

Sal Khan is a true pioneer of harnessing the power of technology to help kids learn. So, when I wanted to learn more about how artificial intelligence will transform education, I knew I had to talk to the founder ofKhan Academy. I loved chatting with Sal about why tutoring is so important, how his new serviceKhanmigo is making the most of ChatGPT, and how we can keep teachers at the center of the classroom in the age of AI. We even found time to talk about our favorite teachers and the subject we wish we’d studied in school.

Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates - Episode 1
Seth Rogen & Lauren Miller Rogen  |  35.24 min
7/27/2023 7:00:00 AM

Can Alzheimer’s disease be funny? I was skeptical, especially given the devastating experience my family had watching my dad suffer from it. So, I asked two experts in using humor to raise awareness—Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen—to help me see the light. We had a great conversation about their organization Hilarity for Charity,hope for the future of Alzheimer’s research, theimportance of a good night’s sleep, and why Seth started acannabis lifestyle company

I teamed up with actress and writer Rashida Jones to create a podcast that tackles some of the biggest questions facing us today: Is it too late to solve climate change? Does everybody lie? Is inequality inevitable? You can listen to each episode below and even access exclusive bonus content by becoming a Gates Notes Insider.

Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions - Episode 5
12/14/2020 12:00:00 AM  |  51.13 min

2020 has been a year of change. From the presidential election to the pandemic, it’s clear that the world will never be the same after this year—and neither will all of us who experienced it. In the season finale, Bill and Rashida explore how progress hinges on society’s ability to evolve, how our view of the world shifts as we get older, and whether it’s actually possible to change someone’s mind. Then they’re joined by two people who are using their positions as artists to change the world for the better: Bono and Kerry Washington.

Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions - Episode 4
12/7/2020 12:00:00 AM  |  50.45 min

Climate change is the most daunting challenge of our time. Tackling it will require unprecedented amounts of innovation, investment, and global cooperation. Are we actually making progress yet? Can we really stop the worst effects of climate change? In this week’s episode, Bill and Rashida take on perhaps their biggest question yet with an assist from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert.

Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions - Episode 3
11/30/2020 12:00:00 AM  |  45.56 min

Honesty is a core value in most cultures. But humanity has always been obsessed with untruths, from little white lies to vast conspiracy theories. Bill and Rashida are joined by "Sapiens"> author and historian Yuval Noah Harari to talk about why we’re so willing to believe falsehoods and what these lies tell us about ourselves—both as individuals and as a society.

Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions - Episode 2
11/23/2020 12:00:00 AM  |  45.75 min

2020 has brought to light a lot of issues, including growing inequality in the United States. We're seeing huge gaps in income, access to healthcare, and quality of education across the country. Economist Raj Chetty joins the podcast to talk about his groundbreaking research on opportunity in America. Then Mayor Aja Brown joins the conversation to talk about how she is leveling the playing field in Compton.

Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions - Episode 1
11/16/2020 12:00:00 AM  |  44.02 min

Ever since the pandemic started, we’ve heard the same refrain: we need to get back to normal. But what does “normal” even mean after such a history-changing event? Bill and Rashida discuss how COVID-19 will forever change our workplaces, our schools, and even our social lives. They also get real with NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci about what we can expect in the months ahead.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

America is First "A Land of Rights and Freedoms" Before it ever was a Christian Nation

Under MAGA'ism America is become torn apart... - re slater

Before America was ever a Christian nation it was First and
Foremost a Land for Individual Rights and Liberties. - re slater

by R.E. Slater

When reading the CNN article further below I came across some apt commentary on the Internet which I will use here, by rearranging it and re-applying it. It comes from an essay, I found on Bartleby.com entitled, "Failure to Learn from History in George Orwell's treatise, Animal Farm."

To being, let me refer to an old adage which we all have grown up with but seems especially relevant for our present lives at this time. It goes like this...
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” This was most likely spoken by the writer and philosopher George Santayana who originally wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Meaning that there is a truism to the memorable quote that if we do not learn from our failures and errors in the past then we are condemned to repeat those same lessons again and again until they are learned.
In the neo-conservative and hardliner Trump's case - along with his MAGA republican party and ardent White evangelical adherents - Trump's divisive White Christian Nationalist planks speaks to Santayana's adage.... That every dictatorship or a tyrannical government eventually had led to a deeply unsettling revolution....  And in this case, just about every revolution which places "total power" into the hands of a single ruler will always lead to an authoritarian, autocratic rule....
Consequently, popularly supported but unfiltered propaganda and misinformation when embraced and institutionalized, will always create cycles of reinforcing "positive" feedback which are difficult to reverse by their implications and divisive content.... Moreover, as that same propaganda encourages violent behavior it will in turn create weaker, less responsible civil societies.
Accordingly, authoritarian institutions which are funneling the majority of corruptible wealth into the hands of a politically elite and corrupt minority will never progress towards societal equality and fairness....
More rather, these (MAGA) elitist power centers will run downhill becoming more and more craven, despotic, and totalitarian, towards those who originally placed them into power by supporting the (MAGA) autocratic movement away from an openly civil democracy towards forms of controlling, neo-fascism. And when done, will be very difficult - if not impossible - to break up, or up-end, as the world recently discovered again under Hitler's Nazification of monarchal Germany (1933-1945).

History Is Brimming With Great Accomplishments And Great Mistakes

Thomas Edison once replied when asked why he continued working after so many failures, “I didn 't fail," he said. "I found 10,000 ways that didn 't work.” This contrary view to Santayana's insightful adage above simply repeats in reverse the saying that one is "condemned to repeating the past" when not learning from the horrific past history of others.
People who remember their failures and errors; who contemplate in what ways they could have made things better; who familiarize themselves with their past; simply will not make the same mistakes again.
Why? Because they now know how NOT to accomplish their goals. Their "hindsight has become 20/20"... when re-capturing their acknowledgement that mistakes were made in the past but then they will no longer remain ambiguous as to why those mistakes had occurred and under what circumstances.
More simply, those same errors in thinking and judgment will not be made again under similar future events.

Power Corrupts... And it Corrupts Completely

This is something our MAGA-ridden government needs to take heed, because they are the ones repeating history at present. By teaching the angry "mis-versions" of America's religious history - that it began as a Christian nation and is intended to remain a Christian nation - they are creating situations for violent response.

Especially when forgetting that America first-and-foremost was a safe haven and refuge to the oppressed unwanteds of foreign lands.... That the first American colonies grew and expanded because they offered places to worship and think independently to non-national (protesting) reformists... and away from the well-entrenched and established Catholicized or State-based Christian faiths in Central Europe.
That the reformationists to the Catholic Christian faith had fundamentally left the state-supported Catholic Church to establish protesting (aka, Protestant) Christian faiths of various ilks and sorts in America's newborn colonies.
Consequently, such a national history as America's thereby attests more to the fact that America was born out of the necessity to live somewhere where individuals and families could live apart from religious oppression, inquisition, loss of wealth and life.

As Massachusetts went, so did the rest
of Colonial America... - re slater

America is First "A Land of Rights and Freedoms" Before it ever was a Christian Nation
Thus and thus, America is a land of individual rights and freedoms before it ever was a breakoff Christian state where European reformists might come and worship how they wished and by what standards they wished to embrace.
Which beggars the question, how is America any different today from it's Colonial history?
Firstly, we are continually blessed with religious, anti-statist, faithful migrants from around the world. Those peoples who have left unsafe local communities in their former countries to live in an America better known for it's blended families of migrants than for what it has more recently become as unwanting fleeing migrants from impoverished, criminally corrupt local governments blinded to the individual rights and freedoms of individuals and families, friends and neighbors.
Moreover, these same global migrants who are fleeing their homes to come to America's Lands of Reformists are first-and-foremost seeking security and protection to their individual and familial rights and interests.
Which is why America is first an Open Democracy before it is anything else, such as an acclaimed Christian Land.
If anything, because of America's Christianizing ideals of equality, fairness, and freedom, all other Christian and non-Christian faiths may now enter into America to find a promising community lifestyle of peace, toleration, and amiability with one another.
Spoken another way, America is becoming what it had always been birthed as... as a "Land where differents and difference is welcomed, accepted, and embraced" (except for those poor Native Americans inhabiting North, Central, and South America first).
Hence, America's enculturated differences are its biggest strength. That it's union of dissimilars is it's highest priority... and NOT it's division into competing racist groupings.

Power Corrupts Absolutely in George Orwell's Animal House...
Click here to read of Animal House's Character List

In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, one of the major themes was power. And how absolute power corrupts absolutely.

To the animals, Drunk Farmer Jones was a tyrant, always mistreating and abusing them, until one day Old Major (Pig) told them of a dream he had, where the animals will be able to live in a utopia, and lead lives of peace. After the rebellion occurred the animals overthrew Jones and in his place Napoleon Pig soon came to power. He promised the animals lives of prosperity, and for a while Animal Farm was a blissful place, however after a while Napoleon's reign became a tyranny, one very similar to Jones, if not worse.

George Orwell's Indictment Of Totalitarianism

Earlier promises were retracted, and the avowed commandments which once were irrevocable are changed to meet the needs of Napoleon Pig and his “henchmen.” 

Napoleon begins to engage in trade with Pilkington, a former "easy-going" partner of Mr. Jones who runs the neighboring farm of Foxwood. This results in a situation which is little different from the original farm of Mr. Jones which the animals had revolted against in years prior. It also repeated their former reality in which man and pig could not be differentiated:
“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig…it was impossible to say which was which.” (Orwell, 141)
This statement demonstrates the incongruous nature of totalitarianism. Regardless of whatever ideals a totalitarian leader may endorse, the end product of a totalitarian state, whether it be a “capitalist” or “communist” one, does not vary much—if at all.

A State of Ignorance in George Orwell's Animal Farm

Ignorance is the most fatal flaw in human nature. In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, he expressed through his characters the motif that ignorance is the worst of all flaws.

Each of the animal characters in the book, symbolize specific characteristics that are found in humans. Mollie Mare, Benjamin Donkey, and the sheep are the main animals that have the greatest ignorance and can bring the greatest harm into the farm.

Similarities Between Animal Farm and Joseph Stalin's Russia

Throughout history, dictators of many nations have all shared similar traits; whether they be stubborn, power-hungry, or just callous, they are all corrupted and built constitutionally in nearly the same way.

This holds true in both reality and in fiction, through the analyzation of Josef Stalin, the Soviet dictator of Russia, and Napoleon Pig, the dictator of Animal Farm

George Orwell meant for Animal Farm to be a satire of the Russian Revolution, and he succeeded. In Animal Farm, Napoleon Pig is a blatant representation of Josef Stalin, ruling by fear, paranoia, and who are tyrannical, ultimately leading to their  separate falls.

Is Animal Farm Better Than Farmer Jones's Time?

Animal Farm by George Orwell can directly relate to George Santayana's quote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

This quote means we are prone to repeat ourselves if we cannot remember our mistakes from the past.... Nor learn from them. And by the time we notice our error as a repetition in history, it is already too late to repair the circumstances we find ourselves in.

The animals in Animal Farm are not able to tell if their situation is better or worse than Jones's time because they cannot remember their life in the past:
"There were times when it seemed to the animals that they worked longer hours and fed no better than they had done in Jones’s day. On Sunday mornings Squealer Pig, holding down a long strip of paper with his trotter, would read out to them lists of figures proving their chaining bondage.
The Characteristics Of Lying In Animal Farm by George Orwell
“A lie told often enough becomes the truth,” this is a quote from the Soviet Union dictator, Vladimir Lenin.
This quote is a perfect example of Napoleon in the book Animal Farm. Herein, Napoleon Pig has become a very controlling, manipulative and extremely self-absorbed leader - not unlike Joseph Stalin.
Thus, the underlying idea is signified when revealing the truth that the most harmful people in society are people who lie so often to themselves, and to those who are willing to listen to them, that they forget what was in exchange for what they pretend things to be....

How George Orwell Use the Theme of Power In Animal Farm

Power can be recognized as the most dangerous weapon to use against a civilization.

In George Orwell’s work of fiction Napoleon takes personal (sovereign) supremacy in a communist/totalitarian animal society, and becomes corrupted by the power  he usurped when applying (state-based) cruelty to the other animals when disobeying the commandments they had acclaimed to observe.

Cruelty then is used with one's usurped privilege of power whenever an autocratic leader forming an autocratic state applies such means of power to the people who placed him into power.

As such, when Napoleon removes Snowball Pig (aka, Leon Trotsky in real life) from the animal farm using his predator dogs, the other farm animals finally perceive who the dogs really are:

“They were the puppies whom Napoleon had taken away from their mothers and raised privately [to be his own].” (Orwell 53).

The Rise Of Nazi Power

In summation,

“One of the most important reasons for studying history is that virtually every stupid idea that is in vogue today's present societies have been tried before and proved disastrous before, time and again.” (Sowell) - aka, the essayist
An abridged commentary,

by R.E. Slater
December 17, 2023

* * * * * * * *

Author Jon Ward: "The idea that America is a Christian nation
is actually not faithful to historic Christianity."Lawrence Jackson

He left his White evangelical bubble.
Here’s what he says it would take
for others to do the same

by John Blake, CNN
November 6, 2023


If you don’t realize how powerful White Christian evangelicals have become, consider this:

A White Christian evangelical, who has been described as “the embodiment of White Christian nationalism in a tailored suit,” is now second in line to the presidency.

Rep. Mike Johnson, the new Speaker of the House, is a White evangelical. His ascension represents one of the greatest political ironies of our time. White evangelical Protestants make up only about 14% of Americans, and that number has been steadily shrinking. But White evangelicals have amassed more political power than ever. They helped inspire the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade last year, and their steadfast support of former President Trump could return him to the White House.

Yet there is still widespread misunderstanding of White evangelical subculture. The media tends to depict White evangelicals as foaming-at-the-mouth Christian insurrectionists like some of those who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

One former evangelical, though, has done something rare: He’s written a new memoir that illustrates how White evangelicals were led astray by their thirst for political power but also depicts many of them as earnest spiritual strivers who still retain “immense power for good.”

The book is titled “Testimony: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Failed a Generation,” and it’s by Jon Ward, the chief national correspondent at Yahoo! News. Ward describes being raised in a Christian bubble where watching secular television shows like “Sesame Street” was forbidden. He attended churches where people were “slain in the spirit” while singing songs with choruses such as, “all of us deserve to die.”

The son of a pastor, Ward would go on to become a White House reporter, traveling the world on Air Force One with former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Ward recounts in his brutally honest memoir how his family, like others, were torn apart by the rise of Donald Trump.

“I felt abandoned by my own father,” he writes about his dad, who led an influential evangelical church and who he declines to name in the book. He and his father had argued about Trump describing the media as “the enemy of the people,” Ward said.

“But it helped me understand how good people could stand by and make excuses for bad people in power,” he wrote. “They couldn’t not see past their own resentments and bias, even when people they loved were hurting or scared.”

CNN talked to Ward about why he thinks White evangelicals remain misunderstood, why he’ s leery of using the term “Christian nationalist,” and what it would take for White evangelicals to abandon Trump. Ward’s remarks were edited for brevity and clarity.


The new speaker of the house is a White Christian evangelical and is second in the line for the presidency. Does this inspire or concern you? Or maybe a bit of both?

I think that with his (Johnson’s) sort of surprise ascent into such a position of power so close to the presidency, there’s a lot more attention now on the kind of conservative Christian beliefs that have been common among millions of evangelicals for decades. What’s unusual about Johnson is that while his views are fairly common, it’s uncommon to have somebody get so high in a position of power with his views because usually they have to go through much more vetting. His views about America being a Christian nation are a pretty telling marker of what a lot of experts call “Christian nationalism.”

That’s a term that gets thrown around a lot. I’m wary of using it because I think it’s used as a caricature. There are people who are trying to weaponize Christian nationalism. And I don’t think that that’s most evangelicals. I think it’s people who are associated with the former president’s attempt to overturn the last election. These beliefs have been common for a long time. But this, at this moment, they’re merging with a strain of anti-democratic apocalyptic forms of Christianity that have already shown a willingness to throw out respect for the Constitution and democracy.

I think most evangelicals probably have a mix of views. And one of them is that America is a Christian nation, and they don’t have a lot of implications that flow out from that. When you categorize everybody as an extremist just because they hold these views, I think it pushes more evangelicals towards the bad actors who are trying to bring people into an anti-democratic movement.

Newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson takes his oath of office in the
US Capitol. Johnson is an evangelical Christian. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

You seem leery of using the term ‘White Christian nationalism.’ Am I correct?

Yeah, because first of all, most people don’t call themselves Christian nationalists. When you call somebody something that they say, ‘Hey, I’m not one of those,’ I think that’s not great. In many cases, it’s just going to make people more defensive and turn them off and push them away from you. And secondly, there are fully built-out forms of Christian nationalism. But in many cases, it’s just a very amorphous thing. I think many of them are just normal patriotic Americans.

And again, there are a small group of extremists who want to use these ideas to drag people into an anti-democratic movement. And I think the more you sort of say to people, “You’re one of them,” I think the more you leave them little room, and you’re pushing them towards those extremists.

Christian nationalism is not actually faithful to Christianity. In churches, pastors, they’re the ones who are going to be crucial to pushing back against the forces of extremism because they’re the ones who need to speak to their neighbors, friends and church members about the idea that America is a Christian nation is actually not faithful to historic Christianity.

You tell a story about a former colleague in the fall of 2016 who emailed you saying he was alarmed to see Christian evangelical leaders endorsing Trump. And then he became one of Trump’s most ferocious defenders. Why did he and others make a similar shift?

I don’t know what was in their motivation or their hearts. I think a lot of people in those early days of the Trump presidency were known as anti-anti-Trump. They might have been anti-Trump at first, but then they got fed up with the criticism of Trump and the backlash against Trump. And they’re like, I’m now done being anti-Trump. I’m anti-anti-Trump. And so that was part of it. I think that was in large part a rationalization for getting to where their audiences were. When your audience wants more pro-Trump stuff, that often ends up leading people around by the nose.

Members of what was once called the Jesus Movement sing at a Los Angeles
building in 1971. Ward says his parents came out of a movement of Christians during
that decade who were disenchanted with the mainstream church. | George Brich/AP

You’ve said, ‘I still believe in evangelicals, but I don’t believe in evangelism.’ What does that mean?

It means that there’s a lot of really great people in these evangelical churches, all over the country and in the world. Just fantastic individuals and families. But there’s a whole culture of political beliefs and cultural practices that have been added on to the faith that I was indoctrinated in. It’s taken me decades to unpack all the assumptions that were layered on to my worldview by these teachings.

You say you were taught what to feel, what to believe, but not how to think. Can you elaborate?

When you’re in that kind of place where all the answers to life’s questions start with a very firm set of beliefs that are based on a text that is interpreted and read in a way that is actually not even the way that the Bible has been read for most of Christianity’s history, then you’re backed into a corner when it comes to asking questions. You can ask them up to a certain point. But once you bump up against any of the "answers that are set in stone", the answers start to become labeled as dangerous, sinful, or evil.

What shifted your beliefs from the way you were raised?

If I had to put it on one thing, it would be given the permission to ask questions and follow the truth wherever the facts lead.

Who or what gave you that permission?

Becoming a journalist.

Are you still an evangelical, or do you call yourself something else?

I don’t think I would use that label. I think I would just call myself a Christian.

Faith leaders pray over President Donald Trump during an "Evangelicals for Trump"
campaign event on January 3, 2020, in Miami, Florida. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Is there anything that could cause former President Trump to lose the allegiance of the White evangelicals who support him?

I think it would have to be something more pragmatic and political than theological or moral. If it got down to him versus Nikki Haley (the former South Carolina governor and 2023 Republican presidential contender), and it was clear in the polling that Trump would lose to a Democrat and Haley would beat the Democrat, many evangelicals would switch their support to Haley because they would want a Republican to win the presidency. People are often looking for some revelation that’s going to get people to stop supporting him (Trump) but I think we’re beyond that in most cases.

If Trump wins a second term, what will the impact be on the White evangelical world?

You would see adulation from a lot of evangelicals. You would see a minority of evangelicals peeling away not just from Trump, and not just from Republican politics, but away from evangelicalism. But that’s probably the minority. The word “evangelical” has become more and more wobbly over the last decade because the Trump movement has been able to bring in a lot of people to this style of fusing religion and politics. That attracts a lot of people who are not even really churchgoers.

How has your father reacted to your book?

We spent several hours one day talking about it. He expressed some positive feelings about parts of the book, but his overwhelming response was negative. It may have been a surprise, the level of disagreement that I have with him. It has to be really hard for your son to write anything that’s not praising you.

I went back to him later and I walked him through every moment in the book that he’s mentioned and pointed out that 75% of those mentions are very positive. I was grateful for his love and for his place in my life and for the person he is. Through our conversations, we’ve come to a better place.

Time will tell whether that holds, I guess. It was good for us to talk it out rather than let a lot of stuff fester.