Trump White House commemorates 850th anniversary of Christian martyr St. Thomas Becket

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Given Biff’s promotion of stochastic terrorists and his assumption that the presidency should be an absolute monarchy, I’m surprised he’s not honouring King Henry II (best known for the attribution casual and totally rhetorical question, “will no-one rid me of this turbulent priest?”).


Trump is celebrating the death of a man of conscience, who was stabbed in the back by agents acting for the man in supreme power, who then disavowed any knowledge of their actions.

That seems bang on message. What’s the problem?


Trump to Trumpists: be a martyr. Give your life for me, pardon, for freedom.


I think the reason for commemorating this is right here
“or to require religious believers to violate their consciences.”
This is support for the idea that I can deny services to LGBTQ people because it violates my freedom of religious expression.
Or I (my business) can deny my employees access to birth control for the same reason. This is just Voldemort appealing to his followers that want him to be king.


I don’t want to attribute any particular understanding of history or willingness to think more than 2 seconds about someone who won’t give him a bag of money or spank him with a rolled up magazine with his face on it, but overall my guess is this is an attempt to legitimize the line of thinking that it is OK if amy coney barret doesn’t care about separation of church and state because “separation of church and state was to protect the church. As long as it doesn’t hurt the^H^H^Hour church, there is no problem with her pronouncing religious judgements from the court.”


Separation of Church and State, you fuckers.


I’d just point out, Turmp’s name doesn’t appear anywhere in this parable, so he had nothing to do with it personally. It is more likely the work of Stephen Miller or some similar loose stool, and should be interpreted accordingly.

No question it’s a deliberate far-right dog whistle one way or another, though.


You’re quite right to be concerned about this Thom. It’s deeply bizarre and creepy, if you ask me.

@kent_archie nailed it above. The primary intent is to reinforce the idea that religious fee fees are more important than any other human right, and wrapping it in a layer of faux historical context gives it legitimacy.

Another important point here in the post:

This is a very disturbing trend in the past couple of years. The alt-right and forces of pseudo-science are slowly accumulating their own parallel universe of “expertise”. People who have legitimate credentials and may even be genuinely experts in their fields, but who don’t hesitate to compromise their scientific rigor or ethics for ideology. Just like the climate deniers and antivaxxers have their little army of discredited scientists to “support” their views, so to is the alt-right building up people like this historian.

This is why we need to double down on the importance of science. Science is built for precisely this purpose- to isolate truth from ideology. The latter is something all humans are prone to, but science protects us from ourselves. Scientific rigor applies to humanities and social sciences too, in many cases. There’s rigorous evidence-based history, and then there’s… whatever this person is doing. :confused:


I wonder what would happen if you asked them about the violent/murderous parts of the Bible. Stuff like stoning disobedient children to death or whatnot. Which rights are more or less important than religious exercise?

(I know what would happen, they’d deflect, but there’s a part of me that enjoys the idea of zinging them on stuff like this, even if it never works in reality)


I can’t help finding irony in this declaration since James Comey literally likened Trump’s implied directives as being akin to those Henry II is portrayed as having given to have Becket killed:


Appointed Milo?

I was hoping that he was going to stay in Australia. Or something of a more permanent nature.


No, when I first read about this those were the exact thoughts I had as well and so did various professional mediaevalist communities I follow.


Trump just appointed frequent Milo Yiannopoulos and Vox Day apologist Rachel Fulton Brown

I read that as “… appointed Rachel Fulton Brown, who is a frequent Milo Yiannopoulos and Vox Day apologist” (i.e., one person). When I read it again, that is.


No thanks. The venomous and toxic creatures here generally keep to themselves.


Becket was not even that devout (for his time), he became archbishop on an accelerated promotion (he was ordained as a priest the day before becoming bishop and later that day archbishop). He was essentially a political animal who changed horses.


they are recruiting martyrs to their cause - be careful, folks


And from my, very amateur, reading of history, Thomas Becket was kind of an ass…

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Indeed, but therein lies the takeaway. When a person is starting from their desired conclusion (aka ideology) and working backwards to rationalize it, the “source” text doesn’t actually matter very much. As long as it says a lot of vague things in poetic-ish language (even if it isn’t internally consistent) people will interpret as needed to support what they wish to be true. It could be the Bible, Nostradamus, QAnon drops, the collected works of Dan Brown, or whatever. A big pile of hack writing is a set of blocks from which to choose the pieces that will shore up of your worldview as needed.

A consequence of this, of course, is that counter-evidence is ineffective when a person wasn’t interested in evidence in the first place. As the saying goes, you can’t reason someone out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into. Even worse, humans are so good at this rationalization process that we convince ourselves we did reason our way to these conclusions. People will say they have all sorts of evidence for the Bible being true and thus they are the rational ones. That or they simply cite “faith”, the most intellectually lazy of all ways to avoid challenges to one’s ideology.


A very independent and otherwise intelligent-seeming fellow employee once told me, “I take the bible literally…” and I said, “Really? So you obey your husband’s every command?” She blushed and said nothing. I just hope it got her thinking.

Will no one rid us of this turbulent maladministration?